Thursday, October 16, 2008

Harga Minyak & Main Yo-Yo

Harga minyak bulan ini cenderung terus merosot tajam, setelah sempat ke level 140 - 150 $/Bbl bulan Juli, ternyata dalam waktu 2 bulan (sempat) jatuh ke level dibawah 80 $/bbl.

Saya masih ingat ketika harga minyak terus meningkat dari 100 $/bbl pada awal tahun 2008, semua orang sibuk memperkirakan harga minyak akan segera menjadi 200 $/bbl, bahkan ada sebuah majalah di amrik sana yang menulis, harga minyak akan mencapai 500 $/bbl tahun depan!!

Saya dari dulu tidak pernah tertarik meramal harga minyak, karena semakin ditebak, semakin bingung kita. Kalau kita (kebetulan) benar, kita akan bilang: “dari dulu gua bilang apa”.., ketika tebakan salah?, kita akan sibuk ngeles he he.

Ada dua hal disini yang cukup penting untuk kita pahami, pertama urusan “supply vs. demand”, kedua urusan “harga minyak”. Dari buku textbook, kita tahu kalau keduanya akan saling mempengaruhi. Apa yang bisa dilakukan oleh para pengamat perminyakan sebenarnya terbatas pada perkiraan supply vs demand, untuk urusan ini, tidak diragukan lagi kemampuan para analis tersebut, level ilmunya relatif samalah, paling paling hasilnya ada perbedaan sedikit diantara para analis/pengamat tersebut. Namun demikian, supply vs. demand assessment tidak langsung merefleksikan harga minyak, karena kita tahu ternyata banyak sekali faktor lain yang berpengaruh diluar itu, sebut saja: “supply vs. demand” untuk minyak bohong2 an alias minyak kertas alias paper market, persediaan minyak di tangki penyimpan, spare capacity, bencana alam/badai, musim (summer/winter), geopolitik, nilai tukar dan persepsi. Bagaimana dengan economic growth? Sebenarnya faktor ini sudah diperhitungkan pada saat melakukan “supply vs. demand” assessment.

Dengan adanya krisis ekonomi dan resesi dunia didepan mata, semua orang sibuk merevisi kembali perkiraan “supply vs. demand” ini, Goldman Sachs baru saja bilang, harga minyak bisa ke level 50 – 75 $/bbl, padahal seinget saya baru kemaren2, analis-nya bilang, harga minyak akan segera ke 200 $/bbl.

Apa yang harus kita petik dari fenomena harga minyak ini adalah bahwa kita harus punya longterm strategi untuk pengelolaan energi yang baik, saya percaya Prof Widjajono Partowidagdo yang berhasil terpilih menjadi anggota DEN (Dewan Energi Nasional), mudah2 an dapat memberi sumbang saran yang dapat didengar oleh pucuk pimpinan bangsa ini.

Harga minyak yang terus turun ini harus kita waspadai, bukan berarti kesempatan untuk menjadi boros energi, kalau ini yang terjadi, musibah lebih besar akan terjadi bagi bangsa kita. Sahabat saya, seorang analis yang malang melintang di dunia perminyakan mengibaratkan, harga minyak ini seperti halnya main yo-yo, semakin kencang anda lempar kebawah, semakin kencang dia akan mantul keatas. Tinggal masalah waktu saja kapan dia mantulnya, dan mudah2 an kita tidak terkaget kaget lagi, ibarat yo-yo tadi, kalau mantulnya kenceng, kena muka lagi, waduh..bakalan berabe..!


12 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Teori Yo-YO" untuk harga minyak cocok juga selain "Teori KONSPIRASI". Setelah drama skenario untuk menaikkan harga minyak dengan diawali kejadian serangan WTC kemudian dilanjutkan serangan ke IRAK untuk alasan supply security, maka pergerakan maka hinyak mulai menimbulkan efek mendulang air ke muka sendiri. Maka perlu scenario lain untuk menurunkan harga minyak, yaitu "Penghancuran Lembaga Keuangan". WTC ,FED , Fred May dan JP Morgan semua dalam kontrol Amerika sendiri. Sepertinya scenario ini berjalan baik dengan anjloknya harga minyak.

Anonymous said...

Real Power
Hidden Fund adalah real power di dunia. Itu yang saya sampaikan kepada teman ketika kami bertemu dalam salah satu kesempatan di Financial club. Teman ini menjawab, itu hanyalah mitos. Maklum saja , teman ini adalah pejabat bank yang setiap hari berhadapan dengan bank compliant. Tapi bagi kalangan yang akrap dengan transaksi pasar uang, hal itu dapat dibenarkan. Bahkan mereka mengatakan dan juga saya aminin bahwa terjadi kelangkaan resource , kelebihan supply serta imbalance economic karena uleh hidden power ini. Mereka juga berperan besar menciptakan aturan yang memaksa melalui lembaga multilateral , seperti IMF, World Bank, WTO dan bahkan sampai keranah politik antar bangsa ( PBB).

Yang sangat mengerikan akibat lalulintas keuangan antar Offshore Financial Center , telah masuk kewilayah ketahanan pangan dan energi dunia. Tak pernah terbayangkan bila akhirnya kekuatan hidden fund menjadi mesin perusak ketahanan peradaban manusia di planet bumi. Kita sempat terkejut dan semua negara keliatannya tak berdaya menghadapi gelombang kekuatan financial yang mempermainkan komoditas pangan dan energy. Sejak januari 2008, terjadi peningkatan hedge fund sebesar tiga kali lipat dibandingkan dua tahun sebelumnya, dibursa Chicago ( Chicago Stock Exchange /CHX) dengan didominasi oleh komoditas pertanian, dengan volume transaksi setiap harinya mencapai USD 60 milliar. Dengan demikian terjadi perputaran dana secara raksasa di AS dalam ranah maya, yang sehingga AS tak berdaya mengendalikan capital outflow. Terbukti dengan terjadi pelepasan obligasi perumahan secara cepat dibursa dan mengakibatkan gelombang krisis keuangan di AS.

Indikasi lainnya adalah hampir 60 % transaksi perdagangan minyak dunia berasal dari Future trading, yang merupkan exciting space bagi lembaga keuangan papan atas seperti Prime bank, Asset Management ( Hedge fund institution). Kekuatan hidden fund ini bergerak secara cepat dan tak terlacak dengan mekanisme OTC ( over the counter), yang dilegitimasi oleh badan bursa di London ICE Future dan NYMEX ( New York). Hebatnya para actor dibalik kekuatan hidden fund justru adalah bagian dari controller of fed seperti Goldman Such , Morgan Stanley ,Citicorp, JP Morgan. Mereka ini juga merupakan pengendalian dari business minyak kelas dunia. Seperti BP yang dimiliki oleh Goldman Sach dan Morgan Stanley. Lihat pula , ternyata BP adalah pengendali dari International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) yang merupakan bursa minyak terbesar untuk future trading oil. Harga minyak naik maka saham saham perusahaan minyakpun naik.

Kemudian diranah komoditas pertanian.Mari kita lihat bagaimana mereka beraksi menciptakan krisis pangan dengan harga melambung. Aktor pemain utama dilantai bursa adalah Cargill , Archer Daniel Midland ( ADM). Kedua perusahaan ini menguasai pangsa pasar dunia untuk biji bijian dan CPO. Diurutan berikutnya adapula seperti Nobel Group , Monsanto, Mosaic Company. Tentu kehadiran mereka didukung oleh kekuatan dari lembaga keuangan seperti Goldman Such , JP Morgan , Morgan Stanley dan lain lain , yang selalu bersedia mem back up refinancing untuk ketersediaan liquiditas mereka di lantai Bursa ( International. ). Ketika harga komoditas pertanian melambung maka tentu saham saham mereka dibursapun ikut terdongkrak sampai bisa disebut overvalue.

Disisi lain, group lembaga keuangan lainnya yang berada dibelakang lembaga pemain kunci itu juga bertindak sebagai agent untuk menciptakan situasi semakin membuat bandul pasar terangkat keatas. Harga melonjak , labapun tercipta tak terbilang. Diantara yang aktif sebagai pemicu mengalirnya dana dari hidden fund ini kedalam bursa adalah Bank Of Amerika, Deuthsche bank, SG Bank, Credit Suisse , dan banyak lagi lainya. Ini adalah fakta bahwa kalau ada orang mengatakan “spekulan” maka sebetulnya tidak ada spekulasi yang terjadi. Inilah adalah konspirasi antara pengelola bursa, penyedia dana, penyedian komoditas dan lembaga clearing serta agent dalam satu group untuk kepentingan hidden fund. Mereka men design permainan dan menentukan arah permainan yang mereka mau. Tentu diatara mereka tidak ada istilah rugi. Yang jadi korban adalah public dengan harga komoditas melambung diatas rasional. Sejarah group ini tidak pernah sepi dari skandal keuangan tapi selalu lolos dari jeratan hukum. Maklum saja mereka membeli aturan dan kemudian merubahnya.

Semua itu dapat terjadi karena diratifikasinya kebebasan sector financial dan investasi serta perdagangan dalam WTO, sebagai bagian dari neoliberal dan free market. Akhinrya dunia sekarang berada ditangan segelintir orang yang tak nampak namun menentukan kehidupan kita. Seharusnya bagi pengambil kebijakan negeri ini dapat memahami situasi yang sebenarnya untuk memberikan perlindungan optimal bagi rakyat dan sumber daya alam kita. Tapi , mungkin pemerintah dan DPR , berpikir sama dengan teman saya yang mengatakan Hidden fund adalah mitos, yang tak perlu ditanggapi secara akademis. Padahal Henry Kissinger yang juga Penasehat politik dan strategy Global dari Goldman Sach pernah berkata " Control oil and your control nation. Control food and your control people.

Anonymous said...

Krismon AS ?
Kejatuhan pasar uang AS adalah ulah dari system kapitalisme. Dimanapun negara yang loyal dengan kapitalisme akan tumbang seperti itu. Modus operandinya adalah salalu sama. Diawali oleh tingginya liquiditas, terjadinya bubble asset. Kemudian konsumsi meningkat tajam. Spekulasi meningkat. Ibarat karet. Semakin kencang ditarik maka semakin keras pula arus baliknya kalau dilepas. Indonesia mengalaminya ketika krisis 1998. Kini juga diraksakan oleh AS, dan gejala krisi ini sudah dirasakan beberapa tahun lalu. Tapi bagaimana mungkin ini terjadi di AS yang diakui sebagai terminal kekuatan modal dunia. Inikah akhir dari imperium AS ? Kalau bicara tentang akhir dari imperium AS maka dapat dikatakan terlalu premature. Yang pasti memang kini AS limbung karena berhadapan dengan crisis credit. Ini akan memakan waktu cukup lama bagi AS untuk melakukan recovery.

Tapi kalau bicara imperium modal , jawabanya adalah tidak. Sejarah keberadaan system financial AS tidak bisa dilepaskan dari keberadaan the Fed sendiri. Segelintir orang telah menempatkan AS sebagai landasan bagi tumbuh sumburnya kekuatan modal untuk menguasai semua sendi kehidupan. Menjadikan manusia di planet bumi ini untuk menghamba bagi kekuatan mata uang. Dalam sejarahnya the Fed berperan penting menciptakan krisis keuangan global dan mendulang hasil dari krisis itu sendiri. The fed sendiri mempunya system dua kamar untuk pasar uangnnya. Satu registered dan satu lagi non registered. Atau yang non registered ini disebut dengan 144 A Sec. Yang non registered ini digerakan oleh DTCC di NY dan clearstream di Luxemborg dan Euroclear di London.

The fed system ini mempunyai kapitalisasi sangat raksasa. Lebih besar dari GNP AS maupun GNP British. Seperti halnya dalam kasus subpreme. Kerugian subpreme mencapai lebih USD 14 triliun atau hanya 3% dari total Asset the fe system --yang berjumlah lebih dari USD 300 tiliun. Tapi public tidak pernah tahu bagaimana kerugian itu terbentuk. Karena subpreme liquidtasnya digerakan oleh pasar CDOs. Siapakah pemegang CDOs itu dan siapakah investornya ? yang pasti berdasarkan 144 A SEC pembelinya adalah asing atau bukan investor local di AS. Mereka adalah qualified institutional purchasers ( QIPs). Dalam prakteknya transaksi dalam 144 A atau disebut dengan private placement adalah non disclosure. Public tidak akan pernah tahu. Benarkah ada kerugian sebesar itu ?

Apabila kerugian subpreme sebesar itu , lantas berapakah kerugian preme sendiri ? Mengapa AS hanya mem bailout untuk subpreme saja ? Kalau dipaksakan maka dari manakah dana diperoleh ? Apakah dari pajak ? Kalau pajak maka ini akan memukul perekonomian AS. Padahal sector real AS sedang kedodoran melawan kekuatan ekspansi pasar dari China, India, Korea, Jepang. Jalan keluar yang akan ditempuh adalah dengan memperkuat keberadaan system 144 A untuk semakin memudahkan AS melakukan raising fund lewat penerbitan TBill yang di SWAP dengan global Bond dari holding financial Corporation yang tergabung dalam 144 A. Dan membatas ruang gerak market yang registered. Maka jelaslah , kerugian ini akan di tutupi dari system yang tidak transfanrance atau lebih tepatnya printed money dengan cara yang culas.

Dari krisis ini apa yang sebetulnya terjadi ? Tidak lebih adalah cara cara kekuatan hidden fund yang tergabung dalam the fed system untuk semakin membuat bangsa AS menjadi tak berdaya terhadap elite penguasa mata uang AS. Bangsa AS haruslah tetap menghamba untuk patuh terhadap kehendak strategis dari kekuatan hidden fund raksasa ini. Sikap pemerintah AS untuk me reform system pasar uang adalah sinyal jelas untuk semakin memperbesar access 144 A mengontrol ekonomi AS. AS tidak lagi sebagai satu satunya terminal dari kekuatan hidden fund ini. Kekuatan akan terdistribusi kenegara lain, seperti halnya China dan Dubai serta Hong Kong. Dari krisis ini kita disadarkan bahwa setiap krisis terjadi karena memang di create untuk tujuan strategis dari kekuatan modal. Makanya, kita tidak bisa berharap banyak untuk terciptanya keadilan system moneter global bagi kesejahteraan dan perdamian yang universal.

Anonymous said...

Soros
Masa depan perekonomian dunia terancam oleh system pasar modal kapitalis. Ancaman itu datang dari supper bubble asset dipasar modal. Sekarang saham saham emiten yang bergerak dibidang pertanian dan tambang mencapai harga overvalue dan bahkan mengarah ke supper bubble. Bahkan Soros mengatakan bahwa biang kesalahan ini sudah berlangsung sejak 25 tahun lalu. Ini disebabkan oleh kesalahan philosophy mengambil kebijakan.Terutama mengizinkan Wall Street meningkatkan uang dipasar modal melalui credit derivative. "The idea was that regulators always make mistakes, state interference in the markets just messes things up and that was a false idea .... Regulators are human and bound to make mistakes, but markets are also human and they are also bound to make mistakes. Instead of markets always being right, they're actually always groping at trying to find out what the facts are. But they never get it right."

Yang menarik dari ungkapan itu adalah karena disampaikan oleh seorang Soros, pemain culas dipasar uang. Tentu Soros paham betul segala kelemahan dan kelebihan dari system kapitalisme. Seakan ada feeling guilty terhadap masa lalunya ketika masih bertindak sebagai player memimpin Quantum Hedge Fund. Dia mencoba mengkoreksi kebijakan system kapitalisme dalam bukunya The New Paradigm for Financial Markets. Entah apa sebenarnya dibalik ungkapan tersebut. Apakah mungkin kecintaannya kepada Negaranya yang selalu saja tidak pernah sepi dari gelombang resesi dari satu masa ke masa berikutnya. Karena semua tahu bahwa system capitalism menciptakan pasar bukan hanya sekedar bertemunya antara pembeli dan penjual tapi juga untuk memberikan kesempatan pada siapapun untuk menentukan harga tanpa fundamental base, yang didukung oleh berbagai skema financing dari lembaga keuangan. Yang terjadi adalah permainan harga oleh sekelompok orang, merugikan yang lain dan menguntungkan yang lainnya.

Anonymous said...

Freeport McMoran's

You know Halliburton. You’ve probably heard of Bechtel. But until today, I’ll bet most of you had never heard of Freeport McMoRan, formerly Freeport Sulphur. Today, the New York Times printed a massive story on Freeport McMoRan, the American-owned New Orleans-based corporation that mines the world’s largest gold reserve. The article charges Freeport with spying on environmental organizers, making large payoffs to individuals in the Indonesian security forces, and polluting groundwater supplies. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.I’ve written extensively about the sordid history of this company both in Cuba and Indonesia.

Freeport ran a huge nickel mining operation at Moa Bay in Cuba when Castro came to power. Castro offered to buy the plant from its owners for the price the owners had valued it on their taxes. Say what you want about his politics, but Castro is a damn smart man. Of course the owners had undervalued their property for years, and couldn’t bear to sell for such a low price when it was worth much more. They refused to sell, so Castro appropriated it. And a VP of the company started talking about Castro assassination plots. In addition, the company ended up providing a link in the chain between David Atlee Phillips, long suspected, with a good amount of evidence, of being Lee Harvey Oswald’s CIA handler, and Clay Shaw, the man New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison prosecuted as a conspirator in the assassination of President Kennedy.

Do you remember the downing of the “Brothers to the Rescue” plane in 1996? How the Cubans supposedly shot a bunch of innocent Cubans out of the sky over international waters? That was a deliberate provocation led by longtime CIA operative Jose Basulto. Basulto had leafleted Havana just prior to the incident. The Cuban security forces worried that if he could drop leaflets, he could drop bombs, and they weren’t about to give him a second chance. And Basulto was really taunting them. He issued a challenge by radio to the MIG pilots to give to Castro, whom he had already tried to kill before while working for the CIA. He admonished them to “Tell him [Castro] Basulto is coming.” I took Barbara Crosette to task for her inaccurate reporting of this incident in the New York Times and pointed out it was not the first time she had misinformed the public to aid the government.

At the time of the incident, Clinton had been threatening to veto the Helms-Burton Act, an act which, among other provisions, enabled American corporations to sue foreign companies over formerly owned properties. The result? Clinton signed the Helms-Burton act into law. Many at home and abroad considered a step in the wrong direction for America. Guess who acted immediately when the act became law? Freeport McMoRan. This was a clear example of how CIA employees run covert operations to benefit the interests of private corporations. There are many more such examples.

Robert Bryce of the Austin Chronicle has written extensively about Freeport McMoRan’s actions in Indonesia for years. If you’ve never heard of this company, start reading. What they’ve done to West Papua, previously known as Irian Jaya, is devastating. Freeport McMoRan is “infamous for its alleged desecration of Papuan sacred sites, environmental and human rights abuses.” (Source)Freeport turned a lovely mountain, the Grasberg -- called "Copper Mountain" because of its rich copper vein -- into a pit so large it shows on satellite photos. As they mined for copper, they found an incredible bounty of gold. In 1997, the mine produced a million a day in profits. Goodness knows how much it produces now.

This company is linked to a larger chain of events that caused the overthrow of the popular Sukarno and the installation of the murderous Suharto in Indonesia, a move that as a side effect resulted in Indonesia’s bloody invasion of East Timor. Freeport has what can only be described as an incestuous relationship with the security forces in Indonesia in order to protect the mine’s riches from the natives to whom the riches should belong. Instead, shareholders and a select few in the military profit wildly, even as the mining operation is leaching acid into the groundwater serving the island containing the nations of West Papua and Papua New Guinea.

Political activists put a lot of time into learning about Bush, Rumsfeld, Rove, Cheney. But we should look a little further to see whom these people really serve. Freeport is a much bigger player in international politics than most people know. Board members have included Henry Kissinger and Admiral Arleigh Burke, as well as several prominent members of the Rockefeller clan.I understand that a Frontline special on this company is in the works as well. Heads up. These companies are the real government. Until we understand who they are and what they do, we’ll never be able to control them. And we must control them, before they destroy whole portions of our planet

Anonymous said...

the FED

Dunia mencintai Dollar. Walau ada arus besar yang memaksa beralih ke Euro namun dollar tetaplah menjadi primadona. Semua komoditi dunia dihargai dalam mata uang dollar. Kita kembali bertanya,bagaimana dollar ini di create dan akhirnya menjadi kekuatan dunia. Maka perhatian kitapun tertuju kepada lembaga yang bernama The fed atau bank sentral AS. Sebagian public menganggap bahwa the fed adalah lembaga negara yang sama dengan lembaga bank sentral lainnya didunia. Tapi senyatanya the FED bukanlah lembaga negara. Ini adalah lembaga swasta. Keberadaanya tidak lebih sebagai lembaga outsourcing negara AS untuk mengatur implasi dan suku bunga serta mencetak uang. Selanjutnya dalam perjalanan sejarahnya, the fed menjadi penentu arus perpolitikan AS didalam maupun diluar negeri.

Siapakah pemilik the FED ? The fed dikuasai oleh lembaga keuangan yagn tergabung dalam financial community dari gerakan premason untuk menguasai dunia. Mereka itu adalah Rothschild Bank of London , Warburg Bank of Hamburg Rothschild Bank of , Lehman Brothers of New York , Lazard Brothers of Paris, Kuhn Loeb Bank of New York , Israel Moses Seif Banks of Italy , Goldman Sachs of New York , Warburg Bank of Amsterdam , Chase Manhattan Bank of New York. Inilah raksasa keuangan yang mengont rol the fed. Merekalah elite yang menjadi real power dunia dan menjadi fuel bergeraknya bursa regional maupun international, sekaligus perusak. Keberadaan mereka tidak diinginkan oleh rakyat AS namun tak berdaya karena system moneter yang mereka ciptakan mampu membuat bangsa AS menjadi negara besar dan polisi dunia.

Kekuatan the Fed tidak hanya terbatas kepada penguasaan bank sentral AS , tapi juga pada system keuangan global. Mereka juga menguasai saham hampir mayoritas pada Bank International for Settlement yang juga merupakan induk bank sentral dunia. Dari ranah transaksi pasar uang, mereka juga menciptakan ( sebagai part of fed system) DTCC ( deposit Trust Clearing Corporation ) New York. DTCC terkoneksi kepada clearing perdagangan logam mulia dan surat hutang ( global Bond /MTN) melalui Euroclear di London dan Clearstream di Luxemburg. Lembaga ini menjadi gateway bagi offshore fund yang ada di Offshore Financal Center (OFC) untuk terjadinya perpindahan asset, dana, secara Over The Counter (OTC), hingga tak terlacak oleh legitimasi negara dimanapun . Termasuk oleh pemerintah AS yang tak berdaya dibuat bulan bulanan oleh kekuatan resource financial ini.

Group financial resource ini juga hampir menguasai sebagian besar saham saham perusahaan TNC yang bergerak dibidang Pertambangan ( BP, Cevron dll ), Jaringan retail raksasa , Industri Persenjataan, Media Massa, Industri Pharmasi, Trading House untuk komoditi , Industry otomotive. Hampir sebagian besar dari mereka menjadi ATM bagi perkembangan industri china yang rakus untuk membanjiri pasar AS yang tolol. Namun dihadapan public lembaga ini nampak humanis sebagai penyokong terbesar dana dana yayasan amal. Mereka berada dibalik United Nation Foundation, Ford Foundation, Rotchild Foundation dan banyak lagi. Tak bisa disangkal , yayasan amal ini juga berperan strategis membanjiri rak rak buku dikampus kampus terbaik dunia untuk pencerahan tentang kapitalisme dan neo liberal. Berbagai pusat research yang mendedikasikan tentang perlunya neoliberal, privatisasi pelayanan publik, demokratisasi, Globalisasi dibiayai oleh yayasan ini.

Berbagai krisis ekonomi sejak tahun 1932 sampai sekarang tidak terlepas dari ulah group ini. Setiap krisis menentukan arah strategy mereka untuk memaksa negara negara diunia mengikuti apa yang mereka mau. Atau tepatnya , mereka menciptakan krisis dan akhirnya mendulang hasil dari krisis itu. Tentu setiap krisis menciptakan korban tak terbilang bagi rakyat banyak. Sementara mereka hanya bermain main dari sisi debit dan kredit dalam neraca keuangan mereka, yang semua diatur untuk meningkatkan eksistensi mereka dihadapan dunia.

Mengharapkan G8 untuk berbuat banyak bagi kesejahteraan dunia tidak ada gunanya karena kekuatan group ini tak tersentuh oleh tangan tangan politisi. Kecuali menerima patuh perlunya kemiskinan , kelaparan, penyakit, sebagai bagian dari strategy global group ini untuk mengurangi ledakan pertumbuhan penduduk planet bumi dan menciptakan tiran untuk mengontrol dunia yang hanya menghamba kepada uang. Itulah sebabnya George Washington the founding country AS menginginkan agar pada setiap uang dollar AS dincantumkan satu kalimat “ In god we trust”

Anonymous said...

Money market systems
What does it mean when the Fed (and other countries) inject money into the banking system? Does this mean the government is printing money to get itself out of jam? Doesn't such an action create inflationary consequences? If so, wouldn't lowering interest rates be an at least equally effective mechanism? It seems to me that of those two mechanisms, even though both have inflation consequences, the lowering of interest rates would help the end consumer quicker.

The Federal Reserve, like all central banks, has several tools at its disposal to pump more money into the banking system (or drain it out), which helps to grease the economy and the financial markets — or slow them down.

Contrary to popular notion, printing physical reserve notes (currency) isn’t the most important mechanism. (Thanks, anyway, to those readers who kindly remind us that the Fed's secret manipulation of illegitimate, 'fiat' currency is root cause of the world's economic and financial ills.) Most of the ‘money’ that flows through the global financial markets is actually electronic data moving from one account to another.

One of the broadest tools the Fed can apply to the supply of money in the system is raising or lowering the amount of reserves that banks are required to hold in their accounts. Raising reserves means banks have to hold onto more money, which tends to tighten credit. This works fine as long as the borrowing you’re trying to manage is coming from banks. These days, much of the credit at the center of the current financial turmoil is coming not from banks but from the global money markets, where bonds are bought and sold and the market sets interest rates.

That’s where the other two main weapons in the Fed’s arsenal come in: 1. raising or lowering short-term interest rates and, 2. what are called “open market” transactions. Setting interest rates is the most visible and important tool because it essentially sets the “wholesale” cost of money. If you make money cheaper, it tends to move more quickly through the system. So if the economy is sluggish, a rate cut perks things up. If the economy is strong, raising rates is supposed to prevent the economy from picking up too much speed. Under those circumstances, too much money in the system feeds inflation..Open market transactions are more limited, but have a more immediate impact. That’s why the Fed turns to these when the financial markets get into trouble, as it did on Friday. The specific mechanics of open market moves are pretty simple.

The Fed operates a trading desk in New York through which is can buy or sell bonds. If it buys bonds, the broker-dealer that sold them gets cash in return. That cash then flows through the system. If the Fed wants to soak up money, it sells bonds from its account — taking cash from the dealer that bought them and taking it out of the system (or "draining" money.) The Fed maintains its own account, so any money being “injected” into the system is not coming directly from the tax dollars collected by the Treasury. Sometimes, the Fed will restrict these transactions to short-term “repurchase agreements” (or repos) which means the party on the other end of the trade agrees to reverse it after a few days or weeks. This means the shot in the arm is temporary — after the market settles down the money comes back out of the system to avoid pushing inflation higher. In the case of last Friday’s "injection" the Fed did something a little unusual. Ordinarily the bonds it offers to buy or sell are good old U.S. Treasuries; the Fed has lots of them lying around. But because the current breakdown in the credit markets is caused by bonds backed by subprime mortgages, those are the bonds the Fed specifically went shopping for (some $38 billion worth, to be exact).

Until the Fed stepped in, there were virtually no buyers for these things, because investors have all but given up trying to figure out what — if anything — they’re worth. Until it's clear how many more mortgage holders are going to default on their loans, it hard to know where things will shake out. But, based on recent sales, it turns out these bonds may be worth as little as a third of what they were supposed to be worth.

The Fed may have put out the fire for now. But the larger worry is that the banks, investment funds and hedge funds that are holding billions more of these bonds may now have to book those losses. And since the hedge funds holding these bonds are not regulated by the Fed, it’s anyone’s guess just who is holding them and how much damage was done by the collapse in their value.

Some holders, including Bear Stearns and the French bank Paribas, have already let Wall Street have the bad news. But there are almost certainly more shoes to drop before the current credit crunch runs its course.

What is the difference between Dow Jones, Nasdaq, and S&P 500? I know what they are but do buyers have the option to choose which stock exchange to buy or sell from? So if I have an E*TRADE account which market am buying from?

The Dow Jones Industrial average is a market scorecard with just 30 stocks maintained by Dow Jones & Co., the publishers of the Wall Street Journal, soon to be part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Dow Jones doesn’t handle stock trades, it just covers the markets and provides all kinds of market data.

The Standard and Poor’s 500 index is a market-weighted average of 500 stocks picked by the editors at Standard and Poor’s, which is a part of the publisher McGraw Hill. They also don’t handle stock trades.

The Nasdaq (originally the National Association of Stock Dealers Automated Quotations) began as a network of dealers that bought and sold stocks over the phone. Today, the Nasdaq is operated over a big computer network that is tied into brokers and individual investors who trade online. In some cases, the computer matches up the trade. In other cases, dealers who specialize in certain stocks that are listed on the Nasdaq exchange “make a market” in that stock — which means they match orders from buyers and sellers.

The other major U.S. stock trading site is the New York Stock Exchange, which has a physical trading floor with “specialists” who work at trading posts matching up buy and sell orders for specific stocks. Generally, the companies that are listed on the NYSE are larger than those listed on the Nasdaq.

Other U.S. stock exchanges include the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) and several regional exchanges. Some companies are listed on more than one exchange. When you deal with an online brokerage like E*TRADE, you can choose how you’d like to have your order routed. If you don’t, the brokerage decides for you and the trade is handled by an independent dealer.

In the case of E*TRADE, about half the “non-directed” orders for NYSE listed stocks are handled by E*TRADE’s own capital markets operation. Other dealers that clear trades for E*TRADE are Knight Capital Markets, the Chicago Stock Exchange, Citidel Derivatives and Direct Edge ECN. Many dealers pay brokerages to steer trades their way so they can get the commissions, a practice known as “payment for order flow.” Brokerages are required to disclose how orders are routed and how much they receive for steering trades.

Anonymous said...

THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM:
A FATAL PARASITE ON THE AMERICAN BODY POLITIC
by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr.

FORWARD
Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., has condensed into this Monograph the substance of addresses he has given to small groups that represent a cross-section of American citizens concerned with fundamental monetary and banking reform.
Dr. Vieira's purpose is to present an analysis of the Federal Reserve System, its fiat paper currency, and "fractional-reserve" banking that infrequently, if ever, appears in the popular press, in the media, in the discourse of legislators or political candidates, or (worse yet) in the nation's schools. This analysis, however, is crucial to popular understanding of what the Federal Reserve System is, what it does, and the dangers it poses to America's economy and republican institutions of government. And such an understanding is crucial to sweeping legislative or judicial reform of the monetary and banking systems - hopefully, before the Federal Reserve System causes an economic and social catastrophe; but, if not, at least after such a catastrophe makes painfully clear to every thinking man and woman the urgent necessity of such reform along constitutional lines.

Dr. Vieira's central theme is that today's scheme of Federal-Reserve-System fiat currency and fractional-reserve banking is plainly unconstitutional, inherently fraudulent, economically unworkable in the long run, and subversive of America's political traditions of individual liberty and private property. This may appear, at first blush, a harsh indictment of a system in existence since 1913, and which the vast majority of Americans apparently accepts (albeit on next to no real knowledge). But, harsh or not, it is an indictment substantial political-economic theory and historical evidence support. Hopefully, Dr. Vieira's message will prove to be a warning that comes, if none too soon, at least not too late.

Richard L. Solyom, Chairman
Sound Dollar Committee


INTRODUCTION
Although the press, the media, and major political figures never mention it the major cause of the financial dangers facing America today is the incestuous relationship between the national government and the quasi-public, but largely private banking cartel deceptively called the Federal Reserve System (FRS). Although historians can state with little difficulty when various stages in the establishment and evolution of the FRS took place, understanding what the FRS has done to America's money, and how and why the FRS has done it, is not quite so easy. Rather, it requires careful attention to certain critical details of American monetary and banking theory and history that are usually forgotten in discussions of the problems the FRS has caused.

ANALYSIS
I. Most contemporary debate on the FRS focuses on whether what people call the "dollar" should, in some way, be "linked to" or "backed by" gold or another valuable commodity. The fundamental, unexamined, and utterly fallacious assumption in this debate is that the paper currency the FRS generates, the Federal Reserve Note (FRN), is, as a matter of fact and a matter of law, a "dollar" at all. As American constitutional law and history show, the FRN is not a "dollar", has never been declared by Congress to be a "dollar'; and could never be an actual "dollar" notwithstanding all the statutes or resolutions Congress might enact. Rather, as cited in the Constitution and as historically defined in the Coinage Act of 1792, a "dollar" is a specific coin containing 371-1/4 grains of fine silver. Very simply put, the Constitution fixes the monetary unit of the United States as this (silver) "dollar", empowers Congress to coin silver and gold coins the values of which are to be "regulate[d]" in relation to the "dollar", prohibits any government from issuing what the Founding Fathers denominated "Bills of Credit" (and what we today would understand as paper currency redeemable in silver or gold), and outlaws any form of "legal tender" except silver and gold coins. Thus, from the constitutional perspective, it is literally senseless to talk about making the "dollar" redeemable, or adopting a "silver-" or "gold-backed" "dollar". And that such debate as occurs on the FRS and the FRN fixes on this senseless point demonstrates how confused the American people are concerning their own monetary system.

II. Defining the "dollar" constitutionally, however, is only the first step in explaining the real problem the FRS poses. Three other matters require careful consideration:
First, the evolution of the FRS exemplifies the typical historical devolution - or corruption - of monetary systems throughout the world in the last two centuries from commodity money, to fiduciary money, to fiat money. Here, accurate definitions of various forms of money are useful.

A commodity money is a medium of exchange the units of which are fixed amounts of an actual commodity that has value other than as money alone. Historically, silver and gold coins of known, standard weights and designs have emerged as the preferred commodity monies of the entire civilized world. In the case of a commodity money, the actual commodity - silver or gold - is both the medium of exchange and the standard of value (that is, the unit in which prices are stated in the marketplace). The supply of commodity money is self-limited by the costs of mining, refining, and coining silver and gold. New supplies of commodity money will be coined only to the extent that coinage is economically profitable in comparison to alternative investments of the capital needed to mine the precious metals.

A fiduciary money is a medium of exchange composed of some intrinsically valueless substance (such as paper) which the issuer promises to redeem on demand in a commodity money (such as silver or gold coin) or in a monetary commodity (such as silver or gold bullion). Historically, private bank notes and government treasury notes were fiduciary monies in general circulation prior to the 1930s. In the case of a fiduciary money, the paper promise to pay is the medium of day-to-day exchange, but the actual money and the ultimate standard of value remains the promised medium of payment, the silver or gold coin with which the note is to be redeemed. The supply of a fiduciary money is also self limited by the requirement of redemption. In a free market system, new supplies of a fiduciary money will be issued only to the extent the issuer is confident it can satisfy demands for redemption of its notes in a commodity money. The condition "in a free-market system" is crucial, because the self-limiting aspect of fiduciary money historically has failed in an economic regime in which the government or powerful private interests license the issuers of fiduciary monies to suspend or repudiate entirely their promises to redeem those monies on demand in coin.

Finally, a fiat money is a medium of exchange composed of some intrinsically valueless substance which the issuer does not promise to redeem in a commodity or a fiduciary money. Because a fiat money has no direct legal connection to a commodity money (in terms of redemption) and, therefore, no real economic cost to its production, the supply of a fiat money can never be self-limiting; and the value of a fiat money is always largely a matter of public confidence in the economic or political stability of the issuer. For these reasons, historically every major fiat money have self-destructed in what is popularly called "hyperinflation" (that is, extreme decreases in purchasing-power) caused by either unlimited increases in the supply of that fiat money by the issuer or accelerating loss of public confidence in the continued value of the money or the economic or political fortunes of its issuer, or both.

Second, the theory and history of fiduciary money (which is also largely the theory and history of banking) must always focus on the ever-present problem of redemption. Emphasis on the noun "problem" is warranted, because a fiduciary money is, by definition, a promise to pay the real, commodity money of the country. A piece of commodity money - typically, a silver or gold coin - is itself payment because it contains a fixed weight of precious metal. But a unit of fiduciary money - typically, a bank or government-treasury note - is only a contingent and uncertain payment that depends upon the ability or the willingness of the issuer to redeem. And there always exists a temptation for issuers to renege on their promises to redeem. Thus, fiduciary money always threatens to become fraudulent money. Not surprisingly, therefore, the history of fiduciary money has been more or less the history of monetary fraud, both economic and political.
Third, the danger of fraud in the issuance of fiduciary money becomes particularly acute in the case of modern "fractional-reserve banking". Under fractional-reserve banking, the bank always issues more units of fiduciary money, supposedly "payable on demand", than it has units of commodity money available for redemption, counting on the unlikelihood that the majority of its customers will ever seek redemption at one time. Thus, modern fractional-reserve banking is inherently fraudulent, because:

For the bank simultaneously to fulfill all its promises to redeem its outstanding notes "on demand" is impossible.

The bank's managers know that complete redemption "on demand" is impossible, and therefore that the bank's promises to pay are false. And,

The bank's customers, by and large, are ignorant of how the fractional-reserve scheme works, and the dangers it poses to them.

III. Fully to comprehend the significance of the FRS also requires recognition that no such thing as "politically neutral" or "politically independent" money exists. For, ultimately, money is a medium both for storing wealth and for exchanging wealth. Thus, money is both itself a form of property and a mechanism for implementing contracts that transfer other kinds of property from one party to another. So, even in a free-market economy with a limited government, money exhibits a necessarily political character, inasmuch as the degree to which the government protects the monetary system from private fraud and public looting reflects the degree to which the government respects and protects private property and the right of private contract. A free-market economy will have one kind of money; a "mixed" or "fascist" economy, another kind of money; a "socialist" economy, yet another kind; and so on - but in each case, the monetary system will accurately reflect the values of the political system.

Thus once again, the contemporary debate over whether and to what degree the FRS should be "politically independent" of Congress and the United States Treasury is badly misdirected. Originally, the Constitution made Americans' money independent of electoral politics, by fixing the monetary unit as the (silver) "dollar", outlawing "Bills of Credit", and allowing only silver and gold coin to operate as "legal tender" in the payment of debts. But the Constitution is itself the basic political charter of the country - so, far from making money "politically independent" or "politically neutral", the Constitution actually settled on one, very specific political formula for money: namely, a commodity money of historically proven intrinsic value, the supply of which the political authorities could not manipulate at will.

Creation of the FRS in 1913 did not render FRNs "politically independent" or "politically neutral", but merely changed the political character of the monetary system by empowering a small, unelected clique of self-professed "experts" and self-interested bankers and politicians to control the supply of FRNs, interest rates, and other monetary and banking phenomena. Thus, as contrasted with the constitutional system, the FRS actually politicized money, by enabling politicians, administrators, and a few selected special-interest groups to exercise the very influence over this country's monetary and banking systems that the Constitution had originally disallowed.

Americans tend to accept the description of the FRS as "politically independent" because, although control of the monetary and banking systems has serious political significance, the apologists for the FRS have been successful, over the years, in removing monetary and banking issues from the agenda of political parties and candidates and stifling public discussion of those issues. Yet,

It is of vital political importance that no major political movement now advocates the immediate restoration of America's original constitutional monetary system of silver and gold coinage.
It is of vital political importance that no major political movement demands that all the paper currencies of private banks be true fiduciary monies - that is, be redeemable in silver or gold, or some other commodity with intrinsic value.

It is of vital political importance that no major political movement attacks inherently fraudulent fractional-reserve banking.

It is of vital political importance that no major political movement denounces the incestuous and corrupt relationship between the national government and the banking industry through the FRS, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and so on.

It is of vital political importance that no major political movement challenges the government's use of the monetary and banking systems to "regulate" the economy and to impose pervasive police-state surveillance on individuals.

It is of vital political significance that the short-run effects of the FRS's monetary and banking policies are very unclear to the average American, and that identifying in the long run who gains and who loses, what is gained and lost, and why all this happens is also very difficult for even economists and political scientists.

It is of vital political significance that members of Congress apparently lack incentives - or actually labor under disincentives - to investigate, let alone to correct, the misguided and harmful policies of the FRS. And,

It is of vital political significance that the general public is simply unable to devise effective strategies for dealing with the FRS as a supposed "agency of the government".

Obviously, a group that could completely excise these matters from political discourse in the United States, without complaint by any significant part of the public, must be powerful indeed. Now, how the apologists for the FRS have been successful since 1913 in stifling political debate on money and banking the history books do not satisfactorily explain. What is clear enough, nonetheless, is that the FRS was established to remove the Constitution as the arbiter of national monetary policy on behalf of all Americans, and to guarantee instead that certain special-interest groups are disproportionately (indeed, monopolistically) represented in the determination of that policy, for the peculiar benefit of those groups and at everyone else's expense. Here, more than one level of analysis is pertinent.

A. At the first level, the FRS appears as primarily a mechanism to "stabilize" the inherently fraudulent fractional-reserve banking system. From this perspective, the purpose of the FRS is not necessarily to do what the bankers want, but always to do what they need. Consider the devolution of the monetary system from a regime of commodity money to one of fiat money:
Under a regime of commodity money, the bankers employ the inherently fraudulent fractional-reserve system to expand the supply of fiduciary money (that is, bank-notes and deposit-currency) beyond the supply of commodity money (that is, gold and silver coin) available for redemption. This has two effects.

1. The bankers can loan more "money" than otherwise, thereby increasing their profits. And
2. The holders of the fiduciary money become unknowing (and presumably unwilling) "partners" with the bankers in these excessive loans, thereby spreading the risk of those loans throughout society and indirectly "insuring" the bankers at the expense of the general public.

Because the expansion of the supply of this inherently fraudulent fiduciary money is limited by the possibility of widespread demands for redemption (so-called "bank runs"), followed by bankruptcy of the issuing banks, the bankers as a class support a series of steps designed to insulate the fractional-reserve scheme from collapse.

First, they use every available means of propaganda, agitation, and disinformation to instill unjustified confidence in the holders of fiduciary money, so as to minimize redemption and thereby facilitate ever-greater expansion of the supply of that money. Underfunded "deposit-insurance" schemes (either private or public) typify this deceptive tactic.

Second, if "bank runs" do occur, the bankers importune the government to authorize "suspensions of specie payments": temporary refusals on the part of the issuers of the fiduciary money to redeem their notes with commodity money. This permits the bankers to remain in business even though they are bankrupt. "Suspensions of specie payments" are a key indicator of the breakdown of the free-market economy, because they are a governmentally protected repudiation of contracts - in effect, governmentally licensed theft.

Third, to prevent "bank runs" altogether, the bankers lobby for governmental permission to repudiate their fiduciary money totally and permanently - that is, to transform their fiduciary money into fiat money. This generally requires that the government activate some mechanism for the "forced circulation" of the fiat money, such as

by making that money the unit for payment of taxes and for public expenditures;
by declaring that money "legal tender" for all debts; or
by outlawing contracts payable in any other form of money, especially commodity money.

These steps substitute the government - actually, the taxpayers - for the banks and their shareholders as the ultimate guarantors of the fiat money, in return for which the banks agree to two requirements:

1. They "monetize" the public debt, in effect enabling the government to use the fiat-money system as an instrument of taxation. And,
2. They cooperate in a cartel or other self-regulatory scheme to control their expansion of the supply of fiat currency within limits that maintain public confidence in the banking system and the government.

In short, the government and the banks agree to divide the amount that can be looted from the general public by manipulation of the money supply, and to moderate that looting so that the public never catches on.

The FRS is simply an elaborate device set up to accomplish these rather simple ends in a highly convoluted, and thereby deceptive, way. The FRS was the response of bankers and their political cronies to decades of failures in the fractional-reserve banking system at the local and regional levels throughout the United States. The FRS was an attempt to maintain that system in perpetuity - first, at the national level with the Federal Reserve Act in 1913, and then at the international level with the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1944. "Was" is the appropriate verb, because the Bretton Woods Agreement collapsed in 1971, with President Nixon's repudiation of redemption of FRNs in gold internationally; and mounting strains in the system have been appearing domestically since the 1970s.

The key dates in the devolution of the FRS are as follows:
1913 - Congress creates the FRS; permits the emission of FRNs, redeemable in "lawful money"; and declares FRNs to be "obligations of the United States", but not "legal tender". In practice, the Federal Reserve Banks and the United States Treasury redeem FRNs for gold coin on demand. FRNs are a fiduciary currency.

1933 - Congress repudiates redemption of FRNs in gold for United States citizens, and declares that FRNs shall be "legal tender". The government continues to redeem FRNs in gold for foreigners; and United States citizens can redeem FRNs for "lawful money" (such as United States Treasury Notes and silver certificates), which is redeemable in silver coins. Therefore, FRNs remain a fiduciary currency, redeemable directly in gold internationally and indirectly in silver domestically.

1968 - Congress repudiates redemption of all forms of "lawful money" in silver, thus turning FRNs into a fiat currency domestically for the first time.

1971 - President Nixon repudiates redemption of FRNs in gold, thus turning FRNs into a fiat currency internationally for the first time.

So, today, Americans suffer under a regime of fiat money and unlimited fractional-reserve banking. In this system, the FRS plays a very simple, but vital role: When public confidence in the monetary and banking systems weakens, the FRS acts to "restore confidence". The FRS may use what the public considers "drastic means" in this alleged "fight", but never means so drastic that they precipitate genuine economic collapse or seriously endanger the long-term interests of the banking cartel, its satellite industries, and its political cronies.

The unavoidable problem, of course, is that any system of fractional-reserve banking suffers from inherent instability that increases over time, because at base fractional-reserve banking is a kind of "Ponzi" or "pyramid" scheme. For that reason, fractional-reserve banking is a "confidence game" in both senses of that term. The FRS, the banking cartel, and the politicians of the American one-party system operate on the theory that "You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time - and that's good enough!" But they forget that, as Lincoln concluded, "You can't fool all of the people all of the time." Over time, some people - often large numbers of them - do learn. And people who have learned tend to act on their knowledge. So the remaining lifetime of the FRS "confidence game" may, and likely will, be relatively short.

B. On a higher level of analysis, the FRS is not simply a control-mechanism for the national banking cartel, but also one of the most important mechanisms in a pervasive system of fascistic "economic regulation" that has been set up in this country, slowly but surely, since the turn of the century. This explains the "political independence" of the FRS in a way more logical than the idea that money and banking are no longer politically important, divisive, or even interesting subjects. If a fascistic state is to "regulate" the economy with relative autonomy from the electoral public and most special-interest groups, then its monetary agency must claim "political independence". (Actually, in a fascistic state, all of the regulatory agencies must claim "political independence" to some degree - which claim, not surprisingly, is advanced by essentially every administrative agency of the national government today. But the degree of "political independence" will vary with the importance of the agency to the overall scheme of centralized regulation of society.) Thus, the "political independence" the FRS claims is precisely expectable were it part of an anti-democratic mechanism of economic and political control. And that no constitutional branch of the national government - not the Congress, not the President, and not the Judiciary - disputes the FRS's supposed "independence" proves that those branches, too, have been co-opted as agencies of the fascistic state.

In sum, contemporary political money and the politicized banking system that generates it have five major consequences:

First, modern political money is the prime means by which the government operates a scheme of OPPRESSIVE, HIDDEN TAXATION through increases in the supply of money that generate systematic increases in the prices of goods and services (what the public calls "inflation").

Second, by operating as a system of hidden taxation, modern political money licenses the dominant financial and political oligarchy of this country to "REDISTRIBUTE" THE NATION'S WEALTH from one group to another - more than $6 trillion since World War II, according to the American Institute for Economic Research.

Third, by functioning as a mechanism for "redistributing" wealth, modern political money SYSTEMATICALLY CORRUPTS THE ELECTORAL PROCESS, enabling politicians to buy votes with promises of new or expanded governmental spending-programs made possible only by the banking system's ability to "monetize" the public debt.

Fourth, by linking the banking system to the public debt, modern political money licenses the banks to LOOT THE PUBLIC TREASURY, initially by guaranteeing FRNs as "obligations of the United States" and specially privileging those notes as "legal tender", and ultimately by providing taxpayer-funded "bail outs" of the bankers when the scheme of inherently fraudulent fractional-reserve banking collapses.

Fifth and last, modern political money and political banking function as key mechanisms in the scheme of FASCISTIC CENTRAL ECONOMIC PLANNING that misdirects and wastes resources and thereby lowers the standard of living of the vast mass of Americans for the benefit of a privileged few.

IV. Although long a powerful - and today still a politically untouchable - institution, the FRS faces a dismal future. This can be assessed by considering the contemporary political-economic conditions that have given rise to the problem of collapsing domestic banks.

A. The first of these conditions is the essentially fictional and fraudulent nature of modern paper money and fractional-reserve banking.
The fictional and fraudulent character of contemporary paper money is a demerit additional to the inescapable economic disparity between all paper money and real money (that is, silver and gold coins). Paper money can never be economically equivalent to real money because:

A transfer of real money between two persons immediately transfers a real asset: the silver or gold that comprises the coins.

Unlike real money (which is itself the monetary substance), paper money is merely a promise to pay real money at some future date, subject to various contingencies, and always uncertain.

For that reason, a transfer of paper money between two persons does not and cannot transfer the underlying monetary asset immediately, only the promise to pay - that is, the liability of the maker of the promise. And,

In as much as the promise may be more or less secure due to the credit-worthiness or -unworthiness of its maker, a transfer of paper money transfers not only a claim to the underlying real monetary asset but also a risk of loss should the promise of payment (redemption) not be honored, in whole or in part.

In short, even when paper money is actually a promise to pay - and potentially fully redeemable in silver or gold - it remains an asset to its holder only to the extent that the issuer of the promise ultimately makes good on his liability to redeem, or that other people are themselves sufficiently confident of the promisor's solvency to accept the paper money at its face value in exchange for nonmonetary goods and services. In the final analysis, paper money is an asset only if it can be cashed or passed without loss in purchasing power as against real money - which the holder of paper money can determine only when he actually cashes or passes it.

In the United States, for example, today's fiat paper currency is neither itself a valuable commodity nor even a credible promise to pay a valuable commodity in redemption. No holder of FRNs has any legal right to require that the Federal Reserve Banks or the United States Treasury redeem them for any amount of any commodity. And no holder of these notes has any legal right to compel any other ordinary person to exchange a fixed amount of any good or service for some known nominal value of this currency proportional to some weight of silver or gold. Indeed, notwithstanding the statutory mumbo-jumbo mandating their redemption "in lawful money", guaranteeing them as "obligations of the United States", and declaring them "legal tender" for all debts, the most a holder of FRNs can demand as a matter of law is that the national government receive them in discharge of tax-liabilities. Thus FRNs are largely fictional money: for they are, in fact and law, a medium of exchange certain exchanges of which are absolutely refused by their issuers and conditionally refused by everyone else in the marketplace, and which the government accepts only to set off antecedent tax-claims the size of which it unilaterally determines in the first instance. FRNs are, really, just tax-anticipation coupons masquerading as money.

Similarly, contemporary "reserve" banking is, not merely "fractional", but rather inherently fictional. For no bank in the FRS maintains any real "reserves" of money, only paper notes or bookkeeping-entries that the system can "create out of nothing", at any moment and in any amount - but the purchasing power of which in real money (silver or gold) or in any valuable commodity the system cannot guarantee at any time or to any degree.

Moreover, the essentially fictional character of contemporary fiat paper currency and "reserve" banking is the source of their inherent fraudulence - because the fiction is unknown to (indeed, carefully hidden from) the general public. The special privilege of the FRS to emit unlimited amounts of irredeemable, "legal-tender" paper currency, and to loan that currency at interest through the system's commercial member-banks, amounts to a veritable license to steal - because the general public is unaware of the economic significance of the currency's irredeemability, and ignorantly assumes that its designation as "legal tender" compels its use as a medium of exchange to the exclusion of all other forms of money.

The abjectly fictional nature of modern paper currency and fractional-reserve banking encourages the question: why do fiat FRNs continue to circulate, and banks without any real monetary reserves continue to function? Those who accept the theory that "money" is whatever the government decrees would answer that FRNs (or bank-deposits denominated in FRNs) have value as media of exchange in the marketplace because people must acquire them in order to pay their taxes. The obvious fallacy here, though, is that the government accepts payment of taxes in FRNs precisely because those notes have a finite purchasing-power in the market, and therefore are usable as "money" by the government. It is not the present and future taxability of the notes that gives them their market exchange-value, but their residual market exchange-value that renders them viable as a medium of taxation. One must recall that FRNs were originally redeemable, directly or indirectly, in gold coins, silver coins, or both. For that reason, FRNs had a real exchange-value in the market that reflected their underlying redemption-values in gold or silver, and depended not at all on their use as a medium of taxation but indeed made them valuable for that purpose. When FRNs became wholly irredeemable after 1968/1971, they lost any fixed or predictable market exchange-value in terms of real money, and therefore became of increasingly uncertain value as a medium of taxation, too (at least to the extent they continue to depreciate in market exchange-value, as they have, steadily, since then).

A more realistic explanation for the continued circulation of FRNs (or bank-deposits denominated in FRNs) as "money" is that the general public is the victim of a confidence-game, in which the government and the banks have foisted off paper liabilities in the place of real monetary assets in an inverted pyramid of monetary fraud. At the tip of this upside-down pyramid are real "dollars": silver and gold coins that are themselves monetary assets and no one's liabilities, and circulate among those knowledgeable about the differences between real money and paper money. Next in amount in circulation - and at the first level of the institutionalized fraud - are the base-metallic token (or "clad") coins of cupro-nickel alloy. These are monetary assets to the extent of their salvageable metallic content - which is worth about 2% or less of their face values - , but otherwise are liabilities of the government which at one time were redeemable in silver, but are today wholly irredeemable. The next largest fraudulent circulating medium consists of actual FRNs, today "redeemable" only in "clad" coins. Finally, the greatest portion of the so-called "money supply" consists of bank demand-deposits, most of which have been loaned at interest to persons other than the depositors. Revealingly, not only are these purported deposits not actually on deposit in the banks at all, but also the deposits are not even formally "redeemable", because the deposits themselves are not the depositors' "money", but the banks'! The deposits are loans of money the depositors (many of them unknowingly) have made to the banks, and which the banks have then further loaned to third parties.

But how many people are aware of this situation? Why do the government and the banks not educate those who are unaware of what is really going on - other than because the government and the banks knowingly profit from public ignorance and therefore intentionally promote it? And how long can such a swindle continue?

B. This question highlights the second of the contemporary political-economic conditions that underlie the problem of collapsing domestic banks: namely, the inability of the banks to continue indefinitely to increase the supply of money within the domestic economy, that is (as the saying goes), to "expand credit" (because the supply of new money derives from the extension of bank-credit to borrowers). The answer to the question "How long can this confidence-game last?" is "Not forever!". If, on the one hand, the banks overly expand credit, hyperinflation occurs (that is, the purchasing-power of the monetary unit falls exponentially). If, on the other hand, the banks overly restrict the expansion of credit in order to avoid hyperinflation, recession and then depression occurs (that is, people borrow less, and then existing borrowers in massive numbers default on loans). The bankers' "trick" (and dilemma) is to continue to expand credit within an expanding, and therefore essentially noninflationary, economy. The insoluble problem inherent in credit-expansion through fractional-reserve banking, however, is that expansion of a fiat money supply inevitably misdirects and wastes real economic resources, resulting in an increasingly nonrational economy - that is an economy that does not expand in real terms. In short, credit-expansion by fractional-reserve banking in the long run guarantees economic collapse, with resultant social chaos and political crisis.

CONCLUSION
No crystal ball is necessary to predict that a turning-point in the history of money and banking in the United States is drawing nigh. The burden of governmental debt - much of it made possible only by central-bank "monetization" - has approached levels unsustainable in real terms even with drastically increased confiscation of Americans' earnings through explicit taxation. But Americans seem reluctant to accept more taxation to fund the never-ending follies of a spendthrift welfare state. Thus, repudiation of the debt (in whole or in part) through extreme depreciation of FRNs and bank-deposits denominated therein appears likely, if not certain.

For this looming debacle, Americans can thank the FRS, the "experts" who administered it since 1913, the politicians who wed it as a "cover" to finance their own careers, the bankers who profited from their monopoly over the emission of "legal-tender" paper currency, and the "intellectuals" in academia, the press, and the media who (quite unlike their counterparts in the last century) remained strangely silent on the issue of money and banking. That is, Americans can properly thank these people if Americans become aware of what the FRS is, what it does, and why it is responsible for having undermined to the point of collapse the nation's once proudly prosperous economy and staunchly republican political process.

Hopefully that day of a new national awareness will soon be at hand.

Anonymous said...

The Story of the Fed Is a Story of a Crime
“The magnitude by which [the reality of the Federal Reserve] deviates from the accepted myth,” writes G. Edward Griffin, “is so great that, for most people, it simply is beyond credibility.” But as he makes abundantly clear in his landmark book, The Creature From Jekyll Island, now in its fourth edition, the case against the Fed is overwhelming. [1]Creature, as Griffin explains, is four books in one: a crash-course in money and banking; a history of central banking in America; a discussion of the Fed itself and its role in American and world affairs; and finally, a detailed look at how the Fed and other central banks become “catalysts for war.”

Without central banking, much of the carnage of the past 90 years would not have been possible. In November 1910, seven men representing roughly one-fourth of the world’s wealth took a clandestine train ride from New Jersey to a resort on Jekyll Island, Georgia, ostensibly to hunt ducks. But instead of shooting birds, they shot us the bird and drew up plans for a cartel, which served as the blueprint for the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.

For years, most people left the Jekyll Island tale for the fringe that loves conspiracy theories. But gradually the story leaked out, beginning with an article by B. C. Forbes, the future founder of Forbes magazine, in Leslie’s Weekly in 1916. Following discussions with Paul Warburg, the Fed’s chief architect and one of the Jekyll attendees, Forbes confirmed the trip in his opening paragraphs. [9] Later writers, including some of those in attendance at Jekyll Island, corroborated Forbes’ story.

Why did they want a cartel? So they could practice fractional reserve banking with impunity, while shifting the negative consequences to the public. [2]

The American people, of course, have been handed a thoroughly scrubbed version of the Fed: It exists to stabilize the economy and protect the public. Never mind the crashes in ’21 and ’29, the Great Depression from ’29 to ’39, recessions in ’53, ’57, ’69, ’75 and ’81, another crash in ’87, a bear market in 2000 that wiped out $7 trillion in stock market wealth by 2003, and constant inflation eating away 95% of the buying power of the dollar.As economist Antony Sutton noted, “Warburg’s revolutionary plan to get American society to go to work for Wall Street was astonishingly simple . . . . The Federal Reserve System is a legal private monopoly of the money supply operated for the benefit of the few under the guise of protecting and promoting the public interest.”

Griffin is detailed and clear about how the Fed works. In the old days, when governments wanted more money but were afraid to increase taxes, they printed it and forced citizens to accept it by making it legal tender. It was too crude a scheme to fool most people, but now, with modern central banking, the theft is virtually imperceptible.

First, government doesn’t create money directly; its central bank does.

Second, the bank rarely needs to turn to the printing presses. Instead, it often buys government debt, such as bonds, by writing a check. “There is no money to back up this check,” Griffin explains. “By calling those bonds ‘reserves,’ the Fed then uses them as the base for creating nine additional dollars for every dollar created for the bonds themselves. The money created for the bonds is spent by the government, whereas the money created on top of those bonds is the source of all the bank loans made to the nation’s businesses and individuals . . . .“The bottom line is that Congress and the banking cartel have entered into a partnership in which the cartel has the privilege of collecting interest on money which it creates out of nothing . . . . Congress, on the other hand, has access to unlimited funding without having to tell the voters their taxes are being raised through the process of inflation.”What might government do with such “unlimited funding”?

As Murray Rothbard has noted, the country had been in recession during 1913 and 1914 – high unemployment, with many factories operating at only 60% capacity. The Morgan empire in particular had been losing money in railroads and had lost out to Kuhn-Loeb in the market for industrial finance. [3]

The Morgans had always been closely connected to the Rothschild financial empire in Europe. When war in Europe broke out, the House of Morgan, in partnership with the Rothschilds, became the American sales agent for English and French war bonds. When the money came back to the States to acquire war-related materials, it was funneled through Morgan as the U.S. purchase agent. From 1915 to 1917, J. P. Morgan arranged for $3 billion in exports to France and England, earning a commission of $30 million. [4]

As historian Thomas Fleming has dryly noted, the U.S. became a branch of the British armament industry during the first 32 months of its neutrality. [5]

But it was a precarious feast. If the Allies should lose, American investors would sustain huge losses and Morgan’s business would nosedive. Getting the U.S. into the war would extend the financial windfall, but the American public opposed involvement by ten to one.In May 1915, the British passenger ship Lusitania gave war hopefuls a much-needed boost. Nearly 1,200 passengers, including 128 Americans, lost their lives when a German U-boat torpedoed it off the coast of Ireland. With its hold stuffed with U.S. munitions contraband, the Lusitania exploded a second time and sank in less than 18 minutes. As Griffin documents meticulously, British and American officials did everything in their power to make Lusitania a sitting duck.
With Morgan-controlled newspapers beating the drums for American participation, Wilson finally got his war on April 16, 1917. Eight days later, Congress extended $1 billion in credit to the Allies. The British took their initial advance of $200 million and paid it to Morgan. When they ran up an overdraft of $400 million three months later, Morgan turned to the U.S. Treasury for help. Treasury Secretary William McAdoo stalled until Benjamin Strong, the Fed’s main man, came to his rescue and paid Morgan piecemeal during 1917 - 1918. Where did Strong get the money? He simply created it.

The income tax, also enacted in 1913, raised $1 billion during World War I. [6]

But 70% of the cost of the war came from inflation, through a doubling of the money supply. As Rothbard understates, “For those who believe that U.S. entry into World War I was one of the most disastrous events . . . in the Twentieth Century, the facilitating of U.S. entry into the war is scarcely a major point in favor of the Federal Reserve.” [7]

In addition to grabbing wealth through direct taxes, government, in collusion with the Fed, took roughly one-half of the people’s savings from 1915 – 1920. It also took the lives of nearly a half-million Americans for a war they never wanted. [8]

In his 1919 book, The Economic Consequences of the Peace, John Maynard Keynes wrote that by “a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens . . . and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some . . . . The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.” [9]

Griffin lifts the curtain on the Fed’s operations and exposes it for what it is: a counterfeiting cartel in partnership with government soaking the blood and treasure of our country

by George F. Smith

Anonymous said...

The Proposed Iranian Oil Bourse
I. Economics of Empires
A nation-state taxes its own citizens, while an empire taxes other nation-states. The history of empires, from Greek and Roman, to Ottoman and British, teaches that the economic foundation of every single empire is the taxation of other nations. The imperial ability to tax has always rested on a better and stronger economy, and as a consequence, a better and stronger military. One part of the subject taxes went to improve the living standards of the empire; the other part went to strengthen the military dominance necessary to enforce the collection of those taxes.

Historically, taxing the subject state has been in various forms—usually gold and silver, where those were considered money, but also slaves, soldiers, crops, cattle, or other agricultural and natural resources, whatever economic goods the empire demanded and the subject-state could deliver. Historically, imperial taxation has always been direct: the subject state handed over the economic goods directly to the empire.

For the first time in history, in the twentieth century, America was able to tax the world indirectly, through inflation. It did not enforce the direct payment of taxes like all of its predecessor empires did, but distributed instead its own fiat currency, the U.S. Dollar, to other nations in exchange for goods with the intended consequence of inflating and devaluing those dollars and paying back later each dollar with less economic goods—the difference capturing the U.S. imperial tax. Here is how this happened.

Early in the 20th century, the U.S. economy began to dominate the world economy. The U.S. dollar was tied to gold, so that the value of the dollar neither increased, nor decreased, but remained the same amount of gold. The Great Depression, with its preceding inflation from 1921 to 1929 and its subsequent ballooning government deficits, had substantially increased the amount of currency in circulation, and thus rendered the backing of U.S. dollars by gold impossible. This led Roosevelt to decouple the dollar from gold in 1932. Up to this point, the U.S. may have well dominated the world economy, but from an economic point of view, it was not an empire. The fixed value of the dollar did not allow the Americans to extract economic benefits from other countries by supplying them with dollars convertible to gold.

Economically, the American Empire was born with Bretton Woods in 1945. The U.S. dollar was not fully convertible to gold, but was made convertible to gold only to foreign governments. This established the dollar as the reserve currency of the world. It was possible, because during WWII, the United States had supplied its allies with provisions, demanding gold as payment, thus accumulating significant portion of the world’s gold. An Empire would not have been possible if, following the Bretton Woods arrangement, the dollar supply was kept limited and within the availability of gold, so as to fully exchange back dollars for gold. However, the guns-and-butter policy of the 1960’s was an imperial one: the dollar supply was relentlessly increased to finance Vietnam and LBJ’s Great Society.

Most of those dollars were handed over to foreigners in exchange for economic goods, without the prospect of buying them back at the same value. The increase in dollar holdings of foreigners via persistent U.S. trade deficits was tantamount to a tax—the classical inflation tax that a country imposes on its own citizens, this time around an inflation tax that U.S. imposed on rest of the world.

When in 1970-1971 foreigners demanded payment for their dollars in gold, The U.S. Government defaulted on its payment on August 15, 1971. While the popular spin told the story of “severing the link between the dollar and gold”, in reality the denial to pay back in gold was an act of bankruptcy by the U.S. Government. Essentially, the U.S. declared itself an Empire. It had extracted an enormous amount of economic goods from the rest of the world, with no intention or ability to return those goods, and the world was powerless to respond— the world was taxed and it could not do anything about it.

From that point on, to sustain the American Empire and to continue to tax the rest of the world, the United States had to force the world to continue to accept ever-depreciating dollars in exchange for economic goods and to have the world hold more and more of those depreciating dollars. It had to give the world an economic reason to hold them, and that reason was oil.

In 1971, as it became clearer and clearer that the U.S Government would not be able to buy back its dollars in gold, it made in 1972-73 an iron-clad arrangement with Saudi Arabia to support the power of the House of Saud in exchange for accepting only U.S. dollars for its oil. The rest of OPEC was to follow suit and also accept only dollars. Because the world had to buy oil from the Arab oil countries, it had the reason to hold dollars as payment for oil. Because the world needed ever increasing quantities of oil at ever increasing oil prices, the world’s demand for dollars could only increase. Even though dollars could no longer be exchanged for gold, they were now exchangeable for oil. The economic essence of this arrangement was that the dollar was now backed by oil. As long as that was the case, the world had to accumulate increasing amounts of dollars, because they needed those dollars to buy oil. As long as the dollar was the only acceptable payment for oil, its dominance in the world was assured, and the American Empire could continue to tax the rest of the world. If, for any reason, the dollar lost its oil backing, the American Empire would cease to exist.

Thus, Imperial survival dictated that oil be sold only for dollars. It also dictated that oil reserves were spread around various sovereign states that weren’t strong enough, politically or militarily, to demand payment for oil in something else. If someone demanded a different payment, he had to be convinced, either by political pressure or military means, to change his mind.

The man that actually did demand Euro for his oil was Saddam Hussein in 2000. At first, his demand was met with ridicule, later with neglect, but as it became clearer that he meant business, political pressure was exerted to change his mind. When other countries, like Iran, wanted payment in other currencies, most notably Euro and Yen, the danger to the dollar was clear and present, and a punitive action was in order. Bush’s Shock-and-Awe in Iraq was not about Saddam’s nuclear capabilities, about defending human rights, about spreading democracy, or even about seizing oil fields; it was about defending the dollar, ergo the American Empire. It was about setting an example that anyone who demanded payment in currencies other than U.S. Dollars would be likewise punished.

Many have criticized Bush for staging the war in Iraq in order to seize Iraqi oil fields. However, those critics can’t explain why Bush would want to seize those fields—he could simply print dollars for nothing and use them to get all the oil in the world that he needs. He must have had some other reason to invade Iraq.
History teaches that an empire should go to war for one of two reasons: (1) to defend itself or (2) benefit from war; if not, as Paul Kennedy illustrates in his magisterial The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, a military overstretch will drain its economic resources and precipitate its collapse. Economically speaking, in order for an empire to initiate and conduct a war, its benefits must outweigh its military and social costs.

Benefits from Iraqi oil fields are hardly worth the long-term, multi-year military cost. Instead, Bush must have went into Iraq to defend his Empire. Indeed, this is the case: two months after the United States invaded Iraq, the Oil for Food Program was terminated, the Iraqi Euro accounts were switched back to dollars, and oil was sold once again only for U.S. dollars. No longer could the world buy oil from Iraq with Euro. Global dollar supremacy was once again restored. Bush descended victoriously from a fighter jet and declared the mission accomplished—he had successfully defended the U.S. dollar, and thus the American Empire.

II. Iranian Oil Bourse
The Iranian government has finally developed the ultimate “nuclear” weapon that can swiftly destroy the financial system underpinning the American Empire. That weapon is the Iranian Oil Bourse slated to open in March 2006. It will be based on a euro-oil-trading mechanism that naturally implies payment for oil in Euro. In economic terms, this represents a much greater threat to the hegemony of the dollar than Saddam’s, because it will allow anyone willing either to buy or to sell oil for Euro to transact on the exchange, thus circumventing the U.S. dollar altogether. If so, then it is likely that almost everyone will eagerly adopt this euro oil system:

• The Europeans will not have to buy and hold dollars in order to secure their payment for oil, but would instead pay with their own currencies. The adoption of the euro for oil transactions will provide the European currency with a reserve status that will benefit the European at the expense of the Americans.

• The Chinese and the Japanese will be especially eager to adopt the new exchange, because it will allow them to drastically lower their enormous dollar reserves and diversify with Euros, thus protecting themselves against the depreciation of the dollar. One portion of their dollars they will still want to hold onto; a second portion of their dollar holdings they may decide to dump outright; a third portion of their dollars they will decide to use up for future payments without replenishing those dollar holdings, but building up instead their euro reserves.

• The Russians have inherent economic interest in adopting the Euro – the bulk of their trade is with European countries, with oil-exporting countries, with China, and with Japan. Adoption of the Euro will immediately take care of the first two blocs, and will over time facilitate trade with China and Japan. Also, the Russians seemingly detest holding depreciating dollars, for they have recently found a new religion with gold. Russians have also revived their nationalism, and if embracing the Euro will stab the Americans, they will gladly do it and smugly watch the Americans bleed.

• The Arab oil-exporting countries will eagerly adopt the Euro as a means of diversifying against rising mountains of depreciating dollars. Just like the Russians, their trade is mostly with European countries, and therefore will prefer the European currency both for its stability and for avoiding currency risk, not to mention their jihad against the Infidel Enemy.

Only the British will find themselves between a rock and a hard place. They have had a strategic partnership with the U.S. forever, but have also had their natural pull from Europe. So far, they have had many reasons to stick with the winner. However, when they see their century-old partner falling, will they firmly stand behind him or will they deliver the coup de grace? Still, we should not forget that currently the two leading oil exchanges are the New York’s NYMEX and the London’s International Petroleum Exchange (IPE), even though both of them are effectively owned by the Americans. It seems more likely that the British will have to go down with the sinking ship, for otherwise they will be shooting themselves in the foot by hurting their own London IPE interests. It is here noteworthy that for all the rhetoric about the reasons for the surviving British Pound, the British most likely did not adopt the Euro namely because the Americans must have pressured them not to: otherwise the London IPE would have had to switch to Euros, thus mortally wounding the dollar and their strategic partner.

At any rate, no matter what the British decide, should the Iranian Oil Bourse accelerate, the interests that matter—those of Europeans, Chinese, Japanese, Russians, and Arabs—will eagerly adopt the Euro, thus sealing the fate of the dollar. Americans cannot allow this to happen, and if necessary, will use a vast array of strategies to halt or hobble the operation’s exchange:

• Sabotaging the Exchange—this could be a computer virus, network, communications, or server attack, various server security breaches, or a 9-11-type attack on main and backup facilities.

• Coup d’├ętat—this is by far the best long-term strategy available to the Americans.

• Negotiating Acceptable Terms & Limitations—this is another excellent solution to the Americans. Of course, a government coup is clearly the preferred strategy, for it will ensure that the exchange does not operate at all and does not threaten American interests. However, if an attempted sabotage or coup d’etat fails, then negotiation is clearly the second-best available option.

• Joint U.N. War Resolution—this will be, no doubt, hard to secure given the interests of all other member-states of the Security Council. Feverish rhetoric about Iranians developing nuclear weapons undoubtedly serves to prepare this course of action.

• Unilateral Nuclear Strike—this is a terrible strategic choice for all the reasons associated with the next strategy, the Unilateral Total War. The Americans will likely use Israel to do their dirty nuclear job.

• Unilateral Total War—this is obviously the worst strategic choice. First, the U.S. military resources have been already depleted with two wars. Secondly, the Americans will further alienate other powerful nations. Third, major dollar-holding countries may decide to quietly retaliate by dumping their own mountains of dollars, thus preventing the U.S. from further financing its militant ambitions. Finally, Iran has strategic alliances with other powerful nations that may trigger their involvement in war; Iran reputedly has such alliance with China, India, and Russia, known as the Shanghai Cooperative Group, a.k.a. Shanghai Coop and a separate pact with Syria.

Whatever the strategic choice, from a purely economic point of view, should the Iranian Oil Bourse gain momentum, it will be eagerly embraced by major economic powers and will precipitate the demise of the dollar. The collapsing dollar will dramatically accelerate U.S. inflation and will pressure upward U.S. long-term interest rates. At this point, the Fed will find itself between Scylla and Charybdis—between deflation and hyperinflation—it will be forced fast either to take its “classical medicine” by deflating, whereby it raises interest rates, thus inducing a major economic depression, a collapse in real estate, and an implosion in bond, stock, and derivative markets, with a total financial collapse, or alternatively, to take the Weimar way out by inflating, whereby it pegs the long-bond yield, raises the Helicopters and drowns the financial system in liquidity, bailing out numerous LTCMs and hyperinflating the economy.

The Austrian theory of money, credit, and business cycles teaches us that there is no in-between Scylla and Charybdis. Sooner or later, the monetary system must swing one way or the other, forcing the Fed to make its choice. No doubt, Commander-in-Chief Ben Bernanke, a renowned scholar of the Great Depression and an adept Black Hawk pilot, will choose inflation. Helicopter Ben, oblivious to Rothbard’s America’s Great Depression, has nonetheless mastered the lessons of the Great Depression and the annihilating power of deflations. The Maestro has taught him the panacea of every single financial problem—to inflate, come hell or high water. He has even taught the Japanese his own ingenious unconventional ways to battle the deflationary liquidity trap. Like his mentor, he has dreamed of battling a Kondratieff Winter. To avoid deflation, he will resort to the printing presses; he will recall all helicopters from the 800 overseas U.S. military bases; and, if necessary, he will monetize everything in sight. His ultimate accomplishment will be the hyperinflationary destruction of the American currency and from its ashes will rise the next reserve currency of the world—that barbarous relic called gold.
by Krassimir Petrov

Anonymous said...

Rasa Sesal
Tahun 2000

Brain, bukanlah siapa siapa. Tapi menjadi lain ketika ikut dalam satu rapat bersama orang orang terpilih mengatur dunia. Dia agak grogi ketika memasuki ruang rapat itu. Namun menjadi terkesima karena yang dibayangkan rapat penuh serius ternyata cukup santai. Namun sebuah kebijakan global diputuskan. Sebuah awal perjalanan panjang menuju keredahan moral manusia dibuktikan. Sebagaimana dialogh itu diawali oleh sang pemimpin :

“ Pemerintahan lama lewat dan sekarang apa selanjutnya ? Sang pemimpin berkata sambil tersenyum kepada para hadirin, termasuk Brain.

“ Kami sudah siapkan platform untuk masa kekuasaan anda. Seperti biasa anda tidak usah pikirkan apa dan bagaimana untuk membawa dana masuk ke dalam anggaran nasional. “ Kata salah satu pemikir cemerlang yang sangat dipercaya sebagai commitment holder dalam ring satu ini.

“Sebutkan pada saya , platform yang dimaksud “

“ Kita masih dengan landasan dan system yang sama. Hanya yang berbeda adalah underlying untuk menciptakan rasionalitas pasar agar uang dapat mengalir deras. Dulu kita gunakan adalah business dot.com lengkap dengan bisnis pendukunganya dibidang jaringan telekomunikasi sebagai underlying meningkatkan uang beredar di bursa tapi itu sudah kita destroy. Kini kita akan gunakan pangan dan energy sebagai underlying menggerakan pasar. “ Kata peserta rapat lainnya. Seorang yang dikenal ahli penyokong utama neoliberal.

“ Apakah itu mungkin. Tidakah ini berbahaya terhadap kemanusiaan. Beda dengan business dot.com yang pengaruhnya hanya dikalangan terbatas. I” Sang pemimpin mencoba mengetuk rasa kemanusiaan kepada yang hadir dalam rapat itu.

“ Saat sekarang , di era anda , kita bukan hanya butuh dana tapi lebih daripada itu adalah menunjukan keperkasaan kita mengontrol perekonomian global. Setidaknya memaksa negara sosialis dan lainnya membayar keangkuhan mereka selama ini dihadapan kita. Sudah saatnya kita bertindak untuk lebih keras agar integritas kita sebagai penguasa dunia tidak dipertanyakan. Apalagi pertumbuhan ekonomi China, India dan negara satelit kita sudah sampai pada titik untuk dilumpuhkan. Hanya satu yang membuat mereka mau membayar dengan tanpa perhitungan , yaitu value pangan dan energy. Mesin industri dan kumpulan rakyat miskin adalah dua hal yang menjadi focus perhatian mereka. System pasar kita akan berkerja efektif untuk menaikkan nilai group konglomerasi kita dimanapun berada dan mendulang hasil dari kecemasan itu lewat pasar yang direkayasa.”

“ Well , Gentleman! Seru sang pemimpin sambil tersenyum ringan dan berdiri “ You know very well how to do. Lets do it properly” sambung sang Peminpin dan berlalu dari ruang rapat. Sepuluh menit rapat berlangsung namun sebuah konpirasi terbentuk untuk hari hari menakutkan kedepan. Demikian yang dapat ditangkap oleh Brain.

Markas Bank Central

Wajah aristocrat dan terkesan dingin hadir melengkapi pertemuan kecil yang diadakan didalam kamar kerja yang serba mewah itu.

“ Menindak lanjuti pertemuan dengan sang pemimpin maka saya minta kita harus melobi DPR agar menghapus pembatasan operasi bank. Untuk mendukung platform itu diperlukan liberalisasi sector keuangan yang lebih luas. Kita harus menjadikan lembaga keuangan kita sebagai gateway untuk mengalir derasnya uang dari luar masuk. Untuk itu perlunya sinkronisasi pasar uang dan modal , komodti berjalan dengan baik untuk tujuan kita. Karenanya perlu ada kebebasan bagi lembaga keuangan untuk melakukan engeneering financial instrument yang menggiurkan investor asing. Kita akan kawal dan pastikan pasar bekerja efektif dan menghindarkan investor local kita ikut terlibat dalam instrument pasar uang ini. Disamping memberikan kesempatan seluas luasnya masyarakat dalam negeri menikmati kelebihan likuiditas ini untuk mereka berhutang agar menjadi konsumen rakus untuk membeli semua hasil produksi yang dijual oleh investor asing itu.” Demikian sang petinggi otoritas moneter menyampaikan briefing kepada yang hadir, termasuk Brain.

“ Pak, apakah ini akan memperbesar difisit transakasi kita dengan mereka ? Tanya Brain memberanikan diri.

“ Ini negara yang menganut konsep cash flow. Selagi cash flow berjalan lancer , apa pedulinya dengan difisit?. Kalaupun kondisi fundamental ekonomi kita hancur, bukan kita yang akan membayarnya. Investor asing itu yang akan membayarnya. Dan lagi rakyat kita tidak dikorbankan apapun. Yang harus kamu ingat, kita harus membangun system dimana orang lain bekerja keras berproduksi untuk kita dan kemudian memberi kita uang untuk membeli produksi mereka. APakah ada system yang lebih baik dibanding system ini ?

“ Ya, tapi tetap rakyat membayarnya lewat pajak.” Brain langsung beragument.

“ Kamu tolol. Pajak apa ? Kita tidak akan menaikkan pajak penghasilan. Kita akan membayar hutang itu dari pajak penjualan dan import barang yang diproduksi oleh investor itu. Itulah cara kita membayar hutang kita. Konsument kita akan tetap mendapatkan fasilitas hutang untuk berkonsumsi agar produksi investor itu tetap terbeli. Nah, merekalah yang memberikan pinjaman kepada kita dan kemudian kembali kita salurkan kepada rakyat kita melalui facilitas mortgage berjaminan APBN. Sederhana kan ? “

Brain terdiam dan yang lain juga. Rapat disudahi dengan segala pikiran berkecamuk. Brain, membayangkan semua idealisme yang didapatnya dikampus sirna sudah. Bertahun tahun sebagai pengajar di unversitas bergengsi dan memberikan pencerahan tentang idealisme pasar menjadi hablur ketika dia berada didalam lingkaran kekuasan.

Dimarkas Kongress

Ada sedikit keraguan bagi Brain untuk menghadiri presentasi dihadapan Kongress. Karena sebelumnya ketika dia masih professor di universitas , dia sering diminta datang memberikan pencerahan seputar anggaran dan pasar uang. Namun kini posisinya bersebarang dengan anggota congress , untuk menyampaikan sesuatu yang bertolak belakang dari pemikirannya. Tapi lagi lagi keraguannya sirna. Bayangan presentasi ini akan melewati beberapa putaran ternyata berahir dengan singkat. Hanya satu kali presentasi maka semua usulan diterima. !44 A sebagai non disclosure settlement pasar uang harus sebagai pijakan untuk memastikan platform ini tidak mengorbankan investor local.

Salah satu koleganya di otoritas moneter tersenyum cerah “ Kamu bisa lihat, tidak ada yang mereka pikirkan kecuali mengharapkan system ini terbangun demi kesinambungan strategy nasional untuk menjadi penguasa dunia. Bagi mereka , selagi difisit anggaran tetap aman dari berhutang maka itu sudah cukup. Selebihnya itu soal lain.” Demikian ungkapan koleganya yang semakin membuat Brain miris.

DiMarkas lembaga keuangan

“ Maaf Brain, kami setuju untuk mendukung program pemerntah meningkatkan pinjaman untuk business energy tapi negara negara pemilik resource memperketat regulasi perluasan explorasi kita. Begitupula dengan business pangan yang tak ada bedanya. Lantas apa yang dapat kami lakukan. “ Demikian yang disampaikan oleh CEO lembaga keuangan yang selalu bertindak sebagai agent dari bank centeral untuk melancarkan program strategy nasional.

Brain , hanya diam namun dengan seksama memperhatikan wajah CEO itu yang kemudian nampak gelisah. Brain, sadar sebagai pejabat otoritas , dia sangat berkuasa untuk memaksa orang lain menyampaikan gagasan terbaiknya. Benarlah “ Kita akan mendukung credit untuk melancarkan transaksi komoditas minyak dan pangan di bursa. Selagi….”

“ Apa ? “sergah Brain

“ Selagi pemerintah menciptakan iklim untuk itu. Pasar butuh angin agar dapat melaju. Cepat atau lambatnya laju pasar tergantung angin yang ditiupkan pemerintah”

“ Ok,Itu masalah saya. Lakukan bagianmu dan selanjutnya menjadi urusan saya.”

Markas Dewan Pertahanan Nasional.

Pagi sekali Brain sudah meluncur ke rumah besar dimana sang pemimpin tinggal. Ini jadwal dimana dia disertakan dalam rapat sambil minum kopi bersama para tinggi yang mengawal keamanan nasional. Tapi apa hubungannya keamanan nasional dengan karirnya sebagai senior advisor Departement Keuangan. Brain ,tidak mau larut dengan banyak tanda tanya. Ini kehidupan lain yang semua serba asing dan harus dilewatinya.

Disebuah ruangan yang tak begitu besar dengan jendela besar menghadap ketaman. Membuat suasana ruangan dipagi itu sangat sejuk. Yang hadirpun nampak segar dengan pakaian standard ,kecuali sang pemimpin yang masih menggunakan pakaian tidurnya sambil menghirup kopi hangat.

“ Kita butuh alasan untuk mendongkrak harga minyak ? demikian yang disampaikan oleh pejabat otoritas keuangan. Pertumbuhan bisnis minyak semakin sulit karena semakin kerasnya negara negara penghasil minyak menjaga kedaulatannya. Tapi kita butuh alasan untuk meningkatkan arus likuiditas pasar uang kita.

“ Solusi apa yang ditawarkan ? Kata sang pemimpin sambil menyipitkan matanya.

“ harus ada satu cara yang tepat untuk mendorong pergerakan pasar dan akhirnya menaikkan harga minyak. “ Kata Brain. Yang lain menatapnya serentak.

“Jelaskan. !”

“ Kita perlu meniupkan hasrat china dan Jepan untuk meningkatkan stok minyak nasional mereka. Alasannya tepat karena untuk menjaga mesin industri mereka yang rakus bahan bakar. “ Brain tersenyum puas karena berhasil menyampaikan gagasannya dengan ringkas dan jelas.

“ Di era informasi seperti sekarang ini, rumor itu tidak laku. Demand and supply sangat transparence. “ Kata petinggi Dewan Nasional. Dia kenal baik pejabat ini. Dulu adalah koleganya semasa masih kuliah. Tapi dia berkarir lebih dulu dipemerintahan.

“Baiklah. Usul kamu apa ?” Tanya sang Pemimpin.

“ Kita harus menciptakan konflik regional yang mengacam kelangsungan suplai minyak. Permusuhan terhadad Islam dan jargon anti teror adalah momentum tepat sejak runtuhnya WTC. Kita dapat menjustifasi sikap kita untuk menegakkan paham demokrasi dimanapun. Nah, bila konplik ini terjadi maka secara otomatis negara seperti china, Jepan dan lain lain nya akan berusaha meningkatkan stok minyaknya. Pada saat inilah system pasar kita bekerja efektif. Bank bank kita akan bekerja mendukung pergerakan pasar lewat facilitas kredit. Investment banker kita akan aktif menciptakan berbagai produk yang menjanjikan masadepan keuntungan lewat bursa. Dana asing yang idle akan mengalir deras kedalam lembaga keuangan kita. Pada saat bersamaan kita akan mendorong munculnya energi alternaif yang bersumber dari tanaman pangan. Akibatnya lahan pertanian akan beralih dari kebutuhan pangan menjadi kebutuhan energy alternative. Produk panganpun akan menjadi underlying yang ampuh untuk meningkatkan volume pasar uang kita. Suatu kombinasi yang ampuh untuk memancing emosi pemilik dana idle agar mengalihkan dananya kedalam surat berharga kita. System ini akan memanjakan mereka untuk terus rakus menanamkan uangnya dalam berbagai instrument maya pasar uang /modal dan komoditi kita.” Kata pejabat yang bekas koleganya dengan puas.

“Tapi, sampai kapan itu harus dipetahankan. Karena semakin lama semakin memperbesar nilai equitas dan harga dibursa. Siapa yang akan membayar ini semua ? “ tanya Brain.

“ Sampai platform ini selesai. “

“Setelah itu ? Brain ingin segera tahu jawaban ini..

“ Destroy market. ! Jawabnya

“ Caranya ?

“ Korbankan lembaga keuangan yang berhadapan dengan investor asing. Biarkan lembaga keuangan kita bangkrut agar terhindar dari tuntutan investor asing. Apa peduli kita bila pada akhirnya asset mereka menyusut atau tak terbayar. Bukankah dari awal mereka udah tahu system 144a. Free entry , free fall. Sementara lembaga keuangan yang berhadapan dengan credit kepada rakyat kita, ya harus kita bail out. Itupun sumbernya dari lembaga bilateral dan multilateral yang akan setia memberikan kita pinjaman lagi“

Sang pemimpin hanya tersenyum mendengar debat singkat ini.

“Tapi…” Belum sempat Brain meneruskan kalimatnya, sang Pemimpin sudah mengangkat tangan sebagai isarat rapat usai pagi ini. Semua berdiri. Sambil melangkah keluar ruangan sang pemimpin menepuk bahu koleganya “ Excellent. ! Koleganya tersenyum cerah. Namun sang pemimpin melirik kearah Brain dan menghampirinya juga “ Saya tahu kamu mencemaskan masa depan. Tidak usah kawatir. Karena dimasa depan itu kita semua akan mati dan ini semua akan dilupakan. Dan Kembali dengan cara lain.Generasi kita mewarisi inovasi nntuk bertahan hidup, yakinlah“

Usai rapat itu ,Brain melangkah menuju sekitar taman yang ada di rumah besar itu. Dia memandang kearah kamar kerja sang pemimpin. Dan ngerti membayangkan apa barusan yang sedang dia denganr. Apabila dulu kolonialisme mengharuskan adanya armada besar uuntuk menginvasi negara lain dan menguras hasil alam serta memaksa rakyat bekerja dengan upah murah. Tapi kini , cara itu digantikan dengan memancing kemakmuran suatu negara lewat produksi dalam system capitalism. Selanjutnya negara itu akan hidup dalam kecemasan karena ketergantungan akan pasar dan keamanan mata uangnya. Maka ancaman imbalance econominc ternyata lebih ampuh untuk memaksa negara lain mengorbankan resourcenya untuk mempertahan rezim yang culas. Hingga dapat mengontrol dunia dengan hanya mendalkan system perdagangan maya yang didesign secara electronic base. Sehingga uang dan asset bergerak tak terlancak melintasi benua.Memenuhi brangkas lembaga keuangan untuk memanjakan negaranya. Memuaskan ambisi negaranya untuk menciptakan konplik dimanapun yang tak ada akirnya. Suatu peradaban yang memang zolim namun tumbuh subur oleh rezim korup , yang membiarkan pengusaha menindas dan menggilas siapa saja yang menentang.

Tahun 2008, Oktober

“ Sejak usai rapat itu ditahun 2000, saya mengundurkan diri sebagai senior advisor. Bertahun tahun saya menyibukan diri dalam program kemanusiaan dibeberapa negara. Saya tak berhenti berdoa agar bayang buruk itu tidak terjadi dimasa depan. Saya berharap agar kecemasan saya hanyalah paranoia saja. Tapi kini semua menjadi nyata. Mungkin saya tak akan bisa menyesali takdir kehadiran saya ditahun 2000 itu. Tidak mungkin. Terlalu berat untuk dilupakan” Brain terdiam sebentar. Airmatanya berlinang. Hampir satu jam dia membuka rahasia terdalamnya. Rahasia tentang masalalunya yang tak pernah saya tahu.

“ Brain..kamu tidak bersalah apapun. Keberanian mu untuk keluar adalah kemenanganmu. Kemampuan kita terbatas. Allah hanya inginkan niat kita tentang kebaikan dan atau niat untuk melawan kejahatan. Selanjutnya itu ada urusan Allah untuk mengakirinya. Bisa lewat kita atau dengan cara lain.

Seorang anak pengemis menghampiri kami yang sedang asik duduk di restoran disebuah pemukiman kumuh. Brain , tanpa ragu menggendong anak itu. Dan menciumnya. Anak itu tidak mengerti apa yang dikatakan Brain. Hanya tahu isyarat Brain agar mengambil sendiri uang yang ada dikantong depannya. Anak itu mengambil dua lembar pecahan Rp 20,000 tapi kemudian mengembalikan lagi selembar kepada Brain. Anak itu tersenyum kepada Brain dan bergerak untuk melepaskan diri dalam gendongan dan berlari kearah teman temannya untuk membagi uang itu diatara mereka…” Itulah esensi manusia sebenarnya. Dalam kondisi apapun selalu berbagi apa yang bisa dibagi. Inilah budaya yang telah hilang dilingkungan kami dan menyebar kekelompok menengah dinegara lain. Budaya inilah yang membuat system kami terus tumbuh subur menjadi penjajah dunia. Dan akhirnya menciptakan penjajahan antar klas.

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