As the world's Reserve Currency the US has enjoyed what is referred to as "Exorbitant Privilege". The US has been able to 'print' money but not suffer the consequences of the associated inflation and currency debasement that comes with such irresponsibility. This is because the 'exorbitant privilege' effectively allows the US to export its inflation. This inflation returns initially as higher import costs, but eventually as hyperinflation, as the world slowly abandons the US dollar and its reserve currency status. This 'exorbitant privilege' continues to work until something which was well understood prior to the US going off the gold standard no longer works. That is a concept referred to as the "Triffin Paradox".
The US Council on Foreign Relations aptly describes why Triffin's dilemma becomes unsustainable: "To supply the world's risk-free asset, the center country must run a current account deficit and in doing so become ever more indebted to foreigners, until the risk-free asset that it issues ceases to be risk free. Precisely because the world is happy to have a dependable asset to hold as a store of value, it will buy so much of that asset that its issuer will become unsustainably burdened."
MORE>> EXPANDED COVERAGE INCLUDING AUDIO & MONTHLY UPDATE SUMMARY
COUNTERFEITING "RISK FREE": The Currency Cartel, a Fiat Failure & the Risk of Collateral Contagion.
Since Bretton Woods and the creation of post WWII Monetary structure, US obligations were considered risk free and its debt instruments rated as AAA. Global risk and spreads have traditionally been priced off this foundation. A crippled dollar and US debt worries has the potential to trigger a global credit melt down. The 2008 financial crisis with Bear Stearns and Lehman gave us just an inkling of the magnitude of the problem. This is forcing a game of Risk Free Counterfeiting to now be played out. It will end and end badly. However, at the present time it is considered the only politically palatable solution.This has forced the Bank of Intern tional Settlements (BIS) to facilitate what can only be called a Currency Cartel to alleviate the daunting global pressures that the eroding need for US dollars is causing. As the Central Bankers' Central Bank, the BIS exercises control over the settlement of the balance of payments and the problems stemming from growing global imbalances. Effectively, what appears to have emerged is a forced alliance between fiat currency based regimes to protect themselves, and sustain the faulty system that emerged from post WWII Bretton Woods. When the US jettisoned its obligations, and in August of 1971 took itself off the gold standard, the US effectively defaulted on its obligations as the world reserve currency. Since then it has been primarily the 'good faith and credit' of the US, that has sustained an acknowledged failed and broken system. The current US Fiscal Cliff machinations only bring to the fore the seriousness of any longer considering the US as "Risk Free" and being a realist foundation for a sound and sustainable global currency reserve. As true as this is, it is not going to change as long as the status quo can be protected, and protected it must be! Similar to the OPEC Oil Cartel protecting the price of 'black' gold, we now have a Currency Cartel protecting the US dollar, and more specifically, the fiat currency system which they all are inextricably tied to. It is the basis for their collusion. MORE>>
It is an explosive 'cocktail' when the present levels of uncertainty and complacency coexist. The drama and political intrigue of the Fiscal Cliff is temporarily distracting investors from the magnitude of the global economic slowdown underway. Europe is entering a serious recession, the US is at stall speed, corporate revenues and margins are under attack, and analysts are steadily reducing earnings. Peak earnings have likely been achieved for this economic cycle and the ammunition of QE∞ at the disposal of the Central Bankers, no longer yields the same response. The market is setting itself up for an "Oh Sh#7T Moment", likely before the Q1 quadruple witch.
MORE>> EXPANDED COVERAGE INCLUDING AUDIO & EXECUTIVE BRIEF
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Latest Public Research ARTICLES & AUDIO PRESENTATIONS
Dagong Global Credit Rating Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Dagong”) releases a credit rating report on December 25th, 2012, putting the United States of America (hereinafter referred to as “U.S.”) on Negative Watch List. Dagong downgraded the local and foreign currency sovereign credit ratings of the U.S. from A+ to A, and each with a negative outlook on August 2, 2011. According to the changes in the situation during the surveillance period, Dagong has decided to put the sovereign credit ratings of the U.S. on Negative Watch List. The main reasons are as follows:
1. The political conflict and the defect in national debt management have pushed the creditworthiness of the federal government to the cliff again. After the U.S. federal government debt limit crisis caused by the partisan quarrels in August 2011, it has evolved into the current fiscal cliff and debt limit crisis due to the same reason. It once again highlights that the decline of the U.S. federal government’s capacity in interest integration and decision-making is the political reason of the weakened solvency. On the problem of how to tackle the national debt crisis, each political party insists on the proposition favorable for its own interest. Therefore, it is difficult to form a long-term consensus on solving the debt problem ultimately, which leads to the unceasingly fiscal deterioration of the government.
2. With no fundamental plan and measures of ameliorating the solvency in place, the U.S. government is lacking the willingness of debt repayment, and the depreciation of debt outstanding through debt monetization has already indicated a trend of implicit default. Increasing fiscal revenue, cutting fiscal expenditure and reducing the scale of debt are the ultimate ways to improve the government indebtedness, but the U.S. government, instead of adopting effective measures to improve its indebtedness, came out with two consecutive rounds of Quantitative Easing over the year in order to realize internal circulation of government debt and sustain its solvency through monetization. The continuous credit expansion to maintain its consumption through borrowing by taking advantage of the status of the U.S. dollar without touching on the ultimate issue on solvency manifests the lack of willingness to repay. The creditors have been suffering real losses from the consequent persistent devaluation in the debt outstanding, and the U.S. government has shown a trend of implicit default on its debt.
3. The deterioration in the main factors impacting on the federal government solvency has further widened the degree of deviation between the debt repayment sources and the real wealth creation capability. The wealth creation capability is the ultimate source of debt repayment and the greater the debt repayment sources deviate from the wealth creation capability the larger the risks. The debt burden of the federal government increased 9.1% and 11.7% on year-on-year basis in 2011 and 2012 respectively, far exceeding the nominal GDP growth rate of 3.9% and 3.4% as well as fiscal revenue growth rate of 4.9% and 6.2% over the same period. The debt outstanding of the federal government has risen by 60.7% since the credit crisis in 2008, while the nominal GDP has increased by only 9.2% and fiscal revenue increased by 7.4% over the same period. By the end of 2012, its debt outstanding is expected to rise to 104.8% of GDP and 608.7% of fiscal revenue. The situation exacerbates the reliance of the debt repayment sources on debt income, and the debt repayment sources are diverging increasingly further from the wealth creation capability, indicating that the solvency of the federal government is on a descending trend.
4. As a result of the pending fiscal cliff, the U.S. economy will probably fall into recession in 2013, and stay weak in the long term, which will further weaken the material basis for the government to repay debt. The U.S. is facing an unprecedented crisis of excessive credit. The inevitability and chronicity in the credit bubble burst will directly lead to the continued slump in total social consumption, triggering a chain reaction of long-term economic downturn, and the economy may go into a slight recession in 2013 due to the emergence of fiscal cliff. Consequently the federal government revenue base will fluctuate, expanding the degree of deviation between debt repayment sources and wealth creation capability.
5. Debt limit lifting and debt monetization are becoming the long-term policy of the U.S., and the real solvency of the government will continue declining. In order to avoid suffering an economic recession resulted from the abated virtual social consumption capacity established by the long-standing and excessive credit expansion, the U.S. government has adopted even greater unconventional credit expansion, which drags the country into a cycle of continuously lifting the debt limit to stimulate the economy while sustaining government solvency by excessive issuance of dollar. As the resulting risks of dollar depreciation keep accumulating, the decline in the government real solvency will become persistent, and the vulnerable credit relationships will bear increasing risk of breaking due to the frequent occurrence of emergencies such as the debt limit.
In summary, Dagong views that as the negative effects from key factors affecting the U.S. federal government solvency such as the debt repayment environment, wealth creation capability, debt repayment sources have been increasing, emergencies such as fiscal cliff and debt limit will further increase the vulnerability in the government solvency. Therefore, Dagong has put the U.S. federal government credit ratings on the negative watch list. Dagong will adjust the credit ratings according to the real circumstance to reflect the soundness of the U.S. federal government debt.
"We expect the JPY to come under significant and sustained pressure throughout 2013 as a result of policy changes domestically and internationally," they write. "In Japan, we believe political pressure will lead to a major shift toward substantially more expansionary BoJ policies, which will weigh down JPY in 2013. Indeed, there is evidence that this is already starting to unfold following the latest easing measures announced by the BoJ."
Copper is often referred to as the PhD of commodities for, as JPMorgan's Ken Landon notes, "When companies ramp up production of various products, whether during or in anticipation of economic recovery, they demand more cooper." Gold, however, he adds, "is not sensitive at all to business-cycle demand. Its price is driven by the monetary environment." While Bloomberg's chart of the day prefers to take the short-term (last few weeks) view of the world to justify a bullish equity market call, we prefer to look at longer-term cycles and the message is extremely clear - manufacturers are anything but confident, are doing anything but buying copper in anticipation of demand, and despite gold's recent fluctuations it is anything but implying that the world's grand monetary policy experiment is slowing down. What we see from this chart is yet another clear fundamental divergence between Dr. Copper's take on the global economy and the US equity market's nominal recovery.
There is much debate whether when it comes to the total notional size of outstanding derivatives, it is the gross notional that matters (roughly $600 trillion), or the amount which takes out biletaral netting and other offsetting positions (much lower). We explained previously how gross is irrelevant... until it is, i.e. until there is a breach in the counterparty chain and suddenly all net becomes gross (as in the case of the Lehman bankruptcy), such as during a financial crisis, i.e., the only time when gross derivative exposure becomes material (er, by definition). But a bigger question is what is the actual collateral backing this gargantuan market which is about 10 times greater than the world's combined GDP, because as the "derivative" name implies all this exposure is backed on some dedicated, real assets, somewhere. Luckily, the IMF recently released a discussion note titled "Shadow Banking: Economics and Policy" where quietly hidden in one of the appendices it answers precisely this critical question. The bottom line: $600 trillion in gross notional derivatives backed by a tiny $600 billion in real assets: a whopping 0.1% margin requirement! Surely nothing can possibly go wrong with this amount of unprecedented 1000x systemic leverage.
From the IMF:
Over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets straddle regulated systemically important financial institutions and the shadow banking world. Recent regulatory efforts focus on moving OTC derivatives contracts to central counterparties (CCPs). A CCP will be collecting collateral and netting bilateral positions. While CCPs do not have explicit taxpayer backing, they may be supported in times of stress. For example, the U.S. Dodd-Frank Act allows the Federal Reserve to lend to key financial market infrastructures during times of crises. Incentives to move OTC contracts could come from increasing bank capital charges on OTC positions that are not moved to CCP (BCBS, 2012).
The notional value of OTC contracts is about $600 trillion, but while much cited, that number overstates the still very sizable risks. A better estimate may be based on adding “in-the-money” (or gross positive value) and “out-of-the money” (or gross negative value) derivative positions (to obtain total exposures), further reduced by the “netting” of related positions. Once these are taken into account, the resulting exposures are currently about $3 trillion, down from $5 trillion (see table below; see also BIS, 2012, and Singh, 2010).
Another important metric is the under-collateralization of the OTC market. The Bank for International Settlements estimates that the volume of collateral supporting the OTC market is about $1.8 trillion, thus roughly only half of exposures. Assuming a collateral reuse rate between 2.5-3.0, the dedicated collateral is some $600 - $700 billion. Some counterparties (e.g., sovereigns, quasi-sovereigns, large pension funds and insurers, and AAA corporations) are often not required to post collateral. The remaining exposures will have to be collateralized when moved to CCP to avoid creating puts to the safety net. As such, there is likely to an increased demand for collateral worldwide.
And there it is: a world in which increasingly more sovereigns are insolvent, it is precisely these sovereigns (and other "AAA-rated" institutions) who are assumed to be so safe, they don't have to post any collateral to the virtually unlimited derivatives they are allowed to create out of thin air.
Is it any wonder why, then, in a world in which even the IMF says there is an increased demand for collateral, that banks are making a total mockery out of such preemptive attempts to safeguard the system, such as the Basel III proposal, whose deleveraging policies have been delayed from 2013 to 2014, and which will be delayed again and again, until, hopefully, everyone forgets all about them, and no financial crises ever again occur.
Because if and when they do, the entire world, which has now become one defacto AIG Financial Products subsidiary, and is spewing derivatives left and right, may have to scramble just a bit to procure some of this $599 trillion in actual collateral, once collateral chains start breaking, once "AAA-rated" counterparties (such as AIG had been days before its bailout) start falling, and once the question arises: just what is the true value of hard assets in a world in which the only value created by financial innovation is layering of derivatives upon derivatives, serving merely to prod banker bonuses to all time highs.
MOST CRITICAL TIPPING POINT ARTICLES THIS WEEK - Dec 23rd - Dec 29th, 2012
There are, according to USA Today, 364 items that need to be purchased to create the ultimate gift basket from the epic holiday song "The 12 Days of Christmas". Based on PNC Wealth's Christmas Price index, the cost of this basket is $107,300 in 2012 (up 6.1% year-over-year). Since 2001, when the Fed embarked upon its uber-expansionary monetary policy experiments, the cost of Christmas has risen over 40% faster than the Government's prescribed CPI (and if we use a different cost-base, since 2006, the cost of Christmas has risen 46% per year on average). And on an even more Bah! Humbug note, there is the important economic question of the Deadweight Loss of Christmas - i.e. gift-giving means consumption choices are made by someone other than the final consumer, with potentially sub-optimal micro-economic effects such as a mismatch with the recipient's preferences. This wonderfully positive report finds that between 10% and 33% of the value of gifts 'given' is destroyed through this inefficiency (with cash - or gold - the least impacted?). Happy Holidays, everyone!
The developed world’s Ponzi scheme is caused by record-high levels of public and private debt. As Boston Consulting Group notes, it is exacerbated by huge unfunded liabilities that will be impossible to pay off owing to long-term changes in developed-world demographics. Addressing these challenges at any time would be difficult. To make matters even worse, however, BCG points out that they come at a moment when the developed world’s traditional model of economic growth appears to be broken. This is partly a consequence of the Ponzi scheme itself. The underlying issues cannot be ignored any longer. The developed world faces a day of reckoning. It is time to act. In this excellent layman's guide to the the real world, not only does BCG explain the Ponzi, but they lay out ten critical steps that developed economies must take to definitively end the era of Ponzi finance. Some are sacrifices required of various stakeholders. Others are new social investments, both public and private, that are needed in order to return to a sustainable growth path.
The paper starts with the Origins of the Ponzi Scheme we call modern economies, then goes on to discuss the Broken Growth Formula...
Then lays out ten steps to any solution for developed economies...
Via Boston Consulting Group:
1. Deal with the debt overhang - immediately. A precondition to addressing the fallout of the unsustainable policies of recent decades is a fast cleanup of the debt overhang. In previous papers, my colleagues and I have discussed the various options for doing so.35 Put simply, some combination of writeoffs and restructuring, austerity, higher taxes, and sizable inflation will be necessary.
2. Reduce unfunded liabilities. Once debt restructuring is under way and the broader public sees that wealthy owners of financial assets are contributing to the necessary cleanup, it should be easier for politicians to take another painful step: addressing openly and directly the trillions in unfunded liabilities that are weighing down budgets and balance sheets across the developed world. It will require a combination of several measures to bring these unfunded liabilities under control.
3. Increase the efficiency of government. Parallel to reductions in government spending on social-welfare benefits, another key to reducing government’s share of GDP and increasing economic growth is to make government itself more efficient. A smaller government sector does not necessarily mean a weaker government. By defining the right “rules of the road” for society and business, governments can set the tone and priorities for development in a more effective as well as a more efficient way.
4. Prepare for labor scarcity. Countries need to start now to prepare for the coming era of labor scarcity. Doing so will require a series of initiatives to reduce the decline of the workforce.
5. Develop smart immigration policy. Even if developed countries take all these steps, it will still not be enough to reverse demographic trends. Therefore, these countries also need to become far more open and attractive to immigrants.
6. Invest in education. Education has to play a significant role in the future growth potential of the developed economies. Quality education will be the decisive factor in protecting and increasing GDP per capita. It is also the foundation of social mobility and a precondition to fully utilizing the innovative capabilities and entrepreneurial talent of a society’s members. For both reasons, it needs to be another key target of social investment.
7. Reinvest in the asset base. For more than a decade, the developed economies have reduced investments in public infrastructure and productive assets. Given the importance of the quality of capital stock to productivity and economic growth, it is time to reverse this trend.
8. Increase raw-material efficiency. The age of cheap resources may have come to an end. Developed countries have to increase their efforts to decouple economic development from resource consumption.
9. Cooperate on a global basis. Competition among countries will become more intense in the years to come. All countries will try to increase their exports; all will try to attract the best-educated immigrants; and all will try to secure scarce resources, from water to oil to commodities. This increased competition will pay dividends in the form of new and innovative products. But even as they compete, the world’s countries must also cooperate. The problems of the developed economies can only be addressed in a cooperative way on a global scale. Otherwise, the world risks descending into a vicious circle of beggar-thy-neighbor economic policies leading to much lower growth and slower improvement of living conditions worldwide.
10. Launch the next Kondratiev wave. Last but not least, the developed world needs to prove Robert Gordon wrong. By investing in a growing and highly productive workforce and making it easier for engineers and technologists to innovate and for entrepreneurs to start new businesses, the developed economies need to unleash a new Kondratiev wave of global economic development.
and ends with ideas for Negotiating The Fallout...
The legal system is supposed to be the codification of our norms and beliefs, things that we need to make our system work. If the legal system is seen as exploitative, then confidence in our whole system starts eroding. And that’s really the problem that’s going on.
I think we ought to go do what we did in the S&L [crisis] and actually put many of these guys in prison. Absolutely. These are not just white-collar crimes or little accidents. There were victims. That’s the point. There were victims all over the world.
Economists focus on the whole notion of incentives. People have an incentive sometimes to behave badly, because they can make more money if they can cheat. If our economic system is going to work then we have to make sure that what they gain when they cheat is offset by a system of penalties.
Nobel prize winning economist George Akerlof has demonstrated that failure to punish white collar criminals – and instead bailing them out- creates incentives for more economic crimes and further destruction of the economy in the future.
Indeed, professor of law and economics (and chief S&L prosecutor) William Black notes that we’ve known of this dynamic for “hundreds of years”. And see this, this, this and this.
The Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement division told Congress:
Recovery from the fallout of the financial crisis requires important efforts on various fronts, and vigorous enforcement is an essential component, as aggressive and even-handed enforcement will meet the public’s fair expectation that those whose violations of the law caused severe loss and hardship will be held accountable. And vigorous law enforcement efforts will help vindicate the principles that are fundamental to the fair and proper functioning of our markets: that no one should have an unjust advantage in our markets; that investors have a right to disclosure that complies with the federal securities laws; and that there is a level playing field for all investors.
Paul Zak (Professor of Economics and Department Chair, as well as the founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University, Professor of Neurology at Loma Linda University Medical Center, and a senior researcher at UCLA) and Stephen Knack (a Lead Economist in the World Bank’s Research Department and Public Sector Governance Department) wrote a paper called Trust and Growth, showing that enforcing the rule of law – i.e. prosecuting white collar fraud – is necessary for a healthy economy.
One of the leading business schools in America – the Wharton School of Business – published an essay by a psychologist on the causes and solutions to the economic crisis. Wharton points out that restoring trust is the key to recovery, and that trust cannot be restored until wrongdoers are held accountable:
According to David M. Sachs, a training and supervision analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia, the crisis today is not one of confidence, but one of trust. “Abusive financial practices were unchecked by personal moral controls that prohibit individual criminal behavior, as in the case of [Bernard] Madoff, and by complex financial manipulations, as in the case of AIG.” The public, expecting to be protected from such abuse, has suffered a trauma of loss similar to that after 9/11. “Normal expectations of what is safe and dependable were abruptly shattered,” Sachs noted. “As is typical of post-traumatic states, planning for the future could not be based on old assumptions about what is safe and what is dangerous. A radical reversal of how to be gratified occurred.”
People now feel more gratified saving money than spending it, Sachs suggested. They have trouble trusting promises from the government because they feel the government has let them down.
He framed his argument with a fictional patient named Betty Q. Public, a librarian with two teenage children and a husband, John, who had recently lost his job. “She felt betrayed because she and her husband had invested conservatively and were double-crossed by dishonest, greedy businessmen, and now she distrusted the government that had failed to protect them from corporate dishonesty. Not only that, but she had little trust in things turning around soon enough to enable her and her husband to accomplish their previous goals.
“By no means a sophisticated economist, she knew … that some people had become fantastically wealthy by misusing other people’s money — hers included,” Sachs said. “In short, John and Betty had done everything right and were being punished, while the dishonest people were going unpunished.”
Helping an individual recover from a traumatic experience provides a useful analogy for understanding how to help the economy recover from its own traumatic experience, Sachs pointed out. The public will need to “hold the perpetrators of the economic disaster responsible and take what actions they can to prevent them from harming the economy again.” In addition, the public will have to see proof that government and business leaders can behave responsibly before they will trust them again, he argued.
Note that Sachs urges “hold[ing] the perpetrators of the economic disaster responsible.” In other words, just “looking forward” and promising to do things differently isn’t enough.
Robert Shiller – one of the top housing experts in the United States – says that the mortgage fraud is a lot like the fraud which occurred during the Great Depression. As Fortune notes:
Shiller said the danger of foreclosuregate — the scandal in which it has come to light that the biggest banks have routinely mishandled homeownership documents, putting the legality of foreclosures and related sales in doubt — is a replay of the 1930s, when Americans lost faith that institutions such as business and government were dealing fairly.
Economist James K. Galbraith wrote in the introduction to his father, John Kenneth Galbraith’s, definitive study of the Great Depression, The Great Crash, 1929:
The main relevance of The Great Crash, 1929 to the great crisis of 2008 is surely here. In both cases, the government knew what it should do. Both times, it declined to do it. In the summer of 1929 a few stern words from on high, a rise in the discount rate, a tough investigation into the pyramid schemes of the day, and the house of cards on Wall Street would have tumbled before its fall destroyed the whole economy.
In 2004, the FBI warned publicly of “an epidemic of mortgage fraud.” But the government did nothing, and less than nothing, delivering instead low interest rates, deregulation and clear signals that laws would not be enforced. The signals were not subtle: on one occasion the director of the Office of Thrift Supervision came to a conference with copies of the Federal Register and a chainsaw. There followed every manner of scheme to fleece the unsuspecting ….
This was fraud, perpetrated in the first instance by the government on the population, and by the rich on the poor.
The government that permits this to happen is complicit in a vast crime.
There will have to be full-scale investigation and cleaning up of the residue of that, before you can have, I think, a return of confidence in the financial sector. And that’s a process which needs to get underway.
Galbraith recently said that “at the root of the crisis we find the largest financial swindle in world history”, where “counterfeit” mortgages were “laundered” by the banks.
As he has repeatedly noted, the economy will not recover until the perpetrators of the frauds which caused our current economic crisis are held accountable, so that trust can be restored. See this, this and this.
No wonder Galbraith has said economists should move into the background, and “criminologists to the forefront.”
The bottom line is that the government has it exactly backwards. By failing to prosecute criminal fraud, the government is destabilizing the economy … and ensuring future crashes.
"Finally, we must question the morality of Fed programs that trick people (as if they were Pavlov's dogs) into behaviors that are adverse to their own long-term best interest. What kind of government entity cajoles savers to spend, when years of under-saving and over-spending have left the consumer in terrible shape? What kind of entity tricks its citizens into paying higher and higher prices to buy stocks? What kind of entity drives the return on retiree's savings to zero for seven years (2008-2015 and counting) in order to rescue poorly managed banks? Not the kind that should play this large a role in the economy."
"An environment where financial crises are seen to be a regular part of the landscape is one where people might actually take more precautions. People would maintain a margin of safety in all their decisions, investment and otherwise, regulations would be well thought out and diligently enforced, and the unscrupulous and the incompetent would quickly fail and disappear from the scene. Modern day attempts to abolish failure only serve to ensure it, as moral hazard - the likelihood that people's behavior changes in response to artificial supports or guarantees - surges. Attempts to prevent or wish away future crises only make them more likely. Only by allowing, even welcoming, episodic failure do we have a chance of reducing the likelihood and magnitude of future financial crises."
Here is a very interesting video interview with the the writer of 'The Creature From Jekyll Island', the preeminent book on the corruption of the private Federal Reserve Bank. Griffin underlines the great threat to our economy and the American ideal of liberty that is looming over our country today.
2012 - FINANCIAL REPRESSION
2011 - BEGGAR-THY-NEIGHBOR -- CURRENCY WARS
2010 - EXTEN D & PRETEND
CORPORATOCRACY - CRONY CAPITALSIM
GLOBAL FINANCIAL IMBALANCE
STANDARD OF LIVING
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