As 2014 ended, the Russian Rouble was in free fall and so were crude oil prices. Both affected the Russian economy and not in a good way. From a position of great strength Vladimir Putin is now under pressure due to the combined effect of lower oil prices and the sanctions imposed by the west because of the situation in the Ukraine and Crimea.
In the West there have been two notable effects of the drop in oil.
One is good in so far as consumers have to spend a lot less to run their vehicles and heat their homes.
The other, however, is bad – for the banks (tee-hee-hee) although they will no doubt pass on their pain to us.
The reason the banks are in trouble (AGAIN) is because they have lent billions of dollars to fracking operations where oil explorers use expensive techniques to extract oil from underneath American and Canadian soil.
The drop in oil prices means that you can now buy oil on the open market for a lot less than it costs to extract it in the US and Canada.
Therefore the oil exploration companies that obtained these huge loans from the banks, and other money men on Wall St, have little or no chance currently of paying them back.
If the position continues through 2015 expect payment defaults and huge debts written off again by the banks.
Will the government step in (AGAIN) to bail them out by printing more money?
I don’t know. I hope not. It’s time these bankster idiots paid for their own mistakes instead of us having to continually foot the bill.
Don’t count on it though.
So whose bubble do you think will burst first, the banks or the Bolsheviks?
The fallout from the attempt by the EU bureaucrats to steal money out of Cypriot bank accounts continues.
Many people have missed the significance of what has happened and the fact that sooner or later it will also affect them.
But it will, simply because the whole attempted theft in Cyprus has set down dangerous markers for the future.
First, anyone with savings of $100,000 or more is categorized as ‘rich’ and will be targeted by their bankrupt governments as fair game for confiscation of some of their savings.
Second, what happens in one part of the world will eventually happen in another. You can count on that.
Already there are signs of this in the most unlikely of places, Australia.
Compared to most European countries and to the United States, Australia is in a relatively strong financial position. Although, like a lot of countries, it has been running at a net deficit for years, it was largely unaffected by the real estate bubbles and bankster debacles that has caused so many financial problems elsewhere.
Yet even in Australia the government is enacting new legislation that will penalize ordinary law abiding citizens who have responsibly set aside savings for their own retirement.
The Australian government now wants to tax income over A$100,000 withdrawn from what is known there as superannuation funds – US citizens know these better as IRAs – elsewhere as pensions funds.
Previously one of the incentives to saving money for retirement in a pension fund was that when the time came for you to withdraw the money, you could do it free of any government taxes. In fact in most countries that was THE big selling point to entice people to open and save regularly into pensions funds.
But the Australian government has now decided to change the rules. When withdrawals are made from these accounts over the magic $100,000 mark, they will be taxed at a rate of 15%. (That’s 15% at the moment, once established these rates could increase depending on how desperate the government becomes.)
What this means is that the Australian government now wants to tax the money you put into a pension fund when you put it in, AND then tax it again when you try to bring it back out! The archetypal taxation double-whammy!
Is that unfair, or that unfair?
Like what happened in Cyprus, these latest moves in Australia could quite easily happen in your country too!
When I first though about this subject for a post on my blog, I had America mainly in my mind, I suppose because that is where the rot started to show. But when I though about it a little more I quickly realized that the same charge could equally be brought against the banksters in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, France and in fact the entire European Union.
They took money that was not theirs, that was placed in trust with them for safe and responsible stewardship, and they gambled it and lost it.
Then they used their influence on stupid politicians to steal the honest taxpayer’s money to fill up their coffers again. They were apparently too big to fail – what an utter load of nonsense!
They promised when they were stealing OUR money that they would use it to make loans to businesses and thereby stimulate and reactivate the economy that they themselves had brought to a standstill when they lost OUR original cash in stupid and foolhardy deals that no one with any brains or any sense of responsibility to their clients would have dared to go near.
They took OUR money for the second time and kept it for themselves. A lot of it went on bonuses, sometimes in the tens of millions of dollars. A reward to themselves for staggering incompetence.
In any other industry, if you were so bad at your job as to bankrupt your company, you would not only be fired but stand a good chance of being charged with fraud or negligence or something. But if you are a bankster and have successfully sold the lie that you are “too big to fail”, then you get away with it. It doesn’t hurt if you have a few politicians in your pocket either!
And, apart from paying yourself huge bonuses for losing OUR money the first time, what do you do with the proceeds of stealing OUR money the second time? Well, of course, first you give yourself another big pay rise, and then you gamble again and lose even more of OUR money.
Remember the J P Morgan $2billion loss – er, make that a $9billion loss would you. Just as Hillary Clinton “mis-spoke” when she lied to the public, J P Morgan “mis-counted” the first time they declared the extent of their incompetence! We probably have not heard the truth yet.
And President Obama has the gall to tell the world that these morons and liars are “the best we have”! Seriously? Do you really expect the people to believe that? I don’t think so. I certainly hope not.
But the J P Morgan $2billion loss turning out to be a $9billion loss is just the tip of a colossal iceberg. This one is a hell of a lot bigger than the one that sank the Titanic – it’s threatening to sink entire countries.
The public and even the various governments have not been made aware of the full extent of the catastrophic losses these idiots (remember the best we have) have made. All the big banks, whether in the US, or Britain, or Spain or France or wherever are furiously cooking their books and have been for the last five years. Their companies are insolvent, they are bankrupt, but they are hiding the truth from everyone.
This is fraud.
In fact, because of the power that they have, and the impact their stupidity inevitably has on the entire national economy, what they have done and are continuing to do is commit treason.
In a country run by Joe Stalin or Saddam Hussein (perhaps proving that not everyone is all bad all of the time) these treacherous banksters would have been put up against a wall and shot. That may be a bit extreme for us, but at the very least they should lose their jobs, have their stashes of personal wealth confiscated, and be thrown into jail. If it was good enough for a thief like ponzi king, Madoff, it should be good enough for thieves like them.
End rant, cue a few videos on the subject.
A view from Britain
A view from Ireland
The best government money can buy
Understanding The Financial Crisis–For Kids and Grownups