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Re: SC45

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July 11, 2007 11:50PM
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6288

Spiraling US Federal Debt Triggers Decline of Dollar

The U.S. federal debt has reached crisis proportions, approaching $9 trillion in 2007. U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker has warned that just the interest on the debt will soon be more than the taxpayers can afford to pay. He observed in 2003:

We cannot simply grow our way out of [the national debt]. . . . The ultimate alternatives to definitive and timely action are not only unattractive, they are arguably infeasible. Specifically, raising taxes to levels far in excess of what the American people have ever supported before, cutting total spending by unthinkable amounts, or further mortgaging the future of our children and grandchildren to an extent that our economy, our competitive posture and the quality of life for Americans would be seriously threatened.1

Nearly half the public portion of the federal debt is now owed to foreigners, and they are pulling out of dollars into other currencies as the dollar shrinks in value. Oil-producing countries are also moving to other currencies for their oil trades, removing a major incentive for foreign central banks to hold U.S. government bonds. In an April 2005 article in Counter Punch, Mike Whitney warned:

This is much more serious than a simple decline in the value of the dollar. If the major oil producers convert from the dollar to the euro, the American economy will sink almost overnight. If oil is traded in euros then central banks around the world would be compelled to follow and America will be required to pay off its enormous $8 trillion debt. That, of course, would be doomsday for the American economy. . . . If there's a quick fix, I have no idea what it might be.2

Today, the "quick fix" of the Federal Reserve and its affiliated banks is to quietly buy back the bonds with money created with accounting entries on their books. This is not actually a new practice. The fact that banks buy government bonds with money created out of thin air was confirmed as far back as 1935, when Federal Reserve Chairman Marriner Eccles testified before the U.S. House Banking and Currency Committee:

When the banks buy a billion dollars of Government bonds as they are offered . . . they actually create, by a bookkeeping entry, a billion dollars.3

In 2005, however, this scheme evidently went into high gear, when China and Japan, the two largest purchasers of U.S. federal debt, cut back on their purchases of U.S. securities. Market "bears" had long warned that when foreign creditors quit rolling over their U.S. bonds, the U.S. economy would collapse. They were therefore predicting the worst; but somehow, no disaster resulted. The bonds were still getting sold. The question was, to whom? The Fed identified the buyers as a mysterious new U.S. creditor group called "Caribbean banks." The financial press said they were offshore hedge funds. But Canadian analyst Rob Kirby, writing in March 2005, said that if they were hedge funds, they must have performed extremely poorly for their investors, raking in losses of 40 percent in January 2005 alone; and no such losses were reported by the hedge fund community. He wrote:

The foregoing suggests that hedge funds categorically did not buy these securities. The explanations being offered up as plausible by officialdom and fed to us by the main stream financial press are not consistent with empirical facts or market observations. There are no wide spread or significant losses being reported by the hedge fund community from ill gotten losses in the Treasury market. . . . [W]ho else in the world has pockets that deep, to buy 23 billion bucks worth of securities in a single month? One might surmise that a printing press would be required to come up with that kind of cash on such short notice.4

In September 2005, this bit of wizardry happened again, after Venezuela liquidated roughly $20 billion in U.S. Treasury securities following U.S. threats to that country. Again the anticipated response was a plunge in the dollar, and again no disaster ensued. Other buyers had stepped in to take up the slack, and chief among them were the mysterious "Caribbean banking centers." Rob Kirby wrote:

I wonder who really bought Venezuela's 20 or so billion they "pitched." Whoever it was, perhaps their last name ends with Snow [referring to then-Treasury Secretary John Snow] or Greenspan.5

Those incidents were apparently just dress rehearsals for bigger things to come. In late 2005, the Federal Reserve (or "Fed"winking smiley announced that beginning in March 2006, it would no longer be publishing figures for M3 (the largest measure of the money supply). M3 has been the main staple of money supply measurement and transparent disclosure for the last half-century, the figure on which the world has relied in determining the soundness of the dollar. But the curtain was now to drop. What was it that we weren't supposed to know? March 2006 was also the month Iran announced it would begin selling oil in Euros. Some observers suspected that the Fed was gearing up to use newly-printed dollars to buy back a flood of U.S. securities dumped by foreign central banks. Another possibility was that the Fed had already been engaging in massive dollar printing to conceal a major derivatives default and was hiding the evidence..............
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