Northern Country

How globalization changes capitalism, the economy and politics

Posts Tagged ‘US

Bernanke’s ‘shotgun marriage’ got him an invitation

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Few institutions enjoy such powerful position and reputation of the highest order like the Federal Reserve Bank in the US. The men who chaired it like Volcker, Greenspan and now Ben Bernanke are among the foremost economists and most influential people on the face of the Earth. While Greenspan’s role in the crisis, that has destroyed Wall Street and crippled the global economy, has been criticized the bank and its current chairman seemingly were left unharmed. To the contrary in the course of the crisis the Fed’s balance sheet has doubled and tripled and the role as lender of last resort has lifted Bernanke into the status of the almighty savior. 

That Ben Bernanke is no saint has now even reached into the halls of the US Congress. Last week Lewis CEO of Bank of America, a financial institution hit very hard by the crisis on Wall Street, testified before The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to the acquisition of investment bank Merrill Lynch in September of 2008. This panel has now ‘invited’ Bernanke to speak about the government’s role in this acquisition. This time it will be quite different though for the chairman, nothing like any of his scheduled testimonies before members of the House and the Senate.

The accusation is serious. According to Lewis government officials threatened to remove BofA’s management if they would step down from the Merrill deal. The House Committee’s questions will focus on numerous emails between Bernanke and other Fed officials from last December. Representative Darrell Issa, a Republican from California, stated at the hearing with Lewis that government officials do not have the power to ‘force shotgun weddings’. The Bernanke hearings will be held on June 25, certainly a day to mark in the calendar.

In another development a Congressman from Texas who is a notorious critic of the Federal Reserve has finally won sufficient support for his bill. Ron Paul and 221 of his colleagues signed on to the Fed Transparency Act, which would require a fresh outside audit of the Federal Reserve. It will now go to the Senate and should it pass it would mean for the first time in history sunshine could fall on this mighty institution. We can only chime in and sing in the age of Aquarius ‘Let the sunshine in’.

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Written by Alfred

17. June 2009 at 6:15 pm

Die (atomare) Welt in der wir leben

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Das Ende des Kalten Krieges hat sicherlich viel Gutes für die Menschen gebracht. So ist es neben einer globalen Entspannung der Großmächte zu einem deutlichen Abbau des nuklearen Waffenpotentials gekommen. Das es anscheinend nicht nur gute Seiten hat, zeigt jetzt ein Bericht der National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), wonach ihr das Plutonium für die Erkundung des Weltraums ausgeht. Wenn der Solarantrieb nicht mehr ausreicht, wird eine spezielle Form von Plutonium als Treibstoff für diese extreme Form der Raumfahrt verwendet. Plutonium-238 kommt in der Natur nicht vor und wird nur als Nebenprodukt bei der Wiederaufbereitung von nuklearem Treibstoff hergestellt. Die Vereinigten Staaten haben vor etwa 20 Jahren seine Produktion eingestellt und waren seither von Russischen Lieferungen abhängig. Weil dort mittlerweile die Produktion ebenfalls eingestellt ist, hat das US Department of Energy am Donnerstag bekanntgegeben, daß es das Program zur Herstellung von Plutonium-238 wiederaufnimmt. Dieser Umstand wird es nicht leichter machen der Iranischen Bevölkerung und seiner Führung klar zu machen einem kompletten Ausstieg aus der Nuklearen Technologie zuzustimmen.

Written by Alfred

8. May 2009 at 10:53 am

Posted in U.S.A.

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