It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
"Nothing short of total repudiation of our entrenched systems can rescue America," said Celente. "We are under the control of a two-headed, one party political system. Wall Street controls our financial lives; the media manipulates our minds. These systems cannot be changed from within. There is no alternative. Without a revolution, these institutions will bankrupt the country, keep fighting failed wars, start new ones, and hold us in perpetual intellectual subjugation."
But Celente's Revolution need not degenerate into violence or open warfare.
"I am calling for an 'Intellectual Revolution'. I ask American citizens to free their minds from the tyranny of 'Dumb Think.' This is a revolution about thinking - not manning the barricades. It's about brain power - not brute force."
"The 'Intellectual Revolution' must be waged on the battlefield of the mind," said Celente. "Americans are doomed unless they kick the junk news habit, deprogram themselves from celebrity worship, refuse to blindly follow political leaders and question all ideological dogmas ... especially their own.
"For the revolution to succeed, people must repudiate the one-headed, two party system, and learn to think for themselves," said Celente.
While the corporate-owned mainstream media and the government still control the broad avenues of news and information, only willing and lazy minds need be held hostage to it. The Internet world is awash in data, facts, analyses and opinions (independent and mainstream) for all to access and assess.
THINK FOR YOURSELF. THE "INTELLECTUAL REVOLUTION" HAS BEGUN.
Trend Call-to-Action: What can you do? Participating in an April 15th tax protest may be your cup of tea. Pester your politicians. Make your voice heard, your discontent felt and your solutions known. Band with others who share similar objectives and common goals.
The Federal Reserve bought $7.3billion of securities from the more than $26billion offered to them. The preponderance of the purchases were in the 5 year note issued in January and the 5 year note issued in February.
The level of activity in the Treasury market today is significantly greater than that which was observed yesterday.
Momentarily the Federal Reserve will purchase the 4 year through 7 year sector. They have excluded the current 5 year note from the list. One salesman suggested that it is off the list today as it trades at zero in RP and a Desk purchase would only exacerbate the tightness in RP.
Participants report leveraged clients buying the 5 year and the 10 year. Real money has been selling the 2 year.
The Federal Reserve purchase yesterday tightened the old 3 year note and there has been active selling of that issue in favor of the on the run 3 year note.
• Annual Retail Sales Contraction Remains at Post-World War II Era Lows
• “Core” March Retail Sales Down 1.4%
• PPI Takes Energy Cost Hit Despite Rising Oil Prices
Allison’s most important job may be that of a salesman. He will need to sell both a skeptical Congress and an American public fraught with bailout fatigue on the idea that the banking industry still needs additional help.
Today President Obama delivered a speech that, on balance, was far better than many we have heard before on the economy and markets:
This recession was not caused by a normal downturn in the business cycle. It was caused by a perfect storm of irresponsibility and poor decision-making that stretched from Wall Street to Washington to Main Street.
State tax collections for the fourth quarter of 2008 declined by 4 percent from the same quarter a year earlier, according to a new report by the Rockefeller Institute of Government. After adjusting for inflation, combined state and local sales tax revenue declined more in October-December 2008 than in any quarter since 1959. Early figures for state tax revenues in the first quarter of 2009 show an overall decline of more than 12 percent compared to a year earlier, a further dramatic worsening of fiscal conditions nationwide.
The White House is trying to re-inflate the burst bubble, and it has been attempting to do so for well over a year – this includes both the Bush and Obama administrations. Instead of addressing economic fundamentals, girding itself up for tough times, and pushing for fiscal responsibility, the government prefers coaxing us into a false sense of security by artificially inflating the economy.
If millions of Americans do refinance their homes it will definitely give them more cash on hand – assuming of course that banks stop hoarding their government bailouts and allow people to actually borrow money again. Nonetheless, it will not help our economy one iota unless something is done about the lack of production in this country. If millions of Americans continue using that money to buy goods predominantly from overseas, we will find ourselves back in the same situation.
The government needs to give direct stimulus to American producers, instead of the banks, and direct Americans to buy the goods put out by American workers. That is true economic stimulus, and it will lead to recovery. Anything else is just more wasted effort.
President Obama urged millions of Americans to begin refinancing their home mortgages during an address on April 9. The President believes that the ability to refinance at a lower rate is the silver lining of the economic downturn.
"We are at a time where people can really take advantage of this," Obama said.
David Viniar, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s chief financial officer, said he’s “mystified” by the interest investors and government officials have shown in the bank’s trading relationship with American Insurance Group Inc.
“They’re one of thousands and thousands and thousands of counterparties and the results of any trading with AIG are completely immaterial to what we do,” Viniar said today in an interview. “I am mystified by this fascination with AIG.”
Viniar told analysts today that any profits related to AIG in the January-to-March quarter “rounded to zero,” as most of the transactions were unwound before the end of the year. In an interview, he also said profits in December weren’t significant.
“I would never tell you that we didn’t book any profit, I don’t even know,” he said. “I couldn’t tell you with any counterparty that we booked zero, but I could tell you it rounded to zero.”
Billionaire investor George Soros told Yahoo! Finance that the current economic crisis is bigger that the crisis faced in the 1930s and it is sure to have lasting effects on the standard of living for Americans.
“There is no way to go back to where we came from because we were living in a fools paradise …. We were accumulating debts. We were consuming six-and-a-half percent more than we were producing,” he said.
He said that goes for both the federal government and the average taxpayer. The current national debt is estimated to be over $11 trillion and expected to climb even higher as the government tries to spend its way out of recession. As individuals, Soros says, we have done just as poorly. He points out that in the past decade the savings rate among Americans actually went negative at one point.
The number of U.S. businesses and individuals declaring bankruptcy is rising with a vengeance amid the recession, despite a three-year-old federal law that made it much tougher for Americans to escape their debts, an Associated Press analysis found.
"There's no end in sight," said bankruptcy lawyer Bryan Elliott of Hickory, N.C., who is working seven days a week and scheduling prospective clients a month in advance. "To be doing this well and having this much business, it is depressing. It's not a laugh-a-minute job."
Nearly 1.2 million debtors filed for bankruptcy in the past 12 months, according to federal court records collected and analyzed by the AP. Last month, 130,831 sought bankruptcy protection - an increase of 46 percent over March 2008 and 81 percent over the same month in 2007.
Bob Lawless, a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, said bankruptcies could reach 1.5 million this year and level off at 1.6 million next year - around the same time economists expect an economic recovery to begin.
Congress voted in 2005 to make bankruptcy more cumbersome after years of intense lobbying from the nation's lenders, who complained that people were abusing the system. Before the move to change the law, bankruptcies were running at what was then an all-time high of about 1.6 million per year.
The tighter requirements initially appeared to work, with bankruptcies plummeting from a record-shattering 2 million cases in 2005 - a total that reflected a rush to file before the new law took effect - to 600,000 in 2006. But now bankruptcies are booming again.
"You wouldn't get this large of a rise without serious problems in the economy," said Lynn LoPucki, a UCLA law professor who researches bankruptcy.
The bankruptcy rate is climbing as well. In the past 12 months, about four people or businesses for every 1,000 people in the country filed for bankruptcy, according to the AP analysis. That is twice the rate in 2006, and close to the average of about five for every 1,000 in the decade leading up to the change in the law.
Lawless said the shame of bankruptcy may have eased somewhat in recent years, but added, "It's still a very stigmatizing, traumatic event for most everyone who files."
Previous recessions also drove people to bankruptcy court, though those increases were more moderate. Bankruptcies went up 19 percent amid the economic contraction in 2001, and about 15 percent during the recession of the early 1980s, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
Bankruptcy is considered a lagging economic indicator, since it is generally a last resort. The filings compiled by the AP illustrate the places where the economic meltdown has hit hardest.
In March, bankruptcy filings jumped the highest across the West. In Arizona, filings rose 91 percent from a year ago. They were up 84 percent in Idaho, 82 percent in California and 79 percent in Nevada, though those were trumped by Delaware, home to many large corporations, which saw a 127 percent jump.