FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Free Financial Markets are a Hoax

There are no free financial markets in America, or for that matter anywhere in the Western word, and few, if any, free markets of any other kind.  The financial markets are rigged by the big banks, the Federal Reserve, and the Treasury in the interests of the profits of the few big banks and the dollar’s exchange value, which is the basis of US power.

There is a contradiction between a strong currency on one hand and on the other hand massive money creation in order to sustain zero and negative interest rates on the massive debt levels. This inconsistency is revealed by rising gold and silver prices.

When gold hit $1,900 an ounce in 2011 the Federal Reserve realized that the precious metal market was going to limit its ability to provide enough liquidity to keep the thoughtlessly deregulated financial system afloat. The rapid deterioration of the dollar in terms of gold and silver would sooner or later spill over into the exchange value of the dollar in currency markets.  Something had to be done to drive down and to cap the gold price.

The Fed’s solution was to take advantage of the fact that the prices of gold and silver are determined in the futures market where paper contracts representing gold and silver are traded, and not in markets where the physical metal is actually purchased by people who take possession of it.  The Fed realized that uncovered short sales provided enormous leverage over the prices of the metals and that it would be profitable for the bullion banks, such as JPMorgan, Scotia, and HSBC, to short the market heavily and then cover their shorts at lower prices produced by selling as a result of triggering stop-loss orders and margin calls.

Dave Kranzler and I have shown on numerous occasions that the bullion banks  and the Federal Reserve make profits and protect the dollar by suppressing the prices of gold and silver.  They do this by illegally selling huge numbers of uncovered shorts in the futures market.  This illegal operation is supported by the so-called “regulatory authorities”  who steadfastly refuse to intervene.

It has just happened again.  Dave Kranzler describes it in detail here.

If memory serves, Matt Taibbi explained a few years ago how Goldman Sachs got position limits removed from speculators, so that now speculators can dominate market forces.

Neoliberal economists in service to the financial sector have created a rationale for why interest rates can be negative in the face of massive debt and money creation and a slew of troubled financial instruments from corporate junk bonds to sovereign debt.  The rational is that there is too much saving:  The excess of savings over investment forces down interest rates.  The negative interest rates will discourage people from saving and encourage them to spend, because the price of consumption in terms of foregone future income from saving is zero.  It even pays to consume, because saving costs more than it earns.

Economists argue this even though the Federal Reserve reported that a majority of Americans are so low on savings that they cannot raise $400 without selling personal possessions.

That economists would concoct such an absurd explanation for negative interest rates, an explanation obviously contradicted by empirical evidence, shows that economists are now prostitutes just like the media.  The economists are lying in support of a Federal Reserve policy that benefits a handful of mega-banks at the expense of the rest of the world.

The absence of integrity in Western institutions and politicized professions is proof that Western civilization has declined into total decadence just as Jacques Barzun said.

It is amazing that there still are some Russians and some Chinese who want to be part of the sordid decadence that is the Western world.

It is just as amazing that Americans and Europeans are so trapped in The Matrix that they have no inkling that their future has been destroyed.

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is How America Was Lost.

More articles by:

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
April 07, 2020
Joel McCleary – Mark Medish
Paradigm Shift by Pandemic
Matt Smith
Amazon Retaliation: Workers Striking Back
Kenneth Surin
What The President Said (About The Plague)
Patrick Cockburn
The Chaotic Government Response to COVID-19 Resembles the Failures of 1914
Marshall Auerback
The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Opened the Curtains on the World’s Next Economic Model
Vijay Prashad, Paola Estrada, Ana Maldonado, and Zoe PC
Trump Sends Gun Boats to Venezuela While the World Partners to Fight a Deadly Pandemic
Jeremy Lent
Coronavirus Spells the End of the Neoliberal Era. What’s Next?
Dean Baker
The Big Hit: Covid-19 and the Economy
Nino Pagliccia
A Simple Democratic Transition Framework for Venezuela: End All “Sanctions”
Colin Todhunter
Locked Down and Locking in the New Global Order
Robert Fisk
Biden Says He ‘Doesn’t Have Enough Information’ on Iran to Have a Vew. How Odd, He Negotiated the Nuclear Deal
Wim Laven
GOP’s Achievement is Now on Display
Binoy Kampmark
Boastful Pay Cuts: the Coronavirus Incentive
Dave Lindorff
It’s Spring and I’ve Turned 71 in a Pandemic-Induced Recession
Steve Brown
FLASH! Trump Just Endorsed Bernie’s Medicare-For-All Health Plan
Marc Haggerty
Class and COVID-19: Those Who Can and Those Who Can’t
Manuel García, Jr.
A Reply to Jeffrey St. Clair’s “Strange Things Happening Every Day”
George Wuerthner
How Fuel Breaks Fuel Fires
Marshall Sahlins
Election 2020
April 06, 2020
Richard D. Wolff
COVID-19 and the Failures of Capitalism
W. T. Whitney
Donald Trump, Capitalism, and Letting Them Die
Cesar Chelala
Cuba’s Promising Approach to Cancer
David A. Schultz
Camus and Kübler-Ross in a Time of COVID-19 and Trump
Nomi Prins 
Wall Street Wins, Again: Bailouts in the Time of Coronavirus
Dean Baker
Getting to Medicare-for-All, Eventually
Dave Lindorff
Neither Pandemic Nor Economic Collapse is Going to Be a Short-Lived Crisis
Sonali Kolhatkar
Capitalism in America Has Dropped the Mask: Its Face is Cruel and Selfish
Ralph Nader
Trump’s 7 Pro-Contagion Reversals Increase the Coronavirus Toll
David Swanson
A Department of Actual Defense in a Time of Coronavirus
Ellen Brown
Was the Fed Just Nationalized?
Jeff Birkenstein
Postcards From Trump
Nick Licata
Authoritarian Leaders Rejected the Danger of a COVID-19 Pandemic Because It Challenged Their Image
Kathy Kelly
“He’s Got Eight Numbers, Just Like Everybody Else”
Graham Peebles
Change Love and the Need for Unity
Kim C. Domenico
Can We Transform Fear to Strength In A Time of Pandemic?
Mike Garrity
Alliance for the Wild Rockies Files Lawsuit to Stop Logging and Burning Project in Rocky Mountain Front Inventoried Roadless Area
Stephen Cooper
“The Soul Syndicate members dem, dem are all icons”: an Interview with Tony Chin
Weekend Edition
April 03, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Omar Shaban
Gaza’s New Conflict: COVID-19
Rob Urie
Work, Crisis and Pandemic
John Whitlow
Slumlord Capitalism v. Global Pandemic
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Strange Things Happening Every Day
Jonathan Cook
The Bigger Picture is Hiding Behind a Virus
Paul Street
Silver Linings Amidst the Capitalist Coronavirus Crisis
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Control of Nature
Louis Proyect
COVID-19 and the “Just-in-Time” Supply Chain: Why Hospitals Ran Out of Ventilators and Grocery Stores Ran Out of Toilet Paper
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail