Monday, July 19, 2010

10 Ways You're Being Fleeced by Banks

Activist Post

Taxpayers are rightfully angrier than ever before about the state of the U.S. economy and the government's handling of the financial crisis; perhaps even more so than the Colonists at the original Tea Party.  After all, it appears that the only group benefiting during this painful slide into recession are the very people who caused the crisis -- The Banks.

On the verge of bankruptcy in 2008, the banks are now once again making record profits and paying record bonuses, while nearly every other industry struggles to keep their head above water.  The banks seem to have designed the system where all businesses and individuals are dependent on them for credit, and without new lending industry grinds to a halt. Given that banks can make risk-free profits by front running the stock market and selling $600 trillion of worthless derivatives for monster gains, there seems to be little motivation for them to lend money at today's record-low interest rates.

Average Americans continue to be looted by this bank-controlled economic system through taxation and other more subtle ways:

1. Bailouts/TARP -- The major banks warned in 2008 that their massively over-leveraged Ponzi scheme was about to take down the world financial system, and demanded a taxpayer bailout or else the sky would fall.  Well, they got their bailout which may be upwards of $23 trillion between direct cash infusions and accounting write-downs, which amounts to around $76,667 for every citizen.  The Federal Reserve also secretly bailed out foreign economies to at least the tune of $500 billion. 

2. Predatory Lending -- The banks have long practiced predatory lending to Third World countries, private businesses, and individuals.  This strategic over-lending creates a situation where banks anticipate and manufacture default to obtain real assets. Since banks lend money they don't have by making accounting adjustments, private bankers and their cohorts could conceivably, over time, own everything "real" in the world from money they created out of thin air. 

3. Credit Cards -- From marketing to teenagers with "Happy Meal-style" gifts and toys at sign-up, to Mafia-style loansharking with usury interest rates, banks use credit cards to further enslave the public. According to the credit card repayment calculator, if you owe $6,000 on a credit card with a 20 percent interest rate and only pay the minimum payment each time, it will take you 54 years to pay off that credit card.  During those 54 years you will pay $26,168 in interest rate charges in addition to the $6,000 in principal that you are required to pay back. (Source)

4. Stock Market -- The Goldman Sachs-dominated scheme called "front running" is where brokers use computer programs with intricate algorithms to buy or sell nanoseconds before large orders from the public. Originally designed to prevent this activity, these programs have been hijacked to "Beat the Street."  It's the ultimate in insider trading, likened to a poker player being able to see his opponent's cards.  Is it any wonder why four of the largest U.S. banks (Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup) had zero days of trading losses during the first quarter of 2010?

5. Pensions/401(k) -- Although severely weakened by stock market manipulation and other fraudulent behavior, Pensions and 401(k) retirement savings plans still represent a large portion of the people's remaining liquid wealth -- and the banks want it.  Nearly $4 trillion worth of retirement savings was wiped out in the first weeks of 2008, where half of the losses were traditional pension plans, while another 46 million people were riding the stock market with 401(k).  It was estimated in 2009 that two-thirds of public sector pension plans were underfunded to the tune of $430 billion.  Long term, these public pensions are reportedly underfunded by $3.5 trillion due to banks using the contributions to prop up toxic junk.

6. Social Security -- Social Security represents a $40 trillion unfunded liability.  It is estimated that taxes must be raised substantially and benefits must be slashed to cover this gap.  Through no fault of Social Security contributors and recipients, the government has completely mismanaged the program while other debts eat up any chance of actually making good on the entitlements promised to the working public. According to their "austerity" playbook, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommends that the U.S. squeeze Social Security to cover their ever-growing debts to banks.

7. Inflation -- The Federal Reserve's shadowy printing presses have created an estimated $23.7 trillion in credits, grants, loans and guarantees, and that is just the paper backed by taxpayers. The fractional reserve banking system is one where banks can create loans (money) based on a fraction of their reserves, which inherently weakens the strength of the dollar.  Inflation ends up being a hidden tax on those who worked hard, played by the rules, and saved their pennies. You have been paying for this hidden tax ever since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, coincidentally the same year the income tax was passed.  To make matters worse, many experts now predict that America is headed toward hyperinflation.  For an in-depth education on how money creation creates a tax on every dollar printed please watch The Money Masters and Money as Debt.

8. Commodity Prices -- Banks use the commodity casino to manipulate food prices as another way to line their pockets and starve the public. There is a direct correlation between food costs and oil prices, so when they drive up oil on speculation, food tends to follow suit. During oil's record run up to $147 per barrel in 2008, the price of rice tripled in six months.  Between the ominous signs of food shortages and predictions of $200/bbl oil in the near future, you can expect to pay much more of your hard-earned crippled dollars to eat. Obviously, inflation -- especially hyperinflation -- also causes commodity prices to spike, since they trade in U.S. dollars.

9. Debt and Deficits -- Banks make it easy for politicians to love credit as much as everyone else, only their shiny new toys are things like pork projects for their states, wars, and mandated private healthcare.  You can almost see the commercial:  "You can have all this today, get re-elected tomorrow, and in a decade your successor can figure out how to pay for it."  Recent reports show continued record deficits, while total debt and unfunded liabilities are figured to be $138 trillion -- around ten times annual GDP.  Furthermore, the U.S. national debt has already surpassed the IMF default threshold of 90% GDP which will trigger austerity measures on the American public.

10. Wars -- When the original reasons for wars don't pan out, and the secondary reasons don't add up, you can bet the real reason in the first place was money.  Indeed, wars are the biggest moneymakers for the banks and the fastest way for them to imprison countries with debt. Wars have historically been manipulated by the banks funding both sides, much like they fund both political parties. In fact, some historians suggest that the American Civil War was actually a battle between Lincoln's Greenback vs. the "oligarchy of high finance."  Ultimately, Lincoln was killed along with his Greenback and the private banking cartel ruled America once more.

All of this is leading to a loss of financial independence -- The masters of manipulation -- the money changers -- have rigged the system from every angle and continue to loot all of us.  We would be wise to learn about the history of money and banking in our economy, which is a compendium of booms and busts orchestrated by private banks. Wars, fiat currencies that lead to inflation, and obscure financial instruments are their tools of the trade to consolidate wealth at the top, while the foundation of the pyramid scheme -- the hardworking taxpayers -- are fleeced again and again.

This article may be re-posted in full with attribution.


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sue said...

It's time to round them up again and throw them into camps where they belong. Benjamin Franklin predicted this you know - a leopard can't change his spots!

Activist said...

Thanks for your comments, Sue. And let's not forget what Jefferson said:
"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered . . . I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies . . . The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs." - Thomas Jefferson

Ryan said...

There has been a concentrated effort for many years to make the United States of, for, and by the Corporation and it seems as though We The People have lost.

We are not taught Economic thought or theory for a reason. We are not taught about our Federal Reserve, which is a PRIVATE bank and is as Federal as Federal Express. We are not taught that every dollar in circulation is OWED BACK WITH INTEREST AND IS IMPOSSIBLE TO EVER PAYBACK. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 is the greatest, longest running PONZI SCHEME in the world and Congress just granted them MORE authority and oversight of our economy.

The Mainstream Media are complicit in the cover up of the Ponzi Scheme by lying to the American public with a straight face telling them to “Get on out there and spend, spend, spend… everything is OK! No double dip recession here? Nope! No 3rd Depression? Uh uh, no way! Spend everything you have to stimulate the economy… no need to save.”

At some point, the American people MUST wake up to the fact that both their personal and the countries wealth are being looted by design.

Ryan Henke

Activist said...

You are spot on. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

MikeJ said...

"Lincoln's Greenback vs. the "oligarchy of high finance." Really?
“Ultimately, Lincoln was killed along with his Greenback and the private banking cartel ruled America once more"

The Whig platform was one of subsidies to corporations via increased tariffs. The Civil War was a war over taxation and federal control. To think that Lincoln was fighting against the banks in general is a joke. Lincoln wanted a bankers bank so he could more easily fund his projects (pork and industrial favors) and push inflation (via cheap credit). It was the whig party platform to restore The Bank of The United States. And of course this was resisted by state-chartered banks, they would be taxed and be at the behest of a tyrannical federal gov't, and subsequently become relics. Lincoln’s actions (being very Hamiltonian) set up central banking again, which we know private banks want because it protects them in fractional reserve banking. Now go reread points 7 & 9!

I recommend Thomas DiLorenzo's book "The Real Lincoln"

skidllegrump said...

You can boil it down to just one reason: Government.

Activist said...

Mike J. Thanks for the book recommendation. History obviously is told from many sides. The article clearly says "some historians". Please watch The Money Masters to see the history of banks' involvement in all wars...

Sojourner said...

Right from the so called "third world", I just wanted to say thanks for your blog.

Keep going. :)

Activist said...

Much appreciated Sojourner, thanks for visiting!

Anonymous said...

This writing is pure genius. We need to send this all over the globe and to Business Insider, and mainstream news,etc etc.

Anonymous said...

2000 yrs ago Jesus drove the moneychangers out of the temple, seems we need to do the same thing and get Federal reserve out of our lives for good! We must get them out of our pockets and out of control of our money.
The best way would be to form a national bank and give the Feds the boot. Write off any debt owed to them because they have been lying, cheating and stealing with impunity, formulated and carried out the meltdown of 2008 and have committed every imaginable financial crime possible in the last 10 yrs. It's obvious that no one is bold enough to put these banksters in prison so let's just put them out of business. Why should we pay them with our life's savings, rewarding them for committing crimes against humanity and evading any legal consequences for any illegal actions they have taken.
I say start over fresh, with a clean slate and tell the banks to kiss off.
Brazil did and look at how they have prospered since they cut the bankers loose.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting and educational article for me, as I am lacking any knowledge as to how and why Banks and their executives get so rich while most people are getting poorer and poorer.
I think that the countries of the west - the USA, the UK, many members of the EU, and others - are only going to break this stranglehold that banks have on their countries and on their people through revolution - like the current revolutions that are simmering in Egypt and Yemin. It will come, I believe - the gangsters and gamblers running the Banks and governments will eventually end up in jail and have to answer their citizens for their horrid crimes.

Anonymous said...

Lincoln said that if he could only destroy the south without freeing a single slave, he would have done so. But the chaos made by the slavery dissmisal was what he planned. Just compare that scenario to end of slavery in other countries and Lincoln's nobility is done.
From that and other insane asumptions the whole story about civil war is just a banking propaganda. Lincoln was a Stalin like dictator heavily bound by in those days still acknowledged constitution.

Bill Smith said...

# 11 Allowing fraudulent withdrawals for a year after I notified them and instructed them to close the account to prevent this from happening. Are there any banking lawyers who are reading this that would like to initiate a class action lawsuit??? I have all the needed evidence.

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