#GREECE: ‘ Leftist government members planned to hack taxpayers accounts to prepare for return to Drachma – Reports ‘

#AceFinanceNews#GREECE:July.27: With creditors arriving today it was reported by EuroActiv that some members of Greece’s leftist government wanted to raid central bank reserves and hack taxpayer accounts to prepare a return to the drachma, according to reports on Sunday (26 July) that highlighted the chaos in the ruling Syriza party.

It is not clear how seriously the plans, attributed to former Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis and former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, were considered by the government and both ministers were sacked earlier this month. However the reports have been seized on by opposition parties who have demanded an explanation.

The reports came at the end of a week of fevered speculation over what Syriza hardliners had in mind as an alternative to the tough bailout terms that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reluctantly accepted to keep Greece in the euro.

Around a quarter of the party’s 149 lawmakers rebelled over the plan to pass sweeping austerity measures in exchange for up to €86 billion in fresh loans and Tsipras has struggled to hold the divided party together

In an interview with Sunday’s edition of the RealNews daily, Panagiotis Lafazanis, the hardline former energy minister who lost his job after rebelling over the bailout plans, said he had urged the government to tap the reserves of the Bank of Greece in defiance of the European Central Bank.

Lafazanis, leader of a hardline faction in the ruling Syriza party that has argued for a return to the drachma, said the move would have allowed pensions and public sector wages to be paid if Greece were forced out of the euro.

“The main reason for that was for the Greek economy and Greek people to survive, which is the utmost duty every government has under the constitution,” he said.

However he denied a report in the Financial Times that he wanted Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stouranaras to be arrested if he had opposed a move to empty the central bank vaults. In comments to the semi-official Athens News Agency, he called the report a mixture of “lies, fantasy, fear-mongering, speculation and old-fashioned anti-communism”.

In a separate report in the conservative Kathimerini daily, Varoufakis was quoted as saying that a small team in Syriza had prepared plans to secretly copy online tax codes. It said the “Plan B” was devised to allow the government to introduce a parallel payment system if the banking system was closed down.

In remarks the newspaper said were made to an investors’ conference on 16 July, Varoufakis said passwords used by Greeks to access their online tax accounts were to have been copied secretly and used to issue new PIN numbers for every taxpayer to be used in transactions with the state.

“This would have created a parallel banking system, which would have given us some breathing space, while the banks would have been shut due to the ECB’s aggressive policy,” Varoufakis was quoted as saying.

Varoufakis, an outspoken academic economist who became deeply unpopular with other European finance ministers during his five months in office, stood down earlier this month to facilitate bailout talks. He has been a strident opponent of the deal ever since.

Under the plan, which the report said went back to before Tsipras was elected in January, transactions through the parallel system would have been nominated in euros but could easily change into drachmas overnight, he was quoted as saying.

Varoufakis denied the report. “So, I was going to ‘hijack’ Greek citizens’ tax file numbers? Impressed by my defamers’ imagination,” he wrote on Twitter.


Ace Worldwide News

#bank-of-greece, #government, #leftist-government, #minister-panagiotis-lafazanis, #minister-yanis-varoufakis, #panagiotis-lafazanis

` Russia Allocates Seventy Billion Roubles for Crimean Development ‘

#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW – May 24 – Russia has allocated about 70 billion roubles, or abour $2 billion, for the development of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol since the two new regions joined the country, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told the Vesti v Subbotu TV programme.

This was the reserve financing that by no means harmed budget financing of other Russian regions, he added.



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#afn2014, #crimea, #dmitry-medvedev, #government, #prime-minister-of-russia, #russia, #sevastopol, #subdivisions-of-russia, #ukraine

` Question When will ` George Osborne ' Tackle Tax Avoidance and Not just Tax Evasion '

#AceFinanceNews – LONDON – HMRC – April 12 – According to the article in the BBC News today George Osborne is intending to clamp down on tax dodgers or people with overseas bank accounts.

My first question does this include the tax authorities and MP’s that have companies, shareholdings or private trusts in offshore domains?

Or just as he put it only people who hide their money overseas to avoid paying tax.

His plan is that they will face bigger fines and could be jailed more easily under government plans to fight tax evasion, but no mention of tax avoidance (A legitimate way for those who are rich enough to AVOID) taxation. All in the name of business be it investment, reinvestment or company and corporate liability strategy.

He went onto say he intends to prosecute but at present, tax officials must prove a person holding income offshore has intended to evade tax.

Once again avoiding tax is not mentioned.

He continues – But under a new criminal standard officials would only have to show money was taxable and undeclared.
An onerous statement to say the least.
As no one would have to prove they owe it as according to HMRC Officials, they say under their new rules you do!
I imagine human rights organisations will have something to say about that change.

He then says – The changes would mean there was “no safe haven” for those evading tax.

No mention of not avoiding, once again.

But Labour’s shadow exchequer secretary to the Treasury said the government was “failing to tackle tax avoidance and evasion”.

A consultation will be held to let the public have their say on the plans.

Should you care to read his article it is at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26998208


#avoidance, #evasion, #george-osborne, #government, #hm-treasury, #hmrc, #labour, #london, #tax-avoidance-and-tax-evasion

UK Smart Technology – is not as – Smart as you may think – But look for the hidden cost’s

Deutsch: Logo

Deutsch: Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This UK Government announcement l received recently, looks to outline the benefits of what they are presently providing , first to our elderly in the form of a £135.00 Warm Home Discount off their Electricity Bills “ It does not of course mention their  ” Gas Bills  or any form of discount! This of course is the major source of heating homes for most old aged pensioners, and of course received the largest hike in prices, over electric! Though this government has to keep its energy suppliers happy, or lose votes!  

Then it goes on to talk about so-called ” Smart Metering” which according to my insider source, who attended the recent meetings on fitting these infernal contraptions, his words not mine! ” They are cheaply made and it is the consumers that are going to pay to buy them, by adding the cost to their bills” ! Also companies contracted by the Government such as British Gas {already the most expensive gas supplier even though they use Centrica, which of course they are a subsidiary}! These companies will be able to contract other companies to make the meters and then supply them ,adding even more inflated costs to the consumers burgeoning bills!

Just look at this extract about the structure of British Gas and their connection to Centrica , kind of speaks for self!

British Gas

British Gas (old) logo, drawn using XaraX, aut...

British Gas (old) logo, drawn using XaraX, author; Emoscopes 11:51, 7 November 2005 (UTC) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

British Gas is the UK’s biggest domestic energy supplier. It also operates the Sainsbury’s Energy brand.

However, British Gas is actually a subsidiary of Centrica, which was formed following a demerger from British Gas plc back in 1997.

Centrica is UK-owned and based.

So Who Gets To Fit ,Service and most of all Build these Smart Meters?

Well using the employment card they will have a structure as follows:

For example, Arqiva have announced 150 jobs protected and 160 jobs created as a result of contracts with the DCC. British Gas recently announced that they had signed a contract with Landis & Gyr that would result in Landis & Gyr doubling their 600-strong UK smart meter manufacturing workforce. British Gas also announced that they would be recruiting an extra 500 smart energy experts.

This  sounds great for those in that industry but behind that great announcement comes the costs ,hidden behind words like “Data Services Provider” and a “Communication Services Provider”and do not forget the sweetener for British Gas recruitment of 500 smart energy experts, all paid for by the consumer on their bills, under other onerous wording of costs!

So what of the fitting of ” Smart Meters” who will eventually get that contract? In my discussion with a G4’s employee she told me, we have been contracted by British Gas ,to read meters for many years, and you will have no choice in the end, as everyone will have to have one fitted whether they like it or not!

Smart Metering

G4S Utility Services is the UK’s largest multi-utility metering services company

G4S Utility Services already provides services for data collection, data aggregation and meter operations. Now it is on track to become a national meter worker organisation and has recently developed full systems to remotely retrieve readings from Smart Meters


G4S Utility Services is the largest national pedestrian meter reading company and has operated for the past 13 years.  Recent technological developments in metering, and a government mandate that every household in the country will have a ‘smart’ meter by the year 2020, means that the pedestrian meter reading business will begin to decline significantly within the next few years.

What is a ‘Smart Meter’?:

Smart Meter is a commonly used term for a utility meter with embedded computing and networking capabilities which allows the meter to communicate with a number of remote devices.  The main principle is that they do not need reading by a person every month or quarter.  Instead data on consumption is sent via a mobile network connection to the smart metering solution provider.  This allows billing to be based on actual readings every time and not estimates.


Project Momentum:

We are currently negotiating long-term contracts with our customers to continue physically reading meters until smart meters are fitted.  We are also embracing the new technology to provide customers and consumers with a service that delivers a high level of quality and accuracy that was never possible before.

In 2007 we instigated Project Momentum which will deliver a number of key services by June 2009.  These include :

  • Systems which will send and receive commands to smart meters to retrieve readings remotely, and re-configure tariff changes.
  • Meter operation systems which will process data flows from all accredited market participants, ie meter technical details.
  • Trained and accredited meter workers who can exchange “dumb” meters for “smart” meters

Case Study:

In 2008 we did a trial with British Gas Business (BGB) to deliver an Automated Meter Management (AMM) solution to British Gas Business’s SME customers.  This included :

  • providing the meter
  • installing the meter
  • maintaining the meter throughout its full life cycle
  • remote retrieval of the meter data
  • processing the data ready for billing

BGB stated that the Consumer experience was vital to the success of the trial.  Utility Services relied on its technology and extensive field management experience to achieve high levels of access – this was despite the difficulties of disconnecting the electricity supplies from businesses whilst the smart meters were being installed.


Since fitting the meters we have retrieved readings from them all every month (although we are capable of retrieving readings every half hour if needed).

Delivering the data to a high level of accuracy whilst maintaining a positive experience for the Consumer are the two key elements why BGB declared this project a complete success.

What Next?:

We are talking to various Customers and Consumers to install smart meters during 2010.



So what of costs – this may help to focus people more clearly: This is from the Washington Post – as the USA has them already. 

WSJ – http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124050416142448555.html

Smart Meter

Smart Meter (Photo credit: Tom Raftery)

Such knowledge, however, doesn’t come cheap. Meters are expensive, often costing $250 to $500 each when all the bells and whistles are included, such as the cost of installing new utility billing systems. And utilities typically pass these costs directly on to consumers. CenterPoint Energy Inc. in Houston, for instance, recently began charging its customers an extra $3.24 a month for smart meters, sparking howls of protest since the charges will continue for a decade and eventually approach $1 billion.

So personally l will refuse their kind offer a ” Smart Meter” even though l cannot refuse paying towards the cost of supplying them or even fitting them, just loved their title for the speech though – Smart Metering: maximizing the technology just love the way they make out they are doing us all a great big favour! 

Well as l always say at this point judge for yourself!

May Day - Smart Meter Ripoff

May Day – Smart Meter Ripoff (Photo credit: jfantenb)

Government UK – Speech – Compare and Contrast:

Speech by Baroness Verma to the Smart Metering: maximising the technology, Intellect lunch.


I would like to start by thanking Intellect UK for organising this event and bringing us all together to discuss this important agenda.

This autumn we have seen energy bills climb up the political agenda.

The main drivers of rising energy prices in recent years have been the increasing wholesale energy costs and the need of course to upgrade our network infrastructure.

Average household dual fuel bills are estimated to have increased by around 13% in real terms between 2010 and 2012, rises that have risen increasingly since the last decade.

But the best way to keep everyone’s bills down is to help people to save energy, ensure fair tariffs and have active competition among the suppliers.

And that is what the Government is doing.

In the short-term, we have already put in place policies to help consumers, particularly the most vulnerable, in managing their energy bills this winter and beyond.

For example, 230,000 homes will be warmer this year by getting energy efficiency measures installed under the element of the Energy Company Obligation designed to support vulnerable households and households in deprived areas.

2 million households will get help under the Warm Home Discount, included among this group are well over a million of the poorest pensioners who will receive £135 off their electricity bill.

We are reforming the retail energy market, making it simpler, clearer and fairer. We are limiting the number of tariffs available so that consumers aren’t faced with a myriad of confusing tariffs, and can make switching easier.

In terms of competition, we are working to make it easier for new companies to enter the market, including extending the exemptions from participation in environmental and social schemes.

And of course we are all working hard to see a successful rollout of smart meters to all homes and small businesses by 2020.

Smart meters are a key part of the energy efficiency agenda. Key to putting control in the hands of the consumers, putting an end to passive observation, and instead, active engagement. In home displays will give near real-time information in pounds and pence.

This will help enable consumers to better manage energy consumption, save money and secure sustainable energy supply.

In bringing an end to estimated billing, consumers with smart meters will receive correct bills, one of the biggest causes for complaints energy suppliers are inaccurate bills.

A centralised programme of consumer engagement activities will build confidence and understanding of how to use smart meters to manage energy consumption and costs.

Consumers will be better informed and able to switch suppliers to see reductions on their bills. Switching will be faster and easier as a result of smart meters.

Smart metering will also make the experience of being an energy consumer and interacting with energy suppliers more accessible, increased engagement will drive a more vibrant and competitive market, consumers will have more control.

Smart metering will also open up opportunities for innovation in new products and services.

We are starting to see innovation in the development of smart appliances, they turn on when energy is cheapest. We look forward to even greater development in the sector.

We are committed to putting consumers at the heart of the Programme.

We have achieved a lot in the past year, working closely with all stakeholders, I feel very proud of the achievements during my first ministerial year at DECC. In December last year there were 260 smart meters installed in domestic properties, now there are over 100,000.

We are making good progress to enable every customer and small business to be offered a smart meter before the end of 2020.

Over the past year we have hit a number of important milestones.

  • We have published the Consumer Engagement Strategy, which sets out the steps to take to ensure we get consumer engagement right to help ensure an efficient roll out and to ensure consumers reap the full benefits from their smart meter;
  • Published the second set of key decisions on the Smart Metering Technical Specifications Version two; and
  • Most recently announced the conclusion of a successful procurement on behalf of industry to establish the Data and Communications Company, Data Services Provider and Communications Service Providers. The DCC will enable communications between smart meters and; energy suppliers, network operators and other authorised service users.

And industry has also taken a number of steps which will be integral to a successful roll out. They have:

  • Established the Central Delivery Body, which will be responsible for engaging consumers with smart meters;
  • Agreed the Smart Meters Installation Code of Practice which sets out standards for the installation visit and ensures consumers’ interests are protected;
  • Made significant investment in preparation for mass roll-out. This investment is leading to the creation of jobs and training opportunities; and
  • In many cases, already started installing smart meters

These are important achievements.

I would like to express my thanks for the efforts and commitment of industry, which has been so significant in the work completed thus far. I look forward to us continuing to work together to ensure a successful roll-out.

We recognise that consumers will only fully realise the benefits of smart meters if they are effectively engaged. Individual suppliers have a key role to play here from the start.

We must build the confidence and trust of all consumers. It is important to reach out to vulnerable or hard to reach groups.

We know from research that third parties, such as:

  • voluntary organisations
  • local authorities,
  • housing associations,
  • as well as friends and family – can provide an effective and credible sources of information.

That is in addition to information given by suppliers or central Government.

The central delivery body will organise a centralised programme of consumer engagement activity which will support what the engagement suppliers will be doing themselves.

More specifically the Central Delivery Body has key objectives to:

  • build consumer confidence in the installation of smart meters; and
  • to build consumer willingness, awareness and understanding of how to use smart meters to manage energy consumption

In December, The Central Delivery Body will publish its Consumer Engagement Plan. This will be a key milestone in the delivery of smart meters, and will set out a range of activities which will be undertaken in 2014 to further engage consumers.

Customer protection and a good experience for consumers at installation visits are crucial.

As you are all aware, we will see 30 million homes and small businesses receive new smart meters by 2020. An important part of consumers’ experience of smart metering will be the installation visit.

In June, the Smart Metering Installation Code of Practice came into force. This ensures that consumers:

  • experience a good service;
  • are given the information they need to understand how to use their new meter and in-home display; and
  • understand how this can help them to use their energy more efficiently.

Importantly, vulnerable customers are supported by the Code of Practice and suppliers recognise that they need to identify them and respond to their specific needs.

Privacy, security, and data access are high in the minds of some domestic and small business users, and it was crucial that we took steps to protect the privacy of individuals and made sure that they have control over the data recorded by their smart meter. We have legislated for this important area through the data access and privacy framework.

Consumers will have a choice over who has access to their smart meter data, except where the data is needed to fulfil regulated duties.

Consumers should have a choice about how their data is used, and by whom:

  • Suppliers will be required to explain clearly to their customers which data is being used, for which purposes, and what choices the consumer has about this. Suppliers will have to get explicit customer consent to access half-hourly data, or to use data for marketing purposes.
  • Network operators will be allowed to access half-hourly data for regulated purposes provided they aggregate (or otherwise treat) the data so that individuals cannot be identified from it.
  • Third parties (such as energy services companies and switching sites) will be required in the Smart Energy Code to obtain consumer consent before requesting data via the DCC, verify the identity of the consumer, and provide reminders to consumers about data that is being collected.

Security has been at the heart of our design work throughout the programme. This design work is based on rigorous risk assessment and close consultation with experts in industry and the relevant Government agencies.

Economic benefits

Over the next 20 years, the rollout of smart meters is expected to deliver sizable economic benefits

Some of these benefits are already beginning to be realised. And smart metering is already driving investment and creating jobs and will increasingly do so up and down the country.

For example, Arqiva have announced 150 jobs protected and 160 jobs created as a result of contracts with the DCC. British Gas recently announced that they had signed a contract with Landis & Gyr that would result in Landis & Gyr doubling their 600-strong UK smart meter manufacturing workforce. British Gas also announced that they would be recruiting an extra 500 smart energy experts.

As the roll-out progresses we expect more jobs to be created, many of these will be UK-based:

  • The latest industry estimate is that between 6,000 and 7,000 meter installers may be required
  • Providing the communications infrastructure for smart metering is also expected to provide new jobs
  • The roll-out of smart meters will enable the expansion of the energy services market with companies developing innovative services and providing high value jobs.

Forward look

The successful award of the Data and Communications Company Licence and the Communication Service Provider and Data Service Provider contracts was a major milestone. Now we are firmly moving in to the implementation phase – a crucial stage in the delivery of the smart metering programme.

The implementation phase will see responsibility for delivery lie with many parties, including many different industry partners who will be vital in ensuring we are ready to start mass roll out in Autumn 2015. Meter manufacturers will be developing meters to test and suppliers will be developing their internal systems. This will enable them to integrate with the Data and Communications Company.

The Data and Communications Company will now move to the design, build and test phases of their programmes. All of this activity is integral for ensuring that the roll out gets off to the best possible start and the full benefits of the Programme are delivered.


The success of this work, and the programme itself, hinges on those outside Government; the suppliers, service providers and consumer groups that advise and work on behalf consumers – those of you who are actually delivering the rollout.

The Government will of course continue to have a key role to play in monitoring and evaluating the roll-out of smart meters to ensure that the benefits are delivered and in supporting industry to deliver this programme together.

The programme is progressing forward at a good pace. In working closely together, Government, industry, consumer groups and other stakeholders have ensured that we are able to deliver an ambitious programme that will realise huge benefits to consumers, and also ensure future platforms for smarter services. I very much look forward to working with you and building on what has already been achieved.





#acefinancenews, #acesocialnews, #british-gas, #centrica, #december, #energy, #government, #houston, #smart-meter, #wcf-data-services

Sell-Out of Tax Payers – As Sell-Off of Lloyds Bank – To Large Investors – Takes Place

English: Study on alternative investments by i...

English: Study on alternative investments by institutional investors. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Government sells 6 per cent of shares in Lloyds Banking Group, at 75p per share.

The government has today begun the process of selling part of its shares in Lloyd’s Banking Group. It has sold 6 per cent of the shares in the bank, at a price of 75p per share. A profit has been made from the sale, which will be used to pay down the national debt.

The Chancellor received advice from UK Financial Investments yesterday that it would be appropriate to begin the process to sell part of the government’s shareholding in Lloyd’s. The Chancellor agreed with that advice and authorised the process to begin.

Today marks an important step in the government’s plan for the recovery of Britain’s banking system.

The Chancellor, George Osborne, said:

I can confirm this morning that we have sold 6% of Lloyd’s Bank at 75p a share. That is a profit for taxpayers, and rightly so. The money will be used to reduce the national debt by over half a billion pounds.

This is another step in the long journey in putting right what went so badly wrong in the British economy; it’s another step in repairing the banks; it’s another step in getting the money back for the taxpayer; and it’s another step in reducing our national debt.

All of those things together are good news.

If you look at what has happened over the last 12 hours with Lloyd’s, you have investors from around the world investing in a British bank. That is a sign the British economy is turning a corner.

On the face of it this looks good for the tax payer  and couched in the correct way such as the return and the overall benefits, we could start to believe this government really cares about the use of tax payers money! The fact is look much deeper at the way it has been worded by our Chancellor and look at who will benefit and a very different story emerges! The actual shares are to be sold off or should l say offered to:

 Institutional investors are organizations which pool large sums of money and invest those sums in securitiesreal property and other investment assets. They can also include operating companies which decide to invest their profits to some degree in these types of assets.

Typical investors include banks, insurance companies, retirement or pension fundshedge fundsinvestment advisors and mutual funds. Their role in the economy is to act as highly specialized investors on behalf of others. For instance, an ordinary person will have a pension from his employer. The employer gives that person’s pension contributions to a fund. The fund will buy shares in a company, or some other financial product. Funds are useful because they will hold a broad portfolio of investments in many companies. This spreads risk, so if one company fails, it will be only a small part of the whole fund’s investment.

Institutional investors will have a lot of influence in the management of corporations because they will be entitled to exercise the voting rights in a company. They can actively engage in corporate governance. Furthermore, because institutional investors have the freedom to buy and sell shares, they can play a large part in which companies stay solvent, and which go under. Influencing the conduct of listed companies, and providing them with capital are all part of the job of investment management.

This will of course look to bolster the economy for the institutions and at the same time make the pension funds look more healthy for the beleaguered OAPS investments, which of course were decimated back in 2008, at the time of the financial crisis, brought on mainly by the banks and their risky lending policy, something that our previous Bank of England Manager would not sanction, but enter Osborne’s new replacement and all of a sudden, risky lending is back on the cards! Anyone uncertain of Mr Carney’s track record for taking risks read his policy in the Canadian Banking Industry and see what l mean!

So now we have what l can only term as a sell-out of the tax payer, having bolstered up the banks with the hard-earned tax payers funds, using infrastructure funds ,that should light our streets or renew our roads, and now the 4 year plan is completed! Oh yes also a split between the savings and retail arms of what was Lloyd’s TSB Bank Plc and now we have to distinct banks Lloyd’s Bank PLC and TSB Bank PLC, has also taken place, allowing any toxic assets to disappear, into the restructuring process!







UK Financial Investments:

Take a look at their site and view their pdf containing details of the sell-off you even have to agree not to use the information in the US, but visit here is a link to their site: http://www.ukfi.co.uk/

#acenewsservices, #sellout, #business, #economy, #economy-of-the-united-kingdom, #george-osborne, #government, #lloyds, #lloyds-bank, #lloyds-banking-group, #mutual-fund, #politics, #the-survivors-of-the-chancellor, #uk-financial-investments-limited

Statement on the filing of the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom Senate Bill No. 53 |

This extract with regard to cyber-security was important to post ,as it was written on the site:

We of Democracy.Net.PH believe that this overwhelmingly positive response to the filing of the #MCPIF is undeniable proof that there is a clamour among Filipinos for progressive legislation on Philippine cyberspace and the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. We strongly urge our legislators from both houses of the 16th Congress to heed this call and enact a law that will safeguard our civil and political rights online and harness the power of ICT for governance, development, and security.

We further see this response as a clear signal to the Supreme Court that the people view the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (RA 10175) as a knee-jerk, discredited piece of legislation that must be struck down. We trust that the Supreme Court will have the wisdom to give our legislators a chance to enact a well-crafted law that promotes rights, governance, development, and security, both online and offline.

Statement on the filing of the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom Senate Bill No. 53 |.

#cybercrime-prevention-act-of-2012, #filipino-people, #government, #holy-grail, #internet, #jay-z, #magna-carta, #philippines, #supreme-court, #technology, #united-states

Gold Standard Changes Since Cross Of Gold Speech

English: First Bank of the United States

English: First Bank of the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Update to Cross of Gold Speech

The 1830`s were a tumultuous decade for America. The attempt by the Second Bank of the United States for an early re-charter was passed by Congress in July 1832, but the bill was vetoed shortly thereafter by President Andrew Jackson. The hopes of the bank’s supporters to turn the veto in a winning campaign issue in that fall’s presidential campaign failed dismally. In 1833, Jackson retaliated against the bank by removing federal government deposits and placing them in “pet” state banks. As federal revenue from land sales soared, Jackson saw the opportunity to fulfil his dream of paying off the national debt – which he did in early 1835. But as the economy overheated and so did state dreams of infrastructure projects. Congress passed a law in 1836 that required the federal surplus to be distributed to the states in four payments. Shortly afterwards, the Jackson Administration declared in its “Specie Circular” that payments for federal land purchases be made in specie. When combined with loose state banking practices and a credit contraction, a major economic crisis was brewing when Martin Van Buren took office as president in March 1837. Two months later, New York City banks suspended specie payments. A major economic recession was soon under-way. Van Buren – under pressure from his mentor Jackson – decided not to suspend the Specie Circular. Instead, he proposed a set of economic proposals that September – the most of important of which – an independent Sub-Treasury – Congress refused to pass. As a result, the recession double dipped in 1839 and the national economy did not recover until 1843.

The Second Bank of the United States

English: Second Bank of the United States, Phi...

English: Second Bank of the United States, Philadelphia, built 1819-24, William Strickland, architect. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first Bank of the United States died when its twenty-year charter expired in 1811. Re-charter of BUS was strongly backed by Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin, weakly backed by President James Madison, opposed by Vice President George Clinton, opposed by the House of Representatives, and strongly opposed by former President Thomas Jefferson. House Speaker Henry Clay’s later support of a national bank in the 1820s and 1830s linked him to the American originator of the bank idea, Alexander Hamilton, but Clay had begun his political life as an opponent of the national bank. Only later, Clay and other Jeffersonians came to recognize the important functions played by the BUS. Historian Sean Wilentz wrote: “Republican reconciliation with Hamilton’s bank idea had taken place by fits and starts, and was never monolithic. In 1811,…the Madison administration, goaded by Secretary of the Treasury Gallatin, supported it….In Congress, a coalition of Republican southerners and westerners, seeing the bank as an instrument for economic development in their respective regions led the re-charter effort.” 1 However, the effort fell short in the House. Historian Gordon S. Wood noted that “the more important enemies of the BUS were the state banks. By regularly redeeming the outstanding notes of  the state banks, the BUS had checked their ability to issue notes too far in excess of what they could cover with specie, that is, their reserves, and this had become a deep source of anger….When the twenty-year charter of Hamilton’s BUS was about to expire in 1811, it was not surprising that these state banks were determined that it would not be renewed.” 2” Henry Clay, Wilentz wrote, thought “the national bank unfairly constrained the operations of state banks.”

The death of the first Bank of the United States was almost prevented. “On January 24th, 1811, the House, by a single vote, rejected a preliminary motion on the bank charter, and the fight moved to the Senate,” noted Historian John Steele Gordon. “There, on February 20th, the Senate tied 17-17 on another preliminary matter, and Vice President George Clinton, in perhaps the only significant independent act by a vice president in American history, voted against the bank. The Bank of the United States was dead.” It was an economically and politically short-sighted act. Gordon noted that “many of the men who voted to kill the bank were the very same men who advocated war – the most expensive of all public policies – with one of the strongest military powers on earth. Given the bank was the government’s principal mechanism for collecting internal revenue and its only one for raising loans, the defeat of the charter was perhaps the most feckless act in the history of the United States Congress, although, to be sure, that is a title for which there has been no little competition over the years.”

The War of 1812 would soon prove the clear need for a government bank to help fund growing government expenses not covered by the nation’s limited tariff revenue. Such revenue was further limited by a transatlantic war. The conflict of national economic policy, begun in the 1790s between followers of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, continued. Leading up to the 1812 war, noted financial historian Susan Hoffman, one “group of agrarian, `unreformed’ or `unreconstructed’ Jeffersonian’s, opposed re-charter of the Bank of the United States because they continued to oppose all banking on philosophical grounds. They resurrected the old arguments against the bank’s constitutionality. Joining them in opposition to re-charter was the third contingent of congressional Republicans, the free enterprise’s. Here was the voice of the `interests’ of the day. Led by Henry Clay, they opposed the Bank of the United States because its regulatory hand got in the way of state banks and because its dominance of U.S. government deposits kept those deposits out-of-state bank vaults.”

Jackson slays the many-headed monster of the S...

Jackson slays the many-headed monster of the Second Bank of the United States (1836) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The War of 1812 upended the long political split in the country about the bank. Now in power for 16 years, many Jeffersonian’s began to see the necessity of the bank that Federalists had long championed. Preparations were made for a successor institution. With support of Speaker Clay, President Madison, future President James Monroe, and future Vice President John Calhoun, the Second Bank of the United States was chartered in 1816 for 20 years. By 1816, noted financial historian Susan Hoffman, “Reformed Jeffersonians…had concluded that banking was with us and must be regulated to make sure its consistency with the Jeffersonian concept of the public interest, which emphasized protection of the freedom and equality of people. The key factional shift that allowed the second national bank’s charter to pass was on the part of the state banking supporters. Whether they had opposed the central bank because they did not like any regulator or because they thought state regulation would be sufficient, this group concluded, in light of the economic chaos in the absence of the first national bank, that federal regulation was consistent with state banking.”6” Historian Sean Wilentz observed that the new bank was designed to curb inflation and speculative frenzies: “Acting as a financial balance-wheel, the national bank would, in principle, keep currency values and capital markets stable, and prevent national economic expansion from turning into an orgy of over speculation and runaway inflation.

The Second Bank of the United States got off to a rocky start. Susan Hoffmann wrote that it “opened for business in January 1817 under William Jones (1816-19) in the midst of the economic boom that followed the end of the War of 1812.” 8 Indeed, the revived national bank was not fortunate in its choice of directors who first inflated the currency and then contracted it. Historian Harlow Giles Unger wrote: “Inflated by speculation in western lands, an economic `bubble’ suddenly popped, with hundreds of banks shutting down, and thousands of depositors and investors wiped. The land rush had seen the number of banks grow to more than 1,000, with each issuing its own colourful bank notes – normally in two and five-dollar denominations, backed by no one knew what.” 9 This period has been dubbed the “Era of Good Feelings,” but it was not the era of good economic leadership or economic prosperity. Economic historian Charles Sellers wrote that the “brutal deflation saved the national Bank by sacrificing not only its debtors but the state banks and their hordes of debtors as well, which is to say, most of the market economy. Suddenly in the spring of 1819, as the Bank’s pressure was intensified by a similar financial crisis in Britain, world commodity prices collapsed.” Sellers wrote that “the collapse of agricultural prices made it impossible for state banks to collect from borrowers or meet obligations to the national Bank. When most state banks suspended the pretence of specie redemption, a flood of business failures and personal liquidation plunged Americans into their first experience of general and devastating economic prostration.”


Experience should teach us wisdom. Most of the difficulties our Government now encounters and most of the dangers which impeded over our Union have sprung from an abandonment of the legitimate objects of Government by our national legislation, and the adoption of such principles as are embodied in this act. Many of our rich men have not been content with equal protection and equal benefits, but have besought us to make them richer by act of Congress. By attempting to gratify their desires we have in the results of our legislation arrayed section against section, interest against interest, and man against man, in a fearful commotion which threatens to shake the foundations of our Union. It is time to pause in our career to review our principles, and if possible revive that devoted patriotism and spirit of compromise which distinguished the sages of the Revolution and the fathers of our Union. If we can not at once, in justice to interests vested under improvident legislation, make our Government what it ought to be, we can at least take a stand against all new grants of monopolies and exclusive privileges, against any prostitution of our Government to the advancement of the few at the cost of the many, and in favour of compromise and gradual reform in our code of laws and system of political economy.

English: issued by the in the amount of $1,000.

English: issued by the in the amount of $1,000. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The national government lacked even the most rudimentary financial tools in the secession winter of 1860-61.   It lacked both a stable currency and supply of credit along with revenue and banking systems.  By the time the sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln, took the oath of office on March 4, 1861, the country was not only on the verge of Civil War but also a financial disaster.  The nation’s coffers were empty, left in disarray from three decades of Jacksonian fiscal policies, and the government faced a continuing liquidity crisis in light of the demands generated by Civil War expenditures.

Early in his administration, Lincoln recognized that the war’s outcome would be largely determined by resources.  Thus, he understood the imperative of raising funds to carry out the war effort.  It was against this backdrop that Lincoln appointed Salmon P. Chase to the Treasury, authorizing Chase alone to act on all matters of the country’s finances.  Chase, like most everyone else when, underestimated the severity of the War—both its duration and its cost.  Just as dangerous, perhaps, Chase overestimated the usefulness of Jackson era financial policies to deal with the crisis.

Upon taking office, Chase “found on hand less than $2,000,000, all of which was appropriated ten times over.  He calculated that he needed $320,000,000, as he reported to the Congress that met in July 1861,” wrote financial historian Bray Hammond.  Chase needed credit, revenue, and an increase in the supply of money.

After the fall of Fort Sumter, Lincoln unilaterally began to finance the war effort.  Over the month`s that followed, Chase—with Lincoln’s occasional assistance—would court Congress, encouraging bond sales, higher tariffs, a single national currency, and bank reforms.

Chase biographer Albert Bushnell Hart wrote: “The most important financial measures during the first year were arrangements for new loans, and the real borrowing of money—both matter`s in which the brief legislation of Congress was very significant, for there was laid the foundation for large issues of bonds, of interest-bearing notes, and of circulating notes.”

Chase had asked Congress, meeting in special session during in July 1861, to authorize $240 million in loan`s. Chase was convinced that the government should not sell its securities below par, but there was no market for government securities at par.  American financier Jay Cooke became a close advisor to Chase in 1861, suggesting that the Treasury sell bonds directly to the American public, appealing to their patriotism and emotion.    Chase, therefore, asked Congress for low-denomination Treasury notes which people could pay for in instalments.  As described by historian Phillip S. Paludan, the Treasury secretary sought “to encourage their enthusiasm  Chase wanted to have these notes earn interest at a penny a day on a $50 note—a higher rate than usually paid by the government.  Average Northern citizens would thus link their fortunes to the success of Union arms.”


Future Intentions: According to 

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard who has covered world politics and economics for 30 years, based in Europe, the US, and Latin America. Who joined the Telegraph in 1991, serving as Washington correspondent and later Europe correspondent in Brussels. Who is now International Business Editor in London.


The world is moving step by step towards a de facto Gold Standard, without any meetings of G20 leaders to announce the idea or bless the project.

Some readers will already have seen the GFMS Gold Survey for 2012 which reported that central banks around the world bought more bullion last year in terms of tonnage than at any time in almost half a century.

They added a net 536 tonnes in 2012 as they diversified fresh reserves away from the four fiat suspects: dollar, euro, sterling, and yen.

The Washington Accord, where Britain, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, and others sold a chunk of their gold each year, already seems another era – the Gordon Brown era, you might call it.

That was the illusionary period when investors thought the Euro would take its place as the twin pillar of a new G2 condominium alongside the dollar. That hope has faded. Central bank holdings of Euro bonds have fallen back to 26pc, where they were almost a decade ago. Please download the PDF below of the draft.

World Gold Council Draft Exposure_draft_Conflict_Free_Gold_Standard_prexposure_draft_conflict_free_gold_standard_pr.pdf




#alexander-hamilton, #andrew-jackson, #economy, #george-clinton, #government, #henry-clay, #jackson, #politics, #second-bank-of-the-united-states, #specie-circular, #united-states

Careless Talk Costs Us Our Welfare Budget

Over the past 3 years this government has taken larger and larger slices out of our welfare budget, all in the name of saving money. it has come to be known collectively as “Austerity Measures.” in the beginning we took it as read, that we needed to save money, as our borrowing had spiraled out of control, due to successive governments overspend! The real truth is that we have given this government the right, by our agreement of wanting more police-protection, security for terrorist acts and stop those so-called lazy scroungers, who earn more than me, to apply such costing cutting tactics! Each time we say that we want to stop this type of senseless violence or ban someone from our country, for no more than having an opinion, that differs from our own, we instigate government control of our lives!
The sheer fact that when we do anything wrong, or some member of our family gets killed serving this country, we want someone to blame! This becomes testament to the type of world that this is becoming! We want to put great back into Britain we say, but at what cost to ourselves and our children! I read so often about how it is acceptable to use business to lie cheat and steal, and justify it by saying ” other people like the bankers took more than me” is this the world we teach our children to respect!

So on this day l urge people to think before they speak, as it was said so many years ago ” Careless Talk Costs Lives” and this time it will not just be those that protect our country that will suffer ,but every man woman and child.

Take Care.

#austeritymeasures, #careless-talk-costs-lives, #government, #welfare-cuts

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has said that the spending cuts announced in the Autumn Statement are “close to inconceivable”


Tax (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)


The Institute for Fiscal Studies has said that the spending cuts announced in the Autumn Statement are “close to inconceivable” and added that it believes further welfare cuts and tax rises are likely if the Government’s figures are to add up. Its director Paul Johnson said that pensioners’ benefits could be targeted for further cuts, commenting: “Working age individuals receiving benefits and tax credits have been hit. The richest few per cent have been hit very hard. Pensioners, and those in work on more modest incomes have borne less of the burden.” The IFS said that Britain is on course for £7bn of tax rises and another £20bn in welfare cuts and spending reductions after the next election, adding that it expects 5m workers to be paying higher-rate tax by 2015 – half a million more than the Treasury’s estimate.


#autumn-statement, #britain, #business, #economy, #george-osborne, #government, #ifs, #institute-for-fiscal-studies, #legal-working-age, #paul-johnson, #politics, #tax

Strategic Assessment of Risks to UK Consumers and Markets.

The OFT is seeking comments on its Annual Plan 2013-14 consultation,

The official body of people that govern the issuance of consumer credit licences and their use!

The official body of people who govern the issuance of consumer credit licences and their use!

published today alongside its Strategic Assessment of Risks to UK Consumers and Markets.

The consultation sets out the OFT’s proposed objectives and priorities over the next financial year, its fortieth and final year before the transfer of functions to the Consumer and Markets Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority. The OFT intends to continue to focus on work to make markets work well for consumers and the wider economy, alongside ensuring a rich portfolio of cases is handed over to the new institutions.

The proposed areas of focus are informed by the OFT’s first published Strategic Assessment, which identifies key developments and trends in the macro-economic, regulatory, political and social environment – such as economic challenges, demographic change and technological advances. It considers risks to consumers and markets in this context, taking into account the probability of problems arising and impact, should they occur.

During 2013-14, the OFT plans to prioritise work that reflects the following themes:

  • vulnerable consumers and consumers challenged by the adverse economic climate
  • pricing used as a barrier to fair choice
  • novel and developing markets and business practices
  • public services markets
  • closer working with the economic regulators.

These priorities have been developed in the context of a challenging economic climate and are designed to maximise impact against the backdrop of a reduced OFT budget.

OFT Chairman, Philip Collins, said:

‘In the coming financial year, we will remain focused on delivering outcomes that matter for the consumer and the economy, while also preparing the ground for the transfer of the OFT’s functions and the establishment of the new institutions. Publishing our Strategic Assessment of Risks alongside the Annual Plan consultation makes clear the thinking behind our choice of themes and priorities.’

#business, #consumer, #economics, #economy, #financial-conduct-authority, #government, #office-of-fair-trading, #oft, #philip-collins, #social-sciences