Anatomy of a General Plunder
Part 1: The Heist of a Nation
Natural Law Copyright by Anthony Hargis
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Table 1: Reserves data for Chart 1, billions.
Alexander Pope crafted his words three hundred years ago; and described events of his time; words that just as accurately describe events in our world. If there is a difference, he used ordinary, or no, adjectives to color his prose; we use ‘unprecedented’, ‘beyond unprecedented’ – and still struggle to provide a proper hue.
On September the 11th, 2001, four airplanes were hijacked in American skies. On the same day, two airplanes slammed into the Twin Towers; and another, into the Pentagon; whether the planes hijacked were the same planes that struck those buildings has never been established. The fourth plane was intended to plow into Building 7; but, instead, the man sitting at the joystick turned it upside down and plowed it into a field in Pennsylvania, or choppy waters in mid-Atlantic. We waver on the location; for, there was no wreckage, no body parts and no luggage at the Pennsylvania site. Altho the plane didn’t hit its target, the building still came down; the explosives, you see, were planted months before; and, it was not wise to let them be discovered. If the aircraft that slammed into those buildings were drones or substituted for the hijacked planes, very horrible questions arise: ‘What happened to the passengers?’ “How were they disposed?’ “Were they gassed, a concrete block molded to their feet, and then dumped in the Atlantic, or Arctic Ocean?” “Or were they bludgeoned to silence; then made ready for some ocean deep?” A question only the uncommon will ask – for fear of an answer, no doubt. A civilized mind recoils at the possibilities. Probably everything about these events was unprecedented.
Seven years later, almost to the day, another unprecedented event took place; and many similar questions have yet to be asked. It was actually a series of unprecedented events that appear to be a single operation that is yet to be completed. These events were depicted on Federal Reserve balance sheets; and only a handful of men saw them, and had a fair understanding of them. Some of these events escaped notice completely; by others, that is.
On September 15th, 2008, Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulsen went before Congress and demanded $700 billion or he and Goldman Sachs would impose martial law on the country. Despite e-mails, letters and phone calls a hundred-to-one against Paulsen’s demands, Congress gave Paulsen everything he asked for; probably because Congressmen gave themselves, or were promised, a suitable stash.
I have divided this story into three parts, all as depicted on Federal Reserve balance sheets.
Part One deals with the disappearance of bank reserves of the American banking system that began in early December of 2007. By the end of the month, functionaries from the Federal Reserve, the U S Treasury, the White House and Congress were so alarmed they proposed to send $300 to every adult in the nation. Their panic was chronicled on front pages of newspapers that month; yet, the cause of the panic was never explained. In this Part One, part of the cause, that must not be named, is explained.
In Part Two, I deal with a development which no one else seems to have noticed; namely, the disappearance of assets supposedly serving as collateral for issued Federal Reserve notes. To a rational man, gold is the ultimate money, and should serve as the collateral that stands behind any paper currency that may be issued. To demonically deranged men, unrealizable promises (that is, promises to impose confiscatory taxes on future generations of Americans), in the form of US Treasury securities, are the most stable and secure assets that should serve as collateral for issued currency. In December of 2007, a large portion of this “fool’s gold” went missing. How did it happen… and, was it the result of a deliberate decision by bureaucrats at the Federal Reserve?
Part Three deals with a question, again, that nobody seems to have asked, ‘Where did the $700 billion, demanded by Paulsen, come from?’ For the prior fifteen years, the Treasury’s checking account showed an average balance of $5 billion. All money received, and expended, by the Treasury passes thru this account. If the Treasury is to expend $700 billion, this amount must first appear in this account. The answer to this question involves a massive operation conducted by the Federal Reserve and nearly thirty foreign central banks; and probably has the power to stretch the credulity of ordinary men to the breaking point.
But, let us reveal this story one step at a time.
The chart displayed above covers nearly fifty years and shows three sets of data up to 2007 December 5.
The top line represents ‘Total Reserves’ of American banks; reserves consist of ‘vault cash’ and ‘deposits maintained by these banks at a Federal Reserve bank’. The reserves of a bank allow it to disburse “cash” (that is, ‘vault cash’) to customers and to make payments to other banks (by way of its deposit account at the Federal Reserve). Without reserves, a bank could not function.
The second line represents ‘Required Reserves’, which is determined and enforced by the Federal Reserve. Banks have to report their condition (effectively, their balance sheet) and meet this requirement every business day. When a bank’s reserves falls short of its required amount, the bank has to borrow reserves from the Federal Reserve.
Hence, the third line, just barely bouncing off the bottom of the chart, represents ‘Borrowed Reserves’, amounts banks had to borrow to keep their Total Reserves just over the required amount.
Over the time period of this chart, Total Reserves increased from just over ten billion to sixty billion, and then drifted down to a range between forty-two and forty-four billion. The spike near “1/30/2001” was occasioned by events of 2001 Sep 11.
Amounts as of the date of the chart (2007 Dec 5) were, Total Reserves, $44 billion; Required Reserves, $40.9 billion; and Borrowed Reserves, $0.3 billion.
One of the essential purposes assigned to the Federal Reserve by Congress was to maintain a stable value of the American currency.
A stable currency is one of the requirements of a civilized society, a society that protects the rights, liberty and property of every man. Money is the waterway that carries goods and services from hand to hand and from now to the morrow. Without money, probably ninety-five percent of all goods and services would not move and, eventually, would not exist; and the size and condition of human existence would suffer accordingly.
While stable money is one of the essential characteristics of a civilized society; the sanctity of contracts is another. As one is made more certain, or is eroded, so is the other, by necessity. A civilized society is a vast network of contracts, and money is the basis of every contract. For a contract to be properly fulfilled, the value of the money unit must be the same at the beginning and end of a contract, whether it runs an hour, a week or twenty years. If the value of money falls over the life of a contract, one party (the producer of goods, services, or capital) is cheated of his labor while the other party (the consumer) gains an unearned reward. Many times the consumer will also be a provider of capital (by holding his savings in investments measured in the money unit); thus, while he may gain X amount on the contractual transaction, he will lose a thousand X on his savings. In full context, both sides lose from a cheapened money unit.
On the other hand, if the value of money increases over the life of a contract, one party will gain a bonus for his labor while the other party (the consumer) will pay an extra amount for the product or service. In addition, and by the same forces, both parties will gain thru the increased purchasing power of their savings. Thus, while the consumer loses X amount on the transaction, he gains a thousand X on his savings.
In other words, when the general price level increases (as a result of currency inflation), it represents a process of robbery of the producer and thrifty classes by the criminal and indolent classes of mankind. If the process becomes entrenched, society will eventually move in retrograde motion until it degenerates to a kind of Dark Age – with all of its natural consequences: famines, plagues, poverty, slavery, exposure of infants and elderly, sleaze, treachery; and a few other undesirable conditions. Once a society falls to this fate, history has never allowed a recovery.
In this regard, Egypt, India, Babylon, Greece, Rome and a hundred others should serve as warnings to men of today. Since man’s recorded story begins with civilizations in the midst of processes of degeneration, we can surmise that there were previous civilizations that suffered similar devastations that were so great that even their names have disappeared from human memory.
In an unhampered market, the natural forces of human action cause the value of money to naturally increase with time. In such a market, men lay sleepless at night thinking how to better serve the market. The natural result is a relative explosion of goods and services. The value of money (and men’s saved capital), its quantity being relatively unchanged, increases in value: month by month, year by year, it will buy more goods than previously – and encourages men to be more thrifty. The fray of competition allows men to labor less to raise their children, and are better able to enjoy the pleasure of their achievements.
In a totalitarian society, the interference manifested by regulations and taxes sets human action in reverse: productive labor is regarded as a crime and penalized with an income tax; indolence, robbery and sleaze are rewarded with tax disbursements. Civilized men lay sleepless at night thinking how to avoid officially protected thieves, who are called, by the naïve, tax collectors. The laboring man – so trusting is he – is persuaded to suffer in this world as he waits patiently for a world that does not exist, while his overlords be-ribbon themselves and strut, and laugh at his naivety.
A natural consequence of a totalitarian society is a perpetual fall in the value of money. This leads to an impairment of every contract based on that money unit. Thus, in an unhampered society, impairment of contract is held to be a grievance. In a totalitarian society, impairment is “legally” mandated.
The natural redress for such a grievance is to identify the men and women who have perpetrated, aided or benefited from such grievance and make them accountable for what they have done.
This brings us back to the Federal Reserve. It has not performed as its founders claimed it would, nor as its defenders claim it does: over the time period of the above chart, it has presided over a currency unit (the dollar) that has lost ninety-seven percent of its purchasing power (using gold as a standard).
And not one man in a thousand allows himself to see “the hand [now] raised to shed his blood”; so determined are they to “skip and play” to the very end.
Now, let us move forward.
Table 2. Reserves data, billions.
This chart advances the data three weeks to 2007 Dec 26.
The thing to notice is that ‘Borrowed Reserves’ has increased from 0.3 billion to 25 billion. Over a period of three weeks, more than half the nation’s banking reserves was stripped from banks – and had to be wished into existence to prevent a catastrophic meltdown of that banking system. And, not a news editor in the nation noticed. It also seems to have escaped the notice of investment advisors, who delight in uncovering “odd” behavior by the Fed – for several months. I discovered it probably ten months after the fact – and it took me at least four months to begin to grasp what I was looking at.
Over the previous fifty years, there was nothing comparable to what happened during the three weeks in question. It was unprecedented; as events unfolded, some called it “beyond unprecedented”. The picture, in other words, justifies our adjectives.
These borrowed reserves were not in the form of cash, or paper currency, but, rather, computer blips that merely added amounts to deposit accounts maintained by private banks at the Federal Reserve.
In other words, the loss of reserves did not occur because customers suddenly withdrew twenty-five billion in cash from banks – but, rather, by one or a few individuals who purchased U S Treasury securities from the Federal Reserve with money from private bank deposits (to be explained shortly). These securities could only have been purchased either from the Federal Reserve or the US Treasury. We know this for a fact because, if those funds purchased any other kind of asset, the funds in question would have been transferred from buyers’ accounts to sellers’ accounts at private banks – and, such funds never would have left the banking system. The total reserves of the banking system would have been unaffected.
In the first case (purchases from the Fed), the funds in question simply disappeared from economic existence.
Both “reserves on deposit with the Federal Reserve” and “currency in circulation” (Federal Reserve notes) are liabilities of the Fed. When either one is used to purchase anything from the Fed, they are subtracted from the Fed’s liability statement, and simply go out of economic existence. This is what caused the unprecedented borrowings by American banks during the time period in question.
In the second case (purchases from the Treasury), the funds in question would be transferred from private banks into the Treasury’s deposit account at the Federal Reserve; thus, removing them from the banking system.
However, if the second case occurred, the Treasury could have immediately spent the funds on a pork project here, an earmark there, to finance the genocide perpetrated in the Middle East, or a thousand other essential activities of government. If this had been the case, the reserves would have left the banking system at one point in time and returned within the hour; and the transactions never would have been seen on the Fed’s balance sheet.
But this is not what happened. The reserves disappeared, and never came back. The Fed had to lend them back into existence to prevent the immediate destruction of the banking system.
There was panic in Washington. Headlines of newspapers repeatedly depicted high-level meetings with Paulsen (Secretary of Treasury), Bernanke (Federal Reserve), the President and members of Congress. None knew what to do: they were dealing with an unprecedented event – they only knew they could tell no one of the storm taking place on the Fed’s balance sheet, lest the rising sun would see panic in every time zone of the globe. Finally, someone suggested that the federal government send three hundred dollars to every adult in America. The nature of their proposal – the return of a bit of plunder to victims, with no discernable public outcry for it – was also unprecedented; and tells of the magnitude of their panic. The panic was so genuine that Congress took the proposal and made it law six weeks later, 2008 Feb 13.
Table 3: Reserves data, billions (sources same as Chart 1).
This Chart brings data forward six weeks to 2008 Feb 6. The item to notice is that total ‘Borrowed Reserves’ increased from twenty-five billion to sixty billion; an amount greater than the total reserves of the entire American banking system had been stripped away. Knowledge of this development – and even more its meaning – was confined to the elite of the criminal class.
The return of plunder, enacted by Congress in early February, would not reach American adults until about three months later.
Table 4: Reserves data for Chart 4, billions.
The data is now brought forward to 2008 May 14. About this time, some two hundred million $300 checks begin arriving in mail boxes thru-out the land. The IRS seized mine and applied it to a fifty million dollar tax liability, which was fabricated out of thin air, literally.
From the previous chart to this one, ‘borrowed reserves’ has increased from sixty billion to one hundred and fifty-six billion. The other two sets of data fluctuated within vary narrow ranges. Also, please notice the scale.
Here, I reiterate that transactions relative to banks’ reserves are unprecedented, as is the return of booty by Congress – especially if we consider that there was no public outcry for it.
It is a general rule of human action that, when a government designs a correction for a problem, it usually – perhaps, always – makes the problem worse. Let us see if this rule holds in this case.
Table 5: Reserves data for Chart 5, billions.
From the middle of May to Sep 10, ‘Borrowed Reserves’ increased from 156 billion to just under $200 billion; again there were insignificant changes in the other two sets of data.
The situation grew worse. If the disbursement of $300 to every American adult had any moderating effect, it was more than offset by the tiny number of people who knew what was happening as knowledge of it spread from boardrooms of Wall Street and tax gobblers of Washington. What is more likely is that the disbursement caused the alarm to spread because it acted as a signal that something was wrong and “they” didn’t know what to do about it, as was evidenced by the unprecedented and un-demanded disbursement.
Nevertheless, a major financial storm, like no other, was about to hit.
On 2008 Sep 15, Secretary of Treasury Paulsen would go before Congress and demand $700 billion or he and his friends would impose martial law on the country.
Let us see what happened next.
Table 6: Reserves data for Chart 6, billions.
Two days after Paulsen made his demand and threat, the Federal Reserve reported that, for the week ended Sep 17, total ‘Borrowed Reserves’ increased from $199 billion to $227 billion; by Oct 29, this total stood at $758 billion.
Since the explosion in borrowings that began nine months earlier, ‘Total Reserves’ had remained practically unchanged. The wind, however, had shifted. During the week ended 2008 Sep 17, ‘Total Reserves’ nearly doubled, from $47 billion to $90 billion; by Oct 29, this total stood at $395 billion.
‘Required Reserves’ hardly fluctuated.
Another thing to notice about this development is its timing: it began less than two months before elections. Owing to its complexities, there was no time for anyone to discover – and, much less, to understand – what was happening. Even if someone did understand the situation, it was too late to become a candidate and raise an effective voice: the candidate lists had been closed for several months.
It was a well-planned, and well-timed, operation.
With passage of the so-called ‘Troubled Asset Relief Program’ of 2008 (TARP), Congress gave authority to the US Treasury to conduct a general plunder of American taxpayers (alive and yet-to-be born). Of course, to enact is one thing; to implement is quite another, as functionaries at the Treasury soon discovered. Over early months of 2009, such functionaries would give conclusive proof that governments are gathering places for idiots and thieves.
This was demonstrated by the struggle by Treasury bureaucrats and the Chosen Ones from too-big-to-fail banks to invent a procedure by which the plunder could be distributed in a sportsman-like, all-American manner.
Table 7: Reserves data for Chart 7, billions.
This chart shows the three sets of data as of 2011 June 1. It shows that for nearly fifty years, Total Reserves hardly varied from Required Reserves by more than a fraction of a percent – that is, less than 1%. And now, they are holding more than twenty times Required Reserves – that is, from approximately 100% to more than 2,000%.
Table 8: Salient data points for Chart 8, billions. (Notes: “Wed#” amount for Wednesday (average for Wednesdays of each month from 1999 Nov to 2006 Nov; numbers each Wednesday thereafter. “6# mov av” moving average for 6 numbers thru-out.)
There is another significant development that occurred within a week or two of Paulsen’s demand for $700 billion: the decline of collection items across the American banking system.
Collection items consist of checks deposited at banks for which funds have yet to be physically collected. In other words, when a person deposits a check in his bank account, the bank immediately posts the check amount to an asset account titled, ‘checks in process of collection’. The check amount remains in this account until funds are collected from the paying bank; at which time the amount is transferred into either a) thereceiving bank’s account at the Federal Reserve or into b) its vault cash. This process creates a so-called float, equal to the check amount, until the check reaches the issuing bank, which brings the float to zero (relative to this check).
The data represented by Chart 8 (above) represents totals for a) “cash items in process of collection” and b) “balances due from depository institutions” for the entire American banking system (commercial banks, savings and loans, credit unions et cetera). As such it represents a real-time indicator for most economic transactions over a two or three day period for the entire American economy. By “economic transactions” I mean food purchases, mortgage payments, credit card payments and a thousand other kinds of payments.
From November of 1999 to September of 2008, the total for collection items for the entire nation fluctuated between $250 and $275 billion. Toward the end of 2008 September, the number began a gradual, then a catastrophic, decline.
Probably the first signs of trouble were the spikes up to $325 billion (Wed #) on 2008 October 1, and $349 billion on 2008 November 5, five weeks later. From there, the total Wed # declined to minus $41 billion (Wed #) as of 2011 March 30.
Theoretically, a negative number for collection items is impossible. The negative numbers for the chart point to one of the difficulties regarding the data provided by the Fed. This data represents numbers that are available from all banking institutions in the nation as of Wednesday of each week; some of these numbers are as of that Wednesday; some are a week, two weeks, a month and three months old – all added together on a particular day of the week. As such the data is relatively unreliable, unless economic conditions are stable over a period of three or more months. When economic conditions are erratic from week to week, strange pictures are the result.
What can we conclude from this Chart 8 and data? First, the data is comprised of two categories: “items in process of collection” and banks’ receivables “due from other banks”. And I don’t know how to separate the two. I know that collection items are a major daily activity for banks; these are the checks that people write against, and deposit to, their bank accounts; and that such checks represent the economic activity that people, companies and governments transact over a two or three day period. I do not know what “due from other banks” comprises.
When this activity fluctuates between $250 and $275 billion for long periods of time, economic conditions remain normal. When it fluctuates between $250 and minus $50 billion over short periods, such as six to nine months, enormous shocks are blasted thru-out the entire economic system.
If the data I have charted falls to zero, it seems logical that the entire system should grind to a halt; but it hasn’t. And I don’t know how to explain it; yet.
I’m just reporting part of what I see. Perhaps someone else will be able to explain it better than I.
Collection items are derived by subtracting “Total Reserves” from “Cash Items”.
Cash Items: (note 15, H8 any date) “Includes vault cash, cash items in process of collection, balances due from depository institutions, and balances due from Federal Reserve Banks.”
Total Reserves: (note 2, Table 2, H3 for 2011Je30) “Reserve balances with Federal Reserve Banks plus vault cash used to satisfy reserve requirements.”
Timely, and related, pages,
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