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Ellen Brown

Entries by Ellen Brown

Banking Union Time Bomb: Eurocrats Authorize Bailouts and Bail-Ins

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 12:04 PM

"As things stand, the banks are the permanent government of the country, whichever party is in power." -- Lord Skidelsky, House of Lords, UK Parliament, 31 March 2011)

On March 20, 2014, European Union officials reached an historic agreement to create a single agency to handle failing banks....

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Warren's Post Office Proposal: Palast Aims at the Wrong Target

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 1:06 PM

Investigative reporter Greg Palast is usually pretty good at peering behind the rhetoric and seeing what is really going on. But in tearing into Senator Elizabeth Warren's support of postal financial services, he has done a serious disservice to the underdogs -- both the underbanked and the U.S. Postal Service...

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Lucrative Returns on Phantom Money: The Credit Card Gravy Train

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 11:16 AM

The credit card business is now the banking industry's biggest cash cow, and it's largely due to lucrative hidden fees.

You pay off your credit card balance every month, thinking you are taking advantage of the "interest-free grace period" and getting free credit. You may even use your credit...

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100 Years Is Enough: Time to Make the Fed a Public Utility

(5) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 6:56 PM

December 23, 2013, marks the 100th anniversary of the Federal Reserve, warranting a review of its performance. Has it achieved the purposes for which it was designed?

The answer depends on whose purposes we are talking about. For the banks, the Fed has served quite well. For the laboring masses...

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The Bank Guarantee That Bankrupted Ireland

(10) Comments | Posted November 4, 2013 | 4:28 PM

The Irish have a long history of being tyrannized, exploited, and oppressed -- from the forced conversion to Christianity in the Dark Ages, to slave trading of the natives in the 15th and 16th centuries, to the mid-nineteenth century "potato famine" that was really a holocaust. The British...

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What We Could Do With a Postal Savings Bank: Infrastructure That Doesn't Cost Taxpayers a Dime

(3) Comments | Posted September 23, 2013 | 2:09 PM

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is the nation's second largest civilian employer after Walmart. Although successfully self-funded throughout its long history, it is currently struggling to stay afloat. This is not, as sometimes asserted, because it has been made obsolete by the Internet. In fact the post office...

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The Armageddon Looting Machine: The Looming Mass Destruction From Derivatives

(9) Comments | Posted September 18, 2013 | 1:25 PM

Increased regulation and low interest rates are driving lending from the regulated commercial banking system into the unregulated shadow banking system. The shadow banks, although free of government regulation, are propped up by a hidden government guarantee in the form of safe harbor status under the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform Act...

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The Leveraged Buyout of America

(9) Comments | Posted August 28, 2013 | 11:54 AM

Giant bank holding companies now own airports, toll roads, and ports; control power plants; and store and hoard vast quantities of commodities of all sorts. They are systematically buying up or gaining control of the essential lifelines of the economy. How have they pulled this off, and where have they...

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Not Too Big to Jail: Why Eliot Spitzer Is Wall Street's Worst Nightmare

(4) Comments | Posted August 20, 2013 | 3:42 PM

Before Eliot Spitzer's infamous resignation as governor of New York in March 2008, he was one of our fiercest champions against Wall Street corruption, in a state that had some of the toughest legislation for controlling the banks. It may not be a coincidence that the revelation of his indiscretions...

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The Detroit Bail-in Template: Fleecing Pensioners to Save the Banks

(1) Comments | Posted August 6, 2013 | 3:39 PM

The Detroit bankruptcy is looking suspiciously like the bail-in template originated by the G20's Financial Stability Board in 2011, which exploded on the scene in Cyprus in 2013 and is now becoming the model globally. In Cyprus, the depositors were "bailed in" (stripped of a major portion of...

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Green Light for City-owned San Francisco Bank

(6) Comments | Posted July 31, 2013 | 10:33 AM

When the Occupiers took an interest in moving San Francisco's money into a city-owned bank in 2011, it was chiefly on principle, in sympathy with the nationwide Move Your Money campaign. But recent scandals have transformed the move from a political statement into a matter of protecting the city's deposits...

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The Crime of Alleviating Poverty -- A Local Community Currency Battles the Central Bank of Kenya

(6) Comments | Posted July 1, 2013 | 12:08 PM

Complementary currencies can help eradicate poverty.

Proving that may be difficult in complex economies, due to the high number of factors influencing outcomes. But in an African slum with little of the national currency available, supplying residents with an alternative currency has a positive effect that is obvious, immediate and...

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Elizabeth Warren's QE for Students: Populist Demagoguery or Economic Breakthrough?

(21) Comments | Posted June 17, 2013 | 2:48 PM

On July 1, interest rates will double for millions of students -- from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent -- unless Congress acts; and the legislative fixes on the table are largely just compromises. Only one proposal promises real relief -- Sen. Elizabeth Warren's "Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act." This...

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Bail-out Is Out, Bail-in Is In: Time for Some Publicly Owned Banks

(3) Comments | Posted May 2, 2013 | 12:41 PM

"[W]ith Cyprus ... the game itself changed. By raiding the depositors' accounts, a major central bank has gone where they would not previously have dared. The Rubicon has been crossed."

--Eric Sprott, Shree Kargutkar, "Caveat Depositor"

The crossing of the Rubicon into the confiscation of depositor funds was not...

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Winner Takes All: The Super-priority Status of Derivatives

(11) Comments | Posted April 11, 2013 | 2:16 PM

Cyprus-style confiscation of depositor funds has been called the "new normal."  Bail-in policies are appearing in multiple countries directing failing TBTF banks to convert the funds of "unsecured creditors" into capital; and those creditors, it turns out, include ordinary depositors. Even "secured" creditors, including state and local governments, may be...

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It Can Happen Here: The Confiscation Scheme Planned for US and UK Depositors

(15) Comments | Posted April 3, 2013 | 11:11 AM

Confiscating the customer deposits in Cyprus banks, it seems, was not a one-off, desperate idea of a few eurozone troika officials scrambling to salvage their balance sheets. A joint paper by the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Bank of England dated December 10, 2012, shows that these...

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The Battle of Cyprus: A Safe and a Shotgun or Publicly-Owned Banks?

(5) Comments | Posted March 27, 2013 | 3:36 PM

"If these worries become really serious... [s]mall savers will take their money out of banks and resort to household safes and a shotgun." -- Martin Hutchinson on the attempted EU raid on deposits in Cyprus banks

The deposit confiscation scheme has long been in the making.  U.S. depositors could...

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QE for the People: Grillo's Populist Plan for Italy

(18) Comments | Posted March 7, 2013 | 2:54 PM

Comedian Beppe Grillo was surprised himself when his Five Star Movement got 8.7 million votes in the Italian general election of Feb. 24-25. His movement is now the biggest single party in the chamber of deputies, says The Guardian, which makes him "a kingmaker in a hung parliament."


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How the Fed Could Fix the Economy... and Why It Hasn't

(13) Comments | Posted February 25, 2013 | 2:54 PM

Quantitative easing (QE) is supposed to stimulate the economy by adding money to the money supply, increasing demand. But so far, it hasn't been working. Why not? Because as practiced for the last two decades, QE does not actually increase the circulating money supply. It merely cleans up the toxic...

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How Congress Could Fix Its Budget Woes, Permanently

(14) Comments | Posted February 14, 2013 | 7:30 AM

As Congress struggles through one budget crisis after another, it is becoming increasingly evident that austerity doesn't work. We cannot possibly pay off a $16 trillion debt by tightening our belts, slashing public services, and raising taxes. Historically, when the deficit has been reduced, the money supply has been...

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