Off a Cliff with No Airbags: The FED Banking System Quivers in Fright
"The system does not collapse but evaporate." - Trace Mayer by Jake Towne, the Champion of the Constitution
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
EVERYTOWN, USA - All over the United States last week, over-taxation "Tea Parties" protests broke out, rightly directed at Congress. Many Americans found themselves protesting on the streets and fields of their nation for the first time. This occurred despite the massive smokescreen put in place by the corporate mainstream media and Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Actual unemployment has hit 19%, not 8.5%. The actual consumer price inflation (CPI) is at +7%, not slightly below zero. On Saturday April 25, major END THE FED protests will break out at 38 cities directed at the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve, who hold the real "money power," not Congress, as explained here: "The Money Matrix - How the FED Works (PART 6/15)". (photo)
My summary from December in "Rioting at the Gates of Thermopylae" has not changed: Despite whatever cherry-topped fairy-tales that pass for news these days that are delivered to the American public, the US banking situation continues to worsen. Most banks are not extending credit to businesses and individuals and have borrowed from the FED at rates exceeding 250,000% change from a year before. The graph below of balances the banking system has had to borrow from the FED shows nothing less than the death of the dollar and fractional reserve banking system.
In my opinion, the only true prop remaining is the psychological faith of the masses, both foreign and domestic. When this falters - for whatever reason - the entire world's fiat monetary system will spasm. The widespread belief that the dollar is still the strongest currency only means that much of the fiat infrastructure will be blown apart during the coming years instead of "just" the dollar. The IMF's frantic utilization of SDR's (Special Drawing Rights) will ultimately fail as these are simply a basket of the dollar (44%), euro (34%), yen (11%) and pound (11%).
The 2008 final body count was twenty-five (25) banks and fourteen (14) credit unions. In the first 3.5 months of 2009, the number of failed banks has already been equaled. In addition, two federal credit unions have failed, plus the two largest wholesale corporate FCUs totaling $57 Billion in assets due to losses on mortgage-related securities being much larger than originally thought.
Omni National Bank, Atlanta, Georgia ($956 million in assets, $797 million in deposits, ~$290 million cost to the FDIC)Date of Demise: 3/27/2009
Cape Fear Bank, Wilmington, North Carolina ($492 million in assets, $403 million in deposits, ~$131 million cost to the FDIC) Date of Demise: 4/10/2009
New Frontier Bank, Greeley, Colorado ($2.0 Billion in assets, $1.5 Billion in deposits, ~$670 million cost to the FDIC)Date of Demise: 4/10/2009
American Sterling Bank, Sugar Creek, Missouri ($181 million in assets, $172 million in deposits, ~$42 million cost to the FDIC)Date of Demise: 4/17/2009
Great Basin Bank of Nevada, Elko, Nevada ($271 million in assets, $221 million in deposits, ~$42 million cost to the FDIC)Date of Demise: 4/17/2009
HAVE YOU PROTECTED YOURSELF?
First understand the FDIC, the NCUA, and the nature of the banking system. Here's the fastest lesson I can manage. Try my other writings or just search the net for more information. (Photo courtesy Luc Viator)
In brief, the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) is a relic of the Great Depression designed to give depositors psychological assurance that the government will bail them out if the bank fails. It is funded by small fees on all deposits its 8,305 member banks hold.
The FDIC started 2008 with about $53 billion in reserves and ended the year with $18.9 billion. Based on the closings since January 1, Captain Calculator reportsless than $15.8 billion is left. The FDICended the year with a reserve ratio of 0.40%, covering $4,757 billion in insured deposits, so now they are at about a 0.34% reserve ratio (although the FDIC is increasing its collection rates from the banks). (Converted to English, this means that just $0.34 out of every $100 that you have on deposit is REALLY "insured.") The FDIC reported the total assets of these banks to be $13,847 billion, so $15.8 billion is really a pittance. The FDIC reports there are 252 problem institutions with $159 billion in assets. The FDIC does not list any specific banks as this (obviously) would cause bank runs. (Source: FDIC December 2008 QBP report, pages 6+16/25)
The NCUA (National Credit Union Administration) is the FDIC counterpart for federal credit unions. Federal credit unions are cooperative financial institutions chartered by the federal government and owned by its members. Credit unions are intended to promote savings and prudent borrowing, and any group of people can start one, read this brochure. The pool of borrowers is usually constricted to its members, and generally speaking credit unions are more likely to be more conservative than larger banks since they are run as a non-profit community service, but you need to verify this for yourself. There are roughly 8,100 federal credit unions funded with roughly $7 billion in insurance for approximately $600 billion in deposits per this link. The NCUA insurance reserve ratio is roughly 1.2%, and is mandated by law to be maintained between 1.0% and 1.5%.
My warning to you is that a major bank failure will eradicate the FDIC funds overnight. As I noted here "WaMu Gets the FDIC WHAM-O!", last year Washington Mutual would have cost the FDIC $31 billion if JP Morgan had not "saved" the bank. Now, if the FDIC fails, you will probablystill get your money back in dollar terms. After all, the US government as already publicly stated that they would backup the next $30 billion in losses. A disconcerting FACT is that FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair is on record as requesting an additional $500 BILLION for the insurance fund per the April 14 Forbes article "A Captive FDIC." However, to do this the government/Federal Reserve will simply print more money, and you will NOT be able to get your funds immediately. How long is anyone's guess, my guess is months. With all of the building potential for a hyperinflation or inflation spike, by the time you get your dollars back, you may not be able to buy much with them.
Our banking system operates on a fractional reserve system. This means that banks only have to keep a certain amount of deposits and can lend the rest. In the USA, the deposit requirement is currently at 10%. For more detail, "The Money Matrix - How the FED Works (PART 6/15)" is a must-read.
On November 5, 2008, the Financial Times reported that the Federal Reserve has altered its interbank interest rates. The analysts' opinions seem to be solid. The United States may be headed for a Bank of Japan-style liquidity trap or "quantitative easing" strategy where the Fed's the drop earlier this year in the Non-Borrowed Reserves statistic (google BOGNONBR) is fixed by a $500+ billion increase in the banking system's credit (google TOTBKCR). What happened in Japan was that all the newly created electronic money piles up in the banking system's servers since the banks have nowhere to safe to store the money or lend. As predicted by the FT article, the shorter-term Treasury bill interest rates reached zero and are now just slightly above, and the conclusion "cash becomes a competitive store of value" is now valid. At any rate, the FED's balance sheet, which used to consist primarily of Treasury securities a year ago, is, frankly speaking, looking like polluted junk. The latest FED data as of 4/15 shows only 24% of the FED balance sheet consists of Treasuries. Pre-bailout levels hovered around 90-95%. This greatly impairs the FED's ability to control the money supply via Open Market Operations.
The overall effect of the Federal Reserve System was to force smaller banks into bankruptcy through by monopolizing the "money power" in a central bank. I often offer an analogy to others that the FED is just like the One Ring in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy: "One Ring to Rule them all... and in the Darkness Bind them." By binding them together, the FED has been able to keep all but the worst banks afloat. Therefore, instead of a trickle of bank failures growing slowly into a deluge - which would give the populace time to reassess their risks - what may happen instead is a massive default of the whole system at once.
If this occurs, then surely the most ignoble and hypocritical aspect of the FDIC will be that the "dumbest" citizens who deposited their currency at the very worst banks will have received all of their "insured" funds from the FDIC, while the rest who chose better banks will suffer. The "dumb" few profiting at the expense of the many certainly appears to be a main theme of the new Administration, as seen in with the mortgage refinancing deals given to the riskiest home buyers by the federal government.
One last note - I have been researching this article by Eric deCarbonnel entitled "US Banks Operating Without Reserve Requirements" and from the analysis of both his evidence and a few random bank balance sheets, I now believe, to my chagrin, that he is correct. The quick summary is that banks only have vault cash available of around 3% of deposits instead of reserve requirements of roughly 10% like I had once thought.
When I read the FED's Purposes and Functions reserve requirement description (pages 50-54/146), I had not been aware of an accounting deception (no other way to describe it) that deCarbonnel discovered. This was the use of "deposit reclassification" where banks subdivide checking/NOW accounts into two subdivisions, and the major portion of checking accounts are used towards reserve requirements. DeCarbonnel goes on from the following to describe how Citibank does it:
"This distinction only exists on the bank’s books: you will never see these subaccounts on your bank statements.
Deposit reclassification means that, at any point in time, most of the money in American checking accounts sits in invisible savings subaccounts. These savings subaccounts pay no interest, but allow banks to avoid reserve requirements. The public is completely unaware of this financial engineering."
This is like driving off a cliff with no airbags. My interpretation of the above is that when the banking system goes under, the blow will not be cushioned whatsoever.
In the latest FDIC QBP report, they reported (p12/25) that 1,099 FDIC insured institutions, hold $201Trillion in derivatives as of December 31, 2008 with just $7.1 Trillion (in OUR savings) backing these up.
Let's take a close look at Citigroup. On their latest March 31 quarterly (p4/33), they claim assets of $1,823 Billion. If my meager brain is reading the table properly, they only have cash and deposits amounting to $190 Billion Also, Citigroup lost almost $32 Billion in loans just for the quarter, and from the historical, this is only continuing to worsen. Then, as seen here, Citigroup holds $31,887 Billion in notional value in derivatives. Doesn't the latest bailout on November 24 for $20 billion capital injection and the $305-or-so billion guarantee for "toxic" assets now seem like a drop in the bucket? Doesn't the Obama stimulus plan of around $800 Billion seem like a drop in the bucket? (PS - It won't work anyways, as I explained in "The Oath of Obama, Why His Stimulus Plan Will Fail and What to Do Instead".)
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
After all my research and in my last seven bank closure articles, I no longer hesitate to hand out advice. The banking system is falling apart and cannot be propped up. Therefore, each of us must become our own private bank. This does not mean to stop usage of the current banks completely, but caution must be utilized in their use.
And since I've painted a bleak picture it's a little senseless to not share what I think are good ideas. Otherwise I would seem a bit like Chicken Little running around with his head cut off, so here you go! (Please remember I am just an engineer and certainly fallible.) Take a look and decide for yourself, I actually view the below as conservative advice for most Americans. Remember, this is not a time to be apathetic and just mull around, it is time to be realistic, do some research and take action if necessary. Please protect yourself and your family.
First know if your bank(s) or credit unions are FDIC/NCUA insured or not. If not, get your money and close the account ASAP as it is a sign that the FDIC probably refused to insure it. If yes, you can read the FDIC rules here, the NCUA rules here, and see if any of the exceptions or limits apply to your family.
Second, consider moving your money to multiple banks or credit unions in the event one would fail. Diversify your risk. At any bank, you can request their financial statement and check out the status of their loans and deposits. You can check the financial statement of all federal credit unions here. In general, credit unions will be safer than larger banks, mainly since its loans are limited to only the union members, but please be careful. Large banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank, Wachovia, etc. loan out to a wide range of borrowers (both individual and commercial), which are subject to failure due to the housing crisis. A small, private, local bank which has not partaken in the mortgage bubble would certainly be the ideal solution.
Third, withdraw enough currency to cover expenses for AT LEAST 6 months. I view this as a prudent move to survive any financial system fall-out. My reasoning for this is that even if all of your money is "deposit insured," if the bank fails, there is no guarantee you will get your money immediately. It may take months. If you decide to do this, it is best to also request small bills ($20 or smaller) as if a crisis develops larger denominations some vendors may have issues with handling $50 or $100 bills. Instead of paper money, I advise taking out nickels as the worth of the metal (75% copper and 25% nickel) is by far worth the closest to face value, whereas the paper money has no value in its cotton/linen form. It's also fairly amusing and trust me, it will take a thief quite a while to lug out several thousand dollars in nickels.
Try reading my Money Matrix series below. Decide for yourself what to do to protect your family's financial well-being. I also highly recommend the well-informed monetary policy articles from fellow Nolan Chart columnist Republicae.
Take a solid look at changing your cash into physical gold and also silver. Some people will tell you this will make you rich as well; this is possible but I do not necessarily agree. My idea is to survive and maintain purchasing power in case hyperinflation occurs. Most of the alarmists recommend holding 25-50% of your savings in gold. I also recommend holding physical silver, preferably in the form of "junk" silver or American Silver Eagles. Please do as you like after researching, but in my humble opinion holding none or <5% of your net assets in gold is not very intelligent. It is my researched understanding that the markets are manipulated, and as such the metal prices can fluctuate, even drop precipitously. However, one troy ounce of gold today is still one troy ounce of gold tomorrow. A dollar bill is also a dollar bill the next day, but the purchasing power of the paper fluctuates madly, and its just a piece of paper that has no intrinsic worth.
If you decide to purchase gold and silver, visit a US Mint authorized dealer near you and buy Silver or Gold 1oz. American Eagles, or "junk" silver, aka "bag silver." 'Bag Silver' are 1964-and-earlier silver coins (Halves, Quarters, Dimes) that are 90% silver by mass. For the troy ounce (31.1 grams) they will be about the spot price of silver and so will be cheaper than Silver Eagles. (The easiest way to remember this is that $1 of Face Value = approx 0.725 TOz silver, but it is typically sold at 0.715 TOz to account for wear and tear.) These days, all coins are trading at high premiums to spot value but bargains can yet be found in 1942-1945 silver war nickels, 40% silver-clad 1965-1969 Kennedy halves, etc. If you have enough funds to purchase 5,000 ounces of silver or 400 ounces of gold, you are 1) much richer than I am and 2) should work through a trader to take physical metal off the COMEX exchange. Read up and decide where to store it - thieves visiting my home won't find any silver and gold, but appropriate locations will vary from person to person. I do recommend diversifying and using multiple locations for your metal.
If you hold US Treasury debt in the form of saving bonds or Treasuries, cash them out for physical cash and coin. While Treasuries may preserve the nominal dollar amount, think purchasing power. However, sovereign default (or practical default, such as changing the terms of the bonds to, say, a perpetual 2% dividend) is certainly possible.
Likewise, have a stock of non-perishable canned foods, water, and other essentials. I recommend this for two reasons. 1) No Americans, including myself, fully appreciate the shocking, disorienting speed at which hyperinflation can hit. Unfortunately, our government has been priming the pump for exactly this to happen. (Remember I wrote this when they want to "save" us again.) and 2) Based on US and world food stock levels and the low prospects for increasing strength in the dollar, it makes financial sense to purchase now and hold for consumption in the future.
Exercise your Second Amendment privilege and peacefully bear arms.
Start a Victory-over-Congress-and-the-FED garden.
Cut, cut, cut all unnecessary spending. In the coming years, one of the lessons it may teach to us (for our benefit) is that you do not need money to be happy.
Get to know your neighbors, and, if for some reason you haven't yet, your family. The more the merrier, there is still hope. My hope is not a short-term one, it is long-term, for our children of today and to protect the lives of our parents. I believe that once the current manner of government interventions is accepted as false and nonsensical, the recovery will be much swifter than any would dream.
Last, spread the word. For obvious reasons, you won't find this advice from the mainstream media. Join organizations such as the Campaign for Liberty, End the FED, and Young Americans for Liberty. My fellow Americans, the worst storms have yet to arrive, but know there is hope and a bright future waiting for us - if we dare to choose it.
WHAT IS THE FUTURE?
Modern central bankers are being assaulted by their own Frankenstein creation, fiat money. Is it any wonder that conditions in places such as Africa have changed very little over the past half-century? The chained people of this earth are falling in battle, caused to a strong degree by the "Money Powers," the FED, BIS, IMF and other central bankers. 25,000 dead each day due to hunger and economic suppression when the War of Terror military funding could have fed, clothed, and sheltered each and every one. 7,328,200+ Americans are already imprisoned or on parole, many unjustly, by our "legal" system. Every American who works has her/his wages stolen by the IRS to the tune of $1.2 Trillion in 2008 as I described in "Thank You for Paying Your "Voluntary" Income Tax! Love, The IRS". Sure pales in comparison to the Trillions spent in bailouts so far, eh? Many other Americans will struggle as well, but the end overall economic result is likely just a severe (and temporary) drop in living standards. Although, in my final analysis and worldview, our world leaders are clearly embarking us on a path to endless war, this is most likely completely accidental.
At any rate, the clueless or corrupt politicians in Washington have chosen their comrades - and they are the Banksters, not We the People. This did not start yesterday, or even in the last decade. The US has not had free markets for at least 90 years. We have been living in the Age of Marx and Keynes, and it is now time to move on.
A final victory for honest money will one day arrive, despite the efforts of the sad command & control governments and central banker allies that rule this planet today.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
As always, unlike the NFL, the author grants full permission to allow any accounts of, rebroadcasts, retransmissions, repostings in part or full of this article to your blog or anywhere else in order to promote the Restoration of our Republic.
Veritas numquam perit. Veritas odit moras. Veritas vincit. Truth never perishes. Truth hates delay. Truth conquers.
Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito. Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.
As a disclaimer of sorts, I am a supporter of owning physical gold, physical silver, www.gata.org and www.goldmoney.com. Any investment or financial views expressed in the article are mine and mine alone, so make your own financial decisions by educating yourself. All I am doing is sharing my views publicly to help you decide, even if its just to become aware that you do have a decision to make. These articles reflect my opinion and are by no means a guarantee of future economic conditions. My articles are provided for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY and are actually NOT MEANT to provide investment advice to anyone.
The views expressed
in this article are those of Jake Towne, the Champion of the Constitution only and
do not represent the views of Nolan Chart, LLC or its affiliates.
Jake Towne, the Champion of the Constitution is solely responsible for the contents
of this article and is not an employee or otherwise affiliated
with Nolan Chart, LLC in his/her role as a columnist.
Posted By: Rhode to Surfdom
Date: 2009-04-21 12:36:15
Well-written and insightful work. The fractional-reserve fiat banking system has at this point proven itself to be flawed to say the least. I agree that people can rebound from this mess as long as a basic understanding of how we got here is achieved by a mojority of Americans. Your articles should be able to help in this regard(if we can get more people reading Nolan chart that is).
As far as planning goes I would just like to add one thing. Means of production will be trading at a premium as your articel explains. The ability to procure safe drinking water, food and energy will be crucial to avoid the worst of calamities. I suggest locating some real estate that can provide these items. Wind power depends very little on the grid if at all and can be used to provide lighting(for education and working), pump water(for survival), and will offer the owner the unique opportunity to barter for anything needed in exchange for use of said electricity.
I like the "end the fed garden idea" and want my own now. The Bernanke section will be where I keep my mulch pile as that is what he¬†is doing¬†with our currency- turning it into a steaming pile of waste.
What are your thoughts on the corporations forced to sell out(Merrill Lynch and Wachovia specifically) being the ones contributing so much to the profits of BOA and Wells Fargo.¬† Why were they forced into these mergers?¬† They would have been more profitable on their own.
Posted By: Jake, the Champion of the Constitution
Date: 2009-04-22 09:09:16
Thanks to everyone for commenting!!
Dear EJ -
I view all of the investment bank mergers as more or less the dead marrying the dead, and I've looked at the recent "profits" by the financials and happen to believe its mostly accounting tricks.¬†
There may be some truth in that the "money power" cabal is simply eliminating its competition - the latest theory (I am still researching it as some of the stuff is above my level of understanding) quant traders such as Government Sachs, Renaissance Technologies, Highbridge (JP Morgan), etc. I won't claim to be an expert, but here's a great read from a Martin Armstrong.
¬†Here is a non-mainstream view on Wells Fargo from Dave Kranzler
In response to an equity analyst who issued a report today stating that WFC may need $50 billion to repay $25 billion in TARP plus cover another $25 billion in further asset losses, I decided to update my own analysis of WFC using its recently filed annual report. What I found was quite stunning. Using conservative estimates of the collateral underlying WFC's loan assets, and the corresponding write-downs and liquidity needs which result from the deterioration of these assets, I calculate that WFC will be forced to incur at least $283 billion in future asset write-downs and will thus require at least that much in capital to service the corresponding liabilities. Furthermore, it is easy to conclude based on my analysis that the CEO of Wells Fargo has Friday has fraudulently conveyed the financial position of the bank he runs.
Let's look at some numbers. WFC's on-balance-sheet loan assets are as follows:
Commercial Real Estate
Commercial loans $202 Billion
Other Commercial loans 103
Total Commercial $356 Billion
Consumer Real Estate
1st mortgages $247.8 Billion
2nd lien/home equity 110
Credit card 23
Other (autos,student etc) 93
Total Consumer Loans $473.8 Billion
Other 34.2 Billion
Total Loan Assets $864 Billion
The melt-down in commercial real estate is just starting to hit the banks. Let's assume Wells only suffers a 20% hit the value of its loans in this area. That's $71.2 billion in write-downs and liquidity needs. I can tell you with near-certainty that anything under construction right now is probably next to worthless, so my estimate on the overall commercial portfolio is probably conservative.
How about the residential portfolio. Given the substantial and ongoing decline in housing values, it's probably safe to assume that home equity loans have no value, and several respected real estate analysts have stated that is the case. But let's say WFC's home equity portfolio is worth 50 cents. That's $55 billion in write-downs and cash needs.
Let's give them 80 cents on the 1st mortgages. This too is generous, as the pay-option ARM portfolio that WFC inherited from Wachovia is already marked down to 80 cents, represents 48% of WFC's 1st lien mortgages, and will soon be going thru its massive rate-adjustment phase which will entail a high percentage of defaults and foreclosures. Recent blocks of foreclosed bank properties in California and Florida (where the majority of WFC's pay-option ARM mortgages originate) have been trading at less than 50% of original value. So 80 cents is a conservative assumption and would result in another $49.4 billion in write-downs and cash needs.
Off-balance-sheet: WFC's Junk In The Trunk
OFF BALANCE SHEET exposure consists of 33.3 Billion of QSPE (qualified special purpose entities), with maximum loss exposure of $39.6 Billion.
QSPE's are essentially the mortgage securitization trusts into which Wells Fargo dumped its mortgage securitizations, leaving WFC with up to $40 billion of liability exposure, but FASB accounting rules allow Wells Fargo to leave this exposure off of its balance sheet.
They also have $40.3 billion of carrying value in VIE's (Variable Interest Entities) with a maximum loss exposure of $65.3 billion. VIE is the formal name for the accumulated CDO's, CLO's and other asset-backed structures which FASB allows WFC to classify as off-balance-sheet.
It specifically says in financial statement footnotes that WFC engages in various derivative trades such as credit default swaps and other derivative structures in connection with its off-balance-sheet assets.
Let's discuss this off-balance-sheet exposure. VIE's typically require the "sponsor," in this case WFC, to provide a certain level of loan guarantees to the entity. As per various sources of reporting, we know that the market values the types of assets WFC carries off-balance-sheet anywhere from zero to 30 cents. These are the assets typically referred to as "toxic." Let's assume Wells eventually has to write-off 50% of its exposure here (I believe that to be conservative). That entails taking a $40 billion write-down and coming up with a like-amount of cash to pay off the entities holding the loans against those assets.
WFC also discloses on-balance-sheet exposure to credit default swap derivatives of $20.8 billion. In a note to this disclosure, they reveal the total off-balance-sheet exposure to credit default swaps is $56-137 billion. Again, let's assume the eventual economic loss from CDS exposure is 50 cents on the dollar. That would entail WFC taking $68 billion write-down and having to come up with $68 billion to pay its counterparties.
In using what I would argue is conservative assumptions to assessing WFC's off-balance-sheet problems, I come up with $108 billion in future write-downs and a corresponding liquidity need of $108 billion to service this exposure.
To summarize, I have detailed the following probable future write-down requirements for Wells Fargo, and have shown that these values are quite conservative:
Commercial loans $71 billion
Residential mtgs 104.4 billion
derivatives 108 billion
Total $283.4 billion
I'm not sure how the analyst from Keefe, Bruyette & Woods arrived at his $50 billion number for WFC, but I think my analysis shows that realistically, and with conservative mark to market assumptions, that WFC is insolvent without massive amounts of Government bailout money coming. That's the optimistic viewpoint. A more realistic viewpoint is that the CEO of Well Fargo committed serious fraud in the numbers he reported to the market last Friday.
Fraud is what I am thinking as well.¬† And what better way for our new administration to show that they are in control by having some of the new organizations under their thumb showing some great results in spite of things....
Posted By: Jake, the Champion of the Constitution
Date: 2009-04-22 10:48:23
EJ - One other comment that I have on the positive side for WF is that of the major 4 banks, Wells Fargo has by far the least ratio of nominal derivatives: assets.¬† My point being...it¬† might be one of the "best" banks.¬† I suppose time will answer this question.
interesting name: Rhode (is that a Cecil Rhodes reference?).¬† very interesting re: the "end the fed garden" Bernanke section.¬† I think you just found a very valuable use for those George Washington's!¬† Using permaculture practices, you can just shred these dollars (or sheet mulch them whole) into the garden.¬† Various fungi will come, naturally, and clean up the toxic inks, and you'll have a good source of carbon for the garden.¬† just make sure to save the yellow stuff to bring in the nitrogen :)¬†