Category Archives: Economic Affairs

Ron Paul Stands His Ground in New Hampshire Debate Last Night

International Sanctions and Tensions Rise in Light of Iranian Missile Tests

By Ryan Matthew Dernick

Israel and Washington accused Tehran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says “our nuclear program is a peaceful drive to generate electricity so that the world’s fourth-largest oil producer can export more of its gas and crude.”

In a statement released by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad he insists that the nuclear ambitions of his country are for purely peaceful purposes. Iranian Army Chief said in a public statement to the United States this past Monday during the Iranian Missile Tests in the Strait of Hormuz saying ” That the U.S. should not bring its aircraft carriers into the Gulf again.” The Iranian Army Chief goes on to say we are not in the business of warning America more than once.”

Iran has been conducting a barrage of naval drills in the Gulf in recent days including test-firing several missiles. These exercises were held near the Strait of Hormuz, through which around 20% or 1/6th of the world’s traded oil supply passes.

Iran's recent Missile Tests in the Strait of Hormuz Monday Prompt the potential for more International Sanctions against the Middle Eastern Country

Tehran said on Monday that “mock exercises on shutting the strait had been carried out, although there was no intention of closing it.”

The U.N. Security Council has already brought four successions of sanctions against Iran for refusing to halt its uranium enrichment ventures.  Enriched uranium can be converted into nuclear weapons grade fissile material.

“These are the kinds of steps that we would like to see not just from our close allies and partners in places like Europe but from countries around the world”, according to US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

These sanctions include a ban on the supply of heavy weaponry and nuclear-related technology to Iran, a block on Iranian arms exports, and an asset freeze on key individuals and companies.

Sanctions against Iran Up to This Point

United States

  • Longstanding ban on all trade with Iran except for activities “intended to benefit the Iranian people”
  • New sanctions against foreign firms dealing with Iran’s oil sector and central bank

European Union

  • Restrictions on trade in equipment which could be used for uranium enrichment
  • Asset freeze on individuals and organisations linked with nuclear programme
  • Export ban on natural gas technology

United Nations

  • Ban on sales of heavy weaponry and nuclear technology to Iran
  • Iranian arms exports blocked, and asset freeze for key individuals and firms
  • Cargo inspections to detect and stop Iran’s acquisition of illicit materials

Congress asks Jon Corzine “Show me the Money”

By: Ryan Matthew Dernick

Last Thursday under the order of one of three Congressional Subpoena’s filed against former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine he came to sit before the U.S. House Agriculture Committee in Washington D.C. for questioning on the whereabouts of the over 1 billion dollars in vanished funds.

Corzine is trailed by reporters after testifying about the MF Global bankruptcy during a hearing before the U.S. House Agriculture Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington

A primary goal of the this first round of inquisitions were to reveal where the misplaced customers segregated accounts went. The amount missing is purported to be anywhere from 1.2 billion to almost 3 billion dollars in holdings which disappeared from the investment banking firm that was MF Global.

When Jon Corzine was asked as to where the missing funds in question may be he replied,”I simply do not know where the money is, or why the accounts have not been reconciled to date,” he told the House Agriculture Committee, adding that he was “stunned” when he heard of the missing funds. United States Lawmakers were not digesting any of his clueless replies in regards to where the money had gone.

Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., said “it was the height of disbelief to think that Corzine a former senator, a former governor and the former head of Goldman Sachs knew nothing about the $1.2 billion.”

“We’ve got to get better answers from you because you were the CEO,” he said.

Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Ill., said that “people who live in the real world have “suffered dramatically from MF Global’s downfall” and he asked Corzine “whether he’d be willing to pay back those people with his own personal fortune.” Jon Corzine evasively steered away from the question saying, ” The funds will eventually be found.”

Jon Corzine said “he couldn’t account for the missing 1.2 billion in individual accounts.” “There are… many transactions that occurred in those last chaotic days,” Corzine said. “I am not aware of all those, nor do I have all the information to be able to look at all those transactions. As a consequence, it would be very hard for me to speculate as to where or why that shortfall in customer accounts took place.”

Lawmakers continually hounded Corzine as to whether or not he authorized the use of customer funds for proprietary investments. Corzine said again and again, “I had no intention of moving customer money to proprietary accounts.” “There is no intention, under any context that I can think of, that I was authorizing tapping into segregated funds,” he said.

James Kobak, a lawyer representing the trustee for the liquidation of MF Global said “The MF Global records are a mess.”

Commodities Futures Trading Commission commissioner Jill Sommers added, “I think that we can’t over-emphasize the size of the books and records of MF Global…The amount of accounts and transactions are enormous.”

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and John Boehner (R-OH) see nothing wrong with congressional Insider Trading

Public Servants or Corporate Servants?

Public Servants Insider Trading in Congress

By: Ryan Matthew Dernick

Jon Corzine MF Global CEO and former Govenor of New Jersey alongside President Obama

In the last couple of weeks MF Global financial investment firm gets away with extorting anywhere from 1.5 to just shy of 3 billion dollars of clients segregated accounts including Gerald Celente’s account. Gerald Celente is the founder of TRENDS Research Magazine of One of the more ethically questionable  international investment banking firms JP Morgan will be absorbing the dissolving MF Global company’s  LME (London Metal Exchange) holdings. The majority of the at least 1.3 billion of which they cannot locate of people’s individual accounts in silver and gold ETF’s may not even be reimbursed to the understandably agitated investors according to JP Morgan.

The House Ethics Committee stated in a memo ” Members of Congress may be liable as insider traders, whether they obtain non-public information as part of their official duties or outside of them.”

Interestingly ironic is that Jon Corzine is a recent U.S. Governor of New Jersey from 2006 to 2010, a former CEO of Goldman Sachs in 1999 and then MF Global in 2010 which is now at the center of the congressional insider stock trading legal debacle. Financial regulators Monday banned the kinds of sweet insider trading deals that may have contributed to the bankruptcy of MF Global and the downfall of Jon Corzine. Today Tuesday the 6th of December 2011 The House Financial Services Committee will commence a hearing on such purported trading within the very halls of U.S. congress. A public servant of the United States main motivation should be to protect and serve the people from threats both foreign and domestic instead of lining their pockets with greenbacks. This espouses a financial collusion against not only the citizens of America but any global free market society.

A recent “60 Minutes” piece focused on financial transactions involving House Speaker John Bohner (R-OH), Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL). Each of them deny any unscrupulous actions were committed.

Just when you think Occupy Wall Street is beginning to lose gusto as cities like New York or D.C. are increasing the rhetoric against the peaceful protesters who speak out against just this kind of extortion. This is just the news needed for the 99% to fuel the couple month long grassroots activist movement further. It has been revealed JP Morgan has been at the forefront of funding New York City Police Department’s oppression of peaceful protests via doling out N.Y.P.D. holiday bonuses for law enforcement. Just like separation of Church and State there should be a separation of Investment banking firms and State.

A Latin saying that always gives me hope Veritas Vos Liberabit, The Truth Shall Set Us free.