Charges include racketeering (organized crime under the U.S. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act or RICO), antitrust violations, wire fraud, bid-rigging, and price-fixing. Damning charges have already been proven, and major damages and penalties assessed. Conspiracy theory has become established fact.At one time, calling the large multinational banks a "cartel" branded you as a conspiracy theorist. Today the banking giants are being called that and worse, not just in the major media but in court documents intended to prove the allegations as facts.
The US economy continues to grow, but the pace of expansion is still modest. Industrial production expanded in June at a 4.7 year-over-year pace. This put the average rate of expansion for the quarter at 4.7 percent, year-over-year, up slightly from a 4.4 pace of the first quarter.
Since the current economic recovery began in July 2009, the highest quarterly increase in industrial production came in the third quarter of 2010. At that time, industrial production was increasing at a 7.1 percent, year-over-year rate.
As can be seen in the accompanying chart, the rate of increase dropped off from that date and seems to have settled in the three-to-five percent range, a rate that is rather anemic for this time in the business cycle, but a rate that is consistent with other current measures of economic growth.
Did you know that one of the industries that has seen the best job growth in the U.S. is mining? As you can see below, from the end of December 2007 through May 2012, U.S. employment in the mining sector has increased 16 percent. This percentage change is far better than any other sector, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
When President Eisenhower left office in 1961 his parting message to the nation was to "beware the Industrial/Military complex". He warned that military contractors had become so chummy with Congress and the Pentagon that "the potential for a disastrous rise of misplaced power exists."
We now face a much more dangerous power grab that could actually melt down the entire financial system of the country if it isn't brought under control.
I refer of course to the still growing power and influence of the financial industry.
We've already seen frightening examples of how out of control it has become, how undeterred it is in its quest for huge profits for a chosen few insiders, with total lack of concern about the effect on the rest of country.
Having topped out into corrections in March and April, most global markets rallied back some in June, fueled by hopes that June's unusual schedule of promising events would provide rescues for the eurozone and the U.S. economy. As those events arrived, if one or two failed to produce results, the rally only paused momentarily as there were still remaining events that might produce results.
But now we're out of promising events for a while.
June's first hope was that Spain would receive its requested bailout loans for its banks and Spain would go away as a worry. Next was the scheduled election in Greece that might prevent it from exiting the euro-zone. Then the G-20 summit on June 19 was hoped to produce a big coordinated global stimulus effort, and the Fed's FOMC meeting was anticipated to result in new QE3 stimulus efforts for the U.S. economy. That was closely followed by the EU summit meeting and hope that it would result in a promising plan to control the eurozone debt crisis. This week it was that the European Central Bank and the Bank of England would cut interest rates at their meetings.
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