Sunday, January 11, 2015

The next two years the USA will be plagued by Republican manipulation of the legislature. It has already started. It never takes long to show up.

The reason Carly Fiorina has changed her evil ways is because she has a bigger picture in mind. That picture is completely illegitimate.

I think it was in 2011, there were derivatives sold in amounts of something like $600 TRILLION while the 'underlying' was actually $60 trillion. The derivatives sold were more than ten times the amount of the 'underlying' and no one gave a damn. Those empty derivatives were sold. They were sold to real people with real money. That doesn't even begin to add the Swaps that may have went with them.

This was an article that appeared in April 2010 when the USA was about to pass their financial regulation laws. It appeared in the New York Daily News.

April 25, 2010

...For example, (click here) let's say you have a home that uses heating oil, and your oil company offers you a fixed price for the season. It needs to know the price of oil will be stable, so it buys an insurance policy - a derivative - guaranteeing it can buy oil at a set price during the heating season. The company can plan its business and homeowners can avoid the stress of worrying about fluctuating energy prices.
Another example: A farmer grows corn, but if the price slumps at the time of the harvest, he could go bankrupt. So he buys an insurance policy - a derivative - that guarantees him a fixed price. The farmer plants his crop knowing he won't lose money.
Business people use derivatives all the time to plan better and limit risk. All in all, it's reasonably conservative....

It is a lie. Oil distributors, unless they 'play the market' don't purchase derivatives to hedge their contracts with customers. If an oil supplier has made a contract with consumers for a year, it is because his supplier has given him a contract price, not because he purchased derivatives.

American farmers don't purchase derivatives. They work very hard and when drought hits or there is a very bad growing season they ask government agencies created to help farmers for loans to see them through to the next season in anticipation of a better growing season.

This article is a lie and 'exotic artificial instruments' are fraud. Just that simple. Now, we know it is fraud backed by the USA Republican Party to the extent of government bailouts. Incredibly, the Republicans consent to this fraud and at the same time deprive the people medical care, food stamps and unemployment benefits when it all collapses. 

Why is any of this important?

There is a field of Republican contenders for US President watching the global money and are vying for political money to purchase the White House. One of their first obligations is to deregulate the financial sector again.

January 11, 2015
By Eric Bradner
Washington (CNN) Four weeks ago, (click here) Jeb Bush tried to seize the GOP's establishment mantle from an unsettled crop of contenders by making crystal clear that he's moving toward a run for president.
Mitt Romney spoiled those plans on Friday.
All of a sudden, the Republican primary field features a growing group of businesslike state executives in Romney, Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, all competing for the same party establishment donors, operatives and supporters.
Chris Christie tests limits of authenticity
The battle between Bush and Romney, once thought to be a long-shot, looks much more plausible after Romney told a group of about 30 top donors in the New York office of Jets owner Woody Johnson that he is considering a third bid for the White House -- and that they were free to go tell their friends....

I really don't think Chinese and American regulators talk enough in ways backed by their governments.

Wall Street has hacked into China's mainframe and isn't being detected by the government. They have found a new toy in a backdoor to Chinese markets.
 December 29, 2014
Hong Kong's off-exchange derivatives market (click here) is thriving as foreign funds prevented from using a landmark Hong Kong-Shanghai trading link by technical and regulatory hurdles look for a back door to gain exposure to China's record-breaking stocks rally.
The development is a blow for Beijing, which has long-feared an influx of anonymous, footloose foreign money could increase volatility in China's already wild stock markets, and comes as regulators globally look to clamp down on opaque off-exchange trading.
Some of the biggest global banks were already able to offer so-called "synthetic" equity products that provide clients with exposure to mainland China stocks, known as "A-shares", using shares purchased through restricted investment quotas.
Because such over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives are traded off-exchange, the identity of the underlying investor, and the size of the market, is often unclear to regulators....
...Several brokers and fund managers told Reuters that the vast majority of trading on Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect is happening away from Beijing's gaze in Hong Kong's OTC market. "Synthetic equity products are the main vehicle for accessing the A-share market at the moment," said Stephane Loiseau, head of cash equities for Asia-Pacific at Societe Generale in Hong Kong....

The Chinese Middle Class is important.

China has began a push to improve the quality of life of it's people. It is a magnificent thing. The Chinese Middle Class is growing. The growth of the Middle Class across the globe is important for economic growth, but, more so to stabilize the domestic economies of these countries. The very last thing the Chinese people and their burgeoning economy needs is an implosion of their economy and monetary structure.

January 7, 2015
By Jeremy Grant

Derivatives volumes (click here) on the three biggest exchanges in Southeast Asia hit record highs in 2014 in a sign that the region's capital markets are diversifying beyond equity capital raising and trading into offering risk management and hedging.
The development also shows that the bourses are managing to tap a growing middle class of domestic investors who are becoming familiar with futures trading, which is riskier than equities but can offer higher returns.
FirstFT is our new essential daily email briefing of the best stories from across the web
About 55 per cent of trading on the Thailand Futures Exchange (TFE) last year was done by retail investors. On western bourses, most futures trading is done by institutional investors.
“Given today’s volatile market, investors are turning to stock futures as a tool to manage risk and seek better returns,” said Rinjai Chakornpipat, TFE’s managing director....

Middle Class investors need a great deal of guidance and not exploitation of their new found happiness in their ability to build a better life. I am very worried the USA Republicans are destroying Todd-Frank and it will have a backlash in the global economy. These investors don't care about anything, except, money. The Chinese Middle Class should be equally as cautious about these financial instruments as the American people have become.

The Middle Class in any country is not a toy. It is real human beings with hope and dreams for their lives and that of their children. While Wall Street is welcome to buy and trade stocks that look interesting, they aren't allowed to destroy lives in doing so. 

The Chinese have a very different culture than the USA. When such hardship revisits the new Chinese Middle Class, I hope the boys on Wall Street are met with prison or worse. The justice in the USA was never sufficiently rendered following the global economic collapse. I am confident and hopeful the Chinese will appreciate the lack of expertise exhibited by these financial firms in these economic collapse. It is fraud. Wall Street banks and brokers talk a good game, but, in the end doesn't have the expertise to even understand and control outcomes from their complicated instruments called Derivatives and Swaps. If the global collapse beginning in 2007 is proof then I don't know what else does.

I would be very suspicious of any global banker who states, "We have learned so much from then." Huh? A global economic collapse was an experiment? It is called fraud. They didn't and don't know what they are doing. They simply want to do it again.

Just a little review.

Derivatives (click here)

Background: In 2000, Congress passed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act (CFMA) to provide legal certainty for swap agreements. The CFMA explicitly prohibited the SEC and CFTC from regulating the over-the-counter (OTC) swaps markets, but provided the SEC with antifraud authority over “security-based swap agreements,” such as credit default swaps. However, the SEC was specifically prohibited from, among other things, imposing reporting, recordkeeping, or disclosure requirements or other prophylactic measures designed to prevent fraud with respect to such agreements. This limited the SEC’s ability to detect and deter fraud in the swaps markets.

Title VII of Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act addresses the gap in U.S. financial regulation of OTC swaps by providing a comprehensive framework for the regulation of the OTC swaps markets.

The Dodd-Frank Act divides regulatory authority over swap agreements between the CFTC and SEC (though the prudential regulators, such as the Federal Reserve Board, also have an important role in setting capital and margin for swap entities that are banks). The SEC has regulatory authority over “security-based swaps,” which are defined as swaps based on a single security or loan or a narrow-based group or index of securities (including any interest therein or the value thereof), or events relating to a single issuer or issuers of securities in a narrow-based security index. Security-based swaps are included within the definition of “security” under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Securities Act of 1933....

While on the subject, just a mention regarding NARAB II.

“The Big ‘I’ is proud that all our hard work on TRIA and NARAB II has come to fruition and will benefit thousands of small businesses and insurance consumers across the country,” said Bob Rusbuldt, Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (Big “I”) president and CEO. “Today’s bipartisan action by the Senate on both TRIA and NARAB II, in one of the first acts of the new Congress, represents a culmination of years of hard work of the Big ‘I’ and our small business members, and I offer our members a sincere and heartfelt congratulations. Long awaited reform on non-resident licensing for agents is finally coming.”

National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB). They were able to have a bill passed in 2013 (click here).

There are insurance agents that have reciprocity and practice in more than one state. Each state has an insurance commissioner who has been issuing rules and regs regarding all forms of insurance. In order to have reciprocity (the practice of insurance sales in one state permits a person to seek that same capacity in another state) currently an agent has to prove they have an understanding of the state's regulations before selling a product. Basically, NARAB believes there are strong similarities in requirements for most states so there should not have to be repeated proofs for agents to practice in any state.

Example: Florida
Multi-State Exposures. (click here)
A person who is not a resident of Florida who sells, solicits, or negotiates a contract of insurance for commercial or residential property and casualty risks to an insured with risks located in more than one state insured under that contract, provided that the person is otherwise licensed as an insurance producer to sell, solicit or negotiate that insurance in the state where the insured maintains its principal place of business or residency and the contract of insurance insures risks located in that state, is not required to be licensed as a producer in Florida. Example: Mary Smith, a licensed property and casualty producer in Ohio, sells an insurance policy to a business in Ohio that also has branch locations in Florida. If the branch locations in Florida are on the master insurance contract in Ohio, then Mary Smith is not required to be licensed in Florida.

NARAB II (click here)
While much progress has been made to improve uniformity and streamline non-resident producer licensing, there has been concern the envisioned uniformity and reciprocity was never fully achieved as there remain several large states that have not yet become reciprocal. The absence of these major markets has inhibited the implementation of national licensing reciprocity and the ability of agents to obtain licenses in all of the states. 

The problem with any action that allows homogenous requirements for those that have fiduciary (sorry for the big words - relationships requiring trust between strangers when one is the trustee and one is the beneficiary) responsibilities is that it allows for corporate take overs of large areas of population. I pretty much see it as an anti-trust problem.

Right now in the USA there are corporate insurance companies such as State Farm, Progressive, Allstate, etc. A person in California could have the same insurance company as their parent in let's say Kansas, but, they have different policies because each insurance commissioner sets the rules. They would also have different insurance agents.

In the last decade or so, there have become large insurers such as "esurance" that attract customers through media and within minutes have issued a policy. It is that movement creating the desire by insurance agents that want the right to sell insurance in all states without really qualifying for special permission. 

The question in my mind is the "Independent Agent" going to disappear? If that occurs consumers will have poorer service. More and more business is done over the internet, so what happens to real persons in real life challenges to make a living and provide excellent service to their customers. Today, I can shop around for an insurance agent, will that always continue?

The upside of all these agent reciprocity requests is an increase in pricing competition. It will open up markets and it will benefit the consumer. The worry is will the competition destroy 'the agent economy' within a state and/or local economy?

The score is 2 - 0.

Counting the Omnibus Bill that funds 2015 through September:

Wall Street - 2

US Citizens - 0

The definition of corruption at it's core. The nation is left hostage to the powers of the plutocrats. They find a political hot spot and attach all their corrupt intentions.

Senators that voted against the bill; (click here)  Senator Marko Rubio, Senator Elizabeth Warren,  Senator Maria Cantwell and Senator Bernie Sanders.

Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator Harry Reid and Shelley Capito abstained from voting.

Every other US Senator voted for the measure including Miss Piggy. Monkey See, Monkey Do.

Voting No (click here) in the US House is Tom McClintock (R-CA), Thomas Massey (R-KY), Walter Jones (R-NC), Justin Amish (R-MI) and James Sensenbrenner (R-WI).

Louise Slaughter (D-NY) voted Present.

Abstained in the US House are Representatives Rubin Gallego (D-FL), John Larson (D-CT), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Debbie Dingle (D-MI).

Hm. Sad but true, the all saintly majority of the House and Senate along with an anticipated signature of Obama have undercut the American voter again.

Remember the Omnibus bill passed to prevent the government from shutting down in 2014? Remember and the last minute amendment that removed protections from consumers giving Wall Street the right to carry out the risk taking of derivatives? The annual bailout of banks? Remember that?

I figured out how and why the banks came up with that idea. They basically pouted that ordinary citizens can declare gambling losses above any winnings. Banks are citizens, too, aren't they.

Ah, but, what has this to do with TRIA? I should be reading the definitions by now, right?

By Danny Vinik
...On Thursday afternoon, (click here) the Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation to renew the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), which expired at the end of 2014 and allows the federal government to backstop commercial insurance companies up to $200 million in the case of a terrorist attack. But the bill, which the House passed on Wednesday, also eliminates another provision in the financial regulatory bill. Wall Street’s strategy to dismantle Dodd-Frank is only picking up speed.

The regulation that TRIA rolls back is not pivotal to Dodd-Frank. It gives the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodities Future Trading Commission (CFTC) oversight over collateral and margin requirements for certain financial tradesknown as derivativeswith commercial end users. It’s not as important to Dodd-Frank as Section 716, which prevented banks from using taxpayer-backed money to trade in certain high risk financial products and was eliminated in the year-end funding bill known as the CROmnibus. But it still weakens the law. “The oversight of margin and collateral for derivatives transactions is a basic regulatory safeguard,” Americans for Financial Reform wrote in an open letter opposing the provision. “Even though regulators have not proposed to require any margin of commercial end users at this time, it is inappropriate to completely eliminate the ability of central derivatives market regulators to take action in this important area.”...

We have a lot of vocabulary to learn with this Congres..

TRIP - Terrorism Risk Insurance Program
TRIA - Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002
TRIEA - Terrorism Risk Insurance Extension Act of 2005
TRIPRA - Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act - 2007

Terrorism Risk Insurance Program (TRIP) (click here)

On December 22, 2005, the President signed into law The Terrorism Risk Insurance Extension Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109-144, 119 Stat. 2660) [TRIEA]. The law extended the life of TRIP through December 31, 2007.

On December 26, 2007, the President signed into law the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 (Pub. L. 110-160, 121 Stat. 1839) [TRIPRA]. The law extended the life of TRIP through December 31, 2014.

TRIA, related rules found in 31 C.F.R. Part 50 contain certain definitions, requirements, and procedures for insurers filing claims with Treasury for payment of the Federal share of compensation for insured losses under the TRIP. The Claims Procedures Rule, in particular, specifically addresses requirements for Federal payment, the submission of an initial notice of insured loss, loss certifications, the timing and process for payment, associated recordkeeping requirements, as well as Treasury’s audit and investigation authority. These procedures will apply to all insurers that wish to receive their payment of the Federal share of compensation for insured losses under TRIA. Insurers are advised to review the legislation and TRIP regulations before submitting information.

Additional materials addressing the TRIA, TRIEA, TRIPRA and TRIP, including Treasury issued interpretive letters, are contained on this website. Also, a “browsable” version of all of Treasury’s TRIP related regulations can be accessed through the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

I haven't read any of the law, but, it would be interesting to read the definitions. I just find it interesting that in 2005 and 2007 and with the new reauthorization in 2015 there is still the need for insurance from terrorism. I guess AIG doesn't cover acts of god.


The first legislative measure of the 114th Congress (2015 - 2017)

January 8, 2015
By Melissa Hillebrand

...“The Big ‘I’ is (click here) proud that all of our hard work on TRIA and NARAB II has come to fruition and will benefit thousands of small businesses and insurance consumers across the country,” says Bob Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “Today’s bipartisan action by the Senate on both TRIA and NARAB II, in one of the first acts of the new Congress, represents a culmination of years of hard work of the Big ‘I’ and our small business members, and I offer our members a sincere and heartfelt congratulations. Long awaited reform on non-resident licensing for agents is finally coming.”

The bill extends TRIA for six years, and increases the amount needed in total losses before the TRIA program kicks in from the current $100 million to $200 million, at a rate of $20 million a year beginning in 2016. The bill also raises the federal government's mandatory recoupment from $27.5 billion to $37.5 billion, increasing by $2 billion each year beginning Jan. 1, 2016. For all events, the bill would raise the private industry recoupment total from the current 133% of covered losses to 140% of covered losses. 

"As with previous TRIA reauthorizations, the primary responsibility for financial recovery is placed on the private sector in all but the most catastrophic of events. TRIA provides policyholders and businesses the certainty they need to operate and grow our nation’s economy," says Leigh Ann Pusey, president and CEO of the American Insurance Association....

Seems like a nice thing to do, right, insuring the insurance companies that insure businesses against losses from terrorism. It gives the government incentive to find terrorists and thwart their plans. Otherwise, besides any deaths the losses to the USA economy is unknown, so there exists TRIA.

Carly's New Rules!

She is typical in her Republican mussing; sympathetic, but, lacks definition. 
It is Sunday Night

"Call Your Bluff" from the album "Worth Fighting For" by Act of Congress (click here for website)

A game of chess
A game we play
I can't trust
A word you say
The stakes are high
The truth you've concealed

A gamble of lies on a roulette wheel
Spinning down,
As the chips being to thrive
The Queen of Hearts-
A believable disguise

You bide in your time,
Tryin' to work it out
Don't know if I'll ever feel sure enough
'Cause I'm placing my bet
On a house made of cards,
Putting all in to call you bluff
(Hmm hmm hmm)

Your mouth says "yes"
Your eyes read "no"
I drummed a sigh
You simply fold your arms,
As a dish rolls in your eye
Your luck's wearing thin
And your conscience left to die


You bide in your time,
Tryin' to work it out
Don't know if I'll ever feel sure enough
'Cause I'm placing my bet
On a house made of cards,
Putting all in to call you bluff
(Hmm hmm hmm)

The cards have been dealt
The die has been cast
And odds are slim
That this chance will last
(It won't last)

Ooh, now I know
I'll never feel sure enough

'Cause I'm placing my bet
On a house made of cards,
Putting all in to call you bluff

(Hmm hmm hmm)