Saturday, July 31, 2010

Our Launch Schedule Has been Further Delayed

We regret to announce that our launch schedule has been delayed further. We will post a new scheduled launch date in the coming weeks.
Thank you for your patience.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

We Will Be Back With a New Improved Website on August 1, 2010

Dear Readers,
We are currently working on launching a new & improved site. However our launch is taking a little longer than anticipated. We now expect to launch on August 1, 2010.
Thank you for your patience and support. We look forward to providing you with interesting news & analysis.
Kind Regards,
The Team at the Firecracker Report

Sunday, May 16, 2010

We Will Be Back Shortly With a New and Improved Website

We have had to be off air due to a family emergency. Thankfully all is well now. We are taking the time to develop a new and improved website, and will be back on in 2-3 weeks time. Thank you for all the emails of concern and your patience.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Unfree Markets": The Last Gasp of a (Literally) Bankrupt Ideology

Richard (RJ) , Huffington Post
What we've been witnessing in Washington isn't just political positioning by one party looking to deny the other a victory, although it's certainly that. We're also seeing the death struggle of a dying ideology. This ideology provided intellectual cover to business and political elites for decades, but events have proved conclusively that it doesn't work. What's more, people are beginning to see that it's inconsistent with the country's traditional values of competition and free enterprise.
The ideology was cooked up in think tanks and boardrooms, then packaged and sold under a variety of conservative and libertarian guises. While the theories and rationalizations varied wildly, the conclusions were always the same: Deregulation was always the right approach, even (especially) for the most concentrated and rapacious businesses. Consumer regulations should be avoided because they hurt everybody, especially (somehow) consumers. And cutting taxes for the rich magically made things better for everybody else.
The arguments changed but the results were consistent: greater upward distribution of wealth, and more concentration of power, delivered by those the special interests funded and placed into positions of influence.
Read more here

Seize and Liquidate Goldman Sachs

Webster Tarpley

Today’s Senate hearings, carried on CNBC, Bloomberg, and C-SPAN, represent the first major exposure of the American people to the scandalous frauds of the derivatives casino, including synthetic collateralized debt obligations (synthetic CDOs or CDO²). These are things most people have heard very little about. They begin to open up the shocking reality behind such shopworn euphemisms like “toxic assets,” “exotic instruments,” and “troubled assets.”

Reactionaries in general and Republicans in particular have done everything possible to hide the role of derivatives, which must be considered the main cause of the financial panic of September 2008 which brought down Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and AIG, after felling Bear Stearns in March of the same year. The reactionary legend, repeated yesterday on the Senate floor by financier minion GOP Sen. Gregg of New Hampshire, is that the crisis was caused by poor people taking out subprime mortgages and then defaulting, bringing down the entire Anglo-American banking system and triggering the bailouts. Either that, or too much government spending was too blame.

A mass of kited derivatives blew up in September 2008

This Big Lie has come from such propaganda sources as the Limbaugh Institute of Retarded Reactionary Ranting. But the $1.5 trillion in subprime mortgages were dwarfed by the $15 trillion US residential real estate market, to say nothing of the $1.5 thousand trillion world derivatives bubble. But, starting with Bush-Goldman Sachs Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the talk has been of a “housing correction,” not a derivatives panic. It must be pointed out that derivatives are nothing but wagers, bets placed from a distance on securities which themselves are often not mortgages, but rather other derivatives.

The bettor buying a synthetic CDO or CDO² does not own the underlying mortgages or mortgage-backed securities, any more than someone who bets on a racehorse owns part of the horse. Blankfein and others tried to portray derivatives as a service to hedgers and end-users, but it’s clear that the vast majority of derivatives involve neither hedgers nor users, but only bettors on both side of the transaction. It is in any case this mass of kited derivatives which blew up in 2008, bringing on the present world economic depression.

Read more here

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bernanke Admits Printing $1.3 Trillion Out Of Thin Air

Greg Hunter,
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke admitted the central bank created $1.3 trillion out of thin air to buy mortgage backed securities. This shocking admission came from the Joint Economic Committee hearing on Capital Hill last week. I was dumbfounded when I saw Bernanke shake his head in the affirmative as Representative Ron Paul said, “Well, where did you get the money? You created this money. So you did monetize debt, and that went into the banking system.” I was amazed he admitted this. I looked up the original hearing on C-Span to make sure the clip was not edited. It was not.
What is even more shocking is I could not find a single mainstream news agency that covered this revelation. Congress just finished voting on the bitterly contested Obama health care bill that is supposed to cost nearly a trillion dollars over ten years. (Some contend it will be more than twice that amount.) The mainstream media doesn’t even bat an eye over the Fed creating $1.3 trillion in a little more than a year to buy worthless debt no one else will touch. I do not get it. I guess we could have asked the Fed to print up a trillion dollars to pay for health care and avoided that drawn out battle in Congress.
Then, Rep. Paul brings up printing another $105 billion to bailout Greece. Bernanke answers by saying, “. . . I think one of the agreements that the G20 leaders came up with was sort of a mutual commitment to put more money into the IMF as a way of addressing the financial crisis around the world. . .” Notice how Bernanke used the term “mutual commitment.” I think what that really means is an agreement between all the G-20 nations of a “mutual debasement of their currencies.” I think this is why gold has been rising in price around the globe. I have been saying for months that we are going to have some very big inflation. (Real inflation is already at 9.5% according to I wrote about this last November in a post called “The Fix Is In.”
Read more here

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How to Fight the Derivatives Cancer

Webster Tarpley
The Obama administration has been posturing this week about the life and death issue of Wall Street reform. Obama’s predicament is that of a Wall Street puppet who has been put into the White House thanks among other things to almost $1 million of contributions from the infamous Goldman Sachs – but who now needs to make a show of fighting his own Wall Street patrons for political reasons. Of course, Obama’s health-care reform was largely a bailout of insurance companies, which are themselves a key part of Wall Street. But Obama is now pretending to quarrel with Wall Street to shore up his waning credibility, partly because many House Democrats are desperately seeking anti-banker, economic populist street creds in order to avoid defeat in November. So far, the results have been largely feckless and inadequate.

The urgent problem raised by all this is the $1.5 quadrillion derivatives bubble. The financial crisis which struck the United States and the world in September and October 2008 was in fact a world a derivatives panic. This panic marked the first phase of a world economic depression caused by derivatives speculation. The second phase of this depression, which is now beginning, can also be attributed in large part to derivatives, since derivatives are the main tool being used in the speculative attacks on Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and other nations, building up towards a chaotic collapse of the euro.
Read more here

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Due to Unforseen Travel Disruptions There Will Be no Posts Till Sunday April 25th

We apologize for any inconvenience to our readers.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Going After Goldman: A Crackdown on Financial Crime or a Kabuki Play Maneuvre to Avoid Bringing Criminal Charges

Danny Schechter
Fox Business News was engrossed in interviewing a blonder than thou reality TV bimbo when the news that the Securities And Exchange Commission was filing fraud charges against Goldman Sachs broke on Friday afternoon.
The breaking news bulletins were already flying through cyberspace before the Fox Means Business network got around to moving from a snickering interview with a starlet confessing to commodifying and monetizing her appeal to the biggest story in months on the Street beat. Corporate fraud allegations seem to make free market boosters nervous.
At last, the mightiest of investment bank, described as a “giant squid on the face of humanity” by Matt Taibbi in a much-read diatribe, appeared to be in deep trouble. Taibbi himself was not convinced that the Government has the goods on Goldman.
He commented, “…What’s interesting is that I heard whiffs of this story going back as far as a year and you know I’m one of the harshest critics of Goldman Sachs and I actually backed off the story because I didn’t really believe it. I thought it was too outlandish. So that tells you exactly how crazy this story is coming out now."
The Timing
The timing of the story was suspicious, he said. “This story has been out there for awhile. The [NEW YORK] Times first broke it really in December. So why are they doing this now? Cleary it could have been because this bill is about to hit, crucial period in Washington, this financial regulatory reform bill, maybe this, you can look at this as a shot across Wall St’s bow during that period.”
Read more here

Friday, April 16, 2010

Obama Threatens Iran with Nuclear War

Kourosh Ziabari
In his latest statements, President Obama has expressively warned Iran against an imminent nuclear strike. The surprising remarks by the politician who snatched the Nobel Peace Prize for his conciliatory stance in recent years, violated the UN Charter and astounded public opinion.
"The continued presence of all options on the table"; this is the disappointing message which a Nobel Peace Prize laureate dispatches internationally. In his latest interview with CBS news, American President Barack Obama refused to rule out the possibility of a military strike against Iran by harking back to the famous catchphrase of former U.S. President George W. Bush who once devised, regarding Iran's nuclear program, the popular sentence of "all options are on the table".
Putting the quality and quantity of these options aside, the very "table" on which the options should be placed is as well a matter of controversy. Who is in the position to decide the destiny of Iran's nuclear program? Which table is the U.S. President referring to? What's wrong with Iran's nuclear program in lieu of which a 70-million nation should go on with crippling sanctions, continued threats of military strike, isolation and economic embargo? What's the definite answer to the simple question that "why should the U.S., France and Israel possess nuclear weapons"? Which one is more offensive and violent? Iran's nuclear program which has been demonstrated again and again that does not have anything to do with military purposes, or the adventurous, aggressive trajectory Washington and its European allies have begun to go across?

Robert Parry, an award-winning American investigative journalist austerely answers the questions we have in mind. In an April 2 article in Consortium News, he notes: "if two countries with powerful nuclear arsenals were openly musing about attacking a third country over mere suspicions that it might want to join the nuclear club, we'd tend to sympathize with the non-nuclear underdog as the victim of bullying and possible aggression."
Read more here