March 20, 2017

Issue 10 – October/November 2009

By In Volume 6 2009

Recommended Reads

If you are an independent, small press, or traditional publisher and would like to submit your book(s) for consideration to “Recommended Reads,” click here.

 

Golden’s Rule
By C. E. Edmonson


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Compelling story about a modern-day girl battling cancer who finds inspiration by reading the diary of a 14-year-old slave girl from the 1800s.

A World Away: The
Quest of Dan Clay

By T.J. Smith
www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Exciting story in the tradition of The Chronicles of Narnia about a young man and his three friends who embark on an out-of-this world journey where they are hunted by savage beasts along the footpath to a demonic castle.

The Harrowing Escape:
The Quest of Dan Clay (Book II)

By T.J. Smith
www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
The saga continues as Dan Clay and his companions continue their quest to locate Dan’s brother in a parallel world filled with savage beasts and half-man, half-serpent creatures.

Winter

By Maneesh Sharma
www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Fast-paced thriller about a predator with otherworldly talents who has a penchant for killing women and stealing fine art.

Soul’s Infarct

By Diamela Eltit & Paz Errazuriz
www.amazon.com
(Nonfiction)
Unique and penetrating examination through text and photographs of love among marginalized individuals in a notorious Chilean psychiatric hospital.

A Worthy Legacy

By Tomi Akinyanmi
www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Touching and lyrical account about a dying Nigerian man and his practical wisdom for living life to the fullest.

Dangerous Liaisons
By Michael D’Ambrosio


www.amazon.com
(Science Fiction)
In this action-packed sequel to The Eye of Icarus, Lieutenant Will Saris and his new bride are caught in a web of treachery where no one, including the Space Fleet, can be trusted.

Shroud of Beckoning
By Deb Woody


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Thought-provoking supernatural tale about a four-year-old who is possessed by a demonic spirit.

Shadows and Not
By Sara Brown


www.amazon.com
(Poetry)
Soul-searching poetry anthology that illuminates the human condition.

America’s Suicidal Statecraft
By James Cumes


www.amazon.com
(Nonfiction)
Well researched and documented examination of the self-destructive policies of the United States.

The Handkerchief
By Julian Stark


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
An intimate and probing love story that examines the breadth and depth of love and passion between two people.

The End of the 19th Century
By Eric Larsen


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Imposing lyrical epic about a Midwestern family’s journey through time and space.

Up Close: A Mother’s View
By Fiona Yaron-Field


www.amazon.com
(Nonfiction)
A touching and meditative memoir of a mother and her disabled daughter told through pictures and commentary.

Secrets Revealed
By Sheshena Pledger


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Gritty crime noir tale about a notorious crime family’s feud with its biggest rival.

A Case of Wild Justice
By Yvonne Jerrold


www.yvonnejerrold.com
(Fiction)
An intriguing story about a group of senior citizens who fight back against crime and vandalism in their neighborhood by becoming human booby traps.

What Can We Do Next? The
Adventures of Lexi and Lolly

By Toula Magi


www.ToulaMagi.com
(Fiction)
Delightful children’s story about the adventures of a little girl and her imaginary friend.

The Survivors
By Derek Laurens


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Fast-paced sci-fi adventure about the crew of a space cruiser that lands on a distant planet inhabited by savage humanoids.

Lizard’s Lair
By Derek Laurens


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
The novella prequel to the sci-fi adventure, The Survivors.

My Angels Are Come
By Art Stump


www.clumsyducks.com
(Nonfiction)
Insightful and candid day-to-day journal of how the author dealt with and survived prostate cancer.

Ghost Tango
By Janeen Ledford


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Intriguing account of a female teacher in a male prison for violent felons.

The Declaration of White Independence: The Founding Documents of Transudationism
By Kyle McDermott


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Controversial examination of race, religion, and spiritual evolution.

Awaken and Arise!
By Arthur Earl Jones, Ph.D.


www.planetaryascension.net
(Autobiography)
Fascinating, mystical life journey devoted to spirituality, self-discovery and planetary ascension.

One Time in Paris
By Wade Stevenson


www.amazon.com
(Memoir)
&nbsp An engaging and passionate account of a young man’s adventures and romances in 1960s Paris.

The Eye of Icarus
By Michael D’Ambrosio


www.publishersdrive.com
(Science Fiction)
Exciting story of an ambitious young officer who embarks on his first space mission that sets off a chain of events that not only changes his life but much of the universe
as well.

Prodigal of the Pecos
By C.E. Edmonson


www.pecosbooks.com
(Fiction)
Gritty Western tale about a man who returns home after many years to find the land of his birth embroiled in a bitter and deadly
land war.

Dolphins Under My Bed
By Sandra Clayton


www.dolphinsundermybed.com
(Nonfiction)
Inspirational memoir of how two baby boomers transform their lives by quitting their jobs and living on a sailboat.

Hermetica
By Paul Kiritsis


www.paulkiritsis.com
(Poetry)
Thought provoking collection of personal myths, legends, and poems centered on Egyptian and classical mythology.

 

If you are an independent, small press, or traditional publisher and would like to submit your book(s) for consideration to “Recommended Reads,”

click here.

 

Book submission deadline is
the 20th of each month.

 

Links For Independent Writers & Publishers

• Publishers Marketing Association (PMA): Largest non-profit trade association helping independent publishers
• Small Press Center: Non-profit organization designed to help small independent book publishers
• Press Release Services: Submit Press Release, Online Distribution Services.
• LitPitch: Place to read books online for free and for authors to pitch book ideas and get feedback.
• Bookwired.com: Author/reader resource for book reviews and news
• WriteLinks.com: Complete list of book publishers & publishing info
• Books-in-Print.com: Registry of electronic publications
• Bowker.com: Major book and publishing data
• PubEasy.com: E-commerce site for global bookselling
• Published.com: Informative and helpful site for independent writers and self-publishers.
• The Center for the Book: Book fairs & literary events
• American Booksellers Association: Organization for independently owned bookstores
• Business.com: Site listing book distributors and wholesalers
• Dowse: A list of e-book publishers
• Internet Publishing: Tips about online publishing from Piers Anthony
• Online Books Page: Listings of books online, news, & features
• Book Sense.com: Family of bookseller Web sites
• Nospine.com: Independent authors from around the world
• Author Yellow Pages: Online author directory
• Dan Poynter’s Para Publishing: The Godfather of self publishing
• Bookcrossing.com: Global book club & reading group
• Newradiance.com: Over 90 pages of inspired marketing ideas for small business owners and self-published authors.

 

Links For Progressive Publications & Organizations

• PEN.org: “An association of writers working to advance literature, defend free expression, and foster international literary fellowship.”
• TruthDig.com: “Hard-hitting investigative journalism.”
• MoveOn.org: Influential democracy in action group
• The Nation.com: “Unconventional wisdom since 1865.”
• Op/EdNews.com: “Progressive news and essays.”
• Air America Radio: “Unabashed liberal talk radio and humor.”
• Counterpunch: Hard-hitting alternative news and essays
• Buzzflash.com: Headlines and stories from dozens of alternative publications
• Democracy Now!: Complete and comprehensive presentation of alternative news and analysis with Amy Goodman leading the charge.
• Brad Blog: Up-to-date progressive news & opinions.
• Radio Power Network: Listener supported, independent radio streaming progressive music and culture from around the world.
• NPR.org: National listener supported news and information.
• Pacifica Radio: Listener-sponsored radio featuring alternative news and community service.
• From the Wilderness: Radical alternative news and essays
• Tom Paine.com: Alternative news and essays
• Mother Jones.com: Alternative and environmental news
• Liberalism Resurgent: Wealth of information on liberalism & politics
• The Foundation for Taxpayers & Consumer Rights: Loads of information about social and consumer issues
• TvNewsLies.org: A compendium of TV news lies
• In the Spotlight: Unsettling information about the voting process in America
• The Rest of Story: Alternative news on the media
• Judicial Watch: Legal watchdog information
• The Center for Public Integrity: Public service journalism
• PFAW.org: People for the American Way

 

 

The Great Fed-Financed
Dollar Decline and Stock
Market Rally of 2009

By Rodrigue Tremblay

The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group or any controlling private power.
— Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd and longest-serving US president

This great and powerful force-the accumulated wealth of the United States-has taken over all the functions of Government, Congress, the issue of money, and banking and the army and navy in order to have a band of mercenaries to do their bidding and protect their stolen property.
— Senator Richard Pettigrew, Triumphant Plutocracy, 1922

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.
— Thomas Jefferson, (1743-1826), 3rd US President, 1802

The U.S. national debt clock is clicking and it is fast approaching the $12 trillion mark, all the while the Fed (less a central bank than the banks’ Bank) is printing new money like crazy and lending it to its client banks at close to zero interest rates, i.e., at negative interest rates. What is wrong with this picture? It simply means that most Americans are losing big at this game, but a handful of mega-banks and their affiliates are raking in tremendous amounts of money in easily made profits.

Indeed, the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet has more than doubled since August 2007, going from $870 billion to more than $2 trillion. It is expected to keep growing as banks avail themselves of the cheap funds the Fed made available to them. The Fed, indeed, has the unique ability to create new dollars (paper currency) for the accounts of assets (good or bad) that it buys from banks, the Treasury, or other entities. This increases the monetary base (the sum of currency plus total banking reserves), and banks through their lending can expand this money supply even further.

And the Fed has been extraordinarily generous to the banks; the largest of them are in fact owners of the twelve regional Fed banks. In fact, the Fed has broken practically every central banking rule in order to provide cheap funds to the banks.

First, it has pushed the fed funds rate close to zero so banks could have credit at close to zero cost to them. Second, it has expanded the range and quality of assets it stood ready to accept as collateral for its loans to the banks, so much so that it can be said that the U.S. Fed is presently creating new money backed by the shakiest of assets, some being called “toxic waste”. This is reminiscent of the eighteenth century (beginning in 1789) practice of the French revolutionary government of creating new money (the assignats) backed by the seized properties of the Catholic Church.

Let’s summarize quickly the numerous ways the Fed (and to a certain extent, the U.S. Treasury) have found to channel cheap funds to the banks and to brokers. In September 2008, some investment banks, such as Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan, officially became commercial banks in order to profit from the Fed’s new generosity:

  • The Term Auction Facility (TAF).
  • The Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF).
  • The Foreign Exchange Swap programs (the currency swap lines).
  • The Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF).
  • The Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF).
  • The Agency debt, Agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and Treasury purchase programs.
  • The Treasury’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
  • The payment of interest on the banks’ excess reserves at the Fed.

The last disposition is worthy of attention. Because of the easy and cheap lending to the banks, the latter piled up tremendous amounts of excess reserves at the Fed, reaching more than $700 billion. Normally, banks would quickly lend these non-interest paying excess reserves to the economy. But, in October 2008, the Fed got imaginative and obtained the authority to pay interest on the banks’ reserves, including excess reserves, at a risk-free rate (the IOER rate). Since then, the banks have been earning interest on their excess reserve holdings, and therefore had little inclination to lend those reserves out to creditworthy but nevertheless risky borrowers in the rest of the economy. With this practice, the circle has been closed, and the Fed was able to provide needed funds to the banks, at close to zero cost, and enable them to rid themselves of their bad investments, without risking creating inflation. That’s quite a banking salvage operation that will be studied by economists in detail in the future.

Indeed, it was well understood after the onset of the financial crisis in August 2007, that public capital would be needed to refinance the American banking system. Private capital was too risk adverse to do that. What was less understood was the fact that the Bush administration, and now the Obama administration that continues this policy, intended to provide this capital at close to no cost to the banks and with very scant conditions.

But who really paid and has continued to pay for this imaginative recapitalization of American banks, and who profits the most? First of all, of course, bank profits, specially those profits by big international banks, have exploded. Bank stocks have followed suit with tremendous gains. That’s why I say the stock market rally since March 5 (2009) has been a liquidity-driven rally, engineered by the Fed.

And it is easy to see why banks raked in so much money: They have been borrowing funds at close to zero cost to themselves and either were paid by the Fed to leave these funds unused or they have used them, with leverage through their hedge fund like activities, to buy interest-paying assets in the U.S. or abroad. In essence, the large “too big to fail” have been allowed to make various trading bets with the cheap public capital provided by the Fed. They gorged themselves with near free public money and used it to enrich themselves, and very little to finance the real economy.

One profitable trade, among others, that large international banks and other operators are found to embrace is a form of arbitrage: They borrow and sell the currency of the country that has the lowest possible short-term funding costs and invest the proceeds in countries whose currency and asset markets yield the most. This has the consequence of depreciating further the currency with low interest rates and of appreciating the other currencies.

During the 1990s, the Japanese economy was in the doldrums. Its short-term interest rates, just as in the U.S. today, were close to zero. International banks and hedge funds would then borrow yens in Japan, sell them for dollars or euros and invest the proceeds in high-yielding financial assets in the U.S. or in Europe. Provided the interest rate environment does not change suddenly, this sort of “carry trade” is an easy way to make money. The result, however, is a more depressed currency than necessary for the low interest rate country and more imported inflation as the price of imported goods (oil, food, commodities…) increases.

The U.S. is presently in that predicament. The U.S. Fed and Treasury have abandoned the U.S. dollar and the large international banks have depressed it further at the same time they fill their coffers. That is why we can say that, besides the profitable carry currency trade that banks and other operators employ to dump the U.S. dollar on foreign exchange markets, this currency will remain under pressure for as long as the spread of short-term interest rates favors other currencies and as long as the spread of expected inflation rates and of expected economic growth remain stable. Paradoxically, longer-term interest rates have only increased marginally. This is because banks and other Fed borrowers, when they do not leave their low interest-paying excess reserves dormant at the Fed, can buy risk-free Treasury bonds. This has the consequence of depressing longer-term interest rates and of boosting stock market prices, even as inflation expectations are on the rise.

What is to be understood is that the weak dollar is the direct consequence of the Fed’s extraordinary cheap money policy. To summarize, the average American household is being hit from all sides with this policy. First, if it is a net creditor (as most retirees are), its savings are earning paltry returns (most likely negative after inflation and taxes). Second, the U.S. dollar keeps falling in value, raising the cost of traveling abroad and of everything that is imported. Third, real incomes fall with rising prices as the purchasing power of stable or declining money incomes contracts. Fourth, the exploding public debt will translate sooner or later into higher taxes, thus reducing private disposable incomes. All in all, the standard of living of most people falls.

Don’t get me wrong. I do not question the need to inject liquidity into the banking system after the onset of the financial crisis in August 2007. What I question is the way this was done and how the public interest was sacrificed in favor of narrow private interests. Indeed it was done in the worst possible social way, with private gains and social costs. They (the Bush and Obama administrations) recapitalized the banks to the benefit of a small class of bankers, while taxing the entire population in a multitude of ways to finance the public subsidy.

There were other ways to attain the same end without taxing the many for the benefit of a few. The U.S. Treasury and the U.S. Fed, both under the Bush administration and the Obama administration discarded these solutions. That’s where the scandal lies. But since it is likely that only a handful of senators and congressmen understand what has happened, I would not be too confident in expecting that there would ever be a public investigation of the scandal, beginning with Congress auditing the Federal Reserve’s subsidized banking loans to large banks and its lack of needed regulatory activities. Kudos, however, to the Manhattan Chief U.S. District Court Judge who has ordered the Fed to make public its lending records.

Similarly, at least, some timid steps are being taken in the U.S. and in Europe to impose some limits or restrictions on the discretionary and exorbitant bankers’ bonuses. This comes a bit late, and we shall see if this is merely some political window-dressing to deflect criticism or if it is a structural step to curb oligopolistic and abusive banking practices.


Rodrigue Tremblay is professor emeritus of economics at the University of Montreal and can be reached at rodrigue.tremblay@ yahoo.com. He is the author of the book “The New American Empire.”

 

Featured Book

A bone-chilling political
morality fable…

— Midwest Book Review

Sunshine Assassins by John F. Miglio

 

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Sunshine Assassins
By John F. Miglio
(Fiction)
Controversial political thriller about a band of democratic rebels and their attempt to overthrow the corporate fascist shadow government in the USA…Read Reviews

John F. Miglio is available for all types of speaking engagements. For information, click here

 

Book of the Year
(Nonfiction 2008)

OR Book of the year 2008

 

amazon.com
The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder
By Vincent Bugliosi


A powerful and convincing case against George W. Bush and his inner circle of advisors for the murder of over 4,0000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

 

Book of the Year
(Fiction 2008)

OR Book of the Year 2008

 

amazon.com
The Naked Earth
By Jonathan Adam DeCoteau


Exciting and insightful story about an Iraqi-American photographer who seeks redemption after he commits a brutal crime against his fellow man in Basra.

 

Book of the Year
(Nonfiction 2007)

OR Book of the year 2007

 

amazon.com
Fooled Again
By Mark Crispin Miller


Every American should read this well-documented and comprehensive account of the nationwide election fraud that handed George W. Bush a second presidential election.

 

Book of the Year
(Fiction 2007)

OR Book of the Year 2007

 

amazon.com
Dream of the Dragon Pool
A Daoist Quest

By Albert A. Dalia


An unforgettable tale about China’s best-loved poet-adventurer that blends magic, myth, and occult powers with
fast-paced action.

 

Book of the Year
(Nonfiction 2006)

OR Book of the year 2006

 

amazon.com
Your Daily Walk with the Great
Minds of the Past and Present

By Richard A. Singer Jr.


A terrific inspirational guide to personal transformation and spiritual development that uses quotes of famous people and insightful advice for every day of the year.

 

Book of the Year
(Fiction 2006)

OR Book of the Year 2006

 

amazon.com
Hollywood and Sunset
By Luke Salisbury


Witty and well written story about a writer from the East who takes a life-altering tour of 1916 Hollywood– in the company of D.W. Griffith, Lillian Gish, and Howard Gaye, an actor who likes to dress up as Jesus Christ.

 

Book of the Year
(Nonfiction 2005)

OR Book of the Year 2005

 

amazon.com
Bush on the Couch
By Justin A. Frank, M.D.


A compelling and insightful look into George W. Bush’s psyche, and how his deep-seeded fears, insecurities, and megalomania have undermined the safety of our country.

 

Book of the Year
(Fiction 2005)

OR Books of the Year 2005

 

amazon.com
Clearing Customs
By Martha Egan


A sinister, yet amusing tale of an ex-hippie owner of a small, struggling Latin American imports store who joins with her friends to fight corrupt custom officials whose harassment threatens to put her out of business.

 

Books of the Year
(Nonfiction 2004)

OR Books of the Year 2004

 

amazon.com
The Assassination of
Julius Caesar

By Michael Parenti


Award-winning author and scholar examines ancient Roman history from a populist viewpoint, arguing that Caesar was assassinated for being a champion of the people.

OR Books of the Year 2004

 

amazon.com
The War on Freedom
By Nafeez Mossaddeq Ahmed


Riveting and well-researched expose of how and why America was attacked on 9/11, including information about faked terrorism and mass media manipulation by the Bush administration.

OR Books of the Year 2004

 

amazon.com
Crossing the Rubicon
By Michael Ruppert


Hard-hitting, iconoclastic editor/publisher of “From the Wilderness” strips the power elite to the bone and takes a shocking look at the decline of the American empire at the end of the age of oil.

 

Books of the Year
(Fiction 2004)

OR Books of the Year 2004

 

amazon.com
Candle in a Dark Time
By Virginia Stuart


Compelling, emotionally charged story of how a Danish woman risks her life to save Jews from Nazis during World War II.

OR Books of the Year 2004

 

amazon.com
My Life: A Story
By Jesus Christ

By Christopher Miller


Innovative and provocative story of the life of Jesus Christ told as a first person narrative.

OR Books of the 2004

 

amazon.com
The Others at Monticello
By Esther Franklin


Award-winning historical novel that explores the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his slaves, especially Sally Hemings and her children.

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