JBS CEO Art Thompson's weekly video news update for April 2-8, 2012.
The statist rulers of the so-called “BRICS” countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — have been subtly calling for an end to the U.S. dollar’s status as the world reserve currency for years. Now, they are making more moves to turn that rhetoric into reality, proposing a jointly controlled “development” bank and working to sideline America’s already-troubled Federal Reserve Notes in trade by relying more heavily on their own fiat currencies.
On Wednesday, Republican presidential contender Dr. Ron Paul delivered a rousing speech in defense of liberty to a standing-room-only crowd at the University of Maryland-College Park Campus.
In his attempt to explode the myth that there is unlimited demand for U.S. government debt, former Treasury official Lawrence Goodman explained that there is high perceived demand because the Federal Reserve is doing most of the buying.
When Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke donned his professorial cap and addressed 30 undergraduate students at George Washington University on Tuesday, he claimed it was all in the interest of transparency. According to the New York Times, “The Fed is concerned that it is neither loved nor understood by many Americans, and that public anger could lead to constraints on its powers.”
As Greece’s economy and the euro continue to struggle, regular Greeks are increasingly taking matters into their own hands, creating informal underground barter markets and even alternative currencies. And the government is actually encouraging it.
As the Federal Reserve came under increasing scrutiny by outraged lawmakers and the public in recent years, it hired a lobbyist to defend its controversial secrecy and produced propaganda-filled comic books aimed at young children. It even sought to develop a tool to spy on concerned citizens over the Internet.
As scrutiny of the Federal Reserve System and public outrage over its actions continue to build, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are working on proposals that would supposedly rein in the Fed or at least change the way it operates. And a new measure aims to tackle some of the issues head on.
In the face of escalating sanctions imposed by the European Union and the U.S. government, supposedly related to the Iranian nuclear program, officials in Iran announced that the nation would accept gold and currencies other than the dollar in international trade. China, Russia, India, and other major economies have continued to do business with the Islamic Republic despite the growing Western pressure.
In a moment of unexpected and unsettling candor, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, in his testimony on Tuesday before the House Financial Services Committee, said that he really doesn’t know what’s happening to the economy. In his best professorial manner and without blinking an eye, the chairman said, "In light of somewhat different signals received recently from the labor market than from indicators of final demand and production…it will be especially important to evaluate incoming information to assess the underlying pace of the economic recovery."