The June 20th report of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the United States strongly recommended that the debt ceiling be raised because “if the debt ceiling is not raised soon…[it] would have significant global repercussions, given the central role of U. S. Treasury bonds in world markets. ” In announcing the report, John Lipsky, acting managing director for the IMF, said:

We’re confident that the participants are well aware of the potential risks of a debt default in the U. S. and will avoid those dangers. It should be self-evident [that] a debt default by the U. S. government debt market would have very serious, far-reaching, dramatic repercussions and that’s why we’re confident that it will be avoided.

JBS CEO Art Thompson's topics this week: Two Banking Reg’s Make a Wrong; and Use of phony reaction to Iran — Iran is already an ally of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The economic projections released by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday estimated that in less than two years the unemployment rate would be down to 7 to 7 ½  percent, with the economy growing at an inflation-adjusted rate of nearly 4 percent. And in the next three to five years, the unemployment rate would likely be back to normal: between 5.2 and 5.6 percent.

This is wishful thinking. Okun’s Law (or rule of thumb) says that it’s going to take inflation-adjusted growth in the economy of at least 3 percent to make any dent at all in the unemployment rate. And even if GDP does grow at 4 percent, as the Fed projects, unemployment will likely drop by less than one half of one percent, or still well above 8 percent. Not only does that not bode well for President Obama’s reelection chances (no President since FDR has been elected to a second term when unemployment has been over 7.2 percent), it’s also bad news for those who continue their job search in a flat economy.

After witnessing the massive economic crisis swamping the European Union and euro-zone countries in particular, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR or UNASUL) has slowed plans to create its own continental central bank and regional currency.

“When we started UNASUR the idea was to create a single central bank and a single currency, but the experiences of Europe led us to park the initiative,” explained Rafael Follonier, the Argentine representative to UNASUR. “In the European Union the single currency is a corset preventing members from leaving.”

Britain's leading financial newspaper, the London Financial Times, now believes that the U.S. economy may be headed toward a Japanese-style "Lost Decade."

On March 15, Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) introduced and sponsored bill H.R. 1094 — the Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act, which calls for the complete abolition of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Reserve banks, and for the repeal of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.

Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) is once again fighting for real transparency regarding the Federal Reserve.

Unbeknown to many Americans is the fact that the Federal Reserve is not by any means "federal." Concocted in secrecy by bankers at Jekyll Island, sponsored by Senator Nelson Aldrich (R-R.I.), the maternal grandfather of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, covertly passed by Congress a few days before Christmas 1913 when many Senators had already left town, and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 established the nation's privately-owned 'lender of last resort' bank resulting in the central planning of monetary policy and the devaluation of the dollar by more than 90 percent — a result of Fed-created inflation.

Despite words to the contrary from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, the Fed has pursued bailouts for Greece and other EU central banks. This disregard for sound fiscal restraint and the lack of control, transparency and accountability at the Fed demonstrates the need to support and pass Rep. Ron Paul's legislation to audit the Federal Reserve.

Currently the funding of government is operating under a stop-gap measure passed during the lame-duck session of the 111th Congress, which is set to expire on March 4. On Tuesday,  January 25, the House under a Republican majority passed a resolution 256-165 -- seventeen Democrats crossed the aisle to vote with the Republicans on this matter -- that instructs the Chairman of the House Budget Committee Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to set the budget at 2008 spending levels, or lower.

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