Archive for the ‘Economic Freedom’ Category
In Trump’s desire to cute regulations and maintain consumer well being, he stated that he wants to cut 75% or more of regulations. Today, he signed an EO that will likely achieve that. For every regulation they want to put in, they must remove two previous regulations. This is a brilliant way to slow the train of regulatory strangleholds on citizens trying to make products and perform labor.
Your thoughts are welcome!
The order is in line with the new president’s plan to slash regulations by as much as 75 percent, as Trump believes the expanding body of government rules is stifling the US economy.
“We’re cutting regulations massively for small business – and for large business,” Trump said, signing the document. “This will be the biggest such act that our country has ever seen.”
The White House sets aside a budget for regulations each year. Monday’s measure specifies the 2017 regulations budget as $0.
A temporary regulations freeze was put into place on Trump’s first day in office. The new executive action establishes the process for when the freeze expires.
“There will be regulation, there will be control, but it will be a normalized control,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday morning, as he signed the order.
— Kevin C (@DABadge4263) January 30, 2017
The Obama administration was known for regulatory zeal, expanding the Federal Register to 81,640 pages in 2016 and setting a record for the greatest number of regulations issued in a single day with 527 pages on November 17, 2016.
Monday’s executive order is the sixth since Trump took the oath of office on January 20. He also signed ten presidential memoranda, including the one dated January 24 that instructed federal agencies to streamline the permit process and ease the regulatory burdens on small business.
75% of Registered Producers Voted No
Columbia, MO—Today, the Missouri Rural Crisis Center (MRCC) is pleased to announce a stunning victory for Missouri’s independent cattle farmers over corporate agriculture, with the defeat of the proposed Missouri beef checkoff. MRCC, a statewide farm and rural organization that represents independent cattle farmers, led the “Vote NO” campaign.
This was a tremendous victory for Missouri cattle farmers and the future of our industry. Thousands of family farmers said loud and clear that they do not support paying any additional beef checkoffs.
According to the results announced today by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, 77% of registered producers voted in the referendum and 75% of those voters said “NO” to a new beef checkoff.
“Missouri cattle producers are on the right side of history and this vote shows that we are willing to stand up and fight for the future of our industry,” said Darvin Bentlage, cattle farmer from Barton County, MO. “We will not cave to special interests and unaccountable government agencies attempting to take over our industry.”
This new checkoff was an attempt to force Missouri’s 50,000 cattle farmers to pay over $2 million a year into a new unaccountable state beef checkoff program. U.S. cattle producers have already paid over $2 billion into the federal beef checkoff program, which has been a failure. Beef consumption is down 32%, 40% of Missouri cattle operations have gone out of business, and more and more of our checkoff dollars are going to promote foreign beef. Adding a new mandatory checkoff clearly was not the answer.
Unfortunately, organizations that supported this new state beef checkoff continue to demonstrate that they are out-of-touch with the vast majority of Missouri’s cattle farmers.
“This was not only a fight against the new beef checkoff, it is also a fight about what kind of livestock production we want in Missouri—corporate controlled industrial livestock production, or a future for family farm agriculture,” said Roger Allison, cattle farmer from Howard County and Executive Director of MRCC. “This vote is an example of how we can and will fight and win for our independence, democracy and the future of family farms.”
The article below is a very important sign post for those of us who watch the economy because of it’s real effects on our lives. At minimum, this sign post is warning us of a major detour….At maximum, it is a warning that the road is about to come to an end.
As we have been pushing for some time now, get your preparations in order. Much better to have and not need than to need and not have. Link in the title below:
Yesterday the Federal Reserve released a 19-page letter that it and the FDIC had issued to Jamie Dimon, the Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, on April 12 as a result of its failure to present a credible plan for winding itself down if the bank failed. The letter carried frightening passages and large blocks of redacted material in critical areas, instilling in any careful reader a sense of panic about the U.S. financial system.
A rational observer of Wall Street’s serial hubris might have expected some key segments of this letter to make it into the business press. A mere eight years ago the United States experienced a complete meltdown of its financial system, leading to the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. President Obama and regulators have been assuring us over these intervening eight years that things are under control as a result of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation. But according to the letter the Fed and FDIC issued on April 12 to JPMorgan Chase, the country’s largest bank with over $2 trillion in assets and $51 trillion in notional amounts of derivatives, things are decidedly not under control.
At the top of page 11, the Federal regulators reveal that they have “identified a deficiency” in JPMorgan’s wind-down plan which if not properly addressed could “pose serious adverse effects to the financial stability of the United States.” Why didn’t JPMorgan’s Board of Directors or its legions of lawyers catch this?
It’s important to parse the phrasing of that sentence. The Federal regulators didn’t say JPMorgan could pose a threat to its shareholders or Wall Street or the markets. It said the potential threat was to “the financial stability of the United States.”
That statement should strike fear into even the likes of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton who has been tilting at the shadows in shadow banks while buying into the Paul Krugman nonsense that “Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Is Working” when it comes to the behemoth banks on Wall Street.
How could one bank, even one as big and global as JPMorgan Chase, bring down the whole financial stability of the United States? Because, as the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Financial Research (OFR) has explained in detail and plotted in pictures (see below), five big banks in the U.S. have high contagion risk to each other. Which bank poses the highest contagion risk? JPMorgan Chase.
The OFR study was authored by Meraj Allahrakha, Paul Glasserman, and H. Peyton Young, who found the following:
“…the default of a bank with a higher connectivity index would have a greater impact on the rest of the banking system because its shortfall would spill over onto other financial institutions, creating a cascade that could lead to further defaults. High leverage, measured as the ratio of total assets to Tier 1 capital, tends to be associated with high financial connectivity and many of the largest institutions are high on both dimensions…The larger the bank, the greater the potential spillover if it defaults; the higher its leverage, the more prone it is to default under stress; and the greater its connectivity index, the greater is the share of the default that cascades onto the banking system. The product of these three factors provides an overall measure of the contagion risk that the bank poses for the financial system.”
The Federal Reserve and FDIC are clearly fingering their worry beads over the issue of “liquidity” in the next Wall Street crisis. That obviously has something to do with the fact that the Fed has received scathing rebuke from the public for secretly funneling over $13 trillion in cumulative, below-market-rate loans, often at one-half percent or less, to the big U.S. and foreign banks during the 2007-2010 crisis. The two regulators released background documents yesterday as part of flunking the wind-down plans (living wills) of five major Wall Street banks. (In addition to JPMorgan Chase, plans were rejected at Wells Fargo, Bank of America, State Street and Bank of New York Mellon.) One paragraph in the Resolution Plan Assessment Framework and Firm Determinations (2016) used the word “liquidity” 11 times:
“Firms must be able to reliably estimate and meet their liquidity needs prior to, and in, resolution. In this regard, firms must be able to track and measure their liquidity sources and uses at all material entities under normal and stressed conditions. They must also conduct liquidity stress tests that appropriately capture the effect of stresses and impediments to the movement of funds. Holding liquidity in a manner that allows the firm to quickly respond to demands from stakeholders and counterparties, including regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions and financial market utilities, is critical to the execution of the plan. Maintaining sufficient and appropriately positioned liquidity also allows the subsidiaries to continue to operate while the firm is being resolved. In assessing the firms’ plans with regard to liquidity, the agencies evaluated whether the companies were able to appropriately forecast the size and location of liquidity needed to execute their resolution plans and whether those forecasts were incorporated into the firms’ day-to-day liquidity decision making processes. The agencies also reviewed the current size and positioning of the firms’ liquidity resources to assess their adequacy relative to the estimated liquidity needed in resolution under the firm’s scenario and strategy. Further, the agencies evaluated whether the firms had linked their process for determining when to file for bankruptcy to the estimate of liquidity needed to execute their preferred resolution strategy.”
Apparently, the Federal regulators believe JPMorgan Chase has a problem with the “location,” “size and positioning” of its liquidity under its current plan. The April 12 letter to JPMorgan Chase addressed that issue as follows:
“JPMC does not have an appropriate model and process for estimating and maintaining sufficient liquidity at, or readily available to, material entities in resolution…JPMC’s liquidity profile is vulnerable to adverse actions by third parties.”
The regulators expressed the further view that JPMorgan was placing too much “reliance on funds in foreign entities that may be subject to defensive ring-fencing during a time of financial stress.” The use of the term “ring-fencing” suggests that the regulators fear that foreign jurisdictions might lay claim to the liquidity to protect their own financial counterparty interests or investors.
JPMorgan’s sprawling derivatives portfolio that encompasses $51 trillion notional amount as of December 31, 2015 is also causing angst at the Fed and FDIC. The regulators wanted more granular detail on what would happen if JPMorgan’s counterparties refused to continue doing business with it if rating agencies cut its credit ratings. The regulators asked for a “narrative describing at least one pathway” for winding down the derivatives portfolio, taking into account a number of factors, including “the costs and challenges of obtaining timely consents from counterparties and potential acquirers (step-in banks).” The regulators wanted to see the “losses and liquidity required to support the active wind-down” of the derivatives portfolio “incorporated into estimates of the firm’s resolution capital and liquidity execution needs.”
According to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) derivatives report as of December 31, 2015, JPMorgan Chase is only centrally clearing 37 percent of its derivatives while a whopping 63 percent of its derivatives remain in over-the-counter contracts between itself and unnamed counterparties. The Dodd-Frank reform legislation had promised the public that derivatives would all become exchange traded or centrally cleared. Indeed, on March 7 President Obama falsely stated at a press conference that when it comes to derivatives “you have clearinghouses that account for the vast majority of trades taking place.”
But the OCC has now released four separate reports for each quarter of 2015 showing just the opposite of what the President told the press and the public on March 7. In its most recent report the OCC, the regulator of national banks, states that “In the fourth quarter of 2015, 36.9 percent of the derivatives market was centrally cleared.”
Equally disturbing, the most dangerous area of derivatives, the credit derivatives that blew up AIG and necessitated a $185 billion taxpayer bailout, remain predominately over the counter. According to the latest OCC report, only 16.8 percent of credit derivatives are being centrally cleared. At JPMorgan Chase, more than 80 percent of its credit derivatives are still over-the-counter.
Three of the five largest U.S. banks (JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo) have now had their wind-down plans rejected by the Federal agency insuring bank deposits (FDIC) and the Federal agency (Federal Reserve) that secretly sluiced $13 trillion in rollover loans to the insolvent or teetering banks in the last epic crisis that continues to cripple the country’s economic growth prospects. Maybe it’s time for the major newspapers of this country to start accurately reporting on the scale of today’s banking problem.
Tags: Missouri Beef Check Off, more taxes on productive people
If you’ve been raising cattle for any length of time, you know how the Check Off issue is loaded with corruption and seeming misappropriation of funds. Everyone gets to pay the Check Off and very few benefit from the additional collection of funds. Well Missouri wants to add an increased check off tax for just Missouri. Please read the following from Missouri Rural Crisis Center and then download this pdf form and register so your voice is counted in the discussion.
STOP the New Missouri Beef Checkoff Tax
In order to Vote NO on this corporate money grab—
Cattle Producers Must Register before March 4th
Thank you for signing the petition opposing a new state beef checkoff tax. Now is the time to register with the Missouri Department of Agriculture to be eligible to vote—see registration forms enclosed.
The Missouri Department of Agriculture is holding a referendum to add a new beef checkoff tax. If passed, all cattle sold in Missouri will be assessed an additional $1 a head checkoff with the proceeds going to the Missouri Beef Industry Council (MBIC). And, the only way to stop it is for Missouri cattle producers to register to vote before March 4th (registration forms are enclosed). If you have registered by March 4th, the Missouri Department of Agriculture will send you a ballot on April 4th.
We are in a cattle market crisis right now with feeder calves having lost up to 45% of their value between September and December (according to the Livestock Marketing Association) with no foreseeable end in sight. What is the response by the MBIC? They want us to give them $2 million more every year. They want a 200% raise? We should say no to this money grab.
Please fill out the enclosed registration form and reach out to other producers in your area that oppose the checkoff. Note: you will be asked to provide three years of cattle sales on this form—We must not let this rule deter us from registering and voting to stop this checkoff.
According to the Missouri Department of Agriculture, anyone who has a shared interest in your cattle sales—including your spouse, son, daughter or business partner—can register to vote in this referendum. Each person can fill out separate registration forms and list the number of cattle sales that represent each person’s share in the business. For example, a husband and wife who marketed 50 head of cattle could each register and report 25 head of cattle marketed.
Here are ways you can register:
We’ve included registration forms—fill them out and send them to the Missouri Department of Agriculture c/o Missouri Beef Referendum, P.O. Box 630, Jefferson City, MO 65102; or
Go to agriculture.mo.gov and register online or print a form; or
Call the Missouri Department of Ag at (573) 751-5633 and ask to have a registration form mailed to you; or
Pick up a registration form at your county FSA office.
If you need additional registration forms or have any questions:
Call the Missouri Rural Crisis Center at (573) 449-1336.
We can email, mail or fax you a registration form(s).
All Registration Forms Must Be Postmarked by March 4th.
Paid for by the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, Roger Allison, Executive Director, 1108 Rangeline Street, Columbia, MO 65201
Here are some key facts about why we oppose the state beef checkoff:
There are no rules that this checkoff slush fund will be used to promote Missouri beef. The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association successfully lobbied to remove the “promote Missouri beef” language from the bill. And, our federal checkoff dollars are already being used to promote foreign beef in U.S. markets.
There is no sunset clause on this beef checkoff. Once these programs are put into place, they are virtually impossible to get rid of. So, as cattle prices continue to decline, producers will still be paying the extra $2 million+ every year.
The vast majority of current federal checkoff dollars end up in the coffers of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) that consistently supports policies favoring corporate meatpackers (even foreign-owned meatpackers) at the expense of Missouri’s independent cattle producers. The NCBA successfully lobbied to end Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) and supports corporate packer ownership of livestock which drives down producer farm-gate prices.
The Missouri Beef Industry Council ignored its own hand-picked “Missouri Beef Checkoff Taskforce” that voted to request a $.50 per head state checkoff instead of $1 on August 26th. Instead, the MBIC requested $1/head anyway—another clear example of the no accountability attitude of the Missouri Beef Industry Council.
Supporters claim that there will be some way to get a refund after the fact, so they try to call this a “voluntary” program. In reality, cattle producers are forced to pay into this program by having the money taken out of their cattle sales checks before they even get them. If the fee is not paid when due, a penalty shall apply and the attorney general can sue cattle producers for the collection of checkoff fees and penalties. It doesn’t get any more mandatory than that. A complicated, time-consuming refund process does not eliminate this mandate to pay.
This new checkoff would mean the state government would be collecting another $2.2 million from Missouri beef producers every year and giving our money to the Missouri Beef Industry Council (MBIC), an unaccountable private entity that says it has “no obligation to disclose documents” about how our money is spent.
The only way to stop this new checkoff tax is for independent cattle producers to say “NO”, otherwise starting in July, we will be paying over $4 million every year in beef checkoff fees.
Please register to vote today—
your vote could make the difference.
The Mountain Grove PRC will be meeting on February 25th at the Sunnyside Restaurant just north of Walmart in Mountain Grove. The meeting will run from 6pm to 8pm and Bob Parker will be sharing information about the Missouri DNR buying private property instead of cleaning up lead contamination in the areas of Missouri that funds were designated to clean up.
At issue is the purchase of two tracts in Oregon county totaling 5000 acres that the DNR is purchasing instead of doing the lead remediation in counties to the north and east of Oregon county.
If time allows, there will also be an explanation of the manner in which various federal level agencies work in conjunction with state counterparts to achieve the goals of the federal agencies, and some highlights regarding important state level issues related to your private property rights.
Please come early and enjoy the buffet at Sunnyside before the meeting.