Charles Hugh Smith:
"Central banks could be helping communities instead of enriching predatory, parasitic "too big to fail" banks and financial feudalism.
"In a system that depends on lies and the credulity of the citizenry, the greatest lie is that the Federal Reserve's "quantitative easing" bailouts of the banks somehow help our citizens and communities.
To clarify this, ask yourself this question: what else could we have bought with the $29 trillion the Fed loaned or backstopped to the banks?
"If you enjoy quibbling about the total sum of Fed support, be my guest; the Levy Institute came up with $29 trillion after poring over all the data, while the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) tally topped $16 trillion. That's 100% of the nation's GDP and roughly 100% of the $16 trillion national debt.
"While we're asking about opportunity costs, let's ask what else we could have bought with the $10 trillion that the Federal government has borrowed and blown in the past 11.7 years. The national debt was $5.727 trillion when G.W. Bush was sworn into office on January 20, 2001. It had risen to $10.626 trillion when President Obama was sworn into office in January, 2009. It is now $16.016 trillion, an increase of $5 trillion in less than four years in "debt held by the public" (i.e. the Chinese central bank, the Japanese central bank, the Federal Reserve, etc.)
"You can check the totals for any recent date on treasurydirect.gov.
From time to time I have suggested alternatives to "wars of choice" and bailing out the financial Plutocracy, for example Cost of Iraq War: $3 Trillion; Cost of Solar Plants to Power all 105 million U.S Households: $500 Billion (April 10, 2008) and We’re Dropping the Ball on Renewable Energy (June 25, 2011).
"$500 billion is roughly 3% of $16 trillion. That is rather astounding, isn't it? We could have switched to a (largely) solar-powered electrical grid for a mere 3% of what the Fed squandered to save the "too big to fail" banks. Yes, yes, I know we need a massive energy storage system for any solar-powered grid; shall we ..."