Saturday, February 22, 2014

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Ukraine, Bitcoin, the IMF and a New Nudge-Type IRA

As I pointed out earlier this week, during an event held at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco, Jeff Taylor, the SF bureau chief and editor-at-large, Bloomberg News, failed to put my question, about US gold holdings, to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (See: Bloomberg News Has No Interest in Learning the Status of Gold Held by the U.S. Government).

But during the "Conversation with Treasury Secretary Lew," Lew made a number of comments that did provide insight on directions the Obama Administration will be going in during up coming months

Lew said that if Iran doesn't move forward with an acceptable resolution to their nuclear program that more sanctions were likely.

Lew also said that the bankster global enforcer, the IMF, should be the problem solver in the Ukraine.

"At the core they have an economic crisis and they are going to need to deal with it," Lew told a conference hosted by the World Affairs Council. "And the mechanism that's best for Ukraine to deal with it would be to come to the IMF and have a package where they put in place economic reforms where they get the support that they need in exchange for the steps to fix their economy," Lew said.

Lew went on to indicate that this call for the IMF as Ukraine resolution agent was about the US acting as global empire. "I should note that the US has a leading role in the IMF, since its inception," he said.

Lew also called for business "tax reform," which really means higher taxes. He spilled the beans on this when he said the "savings" from "tax reform" should be put into infrastructure spending. If more money is being spent after "tax reform" that sure doesn't sound like savings or reform, it sounds like a disguised tax hike to me.

Lew is clearly aware of the mega-bubble in China, he mentioned vacant buildings in China and unsold inventories.

He talked a briefly about Bitcoin, but really danced around details of what the government is considering in terms of regulation. He made one absurd comment about Bitcoin. He said that, on the continuum between cash and banking, virtual currencies are somewhere in the middle.

He also said there were going to be no special rules for Bitcoin, but that the rules that exist for other financial entities must be implemented for Bitcoin.

On the minimum wage, Lew said that "It is not acceptable for people to work full time and live below the poverty line." Barbara Boxer in her talk before the Commonwealth Club used the exact same line, so it is likely a Democratic talking point.

Most disconcerting, Lew talked about "auto-enrollment" into IRAs. He said that,"We know from behavioral studies" that people will keep money in those IRAs if the default option is set as auto-enrollment. This is pure Cass Sunstein evil nudging (SEE: Getting Nudged, Real Hard) .

The government is apparently planning to give people the "option" of opting out of some type of new automatic enrollment  IRA, but, rest assured, they will make it very difficult to opt out. And once people are nudged into these new IRAs, they will be nudged again into buying US Treasury securities, rather than private sector investments. Thus, the government will grow and the private sector will shrink.

Welcome to the metastasizing government.


  1. I'm pretty sure MyRA are already planned to invest solely in Treasury securities.

  2. I'd rather burn everything I've worked to build than give a penny of it to these narcissistic psychopaths.

    If these hypocrites really cared about the working poor, they'd be talking about the centrally controlled fiat monetary system.