Monday, November 21, 2011

Soros Funding Paul Volcker to Develop Plans for Handling a US Financial Crisis

Well, this is super interesting.

It turns out, Paul Volcker (84) shares office space with Richard Ravitch (78), in Rockefeller Center. Ravitch, reports WSJ, "built a career as a fix-it man for New York City and the state." Ravitch was at one time chairman of New York State's Urban Development Corp.

Both Volcker and Ravitch are expecting serious financial problems for state governments. Reports WSJ:
Now, they are working together as they focus on a looming crisis at once local and global in scope: the financial distress of U.S. states...

Ravitch worries Congress will try to balance the federal budget with billions of dollars in state aid cuts.

A Democrat who was named lieutenant governor in 2009, and served until the end of 2010, Mr. Ravitch also predicts that municipal bond holders will have to share with taxpayers and public workers the pain in correcting the problems. "What we are seeing in Europe is that everyone has to throw something into the pot to avoid catastrophe," Mr. Ravitch recently told a group of municipal analysts.
So they are putting together a task force to prepare for the crisis. WSJ again:
They hope their task force, which examines five states, California, Illinois, New York, Virginia and Texas, will illuminate issues the public doesn't fully grasp...
What does Volcker do when he is not launching this type task force:
Many visitors to the office come from different worlds. Mr. Ravitch holds court with New York City officials and upstate mayors. Most of Mr. Volcker's visitors "tend to be older and retired,'' he says. "It's a different generation now."

Mr. Ravitch says his office mate is being modest. From down the hall, he hears presidents and prime ministers calling his pal.
And,by-the-way,George Soros is partially funding the task force:
They have raised $2 million from sources including foundations founded by businessmen George Soros and Peter G. Peterson. They've hired a staff and plan to publish a report for the public sometime next year.
Got all that? There is a financial crisis developing in the United States at the state level, that most people don't even know about. But yet, a former Fed chairman, who spends most of his day fielding calls from "presidents and prime ministers" is getting partially funded by George Soros to form a task force to develop a plan to handle the financial crisis. Do you ever get the sense that George Soros and other insiders like him are three steps ahead in these crisis situations?


  1. This is a big find, RW. I quickly found this interview with Ravitch from March 2011 at the CFR. It's only 6 minutes and worth watching.

    In it, Ravitch says the Feds won't bailout the states and munis, but could impose conditions upon state/local gov't aid receipt, such as:

    (a) sound GAAP budgeting methods
    (b) encourage states to have not control boards, but independent fiscal municipal oversight boards [i.e., ceding local authority]

    This sounds very similar to the push in Europe for states to cede more authority to Frankfurt in the name of fiscal oversight. One world gov't types should be very alarmed.

    As to "solutions" on taxation side, he is against the ability of localities to give preferential tax treatment to businesses. He says there is a need for tax expenditure budgets to reveal these flaws. The logical conclusion is that there will be a push toward a uniform state/local tax code.

    He closes:

    "I do not believe that one should impose a tax locally that would questionably cause an industry to move somewhere else. I think that ultimately taxes are going to be the solution to this problem because politically it's just not going to change if people expect it to be all on the backs of the school system or public employees."

    If anyone finds policy papers or anything else relevant, please post links here.

  2. So the billionaires do mega insider deals, and the millionaires go to jail for doing about a tenth of the dealing.

    Check this out.