The curtain is briefly drawn aside.

I try not to be too pessimistic but, these days, it hard to be too pessimistic. Recently, we had a preview in Cyprus. Cyprus banks had served as money laundering devices for Russian and other oligarchs.

Cyprus and its international lenders have agreed to convert 47.5 percent of deposits exceeding 100,000 euros in Bank of Cyprus to equity to recapitalize it, banking sources said on Sunday.

Under a programme agreed between Cyprus and lenders in March, large depositors in Bank of Cyprus were earmarked to pay for the recapitalisation of the bank. Authorities initially converted 37.5 percent of deposits exceeding 100,000 euros into equity, and held an additional 22.5 percent as a buffer in the event of further needs.

This means that, if you had a large deposit in a Cyprus bank, you were assumed to be a money launderer. Of course, if you are a small depositor, your bank account is not safe.

Shannon Bruner of Indianola logged on to her checking account Monday morning, and found she was almost 800 dollars in the negative.

“The first thing I thought was, ‘I got screwed,’” she said.

The Bruners enrolled for insurance on the Washington Healthplanfinder website, last October. They say they selected the bill pay date to be December 24th. Instead the Washington Healthplanfinder drafted the 835 dollar premium Monday.

Josh Bruner started his own business this year as an engineering recruiter. They said it’s forced them to pay a lot of attention to their bills and their bank accounts.

“Big knot in my gut because we’re trying to keep it together,” said Shannon Bruner. “It’s important to me that this kind of stuff doesn’t happen.”

They’re not alone.

This is supposed to be one of the Obamacare exchanges that is working !

Argentina started this in 2002 by “converting ” dollar deposits to pesos.

All US dollar or foreign currency denominated debts that existed as of January 6 2002 were converted into peso-denominated debts.

The Emergency Law provides that the possibility of entering into agreements denominated in foreign currency in accordance with Sections 617 to 619 of the Civil Code is still available.

If you had an account that included $1,000. on Friday, on Monday, your account was 1,000 Argentine pesos, which were worth about $300 at the time..


The Argentine peso value has declined severely since then. Could that happen here ? In 2008, the Democrat Congress heard testimony about it.

Democrats in the U.S. House have been conducting hearings on proposals to confiscate workers’ personal retirement accounts — including 401(k)s and IRAs — and convert them to accounts managed by the Social Security Administration.

Triggered by the financial crisis the past two months, the hearings reportedly were meant to stem losses incurred by many workers and retirees whose 401(k) and IRA balances have been shrinking rapidly.

The testimony of Teresa Ghilarducci, professor of economic policy analysis at the New School for Social Research in New York, in hearings Oct. 7 drew the most attention and criticism. Testifying for the House Committee on Education and Labor, Ghilarducci proposed that the government eliminate tax breaks for 401(k) and similar retirement accounts, such as IRAs, and confiscate workers’ retirement plan accounts and convert them to universal Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs) managed by the Social Security Administration.

The Democrats were in the majority at the time, something that would not last past the 2010 elections, but they are capable of it, as the Obamacare story demonstrates.

The current retirement system, Ghilarducci said, “exacerbates income and wealth inequalities” because tax breaks for voluntary retirement accounts are “skewed to the wealthy because it is easier for them to save, and because they receive bigger tax breaks when they do.”

Lauding GRAs as a way to effectively increase retirement savings, Ghilarducci wrote that savings incentives are unequal for rich and poor families because tax deferrals “provide a much larger ‘carrot’ to wealthy families than to middle-class families — and none whatsoever for families too poor to owe taxes.”

You hear the same rhetoric in Argentina, not to mention Venezuela, a model our president envies.

La VICTORIA, Venezuela — Forcing stores to sell their merchandise for a price that the owners say will put them out of business may sound like a bad idea, but President Nicola Maduro is not angling to improve the economy, Venezuelans say.

“This is going to help him and his party in the short term,” says Alfredo Ramos , a political science professor at the University of the Andes in Merida. “His actions are motivating his backers to go out and vote, and disheartening his opponents. However, his actions could very well hurt him in the medium term.”

You could even say that about Obamacare.

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