Richard Vague is a conservative businessman disgusted with the party he has belonged to for a very long time. He was the Founding CEO of the former First USA Bank which ran at the time the largest credit card operation in the United States. He later started a group called AmericanRespect.com, promoting American internationalism and trying to get the American government to demonstrate respect for other peoples and nations abroad.
He also wrote for me a piece called “Terrorism: A Brief for Americans” which was distributed through the country club and rotary club circuit in America to try and get small and medium sized businessmen to understand the country was on the wrong track. A video presentation on this report can be watched here.
Above, Richard Vague states that the Iraq War is the primary driver of high oil prices. He’s got an interesting paper and set of power points that I’ll soon be releasing to shore up his argument — but no amount of offshore drilling is going to change the fact that America’s fear-mongering in the world and its convoluted brinskmanship with some countries is driving up energy costs, driving up inflation, and knocking the country’s finances into the gutter.
Just read this interesting report excerpt from Department of the Treasury titled “Minutes of the Meeting of the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association“:
Director Ramanathan noted that marketable borrowing – i.e. borrowing from the public – is projected to total $555 billion in FY 2008 versus just $134 billion for FY 2007, and that this large increase warranted the Committee’s focus.
The potential weakness in receipts as a result of the challenges facing the economy as well as reduced non-marketable debt issuance, large redemptions by the Federal Reserve in conjunction with its various liquidity initiatives, and expedited payments related to the fiscal stimulus package – all within a compressed time period – necessitated the increased issuance of Treasury bills, cash management bills, and shorter dated nominal coupons. Redemptions and outright sales by the Federal Reserve since the beginning of the fiscal year for liquidity purposes have resulted in the Treasury’s need to issue over $150 billion in additional bills and coupons. Moreover, state and local government issuance for which net issuance was $58 billion in fiscal year 2007 versus total a net redemption of $10 billion in 2008 fiscal year to date.
Along the same lines as Richard Vague’s concerns, this Treasury Department report indicates things are not good and not getting better.
— Steve Clemons