Jesus Christ Is Lord

That every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

Posts Tagged ‘financial crisis’

How Is Your Spiritual Portfolio Doing?

Posted by Job on November 12, 2008

I was listening to the radio yesterday (an evangelical Christian channel) and the host of one of their more prominent Christian talk shows was doing a commercial for an investment/financial services companies that mentioned the recent stock market slide that was to the effect of “recent stock slide wiped out your 401(k)? worried about your retirement? well contact us!” Now I could play the people cheap by using Matthew 6:25-34 as a scripture citation, but the truth is that nothing in the Bible precludes sound financial planning. So I will just say to Christians concerned about the goings on in the financial markets: live and plan wisely, but ultimately remember to pay it no heed. Most Christians throughout history and even in the world today have practically nothing when compared to our standard of living that we so often fear losing. (The early church was particularly known for its poverty and dignity in the face of it.) 

Further, wealth, even that which we come by through honest and prudent Christian living and management of our affairs, is temporal. It will have no place in eternity. So, we should concern ourselves with our accumulation of things in the spiritual, which will live forever with us in Christ Jesus!

So, Christian, how is your spiritual portfolio? Up or down? Rich or poor? Hot, cold, or lukewarm? Time for an inventory check. What is your portion of below, and how are you using it in your daily life?

Do you have the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance? Please see a very good devotional on this topic below.

Fruit of the Spirit – Visible Growth in Jesus Christ

 That is not all! Instead, you also need these on your spiritual ledger, the fruits of the spirit: faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, speaking in tongues, and interpretations of tongues. Now don’t let “charismania” make you wary of this topic. Instead, read this devotional!

Gifts of the Spirit – What Are They?

Material wealth is temporal (as is the lack thereof for you Christians for whom God has in His divine sovereign providence chosen to elect modest means as your lot in life!) but things of the Spirit are forever! So Christians, go out and make truly wise investments, which will be those that last forever! Study your Bible, pray and fast often, fellowship, evangelize, engage in good works, and resist the devil so that he will flee from you so that your spiritual portfolio may be full!

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Global financial crisis: does the world need a new banking ‘policeman’?

Posted by Job on October 8, 2008

Global financial crisis: does the world need a new banking ‘policeman’?

By Gordon Rayner, Chief Reporter Last Updated: 1:36AM BST 08 Oct 2008

With war raging across the globe in July 1944, ministers from all 44 Allied nations met at the imposing Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to thrash out a set of rules that would govern world finance once Hitler was defeated.

Knowing that greater international trade would help to prevent future wars, and determined to avoid another Great Depression, the delegates signed the Bretton Woods Agreements, creating the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. It was a big vision, driven by grand historical figures: Winston Churchill, Franklin D Roosevelt and the British economist John Maynard Keynes.

But a system that was designed 64 years ago has, not surprisingly, proved ill equipped to deal with the fiendishly complex practices of 21st-century banking that led to the current worldwide crisis.

Neither the IMF, the World Bank nor any other institution has the power to police the global financial system in a way that might have prevented the excessive risk-taking which led to the sub-prime mortgage crisis and, in turn, the credit crunch.

A more recent creation, the G8 group of industrialised nations, looks hopelessly out of date without the emerging economic giants of Brazil, India and China among its ranks. And the “beggar-thy-neighbour” policies of guaranteeing savings that have sprung up in Germany, Greece and Ireland in recent days have shown that even in Europe, co-ordinated economic policy is a myth.

“The current system is in crisis and we have an environment where dog eats dog,” said Bob McKee, of the economic consultancy Independent Strategy. “Electorates will expect more regulation, and politicians will push for it.”

The new Business Secretary, Peter Mandelson, argued last week that new global solutions are needed because “the machinery of global economic governance barely exists”, adding: “It is time for a Bretton Woods for this century.”

Gordon Brown argued as long ago as January 2007 that global regulation was “urgently in need of modernisation and reform”.

So, as the world’s central bankers gather this week in Washington DC for an IMF-World Bank conference to discuss the crisis, the big question they face is whether it is time to establish a global economic “policeman” to ensure the crash of 2008 can never be repeated.

Top of the to-do list for any new or reformed body would be new rules to manage the level of risk that banks and financial institutions are allowed to take on.

Major economies already have regulatory bodies designed to keep financial institutions in check, such as the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in the UK and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US. But even if these bodies had done their job properly, opinions differ wildly between different countries over what constitutes an acceptable risk.

Take, for example, the Basle II Accord, a voluntary international agreement which might have seemed a crushing bore when it was published in 2004, but which just might have prevented the credit crunch if the world’s major economies had realised it was actually a good idea.

In essence, Basle II, concocted by the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision, set up by 10 leading economic nations, was designed to make sure banks did not overstretch themselves by lending too much money in relation to the amount of capital they held.

If it had been implemented the moment it was written, Basle II might have prevented the collapse of Northern Rock – which had lent seven times the amount of money it held on deposit – and saved the likes of Lehman Brothers in America. Instead, motivated by national self-interest, not to mention greed, the world’s major economies dithered, so that few, if any, had implemented the agreement by the start of 2008, with 95 countries only able to promise they would adhere to it by 2015.

We can only speculate whether a global policeman would have intervened in another seismic shift in economic policy: the abolition by the US president, Bill Clinton, in 1999 of the Glass-Steagall Act, which had, since 1933, separated retail banks from investment banks.

The Act had been passed during the Great Depression to prevent banks from speculating with depositors’ money, and its repeal by Mr Clinton has been blamed by some commentators for contributing to the current financial crisis, which would have been limited to investment banks if Glass-Steagall had remained in place.

Too late, then, to remedy the missed opportunity of Basle II or to reinstate Glass-Steagall. But a new global regulatory arrangement might come just in time to address another issue troubling the world’s financial watchdogs: mark-to-market accounting, about which we are likely to be hearing a great deal in coming weeks.

Mark to market is a system in which banks must declare the value of assets such as securities on a daily basis, forcing them to be transparent about their balance sheets. The assets must be valued in line with what they would fetch on the open market that day, and if their value has dropped, the banks must raise capital to make up the shortfall, even if they have no intention of selling the assets for another five or 10 years.

Many banks have argued that this is unfair, as those same assets will recover their value in the long term, and marking them down has, they claim, contributed to the current crisis of confidence.

Simon Ward, an economist at New Star Asset Management, said: “This kind of accounting is causing investors to see ghosts in banks’ balance sheets which just don’t exist. If we had suspended mark-to-market accounting a year ago, the current crisis may have been avoided.”

Why has this become such a hot topic in recent days? Because banks in America have exerted such pressure on the SEC that rules on mark-to-market accounting may soon be relaxed, giving American companies an advantage over those in the UK, where the FSA has no intention of following suit.

As chaos reigns in the financial markets, the issue of regulatory reform is never far from the headlines. So what might a new architecture of global economic regulation look like?

In essence, any organisation with the power to police the global economy would have to include representatives of every major country – a United Nations of economic regulation. Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, identified the weakness of the current system this week when he said international organisations that excluded countries such as China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Russia were outdated.

Gerard Lyons, a member of the International Council of the Bretton Woods Committee, a steering group for the IMF and World Bank, said: “We need to look at the current crisis and decide what banks have been doing well and what went wrong.

‘The point we’re at now is like the scene in Apollo 13 when one of the mission controllers says they’re facing the worst disaster in Nasa’s history, and his boss points out that it will turn out to be Nasa’s finest hour if they get it right.

“We have an opportunity now to make changes in global banking that make sure we keep all the good bits and eradicate the bad. For example, there is nothing wrong with young people borrowing money against their expected future income if they have genuinely good prospects, but we need to prevent the sort of irresponsible lending to people with poor credit ratings that led to the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

“What we mustn’t do is throw the baby out with the bathwater. The global banking system has helped increase living standards at a faster rate than at any point in history, and we are about to see the emergence of two-thirds of the world’s population into the developed world.”

Danny Gabay, a former Bank of England economist who now works for Fathom Consulting, suggested the answer might already be staring us in the face, in the form of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the umbrella organisation for the committee that came up with the sensible Basle II Accord.

“The BIS has been spot on throughout this,” he said. “The problem is that it has no teeth. The IMF tends to couch its warnings about economic problems in very diplomatic language, but the BIS is more independent and much better placed to deal with this if it is given the power to do so.”

The failures of modern global capitalism have been brutally exposed in recent months. Opinion is now hardening around the case for a new global architecture to enforce rules that ensure lessons are learnt and that the actions which have brought free markets to the brink of collapse are never repeated.

It remains to be seen whether the political leaders of 2008 are up to the task. If they are, the first foundations of that new world could be laid in Washington this week.

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Kenya PM And Obama Relative Raila Odinga: Financial Crisis Threatens Africa

Posted by Job on October 7, 2008

Is this fellow going to start beating the drum for globalism? Would he and Obama play a huge role in getting Muslims to regard it as a good idea?

Raila sees US financial crisis affecting Africa

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Germany, France deny plans for European bank fund

Posted by Job on October 6, 2008

ROME, Oct 5 (Reuters) – German and French officials denied on Sunday that they were set to endorse a common fund to bail out European banks after Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was quoted as saying all three nations would back it.

“There’s no proposal for such a fund,” said a French official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. Officials in Berlin and London also denied plans for a European Union-wide bailout.

“There’s no change from the statement issued on Saturday,” the French official added, referring to a joint statement the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Britain issued after they met in Paris on Saturday — a statement that made no mention of a fund.

Berlusconi was quoted by Italian agencies as saying that his economy minister, Giulio Tremonti, would propose setting up the fund at a meeting of EU economic and finance ministers in Luxembourg on Monday and Tuesday, and that the plan was already assured the backing of Germany and France:

“Tremonti will propose to Ecofin the setting up of a common fund worth 3 percent of GDP … Yesterday (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel couldn’t accept because she didn’t have the powers, today she has said she agrees. Tomorrow France will do the same.”

But German Finance Ministry spokesman Torsten Albig said Germany remained opposed to a common fund to bail out Europe’s banks.

“This was an issue in Paris and there is no need to go over it again,” Albig said. Asked whether Germany supported the latest Italian proposal, Albig said: “No. Nothing has changed.”

Berlusconi said that he was confident that Britain would also agree, ANSA news agency reported.

But a British finance ministry official, asked about Berlusconi’s reported comments, referred to Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s statement on Friday that there was “no currency” to the suggestion of a European-wide fund. (Reporting by Gavin Jones in Rome, Brian Love in Paris, Iain Rogers in Berlin and Matt Falloon in London; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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Europe Races to Shore Up Banks as Crisis Spreads

Posted by Job on October 6, 2008

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122322574130505585.html

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Did The Pentecostal Prosperity Doctrine And TBN Cause The Financial Crisis?

Posted by Job on October 3, 2008

Foreward: please note that the Bible DOES NOT PROMOTE reckless financial behavior, but quite the contrary promotes hard work, frugality, and conscientiousness. Contrast the ostentatious wealth of King Solomon – who left God for syncretism – with Jesus Christ, who was born in a manger and lived the life of a pauper. And as for you prosperity preacher adherents, well, you wanted to be world changers, right? To take authority and dominion? Well, it looks like you did it. Your doctrines helped cause the international banking crisis that just may set the stage for the anti – Christ to come to power. By the way, sorry for picking on Palin, because TONS of black prosperity doctrine preachers have gotten behind Obama as well. You know, it makes for the perfect conspiracy theory.

All of these Council on Foreign Relations – backed preachers get on TV – especially if they own networks like TBN – or dominate the book publishing market (Left Behind) or even get mainstream publicity (like TD Jakes on the cover of Time Magazine – which ironically published this article ) which exploit the poor with false promises of wealth. Then have the same Council on Foreign Relations – connected politicians (Bush Sr., Bush Jr., Clinton, Gingrich at minimum) change the banking laws, requiring/forcing banks to lend to these people. And when the inevitable economic collapse occurs (which by the way was just the result of terrible economic policy dating back to at least Reagan … remember how the Democrats AND Republicans exhorted you to go buy an SUV and invest your retirement accounts in Pets.com in the 1990s … and that speaks nothing of deficit spending and free trade deals with third world countries where people will gladly work for $5 a day) then use it as an excuse to practically nationalize the banking sector and promote economic globalism. If this WASN’T a conspiracy, it certainly played out like one. In any event, now you see how massively evil false doctrines are, and the prosperity doctrine is both false and evil.

Foreclosures: Did God Want You to Get That Mortgage? 

or “God caused the bank to ignore my credit score and blessed me with my first house.” 

Has the so-called Prosperity Gospel turned its followers into some of the most willing participants — and hence, victims — of the current financial crisis? That’s what a scholar of the fast-growing brand of pentecostal Christianity believes. While researching a book on black televangelism, says Jonathan Walton, a religion professor at the University of California Riverside, he realized that Prosperity’s central promise — that God would “make a way” for poor people to enjoy the better things in life — had developed an additional, toxic expression during sub-prime boom. Walton says that this encouraged congregants who got dicey mortgages to believe “God caused the bank to ignore my credit score and blessed me with my first house.” The results, he says, “were disastrous, because they pretty much turned parishioners into prey for greedy brokers.”
Others think he may be right. Says Anthea Butler, an expert in pentecostalism at the University of Rochester in New York state, “The pastor’s not gonna say ‘go down to Wachovia and get a loan’ but I have heard, ‘even if you have a poor credit rating God can still bless you — if you put some faith out there [that is, make a big donation to the church], you’ll get that house, or that car or that apartment.'” Adds J. Lee Grady, editor of the magazine Charisma, “It definitely goes on, that a preacher might say, ‘if you give this offering, God will give you a house. And if they did get the house, people did think that it was an answer to prayer, when in fact it was really bad banking policy.” If so, the situation offers a look at how an native-born faith built partially on American econoic optimism entered into a toxic symbiosis with a pathological market.

Although a type of Pentecostalism, Prosperity theology adds a distinctive layer of supernatural positive thinking. Adherents will reap rewards if they prove their faith to God by contributing heavily to their churches, remaining mentally and verbally upbeat, and concentrating on divine promises of worldly bounty supposedly strewn throughout the bible. Critics call it a thinly disguised pastor-enrichment scam. Other experts, like Walton, note that for all its faults, it can empower people who have been taught to see themselves as financially or even culturally useless to feel they are “worthy of having more and doing more and being more.” (Sure, if you forget about the Bible says that the Holy Spirit, God the Father,and Jesus Christ are supposed to comfort and reassure us. Blessed are the poor for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.) In some cases the philosophy has matured with its practitioners, encouraging good financial habits and entrepreneurship.

But Walton suggests that a decade’s worth of ever-easier credit acted like drug in Prosperity’s bloodstream. “The economic boom 90’s and financial over-extensions of the new millennium contributed to the success of the prosperity message,” he wrote recently. And not positively. “Narratives of how ‘God blessed me with my first house despite my credit’ were common. Sermons declaring ‘it’s your season to overflow’ supplanted messages of economic sobriety,” and “little attention was paid to.. the dangers of using one’s home equity as an ATM to subsidize cars, clothes and vacations.”

With the bubble burst, Walton and Butler assume that prosperity congregants have taken a disproportionate hit, and are curious as to how their churches will respond. Butler thinks that some of the flashier ministries will shrink along with their congregants’ fortunes. Says Walton, “You would think that the current economic conditions would undercut their theology.” But he predicts they will perservere, since God’s earthly largesse is just as attractive when one is behind the economic eight ball.

A recently posted testimony by a congregant at the Brownsville Assembly of God near Pensacola, Fla., seems to confirm his intuition. Brownsville is not even a classic Prosperity congregation — it relies more on the anointing of its pastors than on scriptural promises of God. But the believer’s note to his minister illustrates how magical thinking can prevail even after the mortgage blade has dropped. “Last Sunday,” it read, “You said if anyone needed a miracle to come up. So I did. I was receiving foreclosure papers, so I asked you to anoint a picture of my home and you did and your wife joined with you in prayer as I cried. I went home feeling something good was going to happen. On Friday the 5th of September I got a phone call from my mortgage company and they came up with a new payment for the next 3 months of only $200. My mortgage is usually $1020. Praise God for his Mercy & Grace.”

And pray that the credit market doesn’t tighten any further.

Some videos that speak of the error of these doctrines.

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The Bailout Passed! The United States of America Is Officially Dead

Posted by Job on October 3, 2008

Well, the United States is gone. Teddy Roosevelt got the ball rolling, and George H. W. Bush finished it off. And did you see where California needs a $7 billion bailout? Amazing. This is just further proof that we cannot put our trust in the things of this world, but can only trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Incidentally, the flag waving religious right, what are you going to put your trust in now?

Revamped economic bailout picks up 20 votes in House

The Three Step Salvation Plan

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If Welfare Destroyed Black America Imagine What It Will Do For Wall Street!

Posted by Job on October 1, 2008

Still more evidence that opposition to HUSSEIN Obama is why this bailout may pass.  I direct your attention below.

Check this out from bomb throwing columnist Jason Whitlock as reported by the estimable brother Laz

Jason Whitlock (left) is a sports writer I enjoy reading immensely. He often says things that need to be said despite pressure from the community not to say them.

In last week’s column, before he listed his sports thoughts he dropped this line:

If welfare destroyed black America, how can welfare save Wall Street and fix America’s economy? I thought we all agreed that welfare was terrible.

Just yesterday, the House of Representatives voted the proposed bailout down.

What I know about high finance amounts to a hill of beans (if that) so I must ask, is this an oversimplification on Whitlock’s part? Or is this an accurate take?

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Conspiracy Theory: Timing The Bailout So That John McCain’s Victory – And Barack Obama’s Defeat – Hinges On It To Overcome Conservative Opposition

Posted by Job on September 30, 2008

Ordinarily, there is no way that conservatives would support $700 billion in spending, not even the big business corporate welfare neoconservative socialists who looked the other way while George W. Bush spent more than Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, and Lyndon B. Johnson ever dreamed. People would recognize that this bailout would A) make the federal government the nation’s biggest owner and broker of private property (in addition to all the public lands that it already owns) and B) increase the government stake and power in the banking and financial services industries. By way of comparison, it would accomplish in the banking industry what Hillary Clinton only tried in the healthcare industry. (But don’t worry: the next president will give us some form of HillaryCare to go with the Bush’s prescription drugs bill.)

But there is ONE WAY to get small government conservatives – or truthfully people merely opposed to the biggest expansion of government since the New Deal – to reject their beliefs and root for this package. (Truthfully, the goal is not so much to get them to support it, but to lessen their opposition so that they will stop calling their congressmen in anger and protest.) What is it? Simple: the same way that the GOP got religious conservatives to fall in line and keep voting for candidates that were not only personally immoral (i.e. Newt Gingrich) but do absolutely on abortion, gay rights, religion in the public square, fighting pornography, etc. … say that it absolutely has to be done or else the other guy will win! 

This is “the lesser of two evils” gambit like never before. Why? 1) Because even if this passes, there is still no guarantee that McCain will win. 2) What good does voting for Republicans do if they are going to spend like Democrats anyway? Please recall: Republicans could have blocked Bill Clinton’s changes to the Community Reinvestment Act back in 1995. They could have reformed the act at any point from 2000 – 2006. And the person who could have led the way: John McCain, either chairman or ranking Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee for most or all of that time. So not only would supporting – or at least not opposing – this bailout not even guarantee a McCain win, even if the guy does win there is absolutely no evidence based on his career in Washington that he will prevent messes like this from happening in the future! 

And why, you ask? The threat of Barack Hussein Obama. Barack Hussein Obama has these people absolutely terrified like nothing before. (By contrast, most Democrats figure that they could live with McCain.) Why? There are a lot of alleged reasons such as his liberalism (when he is really to the left of Bill Clinton on only a few issues) or his inexperience (see Palin, Sarah) or his religious background (as if skulls and bones George “all religions worship the same God” W. Bush or necromancer Ronald Reagan were orthodox) but the main fear is that Obama’s election would mean losing their country. People would feel that any nation that puts Obama in the White House would not be the nation that “our founding fathers created”, the nation that they knew and loved when they were growing up. Obama would be the final victory for counterculture. 

Of course, it is all a scam. George W. Bush appointing an openly homosexual man as AIDS czar, being the first president to pray in a Muslim mosque, and so many other things. Then there was Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter doing the “Heather Has Two Mommies” thing (funny how the right wingers who attacked Ellen DeGeneres and similar demanded that Cheney’s family be respected) and even creepy stuff like all the times homosexual prostitute Jeff “Gannon” Guckert visited the White House … security records showed the guy electronically signing in BUT NEVER SIGNING OUT!

But the best part is that even if these things weren’t true, this bailout would permanently and drastically alter this nation economically and politically anyway. The bailout would make us some odd mixture between a social democracy and a fascist plutocracy (when I say “fascist” I mean Benito Mussolini’s original definition, which is the corporatization of government power). Now fascism has a strong nationalist element. But guess what … attacking Iran would mean having to strike up the band for the pledge of allegiance and our militaristic anthems for another 10,000 times in every state, city, street corner, and public and CHRISTIAN school on the planet. And a war with Iran wouldn’t be something that affects relatively few Americans like our conflicts in Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Our military is already stretched to the limit and our economy already in shambles due to high oil prices and bank failures. But Iran, a much tougher enemy than an Iraq weakened by over 10 years of U.S. led military and economic aggression, would mean massive casualties and global oil shortages. And what would the rest of the world’s Muslims think? It would be our third war against a Muslim nation in, oh, a decade or so (depending on whether the attack on Iran comes closer to 2009 or 2012). What keeps the other Muslim countries from thinking “we’re next!” and acting accordingly? Oh boy, imagine what will happen if those other nations adopt a policy of “pre – emptive strikes for self defense” like we did in Iraq. Let me say that anyone who has ever read “Animal Farm” knows that patriotic ferver is necessary for regimes to stay in power during tough times. 

But that is going too far in the future. For right now, the fear of Barack Hussein Obama turning Peoria into San Francisco (or Compton) is what will cause conservatives to do the bidding of George W. Bush and Henry Paulson and adopt this disastrous bailout. (As for Hillary Clinton, well the product of white flight suburban Chicago turned out to be not so scary after all … the right wing wags are actually referring to “Hillary Clinton Democrats” in the same breath as “Reagan Democrats.”) That means that whether Barack Obama wins or loses, he will have done his job. If you ever wanted any more proof that ultimately Bush, McCain, and Obama serve the same master, then this is it!

The only question is this: whose master do you serve? Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan

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John McCain Advisor Rick Davis Tied To Freddie Mac

Posted by Job on September 30, 2008

SoldierServant has it:

John McCain Has Ties To Freddie Mac

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