Despite rosy earnings reports from some closely watched corporations, the Great Recession is far from over, according to the latest economic data from the Commerce Department. America’s GDP, which shrank at an annualized rate of 6.3 percent in the last quarter of 2008, was expected to decline at a rate of about 5 percent for the first quarter of this year. Instead, it fell 6.1 percent, suggesting that last year’s meltdown continues more or less apace.

PyramidThe real rub of the Ivar Kreuger and Bernie Madoff sagas is that both men were caught doing precisely what governments do as a matter of course through central banking.

New revelations from the New York State Attorney General’s office have all but proven that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson committed bank fraud crimes in the case of the Merrill Lynch/Bank of America merger that took place last year. New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo revealed that Paulson and Bernanke illegally suppressed adverse financial data on the merger and threatened to replace the Bank of America CEO and board of directors if the company backed out of the Merrill Lynch merger. “Secretary Paulson has informed us that he made the threat at the request of Chairman Bernanke,” Cuomo wrote in an April 23 letter to Congress.

government growthWhile every other major component of the economy is shrinking, government at all levels has grown to consume nearly half of America’s gross domestic product.

Cap & TradeCap-and-trade programs to control carbon-dioxide emissions are an unacceptably costly way to deal with the supposed problem of man-made global warming.

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