Venezuela’s Chavez Nationalizes Steel Company

The hemisphere’s idiot, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez,  just nationalized another steel company. One that produces 40 percent of the country’s steel products used in construction.

“You will see at what price we buy them, since they belong to the people, and at what price we sell the rods,” he said.

Chavez has ordered several nationalizations in recent weeks, including a big fertilizer plant, a motor lubricants maker and a major local farm supplies company. This, after taking control of the TV broadcast media in advance of, and to the benefit of his party, Venezuela’s legislative elections.

Link: Venezuela’s Chavez nationalizes local steel company | Reuters

Khavari’s Common Sense Alternative For Florida

Florida gubernatorial candidate Khavari calls for nationwide mortgage strike

Miami, FL October 30— Noted economist and independent candidate for Florida governor on Tuesday’s ballot today called for all Americans to withhold their mortgage payments to apply pressure to banks.

“Foreclosures are rampant and there is no end in sight as long as unemployment is high. And there is no reason to expect unemployment to do anything but get worse,” said Khavari. “My economic plan for Florida will generate a million jobs in 4 years, but foreclosures will continue to rise unless we do something now.

“The banks brought us the housing bubble. They drove up home prices and wrote millions of stupid loans. Then they bet on the loans failing, using credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations.

They won the bets and collected their money, so why are they crying? Meanwhile, they have raised interest rates, cut credit lines, and lowered almost everyone’s credit score, including the majority of people who never missed a payment,” Khavari said. “This has brought our economy to a standstill.

“Until we clear up the foreclosure crisis, the economy can’t move forward. And the banks are doing nothing but making it worse. They collect on their bets, then grab the homes and put families in the street using bogus documents. Then they sit on the houses because they don’t want to admit they are worth less than their books show.

“Every family in America lost out, but we bailed out the biggest insurance company and the biggest banks in America, and their employees collected billions in bonuses. And what have they done since but destroy our economy? The banks need a wake-up call, like a two-by-four upside their heads,” Khavari said.

“If every American family would withhold their mortgage payments, and save that money in a bank other than where they have their mortgage, we could get the banks back to come clean, or else get rid of them forever. Specifically, we must withhold payments until every bank does the following:

“First, issue a statement showing their total mortgage activity since 2006, and a summary of all the derivatives they speculated in, all the CDO’s and credit default swaps.

“Second, every homeowner must be informed of what the bank did with their mortgage, including packaging it, slicing and dicing it into so-called securities—and exactly how many derivative bets the bank made on that very mortgage. We’ll see how much the banks stand to collect—and from whom– when you don’t pay the mortgage.

“Third, every homeowner must be informed exactly where their original mortgage note is, who owns it now, and how they can see it if they wish to.

“Fourth, the bank must negotiate in good faith to reduce the principle balance according to the new market reality, which was brought about by the banks in the first place.

“Fifth, the banks must refinance at 2% fixed rates for 15 years based on current market value.

“Sixth, the banks must inform each customer how much money they donated for the past five years to every political party, lobbying organization or political fund of any kind.”

“The alternative,” said Khavari, “is for us to create the Bank of the State of Florida, which can just buy all the houses from the banks at the current market value, say 50% of the original value, and issue the 2% 15-year mortgages ourselves, while leaving the families in their homes. We have already shown that this could earn billions per year for the state of Florida while saving Floridians 50% to 75% of the long-term cost of owning a home.

“This will create a thousand times more jobs than any stimulus plan or tax cut. It would stabilize our housing market at prices that are fair to buyers and to builders. And our kids will be able to afford homes, too.

“Already foreclosure affects over one out of seven homes in Florida. If we wait to act until it is one out of five, it will be the end of our economy. Many people think this does not affect them. They pay their mortgage, they have a job, and life goes on. Well, just as a rising economic tide floats all boats, an economic tidal wave drowns everyone, rich and poor alike.

“The banks have abused their power to create money out of thin air and charge interest for it. Just when the economy needs consumer demand and spending, they raised credit card rates to 30% and raised the minimum payments, just to be sure that there is no available cash to spend on anything but paying the banks. Their time is over. A state bank could earn countless billions issuing 6% credit cards, and there is no reason the commercial banks can’t do that, too—except for simple greed.”

Khavari’s plan for a bank owned by all the people of Florida has received national acclaim and has since been adopted by gubernatorial candidates of at least three parties in seven states, and several similar proposals are pending in state legislatures across America. His job creation plan is based on organizing demand, rather than tax cuts.

“On Tuesday, Floridians have an opportunity to choose a governor who will fix our economy. I am the only candidate with a real economic plan. I am an economist, not a politician. We are in this mess because the banks and insurance companies have bought the political parties and call the tune for the politicians. More people than ever are voting against big party politics. This is a good year for independents and can be a great year for Florida,” Khavari said. “Be sure to vote!”

Farid Khavari, Ph.D., is a respected economist and author of nine books, including Environomics. His economic plan is detailed at He is on the Florida ballot as an NPA (no party affiliation) candidate for governor.