Larry Summers, Obama's
chief economic advisor, piously tells us that the administration's hands are
tied because we all must abide "by the
rule of law," perhaps it's time to ask:
What rule and for whom?"
Rutten March 18, 2009 LA Times
stage of the economy's domination of social life brought about an evident
degradation of being into having - human fulfillment was no longer equated with
what one was, but with what one possessed. The present stage, in which social
life has become completely occupied by the accumulated productions of the
economy, is bringing about a general shift from having to appearing - all
"having" must now derive its immediate prestige and its
ultimate purpose from
appearances. At the same time all individual reality has become social, in
the sense that it is shaped by social forces and is directly dependent on them.
Individual reality is allowed to appear only insofar as it is not actually
real. - Guy Debord
The science of household affairs, or of
science dealing with the production,
consumption of goods and
services and the theory and management of
"Karl Marx, whose
economic analyses are strikingly
prescient and relevant today, demonstrated how the credit economy is one way
that central banking
systems attempt to stretch out and soften the boundary where the
private accumulation of profit from
production runs up against the waning
purchasing power of
the consuming public.
nation whose governing
parties and increasingly wealthy corporate
elite can't restrain themselves from devastating and costly imperialist
wars overseas while at the same time impoverishing ever-growing numbers of the
struggling and poor at home, there isn't going to be any good economic news for
most people." - Eric Brill 01/08
"Wherever politics intrudes upon economic
life, political success is readily attained by saying what people like to hear
rather than what is demonstrably true.
Instead of safeguarding truth and
honesty, the State then tends to become a major source of insincerity and
mendacity." Hans F. Sennholz
savings and loans debacle
The savings and loan debacle began
the regression of the American republic into
a "plutonomy" - a society in which the largest economic gains flow to an ever
smaller portion of the population creating a decadent
social order that poorly rewards human
After the stockmarket
crash of 1929, Congress passed a series of laws designed to
restrict the ability of Wall
Street to manipulate markets.
1933 Glass-Steagall Act
Congress passes the Glass-Steagall Act separating
commercial banking activity - savings and checking accounts, which accepted
empolyment deposits and issued small business loans and mortgages, from
investment banking activity, which
underwrote stocks and corporate
This is the governing economic principle for more than half a
Paul Adolph Volker attempts to reign in
the money supply, and
inflation, by raising
interest rates to stratospheric heights.
Most savings and loans fixed
rate assets rate of return are considerably below the prevailing rate of
Federal Reserve funds.
Savings and loans are paying, assume 12%, for
loan capital but their return on previous released capital is only
This policy basically obliterated the Savings and Loan
"The local manufacturing sector
never came back after the calamitous decline produced by the Paul Volcker
recession of 1979-1983, when interest
rates were deliberately raised to over 20% to kill off family businesses so
that global corporations could step in and take over." - Richard C.
Federal Reserve chairman Paul Adolph Volker
BB /CFR/TC raises the prime loan rate to
legislation is proposed to address the low rate of return forged by an
investment portfolio full of long-term, low fixed-rate
Savings and loans are given additional investment
opportunities and adjustable rate mortgages are allowed.
Wall Street now sees the savings
and loan industry as a "cash
cow" to be "levered" accordingly.
working in the Carter White
House in 1979-80.
Unbeknownst to the president, Federal Reserve
Chairman Paul Volcker, another Rockefeller protégé,
suddenly raised interest rates to fight the inflation the bankers
had caused by the OPEC oil price
deals, and plunged the nation into recession.
It was through the
"Reagan Revolution" that
the regulatory controls over the banking industry were lifted, mainly in
allowing the banks to use their
privileges in making mortgage loans.
Volcker's recession shattered
American manufacturing and hastened the flight of jobs abroad.
the "Reagan Doctrine,"
the US military embarked
on a mission of world conquest, attacking one small nation at a time,
starting with Nicaragua.
Global capitalism was also on the march, with the
US armed forces its own private police force." - Richard C.
1982Gain-St Germain Depository
Institutions Act deregulation legislation expands acceptable savings and
loans investments by permitting savings and loans to make short term consumer
loans, issue credit cards,
and make commercial real estate
This became the preferred method of stoking commerce after
dumping water on the entire economy by increasing the prime loan rate to 21.5%
on December 12, 1980.
Financial engineers claim broader
investment opportunities will allow savings and loans to better diversify their
portfolios enabling financial stabilty.
Beginning from a situation where liabilities exceed
assets, financial managers cannot overcome shortages by pursuing a conservative
This provided the
means for increased risk taking while ignoring the need for future capital
investments by lowering capital requirements.
With revised accounting
rules to artificially boost reported
equity savings and loans began to look for new investment
Once the interstate lending rules had been suspended the
preferred method became raising rates paid on certificates of deposits - CDs -
to garner more deposits and to make new investments promising still higher
In the past depositors had no reason to send funds to savings
and loans halfway across America but rapidly advancing computer technology -
the overnight transfer - changed that by making possible a nationwide market in
deposits while the higher rates made it worth the trouble.
Federal deposit insurance (FDIC) put
insolvent institutions in a
position to abuse the new market as federally insured depositors were
unconcerned about the health of the institutions in which they placed their
Undercapitalized savings and loans assured themselves a
continuous inflow of capital by simply offering to pay
higher interest rates than
Healthy savings and loans are asked to pay increasing
deposit insurance premiums to protect depositors in failed institutions and
consequently gain little or no cost advantage from the fact they are well
Funds flow from stronger banks and savings and loans to the
"People think the Federal
Reserve central bank is US
It is not a government institution.
is a private credit monopoly of those who prey upon the people of the US for
the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers; foreign and domestic
speculators and swindlers; and rich and predatory money lenders.
crew of financial pirates are those who send money into States to buy votes to
control our legislation; and there are those who maintain an international
propaganda for the purpose of deceiving us and of wheedling us into the
granting of new concessions which will permit them to cover up their past
misdeeds and set again in motion their gigantic train of crime.
private credit monopolies were deceitfully foisted upon this country
by bankers who came
here from Europe and who repaid us for our
hospitality by undermining our American institutions." -
Louis T. McFadden
House Banking Committee Congressional Record, pg 1295 & 1296, June 10,
The movement to use the
Federal Reserve Board
to kill Glass-Steagall begins.
Federal Reserve Board
reinterprets existing law to allow commercial banks to derive a minuscule 5% of
their revenues from investment banking
Alan Greenspan bumps
activities up to 10%.
creeping incrementalism Alan Greenspan kills Glass-Steagall when he ups the
limit investment banking activities
Larry Summers is appointed Treasury
Secretary when Robert Rubin leaves to
become Vice Chairman of Citigroup.
Larry Summers is
directly responsible for the financial institution meltdown.
William Jefferson Clinton's Treasury Secretary from July 1999 - January 2001 he
shaped the financial deregulation that unleashed the
"Glass-Steagall is no longer appropriate to the
economy in which we live."
"Scores of banks failed in the
Great Depression as a result
of unsound banking practices. Their failure deepened the crisis. Glass-Steagall
was intended to protect our financial system by
insulating commercial banking from risk. It was one of several stabilizers
designed to keep a similar tragedy from recurring. Now Congress is about to
repeal that economic stabilizer without putting any comparable safeguard in its
place." - Paul
"If we got a return to positive growth - an economy
growing at 1% would be an economy with rising unemployment. I don't think we
can hold out the prospect we'll stabilize at the current level." -
November 12, 1999
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act officially repeals the Glass-Steagall Act of
The merger of commercial and investment banking once again allows
investment bankers to use FDIC insured personal commercial deposits to purchase
"financial instruments" from hedge
Larry Summers backs the Commodity Futures Modernization
Larry Summers directly profits from the the deregulation
he vigorously supports advising DE Shaw and Taconic Capital Advisors in hedging
Larry Summers circle of friends include the hedge fund
managers Nancy Zimmerman, Laurence D. Fink, Kenneth D. Brody, Frank P. Brosens,
H. Rodgin Cohen, Orin S. Kramer, Ralph L. Schlosstein and Eric M.
Larry Summers later has Harvard purchase
interest rate default swaps while
president of Harvard that end up costing Harvard over $1 billion.
SEC's best estimate is that there are now approximately 8,800
hedge funds, with
approximately $1.2 trillion of assets.
If this estimate is accurate, it
implies a remarkable growth in hedge
fund assets of almost 3,000% in the last 16 years.
Hedge funds are becoming
more active in such varied activities as the market for corporate control,
private lending, and the trading of crude petroleum.
Hedge funds account for about 30%
of all US equity trading volume.
Investment strategies or operations of
hedge fund include their use of
leverage, and short selling.
The number of enforcement cases against
hedge fund advisers has grown
from just four in 2001 to more than 90 since then.
These cases involve
hedge fund managers who
misappropriated funds assets; engaged in insider trading; misrepresented
portfolio performance; falsified their experience and credentials; and lied
about past returns." - Securities and
Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox, July 25, 2006
Short sellers attempt to profit
from an expected decline due to volatility of
fungible asset valuation in the
price of a fungible financial
The short seller takes on loan
fungible financial instruments -
securities, stock, futures contracts,
securitized loans and
seller is betting on being able to purchase identical fungible security
instruments at a lower price shortly before the loan comes due.
comes when the fungible
financial instrument declines in value.
"The mistake most people
make in looking at the financial crisis is thinking of it in terms of money, a
habit that might lead you to look at the unfolding mess as a huge bonus-killing
downer for the Wall Street class.
Looked at it in purely Machiavellian
terms, what you see is a
colossal power grab that threatens to turn the US government into
a kind of giant Enron - a
huge, impenetrable black box filled with
self-dealing insiders whose scheme is
the securing of individual
profits at the expense of an ocean of unwitting involuntary shareholders,
previously known as taxpayers." - Matt
"Tight residential real estate markets and low
mortgage rates fueled a five-year property boom as the number of US households
paying more than half their incomes for housing jumped from 13.8 million in
2001 to 17.9 million in 2007." - Brian Louis
"Between 1999 and 2004, more than half the states,
both red (North Carolina, 1999; South Carolina, 2004) and blue (California,
2001; New York, 2003), passed anti-predatory-lending laws.
a firestorm in 2002 when it sought to hold Wall Street bundlers and holders of
securities responsible for mortgages that were fraudulently conceived.
Beginning in 2004 Michigan and forty-nine other states battled the US
Comptroller of the Currency and the banking industry (and The Wall Street
Journal's editorial page) for the right to examine the books of Wachovia's
mortgage unit, a fight the Supreme Court decided in
Wachovia's favor in 2007 - about a year before it cratered." - Dean
1863 National Bank Act
establishes the Office of the
Comptroller of the Currency as part of the
Treasury Department and a
system of nationally chartered banks.
The Office of the Comptroller of
the Currency examined the books of national banks to make sure they were
"Several years ago, state attorneys general and others
involved in consumer protection began to notice a marked increase in a range of
predatory lending practices by mortgage lenders.
In 2003 the OCC
invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions
preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them
The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented
states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against
The US government's actions were so egregious and
so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking
superintendents, actively fought the new rules.
But the unanimous
opposition of the 50 states did not deter, or even slow, George Walker Bush in
his goal of protecting the banks.
In fact, when my office opened an
investigation of possible discrimination in mortgage lending by a number of
banks, the OCC filed a federal lawsuit to stop the investigation." - Elliot
Spitzer, Washington Post, February 13,
On the afternoon of February
13 federal agents of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency staked out
Elliot Spitzer's hotel in Washington.
Elliot Spitizer's dalliance with a
prostitute became headline news March 10.
Corporate news never questioned the
actions of the federal agents.
"One is struck by the similarities
with the Savings and Loan scandal which was allowed to continue through the
1980s, long after it became apparent that
deliberate bankruptcy was being
used by unscrupulous profiteers to amass illegal fortunes at what was
ultimately public expense.
The long drawn-out housing bubble of the
current George Walker Bush
decade, and particularly the derivative bubble that was floated
upon it, allowed the Bush administration to help offset the
trillion-dollar-plus cost of its Iraq
misadventure." - Peter Dale Scott
investment bank meltdown
"The injunction of Jesus to love others as
ourselves is an endorsement of self-interest." - Brian Griffiths,
Goldman Sachs public
"We see TARP as an insurance policy. No matter how
bad it gets, we're going to be one of the remaining banks."- John C. Hope III,
Whitney National Bank chairman 1977 AL Williams establishes its base by mass-marketing the
concept of "Buy Term and Invest the Difference." With "BTID" the incorporation
illustrated how its middle-income client base could purchase sufficient
protection with term life insurance and systematically save and invest in
separate investment vehicles, such as mutual fund Individual Retirement
AL Williams is initially established as a privately held
general agency, at first selling term life insurance policies underwritten by
1980 A.L. Williams enters
into a contract with Boston-based Massachusetts Indemnity and Life Insurance
incorporation (MILICO), a larger underwriter of life insurance, whose parent is
PennCorp Financial Services, Santa Monica.
1980s Salomon Brothers is
acquired by the commodity trading firm Phibro.
Salomon is noted for its
innovation in the bond market,
selling the first mortgage-backed security,
a hitherto obscure species of financial instrument forged by Ginnie Mae.
Salomon begins purchasing home mortgages from thrifts throughout the US
and packaged them into mortgage-backed
securities, which it sells to local and international
First American National Corporation is established as a holding incorporation
for First American Life Insurance (later renamed AL Williams Life Insurance)
and First American National Securities (later renamed PFS Investments).
Shearson is acquired by American
Express and operated as a subsidiary.
First American National Corporation, renamed The AL Williams Corporation,
underwrites a public stock offering.
1983 The AL
Williams Corporation is listed on the NASDAQ exchange under ALWC.
American Can and PennCorp Financial Services merge.
Shearson merges with Lehman
Brothers/Kuhn Loeb evolving into
Sanford Weill, scion David-Weill
family purchases Commercial Credit from Control Data for $7 million.
Lazard Freres - the biggest investment bank in France - is owned by
Lazard and David-Weill
families - old Genoese banking scions.
86-year-old American Can announces a name change to Primerica Corporation.
Primerica Corporation completes a hostile takeover of Smith
Sanford Weill acquires Gulf Insurance.
1988 Commercial Credit acquires Primerica Corporation for
Shearson Lehman acquires EF Hutton to be Shearson Lehman
1989 Sanford Weill acquires retail
brokerage outlets Drexel Burnham
Eight Charged in $50-Million Car Loan Fraud
1991 Primerica Corporation changes the name of AL Williams to
Primerica Financial Services.
US taxpayers, already
billed over $500 billion dollars for the S&L looting, are charged another
$70 billion to bail out the FDIC.
US taxpayers then footed the bill
for a secret 2 1/2-year rescue of Citibank, which was close to
collapse after the Latin American debt crunch hit home.
The Saving of Citibank
John S. Reed, chairman and CEO
of Citicorp, engineered a radical change in a major operating group, built a
lucrative new business from scratch, and played a high-visibility role in the
pivotal issue of Third World debt.
Citicorp Faces the World: An Interview with John
(The Washington Post article above implies that the problem was
domestic when clearly the problem revloved around Third World
1993 Primerica acquires Travelers
Insurance and adopts the name Travelers.
Sanford Weill purchases
Shearson Lehman Hutton from American
Express for $1.2 billion.
Shearson Lehman Hutton acquires
Colorado-based lender, Aurora Loan Services, an Alt-A lender.
Sanford Weill spins Lehman
Brothers out of American Express.
Richard Severin Fuld Jr.
1995 Travelers becomes The Travelers Group.
1996 The Travelers Group purchases the property and casualty
business of Atena.
Timeline of the Asian financial crisis
Citicorp and Travelers merge and
form the behemoth Citigroup.
aquires Salomon and merges it with Smith Barney creating Salomon Smith
Citibank schemed with firm to hide its woes: Ex-Dewey
Lehman Hutton purchases West Coast subprime mortgage lender BNC Mortgage LLC.
BNC Mortgage LLC quickly becomes a force in the subprime market.
September 11, 2001 Salomon
Smith Barney is by far the largest tenant in
7 World Trade Center, occupying
1,202,900 sq ft (111,750 m2) (64% of the building) which included floors
Shearson Lehman Hutton occupies three floors of
World Trade Center where one employee
2002 Citigroup spins off Travelers Property
2003 Shearson Lehman Hutton makes
$18.2 billion in loans and ranked third in lending.
2004 Shearson Lehman Hutton makes over $40 billion.
Shearson Lehman Hutton has morphed into a real estate hedge fund
disguised as an investment bank.
Sachs receives approximately
$1.6 billion in taxpayer
subsidies (mostly through Liberty Bonds) from New York City and state
taxpayers to finance a new headquarters near the World Financial Center in
2006 Aurora and BNC are lending
almost $50 billion per month.
Goldman Sachs changes its
corporate structure into a bank holding corporation.
Employees earn an
average of $622,000 on a profit of $9.4 billion.
Much of the commercial
paper wealth is made on takeovers and
George Herbert Walker
Robert Zoellick (World Bank
Henry Paulson (US
Rubin* (US Treasury Secretary, Chairman Citigroup);
John Thain (Merrill Lynch, Chairman
Henry H. Fowler, (US Treasury Secretary);
Edward Lampert (hedge
Michael Cohrs (Global Banking at Deutsche Bank);
Carney (Bank of Canada);
Robert Steel (CEO of Wachovia);
Ed Liddy ( CEO
Gary Gensler (Commodity Futures Trading
Stephen Friedman (Chairman Intelligence
Oversight Board, Memorial
Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, The Aspen Institute,
Federal Reserve Bank of New
received $981,000 for his campaign from
2007 4th quarter Citigroup posts a
$10 billion loss, 21,200 Citigroup employees are laid off.
single largest shareholder becomes Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the
investment arm of Abu Dhabi government, with a $7.5 billion injection of
capital in late 2007 in exchange for a 4.9% stake which pays a $1.7 billion a
The second largest Citigroup shareholder, with a 3.6%
stake, is now Kingdom Holding incorporation owned by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal
of Saudi Arabia.
billion of prefered stock is sold to an investment fund controlled by the
government of Singapore.
through September 2008
Five largest investment
bankers on Wall Street go bankrupt.
Brothers assets of $680 billion are supported by $22.5 billion of firm
From an equity position, its risky commercial real estate
holdings are three times greater than capital.
In such a highly
leveraged structure, a 3 to 5% decline in real estate values wipes out all
Federal Reserve sells
Bear Stearns to
JP Morgan Chase for ten
dollars per share, a price far below the previous 52-week high of $133.20 per
Merrill Lynch seizes $850
million worth of the underlying collateral from
Bear Stearns but only
recoups $100 million in auction.
Merrill Lynch is sold to
Bank of America for
0.8595 shares of Bank of
America common stock for each Merrill Lynch common share, or about $50
billion or $29 per share.
The market valuation of
Merrill Lynch was about $100
billion one year earlier.
During the final quarter of 2008 Merrill
Lynch loses $15.3 billion.
2008 Morgan Stanley
is contracted by the Treasury Department to
advise the government on potential rescue strategies for
Fannie Mae and
September 21, 2008 Federal Reserve allows
Morgan Stanley to change its
status from investment bank to bank holding incorporation in order to
November 23, 2008
Fed and Treasury announce a rescue package for Citigroup to provide insurance
against large losses on bundled securities and
derivatives of approximately
$306 billion backed by residential and commercial real estate.
Citigroup agrees to absorb the first $29 billion in losses on the
bundled securities and
derivatives; the government
will then cover 90% of losses that exceed that figure.
$1.77 million on lobbying fees in the fourth quarter.
many others, had sought to insure itself against losses with a variety of
transactions, including the purchase of insurance, only to learn that the
losses were overwhelming those who had promised to pay. Insurance on the assets
was issued both by the bond insurers and by others that wrote what were known
default swaps, which amounted to insurance but were not regulated in the
same way. Those who wrote large amounts of such insurance are now in trouble,
either negotiating to pay claims for less than promised or, in the case of the
American International Group, still in
business only because of a
government bailout. The American
International Group officials responsible for writing the swaps told
investors they would never suffer any losses." - Floyd Norris, November 24,
"Sovereign wealth funds operated by
China, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, and
other countries have taken large equity stakes in Citigroup,
Morgan Stanley, and other
firms, including leading European financial institutions." - Mark
Long-Term Capital Management
bailout as a precedent, creditors
came to believe that their loans to unsound financial institutions would be
made good by the Fed - as long as the collapse of those institutions would
threaten the global credit
system. Bolstered by this sense of security, bad loans mushroomed. The
major creditors of the fund included Bear Stearns,
Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers,
all of which went on to lend and invest recklessly. The ad hoc aspect of the
bailout created a precedent for what has come to be called "regulation by deal"
- now the government's modus operandi." - Tyler Cowen, December 26, 2008
"When the "credit crunch" began and Washington
began the rush to solve the problem with taxpayer cash, no accounting of this
derivative nightmare was ever brought to bear. In all the deliberations and
press releases there was not a single mention of the fact that the primary
cause of the bank collapse was due to these
bombs'." - Andrew Hughes 1/27/09
April 2, 2009 Financial Accounting Standards
Board relaxes the "mark-to-market" rule.
institutions are given the go ahead to value their derivative assets in a
"mark-to-model" manner - use creative accounting methods to
value their toxic debt at 'projected market
"The announcement April 2, 2009 by the Financial Accounting
Standards Board (FASB) weakening "mark-to-market" accounting
rules allowing banks to value their
toxic debt at inflated
prices. This is a green light to continue the same methods of fraud and double
bookkeeping that triggered the breakdown of the
financial system in
the first place." - Tom Eley
"US taxpayers may be on the hook for as
much as $23.7 trillion to bolster the economy and bailout financial companies."
- Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the
Troubled Asset Relief Program
Department, July, 2009
November 25, 2008 to July 8,
Financial institutions issue $274 billion in debt under the
Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program.
General Motors Financial Services
auto and home lender which recieved $13.5 billion from US taxpayers in exchange
for corporate debt in the form
of junk bonds becomes a bank to qualify for the
Temporary Liquidity Guarantee
To insure $10 million of General Motors Acceptance
Corporation junk bonds annually with
credit default swap contract it costs $895,000.
To insure the
entire $13.5 billion in General
Motors Acceptance Corporation junk bonds annually will cost over $1.2
Is Bank Debt a Security?
GMAC fined £2.8m for 'mistreating' mortgage
This web site is not a commercial web site and
is presented for educational
This website defines a
new perspective with which to engage reality to which its author adheres. The
author feels that the falsification of reality outside personal experience has
forged a populace unable to discern
propaganda from reality and that this has been done purposefully by an
international corporate cartel through their agents who wish to foist a corrupt
version of reality on the human race. Religious intolerance occurs when any
group refuses to tolerate religious practices, religious beliefs or persons due
to their religious ideology. This web site marks the founding of a system of
philosophy named The Truth of the Way of the Lumière Infinie - a
rational gnostic mystery religion based on reason which requires no leap of
faith, accepts no tithes, has no supreme leader, no church buildings and in
which each and every individual is encouraged to develop a personal relation
with the Creator and Sustainer through the pursuit of the knowledge of reality
in the hope of curing the spiritual corruption that has enveloped the human
spirit. The tenets of The Truth of the Way of the Lumière Infinie are
spelled out in detail on this web site by the author. Violent acts against
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This web site in no way condones violence. To the contrary the
intent here is to reduce the violence that is already occurring due to the
international corporate cartels desire to control the human race. The
international corporate cartel already controls the world economic system,
corporate media worldwide, the global industrial military entertainment complex
and is responsible for the collapse of morals, the elevation of self-centered
behavior and the destruction of global ecosystems. Civilization is based on
coöperation. Coöperation does not occur at the point of a
American social mores and values have declined precipitously over
the last century as the corrupt international cartel has garnered more and more
power. This power rests in the ability to deceive the populace in general
through corporate media by pressing emotional buttons which have been
preprogrammed into the population through prior corporate media psychological
operations. The results have been the destruction of the family and the
destruction of social structures that do not adhere to the corrupt
international elites vision of a
perfect world. Through distraction and coercion the direction of thought of
the bulk of the population has been directed toward solutions proposed by the
corrupt international elite that further consolidates their power and which
further their purposes.
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