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It’s now a Disclosure
Victory! Federal Reserve Must Disclose Bank Bailout Records
The Federal Reserve Board must disclose documents identifying financial firms that might have collapsed without the largest U.S. government bailout ever, a federal appeals court said.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled today that the Fed must release records of the unprecedented $2 trillion U.S. loan program launched primarily after the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. The ruling upholds a decision of a lower-court judge, who in August ordered that the information be released.
House Financial Services Committee Passes Paul-Grayson Amendment to Audit the Fed
The House Financial Services Committee voted 43-26 yesterday afternoon in favor of an amendment introduced by Reps. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Alan Grayson (D-FL) that would remove restrictions preventing the GAO from auditing the Federal Reserve. The amendment was modeled after Rep. Paul’s long-standing bill to audit the Fed, which was co-sponsored by over 300 Members in the House and supported by POGO and many other groups.
The vote on the final passage of the financial regulatory package to which the Paul-Grayson amendment is attached has been delayed until after Thanksgiving. Nonetheless, yesterday’s vote signals a defeat for Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC), who had introduced an alternative amendment that would have limited the scope of the GAO’s audits.
We will continue to monitor this important bill as it makes it way through Congress. In the meantime, however, we wanted to highlight an insightful observation made by one of our blog commenter, who points out that the GAO may not have the staffing and resources it needs to conduct these audits:
The Secretive Federal Reserve System Sued: Freedom of Information Act Doesn’t Apply to Non Governmental Organizations
Kaptur – Geithner 1/27/10
T-Shirt I Bailed Out US Banks And All I Got Was This Toxic Waste
END THE FED
Hearing for 1207 – House Financial Services Committee Hearing on Regulatory Overhaul C-SPAN
How It Works
The DC BANK has a BOG appointed by the POTUS, confirmed by the Senate.
The DC BOG has 7 members (only 5 have been appointed)
There are 14 year terms staggered to expire every 2 years.
Each other bank has a BOD with 9 members.
3 selected by the BOG in DC
3 selected by the banks
3 selected by banking commerce
The president of the BOD is selected by the members and approved by the BOG in DC.
Nice little clubs they got going there, eh?
couple of question…
1. Where is the consumer protection selection?
2. Current Secretary of the Treasury Geithner was President of the NY Federal Reserve Bank how did he get away without paying taxes for years?
3. Important and awesome responsibility, shouldn’t the IRS audit all members thoroughly at least every other year?
4. Each member is given a 14 year term, which are staggered every two years, why haven’t the other two seats been filled? That’s at least 4 years without a full BOG?
5. How much dose each BOG and BOD member make?
6. Is the FED private or public? …after the watching the hearing it’s actually hard to tell.
Finally HR 1207 – on it’s way
Finger’s Crossed – Next Stop the Floor, Then the Senate – Keep the Bills in Tact!
Keep Calling Congress
A bill to amend title 31, United States Code, to reform the manner in which the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is audited by the Comptroller General of the United States and the manner in which such audits are reported, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Bernard Sanders
Sister Bill House Bill HR 1207
What Are They Afraid Of?
want to write a letter or send an e-mail, but don’t know what to say?
YOU TUBE CLOSED DOWN THE CHANNEL WITH ALL THE LINK S TO THE CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION ON THE BANKS AND FEDS
However, the testimony may be found on cspan.org, though they are much longer than these clips which got to the hard questions and answers quickly.
Sad day for democracy
I will try and find the direct links to c-span and also hope that this vital information will be uploaded elsewhere. If you catch something missing on this blog let me know I will hunt for it elsewhere. Thanks
shame on you tube
Congress Drills Ben Bernanke – Round 1
Congress Drills Ben Bernanke – Round 2
HANK “I Don’t Recall” PAULSON – BOA/ LYNCH Hearings
REP Towns – Paulson TARP Hearings
REP Kucinich – Secret Mergers – Illegal Acts
REP Speier – Why Did You Force Banks To Take $15B TARP?
REP Burton – You Didn’t Want To Make Any Of This Public! Why Not?
REP Kanjorski – Explain What Meltdown Meant.
REP Cummings – Goldman Awarded AIG Bailout Money, Why?
Kaptur – The Greatest Hail Mary Pass Of ALL TIME!
REP Stearns – Bait and Switch – No Credibility – Recuse
“Just Trust US” – Federal Reserve
More Fed & Crony Caca!
And while you’re on the phone with your Representative include House Bill HR 676
Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act – To provide for comprehensive health insurance coverage for all United States residents, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. John Conyers
How Banks Win
Consumers need to keep their guard up as financial institutions increasingly impose new fees and charges.
Banks and credit-card companies have gone on the offensive in advance of new consumer protections the Obama administration is asking Congress to enact. For many consumers, that could mean an unexpected financial sting.
“The fee income is becoming increasingly more important as interest income is falling as a percentage of total revenues,” says Bob Hammer, chief executive of bank-card advisory firm R.K. Hammer.
Late fees, loan-origination fees, over-the-limit and overdraft charges helped generate 53% of banking-industry income in 2008, according to R.K. Hammer, up from 35% of income in 1995. The average bounced-check fee is $28.95, up about $1 from last year, says Greg McBride, senior analyst at Bankrate.com. And it’s a charge that rises every year.
At $19 billion, credit-card penalties for late payments and over-limit charges were up 80% between 2003 and 2008.
Fees aren’t necessarily bad, consumer advocates say, as long as they are reasonable. There’s a lot more involved in a loan origination, for example, than there is in using an ATM. But Adam Levine, chairman of Credit.com, says banks are drawing wide margins around what’s considered “reasonable.”
One thing to keep in mind: It’s worth the time to ask for a pass on fees. No bank is going to advertise that it waives fees on a regular basis, but many will do so when asked.
Here are 10 fees you should keep a close eye on:
1. Checking account
This is the privilege-of-using-your-own-money charge that many banks did away with years ago. But such fees are starting to creep back into the system, experts warn. Consumers shouldn’t assume their checking accounts are fee-free or, if they are, that they will always continue to be so. Charges vary from a flat monthly fee to one that is dependent on how many transactions you have or on a minimum account balance.
“The type of checking account to now look for is one that does not have a monthly service charge, minimum balance requirement or limit on the number of transactions you can make,” says Bankrate’s Mr. McBride.
If you use an ATM that doesn’t belong to your bank or doesn’t have an agreement with your bank, you could get whacked twice — once by your bank and once by the bank whose ATM you’re using. Fees typically range between $2 and $4. And the bite is getting bigger.
Charges can add up when you unknowingly bounce a check or go over your account balance. Many consumers argue that banks should deny them cash at the ATM if the withdrawal is going to overdraw the account. But most banks don’t do so because allowing the transaction to go through and charging the subsequent penalty brings in money.
4. Deposit returned
If a check deposited in your account bounces, you’re charged a fee just as if you had bounced the check yourself.
Banks drew fire from consumers in the 1990s when they tried charging a fee if human interaction occurred when depositing or withdrawing money. There are scattered reports of these fees popping up again, mostly for “excessive” use of tellers. Some banks give you two free teller visits per month, but charge you after that — say, $2 or $4 for each extra visit.
This is the phone version of teller fees. Make a call to ask about your account balance, a charge or to order new checks and you could get hit with a service fee ranging from 50 cents to $5.
7. Closing accounts
Many banks will charge you a fee if you close an account within 90 days — and sometimes within six months — of opening it. Bankrate has seen fees between $5 and $25.
8. Currency conversions
Fees to convert currency are on the rise — both what you’re charged when withdrawing local currency from a foreign ATM and what you pay to convert any unspent money back to dollars at your local bank.
9. Credit cards
Legislation going into effect next year will put caps on some credit-card late and over-limit fees and on how they’re charged against old and new balances. Until then, expect to see them grow. Grace periods also are expected to end or be severely restricted.
10. Annual membership
In the early days of credit cards, issuers charged consumers a yearly fee for the right to use the card. Competition drove most annual fees away, but it looks like they may make a comeback. An annual fee could cost you $29 or more.