Tag Archives: crooks

The Banking Solution

Make those who made money off Wall Street give it all back.

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Utter Fraud!

Visit
Goldman Scahs Are Scum!

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US Indentured Slavery

Max Keiser & Max Keiser TV

have anything special to add, leave a comment with the URL…

update

Financial Suicide Bombers
Say no to the Banks

Financial Terrorist Cards in process
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Matt Taibi on Goldman Sachs
“a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

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The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

It’ll be on You Tube

hero

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Filed under art, bad democrats, books, business, congress, general, great Ideas, Health, history, international, justice, media, music, nature, News, obama, psychology, science and technology, scotus, serendipity, social epistemology, SPREAD IT!, updates, war

Financial Coup

This is what a financial coup looks like

The $13 Trillion could be given to every American and used to pay off every mortgage and credit card debt in the US and we’d still have money left over, but it’s being given to the banks.

March 31 (Bloomberg)
“The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have spent, lent or committed $12.8 trillion…”

“New pledges from the Fed, the Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. include $1 trillion for the Public-Private Investment Program, designed to help investors buy distressed loans and other assets from U.S. banks. The money works out to $42,105 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. and 14 times the $899.8 billion of currency in circulation.”

If you’re a family of 4 that’s $168,420 in your pocket.

Instead you’re allowing your government to give your money and country’s wealth to the people who created the mess, the banks.

Why?

This is a what a financial coup looks like.
President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner met with the chief executives of the nation’s 12 biggest banks on March 27 at the White House to enlist their support to thaw a 20-month freeze in bank lending.

“The president and Treasury Secretary Geithner have said they will do what it takes,” Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein said after the meeting. “If it is enough, that will be great. If it is not enough, they will have to do more.”

Commitments include a $500 billion line of credit to the FDIC from the government’s coffers that will enable the agency to guarantee as much as $2 trillion worth of debt for participants in the Term Asset-Backed Lending Facility and the Public-Private Investment Program. FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair warned that the insurance fund to protect customer deposits at U.S. banks could dry up because of bank failures.

‘Within an Eyelash’
The combined commitment has increased by 73 percent since November, when Bloomberg first estimated the funding, loans and guarantees at $7.4 trillion.

“The comparison to GDP serves the useful purpose of underscoring how extraordinary the efforts have been to stabilize the credit markets,” said Dana Johnson, chief economist for Comerica Bank in Dallas.

“Everything the Fed, the FDIC and the Treasury do doesn’t always work out right but back in October we came within an eyelash of having a truly horrible collapse of our financial system, said Johnson, a former Fed senior economist. “They used their creativity to help the worst-case scenario from unfolding and I’m awfully glad they did it.”

Federal Reserve officials project the economy will keep shrinking until at least mid-year, which would mark the longest U.S. recession since the Great Depression.

The following table details how the Fed and the government have committed the money on behalf of American taxpayers over the past 20 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Quiet Coup

US Indentured Slavery

Audit the FED

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22 July 2009 – Brief

Vodpod videos no longer available.
BRAVO!
(making temporary exception for VIACOM)

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Obama’s Doctor On Health Care

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Testicle Won’t Drop TOUGH! Use it And Lose It

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Private Insurance Makes You Poorer And Sicker
Uninsured? Under-Insured? Tough!

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How To Bribe Congress
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Center for Responsive Politics Releases Preliminary Analysis of Second Quarter Lobbying Figures
Lobbyists were paid at least $349.2 million for their services between April and June, according to a partial analysis of their quarterly reports filed with the Senate Office of Public Records on Monday.
Although this overall expenditure appears to be a decrease from the first quarter, when lobbyists brought in $807.3 million, the Center for Responsive Politics expects to receive and process at least 7,700 more filings in the next week.

So while the $349.2 million will likely increase, we’re not sure yet by how much. But we will report on any increase next week.

Last year, lobbying expenditures increased 3.4 percent between the first and second quarters, from $798.1 million to $825.3 million.

If that trend holds true this year, too, clients would have paid out about $834.7 million between April and June. In the past six months lobbyists have been busy with a number of major legislative initiatives, including health care reform, financial regulation and climate change.

In all, 19,251 lobbying contracts were active for this year’s first quarter. To date, CRP has processed 11,482 contracts for the second quarter, although this number is also expected to increase significantly in coming days.

Next week, when we have more of the reports in, we’ll provide an update on these numbers. We’ll also be adding the new numbers to our lobbying database and blogging about industries and interests as we code and calculate that data. source

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GOLDEN! SPREAD

This is Congressman Alan Grayson questioning Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on $550B of loans to foreigners (or ‘central liquidity swaps’ in Federal Reserve-ese’).

Which financial institutions received this money? Bernanke’s answer: I don’t know.

As the Fed was lending this money, the dollar increased by 30% in value. Grayson asks, was this a coincidence? Bernanke’s answer: yes.

gotta love his demeanor

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Bernanke Fights Audit Threat To The Fed

Central bank chief argues more review would compromise independence, seeking to deny legislative victory for one of Fed’s biggest opponents.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke faced a grilling in Congress on Tuesday about the role of the Fed, and spoke out strongly against a legislative proposal to audit the central bank.

Speaking to the House Financial Services Committee, Bernanke tempered optimism that the economy is improving, noting that, “despite these positive signs, the rate of job loss remains high and the unemployment rate has continued its steep rise.” He added the Fed expects inflation to remain subdued over the next two years.

He discussed the Federal Reserve’s strategy to extricate itself from the outsized role it’s taken in the economy to avert financial disaster. He reminded Congress about the need to get the budget deficit fixed: If not, “we risk having neither financial stability nor durable economic growth,” he said.

Bernanke also came out in strong opposition to legislation proposed by Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, to audit the Federal Reserve.

Since its introduction in February, the bill has attracted 275 co-sponsors, enough to gain passage in the House of Representatives. In the Senate, the prospects are unclear. Fourteen Republicans, three Democrats and one Independent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who votes with Democrats, have signed on to the bill. The legislation simply calls for a Government Accountability Office audit of the Federal Reserve.

Why is something that sounds so simple so contentious? more

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Fed is Dumping Junk On the American People

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Punking War Criminal And Human Rights Violator John Yoo

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US Torture Under Bush – Is Obama Being Complicit?
Sins Of The United State
The Faces of Torture
Broken Lives
Physicians For Human Rights

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deadtwitterxyz

RE: Spacey On Letterman
Twitter is a way to advertise or network – what the folks at twitter need to offer is an options that allows users to easily bulk accept or reject people who want to follow – blocking is too much work and only encourages spam; which is what wastes most of the bandwidth. Spammers will still try, but it would be a deterrent.

Kevin Spacey may have 800k followers, but how many of those followers are SPAMMERS!?

My guess, at least one-third.

They don’t count.

Further, anyone who has a high number of followers are using twitter to advertise or stay relevant with their base, which is okay, but it’s not actually social networking unless you follow back.

I’m thinking of instituting the 30 day rule of relevance: If I follow you, tweet you with at least three pieces of wisdom, help or a laugh and you don’t respond in kind or acknowledge my presence I will un-follow.

Fair nuff?

I have more to say about twitter, but I’m already way over my 140 chrtrs.

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marijuana
I don’t partake, but I’ve heard enough evidence that it works well for people who are suffering from the ill effects of chemo and other detrimental maladies. I  don’t believe that the expressed confidence in this plant by so many random people would say it works just to get a buzz. I’m convinced, therefore this plant should be made legals and controlled by the FDA for distribution and allowed to be grown, within legal limits,  in the garden.

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1224834571812_us_backyard1_409JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon Donates Serious Cash to Democrats
Dimon and his wife, Judy, have donated more than a half-million dollars to Democratic candidates and committees since 1989, according to a Center for Responsive Politics analysis of his donations. That is nearly 12 times what the couple has given the GOP.
Dimon seems to exert considerable influence within Democratic circles at a time when JPMorgan and other banks still owe the federal government billions of dollars after last year’s bailouts.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was scheduled to attend JPMorgan board meeting this week. He declined to attend after the New York Times profiled Dimon and mentioned the invitation prominently. more

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trans

Conseil: If you’re in a movie, video or on TV don’t say you don’t watch yourself. That makes me not want to watch you or less of you.

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This Just Needs So Much More Attention
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“Goldman Sachs Are Scum!”


“Financial Terrorists”

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Apple’s Image May Be Tarnished By Poor Factory Conditions
Following an investigation on Tuesday into many Chinese companies violating recent labor laws, it’s now known through Apple’s 2009 responsibility progress report that 45 of the 83 factories that built iPhones and iPods in 2008 weren’t paying valid overtime rates for those workers that qualified, while 23 of these weren’t even paying some of their workers China’s minimum wage.

A deeper look at Apple’s findings found that about 25 of the 83 also discriminated to some degree against people based on ethnicity, biological issues like disabilities, or political leanings. 22 didn’t meet environmental standards, while almost exactly a fifth also had problems with on-site living conditions and safety.

In a few extreme cases, seven factories had been caught having at least at one time hired underage workers, though were weren’t more than 25 people involved. Some workers at six factories also had to enter debt to a recruitment agency just to start work and were effectively forced to work to pay off their recruiters.apple insider

Escherichiacolibacteria

Smarter Than Computers

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more to follow… check back, click the clickables below or go here

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indentured servitude rc changecongressfwcc suebush consumer watchdog insurection

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Filed under art, brief, business, computers, film, Health, history, humor, media, politics, psychology, science and technology, serendipity, social epistemology, updates, video, vigilance, war

Third Weekend July 2009 – Brief

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afghanistanflag

Afghanistan detainees indefinitely confined, refusing to leave cells to shower
The prisoners at the largest U.S. detention facility in Afghanistan have refused to leave their cells to shower or exercise for the past two weeks to protest their indefinite imprisonment.

The prisoners at the largest U.S. detention facility in Afghanistan have refused to leave their cells to shower or exercise for the past two weeks to protest their indefinite imprisonment.

The prison wide protest, which has been going on since at least July 1, offers a rare glimpse inside a facility that is even more closed off to the public than the U.S. detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Information about the protest came to light when the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) informed the families of several detainees that scheduled video teleconferences and visits were being canceled.

Representatives of the ICRC, which monitors the treatment of detainees and arranges the calls, last visited the Bagram prison July 5, but inmates were unwilling to meet with them.

Although the prisoners are refusing to leave their cells, they are not engaging in hunger strikes or violence. Ramzi Kassem, an attorney for a Yemeni national held at Bagram, said detainees are protesting being held indefinitely without trial or legal recourse.

The U.S. military declined to comment.

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PAULSON ECONOMY
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HANK “I Don’t Recall” PAULSON
(AM session)(PM session)

highlights…
REP Towns – TARP

REP Kucinich – Secret Mergers Illegal Acts

REP Speier – $15B Force

REP Burton – Too Many Secrets

REP Kanjorski – Meltdown

REP CummingsAIG Goldman

REP Kaptur – The Greatest Hail Mary Pass Of ALL TIME!

REP Stearns – Bait and Switch – No Credibility – Recuse

.more Goldman goodies
analysis

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larceny – n. the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods of another from his or her possession with intent to convert them to the taker’s own use.

grand – adj. impressive in size or appearance.

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Democrats logoCandidates Ask Lobbyists for Fund-raising Help
A number of candidates facing tough re-election bids are turning to K Street for fundraising help.

July 15 was the first time that candidates’ political committees had to detail to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) the lobbyists and companies registered to lobby that have been bundling for them — collecting checks for campaign donations to give to the politicians. Reports have begun to trickle into the election watchdog agency this week, which are required under the ethics law that Congress passed in September 2007.

In the new reports, several prominent congressional leaders in the House and the Senate have listed lobbyists as bundlers for them, bringing in tens of thousands of dollars from their networks for the lawmakers.

For example, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) listed many lobbyist fundraisers on his report to the FEC. Bundlers raised more than $110,000 for his campaign committee, Friends of Harry Reid, this past quarter.

Lobbyists helping Reid included Tony Podesta of the Podesta Group who collected $18,700 in campaign contributions for Reid this past quarter. In addition, Emanuel Rouvelas of K&L Gates bundled $19,000 for the Nevada Democrat. And William Singer of Kirkland and Ellis fundraised $39,750 for Reid. more

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What’s New?
twit vid

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marijuana Move To Legalize Marijuana Takes Root
In a 1969 Gallup poll, only 12% of Americans supported making marijuana legal. By 2005, support had grown to 36%. And in a Zogby International poll taken earlier this year, 44% of Americans said marijuana “should be taxed and legally regulated like alcohol and cigarettes.”The most interesting information, however, is in the demographic breakdown. more

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upsfedex

Conservative Group Offers Endorsement For $2M
The American Conservative Union asked FedEx for a check for $2 million to $3 million in return for the group’s endorsement in a bitter legislative dispute, then the group’s president flipped and sided with UPS after FedEx refused to pay.

For the $2 million plus, ACU offered a range of services that included: “Producing op-eds and articles written by ACU’s Chairman David Keene and/or other members of the ACU’s board of directors. (Note that Mr. Keene writes a weekly column that appears in The Hill.)”

The conservative group’s remarkable demand — black-and-white proof of the longtime Washington practice known as “pay for play” — was contained in a private letter to FedEx , which was provided to POLITICO.

The letter exposes the practice by some political interest groups of taking stands not for reasons of pure principle, as their members and supporters might assume, but also in part because a sponsor is paying big money.

In the three-page letter asking for money on June 30, the conservative group backed FedEx. After FedEx says it rejected the offer, Keene signed onto a two-page July 15 letter backing UPS. Keene did not return a message left on his cell phone.

Maury Lane, FedEx’s director of corporate communications, said: “Clearly, the ACU shopped their beliefs and UPS bought.” more
.pdf letter
Where’s My Bailout?

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apollotripod The Eagle Has Landed

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WHOW.H.O. Says It Plans to Stop Tracking Swine Flu Cases
In a move that caught many public health experts by surprise, the World Health Organization quietly announced Thursday that it would stop tracking swine flu cases and deaths around the world.

The last W.H.O. update, issued on July 6, showed 94,512 confirmed cases in 122 countries, with 429 deaths.

Many epidemiologists have pointed out that, in reality, millions of people have had swine flu, usually in a mild form, so the numbers of laboratory-confirmed cases were actually meaningless. And performing the tests has overwhelmed many national laboratories. W.H.O.

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byś nie odleciał przypadkiem

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Congressional Lawmakers Invest In Their (Financial) Health
As members of Congress assess the proper dose of reform for the nation’s health care system, many of them have likewise invested hundreds of thousands of dollars of their personal funds into the very companies whose financial fortunes depend on what measures become law.

While some political scientists and other experts are concerned this reality inhibits good policy, lawmakers themselves say the financial health of their constituents — not their investment portfolios — alone drive their decisions.

Legislators held significant investments in pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Amgen, the Center for Responsive Politics has found. Through 2008 — the most recent year for which lawmakers filed this information — many congressional members’ personal funds were also invested in big-time insurers Aetna, UnitedHealth Group and Metlife, among others.

“Having personal funds in healthcare companies has the potential to influence someone’s understanding of the issues and affect the policies they support. The potential for being influenced by one’s own self interest is present whenever Congress is considering legislation that could have an impact on the profits of the companies,” said Leonard Weber, Professor Emeritus at the University of Detroit Mercy and an ethics consultant for health establishments. “It would certainly be better if these self-interests were not part of the decision-making process.”

Nearly one in four current members of Congress had invested some money in health companies during 2007, the most recent year CRP calculated lawmakers’ extensive personal finances. (Data for 2008 will be available in our personal financial disclosure database come October). That made for a total of between $44.2 million and $93.9 million. And while the market has changed significantly since then, a scan of their 2008 reports show that lawmakers held onto–or even purchased–stock in these companies during 2008.

Because lawmakers report the value of their assets in ranges, it’s impossible to determine their exact worth.

Merck, Pfizer and UnitedHealth rank among the top 10 investments in 2007, and are part of an industry that opposes one of the main components of reform proposals–a public health insurance option that would compete with private insurers. more

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pills

Drug Makers Score Early Wins as Plan Takes Shape
The pharmaceuticals industry, which President Barack Obama promised to “take on” during his campaign, is winning most of what it wants in the health-care overhaul.

The final contours of the legislation are far from settled, but the industry, led by a onetime powerful congressman, has notched a string of victories.

Legislation expected soon in the powerful Senate Finance Committee will leave out cost-cutting steps as part of an agreement with the industry and the White House, according to Congressional aides, industry lobbyists and others involved in the talks. more

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Joy Of Sachs

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pound-signIMF warns pound could be at risk from uncertainty
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that Gordon Brown risks a run on the pound if he does not set out a clear path for reducing national debt.

In a report published yesterday following a staff mission to Britain in May, the IMF said that a “credible plan” was needed to reverse the rapid deterioration of the public finances if confidence in the UK was to be upheld.

“Market conditions suggest the UK has been getting the benefit of the doubt, both in the Government bond market and also the foreign exchange market,” said Ajai Chopra, the IMF’s mission chief for the UK. “This benefit of the doubt is not going to last forever and it’s going to be important that the Government does not test the limit of the market’s confidence.

“The authorities will need to move more aggressively in their fiscal consolidation plans and to be specific it will be important to set public debt on a firmly downward path faster than is envisaged in the 2009 Budget,” he added….

The report added: “Should fiscal sustainability come into question, interest rates would rise despite monetary easing efforts, the ability of the Government to provide support to the financial sector would be severely limited and pressures on the currency could emerge.” telegraph uk £

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itty bitty logo-googleWorking With News publishers
Last week, a group of newspaper and magazine publishers signed a declaration stating that “Universal access to websites does not necessarily mean access at no cost,” and that they “no longer wish to be forced to give away property without having granted permission.”

We agree, and that’s how things stand today. The truth is that news publishers, like all other content owners, are in complete control when it comes not only to what content they make available on the web, but also who can access it and at what price. This is the very backbone of the web — there are many confidential company web sites, university databases, and private files of individuals that cannot be accessed through search engines. If they could, the web would be much less useful.

For more than a decade, search engines have routinely checked for permissions before fetching pages from a web site. Millions of webmasters around the world, including news publishers, use a technical standard known as the Robots Exclusion Protocol (REP) to tell search engines whether or not their sites, or even just a particular web page, can be crawled. Webmasters who do not wish their sites to be indexed can and do use the following two lines to deny permission: more
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1916 – 2009

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Clickables

indentured servitude rc 365flagxavd changecongressfwcc suebush consumer watchdog

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QOTD: “Oh, My Hat!”

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lilmoon

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Financial Reform, Words and Deeds‏

It’s good that Barack Obama is an agile basketball player because on financial regulatory reform he’s having to straddle an ever widening chasm between his words and his deeds.

Obama said: “Millions of Americans who have worked hard and behaved responsibility have seen their life dreams eroded by the irresponsibility of others and by the failure of their government to provide adequate oversight. Our entire economy has been undermined by that failure.”

“Over the past two decades, we have seen, time and again, cycles of precipitous booms and busts. In each case, millions of people have had their lives profoundly disrupted by developments in the financial system, most severely in our recent crisis.”

Strong words, even though he didn’t include “corporate crime, fraud and abuse” to replace the euphemism “irresponsibility.” One would think that his 88 page reform proposal to Congress would be up to his words. Instead he provides Washington aspirins for Wall Street brain cancer.

The anemic nature of these reforms ostensibly designed to prevent or deter another big bust on Wall Street and its hostage grip on the nation’s savings and investments immediately drew the ire of well-regarded business columnists.

Joe Nocera of the New York Times wrote the “the Obama plan is little more than an attempt to stick some new regulatory fingers into a very leaky financial dam rather than rebuild the dam itself.” Nocera asserts that the reforms do not “attempt to diminish the use” of the customized type of derivatives which trillions of risky dollars generated “enormous damage to the financial system” ala A.I.G’s collapse. He notes President Roosevelt’s far more fundamental reforms, included the Glass-Steagall Act, which “separated banking from investment.” It prevented a lot of banking mischief until Clinton, his Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Citigroup got Glass-Steagall repealed in 1999. Obama is not proposing to re-instate this critical safeguard. Nocera said, firms “will have to put up a little more capital, and deal with a little more oversight, but….in all likelihood, [it will] “be back to business as usual.”

Star business reporter, Gretchen Morgenson, ripped into the Obama plan in the Sunday New York Times for doing too little to eliminate systemic risks posed by financial firms that are “too big to fail.” “Rather than propose ways to shrink these companies and the risks they pose, the Geithner plan argues instead for enhanced regulatory oversight of the behemoths.” She implies that taxpayers will be on the hook for even greater bailouts in the future.

A measure to prevent the “too big to fail” bailouts was suggested by none other than Obama’s current economic advisor, former Federal Reserve Chairman, Paul Volcker. Speaking in China, no less, Volcker recently said the Federal government could simply prevent these big banks from trading for their own accounts. But Obama is not listening to Volcker these days. Instead Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House advisor, Larry Summers, who played important roles in the past decade facilitating the enormous speculation on Wall Street, have got Obama’s ear.

The President’s plan omits, (1) strong antitrust enforcement, (2) tough corporate crime prosecution, and (3) more authority for shareholders, who own their companies, to control their hired bosses. The plan should have included giving shareholders the decisive power to set executive compensation—the perverse compensation incentives helped push companies to wild speculation.

The reform plan’s defaults go on and on. There are no mechanisms to encourage millions of investors to band together in Financial Consumer Associations. In 1985 then Cong. Chuck Schumer (Dem. NY) introduced such an amendment to the savings and loans bailout legislation. It did not pass.

What about sub-prime mortgage securities? Banks would be required to retain just a five percent stake before handing them off to other syndicates. This hardly is enough to induce prudence by banks selling these mortgages to impecunious home buyers.

Obama does propose a new financial consumer regulatory agency. But unless he appoints someone, as chair, like tough-minded Harvard Law Professor, Elizabeth Warren, who advanced the idea, the regulated financial firms will, as usual, take over the agency.

The Washington Post’s Steven Pearlstein, derided the Obama proposals for not being “grounded, first and foremost, in a thorough and independent analysis of how the crisis was allowed to develop and what regulators did and didn’t do to prevent it….” He was disappointed by the lack of controls over “hedge funds, private-equity funds or structured investment vehicles.”

Obama did strengthen the fiduciary duties to investors by stock brokers. But he did not give these defrauded investors any better civil action rights in court beyond what they were left with by the hand-tying securities law passed in 1995.

So now it is up to Congress and its hordes of banking and insurance lobbyists. Good luck, savers and investors. Unless that is, you’re doing your business with credit union cooperatives which don’t gamble with your money.
Ralph Nader

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STRIKE!

changecongress

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