Category "Banks, Banksters & The Financial Crisis"

False Profits

February 20th, 2010 by Andy in Banks, Banksters & The Financial Crisis

Dean Baker nails it again…

It would difficult to imagine someone with a comparable record of disastrous failures being allowed to remain in most jobs. Would a nurse who routinely administers the wrong medicine and causes his patients to die be allowed to keep his job? Would a bank teller who leaves the cash drawer open remain in her position? How about the school bus driver who comes drunk to work?

In most lines of work, a certain level of competence is expected. Unfortunately, this is not the case for those who set US economic policy.

Read The Full Review

Also, it truly is a “Question of Priorities,” as Baker brings additional clarity and concision to the unnecessarily (and purposefully) convoluted economic situation, as well as detailing the negligence and even stupidity of the bank bail-outs, with this insightful interview.

Highly recommended.

Read The Interview

Battle Between JPMorgan vs. Goldman Sachs and the Mythology of the “Free Market”

February 7th, 2010 by Andy in Banks, Banksters & The Financial Crisis

This is one of the best, most concise, explanations I’ve ever read on how Wall Street banking firms are controlling the economy. Ellen Hodgson Brown describes an ongoing drama between Wall Street and Washington that gets next to zero coverage in the corporate press, and lays lie to the ongoing mythology of the “free market” that continues to intoxicate our nation’s prevailing political orthodoxy.

We are witnessing an epic battle between two banking giants, JPMorgan Chase (Paul Volcker) and Goldman Sachs (Geithner/Rubin). Left strewn on the battleground could be your pension fund and 401K.

The late Libertarian economist Murray Rothbard wrote that US politics since 1900, when William Jennings Bryan narrowly lost the presidency, has been a struggle between two competing banking giants, the Morgans and the Rockefellers. The parties would sometimes change hands, but the puppeteers pulling the strings were always one of these two big-money players. No popular third party candidate had a real chance at winning, because the bankers had the exclusive power to create the national money supply and therefore held the winning cards.

Read The Article

Here’s an additional gem to help drive the point forward…
JPMorgan Chase Aided and Abetted a $250 million Ponzi Scheme

The Biggest Ponzi Scheme of All

January 3rd, 2010 by Andy in Banks, Banksters & The Financial Crisis

The biggest Ponzi scheme of all is the one that the President of the United State and Congress are playing on the rest of the world.

We borrow more and more money and pay the interest with the new borrowed money.

Every year we have to borrow more and more money for wars and of course, to pay the interest.

Congress is in the process of raising the debt limit to over $14 trillion.

The Republicans are standing in the way to make the Democrats look bad but the Republicans had no problem with the finances spinning out of control during the Reagan and Bush administrations.

But Congress will, of course, raise the debt limit because if they don’t the whole Ponzi scheme will come to an end and we will be desperately poor as every tax payer in the United States now owes $150,000 toward the debt and we can hardly pay our own bills as it is…except for the people living under the local bridge who can’t do that.

How are all of those investors going to feel when the Ponzi scheme falls apart and we try to pay them off with worthless dollars? Perhaps they won’t be happy with us.

I think that will cause a world depression like we can not imagine.

The biggest joke that I can think of now is the United States lending our banks money at close to zero percent interest and then the banks buy US treasury bonds paying about 4 percent interest and make 4 percent interest on the billions that they borrowed.

Of course these huge banks get preferred interest rates of zero percent because they are too big to fail and are the biggest joke of all.

I met a banker in NYC several months ago and I asked him about the government’s Ponzi scheme.

He said that every time the federal government looks to borrow money there are all kinds of people lined up wanting to lend money. He thinks this will go on forever since the US government never defaults.

That may be the case but the dollars they pay in interest are usually worth less and less.

I don’t know why other countries line up to lend US money at 4 percent interest when the value of the dollar has dropped 14 percent since March.

But, all of our creditors are as much interested in keeping the biggest Ponzi scheme going as we are.

Perhaps we shouldn’t tell anyone that we are running the biggest Ponzi scheme of all. We might end up in the cell next to Madoff.

- Posted by Stephen Bickford

European Governments To Break Up Big Banks

December 19th, 2009 by Andy in Banks, Banksters & The Financial Crisis

The Europeans seem to have the right idea…

Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Northern Rock will be broken up and parts of their businesses sold off to create three new banks, it emerged last night.

Government sources said ministers were “determined” to see more competition in the market, following the £1.2 trillion bailout of the sector which resulted in the loss of three independent banks and several building societies,

Anyone taken a look at Citigroup lately?

Read the full report from the Independent U.K.

The Demise of the Dollar

November 15th, 2009 by Andy in Banks, Banksters & The Financial Crisis

Robert Fisk, Middle East correspondent who for decades has proven to be almost never wrong in his assessments, provides this one which has profound implications for the future of the American (and global) economy.

In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning - along with China, Russia, Japan and France - to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar.

Secret meetings have already been held by finance ministers and central bank governors in Russia, China, Japan and Brazil to work on the scheme, which will mean that oil will no longer be priced in dollars.

The plans, confirmed to The Independent by both Gulf Arab and Chinese banking sources in Hong Kong, may help to explain the sudden rise in gold prices, but it also augurs an extraordinary transition from dollar markets within nine years.

—————

Ever since the Bretton Woods agreements - the accords after the Second World War which bequeathed the architecture for the modern international financial system - America’s trading partners have been left to cope with the impact of Washington’s control and, in more recent years, the hegemony of the dollar as the dominant global reserve currency.

—————

“These plans will change the face of international financial transactions,” one Chinese banker said. “America and Britain must be very worried. You will know how worried by the thunder of denials this news will generate.”

Iran announced late last month that its foreign currency reserves would henceforth be held in euros rather than dollars. Bankers remember, of course, what happened to the last Middle East oil producer to sell its oil in euros rather than dollars. A few months after Saddam Hussein trumpeted his decision, the Americans and British invaded Iraq.

You can go ahead and stick a fork in the American economic empire. Its finished, and nearly 800 global military installations aren’t going to be able to do much of anything about it.

Read The Complete Report

How Goldman Secretly Bet on the US Housing Crash

November 14th, 2009 by Andy in Banks, Banksters & The Financial Crisis

Is anyone really that surprised?

In 2006 and 2007, Goldman Sachs Group peddled more than $40 billion in securities backed by at least 200,000 risky home mortgages, but never told the buyers it was secretly betting that a sharp drop in U.S. housing prices would send the value of those securities plummeting.

Goldman’s sales and its clandestine wagers, completed at the brink of the housing market meltdown, enabled the nation’s premier investment bank to pass most of its potential losses to others before a flood of mortgage defaults staggered the U.S. and global economies.

Only later did investors discover that what Goldman had promoted as triple-A rated investments were closer to junk.

Now, pension funds, insurance companies, labor unions and foreign financial institutions that bought those dicey mortgage securities are facing large losses, and a five-month McClatchy investigation has found that Goldman’s failure to disclose that it made secret, exotic bets on an imminent housing crash may have violated securities laws.

Of course, they were rewarded with billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies for their role in all of this.

Read the full report from McClatchy News

Wall Street on Pace to Hand Out Record $140B in Employee Bonuses As Foreclosures Hit All-Time High

October 18th, 2009 by Andy in Video, Banks, Banksters & The Financial Crisis

This is a must-read/see for every American. The Banksters continue their plundering in full daylight. How come William Black isn’t on every talk show in the country? Oh, yeah, that’s right. If Obama meant half the things he says, Black would be Secretary of the Treasury, not foxes from Goldman Sachs lording over the henhouse of the public treasury like people like Timothy Geithner.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has topped 10,000 for the first time in a year, as JPMorgan Chase reported massive profits in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that major US banks and securities firms are on pace to pay their employees about $140 billion this year˜a record high. But on Main Street, foreclosures are also at record levels, and the official unemployment rate is expected to top ten percent. We speak to former bank regulator William Black, author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One.

One of the many examples of Bill Black getting to the point…

Well, I mean, Summers, for example—you talked about Geithner’s aides and how much money they had made, and, of course, it’s absurdly large, and they’re making it typically for not doing much of anything. But they’re taking their cue from Summers, who got $5 million, roughly, for working one day a week in areas he had no expertise. So, you know, once you leave the federal service, then these interests that you were very helpful to find a way to make you spectacularly rich, and they know that that’s what’s coming in their future. That’s part of the problem.

But the bigger part of the problem, in many ways, is that they have such an ideology about the market and its ability to deal with all problems that has no basis in reality, has been exposed in this crisis as completely fictional, and yet they can’t give it up. I mean, think of yourself as one of these professors who’s been trained in the Milton Friedmanish views, and you’re in your fifties, and you’ve been saying—you know, everything you’ve said in your career is wrong. Everything you’ve learned in your career is wrong. All of your areas of expertise are wrong. Are you going to admit that? “Hi, I’ve been misleading you, and I’m sorry I caused this disaster. And by the way, I have no meaningful skills or experience.”

Read The Transcript/Watch The Video from this insightful interview

And for those of you who missed it the first time around, here is another excellent interview with Black by Bill Moyers.

Vulture Funds

June 4th, 2009 by Andy in Banks, Banksters & The Financial Crisis

Ever heard of Vulture Funds? The Humanitarian Chronicle will tell you a bit about this certain strain of self-aggrandizing greed. The hijacking of debt from poor nations and then holding them hostage with it. They’re going to have to do a renovation of Hell in order to provide for newer, even lower levels in order to accommodate the purveyors of this peculiar kind of conscienceless evil.

Vulture Funds are powerful financial organizations which prey upon companies and countries weakened by debt.

They buy up the debts of struggling nations at bargain prices then use bribery and legal muscle to extort the full debt plus punitive interest and court costs. Vulture Funds have successfully sued governments, frozen country’s assets and made vast profits from the poorest nations on the planet. Reverse Robin Hoods they rob from the poor and make the wealthy even richer.

In 1996 Paul Singer - the reclusive billionaire who is credited with inventing vulture funds - paid $11m for some discounted Peruvian debt and then threatened to bankrupt the country unless they paid $58m… which they did. Now he’s suing Congo Brazzaville for $400m for a debt he bought for $10m.

Read The Full Report

Would Jesus Take a Bailout?

May 18th, 2009 by Andy in Banks, Banksters & The Financial Crisis

Reverend Billy asks the question, and makes his case for propping up community banks and helping to support localism in the economy and culture.

It’s hard to imagine Timothy Geithner taking advice from an iconoclast dressed in a white suit, clerical collar and Elvis-inspired hair, but the Reverend Billy may be on to something.

In place of a system where big banks and corporations enter neighborhoods only to profit from them, Reverend Billy wants to empower small banks and credit unions that hold a stake in the communities they serve by offering incentives and making it harder for big finance to undercut local business.

It’s hard to argue against the system he envisions.

—————–

“The Wall Street experience is parallel and equal to the destruction of neighborhoods through chain stores,” Reverend Billy says.

Basic economics are on the Reverend’s side. For every dollar spent at a chain store, studies show only 50 cents stays in that community. By contrast, 90 cents of every dollar spent at a local business remains in the local economy.

—————–

Reverend Billy knows he faces long odds both in his mayoral run and his effort to change a system built around spending and credit speculation, but there are signs of hope. His audience was growing before the financial crisis, and things have only gained momentum since. Later this month, he’ll speak at the Yale Divinity School.

“People qualify their report of pain by saying ‘we’re spending more time with our family and that’s changing our lives,’” Reverend Billy says. “‘Whatever we do next I’m not going back completely to the way I was doing things before,’ they say.”

The leaders we’ve chosen to undertake financial reform are threatening to take us back to where we were by propping up banks and companies that nearly brought down the economy and cost taxpayers trillions.

Read the complete New York Times article Here

Anti-Fraud Investigator Bill Black On How Wall Street Is Getting Away With It’s Crimes

April 10th, 2009 by Andy in Video, Banks, Banksters & The Financial Crisis

“How do they get away with it?” Well, no one has asked that question more often than Bill Black, whom Bill Moyers talks with in this stunningly candid and revelatory interview. A must-see for all Americans. Should be required viewing in every civics class.

The financial industry brought the economy to its knees, but how did they get away with it? With the nation wondering how to hold the bankers accountable, Bill Moyers sits down with William K. Black, the former senior regulator who cracked down on banks during the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s. Black offers his analysis of what went wrong and his critique of the bailout plan.

Now Black is focused on an even greater scandal, and he spares no one, not even the President he worked hard to elect, Barack Obama. But his main targets are the Wall Street barons, heirs of an earlier generation whose scandalous rip-offs of wealth back in the 1930s earned them comparison to Al Capone and the mob, and the nickname “banksters.”

Seems that the real capital of America is Wall Street, not Washington (or would that make it ‘das kapital’ of America?). Obama’s administration is starting out on a pretty bad foot as it looks to prop up and protect the very criminals and corrupted institutions that are responsible for this catastrophic mess, rather than hold them to full accountability for their actions, and make the systemic changes necessary to prevent them from happening again.

Watch The Video/Read The Transcript

More on ‘bankster’ Geithner and the fraudulent scheme he’s peddling on the American taxpayer with this piece from Jeffrey Sachs “The Geithner-Summers Plan Is Even Worse Than We Thought”

Thank you President Obama! All hail the era of “hope” and “change”!

Bill Moyers and Michael Winship provide this additional commentary on the whole farcical debacle that is American financial policy as directed by the same thieves that have led us to this sorry state. Read “Changing the Rules of the Blame Game”

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