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Medicare You Can Buy Into Act Gains Momentum

Medicare You Can Buy Into Act Gains Momentum | Press Release

Update: There are now 80 cosponsors of the Public Option Act. Here is the current list: Reps. Baldwin, Berkley, C. Brown, Capuano, Carson, Castor, Chu, Clarke, Wm. Lacy Clay, Cleaver, Cohen, Cummings, D. Davis, DeGette, Delahunt, Doyle, Edwards, Ellison, Engel, Farr, Filner, Frank, Fudge, Garamendi, Green, Grijalva, Gutierrez, Hall, Hare, Hastings, Hinchey, Hinojosa, Hirono, Holt, Honda, Israel, Jackson-Lee, Jackson Jr., E.B. Johnson, H. Johnson, Kaptur, Kennedy, Kilpatrick, Kucinich, Lee, Lewis, Maloney, McDermott, McGovern, Meeks, James P. Moran, Nadler, Napolitano, Norton, Olver, Payne, Pierluisi, Pingree, Polis, Rangel, Richardson, Rush, Sablan, Sanchez, Robert “Bobby” Scott, Schakowsky, Shea-Porter, Speier, Sutton, B. Thompson, Tonko, Towns, Velazquez, Waters, Watson, Weiner, Welch, Woolsey, Wu.

Congressman Alan Grayson, D-Fla., today announced that 50 Members of Congress have signed on as cosponsors of his Medicare You Can Buy Into Act. The bill opens up Medicare for anyone who can pay for it.

Congressman Grayson said, “WOW! 50 cosponsors in less than 48 hours, including five Committee Chairs. I am thrilled, but not surprised, that so many of my colleagues support this bill. We all believe it deserves a vote.” Read more.

Michael Moore: A Love Story

We decided that a good place to begin with unified action was to oppose the recent Supreme Court decision allowing corporations unlimited contributions to political candidates.

MICHAEL MOORE: A LOVE STORY
By Joan Wile

If you know the Upper West Side of Manhattan, you know there are probably more progressives per square inch here than in all the 50 states. So, it's no surprise that a big bunch of people showed up this evening at my small one-bedroom apartment in this highly liberal neighborhood to see Michael Moore's masterpiece, "Capitalism: A Love Story."

My event was one of MoveOn's 700 parties nationwide tonight to show the film in an effort to generate grass roots action against some of the evil excesses of capitalism rampant in the United States. These evils are powerfully exposed in Moore's movie -- the foreclosures on people's homes; the cancellation of jobs in order to make way for profits; the practice of taking out insurance on employees unbeknownst to them and then collecting large payments when they die (of which not one cent is shared with the family survivors), and all manner of other immoral practices so harmful to decent working Americans.

Statement Following Court Ruling on Federal Reserve Secrecy

Statement Following Court Ruling on Federal Reserve Secrecy | Press Release

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement...after a federal appeals court in New York ruled that the Federal Reserve should reveal information about loans to private banks:

"Today's court decision is a major victory for the American taxpayers, and it is absolutely consistent with an amendment that I offered and Congress approved last year.

"We now have two courts, 59 senators and a large majority in Congress telling the Federal Reserve that the American people have a right to know which large financial institutions and corporations received more than $2 trillion in taxpayer loans, how much they received and what they are doing with the money.

"This money does not belong to the Federal Reserve. It belongs to the American people, and the American people have a right to know where more than $2 trillion of their money has gone."

Congress last year called on the Federal Reserve to identify banks and other financial institutions that received taxpayer-backed loans and other financial assistance. The provision in the budget resolution put Congress on record in favor of requiring the central bank to reveal the names of financial institutions that borrowed funds since the financial crisis began. Sanders sponsored the amendment on Fed transparency that was initially adopted by the Senate on April 2 by a vote of 59 to 39.

K Street Reaps Major Rewards Lobbying On Healthcare Legislation

K Street reaps major rewards lobbying on healthcare legislation
By Jim Snyder | The Hill

K Street appears to have cashed in on the lengthy battle over healthcare reform.

About 1,750 businesses and organizations spent at least $1.2 billion in 2009 to lobby on health reform and other issues, according to a study from the Center for Public Integrity released Friday. A precise figure isn’t available because lobbying disclosure forms don’t require companies or other groups to itemize how much they spend to lobby on a particular issue.

See the Center’s study here. Read more of the Hill's article.

Jamie Gorelick Representing Rattner In Talks

Jamie Gorelick representing Rattner in talks
By A. James Memmott | Muckety

While serving on the commission, Gorelick came under attack by conservatives for a March 4, 1995, memo she wrote while deputy attorney general.

In the memo, Gorelick instructed the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office to go beyond what is “legally required” in maintaining the wall between them and U.S. intelligence services.

Her opponents argued that her instructions stopped the sharing of information that might have prevented the 9/11 attacks.

Her defenders argued that Gorelick was only articulating policies that were already in place.

Jamie S. Gorelick, a former assistant attorney general in the Clinton administration and a member of the 9/11 commission, is keeping busy in the private sector.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Gorelick is one of the attorneys representing Steven Rattner in his negotiations with the New York state attorney general’s office and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Read more.

Health Costs For Companies

Companies using "squishy numbers" for "double" tax deduction, now taken away under new health insurance reform. Does the IRS allow you to "estimate" your figures?

Save Renee's House: Stop the Bank of America Foreclosure!

On March 24, 2010, social justice activists from the "Network to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions," held a press conference in Towson, MD. They are trying to stop the Bank of America (BOA) from foreclosing on the home of Renee DeFreitas. According to their press release, Ms. DeFreitas is 51-years old, with five children. She works for the state of Maryland and lives in Baltimore City. Ms. DeFreitas, "as a result of the economic crisis," was forced to apply to the BOA for "a home modification on her loan." Unfortunately, the BOA has ignored that important process and turned the matter over to a local law firm for foreclosure action. Check out for background on the growing foreclosure crisis, Finding in Foreclosure a Beginning, Not an End, Bailout People and The Foreclosure Crisis Reshapes America.

Boo! The Scary, Scary Social Security 'Crisis' is Back!

By Dave Lindorff

Get ready kids. It’s time for more scare stories about Social Security.

The New York Times weighed in today with a dire warning that this year, six years ahead of what had been predicted only a few years ago, the Social Security system would be (cue scary music) paying out more in benefits than it takes in from the payroll tax. The reason for this earlier-than-anticipated event is the Great Recession, the paper explained.

"Time for the Truth"

"Time for the Truth"
By Eliot Spitzer and William K. Black | Huffington Post

In December, we argued the urgent need to make public A.I.G.'s emails and "key internal accounting documents and financial models." A.I.G.'s schemes were at the center of the economic meltdown. Three months later, a year-long report by court-appointed bank examiner Anton Valukas makes it abundantly clear why such investigations are critical to the recovery of our financial system. Every time someone takes a serious look, a new scandal emerges.

The damning 2,200-page report, released last Friday, examines the reasons behind Lehman's failure in September 2008. It reveals on and off balance-sheet accounting practices the firm's managers used to deceive the public about Lehman's true financial condition. Our investigations have shown for years that accounting is the "weapon of choice" for financial deception. Valukas's findings reveal how Lehman used $50 billion in "repo" loans to fool investors into thinking that it was on sound financial footing. As our December co-author Frank Partnoy recently explained as part of a major report of the Roosevelt Institute, "Make Markets Be Markets," such abusive off-balance accounting was and is endemic. It was a major cause of the financial crisis, and it will lead to future crises.

According to emails described in the report, CEO Richard Fuld and other senior Lehman executives were aware of the games being played and yet signed off on quarterly and annual reports. Lehman's auditor Ernst & Young knew and kept quiet.

The Valukas report also exposes the dysfunctional relationship between the country's main regulatory bodies and the systemically dangerous institutions (SDIs) they are supposed to be policing. The NY Fed, the regulatory agency led by then FRBNY President Geithner, has a clear statutory mission to promote the safety and soundness of the banking system and compliance with the law. Yet it stood by while Lehman deceived the public through a scheme that FRBNY officials likened to a "three card monte routine" (p. 1470). The report states: Read more.

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Talks Jobs, Wall Street Bonuses With Timothy Geithner

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Click "Read more" to watch Geithner on Wall Street Bonuses

The Video That Will Put Geithner Behind Bars

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The Video That Will Put Geithner Behind Bars The NY Fed, and likely Geithner himself, undermined, perhaps even violated, laws designed to protect investors and markets. By Mike Whitney | Alternet

You gotta see this! [Video above.] If this doesn't convince you that Timothy Geithner knew about the securities shenanigans that were going on at Lehman, than I don't know what will.

Keep in mind, that Geithner ran Lehman through 3 "stress tests" prior to bankruptcy; all of which Lehman failed, and yet, nothing was done. Anton R. Valukas--the examiner who wrote the 2,200 page investigative-report which was released on Thursday-- has provided plenty of information detailing Lehman's “materially misleading” accounting and “actionable balance sheet manipulation.”

In other words, they cooked the books. Read more.

Tomgram: Andy Kroll, Welcome to America, Sucker

Tom of TomDispatch.com wrote:

Yes, you've heard plenty about Bernie Madoff and his $65 billion Ponzi scheme, and maybe even about Allen Stanford, the garrulous Texan who built a sprawling Caribbean compound from his $8 billion Ponzi scheme. But what about "mini Madoff," "Miami Madoff" and "Montreal Madoff"? What about all the fraudulent real-estate schemes and farm-grain schemes or the Ponzi built on investments in state-worker uniforms and the one that siphoned off retirement funds from bus drivers? What about the two brothers in Williamstown, Michigan, themselves bilked in a Ponzi scheme, who turned from prey to predator, and used their church and family ties to bilk neighbors out of $50 million for nonexistent gas and oil exploration in the Southwest?

TomDispatch associate editor and regular contributor Andy Kroll has done a remarkable job of mapping the U.S. as a coast-to-coast "Ponzi nation" at a time when an open credit spigot, a booming housing market, and visions of unimaginable wealth on Wall Street left practically every American with dreams of future riches. It was an extraordinary era, one that may have left the "roaring Twenties" in the dust, and its legacy, as Kroll lays it out, is a mood that has its own striking dangers. As he writes, "Disillusionment with the past decade is such that many Americans now simply assume that our world is little but a giant Ponzi scheme."

Kroll concludes: "Ours is now a Ponzi nation. There is a new mood in the land. Just how it will play out is unknown, but a sense of having been conned is still spreading -- as if not just surprising numbers of investors, but the whole country had experienced the last days of a giant Ponzi scheme. With it goes a feeling that what we’ve been living through, even in 'the best of times,' wasn’t an American dream, but pure nightmare. Welcome to America, sucker."

Tomgram: Andy Kroll, Welcome to America, Sucker
By Andy Kroll | TomDispatch

"I landed in this country with $2.50 in cash and $1 million in hopes, and those hopes never left me," Charles Ponzi once told the New York Times. An Italian, who emigrated to the New World in 1903, his glory, such as it was, involved leaving countless immigrants and other Americans with only $2.50 in their pockets and nothing to hope for.

While he was hardly the first Ponzi schemer, he milked his particular con with particular success and dramatic flare in the 1920s. Ever since, his name has been attached to any scam in which you promise outrageous returns -- he offered a 50% return on investment in only 45 days -- and pay off old investors with the money eagerly offered by newer ones. The aura of success only brings in more money until, of course, it all goes bust. Ponzi’s last recorded words to a reporter caught the financial-showman spirit of his time: “Even if they never got anything for it,” he said of those whose lives he destroyed, “it was cheap at that price. Without malice aforethought I had given them the best show that was ever staged in their territory since the landing of the Pilgrims! It was easily worth fifteen million bucks to watch me put the thing over." Read more.

The Crisis in Iceland: Every Bubble Ends in Rubble


The Crisis in Iceland: Every Bubble Ends in Rubble
By Richard C. Cook

A friend asked me at brunch recently about the situation in Iceland. Here is a commentary:

The small nation of Iceland–population 320,000–doesn’t produce much of anything. During the 60s and 70s Icelandic Airlines had a pretty good business running the cheapest flights you could find between the US and Europe, but that is long in the past. They do catch some fish out of the dwindling North Atlantic fisheries, and a few tourists who like the geysers and cold-weather wilderness hiking show up. That’s about it.

Technologically the Icelanders are highly competent, which helps them produce sufficient geothermal and hydroelectric energy to produce their own electricity.

During the worldwide explosion of high finance, particularly during the early to mid-2000s, they became investors, applying their skills as robust ex-Vikings to working the world’s financial markets. By big-time borrowing from European banks, including British ones, they were able to leverage their credit into substantial stock and bond holdings. Iceland was once one of Europe’s poorest nations, but now it began to feel and act rich.

Unfortunately, when the world’s financial system tanked in 2008-2009, Iceland fell hard and fast. The investors lost not only their shirts but also their thermal underwear, and their creditors–led again by Britain–found them in default. With the banks going, well—bankrupt–and the Icelandic government taking them over, the creditors naturally looked to the government to make good on the nation’s debts. The government approached the International Monetary Fund for bailout loans, with the IMF, as is its wont, expecting them to raise taxes and cut public services in order to free up money.

First Iceland, Then The World

First Iceland, Then The World
By Michael Collins | Election Fraud News

The public is angry. Why should the public pay for the bankers mistakes. Iceland blogger Halldor Sigurdsson

Who cleans up the mess when ignorant, greedy bankers rack up massive debt then go broke? The people of Iceland made a strong statement Saturday. The sins of big bankers and government regulators shouldn't fall on the citizens. By a 93% to 2% margin, they voted down a proposal requiring them to cover bad debt incurred by one of the nation’s oldest and largest banks. Covering the debt would have cost Iceland's 317,000 citizens around $17,000 each.

Iceland's national referendum was the first opportunity for the people of any nation to vote directly on who pays when the financial elite fail.

 

As citizens voted, Iceland's Prime Minister was dismissing the importance of the vote and promising to negotiate a payment scheme obligating citizen subsidies for bad debt created by Iceland's beyond-bad bankers.

Icelanders are struggling with a collapsed economy. Businesses are failing at a startling rate, unemployment is soaring, and the prospects for the future are simply not there. Yet the British and Dutch governments demand that their swindled citizens receive compensation from beleaguered Icelanders. Where were the British and Dutch central banks and politicians while their citizens were being fleeced? Aren't the rulers of these countries aware that the failed Icelandic bank was owned by wealth investors, not the citizens?

Iceland's size and the very dire circumstances offer a focused preview for citizens around the world. The banks make bad deal after bad deal. When they're about to fail, the government steps in with a taxpayer bailout. It doesn't matter which faction of the narrow political spectrum is in charge. The message is starkly clear -- when the banks fail, you pay. The solution is presented to citizens as a fait accompli, a mandatory submission to indefinite financial slavery for the benefit of the failed financial elite. The will of the people doesn't matter even when there's a direct vote.

The failed financial enterprises that control global commerce are opening their new show on the road in Iceland. Greek citizens are next in line for indentured servitude, thanks to their lying leaders and Wall Street's Goldman Sachs.

Medical Billing Advocates Could Help You Save Big

Medical Billing Advocates Could Help You Save Big
Why Using an Advocate Makes Sense Even If Your Insurance Pays a Contracted Rate
By Elisabeth Leamy | ABC News

Excerpts:

...you can save thousands by hiring a medical billing advocate to find and fight hospital billing errors for you. Eighty percent of hospital bills contain errors, according to Medical Billing Advocates of America.

Millions of Americans...have health insurance plans that charge "coinsurance" rather than a flat co-pay. Coinsurance means you are charged a percentage of your medical care. The most common cost-sharing arrangement is an 80/20 plan, where the insurance company pays 80 percent of your bill and you pay the other 20 percent. Twenty percent of a big bill for a major hospitalization is a lot of money.

Insurance policies have maximum lifetime limits that they will pay out. Often, those lifetime limits are not as generous as they should be, and you may have no choice if you are insured through your employer and not given many options. Therefore, you want to keep your costs down as much as possible to stay away from that lifetime limit on coverage. Read more.

End-of-Life Warning at $618,616 Makes Me Wonder Was It Worth It

End-of-Life Warning at $618,616 Makes Me Wonder Was It Worth It
By Amanda Bennett | Bloomberg

Excerpt:

Along with my colleague Charles Babcock, I spent months poring over some 4,750 pages of documents collected from six hospitals, four insurers, Medicare, three oncologists, and a surgeon. Those papers tell the story of a system filled with people doing their best. And they raise complex questions about a health-care system that consumes 17 percent of the economy.

Days to Decipher

As I leafed through the stack of documents, it was easy to see why 31 percent of the money spent on health care goes to paperwork and administration, according to research published in 2003 by the New England Journal of Medicine. That number has either stayed the same or grown, said Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a professor at Harvard Medical School and a co-author of the study cited by the journal. Some bills took days to decipher. What did “opd patins t” or “bal xfr ded” mean? How could I tell if the dose charged was the same as the dose prescribed?

The documents revealed an economic system in which the sellers don’t set and the buyers don’t know the prices. The University of Pennsylvania hospital charged more than 12 times what Medicare at the time reimbursed for a chest scan. One insurer paid a hospital for 80 percent of the $3,232 price of a scan, while another covered 24 percent. Insurance companies negotiated their own rates, and neither my employers nor I paid the difference between the sticker and discounted prices.

‘It’s Completely Insane’

In this economic system, prices of goods and services bear little relation to the demand for them or their cost to make -- or, as it turns out, the good or harm they do. Read more.

FLASH: TRUTH is bad for the economy

Intense War News Reduces Ability to Remember Ads

ScienceDaily (Mar. 4, 2010) — A new study shows that the more graphic and intense war news is, the less likely that viewers -- regardless of political beliefs -- will remember the advertising that follows the news.

However, the researchers did find that lower-intensity programming resulted in a better recall of the
advertising by proponents of the war.

Part VI: How to Fight Back and Win: Common Ground Issues That Must Be Won — The Economic Elite Vs. The People of the USA

Part VI: How to Fight Back and Win: Common Ground Issues That Must Be Won — The Economic Elite Vs. The People of the USA
By David DeGraw | AmpedStatus Report

This is the final part of a six-part report. Click on the links below to view earlier parts. After reading this, please consider getting involved with this effort by clicking the link at the bottom of this post.

——-I: Casualties of Economic Terrorism, Surveying the Damage
——-II: The Rise of the Economic Elite
——-III: Exposing Our Enemy - Meet the Economic Elite
——-IV: The Financial Coup d’Etat
——-V: Overcoming the Divide and Conquer Strategy
——-VI: How to Fight Back and Win: Common Ground Issues That Must Be Won

VI: How to Fight Back and Win:——Common Ground Issues That Must Be Won

Throughout this report, I have presented statistical and fact-based evidence to demonstrate that a strategic attack has been launched against 99% of Americans. Despite the efforts of the mainstream media and most current politicians, awareness of this reality is spreading throughout the United States.  Common Ground Issues That Must Be WonA recent Rasmussen poll found that only 21% of Americans think that the government has the consent of the governed. An Opinion Research Corp. survey revealed that 86% believe “the system of government is broken.”

An overwhelming majority of the population has come to the realization that our government doesn’t effectively represent us anymore. It is just a matter of time before people start taking it upon themselves to begin organizing on a mass scale. Our survival instinct will soon overwhelm our conditioned passivity and erupt into a powerful countervailing force. However, the longer we hesitate and delay action, the harder it will be to obtain economic and political justice.

We cannot continue to stand by and watch our nation be raped and pillaged like this. We can no longer remain idle and passive while our families’ futures are destroyed as we are sentenced to a slow death.

It’s time for 99% of Americans to mobilize and aggressively move on common sense political reforms.

We will obviously have many differences on how our country should be run, but we can all come together to dismantle the Economic Elite by making several pivotal political reforms. As long as the game is rigged in favor of the Economic Elite, we will all lose. So let’s find common ground and focus on several obvious battles that we need to win, and can win:

Election Reform

“The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which all other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery.”
– Thomas Paine, Dissertation on the First Principles of Government

Dodd Abandons Efforts to Create Consumer Financial Protection Agency

Dodd Abandons Efforts to Create Consumer Financial Protection Agency | Democracy NOW!

Senate Banking Committee Chair Christopher Dodd has abandoned efforts to create an independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency. President Obama had proposed creating the agency to protect consumers against abuses in mortgages, credit cards and other forms of lending. In its place, Dodd is expected to propose the creation of a Bureau of Financial Protection inside the Treasury Department. Dodd’s proposed bureau will have far less power and would not be allowed to enforce rules on banks with less than $10 billion in holdings or enforce rules against non-bank financial operations, such as payday lenders. Dodd’s decision is seen as a victory for Republicans and many business groups who have campaigned against forming a new agency to protect consumers.

Part IV: The Financial Coup d’Etat — The Economic Elite Vs. The People of the United States of America

Part IV: The Financial Coup d’Etat — The Economic Elite Vs. The People of the United States of America
By David DeGraw | AmpedStatus Report
This is the fourth-part of a six-part report. Part one can be viewed here, part two here, three here. Part five will be posted Tuesday. To be notified via email, subscribe to our newsletter here.

——-I: Casualties of Economic Terrorism, Surveying the Damage
——-II: The Rise of the Economic Elite
——-III: Exposing Our Enemy - Meet the Economic Elite
——-IV: The Financial Coup d’Etat
——-V: Overcoming the Divide and Conquer Strategy
——-VI: How to Fight Back and Win: Common Ground Issues That Must Be Won

IV: The Financial Coup d’Etat
 The Financial Coup d'Etat -- Economic Elite Vs. The PeopleAlthough most of the Economic Elite live and operate inside the US, they are not concerned for our future. To them, the entire world is theirs and they work intimately with other elites throughout the world against the interests of the US public. Ever since the days of Henry Ford, the Economic Elite have needed a thriving US middle class to increase growth and profits, but now, in the global economy, they view the US middle class as obsolete. They increasingly look globally for profits and they would rather pay cheap labor in countries like China and India. On top of the millions of jobs they have already shipped overseas to increase profits at our expense, they are planning to ship an additional 25% of current US jobs overseas as well.

They now see us as the biggest obstacle to their continued consolidation of wealth and resources. This is why they have stepped up their attack on us.

If you want further proof of this, all one needs to do is study the Wall Street bailout. The entire bailout is strategically designed to eliminate the US middle class. Every time you hear the word “bailout,” you should think “coup d’état.” Here is the definition of coup d’état:

“A coup d’état or coup for short, is the sudden unconstitutional deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment… to replace the deposed government with another…. A coup d’état succeeds when the usurpers establish their legitimacy if the attacked government fail to thwart them, by allowing their (strategic, tactical, political) consolidation and then receiving the deposed government’s surrender; or the acquiescence of the populace and the non-participant military forces.

Typically, a coup d’état uses the extant government’s power to assume political control of the country. In Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook, military historian Edward Luttwak says: ‘A coup consists of the infiltration of a small, but critical, segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder’, thus, armed force (either military or paramilitary) is not a defining feature of a coup d’état.”

The bailout was a financial coup, an intelligence operation to seize control of the US economy and tax system. It is similar to what the Economic Elite have done through the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in many other countries throughout the world. It is clearly a case of economic imperialism. When financial coups are carried out in other countries, they call it a Structural Adjustment Program (SAP). The end result is the theft of working class wealth, the privatization of public functions and resources, rising unemployment, the elimination of the middle class and increasing taxation and debt that turns the overwhelming majority of the nation into a peasant class. This is exactly the track we are on now.

Facing Forcelosure, Man Screws Bank by Bulldozing Home

Facing Forcelosure, Man Screws Bank by Bulldozing Home
By Joshua Holland | Alternet

Like many people, Terry Hoskins has had troubles with his bank. But his solution to foreclosure might be unique.

Hoskins said he’s been in a struggle with RiverHills Bank over his Clermont County home for nearly a decade, a struggle that was coming to an end as the bank began foreclosure proceedings on his $350,000 home.

“When I see I owe $160,000 on a home valued at $350,000, and someone decides they want to take it – no, I wasn’t going to stand for that, so I took it down,” Hoskins said. Read more.

Selling Out America to Wall Street

Selling Out America to Wall Street
By Stephen Lendman

"The (US) economy has reached its debt limit and is entering its insolvency phase. We are not in a cycle but (at) the end of an era. The old world of debt pyramiding to a fraudulent degree cannot be restored..."

Project Censored's top 2010 story was "US Congress Sells Out to Wall Street," highlighting that since 2001, "eight of the most troubled firms have donated $64.2 million to congressional candidates, presidential candidates and the Republican and Democratic parties." It's no surprise that they own them, what Wall Street Watch.org showed in a March 2009 Essential Information and Consumer Education Foundation report titled,"Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed America."

The accompanying press release said:

Over the past decade, "$5 billion in political contributions bought Wall Street freedom from regulation, (and) restraint." From 1998 - 2008, "Wall Street investment firms, commercial banks, hedge funds, real estate companies and insurance conglomerates (the FIRE sector)" spent over $1.7 billion in political contributions and another $3.4 billion on lobbyists, in return for which:

  • they were freed from regulation;
  • could speculate on financial derivatives and an alphabet soup of securitized garbage, including asset-backed securities (ABSs), mortgage-backed securities (MBSs), collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs), collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), collateralized bond obligations (CBOs), credit default swaps (CDSs), and collateralized fund obligations (CFOs) - combined, sliced, diced, packaged, repackaged, and sold in tranches to sophisticated and ordinary investors, many unwittingly through mutual funds, 401(k)s, pensions, and the like;
  • could merge commercial and investment banking and insurance operations;
  • bilk investors and the public through fraudulent schemes; and
  • get trillions of bailout dollars when the economy crashed.

Kucinich Subcommittee Hearing to Probe Administration’s Response to Foreclosure Crisis

Kucinich Subcommittee Hearing to Probe Administration’s Response to Foreclosure Crisis | Press Release

Washington D.C. (February 19, 2010) – Chairman Kucinich (D-OH) today announced that the Domestic Policy Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Tuesday, February 25, 2010 entitled “Foreclosures Continue: What needs to Change in the Administration’s Response.” The hearing will be held at 2:00 p.m. in Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The purpose of this hearing is to examine the function and the impact of the Administration’s response to the ongoing foreclosure crisis. The Subcommittee will hear testimony from a Treasury Department official, as well as other experts who will provide insight as to the impact of the Administration’s program, and suggestions for its improvement.

Part III: Exposing Our Enemy - Meet the Economic Elite

Part III: Exposing Our Enemy - Meet the Economic Elite
By David DeGraw | AmpedStatus | Friday, February 19th, 2010

This is the third-part of a six-part report. Part one can be viewed here, part two here. Part four will be posted Sunday. To be notified via email, subscribe to our newsletter here.

III: Exposing Our Enemy - Meet the Economic Elite

 Exposing Our Enemy - Meet the Economic Elite

China In Record US Debt Sell-Off

China in record US debt sell-off | Al Jazeera
Submitted by Michael Munk | www.MichaelMunk.com

"Chinese leaders are deploying their reserves to try and pressure the US to stop haranguing China about its currency and trade policies and to back off from interference in its domestic political and human rights issues,"..."While China may reduce its holdings of US debt in order to send a signal to Washington - though this is not necessarily the only reason it would do so - it has no intention of selling debt to the point that it wrecks the US economic recovery, since doing so would destroy China's own economic and socio-political stability,"...

China sold a record amount of its US Treasury holdings in December, ceding its place as the world's biggest foreign holder of US debt to Japan.

According to Treasury figures released on Tuesday, Beijing sold off more than $34bn of its holdings in the final month of 2009, cutting its holding of US debt by just over 4 per cent to $755.4bn.

Japan now holds almost $11bn more US debt than China, with a total of nearly $769bn.

Japan had been the largest holder of US Treasury bonds until September 2008, when it was overtaken by China. Read more.

Speaking Events

2015

May 8 New Jersey

May 19 Charlottesville, Va., at screening of Shadows of Liberty at 7 p.m. at The Bridge.

May 30 NYC here and here

August 27, Chicago

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