The two week old liberal based movement to occupy Wall Street and protest the greed and corruption of the international bankers and their political puppets is now spreading all across the United States and internationally. At last count there were 115 American cities participating, and numerous cities across the world in countries including Japan, Australia, Canada, France, and England. You may not espouse all of the tenets of these particular protestors, but they are doing more to stop the looting and start the prosecuting of the Too Big To Fail banks than the middle and conservative factions of this country that still have money in the TBTF banks and their stocks. Time to pony up folks and put your money where your mouth is. If you want to cut the head off the beast, the central banking system that created the reason for the IRS needs to be disbanded. (more…)
Alex Jones interviewing Catherine Austin Fitts on the economy, the upcoming ground invasion of Libya, and what we as Americans can do to protect ourselves from the collapse of a ‘terribly perverted’ system. Catherine also states that though the Bilderberg group meeting was important, for us folks in North America, the upcoming Bohemian Grove meeting during the end of July will be much more crucial, including any decisions made on the debt ceiling and the upcoming budget. (more…)
FOR YEARS, my readers have been accessing information about how the federal government, the Federal Reserve, America’s largest corporations, and the largest banks have been siphoning off trillions of dollars of America’s wealth in hopes of propping up the financial system that has crashed our real economy and making a profit while doing it. Today, Glenn has finally decided to tell most of the truth, possibly because he now has short-timer’s or maybe his conscience has finally kicked in but he does start out this show by showing his famous blackboard with the words ‘Prepare‘ crossed out and the new line ‘Call 911, you are being robbed’ written down.
FINALLY Beck is talking about the ‘LOOTING OF AMERICA‘ by the Federal Reserve and aspects of the financial system. Please check out the links at the bottom of the post for the information that has been on the ‘net for YEARS telling about this very same crisis as it has been occurring.
There is a reason why we have been running ourselves into the ground saying, ‘We are so very screwed!’ and ‘When are the banksters prosecutions going to being?’ Is it real enough yet?
Jesse Ventura’s ‘Conspiracy Theory’ takes on the theory that international bankers are draining American of all it’s wealth. This may sound completely farfetched until you listen to Catherine Austin Fitts on ‘The Looting Of America’. The truth about the financial pillaging by the ‘pirate class’ is finally getting out about the trillions that have been sucked out of our economy and our pockets. The banksters own the government; get used to the realization.
Keep this in mind; how many bankers have been arrested, prosecuted and convicted of the mortgage fraud scandal that caused the meltdown in the housing industry and near economic collapse of America? Why isn’t Bernanke being impeached for stating under oath in June 2009 that the Federal Reserve would not monetize the debt, and they just did it again? I know you folks can do the math.
Mitch McConnell on Dodd’s 1336 page financial reform bill. As you may have already guessed, the Monster is totally against the Frank version and this version because it gives the government too much control over our money coming and going. The keywords here? Fannie and Freddie. Als0, the arbitrary decision making should make all Americans uneasy.
For weeks, the White House strategy on financial regulatory reform remained an open question: Would President Barack Obama water down his bill just to get something passed — the way he did on health care?
A Palinesque “Hell no!” was the answer coming from the White House on Wednesday as the president, his senior aides and his allies on Capitol Hill issued an ultimatum to Republicans fighting Democrats’ plans to overhaul financial oversight.
“For the president, you have to be willing to accept a strong bill,” said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, after Obama emerged from a contentious meeting with GOP congressional leaders.
“If the effort to get this close is simply to take steps to weaken that legislation, that’s not what the president is interested in.”
Democrats are so emboldened that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is prepared to bring the Banking Committee bill to the floor with no major concessions to Republicans and essentially dare them to vote against the measure, senior leadership aides said.
At a time when Wall Street is as reviled as government, Democrats are willing to gamble that at least one Republican — and maybe as many as a half-dozen — will break ranks. At the same time, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is betting he can hold his caucus together to deny Democrats even a single vote.
I am currently reading this bill and wanted to drop an interesting tidbit on you. For those interested in reading the 114 page Manager’s Amendment, go here. I am only a couple hundred pages into this POS but starting on page 60, a new government office is to be established. The “Office Of Financial Research” will be part of the Treasury, and will have a Director appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. This office will also have a data collection center to keep track of all financial and nonbank financial institutions so as to be able to report to Congress on companies that ‘threaten’ the economy. It is unclear how big or how many new government employees this office will create, but considering how events are unfolding now with Obamacare, I’m assuming pretty large.
The interesting tidbit pertains to the Financial Research Fund that is to be established and the ability of the Office that is providing Congress with reports to invest monies they aren’t using. Let me know if you think that’s a conflict of interest, and if you would like to know exactly how much money that is?
“Funds obtained by, transferred to, or credited to the Financial Research Fund shall be immediately available to the Office, and shall remain available until expended, to pay the expenses of the Office in carrying out the duties and responsibilities of the Office.”
I’m still reading, and will let you know what else I find. This bill is very opaque compared to Barney Frank’s bank heist bill. The link for all the Senate Banking Committee’s documents is here.
How is it that the Obama administration can go after executive bonuses from Wall Street banks yet continue to give millions of dollars of our hard earned money to the executives of the two giants now currently on taxpayer funded life support? Hmmm?
Ah, the double standard of Chicago politics…
Geithner’s Gift to America—Unlimited Liabilities for Taxpayers and $42 Million in Wall Street-Style Compensation for 12 Government Employees
“The economic miracle that has been the United States was not produced by socialized enterprises…It was produced by private enterprises in a profit-and-loss system.” –Milton Friedman
On Christmas Eve, the Department of Treasury said that it would remove the $400 billion cap on Treasury’s funding of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two bankrupt government sponsored enterprises that Secretary Tim Geithner said were at the “epicenter” of the financial crisis. The move gives the failed GSEs unlimited taxpayer funded bailouts to cover losses incurred as a result of their managements’ recklessness and their boards of directors’ oversight failures. Geithner’s Treasury essentially turned the two failed GSEs into full government agencies and further exposes taxpayers to losses that the GSEs may incur in the future. The two GSEs are expected to report losses in the billions for 2009. Also on Christmas Eve, Fannie and Freddie disclosed that they received approval to pay $42 million in compensation packages to 12 top executives (all federal government employees and payable in cash) for 2009. Interestingly, the Democrats, led by Geithner and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), have launched an all out attack on capitalism by attempting to restrict the compensation of Wall Street firms they deem to be too profitable.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government created duopolies charged with providing liquidity to the mortgage market by purchasing mortgages from lenders and either holding those mortgages in their portfolios or packaging the loans into mortgage-backed securities that are sold to investors. Fannie and Freddie were privately held companies that generated big profits for their managements, boards of directors, and shareholders by being beneficiaries of advantages not shared by their competitors, including an implicit federal guarantee (i.e., a taxpayer bailout if the companies failed). Their managements and boards of directors, including former Freddie board member and current White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, are textbook examples of recklessness having put Fannie and Freddie in a position to cost taxpayers by chasing compensation targets and carrying out Democrat housing policies without concern for market risks. The taxpayers were left with two failed companies and potential liability of up to $400 billion as a result of the GSEs being put into conservatorship, but due to Geithner’s Christmas Eve spectacular, the taxpayers are now liable for all of Fannie’s and Freddie’s losses.
ISSUES OF CONCERN:
Arbitrarily Rewards Failure: Many would argue that failed firms that receive a taxpayer funded bailout and have not repaid the taxpayers should have their pay packages reviewed and, if necessary, limited until the firm makes a profit and the taxpayers are made whole. For example, the CEOs of failed firms, Citigroup, AIG, GM and Chrysler, should not and will not receive lavish compensation packages. However, the Democrats implemented an unlimited taxpayer funded bailout plan to indefinitely prop up Fannie and Freddie, and the CEOs of the government owned companies will receive millions of dollars in compensation even though the bankrupt companies are expected to report a loss for 2009. Geithner and acting-director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Edward DeMarco, should provide taxpayers the rationale for such decisions at Congressional oversight hearings immediately.
Wall Street-Style Compensation: As wards of the state with essentially no stock price, Fannie and Freddie have become government agencies. In fact, Rep. Barney Frank, one of main proponents of the policies that destroyed the housing market recently stated, “They’re not what they used to be-that inappropriately hybrid, private stock company, public policy instrument…They have become the public utility that finances housing in America to a great extent.” As government agencies, Fannie’s and Freddie’s employees are government employees. The president of the United States makes $400,000, but the CEOs of Fannie and Freddie are eligible to receive $6,000,000 each.
Creates Conditions for Another Financial Meltdown: The current financial turmoil was largely caused by the two GSEs. Peter Wallison, writing in the Wall Street Journal stated, “By the end of 2008, Fannie and Freddie held or guaranteed approximately 10 million subprime and Alt-A mortgages and mortgage-backed securities-risky loans with a total principal balance of $1.6 trillion. These are now defaulting at unprecedented rates, accounting for both their 2008 insolvency and their growing losses today. Since 2008, under government control, the two agencies have continued to buy dicey mortgages in order to stabilize housing prices.”
The pubs are correct. From the LATimes, and under the cover of the Xmas Eve health care vote. Now why would we, as the people footing the bill, be giving bonuses to the men at the helm of failing government enterprises that control $5 Trillion in residential mortgage debt? And one last note, remember Barney wants to abolish both these giants and start over with some sort of housing system. Do you trust Barney Frank to come up with a capitalist, free-market based enterprise that isn’t going to collapse the system a few decades from now?
Michael Williams at Fannie and Charles E. Haldeman Jr. at Freddie will each receive a base salary of $900,000 in 2009 and 2010. They could get $5.1 million more if certain targets are met.
Reporting from Washington — The chief executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each could earn as much as $6 million this year and next, despite huge continued losses at the seized mortgage giants and a government bailout tab of more than $100 billion that the Obama administration said could rise even higher.
Fannie Mae Chief Executive Michael Williams will earn a base salary of $900,000 in 2009 and 2010, with a deferred base salary of $3.1 million each year to be paid “only if the enterprise meets performance metrics” set by its board and subject to government review, according to filings Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. An additional $2 million is possible annually, identified as “target incentive opportunity.” Freddie Mac Chief Executive Charles E. Haldeman Jr. will get the same compensation package.
Four additional Fannie Mae executives will earn base salaries above $500,000 and have compensation packages for 2009 and 2010 that could pay each of them at least $2.7 million annually. One other Freddie Mac executive will receive a base salary over $500,000 and could earn as much as $1.15 million a year.
Also on Thursday, the administration said it was prepared to increase the maximum amount it would pay to bail out the troubled institutions
The announcements are likely to provoke outrage in Congress, particularly among Republicans, who have charged that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac caused the housing boom and financial crisis with lax mortgage standards. Senators headed home for the holidays Thursday, and House members were already out of town, limiting the initial reaction.
“The Obama administration’s decision to write a blank check with taxpayer dollars for the continued bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is appalling,” Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) said. “Not only is this a continued bailout of failed entities that need to be privatized to protect the taxpayer, the timing of the announcement is clearly designed to try and sneak the bailout by the taxpayers.”
The Treasury Department has pumped $60 billion into Fannie Mae and $51 billion into Freddie Mac in exchange for stock since federal officials seized them in September 2008 in one of the largest and most complex federal bailouts. Each company has a lifeline of as much as $200 billion, which administration officials said Thursday they would “increase as necessary” over the next three years as the companies continue to struggle.
The smell of corruption continues to get stronger.
Can We Impeach Him Yet?
I am absolutely sick to death of an administration and a government that actually thinks that they can fix the problems they created. The insanity of allowing the District of Criminals to continue proposing legislation that will create even bigger problems than we have now is making my per day Advil intake increase. At what point are we going to be able to chop the federal government down to size? Obama and crew are now proposing limits on the big banks, and before you get ready to throw something at me because I’m not jumping on the “Kill Wall Street” bandwagon, hear me out. I can’t stand Wall Street, but I understand that what has transpired was because of the socialist laws that Congress passed back in the ’90’s, and the resulting drive for profits which the free market is based on. Do you realize the number of ‘little people’ invested in those banks for their retirement and how a congress (because of their economic and capitalist ignorance), sold those peoples’ futures down the river?
Would you agree or disagree that the same people that gave us the housing bubble, namely Congress, should be the ones to create even more legislation (with unintended consequences) to fix the problem? Can anyone explain to me why politicians are creating banking legislation? Other than becoming millionaires while in office, what actual real life experience do they bring to the table? Has Barney Frank been a CEO of a Fortune 500 company? Does he, in his heart of hearts, understand how business actually grows and thrives? No? Then why is the US Government, which is one of the largest corporations in the world being run by total economic morons. Is it okay with you to let them regulate the banks when you understand that they are just people who ran for political office, and are then able to vote to raise the credit card limit on the country anytime they want because the alternative is too frightening to even consider? The current and former congresses have brought America to the brink of financial collapse, and now they want to tell the banks how to ‘act right’ according to liberal left policies?
They brought us the Community Reinvestment Act that was beefed up in the ’90’s which required banks to make quotas on mortgages to low income buyers or suffer hefty fines. Nice 20/20 hindsight of what occurs when leveling the playing field according to socialist standards instead of capitalist standards.
They have added almost $3 Trillion in debt in the last year and are on the verge of adding $2 TRILLION more just to get through to 2011. AYFKM? The American Public told Bush, Obama, and Congress not to bail out the banks because we saw what was coming; us lowly simpletons. Now we are mired in a total clusterf*** with an administration that wants to abolish capitalism but can’t quite figure out how to kill it because 76% of the American People are CAPITALISTS!
Capitalism is not the enemy; socialist driven Congresses are. Small and large businesses are trying to survive the regulations being placed on them by the government by shipping jobs to other countries because of union legacy costs, insanely high taxes, expensive manufacturing, etc., etc., etc.!
Now, the socialists economic imbeciles are attempting to cage the beast again using socialist ideas, and the beast will just flow around the bars because capitalism isn’t against the law…yet.
Big banks have already begun poking the holes in Obama’s new rules—holes they expect their banks to pass through basically unchanged.
The president promised this morning to work with Congress to ensure that no bank or financial institution that contains a bank will own, invest in or sponsor a hedge fund or a private equity fund, or proprietary trading operations unrelated to serving customers for its own profit.
But sources at three banks tell us that they are already finding ways to own, investment in and sponsor hedge funds and private equity funds. Even prop trading seems safe.
A person familiar with the operations of one big Wall Street bank said it expects that new regulation will affect less than 1% of its overall business.
The key phrase is “operations unrelated to serving customers.” The banks plan to claim that much of the business in which it engages is related in one way or another to serving customers. Even proprietary trading, for instance, can become related to customer service if it is done through internal hedge funds in which some outside clients are permitted to invest.
One insider at a bank pointed to JP Morgan Chase’s ownership of the hedge fund Highbridge Capital. It is thought that under a strict “no hedge funds” rule, Highbridge would have to be sold off. But under the rule proposed by the Obama administration, Highbridge can be retained by JP Morgan because outside clients are permitted to invest in it.
A still more devious way is to have a banks own employees be the customers who are invested in the internal hedge funds. That way trading operations can remain closed to outsiders while the regulatory requirement of relating the trading to customer service is met. Goldman Sachs is rumored to be considering this approach. (Goldman isn’t commenting on the regs right now.)
Why don’t we ask a bazillionaire (i.e. capitalist) what he would do with the big banks, and “too big to fail”?
Warren Buffet, 1.21.2010
Ah, the never-ending lunacy of the District of Criminals. If the true purpose of Congress and the White House was to wake up every single American in order to vote out every incumbent not following the Constitution, they are going to get their wish with their continued fiscal insanity which threatens the very stability of the nation. Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe anyone?
The Dems want to raise the nation’s credit card limit to some $14.294 Trillion while Barry wants to limit what the banks are doing. There has to be a piece of the pie in there somewhere for the federal government. Does this clock have enough spaces on it?
Upping the ante just a day after losing their 60th Senate seat, Democrats moved Wednesday to seek a $1.9 trillion increase in the federal debt ceiling and give the Treasury adequate borrowing authority past November’s elections and into next year.
Republicans were caught off guard by the scale of the increase which follows a $290 billion short-term debt increase approved prior to Christmas. “That’s just escapism of the worst sort,” Sen. Judd Gregg (R.,N.H.) told POLITICO. But Democrats countered that their only alternative would be to give-in to a Republican strategy of forcing multiple smaller debt ceiling increases, designed to bleed them politically before November.
This perception was reinforced by a meeting Tuesday between Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). By going now with the higher $1.9 trillion target, Democrats are making a high-stakes gamble that the party can pull together once more to put the debt ceiling issue behind them for this election year.
“We have to do this. The alternative is worse,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D—Mont.) in a brief interview.
The alternative is worse…words to live by, yes? What would happen if we, as American citizens, did that in our own households? Is it any wonder that Russia is moving it’s capital into Canadian dollars?
Meanwhile, back at Studio 54, (formerly known as the White House):
President Obama plans to propose new limits Thursday on the size and investments of large banks, a senior administration official said, as the White House intensifies its push to reframe its financial reform agenda as an effort to rein in the companies widely blamed for causing the economic crisis.
I assume no one from the White House heard what Mort Zuckerman had to say today on ‘Your World‘?
Although the details of the new proposal could not be learned, the president plans to announce a series of measures aimed at limiting the risks that large banks can take, according to the official, who spoke before the formal announcement on condition of anonymity.
The White House wants Congress to incorporate the proposal into reform legislation being considered by the Senate, the official said.
Once again, nobody knows exactly what is going to be proposed, (just like the rest of the closed door meetings), so we will have to wait and see just how heinous it is going to be.
You know it’s bad when a liberal bazillionaire like Mort Zuckerman has turned on you. What surprised me the most was his statement of fact that the Democrats were behind the housing crisis. I did not think I would ever hear that out of the mouth of someone who supported Obama, and someone so connected to the web (check out his bio at the bottom).
What about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that got there with the support of the Democrats in congress. That’s what kicked off the great housing bubble; that’s what started this whole thing rolling down the hill. Did they ever talk about that kind of excess in the congress? No…..this isn’t something that is just due to the “wall street community”.
Mr. Zuckerman has penned an opinion piece in The Daily Beast that should set Obama back on his heels even more than the trouncing the dems just took in Massachusetts.
Obama punted on the economy and reversed the fortunes of the Democrats in 365 days.
He’s misjudged the character of the country in his whole approach. There’s the saying, “It’s the economy, stupid.” He didn’t get it. He was determined somehow or other to adopt a whole new agenda. He didn’t address the main issue.
This health-care plan is going to be a fiscal disaster for the country. Most of the country wanted to deal with costs, not expansion of coverage. This is going to raise costs dramatically.
In the campaign, he said he would change politics as usual. He did change them. It’s now worse than it was. I’ve now seen the kind of buying off of politicians that I’ve never seen before. It’s politically corrupt and it’s starting at the top. It’s revolting.
Mort seems to understand the old chinese proverb that the fish rots from the head. Take a moment and read the entire article. Might make your day to see someone other than bloggers making the same points you have been making for months.
Many of you have seen Burning Down The House about the Community Reinvestment Act which created the housing bubble; if not click the link. I dragged this video out of the vault from October 2008 and John Stossel about government’s involvement in the housing bubble.
Mortimer B. Zuckerman is chairman and editor in chief of U.S. News & World Report and publisher of the New York Daily News. He is also the co-founder and chairman of Boston Properties Inc. He is a trustee of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Washington Institute for Near East Studies, and the International Institute of Strategic Studies.
When I initially read the title of this article in the NY Times, I thought, “finally, Wall Street is going to stand up to Obama’s wealth redistribution games.” Which was then followed closely by, “WTF? AYFKM? Carter G. Phillips of Sidley Austin? Barry and Mishy’s old law firm? What’s the game now, and I bet Davis Polk & Wardwell are not happy, or maybe they just don’t want to touch this one.”
Wall Street’s main lobbying arm has hired a top Supreme Court litigator to study a possible legal battle against a bank tax proposed by the Obama administration, on the theory that it would be unconstitutional, according to three industry officials briefed on the matter.
In an e-mail message sent last week to the heads of Wall Street legal departments, executives of the lobbying group, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, wrote that a bank tax might be unconstitutional because it would unfairly single out and penalize big banks, according to these officials, who did not want to be identified to preserve relationships with the group’s members.
The message said the association had hired Carter G. Phillips of Sidley Austin, who has argued dozens of cases before the Supreme Court, to study whether a tax on one industry could be considered arbitrary and punitive, providing the basis for a constitutional challenge, they said.
For those that do not know the background of Sidley Austin and the Obama’s connection to this law firm, go here; it’s a long read but well worth it.
Let’s check out who is exempt from the “bank tax”. Wow – all the government owned entities. An ever expanding pie for the federal government.
There may be room for compromise. Administration officials hope to keep the proposed tax limited to major financial institutions with more than $50 billion in assets but consider that a difficult line to draw. For example, the proposed tax would not apply to large hedge funds; the mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; or the carmakers Chrysler and General Motors.
“We believe the lines we have drawn are sound and sensible,” said Gene B. Sperling, a senior Treasury Department official. “We understand these are the type of things we will need to keep an open mind on in negotiations with Congress.”
The financial lobby has insisted that it is unfair for banks to cover the cost of losses tied to nonbank bailout recipients like the automakers and the American International Group, the giant insurer that is now majority-owned by the government. In an appearance on CNBC on Thursday, Representative Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, called the argument over including the automakers legitimate.
At the lobbying group, the selection of Mr. Phillips of Sidley Austin raised eyebrows because it suggests that Wall Street may be spoiling for a fight. Davis Polk & Wardwell, another white-shoe law firm, has been advising the same lobbying group on legal matters tied to new financial regulation.