WHY IS EVERYONE HAPPY?
WHY IS EVERYONE SMILING?
BECAUSE BANK LOBBYISTS JUST "HELPED" CONGRESS DRAFT A NEW FINANCIAL BILL, THAT'S WHY!
"Bank lobbyists are not leaving it to lawmakers to draft legislation that softens financial regulations. Instead, the lobbyists are helping to write it themselves."
THE FOXES HAVE ENTERED THE HEN-HOUSE TO 'PROTECT' THE CHICKENS!
AND THE CHICKENS SAID, "COME ON IN!"
FIRST, A LITTLE BACKGROUND...A CALL TO REMEMBRANCE, PERHAPS.
REMEMBER WHEN OUR CONGRESS DECIDED TO USE YOUR TAX MONEY TO BAIL OUT ALL THOSE BANKERS WHO ALMOST TANKED AMERICA, CITIZENS?
THAT BROKE BACK IN 2007-2008, RIGHT?
WELL, HAS ANYONE BEEN PROSECUTED, EVEN ONE BANK?
WELL, WHY NOT?
WE JUST CAN'T GET A STRAIGHT ANSWER ON THAT, NO MATTER WHO ASKS!
The Democratic senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, had a straightforward question for "bank regulators" 5 years after all hell broke loose and collapsed America's economy. This from February or so of this year: "When was the last time you took a Wall Street bank to trial?" It was a harder question than it seemed.
"We do not have to bring people to trial," Thomas Curry, head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, assured Warren, declaring that his agency had secured a large number of "consent orders," or settlements.
"I appreciate that you say you don't have to bring them to trial. My question is, when did you bring them to trial?" she responded.
"We have not had to do it as a practical matter to achieve our supervisory goals," Curry offered.
NEVER, THEY NEVER BROUGHT A ONE TO TRIAL!
IF JOHN Q. CITIZEN HAD DONE SUCH A THING, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN BURIED UNDER A JAIL, BUT NOT WALL STREET, NOT CONGRESS' SWEETHEART BANKERS!
WHEN WARREN GRILLED GEITHNER, WATCH HOW HOT HE GOT!
WOW, TIMMY! YOU DO FIGHT FOR THOSE WHO USE YOU LIKE A CHEAP WHORE, DON'T YOU?
SENATOR Bernie Sanders and Timothy Geithner ...SAME RESPONSE FROM GEITHNER BACK IN 2009...HE GETS REALLY TICKED-OFF.
TSK, TSK, TIMMY...ANGER ISSUES MUCH?
Financial institutions have received more than $2.3 trillion in taxpayer-backed loans and other financial assistance from the Federal Reserve. Sanders asked Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to name the hundreds of banks that took money. Bernanke refused. Sanders called it mind-blowing that trillions of dollars have been placed at risk without anyone outside the secretive Fed knowing who got how much for what. So he asked the Senate to go on record saying the Fed should publish on its Web site information detailing all of the emergency financial assistance it has provided.
IT'LL NEVER HAPPEN, BERNIE, NEVER...
The Founders Did Not Intend For America to Be Run By Big Banks and Wall Street!
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) took to the House Floor in 2011 to remind fellow members why we are in debt in the first place: wars and tax cuts for the rich.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a longtime advocate for reform of the Federal Reserve, sharply criticizing the Federal Reserve after a Bloomberg news report that the Federal Reserve secretly committed nearly $8 trillion in support to American and international financial institutions during the 2008 bailout.
ICELAND HAD AN IDENTICAL PROBLEM, BUT ICELAND HAD THE STEEL CAJONES TO FIX THEIR PROBLEM AND FACE THE CONSEQUENCES!
IMAGINE IF AMERICA COULD FIND A SET AND DO THE SAME!
A deficit that reached 13.5 percent of gross domestic product in 2009 fell to 2.3 percent last year...JUST 4 YEARS LATER, ICELAND IS BACK!
The IMF predicts Iceland will have a primary SURPLUS of 1.5 percent this year.
Few countries blew up more spectacularly than Iceland in the 2008 financial crisis. The local stock market plunged 90 percent; unemployment rose nine-fold; inflation shot to more than 18 percent; the country’s biggest banks all failed.
This was no post-Lehman Brothers recession: It was a depression.
Since then, Iceland has turned in a pretty impressive performance. It has repaid International Monetary Fund rescue loans ahead of schedule. Growth this year will be about 2.5 percent, better than most developed economies. Unemployment has fallen by half. In February, Fitch Ratings restored the country’s investment-grade status, approvingly citing its “unorthodox crisis policy response.”
You can say that again!
Little Iceland’s approach was the polar opposite of the U.S. and Europe, which BOTH rescued their banks and did little to aid indebted homeowners left holding the bag. Although lessons drawn from Iceland, with just 320,000 people and an economy based on fishing, aluminum production and tourism, might not SEEM readily transferable to bigger countries, its rebound suggests otherwise!
Icelanders applaud their government's stance and can look forward to NEVER being run by bankers again!
Nothing distinguishes Iceland as much as its aid to its CITIZENS, TO CONSUMERS.
WHILE AMERICA NOT ONLY DID NOT OFFER HELP TO VICTIMS OF WALL STREET, TO THE VICTIMS OF THE BAILED-OUT BANKS, ICELAND DID!
To homeowners with negative equity, the country offered write-offs that would wipe out debt above 110% of the property value. The government also provided means-tested subsidies to reduce mortgage-interest expenses: Those with lower earnings, less home equity and children were granted the most generous support.
In June 2010, the nation’s Supreme Court gave debtors another break: Bank loans that were indexed to FOREIGN currencies were declared illegal. Because the Icelandic krona plunged 80 percent during the crisis, the cost of repaying foreign debt more than doubled. The ruling let consumers repay the banks as if the loans were in krona.
These policies helped consumers erase debt equal to 13 percent of Iceland’s $14 billion economy. NOW, consumers have money to spend on other things.
In addition to easing consumer debt, Iceland REDUCED government spending and increased revenue by RAISING taxes and CUTTING deductions that MAINLY BENEFITED THE WELL-OFF, A PATH THAT THE U.S. REFUSES TO EMULATE.
In fact, relief for overburdened U.S. consumers is a cause promoted by former U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair in a new book published this week.
Bair says she would have done more to aid sinking homeowners and done less for banks, but she says her efforts were BLOCKED by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and others.
ARE YOU BEGINNING TO SEE A PATTERN, AMERICA?
AMERICA COULD RECOVER LIKE ICELAND DID BUT SOMEONE ON THE HILL IS KISSING BIG BANKERS' BEHINDS!
LOOK AT THE PHOTO AT THE TOP OF THIS BLOG AND UNDERSTAND WHY YOU PROBABLY WILL NEVER SEE ANY HOPE NOR HELP FROM CONGRESS ON OUR EVER-SINKING ECONOMY, ON YOUR OWN LOSSES FROM THE BAILOUTS....
BIG BANKS WANT PROFIT$$$$$....CONGRESS WANTS CAMPAIGN MONEY.
THAT MEANS YOU LOSE!
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE HOPE FROM ICELAND!
A new government led by Johanna Sigurdardottir embarked on a campaign to hold accountable the so-called 'neo-Viking' bankers at the center of Iceland’s crisis. Instead of picking a prosecutor from law firms in Reykjavik, which had depended on the banks for business, the government drafted an investigator from a remote village.
Although a number of bankers fled the country to avoid prosecution, the former chiefs of two of the three biggest banks have been indicted and are standing trial.
Iceland’s central bank on Sept.18 2012, released a report suggesting the country go slow with plans to enter the European Union, a process started in 2010 when the euro seemed sounder than the krona.
HOWEVER, if the issue were put to a referendum today, Icelanders would probably reject admission. And why would Iceland want to join now? Euro-member nations such as Greece and Ireland offer testimony to the risks of being yoked to a currency along with stronger economies.
THAT WILL NOT HAPPEN HERE, WE WILL NEVER BE UN-YOKED FROM OUR ENSLAVEMENT TO THE BIG BANKERS/WALL STREET UNLESS WE, THE PEOPLE, FIND A WAY TO CUT OFF THE INFLUX OF THEIR CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS TO CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT, STOP LOBBYISTS FROM ENTERING ANY ROOM THAT A CONGRESSMAN IS IN, AND CONVINCE CONGRESS AND THE WHITE HOUSE THAT WE, THE PEOPLE ARE BACK IN CHARGE OF THINGS.
BUT HOW DID WE GET IN THIS MESS?
THE ARTICLE FROM THE NY TIMES I QUOTED AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS BLOG GIVES A CLUE OR TWO.
<<One bill that sailed through the House Financial Services Committee this month — over the objections of the Treasury Department — was essentially Citigroup’s, according to e-mails reviewed by The New York Times. The bill would exempt broad swathes of trades from new regulation.
In a sign of Wall Street’s resurgent influence in Washington, Citigroup’s recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House committee’s 85-line bill. Two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word. (Lawmakers changed two words to make them plural.)
The cordial relations now include a growing number of Democrats in both the House and the Senate, whose support the banks need if they want to roll back parts of the 2010 financial overhaul, known as Dodd-Frank.
And as its lobbying campaign steps up, the financial industry has doubled its already considerable giving to political causes. >>
BINGO! THERE'S WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR! BANKERS PAYING OFF THEIR CONGRESSIONAL WHORES, AS USUAL!
<<The lawmakers who this month supported the bills championed by Wall Street received twice as much in contributions from financial institutions compared with those who opposed them, according to an analysis of campaign finance records performed by MapLight, a nonprofit group.
In recent weeks, Wall Street groups also held fund-raisers for lawmakers who co-sponsored the bills.
At one dinner Wednesday night, corporate executives and lobbyists paid up to $2,500 to dine in a private room of a Greek restaurant just blocks from the Capitol with Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, Democrat of New York, a co-sponsor of the bill championed by Citigroup.
The close ties hardly surprise Wall Street critics, who have long warned that the banks — whose small armies of lobbyists include dozens of former Capitol Hill aides — possess outsize influence in Washington.
“The huge machinery of Wall Street information and analysis skews the thinking of Congress,” said Jeff Connaughton, who has been both a lobbyist and Congressional staff member.
The House Financial Services Committee has been a natural target. Not only is it controlled by Republicans, who had opposed Dodd-Frank, but freshmen lawmakers are often appointed to the unusually large committee because it is seen as a helpful base from which they can raise campaign funds.
For Wall Street, the committee is a place to push back against Dodd-Frank.
When banks and other corporations, for example, feared that regulators would demand new scrutiny of derivatives trades, they appealed to the committee. At the time, regulators were completing Dodd-Frank’s overhaul of derivatives, contracts that allow companies to either speculate in the markets or protect against risk. Derivatives had pushed the insurance giant American International Group to the brink of collapse in 2008. The question was whether regulators would exempt certain in-house derivatives trades between affiliates of big banks.
Representative Maxine Waters, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, was among the few Democrats opposing the change, echoing the concerns of consumer groups.
“The bill restores the public subsidy to exotic Wall Street activities,” said Marcus Stanley, the policy director of Americans for Financial Reform, a nonprofit group.
But most of the Democrats on the committee, along with 31 Republicans, came to the industry’s defense, including the seven freshmen Democrats — most of whom have started to receive donations this year from political action committees of Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and other financial institutions, records show.
Six days after the vote, several freshmen Democrats were in New York to meet with bank executives, a tour organized by Representative Joe Crowley, who helps lead the House Democrats’ fund-raising committee. The trip was planned before the votes, and was not a fund-raiser, but it gave the lawmakers a chance to meet with Wall Street’s elite.>>
DO YOU SEE THE CONNECTION YET, AMERICA?
WHY CAN'T YOU SEE WHAT'S GOING ON?
The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Pub.L. 111–203, H.R. 4173) was signed into federal law by President Barack Obama on July 21, 2010 in the Ronald Reagan building.
Passed as a response to the late-2000s recession, it brought the most significant changes to financial regulation in the United States since the regulatory reform that followed the Great Depression.
It made changes in the American financial regulatory environment that affect all federal financial regulatory agencies and almost every part of the nation's financial services industry
BECAUSE OF "COMPROMISES" BROUGHT ON BY REPUBLICAN WEEPING, WAILING AND GNASHING OF TEETH, DODD-FRANK DID NOT GO FAR ENOUGH, AS WE CAN SEE FROM THE ABOVE ARTICLE.
BOTH PARTIES ON CAPITOL HILL ARE STILL WHORING FOR WALL STREET!
MONEY, AND ONLY MONEY TALKS ON CAPITOL HILL!
ATTEMPTS TO STOP BANKS FROM GAMBLING WITH DEPOSITORS' MONEY SEEMS NOT TO BE SOMETHING OUR CONGRESS WANTS, AND TO HELL WITH WHAT WE, THEIR BOSSES, TELL THEM! THEY IGNORE PHONE CALLS, EMAILS, LETTERS AND OPINION POLLS AND SIMPLY DO WHAT'S BEST FOR THOSE WHO FINANCE THEIR DAMNABLE CAMPAIGNS!
~ THE USELESS VOLCKER RULE
Carl Levin (D., Mich.), who helped push the rule through Congress, said that as the rule has "languished in regulatory limbo for 2½ years, the big banks' trading activities have continued to grow," putting the economy at risk.
Paul Volcker and the Federal Reserve Board sought legislation overruling the FDIC and OCC actions, they agreed BANK affiliates, NOT REGULATORY COMMITTEES, should have broader securities powers. They supported a bill sponsored by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Jake Garn (R-UT) that would have amended Glass–Steagall Section 20 to cover all FDIC insured banks and to permit bank affiliates to underwrite and deal in mutual funds, municipal revenue bonds, commercial paper, and mortgage-backed securities.
THE POWER-MAD FEDERAL RESERVE NEVER WANTED THEIR DARLINGS' HANDS SLAPPED IN THE FIRST PLACE!
WALL STREET SCRATCHES CONGRESS' BACK AND CONGRESS SPREADS ITS LEGS VERY WIDE TO WALL STREET! THE NEVER-ENDING TRYST!
The delay for the impotent Volcker Rule is coming from drawn-out negotiations between a trio of banking regulators, including the Federal Reserve, and officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
IT'S LIKE SENDING FOXES TO GUARD THE HEN-HOUSE!
WHY WOULD THE FED, A PRIVATE BANKING CARTEL, WANT BANKS REGULATED AT ALL?
The Volcker Rule bans banks from using or owning hedge funds for the banks' own profit. That's because they'd often use their depositors' funds to do so. Banks can use hedge funds for their customers only. Determining which funds are for the banks' profits and which funds are for customers has been difficult. Therefore, Dodd-Frank gave banks seven years to divest the funds. They can keep any funds if less than 3% of revenue. Banks have lobbied hard against the rule, delaying its implementation until at least 2013, and now it looks like 2014 is the new "target date" for banks to begin complying....
DON'T BET ON THAT EVER HAPPENING!
THE VOLCKER RULE IS NOT WORKING, BUT WHO BELIEVES IT WAS EVER MEANT TO?
WALL STREET IS SIMPLY IGNORING THAT AND CONTINUING THE RAPE OF THEIR CUSTOMERS, AND THE AMERICAN ECONOMY...TAKE THAT, CITIZENS!
YOU MEAN ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO WALL STREET EXCEPT DOLLAR $SIGNS$!
HOW GOLDMAN SACHS BEAT THE VOLCKER RULE...IT IGNORED IT!
January 22, 2013, FORTUNE MAGAZINE
<<The Volcker Rule was intended to prevent banks from taking too many risks with their own money, including in areas like private equity and hedge fund investing. The idea was that banks primarily exist to serve clients rather than to enrich themselves via levels of proprietary and principal account investing that could (theoretically) lead to another Lehman-style collapse.
It was controversial on Wall Street, but so was virtually every single word of Dodd-Frank. Outside the financial lobby's echo chamber, most of the Volcker Rule seemed to be a reasonable safeguard. So it passed through Congress, albeit a bit watered down, in July 2010. Included was a two-year waiting period that would allow politicians and regulators to hammer out the final language.
Many institutions soon began trying to get their houses in order, with efforts to sell or spin out private equity groups. These moves happened at banks in the U.S. and abroad, including Bank of America (BAC), Barclays (BCS), and Lloyds (LYG). Better to comply early than be stranded by unforeseen circumstances, even if that meant divesting at a discount.
The smart money either ignored Volcker on private equity or applied it only to future activities. The most obvious example is Goldman Sachs (GS), which in 2007 raised a $20.3 billion private equity fund called GS Capital Partners VI that included approximately $9 billion in commitments from the bank and bank employees (too high a percentage to comply with Volcker). Goldman has decided not to divest its interest in the fund, believing that it will be able to secure enough extensions to responsibly liquidate once Volcker is finalized. The bank's group also has raised several new funds since Dodd-Frank was signed, including an energy fund, a renminbi-denominated [aka,CHINESE CURRENCY-DOMINATED] fund, and a real estate mezzanine fund. Goldman believes these new vehicles will comply with Volcker, based on language in a draft proposal of the rule. But if not, it can either request extensions or spin them out to a later date.
[THE VOLCKER RULE] was intended to help curb Wall Street recklessness -- a culture in which banks invest first and ask questions later. But instead it just validated those who expertly exploit the sloth of federal officials and encouraged such behavior the next time around. Some reform.>>
AND THAT FROM FORTUNE MAGAZINE!
One of the causes of the 2008 financial crisis was that, since hedge funds and other financial advisers weren't regulated, no one knew what "financial institutions" were investing in or how much was at stake. That's why the Fed and other agencies thought the mortgage crisis would be confined to the housing industry. To correct for that, Dodd-Frank says that hedge funds must register with the SEC and provide data about their trades and portfolios so the SEC can assess overall market risk. States are given more power to regulate investment advisers, since Dodd-Frank raises the asset threshold limit from $30 million to $100 million. In January 2013, 65 banks around the world had registered their derivatives business with the CFTC.
ONLY 65 BANKS IN ALL THE WORLD!
THEY REALLY AREN'T GOING TO COMPLY, ARE THEY?
WHO WILL FORCE THEM TO?
CERTAINLY NOT OUR CONGRESS!
THE MONEY THE BIG BANKING BOYS MAKE, THE ILLEGAL THINGS THEY DO, ALL OF THAT PAYS FOR THE WILLING TRAITORS, THE WALL STREET "BED-BUDDIES" IN CONGRESS, DON'T YOU SEE?
DODD-FRANK MIGHT REFORM THE FED?
POSSIBLY, IF WE STRETCH OUR IMAGINATIONS.
THE FED WON'T SIT STILL FOR THAT! NO WAY!
The Government Accountability Office(GAO) was "ALLOWED", YES, ALLOWED, to audit the Fed's emergency loans during the financial crisis.The Fed SUPPOSEDLY cannot make an emergency loan to a single entity, like Bear Stearns or AIG, without Treasury Department approval.
The Fed must make public the names of banks that received these loans or TARP funds.
HOW HAS THAT WORKED OUT?
NOT AT ALL!
THE FED HAS MADE SINGLE ENTITY LOANS SINCE THEN AND HAS NOT TOLD TO WHOM, THOUGH MORE THAN ONE CONGRESSMAN HAS GRILLED THEM OVER THAT.
FEW CAN DO IT AS WELL AS GRAYSON:
The only way to stop this nonsense is to reinstate a STRONGER Glass-Steagall Act.
It sort of worked for 66 years.
This whole Wall Street screwing America thing happened BEFORE in 1929 before the Great Depression and will continue to happen as long as "too big to fail banks" and the FEDERAL RESERVE are left unchecked. Even with the flawed system we still have for keeping check on the FED and on the FED's pets, the banks, the Glass-Steagall Act was the best method of protecting our economy from the predators of Wall Street we've YET had, which is not to say much. The BLATANT GREED of banks exceeds ANY and ALL need to protect their investors.
Their use of OUR TAX DOLLARS FROM THE BAILOUTS to give themselves bonuses SHOULD have showed us all that they have total contempt for the law, and total contempt for those who "invest" with them.
WILL WE NEVER LEARN FROM PAST MISTAKES?
President Bill Clinton publicly declared "the Glass–Steagall law is no longer appropriate" and from that point on, its days were numbered.
It's true that except for Section 21, Glass–Steagall only covered Federal Reserve member commercial banks.
Yes, the United States retained a dual banking system in which a fairly large number of state chartered banks remained outside the Federal Reserve System.
Although Section 21 of the Glass–Steagall Act was directed at preventing securities firms (particularly traditional private partnerships such as J.P. Morgan & Co.) from accepting deposits, it prevented ANY firm that accepted DEPOSITS from underwriting or dealing in SECURITIES (other than “bank-eligible securities” after the 1935 Banking Act’s “clarification”). This meant Section 21, unlike the rest of Glass–Steagall, applied to savings and loans and other “thrifts”, state nonmember banks, and any other firm or individual in the business of taking DEPOSITS. This prevented such “depository institutions” from being SECURITIES FIRMS. It did NOT prevent securities firms, such as Merrill Lynch, from owning separate subsidiaries that were thrifts or state chartered, non-Federal Reserve member banks.
CREATED TO FAIL? LOOPHOLES MUCH?
THE BIG BOYS IN FINANCE ALWAYS FIND A WAY TO SKIRT THE LAW!
This difference, which would INDEED later be termed a “loophole” provided the justification for the long, drawn-out demise of Glass–Steagall through 'regulatory actions' that largely negated the practical significance of Sections 20 and 32 before they were repealed by the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act.
CONGRESS CAN "REGULATE" ITS DARLINGS OUT OF ANYTHING, AND HAVE, AND ARE DEDICATED TO IT. CAMPAIGN MONEY IS MOST IMPORTANT! THAT COMES FORM WALL STREET! CONGRESS IS SELLING US OUT FOR BIG MONEY IN THEIR 'WAR CHESTS", AMERICANS, AND THE WAR IS ON YOU!
The fact that Sections 16, 20, and 32 only restricted Federal Reserve member banks was another feature that made the Glass–Steagall Act less than “comprehensive” and, in the words of a 1987 commentator, provided “opportunities for banking institutions and their lawyers to explore (or, perhaps more accurately, to exploit)."
Wolfgang Reinicke argued that Glass–Steagall's “repeal” gained unexpected Congressional support in 1987 because large banks successfully argued that Glass–Steagall prevented US banks from competing internationally.
In 1960 six of the ten largest banks were US based, by 1980 only two US based banks were in the top ten, and by 1989 none was in the top twenty five.
THAT COULDN'T HAVE BEEN BECAUSE OF REAGAN'S VOODOO ECONOMICS, COULD IT?
No, Glass Steagall separated commercial banking from investment banking.
HONEST economists, few that there are, agree:
"Derivatives should be completely outlawed except for the commodities that they were originally designed for. AIG, Goldman Sachs, S&P, and any of the hedge funds that got TARP should be charged with insurance fraud and jailed, and Congress along with them!"
NOT ONE has been held accountable!
NOT ONE BANK WAS ALLOWED TO FAIL, BUT AMERICAN CITIZENS WERE ALLOWED TO LOSE JOBS, LOSE THEIR HOMES, AND FACE RUIN!
CITIZENS ARE BANKRUPT WHILE BANKERS LIVE IT UP!
WHY HASN'T THAT SENT YOU DOWN TO BANG ON THE DOORS OF YOUR CONGRESSIONAL ELECTEDS, CITIZENS?
WHY HASN'T THERE BEEN A 300 MILLION 'MAN' MARCH OVER THIS?
WHY HAVEN'T WE ALL DEMANDED THE BANKS BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE, AND WHY, IN THE NAME OF SANITY, HAVEN'T WE STOPPED ELECTING THOSE WHO SOLD US OUT?
LIKE THE TIMES ARTICLE SAYS...WALL STREET IS BACK IN POWER ON CAPITOL HILL.
YOU CAN BLAME YOURSELVES FOR THAT, VOTERS!
WHEN NO ONE CRIES "FOUL!', THE GAME PLAYS ON.
EAT IT AND SMILE!