Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street’
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 17, 2012
Who’s to Blame for the Hostess Bankruptcy: Wall Street, Unions, or Carbs?
By Jordan Weissmann
Try all of the above.
There are two important things to realize about this rather sad situation. First: Twinkie, Wonder, and all the other high-calorie marvels of culinary science Hostess sells aren’t going to disappear from shelves for good. One of its competitors will likely swoop in, buy them up, and restart production. So you can stop bidding on $100 boxes of Sno Balls on eBay.
Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkie and Wonder Bread, is getting ready to bake its last corn-syrupy snack cake. After failing to win major contract concessions from one of its key labor unions, the beleaguered 82-year-old company has asked a federal bankruptcy court for permission to start liquidating its assets — or, in real person speak, begin the process of selling off pieces of the company to the highest bidder while laying off most of its 18,500 workers. (Reuters)
Second: This is not a simple story that anybody should try to slot neatly into their political talking points. It’s not just about Wall Street preying on Main Street, or big bad labor unions sucking a wholesome American company dry. It’s about an entire galaxy of bad decisions that will cost many people their jobs and money.
As David Kaplan chronicled at length for Fortune earlier this year, the roots of this debacle go back to when Hostess entered its first bankruptcy in 2004. Not unlike the situation automakers would find themselves in a few years later, the company was collapsing under the weight of flagging sales, overly generous union contracts replete with ridiculous work rules, and gobs of debt. But unlike the automakers, the five years Hostess spent trying to fix itself in Chapter 11 didn’t fix its fundamental problems.
Instead, they set the stage for its eventual demise. A private equity company, Ripplewood Holdings, paid about $130 million dollars to take Hostess private, and the company’s two major unions, the Teamsters and the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, sacrificed about $110 million in annual wages and benefits. But Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: bankruptcy, business, corporate, eBay, food, Hostess, Hostess Brands, labor, law, mismanagement, private capital, Ripplewood Holdings, Services, snack, snack cakes, Sno Balls, Teamster, Twinkie, unions, United States, vulture capitalism, Wall Street, Wonder Bread | 5 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, October 20, 2012
The average reader may not be aware that there was once a huge Delphi plant in Limestone county, Alabama, which facility was located directly across from Calhoun Community College.
Mitt Romney owned a significant interest in a firm that profited by laying off workers, dumping their pensions, moving to China, and then profiting rapaciously from the TARP bailout. That large plant – one among many, with the largest one being in Alabama – was the Delphi Steering Gear facility in Tanner, near Decatur, in Limestone County.
It was one of North Alabama‘s LARGEST employers – with emphasis on “was.”
The men & women who made careers there, whose labors enabled their children to attend college, provided their families’ clothing, groceries, housing & healthcare, and provided for their own retirement, and which was a union shop, was shuttered several years ago.
Most of what news I recall about it centered around how corporate traders, not unions, were wanting even more & more profit when they were already profitable. Time and time again, the workers took cuts in benefits & pay to keep their jobs for as long as they could… all to no avail.
Like a gazelle savaged on the plains of the Kalahari Desert in Africa, that once prosperous plant has been laid to waste, and there are only industrial skeletal remains. Even the human buzzards, scavenging metal for recycling from the industrial carcass, have left. For many years now, the hollow exterior hulk, instead of employees, materials & labor, has been drawing cobwebs, dust & rust. And soon, like all things left unattended, it too will crumble.
There are no taxes paid to Limestone county, or to nearby Decatur, Athens or Huntsville, or to Alabama for roads, schools, police & fire protection. But there is an even greater issue, one which is exceedingly more weighty and sorrowful. As a result of it all, there is no hope, there are no jobs, and there is no future.
Here’s the even more disturbing part: Mitt Romney had his hand in that pie.
And yet the saddest and most perplexing part is, that most Alabamians will vote for the GOP nominee/candidate.
Following the economic investigative report are historical local news reports that show the progression about the issue (which validate the economic investigative report by Greg Palast), from the:
• Decatur Daily,
• Huntsville Times,
• Associated Press,
• Athens-Limestone News Courier,
• Saginaw News (via MLive.com), and
• Wall Street Journal,
dating 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010.
For the benefit of the reader, Greg Palast is an economist and financial investigator turned journalist whose series on vulture funds appeared on BBC Television’s Newsnight. He is the author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (Penguin) and, most recently, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps (Seven Stories). For additional information about him, his website is: http://www.gregpalast.com.
Mitt Romney’s Bailout Bonanza
Greg Palast, October 17, 2012 | This article appeared in the November 5, 2012 edition of The Nation.
This investigation was supported by the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute and by the Puffin Foundation. Elements of it appear in Palast’s new book, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps (Seven Stories). Research assistance by Zach D. Roberts, Ari Paul, Nader Atassi and Eric Wuestewald.
2012 GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Mitt Romney’s opposition to the auto bailout has haunted him on the campaign trail, especially in Rust Belt states like Ohio. There, in September, the Obama campaign launched television ads blasting Romney’s November 2008 New York Times op-ed, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” But Romney has done a good job of concealing, until now, the fact that he and his wife, Ann, personally gained at least $15.3 million from the bailout—and a few of Romney’s most important Wall Street donors made more than $4 billion. Their gains, and the Romneys’, were astronomical—more than 3,000 percent on their investment.
It all starts with Delphi Automotive, a former General Motors subsidiary whose auto parts remain essential to GM’s production lines. No bailout of GM—or Chrysler, for that matter—could have been successful without saving Delphi. So, in addition to making massive loans to automakers in 2009, the federal government sent, directly or indirectly, more than $12.9 billion to Delphi—and to the hedge funds that had gained control over it.
One of the hedge funds profiting from that bailout—
$1.28 billion so far—is Elliott Management, directed by
Paul Singer. According to TheWall Street Journal, Singer has given more to support GOP candidates—$2.3 million—than anyone else on Wall Street this election season. His personal giving is matched by that of his colleagues at Elliott; collectively, they have donated $3.4 million to help elect Republicans this season, while giving only $1,650 to Democrats. And Singer is influential with the GOP presidential candidate; he’s not only an informal adviser but, according to theJournal, his support was critical in helping push Representative Paul Ryan onto the ticket.
Singer, whom Fortune magazine calls a “passionate defender of the 1%,” has carved out a specialty investing in distressed firms and distressed nations, which he does by buying up their debt for pennies on the dollar and then demanding payment in full. This so-called “vulture investor” received $58 million on Peruvian debt that he snapped up for $11.4 million, and $90 million on Congolese debt that he bought for a mere $20 million. In the process, he’s built one of the largest private equity firms in the nation, and over decades he’s racked up an unusually high average return on investments of 14 percent.
Other GOP presidential hopefuls chased Singer’s endorsement, but Mitt chased Singer with his own checkbook, investing at least $1 million with Elliott through Ann Romney’s blind trust (it could be far more, but the Romneys have declined to disclose exactly how much). Along the way, Singer gained a reputation, according to Fortune, “for strong-arming his way to profit.” That is certainly what happened at Delphi.
* * *
Delphi, once the Delco unit of General Motors, was spun off into a separate company in 1999. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: AL, Alabama, Ann Romney, avarice, bailout, business, Calhoun Community College, Decatur, Delphi, Delphi Automotive, economics, General Motors, geotag, geotagged, GM, GOP, greed, Greg Palast, investigation, jobs, John Paulson, journalism, Limestone county, Mitt Romney, money, news, Paul Singer, Romney, Tanner, TARP, Troubled Asset Relief Program, Troubled Assets Relief Program, unemployment, Wall Street | 6 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, October 9, 2012
U.S. Charges 530 in Mortgage Probe With $1 Billion in Losses
The U.S. brought charges against 530 people over mortgage schemes that cost homeowners more than $1 billion, Attorney General Eric Holder said today.
More than 73,000 homeowners were victims of various frauds for which charges were filed during a year-long crackdown, including “foreclosure rescue schemes” that take advantage of those who have fallen behind on payments, the Justice Department said in a statement.
“These comprehensive efforts represent Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: $1 billion, abuse, Attorney General, banks, Bankster, Eric Holder, finance, fraud, GOP, high finance, law, money, mortgage, Mortgage fraud, Mortgage loan, news, Republican, scheme, United States, United States Department of Justice, Wall Street, Washington, waste | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, September 11, 2012
As the president and others – nonpartisan and partisan alike – have noted, BIG BUSINESS should NOT need a bailout. They should be operated in such a manner as to allow the Free Market to decide how, to what extent, and if they prosper. As part of that process, ironclad and strong regulation to prevent fraud and abuse should be vigorously enforced. And chief executives Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: "Occupy Wall Street", abuse, AIG, American International Group, bailout, banks, Big Business, business, consumer, corruption, economic, economy, entrepreneurship, federal, Federal Reserve, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Federal Reserve System, fiscal, fiscal orgy, fraud, free enterprise, Glass-Steagall, Glass-Steagall Act, incestuous fiscal orgy, infographic, insurance, lobbyists, news, Occupy until I come., protection, stock brokerage houses, TARP, tax, taxes, Timothy Geithner, treasury, Troubled Asset Relief Program, United States Department of the Treasury, USA, Wall Street, waste | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 10, 2012
Investing in economic infrastructure is ALWAYS a sound decision because
1.) Materials and Manpower ALWAYS comes from the private sector (and always will), and;
2.) Economic capacity and economic opportunity expands.
Note also these two remarks:
“Corporations won’t hire more workers just because their tax bill is lower and they spend less on regulations. In case you hadn’t noticed, corporate profits are up. Most companies don’t even know what to do with the profits they’re already making. Not incidentally, much of those profits have come from replacing jobs with computer software or outsourcing them abroad.
“Meanwhile, the wealthy don’t create jobs, and giving them additional tax cuts won’t bring unemployment down. America’s rich are already garnering a bigger share of American income than they have in eighty years. They’re using much of it to speculate in the stock market. All this has done is drive stock prices higher.”
The Biggest Economic Challenge of Obama’s Second Term
Monday, September 10, 2012
The question at the core of America’s upcoming election isn’t merely whose story most voting Americans believe to be true – Mitt Romney’s claim that the economy is in a stall and Obama’s policies haven’t worked, or Barack Obama’s that it’s slowly mending and his approach is working.
If that were all there was to it, last Friday’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing the economy added only 96,000 jobs in August – below what’s needed merely to keep up with the growth in the number of eligible workers — would seem to bolster Romney’s claim.
But, of course, congressional Republicans have never even given Obama a chance to try his approach. They’ve blocked everything he’s tried to do – including his proposed Jobs Act that would help state and local governments replace many of the teachers, police officers, social workers, and fire fighters they’ve had to let go over the last several years.
The deeper question is what should be done starting in January to boost a recovery that by anyone’s measure is still anemic. In truth, not even the Jobs Act will be enough.
At the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida, Romney produced Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: Barack Obama, Berkeley, Bureau of Labor Statistics, business, California, CCC, Charlotte North Carolina, Civilian Conservation Corps, creativity, economic infrastructure, economy, education, enterprise, entrepreneurship, FDR, government, infrastructure, middle class, Mitt Romney, news, Obama, policy, Republicans, Robert Reich, Romney, stock market, UC Berkeley, United States, university, Wall Street, Works Progress Administration, WPA | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 2, 2012
How the GOP presidential candidate and his private equity firm staged an epic wealth grab, destroyed jobs – and stuck others with the bill
by: Matt Taibbi
Mitt Romney illustration / Illustration by Robert Grossman
The great criticism of Mitt Romney, from both sides of the aisle, has always been that he doesn’t stand for anything. He’s a flip-flopper, they say, a lightweight, a cardboard opportunist who’ll say anything to get elected.
The critics couldn’t be more wrong. Mitt Romney is no tissue-paper man. He’s closer to being a revolutionary, a backward-world version of Che or Trotsky, with tweezed nostrils instead of a beard, a half-Windsor instead of a leather jerkin. His legendary flip-flops aren’t the lies of a bumbling opportunist – they’re the confident prevarications of a man untroubled by misleading the nonbeliever in pursuit of a single, all-consuming goal. Romney has a vision, and he’s trying for something big: We’ve just been too slow to sort out what it is, just as we’ve been slow to grasp the roots of the radical economic changes that have swept the country in the last generation.
The incredible untold story of the 2012 election so far is that Romney’s run has been a shimmering pearl of perfect political hypocrisy, which he’s somehow managed to keep hidden, even with thousands of cameras following his every move. And the drama of this rhetorical high-wire act was ratcheted up even further when Romney chose his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin – like himself, a self-righteously anal, thin-lipped, Whitest Kids U Know penny pincher who’d be honored to tell Oliver Twist there’s no more soup left. By selecting Ryan, Romney, the hard-charging, chameleonic champion of a disgraced-yet-defiant Wall Street, officially succeeded in moving the battle lines in the 2012 presidential race.
Like John McCain four years before, Romney desperately needed a vice-presidential pick that would change the game. But where McCain bet on a combustive mix of clueless novelty and suburban sexual tension named Sarah Palin, Romney bet on an idea. He said as much when he unveiled his choice of Ryan, the author of a hair-raising budget-cutting plan best known for its willingness to slash the sacred cows of Medicare and Medicaid. “Paul Ryan has become an intellectual leader of the Republican Party,” Romney told frenzied Republican supporters in Norfolk, Virginia, standing before the reliably jingoistic backdrop of a floating warship. “He understands the fiscal challenges facing America: our exploding deficits and crushing debt.”
Debt, debt, debt. If the Republican Party had a James Carville, this is what he would have said to win Mitt over, in whatever late-night war room session led to the Ryan pick: “It’s the debt, stupid.” This is the way to defeat Barack Obama: to recast the race as a jeremiad against debt, something just about everybody who’s ever gotten a bill in the mail hates on a primal level.
Last May, in a much-touted speech in Iowa, Romney Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, Bain Capital, crime, fraud, GOP, John McCain, Mitt Romney, news, Paul Ryan, Republican, Romney, United States, Wall Street, waste, wealth | 4 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 2, 2012
The noose tightens.
UPDATE 2-New York probes private equity tax strategy – source
Sun Sep 2, 2012 8:00am IST
* NY AG subpoenas at least 12 private equity firms
* AG probing conversion of fees into fund investments
* Bain, Romney’s former firm, among those subpoenaed
* KKR, Apollo, Silver Lake, TPG also get subpoenas
By Karen Freifeld and Greg Roumeliotis
Sept 1 (Reuters) – At least a dozen U.S. private equity firms have been subpoenaed by the New York state attorney general as part of a probe into whether a widely used tax strategy that saved these firms hundreds of millions of dollars is proper, a source familiar with the situation said on Saturday.
Among the firms that were subpoenaed are Bain Capital LLC, KKR & Co LP, TPG Capital LP, Apollo Global Management LLC and Silver Lake Partners LP, the source said.
Bain was once headed by Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate who hopes to unseat President Barack Obama in the Nov. 6 election.
The subpoenas, which were sent out in July, seek documents related to Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Bain Capital, Barack Obama, capital, crime, Eric Schneiderman, fraud, law, Mitt Romney, money, New York, New York Attorney General, news, politics, Silver Lake Partners, Sprint Nextel, Vestar Capital Partners, Wall Street, wealth | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 14, 2012
“And you know what he did with it? He’s used it to pay for Obamacare, a risky, unproven, federal takeover of health care.” -Mitt Romney
Government estimates say that more than 6,000 jobs statewide and 20 percent of Iowa‘s electricity needs come from wind power, and the state’s senior GOP leaders all support renewing an extension of a wind tax credit that Romney opposes.
Romney’s campaign did not respond to repeated quests for his position on the other portions of the bill, which includes items such as a tax break for developers of NASCAR facilities and purchasers of electric motorcycles.
FACT: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has determined that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is fully paid for, Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Affordable Care Act, assholes, Banksters, Barack Obama, bastards, Big Banks, Big Insurance, CBO, Congressional Budget Office, corrpuption, corrupt, Democrats, Douglas W. Elmendorf, Glass-Steagall Act, GOP, insurance, liars, Medicare, Mitt Romney, Obama, Obamacare, Office of Management & Budget, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Paul Ryan, POTUS, Republicans, Romney Ryan, Ryan Budget, tax cuts, taxes, unholy trinity, United States, Wall Street | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, July 28, 2012
Must be something to what those kooky Occupy Wall Street type folks, and the evil Democrats are saying.
Oil prices crashed and Chevron still made nearly $24 a barrel
By Ronald D. White; July 27, 2012, 1:32 p.m.
Take just about any business situation in which the value of a company’s primary product suddenly falls by more than 29% and it could be time to panic. Then there is the oil patch, where billions of dollars in profits are possible even after that kind of collapse in crude prices. Chevron Corp. of San Ramon, Calif., is just such an example.
Even with the sharp drop in oil prices that began in the first quarter and ran through the end of the second quarter — a decline from $109.41 a barrel to $77.69 a barrel — Chevron had a positive margin of $23.53 on every barrel of crude it produced, according to analysts. Chevron said its margin was actually $26 a barrel. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: "Occupy Wall Street", automobile, Barrel (unit), BBL, cars, Chevron, Chevron Corporation, Democrats, ExxonMobil, fuel, gas, gasoline, oil, OPEC, OWS, petroleum, Price of petroleum, San Ramon, San Ramon California, Wall Street | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 23, 2012
Surely this doesn’t surprise anyone.
The expressed sentiment of many American citizens.
There were voices decrying bailing out WALL STREET STOCK BROKERAGE HOUSES, BIG INSURANCE, BIG BUSINESS, “TOO BIG TO FAIL” BANKS, to the disadvantage of the American people.
From one perspective, TARP was a “good deal” because most of the money loaned has been repaid on time.
However, from another perspective (or two), the people (who make the economy run) were NOT “bailed out” and continue to suffer. That is, the objective (economic recovery) did not occur – at least to the extent it was hoped would occur. And their input into the economy continues to be abysmal, which in turn means that our national economy at large remains significantly unrecovered.
There are some who argue that the “bailout money” should have gone directly into the hands & pockets of American citizens & consumers because their spending would have stimulated the economy.
However, as it has been, the “bailout money” has gone to WALL STREET STOCK BROKERAGE HOUSES, BIG INSURANCE, BIG BUSINESS, “TOO BIG TO FAIL” BANKS, and the results have been – to put it politely – less then stellar.
Behind the scenes of the bank bailouts
Tess Vigeland: It’s been almost four years since Lehman Brothers went under and the world’s financial system started to spin out of control. The fall of 2008 was all about Henry Paulson‘s bazooka, the Troubled Asset Relief Program — TARP — a $700 billion bailout for the banks. The bailout legislation created a special inspector general at the Treasury Department to oversee where all that money was going.
Neil Barofsky performed the job until he resigned early in 2011. Now he’s out with a tell-all book of his experiences in Washington, including the time he was pretty sure Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was about to haul off and punch him. It’s called Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: bailout, Capital Purchase Program, Henry Paulson, Henry Paulson. Wall Street, Inspector General, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Neil Barofsky, TARP, Timothy Geithner, Troubled Asset Relief Program, Wall Street | 2 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Honestly (and some use that word lightly), is there any reason why Banks should NOT be heavily regulated?
Is there any reason why Stock Brokerage Houses should not be similarly heavily regulated?
Is there any legitimate reason why Insurance Companies should not be regulated?
Finally, is there any compelling reason why those BIG THREE financial businesses should be allowed to be in each other’s business?
Why do people NOT see these horrible things?
Where is the disconnect that they’re not able to put 1 + 1 together and come up with 2?
This is FRAUD – FRAUD – FRAUD!!!
And we’re just gonna’ let it slide by?
July 14, 2012
Goldman Sachs and the $580 Million Black Hole
By LOREN FELDMAN
THE business deal from hell began to crumble even before the Champagne corks were popped.
The deal, the $580 million sale of a highflying technology company, Dragon Systems, had just been approved by its board and congratulations were being exchanged. But even then, at that moment of celebration, there was a sense that something was amiss.
The chief executive of Dragon had received a congratulatory bottle from the investment bankers representing the acquiring company, a Belgian competitor called Lernout & Hauspie. But he hadn’t heard from Dragon’s own bankers at Goldman Sachs.
Janet and Jim Baker at home. They are fighting Goldman Sachs over its work in 2000 on the all-stock sale of their business, Dragon Systems, to a company that later collapsed, leaving them shut out. / Photo: Gretchen Ertl for The New York Times
“I still have not received anything from Goldman,” the executive wrote in an e-mail to the other bank. “Do they know something I should know?”
More than a decade later, that question is still reverberating in a brutal legal battle between Goldman and the founders of Dragon Systems — along with a host of other questions that go to the heart of how financial giants like Goldman operate and what exactly they owe their clients.
James and Janet Baker spent nearly two decades building Dragon, a voice technology company, into a successful, multimillion-dollar enterprise. It was, they say, their “third child.” So in late 1999, when offers to buy Dragon began rolling in, the couple made what seemed a smart decision: they turned to Goldman Sachs for advice. And why not? Goldman, after all, was the leading dealmaker on Wall Street. The Bakers wanted the best.
This, of course, was before the scandals of the subprime mortgage era. It was before the bailouts, before Occupy Wall Street, before ordinary Americans began complaining about “banksters” and “muppets” and “the vampire squid.” In short, before Goldman Sachs became, for many, synonymous with Wall Street greed.
And yet, even today what happened next to the Bakers seems remarkable. With Goldman Sachs on the job, the corporate takeover of Dragon Systems in an all-stock deal went terribly wrong. Goldman collected millions of dollars in fees — and the Bakers lost everything when Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Baker, banking, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Dragon Systems, fraud, Goldman, Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs Group, GoldmanSachs, insurance, Janet Baker, Lernout Hauspie, stock brokerage houses, Wall Street | 2 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 16, 2012
Now that the Wall Street fox is watching the financial hen house, is it any wonder?
Cases like these continue to demonstrate the NEED for fiscal 1.) Transparency; 2.) Accountability, and 3.) Ongoing publicly available agency reports.
It’s Fraud, Waste and Abuse – pure & simple.
And, it’s time to prosecute.
Not because of what it was used for – they could’ve bought jelly doughnuts – but for whose trust was betrayed, and who was abused.
Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, accountability, Beltway, corruption, DC, employee, employment, Fox News, Fox News Channel, fraud, GAO, government, henhouse, hill, IG, Inspector General, investigation, money, news, OCC, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Office of Thrift Supervision, Ofice of Thrift Supervision, Reuters, The Hill, treasury, United States Department of the Treasury, Wall Street, Washington DC, waste | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Good bye, and good riddance.
Robert Reich would do a good job, and he’s been tested and served in other areas in the present, and previous administrations.
Guessing game begins over next Treasury chief
By Glenn Somerville
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner takes a tour of the Marlin Steel Wire Products factory in Baltimore, Maryland, May 17, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Wanted for the Treasury Department: a new boss who can fix trillion-dollar-plus budget deficits, overhaul the tax system and spur a reluctant Europe into fixing its debt crisis.
It’s a tall order, especially when the new Treasury chief also must deal with a fractious Congress – and all for a salary lower than that paid to many junior Wall Street bankers.
Economists, investors and veterans of past administrations are appraising potential successors to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, either in a new Obama administration, if President Barack Obama is re-elected, or under Mitt Romney.
Geithner has made it clear that he is leaving the post he has held since January 2009 even if Obama, a Democrat, beats Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, in the November 6 election.
Lots of names are making the rounds. Among Democrats, they include finance leaders like Larry Fink of asset management firm BlackRock and politically connected Washington insiders like fiscal expert Erskine Bowles.
If the White House goes to the Republicans, Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Barack Obama, BlackRock, California State University Channel Islands, Democrats, Geithner, George W. Bush, JPMorgan Chase, Mitt Romney, money, New York Federal Reserve Bank, POTUS, Robert Reich, Romney, Timothy Geithner, United States Secretary of the Treasury, Wall Street | 2 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 21, 2012
Life is more than money.
“Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!” Ecclesiastes 5:10 (NLT)
“But if any one has this world’s wealth and sees that his brother man is in need, and yet hardens his heart against him–how can such a one continue to love God?” 1 John 3:17 (WNT)
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6 (NIV)
“Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”” Luke 12:15 (NLT)
“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24 (NIV)
Nurses (yes, nurses) lead charge for Wall Street ‘sin’ tax
By Miranda Leitsinger, msnbc.com
Friday, May 18, 2012
A coalition of nurses’ unions is calling for a “Robin Hood” tax on Wall Street, which they say could generate up to $350 billion a year, in the first major protest ahead of this weekend’s NATO summit in Chicago.
Their pitch: impose a tax of 50 cents on every $100 of trades of stocks, bonds, dividends and other financial transactions, which are not currently taxed. The U.S. would join more than a dozen other nations that already have a financial transaction tax, according to National Nurses United (NNU).
“I’ve been asked many, many times … ‘What are you doing here as nurses? … What do you have to do with the economy?’” Karen Higgins, a registered nurse and co-president of NNU, said to the crowd in Chicago’s Daley Plaza.
“We’re watching this every day. We’re watching patients suffer,” she said, noting that nurses were seeing people without insurance or others who can’t afford their co-pays, as well as a spike in the number of children with adult diseases due to eating poorly because their parents can’t afford healthy food. “This is serious and in some cases it is actually deadly.”
“We know the solution .. we are watching and seeing Wall Street throwing our money away as we see people suffer and die. It will not continue,” she said. “We pay sales tax. It is time for Wall Street to start paying back what they owe the rest of the country and they need to pay sales tax.”
The nurses’ call echoes last fall’s outcry by Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: "Occupy Wall Street", Chicago, Christ, faith, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Joseph Stiglitz, money, morality, morals, National Nurses United, NATO, NATO Summit, Paul Krugman, Peter DeFazio, religion, Richard J. Daley Center, values, Wall Street | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 10, 2012
Give particular attention to this sentence, which is found later in the article: “Bank executives, including Dimon, have argued for weaker rules and broader exemptions.”
Give attention also to the last paragraph of the second story: “Of course, this loss only goes to show how weak the Volcker Rule is: Dimon is adamant, and probably correct, in saying that Iksil’s bets were Volcker-compliant, despite the fact that they clearly violate the spirit of the rule. Now that we’ve entered election season, Congress isn’t going to step in to tighten things up — but maybe the SEC will pay more attention to Occupy’s letter, now. JP Morgan more or less invented risk management. If they can’t do it, no bank can. And no sensible regulator can ever trust the banks to self-regulate.”
Is there any remaining argument against deregulating banks?
Is there any remaining argument against re-instituting the Glass-Steagall Act (which separated Banks, Insurance & Wall Street and forbade them from commingling in each others’ businesses)?
Ahead of the Greek financial crisis – in which Goldman Sachs had a direct and unscrupulous role by hiding sales of financial vehicles from Greek, European & American regulators – German chancellor Angela Merkel said this at a March 5, 2010 press conference in Berlin with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, (ref: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a26n.U6qS6cU):
“Credit-default swaps, where you insure your neighbor’s house just to destroy it and make money from it, that’s exactly what we have to curb.”
Now, I wouldn’t expect you or the average reader to be knowledgeable about these things. Honestly, most folks aren’t. But that’s not a condemnation of you, dear reader. Rather, it is a statement acknowledging that banks, bankers, Wall Street types, and Insurance firms do not want to be regulated, and would rather operate free-willy-nilly – without any rules. You and I must abide by rules. Why shouldn’t they? And as they have consistently demonstrated, they cannot be trusted to do the right thing.
For additional information on Goldman Sachs involvement in the Greek Debt Crisis, I refer you to this 02/08/2010 news item from German news magazine, Der Spiegel: “Greek Debt Crisis How Goldman Sachs Helped Greece to Mask its True Debt,” By Beat Balzli.
JPMorgan Chase acknowledges $2 billion trading loss and ‘many errors’
By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, May 10, 6:05 PM
JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States, said Thursday that it lost $2 billion in the past six weeks in a trading portfolio designed to hedge against risks the company takes with its own money.
The company’s stock plunged almost 7 percent in after-hours trading after the loss was announced. Other bank stocks, including Citigroup and Bank of America, suffered heavy losses as well.
“The portfolio has proved to be riskier, more volatile and less effective as an economic hedge than we thought,” CEO Jamie Dimon told reporters. “There were many errors, sloppiness and bad judgment.”
The trading loss is an embarrassment for a bank that came through the 2008 financial crisis in much better health than its peers. It kept clear of risky investments that hurt many other banks.
The loss came in a portfolio of the complex financial instruments known as derivatives, and in a division of JPMorgan designed to help control its exposure to risk in the financial markets and invest excess money in its corporate treasury.
Bloomberg News reported in April that Read the rest of this entry »
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