Dodd-Frank Act : The Financial Tool to Depopulate the Masses.

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Karolina, how much trouble can the 1% be in if, they control most of mass corrupt media, that they need to have access to "all communication"? What they say about the death of gods, "just stop believing". You think the 1% is worry about our "belief in the system"??

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tayl44
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

The Ponzi Scheme monetarist oligarchical system only works if it is growing. Since they have been greedy, mean a*****es, hoarding money to give themselves the upper hand, while shutting down research and production that would find logical, scientific solutions to our dead-end problems—but would also take away their income—"the 1%" have known for quite a while that their system in no longer working ... and will keep crashing until there is nothing left to crash.

Passive-aggressive genocide of the masses is always the solution for an empire on the downfall. That is why we need to reassure everyone, like FDR's fireside chats, that it is entirely possible to stop all of the austerity, sequestering, committee-managed health care, inflation, lack of nutritious food, bail-ins, etc., that is being planned for us.

Then we need to do the rest of what FDR did, and MORE so all this doesn't happen again — Glass-Steagall, public National Bank (in place of the Fed and the Too Big To Fail Internationals, as they are today), the Hamiltonian credit system (which runs on the growth of the economy) in place of the monetarist system, and lots of labor, research, production, etc. jobs provided by the government, and as the economy starts to grow again, by private businesses on Main Street as well—for the USA and all the other sovereign republics of the world.

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Karolina
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Karolina, i agree with most your ideas, but i say again, capitalism is "unsustainable". All the dead canaries should be more then proof enough, the biggest canary can soon be the earth itself. How can we prevent this and make some of our ideas reality? They're protesting all over the world, what should America do when our "tipping point" comes?? Since we at the heart of the empire, we should have a better idea of a "solution'. The 1% use money to control us and the Fed is the source of the 1% control of the money, it's only logical to focus on the Fed. We also can focus on creating "Public State Banks" base on the "Concept" of the State Bank of North Dakota. We can also focus on creating a "Private Public Bank" by everybody putting their "2 cents". The only way to solve a problem is "getting to the root"! "Control of the money is the root"! PS, Ellen Brown have a new book out, "Public Bank Solutions". All should read.

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tayl44
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For anyone who seriously understands that the REAL war that we are ALL fighting, is between Big Money and ALL of the MASSES of PEOPLE on the Earth, this post should help to bring some optimism and hope back to you. Unless you are on Big Money's side, of course.

It's from a weekly radio news magazine site called Between the Lines. The links at the bottom are great.

Effort Now Underway in Congress to Restore
Depression-Era Glass Steagall Banking Law
Posted June 26, 2013

Interview with Bartlett Naylor, financial policy analyst with
Public Citizen's Congress Watch, conducted by Scott Harris

A just-released report from Public Citizen, titled “Safety Glass,” marks the 80th anniversary of the enactment of the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial and investment banking in the aftermath of the Great Depression. On June 16, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Banking Act, also known as “Glass- Steagall, that created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The legislation was a product of a negotiated agreement whereby the federal government would guarantee funds deposited in banks in exchange for mandating that all banks sell-off their investment divisions, keeping commercial banking functions like loans made to consumers and businesses, separate from risky investment activity.

However, in the late 1990s, with the mergers of big banks like Citicorp and the investment firm Travelers Group, pressure began to build on Congress to rescind Glass-Steagall prohibitions. In 1999, President Bill Clinton signed the Financial Modernization Act, supported by Texas GOP Senator Phil Graham and then Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, that repealed Glass-Steagall.

Many economists assert that the death of Glass-Steagall set the stage for the boom and bust that took down the U.S., and much of the world’s economy in 2008. Much like in the pre-Depression years, U.S. banks engaged in fraudulent activity, selling near-worthless sub-prime mortgage securities to unwitting investors, which led to a bubble that burst in 2008 -- resulting in the economic collapse. The meltdown caused the severe recession, massive unemployment, lower wages, millions of home foreclosures and a steep rise in poverty. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Bartlett Naylor, financial policy analyst with Public Citizen's Congress Watch, who formerly served as chief of investigations for the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. Here he talks about the effort now underway in Congress to restore the FDR-Era Glass Steagall Act.

To download a copy of Public Citizen’s “Safety Glass,” report and related articles, visit citizen.org/congress.

Related Links:

MP3 Interview with Bartlett Naylor, conducted by Scott Harris,
Counterpoint, June 24, 2013 (24:37)

"Safety Glass: Why It’s Time to Restore the 1930s Law
Separating Banking and Gambling – June 2013"
Public
Citizen report, June 2013 "Tom Harkin introduces Glass-Steagall
bill," Daily Kos, May 20, 2013

"Tom Harkin introduces Glass-Steagall bill" Daily Kos,
May 20, 2013

Big Money want us, The Masses, either enslaved, or else dead.

The Masses, We the people, want to be free, alive, and living in a world where ALL sociopaths are securely regulated from here-on-out.

Without Glass-Steagall they will win, and they know it. That's why it has to be passed, and it has to be enforced.

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Karolina
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Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm

Keep in mind there are different forms of capitalism. I'm not sure the Swedish, German, Indian or Brazilian forms are all unsustainable. Of course, the crony capitalism in America is unsustainable. I had to laugh this morning when Rush said the Immigration Bill was crony capitalism since it would provide cheap labor for employers. He did make an interesting point. Since the illegals won't be eligible for Obamacare for years, and the low wage industries don't provide insurance, who will pay for these illegal immigrants healthcare?

RUSH for the working man-what a concept!

DynoDon
Joined:
Jun. 29, 2012 10:24 am

J.P. Morgan Laments: Not Enough Fascism
On March 28, 2013 J.P. Morgan issued a 16-page report titled, "The Euro Area Adjustment: About Halfway There," stating, the problem with imposing the austerity demanded of Eurozone governments is not fiscal discipline, but countries turning away from their fascist constitutions of the 1930s toward democratic ones. The report reads:

In the early days of the [current] crisis, it was thought that these national legacy problems were largely economic... But, over time, it has become clear that there are also national legacy problems of a political nature. The constitutions and political settlements in the southern periphery, put in place in the aftermath of the fall of fascism, have a number of features which appear to be unsuited to further integration in the region.

Political systems around the periphery typically display several of the following features: weak executives; weak central states relative to regions; constitutional protection of labor rights; consensus building systems which foster political clientalism, and the right to protest if unwelcome changes are made to the political status quo. The shortcomings of this political legacy have been revealed by the crisis. Countries around the periphery have only been partially successful in producing fiscal and economic reform agendas, with governments constrained by constitutions (Portugal), powerful regions (Spain), and the rise of populist parties (Italy and Greece).

The implied solution: Morgan could diversify its interests and return to its roots in spawning and supporting fascist movements throughout the transatlantic.

Morgan Fascist Coup Plot
In November-December 1934 Ret. General Smedley Darlington Butler exposed the J.P. Morgan-American Legion ploy to recruit Butler to lead a fascist coup against President Franklin Roosevelt. Butler was approached by representatives of both the American Legion (financier front-group for World War I veterans) and a syndicate of Morgan interests led by Gerald C. MacGuire. MacGuire propositioned Butler to lead an army of half a million veterans to the capital to induce President Roosevelt to turn away from his New Deal policies and eventually step down as President. Butler would deliver a rousing speech to the veterans, written by Morgan lawyer and former Democratic presidential candidate, John W. Davis. The army would neutralize FDR, and Butler would be appointed as a General Secretary of Affairs, assuming executive responsibilities, including implementing what the Morgan interests termed a "correct" economic policy. $3 million was immediately available for the plot, and $300 million more could be generated easily. Armaments were promised by DuPont's Remington Company.

MacGuire was in the employ of Col. Grayson Mallet-Prevost Murphy, who ran a leading New York brokerage firm, was a director of Morgan's Guaranty Trust bank and several other Morgan-connected corporations, and had syndicated the Morgan loans to Fascist Italy.

Reporter Paul Comly French took the lead on Butler's exposé and quoted MacGuire in Congressional testimony, as saying, "We need a fascist government." French paraphrased MacGuire:

The impression I gained from MacGuire was that he had a very brilliant solution of the unemployment situation. He said that Roosevelt had muffed it terrifically but that he had the plan. He had seen it in Europe. It was a plan that Hitler had used in putting all of the unemployed in labor camps or barracks for enforced labor. That would solve it overnight. And he said that when they got into power that is what they would do. That was the ideal plan. Hitler was right.

The Congressional Committee confirmed there had been a plot to seize the government of the United States by force, organized by interests controlled by Morgan and allied circles.

J.P. Morgan and the Pecora Commission
On May 24, 1933, Ferdinand Pecora commenced the trial of the House of Morgan. J.P. Morgan Jr. was called as the first witness. It was perhaps the most explosive trial brought about by the independent commission and was intended to affect the public perception of those enemies of the nation, the "unscrupulous money-changers" whose "mad chase for evanescent profit" led to the worst financial crisis in history, up to that time. Despite attempts by J.P. Morgan's top lawyer, John W. Davis (of Morgan Coup fame) to deflect questions during the hearing, Morgan was forced to answer for its illicit activities. Lists of companies in which Morgan partners held directorships, lists of banks on which they were directors, lists of banks which held their deposits, and the firm's balance sheets, were exposed to public scrutiny. Moreover, Morgan's "preferred clients list" was disclosed, revealing the extent to which the House of Morgan effectively controlled the leadership of all three branches of government, both political parties, the Federal judiciary, Congress, and the Executive for the previous three decades.

In his book, Wall Street Under Oath, Pecora wrote:

The power of J.P. Morgan was not 'a very strong popular delusion,' as Mr. [Thomas W.] Lamont would have it, but a stark fact... It reached into every corner of the nation and penetrated into public, as well as business affairs. The problems raised by such an institution go far beyond banking regulation in the narrow sense. It might be a formidable rival to the government itself.

The public expose crippled J.P. Morgan; it ended the popular delusion of the time that Wall Street was "untouchable"; and the main enemies of Franklin Roosevelt's reforms were put in check (or in prison) allowing the swift passage and successful implementation of the Banking Act of 1933 and the historic Glass-Steagall Act.

J.P. Morgan Leads Glass-Steagall Repeal
From his position as corporate director of J.P. Morgan & Co., Alan Greenspan oversaw the drafting of a policy pamphlet in December 1984 titled, "Rethinking Glass-Steagall: The case for allowing bank holding company subsidiaries to underwrite and deal in corporate securities". Prepared by a team of in-house economists led by current New York Federal Reserve Director, William C. Dudley, the pamphlet spelled out the offensive to break the Glass-Steagall Act, and return to the pre-FDR era of unbridled financier cartelization.

The J.P. Morgan study "analyzes the major issues raised by proposals to allow bank holding company subsidiaries to underwrite and deal in corporate debt and equity securities. It first examines the arguments most commonly made to justify preservation of artificial barriers to competition imposed by Glass-Steagall and finds these arguments have little merit... The study concludes, and Morgan believes, that there is no valid reason to preserve the securities industry's protected position in capital markets."

Greenspan would go on to be the single most important player in the erosion and final takedown of Glass-Steagall from his position as Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987-2006.

Never Again
To this day J.P. Morgan stands as the Wall Street investment house with the longest, richest British pedigree. Morgan's history of treason is as old as the fight between the London-sponsored traitor and some-time Vice President Aaron Burr and the patriot and National Bank founder Alexander Hamilton. Built from the humble beginnings of Burr's Manhattan Company, J.P. Morgan cherishes its legacy. Hanging in the anteroom to the office of J.P. Morgan CEO, Jaime Dimon, is a pair of pistol braces which belonged to Aaron Burr and were used by Burr to assassinate Hamilton during their famous duel.

Recent developments indicate an oncoming deadline for action. Either the United States and its people will be liquidated to consolidate a dictatorship run out of London and Wall Street, or the U.S. Congress will stop being whores for J.P. Morgan and pass Glass-Steagall.

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Karolina
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Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm

I appreciate all your efforts and the great information you've shared, Karolina.

If it's a fight, it's a fight with certain house rules, like John House(man)'s rules as the corporate character, Mr. Bartholomew in Rollerball (the 1975 version, not the 2002 remake that I couldn't watch). As a corporate personification, Mr. Bartholomew changes the House rules to make sure we can't win. The corporations own the stadium, the officials, and they have the professional team players, trained at their special training institutions so they already know the game's rigged. Our team must be composed of amateurs who think its a real game.

That's the House(man) rules for ya.

They are allowed to play any and all players whenever they want, while we are only allowed three who are basically always on the run from arrest, or are already being held and tortured in preparation for the monkey trial to come, because somehow our team always manages to be in violation of the rules.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

"Big Money" is obviously frightened and uncomfortable, Ren, because they know that if Glass-Steagall becomes law again, banks like JPMorgan will disappear forever and, this time, there will never be any more "funny business" again.

If they weren't on the defensive, they wouldn't send their representatives into the Delaware State House, like they did last Thursday, to make a heavy-handed, blundering intervention, attempting to dissuade state senators from passing State Senate Resolution No. 9 , which calls on their Congressional Delegation to reimplement the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, currently in the United States House (H.R.129) and Senate (S.985).

The Voice of London in Washington — JPMorgan Chase

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Karolina
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Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm

The good news is, after the corporations manipulate all the rules to defeat Jonathan E as the metaphor for the people, Jonathan refuses to give up despite knowing the game is stacked against him and Mr. Bartholomew, as the corporations, sees that he loses anyway and runs out of the stadium at the end, at the very least frightened; uncomfortable would be an understatement.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

Interesting that the 1975 version was produced in London and Munich.
Apparently not by bankers from JPMorgan Chase....

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Karolina
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Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm

Karolina & Ren, you want to see "Big Money" run? "Occupy the Federal Reserve".

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tayl44
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Most Senior British MP Demands Glass-Steagall
June 27, 2013 • 7:33AM

The currently longest-serving Member of the British House of Commons has come out publicly demanding the creation of full bank separation as under the American Glass- Steagall Act.

During this week's questioning of Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, Tory MP Sir Peter Tapsell declared,

"After a lifetime as a stock broker and fund manager, my instinct as bond yields rise all over the world is that we are heading for another banking crisis which will certainly choke off the already inadequate lending of banks to small businesses. My dismay is, you have not yet committed yourself to the total separation of investment and commercial banks, which I have been urging on you ever since you became Chancellor. I am absolutely convinced if we do not go back to something approaching Glass- Steagall, it will be an absolute disaster when the next banking crisis hits us."

Osborne replied by citing the Vickers recommendations and the inter-parliamentary commission recommendations for ring fencing and so-called electrified ring fencing, in effect, dodging the question. The Tapsell call for Glass-Steagall has received widespread media coverage, given his seniority and stature.

LPAC

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Karolina
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Thomas Hoenig & Sheila Bair Recommend
Glass-Steagall To Congress; British MP Tells
Chancellor "Glass-Steagall Or Crash"
June 26, 2013 • 10:00PM

_______________________________________________
June 26, 2013
For Immediate Release:

U.S. bank regulators told a key House of Representatives committee today, that restoring the Glass-Steagall Act would solve the "too-big-to-fail banks" problem, while a senior British MP demanded of the British Chancellor that Glass-Steagall be enacted in Britain immediately to stop a bank debt meltdown.
_______________________________________________

There was a dramatic turning point in the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee hearing June 26 on "The Federal Reserve and Too-Big-To-Fail Banks". Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) asked all the witnesses, well-known and respected bank regulators, "If you could restore the Glass-Steagall Act now as the solution, would you do it, if you had the power?" Capuano is a co-sponsor of the House bill to do just that, HR 129, the Return to Prudent Banking Act, which now has 67 House sponsors and a Senate companion bill, S985.

Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC) vice-chairman Thomas Hoenig answered, "Yes I would. That's what I am proposing you [Congress] do." Former FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair answered the same question in the affirmative, "Yes, absolutely." Dallas Federal Reserve president Richard Fisher said, "I think what we have proposed is similar." Only Richmond Federal Reserve president Jeffrey Lacker implied a negative answer, saying that the Dodd-Frank Act would identify the financial activities that need to be separated from commercial banking.

Following this purposeful question and answer, heard by some 25 members of the House Committee, the hearing turned much more serious in discussions of the actual prospect of major financial failures in the near future, both in the Committee room and in the halls outside. EIR representatives briefed a number of Members on the ongoing slow-motion debt collapse on global bond markets since early May, and the urgent need to end Federal Reserve "quantitative easing" money-printing policy by re-enacting Glass-Steagall. A lobbyist for a national consumer organization also was present to press Congressmen to sign on as sponsors of HR 129.

Toward the close of the hearing, vice-chairman Hoenig injected the real situation into what had been fanciful discussion of big bank failures. "Title II of Dodd-Frank addresses an idiosyncratic event," Hoenig said, "just a single big financial institution gets in trouble. It's not likely to happen. If you have a systematic meltdown, as we had last time ... the Congress will be asked for another TARP.... Restructure the system now, ahead of time."

Only hours before, in the British House of Commons, the longest-serving member of the House of Commons, the "Father of the House", MP Sir Peter Tapsell, had told Chancellor George Osborne to enact Glass-Steagall legislation in Britain, or face "absolute disaster" in the form of an immediate and drastic bank crash.

LPAC

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Karolina
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EU Finance Ministers Decide:
Cyprus Treatment for All

June 27, 2013 (EIRNS) Now it is official — the EU finance ministers yesterday agreed on the Commission's Guideline for Bank resolution, i.e., a general implementation of what was used first in Cyprus. It has to be negotiated with the European Parliament now. The terminology is the so-called "liability cascade," which, in case of bankruptcy of systemically relevant banks, shareholders, bondholders, creditors, and depositors have to pay. Of course, the headlines under which this is sold is, that now the taxpayers don't have to pay any more!

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble had the gall to say that this agreement for normal investors and savers is "a more theoretical exercise, but for the stability of the financial system it is an important step." "And then: "We have the deposit insurance, on which everybody, not only in Germany, but in Europe, can rely"! Apart from the blatant lying in the face of a completely bankrupt financial system, it has to be noted that the reform of that deposit insurance is another point on the EU agenda! It is acknowledged in the press, that this is the Cyprus model now generalized.

What is not acknowledged is that the EU decision — expected to be ratified by the heads of government in their meeting tonight — puts the EU in sync with the other major financial power with a bail-in policy, the U.S. under Dodd-Frank. And it is an important step toward implementing the Banking Union, for which all important elements were to be put on the table by the end of June. Already decided is the ECB role for bank supervision. The French insisted on complete inclusion of the ESM for the bail-out.

Another point, which is played up big, is that now banks have to pay into national resolution funds. However, the EU Commission next week will present a law, which integrates those banking resolution funds into a sort of European Fund, in which, for example, German savings and loans have to be liable for a huge French bank in trouble. Germany nominally is against it, but in light of all of the other steps, this might be swept aside as well, covered with some legalistic formulations. [EFI]

LPAC

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Karolina
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The Brawl Over Glass-Steagall
in Delaware Continues
June 27, 2013 • 7:21AM

The bar room brawl over the Delaware State Senate resolution endorsing Glass Steagall has continued unabated. After last week's hearing at the State Senate, where a lobbyist from JP Morgan Chase appeared to threaten legislators against endorsing the call for bank separation, we have smoked out further backroom operations to block a vote before the Delaware legislature ends its session on June 30.

By state law, lobbyists must register at the state house to lobby for specific legislation. Since the end of May, at least five have signed up for Senate Resolution 8, the Glass-Steagall resolution. In addition to JP Morgan Chase, they are from Bank of America (2), the Delaware Bankers Association (dominated by the major Wall Street banks), and the Association of Mid-Atlantic Banks. Backers of the resolution have reported that the chairman of the banking committee has failed to send around the copy of the resolution for signatures by the committee members, in what is an obvious effort to obstruct the vote from taking place.

Regardless of the immediate outcome, we have smoked out just how desperate and hysterical Wall Street and London are over our campaign to take them down via Glass-Steagall. Last year, when JP Morgan Chase had to admit that they had lost billions of dollars in bad derivatives bets by the "London Whale," the Governor of Delaware came out publicly supporting Jamie Dimon and cautioning against any gang-up against the bank. According to the JP Morgan lobbyist, they have 26,000 employees in the state of Delaware.

LPAC

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Karolina
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More From Hoenig on Glass-Steagall
June 29, 2013 • 10:21AM

The FDIC Vice-Chairman and former Kansas City Fed President gave a widely-watched 22-minute interview to Bloomberg Radio June 26 on Glass-Steagall, insisting that it is "absolutely necessary" to protect the U.S. financial system.

Using Dodd-Frank Act powers to break up banks one-by-one is the wrong approach to removing the threat that risky trading could spark a repeat of the 2008 credit crisis, Hoenig said. "It's picking winners and losers based on what they present to you, and I think it is fraught with problems."

Glass-Steagall would remove government safety nets from the banks' riskiest investment behavior and "reinvigorate" the U.S. investment banking industry, Hoenig said. Breaking out investment operations in a more total way than Dodd-Frank's so-called Volcker Rule ban on proprietary trading, will "create a more innovative environment," he said.

"If we don't make these changes, I think we're destined to repeat the mistakes of the past," Hoenig said. "When you mix commercial banking and high-risk broker-dealer activities, you increase the risk overall, and as a result you invite new problems."

Asked whether Congress would pass Glass-Steagall, Hoenig said Congress "is going to have to" look at the idea of restoring something like Glass-Steagall in order to avert another catastrophe.

LPAC

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Karolina
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The Cyprus Model Is the Model

June 29, 2013 • 10:10AM

It is useful to look again at the Cyprus model, now that the summit meeting of the European Union has passed the bail-in. Formally the bail-in does not go into effect on an EU level until 2018. This is only legal sophistry, since the EU and especially the Eurozone have been operating in a completely lawless manner since the crisis began in 2008. This is best illustrated by the Cyprus model.

Within Cyprus, the question of whether Cythe country was used as a guinea pig for the bail-in is a major topic of discussion. The Cyprus Mail today reported the comments of economist Mike Spanos, who said it was not, but was in fact the first to suffer from a policy which the EU had been planning since June 2012.

"No, Cyprus was not an experiment for the bail-in," Spanos said. "The bail-in method was clearly defined in the European directive proposal of June 6, 2012, a full nine months prior to the Eurogroup decision [to force the bail-in] on Cyprus. So, for those who cared to be in the loop, it was nothing new or surprising. It is only because most of us had closed our eyes and ears that we found it shocking when it did happen. Was it unjust on Cyprus? Yes."

Cyprus was strong-armed by the European Central Bank, the financial oligarchy's principal tool for running Europe at this time. When the next crisis comes, the ECB will do to that to the rest of Europe what it did to Cyprus, in which it demanded that it keep its largest bankrupt bank afloat with emergency liquidity until all foreign investors were able to have withdrawn their speculative deposits, derivatives, etc., as was charged by Cyprus Central Bank Governor Panicos Demetriades, the Cyprus Mail reported yesterday. It was illegal for the ECB to extend the EU9 billion in liquidity to a bankrupt bank. This EU9 billion debt has been transferred to another bank, Bank of Cyprus, whose depositors have also taken a hit. One blogger pointed out that the liquidity injection was equivalent to half the GDP of Cyprus. If a proportional amount of liquidity were extended to a German bank, it would amount to EU1.7 trillion. Indeed, such a thing might happen if the next crisis bank is Deutsche Bank.

After the "systemically important" investors in Cyprus were saved, the ECB threatened to cut all liquidity unless Cyprus signed onto the bail-in, which it did. Under the bail-in, 70% of domestic deposits were bailed in to liquidate Bank Laiki. If 70% of German deposits were bailed in, it would be more than EU2 trillion. No one except the Central Bank liquidators (which is to say, the ECB) knows who was actually paid off with these billions. Now Cyprus is suffering the same fate as Greece, but at a much more rapid pace.

LPAC

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Karolina
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The following article was posted on Saturday, June 29 to the Washington Examiner website accompanied by a video.

Big banks fight Glass-Steagall to end
in Delaware as bills gain traction in D.C.
By Kenric Ward, June 29, 2013

DOVER, Del. – Under heavy pressure from the banking industry, Delaware state lawmakers wind up their 2013 session Sunday.

Lobbyists from J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America weighed in against Senate Resolution No. 8, which would add Delaware to a lengthening list of states supporting national reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act.

The measure’s fate remains unclear in Dover, but a bipartisan group of legislators – including leading Senate Democrats – remains committed to the resolution.

The Glass-Steagall campaign got a boost from New Castle County Executive Thomas Gordon, who praised the resolution sponsored by state Sens. Bruce Ennis and Robert Venables Sr., urging the U.S. Congress to restore the wall of separation between commercial and investment banking.

The Federal Banking Act of 1933, known as Glass-Steagall, walled off commercial bank deposits from speculative investment brokerage houses.

Glass-Steagall's repeal in 1999 preceded the megabank mergers of the early 2000s, which gave birth to the concept of “too big to fail” — and the multibillion-dollar government bailouts that ensued.

“This was one of the major unravelings,” Gordon noted.

New Castle County Chief Administrative Officer David Grimaldi added that Glass-Steagall had prevented major financial meltdowns from occurring since the Great Depression. “Financial panics and economic depressions were fairly common during the century which preceded the Great Depression, occurring at a rate of one every 20 or so years,” said Grimaldi, who formerly worked for Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase's investment bank on Wall Street.

“The Glass-Steagall Act contributed to an era of relative financial stability which sadly came to an end with its repeal.”

Grimaldi said it was important for Congress to take precautions since he believed there was an elevated probability of another correction or crash.

“Both in duration and magnitude, the current equity bull market has become long in the tooth.” Grimaldi said. “It is critical that Congress take proactive measures to mitigate the risk of another financial collapse. Reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act would be an important step.”

So far, lawmakers in four states have passed bills calling for Glass-Steagall’s return. Similar measures are pending in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York – and Delaware.

In Washington, D.C., Glass-Steagall bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate.

Rep. Marcy Kaptur, an Ohio Democrat who co-introduced H.R. 129 with Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., said, “The protections in Glass-Steagall are meant for individuals, families and communities.

“The biggest banks are more interested in speculation to drive their short-term profits than following prudent banking practices that work for everybody.

“We know. We’re still climbing out of the crater that Wall Street created.”

H.R. 129 currently has 66 co-sponsors.

Lyndon LaRouche, whose political-action organization is a prime proponent of financial reform, said, "This country has no chance of survival without an immediate return to Glass-Steagall.”

"The U.S. is already hopelessly bankrupt. As long as we continue with the hyperinflationary bailout polices of (Barack) Obama and (Fed Chairman Ben) Bernanke, you are as good as dead,” LaRouche said.

“The choice is between killing the gambling debts or killing American citizens, as the citizens of Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland are already being killed by willful and genocidal austerity."

While the showdown in Delaware indicates what’s at stake for big Wall Street investment banks, Glass-Steagall garnered more support this week in Washington.

Thomas Hoenig, vice chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair told the House Financial Services Committee they both endorsed re-enactment of the banking law.

Hoenig called it “absolutely necessary.”

Public Citizen, the Ralph Nader-founded group, released a 13-page pamphlet, "Safety Glass — Why It's Time to Restore the 1930s Law Separating Banking and Gambling," in calling for the return of Glass-Steagall.

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Karolina
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Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm
Downgrades Show: EU Destroying
Cyprus and Greece
June 30, 2013 • 11:40AM

On the sidelines of the European Union summit, the European Central Bank has suspended all domestically held Cypriot state debt from as collateral for its liquidity operations. This is after the Cyprus government, as per their EU bailout, forced a rollover of EU1 billion worth of state bonds that were coming due in July. These bonds are all held by domestic investors, mostly cooperative banks. No sooner was this announced, than Fitch rating agency yesterday downgraded Cyprus to "restricted default" status, rating these domestic bonds from "CCC" to "D" making them no longer eligible for use as collateral by the ECB liquidity operations. These banks will now be forced to turn to the Cypriot Central Bank for liquidity which could throw the cooperative bank sector into big trouble as it is not clear whether the Central Bank will extend liquidity automatically.

Meanwhile in the 1st quarter of 2013 unemployment in Cyprus reached 70,700 according to the Labor Force Survey, pushing the unemployment rate to 15.9%, up from 12.7% in the last quarter of 2012. Also the unemployment rate for young persons ages 15-24 amounted to 37.5%, up from 32,0%.

In neighboring Greece the humanitarian catastrophe continues. More than 1,200 people committed suicide in Greece between 2009 and 2011, the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) reported. The data were presented to the Parliament by Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, perhaps to show the "success" of the memorandum. The report revealed that 391 people took their lives in 2009, 377 in 2010, and 477 in 2011, totaling 1,245 for those three years. Statistics are not yet available for 2012 yet. These figures are based on information from registry offices and therefore are obviously not complete. The Greek police report that 3,124 Greeks either committed suicide or attempted suicide between January 2009 and August 2012.

LPAC

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Karolina
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Former UK Chancellor Lawson for Glass-Steagall
July 1, 2013 • 10:14AM

"I would like to see a complete Glass-Steagall- style separation" of commercial and investment banks, Lord [Nigel] Lawson, former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, told the Daily Telegraph in a June 29 interview on how the City of London has a long way to go in cleaning up its act. Lawson, who presided over the Big Bang deregulation of the City under Margaret Thatcher, spoke as a member of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards which issued its report earlier in June.

Lawson's statement, though it reflects widespread discussion in Britain on Glass-Steagall, hardly acknowledges the urgency of the situation. While he would like to see a Glass-Steagall-style separation, he said that the Commission's first report stopped short of this, and recommended instead strengthening or "electrification" of the ring fencing within banks. "[W]hat we recommended in our first report was to go with the ring-fencing. After a period, it would be reviewed and if it is not working out satisfactorily, then you go to complete separation," he said.

He did denounce the threats being circulated by powerful banking interests to influence the UK government. "One of the things they've been saying privately is that if these recommendations are introduced then banks will leave London and go elsewhere. They won't.

"That's just a threat to try to prevent and scare government into not implementing what needs to be done. It's hugely advantageous for banks to be in London. But if London wants to remain a really world-class financial centre, it has to be cleaned up. It has to clean up its act."

LPAC

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Is the BIS Suggesting A Policy of Euthanasia for All?
July 1, 2013 • 10:26AM

BRUSSELS, June 30 (Agora Erasmus)—Since 2011, the government of Belgian Prime Minister Di Rupo, in the name of "fiscal adjustment," reduced public spending by EU18.8 billion, the equivalent of 5.2% of Belgium's GDP. Today, since growth has collapsed even more, the Belgian government projects cutting an additional EU524 million this year and EU3.5 billion next year, a policy that might lead to angry riots.

To top it all, the latest report of the fascist Bank for International Settlements (BIS) calls on Belgium to go for more blood. In the chapter, "Fiscal Sustainability: Where Do We Stand?" the BIS stresses again that the public debt of the advanced countries should be reduced below 60% of GDP in 2040, when in Belgium public debt stands already at 100%. The reason for this objective is the already discredited assumption that a high public debt is a drag on growth.

Confirming the genocidal program to reduce life expectancy below the age of 66, a policy discussed behind doors at the highest level of the EU to "save the euro," the BIS underlines that because of Belgium's aging population, public spending for pensions and healthcare will reach in 2040 up to 8% of Belgium's GDP. Of course, to reduce its public spending, the BIS calls on Belgium to reduce public spending by an additional EU34 billion between 2014 and 2040, close to 9% of GDP.

The fact that the demanded cuts are close to equal to the estimated growth of age-related public spending is most troublesome, especially in a country where euthanasia is already legal and when there are currently discussions to "offer" this possibility to children below age 18.

Knowing the history of the BIS in financing the Nazi regime which considered that there were lives not worthy of being lived, this report should shake up everyone. Politicians should just throw this policy in the garbage can and call for the immediate dissolution of the BIS as Roosevelt did at the Bretton Woods conference.

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Water Threat to the U.S. Food Supply
July 2, 2013 • 9:12AM

Several reports received by EIR indicate the blows being delivered to the United States' food supply by the lack of water in the West, and the complete neglect of water management infrastructure for decades:

• In Oregon, 400 farmers near one of the lake supply systems to the Klamath River were told their water contracts were reduced to zero — they would get no irrigation water. There are demonstrations against this going on, by farmers and Indians.

• In the Imperial Valley of California, farmers are being accused of exceeding their share of water from the Colorado River system, and threatened with a cutoff of water.

• In the Central Valley of California, growers have been told their water contracts have gone to 20% — an 80% shutoff of irrigation water. Thousands of acres are lying fallow, and drying out. The San Luis Reservoir is at an extreme low level.

• In New Mexico, largely agricultural/ranching counties are depopulating. Some farmers who retain a fraction of their previous water rights, are selling them to gas-fracking companies to get the income to keep their land — but are unable to farm it.

The Southwest and California are now under a record-breaking heat wave, which is bringing on power blackouts, but this is not the cause of the loss of food—it is, in a word, the failure to build NAWAPA.

LPAC

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Has George Orwell Taken Power In London?

July 2, 2013 • 9:24AM

In response to the endless chain of revelations about widespread espionage by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and Britain's General Communications HQ (GCHQ) against allies up to the heads of state and government, Thomas Oppermann, internal security and data protection spokesman of the German Social Democrats (SPD), has called for an in-depth investigation and clarification on "these incredible reports." As for Britain, Opperman said that "it seems that 1984 has become reality in England. We want to know: Is George Orwell governing in London now?"

The Orwell comparison has been made also in numerous commentaries in German media, notably in ones that are not part of the mainstream press. It is also reported, though not officially confirmed, that Chancellor Angela Merkel is shocked that even her office might have been spied on, in the past—which also raises the question: What do NSA and GCHQ know about Merkel that the German population doesn't know?

Merkel's government announced today that it had summoned the U.S. Ambassador to demand an explanation of the intense program of espionage against Germany in recent years. But it "cautioned against" calling relations into question.

"We arent in the Cold War anymore," spokesman Steffen Seibert said in Berlin. "If it's true that diplomatic missions have been spied on, it would be absolutely unacceptable for us." Bloomberg's coverage quotes unnamed U.S. officials claiming other governments do this type of spying on the same scale as the United States; specifically, the UK, Israel, France, and China.

LPAC

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An EU Bailout Policy Is a World War 3 Policy
July 2, 2013 • 9:45AM

Make no mistake, the Eurozone bailout policy is an integral part of the drive for World War III against Russia. It has been seen already in Greece where the European Union sabotaged the deal Greece was trying to work out with Russia, in which Russia's Gazprom would participate in the privatization of the Greek state oil and gas company. After the EU reportedly warned Russia that the EU would launch an anti-competition suit against Gazprom, it dropped its offer to Greece, thus collapsing Greece's privatization efforts being demanded by its European creditors.

Now the Cyprus bailout is being used to pressure Cyprus to drop its traditional neutrality policy and join NATO, which will turn it literally into a "frontline" state in a new Middle East-Third World War. The bail-in itself had robbed Russians who held deposits in Cyprus banks.

In an effort to maintain its neutrality, and with an eye to its own security from an unstable Turkey, it has continued to allow the Russian warships access Cypriot ports, as it has done in the past. It is also negotiating an agreement to allow the Russian Air Force access to Cypriot airbases under certain conditions, as it has allowed NATO countries the same privilege. But now Cyprus' policy is being called into question. An article in the Cyprus Mail claiming Cyprus' policy has "raised eyebrows in Brussels" with alleged suspicions that it is being used as a transit point for Russian arms shipments to the Assad regime.

The Cyprus Mail quotes James KerLindsay of the London School of Economics that, "Whatever the underlying reasons, it is certain that many in the EU will feel deeply uncomfortable about the thought of closer defense and security ties between Cyprus and Russia."

"Another obvious question is whether closer defense co-operation with Russia could in some way be linked to the energy issue? Turkey has even making a lot of threatening noises recently. Many will wonder if this is an attempt by Nicosia to try to lessen the danger of any military action by Ankara against Cyprus."

The daily has a similar statement by Margarete Klein of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs who told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle that the Russia could use Cyprus if it lost its base at Tartus in Syria. Russia has already made clear that there was never a "base" at Tartus.

Given the fact that Great Britain has two rather large military bases, its most important outside of the United Kingdom, makes the idea that Russia is about to build military bases on Cyprus absurd. As for the Cypriots, they have good reason to suspect NATO, which did not lift a finger to stop NATO member Turkey from invading the island in 1975, for which reason half the island has been occupied by Turkish troops to this very day.

LPAC

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Karolina
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The first public rallies sparked by Edward Snowden's revelations of Obama's NSA police state abuses will take place on July 4th, all across the country. The rallies are being organized under the umbrella of Restore the Fourth, (recalling both the American Revolution and fourth Constitutional amendment in the Bill of Rights), under which over 100 groups have joined together. Emphasizing that they are neither Occupy Wall Street nor Tea Party affiliated, the group identifies itself as "a non-partisan, non-violent assembly of nationwide protests on July 4 demanding an end to the unconstitutional surveillance employed by the U.S. government." The Restore The Fourth website features a map with details of protests in cities across the country, plus links to their social network sites. The D.C. event (at McPherson Square Park from noon to 2PM) will feature a video address by Senator Rand Paul other speeches.

One of the most significant of the rally supporters is the group Get FISA Right, which just celebrated its fifth anniversary, being founded June 26, 2008, in order to pressure then-Senator-and-recently-crowned-primary-victor Barack Obama to vote against re-instating the FISA court authorization then before the Senate. After Obama reneged on every one of his campaign promises, and to the contrary, voted FOR the bill, the group's membership swelled to over 16,000 members on the MyBarackObama website. So significant was the outpouring, that the candidate was forced to respond publicly, whining that "this was an easy call for me," and promising to "listen to your concerns, take them seriously, and seek to earn your ongoing support..."

Led by notably progressive legal scholars, Get FISA Right produced thought provoking e-mail discussions and held regular, open conference calls among the leadership for over a year after the sellout. After that they were either kicked out or left Obama's website, and established their own site at Get FISA Right. Their involvement and even their continued existence should be considered part of the "hundreds of Snowdens" which are now keeping Obama up at night.

From the looks of things, the NSA now has at least 100 more targets to add to its list.

(Here's an American Tune!)

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Karolina
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As of June 30, people in North Carolina who have been out of work for more than the five months permitted for state unemployment, are cut-off from federally-funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation. That is, they are thrown on the street with no income at all. According to U.S. Labor Department figures cited by Associated Press, 170,000 workers will lose their benefits in 2013.

North Carolina is one of 20 states which have accumulated large debts to federal authorities from borrowing money with which to pay soaring state unemployment benefits which state finances cannot cover in this deepening depression. Seasonally-adjusted official unemployment was 8.8% in this right-to-work state in May 2013, surpassed only by four states, and the state carries the third-largest federal debt for unemployment benefits, at $2.5 billion, according to AP.

Rather than marching on Washington to demand restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act so as to obtain fair debt relief from federal authorities and the possibility of restoring economic production and regaining a tax base, North Carolina authorities opted to put debt repayment first. The state not only shortened the period of time for which people receive state unemployment benefits (as many states have), from six to five months in their case, but also became the first state to cut benefits (slashing the maximum weekly benefit from $535 to $350), thus knowingly violating federal requirements for receiving long-term supplementary benefits, and triggering the cut-off.

Mean-spirited attacks on vulnerable sections of our people do not solve anything. As one unemployed North Carolinian, whose doctorate has not been sufficient to find him a job in five months, told AP: "Is the state prepared to have this many people with no source of income?"

http://www.wral.com/nc-s-long-term-jobless-lose-unemployment-checks/1261...

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/01/opinion/krugman-the-war-on-the-unemplo...

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100,000 Greek Children Working Illegally

July 3, 2013 (EIRNS)--As many as 100,000 Greek children have been forced into the illegal child-labor maelstrom because of the Troika-enforced collapse of the Greek economy. This is the conclusion of Greek child protection groups and the Greek Ombudsman, according to an article in the daily {Kathimerini}. These figures do not include criminal gangs that illegally bring foreign children into Greece as part of an organized begging scheme, or Roma, migrants etc; the data reflect only children of Greek citizens, whose children are employed on part-time basis, mostly without insurance or other benefits and mostly badly paid.

According to the Labor Inspectorate, only 562 minors were registered for legal work in 2012, while in its manpower study for the last quarter of 2012, the Hellenic Statistical Authority estimated there to be 6,238 child workers.

Eurostat reported that more than 11% of the student population dropped out of school in 2012, which adds up to some 70,000 children having left secondary school. The UN International Labor Organization (ILO) reports that some 139,000 young people, ages 15-24, were neither in school nor employed in 2009, and that number soaring in 2010 to 161,900. As for teenagers, ages 15-19, the ILO recorded that there were 31,400 in employment in 2009, dropping to 25,700 in 2010. The number of unemployed young people to 19 years old was reported to be 14,200 in 2009 and 15,300 in 2010.

"It is estimated that around 70% of children that abandon their school studies do so in order to work. It would not be excessive to say that around 70,000 to 100,000 children are working in this country," says Ilias Lyberis, the director of UNICEF Hellas.

"My opinion is that the poverty that is hitting an increasing number of families with serious consequences on the children often leads many of them to seek part-time or one-off [temporary] work, often under unfavorable terms, such as low wages or substandard conditions, so that they can help supplement their family's income," says Giorgos Moschos, the deputy Greek ombudsman in charge of children's rights.

The United Nations and UNICEF have called on the Greek authorities to have labor inspectors receive specialized training to deal with child labor, the introduction of a centralized body to address these issues, and a redesign of policy regarding how benefits are paid to minors. If Greece had not been forced into penury by the Troika in the first place, much of this would never have happened. And under the present conditions, what prospect is there for a new social welfare agency that could accomplish anything?

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Karolina, remember the first 99'ers? They were the people on unemployment for 99 weeks and cut off. The unempolyment and jobs problems are still there and gotting worse. The mass corrupt media is telling the big lie about a improving economy where the poor is starving and middle class is getting smaller and poorer. The 1% "Know's This" and they don't care! What do progressives do? They protest government, and what are the results? "Things are getting worse". If protesting the government don't produce answers, who should we protest? Even the deaf & dumb know we have the "best government money can buy", is it time to protest the "Owners of Government"?? Protest the Fed and Chambers of Commerce and Wall St and K Street and Currupt Media, we put the pressure on the "real rulers" maybe we will get some "Real Results"! Egypt and Turkey And Brazil, and "Etc...." all are protesting there governments about economics. If America is going to protest, we might as well go to the "root of the problem" and that's the "Economic Kings"!! Lessons Learn!! PS "OCCUPY THE FED"!

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tayl44
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Out sight, out of mind. If progressive media don't show pictures of "oppression", the message will be lost!

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tayl44
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Eurozone Unemployment at Record High, Cyprus One of Highest

July 3, 2013 (EIRNS)--The European Union's statistical service, Eurostat, released unemployment figures revealing that in the month of May, the (averaged) unemployment throughout the EU stood at a record 12.1%, comprising a population of 19.2 million people. In Cyprus, unemployment reached 16.3% in May, recording one of the highest year-on-year increases in the EU, up from 15.8% in April.

The highest increases were registered in Cyprus, 11.4% to 16.3%; Greece, 22.2% to 26.8% between March 2012 and March 2013; and Slovenia, 8.6% to 11.2%.

In Germany, unemployment was 5.3% in May, the second lowest in the Eurozone after Austria at 4.7%. In both Italy and Spain joblessness increased, while in France statistics show unemployment unchanged.

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Karolina
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I started this thread with a brilliantly frightening article that I wanted everybody to understand. It explains Dodd-Frank, which is the final nail in the coffin built for the sovereignty of our Constitutional Republic, for our Civil Rights, and for our Commons.

The 'Glass-Steagall vs. Dodd-Frank' theme here, is not about defending our economic interests. It is about defeating imperialism. That means prevailing and finally triumphing over EMPIRE.

Empire—a system that depends upon a policy of continuous wars, as well as looting and violating its own citizens. The idea of the United States of America, back in 1776, was to have finally triumphed over that kind of cruel and hierarchical system. On the surface, there have been moments when it seemed that the citizens of the United States of America have succeeded brilliantly, and left the monarchies of Europe far behind.

This is not one of those moments.

IMO, we should be thankful for that. We should grab this moment for what it is—a time of evident truth. We should run with it, this time, all the way!

That coffin for which Dodd-Frank is the last nail? Let's not climb into it.

Let's put empire into that coffin instead. Let's keep doing all of the prescribed practices to destroy and kill that nasty vampire:

Be constantly aware of the big picture, and make everybody else aware, too.

Avoid complacency, and avoid allowing anyone else to become complacent.

Avoid any ideology, or anything that tells us what to think or believe.

Stay with truth so truth can set us all free, show us all what to do, and FINALLY BURY EMPIRE FOREVER!

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The Washington Post headed a lead editorial earlier this week Plug the leaks / Prosecuting Edward Snowden is less important than keeping him from revealing more secrets.

Recall that, along with the Guardian of London, the Post was the first to report last month on some of the leaked National Security Agency documents, although Snowden was not named as the source at the time.

Today, the Post writes:

"...[T]he first U.S. priority should be to prevent Mr. Snowden from leaking information that harms efforts to fight terrorism and conduct legitimate intelligence operations. Documents published so far by news organizations have shed useful light on some NSA programs and raised questions that deserve debate, such as whether a government agency should build a database of Americans' phone records. But Mr. Snowden is reported to have stolen many more documents, encrypted copies of which may have been given to allies such as the WikiLeaks organization....

"It is not clear whether Russia or China has obtained the material, though U.S. officials would have to assume that Mr. Snowden would be obliged to hand over whatever he has to win asylum in Moscow. Such an exchange would belie his claim to be a patriotic American and a whistleblower."

On its front page, the Post reported that Snowden continued to seek asylum in Russia, even after President Putin had said that his request would be granted only if he refrained from further disclosures. The rest of the media has been reporting that Snowden withdrew his request because of that condition.

The Post editorial continued:

"At the same time, stopping potentially damaging revelations or the dissemination of intelligence to adversaries should take precedence over U.S. prosecution of Mr. Snowden — which could enhance his status as a political martyr in the eyes of many both in and outside the United States.

"The best solution for both Mr. Snowden and the Obama administration would be his surrender to U.S. authorities, followed by a plea negotiation. It's hard to believe that the results would leave the 30-year-old contractor worse off than living in permanent exile in an unfree country. Sadly, the supposed friends of this naive hacker are likely advising him otherwise."

On July 1, that supposedly naive hacker issued a statement through Wikileaks. He attacked the Obama administration directly:

"[T]he President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions. This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me....

"The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum. In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me.... No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.

"I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many."

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Karolina
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When Obama challenged his base to make him do what it wanted him to do if he won, it was one of his most cynical moments in a campaign that won AdvertisingAge's best Marketer of the Year.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

Cynical or naive, "we" haven't exactly pushed from the Left with any visible movement beyond OWS. I am not saying that Obama has acted with any integrity toward the Progressives or the youth who bought into "Hope and Change." This may be a necessary stage in learning about structural change v. the idea that electing a savior will do the job. It may be that nobody who can pass the vetting of our legallized bribery 'selections' can have the moxie to pull off real reform or to challenge the established power effectively. The point is still that we learn that things are much worse than we have wanted to believe. If the problem is the illusion of the liberals and refusal to accept how bad things really are, this is how learning takes place. It is not about finding a good person who is not a craven criminal or fool.

drc2
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Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm

I have no way to know what Obama's intentions ever were or are. I just see what he's doing.

If we are to push from the left, why go to such lengths to shut off our access to what's going on? How exactly are we supposed to do this pushing if we are going to be surveilled and targeted for telling the truth about what we don't like about Empire? That's what I mean by cynical.

That I thought he would do very little otherwise at the time he was "winning" the nomination, given what I already understood about his generally conservative orientation (criteria without which he would never have been vetted by the corporatocracy in the first place), also given who I saw he was choosing for his advisers (like I believed he was choosing the opposite opinions from his own so he could have a variety of ideas to choose from) is another matter. I can set that aside.

What I see is a double bind. He taunted us to push him, knowing as well as anyone what financial forces have the power to put the president in the Oval Office in a corporatized, for-profit, utterly undemocratic media system, where freedom of speech includes spending money, and spending money trumps everything else. Then he simply allowed the system in place to assure it would be impossible for us to do any pushing, while he went ahead and performed all the top down government "infrastructure" investments in the private sector for the corporate structure of this nation in pretty much the same way a far more eloquent than Bush Republican would have.

Presidents have their most power by being Empirical. The Constitution vests those International powers in the Presidency. Time of war frees up those presidential powers and makes them a lock. The president's greatest powers also happen to coincide with the interest of transnational corporations. Surprise, surprise. Corporate checkmate.

I don't blame us pawns, that's for sure. The system is rigged. The system knows what an Obama and his team did to get elected was marketing. Marketing in a corporatocracy is politics. Marketing is not democracy. How much more rigged do you want it than that?

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

All I am saying is that Obama erased the myth that "the problem" was the satanic evil of Cheney alone. The answer is not putting a good person into the imperial Presidency. It has to be about changing what is rigged and entropic. Learning that may be a necessary step for a lot of people even if those who have been studying and thinking deeply about the pathology had real reasons for qualms or worse about the election of Obama.

I confess to some hope that Obama would not be Clinton redux. Rahm kicked that in the nuts. Yes, Obama is responsible for his choice of advisors and Cabinet. His AG is a hopeless, if less clownish version of his predecessors.

drc2
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Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm
Quote drc2:

All I am saying is that Obama erased the myth that "the problem" was the satanic evil of Cheney alone. The answer is not putting a good person into the imperial Presidency. It has to be about changing what is rigged and entropic. Learning that may be a necessary step for a lot of people even if those who have been studying and thinking deeply about the pathology had real reasons for qualms or worse about the election of Obama.

I confess to some hope that Obama would not be Clinton redux. Rahm kicked that in the nuts. Yes, Obama is responsible for his choice of advisors and Cabinet. His AG is a hopeless, if less clownish version of his predecessors.

He certainly erased that myth.

I confess to not being aware of how dangerous an institution the presidency had come to be until I got into the Unitary Executive Theory back in 2006. Political scientists regard the biggest weakness of a presidential system as being its potential to become autocratic. All the ingredients are there now for this one to go that route.

A most serious ingredient imho is the five Supreme Court Justices who are of the Federalist Society orientation in their legal philosophy. The legal scholars who started the Federalist society during the Reagan Administration are the same one's who advance the interpretive reading of the Constitution that favors a strong Empirical Unitary Executive. That means that when the law is tested before SCOTUS, at least five will find ways to interpret it in a direction that favors the strong presidency interpretation.

Then there's the dominance of the MIC. I believe the power of the presidency, as the Commander and Chief of all that, was embedded in Ike's warning back when he left office, warning us about the MIC. I doubt if he saw coming the fall of the Nixon Presidency in its foolishness to abuse surveillance, and the rise of the Unitary Executive Theory to counteract that damage (along with advancing the neoconservative desire for global empire building), but he may have known about those forces behind the scenes. Just look at what was created Post WWII during the Truman Administration to create the much more efficient management of the MIC, and the additional institutions of intelligence gathering with the NSC.

If people do actually begin to realize that the president is not our "friend" but a bureaucrat trying to achieve effieciencies per his Constitutional Mandate, whether a Democrat or Republican, then perhaps some good may come of our analysis of these dire straits.

Karolina is putting forth an argument here that we should look to Congress and pressure the enactment of legislation that will circumvent the Presidency and it's Empirical proclivities. I hope that's a viable tactic. For we are like pawns playing chess without the other pieces on our side, not even a king to defend, and the corporate side has no pawns, but mostly the power of a full set of queens for all their pieces. And we don't have many moves on this board to take a shot at capturing their king. Meanwhile the whole global system is headed for collapse and it's taking our environment with it. I am thinking maybe we need to change the game.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

I find it interesting that Obama implores people to push him to clean up the government's act and do the right thing...and when they do, he puts them in prison.

His rhetoric and his actions are two very different things.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Yeah, that's what I meant by a double bind. Glad you brought that out of my cloud of words.

Buddhist teachers use the double bind contradictions to help students rise above unsolvable problems and to find their way through the false mind of duality.

Double binds are also used by gurus to program cult members -- can't find an answer to your contradictions? I'm the answer, says the guru to his cult, after creating the double bind for them.

(I highly recommend: The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power for some insights into some of these propaganda practices.)

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

In 2009, Nancy Spannus, writer and editor for a Larouche Pub weekly magazine called Executive Intelligence Review, wrote an article, Obama at the Crossroads: The Unitary Executive Issue. In it, she explains that Obama, at the time, has a choice to make—London-Wall Street and their minions in the Administration, or "Obama himself, who wants to defend his prerogatives as President of the United States against any encroachments."

Reading today, I found it fascinating to see, in retrospect, how Obama's presidency could still have gone either way at that time.

President Barack Obama has arrived at a crossroads. On the one side stand Wall Street and London, and their representatives in the Administration, who are demanding that the President exert dictatorial powers, as established by Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush, under the Unitary Executive theory, on behalf of their fascist austerity drive. On the other side, stands Obama himself, who wants to defend his prerogatives as President of the United States against any encroachments.

It is this friction within the Obama Administration which will determine the immediate future course of the United States, and thus, of civilization itself, said Lyndon LaRouche today. The splits within the Administration provide the crucial opening for patriotic institutional forces to bring the Obama Presidency under control, and permit the implementation of the dramatic policy shift outlined by LaRouche in his Aug. 27 statement ( Is the Democratic Party Already Dead?, EIR, Sept. 4, 2009 ), on how to save the Presidency and the nation.

The Unitary Executive

At the center of the battle is the issue of the Unitary Executive, the doctrine of imperial law which asserts that the word of the Emperor—in fact, the monetarist authorities of globalization—is law. Generally associated with Adolf Hitler's Führer Prinzip, the Unitary Executive theory actually derives from the history of Western imperialism, in which the international monetary power, like a global mafia boss, dictates terms to all its satraps, and loots them for the benefit of the Empire: The Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Venetian Empire, the Hapsburg Empire, and now, the globally extended British Empire, all operated in this manner—not as outgrowths of their various territories, but as centers of a global financial power.

The only nation to successfully counter this imperial concept was the republican United States, with its principled commitment to a sovereign national credit system for economic development—not a monetary system.

But with the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the United States, that U.S. resistance was substantially undermined. The imperial forces behind Sept. 11—the British and the Saudis, with the collusion of treasonous U.S. stooges—used the crisis to ram through Unitary Executive rule, exercised by Cheney and his puppet George W. Bush. Over the next seven years, the U.S. Presidency served as a tool of the British Empire, launching the perpetual wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and dramatically undermining the sovereignty of the United States in every possible way, including economically. Not surprisingly, the Bush Administration also placed two champions of the Unitary Executive—Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito—on the Supreme Court, to enforce the doctrine in perpetuum.

Candidate Barack Obama campaigned vigorously against the Unitary Executive concept, as reflected in his promises to shut down Guantanamo, end torture, and the like. But, from early on in his Administration, which he packed with Wall Street stooges, President Obama has found himself increasingly pushed in the direction of using those same dictatorial powers, even if not in name. On the Guantanamo prisoner issue, he has threatened to follow Bush in holding high-risk detainees permanently without trial. On the issue of a new allocation of money to the International Monetary Fund, he wrote a Bush-like signing statement saying he could interpret the allocation as he wished. This latter move prompted an unprecedented revolt from the Congress, which voted to repudiate his signing statement by an overwhelming majority, since it violated the Constitutional separation of powers.

With the health-care fight, Obama has also been impelled toward utilizing Unitary Executive powers on behalf of his Wall Street and London bosses. While appearing to yield the initiative to Congress, in fact, the Administration has been acting to force through a bill based on London/Wall Street demands—with the last indication being Obama's demand that Congress invite him to address a Joint Session of Congress—a demand which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid found out about from the news media, and which impelled them to issue the invitation.

Cracks in the White House Facade

But, the London/Wall Street pressure on the Administration to act aggressively, in the face of the ongoing financial blowout, is having dramatic repercussions.

A senior Washington source reports on fissures in the White House, over how to proceed on health care (really on a broader array of issues, as will be apparent). The hard-core London-directed grouping of economic advisors—Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Peter Orszag—is fully committed to radical austerity policy, to satisfy foreign creditors that the deficit will be cut, despite the multi-trillion-dollar bailout, the Afghan War, etc. They cannot give up on the health-care "reform," and are demanding that Obama go forward with the full Hitler T-4 policy (a board of experts who decides who gets treatment, and who does not.)

There are others in the West Wing, especially senior advisor David Axelrod, and others concerned more with the President's crashing poll numbers, who are saying that the issue on the table is saving the Obama Presidency from early destruction. They are looking for a way out of the health-care policy mess and would be inclined to take some watered-down "victory" which does not meet the demands for austerity of London/Wall Street.

At the center of the divide, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is proposing, essentially, that they resolve their differences by wielding raw political muscle to win passage of a bill with the T-4, etc., by forcing the entire Democratic caucus in the House and Senate to bend to the White House will. This is perhaps the craziest position of all. This is what is building, leading up to Obama's Sept. 9 address to Congress.

The outcome is unknown at this moment, but one way or another, the splits in the White House are very pronounced, and there is a sharp fault line between those out to save the Obama Presidency, versus those committed to the London/Wall Street radical austerity plan, which demands dictatorship. The politicos are right, that if Obama goes ahead and pushes his Independent Medicare Advisory Council (IMAC) scheme for dictating health care (as he has been doing regularly of late), and the rest of the swindle, in his speech on Sept. 9, he will be faced with an even bigger revolt. At the same time, he is under great pressure to authorize more troops and more money for Afghanistan, which is totally at odds with what the American people want.

Our U.S. Constitution does not permit what is going on in the Fed, or the NSA, or the White House. The enemy is still the same one we defeated centuries ago, and just celebrated that defeat yesterday. They never gave up, and their ideology of blue-blood being a superior species — never changed.

If we don't understand that, these lessons that DRC is talking about are not going to help. He does, however, certainly have a point that there's no difference between Obama and Cheney.

And the word is not "conservative." Let's call it by its true title — fascism, which is a brutal form of debt collection, aka Corporativism, under Mussolini.

Most recently, Oregon became the 23rd state, of the 50, that introduced the Glass-Steagall resolution calling on their Congressional Delegations to ram it through.

I would challenge everyone to put their shoulder to the wheel, and recruit others to do the same. The challenge for all of us is to act now, before the dictatorship is imposed, and war is locked in. The economic system is doomed and the enemy empire is freaked-out.

About the USA, as Ben Franklin put it:
"It's a Republic, if you have the wits [and courage] to keep it."

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Probably the nail in the coffin for U.S. democracy is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

It effectively provides the means for transnational corporations to veto the laws of any signatory nation regarding labor, environment and regulations of business or finance.

Sovereign nations may, however, continue enacting laws regarding such things as who can marry who without interference.

The Neo-liberal Twit-In-Chief at the White House has the backing of both parties to enact it in Oct.

Personally, I think both political parties signing away national sovereignty is treason.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Quote polycarp2:Probably the nail in the coffin for U.S. democracy is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

It effectively provides the means for transnational corporations to veto the laws of any signatory nation regarding labor, environment and regulations of business or finance.

Sovereign nations may, however, continue enacting laws regarding such things as who can marry who without interference.

The Neo-liberal Twit-In-Chief at the White House has the backing of both parties to enact it in Oct.

Personally, I think both political parties signing away national sovereignty is treason.

Of course when politicians or elected officials have made and signed agreements that give foreign and private entities power over their country's citizens, they are signing their countries sovereignty into a fascist collusion.

And of course, of course, that is absolute treason.

But maybe.......it's not too late to stop the nightmare by taking charge of the betrayal.

Ren talked about the 'double bind' — I think many people have those, and they are great fodder for comedians, though sometimes the words are too true to be funny.

However, anyone who has decided to join with the forces in the world who wish to create sovereign nation-states, free from oligarchism, and in which "all [humans] are created equal" — then they should be looking at the next 3 weeks, while Congress is in session for the rest of July, to do whatever they can to force Glass-Steagall through.

Once Glass-Steagall has returned into our banking system, everyone who is now bent on developing fascism and austerity for our people, will be quickly exiting OUT!

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Quote Karolina:Ren talked about the 'double bind' — I think many people have those, and they are great fodder for comedians, though sometimes the words are too true to be funny.

BTW, because Louis C.K.'s first and last "MAYBE...." statements are from the beasts' "survival of the fittest" theory, it shows how everyday oligarchists, believing that they are superior OF COURSE, choose to join the cruel forces that use war, genocide, and enslavement, as their preferred vision of the world's future.

In the same show Louis also has an act that brilliantly illustrates everyday oligarchists who do NOT want to believe that "all [humans] are created equal." This is one of my favorites, starting after 1:05.

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Fewer than Half American Adults
Have Full-time Jobs

July 7, 2013 • 11:08AM

While the media has been hyping "good news" data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, released last week, the same data reveals a much more bleak picture, one that is a much closer approximation of the Hell that a majority of American families are living through. The BLS data shows that among all civilian adults, only 47% currently have fulltime jobs. Already, nearly 20% of those Americans with jobs are only working parttime. Out of 144 million Americans counted as employed in June, only 116 million had fulltime jobs. When you look at the total civilian adult population of the U.S.—245 million men and women—only 47% had fulltime jobs.

LPAC

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Obama Creating Imperial Presidency
July 7, 2013 • 11:19AM

President Obama's decision to postpone enforcement of the employer mandate provision of Obamacare is attracting attention in more ways than one. Aside from raising questions about the future of Obamacare, Obama's decision is also raising questions about abuse of his executive authority. Three House Committees have announced plans to look into it, including the House Ways and Means Committee, which has scheduled a hearing for July 10. The White House claims that this use of executive authority to delay the implementation of acts of Congress is routine. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of Oversight and Government Reform, however, called the decision "another in a string of extra legal actions" taken by Obama. "As a former constitutional law teacher, President Obama must know that this action gets into very questionable constitutional territory," Issa said in a statement to CQ Roll Call. "It also paves the way for future administrations to simply not enforce parts of Obamacare they don't believe are functioning well." Rep. Steve King (R-Ia.) told Roll Call: "If President Obama wants to make changes to Obamacare, he must come to Congress. ... We are a nation governed by laws written by Congress, not memos and blog posts written by bureaucrats."

The issue of Obama's use of executive authority is hotly debated in Washington, but it seems clear that he is moving in the same direction that his predecessor, George W. Bush, established with signing statements. "It's a fascinating transformation for Obama," Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law professor at George Washington University, told Roll Call. "He rightfully criticized President Bush for violating the separation of powers and using signing statements to rewrite legislation, but Obama has been far more aggressive in circumventing Congress and far more successful in creating an imperial presidency," he said.

Turley noted that, when he was a House page in the 1970s, members of Congress fiercely defended the prerogatives of Congress, even from a President of their own party, but that's rarely the case, today. He cited Obama's decision not to enforce certain provisions of immigration law with respect to young immigrants as a "particularly egregious" example, one that was welcomed by top Democrats. "The President disagreed with Congress on immigration law. His response was to effectively negate the law. ... That rocks our system to the core," he said. "What I find curious is how quiet Democrats have been," Turley added. "What if this was a Republican President who simply told agencies that they were no longer going to enforce clean air and clean water regulations? They would cry foul. But there is no functional difference between that and what President Obama has done."

LPAC

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Obama Controller, Britain, Says No
To USA-EU Surveillance Talks
July 7, 2013 • 11:37AM

The British government moved in quickly to veto the meeting between the European security experts and their U.S. counterparts, scheduled to be held in Washington on July 8. The meeting was called following reports of U.S. snooping unveiled by the "whistleblower" Edward Snowden.

Snooping claims by Snowden have incensed the Europeans and cast a pall over the free trade deal that the EU says would add about EU119 billion annually to the bloc's economy. In Strasbourg, the European Parliament demanded "immediate clarification" from Washington and warned of its "potential impact on trans-Atlantic relations." Also, the trust Germans have in the United States plunged amid the spying and surveillance claims, a poll showed on July 4. Only 49% of survey respondents saw the U.S. as a trustworthy partner.

However, Britain objected to the idea of an EU-U.S. intelligence swap. The original proposal was to set up two groups of experts — one on intelligence gathering, the other on data privacy and oversight. "Our British friends probably don't know what side of the table to sit on," quipped an EU diplomat, Reuters reported.

One Reuters article pointed out that it is not difficult to fathom "why" Britain opposes the talks since the U.S. had extensive data-sharing agreements with Britain, which it considers a "second-party" nation, and Britain was known to be a beneficiary of U.S. surveillance against the rest of the world. According to the Guardian, whistleblower Edward Snowden told the newspaper that the NSA has a more prolific British ally in the University of Warwick-based GCHQ. (GCHQ is one of three U.K. intelligence agencies, alongside MI5 and MI6.). "It's not just a U.S. problem. The U.K. has a huge dog in this fight. They (GCHQ) are worse than the U.S.," Snowden said.

Moreover, Britain is a surveillance society, said a group of academics called the Surveillance Studies Network in their report published in Nov 2006. Researchers highlighted "dataveillance," the use of credit card, mobile phone and loyalty card information, and CCTV. Monitoring of work rates, travel and telecommunications is also rising. There are up to 4.2 million closed-circuit (CCTV) cameras in Britain — about one for every 14 people.

It predicts that by 2016 shoppers could be scanned as they enter stores, schools could bring in cards allowing parents to monitor what their children eat, and jobs may be refused to applicants who are seen as a health risk.

LPAC

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Below is a letter to Delaware Online which was published July 6.

I had the opportunity to attend the Delaware Senate Banking Committee hearing recently about Senate Resolution 8, a non-binding resolution from the Delaware legislature addressed to our Democratic Congressman John Carney and Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons urging them to endorse House Resolution 129 and Senate Bill 95, now pending in Washington, to reinstate Glass-Steagall, the Return to Prudent Banking Act.

This act was originally enacted under President Roosevelt to save the country from banking excesses. In 1998, Glass-Steagall was scuttled by former J.P. Morgan Board Member and then current Federal Reserve Chairman Allen Greenspan and a deluded Congress that thought the banking industry would police itself. The committee hearing in Dover was a frightening experience.

Representatives from big banks, such as J.P. Morgan-Chase, Bank of America and other mega banks, appeared to be making an effort to intimidate our senators by saying it would be unwise for Delaware to support such a position at this time. The raw power of big banking corporations was on display. They reminded everyone that they control 26,000 jobs and more, and the inference was that these jobs might be on the line if our representatives dared to speak up again the big bank bailouts, and the looming danger under the Dodd-Frank Act, Title 2, suggesting that we will see a Cyprus-style confiscation of our money.

Ultimately, the mega-bankers had their way and SR 8 was not permitted to get out of committee. In a rare display of bipartisanship, SR 8 is co-sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans. Let's all join in this fight, and demand that Delaware's representatives in Washington co-sponsor these urgent bills."

Michele C. Greene
Wilmington

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The crimes of JP Morgan Chase were featured by Occupy.com in Andrew Gavin Marshall's piece entitled Global Power Project, Part 4: Banking on Influence with JPMorgan Chase, published July 3, 2013.

Marshall identifies the bank as a major political force in the world whose reach extends well beyond the financial, noting its international connections, its role as a leader in derivatives, and the series of scandals it has spawned. Marshall singled out the bank for its role in creating credit default swaps, and for pushing deregulation.

For another peek into the world of today's ruling class, here is a section from the center of the article:

Quote Andrew Gavin Marshall:The Biggest and Most Connected Bank

Not only is JPMorgan Chase the biggest bank in the world with over $4 trillion in assets, but its power and influence extends far beyond financial matters. It is a major political force in the world, highly integrated within the network of global elites who make up the plutocratic ruling class. As the subject of study for the Global Power Project, I examined 55 people at JPMorgan Chase, including all members of the executive committee, the board of directors and the international advisory council.

Of the 55 individuals examined at the bank, a total of 13 (or roughly 24%) of the individuals were either members or held leadership positions (previously or presently) with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The CFR has been at the heart of the foreign-policy elite of the United States since it was created in 1921. Further, a total of eight JPMorgan officials held leadership positions in the World Economic Forum, the second most represented institutional affiliation of the bank. Holding yearly conferences that bring together thousands of participants from elite financial, corporate, political, cultural, media and other institutions, the WEF is one of the principal forums for the global elite, with JPMorgan operating right there at the center.

The next most represented institution is the Trilateral Commission, with 5 individuals at JPMorgan Chase holding membership in the international think tank – or “global policy group” – uniting elites from North America, Western Europe and Japan (and now also including China, India, and other Pacific-rim nations). The Trilateral Commission itself was founded in 1973 by the CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank – which later merged into JPMorgan Chase – David Rockefeller.

In descending order, the other most highly represented institutions having cross membership between leadership positions with JPMorgan Chase are: the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (4), the Business Council (4), Citigroup (4), Bilderberg (4), the Group of Thirty (4), Sara Lee Corporation (3), Harvard (3), American Express (3), American International Group (3), the Business Roundtable (3), Rolls Royce (3), the Center for Strategic and International Studies – CSIS (3), the European Round Table of Industrialists (3), the Peterson Institute for International Economics (2), the U.S.-China Business Council (2), and the National Petroleum Council (2).

Institutions which hold two individual cross leadership positions with JPMorgan Chase include: the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the University of Chicago, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., General Electric, Asia Business Council, the U.S. President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the Coca-Cola Company, National Bank of Kuwait Advisory Board, INSEAD, China-United States Exchange Foundation, Mitsubishi, the Carlyle Group, and the IMF.

Meet the Elites at JPMorgan Chase....

(Read entire article)

Earlier, and useful for the Glass-Steagall focus:

Quote Andrew Gavin Marshall:JPMorgan was also at the forefront in the United States pushing for financial deregulation, particularly the slow-motion dismantling of the Glass-Steagall Act that had been put in place in 1933 in response to the financial speculation which had helped spark the Great Depression. After hearing proposals from banks such as Citicorp, JP Morgan and Bankers Trust, which advocated the loosening of “restrictions” put in place by Glass-Steagall, the Federal Reserve Board in 1987 voted to ease many of the regulations. That same year, Alan Greenspan, who had previously been a director of JP Morgan, became the chairman of the Fed. In 1989, the Fed approved an application submitted by JP Morgan, Chase Manhattan, Citicorp and Bankers Trust to further reduce the regulations imposed by Glass-Steagall. In 1990, JP Morgan became “the first bank to receive permission from the Federal Reserve to underwrite securities.”
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Quote George F. Will:Time to break up the big banks

With his chronically gravelly voice and relentlessly liberal agenda, Sherrod Brown seems to have stepped out of “Les Miserables,” hoarse from singing revolutionary anthems at the barricades. Today, Ohio’s senior senator has a project worthy of Victor Hugo — and of conservatives’ support. He wants to break up the biggest banks.

He would advocate this even if he thought such banks would never have a crisis sufficient to threaten the financial system. He believes they are unhealthy for the financial system even when they are healthy. This is because there is a silent subsidy — an unfair competitive advantage relative to community banks — inherent in being deemed by the government, implicitly but clearly, too big to fail.

The Senate has unanimously passed a bill offered by Brown and Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, directing the Government Accountability Office to study whether banks with more than $500 billion in assets acquire an “economic benefit” because of their dangerous scale. Is their debt priced favorably because, being TBTF, they are considered especially creditworthy? Brown believes the 20 largest banks pay less when borrowing — 50 to 80 basis points less — than community banks must pay.

In a sense, TBTF began under Ronald Reagan with the 1984 rescue of Continental Illinois, then the seventh-largest bank. In 2011, the four biggest U.S. banks (JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo) had 40 percent of all federally insured deposits. Today, the 5,500 community banks have 12 percent of the banking industry’s assets. The 12 banks with $250 billion to $2.3 trillion in assets total 69 percent. The 20 largest banks’ assets total 84.5 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.

Such banks have become bigger, relative to the economy, since the financial crisis began, and they are not the only economic entities to do so. Last year, the Economist reported that in the past 15 years the combined assets of the 50 largest U.S. companies had risen from around 70 percent of GDP to around 130 percent. And banks are not the only entities designated TBTF because they are “systemically important.” General Motors supposedly required a bailout because a chain of parts suppliers might have failed with it.

But this just means that the pernicious practice of socializing losses while keeping profits private is not quarantined in the financial sector.

To see why TBTF also can mean TBTM — too big to manage — read “What’s Inside America’s Banks?” in the January/February issue of the Atlantic. Frank Partnoy and Jesse Eisinger argue that banks are not only bigger but also “more opaque than ever.” And regulations partake of the opacity: The landmark Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, separating commercial banking from investment banking, was 37 pages long; the 848 pages of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law may eventually be supplemented by 30 times that many pages of rules. The “Volcker rule” banning banks from speculating with federally insured deposits is 298 pages long.

There is no convincing consensus about a correlation between a bank’s size and supposed efficiencies of scale, and any efficiencies must be weighed against management inefficiencies associated with complexity and opacity. Thirty or so years ago, Brown says, seven of the world’s 10 largest banks were Japanese, which was not an advantage sufficient to prevent Japan’s descent into prolonged stagnation. And he says that when Standard Oil was broken up in 1911, the parts of it became, cumulatively, more valuable than the unified corporation had been.

Brown is fond of the maxim that “banking should be boring.” He suspects that within the organizational sprawl of the biggest banks, there is too much excitement. Clever people with the high spirits and adrenaline addictions of fighter pilots continue to develop exotic financial instruments and transactions unknown even in other parts of the sprawl. He is undecided about whether the proper metric for identifying a bank as “too big” should be if its assets are a certain percentage of GDP — he suggests 2 percent to 4 percent — or simply the size of its assets (Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, has suggested $100 billion).

By breaking up the biggest banks, conservatives will not be putting asunder what the free market has joined together. Government nurtured these behemoths by weaving an improvident safety net and by practicing crony capitalism. Dismantling them would be a blow against government that has become too big not to fail. Aux barricades!

See the Washington Post piece from July 8, 2013

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Steep Descent: 40% of All U.S. Jobs are Now Low-Wage
July 9, 2013 • 9:13AM

The Labor Department report of 430,000 part-time jobs being created in the United States in June, and 170,000 full-time jobs being eliminated, has jolted the financial-media fantasy of a U.S. "recovery" contrasting to the increasingly deep European recession. The Federal Reserve is searching for the elusive "exit" from massive money-printing because it sees increasingly ominous debt bubbles, not because it sees "recovery" coming.

There is more evidence of the U.S. transition to a part-time and low-wage economy becoming available.

None is more conclusive than a report published monthly by the BLS for over 75 years: "Labor [i.e., employee, not "union worker"] share of U.S. non-farm business income". This is all employees' total wage-and-benefit income, as a share of total non-farm business revenue. After varying in a band between 63-67% for seven decades, that share has fallen steadily throughout the disastrous 13 Bush/Obama years to today, from 66% down to 57%, and still dropping. The Bush/Obama impoverishment of labor is continuous for the years since 2000; not caused or changed by the 2007-08 crash, it was rather an important contributing cause of that crash.

Since the start of 2013, nearly 750,000 new part-time jobs have appeared in the U.S. economy while more than 130,000 full-time jobs have disappeared. Full-time employment in the United States is still 6 million below 2007 level, but part-time employment is 4 million higher than 2007, and at record level.

A New America Foundation study in January 2012 found that 40% of all existing U.S. jobs were low-wage (defined as below 2 times the poverty level, $22,000 or less for an individual). This low-wage share was only about 28% in 2008. In 2012, some 53% of U.S. jobs paid under $30,000/year. And Council for Economic and Policy Research found that if "good" jobs mean $18.50/hr or more, health benefits partially paid by the employer, and retirement benefits, only one-quarter of U.S. jobs qualify.

The BLS reports that in addition to the 27 million U.S. part-time jobs, there were in June 2013 about 2.7 million temp "full-time" jobs, in the particular week the survey was taken, and this was a record number; but American Staffing Association reports that about 5 million Americans are in or between temp work at any given time, earning 25% less than full-time employers' employees doing the same jobs. Kelly Temps is now the United States second-largest employer behind Walmart, and other temp agencies also very big. They of course have no benefits, and deduct fees from wages.

So overall one-twelfth of the total labor force are unemployed, and one-sixth are part-time/temp. About 11% of all factory production/warehouse work now is done by temps.

A USA Today article on this July 8 adds the other "non-employee" categories: "Companies are increasingly turning to temps and to a much larger universe of freelancers, contract workers and consultants. Combined, these workers number nearly 17 million people who have only tenuous ties to the companies that pay them." So we have, of those in the labor force, 8% unemployed, 17% part-time, and 13% temp, freelance, and contract labor.

LPAC update

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Karolina
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Currently Chatting

Get. Money. Out.

Last week, the United States Senate actually considered a constitutional amendment on campaign finance. Last Monday, the Senate advanced Tom Udall's proposed amendment, which would allow Congress to regulate money in politics. Seventy-nine senators voted to allow debate on the measure.

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