The Seeds For The Total Collapse Of This Nation Have Been Sown.
Every time one gets to thinking things can’t get worse; they do! It’s not like there isn’t enough stress in the world between the Western World and those adherents to the Muslim faith, but leave it for the vacant headed Michelle Bachmann to aspire to be the next Joe McCarthy; you remember him” “There’s a Commie” behind every door, In the shadows and all of Hollywood…America was about to be overwhelmed by the great 5th column and if you questioned him; you were a fellow traveler.” Leave it the questionably stable Bachmann to stir up the shit pile of fear in attempt to appeal to the worst instincts of our breed in the hopes of filling her campaign coffer. Read more:
Corporations paying no taxes claim that tax rates on them is too high…what?
THE $800 TRILLION LIBOR scandal is being left untouched by the mass-media like a dangerous hot potato because they don’t want to deal with the possibility that it will trust the world into a total financial collapse that will dwarf “The Great Depression” and tear the world apart for the next 100 years.
Still the filthy rich want everything deregulated so that they might profit more and reduce you and I to homeless begging peasants…citizens of lesser value than those of the 1930s.
The fact that Mitt Romney is being taken seriously says a lot about the intelligence of this nation’s voters. How can anyone support someone who is so arrogant that he literally is giving America the finger in regards to his wealth and the methodology of hiding it, claiming we have all the tax return information we need and not a single return is complete? That is pure arrogant bullshit and a goodly portion is accepting it like thankful mushrooms living in the dark and buried in bullshit and crying for another truck load.
Let’s take just one popular shovel full. Lower taxes and corporation will create jobs and hire people. There is no a single instance in American History that even begins to support that notion. It is an outright fallacy…a lie. Another frequent dump is that deregulation creates jobs; deregulation cancels accountability for anything a corporate world does and permits them the right of economic anarchy.
Face it folks…Mitt Romney and the Republican party have no use or regard for anyone making less than $500,00 a year. Screw you and your family. You are entitled to nothing and you should have nothing, not health care, not a job, not financial security or a secure pension because you are not supposed to retire. You are suppose to slave your way into the grave to be replaced by the next economic peon, piss-on. It’s just that simple.
Now we want to deregulate the pay day loan folks who make up to a puny 391% interest. Hell; I am not in favor of deregulation; I favor the elimination of everyone of those blood sucking enterprises. By the same token I support a massive indictment of the corporate/financial criminals who control our Congress and have shaken the foundation of the world’s economic system.
Regulation is not Socialism; regulation is self-defense. The enemy is not Capitalism; the enemy is unregulated Capitalists who believe they are above the law and are important to ever be prosecuted and brought to ruin in the courts of this nation.
We have had enough of all the lies and beat downs. We have to understand the the next election is all about the survival or crushing of the Middle class. Anyone who supports these folks bent upon crushing the worker silencing women and sending them back to the kitchen ,betrays in his/stupidity and gullibility this nation, his family, his grandchildren…they are a modern Judas…at least Judas had the good sense to go out and hang himself.
State And Homeland Security Departments Won’t Investigate Bachmann’s Islamophobic Allegations
The controversy over Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) Islamophobic witch-hunt was kicked off by a series of letters from her and colleagues demanding that the Inspectors General of four government agencies investigate “deep penetration” by the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. government. But during an interview with Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), CNN’s Anderson Cooper reported that two of the agencies have no intention of launching investigations.
During the interview, Cooper said:
We called the inspectors general involved here. Two of the five [sic] agencies, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department, told us they had no plans to investigate. And both were clear that a request like this is outside the inspectors general mandate, saying that they look at the effectiveness of programs. They look for waste, fraud, abuse.
Bachmann, though, isn’t backing down. Yesterday on Glenn Beck’s show, she doubled down on her allegations — despite a rising tide of Republican and right-wing repudiations of her Islamophobic attacks.
During an appearance on Glenn Beck’s radio show on Thursday, Bachmann reiterated her suspicions that Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin, has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, noting, “her late father who’s now deceased was a part of the Muslim Brotherhood. Her brother was a part of the Muslim Brotherhood, and her mother was a part of what’s called the Muslim Sisterhood.” Earlier this week, Bachmann accused Abedin of working on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood in a letter with four colleagues to the State Department’s Inspector General demanding an investigation.
Enter McCain, who put his foot down today and chided his fellow Republicans for the accusations against Abedin. McCain brought up his personal relationship with Abedin, adding that she “represents what is best about America.” He noted Bachmann’s letter and its sourcing to a report from notorious Islamophobe Frank Gaffney‘s Center for Security Policy (CSP). He then said:…
Over a four years period from 2008 to 2011, Corning Inc. was one of 26 companies that managed to avoid paying any American income taxes, even though it earned nearly $3 billion during that time. In fact, according to Citizens For Tax Justice, the company received a $4 million refund from 2008 to 2010. That didn’t stop Susan Ford, a senior executive at the company, from telling the House Ways and Means Committee this week that America’s high corporate tax rate was putting her company at a disadvantage:
American manufacturers are at a distinct disadvantage to competitors headquartered in other countries. Specifically, foreign manufacturers uniformly face a lower corporate tax rate than U.S. manufacturers, and virtually all operate under territorial systems which encourage investment both abroad and at home.
Ford told the committee that Corning paid an effective tax rate of 36 percent in 2011, but as CTJ notes, she is counting taxes on profits earned overseas that haven’t yet been paid and won’t be unless the company decides to bring the money back to the United States. Corning’s actual tax rate in 2011, according to CTJ’s analysis, was actually negative 0.2 percent.
The territorial system Ford testified in favor of would actually encourage the off shoring of profits earned by American companies, thereby reducing the amount they pay in taxes even more.
And rather than helping remove a disadvantage that prevents companies from creating jobs, an economic analysis of such a tax system found that it could actually cost the United States as many as 800,000 jobs.
The United States does, indeed, have one of the highest marginal corporate tax rates in the world. In reality, however, few corporations pay it, and the nation’s effective tax rate is far lower than the rate in other developed countries.
The British bank Barclays has been getting the lion’s share of the attention for its role in the LIBOR rate rigging scandal, especially after it paid a $450 million settlement. But as Fortune’s Stephen Gandel noted, Citibank may have been even worse. “In early 2010, two economics professors from UCLA and the University of Minnesota looked at Libor manipulation and found that, at least according to one measure, Citi had misstated its lending rate by more than any other large U.S. bank in the run up to the financial crisis,” Gandel wrote. Citi’s underreported its borrowing costs by a margin 50 percent larger than did Barclays.
THE $800 TRILLION PIE
The Libor rate affects about $800 trillion dollars of contracts and all sorts if financial instruments globally, according to experts. Investors of all sizes use the rate as a basis for a variety of financial products; homeowners mortgages, consumers’ credit cards and even city governments use derivatives contracts tied to Libor when issuing some bonds.
We've all heard that "derivatives" caused the financial system meltdown, but few understand what they are. Read this and you'll fully understand them, and the concept of "too big to fail."
Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit. She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed in a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).
Word gets around about Heidi's "drink now, pay later" marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi's bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Detroit.
By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently, Heidi's gross sales volume increases massively.
A young and dynamic Vice President at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets, and increases Heidi's borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.
At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert traders transform these customer loans into DrinkBonds, AlkiBonds and PukeBonds. These securities are then bundled and traded on international security markets. Naive investors don't really understand that the securities being sold to them as AAA secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics. Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation's leading brokerage houses.
One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi's bar. He so informs Heidi.
Heidi then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations, she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and the eleven employees lose their jobs.
Overnight, DrinkBonds, AlkiBonds and PukeBonds drop in price by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.
The suppliers of Heidi's bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms' pension funds in the various bond securities. They find they are now faced with not only having to write off her bad debt but also with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. Her wine supplier claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, and her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant, lays off 150 workers, and converts their full output to "Bud Light".
Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion dollar, no-strings-attached cash infusion from their cronies in Government. The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who have never been in Heidi's bar.
So the drinkers are screwed, Heidi is screwed, her suppliers are screwed, her neighbors are screwed -- but the banks that caused the whole mess (and are now "too big to fail") are bailed out by the ever-more-screwed taxpayers.
A recent report from the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Safe Small-Dollar Loans Research Project showed that Americans who use payday loans pay an average of $520 per year in fees.
As CNN Money noted, “Over the course of two weeks — when payday loans typically come due — fees averaged $15 per $100 borrowed, amounting to a 391% annual percentage rate. ”
These predatory loans suck borrowers into a vicious cycle known as “churning,” which is repeat borrowing by customers who manage to pay off their previous loan, but require another due to interest and fees. The poorest Americans are increasingly using payday loans to pay for basic necessities, including food and electricity.
And some members of Congress want to make it even easier for these loans to proliferate by removing state regulations that protect consumers from some of the payday loan industry’s practices:
A bipartisan team of House lawmakers is pushing new legislation that would allow nonbank lenders, including those typically known as payday lenders, to choose to operate under a federal charter and avoid dealing with a patchwork of often conflicting state laws. [...]
The new federal charter would carry some specific rules, including prohibitions against loan periods shorter than one month – longer than the two-week period of a traditional payday loan. Firms also couldn’t make loans they don’t believe the consumer can repay or hit consumers with fees for repaying early.
But consumer advocates say none of these rules would prevent lenders from engaging in what they see as harmful lending practices such as charging triple-digit interest rates.
The legislation, for instance, would bar regulators from capping the interest rate or fees that nonbank lenders could charge for loans made under the federal charter, which would allow these lenders to evade state usury laws.
Big banks wanted very much the same thing during the debate over the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, asking for state consumer protection laws to be preempted by national regulations. Major banks, including Wells Fargo and Bank of America, finance billions of dollars worth of payday lending.
Payday lenders have been throwing an increasing amount of money at Congress in recent years. In this instance, lawmakers seem to be giving the industry exactly what it wants.
Tags: Financial Regulation
The near-collapse of the world financial system in the fall of 2008 and the global credit crisis that followed gave rise to widespread calls for changes in the regulatory system.
A year and a half later, in July 2010, Congress passed a bill expanding the federal government's role in the markets, reflecting a renewed mistrust of financial markets after decades in which Washington stood back from Wall Street with wide-eyed admiration.
In its broad outlines, the bill resembled the sweeping reform legislation President Obama had proposed in June 2009. Its progress was marked by fierce industry lobbying and partisan battles, as almost all Republicans voted against the measure. In the year since its passage, the stock market is up, banking profits have grown and institutions that invest on behalf of average Americans are praising the tougher stance in Washington.
Dodd-Frank aims to rein in abusive lending practices and high-risk bets on complex derivative securities that nearly drove the banking system off a cliff. It creates a bureau to protect consumers from financial fraud, cuts fees banks charge for debit-card use, and sets up a means for the government to better supervise the nation’s largest financial institutions to avoid expensive and catastrophic failures. And it calls public exchanges on which derivatives and other complex financial instruments are traded.
But there remain signs that the tightened regulatory measures could still be undone, creating uncertainty about whether the actions that have helped to stabilize Wall Street will be in place when the next crisis hits. Two dozen bills in Congress seek to dismantle parts of the Dodd-Frank Act. Business groups have argued that too many new regulations could snuff out the start of an economic recovery. And Republican candidates for president have used the law as a symbol of government overreach that is killing jobs.
Since Republicans took control of the House in the 2010 midterm elections, they and the financial industry have stepped up their efforts to rein in the new law, which itself left hundreds of important decisions to be worked out in one of the most complex rule-making processes ever undertaken by the government.
By September 2011, only a small portion of the law has taken hold. Of the up to 400 regulations called for in the act, only about a quarter had even been written, much less approved.
Key targets of the bill's opponents include reining in the powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, reconsidering limits on debit card fees and restricting the budgets and growth of the S.E.C. and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. And some of the most powerful players in the derivatives market — which is closely controlled by just a small group of banks — argued that the government should allow a slow pace of changes for rewriting derivatives contracts.
Senate Republicans are refusing to consider nominations for posts at several financial regulatory agencies. Lawmakers have taken aim at agencies for budget cuts. Administration officials say that banking and business lobbyists have spent more than $50 million in 2011 to try to change the law, most of which has still not taken effect because regulators have not finished drawing up the new rules.
Mr. Obama’s pick for director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a centerpiece of the Dodd-Frank Act, is Richard Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general. Mr. Cordray was hired as the bureau’s director of enforcement by Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard law professor and bankruptcy expert whom Mr. Obama credited with giving him the idea for the agency.
While Ms. Warren has been working since September to prepare the agency for its July 21 opening, Republicans made clear that they did not want her appointed to a permanent position. A group of 44 Republican senators vowed they would not let any nomination come to a floor vote unless significant changes were made in the structure, power and scope of the consumer agency.
It is not yet clear that the forces fighting to preserve all the elements of Dodd-Frank will, in fact, win out. It is also not clear that Mr. Cordray will be confirmed by the Senate.
The Dodd-Frank Act, which was signed into law by Mr. Obama on July 21, 2010, was hailed as marking the end of more than a generation in which the prevailing posture of Washington toward the financial industry was largely one of hands-off cheering, evidenced by steady deregulation. While the measure did not fully restore the toughest restrictions imposed after the Great Depression, it was meant to be a clear turning point, highlighting a new distrust of Wall Street, fear of the increasing complexity of technology-driven markets, and renewed reliance on government to protect the little guy.
The bill expanded federal banking and securities regulation from its focus on banks and public markets, subjecting a wider range of financial companies to government oversight, and imposing regulation for the first time on "black markets" like the enormous trade in credit derivatives.
It created a council of federal regulators, led by the Treasury secretary, to coordinate the detection of risks to the financial system, and it provides new powers to constrain and even dismantle troubled companies.
It also created a powerful new regulator, appointed by the president, to protect consumers of financial products, which will be housed in the Federal Reserve. The choice of a director for the consumer protection bureau became the first battleground of the post-passage struggle. Mr. Obama appointed Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard bankruptcy expert who had proposed the agency, to be its head, but in acting capacity, after it became clear that Republicans would block a confirmation vote. In 2011, Senate Republicans went further, saying they would allow no vote on any director until the bureau's independence had been reduced.
The law also imposed new regulations on derivatives, the complex financial instruments credited with amplifying the credit crunch. Most trading will be required to take place through open marketplaces and banks would have to segregate or spin off their derivative-trading wings, although some exceptions were created in the final round of deal-making during the conference committee.
The final measure also included the so-called Volcker rule, which the banks had fought almost as strongly as the derivative restrictions. The rule, named for Paul A. Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman who proposed the measure in early 2010, restricts the ability of banks whose deposits are federally insured from trading for their own benefit, although not as strictly as Mr. Volcker had suggested.
Passage of the Bill
The House first passed a bill in December 2009. In May 2010, after months of wrangling, the Senate passed a broadly similar bill with four Republicans joining all but two Democrats in support. It took a month for the House and Senate to work out the differences. The House gave final passage on June 30, by a vote of 237 to 192, with all but three Republicans in opposition.
In the Senate, three Republicans — Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine and Scott Brown of Massachusetts — supported the bill, giving the Democrats the votes they needed to overcome a Republican filibuster and pass the bill on July 15 by a tally of 60 to 39. One Democrat, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, opposed the measure, saying it did not go far enough.that they still wanted tougher policing of Wall Street. The bill was also criticized by liberal economists who said it did not go far enough.
Winning final passage was complicated for Democrats by the death of Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia after the conference agreement was reached. To hang on to the votes of moderate Republicans they dropped a tax on big banks and hedge funds that was meant to pay for the cost of the bill, estimated at $20 billion over five years. The tax was replaced by a plan to redirect $11 billion in funds repaid from the federal bank bailout, and changes to F.D.I.C. rules that would raise more revenue.
Shifting Responsibilities for Regulators
Part of Mr. Obama's proposal was a provision to give the Federal Reserve greater supervisory authority over large financial institutions whose problems pose potential risks to the economic system. The suggestion drew fire from Republicans and from existing regulators whose role would be diminished, as well as from liberal critics who pointed out that the Fed had failed to head off the collapse of 2008..
The bill drafted by Senator Christopher J. Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, sought to restrict the Fed's authority to about 35 bank holding companies, each with $50 billion or more in assets, which would put about 4,900 smaller bank holding companies and 850 state-chartered banks that are members of the Fed system under the control of the F.D.I.C. But the provision was stripped from the bill during floor debate, by a vote of 90 to 9, in a big victory for the Fed.
The bill would enshrine Washington's role in policing Wall Street by creating a nine-member council, led by the Treasury secretary, to detect systemic risks to the markets and placing the Federal Reserve in charge of all of the nation's largest and most interconnected financial institutions. The bill includes a provision intended to curb Wall Street's influence over the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Its president would be appointed by the president of the United States, not by a board that includes representatives of member banks.
Consumer Protection Agency
The bill passed by the House on Dec. 11, 2009 in a 223 to 202 vote would have created an agency to protect consumers from abusive lending practices, set rules for the trading of some of the sophisticated financial instruments that fueled the crisis, and take steps to reduce the threat that the failure of one or two huge banks or investment firms could topple the entire economy.
The Senate bill made the Consumer Protection Agency a branch of the Fed. The final bill does, too, but with provisions meant to preserve its independence, such as having its director be appointed directly by the president.
The agency is expected to push for measures like requiring lenders to provide plain-English disclosures, price comparisons with alternative products and clear tripwires before fees are assessed.
The chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, introduced a bill in April 2010 that would take a similar approach to clearinghouses and end-user exemptions. The bill would also require most derivatives to be traded on an open exchange.
Currently, the only way to trade many derivatives is to call up various dealers and ask for the price at which they are willing to buy or sell. The securities dealer profits from the difference between the prices at which it buys from one party and sells to another. Investors rarely, if ever, see details on the other side of the trade. Wall Street has signaled that it can live with a clearinghouse approach, but it is strongly opposed to exchange trading of derivatives, which would introduce price competition and lower the profits.
Wall Street bankers were stunned by the most aggressive portion of Ms. Lincoln's bill, one that was opposed even by the Obama administration. That proposal would essentially ban banks from being dealers in swaps or other derivatives by taking away their access to federal deposit insurance and their ability to borrow from the Federal Reserve if they kept those businesses.
Banks made that provision their top target in conference negotiations, but the measure appeared to help Mrs. Lincoln win a tough primary fight, and it stayed in the bill, although the rules were loosened somewhat in the final agreement.
The Volcker Rule
The "Volcker rule" or "Volcker plan," a measure named for Paul A. Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman who proposed it, would restrict the ability of banks whose deposits are federally insured from trading for their own benefit.
In January 2010, President Obama proposed that the Volcker rule be a part of the general financial regulatory reform push. Big losses by banks in the trading of financial securities, especially mortgage-backed assets, precipitated the credit crisis in 2008 and the federal bailout.
The measure's aim is to keep highflying traders and other gamblers inside of banks from getting their hands on or putting at risk the old-fashioned savings of average depositors. A main element to the plan would bar banks from making proprietary trades - using their own money to place directional market bets that are unrelated to serving customers. Another change would prevent institutions from investing their own money in hedge funds or private equity operations.
The ban on proprietary trading was one of the less contentious points of debate for members of Congress, who tended to agree that banks should not be allowed to use a guarantee of government deposit insurance- indirectly financed by taxpayers- to provide themselves with cheap capital that they then use for risky trading activities.
Banks and some members of Congress argued that the proposed definitions are too vague. But even the bank lobbyists have said that proprietary trading accounts for only a small fraction of their revenue- from an estimated 10 percent at Goldman Sachs to half that for big commercial banks.
Banks managed to wrangle limited exceptions to the rule that would allow them to continue some investing and trading activity. The agreement limits banks' investments in hedge funds or private equity funds to no more than 3 percent of a fund's capital; those investments could also total no more than 3 percent of a bank's tangible equity.
Too Big to Fail
The bill authorizes regulators to impose restrictions on large, troubled financial companies, and creates a process for the government to liquidate failing companies at no cost to taxpayers, which is similar to the F.D.I.C. process for liquidating failed banks. Regulators would have considerable leeway to impose restrictions on the largest financial companies, which could give smaller banks competitive advantages.
Republicans have vowed to undo this part of the bill, saying it would create an expectation among investors that they would be bailed out. It would be better, they argue, to leave the process to the bankrupcty courts.