Breakthrough: Eric Schneiderman To Chair Mortgage Crisis Unit

By Simon Johnson

As reported first in the Huffington Post, President Obama is creating “a special unit to investigate misconduct and illegalities that contributed to both the financial collapse and the mortgage crisis”.  This will be chaired by Eric Schneiderman, the New York attorney general.

For more background on why this makes sense and could represent a major policy breakthrough, please see this column: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/71788.html.

 

145 responses to “Breakthrough: Eric Schneiderman To Chair Mortgage Crisis Unit

  1. I’ll believe it when the indictments come.

  2. Obama coudn’t reign him in by previously… So now make him part of your team… Sounds a lot like what he did to Elizabeth Warren???
    More of the same… Not expecting much more.

  3. Big shots who aren’t from the Indian sub-continent getting real jail time is what I am seeing……no…….I’m not joking. Look for this Oliver Stone production.

  4. Electoral move, don’t expect any (major) indictment!

    Once Romney get through the Republican nonsense, Obama will probably shift a bit more to the Left. Too little, too late.

    Too bad the temperature in Iran is going up in an electoral year. Also, pay attention to the change of guard in France.

  5. The Obama Administrator were dying and hoping they could settle with their donors from the banking industry but this state attorney from New York got in the way and therefore the President could not use the “settlement” for political gain in last night’s SOTU speech.

  6. Let me see: Eric Holder, formerly of Covington and Burling is going to lead the prosecutions. Yeah, that’s gonna happen. You really think he is going to prosecute his former clients. Oh, and who is leading the SEC enforcements. That would be Rober Khuzami, formerly general counsel at Deutsche Bank. So he is gonna investigate……himself?

    Simon, I know you really want Obama to win. That is fine. But this analysis is simply beneath you. This is simply an attempt to get Schneiderman in line.

    The Obama admin. is ground zero for crony capitalism. Look for lots of political theater directed towards Romney and the PE world. But absolutely nothing of substance will be done with financial reform. And, remember the statue of limitations clock is running on prosecuting these guys. Yet another reason for Obama to kick the can down the road.

  7. Start with Las Vegas and follow da $$$$ between Gingrich and his casino owner benefactor – but make sure you go back to the start of Bush Cabal’s second term when the war got put “on the books” and payment started to be extracted….people were ignored from 2006 and on when they brought the paperwork trail to local law enforcement groups like the FBI….

    Just the FACTS, Ma’am.

    I said it back in 2006 that the entire infrastructure of USA as a Western Civilization was being dismantled from within….

    This really is too little too late – especially in light of what went on before this in USA history – CONTRACTS like the Homestead Act which was backed by the full faith of the USA government, of course.

    There’s a reason why 4 years was considered to be long enough for a Presidential term – giving them 8 years means they have time to double the amount they STEAL from the tax collections to launch their DELUSIONAL wars…

  8. Like a lot of things, the devil is in the details. Schneiderman would be a good person to lead an initiative like this if it were actually supported by the administration.

    Then again, I have a lot of respect for Volker and Warren. Both were given big sounding roles only to be sidelined by the white house.

    I would like to believe that this will be real. But, Obama has used up all my hope. Now he has to deliver . . .

  9. David Dayen points out that “Schneiderman may be trying to work from within, but he’s saddled with a panel full of co-chairs tied to banks with a history of obstructing accountability,” link. Like Rob, Dayen thinks (and cites names and evidence) this is probably going to be a whitewash of the bad settlement that’s already on the table.

  10. Look, if the insiders are so cavalier about pre-emptive wars, just how much more cavalier are they about skinning people alive…? Is it *torture*…?

    No establishment of a *crisis unit* short of the scale of a Homestead Act will work in time to save the country from complete depraved nihilism.

    The data can be found within HOMELAND SECURITY apparatus which reports to the Secretary of the Treasury….the *face of the evidence*…

  11. This is pure politics. For three years, there have been lots of voices raised asking for this to happen. The only reason why it is being announced now is election year politics. Should it be done, of course. Is is long overdue, of course. I remember the S&L crisis. The President appointed Bill Seidman to head an effort to resolve the crisis. Mr. Seidman formed the Resolution Trust Corporation and put all of the bad loans their for management and collection. He made all of the servicers cooperate to avoid massive sanctions. He sent lots of the executives of the sinning lenders to prison. He put all of the miscreant lenders in receivership and out of business. The problem was over in a matter of less than two years, and the economy recovered quickly. A great message was sent, that, within a matter of only a few years, was completely forgotten under the Greenspan, Clinton conspiracy to ignore Brooksly Borne, throw out Glass-Steagall, and institute the era of massive fraud and abuse under Gramm-Leach-Bliley. Then, when the crisis hit, we had some hearings, trillions given to banks to keep them in the chips (so to speak), and no one was put in prison, not even the lowest bad actors on the corrupt bankers totem pole. Hard to imagine that they all simply walked back to their offices and continued their bonuses while the country headed into endless depression (you may call this a recession now in recovery, but this is not true for the majority of our population). Real under employment and unemployment now stands at more than 26%, foreclosures continue ad infinitum, Europe can’t get its act together (and won’t), and the biggest banks continue to be given billions and trillions of dollars from the FED to keep them happy and operable, while they don’t do business with anyone ordinary at all.

    This announcement is nice. Now watch closely while nothing happens. Obama is still owned by the banks and the rest of the oligarchy in America. It doesn’t matter who is elected between the major parties, they all are elitists who are paid to do nothing for the rest of us. This is just more theater for our consumption. The main quality that our politicians need in today’s America is to be great actors, with the press just rooting them on as they ply their thespian expertise.

  12. Obama continues to throw us bones with no meat. And we continue to starve for justice. Great show, that State of the Union address. Even the Republicans clapped for a few lines. Nice show. Sound and fury signifying nothing, of course.

  13. Kenneth Etheredge

    Nemo has encapsulated most of the responses so far: “I’ll believe it when the indictments come.” It is way past time for the Administration to show action, not words.

  14. Like minded people don’t sue each other, that’s why no one will head to jail, and there will be little fanfare if some people become the fall guy or guys. Now if we get the resources to audit the Fed, its game over in a nut shell, and they know it. The tougher to get the resources, the harder it will be on the Feds power structure. The harder on the Feds power structure, the more problems with Iran or China not behaving in a reasonable manner. You can read the Fed like a book, it’s simple as that.

  15. It will be interesting to see if this is a breakthrough or sellout. I suspect the latter.

  16. 3 minutes in it gets interesting…

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37560195/#46137477

    RATigan concerned about how *ruthless* we’re going to get…? who is *scared*…?

    Aren’t there any good bankers who want to restore integrity to their profession?

  17. Bayard,

    Absolutely spot on.

  18. Bruce E. Woych

    “He Says One Thing And Does Another”: Ralph Nader Reviews Obama

  19. Bruce E. Woych

    http://www.alternet.org/story/153848/the_economic_idiocy_of_economists?page=entire
    The Economic Idiocy of Economists
    With a brain trust like this, a lost decade for America looks likely – unless the citizenry can steer a different course.
    January 22, 2012
    by Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director and co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. He is co-author, with Dean Baker, of Social Security: The Phony Crisis (University of Chicago Press, 2000), and has written numerous research papers on economic policy. He is also president of Just Foreign Policy.
    http://www.alternet.org/story/153848/the_economic_idiocy_of_economists?page=entire

  20. The mortgage and the US financial crisis resulted from banks in Europe having been given, and banks in the US having been promised, that by means of Basel II, they could put assets like triple-A rated securities on their balance sheet holding extraordinarily little capital… 1.6 percent, which implies a possibility of leveraging bank equity 62.5 times to 1. Without that, the fraudulent mortgage generators and packagers would not have had such a huge market for their products.

    Therefore any investigation that falls short of investigating why the regulators did such a stupid thing will be a flawed investigation.

    But that requires questioning the fundamental pillar of all current bank regulations, namely the capital requirements based on ex-ante perceived risk. If this is done, then some fundamental good things can come out of the investigation… otherwise it will just represent some job opportunities for investigators and some photo-ops for politicians.

  21. And may I ask why we are just getting around to this now 5-6 years after it happened. The time to take action was then. Now it is window dressing.

  22. David Horsey brings up what could be a frightening campaign slogan to put the fear of God into any man:

    Newt 2012, He’ll Treat Obama Like An Ex-Wife

    If that doesn’t make President Obama piss his pants, nothing will.
    http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-president-gingrich-20120124,0,5783230.story

    Let’s all pray that Callista Gingrich doesn’t get cancer, because by the time the doctor says “I’m sorry Ma’am, I have to inform you the sad news you have pancreatic can……” Gingrich will have gone from the 10th floor Diagnostics Center to revving his car in the hospital parking lot in Olympic record time.

  23. For those who think the SOTU address just wasn’t “up to par”, a little disappointing…. A friendly reminder of the recent past:

  24. Dianne Foster

    So for those states that signed on to the agreement, are the banks now immune?

  25. Simon

    Help me! I just don’t get how QE is good for the US economy. Below is a stat and link from the US Government trade site. QE makes the dollar loose value thus making our products cheaper overseas. This means our multinational corporations make more money. Exports only make up 12.5% of our economy. It has created a few jobs. However, QE increases input costs for small businesses by making our imports of raw materials more expensive. This makes US small businesses bottom line smaller. Small business not large corporations drive the US economy. Why are we taking this approach. And even more baffling to me is why are liberals in favor of currency devaluation when it hurts the poor and middle class as it is essentially a tax on the poor to help the rich bankers multi-nationals. These are the people moving jobs overseas. I am not saying that QE is all bad it just seems that a strong dollar will actually provide long-term growth (maybe some short-term pain). US exports that are doing well like McDonalds, Coke, Apple, Starbucks, IBM, Oracle and other like them are not succeeding because of price but their powerful brands. In the end, the US must be the exporter of the BMW and be it’s own producer (yes, I know the BMW is not an American car). In the end it’s my 87 year old mom that was crying on the phone that her saving are producing near zero income for her. Thanks, FED…. save the banks and crush my mom. Just not sure how this is good for America. Help me on this one. Please help me understand this…..

  26. Bruce E. Woych

    Huff report also:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/25/obama-address-sparks-gop-attack_n_1231874.html?ncid=webmail11

    RNC Video Attacks Obama’s State Of The Union Address
    ———————————————————————————————————————————–
    Truth wears no brand name…it seems likely that neutral party analysis would have to agree. There is a pattern of don’t look back…typically implying that se should not take the present people accountable, and now let’s all just look to the future…
    (a distraction & misdirection tactic?).

    This is typically bridged with a recognition that it is painful now and people are suffering (a validation of the obvious…recognition without compensation…)

    But we are all in this together and we must remember the American (Dream; Promise; tenacity; courage…add your patriotic attribute to swell the emotive appeal).

    But if we work hard we will (prvail…see it through…come out a stronger nation…show the world…) this is the I see the Light compelling truth by assertion section…rally behind the cause…”the future is ours…(ouch!)” {for those that know history…the theme song sung in Germany at a very bad time…Eww…that hurt’s…}

    Such criticism is valid now since no Democrat has come forth and challenged this no show propaganda being preached by a con game fronting for a cause…by another name.

    So let’s just see how much this final and all too late “special investigation unit” gets dragged out in politics for two years and ends up down stream somewhere in that promised land…

    All Talk…No Action!

  27. Bruce E. Woych

    OBAMA: The hero with a thousand faces…

  28. @Woych – Rocky Anderson is looking better and better :-)) And so are a handful of others who manage to do something in public that activates the *personal destruction* machine of MSM….who knows how many others there are that are TRUE LEADERS…?

    We’re only going to find them if we Occupy Town Hall…

  29. I agree on Rocky Anderson! Good guy! Maybe Larry Wilkerson as Secretary of Defense? This will be a broadly appealing ticket.

    Political Reality: Obama needs the “major foreclosure states” to win in 2012 and the big banks who love Obama see this handwriting on the wall. They want Obama in the drivers seat for the next 4 years. After all, their profits the last 2 years eclipse that of the entire 8 years of the Bush administration… what is there not for the banks to love in Obama and Eric Holder? Obama and Holder are Big Bank Pin-up Boys!

    Obama would not agree to anything like this without first making sure the FOBs (Friends of Barack) are protected. It is a safe bet that the banks already have their “sitting ducks” aligned on the shelf of this county fair target-shooting booth and ready for public consumption.

    This panel is a deferral process to both provide some token prosecutions prior to November to show how “tough” Obama is on those naughty bankers (some mid-level bank employees should be pretty scared right now because they are about to be sacrificed!) and the statute-of-limitations to run.

    “Plausible Deniability” has become the name of the game for the upper level executives ala Richard Scrushey’s defense.

    The SOTU address was red meat for public consumption. His rhetoric is great, his actions… not so much.

    Assuming Eric Schneiderman a honest broker, he was sandbagged or just sold out – most of the panel will be loaded with guiac-positive bank brown-nosers.

    Iowa AG Tom Davis was the head of Obama’s Iowa campaign for 2008 – I think this says volumes about what will unfold in the future.

    Please… I beg someone – anyone – prove my cynicism wrong! I am so tired of this corruption.

  30. @Logic – “Political Reality: Obama needs the “major foreclosure states” to win in 2012 and the big banks who love Obama see this handwriting on the wall. They want Obama in the drivers seat for the next 4 years. After all, their profits the last 2 years eclipse that of the entire 8 years of the Bush administration… what is there not for the banks to love in Obama and Eric Holder? Obama and Holder are Big Bank Pin-up Boys!”

    I can’t prove your cynicism wrong :-)

    Good point for people to consider, Logic, the numbers. If now it takes only 2 years to steal from the public coffers and write more skin-’em alive tax policies to support an AUSTERITY program,

    and now every Prez gets to casually send troops to messupotamia for an *existential* reason,

    2 years instead of 8 years,

    than that’s more than enough reason to cut it off at a one four year term…

  31. Bruce E. Woych

    On Obama SOTU: New Financial Fraud Commision Could Actually Slow Down Investigations

    Tom Ferguson: Financial Fraud Commission could be used to slow down investigations taking place at the State level
    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=7846

  32. Bruce E. Woych

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=33&Itemid=74&jumival=827

    Reactions to the State of the Union address
    Real News Network
    January 25, 2012:

  33. Bruce E. Woych

    @ Annie:
    Let’s keep that back burner HOT!

    copy, paste and send…your move IS a movement:
    THE TORCH IS PASSED…
    “…LET THE WORD GO FORTH FROM THIS TIME AND PLACE, TO FRIEND AND FOE ALIKE, THAT THE TORCH HAS BEEN PASSED TO A NEW GENERATION OF AMERICANS…” (JFK:1961)

    2012:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37560195/#46030352
    PASS THE TORCH !
    (copy and paste to new message & pass the link along)

  34. Bruce E. Woych

    THE JUDICIAL PARTY: salt Lake City
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37560195/#46030352

    (copy and paste to new message & pass the link along)

  35. Now Bruce you and I go back along ways, and i’ll never forget that shopping cart story of yours, but long ago it was brought to us that Liberty holds the torch. Personally, I still have yet to define who exactly is it that passes the torch [perhaps of debt], but I don’t think they hold a candle to Lady Liberty, and i’m always concerned that someones going to drop the torch and cause a fire. Someone like Kennedy. No offence to you of course, but i would caution receiver’s of torches to study why it is they are receiving them, and to what extent justice is served by doing so.

  36. Bruce E. Woych

    @owens owens:
    justice is just that…and the torch is the light against the darkness…Look here at where the “shopping cart”
    is going now:
    http://rwer.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/the-state-of-the-world-2011-report-of-the-world-watch-institute-innovations-that-nourish-the-planet/

    The Plot thickens:
    I know you understand a great deal about how we are forced to actively seek counter-finance against the ultra-right blight of “free market” money that has been hoarded from the real economy. I know we are up against corporatism and people utilizing the economic advantages of capital control to dominate, capture and monopolize (smother…) authentic representative government…into a tyranny of privilege and special interest rule. But please consider…http://rwer.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/michael-hudson-on-the-making-of-the-crisis/
    Part 1
    http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2012/01/13/imperialism-cash-strapped-era-storms-below-the-surface-i.html
    Part 2:
    http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2012/01/18/imperialism-for-a-cash-strapped-era-us-cold-war-ii.html

    http://www.thesolutionsjournal.com/node/1039

    Volume 3 | Issue 1 | Jan 2012

    Open-Market Sustainability

    By Patrick Doherty

    Deputy director of the National Security Studies Program and director of the Smart Strategy Initiative at New America Foundation.

    In Brief

    America stands at a historic inflection point. The economic engine that carried our nation out of World War II, to then outperform the Soviets, is incapable of meeting the challenge of the twenty-first century.

    The real problem is that those of us that are keeping informed about the real world around us are simply considered (rightly or even when in the majority) marginal or leftist/socialists at the extreme (and there is a continuum in that bias from minimalist to extremist…or, at the center..simply cynical).

    People in America who go about their lives with football or basketball as their healthy distraction simply can’t handle the proportions of distortion when they hear it. Education through information and shared dialogue is the only way to disarm the misinformation / disinformation machine…which makes the swarm of millions spent by the SuperPacs meaningless waste.

    Using blogs to open direct communication and share links of real material creates an EVIDENCE BASED COMMUNICATION STREAM or; a continuous learning system (my pet use of the University without borders). Passing the Torch is a memory and real history…and anyone that recalls the foundation upon which America stood in the days of JFK will understand the Fire of freedom and justice that is the raw lantern of true Liberty.

    We need a new system of power sharing and it simply can not be money alone…because THEY have it ALL as a capital/economic instrument of advantage. We need to establish a new foundation of people’s congress through the electorate = the eclectronic (“eclectricity”) congress of ideas and ideals. Democracy without a gate and toll system Democracy without borders…Democracy without barriers to entry. E-formation…is reformation speaking to each other and seeing what is possible when we begin to put the lights on in this Great House of America! This Great HOME of America. And by God…WE the People want our Homes Back ! And perhaps the only way out is to let that fire light us through this dark night.
    We have the rudiments and the apparatus to start such a system. A true democracy is more possible than ever before…but it will not land on us with a parachute and a beer. So Why don’t we sit down together…and MAKE HISTORY! Pass the Torch !

    God Bless and God’s speed!

  37. Bruce E. Woych

    Please note. On this link reference:
    http://www.thesolutionsjournal.com/node/1039

    Volume 3 | Issue 1 | Jan 2012
    Open-Market Sustainability
    By Patrick Doherty

    Deputy director of the National Security Studies Program and director of the Smart Strategy Initiative at New America Foundation.
    This statement should have been in quotation marks:
    “In Brief
    America stands at a historic inflection point. The economic engine that carried our nation out of World War II, to then outperform the Soviets, is incapable of meeting the challenge of the twenty-first century.”
    http://www.thesolutionsjournal.com/node/1039

  38. Well then Bruce, you rise up against the darkness and share some candle light, the candle both lightens the way for others, as it is being consumed. Solutions are interpretational and challenging when they don’t work. Correct solutions are what separates the men from the boys, and i’m comfortable with that, where [and when] it leads, is anyone’s guess, as you are aware of.

  39. Bruce E. Woych


    Occupy The Courts – A Conversation with Lawrence Lessig and Chris Hedges

  40. Bruce E. Woych

    ***compliments the above video: also available @
    http://dangerousintersection.org/
    “The breadth of the corporate state
    Erich Vieth | January 25, 2012 | 0 Comments

    Chris Hedges explains that the corporate state has not merely confiscated our political system. I stretches much further into our lives. See the following video starting at minute 5:30, where Hedges explains that affected systems include communication, education and culture. In fact, there is an assault upon liberal institutions that once made meaningful political reform possible, such as labor unions and our great universities, the latter of which are oftentimes run as corporate entities uninterested in teaching the humanities and extolling an artificially narrow analytic view of what it means to be “intelligent.” What modern education excels at is training up systems managers who strive to be hyper-deferential to authority. Modern education no longer strives to teach students how to think, but rather what to think. Hedges has a “dark” view of what’s going on, essentially that the corporate state is “harvesting” what is left to be had of America “on the way out the door.” (min. 28:00). At this critical time, there is no mechanism for changing the system by way of voting–Hedges argues that there is no way, in light of the corporate loyalties of Barack Obama, to vote against Goldman Sachs in the upcoming presidential election, which is using tax money to re-inflate the bubble before the next crash. Lawrence Lessig prefers to use all of our resources for reforming the system, “even if there is zero chance of success.” Both men are big supporters of the Occupy movement.”

  41. Bruce E. Woych

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1849351104/counterpunchmaga
    Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion [Paperback]
    Jeffrey St. Clair (Editor), Joshua Frank (Editor), Kevin Alexander Gray (Contributor), Kathy Kelly (Contributor), Ralph Nader (Contributor)

  42. Simon,

    You are WAY, WAY, WAY too trusting about all of this. If you can actually whisper in Obama’s ear, please tell him we’re tired of all the BS and want action. We’ll start believing Obama when banksters are thrown in jail.

  43. And I start believing when are regulators are shamed and not given the go ahead.

  44. Eric Schneiderman will appear on Chris Hayes’ Saturday morning show “UP” on MSNBC at 7 am this coming Saturday. There will be some massive questioning of just what we can expect from this effort. All I can say it that it would make my heart burst just to see Jamie Dimon, Vicram Pandit and Loyd Blankfein sent to prison for the rapage of the American economy under criminal conspiracy charges. I believe that they all knew exactly what they were doing, and how it would turn out, and since each was rewarded with multi-billions in riches, really didn’t care at all what the outcome was. They are all satanically evil men who have not a whit of moral scruples to rub together. It was a cold-blooded calculation with Geithner, Summers, Paulson, and Bernanke guaranteeing that they wouldn’t suffer a day’s worth of loss or harm. This was planned and executed beautifully. At the core, this is actually treason, that is to conspire to destroy the nation of which you are a citizen. It’s a shame that they can’t get life in prison for it. They are actually more harmful to more people than the most evil Mafiosi who ever lived. They are now responsible for the death and destruction of literally thousands, even millions, of human lives. Regardless of the heinousness of their criminality, the real question is, have they donated enough to those who can bring them down to provide protection for ultimate harm. Probably so. That, after all, appears to be the American Way.

  45. Considering that Obambi is on video saying that “….not everyone deserves to own a home…” – what is the point of this exercise…?

    Obfuscation in an election year? That’s the only thing that would make sense.

  46. @Bayard, who said “I remember the S&L crisis. The President appointed Bill Seidman to head an effort to resolve the crisis. Mr. Seidman formed the Resolution Trust Corporation and put all of the bad loans their for management and collection. He made all of the servicers cooperate to avoid massive sanctions. He sent lots of the executives of the sinning lenders to prison. He put all of the miscreant lenders in receivership and out of business. The problem was over in a matter of less than two years, and the economy recovered quickly. A great message was sent, that, within a matter of only a few years, was completely forgotten under the Greenspan, Clinton conspiracy to ignore Brooksly Borne, throw out Glass-Steagall, and institute the era of massive fraud and abuse under Gramm-Leach-Bliley.”

    Yeah, I remember, too…sort of. Mostly, I’ve heard quite a bit about the handling of the S&L Crisis from Bill Black. I have the greatest respect for Professor Black, but I keep thinking…if the resolution of the S&L crisis was so great, why did it have no lasting impact? Why, from today’s vantage point, does it seem that from the resolution of the S&L crisis on, financial absuses simply got worse and worse?

    I’m sorry, it nags.

    If real reforms (serious jail time for bankers!) are swept away in just a few years, and the abuses are replaced with even worse ones, this argues for fundamental, systemic change. Doesn’t it?

  47. @Carla Yes, and, remember that late in Mr. Clinton’s second term, Glass-Steagall was replaced with Gramm-Leach-Bliley. That opened the flood gates to endless abuse, together with ignoring Brooksley Born on the regulation of derivative and having them listed on an exchange. Of course, the real issue is that as of today, our government has been fully purchased by the oligarchy. Even the Congressmen who want to can legally do insider trading. The fundamental change has to take place, as we stand at the edge of a true financial abyss, with the bubble continuing to be inflated, and another far worse crash on the horizon. The change will be a revolution, hopefully peaceful non-violent, but possibly the other less pleasant kind. But, you are right. The power elite never learned and now know that it is very unlikely that any will ever be severely punished in the present system.

  48. Bruce E. Woych

    @Carla
    THIS IS THE ORIGINAL VERSION OF 1989. THE EXTENDED 1991 HARPER PAPERBACK IS GREATLY ELABORATED.

    http://www.archive.org/stream/insidejoblooting00pizzrich/insidejoblooting00pizzrich_djvu.txt

    Full text of “Inside job : the looting of America’s savings …
    Inside job : the looting of America’s savings and loans / Stephen Pizzo, Mary Fricker, and Paul Muolo. p. cm. Bibliography; p. Includes index. …
    http://www.archive.org/stream/insidejoblooting00pizzrich/insidejo... – Similar

  49. Bruce E. Woych

    George A. Akerlof & Paul A. Romer: 1993

    LOOTING: The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit.

  50. Bruce E. Woych

    Moyers & Company Show 103: January 27, 2012
    How power and influence helped big banks rewrite the rules of our economy.
    by BillMoyers.com pro

  51. Bruce E. Woych

    @Bayard Waterbury
    The Monster: How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America–and Spawned a Global Crisis by Michael W. Hudson (Oct 26, 2010)

    The Monster: How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America–and Spawned a Global Crisis [Bargain Price] [Hardcover]
    Michael W. Hudson (Author)
    (22 customer reviews)

  52. @Bruce Thanks for the recommendation. I assume you have read both The Shock Doctrine (Naomi Klein) and Top Secret America (Dana Priest). Both equally terrifying.

  53. Bruce E. Woych

    @Bayard: I had not seen the TSA /Dana Priest title & checked it out at Amazon. It looks valuable. There are some very frightening developments under the guise of National Security but essentially amounts to a great power grab. What is equally disturbing but less mentioned is the oversaturation of a hyper-patriotism (knee-jerk hero-in-uniform mindlessness) that is impacting the popular media and consciousness. A new generation has grown almost entirely under the influence of war, and the older generations appear to be in a denial state concerning the legitimation and validity of incentives and motivations. The media is draped with uniform adoration, and It is a very difficult area to discuss. In the meantime we are being more and more confronted by local police forces that are romanticizing the para-military bravado to new levels of fantasy as they get armor vehicle and equipment financed by this neo-Stasi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stasi….emergence in America.

    The only good title I have found:
    The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War 2005, by Andrew J. Bagevich
    Here is the first paragraph from its Preface:
    “This is a book about the new American militarism—the misleading and dangerous conceptions of war, soldiers, and military institutions that have come to pervade the American consciousness and that have perverted present-day U>S> national security policy.”

    Considering the preparation time prior to publication and the fact that this title was released in 2005, I would say that the situation has become more intense and complicated since that time…yet there is practically no intelligent discussion about the big difference between supporting our citizen soldiers and condoning the mercenary side of blatant murderous warfare in the process. These are cold times. This National Intelligence State we are caught-up under has a security lamp on every American citizen and a tracer in their “smart” phone, and a face book outline of our children …all under the butcher block market of National Security. And the reality is that it has increasingly become the business methodology of abuse of power itself (from air port security tactics to abuses in the occupy movement suppression strategies).

    The reality is that if you attempt to make any “power” secret, it is subject to corruption. In many ways we are still suffering from the legacy of the old cold war mentality.

  54. @Bayard Waterbury, @Bruce E. Woych “The Monster: How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America–and Spawned a Global Crisis”

    A book that talks about the monster, without a word about Dr. Frankenstein.

    Had it not been for the bank regulators, no Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers, would have been able to spawn a Global Crisis. Just as a reminder, about US$1.5 Trillion of foreign banks and investors bought these securities, exclusively because their bank regulations, Basel II, allowed them to do so against only 1.6 percent of capital, in other words authorized them to leverage their capital 62.5 times.

  55. Bruce E. Woych

    @Per Kurowski : (tongue in cheek, of course)…Pleas activate your Polish side and name names ! Define your specific case studies and provide us with evidential materials that prove your attack against regulators isn’t just an attack against the control fraud people who have captured the gameplans. It seems to me that the loudest cries of big government always come from the criminal side…or the Republican representatives who actually ARE the government seeking confidence peddlers.

    In the meantime you are certainly the “Ron Paul” of bank regulators, but I would love to see the two of you in a debate as to who really has to go. One thing that you have never explained is how you can have a system of banking left to the wolves and not end up with a centralized power arrangement aggregated and agglomerated around the worst practices of least resistant misappropriations, mal-appropriations and control fraud. History is not on your side. If you can be more specific and comprehensive about real time imbalances (not circumstantial quibbling) that truly indicate how your attack against regulations has any merit at this inflection point, please do so. If you can explain Greece and the ultimate heist in the Paulson/Bush team that looted the treasury…please do so.

    One a side note: Have you ever looked at “SELLING OUT: How BIG CORPORATE MONEY buys ELECTIONS, rams through legislation, and BETRAYS OUR DEMOCRACY… by Mark Green ?

    I think you can start the financial insurgency into power politics with the unregulated and unaccountable international financial systemic and the systems that seek the course of least resistance to service its core players …and run the world from a very much unregulated “off shore” political economy. Your complaints about Basil may well be centered upon the reality that they only do the bidding…a high stakes Cosa Nostra that is above the law because it makes the law.

    (not that the real Cosa Nostra doesn’t work it from the bottom as well …looting becomes “busting Out” and check this out at your leisure on the beach…
    Friday, December 16, 2011
    How Scarfo son & Luccheses stole a financial firm
    From an FBI press release:

    It’s a criminal’s dream—owning a financial company that can be looted at will. That’s just what 13 individuals—including two with ties to organized crime families—are accused of in a federal indictment announced last month in New Jersey.
    http://cosa-nostra-news.blogspot.com/2011/12/how-scarfo-son-luccheses-stole.html

  56. Bruce E. Woych

    And if that is the “criminal” dream…just what is the real “political” dream that seeks to rule …. period.

  57. @Bruce E. Woych

    http://www.cityam.com/forum/holy-moly-banks-were-drugged-basel-s-rulebook

    @Bruce E. Woych “how you can have a system of banking left to the wolves and not end up with a centralized power arrangement aggregated and agglomerated around the worst practices of least resistant misappropriations, mal-appropriations and control fraud?”

    You can’t! That is why you cannot allow regulators the power to create “least resistant” paths, especially when these serve no purpose. How much taxpayers have have had to pay for losses in hedge-funds? Basically zero!

    @Bruce E. Woych If you can explain Greece

    The way Greece was rated banks all European banks were allowed to leverage 62.5 times the risk adjusted margins when lending to it, 1.6 percent in capital, while could they could only leverage 12.5 times the same risk adjusted margin, 8 percent in capital, when lending to any small European businesses and entrepreneurs. Do I really have to explain why Greece got way over its head in public debt?

  58. Bruce E. Woych

    @Per Kurowski
    “Do I really have to explain why Greece got way over its head in public debt?”

    Yes Per Kurowski ! …and if you don’t mind…Italy, Iceland , and Ireland…and …well that will do for now.
    Thanks for asking.

  59. @ Bruce Yeah, the book by Dana Priest, Top Secret America, is definitely about as scary as it gets. Lest we think that surveilance is no problem it is a must read. The story is very freaky, and it’s only getting worse. Now we have 15 agencies involved, with new powers and hidden budgets. Why do you think that Obama hasn’t presented, and the Senate hasn’t passed a budget in the last three years? Perhaps the most disturbing thing, beyond 1.2 million Top Secret clearances, is that there are even more private contractors involved than with the Pentagon. And, yes, I have Bacevich’s book, but haven’t had time to read it yet. It’s high on my reading list. My impression is that he’s comparable to Chalmers Johnson (sadly now deceased) whose book Nemesis is truly appalling (and that’s about seven years ago).

    Also, on topic with Simon’s piece here, Eric Schneiderman was on Chris Hayes’ show this morning, and promised that they had the budget and determination to now do a complete follow up on everything surrounding the Wall Street malfeasance, both civil and criminal, and that all forces will be brought to bear at both the state and federal level. We’ll see. I am not totally sanguine as to what we can expect. Some how the $160 million spent last election by WS and similar amounts now may play heavily into the outcome. What do you think?

  60. @Bruce E. Woych “Do I really have to explain why Greece got way over its head in public debt?” “Yes Per Kurowski!”

    Ok. Here again. The regulators allowed the banks to lend 100 Euros to Greece holding only 1.6 Euros of their own capital… so that meant they could leverage their 1.6 Euros in capital when lending to Greece a mind-blowing 62.5 times. On the other hand, if they were lending to a small business they needed to hold 8 percent in capital and so doing that they could only leverage 12.5 times.

    And so a bank, that looks to maximize return on its equity, if when lending to Greece it can leverage 5 times what he can leverage when lending to a small businesses… to whom do you think it will lend… to Greece or to the small business?

  61. Bruce E. Woych

    @Bayard Waterbury Thanks for that! Here’s the link for anyone interested to view that interview:
    http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/ny-attorney-general-eric-schneiderman-on-president-obamas-mortgage-crisis-unit/6dhz1i7
    Up With Chris Hayes: NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on President Obama’s mortgage crisis unit

  62. Bruce E. Woych

    @Per Kurowski:
    No Per…”I don’t think this is Kansas anymore…” Open the Curtain… this is not about transaction imbalances.
    Economy
    European Union
    Our friends from Goldman Sachs…
    16 November 2011
    Le Monde Paris

    “Mario Monti, Lucas Papademos and Mario Draghi have something in common: they have all worked for the American investment bank. This is not a coincidence, but evidence of a strategy to exert influence that has perhaps already reached its limits.”

    Marc Roche
    http://www.presseurop.eu/en/content/article/1177241-our-friends-goldman-sachs
    (excerpt)
    “According to its detractors, the European network of influence woven by American bank Goldman Sachs (GS) functions like a freemasonry. To diverse degrees, the new European Central Bank President, Mario Draghi, the newly designated Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Monti, and the freshly appointed Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos are totemic figures in this carefully constructed web.
    Heavyweight members figure large in the euro crisis

    Draghi was Goldman Sachs International’s vice-chairman for Europe between 2002 and 2005, a position that put him in charge of the the “companies and sovereign” department, which shortly before his arrival, helped Greece to disguise the real nature of its books with a swap on its sovereign debt.

    Monti was an international adviser to Goldman Sachs from 2005 until his nomination to lead the Italian government.” http://www.presseurop.eu/en/content/article/1177241-our-friends-goldman-sachs

    and please do view the video
    http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/ny-attorney-general-eric-schneiderman-on-president-obamas-mortgage-crisis-unit/6dhz1i7
    Up With Chris Hayes: NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on President Obama’s mortgage crisis unit

  63. @Bruce E. Woych “Per Kurowski: “I don’t think this is Kansas anymore…” Mario Monti and Mario Draghi have something in common: they have all worked for Goldman Sachs”

    My accusation against these persons is that they are part of the small group responsible for some truly lousy bank regulations generated by an incestuous thought process among regulators in a small mutual admiration club that should never ever have been allowed to operate in a cocoon, and yours, that they were criminal conspirators out to make a buck for their mother ship.

    Excuse me if my alternative explanation bothers you by its share existence.

  64. @Per Kurowski Bayard Waterbury I have believed exactly what you just iterated, that, if I am not mistaken, that not only do we have a global financial oligarchy, but that its influence is raping the Euro-American economies, and continues (and will continue) to do so, since it now has either its top people in the right places of control, but the regulatory framework has been fully coopted as well. There’s no doubt. For me this has been clear for a couple of years. Sadly, it seems that those of us who can see can only twiddle our thumbs waiting for the final shoe to drop to say we told you so, since there’s nothing we have the power to do. Of course, this makes what Schneiderman had to say seem like just so much blather, although I think that he was being sincere and is convinced. When push comes ot shove, something only slightly better than symbolic is likely to be done. There is too much at stake. It’s as corrupt as the “war on drugs” and as unwinnable.

  65. One problem here Per is that more than a few moments ago [closer to 2+ decades], these same folks proclaimed “we are the worst” around company perhaps they shouldn’t have. And then they had to act on it, and then once under water, and feet time tested, everyone just bitched out and wished the problem away. Problem is that it didn’t work, and now the high wire is so much riskier because of it and the web has disintegrated so the accountants have all gone home with their basil in pocket and arrogance in check.

  66. @Bayard Waterbury “a global financial oligarchy”

    Yes but a big chunk of that oligarchy is there because they are supposed to regulate the rest of the financial oligarchy and the most important weapon we have is to shame these as the bad regulators they are, and not just use the route of trying to make them a part of a conspiracy or more mundane in search of a big bonus.

    But of course if your agenda is not to better the way the financial regulations work, but to take the financial oligarchy down, presumably in order to replace it with another one more of your liking… then I understand you, but do not follow you… as I am only looking for better bank regulations, and not to burn banks on an altar.

  67. @Per:

    If a Basel IV agreement following your recommendations were to be implemented, it would have much the same effect as the revolution others are recommending; the multinationals would be mortally wounded and would drag the global economy under with them, perhaps a fitting coup de grace for this whole sordid affair. Although your recommendation is clearly sensible, and a better way to preserve the good bones of the financial system, I wonder if those bones have long since turned to powder.

    We do have to remember, that whatever machinations Goldman Sachs worked in the Greek bond markets, this whole Euro affair started with the core states of the Eurozone looking the other way when Greece and Italy presented their cooked books when they applied for entry. Greece’s books were criminally falsified, Italy’s debts well known, and their inabilities to control their deficits clearly known in the mid-90s. And now the old guard in Greece is attempting to try Papademos for treason because his revelations of Greece’s horribly mismanaged books “makes Greece look bad”. Goldman Sachs or no Goldman Sachs, the blame for this sort of duplicity and foolishness falls squarely at the feet of these countries. The investment banks played dealer to the Eurozone’s crackheads. Neither is blameless.

  68. @Per Kurowski Bayard Waterbury I am totally with you. If the US had stuck with Glass-Steagall, and regulated derivatives, the story would be very different. The problem is that with the financial oligarchs in control by buying all of our politicians, real regulatory reform is completely impossible. The Dodd-Frank reform was essentially superficial blather. No limits on leverage, no derivative transparency, no serious capital requirements. With none of that, there’s little to restrain the new bubble which is going to pop soon, far worse than the one in 2007-2008. Sorry, but I am completely on your side.

  69. @Oregano Bayard Waterbury. You are so right, but then the evil banksters, led by Goldman most of the time for the past 15 years, are bound and determined to deepen the chasm we are about to collapse into. And, there is no mistaking that a complete de-leveraging will cost our global economy dearly, but if it got the bad actors out, at least we could start fresh. This should have happened instead of the (inside job) bailouts, but, oh well, too late to cry over spilt milk. Time to throw the financial trash in the dump and go on with a responsible approach. Buckle your seat belt folks, it ain’t gonna be a pretty picture for a while.

  70. @Oregano @Per Kurowski “If a Basel IV agreement following your recommendations were to be implemented, it would have much the same effect as the revolution others are recommending”

    I try to correct and a revolution rejects… I guess there is a difference. And by the way I would never impose an immediate clean cut change… which would of course lynch the economy.

    For instance at this moment I am pushing forward the following working proposal:

    Declaring a ten year new additional capital requirement moratorium on all current bank exposures; allowing the banks to run any new lending with whatever new capital they can raise, while imposing an equal 8 percent capital requirement on any new bank business, meaning no risk-weighting. If there’s an exception, that should be on the lending to small businesses and entrepreneurs, in which case one could require the banks to hold for instance only 6 percent of capital, because these borrowers do not pose any systemic risk, and also because, when the going gets to be risky, all of us risk-adverse, really need the “risky” risk-takers to get going.

  71. @Bayard Waterbury “If the US had stuck with Glass-Steagall, and regulated derivatives, the story would be very different”

    Of course! And perhaps much good growth would also have been lost in the way. But the direct cause of this crisis no matter how you look at it was that regulators allowed for extraordinarily low capital requirements for banks for holding assets that were officially deemed as not risky… as if such a favorable treatment of the not risky would not change the whole market dynamics

    @Bayard Waterbury “The Dodd-Frank reform was essentially superficial blather”

    Yes most of it was, but, probably because they really did not know what they were doing, an article that prohibits referencing credit ratings in bank regulations found its way in there, and it will be interesting to see how they now handle that.

  72. @Bayard Waterbury “The Dodd-Frank reform was essentially superficial blather”

    Yes most of it was but, probably because they really did not know what they were doing, an article that prohibits referencing credit ratings in bank regulations found its way in there, and it will be interesting to see how they now handle that.

    @Bayard Waterbury “but if it got the bad actors out, at least we could start fresh”

    If that was so easy, there would be no bad actors left in our civilization. I would rather assume the existence of bad actors and not give them the weapons to use against us.

    Which, by the way, is what your Constitution is all about. Who on earth gave the Basel Committee the powers to decide on a global level how our banks should work?

  73. And vise-versa:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/acta-%E2%80%9Cwould-usurp-congressional-authority%E2%80%9D-threatens-numerous-public-interests-backroom-

    The solution will come from a God most all of you do not believe in, so enjoy the fruits of your destruction while you can, you did it your way, and would accept nothing less.

  74. @Per – Yes, that would get rid of a major part of the present financial constipation – not enough capital to meet current reserve requirements – while removing incentives for sovereign debt underwriting. Concurrent with that, however, we would still have to globally severely curtail risk hedging instruments and reinstate investment/retail banking firewalls. These private instruments accomplish much the same thing as risk-weighting by faulty risk-spreading models. Not only do capital reserves have to be replenished, the assets making up those reserves have to be real. 90% of what passes for assets today is untraceable with multiple claimants, and only acts to rapidly inflate destructive bubbles.

  75. Bruce E. Woych

    @Per: …Oregano has a major point. As long as credit default swaps or any such instrument to offset risk becomes a guaranteed perverted incentive to encourage irresponsible transactions that negates the very power of risk and due diligence …while the profit motive is completely and progressively distorted.

    If there isn’t transparency and accountability to outside agency that can heavily guard the public interests then everyone “but” the bad guys pays the price. Meanwhile, The bad guys are literally laughing as they take their own profits “out” of the banks.

    I would also like your opinion about offshore havens that have multiplied like jack rabbits since the year 2000, and have flourished almost in direct inverse proportion to the rest of the world getting slammed. Are you going to tell me that this “proves” that off-shore works due to having no regulatory accountability?

    Capital flight is been a blight to growing economies, but planning the hump and dump (pump and dump) flim-flam has been rampant in the so called free market rulebooks of deregulation and anything goes when flash crash capital gambles pay off like nuclear pirateering.

    Can you speak to us on these issues and directly to these levels of real corruption and distortion? We are not talking of simple moral hazard here. We are speaking of pirate flagship mentalities that can care less who gets left behind in their wake…they just pick up stakes and morve on to the next set of suckers…even if it involves the livelihood and futures of entire nations!

    This has been a pretty productive exchange so far, Per, I think you know more than you are telling us.

    Vee.. have.. vays…to Make…you talk…you Know! (just kidding around…)

  76. Bruce E. Woych

    Who Will Win The War Over Financial Regulations?
    30 January 2012. As the world continues to clamp down on untamed speculative finance, disagreements between nations, global banks and financial institutions are likely to intensify. At the same time, the financial sector, and its lobbyists, will be doing all they can to adulterate, block or water down any reforms. Can any of the reforms stick, or will they ultimately have the perverse effect of increasing, and not decreasing, financial instability? Click here to continue reading.
    http://www.economywatch.com/economy-business-and-finance-news/who-will-win-the-war-over-financial-regulations.30-01.html
    ——————————————————————————————————————————
    Related: Can The Financial Stability Board Live Up To Its Name? :Olin Wethington
    http://www.economywatch.com/economy-business-and-finance-news/can-the-financial-stability-board-live-up-to-its-name-olin-wethington.31-10.html

    Related: Can The “Wild Beast of Finance” Be Tamed?
    http://www.economywatch.com/economy-business-and-finance-news/can-the-wild-beast-of-finance-be-tamed.30-11.html

    Related: Is Corporate Regulation Protecting Consumers or Making Life Harder?
    http://www.economywatch.com/economy-business-and-finance-news/is-corporate-regulation-protecting-consumers-or-making-life-harder.15-07.html

  77. Bruce E. Woych

    Into The Belly Of The Beast (Part 1 – How Goldman Sachs Became The Most Hated Bank On Earth)
    Date: 26 Jan 2012

    Goldman Sachs is the bank everyone loves to hate. In the first of our two-part investigation into the bank, we ask why they emerged as the biggest winners in the financial crisis. We also look at how they lobbied the US Government to reduce banking regulations, how they acquired massive fortunes by selling sub-prime mortgages, and how they deceived their clients by betting against the products they sold. Read more:
    http://www.economywatch.com/economy-business-and-finance-news/into-the-belly-of-the-beast-part-one.26-01.html

  78. @Per – you said, “And I start believing when are regulators are shamed and not given the go ahead.”

    If you are going to change the law behind the scenes, you have to get rid of the regulators who would continue to enforce Glass-Steagall rules during those 2 years you were changing the law in secret (see below). So, operationally, when doing a 180 change (scientists would have KNOWN it was nutz), you must replace rule of law with lawlessness.

    So Schneiderman’s *job* here can only be to protect the stalkers and predators, to make sure there is no swift execution of justice for their BOLD HEIST, but rather to delay until enough time has gone by so that the *damage* CAN NOT be undone, and then institute the new *regulations* retroactively – no one broke a law because there was no law. Talk about your *Black Swan* event – except one could argue that the savagery of greed – the *plan* of waiting in the jungle until after the hard work of the harvest is done and then ambushing the village, killing off everyone and living off the fruits of someone else’s labor – is what *CIVILIZED* men were supposed to be making sure wasn’t going to happen with *unregulated capitalism* – the gentlemen’s agreement…?!

    Master/slave always was and always will be a game of/by/for SAVAGES.

    http://billmoyers.com/episode/full-show-how-big-banks-are-rewriting-the-rules-of-our-economy/

    excerpt – “…..At a standing room only press conference in April 1998, Sandy Weill, head of the investment bank and insurance company Travelers group, and John Reed, the longtime CEO of the commercial bank Citicorp, announced a gigantic, $140 billion merger.

    Just one problem: the merger flew in the face of this law.

    You’re looking at the Banking Act of 1933, also known as Glass-Steagall. Glass Steagall was enacted during the Great Depression to prevent investment banks from ever again gambling with people’s life savings, as they had before the market crash of 1929. Glass-Steagall protected us against a repeat of that calamity for seventy years. It’s a little bitty thing — just 37 pages — for the big job it did for us.

    Glass-Steagall was still in force when Travelers and Citicorp went ahead with their merger. What made them think they could get away with it? Well, they had friends in high places. Friends who helped them exploit a loophole giving them two years to get rid of Glass-Steagall…..”

  79. Bruce E. Woych

    Right On!!! Annie!

  80. @Bruce E. Woych @Oregano … “credit default swaps or any such instrument to offset risk… offshore havens that have multiplied like jack rabbits”

    If you are a regulator and give a banker a normal deck of cards, how many hands can he deal on you? Plenty! But, if you give the banker a deck that contains only cards marked eight (like 8 percent in capital requirements) how many cards can the banker deal on you? Very few!

    Much of what you see out there in the banking world is a result of bankers trying to deal themselves a good hand with a very varied deck of cards handed to them by the regulators.

    The regulators were in essence co-opted. It was never their role to believe in that bankers knew what they were up to their role was to presuppose they often didn’t. By allowing the bankers to play with the deck of different capital requirements based on risk, not only did they completely distort the markets but they also gave the bankers all the tools these needed to pull illusions out of the hat and totally and absolutely confuse the regulators. And not only confuse the regulators but most market participants as well who have no reason to know in detail what concoctions the bank regulators have come up with.

    This reminds me by the way of how in a workshop in the World Bank I started a brief speech to the regulators, back in 2003, by saying “we can already begin to see how Basel II is forcing bank regulators to make a real professional quantum leap. As I see it, you will have a lot of homework in the next years, brushing up on your calculus—almost a career change.”

    And what I meant of course with that is that if you need to know calculus to regulate a bank you are completely lost from the very beginning.

  81. @Per Kurowski Bayard Waterbury I wholeheartedly disagree with your view of why Dodd-Frank is such a bad piece of legislation. First and foremost, it was almost entirely written by the financial lobby to be extensively ineffective. How can any bill be three reams long and contain so little to actually change things. The obvious answer is not incompetance. After all, Congress has access to every expert in every field ad infinitum. If they are serious about good legislation, they get it right, always. The Congress people are, by definition mostly incompetant in areas requiring massive expertise, such as financial legislative matters. However, they do know how to say a lot without saying anything. It’s a real talent, and one for which they are paid very well by those in the community of oligarchs who hire them during campaigns. No, Dodd-Frank is intended to be just what it is, essentially meaningless blather. Remember, the folks in Congress are mostly amoral, greedy, ruthless, conniving, evil people who are American in name only. They only have a desire to help the top 1% of the top 1%, period, end of story. We know that almost all legislation of a serious nature is essentially written by their supporters, and promulgated by the media, which is essentially and oligarchy. Why is it that the main stream media never reports the whole truth? Because it would hurt their advertisers and owners, that’s why.

  82. @Annie @Per – you said, “And I start believing when our regulators are shamed and not given the go ahead.”

    Yes and I do not know where and when that is going to happen.

    Listen to John Reed in the Bill Moyers video Reed (17:40 to 18:15) saying “It does not take a genius to see what happened … the presumption that you can capture risk by looking at historical volatility…. As soon as you say something appears not to be risky you get an overinvestment in it because the capital requirements are less and the is something does go wrong the hurt is all the more because you do not have the capital to take that risk”

    This is what I have been arguing for more than a decade now and, at The Baseline Scenario, for I would say 3 years, in at least 100 comments… but still Messrs. Johnson and Kwak have not been able to refer to what it does not take a genius to see even once. If you can’t shame them on their own blog where can you? What dark secrets might they be hiding? :)

  83. @Bruce Bayard Waterbury You said: “The regulators were in essence co-opted. It was never their role to believe in that bankers knew what they were up to their role was to presuppose they often didn’t. By allowing the bankers to play with the deck of different capital requirements based on risk, not only did they completely distort the markets but they also gave the bankers all the tools these needed to pull illusions out of the hat and totally and absolutely confuse the regulators. And not only confuse the regulators but most market participants as well who have no reason to know in detail what concoctions the bank regulators have come up with.” This is mostly true, but remember that most regulators are run by those appointed to their positions by the President, and funded by Congressional budgetary allocations. This plays a big role in regulatory effectiveness. A prime example would be the regulators in the BP oil spill. The regulators who handle the Wall Street banks and investment companies are mostly staffed with ex-employees of that arena. if not actually politically captured by the major players, they are absolutely intellectually captured. Simon has stressed this endlessly, and is 100% right about who is regulating and their motivational schema.

  84. @Bayard Waterbury “Simon has stressed this endlessly, and is 100% right about who is regulating and their motivational schema”

    Oh yeah! Where was Mr. Johnson before the crisis broke out?

    Forget about motivational schema. If we cannot accept that most of this crisis is the result of simple sheer human stupidity, the consequence of the intellectual incest that can occur in small mutual admiration clubs, we will not have learned anything and we are reading the world for new disasters when other global regulators start wanting to solve other problems on behalf of humanity.

  85. Bruce E. Woych

    @Per Kurowski: “Forget about motivational schema. If we cannot accept that most of this crisis is the result of simple sheer human stupidity, the consequence of the intellectual incest that can occur in small mutual admiration clubs, we will not have learned anything …”
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    So you agree with Fidel? HAVANA | Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:20pm EST
    (Reuters)
    “The selection of a Republican candidate for president of that globalized and encompassing empire is – I say this seriously – the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been heard.”
    [and]
    “Those who direct those media insist on deceiving and brutalizing the world with their ugly lies, thinking perhaps that that’s the principal way to maintain the global system of domination,”
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/25/us-usa-campaign-castro-idUSTRE80O2PE20120125

  86. @per: Thank you, by the way, for your clear and consistent commentary over the years.

    “”If you are a regulator and give a banker a normal deck of cards, how many hands can he deal on you? Plenty! But, if you give the banker a deck that contains only cards marked eight (like 8 percent in capital requirements) how many cards can the banker deal on you? Very few!

    Much of what you see out there in the banking world is a result of bankers trying to deal themselves a good hand with a very varied deck of cards handed to them by the regulators.””

    Point taken, By eliminating externally risk-rated products, the pool of derivatives shrinks dramatically. Certain hedge instruments will still exist, but the decision to create or invest in one will not be made upon ex-ante risk ratings. The major question in my mind is whether risk-spreading makes any sense at all in a highly connected economy outside the confines of demonstratably mutually independent risk pools (as with conventional insurance products). So your recommendation is an effective first step but the next steps are to replace the transactional banking model with a partnership model.

    Incidentally, in that Moyers interview with John Reid, Reid noted that one of the big reasons that Glass-Steagall was implemented is because the government instituted FDIC retail bank account insurance. Without a firewall between retail and investment sectors, banks could (and did) use government insurance guarantees as assets for speculation. We now have a system that not only bailed out the banks directly, but continues to do so through the back door of FDIC.

    So it seems we’re back to my original point; get rid of ex-ante risk weights, but don’t forget to close the casino. Otherwise we’ve just plugged a few holes in the colander.

  87. Bruce E. Woych

    SuperPacs : in their own words….

  88. Bruce E. Woych

    Mitt Romney linked to major Medicare fraud
    Posted on 2012 January 30

    http://richardbrenneman.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/mitt-romney-linked-to-major-medicare-fraud/
    Politics really do make strange bedfellows, and we begin by noting that Winning Our Future is a super PAC devoted to the election of Newt Gingrich and bankrolled to the tune of $10 million by the noxious casino mogul and Ziocon Sheldon Adelson, the same guy who has also funded overtly Islamophobic “documentaries.”

    So why are we featuring the documentary?
    read all (and interesting links to 0other features as well):

    http://richardbrenneman.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/mitt-romney-linked-to-major-medicare-fraud/

  89. @Bruce E. Woych “Per… So you agree with Fidel?”

    Let us not forget that fidel belongs to an even much smaller mutual admiration club which has been involved in more incest than just incestuous thinking, for more than 50 years, and so the premeditated harmful stupidity he has produced surpasses by far any almost unwitting stupidity he could by chance discover in others.

  90. @Oregano “The major question in my mind is whether risk-spreading makes any sense at all in a highly connected economy outside the confines of demonstratably mutually independent risk pools”

    That is indeed a valid question, one for which I have no definite yes or no… and so I start with what I am sure of.

  91. @Per Kurowski Bayard Waterbury I thoroughly disagree with you. I don’t believe that anyone involved in the run up to the crisis was either intellectually challenged, ignorant or stupid. I believe that they all know exactly what they were doing and what the results would be and that their sins were pure greed and apathy. The simply didn’t care about the destruction that they were going to cause. Otherwise, why would they have invested so heavily in credit default swaps. These are globalists with vast wealth, and know that even if there is a total collapse of the global economy they are positioned to withstand it. Their ideal is to eliminate as much of the global population as possible by any means, and enserf the remainder. Their goals are progressing very well, thank you!!

  92. May I suggest you see Monsters, Inc. one of these days?

  93. @Per Bayard Waterbury I assume that this is your way of hinting that your opinion is that I am living in a fantasy world. Look, Per, I almost always agree with what you believe, and I am certainly interested in doing anything possible to make this a financially and fiscally sound world in which to live, but I simply can’t buy the “stupidity” argument. Yes, there was a herd mentality, yes, many were intellectually captured and acting due to some testosterone motivated financial oneupmanship, but I really believe that deep at the root of the problem in both the US and Europe, there lies a deeply cynical fraudulent core of bad actors, sort of high end grifters who are essentially predatious, and amoral. In the S&L crisis, both types went to prison. Now none are going, and there is a massive FED protection racket (of which QE is a part) to keep things essentially as they are. For me, I am actually astonished that Richard Cordray is now in place and set to provide meaningful regulatory oversight in the consumer credit market place (badly needed). I want to work from a positive prospective to make the world economy healthy again, but sponsoring a system where the total credit default swaps (not reserved for) now are nearing $800 trillion. That is terrifying. Can we find a way to get transparency? I don’t think so.

  94. @Bayard Waterbury “Per I assume that this is your way of hinting that your opinion is that I am living in a fantasy world”

    No what I am hinting at is that you might be seeing too many scary monsters, although I, admittedly, might be seeing too few. Might truth lie somewhere in between? Probably!

    Let me just tell you that I lived through some of the discussions of Basel II and I am convinced that most of the regulators believed or wanted to believe profoundly in what they were saying.

  95. They most certainly did, and the growth of the economy during the real estate bubble was only agreed to then by them saying what they believed, once the expiration was breached, and renewed for 11 more months the same will occur. A simple let the tax cuts expire is the only way confidence can be restored in financing. Yet the reaction will be a tried and true reversal of damning tax increases in order to capture the public eye and keep the ball a rollin down wall street and Pennsylvania ave. He who steps up properly to the plate, can easily become elected. He who steps away, will be caught running like the jersey devil himself.

  96. @Per “…Let me just tell you that I lived through some of the discussions of Basel II and I am convinced that most of the regulators believed or wanted to believe profoundly in what they were saying…..”

    While that is probably true, the FACT that they ignored *dissenters* – and there was a plethora of people like Brooksly Born and Senator Dorgan – means that Waterbury is ALSO correct in believing that they weren’t *Forest Gump* stupid…

    My point was to provide the reason and the point in time when the role of the regulators was forever changed from keeping people playing by the rules to making up the rules as they went along to follow the SIMPLE TRUE math formula:

    More misery for others = More $$$$ for ME ME ME

    Issuing $$$$ as *debt* is nutz.

  97. @Bruce – the tip of the iceberg (Romney and fraudulent medical billing) when it comes to the sancti-santorium :-)) connetions between health care and people in Legislative Branch, Supreme Court Branch, and Executive Branch of the Federal Government…how could there be a surprise when the IRS will be able to collect FINES from *working poor* if they don’t buy for-profit health insurance!

    Skinning us alive…

    Occupy Town Hall.

  98. Annie… this crisis cannot be reduced to a “More misery for others = More $$$$ for ME ME ME”

  99. @Per – I can only collect the data from what is *real* – and the ONLY people in USA who have a lot more *cash* – as much as that is a measure of wealth – after this past decade of *terror* – are the ones who DID follow that math formula. It’s real.

    Regulators are in place to make up the rules as they go along – do you disagree with that?

  100. Annie. I just do not agree with equating the wish of more dollars for me with a wish of more misery for others.

  101. Bruce E. Woych

    @Bayard Waterbury: “…even if there is a total collapse of the global economy they are positioned to withstand it….” (from above)
    ———————————————————————————————————————————
    Bayard, it is more sinister than that. the idea is that while they stockpile the monetary end as much as possible against other rogue competitors, the collapse of economies (often aided by the capital flight scenario of one sought of pulled investment or another…no liquidity is a purposeful act…no loans despite a glut of capital is diabolically intended to strip more infrastructure value …so that “wealth” can come and feast on the carcasses (vulture capital is scavenging what it kills…).

    The short end of this is that they are not only “positioned” to survive the downside…but to feast on it with relish.

    War torn economies today…cheap ! 20 years from now…the new Flagship Ownership State.

  102. @Per – War is the ultimate suspension of civil law. Add that to the repeal of the firewall between *inwestors* and commercial currency and you have the USA economy of skinning USA people alive…

    I will be happy to send you my lifetime of tax filings for post-mortem analysis. You’d be shocked as to how far craven avarice and inquisition religion go – or maybe not….*slam-dunking* a war is an indication of complete *depravity* being the *modern* world of *ideas* from the *elite*.

    My tax records are PROOF of:

    More misery for others = More $$$$ for ME ME ME

  103. http://billmoyers.com/episode/on-winner-take-all-politics/

    If anyone wants to take a look at the actual *numbers*….

    Billions in paper cash *lost* in messupotamia during the Iraq fiasco = tax payers $$$$

    Trillions in *transactions* to bail out the banks = tax payers $$$$ (middle class OWES 100K each with 25% unemployment – slavery is a *slam dunk*)

    And the IDEA from Hatch-job from Utah is the *poor* can afford to pay more in taxes so that Congress can launch an *Austerity Program* for the poor….sorry, but it seems to me like everyone has lost their cotton-pickin’ minds….

    Have no clue what Schneiderman is going to do – no more SKIN left and being insane is not a crime…

    but golly gee we have to go deal with *existential* Iran and we can’t find the BILLIONS we LOST next door in the past decade….

    The Declaration Of Independence is the *context* of the Constitution – can’t understand one without the other…

    No one cares about Basel, trust me….

  104. @Annie “No one cares about Basel, trust me….”

    Precisely why you are all being taken for a ride!

    You let the sissy virus infect your banks and now these all have excessive exposures to what was officially perceived as not risky.

  105. @Per – We get it – *sovereign funds* were not risky. I should clarify that no one cares what Basel has to say because the game has changed and counting on getting your hands on tax payers $$$$ is no longer *risk-free*.

  106. @Annie. Bankers did not go after taxpayer’s dollars, those resulted. Bankers went after maximum earnings on capital, and which of course are easier to obtain when the capital required is low… and they do that now more than ever, because now bank capital is even scarcer.

  107. http://billmoyers.com/episode/on-winner-take-all-politics/

    16 minutes in is where *more $$$$ for ME ME ME* is discussed – lucidly and stays on topic.

    Schneiderman et al as Crisisbusters can’t do anything about tax policy – they’re going to make a deal that if, and when, the under-water homeowner sells the house and makes a profit on the sale – ie. pays off the mortgage and walks away with $1000 left over in the pocket – well, IRS gets a big piece of the $1000 and then the rest is going to go to the bank as tithe for the generosity of them *lowering* the principle so that the homeowner could stay in the house….it’s sick. All these post-modern JD defenders of regulators can’t even make the schtick of fraudulent paperwork stick because the people are saying they made a *mistake*, not committed fraud…

  108. @Per – I disagree. Bankers went after taxpayer’s dollars – that’s why they got rid of Glass-Steagall!!!

  109. Bruce E. Woych

  110. Taxpayers were left holding the bag after the bankers failed to make profits and lost… that is quite different than going after taxpayers’ moneys… which by the way is what the Solyndras do!

    And now the banks of the Western world are being attacked, day by day, by a tumor caused by a carcinogenic virus concocted in the laboratories of the Basel Committee, which causes obesity in the tissues considered as officially safe, and destroys the muscles present in those tissues considered as risky by the sissy regulators… and all you are concerned about is on how much bankers made in bonuses… talk about musicians on the Titanic.

  111. @Per Bayard Waterbury. I have a different take on this. All the bankers did was to go after whatever they could get in any way they could get it. The bottom line though is that since they own our government ($1.2 billion in contributions over the past four election cycles to both parties), they understood that even if they were making big time mistakes (which they arguably were), the government would cover their rear ends for any exposure, and, guess what, they were right, and continue to be right, as our FED continues to pump free money into the banks both here and in Europe. Meanwhile they have a lock on controlling the rule setting (i.e. Basil II), so that no meaningful restraints, either capital ratios or leverage, are put in place. So, their casinos remain open for business, even as the Eurozone and US rot from the inside out, and massive gambles on commodities, stocks and bonds continue and a new bubble bigger than the last one is nearly completely inflated and ready to burst. Even Dodd-Frank has no way to close down banks with international operations because there are no cross border international treaties to enable that. That part of Dodd-Frank is just a nice myth about being able to control monster bank failures. A farce in spades.

  112. @Bayard Waterbury

    Where are you going? To substitute some bureaucrats for the bankers? I just want some better regulations so that the majority of the bankers can start doing the good job they want to do, against a reasonable pay, that does not include a requirement of some monstrous bonuses.

  113. @Woych – If every time boneheads in high places do something ruthless, psychotic and stupid, we all have to review our theoretical origins as tree swingers and make up new speculations, we’re never going to get anywhere, now are we?

    Native Americans were shocked to hear from the White Man’s shamans that their land that even we called *God’s Country* was NOT heaven…perception is reality?

    One more time and then I give up. The ROLE of the regulator was changed during the 2 year grace period awarded the *modern* financial industry to phase out Glass-Steagall. Which means that regulator’s new role is to continue to make stuff up as they go along – which does include crap like Basel I, II and III.

    The big complaint with Greece is that people don’t pay their taxes in Greece – so the sovereign debt is not covered by tax payer money and they got way less than what they had planned on ripping off…

    Everything is about providing *value* for the shareholder – and yet, nothing is required in the way of shareholders to provide any *value* anywhere to anyone….yeah, that works well for minnie-the-moochers…

  114. @Per Bayard Waterbury. I am, of course, interested in exactly the same thing. As it stands right now, the largest American banks are not really even participating in the economy, except for pursuing millions of foreclosures, and providing services to only the largest corporations. Their consumer retail operations are so small as to be nearly meaningless, and they refuse to participate in resolving the foreclosures, even though they were prime conspirators in creating the massive debt overhang which, without their assistance, will stymie economic growth for years. Yes, I want fewer but effective regulations, and I want the market place to allow and encourage their engagement, just not the present massive bubble inflation which is happening due to their practices of speculation. These, in fact, simply make the economy far less likely to grow for others.

  115. The banks do not have the capital to go where we would want them to go, and are forced to go where they don’t do us much good… and that is the fault of capital requirements for banks which are not a couple degrees wrong but basically 180 degrees wrong. And, about 4 years into the crisis, this issue is almost not even discussed… by the so many Monday Morning Quarterbacks that still have not understood the game.

  116. @Per: dumb question. Suppose that risk-weighting was lifted…as you propose, on new transactions. This would remove the favored status of sovereign debt, but right now what all those sovereigns need is investors to underwrite their debt. But wouldn’t the interest offered by the sovereigns have to increase to make their bonds worthwhile? And isn’t that exactly the problem that the PIIGS countries are facing right now? We would need some sort of mechanism to REDUCE the interest rates on the retail debt so as to not tank the sovereign debtors in the short term. In the long term, such controls could be lifted and market forces allowed to set appropriate rates.
    If I understand the situation correctly, we’ve Baseled ourselves into a situation where the correct long-term control mechanism might have an undesirable immediate effect…

  117. @Oregano “Suppose that risk-weighting was lifted…as you propose, on wouldn’t the interest offered by the sovereigns have to increase to make their bonds worthwhile? … the problem that the PIIGS countries are facing right now?

    Yes but since at the same time I allow banks to hold sovereigns on their books with the original ultralow capital requirements I am removing one of the most important reason why they must now sell those assets which puts upward pressure on the interest rates. Does it wash out… not necessarily but at least it takes us into the right direction.

    @Oregano If I understand the situation correctly, we’ve Baseled ourselves into a situation where the correct long-term control mechanism might have an undesirable immediate effect…

    Yes you’ve painted the banks into the officially “no-risk” corner but that is not the “correct long-term control mechanism” of the banks and the economy… just as it would not be correct, or good, for the future of golf, if the good golf player were awarded more strokes by the handicap officer, and the lousy ones like me had to do with less.

  118. @Per: please explain further…you say banks are SELLING sovereign debt assets to meet the demand for increased capital reserves, pushing up interest rates. Are you saying that banks are converting debt assets into cash assets to meet the demand for increased REAL capital reserves? If so, that is worse than just letting them keep current holdings at current capital ratios and I begin to understand the subtlety of your proposal.

    So how do we reduce this to an election season sound bite?

  119. @Oregano – Mercenaries like to be paid in cash…why am I the only one who continues to see this whole insanity for what it really IS….?

    “slam dunking” wars and who gets the booty…

  120. @Oregano

    In general, when sovereigns are downgraded, banks need to hold more capital, which they don’t have, and can’t get, so they sell the officially risky-sovereigns in order to buy the yet officially not risky sovereigns, which require less or no capital. That is the downward spiral the bank regulating nannies have created.

    At this moment, much worse than fiscal deficits, is the real risk-taking deficit.

  121. @Annie: we fully see that this is an insanity, but it’s a commonly accepted insanity, and until all 7 billion of us realize that it’s insanity (or the 400 that run things do) and begin a global Arab Spring, we attempt to steer the leaking ship gently into calmer waters. It’s a comfortable ship, and we hate to see it sink. So we chatter.

  122. @Oregano – banks can’t sell countries to other countries as a last ditch attempt to *raise capital*…what century are they living in…?!

    7 billion people DO realize it is insanity- is there ANY evidence to the contrary….??!! Okay, maybe not all 7 billion know how stupid and obdurate the 400 people are who seem willing to rationalize into infinity and beyond rather than fix the mess by letting go of even one penny of UNEARNED $$$$….but if we wait unti everyone catches on to that – that’s a WAR situation – so there goes your comfortable boat…

    Small, private, sail boat owners know that the only way to save your boat when the hurricane is heading your way is to sink it so that the keel does not break…you can raise it intact after the storm is gone…I’m sure they know a thing or two about sailing in the Mediterranean Basin…

  123. Bruce E. Woych

    PREVIOUSLY …LEST WE FORGET…
    August 24, 2011
    Headlines for August 24, 2011

    DEMOCRACY NOW:
    http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/24/headlines/ny_attorney_general_booted_from_mortgage_company_settlement_task_force
    (VIDEO…AT LINK)
    ABSTRACT PRESENTED BY DEMOCRACY NOW:

    “NY Attorney General Booted from Mortgage Company Settlement Task Force

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been kicked off a 50-state task force negotiating a possible settlement with the nation’s largest mortgage companies. The move came just one day after the New York Times reported that the Obama administration was pressuring Schneiderman to agree to a broad state settlement with banks over questionable foreclosure tactics. The federal settlement has been widely criticized because it would insulate the nation’s largest banks, including Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, from all criminal investigations in exchange for civil fines. Schneiderman, who is leading his own investigation into the mortgage industry, has said that he opposes any deal that gives participating banks a release from other litigation surrounding their mortgage activities.
    See all headlines for this show
    DEMOCRACY NOW:
    http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/24/headlines/ny_attorney_general_booted_from_mortgage_company_settlement_task_force

  124. Bruce E. Woych

    PER: NAME NAMES; CITE CASES…OR STOP TTALKING LIKE A CIRCULAR REPUBLICAN

  125. Bruce E. Woych

    Michael Hudson

  126. @Bruce E. Woych “PER: NAME NAMES; CITE CASES…OR STOP TTALKING LIKE A CIRCULAR REPUBLICAN”

    ??????

    What do you mean? I have explained my position for much more than a decade… I have named the Basel Committee, Fed, SEC, FAS (UK)… I have exposed the case of extremely faulty regulations, specifically the capital requirements based on perceived risk…

    I am sorry if I might shade your clarity of mind, by introducing the fact that there are others to blame for this crisis besides some bankers and some security packagers and some mortgage originators. To me, in allowing for dumb bank regulations, the republicans and the democrats and many Europeans share equal blame.

    I invite you to go to http://www.subprimeregulations.blogspot.com/ where you will find material since 1997 which is when I began writing Op-Eds

  127. @Per: keep talking. It’s important, to me at least, to understand the system and its effects on individual actions. One must understand one’s adversary to overcome it, and I agree that both private and public sector actors must be given new scripts.

  128. @Oregano “Per: keep talking”

    One of the reason this crisis is so little understood is because so many want to use it either to get back at something in their life, perhaps someone who dumped them at high school, and others want to push their political agenda, even if that means making the crisis worse.

    I do not belong to any of those groups so I will keep on talking. My adversary is exclusively the bad bank regulations, not even those who produced them… though I admit I would like to see them parading down 5th Avenue wearing cones of shame… so that the coming regulators take due notice.

  129. @Per Bayard I couldn’t agree more. Most of us who have watched this from the beginning would, of course, like to see massive prosecutions and hundreds of billions in fines. However at three plus years out, that’s not going to happen, at least on a satisfying scale. That said, meaningful regulation to prevent such occurances in the future would be wonderful. As I have said, Dodd-Frank is pretty much a three ream farce. Without recreating Glass-Steagall, listing, regulating and reserving derivatives, and meaningful capital requirments (including returning to the original FASB rules on valuing non-cash assets) with strict limitations on leverage ratios, nothing can be effective. Right now, it really is business as usual for the monster banks, as though the crisis never happened.

  130. @Per, @Bayard: I as well. The country and world is justly enraged by the present situation, but if we go looking for names and cases in search of criminals, we just might find our own names there. We now need to understand how the system we created and mismanaged works and how it can be changed at the least harm to the 99%. I don’t want to follow the present Pyrrhic victory of the 1% with worse one of our own.

  131. This is precisly why the law and those that create and enforce it, are becoming more of a joke everyday. People are prepairing themselves to even up the odds of this discrimination, but lets keep that an inside secret.

  132. @Bayard I agree but let me explain why I place the fixing of the capital requirements on top of it all…

    A neo Glass-Steagall Act might help, at a certain cost, which might be quite reasonable, to contain the size of future bank disasters.

    Regulating derivatives, and perhaps clearing houses, helps make the market more orderly and transparent.

    But, eliminating completely that the capital requirements for banks should be based on the perceived risk, that which has already been perceived and cleared for by the market, is an absolute must. Not only because it distorts the market, but also because in its current form it is turning our economies into sissy economies. http://bit.ly/xNlhYt

  133. RATigan had a Police Commissioner on his show talking about the succesful use of a method called “hot-spotting”. Basically you contain the handful of people who are the source of all the crime in the neighborhood – you don’t waste resources on any other tangent…

    So if there are 400 people behind this manufacturing of poverty, you contain them. Especially when one of the 400 might be somebody who is playing the odds and will make the most $$$$ – somewhere in virtual lalaland – from USA people killing each other in the streets. Talk about sadistic….

    Back to the future – there was a loophole that was exploited in Glass Steagall that gave the *regulators* a 2 year window to phase out the *law*.

    No one disagrees with the FACT that tax policies are skinning alive the 99%. No reason to grab the baseball bats to beat each other up in the streets. The LEGISLATIVE branch (Congress + Senate) can *reform* the policy with a new law any day of the week – that is their JOB. If they are all REFUSING to do their JOB, they need to be “hot-spotted” – send the problem back to the district and send in a replacement who WILL stop the skinning BY LAW.

    Occupy Town Hall – scheesh…

    Okay, Kucinich almost got whacked by a mercenary back when they tried to get their hands on Cleaveland’s electrical grid – so we know that *option* (assassination) always was and always will be *on the table* – let’s deal with that reality and provide counter-protection….

    Rabble rousing is EASY. Over the holidays, I stirred up the *passions* by complaining about the being skinned alive tax policies – that opened up the torrent – everyone has been SERIOUSLY damaged bu tax policies in this post-Glass-Steagell. EVERYONE – labor, small business, inventor, MDs, JDs, teahcers, nurses, engineer, – EVERYONE.

    Get it – EVERYONE had a story of terrible injustice to tell. Which means *hot-spotting* is needed to clean up this *class warfare*…and after everyone had a chance to sing their aria in the family opera – I brought in the healing moment – announced that I was running for President of the USA.

    :-))

    I got everybody’s vote. Just on the tax policy platform.

    I then added in *burn the Patriot Act* and nail down an Energy Policy.

    No problems there, either.

    :-))

    Got a history of success in getting things done…so do MILLIONS of others….and we’re not waiting for anyone’s permission because we don’t have to…tada!

    “Born in the USA…”

    Great new documentary on PBS about the life of “Annie Oakley”….diplomats from other countries (Basel and Oregano and Curry:-)) need to *get it* about *culture* before they *bet* on how much they can depend on tax payer $$$$ to protect them from *existential* threats…

  134. Saw the documentary. Very interesting woman, very much ahead of her time. Thank you for thinking that I’m a diplomat from another country. Though there are those who would say that the part of the country I’m from isn’t really a part of the USA. ;-)

  135. Annie Oakley was not a woman ahead of her time, she was a woman who HAD the time to live in USA when she did – her story, and many others, are not *dreams*. It’s the opportunity to take what you got and do something with it – the basic HUMAN right to make your life less miserable through honest work – yeah, the *technology* in her day was the weapon. But that weapon in her life became more that what it was designed to be…

  136. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/06/foreclosure-settlement-deadline_n_1258833.html

    In order to checkmate the first woman with a real shot at being elected Prez, LAW (Judicial Branch of the Gov) was used as the bludgeon (United Citizens) – all because SCOTUS’s personal idea-log shenanigans weren’t cut off at the pass with the Gore thingy…

    and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger and worse and worse…this land grab to pay for war is one for the history books – when USA became a psychotic rogue state….

  137. Bruce E. Woych

    OK you guys…let’s get this out in the twittersphere:

    ELI MANNING FOR PRESIDENT!

    WE SURELY CAN’T GO WRONG!

    ELI MANNING FOR PRESIDENT!!!!!!

  138. Bruce E. Woych

    Eli’s Coming

    ELI MANNING FOR PRESIDENT !!!!

  139. Bruce E. Woych