The Big Takeover : Rolling Stone
Must read. 210309Info, Comments, Opinions and Facts About Goldman Sachs
Info, Comments, Opinions and Facts About Goldman Sachs
just because Goldman Sachs want to ban it.
threat blog post?Philip Greenspun’s Weblog » How Rich Countries Die
How Rich Countries Die
This is a book report on The Rise and Decline of Nations: Economic Growth, Stagflation, and Social Rigidities, by Mancur Olson. There isn’t a whole lot about how nations pulled themselves out of their medieval stagnation (see A Farewell to Alms for that), so a better title for this still-in-print book from 1982 would be “How Rich Countries Die.”The Pulitzer-winning investigation that dare not be uttered on TV - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com
The New York Times' David Barstow won a richly deserved Pulitzer Prize yesterday for two articles that, despite being featured as major news stories on the front page of The Paper of Record, were completely suppressed by virtually every network and cable news show, which to this day have never informed their viewers about what Barstow uncovered. Here is how the Pulitzer Committee described Barstow's exposés: Awarded to David Barstow of The New York Times for his tenacious reporting that revealed how some retired generals, working as radio and television analysts, had been co-opted by the Pentagon to make its case for the war in Iraq, and how many of them also had undisclosed ties to companies that benefited from policies they defended. By whom were these "ties to companies" undisclosed and for whom did these deeply conflicted retired generals pose as "analysts"? ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN and Fox -- the very companies that have simply suppressed the story from their viewers. Th
CNN ran an 898-word story on the various Pulitzer winners -- describing virtually every winner -- but was simply unable to find any space even to mention David Barstow's name, let alone inform their readers that he won the Prize for uncovering core corruption at the heart of CNN's coverage of the Iraq War and other military-related matters. No other major television news outlet implicated by Barstow's story mentioned his award, at least as far as I can tell.
Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism awarded to journalist who uncovered complicity between Bush-era military and US media. His award goes unreported in same media. Shameful.
The outright refusal of any of these "news organizations" even to mention what Barstow uncovered about the Pentagon's propaganda program and the way it infected their coverage is one of the most illuminating events revealing how they operate. So transparently corrupt and journalistically disgraceful is their blackout of this story that even Howard Kurtz and Politico -- that's Howard Kurtz and Politico -- lambasted them for this concealment. Meaningful criticisms of media stars from media critic (and CNN star) Howie Kurtz is about as rare as prosecutions for politically powerful lawbreakers in America, yet this is what he said about the television media's suppression of Barstow's story: "their coverage of this important issue has been pathetic."
Awarded to David Barstow of The New York Times for his tenacious reporting that revealed how some retired generals, working as radio and television analysts, had been co-opted by the Pentagon to make its case for the war in Iraq, and how many of them also had undisclosed ties to companies that benefited from policies they defended. By whom were these "ties to companies" undisclosed and for whom did these deeply conflicted retired generals pose as "analysts"? ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN and Fox -- the very companies that have simply suppressed the story from their viewers. They kept completely silent about Barstow's story even though it sparked Congressional inquiries, vehement objections from the then-leading Democratic presidential candidates, and allegations that the Pentagon program violated legal prohibitions on domestic propaganda programs.AND HE SHALL BE JUDGED: GQ Features on men.style.com
on the morning of Thursday, April 10, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon prepared a top-secret briefing for George W. Bush. This document, known as the Worldwide Intelligence Update, was a daily digest of critical military intelligence so classified that it circulated among only a handful of Pentagon leaders and the president; Rumsfeld himself often delivered it, by hand, to the White House. The briefing’s cover sheet generally featured triumphant, color images from the previous days’ war efforts: On this particular morning, it showed the statue of Saddam Hussein being pulled down in Firdos Square, a grateful Iraqi child kissing an American soldier, and jubilant crowds thronging the streets of newly liberated Baghdad. And above these images, and just below the headline secretary of defense, was a quote that may have raised some eyebrows. It came from the Bible, from the book of Psalms: “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him…To deliver their soul from death.” This mixing o
Nice overview of Donald Rumsfeld.
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"Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld has always answered his detractors by claiming that history will one day judge him kindly. But as he waits for that day, a new group of critics—his administration peers—are suddenly speaking out for the first time. What they’re saying? It isn’t pretty"
Excellent profile of Donald Rumsfeld, who, it turns out, pandered to Bush's religiosity by including old testament citations on his defense intelligence reports from Iraq. Yikes.
Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld has always answered his detractors by claiming that history will one day judge him kindly. But as he waits for that day, a new group of critics—his administration peers—are suddenly speaking out for the first time. What they’re saying? It isn’t prettyThe Great American Bubble Machine : Rolling Stone
Matt Taibbi on how Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression
How Goldman Sachs Has Engineered Every Major Market Manipulation Since the Great Depression" The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it's everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.
They use the same playbook over and over again: Goldman positions itself in the middle of a speculative bubble, selling investments they know are crap. When it all goes bust, leaving millions of ordinary citizens broke and starving, they begin the entire process over again.Bill Moyers Journal . Watch & Listen | PBS
Wendell Potter explains exactly hoe the health insurance companies are fucking you.
With almost 20 years inside the health insurance industry, Wendell Potter saw for-profit insurers hijack our health care system and put profits before patients. Now, he speaks with Bill Moyers about how those companies are standing in the way of health care reform.
Wendell Potter, former executive at Cigna, talks about the power of the health care lobby and the way the industry manipulates congress to increase the fortunes of their shareholders, at great public cost.Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder
A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company's owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe," and that Prince's companies "encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life."The real scandal at AIG is the not the bonuses. It's the payments to counterparties. - By Eliot Spitzer - Slate Magazine
It's not the bonuses. It's that AIG's counterparties are getting paid back in full.
What is the deeper relationship between Goldman and AIG? Didn't they almost merge a few years ago but did not because Goldman couldn't get its arms around the black box that is AIG? If that is true, why should Goldman get bailed out? After all, they should have known as well as anybody that a big part of AIG's business model was not to pay on insurance it had issued.
The Real AIG Scandal It's not the bonuses. It's that AIG's counterparties are getting paid back in full. By Eliot Spitzer
Everybody is rushing to condemn AIG's bonuses, but this simple scandal is obscuring the real disgrace at the insurance giant: Why are AIG's counterparties getting paid back in full, to the tune of tens of billions of taxpayer dollars?The world's first cocaine bar | World news | The Guardian
The world's first cocaine bar
where do i book?Big Government
"Wall Street has turned the economy into a giant asset-stripping scheme, one whose purpose is to suck the last bits of meat from the carcass of the middle class".
The SEC's halfhearted oversight didn't go unnoticed by the market. Six months after Bear was eaten by predators, virtually the same scenario repeated itself in the case of Lehman Brothers — another top-five investment bank that in September 2008 was vaporized in an obvious case of market manipulation. From there, the financial crisis was on, and the global economy went into full-blown crater mode.
ant. Under what became known as the "options market maker exception," the SEC permitted a market maker to sell shares whether or not he had them or could find them right away. In theory, this made sense, since delaying the market maker from selling to offset a big buy order could dry up liquidity and slow down trading. But it also created a loophole for naked short-sellers to kill stocks easily — and legally. Take Bear Stearns, for example. Say the stock is trading at $62, as it was on March 11th, and someone buys put options from the market maker to sell $1.7 million in Bear stock nine days later at $30. To offset that big trade, the market maker might try to keep his own portfolio balanced by selling off shares in the company, whether or not he can locate them. But here's the catch: The market maker often sells those phantom shares to the same person who bought the put options. That buyer, after all, would love to snap up a bunch of counterfeit Bear stock, since he can driv
Naked short-selling, and how it brought down Bear Stearns (well, that and their ludicrous debt-to-asset ratio).Obama's Big Sellout : Rolling Stone
The president has packed his economic team with Wall Street insiders intent on turning the bailout into an all-out giveaway. By Matt Taibbi
"What's taken place in the year since Obama won the presidency has turned out to be one of the most dramatic political about-faces in our history. Elected in the midst of a crushing economic crisis brought on by a decade of orgiastic deregulation and unchecked greed, Obama had a clear mandate to rein in Wall Street and remake the entire structure of the American economy. What he did instead was ship even his most marginally progressive campaign advisers off to various bureaucratic Siberias, while packing the key economic positions in his White House with the very people who caused the crisis in the first place. This new team of bubble-fattened ex-bankers and laissez-faire intellectuals then proceeded to sell us all out, instituting a massive, trickle-up bailout and systematically gutting regulatory reform from the inside."
The controversial Matt Taibbi December 2009 Rolling Stone article.Paying Zero for Public Services | Exploring the interactions among public opinion, governance, and the public sphere
The zero-rupee note. I like this. How long til the Tea Party in United States latches on and starts using something similiar in political protest against...well....all things not Tea Party.
"One such story was our earlier case about the old lady and her troubles with the Revenue Department official over a land title. Fed up with requests for bribes and equipped with a zero rupee note, the old lady handed the note to the official. He was stunned. Remarkably, the official stood up from his seat, offered her a chair, offered her tea and gave her the title she had been seeking for the last year and a half to obtain without success. Had the zero rupee note reached the old lady sooner, her granddaughter could have started college on schedule and avoided the consequence of delaying her education for two years. In another experience, a corrupt official in a district in Tamil Nadu was so frightened on seeing the zero rupee note that he returned all the bribe money he had collected for establishing a new electricity connection back to the no longer compliant citizen."
In addition, officials want to keep their jobs and are fearful about setting off disciplinary proceedings, not to mention risking going to jail. More importantly, Anand believes that the success of the notes lies in the willingness of the people to use them. People are willing to stand up against the practice that has become so commonplace because they are no
This is one way to end bribery.
He came up with the idea of printing zero-denomination notes and handing them out to officials whenever he was asked for kickbacks as a way to show his resistance....In another experience, a corrupt official in a district in Tamil Nadu was so frightened on seeing the zero rupee note that he returned all the bribe money he had collected for establishing a new electricity connection back to the no longer compliant citizen.
Fed up with requests for bribes and equipped with a zero rupee note, the old lady handed the note to the official. He was stunned. Remarkably, the official stood up from his seat, offered her a chair, offered her tea and gave her the title she had been seeking for the last year and a half to obtain without success.Wall Street's Bailout Hustle : Rolling Stone
"Con artists have a word for the inability of their victims to accept that they've been scammed. They call it the 'True Believer Syndrome'. That's sort of where we are, in a state of nagging disbelief about the real problem on Wall Street. It isn't so much that we have inadequate rules or incompetent regulators, although both of these things are certainly true. [..] Instead of liquidating and prosecuting the insolvent institutions that took us all down with them in a giant Ponzi scheme, we have showered them with money and guarantees and all sorts of other enabling gestures."
dissecting wall street as a series of cons
Still, the trick for Goldman was: how to collect the insurance money. As AIG headed into a tailspin that fateful summer of 2008, it looked like the beleaguered firm wasn't going to have the money to pay off the bogus insurance. So Goldman and other banks began demanding that AIG provide them with cash collateral. In the 15 months leading up to the collapse of AIG, Goldman received $5.9 billion in collateral. Société Générale, a bank holding lots of mortgage-backed crap originally underwritten by Goldman, received $5.5 billion. These collateral demands squeezing AIG from two sides were the "Swoop and Squat" that ultimately crashed the firm. "It put the company into a liquidity crisis," says Eric Dinallo, who was intimately involved in the AIG bailout as head of the New York State Insurance Department.
Matt Taibbi gets very angry at Wall Street again; I'm not sure how fair some of it is, but it's entertaining stuff.Op-Ed Contributors - The End of the Financial World as We Know It - NYTimes.com
The Wallstreet mindset that allowed the Madoff scandal to happen, and how to fix it.
Required reading, Part I.
OUR financial catastrophe, like Bernard Madoff’s pyramid scheme, required all sorts of important, plugged-in people to sacrifice our collective long-term interests for short-term gain. The pressure to do this in today’s financial markets is immense... The tyranny of the short term has extended itself with frightening ease into the entities that were meant to, one way or another, discipline Wall Street, and force it to consider its enlightened self-interest.
** Posted using Viigo: Mobile RSS, Sports, Current Events and more **The Daily Show Full Episode | Thursday Mar 12 2009 | Comedy Central
links to broadcast and unedited videos of Cramer-Stewart interview
Jon Stewart skewers Jim Cramer
Thursday Mar 12 2009 | Comedy Central. John Stewart interviewed CNBC pundit Jim Cramer, berating him for misreporting news on the financial crisis on his show ‘Mad Money.’ Stewart used video clips where Cramer contradicted himself.
John Stewart and the daily showAn open letter to conservatives | AmericanDad's Blog
"Let me provide some expamples -- by no means an exhaustive list -- of where the Right as gotten itself stuck in a swamp of hypocrisy, hyperbole, historical inaccuracy and hatred..."
Everyone should read this, regardless of party affiliation.
many many references to GOP shenanigans
best blog entry everBloomberg.com: Worldwide
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The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.
Congresspersons, after what happened in Iraq, why did you give a green light here, then get surprised that Paulson is acting like a douche?
``We need oversight,'' Paulson told lawmakers. ``We need protection. We need transparency. I want it. We all want it.''
The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral
"The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral."William K. Black: The Two Documents Everyone Should Read to Better Understand the Crisis
As a white-collar criminologist and former financial regulator much of my research studies what causes financial markets to become profoundly dysfunctional. The FBI has been warning of an "epidemic" of mortgage fraud since September 2004. It also reports that lenders initiated 80% of these frauds.1 When the person that controls a seemingly legitimate business or government agency uses it as a "weapon" to defraud we categorize it as a "control fraud" ("The Organization as 'Weapon' in White Collar Crime." Wheeler & Rothman 1982; The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One. Black 2005). Financial control frauds' "weapon of choice" is accounting. Control frauds cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime -- combined. Control fraud epidemics can arise when financial deregulation and desupervision and perverse compensation systems create a "criminogenic environment" (Big Money Crime. Calavita, Pontell & Tillman 1997.)America – The Grim Truth | EFAM | Escape From America Magazine
If you had any idea of how people really lived in Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and many parts of Asia...
ein im Ausland lebender Amerikaner liest s. Landsleuten die Leviten, lesenswert (English) http://bit.ly/9mcDsE ich fand es spannend #vfbb – Vera F. Birkenbihl (VeraFBirkenbihl) http://twitter.com/VeraFBirkenbihl/statuses/18785239408America – The Grim Truth | EFAM | Escape From America Magazine
If you had any idea of how people really lived in Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and many parts of Asia...
ein im Ausland lebender Amerikaner liest s. Landsleuten die Leviten, lesenswert (English) http://bit.ly/9mcDsE ich fand es spannend #vfbb – Vera F. Birkenbihl (VeraFBirkenbihl) http://twitter.com/VeraFBirkenbihl/statuses/18785239408