Financial Reform


Financial Reform Links and Background

Frontline: “Money, Power and Wall Street” and “The Untouchables”

Democracy-NOW!: William K. Black Tells It Like It Is

Too Big To Fail - The Financial Stability Oversight Council’s (division of the Treasury Dept.) web site with a list of the designated TBTF institutions. Why aren’t Goldman-Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, or Citigroup on this list? That question is not in their FAQ’s and their ‘citizen comment line’ is not taking messages. Weird, huh? I wonder if the fact that Sec. of the Treasury Jacob Lew used to work for Citibank and has been an advocate of banking deregulation for his entire career has anything to do with that.


AJC: Dodd-Frank De-Toothing A Big Win for Equifax


Intercept: Senate Claims to Fix Its Wall Street Bill, But a Look at the Text Says It’s Still a Giveaway - Rethugs and Dems are again working together to give Wall Street whatever it wants, setting us all up for another meltdown. The CBO says it heightens the risk of financial crisis.


Intercept: Instead of Taking on Gun Control, Democrats are Teaming With Republicans for a Stealth Attack on Wall St. Reform


Intercept: Government By Goldman - Synopsis: Goldman Sachs was at the center of the financial meltdown of 2008. They made $Billions by selling mountains of worthless junk-bond derivatives composed of non-performing mortgages to very unsophisticated, mostly municipal investors and then turned around and shorted those very same derivatives. Gary Cohn was at the center of that Goldman operation the entire time. Trump endlessly blasted Goldman during his campaign for that very activity, and stated that he would ‘drain the swamp.’ Now he has turned the White House into a Goldman Sachs branch office. It’s nothing short of a corporate coup. And the racist rubes that voted for him have no clue what’s going on.


Real News: Equifax Data Breach is a 10 Out of 10 Scandal - The third major breach in two years. The breach started in June. Equifax execs found out about the breach in July and then took two months before making it public. During that time they made $Millions by shorting their own stock, and now claim they had no insider information. So far, the SEC has done nothing. For the 143 million people whose data was stolen, the damage could last for decades.


Democracy-NOW: A Champion of the People or Wall Street? Trump Pushes to End Dodd-Frank & Consumer Protection Agency


Matt Taibbi: The Vampire Squid Occupies Trump’s White House - After campaigning against Goldman, Trump now licks their boots. The title refers to Taibbi’s seminal article on Goldman’s control of the US economy and politicians.


Democracy-NOW: Wells Fargo Fails Key Regulatory Test for Second Time This Year


NYTimes: 2008 Crisis Deepened the Ties Between Clintons and Goldman-Sachs - The facts are all here. One has to look past a whole lot to actually support Hillary Clinton.


NYTimes: In Wells Fargo’s Bogus Accounts, Echoes of Foreclosure Abuses


Reuters: Banking Ghosts Haunt Clinton in Philadelphia


Common Dreams: Hillary Clinton’s Top Pick For VP Lets Big Banks Know He’s In Their Corner


NYTimes: A Bank Too Big to Fail - A great, short, to the point article. Gretchen Morgenson is the second best financial writer in America after Matt Taibbi, Here, Here, and Here. Her entire series “Too Big to Fail” is great. Obama said he wanted his to be the most transparent administration in history. He was lying - like all demopublicans.


NYTimes: How Britain’s Breakup With the EU Could Reshape World Markets - I include this article only because of two statements in it:

  1. 1.The global financial system is so intertwined that links can remain opaque.” A staggering understatement! One thing that 2008 taught us is that the Wall Street bankers make their money mostly based on how confusing and opaque they can make the markets, both from consumers and regulators.

  2. 2.But then the article tries to walk that statement back: “While people may argue over the degree to which regulators have tamed the speculative excesses of finance, few dispute that improvements have been delivered.” Few dispute? Anyone who’s paying attention would dispute that. The banks are still too big to fail and too big to jail, and Here, Here, Here, Here, and Here.


Truth Out: Financial Writer: Bankers all Know Hillary’s New-Found Populism is False - They ‘get it’ and Here.


Frontline: Senator Warren Slams Wall Street’s Top Cop - When Obama appointed M. J. White to head the SEC, his smooth delivery had all of the stenographic MSM press repeating his message that Wall Street should be quaking in their boots in fear of her tough enforcement that was just around the corner. “Don’t mess with Mary Jo.” In reality she worked for the biggest law firm on Wall Street specializing in getting Wall St. bankers off the hook - and back to that law firm is exactly where she’s going when her stint at the SEC is over - exactly the same career path as ex-AG Holder. JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon called Mary Jo ‘the perfect choice.’ It’s a revolving door. The real purpose of her appointment was to play out the clock on the statute of limitations for big bank fraud before the crash - and protect them from meaningful regulation in the meantime, and Here, Here. Credit to Sen. Warren for pointing this particular issue out, but really she’s just grandstanding in an effort to put herself in position to do the same thing later. Here’s a lady with the right answer, but oddly when she came to testify before Congress, Sen. Warren was repeatedly not available. That’s just what dems and rethugs do.


CNN: Wall Street Isn’t Worried About Hillary Clinton’s Plan - They ‘get it.’


Rolling Stone: Eric Holder, Wall Street Double Agent, Comes in From the Cold - What this web site has been saying since 10/6/11 and Here and Here and Here and Here and Here and Here. Editorial Comment: This is an excellent article that in brief and humorous form describes exactly how Obama and Holder continue to violate every moral norm in a bald-faced effort to turn everything of value in this country over to the 0.1% in return for a life-time bundle of riches for themselves. How anyone could possibly talk of an ‘Obama legacy’ or anything of positive value from Obama, or the Democratic party (not to mention the Republican party) is truly mind boggling. He is a drone-murdering, Wall Street and torturer protecting, whistleblower attacking, universal wiretapping, perpetual war making servant of the 1%, nothing more.


Salon: Why Eric Holder’s New Job is an Insult to the American Public

Common Dreams: After 6 Year Tenure Not Prosecuting Banks, Eric Holder Returns ‘Home’ to Defend Them


NYTimes: When Private Equity Firms Give Retirees the Short End - Taxing these bastards would pay for universal health care 3 times over.


Common Dreams: Iceland Jailed Bankers and Rejected Austerity - Successfully


CNN: Overdraft Fees Top $1 Billion at the Big 3 Banks - They’re on track to collect $4.5 Billion by the end of the year.


Truthout: Bernie Sanders Takes It To Wall Street With Financial Transactions Tax


Democracy-NOW: Matt Taibbi: World’s Largest Banks Admit to Massive Global Financial Crimes, But Get the Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card from Obama - Taibbi: “But by and large, the general problem is more unwillingness to enforce existing laws. And it wasn’t so much an absence of new regulations that was the problem in 2008. It was more a failure of will on the part of the government. We had laws on the books that were perfectly sufficient in the late '80s and early ’90s, when we, you know, conducted over 1,800 prosecutions and put 800 people in jail after the S&L crisis. We can do the same thing now, if we want to, with this or with robo signing or with subprime mortgage fraud or any of another dozen other scandals, and we just haven't done it.

A new report from the Corporate Reform Coalition called "Still Too Big to Fail" says, since 2008, regulators have failed to enact key parts of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. It found, quote, "The top six bank holding companies are considerably larger than before, and are still permitted to borrow excessively relative to the assets they hold. ... Banks can still use taxpayer-backed insured deposits to engage in high-risk derivative transactions here and overseas. Compensation incentives fail to discourage mismanagement and illegality, given that when legal fees, settlements, and fines mount, it is usually the shareholders, not the corporate executives who pay."

First, after 2008, we made the system far more concentrated. We made the too-big-to-fail banks much bigger than before. We actually did this intentionally. We used taxpayer money to merge banks together, to make them bigger and more dangerous and harder to regulate. And we saw, with episodes like the London Whale episode, that massive losses can happen in the blink of an eye, and we will have no idea when it’s coming. And so, this kind of activity—we’ve definitely made the system riskier, harder to regulate. And all those things are certainly true, and Dodd-Frank has failed to address those.


NYTimes: 5 Big Banks to Plead Guilty to Felony Charges, But Punishments Will Be Tempered - The government, corporate complex is one big criminal enterprise designed to keep the 1% in total control.


Rolling Stone: Regulatory Capture Captured on Video - “You don’t want to mess with Mary Jo.” Yeah right. See entry of 11/8/14.


NYTimes: At Goldman, Stress Test Results Could Endanger an Important Profit Source - Does anyone really believe that the regulators are going to screw with Lloyd ‘Doing-God’s-Work’ Blankfein? The Times is beginning to sound like a mouth-piece for the Democratic party. But the chart about 3/4 of the way down is interesting. All of the TBTF banks are at the very bottom of the Stress Test results. These guys all got bailed out once, and they must be pretty certain it will happen again.


ProPublica: No, The Banks Aren’t Losing - Dodd-Frank is a failure. Regulation is not working. Anyone who says that it is one of the ‘signature accomplishments of the Obama Administration’ is not playing straight with the facts. This article details why.


Think Progress: How Wall Street Siphons Billions from Retirees


Rolling Stone: A Whistleblower’s Horror Story - Synopsis: The main whistleblower against Countrywide, Michael Winston, is almost broke, bogged down in court and fighting for his life. He was featured in the Frontline documentary “The Untouchables.” The perps at Countrywide all skated. Winston at first won a $3.8 million jury verdict for retaliation and wrongful termination, but for some unexplained reason out of the blue, an appellate court judge decided to throw out the verdict and allow Bank of America (which took over Countrywide) to countersue. Now his court costs have exceeded any penalty against any of the Wall Street bankers. Similar to the case of Citigroup, which received $476 Billion from the taxpayers while the DOJ whitewashed all penalties except for a fine of $9 B; equal to 10% of one year’s revenue. And the lead DOJ prosecutor that put in the fix for Citigroup? None other than Obama’s current nominee to succeed Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch. She was also the lead ‘prosecutor’ in the sweetheart deal negotiated for HSBC.


Democracy-NOW: As Pension Funds Shift to Wall Street, Local Politicians Clean Up


NYTimes: Two Judges Who Get It About Bank Foreclosures - A little bit of good news for a change.


Matt Taibbi Rolling Stone: Stock Brokers Quietly Fleece the Elderly (and The Rest of Us As Well) - Caution: opening video contains strong language. They beat retirees out of $17 Billion per year in commissions and fees - more than the entire NFL makes yearly. The average retiree loses 3 years of withdrawals during retirement. Stock brokers are not held to any fiduciary requirement. Here’s one solution for the individual.


NYTimes: Kicking Dodd-Frank In The Teeth - It’s really only a matter of time now.


Democracy-NOW: The $9 Billion Dollar Witness Who Exposed How JP Morgan Helped Wreck the Economy


ProPublica: High-Level Fed Committee Overruled Front Line Examiner’s Findings on Goldman - Dudley’s committee simply said that it “didn’t accept” her findings and that they were not “fact based.” But the facts are contained in her report and in this article. It’s just a social club at the top and chances are that Dudley will be a Goldman VP within a year or so. That’s just how it works for the 1%, and to hell with us.


  1. J.Turley: Just How Much of Big Bank Fines Are Actually Paid and Who Profits - Usually only about 25% and the Justice Department.


NYTimes: At Big Banks, a Lesson Not Learned


Washington Post: Jamie Dimon Testifies Before Congress in Favor of Relaxing Regulations Allowing Banks to Bet On Derivatives Using Your Money and NYTimes - So now the most important provision of Dodd-Frank, which prevented banks from holding Credit Default Swaps, commodities and derivatives investments has been gutted. The wording of this part of the bill came directly from model legislation crafted by Citicorp - which received $50 Billion in bailout money in 2008. So now we are right back where we were just before the 2008 meltdown. Banks’ risky bets on CDOs are guaranteed by the American taxpayer. More corporate welfare. Privatize the profits. Socialize the risks. Dodd-Frank was a farce, is a farce because the RepubliDems - who owe their jobs to Wall St. - passed it. Been saying so here since 5/19/10.


NYTimes: The Week That Shook the Fed - The Fed is essentially ignoring the Dodd-Frank law and claiming it’s not.


Intercept: Wall St. Banks Take Over America’s Pension Funds


NYTimes: New Scrutiny of Goldman’s Ties to NY Fed - “Scrutiny” but no action and certainly not even a thought of prosecution. A little background. When Geithner was the head of NY Fed, he climbed into bed with the big banks, that’s why Obama kept him on.


NYTimes: Borrowers Beware: The Robo-Signers Aren’t Finished Yet - Total fraud. People living hand to mouth are being hounded into the grave by greedy collectors using illegal documents.


NYTimes: 4 Years Later, A Blank Page in the SEC Rule Book - “Don’t mess with Mary Jo”. The whole idea at the SEC has been to run out the clock on the statute of limitations and bury for good all of the facts in a generation of Wall Street corruption, which has only set up all the requisite conditions for yet another melt down and taxpayer bailout.    


Democracy-NOW: How JP Morgan Chase Helped Wreck the Economy and Avoid Prosecution and Rolling Stone  - Synopsis: As AG Holder and the Obama Administration are wrapping up a sweeping industry wide effort to bury the facts of a generation of Wall Street corruption, an insider lawyer from JPMC comes forward with details of the massive fraud the bank was committing right up to 2006 and the tacit agreement with the Justice Department not to prosecute such blatant and ongoing fraud. Chase for years, and just like every other Wall St. bank, had been selling bundled liar’s loans that were trash to unsuspecting clients like pension funds as AAA+ rated packages. Later Chase’s CEO Dimon bragged in an article in Fortune magazine that he knew all along the loans were no good, but then stated in court testimony that he did not know that. The result: A $13 Billion judgement against the bank that will effectively only amount to $9 Billion out of pocket - after the bank cleared hundreds of Billions in profits. And Obama still maintains they did nothing illegal.


ProPublica: In Private Papers, A More Candid Tim Geithner Speaks Out - His own words justify his detractors. His book “Stress Test” and the various interviews done by the MSM to plug it, such as 60 Minutes, are essentially undone - in his own words - by these papers released because of an upcoming court battle. Get out the torches and pitchforks.


ProPublica: The Big Bank Backlash Begins - One reason for the lack of prosecution of big banks is that regulators know they have a job waiting for them at 2X the salary at those same big banks the moment they decide to take it.


NYTimes: States Ease Laws That Protect Poor Borrowers - Big winner: Citigroup, where our current Sec. of Treasury used to be Chief Operating Officer and ran a division that bet heavily on the housing market to collapse.


NYTimes: Another Scandal Hits Citigroup’s Mexican Division


Bill Moyers: The Top 5 Bailouts We Never Heard About

Bill Moyers: Too Big To Jail? - Moyers brings back William K. Black. A great show and review of the causes of the 2008 meltdown. Black was the investigator who brought down the Keating Five. He was also one of the chief investigators in the FSLIC during the S&L meltdown in the 80s. He made over 30,000 criminal referrals to the FBI, resulting in over 1,000 convictions of individual executives. In the aftermath of the 2008 meltdown, which was at least 7 times larger than the S&L meltdown, Eric Holder made 0 (zero) referrals. There was fraud by execs when the liar’s loans were made, there was fraud when the loans were bundled and sold as high quality investment, there was fraud when the bundles were given AAA+ ratings, there was fraud when the bundles were re-sold and then the big bank sellers bet against their own investors, there was fraud when thousands of Americans were foreclosed on using robo-signing and using hundreds of minimum-wage employees to forge the signatures of high level execs. Eric Holder - Zero Prosecutions. That’s his legacy.


NYTimes: Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes Put Pressure on NY Fed - See entry of 9/26/14.


Truth Out: Eric Holder: The Reason Robert Rubin Isn’t Behind Bars


ProPublica: Inside the New York Fed: Secret Recordings and a Culture Clash - Long article synopsis: When William Dudley took over from Tim Geithner as head of the New York Fed, he hired ‘expert examiners’ to go in and determine why the Fed had failed so miserably to prevent the meltdown of 2008. The conclusion was basically that the Fed was still the servant of the big banks rather than their regulator. Not a surprise for regular readers here. We’ve been hitting that nail since April, 2009 and Here. One of those examiners was a lawyer with 13 years of experience in compliance - who happened to be a woman. Her conclusions were basically that the Fed is run like a social club with the function of making sure the TBTF banks have complete freedom and cover. It was that way especially under Geithner and it is still that way today. Even under pressure she would not change her official conclusions. If this had been a man, he would have been ‘tough and forceful,’ but since it was a woman she was ‘abrasive and too outspoken.’ So she was fired, but she still has one little surprise: she secretly recorded all the conversations. Just one more example of how the banks are even bigger and more out of control and how the Fed (along with the SEC) is greasing the skids towards another meltdown.

Democracy-NOW: Eric Holder’s Complex Legacy: Voting Rights Advocate, Enemy of Press Freedom, Friend of Wall Street - No doubt he’ll soon be returning to his previous employment as a partner at the law firm of Covington and Burling, just a stone’s throw from his current  office. And there he will go back to defending Goldman, BOA, JP Morgan, Citibank, the same fraudsters that he failed to prosecute as AG.


ProPublica: Big Investors Push For Auditors to Sign Financial Statements. Mary Jo Says No. - The Rethugs and Democraps in Washington will not permit the slightest form of meaningful regulation of their corporate masters. Everything is cloaked in words like ‘compromise’ and then it’s back to business as usual. We will all have to pay for this again and again until we stand up.


NYTimes: Sound and Fury in Bank Settlements Signifies Nothing - Essentially the $16 Billion from BOA and the $7 Billion from Citi will be written off, leaving the taxpayers on the short end. A settlement spares the banks from having to make public the extent of their illegal activities, substituting for that a statement pertaining to ‘inadequate credit practices.’


ProPublica: Mary Jo White Was Supposed To Turn Around the SEC. She Hasn’t. - Au contraire. She has done exactly the job she was picked to out the clock on the statute of limitations for bank, mortgage and ratings fraud. For the 10 years prior to being picked by Obama, her job was head of litigation at one of the oldest and largest law firms in NYC whose primary line of work is protecting Wall St. banks and bankers from just the kind of enforcement that the SEC is supposed to do. And when her time at SEC is up, she’ll go right back there.


NYTimes: When She Talks, Banks Shudder - An expert academic outsider has a simple common sense solution to the recurring nightmare which is our banking system. But the most telling sentence in the entire article is the last one - at the moment when it was time to sit down and talk serious strategy, Elizabeth Warren was ‘not available.’


Yes! Magazine: Why Banking At the Post Office Could Be A Better Option Than Wall Street - One of the few articles I’ve read lately with an actual, viable solution at the end.


Bill Moyers: Don’t Be Fooled: Banks Still Too Big To Fail - The same big banks are re-engaging in risky practices, market rate manipulation, illegal foreclosures, etc. Since it is clear that taxpayers will be forced to bail them out in a crisis, they therefore have access to capital at cheaper rates than smaller banks - giving them a competitive advantage and further incentive to take bigger risks. Bank-insider-Obama-appointees at Treasury are still making statements like “Dodd-Frank ended ‘to big to fail’ as a matter of law,” and Elizabeth Warren remains totally silent on this issue.


NYTimes: Big Banks (and Taxpayers) Still At Risk - Summary: Mega-banks are still too big to manage and are still engaging in risky behavior. Wall St. execs still pull down astronomical salaries and bonuses. When the system fails again, we the taxpayers will be forced to bail them out. Dodd-Frank has accomplished nothing.


ProPublica: Two Examples of Predatory Lending and Here - And where is Elizabeth Warren, the Queen of Consumer Protection, now? Here’s another from the AJC. EW, your groupies are calling for you! We can’t hear you.


NYTimes: When Taxes and Profits Are Oceans Apart - US companies stash $2.1 Trillion yearly in overseas profits in order to avoid paying taxes on it.


NYTimes: Held Captive by Flawed Credit Reports


Bill Moyers: Wall Street’s Secret Weapon: Congress


Bill Moyers: Too Big to Fail and Getting Bigger


Bill Moyers: Anat Admati Sees Through ‘The Banker’s New Clothes’


Counter Punch: Back In The Red: First Qtr Growth Turns Negative, Bond Yields Plunge and NYTimes - Synopsis: To the average person it makes no difference if borrowing rates are 3.5% if his credit cards are maxed out and the best job he can find is graveyard shift at Jack In The Box. People only borrow money to spend when they have a good, steady job and are confident about the future of the economy. Without consumer demand, the economy (GDP) stagnates. Stocks are up only because of company buybacks. The companies of the S&P 500 collectively bought back $160 Billion of their own stock in Q1. If this continues through Q2 it will be the greatest annual buyback tally in market history. So what’s the Fed to do? If they continue to taper, economic activity will lessen (in the absence of any serious consumer demand). But that might interfere with Wall Street’s game of creating and then cashing in on stock bubbles. In order to continue that game, financial speculators need the endless liquidity that QE provides. So Yeltsin will have to ‘taper the taper’ and hope that things pick up by year end. But what happens if the companies decide to dump all those stocks they have been hoarding and the bubble blows? Another massive bailout of Wall St. banks courtesy of the American taxpayer. The demise of Glass-Steagall was one of the worst political moves ever. Capitalism in its last days.


NYTimes: Geithner, Staying on Script


ProPublica: Justice Dept. Talks Tough, Settles For Empty Promises - S&L loan crisis of 1980’s: over 10,000 criminal referrals from FSLIC to FBI, over 1,000 convictions and Here and Here. Meltdown of 2007 (over 70 times as large): 0, 0.


Democracy-NOW: Wall Street Land Grab: Firms Amass Rental Empire, Ousting Tenants And Threatening New Housing Crisis


Common Dreams: NY Fed Study: ‘Too Big To Fail’ Banks Profit on Taxpayers’ Backs


Democracy-NOW: Wells Fargo Accused of More Mortgage Fraud - Just like a Mafia don who gets his lawyer to make a deal with the judge to get him off at the same time as he continues to commit the same crimes, Wells Fargo signed the much publicized deal with Obama’s DOJ and Here and Here, at the same time as they were compiling and using a new and improved manual on how to create fraudulent foreclosure documents and throw families out of their homes illegally. Think there’ll be any prosecutions in Wells Fargo’s future? This comes right on the heals of the IG’s report that Obama’s DOJ has gone out of its way to avoid prosecuting bankster defrauders. Holder gave such prosecutions low or no priority, at the same time that he made a speech stating that the DOJ had come to the aid of homeowners foreclosed on illegally to the tune of $1 Billion, the actual number was less than 10% of that. Another Obama/Holder straight up lie. Remember that before becoming AG, Holder was a partner law firm at Covington and Burling - headquarters a stone’s throw from his current office - who represent Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, ING, Morgan Stanley, UBS, MF Global, Halliburton, etc etc. A job to which he will surely return the moment Obama’s term is over.


Harper’s: Sins of the Fat Cats - Big banks got everything they wanted after the last financial crisis. There’s no doubt there’ll be another.


Common Dreams: The Untaxed Americans: Speculators, Hustlers and Freeloaders of Wall Street


NYTimes: A Loan Fraud War That’s Short on Combat - New IG report lays it out. The DOJ has basically done nothing to investigate/prosecute mortgage loan fraud. The fraud that blew up the economy and threw millions of Americans out of their homes illegally. No investigation for the fraud that was committed when the ‘liar’s loans’ were made, none for the fraud committed when these loans were bundled and sold to unsuspecting investors, none for the fraud committed when Standard and Poor and other rating companies rated these bundles AAA+, none for the fraud committed when these bundles were later resold as the sellers then bet against those bundles, none for the fraud committed when the mortgage companies robo-signed and redacted documents missing from the portfolio so they could throw the homeowners - many of whom were up to date on their payments - out of their homes more quickly. No investigation/prosecution for the banks that took $700 Billion in taxpayer-paid government welfare to bail them out and then immediately and completely ignored all of the terms of the bailout. They kept the money and illegally gave it to the execs and traders - facilitated by Ken Feinberg (the guy who shafted 911 first responders and Gulf coast residents in the name of the corporatocracy) because it was a “contractual obligation” and Here. Nada.


ProPublica: When Regulation Threatens, Banks Predict Doom


NYTimes: Break Up the Bank? It’s Not For You to Say - Even if you’re a shareholder. Jamie Dimon doesn’t want this to come up for a vote, but when the bank fails he will assuredly want another taxpayer bailout.


NYTimes: A New Light On Regulators - Release of 2,000 pages of documentation regarding deliberations by the Fed during the 2008 meltdown, shows most regulators were out to lunch mentally. They had no real understanding of what was actually going on. At the head of the list of dunces was Tim Geithner. The idea of moral hazard was hardly mentioned. The one regulator that did understand was Frederic S. Mishkin. He resigned at the end of that year. A good read and summarization of the documents.


NYTimes: Loan Complaints by Homeowners Rise - CFPB, E. Warren’s brainchild to solve this problem, is toothless.


NYTimes: Welcome Relief for Homeowners Is Shortlived - JPMorgan can write it off. Many homeowners are forced to sell their homes once the tax bill comes. Some relief.


Rolling Stone: Jamie Dimon’s Raise Proves Dodd-Frank and US Regulatory Strategy Is A Joke


NYTimes: Fined Billions, JP Morgan Gives Jamie Dimon A Raise and Bloomberg and MoJo- A 74% raise to $20 Million. Not feeling the pain.


NYTimes: Are Big Banks Out of Control?


NYTimes: Regulator of Wall Street Loses Its Hard-Charging Chairman - The head of the CFTC, Gary Gensler, who advocated for reforms that would have slowed down Wall St speculation, is canned and replaced by ‘a more conciliatory’ chairman. One who in fact facilitated the bailouts of the big banks while making sure none of the bank execs lost their obscene salaries and bonuses. Also leaving is Bart Chilton, the other harsh bank critic on the commission. Left will be a very docile CFTC, which will pose no threat to the profits of the banks or to any future taxpayer bailout that may be necessary if the banks’ bets go bad (but of course they keep the profits). It’s really not fair to single out Obama because it’s all of the pols in DC. Soon they’ll be openly groveling at the feet of their masters for all to see.


NYTimes: Academics Who Defend Wall Street Reap Reward


NYTimes: Wake Up the Bank Police - The Volcker Rule is on the books. But there were plenty of rules on the books prior to 2007 that, if enforced, could have prevented the meltdown. It’s inevitable that banks are simply going to label proprietary bets as ‘liquidity management’ just to see how much they can get away with. Lax enforcement will mean that the new rule and the entire Dodd-Frank Law are pointless. The same regulators, who except for the FDIC, failed to see the previous crisis bearing down on them, are still in place today. They suffered no penalty for their previous lapses. Time will tell. The only real solution is to separate commercial banks from arbitrage banking entities, aka Glass-Steagall. See entry of 12/9.


ProPublica: The Problem is Bigger Than Too Big To Fail


NYTimes: Rule That Curbs Bank Risk-Taking Nears Approval - Definitely a good sign. Reason for celebration? Probably not. If you read the whole article you’ll see that there is still a lot of fuzzy wording and lots of loopholes for the bank lawyers to exploit. And you know what happens when you put a government lawyer up against a wall st. lawyer. I’m sure Matt Taibbi will have something to say on this in the next day or so. We’ll keep an eye out for that.


NYTimes: $13 Billion, Yes, But What Took So Long? -


ProPublica: Obama’s Mystery Man for Derivatives - Chairman Gensler has effectively been run out of the CFTC because of his resistance to bank demands for looser and looser interpretations of the regulations. As a replacement, Obama has chosen a person with a rather vague but seemingly pro-banking track record. About the success that banks have had so far in weakening derivatives regulations: “This is a crucial issue. The banks’ potential exposure to derivatives is poorly disclosed, poorly understood and could lay waste to the economy.” Enforcement of Dodd-Frank regulations started weak and continues to get weaker. Next Wall Street meltdown? It’s not if, it’s only when.

AlterNet: Why the “$13 Billion” JP Morgan Settlement is Just a Scam - $4B was announced over a month ago in a JPM settlement with FHFA, but Holder threw it in just to make the number sound bigger. Of the remaining $9B, $4B is “mortgage relief” - basically write downs on amounts owed. Most of that would have happened anyway, and they have 4 years to complete it. Only $1.2 of the “mortgage relief” has to go into first mortgages. The rest goes into wiping out 2nd mortgages and lines of credit. $2 billion goes towards refinancing. JPM still has a claim against the FDIC receivership that liquidated WaMu, from a fund consisting of institutional investors for fraudulent sale of mortgage backed securities. And remember that practically all of the “$13 Billion” will be tax deductible by JPM. So to summarize, most of the money is just accounting gimmicks.


PBS Frontline: How JPMorgan’s $13B Settlement Stacks Up


Reuters: Obama Nominates Another Wall St. Bankster For Dept. of Commerce - And he gets a $9 Million bonus from BOA as he departs - partly for his work as a TPP negotiator. Remember how Obama said he was going to put an end to the ‘revolving door in Washington?’


ProPublica: Lawsuit Calls Into Question NY Fed’s Bank Supervision - For perspective it’s interesting to note that while Timothy Geithner was the head of the NY Fed for 5 years, he stated repeatedly that supervision was not even a part of his job description at the time - a truly astounding statement to come from someone with the responsibilities that he had. Of course that was before the time frame of this issue, but it goes to the culture of that department and explains a lot given what we know occurred subsequently. By not recognizing its supervisory role, the Fed in effect is sanctioning the fraud.


MoJo: Expert: JPMorgan’s $13 Billion Fine Should Have Been 22 Times Bigger - Actually the fine will be around $9 Billion and that will be tax deductible. And again, no jail time for anybody. Some justice. See entry of 10/21.


NYTimes: Dismal Jobs Report Brightens Wall Street


Truthdig: What Fine? JPMorgan Is Laughing All the Way to the Bank - $13 Billion sounds like a lot of money, but it’s less than half of their 2012 profit. JPMorgan stock has risen 23% since January. Of course, Jamie Dimon’s $20 Million annual salary will not be affected.


Popular Resistance: Occupy Finance - This article contains the intro. Here’s the entire book.


Rolling Stone: Looting Pension Funds: How Wall Street Robs Public Workers - First they get compliant lawmakers to pass laws slashing pension benefits, disguised a ‘reform.’ Then they hand over the pensions to ‘hedge fund’ managers who loot the money using magnified fees, paid for by already overburdened taxpayers. So the same Wall St. thugs who blew up the economy 5 years ago through a whole series of fraud and manipulation, caused a loss of tax revenue that plunged states into a downward fiscal spiral and also huge losses to the retirement funds because of the worthless mortgage instruments foisted on them by said thugs. Now these same thugs are waging public relations campaigns to make it look like it is the greedy public workers who are causing unreasonable fiscal pressure on the retirement funds. So the middle class retirees not only lost huge chunks of pension fund money during the crash, but they are being told to take the long term hit in the form of reduced benefits, and they have to sit on the sidelines while Wall St. hedge funds loot what’s left of their pension funds. State politicians have been under-funding these pensions for years and ‘borrowing’ from the state pension funds to pay for other budget entries.


Rolling Stone: Forbes Calls Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein Holier Than Mother Teresa - A short and complete take down of Ayn Rand enthusiasts; funny and factual.


Center for Public Integrity: Subprime Lending Execs Back in Business - These are the slimeballs that made thousands of loans they knew would fail (and were literally given bonuses based on the number of sure-to-fail loans they were able to make), packaged and sold those loans to AIG, Lehman, Merrill Lynch, and then sold their companies for additional $billions just before the crash. Hundreds of thousands of Americans’ life savings were destroyed. Thousands of Americans were left homeless. The taxpayers (that’s YOU) bailed them out. Obama said they didn’t do anything illegal, and so they were never prosecuted for their repeated frauds at multiple levels of the process. And now they are right back where they were 5 years ago, except $10s of Millions richer in the process.


WSJ: Great Recession Cost Each US Household $50-120,000 According to Dallas Fed Study - The fat salary and bonus checks for Wall Street Banksters had to come from somewhere.

Frontline: The Financial Crisis Five Years Later - How It Changed Us


NYTimes: Barofsky, Watchdog to Government Bank Bailout Program, Joins Law Firm - Barofsky revealed several major cases of Dept. of Treasury, the Fed and DOJ ineffectiveness and sweetheart deals with major corporations who were bailed out, such as AIG. He’s joining a firm that typically sues big Wall St. firms on behalf of investors.


Bloomberg: How The Bank Lobby Loosened US Reins on Derivatives - The one guy who was trying to watch out for the American people, CFTC Chairman Gensler, is undercut by the Obama Administration, former Citi exec who whose multi-million dollar bonus was paid for with Taxpayer bailout money, and Here and Here, now Treasury Chief Lew and Mary Jo (Run Out the Clock) White. Lew and White just repeated everything the Wall Street lobbyists had asked for and forced Gensler to compromise. Now all the Wall St. banks have to do is move their risky bets overseas to avoid regulations, setting us all up for another 2007. Chalk another one up for the 1%.


NYTimes: New Jobs! If Only It Were True


Alternet: Larry Summers and the Secret “End-Game” Memo - Obama’s probable nominee for the next Fed chairman.


NYTimes: Banks Falling Short In Planning for the Worst, Fed Says


NYTimes: The Housing Market Is Still Missing A Backbone

NYTimes: For Freshmen in the House, Seats of Plenty


Rolling Stone: Chase and BOA Investigations: Real Action, or More of the Same? - If the Stanley Jones’ of the world have to go to jail and pay back every cent of their fraud damage then Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein should have to do the same.


Common Dreams: ‘Eminent Domain For The People’ Leaves Wall Street Furious - The city of Richmond, CA thinks the banks have had enough time to come up with the comprehensive fix for underwater US homeowners that was supposed to have been the quid pro quo for the $100s of Billions of TARP bailout money. So now the city is using a power that it has had all along to come up with a solution for the urban blight resulting from mass bank foreclosures.


NYTimes: What the Nation Got for $800 Billion - ...while Wall Street got rid of all of the toxic assets that they used to destroy the US economy.


Bill Moyers: The Wall Street Ties of Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner


TruthDig: Gag Me With Lawrence Summers and Mr. Spectacular Failure - Just imagine. We’ll all feel so relieved if Summers doesn’t get the job, only for it to go to Geithner. OMG!


NYTimes: The Revolving Door Which Is The Democratic/Republican Appointed SEC, Wall Street Law Firms and Wall Street Banks


NYTimes: A Shuffle of Aluminum, But To Banks, Pure Gold - Banks manipulate the costs of aluminum and various other commodities by bending the rules, just like they manipulate energy prices. You and I pay the price. The banks keep the money. The thought that they might ever be held accountable by a Republican or Democratic administration is absurd.


NYTimes: Big Banks, Flooded in Profits, Fear Flurry of New Safeguards - The nations 6 largest banks scored $23 Billion in profit in the 2nd quarter - roughly equal to what the 5 largest oil companies are doing in profit. The more I think about what that means, the madder I get.


NYTimes: JPMorgan To Settle Energy Manipulation Case for $500 Million - But they just made $6.5 Billion in quarterly profit. Suuwweeeeettt! “It is unclear” if the executive responsible for the manipulation, and who by the way gave “false and misleading” statements to regulators, will be held individually responsible. Actually it’s pretty clear to me.


NYTimes: Deadline Splits An Agency on Trading Rules Abroad - Sounds oh so boring, but it’s anything but. CFTC Chairman tries to hold firm in the face of bank lobbyists and Rethugs on the Commission. This ruling has to do with the very thing that brought AIG, and US banks in general, to their knees during the ’07 meltdown and the recent loss of $6 Billion by JPMorgan Chase. Without this rule, there is effectively no derivatives regulation.


Rolling Stone: The Last Mystery of the Financial Crisis - Clear evidence of financial fraud by the rating agencies as the primary mechanism used by Wall St. to create the house of cards that led to the meltdown, complete with the names of the culprits. Will Obama’s DOJ act finally? Or will it just let the clock run out?


ProPublica: BOA Lied to Homeowners and Rewarded Foreclosures, Former Employees Say and NBC News - Do you think the regulators are going to do anything about it?


WashPo: Lenders Seek Court Action Against Homeowners Years After Foreclosure - So apparently the gig is: Put people in a house they can’t afford, capturing all the fees and down payments, etc. Then illegally foreclose, adding additional fees as you go. Then complete the foreclosure, take the real estate plus more fees. Then go after and mop up all of their other assets - including the clothes off their backs. Pay off the politicians to keep quiet. Rinse and repeat.


Bill Moyers: NYTimes Financial Editor on Why Banks Are Still Too Big To Fail - She explains why the Brown-Vitter bill is so important; why Dodd-Frank only allowed the TBTF banks to get too-bigger and provided no regulation of derivatives; and how by not paying their taxes, corporations like Apple put the average taxpayer on the hook; and this “collusion between the financial elites and the political elites has widened the gap between them and the average taxpayers,” creating a “crisis of democracy.”

MoJo: How Citigroup Wrote A Bill So It Could Get A Bailout


NYTimes: Bank Lobbyists ‘Help’ Draft Financial Bills


Rolling Stone: Deja Vu on the Hill: Wall Street Lobbyists Roll Back Finance Reform, Again


NYTimes: Derivatives Reform on the Ropes - JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley


NYTimes: Regulators Overhaul Derivatives, But With a Caveat


Rolling Stone: Everything Is Rigged, Continued: Now It’s Oil Prices


Bloomberg: Lehman Reaches Beyond the Grave - You know what they say about’ve got to destroy the brain.


ProPublica: ‘Act of Congress’ Stresses Hopeful Creation of Dodd-Frank, Omits The Grim Ending


NYTimes: A Disappointing Debut At The SEC - Mary Jo White, Obama’s appointee to run the SEC, consistently has lobbied other members in favor of less derivatives regulation. More profits for the banks and bonuses for the execs and traders when things go well, more shareholder losses and bailouts from the taxpayer when they don’t. You don’t want to mess with Mary Jo. See entries of 4/13, 1/25.


Rolling Stone: Too-Big-To-Fail Takes Another Body Blow - I’m beginning to think the TBTF senate bill may have legs. When M. Taibbi says “, is the finance sector freaking” (and not in a facetious way), I take notice. “In reality, of course, about the only things that would be "destabilized" if TBTF ended would be the compensation packages for a small group of overpaid banking executives like Jamie Dimon. Another consequence might be that ratings agencies would actually have to work for a living, and earn reputations for honesty and integrity in the market, instead of getting endless streams of free money from big banks to give sparkly AAA ratings to every half-baked security or derivative instrument their obese, Fed-fattened clients cranked out...How could we possibly expect bankers to keep up their extravagant lifestyles and meet these crazy safety standards?” This is a great article.

NYTimes: In Brown-Vitter TBTF Bill, A Banking Overhaul With Possible Teeth

ProPublica: Big Banks Are Victims of Their Own Success - Don’t agree with the headline, but it’s another look at the TBTF Senate bill. See entry of 4/27.


NYTimes: Banks Resist Strict Controls On Foreign Bets - The TBTF legislation. Last time the kids took the car out they caused a 100 car pileup on the expressway. Now they are jumping up and down resisting any adult supervision. And they’ll probably get their way.


Rolling Stone: While Wronged Homeowners Got $300 Each, Consultants That Protected the Banks Got $2 Billion - Auditors investigating robo-signing of foreclosure documents, robo-signed the investigation. While this audit showed fraud in about 6% of the loans, independent audits have shown fraud in 100% of Wall St. bank foreclosures, and Here. The Obama Admin. originally put heavy pressure on the NY AG to sign this agreement despite his reservations, and Here, and Here, and Here. Then Obama said that if the AG would just agree to the settlement, O would set up a special ‘fraud unit’ to investigate the mis-deeds - which of course was designed to fail and remove the AG from the picture. When the deal was signed, it was hailed by Obama supporters as a “sweeping agreement” that was just a down-payment on future claims - all lies, and Here12 Reasons Why the Financial Fraud Deal Sucks. It was never meant to be anything but a get out of jail free card for the banks. In this current article we again see E. Warren grandstanding, but really to what effect? None. The illegal tactics continue to this day - with no accountability for the Wall St. Banks.

The banksters committed fraud when they made the ‘liars loans.’ They committed fraud when they bundled these loans and had the rating agencies give them AAA ratings. They committed fraud when they later re-sold these bundles to unsuspecting clients, and then bet against those clients. They committed fraud when they foreclosed on people without the proper paperwork. They committed fraud when they ‘robo-signed’ millions of documents to make it all seem legal. And the Obama Administration had been fighting ever since to make this settlement continuously easier on the banks; continuing to maintain that the banks never did anything illegal.


NYTimes: Trying to Slam the Door on Bank Bailouts and CFO - “Mr. Brown and Mr. Vitter are also up against the Obama administration, which continues to argue, in lock step with the banks, that the Dodd-Frank legislation has already eliminated the threat of big and risky enterprises.”


HuffPo: Eric Schneiderman Challenges Obama Administration Over Mortgage Investigations - NY AG Schneiderman was originally one of the top initiators of investigations against Wall St. banks, along with CA AG Kamala Harris. Just as he was about to initiate prosecutions, he was convinced by the Obama Admin to sign the ‘foreclosure deal’ and Here, in return for appointment to the Residential Securities Working Group, which Obama called for in his SOTU speech of 2011 (but has failed to mention it since). Obama said in that speech that his administration would aggressively pursue banks that did not comply with the agreement. He lied. Nothing that Schneiderman passed to the DOJ has ever been acted upon. See Why The Foreclosure Deal Sucks and Here.


NYTimes: Fed Ignores Dodd-Frank - That “sweeping financial sector overhaul that Congress passed in July 2010.”


NYTimes: Wall St. Redux: Arcane Names Hiding Big Risk - “So far this year, for instance, banks have issued $33.5 billion in bonds backed by commercial mortgages, slightly more than they did in early 2005...The players in the business are generally the same as they were before...The Dodd-Frank regulatory overhaul is forcing banks to take extra steps in the process of bundling loans, but it does not change the basic approach.” “Literally we thought the business was gone,” said Jeanne E. Branthover, a Wall Street recruiter. “The surprise is that this is a skill that banks are looking for again.” “You don’t want to mess with Mary Jo.” When the time comes, there will be plenty of money to bail out the Hamptons, probably paid for out of Social Security and Medicare.


Common Dreams: Obama and Congress Gut the Insider Trading Law - Obama on transparency 1/21/09.


NYTimes: Note to New SEC Chief Mary Jo White: The Clock is Ticking - This is appalling (but not surprising). Obama’s new SEC fox guarding the henhouse is more than likely just going to sit idle while the statute-of-limitations clock runs out on mortgage frauds during and before the meltdown, insuring that there will never be any prosecution of Wall Street crooks. “You don’t want to mess with Mary Jo.” Right. See also entries of 3/28, 3/9, 1/25/13.


UK Guardian: Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein’s $21M Haul Makes Him the World’s Best Paid Banker - He should be doing time. “Doing God’s Work


ProPublica: For Most Homeowners, Gov’t Foreclosure Deal Brings A Few Hundred Bucks - “Hey man, so sorry we foreclosed on you and threw you out on the street after stringing you out for months, and then turned over your house to a speculator. Here’s $300 bucks. So get over it. No more mortgage for you! Next!”


NYTimes: Former Regulators Find A Home With a Powerful Firm


NYTimes: Data Leak Reveals Big Secret Trove of Hidden Global Wealth - This particular leak covers 2.5 million ‘files’ totaling $21 Trillion.


NYTimes: Suit by Ex-Wife of SAC’s Cohen Revived on Appeal - His ex-wife may do what Pres. Obama, AG Holder, SEC Chief White were all afraid to do. See related entry of 3/28.


Nation of Change: It Can Happen Here: The Confiscation Scheme Planned for US and UK Depositors - By the President of the Public Banking Institute. See entries of 3/30, 3/28 and 3/16.

Counter Punch: Wall Street’s Role in the Crisis in Cyprus


Truthdig: Why is Socialism Doing So Well in Deep-Red North Dakota? - Public Banking success story that Wall Street wants to squash. See: Public Banking Institute


Reuters: Big Depositors in Cyprus To Lose Far More than Feared


The New Yorker: Did Steve Cohen Buy Off the US Government? - A scandal of the SEC, the Obama Admin and Wall Street in plain view. This is Mary Jo White’s first big case at the SEC. The fox is guarding the hen house and here.

NYTimes: In Cyprus, Feeling the Pain of a Bailout - Depositors at all Cypriot banks will loose 40% of their money.  Those with deposits in its second largest bank loose everything - although you have to read to page 2 of the article before it talks about that. Why? Because that’s what the IMF has decreed. Think it can’t happen here? Think again.


NYTimes: Mortgages Future Looks Too Much Like the Past - The fix for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Status Quo A or Status Quo B. Either way you and I are the guarantors.


Bill Moyers: Former FDIC Chair on Big Banks’ Greed and Impunity - And the best example is Barack Obama’s favorite banker.


NYTimes: Masked By Gibberish, the Risks Run Amok - Not only are the big banks TBTF, apparently they are also too big to manage. Meltdown II coming soon to a neighborhood near you.


Nation of Change: The Plague of Wall Street Banking - William K. Black on the puny Wall Street fines: “The art is to make the number sound large enough to fool the rubes, but to insure that the fine poses only a modest inconvenience to our ‘most reputable’ fraudulent banks.”


ProPublica: Lesson of JPMorgan’s Whale Trade: Nothing Was Learned - JPMorgan bankers lied. The Comptroller of the Currency’s regulators averted their eyes. That’s what Dodd-Frank did. Seen entry below of 3/16.


NYTimes: JPMorgan’s Follies, For All to See in Senate Report - Thank you Sen. Levin! Without his committee none of these revelations would be coming to light. This case is the poster-child example of just what a travesty and hoax the Dodd-Frank bill really is. The big banks are still TBTF; Glass-Steagall was not reinstated; executives and top traders have no incentive to reform and are still compensated in astronomical figures; the law does not in any way impede the speculation in derivatives that will inevitably lead to another bubble-burst; and since passage, regulators have further weakened enforcement. Another monster meltdown is absolutely inevitable. A simple Robin Hood tax would go a long way towards slowing the speculation and raising federal budget revenues. “We already know that banks of JPMorgan’s size are also too big to be allowed to fail and too big to prosecute. Such banks are too big to regulate and apparently too big to manage. So how much more evidence do we need that banks like JPMorgan are simply too big a risk for taxpayers to bear?”


WSJ: JP Morgan’s CEO Dimon Withheld Evidence From Regulators - Yep, that Dodd-Frank bill really fixed everything. Still TBTF, still no real punishment.


NYTimes: For Mary Jo White, Few Big-Bank Cases As A Prosecutor - Essentially her reputation as a tough prosector rests on the conviction of John Gotti in 1992. During her stint as the top criminal prosecutor in New York, she prosecuted some low-level foreign financial institutions, but declined to prosecute large banks, such as Citibank and Bear Stearns, every time an investigation showed wrong doing. Since that time she worked as the Litigation Chair at the firm of Debevoise & Plimpton, the largest and oldest firm in New York, defending the Wall Street banks. Just keep that in mind the next time you hear the MSM say what a tough prosecutor she was. See also entry of 1/25 below.


NYTimes: Banks Find More Wrongful Foreclosures Among Military - Why isn’t DOJ finding these wrongful activities?


NYTimes: BOA Pays New York Fed $43 Million In Return For Release From Fraud Charges and Favorable Testimony In A Related Case - If info about a bribe is filed as a court document, does that make it ‘legal?’ Do you think you or I could get away with this?


WSJ: Former Bailed-Out Citi Confirmed New Treasury Secretary - Just as Lew left Citibank in 2009, it was bailed out and part of that taxpayer money went towards his bonus. He has stated that one of his top priorities  at Treasury will be to reduce the cost of ‘entitlement programs’ such as Medicare. Not sure what that has to do with the work at Treasury, but that’s what the man said. I’m sure we’ll find out after it’s too late. Maybe the Catfood Commission will be resurrected?


NYTimes: A Costly and Unjust Perk for Financiers

NYTimes: What Mortgage Relief?


NYTimes: Major Banks Aid Payday Loans Banned By States - Illegal? Absolutely. Obama’s DOJ preparing to prosecute? Are you kidding? See The Untouchables to understand why. Remember Obama told Jake Tapper that none of the big banks (or even the little banks) ever did anything illegal.


Rolling Stone: Justice Department’s New Get-Tough Policy Is, Well, Not - “The individual incentive not to commit crime on Wall Street now is almost zero.”  ... “This isn't brain surgery. You know what an effective deterrent to crime is? Jail!” ... “Let's make a new rule: The Department of Justice doesn't get to call itself "tough" until a) it puts someone from one of these companies in jail for at least 24 hours, or b) it extracts fines from either companies or individuals that represent at least slightly more than laughable fractions of their ill-gotten gains. That's setting the bar pretty low, but you have to start somewhere, right?”


NYTimes: The Second-Mortgage Shell Game


NYTimes: Don’t Blink, or You’ll Miss Another Bank Bailout - This time Bank of America, $21 Billion. But we’re still going to need to slash Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.


Rolling Stone: Gangster Bankers Broke Every Law on the Books


ProPublica: The 0.03% Solution


McClatchy: Is US Suit Against S&P Actually Retaliation?


San Francisco Chronicle: School Districts Pay Dearly For Wall Street Bonds


HuffPo: TARP Pay Czar Permitted Excessive Executive Pay At Bailed-Out Companies and NYTimes

Bloomberg: Libor Lies Revealed in $300 Trillion Benchmark Rigging - But of course “they never did anything illegal.”


Rolling Stone: Obama Appoints Fox (Mary Jo White) to Guard the Hen House (SEC) - He has chosen a partner and the Chair of Litigation at the largest NY law firm defending Wall Street banks to become the head of prosecutions against Wall Street bank fraud and felonies. That should work out just fine - for the bankers, since as soon as she leaves the SEC, she’ll be going right back to her old job. Jamie Dimon calls her ‘the perfect choice.’ The really funny part is watching the MSM tout this as a choice that should have the bankers quaking in their boots and Here. Yes, she USED to be a prosecutor, but for the last 10 years she’s worked at Debevoise & Plimpton. Could Mitt Romney have gotten away with this? No Way. Every day it becomes more obvious that the ‘lesser of two evils’ argument no longer holds water.

UK Guardian: How The Obama Administration Protected Wall Street From Any Prosecutions - “Americans continue to be plagued by massive unemployment, foreclosures, the threat of austerity and economic insecurity while those who caused those problems have more power and profit than ever.”


PBS-Frontline: The Untouchables - Excellent documentary. Why has there been not even one indictment for Wall Street crimes? All parties agree: “A lack of effort” on the part of the DOJ. Fraud committed when millions of ‘liars loans’ were made. Fraud committed when these loans were packaged and given AAA+ ratings. Fraud committed when these packages were sold to unsuspecting investors. Fraud committed when the Wall Street corporations then bet against their own customers. Fraud committed when 4.4 million American families were illegally foreclosed on with ‘robo-signed’ documentation or no documentation (see entry of 1/5 below). And yet not one indictment, much less prosecution and conviction. The DOJ showed no lack of effort as they bullied and pursued Aaron Swartz to his grave. They showed no lack of effort as they jailed John Kiriakou. I think we all know where the buck stops - in more ways than one. See the movie “Inside Job” on this same subject.

ProPublica: Morgan Stanley Peddled Security Its Own Employee Called ‘Nuclear Holocaust’

UK Guardian: JP Morgan CEO Dimon Condemns ‘Five Years of Scapegoating’ Of Banks


LATimes: JPMorgan, Goldman Profits Rise Sharply and NYTimes: JPMorgan’s CEO Will Take Pay Cut - ...down to $11.2 bonuses and stock options to be determined. Yep, life in the fast lane can be tough sometimes.


UK Telegraph: Goldman Bankers Set for Bonus Windfall - $13.3 Billion (with a B) compensation for 2012.


Democracy-NOW!: Matt Taibbi & William Black: How The New Foreclosure Deal Spares Bankers From Justice

Democracy-NOW!: “Failure of Epic Proportions”: Treasury Nominee Jack Lew’s Pro-Bank, Austerity, Deregulation Legacy


HuffPo: Jacob Lew: Another Brick in the Wall Street on the Potomac - A great summary of how Wall Street appointees to head federal financial agencies have and will continue to doom this country’s economic system - while continuing to make Wall Streeters rich of course. The author is the guy who sent 1,000+ referrals for prosecution to the FBI during the S&L meltdown of the 80s.

Institute for Public Accuracy: Lew: More Wall Street Connections at Treasury


Bill Moyers: When Is the White House Meeting With Low-Income Americans?

MoJo: Obama’s Treasury Pick Claims Deregulation Did Not Cause the Financial Crisis


Forbes: Big Banks and Derivatives: Why Another Financial Crash is Inevitable - When the crash of 2007-2008 occurred, the total outstanding derivatives market stood at about $500 Trillion. Today it is over $700 Trillion and there is no more transparency now than there was then. Big banks are still being caught price fixing, money laundering, tax evasion, and misleading clients with worthless securities.

HuffPo: Elizabeth Warren Makes Another Great Speech - Watch only what they do, not what they say. It’s easy to make great speeches against indefensible actions, it’s another to stand up to her party’s support of Wall Street crooks. She still has yet to do anything meaningful.


NYTimes: Surprise, Surprise: The Banks Win Again - “If you were hoping that things might be different in 2013 — you know, that bankers would be held responsible for bad behavior or that the government might actually assist troubled homeowners — you can forget it.”


Rolling Stone: Secrets and Lies of the Bailout - A very long review of the many deceptions foisted on the American public, to convince them to give Wall Street every thing they wanted to rescue them from their own mistakes and greed. Highlights:

  1. 1.When the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act was first passed in 2008, Sect. 109 stated that the $700 Billion would be used to buy up the troubled mortgages and help struggling homeowners - and specifically empowered the Treasury secretary to "facilitate loan modifications to prevent avoidable foreclosures." But as soon as the law was passed, the Federal Reserve and Treasury unilaterally decided to just give the money to the big banks with no conditions - which of course facilitated the executive and trader salaries and bonuses. Struggling homeowners to this day have not gotten one penny of help.

  2. 2.When the furious politicians realized they had been duped and threatened to pass a law canceling the remaining $350 Billion, Larry Summers put together a 5 point proposal to ameliorate their concerns. It promised to use the remaining money to: stimulate bank lending, thus putting people back to work; to force banks to increase lending above certain baseline levels; he promised to impose ‘tough and transparent’ conditions on banks; to make sure that none of the money was used to enrich shareholders or executives; that bailout money would be used to help homeowners in foreclosure; that the bailouts would be temporary and that there would be a plan for the quick exit of government intervention. All Lies. It was nothing but a premeditated trick by the Federal Reserve and the Obama Administration to service their Wall St. clients.

And that’s just the first page. This is a really great Matt Taibbi article.

Financial Reform 2012