financial collapse

Friday Movie Night - Inside Job

Tonight's documentary is Inside Job.  Made in 2010, this is probably the best documentary on the financial crisis and it also won an Academy award.  It should also make your blood boil and then bubble over considering business as usual is still going on.  The conflicts of interest alone exposed in this film will stun you  In short it's a must see and if you have watched it already, well, see it again.


Don't Worry, Be Happy, Financial Armageddon Didn't Have to Happen Really

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has released their final report and to no one's surprise it's a mealy-mouthed white wash to reduce real accountability of many facts already known. Read it here. houseofcards.jpegBasically the report rehashes a lot of information already discovered as the causes of Financial Armageddon. Case in point is Goldman Sachs obtaining $2.9 billion through the AIG bail out.

Goldman Sachs collected $2.9 billion from the American International Group as payout on a speculative trade it placed for the benefit of its own account, receiving the bulk of those funds after AIG received an enormous taxpayer rescue,

The report does drive home the overriding message Financial Armageddon didn't have to happen. It was a direct result of fictional derivatives, deregulation and a host of other financial lobbyists' wish lists which were granted absolute in the last 30 years.

Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism who has been following every nitty gritty detail since day one:

Triumph of the Money Party!!! Warren's role downgraded, reports to Geithner

Michael Collins

The White House snatched back one of the few bones it's thrown to the people outraged at the looting of the United States Treasury by failed financial concerns - the big banks and Wall Street. The promised appointment Elizabeth Warren as head of the new agency to protect consumers from the financial services industry has been seriously downgraded. Instead of running the Consumer Finance Protection Agency, Warren's role has been diminished to that of special assistant to the president and adviser to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

"President Obama, sidestepping a possibly heated confirmation battle, will appoint Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren as a special advisor to the Treasury Department to launch the government's powerful new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to two Democratic officials familiar with the decision." LA Times, Sept 15

The Latest Implausible Denials from the Con Men of Wall Street

Yet another hearing, yet more denials and refusal to accept any responsibility in the Financial crisis.

I'm sick to death of this frankly and say, put them in jail and be done with it. If one cannot put them in jail, pass laws to do so with ease and be done with it.

I also propose bloggers put together a financial reform bill, all publish it on their blogs, and demand Congress pass it. It seems every one monitoring these events knows exactly what to do (including break up the big banks), except our Government.

Seriously, is anyone else sick to death of Congressional continual pussy footin' around? An admonishment here, a scolding there, in some obscure hearing on capital hill? No consequences, no concrete changes in law, no real action. All hat, no cattle, pomp and circumstance.

With that, Dylan Ratigan did a segment, which sums up what's really going on with financial reform.

Goldman Sachs Vice-Chair: People Must “Tolerate the Inequality”

Hat tip to Firedoglake, for picking this up from MSNBC and The London Guardian:

In remarks that will fuel the row around excessive pay, Lord Griffiths, vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs International and a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, said banks should not be ashamed of rewarding their staff.

Speaking to an audience at St Paul’s Cathedral in London about morality in the marketplace last night, Griffiths said the British public should “tolerate the inequality as a way to achieve greater prosperity for all”

Continued downstairs. . .

Yes, poverty is worse than they ever admitted

Cross posted from DailyKos, but expanded

The National Academy of Sciences has issued its own estimates of the number of Americans in poverty, and yes, it’s much worse than the official statistics have been telling us for the past decade. The new NAS formula estimates nearly 1 in 6 Americans, 15.8 percent, are living below the poverty line. That’s 48 million Americans.

By comparison, the latest official Census Bureau statistics are that 13.2 percent of Americans, or 39.8 million, are impoverished. It should be noted that the Census Bureau is reportedly cooperating with the National Academy of Sciences to get this information out as quickly as possible.

If I were President . . .

The past week, the news that Merrill Lynch had hurried to pay out billions of dollars in bonuses before the end of the year, provoked a torrent of tirades and rage across America. Now, progressive blogs are in another uproar over the perceived lack of leadership from President Barack Obama in the fight for a stimulus program. Many defenders of President Obama demand to know what he might do different. And many seem not to feel, or do not yet understand, that the financial and banking system needs a complete reformation. Well, here’s my suggestion, in the form of a speech the President can give explaining a few crucial, truly transformative measures to the nation.

My fellow Americans,

Who will benefit from nationalization of finance?

I put this up yesterday on DailyKos. It did not get much traction, but I think it is important to get people thinking about the issues raised. In short, the success of both the two-pronged bank bailout (TARP and the Fed’s largesse), and the stimulus bill, are going to depend on whether or not the U.S. economy is transformed. I don’t think there is much disagreement in the direction we need to shove the U.S. economy; BruceMcF has done a brilliant job of discussing some of the more important aspects of transportation.

The Earth's Axis Shifts as City of London peers into Hell

On the day that a new American President was inaugurated, the Lords of the City of London decided to quietly announce in their newspaper of record, the Financial Times, that there are about to be major shifts in policies and practices.

On Monday the UK government declared total war on the economic crisis, and not a moment too soon. A long phony war ended abruptly with the financial system’s near-meltdown in October. Now, in the next phase of the crisis, the government is thankfully using a full arsenal of ammunition.