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Banking Bailout News Stories
Excerpts of Key Banking Bailout News Stories in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important the banking bailout news stories reported in the media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These the banking bailout news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: This comprehensive list of the banking bailout news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Wall Street Legend Sandy Weill: Break Up the Big Banks
2012-07-25, CNBC
Posted: 2012-07-31 10:37:24
http://www.cnbc.com/id/48315170

Former Citigroup Chairman & CEO Sanford I. Weill, the man who invented the financial supermarket, called for the breakup of big banks in an interview on CNBC Wednesday. “What we should probably do is go and split up investment banking from banking, have banks be deposit takers, have banks make commercial loans and real estate loans, have banks do something that’s not going to risk the taxpayer dollars, that’s not too big to fail,” Weill told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” He added: “If they want to hedge what they’re doing with their investments, let them do it in a way that’s going to be mark-to-market so they’re never going to be hit.” He essentially called for the return of the Glass–Steagall Act, which imposed banking reforms that split banks from other financial institutions such as insurance companies. He said banks should be split off entirely from investment banks, and they should operate with a leverage ratio of 12 times to 15 times of what they have on their balance sheets. Banks should also be completely transparent, Weill said, with everything on balance sheet. “There should be no such thing as off balance sheet,” he said.

Note: For deeply revealing and reliable major media reports on corruption and criminality in the operations and regulation of the financial sector, click here.


The Bank of England told us to do it, claims Barclays
2012-07-03, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-07-31 10:36:12
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9374289/The-B...

The Deputy Governor of the Bank of England encouraged Barclays to try to lower interest rates after coming under pressure from senior members of the last Labour government, documents have disclosed. A memo published by Barclays suggested that Paul Tucker gave a hint to Bob Diamond, the bank’s chief executive, in 2008 that the rate it was claiming to be paying to borrow money from other banks could be lowered. His suggestion followed questions from “senior figures within Whitehall” about why Barclays was having to pay so much interest on its borrowings, the memo states. Barclays and other banks have been accused of artificially manipulating the Libor rate, which is used to set the borrowing costs for millions of consumers, businesses and investors, by falsely stating how much they were paying to borrow money. The bank claimed yesterday that one of its most senior executives cut the Libor rate only at the height of the credit crisis after intervention from the Bank of England. The memo, written on Oct 29, 2008, by Mr Diamond and circulated to two other senior bank officials, said: “Mr Tucker reiterated that he had received calls from a number of senior figures within Whitehall to question why Barclays was always toward the top end of the Libor pricing.” Government sources suggested that Baroness Vadera, one of Gordon Brown’s closest colleagues, was responsible for the contact with the Bank of England.

Note: For deeply revealing and reliable major media reports on corruption and criminality in the operations and regulation of the financial sector, click here.


Sean FitzPatrick is third ex-Anglo Irish Bank executive to be arrested in 24 hours
2012-07-24, BBC News
Posted: 2012-07-31 10:28:21
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18965510

The former head of Anglo Irish Bank, Sean FitzPatrick, has been arrested by Irish police in connection with alleged financial irregularities at the bank. He is the third former senior executive from Anglo Irish Bank to appear in court within the past 24 hours. All three men face 16 charges in relation to an alleged failed attempt to prop up Anglo's share price after a stock market collapse. Anglo was nationalised at a cost of about 30bn euros (Ł23.4bn) to Irish taxpayers. Anglo was badly exposed by the bursting of the Irish property bubble and suffered the largest corporate loss in the history of the Republic of Ireland. It is the third time Mr FitzPatrick has been arrested as part of the three-and-a-half year long investigation into the collapse of Anglo Irish Bank. Willie McAteer - the second in command at the bank before his resignation in January 2009 - appeared in court alongside Pat Whelan, a former head of lending and operations at the bank. The former bank is being wound down and is currently being run by the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Limited (IBRC).

Note: For deeply revealing and reliable major media reports on corruption and criminality in the operations and regulation of the financial sector, click here.


Libor: They all knew – and no one acted
2012-07-14, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-07-24 16:46:03
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/libor-they-all-knew--and-no-o...

Regulators on both sides of the Atlantic failed to act on clear warnings that the Libor interest rate was being falsely reported by banks during the financial crisis, it emerged last night. A cache of documents released yesterday by the New York Federal Reserve showed that US officials had evidence from April 2008 that Barclays was knowingly posting false reports about the rate at which it could borrow in order to assuage market concerns about its solvency. An unnamed Barclays employee told a New York Fed analyst, Fabiola Ravazzolo, on 11 April 2008: "So we know that we're not posting, um, an honest Libor." He said Barclays started under-reporting Libor because graphs showing the relatively high rates at which the bank had to borrow attracted "unwanted attention" and the "share price went down". The verbatim note of the call released by the Fed represents the starkest evidence yet that Libor-fiddling was discussed in high regulatory circles years before Barclays' recent Ł290m fine. The New York Fed said that, immediately after the call, Ms Ravazzolo informed her superiors of the information, who then passed on her concerns to Tim Geithner, who was head of the New York Fed at the time. Mr Geithner investigated and drew up a six-point proposal for ensuring the integrity of Libor which he presented to the British Bankers Association, which is responsible for producing the Libor rate daily. Mr Geithner, who is now US Treasury Secretary, also forwarded the six-point plan to the Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on regulatory and financial corruption and criminality, click here. For our highly revealing Banking Corruption Information Center, click here.


Regulators and HSBC Faulted in Report on Money Laundering
2012-07-16, New York Times
Posted: 2012-07-24 16:44:35
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/07/16/scathing-report-details-money-launderi...

The global bank HSBC has been used by Mexican drug cartels looking to get cash back into the United States, by Saudi Arabian banks that needed access to dollars despite their terrorist ties and by Iranians who wanted to circumvent United States sanctions, a Senate report says. The 335-page report released [on July 16] also says that executives at HSBC and regulators at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ignored warning signs and failed to stop the illegal behavior at many points between 2001 and 2010. The problems at HSBC, Europe's largest financial institution, [are] indicators of a broader problem of illegal money flowing through international financial institutions into the United States. The report on HSBC is the latest of several scandals that have recently rocked global banks and highlighted the inability of regulators to catch what is claimed to be widespread wrongdoing in the financial industry. The British bank Barclays recently admitted that its traders tried to manipulate a crucial global interest rate, and multiple major banks are under investigation. JPMorgan Chase disclosed last week that its employees may have tried to hide trades that are likely to cost the bank billions of dollars. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has come under particularly harsh criticism for showing too much deference to the banks it regulates.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on regulatory and financial corruption and criminality, click here. For our highly revealing Banking Corruption Information Center, click here.


Was the petrol price rigged too?
2012-07-12, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-07-24 16:43:17
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/fuel/9401934/Libor-scandal-Was-the-pe...

Motorists may have been paying too much for their petrol because banks and other traders are likely to have tried to manipulate oil prices in the same way they rigged interest rates, an official report has warned. Concerns are growing about the reliability of oil prices, after a report for the G20 found the market is wide open to “manipulation or distortion”. Traders from banks, oil companies or hedge funds have an “incentive” to distort the market and are likely to try to report false prices, it said. Petrol retailers use oil price “benchmarks” to decide how much to pay for future supplies. The rate is calculated by data companies based on submissions from firms which trade oil on a daily basis – such as banks, hedge funds and energy companies. However, like Libor ... the market is unregulated and relies on the honesty of the firms to submit accurate data about all their trades. This is one of the major concerns raised in the G20 report, published last month by the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). In the study for global finance ministers, including George Osborne, the regulator warns that traders have opportunities to influence oil prices for their own profit. It points out that the whole market is “voluntary”, meaning banks and energy companies can choose which trades to make public. IOSCO says this “creates opportunity for a trader to submit a partial picture in order to influence the [price] to the trader’s advantage”.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on regulatory and financial corruption and criminality, click here.


Joseph Stiglitz: Man who ran World Bank calls for bankers to face the music
2012-07-02, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-07-17 11:01:04
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/joseph-stigl...

The Barclays Libor scandal may have shocked the British public, but Joseph Stiglitz saw it coming decades ago. And he's convinced that jailing bankers is the best way to curb market abuses. [Former World Bank Chief Economist] Stiglitz wrote a series of papers in the 1970s and 1980s explaining how when some individuals have access to privileged knowledge that others don't, free markets yield bad outcomes for wider society. That insight (known as the theory of "asymmetric information") won Stiglitz the Nobel Prize for economics in 2001. And he has leveraged those credentials relentlessly ever since to batter at the walls of "free market fundamentalism". It is a crusade that [includes] his new book The Price of Inequality. When traders working for Barclays rigged the Libor interest rate and flogged toxic financial derivatives – using their privileged position in the financial system to make profits at the expense of their customers – they were unwittingly proving Stiglitz right. "It's a textbook illustration," Stiglitz said. "Where there are these asymmetries a lot of these activities are directed at rent seeking [appropriating resources from someone else rather than creating new wealth]. That was one of my original points. It wasn't about productivity, it was taking advantage." He argues that breaking the economic and political power that has been amassed by the financial sector in recent decades, especially in the US and the UK, is essential if we are to build a more just and prosperous society. The first step, he says, is sending some bankers to jail.

Note: For key investigative reports on the criminality and corruption in the financial industry and biggest banks, click here.


Time for ‘Banksters’ to be prosecuted
2012-07-10, Washington Post
Posted: 2012-07-17 10:59:47
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/katrina-vanden-heuvel-time-for-bankste...

Once more the big banks are exposed in systematic fraudulent activity. When Barclays agreed to a $450 million fine for trying to rig the Libor, its CEO offered the classic excuse: Everyone does it. Once more the question remains: Will CEOs and CFOs, as well as traders, be prosecuted? Or will they depart with their multimillion dollar rewards intact, leaving shareholders to pay the tab for the hundreds of millions in fines? The Barclays settlement exposed that traders colluded to try to fix the Libor rate. This is the rate used as the basis for exotic derivatives as well as mortgages, credit card and personal loan rates. Almost everyone is affected. Fixing the rate even a few hundredths of a percentage point could make Barclays millions on any single day — money taken out of the pockets of consumers and investors. Once more the banks were rigging the rules; once more their customers were their mark. The collusion was systematic and routine. Investigations are underway not only in the United Kingdom but also in the United States, Canada and the European Union. Those named in the probes are all the usual suspects: JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, UBS, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, UBS and others. This wasn’t rogue trading, ... it was more like a cartel. The Economist writes that what has been revealed here is “the rotten heart of finance,” a “culture of casual dishonesty.”

Note: For key investigative reports on the criminality and corruption in the financial industry and biggest banks, click here.


The rotten heart of finance
2012-07-07, The Economist Magazine
Posted: 2012-07-17 10:58:24
http://www.economist.com/node/21558281

The rapidly spreading scandal of LIBOR (the London inter-bank offered rate) ... is beginning to assume global significance. The number that the traders were toying with determines the prices that people and corporations around the world pay for loans or receive for their savings. It is used as a benchmark to set payments on about $800 trillion-worth of financial instruments, ranging from complex interest-rate derivatives to simple mortgages. The number determines the global flow of billions of dollars each year. Yet it turns out to have been flawed. Over the past week damning evidence has emerged, in documents detailing a settlement between Barclays and regulators in America and Britain, that employees at the bank and at several other unnamed banks tried to rig the number time and again over a period of at least five years. And worse is likely to emerge. Investigations by regulators in several countries, including Canada, America, Japan, the EU, Switzerland and Britain, are looking into allegations that LIBOR and similar rates were rigged by large numbers of banks. As many as 20 big banks have been named in various investigations or lawsuits alleging that LIBOR was rigged. The scandal also corrodes further what little remains of public trust in banks and those who run them.

Note: For key investigative reports on the criminality and corruption in the financial industry and biggest banks, click here.


Wall Street sleaze keeps growing
2012-07-14, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2012-07-17 10:57:14
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/reich/article/Wall-Street-sleaze-keeps-growing-...

Just when you thought Wall Street couldn't sink any lower - when its excesses are still causing hardship to millions of Americans and its myriad abuses of public trust have already spread a miasma of cynicism over the entire economic system - an even deeper level of public-be-damned greed and corruption is revealed. Libor is the benchmark for trillions of dollars of loans worldwide - mortgage loans, small-business loans, personal loans. It's compiled by averaging the rates at which the major banks say they borrow. So far, the scandal has been limited to Barclays, a big, London bank that just paid $453 million to U.S. and British bank regulators, whose top executives have been forced to resign, and whose traders' e-mails give a chilling picture of how easily they got their colleagues to rig interest rates in order to make big bucks. But Wall Street has almost surely been involved in the same practice, including the usual suspects - JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America - because every major bank participates in setting the Libor rate, and Barclays couldn't have rigged it without their witting involvement. In fact, Barclays' defense has been that every major bank was fixing Libor in the same way, and for the same reason. And Barclays is "cooperating" (i.e., providing damning evidence about other big banks) with the Justice Department and other regulators in order to avoid steeper penalties or criminal prosecutions, so the fireworks have just begun.

Note: The author of this article, Robert Reich, is former U.S. secretary of labor, professor of public policy at UC Berkeley and the author of Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.


Wells Fargo to pay $175 million to settle lending bias allegations
2012-07-13, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2012-07-17 10:54:16
http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-wells-bias-settlement-201207...

Wells Fargo & Co.'s settlement of allegations that it overcharged minorities for home loans and wrongly steered them into subprime mortgages requires the bank to pay $125 million in damages, including about $10 million to African Americans and Latinos in the Los Angeles area. The settlement ... also requires the San Francisco company, by far the nation's largest home lender, to provide $50 million in down-payment assistance to residents of areas where the alleged discrimination had a significant effect. The $175-million total is the second-largest fair-lending settlement by the civil rights arm of the Justice Department. The largest, reached in December, requires Bank of America Corp. to pay $335 million to settle claims against Countrywide Financial Corp., the aggressive Calabasas lender it acquired in 2008. Another former Wells Fargo unit — the now-defunct subprime storefront lender Wells Fargo Financial Inc. — was the target of a separate investigation by the Federal Reserve. Wells Fargo agreed last year to pay $85 million to settle allegations that Wells Fargo Financial employees improperly pushed borrowers into more expensive subprime loans and exaggerated income information on mortgage applications. The agreement covers lending from 2004 through 2009 in the wholesale section of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, which made loans of all kinds, including prime and subprime mortgages, through independent brokers.

Note: For key investigative reports on the criminality and corruption in the financial industry and biggest banks, click here.


Guilty bankers should clean toilets
2012-07-05, CNN
Posted: 2012-07-10 16:59:53
http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/05/opinion/quest-libor-analysis/index.html

The Libor scandal has confirmed what many of us have known for some time: There is something smelly in the London financial world and the stench is now overwhelming. The Financial Services Authority report [made it] clear just how widespread, how blatant was the fixing of the benchmark interest rate Libor and Euribor by Barclays. Brazen is the only word for it. The emails and phone calls reveal that on dozens of occasions those who stood to gain by the decisions asked for favors (and got them) from those who helped set the interest rates. And all the time the world believed Libor was somehow a barometer of what banks were lending to each other. It wasn't. It was the rate at which a bank was prepared to corrupt the money markets for its own narrow, venal gain. It is the way the traders, the rate submitters -- everyone involved in this cesspit -- [were] running to do wrong which makes it so egregious. With one or two feeble exceptions, no one ever seemed to stop and say "this is against the rules." Or, heaven forbid, "this is wrong." I have no doubt that Barclays wasn't the only one up to this. The FSA report makes it clear that other traders were putting pressure on their rate setters too. Libor and its cousin Euribor are the rates used to determine hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of highly specialized financial contracts called derivatives. Businesses and household loans are set by this benchmark. It is the backbone of the financial world and now it has been proven to be bent and crooked.

Note: For an incredibly incisive interview between Eliot Spitzer, Matt Taibbi, and a top banking expert on how the LIBOR scandal undermines the integrity of all banking, click here. For astounding news on the $700 trillion derivatives bubble, click here. For a treasure trove of reliable reports on the criminality and corruption within the financial and banking industries, click here.


Libor scandal: How I manipulated the bank borrowing rate
2012-07-01, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-07-10 16:58:49
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9368430/Libor...

An anonymous insider from one of Britain's biggest lenders ... explains how he and his colleagues helped manipulate the UK's bank borrowing rate. Neither the insider nor the bank can be identified for legal reasons. It was during a weekly economic briefing at the bank in early 2008 that I first heard the phrase. A sterling swaps trader told the assembled economists and managers that "Libor was dislocated with itself". What the trader told us was that the bank could not be seen to be borrowing at high rates, so we were putting in low Libor submissions, the same as everyone. How could we do that? Easy. The British Bankers' Association, which compiled Libor, asked for a rate submission but there were no checks. The trader said there was a general acceptance that you lowered the price a few basis points each day. According to the trader, "everyone knew" and "everyone was doing it". There was no implication of illegality. After all, there were 20 to 30 people in the room – from management to economists, structuring teams to salespeople – and more on the teleconference dial-in from across the country. The discussion was so open the behaviour seemed above board. In no sense was this a clandestine gathering. Libor had dislocated with itself for a very good reason – to hide the true issues within the bank.

Note: For an incredibly incisive interview between Eliot Spitzer, Matt Taibbi, and a top banking expert on how the LIBOR scandal undermines the integrity of all banking, click here. For a treasure trove of reliable reports on the criminality and corruption within the financial and banking industries, click here.


Wall Street banks angling for Dodd-Frank loophole
2012-06-30, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2012-07-10 16:57:16
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/reich/article/Wall-Street-banks-angling-for-Dod...

Wall Street has already watered down or delayed most of Dodd-Frank [financial reform act]. Now it wants to create a giant loophole, exempting its foreign branches from the law. Yet the overseas branches of Wall Street banks are where the banks have done some of their wilder betting. Four years ago, bad bets by American International Group's London office nearly unraveled the U.S. financial system. When the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the main regulator of derivatives (bets on bets), recently proposed extending Dodd-Frank to the foreign branches of Wall Street banks, the banks screamed. "If JPMorgan overseas operates under different rules than our foreign competitors," warned Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan, Wall Street will lose financial business to the banks of nations with fewer regulations, allowing "Deutsche Bank to make the better deal." This is the same Jamie Dimon who chose London as the place to make highly risky derivatives trades that have lost the firm upward of $2 billion so far - and could leave American taxpayers holding the bag if JPMorgan's exposure to tottering European banks gets much worse. JPMorgan's risky betting in London is added proof that unless the overseas operations of Wall Street banks are covered by U.S. regulations, giant banks will hide irresponsible bets overseas. Squadrons of Wall Street lawyers and lobbyists have been pressing all the agencies charged with implementing Dodd-Frank to go easy on the Street.

Note: The author of this article, Robert Reich, is former U.S. secretary of labor, professor of public policy at UC Berkeley and the author of Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.


Lawmakers got loan deals from Countrywide
2012-07-05, MSNBC/Associated Press
Posted: 2012-07-10 16:55:55
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48081344/ns/business-stocks_and_economy#.T_h445H4KNU

The former Countrywide Financial Corp., whose subprime loans helped start the nation's foreclosure crisis, made hundreds of discount loans to buy influence with members of Congress, congressional staff, top government officials and executives of troubled mortgage giant Fannie Mae, according to a House report. The report ... said the discounts — from January 1996 to June 2008 — were not only aimed at gaining influence for the company but to help mortgage giant Fannie Mae. Countrywide's business depended largely on Fannie, which ... was responsible for purchasing a large volume of Countrywide's subprime mortgages. "Documents and testimony obtained by the committee show the VIP loan program was a tool used by Countrywide to build goodwill with lawmakers and other individuals positioned to benefit the company," the report said. "In the years that led up to the 2007 housing market decline, Countrywide VIPs were positioned to affect dozens of pieces of legislation that would have reformed Fannie" and its rival Freddie Mac, the committee said. The Justice Department has not prosecuted any Countrywide official, but the House committee's report said documents and testimony show that Mozilo and company lobbyists "may have skirted the federal bribery statute by keeping conversations about discounts and other forms of preferential treatment internal. Rather than making quid pro quo arrangements with lawmakers and staff, Countrywide used the VIP loan program to cast a wide net of influence."

Note: For a treasure trove of reliable reports on the criminality and corruption within the financial and banking industries, click here.


Big banks craft "living wills" in case they fail
2012-06-27, Chicago Tribune/Reuters
Posted: 2012-07-03 12:06:05
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-27/business/sns-rt-us-banks-bailou...

Five of the biggest banks in the United States are putting finishing touches on plans for going out of business as part of government-mandated contingency planning that could push them to untangle their complex operations. The plans, known as living wills, are due to regulators no later than July 1 under provisions of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law designed to end too-big-to-fail bailouts by the government. The living wills could be as long as 4,000 pages. Since the law allows regulators to go so far as to order a bank to divest subsidiaries if it cannot plan an orderly resolution in bankruptcy, the deadline is pushing even healthy institutions to start a multi-year process to untangle their complex global operations, according to industry consultants. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are among those submitting the first liquidation scenarios to regulators at the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The liquidation plans are coming amid renewed questions about the safety of big banks following JPMorgan's stunning announcement last month that a trading debacle has cost it more than $2 billion.

Note: For other key major media articles showing blatant financial corruption, click here. For more vitally important information on banking manipulations, explore the excellent, reliable information in our Banking Corruption Information Center available here.


The Jamie Dimon Cufflinks Mystery
2012-06-14, CNBC
Posted: 2012-06-26 10:50:24
http://www.cnbc.com/id/47820947

There's been a lot of speculation about the cufflinks [JPMorgan Chase CEO] Jamie Dimon wore during [his Congressional] testimony. They caught the eye of folks because they seemed to bear some sort of official government stamp. As it turns out, they were emblazoned with the seal of the President of the United States. CNN's Lizzie O'Leary first confirmed the story last night over Twitter. They were, in fact, a gift from a resident of the White House. But people close to the JPMorgan Chase CEO won't say which president gave them to him. Dimon's got a bunch of official U.S. government cufflinks. Search for images of him and you'll see FBI cufflinks, for example. Was Dimon trying to send any particular message by wearing the presidential cufflinks? Was he, for instance, trying to remind the Democrats he supported Obama? Or subtly hinting that he's really the guy in charge?

Note: For powerful reports on financial corruption, click here.


Why the U.S. Senate Sucks Up to Public Enemy Jamie Dimon
2012-06-20, Alternet
Posted: 2012-06-26 10:45:52
http://www.alternet.org/news/155962/why_the_u.s._senate_sucks_up_to_public_en...

When Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase Bank, appeared before the Senate Banking Committee on June 13, he was wearing cufflinks bearing the presidential seal. “Was Dimon trying to send any particular message by wearing the presidential cufflinks?” asked CNBC editor John Carney. “Was he . . . subtly hinting that he’s really the guy in charge?” The groveling of the Senators was so obvious that Jon Stewart did a spoof news clip on it. JPMorgan Chase is the biggest campaign donor to many of the members of the Banking Committee. Financial analysts Jim Willie and Rob Kirby think it may be something far larger, deeper, and more ominous. They contend that the $3 billion-plus losses in London hedging transactions that were the subject of the hearing can be traced, not to European sovereign debt (as alleged), but to the record-low interest rates maintained on U.S. government bonds. The national debt is growing at $1.5 trillion per year. Ultra-low interest rates must be maintained to prevent the debt from overwhelming the government budget. Near-zero rates also need to be maintained because even a moderate rise would cause multi-trillion dollar derivative losses for the banks, and would remove the banks’ chief income stream, the arbitrage afforded by borrowing at 0% and investing at higher rates. The low rates are maintained by interest rate swaps, called by Willie a “derivative tool which controls the bond market in a devious artificial manner.”

Note: We don't usually use alternet.org as a reliable source, but because the major media failed to ask the hard, very important questions posed in this article, we've included it here. For powerful reports on financial corruption, click here.


Family net worth plummets nearly 40%
2012-06-11, CNN
Posted: 2012-06-19 10:53:08
http://money.cnn.com/2012/06/11/news/economy/fed-family-net-worth/

The average American family's net worth dropped almost 40% between 2007 and 2010, according to a triennial study released [on June 11] by the Federal Reserve. The stunning drop in median net worth -- from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010 -- indicates that the recession wiped away 18 years of savings and investment by families. The results ... highlight the marked deterioration in household finances brought on by the financial crisis and ensuing recession. Much of the drop off in net worth -- to levels not seen since 1992 -- was attributable to a sharp decline in housing values, the Fed said. In 2007, the median homeowner had a net worth of $246,000. Three years later that number had fallen to $174,500, a loss of more than $70,000 on average. Making matters worse, income levels also fell during the tumultuous three-year period, with median pre-tax income falling 7.7% as earnings from capital gains all but disappeared. The loss of income and net worth appears to have impacted savings rates, as the number of Americans who said they saved in the prior year fell from 56.4% in 2007 to 52.0% in 2010 -- the lowest level recorded since the early 1990s. Families in the top 10% of income actually saw their net worth increase over the period, rising from a median of $1.17 million in 2007 to $1.19 million in 2010. Middle-class families who ranked in the 40th to 60th percentile of income earners reported that their median net worth fell from $92,300 to $65,900 over the same time period.

Note: What this article fails to emphasize sufficiently is that while most people have lost vast amounts of wealth, the wealthiest 1% has grown incredibly richer even through the recession. Is something wrong here? For key reports from reliable sources on wealth inequality, click here.


The Austerity Agenda
2012-06-01, New York Times
Posted: 2012-06-05 09:31:06
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/opinion/krugman-the-austerity-agenda.html

Slashing spending while the economy is deeply depressed is a self-defeating strategy, because it just deepens the depression. So why is Britain doing exactly what it shouldn’t? Unlike the governments of, say, Spain or California, the British government can borrow freely, at historically low interest rates. So why is that government sharply reducing investment and eliminating hundreds of thousands of public-sector jobs, rather than waiting until the economy is stronger? The great American economist Irving Fisher explained it all the way back in 1933, summarizing what he called “debt deflation” with the pithy slogan “the more the debtors pay, the more they owe.” Recent events, above all the austerity death spiral in Europe, have dramatically illustrated the truth of Fisher’s insight. So why have so many politicians insisted on pursuing austerity in [the] slump? And why won’t they change course even as experience confirms the lessons of theory and history? When you push “austerians” ... they almost always retreat to assertions along the lines of: “But it’s essential that we shrink the size of the state.” These assertions often go along with claims that the economic crisis itself demonstrates the need to shrink government. So the austerity drive in Britain isn’t really about debt and deficits at all; it’s about using deficit panic as an excuse to dismantle social programs. And this is, of course, exactly the same thing that has been happening in America.

Note: For lots more on the devastating impacts created by the corruption of governments and financial corporations, click here.


Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.