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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.


JPMorgan's top-down role in risky investments
2012-05-20, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2012-05-28 14:15:23
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/05/19/BUD41OJUG3.DTL

Congress gets into the JPMorgan Chase affair Tuesday with the first in a series of hearings into how a federally insured bank incurred [huge] losses on the kind of risky bets some, mistakenly, thought were a thing of the past. The losses, as suspected, look to be far higher than the $2 billion initially estimated. As of Friday, the number was $5 billion. What did CEO Jamie Dimon know, and when did he know it? "Dimon personally approved the concept behind the disastrous trades," according to the Wall Street Journal. Reportedly, similar trades, involving credit derivatives, date to 2006, ramping up with ever bigger bets as risk controls were eased in 2011.On the one hand, JPMorgan and other U.S. corporations are banking record profits and ever-growing piles of cash - $2 trillion at last count. On the other, U.S. unemployment remains unacceptably high, people are still losing their homes, small businesses are screaming for credit, local governments are cutting services left and right, and the nation's infrastructure is crumbling. Tons of money [are] sloshing around, courtesy of the Federal Reserve, but banks and corporations ... are hoarding it.

Note: For lots more from reliable sources on corruption and criminality in the finance industry, click here.


Heist of the century: Wall Street's role in the financial crisis
2012-05-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-05-28 14:13:53
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/may/20/wall-street-role-financial-crisis

Wall Street bankers could have averted the global financial crisis, so why didn't they? In this exclusive extract from his book Inside Job: The Financiers Who Pulled Off the Heist of the Century, Charles Ferguson argues that they should be prosecuted: The Securities and Exchanges Commission has been deservedly criticised for not following up on years of complaints about [Bernard L.] Madoff. But not a single bank that had suspicions about Madoff made such a call. Instead, they assumed he was probably a crook, but either just left him alone or were happy to make money from him. It is no exaggeration to say that since the 1980s, much of the global financial sector has become criminalised, creating an industry culture that tolerates or even encourages systematic fraud. The behaviour that caused the mortgage bubble and financial crisis of 2008 was a natural outcome and continuation of this pattern, rather than some kind of economic accident. This behaviour is criminal. We are talking about deliberate concealment of financial transactions that aided terrorism, nuclear weapons proliferation and large-scale tax evasion; assisting in major financial frauds and in concealment of criminal assets; and committing frauds that substantially worsened the worst financial bubbles and crises since the Depression. And yet none of this conduct has been punished in any significant way.

Note: For lots more from reliable sources on corruption and criminality in the finance industry, click here.


Anti-NATO protest calls for "Robin Hood" tax on financial institutions
2012-05-18, CBS News
Posted: 2012-05-22 11:50:43
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57436981/anti-nato-protest-calls-for-robi...

Thousands of nurses and other protesters gathered [on May 18] at a downtown Chicago plaza for a noisy but peaceful demonstration demanding a "Robin Hood" tax on banks' financial transactions. Members of National Nurses United, the nation's largest nurses union, were joined by members of the Occupy movement, unions and veterans at the rally city officials have said could attract more than 5,000. The nurses and their supporters dressed in red shirts and wore green felt Robin Hood caps with red feathers. The rally — which originally was scheduled to coincide with the start of the G-8 economic summit before it was moved from Chicago to Camp David — drew a broad spectrum of causes, from anti-war activists to Occupy protesters. Meanwhile, lawyers for NATO summit protesters said police on [May 18] released four of nine activists arrested ... on accusations that they had or planned to make Molotov cocktails. The lawyers said police, with their guns drawn, raided an apartment building where activists were staying and arrested nine people. The Chicago chapter of the National Lawyers Guild said officers broke down doors in the building in the South Side Bridgeport neighborhood and produced no warrants. "The nine have absolutely no idea what they're being charged with because they were not engaged in any criminal activity at all," said guild attorney Sarah Gelsomino. "They're really very confused and very frightened." The Chicago Police Department refused to comment.

Note: For more on the defense of the victims of the police crackdown on Occupy in Chicago and elsewhere, click here. For a most excellent two-minute video of former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich presenting five of the most urgent problems with the economy and an easy solution all in two minutes, click here. For an enlightening five-minute TED talks video further showing how the rich getting richer while they pay increasingly less taxes is at the root of most economic woes, click here.


JPMorgan losses look familiar to Phil Angelides
2012-05-15, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2012-05-22 11:36:47
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/05/14/BUOO1OHO2G.DTL

What strikes Phil Angelides the most about the $2 billion (and counting) loss sustained by JPMorgan Chase on a big trade gone bad, is how little has changed since the financial crash of 2008. "The big banks continue to be casinos," said the chairman of the government-appointed Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which laid out how such trades, referred to in some quarters as "bets," contributed to the crash that the country is still struggling to pull itself out of. "It has to be stopped," he said. Trouble is - as Angelides, the former California state treasurer, and others point out - no one is stopping them. Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan's CEO, dismissed initial concerns about the trades last month as a "complete tempest in a teapot." His main concern, he told analysts, was how the affair "plays right into the hands of a bunch of pundits out there." Dimon was referring to those who have been pushing for regulations to prevent federally insured banks like JPMorgan from indulging in such trades in the first place. "They've been fighting a ferocious rear-guard, no-holds-barred action," said Angelides, referring to the army of lobbyists hired and millions of dollars spent to beat back the regulations. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the trades, which involved the use of complex financial instruments called credit default swaps as a hedge against the value of U.S. bonds.

Note: For a most excellent two-minute video of former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich presenting five of the most urgent problems with the economy and an easy solution all in two minutes, click here. For an enlightening five-minute TED talks video further showing how the rich getting richer while they pay increasingly less taxes is at the root of most economic woes, click here. For a treasure trove of revealing reports from reliable sources on the criminality and corruption of major financial corporations and their "regulators" in government, click here.


Dimon's Unshakable Hubris
2012-05-16, MSNBC
Posted: 2012-05-22 11:33:51
http://powerwall.msnbc.msn.com/politics/dimons-unshakable-hubris-1718428.story

Jamie Dimon was reelected chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase yesterday afternoon. He got to keep his $23 million pay package, too. This means that at ... three of the top five bank holding companies dominating U.S. derivatives exposure, loans, assets, and deposits, the same man holds the chairman and CEO positions -— at Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and JPM Chase. At the shareholders meeting there was no mention of the details behind the “mistake” that cost the bank $2 billion, just that it “should never have happened.” The fact that after a formal announcement, a friendly Meet the Press chat, and a face-to-face with the firm's shareholders, Dimon can still call it a mistaken hedge is ludicrous. It was a directional bet on the health of North American corporate bonds that the firm got wrong, enacted via the synthetic derivatives market, to worsen the blow. To the extent that it's betting wrong, it's a mistake, but it's not a hedge. Included in the proxy materials in the shareholder package that went out before the vote was ... a wealth of negativity about regulations. The letter stressed that ... two regulations would actively hurt the bank's “competitive ability, the Volker Rule and the derivatives rules.” JPM Chase holds nearly $70 trillion of derivatives exposure on $1.8 trillion of assets. Bank chairmen, like Jamie Dimon ... claim that regulation is too complex, too anti-competitive, and too un-American (putting U.S. banks at a disadvantage against other global banks). [Yet] pretending that it's okay to allow dormant volcanoes of risk to remain embedded in big bank balance sheets, supported by customer money and taxpayer guarantees is not sensible.

Note: For a treasure trove of revealing reports from reliable sources on the criminality and corruption of major financial corporations and their "regulators" in government, click here. For disturbing news articles on the derivatives market time bomb, click here.


Before Loss, JPMorgan Was One of Volcker Rule's Fiercest Foes
2012-05-11, New York Times
Posted: 2012-05-15 16:02:19
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/05/11/before-big-loss-jpmorgan-was-one-of-vo...

The $2 billion trading loss that JPMorgan Chase disclosed late on Thursday provided ample ammunition for supporters of the Volcker Rule, which would restrict government-backed banks' ability to conduct proprietary trading. But it also prompted a fair amount of finger-wagging toward the company, given JPMorgan's stance as one of the rule's fiercest opponents. JPMorgan has been among the most outspoken detractors of the proposed financial regulation that is making its way through Washington. The firm has laid bare its feelings about the Volcker Rule several times, including in a Feb. 13 comment letter to the Federal Reserve. In that document, JPMorgan argued that the proposal would restrict its efforts to rein in risk-taking and would harm the firm's ability to compete against foreign rivals that did not face the same restrictions. In the letter, JPMorgan specifically mentions its chief investment office, the trading group which caused the $2 billion trading loss. JPMorgan also happens to run one of the most active and best-financed lobbying operations within the commercial banking industry. In the first four months of 2012, the firm has spent $1.92 million, barely trailing Wells Fargo in terms of banks' lobbying expenses. Last year, JPMorgan spent $7.62 million; two years ago, it spent $7.41 million, the most in its industry. And JPMorgan's chief, Jamie Dimon has been among the most frequent visitors to Washington to press his case.

Note: For lots more from major media sources on the corruption of major financial corporations, click here.


Protesters air grievances at Wells Fargo meeting
2012-04-25, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2012-05-01 09:10:45
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/24/MN881O8BCL.DTL

Protesters enraged about the country's economic miasma disrupted Wells Fargo's annual summit [on April 24], as shareholders celebrated the bank's record profit and awarded its chief executive a pay package of nearly $20 million. Hundreds of activists - including union members, Occupy activists and people whose homes have been foreclosed - surrounded the Merchants Exchange Building in downtown San Francisco, where about 250 shareholders gathered on the 15th floor to hear details of the bank's 28 percent profit increase last year. Fifteen protesters, allowed into the meeting because they own stock in Wells Fargo, shouted over CEO John Stumpf as he presented a PowerPoint slide show about the bank's $15.9 billion profit last year. Police escorted out the protesters, who were cited for disrupting the meeting and released. It was the bank's involvement in foreclosures ... that brought hundreds of protesters to the meeting. Some came from as far away as Minnesota. They filled the air with lively chants, led by people using loudspeakers set up on a flatbed truck alongside an 8-foot-high, inflated rat smoking a cigar. A protester-built, 10-foot-high mockup of Wells Fargo's signature stagecoach stood in the street, covered with slogans denouncing the bank.

Note: For key reports from reliable sources on Occupy and other protests against the criminal profiteering of banks and other financial corporations, click here.


Foreclosure abuse rampant across U.S., experts say
2012-02-17, MSNBC/Reuters
Posted: 2012-04-02 21:25:10
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46424973/ns/business/t/foreclosure-abuse-rampant-...

A report this week showing rampant foreclosure abuse in San Francisco reflects similar levels of lender fraud and faulty documentation across the United States, say experts and officials who have done studies in other parts of the country. The audit of almost 400 foreclosures in San Francisco found that 84 percent of them appeared to be illegal, according to the study released by the California city. "The audit in San Francisco is the most detailed and comprehensive that has been done - but it's likely those numbers are comparable nationally," Diane Thompson, an attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, told Reuters. Across the country from California, Jeff Thingpen, register of deeds in Guildford County, North Carolina, examined 6,100 mortgage documents last year, from loan notes to foreclosure paperwork. Of those documents, created between January 2008 and December 2010, 4,500 showed signature irregularities, a telltale sign of the illegal practice of "robosigning" documents. Robosigning involves the use of bogus documents to force foreclosures without lenders having to scrutinize all the paperwork involved with mortgages. The practice was at the heart of the foreclosure scandal that led to a $25 billion settlement between the U.S. government and five major banks last week.

Note: For lots more from major media sources on the illegal foreclosures made by the biggest banks and financial firms, the collusion of government agencies, and more, see our "Banking Bailout" news articles.


Icelandic Anger Brings Debt Forgiveness in Best Recovery Story
2012-02-28, Bloomberg/Businessweek
Posted: 2012-04-02 21:18:23
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-02-28/icelandic-anger-brings-debt-forgi...

Icelanders who pelted parliament with rocks in 2009 demanding their leaders and bankers answer for the country’s economic and financial collapse are reaping the benefits of their anger. Since the end of 2008, the island’s banks have forgiven loans equivalent to 13 percent of gross domestic product, easing the debt burdens of more than a quarter of the population, according to a report published this month by the Icelandic Financial Services Association. “You could safely say that Iceland holds the world record in household debt relief,” said Lars Christensen, chief emerging markets economist at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen. “Iceland followed the textbook example of what is required in a crisis. Any economist would agree with that.” Most polls now show Icelanders don’t want to join the European Union, where the debt crisis is in its third year. The island’s households were helped by an agreement between the government and the banks, which are still partly controlled by the state, to forgive debt exceeding 110 percent of home values. On top of that, a Supreme Court ruling in June 2010 found loans indexed to foreign currencies were illegal, meaning households no longer need to cover krona losses.

Note: The amazing story of the Icelandic people demanding bank reform is one of the most underreported stories in recent years. Why isn't this all over the news? To see what top journalists say about news censorship, click here. For blatant manipulations of the big banks reported in the major media, click here.


Too Big To Bank There
2012-03-24, Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2012-04-02 20:54:35
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304724404577297711326667808.html

We have finally reached the point in our financial history where even bankers hate bankers. Last week, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas issued its 2011 annual report with a 34-page essay, "Why We Must End Too Big To Fail—Now." The report [dubs the nation's largest banks] "a clear and present danger to the U.S. economy." It begins with a letter from regional Fed president Richard Fisher. "More than half of banking industry assets are on the books of just five institutions," he complains. "They were a primary culprit in magnifying the financial crisis, and their presence continues to play an important role in prolonging our economic malaise." This is a member of the Federal Reserve itself — an institution that bears responsibility for our banking system devolving into an untenable oligarchy that buys off politicians, captures regulators and eats up our money. This is a member of the establishment saying Too-Big-To-Fail, or TBTF, must die. "The term TBTF disguised the fact that commercial banks holding roughly one-third of the assets in the banking system did essentially fail, surviving only with extraordinary government assistance," the essay reads. Their executives paid themselves fortunes to execute failed mergers and acquisitions and accumulate unimaginable piles of toxic debts. We saved them to save the financial system. But now we must break them up so they don't put us in this ridiculous situation again.

Note: For lots more from major media sources on the criminal practices of the biggest banks and financial firms and the collusion of government agencies, see our "Banking Bailout" newsarticles.


MF Global Still Set to Pay Bonuses
2012-03-12, Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2012-03-27 09:00:43
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203961204577269841477216320.html

Three top executives of MF Global Holdings Ltd. when it collapsed could get bonuses of as much as several hundred thousand dollars each under a plan by a trustee overseeing the securities firm's bankruptcy case. Louis Freeh, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director now in charge of unwinding what is left of the New York company, is expected to ask a bankruptcy-court judge as soon as this month to approve performance-related payouts for the chief operating officer, finance chief and general counsel at MF Global. Under the expected pay plan, the three executives and as many as 20 other MF Global employees working for Mr. Freeh would get the bonuses only if they hit specified targets such as increasing the value of MF Global's estate for creditors. The bonus plan could face fierce resistance. One reason: Criminal and civil investigators are scrutinizing the role of top executives and others at MF Global in money transfers that resulted in a $1.6 billion shortfall in customer accounts. So far, many hedge funds, farmers and other investors who bought and sold through MF Global have gotten about 72 cents out of every $1 held by the firm when it collapsed. Hopes for additional recoveries have dimmed as the probe grinds on. Neal Wolkoff, a former executive at the New York Mercantile Exchange who now works as a consultant, said it "is shocking" that Messrs. Abelow and Steenkamp still work at MF Global and could earn bonuses "because it represents a conflict of interest."

Note: For an abundance of major media articles revealing major financial manipulations, click here.


Goldman Sachs is latest to hear wrath of ex-worker
2012-03-16, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2012-03-27 08:58:53
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/16/BUNA1NKMIE.DTL

The Goldman Sachs executive who didn't so much burn as firebomb his career bridges with a poisonous resignation letter in the New York Times wasn't the only former employee to go on a publicized rant this week. A couple of days earlier, James Whittaker, an engineering director at Google who recently moved to Microsoft, took direct aim at the Mountain View search giant in a blog post arguing that the company has lost its way in the desperate quest to funnel users into its social network. Later that day, in an opinion piece on Wired.com, Andy Baio assailed Yahoo's patent-infringement suit against Facebook ... calling it "extortion" and a betrayal of employees. Obviously these parting shots carried extra weight coming from onetime senior, internal sources. While it's hard to draw broad conclusions about the criticisms, we can safely draw some narrow ones: Goldman Sachs should stop being an awful, awful corporate citizen (but then we've known that). Google shouldn't undermine its culture and core product in search of the next big thing. And Yahoo should drop this embarrassing lawsuit over bogus patents and get to work on real innovation. Alas, the conclusion most companies will probably draw from these episodes is that they need to toughen up their nondisclosure agreements.

Note: For revealing reports from reliable sources on corruption and criminality at the biggest financial corporations, click here. For lots more on corporate corruption, click here.


Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs
2012-03-14, New York Times
Posted: 2012-03-20 10:53:13
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/opinion/why-i-am-leaving-goldman-sachs.html

Today is my last day at Goldman Sachs. Over the course of my career I have had the privilege of advising two of the largest hedge funds on the planet [and] five of the largest asset managers in the United States. My clients have a total asset base of more than a trillion dollars. After almost 12 years at the firm ... I believe I have worked here long enough to understand ... its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it. To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence. What are three quick ways to become a leader? a) Execute on the firm's "axes," which is Goldman-speak for persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit. b) "Hunt Elephants." In English: get your clients -- some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren't -- to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman. c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym. I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It's purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them.

Note: The author of this article, Greg Smith, was a Goldman Sachs executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. For an excellent compilation of news articles and government documents showing the huge risk of the derivatives bubble being manipulate by Goldman Sachs and others, click here.


Megabanks growing even more dominant
2011-09-08, MSNBC
Posted: 2012-03-20 10:51:40
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44426180/ns/business-local_business/t/megabanks-g...

The American banking sector apparently is going to be vastly different when it finally emerges from the financial crisis that took hold more than three years ago. It is going to be significantly smaller, and the domination of a relative handful of behemoth institutions is going to increase. At the end of June, there were 7,522 commercial banks, down from 8,542 on Dec. 31, 2007. That is a decline of nearly 12 percent in just three and a half years. Of the more than 1,000 banks that disappeared, about 370 failed. But the rest of the decrease came through mergers and acquisitions as a decades-long pattern of consolidation continued. Most banks in the United States still are fairly small. The median size of a bank at the end of June, according to an analysis of statistics from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was about $155 million in assets. That’s about an 18 percent increase since the end of 2007. But those numbers seriously skew the nature of the industry. Of the more than $13.6 trillion in assets held by banks at the end of June, nearly $9.4 trillion is in the hands of just 37 institutions, each with more than $50 billion in assets. And of that, $5.5 trillion is held by just four banks: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank and Wells Fargo. Each of those have more than $1 trillion in assets. In other words, the U.S. banking industry resembles a tall cake, with a very thick layer of icing on top.

Note: To learn how these same four banks and their holding companies hold over 90% of the $700 trillion derivatives market, click here. For many revealing reports from reliable sources on the concentration and centralization of financial power by a few megabanks, click here.


Economies in peril
2011-11-15, MSNBC
Posted: 2012-03-13 16:22:39
http://video.msnbc.msn.com/dylan-ratigan-show/45311653

Lazy people on social services, a spree of borrowed money. That's how the Greek people are being portrayed. But like Wall Street, the streets of Athens are like a crime scene. The Greek people [are] victims of a fraud and cover-up. Greg Palast is a renowned investigative reporter and author of the new book Vultures' Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores. Greg, how is it that a bank can lend money to a country that has an economy smaller than Dallas, at a level that is this big? Palast: Greece is a crime scene. Goldman Sachs, beginning in 2001 [or] 2002 ... cut a deal to secretly take euros out of the Greek treasury, convert them to yen, convert them back to euros. This is through some fancy derivative action. Goldman takes a multi-billion dollar loss. The Greek government gets a gain. There's no deficit in the Greek treasury. It's only 3%. The Greek economy looks good. Goldman doesn't take billions of dollars in losses. It's a fraud. They've cut a secret deal to get that money back and then some. Goldman charged about $300, $400 million to pull off this scam.

Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the chicaneries of central banks and financial corporations, click here. For other powerful reporting by journalist Greg Palast, click here.


Homeowners deserve protections afforded businesses
2012-02-17, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2012-02-28 11:31:34
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/02/16/EDKF1N8M4N.DTL

[A] report from San Francisco auditors [shows] that 84 percent of foreclosures examined contained at least one violation of the law by the foreclosing party. The report is only the latest in a series of incidents involving bad actors in the foreclosure crisis. In fact, problems have been so rampant that banks now require many buyers of foreclosed homes to sign contracts absolving the bank of liability should irregularities appear with the original foreclosure. In light of these negligent practices, the $26 billion settlement last week between the U.S. Department of Justice, state attorneys general and the major banks raises as many questions as answers. For instance: If a house is illegally foreclosed upon and subsequently sold by the bank, who owns the home? The new buyer or the original owner? Untangling this mess might require new consumer protections, not just a payout from the banks accused of wrongdoing. The best way to prevent foreclosure problems, however, has always been to prevent foreclosures in the first place. Offering families facing foreclosure the same bankruptcy protections enjoyed by business speculators is one place to start. As it stands today, a single family that buys a home in a housing development is treated differently in bankruptcy court than a businessman who bought 10 units in the same project. If and when the housing bubble bursts, the underwater speculator is able to seek bankruptcy relief on all 10 units, while the owner of the single home is left out in the cold.

Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the impacts of the financial crisis on homeowners, click here.


Greek debt nightmare laid bare
2012-02-21, CNN/Financial Times
Posted: 2012-02-28 11:29:43
http://edition.cnn.com/2012/02/20/business/greece-debt-report/index.html

A "strictly confidential" report on Greece's debt projections prepared for eurozone finance ministers reveals Athens' rescue programme is way off track. The ... debt sustainability analysis ... found that even under the most optimistic scenario, the austerity measures being imposed on Athens risk a recession so deep that Greece will not be able to climb out of the debt hole over the course of a new three-year, €170bn bail-out. It warned that two of the new bail-out's main principles might be self-defeating. Forcing austerity on Greece could cause debt levels to rise by severely weakening the economy. The report made clear why the fight over the new Greek bail-out has been so intense. A German-led group of creditor countries -- including the Netherlands and Finland -- has expressed extreme reluctance to go through with the deal since they received the report. A "tailored downside scenario" in the report suggests Greek debt could fall far more slowly than hoped, to only 160 per cent of economic output by 2020 -- well below the target of 120 per cent set by the International Monetary Fund. Under such a scenario, Greece would need about €245bn in bail-out aid, far more than the €170bn under the "baseline" projections eurozone ministers were using in all-night negotiations in Brussels on Monday.

Note: For key reports from major media sources exposing the interests served by the imposition of austerity on Greece and other countries, click here.


We must stop this corporate takeover of American democracy
2012-01-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-01-31 15:36:36
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/jan/20/us-constitutio...

The corporate barbarians are through the gate of American democracy. Not satisfied with their all-pervasive influence on our culture, economy and legislative processes, they want more. They want it all. Two years ago, the United States supreme court betrayed our Constitution. In its now infamous decision in the Citizens United case, five justices declared that corporations must be treated as if they are actual people under the Constitution when it comes to spending money to influence our elections, allowing them for the first time to draw on the corporate checkbook – in any amount and at any time – to run ads explicitly for or against specific candidates. What's next … a corporate right to vote? When the supreme court says ... that corporations are people, that writing checks from the company's bank account is constitutionally-protected speech and that attempts by the federal government and states to impose reasonable restrictions on campaign ads are unconstitutional, our democracy is in grave danger. Corporations are not people with constitutional rights equal to flesh-and-blood human beings. Corporations are subject to regulation by the people.

Note: For key reports on the overpowering influence of corporate money on the US political system, click here and here.


Stock market time bomb?
2010-05-10, Washington Times
Posted: 2012-01-27 10:35:44
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/10/stock-market-time-bomb/?page=all

Even the world’s most savvy stock-market giants (e.g., Warren E. Buffett) have warned over the past decade that derivatives are the fiscal equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction. And the consequences of such an explosion would make the recent global financial and economic crisis seem like penny ante. But generously lubricated lobbyists for the unrestricted, unsupervised derivatives markets tell congressional committees and government regulators to butt out. While banks all over the world were imploding and some $50 trillion vanished in global stock markets, the derivatives market grew by an estimated 65 percent, according the Bank for International Settlements. BIS convenes the world’s 57 most powerful central bankers in Basel, Switzerland, for periodic secret meetings. Occasionally, they issue a cry of alarm. This time, derivatives had soared from $414.8 trillion at the end of 2006 to $683.7 trillion in mid-2008 - 18 months’ time. The derivatives market is now estimated at $700 trillion. What’s so difficult to understand about derivatives? Essentially, they are bets for or against the house - red or black at the roulette wheel. Or betting for or against the weather in situations in which the weather is critical (e.g., vineyards). Forwards, futures, options and swaps form the panoply of derivatives. Credit derivatives are based on loans, bonds or other forms of credit. Over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives are contracts that are traded and privately negotiated directly between two parties, outside of a regular exchange. All of this is unregulated.

Note: Though not from one of the top U.S. newspapers, this incisive article lays bare severe market manipulations that greatly endanger our world. The entire article is highly recommended. $700 trillion is equivalent to $100,000 for every man, woman, and child in the world! Do you think the financial industry is out of control? For lots more powerful, reliable information on major banking manipulations, click here. For a powerful analysis describing just how crazy things have gotten and giving some rays of hope by researcher David Wilcock, click here.


Derivatives the new 'ticking bomb'
2008-03-10, MarketWatch (Part of the Wall Street Journal's digital network)
Posted: 2012-01-27 10:18:21
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/derivatives-are-the-new-ticking-time-bomb

"In our view, however, derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal." That warning was in [Warren] Buffett's 2002 letter to Berkshire shareholders. He saw a future that many others chose to ignore. Wall Street didn't listen to Buffett. Derivatives grew into a massive bubble, from about $100 trillion to $516 trillion by 2007. Despite Buffett's clear warnings, a massive new derivatives bubble is driving the domestic and global economies, a bubble that continues growing today parallel with the subprime-credit meltdown triggering a bear-recession. Data on the five-fold growth of derivatives to $516 trillion in five years comes from the most recent survey by the Bank of International Settlements, the world's clearinghouse for central banks in Basel, Switzerland. Keep in mind that while the $516 trillion "notional" value (maximum in case of a meltdown) of the deals is a good measure of the market's size, the 2007 BIS study notes that the $11 trillion "gross market values provides a more accurate measure of the scale of financial risk transfer taking place in derivatives markets." The fact is, derivatives have become the world's biggest "black market," exceeding the illicit traffic in stuff like arms, drugs, alcohol, gambling, cigarettes, stolen art and pirated movies. Why? Because like all black markets, derivatives are a perfect way of getting rich while avoiding taxes and government regulations. And in today's slowdown, plus a volatile global market, Wall Street knows derivatives remain a lucrative business.

Note: $516 trillion is equivalent to $75,000 for every man, woman, and child in the world! Do you think the financial industry is out of control? For lots more powerful, reliable information on major banking manipulations, click here. For a powerful analysis describing just how crazy things have gotten and giving some rays of hope by researcher David Wilcock, click here.


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