Banking Bailout News StoriesExcerpts of Key Banking Bailout News Stories in Major Media
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.
The market for derivatives grew at the fastest pace in at least nine years to $516 trillion in the first half of 2007, the Bank for International Settlements said. Credit-default swaps, contracts designed to protect investors against default and used to speculate on credit quality, led the increase, expanding 49 percent to cover a notional $43 trillion of debt in the six months ended June 30, the BIS said in a report published late yesterday. Derivatives of debt, currencies, commodities, stocks and interest rates rose 25 percent from the previous six months, the biggest jump since the Basel, Switzerland-based bank began compiling the data. Investors have been turning to credit derivatives as a way to speculate on a growing risk of defaults amid record U.S. mortgage foreclosures. The money at risk through credit-default swaps increased 145 percent from last year to $721 billion, the report said. The amount at stake in the entire derivatives market is $11.1 trillion, according to the BIS, which was formed in 1930 to monitor financial markets and regulate banks. Derivatives are financial instruments derived from stocks, bonds, loans, currencies and commodities, or linked to specific events like changes in interest rates or the weather. The report is based on contracts traded outside of exchanges in over-the- counter market.
Note: Like most reporting in the major media, this article trivializes the massive size of the derivatives market. $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.
Regulators and the world's $700 trillion derivatives industry are closely watching a legal battle that began in Britain ... and which will fuel a sea change in swaps payouts. Four cases, including one involving a unit of collapsed U.S. bank Lehman Brothers, are being presented in a five-day hearing at the UK Court of Appeal. All revolve around payouts under the derivatives industry's "master agreement", a framework contract. A bank that trades swaps with another bank typically has one master agreement which sets the terms for millions of transactions between them. The master agreement ... covers around 90 percent of off-exchange derivatives transactions. Under the agreement, Lehman's bankruptcy is considered a default. However, in the four cases before the court this week, the other party in the contracts elected not to terminate them because they would have had to pay out to the defunct bank.
Note: Like most reporting in the major media, this article trivializes the massive size of the derivatives market. $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 of just how crazy things have gotten and with some rays of hope by researcher David Wilcock, click here.
[The US is now] a country whose patrician overlords are regularly conjuring the feudalism of Europe circa the Middle Ages. Today, our mayors deploy police against homeless people and protesters; our governors demand crushing budget cuts from the confines of their taxpayer-funded mansions; our Congress exempts itself from insider-trading laws and requires the government to offer lawmakers the good health benefits so many Americans have no access to ; and our nation's capital has become one of the world's wealthiest cities, despite the recession. Taken together, we see that there really are "Two Americas," as the saying goes - and that's no accident. It's the result of a permanent elite that is removing itself from the rest of the nation. Nowhere is this more obvious than in education - a realm in which this elite physically separates itself from us mere serfs. The Washington Post, for instance, notes that it has become an unquestioned "tradition among Washington's power elite" - read: elected officials - to send their kids to the ultra-expensive private school Sidwell Friends. At the same time, many of these officials have backed budget policies that weaken public education. In many cases, these aristocrats aren't even required to publicly explain themselves. Worse, on the rare occasions that questions are posed, privacy is the oft-used excuse to not answer. This might be a convincing argument about ordinary citizens' personal education choices, but it's an insult coming from public officials.
The stunning reality is that five years into the financial meltdown, it's business as usual on Wall Street - outlandish rewards for insiders with downside for almost everyone else. Occupy Wall Street protesters are right - something is wrong - but they're not sure what. Let's revisit the latest debacle - the implosion of yet another Wall Street darling, MF Global. The fallout of its bad bets on European bonds is hitting home hard, even in rural America, where many of its agricultural customers work. As the eighth-largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history, MF Global represents just about everything that is wrong on Wall Street. 1. The cult of a Wall Street superstar. 2. Gambling disguised as investing. 3. The bail-me-out syndrome. 4. Enormous conflicts of interest. 5. Leverage on a grand scale. 6. Failure of regulators and the reform law. 7. Misappropriation of client funds. 8. Worthless rating agencies. 9. Golden parachutes soaring high. 10. Breakdown of morality. Wall Street will keep sucking huge sums out of our economy and putting 100 percent of us at risk unless the rules change. Most important, we must stop gambling and start investing again to build valuable companies. The next crisis will make 2008 look like a warm-up. Imagine how big the Occupy camps will be if that happens.
Note: For a treasure trove of reports from reliable sources which provide detailed information on all the problematic dimensions of Wall Street's operations described in the article above, click here.
Wall Street is its own worst enemy. It's busily shredding new regulations and making the public more distrustful than ever. The Street's biggest lobbying groups have just filed a lawsuit against the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, seeking to overturn its new rule limiting speculative trading in food, oil and other commodities. The Street makes bundles from these bets, but they have raised costs for consumers. In other words, a small portion of what you and I pay for food and energy has been going into the pockets of Wall Street. Just another redistribution from the middle class and the poor to the top. The Street argues that the commission's cost-benefit analysis wasn't adequate. Putting the question into the laps of federal judges gives the Street a huge tactical advantage because the Street has almost an infinite amount of money to hire so-called "experts" who will say benefits have been exaggerated and costs underestimated. But when it comes to regulating Wall Street, one big cost doesn't make it into any individual weighing: the public's mounting distrust of the entire economic system, generated by the Street's repeated abuse of the public's trust. Wall Street's shenanigans have convinced a large portion of America that the economic game is rigged. Wall Street has blanketed America in a miasma of cynicism.
Note: The author of this analysis, Robert Reich, is a former U.S. secretary of labor, is 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.
No one could have known that when a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire in a public square in a town barely on a map, he would spark protests that would bring down dictators in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and rattle regimes in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain. Or that that spirit of dissent would spur Mexicans to rise up against the terror of drug cartels, Greeks to march against unaccountable leaders, Americans to occupy public spaces to protest income inequality, and Russians to marshal themselves against a corrupt autocracy. Protests have now occurred in countries whose populations total at least 3 billion people, and the word protest has appeared in newspapers and online exponentially more this past year than at any other time in history. Everywhere, it seems, people said they'd had enough. They dissented; they demanded; they did not despair, even when the answers came back in a cloud of tear gas or a hail of bullets. The root of the word democracy is demos, "the people," and the meaning of democracy is "the people rule." And they did, if not at the ballot box, then in the streets. Protest is in some ways the source code for democracy — and evidence of the lack of it. For steering the planet on a more democratic though sometimes more dangerous path for the 21st century, the Protester is TIME's 2011 Person of the Year.
Note: For a treasure trove of reports from major media sources that explain why protestors worldwide have been occupying their cities, click here.
The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing. The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates. Saved by the bailout, bankers lobbied against government regulations, a job made easier by the Fed, which never disclosed the details of the rescue to lawmakers even as Congress doled out more money and debated new rules aimed at preventing the next collapse. Details suggest taxpayers paid a price beyond dollars as the secret funding helped preserve a broken status quo and enabled the biggest banks to grow even bigger. “When you see the dollars the banks got, it’s hard to make the case these were successful institutions,” says Sherrod Brown, a Democratic Senator from Ohio who in 2010 introduced an unsuccessful bill to limit bank size. “This is an issue that can unite the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street.”
Note: For a treasure trove of reports from reliable sources on corruption and collusion between government officials and the largest financial firms, click here.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson stepped off the elevator into the Third Avenue offices of hedge fund Eton Park Capital Management LP in Manhattan. It was July 21, 2008, and market fears were mounting. Amid tumbling home prices and near-record foreclosures, attention was focused on a new source of contagion: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which together had more than $5 trillion in mortgage-backed securities and other debt outstanding. Around the conference room table were a dozen or so hedge-fund managers and other Wall Street executives -- at least five of them alumni of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., of which Paulson was chief executive officer and chairman from 1999 to 2006. After a perfunctory discussion of the market turmoil ... the discussion turned to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The secretary [desribed] a possible scenario for placing Fannie and Freddie into “conservatorship” -- a government seizure designed to allow the firms to continue operations despite heavy losses in the mortgage markets. Paulson explained that under this scenario, the common stock of the two government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, would be effectively wiped out. So too would the various classes of preferred stock, he said ... leaving little doubt that the Treasury Department would carry out the plan. The managers attending the meeting were thus given a choice opportunity to trade on that information.
Note: For a treasure trove of reports from reliable sources on corruption and collusion between government officials and the largest financial firms, click here.
The first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve uncovered eye-popping new details about how the U.S. provided a whopping $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Among the [Government Accountability Office] investigation's key findings is that the Fed unilaterally provided trillions of dollars in financial assistance to foreign banks and corporations from South Korea to Scotland, according to the GAO report. The [report] also determined that the Fed lacks a comprehensive system to deal with conflicts of interest, despite the serious potential for abuse. In fact, according to the report, the Fed provided conflict of interest waivers to employees and private contractors so they could keep investments in the same financial institutions and corporations that were given emergency loans. For example, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase served on the New York Fed's board of directors at the same time that his bank received more than $390 billion in financial assistance from the Fed. The investigation also revealed that the Fed outsourced most of its emergency lending programs to private contractors, many of which also were recipients of extremely low-interest and then-secret loans.
Note: We don't normally use the website of a member of the U.S. Senate as a source, but as amazingly none of the media covered this vitally important story other than one blog on Forbes, we are publishing this here. The GAO report to back up these claims is available for all to see at this link. For how the media is so controlled, don't miss the powerful two-page summary with reports by many award-winning journalists at this link. For another good article on the Fed's manipulations, click here.
As video spread of an officer in riot gear blasting pepper spray into the faces of seated protesters at a northern California university, outrage came quickly -- followed almost as quickly by defense from police and calls for the chancellor's resignation. In the video, an officer dispassionately pepper-sprays a line of several sitting protesters who flinch and cover their faces but remain passive with their arms interlocked as onlookers shriek and scream out for the officer to stop. As the images were circulated widely on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter on Saturday, the university's faculty association called on [UC Davis Chancellor Linda] Katehi to resign, saying in a letter there had been a "gross failure of leadership." The protest was held in support of the overall Occupy Wall Street movement and in solidarity with protesters at the University of California, Berkeley. Images of police actions have served to galvanize support during the Occupy Wall Street movement, from the clash between protesters and police in Oakland last month that left an Iraq War veteran with serious injuries to more recent skirmishes in New York City, San Diego, Denver and Portland, Ore. Some of the most notorious instances went viral online, including the use of pepper spray on an 84-year-old activist in Seattle and a group of women in New York.
A retired New York Supreme Court judge has claimed she was manhandled by a policeman after watching him beat a woman at the Zuccotti Park raids. Karen Smith was working as a legal observer when she saw a distressed woman pushed to the ground and beaten by an officer, she said. When she demanded he [stop], the unidentified cop pushed her against a wall and threatened her with arrest. Ms Smith had attended the raids ... to note down the names of people arrested as the Occupy Wall Street camp was cleared. She was wearing a fluorescent green baseball cap bearing the words 'National Lawyers Guild Legal Observer' to show she was not taking part in the protests. Ms Smith, who was also carrying a pad and pen, said the incident happened at around 1.30am on Tuesday at Dey Street and Broadway Street in New York City. Speaking to Democracy Now, she described the scene as ‘a paramilitary operation if there ever was one’. It was ‘what we call a stealth eviction’, she added. Ms Smith explained her son had participated in Occupy Wall Street and she had been ‘very concerned’ about his safety.
Note: We don't normally use the UK's Daily Mail as a reliable source, but as no other major media are reporting this story, we felt it warranted inclusion. The judge gives her own testimony in a video near the bottom of the article.
A retired Philadelphia police captain has been arrested in New York at an Occupy Wall Street demonstration. Ray Lewis retired from the Philadelphia Police Department in 2004. It was Philadelphia police who confirmed Lewis' arrest in New York on Thursday morning. Any additional details, they said, would have to come from NYPD. First news of the arrest was broadcast over Twitter around 9:15 a.m. by the protest group ... stating, "Philly Police Captain (Retired) has just been ARRESTED!" The group then tweeted, "The arrested retired police captain's name is Captain Ray Lewis. Immense cheers and music as he is taken away." Video posted to YouTube by RT America and linked to by Occupy Wall Street appears to show Lewis' arrest. There were messages online stating that Lewis had joined the protesters, including a photo of him holding a sign that read "NYPD Don't Be Wall Street Mercenaries," and talking with a helmeted New York police officer at Zuccotti Park.
Note: For a four-minute video interview with Officer Lewis, click here. For a treasure trove of reports from reliable sources on the reasons why protestors worldwide are occupying their city centers to protest against the "1 percent", click here.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., among the world's biggest traders of credit derivatives, disclosed to shareholders that they have sold protection on more than $5 trillion of debt globally. Just don't ask them how much of that was issued by Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, known as the GIIPS. As concerns mount that those countries may not be creditworthy, investors are being kept in the dark about how much risk U.S. banks face from a default. Firms including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan don't provide a full picture of potential losses and gains in such a scenario, giving only net numbers or excluding some derivatives altogether. Goldman Sachs discloses only what it calls “funded” exposure to GIIPS debt -- $4.16 billion before hedges and $2.46 billion after, as of Sept. 30. Those amounts exclude commitments or contingent payments, such as credit-default swaps. JPMorgan said ... its net exposure was no more than $1.5 billion, with a portion coming from debt and equity securities. The company didn't disclose gross numbers or how much of the $1.5 billion came from swaps, leaving investors wondering whether the notional value of CDS sold could be as high as $150 billion.
Note: For a treasure trove of reports from reliable sources on the reasons why protestors worldwide are occupying their city centers to protest against the "1 percent", click here.
As a result of Bank Transfer Day, in which consumers were encouraged to switch to credit unions, 54 percent of credit unions reported an increase in share growth, according to a survey from the National Association of Federal Credit Unions sent to 10,000 respondents. At least 650,000 people have switched to credit unions since Sept. 29, according to the Credit Union National Association. About 80 percent of credit unions offer at least one free checking account with no minimum balance requirement and no monthly or activity fee, according to Moebs Services. About 64 percent of the largest U.S. banks offer the same. Credit unions can help consumers save money because they are non-profit, and can pay higher interest rates on savings accounts, and offer lower loan and credit card rates. The National Association of Federal Credit Unions ... has a web tool that allows people to search by address, credit union name or company/affiliation. The site had the highest traffic ever on Saturday, Bank Transfer Day. In October visits to the website were more than five times its monthly average. Visitors to the website last month increased by more than 700 percent compared to October 2010.
It's the dark heart of Britain, the place where democracy goes to die, immensely powerful, equally unaccountable. But I doubt that one in 10 British people has any idea of what the Corporation of the City of London is and how it works. As Nicholas Shaxson explains in his fascinating book Treasure Islands, the Corporation exists outside many of the laws and democratic controls which govern the rest of the United Kingdom. The City of London is the only part of Britain over which parliament has no authority. This is ... an official old boys' network. In one respect at least the Corporation acts as the superior body: it imposes on the House of Commons a figure called the remembrancer: an official lobbyist who sits behind the Speaker's chair and ensures that, whatever our elected representatives might think, the City's rights and privileges are protected. The mayor of London's mandate stops at the boundaries of the Square Mile. The City has exploited this remarkable position to establish itself as a kind of offshore state, a secrecy jurisdiction which controls the network of tax havens housed in the UK's crown dependencies and overseas territories. This autonomous state within our borders is in a position to launder the ill-gotten cash of oligarchs, kleptocrats, gangsters and drug barons. It has also made the effective regulation of global finance almost impossible.
Note: To understand how democracy is easily circumvented, read this full article. For lots more from reliable sources on the hidden background to the control over governments held by financial powers, click here.
Citigroup had to pay a $285 million fine to settle a case in which, with one hand, Citibank sold a package of toxic mortgage-backed securities to unsuspecting customers — securities that it knew were likely to go bust — and, with the other hand, shorted the same securities — that is, bet millions of dollars that they would go bust. It doesn’t get any more immoral than this. James Stewart, a business columnist for The [New York] Times, noted that Citigroup’s flimflam made “Goldman Sachs mortgage traders look like Boy Scouts.” This gets to the core of why all the anti-Wall Street groups around the globe are resonating. Our financial industry has grown so large and rich it has corrupted our real institutions through political donations. Our Congress today is a forum for legalized bribery. One consumer group using information from Opensecrets.org calculates that the financial services industry, including real estate, spent $2.3 billion on federal campaign contributions from 1990 to 2010, which was more than the health care, energy, defense, agriculture and transportation industries combined. Why are there 61 members on the House Committee on Financial Services? So many congressmen want to be in a position to sell votes to Wall Street.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on the collusion between financial interests and government, click here.
Why give our money to Bank of America, only to have it lend us our own money at high interest rates or with ridiculous fees? We could hold onto our money, save quite a bit in fees, and lend it back to ourselves and to the businesses and people ... at more affordable rates. In 2008, Ellen Brown authored The Web of Debt, an analysis of the U.S. banking system that now is even more pertinent in light of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The thesis is that the power to create money has been usurped by a private international banking cartel [the Federal Reserve], which issues our money as debt and lends it back to us at interest. The cartel makes it appear that governments are creating our money, and governments get blamed when things go wrong; but they are just pawns of the cartel. We ... can regain our government and our republic only by reclaiming the power to create our own money. We can use the same credit system that private banks use, but administer it as a public utility - that is, monitored and overseen by public servants on the model of libraries and courts. To be a sustainable system, profits need to be returned to the community rather than siphoned off into private coffers.
Note: Few people realize that money in the U.S. is created by an entity privately owned by the largest banks – the Federal Reserve. For lots more important information on this, click here. For lots more from major media sources on the collusion between financial interests and government, click here.
Former President Teddy Roosevelt returned to Harvard for his 30th reunion and graduation in 1910, and as he entered the proceedings all his classmates ... turned their backs on him in unison. TR’s latest biographer Edmund Morris believes this shocking snub in public of a former President was due to TR’s strong belief in regulating Wall Street, breaking up monopolies and not allowing a few wealthy men run the nation. Think of that extraordinary event; some 22 years before TR’s 5th cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt was called “a traitor to his class,” Teddy was getting the same treatment. The Gilded Age was followed by the Progressive Era of tough laws and court actions against Robber Barons who controlled state legislatures and Congress with their anti-trust legislation. Then came the Roaring Twenties and the Crash, followed by the Great Depression – and then the New Deal – which created the blessed Glass-Steagall Act – which separated investment banking from commercial banking, plus the WPA and other ... work programs that gave the unemployed a reason for living and put food in their mouths. Both Roosevelts ... stabilized the financial industry to help finance American industry. Once again, the wealthy ... want to cut social programs to the retired and the middle class, while holding onto all their gains, even in death if the estate tax is deep sixed.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on the collusion between financial interests and government, click here.
With the first anniversary of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law on July 21, ... what has it accomplished? Consumer advocates, many congressional Democrats and some economists say banks are still too big, the derivatives market remains untamed and opaque, and regulators have been slow to write hundreds of rules. Rules forcing most derivatives trades to be processed through clearinghouses, and backed by collateral, should ... be accepted globally to avoid regulatory arbitrage, in which trading firms move to countries with the least intrusive, and lowest cost, oversight. Less than three years ago, the financial system almost buckled under the weight of worthless mortgages, and the country narrowly avoided another Great Depression. Regulators had been blind to the credit boom and bust; banks took huge risks that exploited regulatory gaps. Today, the economy remains weak ... because of the lingering fallout of the financial crisis. Dodd-Frank isn’t perfect, but already its influence on the financial system has been positive, in ways big and small. Accounting is more transparent; off-balance-sheet assets are largely a thing of the past. [Yet] with the top 10 U.S. banks holding 77 percent of the industry’s domestic assets, compared with 55 percent in 2002, too-big-to-fail is an even bigger worry today. Thomas M. Hoenig, the Kansas City Federal Reserve president, has said that the incentives for risk-taking that existed before the crisis all remain in place.
Note: For many of the most informative reports from major media sources on the financial meltdown and government bailout of the biggest banks, click here.
The rapidly growing trade in derivatives poses a "mega-catastrophic risk" for the economy and most shares are still "too expensive", ... investor Warren Buffett has warned. The derivatives market has exploded in recent years, with investment banks selling billions of dollars worth of these investments to clients as a way to off-load or manage market risk. But Mr Buffett argues that such highly complex financial instruments are time bombs and "financial weapons of mass destruction" that could harm not only their buyers and sellers, but the whole economic system. Derivatives are financial instruments that allow investors to speculate on the future price of, for example, commodities or shares - without buying the underlying investment. Outstanding derivatives contracts - excluding those traded on exchanges such as the International Petroleum Exchange - are worth close to $85 trillion, according to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association. Some derivatives contracts, Mr Buffett says, appear to have been devised by "madmen". He warns that derivatives can push companies onto a "spiral that can lead to a corporate meltdown", like the demise of the notorious hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management in 1998.
Note: Though written in 2003, this excellent article reveals the incredible risk of creating derivatives that have more value than the entire GDP of the world. The risk has increased tremendously since then.
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.