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Financial News Articles
Excerpts of key news articles on banking and finance


Below are key excerpts of little-known, yet highly revealing news articles on banking and finance from the major media. Links are provided to the full news articles for verification. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These articles on banking and finance are listed by order of importance. You can also explore them ordered by the date of the article or by the date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves, we can build a brighter future.


Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on dozens of engaging topics. And read excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


The Michigan Monarchy Legislates Financial Martial Law -- Nation Yawns
2011-03-18, Forbes blog
http://blogs.forbes.com/rickungar/2011/03/18/the-michigan-monarchy-legislates...

This week, the Michigan legislature passed – and the governor signed into law – a bill that would permit Governor Rick Snyder to push aside elected city officials and replace them with emergency financial managers in any municipality or school district facing financial difficulties. The law would include virtually every town and city in the state as those cities that aren’t bankrupt already soon will be once the governor’s proposed budget – which cuts billions in aid to municipalities and school districts – is approved by the legislature. One of the most shocking, Draconian, democracy-destroying measures in the history of this country has became law – and the nation has seemingly slept through it. The new law, described by one of the GOP legislators sponsoring the bill as “financial martial law”, empowers the governor’s appointees [referred to as ‘Emergency Financial Managers’] to fire duly elected local officials, cancel labor contracts and even dissolve entire communities and school districts. This is about so much more than collective bargaining agreements and unions. This law gives an appointee of the governor – which, by the way, may be a corporation – the authority to dismiss any or all of a municipality’s elected government officials.

Note: For a treasure trove of reports by major media sources on the collusion between government and financial powers against the public interest, click here.


Financial meltdown culprits seem too big to jail
2011-03-07, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/03/06/EDPG1I481K.DTL

What's wrong with this picture: Years have passed since Wall Street's financial meltdown. Due to the crisis, the economy tanked, the mortgage market has yet to recover, and millions of jobs were lost. Many of those jobs losses will be permanent. The only person who went to jail for any of this was Bernie Madoff. When he accepted his Academy Award for the documentary "Inside Job," Berkeley filmmaker Charles Ferguson reminded Americans that the lack of criminal prosecutions for the financial crisis is, simply, "wrong." No matter what kinds of logical, legal explanations that the Justice Department has trotted out to explain why all of these senior financial executives are too big to jail, it's outrageous that there has not been and will not be any comeuppance for the men who plunged the American economy into chaos. The fact that some of these executives have or will receive some financial punishment in civil court is of little consequence - if ruining the economy isn't worth a little jail time, then what is? The Obama administration has not made it a priority to prosecute financial executives. Its reticence to punish was prominently on display last month, when the Justice Department decided not to prosecute Angelo Mozilo, the former CEO of Countrywide Financial. Mozilo left an e-mail trail detailing his feelings about Countrywide's "toxic" mortgage products and negotiated a $67.5 million payout in a civil suit that was brought against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission. If the feds don't go after him, it's unlikely that they'll go after anyone else. It's a bitter contrast to the 1980s savings-and-loan crisis, when the federal government threw enormous resources at criminal prosecutions and sent even well-connected executives, like Charles Keating, to jail.

Note: For other highly revealing major media articles showing just how much control big bankers have over government, click here.


America's favorite bankers have outdone themselves yet again
2011-01-30, CNN
http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/01/30/money-for-nothing-at-goldman/

How might you compensate management for a year in which profits plunged, you spent $550 million of shareholder money to settle a fraud investigation and your stock ended up more or less exactly where it started? You might be tempted to nix raises or withhold bonuses to send a responsible message about linking pay to performance. But if so, you wouldn't be Goldman Sachs. It just had the year described above – and responded by tripling everyone's base salary while boosting bonuses by 40%. Is this a great country or what? Goldman said in a filing [on January 28] that CEO Lloyd Blankfein will make $2 million this year, and his top lieutenants will each make $1.85 million. Top Goldman brass had been making $600,000 annually in salary since the firm's 1999 initial public offering. All 470 of Goldman's partners will get higher salaries. The top five officers will also get $12.6 million each in bonuses. That's up from $9 million each last year. That may seem like a high price to pay for a pretty lousy year – and one that ended with a Fed-inspired reminder that Goldman, just in case anyone forgot, took billions upon billions of dollars in bailout loans in 2008 and 2009.

Note: For key articles from reliable sources detailing the outrageous compensation awarded to the highest officers of Wall Street financial corporations after they were bailed out by the government, click here.


State Budgets: The Day of Reckoning
2010-12-19, CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/12/19/60minutes/main7166220.shtml

There is [a] financial crisis looming involving state and local governments. In the two years since the "great recession" wrecked their economies and shriveled their income, the states have collectively spent nearly a half a trillion dollars more than they collected in taxes. There is also a trillion-dollar hole in their public pension funds. The states have been getting by on billions of dollars in federal stimulus funds, but the day of reckoning is at hand. The debt crisis [could] cost a million public employees their jobs and require another big bailout package that no one in Washington wants to talk about. "The most alarming thing about the state issue is the level of complacency," Meredith Whitney, one of the most respected financial analysts on Wall Street. "It has tentacles as wide as anything I've seen. I think next to housing this is the single most important issue in the United States, and certainly the largest threat to the U.S. economy," she [said]. California, which faces a $19 billion budget deficit next year, has a credit rating approaching junk status. It now spends more money on public employee pensions than it does on the state university system, which had to increase its tuition by 32 percent. Arizona is so desperate it sold off the state capitol, Supreme Court building and legislative chambers to a group of investors and now leases the buildings from their new owner. The state also eliminated Medicaid funding for most organ transplants.

Note: For key reports from major media sources on the devastating consequences for Main Street of the criminal bailout of Wall Street, click here.


Brooksley Born foresaw disaster but was silenced
2010-12-05, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/12/05/BUHC1GLHFA.DTL

There's a brief scene in "Inside Job," the locally produced documentary on the Great Financial Meltdown, in which a colleague of the head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 1997 describes how "blood drained from her face" after receiving a phoned-in tongue-lashing from deputy Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. The target of Summers' wrath was Brooksley Born, ... the first female president of the Stanford Law Review and a recognized legal expert in the area of complex financial instruments. Her crime: Born had the temerity to push for regulation of the increasingly wild trading in derivatives, which, as we learned a decade later, helped bring the U.S. economy, and much of the world's, to its knees. Summers, with 13 bankers in his office, told Born to get off it "in a very grueling fashion," said the colleague. The story is told in much more detail in All the Devils are Here, the latest, but eminently worthwhile, book on the roots of the crisis, by Bethany McLean and ... Joe Nocera. It makes for dispiriting, even appalling, reading. Responding to growing evidence of manipulation and fraud in unregulated derivatives trading - "the hippopotamus under the rug," as Born and others referred to it - Born suggested the commission should perhaps be given some sort of oversight. She had a 33-page policy paper drawn up, full of questions and suggestions, like, for example, whether establishing a public exchange for derivatives might not be a bad idea. Responding to the policy paper, Summers, "screaming at her," according to the book, told Born the bankers sitting in his office "threatened to move their derivatives business to London," if she didn't stop.

Note: For key reports on financial fraud from reliable sources, click here.


Senator Bernie Sanders on the War Between the Shrinking Middle Class and the Wealthy
2010-11-30, U.S. Senate Testimony
http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=c8f26b05-01e7-429f-a5e0-a9a6bd1a0f40

Mr. SANDERS. Mr. President, there is a war going on in this country, and I am not referring to the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. I am talking about a war being waged by some of the wealthiest and most powerful people in this country against the working families of the United States of America, against the disappearing and shrinking middle class of our country. The reality is, many of the Nation's billionaires are on the warpath. They want more, more, more. Their greed has no end, and apparently there is very little concern for our country or for the people of this country if it gets in the way of the accumulation of more and more wealth and more and more power. The percentage of income going to the top 1 percent has nearly tripled since the 1970s. In the mid-1970s, the top 1 percent earned about 8 percent of all income. In the 1980s, that figure jumped to 14 percent. In the late 1990s, that 1 percent earned about 19 percent. And today, as the middle class collapses, the top 1 percent earns 23 1/2 percent of all income--more than the bottom 50 percent. Today, if you can believe it, the top one-tenth of 1 percent earns about 12 cents of every dollar earned in America.

Note: To see a video of this amazing speech by courageous Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent), click here.


Winning the Class War
2010-11-27, The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/27/opinion/27herbert.html

The class war that no one wants to talk about continues unabated. Even as millions of out-of-work and otherwise struggling Americans are tightening their belts for the holidays, the nation’s elite are lacing up their dancing shoes and partying like royalty as the millions and billions keep rolling in. Recessions are for the little people, not for the corporate chiefs and the titans of Wall Street who are at the heart of the American aristocracy. They have waged economic warfare against everybody else and are winning big time. The ranks of the poor may be swelling and families forced out of their foreclosed homes may be enduring a nightmarish holiday season, but American companies have just experienced their most profitable quarter ever. The corporate fat cats are becoming alarmingly rotund. Their profits have surged over the past seven quarters at a pace that is among the fastest ever seen, and they can barely contain their glee. On the same day that The Times ran its article about [record corporate] profits, it ran a piece on the front page that carried the headline: “With a Swagger, Wallets Out, Wall Street Dares to Celebrate.” Anyone who thinks there is something beneficial in this vast disconnect between the fortunes of the American elite and those of the struggling masses is just silly. It’s not even good for the elite. The rich may think that the public won’t ever turn against them. But to hold that belief, you have to ignore the turbulent history of the 1930s.

Note: For many reports from reliable souces on corporate profiteering, click here.


Wall Street Pay: A Record $144 Billion
2010-10-11, Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704518104575546542463746562.html

Compensation on Wall Street is on pace to break a record high for a second consecutive year, as more than three dozen top banks and securities firms will pay $144 billion in salary and benefits ... a 4% increase from the $139 billion paid out in 2009. Compensation was expected to rise at 26 of the 35 firms. Overall, Wall Street is expected to pay 32.1% of its revenue to employees, the same as last year, but below the 36% in 2007. Profits, which were depressed by losses in the past two years, have bounced back from the 2008 crisis. But the estimated 2010 profit of $61.3 billion for the firms surveyed still falls about 20% short from the record $82 billion in 2006. Over that same period, compensation across the firms in the survey increased 23%. "Until focus of these institutions changes from revenue generation to long-term shareholder value, we will see these outrageous pay packages and compensation levels," said Charles Elson, director of the Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance.

Note: For many key reports from reliable sources on Wall Street's profiteering, click here.


Congressional Staffers Gain From Trading in Stocks
2010-10-11, Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703431604575522434188603198.html

Chris Miller nearly doubled his $3,500 stock investment in a renewable-energy firm in 2008. It was a perfectly legal bet, but he's no ordinary investor. Mr. Miller is the top energy-policy adviser to Nevada Democrat and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who helped pass legislation that wound up benefiting the firm. Mr. Miller isn't the only Congressional staffer making such stock bets. At least 72 aides on both sides of the aisle traded shares of companies that their bosses help oversee, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of more than 3,000 disclosure forms covering trading activity by Capitol Hill staffers for 2008 and 2009. The Journal analysis showed that an aide to a Republican member of the Senate Banking Committee bought Bank of America Corp. stock before results of last year's government stress tests eased investor concerns about the health of the banking industry. A top aide to the House Speaker profited by trading shares of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in a brokerage account with her husband two days before the government authorized emergency funding for the companies. The aides identified by the Journal say they didn't profit by making trades based on any information gathered in the halls of Congress. Even if they had done so, it would be legal, because insider-trading laws don't apply to Congress. Unlike many Executive Branch employees, lawmakers and aides don't have restrictions on their stock holdings and ownership interests in companies they oversee.

Note: Why is Congress exempt from so many of its own laws? Who is willing to start a movement to stop this? For lots more on government corruption from major media sources, click here.


Insider Trading Inside the Beltway
2010-07-02, UCLA School of Law
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1633123

A 2004 study of the results of stock trading by United States Senators during the 1990s found that Senators on average beat the market by 12% a year. In sharp contrast, U.S. households on average underperformed the market by 1.4% a year and even corporate insiders on average beat the market by only about 6% a year during that period. A reasonable inference is that some Senators had access to – and were using – material nonpublic information about the companies in whose stock they trade. Under current law, it is unlikely that Members of Congress can be held liable for insider trading. The proposed Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act addresses that problem by instructing the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt rules intended to prohibit such trading. This article analyzes present law to determine whether Members of Congress, Congressional employees, and other federal government employees can be held liable for trading on the basis of material nonpublic information. It argues that there is no public policy rationale for permitting such trading and that doing so creates perverse legislative incentives and opens the door to corruption. The article explains that the Speech or Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution is no barrier to legislative and regulatory restrictions on Congressional insider trading.

Note: Do you think that these highly successful investors in the US Senate might have a vested interest in protecting the existing financial and legal structure that makes their profits possible and protects them from criminal charges?


U.S. banks' role in Mexican drug trade
2010-06-30, San Francisco Chronicle/Bloomberg News
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/06/29/BU2L1E6LV2.DTL

Wachovia [Bank] ... made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. San Francisco's Wells Fargo & Co., which bought Wachovia in 2008, has admitted in court that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers - including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine. The admission ... sheds light on the largely undocumented role of U.S. banks in contributing to the violent drug trade that has convulsed Mexico for the past four years. Wachovia admitted it didn't do enough to spot illicit funds in handling $378.4 billion for Mexican currency exchange houses from 2004 to 2007. That's the largest violation of the Bank Secrecy Act, an anti-money-laundering law, in U.S. history - a sum equal to one-third of Mexico's current gross domestic product. "Wachovia's blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations," said Jeffrey Sloman, the federal prosecutor who handled the case. "It's the banks laundering money for the cartels that finances the tragedy," said Martin Woods, director of Wachovia's anti-money-laundering unit in London from 2006 to 2009. Woods says he quit the bank in disgust after executives ignored his documentation that drug dealers were funneling money through Wachovia's branch network. "If you don't see the correlation between the money laundering by banks and the 22,000 people killed in Mexico, you're missing the point," he said.

Note: For abundant reports from reliable sources on the many dubious ways in which major financial firms make their profits, click here.


What are the Bilderberg Group really doing in Spain?
2010-06-04, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/what-are-the-bilderberg-group-...

Ordinary citizens can only guess at the goings-on at the annual meeting of the secretive Bilderberg Group, a media-barred pow-wow of the global elite that in the past has reportedly attracted former US President Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and David Cameron, and US treasury secretary Timothy Geithner. The heavyweight weekend retreat kicked off yesterday with hordes of police security and a gag order for employees at the luxury Dolce. None of the illustrious guests posed for photos or spouted prepared statements for the media. Instead, activists, journalists and bloggers attempted to stake out positions in the surrounding hills to catch glimpses of this year's participants, guerrilla-warrior style. The cloak-and-dagger theorists scored a point this week when ... Daniel Estulin addressed the European Parliament on the invitation of an Italian member, Mario Borghezio. Mr Estulin, an investigative journalist who has written two best-selling books on the subject, contends that "the Bilderberg Club" is not a classic conspiracy but a potentially dangerous meeting of minds with a common goal: to centralise global economic power to benefit corporations. He defined it as "a virtual spider web of interlocking financial, political and industrial interests". "It isn't a secret society," he said. "No matter how powerful they are, no group sits around a table holding hands and deciding the world's future. It is an ideology."

Note: Why is there so little reporting on this influential group in the major media? Thankfully, the alternative media has had some good articles. And a Google search can be highly informative. For many other revealing news articles from major media sources on powerful secret societies, click here. And for reliable information covering the big picture of how and why these secret societies are using government-sponsored mind control programs to achieve their agenda, click here.


666: Goldman's latest bonus bears the mark of the beast
2009-05-03, The Independent (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/666-goldmans...

Something strange is afoot when Popbitch – provider of a weekly email beloved of students, stuffed full of celebrity tittle-tattle and links to the silliest miscellany of the web – breaks off from such glorious trivia to encourage readers to support GoldmanSachs666.com, a deadly serious website measuring the political tentacles of the mighty investment bank. The credit-market catastrophe that has plunged the world into recession is everywhere stirring new ways of thinking about how banking relates to the wider world, but nowhere more so than among a generation coming into political consciousness in these searing times. Something is brewing, some argue, that could make the "regulatory-financial complex" something to rail against in the same way that the military-industrial complex was in the Cold War. This should worry Goldman Sachs. More so than any other firm, it exists at the intersection of politics and high finance. "It was listening to the news coming out of AIG that got me fired up," says Mike Morgan, founder of GoldmanSachs666.com. "While politicians were screaming about $165m paid out to AIG executives in bonuses, $180bn was walking out the door." The Federal Reserve and the then-treasury secretary, Hank Paulson, decided to funnel public funds to AIG, and its counterparties were paid in full. You don't have to scratch far into the internet to find conspiracy theories: Mr Paulson was chief executive of Goldman before going into government; he appointed Edward Liddy, formerly of Goldman, to run AIG; Goldman was AIG's biggest counterparty, receiving $12.9bn from AIG after the bailout.

Note: For lots more on the Wall Street bailout, click here.


Why Creditors Should Suffer, Too
2009-04-05, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/05/business/economy/05view.html?partner=rss&em...

The Obama administration’s proposals to reform financial regulation sound ambitious enough as they aim to bring companies like A.I.G. under a broader umbrella of government rule-making and scrutiny. But there is a big hole in these proposals, as there has already been in the government’s approach to bailing out failing financial companies. Even as they focus on firms deemed too big to fail, the new proposals immunize the creditors and counterparties of such firms by protecting them from their own lending and trading mistakes. This pattern has been evident for months, with the government aiding creditors and counterparties every step of the way. Yet this has not been explained openly to the American public. In truth, it’s not the shareholders of the American International Group who benefited most from its bailout; they were mostly wiped out. The great beneficiaries have been the creditors and counterparties at the other end of A.I.G.’s derivatives deals — firms like Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Société Générale, Barclays and UBS. These firms engaged in deals that A.I.G. could not make good on. The bailout, and the regulatory regime outlined by Timothy F. Geithner, the Treasury secretary, would give firms like these every incentive to make similar deals down the road. In both the bailouts and in the new proposals, the government is effectively neutralizing creditors as a force for financial safety. This suggests a scary possibility — that the next regulatory regime could end up even worse than the last.

Note: For a powerfully revealing archive of reports from reliable sources on the hidden realities of the financial bailout, click here.


Big Bonuses at Fannie and Freddie Draw Fire
2009-04-04, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/04/business/04bonus.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&p...

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two troubled companies at the heart of the nation’s mortgage market, are set to pay their employees “retention bonuses” totaling $210 million, despite calls from lawmakers to cancel the payments. The bonuses, which were made public on Friday, were defended by the companies’ federal regulator, James B. Lockhart, who said he intended to let them proceed. In a letter sent last week to Senator Charles E. Grassley, an Iowa Republican, Mr. Lockhart disclosed that 7,600 Fannie and Freddie workers were scheduled to receive payouts aimed at retaining those “employees most critical to keep and difficult to replace.” Under the plan, 213 employees will receive retention bonuses worth more than $100,000 this year, and one Freddie Mac executive will receive $1.3 million. Those figures drew sharp rebukes from Mr. Grassley and other lawmakers, who noted that Fannie and Freddie had received pledges of $400 billion from taxpayers to offset huge losses since they were seized by the government in September. Similar bonuses paid by the American International Group, which was also bailed out by taxpayers, incited fiery attacks from the White House and legislators when they were revealed last month. “It’s hard to see any common sense in management decisions that award hundreds of millions in bonuses when their organizations lost more than $100 billion in a year,” Mr. Grassley said in a statement. “It’s an insult that the bonuses were made with an infusion of cash from taxpayers.”

Note: For many revealing reports on the realities behind the Wall Street bailouts, click here.


Obama’s Ersatz Capitalism
2009-04-01, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/01/opinion/01stiglitz.html?partner=rss&emc=rss...

The Obama administration’s $500 billion or more proposal to deal with America’s ailing banks has been described by some in the financial markets as a win-win-win proposal. Actually, it is a win-win-lose proposal: the banks win, investors win — and taxpayers lose. Treasury hopes to get us out of the mess by replicating the flawed system that the private sector used to bring the world crashing down, with a proposal marked by overleveraging in the public sector, excessive complexity, poor incentives and a lack of transparency. In theory, the administration’s plan is based on letting the market determine the prices of the banks’ “toxic assets” — including outstanding house loans and securities based on those loans. The reality, though, is that the market will not be pricing the toxic assets themselves, but options on those assets. The two have little to do with each other. The government plan in effect involves insuring almost all losses. Since the private investors are spared most losses, then they primarily “value” their potential gains. This is exactly the same as being given an option. Under the plan by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the government would provide about 92 percent of the money to buy the asset but would stand to receive only 50 percent of any gains, and would absorb almost all of the losses. Some partnership! What the Obama administration is doing is far worse than nationalization: it is ersatz capitalism, the privatizing of gains and the socializing of losses. It is a “partnership” in which one partner robs the other.

Note: The author of this analysis, Joseph E. Stiglitz, is a professor of economics at Columbia University. He was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers from 1995 to 1997, and was awarded the Nobel prize in economics in 2001. For many revealing reports on the realities behind the Wall Street bailouts, click here.


A.I.G. Planning Huge Bonuses After $170 Billion Bailout
2009-03-15, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/15/business/15AIG.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&pag...

The American International Group, which has received more than $170 billion in taxpayer bailout money from the Treasury and Federal Reserve, plans to pay about $165 million in bonuses by Sunday to executives in the same business unit that brought the company to the brink of collapse last year. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner told the firm they were unacceptable and demanded they be renegotiated, a senior administration official said. But the bonuses will go forward because lawyers said the firm was contractually obligated to pay them. The payments to A.I.G.’s financial products unit are in addition to $121 million in previously scheduled bonuses for the company’s senior executives and 6,400 employees across the sprawling corporation. The payment of so much money at a company at the heart of the financial collapse that sent the broader economy into a tailspin almost certainly will fuel a popular backlash against the government’s efforts to prop up Wall Street. A.I.G., nearly 80 percent of which is now owned by the government, defended its bonuses, arguing that they were promised last year before the crisis and cannot be legally canceled. Of all the financial institutions that have been propped up by taxpayer dollars, none has received more money than A.I.G.. The bonuses will be paid to executives at A.I.G.’s financial products division, the unit that wrote trillions of dollars’ worth of credit-default swaps that protected investors from defaults on bonds backed in many cases by subprime mortgages. Seven executives at the financial products unit were entitled to receive more than $3 million in bonuses.

Note: For many revelations of the amazing realities of the Wall Street bailout, click here.


Some Banks, Feeling Chained, Want to Return Bailout Money
2009-03-11, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/11/business/economy/11bailout.html?partner=rss...

Financial institutions that are getting government bailout funds have been told to put off evictions and modify mortgages for distressed homeowners. They must let shareholders vote on executive pay packages. They must slash dividends, cancel employee training and morale-building exercises, and withdraw job offers to foreign citizens. As public outrage swells over the rapidly growing cost of bailing out financial institutions, the Obama administration and lawmakers are attaching more and more strings to rescue funds. The conditions are necessary to prevent Wall Street executives from paying lavish bonuses and buying corporate jets, some experts say. Some bankers say the conditions have become so onerous that they want to return the bailout money. The list includes small banks ... as well as giants like Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo. They say they plan to return the money as quickly as possible or as soon as regulators set up a process to accept the refunds. A senior Treasury official involved in the bailout effort said the administration was carefully trying not to do anything that could harm the banks and was giving financial incentives to modify mortgages. But by keeping weak banks operating, the markets continue to sink and taxpayer costs are mounting, outside experts said. “The current policy is likely to result in weaker banks,” Mr. Seidman said. “And keeping insolvent banks in operation does not benefit the system.”

Note: Could it be that that the main reason top bank executives are now talking about giving money back is that don't want to give up their lavish bonuses and corporate jets? What about all the talk about how the whole world would go to pot if they didn't get this bailout money? Somehow this is not surprising.


New Bank Bailout Could Cost $2 Trillion
2009-01-29, Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123319689681827391.html

Government officials seeking to revamp the U.S. financial bailout have discussed spending another $1 trillion to $2 trillion to help restore banks to health, according to people familiar with the matter. President Barack Obama's new administration is wrestling with how to stem the continuing loss of confidence in the financial system, as it divides up the remaining $350 billion from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program launched last fall. The potential size of rescue efforts being discussed suggests the administration may need to ask Congress for more funds. The administration is expected to take a series of steps, including relieving banks of bad loans and distressed securities. The so-called "bad bank" that would buy these assets could be seeded with $100 billion to $200 billion from the TARP funds, with the rest of the money -- as much as $1 trillion to $2 trillion -- raised by selling government-backed debt or borrowing from the Federal Reserve. The administration is also seeking more effective ways to pump money into banks, and is considering buying common shares in the banks. Government purchases so far have been of preferred shares, in an effort to both protect taxpayers and avoid diluting existing shareholders' stakes. Given the weakened state of the banking industry, with bank share prices low and their capital needs high, economists say the government probably can't avoid owning at least some banks for a temporary period.

Note: Note that the U.S. government has to borrow from the Federal Reserve, which most people don't realize is privately owned by the richest banks. For more on this, click here. The $2 trillion of taxpayer money for Wall Street's toxic assets revealed here is in addition to over $7 trillion already committed according to CNN and others. Wouldn't government debt of this magnitude threaten a broad range of government services and risk seriously weakening the dollar? For many other revealing reports on the Wall Street bailout, click here.


Execs of bailed-out banks got $1.6B last year, AP finds
2008-12-21, USA Today/Associated Press
http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/2008-12-21-bank-execs-bail...

Banks that are getting taxpayer bailouts awarded their top executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses, and other benefits last year, an Associated Press analysis reveals. The rewards came even at banks where poor results last year foretold the economic crisis that sent them to Washington for a government rescue. Some trimmed their executive compensation due to lagging bank performance, but still forked over multimillion-dollar executive pay packages. Benefits included cash bonuses, stock options, personal use of company jets and chauffeurs, home security, country club memberships and professional money management. The total amount given to nearly 600 executives would cover bailout costs for many of the 116 banks that have so far accepted tax dollars to boost their bottom lines. The AP compiled total compensation based on annual reports that the banks file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The 116 banks have so far received $188 billion in taxpayer help. Among the findings: • Lloyd Blankfein, president and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs, took home nearly $54 million in compensation last year. The company's top five executives received a total of $242 million. The New York-based company on Dec. 16 reported its first quarterly loss since it went public in 1999. It received $10 billion in taxpayer money on Oct. 28. • John A. Thain, chief executive officer of Merrill Lynch, topped all corporate bank bosses with $83 million in earnings last year. Like Goldman, Merrill got $10 billion from taxpayers on Oct. 28.

Note: For many reports on the realities of the Wall Street bailout from reliable sources, click here.


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