Posts tagged banksters
Politicians Serving Wall Street, Not Main Street (The bipartisan fleecing)
Washington made a decision 5 years ago to abandon most Americans and to cozy up with the crony capitalists on Wall Street. They rejected the voice of the American people in the Fall of 2008 when they began the bailout bonanza.
It is worth remembering that Goldman Sachs was within a hair of going out of business that Fall, but after being infused with taxpayer money, posted the most profitable quarter in its history in the Spring of 2009. Much of that money was distributed in bonuses and the Masters of the Universe were masters once again, thanks to you and me.
As reported by Scott Rasmussen Nancy Pelosi recently waxed about how brilliant the bailouts were. They were indeed brilliant for Wall Street and the political class. Their power was consolidated. The American people however learned once and for all that they weren’t full partners in the American experiment.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
Too Big To Fail Is Now Bigger Than Ever Before
The too big to fail banks are now much, much larger than they were the last time they caused so much trouble. The six largest banks in the United States have gotten 37 percent larger over the past five years. Meanwhile, 1,400 smaller banks have disappeared from the banking industry during that time. What this means is that the health of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley is more critical to the U.S. economy than ever before. If they were “too big to fail” back in 2008, then now they must be “too colossal to collapse”. Without these banks, we do not have an economy. The six largest banks control 67 percent of all U.S. banking assets, and Bank of America accounted for about a third of all business loans by itself last year. Our entire economy is based on credit, and these giant banks are at the very core of our system of credit. If these banks were to collapse, a brutal economic depression would be guaranteed. Unfortunately, as you will see later in this article, these banks did not learn anything from 2008 and are being exceedingly reckless. They are counting on the rest of us bailing them out if something goes wrong, but that might not happen next time around.
Ever since the financial crisis of 2008, our politicians have been running around proclaiming that they will not rest until they have fixed “the too big to fail problem”, but instead of fixing it those banks have rapidly gotten even larger. Just check out the following figures which come from the Los Angeles Times…
Just before the financial crisis hit, Wells Fargo & Co. had $609 billion in assets. Now it has $1.4 trillion. Bank of America Corp. had $1.7 trillion in assets. That’s up to $2.1 trillion.
And the assets of JPMorgan Chase & Co., the nation’s biggest bank, have ballooned to $2.4 trillion from $1.8 trillion.
We are witnessing a consolidation of the banking industry that is absolutely stunning. Hundreds of smaller banks have been swallowed up by these behemoths, and millions of Americans are finding that they have to deal with these banking giants whether they like it or not.
Even though all they do is move money around, these banks have become the core of our economic system, and they are growing at an astounding pace. The following numbers come from a recent CNN article…
-The assets of the six largest banks in the United States have grown by 37 percent over the past five years.
-The U.S. banking system has 14.4 trillion dollars in total assets. The six largest banks now account for 67 percent of those assets and the other 6,934 banks account for only 33 percent of those assets.
-Approximately 1,400 smaller banks have disappeared over the past five years.
-JPMorgan Chase is roughly the size of the entire British economy.
-The four largest banks have more than a million employees combined.
-The five largest banks account for 42 percent of all loans in the United States.
As I discussed above, without these giant banks there is no economy. We should have never, ever allowed this to happen, but now that it has happened it is imperative that the American people understand this. The power of these banks is absolutely overwhelming…
One third of all business loans this year were made by Bank of America. Wells Fargo funds nearly a quarter of all mortgage loans. And held in the vaults of JPMorgan Chase is $1.3 trillion, which is 12% of our collective cash, including the payrolls of many thousands of companies, or enough to buy 47,636,496,885 of these NFL branded toaster ovens. Thanks for your business!
A lot of people tend to focus on many of the other threats to our economy, but the number one potential threat that our economy is facing is the potential failure of the too big to fail banks. As we saw in 2008, when they start to fail things can get really bad really fast.
And as I have written about so many times, the number one threat to the too big to fail banks is the possibility of a derivatives crisis.
Former Goldman Sachs banker and best selling author Nomi Prins recently told Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog.com that the global economy “could implode and have serious ramifications on the financial systems starting with derivatives and working on outward.” You can watch the full video of that interview right here.
And Nomi Prins is exactly right. Just like we witnessed in 2008, a derivatives panic can spiral out of control very quickly. Our big banks should have learned a lesson from 2008 and should have greatly scaled back their reckless betting.
Unfortunately, that has not happened. In fact, according to the OCC’s latest quarterly report on bank trading and derivatives activities, the big banks have become even more reckless since the last time I reported on this. The following figures reflect the new information contained in the latest OCC report…
Total Assets: $1,948,150,000,000 (just over 1.9 trillion dollars)
Total Exposure To Derivatives: $70,287,894,000,000 (more than 70 trillion dollars)
Total Assets: $1,306,258,000,000 (a bit more than 1.3 trillion dollars)
Total Exposure To Derivatives: $58,471,038,000,000 (more than 58 trillion dollars)
Bank Of America
Total Assets: $1,458,091,000,000 (a bit more than 1.4 trillion dollars)
Total Exposure To Derivatives: $44,543,003,000,000 (more than 44 trillion dollars)
Total Assets: $113,743,000,000 (a bit more than 113 billion dollars – yes, you read that correctly)
Total Exposure To Derivatives: $42,251,600,000,000 (more than 42 trillion dollars)
That means that the total exposure that Goldman Sachs has to derivatives contracts is more than 371 times greater than their total assets.
How in the world can anyone say that Goldman Sachs is not being incredibly reckless?
And remember, the overwhelming majority of these derivatives contracts are interest rate derivatives.
Wild swings in interest rates could set off this time bomb and send our entire financial system plunging into chaos.
After climbing rapidly for a couple of months, the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasury bonds has stabilized for the moment.
But if that changes and interest rates start going up dramatically again, that is going to be a huge problem for these too big to fail banks.
And I know that a lot of you don’t have much sympathy for the big banks, but remember, if they go down we go down too.
These banks have been unbelievably reckless, but when they fail, we will all pay the price.
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Financial Apocalypse Now? Big Government and Central Banks: The Real Criminals
“Oh, man. The bullshit piled up so fast in Vietnam you needed wings to stay above it”.- Captain Willard in Apocalypse Now
It is piling up at the world’s central banks too.
One point cannot be emphasized enough: If the Federal Reserve, with the connivance of the U.S. Treasury Department, had not debased the dollar, the “reckless” and egregious excesses could not have happened.
Jail bankers? Let’s start with the real villains–central bankers and their political masters.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
George Will: If he thinks libertarianism a “dangerous thought,” people may think Christie himself is “dangerous”0
George Will: If he thinks libertarianism a “dangerous thought,” people may think Christie himself is “dangerous”
It is no secret that this site is a fan of small government. In our opinion the only real way to fight crony capitalism, the collusion of business, special interests, and government, is to shrink the government. Crony capitalism only happens with an intrusive state. It only happens when government is big enough to pick winners and losers. Intrusive government is the catalyst for crony capitalism.
Can corporations be corrupt without government? Absolutely.
Can unions be corrupt without government? Absolutely.
But the power of the corrupt expands when the corrupt can use law to compel the marketplace.
Libertarianism, as Will points out has many variations and strains, but generally it is about protecting the dignity of the individual, and advocates for a very limited government. Libertarians believe that transactions should be voluntary, and win win. This is how society has always progressed. This is how technology and food and societies and everything get better.
It is typically when vested interests (large companies, government agencies, unions) seek to disrupt this great experiment that things such as wars, bailouts for giant banks, and segregation of people by race happens. People freely trading with one another, respecting each other’s differences, tend not to kill one another despite what Hobbes said. Free people, secure in their property, tend to make their societies better.
Chris Christie is a big government guy. He has no idea how the average everyday people of the world could order themselves without wise and benevolent overlords. This is why he has attacked libertarianism. Basically he fears a free society. George Will has called him out.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
About Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
Posted by Karen DeCoster
MSNBC: “Detroit is America’s Most Libertarian City”
MSNBC’s Ari Melber describes Detroit’s plight with the usual media rinse-and-repeat conventional spin straight from the standard script: debt up the wazoo, decayed this, bombed-out that, no services here or there. Yawn. Seems I’ve read that 1,492 times prior. And this “condition” of decay he describes is what he deems as a condition one could expect to see as the result of libertarianism. According to Ari, a city that has been governed by unions and Marxists, and raped by nepotistic mobs, has presented to the world a visual of what libertarianism would bring us were we to put it into practice. Yet he never explains the connection between a libertarian philosophical framework and Detroit’s 4+ decades of decline.
Ari states that Detroit needs to “look to Washington.” Indeed, he says Detroit should be an outpost of the Potomac, just like the Banksters. Ari thinks that Congress should convene a special session to save Detroit. The Feds, he says, could bring jobs to Detroit, invest in property, and start up a Detroit branch of the Smithsonian to save the art of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).
These media twerps never express one intelligent sentence about Detroit’s political history and sociological challenges as they pertain to the long-term decay and the current crisis. And now, finally, it can all be blamed on libertarianism and a too-small government. Melber is a boob. Follow me on Twitter @karendecoster. Thanks to Allan Caetano for the link.
Video capture added to original post.
“HSBC will pay $1.9 billion to settle a money-laundering probe by U.S. federal and state authorities, reports CBS News. The financial institution was in violation of the Bank Secrecy Act and the Trading With the Enemy Act.
The U.S. probe found transfers of billions of dollars on behalf of nations such as Iran, which is under international sanctions, and is often believed to funnel money to such groups as Hamas. There were also transfers through HSBC’s U.S. division by Mexican drug cartels.”*
There’s a two-tier justice system in America. Need proof? Bankers for HSBC were found guilty of laundering billions of dollars for drug cartels and groups linked to al-Qaeda. Their punishment? Pay a small portion of their billions of profit, and defer bonuses. Stephanie George received a life sentence without parole in 1997 because her boyfriend stashed half a kilogram of cocaine in her home and she had a couple of previous small-time drug deal on her record. Cenk Uygur breaks down this ridiculous disparity of justice between the rich and the poor, explaining why we need to change the system.
By Jeff Nielson
For approximately three years; our governments, the banking cabal, and the Corporate Media have assured us that they knew the appropriate approach for fixing the economies that they had previously crippled with their own mismanagement. We were told that the key was to stomp on the Little People with “austerity” in order to continue making full interest payments to the Bond Parasites – at any/all costs.
Following three years of this continuous, uninterrupted failure; Greece has already defaulted on 75% of its debts, and its economy is totally destroyed. The UK, Spain, and Italy are all plummeting downward in suicide-spirals, where the more austerity these sadistic governments inflict upon their own people the worse their debt/deficit problems get. Ireland and Portugal are nearly in the same position.
Now in what may be the greatest economic “mea culpa” in history, we have the media admitting that this government/banking/propaganda-machine Troika has been wrong all along. They have been forced to acknowledge that Iceland’s approach to economic triage was the correct approach right from the beginning.
U.K. Taxi Driver says it like it is about the Banksters! EXCELLENT!
I have to admit I laughed so hard with this video! The Taxi Driver says it like it is about the Banksters!
EXCELLENT EXCELLENT Video!
Warning…… Lots of Foul language is used in this video. If that offends you then do not watch it. Otherwise Enjoy!
by John Nichols
John Nichols is the author of several books that examine the legacy of old-right conservatives such as Taft and Buffett, including Against the Beast: A Documentary History of American Opposition to Empire.
Ron Paul represents the ideology that Republican insiders most fear: conservatism.
Not the corrupt, inside-the-beltway construct that goes by that name, but actual conservatism.
And if he wins the Iowa Republican Caucus vote on January 3—a real, though far from certain, prospect—the party bosses will have to do everything in their power to prevent Paul from reasserting the values of the “old-right” Republicans who once stood, steadily and without apology, in opposition to wars of whim and assaults on individual liberty.
Make no mistake, the party bosses are horrified at the notion that a genuine conservative might grab the Iowa headlines from the false prophets. Already, they are claiming a Paul win won’t mean anything. If Paul prevails, says Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, “People are going to look at who comes in second and who comes in third. If [Mitt] Romney comes in a strong second, it definitely helps him going into New Hampshire and the other states.”
The party’s amen corner in the media is doing its part. Republican-insider radio and television programs have begun to go after Paul, the veteran congressman from Texas who is either leading or near the top in recent polls of likely caucus goers. Rush Limbaugh ridicules Paul on his radio show, while Sean Hannity’s Fox show has become a nightly Paul-bashing fest, with guests like former Education Secretary Bill Bennett trashing the congressman with lines like: “his notion of foreign policy is impossible.”
Actually, Paul’s notion of foreign policy is in line with that of conservatives used to believe. The congressman is often referred to as a libertarian, and he has certainly toiled some in that ideological vineyard. But the truth is that his politics descend directly from those of former Ohio Senator Robert “Mr. Republican” Taft and former Nebraska Congressman Howard Buffett—old-right opponents of war and empire who served in the Congress in the 1940s and 1950s and who, in Taft’s case, mounted credible bids for the party’s presidential nomination in 1940, 1948 and finally in 1952. In all three campaigns, Taft opposed what he described as the “Eastern establishment” of the party—the Wall Streeters who, he pointedly noted, had little in common with Main Streeters.
Taft was a steady foe of American interventionism abroad, arguing very much as Paul does today that it threatens domestic liberty. Indeed, just as Paul joined US Senator Russ Feingold in opposing the Patriot Act, spying on Americans and threats to freedom of speech and assembly in the first days of what would become an open-ended “war on terror,” so Taft warned during the cold war that “criticism in a time of war is essential to the maintenance of any kind of democratic government.”
“The maintenance of the right of criticism in the long run will do the country…more good than it will do the enemy,” explained Taft, who challenged President Truman’s attempts to use war powers as an excuse to seize domestic industries and otherwise expand what Dwight Eisenhower would eventually define as the military-industrial complex.
This MSNBC reporter is going OFF! Political Panic is an understatement —omg god love his heart –his message, a rare moment of clarity from the mass media, needs to be heard…it needs to EXPLODE!!!
Think this reporter is mad??? Check out THIS GUY OMG -
I Give Him 10 million BILLION Thumbs UP!
(Mirror) Original Uploaded by DanielODoria on Oct 18, 2011
THERE IS ONLY PERCEPTION OF DEMOCRACY/FREEDOM.. UNTIL ALL CENTRAL PRIVATELY OWNED BANKS ARE ABOLISHED, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE A SLAVE TO A FEW GREEDY MEN..
STAND UP NOW AND FREE HUMANITY.. DO YOU DUTY AND MAKE THIS VIRAL!! JOIN FREE HUMANITY!!
PLEASE share and mirror!!!
[CIM Comment: And who is the only candidate fighting the FED and the banksters, Ron Paul!]
Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site and donate today!