Top banking regulator Thomas Hoenig announced his retirement Friday, shortly after issuing a warning that his colleagues are making a mistake that would increase the chances of another financial crisis.
Hoenig, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation vice chairman, said he’d leave office Monday.
Having served since 2012, Hoenig was headed out the door soon anyway. President Trump’s nominee to head the FDIC, Jelena McWilliams, would have taken his spot on the commission’s board of directors. McWilliams’ nomination awaits full Senate consideration.
But Hoenig made the most of the announcement by accompanying it with a warning that other regulators were making a mistake in a recently announcedeffort to ease one bank capital rule.
The change would “make the financial system less resilient and to make another financial crisis likelier and more severe,” Hoenig wrote in an op-edpublished in the Wall Street Journal with Sheila Bair, a previous chairman of the FDIC.
The rule in question requires banks to maintain a certain level of capital relative to their assets. In other words, it limits banks from becoming highly leveraged, or indebted, the way they were before the financial crisis.
The post-crisis bank regulations set a number of different capital rules on banks. The leverage ratio being discussed is one of the broadest and most simple. Unlike other rules, it doesn't weigh the riskiness of different assets in its calculation of the capital requirement, meaning that it doesn't distinguish between, for example, mortgage-backed securities and cash.
Big banks have said, though, that it effectively penalizes them from holding safe assets, such as deposits at central banks. And regulators at the Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have said that the specific leverage ratio was never meant to become the binding rule, as it has for the biggest banks.
Hoenig and Bair argued against changing the rule on the grounds that banks are highly profitable now, and that they would simply pass any freed-up money on to their investors. Then, during the next crisis, they be more vulnerable to failure.
Hoenig has been in the business of regulating banks for decades. Prior to joining the FDIC, he worked for years at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, eventually becoming its president and voting on matters of monetary policy
No money for teacher pay or textbooks, but…
US CEO pay, bank profits, corporate cash set new records
By Barry Grey 18 April 2018
Across the United States, workers are being told by Democrats and Republicans alike that there is “no money” for decent wages, pensions or health care. Teachers from West Virginia to Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arizona and other states are rebelling against near-poverty wages and years of school cuts only to be told by the politicians and union leaders that their demands are “unrealistic” and cannot be met.
But a series of reports on CEO pay, bank profits and corporate cash released over the past week reveal that corporate America and the financial oligarchy are wallowing in record levels of wealth. The Washington Post reported on Friday that, boosted by the tax cut for corporations and the rich passed in December, the biggest US firms “find themselves sitting on an Everest of cash,” with “profits pouring in faster than they can find productive ways to spend it.”
“As of the end of 2017,” the Post noted, “companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index were sitting on the largest cash pile in history: nearly $1.8 trillion.”
The windfall from the Trump tax cut, passed with no serious opposition from the Democrats, is not, contrary to the lies used to justify the law, going to create new, good-paying jobs and rebuild the country’s crumbing infrastructure. It is being used for stock buybacks, a parasitic squandering of the wealth produced by the labor of the working class to drive up stock prices and the portfolios of rich investors and corporate executives.
In February alone, US corporations announced a single-month record $150.7 billion in buybacks. They are expected to hit a new yearly record in 2018, surpassing the previous record of $589 billion set in 2007, the year before the Wall Street crash. Over the past 10 years, the American capitalist class has spent $5.1 trillion in stock buybacks.
To put this in perspective, the Oklahoma teachers, among the lowest-paid in the country, demanded $200 million in additional school funding to begin to address a decade of brutal cuts. The state government agreed to a mere $50 million, which the Oklahoma Education Association hailed as a “victory.”
The amount requested by the teachers represents a mere 0.01 percent of the cash being hoarded by US corporations.
This “Mount Everest” of cash controlled by perhaps one percent of the American people towers above the sums allocated by the federal government for basic social needs. The budget for the Department of Health and Human Services is only 60 percent of the corporate cash hoard. The corporate cash pile is 26 times the Department of Education budget, 56 times the budget for Housing and Urban Development, 150 times the Labor Department budget, and 225 times the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency.
According to a report on CEO pay released last week, requisitioning the combined pay of the three highest-earning chief executives in 2017 would virtually cover the Oklahoma teachers’ funding demand. Hock E. Tan (Broadcom) took in $103.2 million, Brian Duperreault (American International Group) received $42.8 million and Mark V. Hurd (Oracle) was paid $40.8 million, for a total of $186.8 million.
These reports, taken together, give a picture of a society that is being ruthlessly plundered by an unaccountable and avaricious financial oligarchy. The waste of resources and diversion of social wealth into the hands of a fabulously rich elite make it impossible to address any of the social problems confronting the population.
The other major squandering of resources is in the form of ever-expanding spending on the military and the preparations of the US ruling class for global war.
On April 11, the executive compensation research firm Equilar published its annual “Equilar 100” report, which examines CEO compensation at the 100 largest companies, by revenue. The study showed that median compensation for the 100 CEOs rose by 5 percent in 2017 from the previous year to reach an 11-year high of $15.7 million.
The median ratio of Equilar 100 CEO pay to that of a worker at the given company was 235 to one. However, some companies on the list had ratios even worse than the median. Manpower Group, whose CEO received $12 million, reported the highest ratio at 2,483 to one. The median pay of the company’s 600,000 workers was $4,828. The retail chain Kohl’s had a ratio of 1,264 to one.
The average pay of an Oklahoma teacher is $42,460. Median pay for Equilar 100 CEOs is 374 times that amount. The increase in median pay for Equilar 100 CEOs in 2017—$700,000—is itself 17 times the pay of the average Oklahoma teacher.
The second-highest paid CEO, Brian Duperreault ($42.8 million), heads the insurance giant American International Group (AIG), whose speculation in subprime mortgage-backed securities and credit default swaps played a central role in the financial crisis a decade ago that destroyed the savings and livelihoods of millions of people around the world and ushered in the Great Recession. His firm was bailed out by the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury to the tune of $150 billion.
Over the past week the major Wall Street banks have reported record or near-record profits for the first quarter of 2018. On Friday, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo reported a combined profit of more than $19 billion for the first three months of the year.
JPMorgan, the country’s biggest bank, reported a record quarterly net income of $8.71 billion. Its profits rose 35 percent over the same period a year ago. Earlier this month, CEO Jamie Dimon issued a letter to shareholders warning of rising wages and advising the Federal Reserve to jack up interest rates in order to stunt economic growth and drive up unemployment, so as to preempt the development of a nationwide wages movement.
It was a similar story at Citigroup (13 percent profit rise) and Wells Fargo (8 percent). Bank of America on Monday reported a 34 percent profit increase and Goldman Sachs on Tuesday said its profits jumped 26 percent.
A substantial part of the profit surge on Wall Street was due to the massive cut in the corporate tax rate. The five banks combined saved well above $2 billion as a result of a drastic reduction in their effective tax rates.
Speaking of the windfall from the tax law and other policies being implemented by Trump, with the tacit support of the Democrats, Citigroup Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach told reporters Friday that companies had only begun to take advantage of the changes. “I think the best is yet to come,” he said.
Putting an end to social inequality and the capitalist system that produces it are essential to providing employment, education, health care, housing, a comfortable retirement, access to culture, a safe environment and a modern infrastructure—that is, securing the basic social rights of the working class.
HOMELESS IN AMERICA WHERE 40 MILLION ILLEGALS HAVE JOBS, AND SUCK IN BILLIONS IN WELFARE!
With last month’s publication in the opinion section of The Oregonian of an anti-homeless rant by Columbia Sportswear president and CEO Tim Boyle, an effort has begun to shift the response to city's the homeless crisis to a more open policy of criminalization.
OXFAM reported that during Obama’s terms, 95% of the wealth created went to the top 1% of the world’s wealthy.
Report details massive growth of inequality worldwide
By Eric London 10 April 2018
In December, researchers Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman released the groundbreaking 300-page World Inequality Report 2018 detailing the growth of social inequality on a world scale over recent decades. The authors “provide the first estimates of how the growth in global income since 1980 has been distributed across the totality of the world population.”
The growth of within-country inequality
The report shows that inequality is worsening in nearly every country and is therefore increasing on a world scale. As a result, the report warns: “Where rising inequality is not properly addressed, it leads to all manner of political and social catastrophes”—i.e., revolution.
The current share of total wealth controlled by the top 1 percent is 33 percent, up from 28 percent in 1980—a shift that reflects the transfer of trillions from the working class to the rich. The top 10 percent of the world now owns over 70 percent of total wealth. The bottom half of the world’s population—3.5 billion people—owns less than 2 percent of the wealth.
In terms of income, the top 1 percent captured 23 percent of world income from 1980 to 2016—equal to the total captured by the bottom 60 percent. The top 0.1 percent captured as much income as the bottom half of the world’s population.
After decreasing for most of the twentieth century, the income and wealth share of the top 10 and top 1 percent has increased dramatically since the 1980s:
If the world’s billionaires continue increasing their wealth at the present rate, they will eventually “own 100 percent of the world’s wealth.”
Growth of the international working class and homogenization of incomes across continents
Alongside the growth of inequality, the income levels for the poorest half of the world have increased substantially. This shows that billions of people have entered the working class in recent decades, leaving behind a rural existence as globalization has rapidly transformed social relations in the former colonial countries.
The greatest transformation has taken place in China, where the population took just 3 percent of global income in 1980, but now takes 19 percent—surpassing both North America (17 percent) and Europe (17 percent). Income distribution by region is much more even than in past decades, with India increasing its share of world income to 7 percent, Japan declining to 4 percent, and the rest of Asia increasing to 18 percent. Africa and Latin America take only 5 and 8 percent of world income, respectively.
The industrialization of the former colonial countries (especially across Asia) coincides with a decline of income among the 60th to 90th percentiles, a group mostly comprised of the working class in the United States and Europe. Incomes between the 60th and 90th percentiles were stagnant, increasing less than 50 percent over a 36-year period. The conditions and incomes of workers across the world are becoming increasingly homogenized.
For example, from 1950 to 2016, the average income of a resident of Asia was 34 percent of the world average. By 2016, the average resident of Asia made 79 percent of the world average. For China alone, the figure increased from 15 percent in 1950 to 89 percent in 2016.
The same figure declined in Africa, where the average resident’s income was 64 percent of the world average in 1950 but just 41 percent in 2016. In Latin America, the figure also declined from 140 percent to 91 percent. The average income of a resident of Europe or the United States has declined substantially and is much closer to the world average than in previous decades.
This shows that as the working class grows numerically and becomes increasingly interconnected in the world process of production, the conditions and incomes of workers across the world become increasingly homogenized.
Impact of the Russian Revolution and dissolution of the Soviet Union on world inequality
The growth of inequality and divergent rates of income growth are the product not simply of abstract objective processes. They are the outcome of the development of the class struggle over the last century.
The report notes that the Russian Revolution of 1917 dramatically reduced social inequality on a world scale.
The revolution shook the world. The report notes, “In emerging economies, political and social shocks led to an even more radical reduction of income inequality. The abolition of private property in Russia, land redistribution, massive investments in public education, and strict government control over the economy via five-year plans effectively spread the benefits of growth from the early 1920s to the 1970s.” Further, “For most of the global population, the first three-quarters of the twentieth century corresponded to a very strong compression in the distribution of national incomes.”
In India, for example, “the top percentile income share decreased from around 20 percent at the end of the colonial period to 6 percent in the early 1980s, after four decades of socialist-inspired policies aimed at reducing the economic power of the elite, including nationalizations, government control over prices, and extreme tax rates on top incomes.” In China, inequality was drastically reduced as a result of the expropriations and nationalizations that followed the 1949 Chinese Revolution.
But the dissolution of the Soviet Union by the imperialist powers and the Stalinist bureaucracy “contributed to strong increases in top percentile income shares” across the world. In Russia, the top 1 percent now controls 20 percent of income—equal to the distribution under the Tsar. In India, the top 1 percent controls 22 percent of income, worse than under English colonial rule.
In China, the pro-market reforms implemented by the Stalinist bureaucracy beginning in the late 1970s produced a more drawn-out growth in inequality. While the bottom 50 and top 10 percent took equal shares of national income in 1978, the top 10 percent now takes nearly three times that of the bottom 50 percent.
In Russia itself, the reintroduction of private property “resulted in massive redistribution and impoverishment for millions of Russian households, particularly among the retired populations. The share of national income accruing to the bottom 50 percent collapsed, dropping from about 30 percent of total income in 1990-1991 to less than 10 percent in 1996.”
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, inequality has risen to levels almost approaching the extreme inequality of the United States.
The rise of oligarchy in the US
In no country in the world does the ruling class possess as much wealth as in the United States, the center of world imperialism.
Europe’s top 1 percent increased its income share from 10 percent in 1980 to 12 percent in 2016. In the US, however, the top 1 percent increased from the same figure—10 percent in 1980—to 20 percent today.
The wealth share of the top 10 percent has increased from 63 percent in 1985 to 77 percent today. But even this masks the massive accumulation of wealth at the very top. The wealth share of the “next 9 percent” has declined relative to that of the top 1 percent.
High levels of inequality dominate even within the top 1 percent: “The rise in wealth share of the top 1 percent itself owes almost all of its increase to the growth of the top 0.1 percent share, which rose from 7 percent to 22 percent” from 1986 to 2012. The top 0.1 percent now owns as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. “The average real wealth of the bottom 90 percent of families was no higher in 2012 than in 1986.”
The wealth and income of the “next 9 percent” below the top 1 percent has increased dramatically in absolute terms, from an average income of $586,060 in 1980 to $1.14 million in 2014, while the bottom 90 percent has seen its wealth stagnate or decline.
The inability of governments to respond to social grievances or economic crises
The report also charts the growth of private capital and the decline of public capital over the decades. The process of privatization has taken place across almost all countries and shows the domination of private transnational corporations over the world’s economic activity.
The report notes: “The domination of private wealth in national wealth represents a marked change from the situation which prevailed in the 1970s, when net public wealth was typically between 50 percent and 100 percent of national income in most developed countries (and over 100 percent in Germany).”
Private wealth to national income ratios are “returning to the high values observed in the late 19th century”—i.e., the gilded age of unregulated capitalist exploitation. The report’s authors conclude, “Today, with either small or negative net public wealth, the governments of developed countries are arguably limited in their ability to intervene in the economy, redistribute income, and mitigate rising inequality.”
This finding contradicts the study’s policy recommendations, which appeal to the governments to pare back austerity measures and increase spending on social programs. By the authors’ own admission, the governments have transferred so much of the state resources to the balance sheets of the billionaires and millionaires that they lack the resources to carry out the massive expenditures required to respond to future economic crises or improve the lives of billions of workers and poor people worldwide.
The report shows the objective basis for revolutionary optimism. The size of the working class has grown massively, especially in Asia. Globalization has brought the working class together into the same process of production, leading to a leveling in its conditions. Increasingly connected by social media and the Internet, there is every indication that the class struggle will be increasingly international not only in its content, but also in its form. For this reason, the capitalist governments of the world are seeking to censor the Internet and prevent workers from using social media as a platform for political organization.
The report is also proof of the necessity of social revolution. The governments are so dominated by the oligarchs in their respective countries that they are economically unable to respond to economic crisis or the needs of the working class. Only social revolution—with nationalizations, expropriation of the wealth of the world aristocracy, and the redistribution of the wealth to meet the needs of the human race—is capable of wiping inequality and poverty off the face of the earth.
Washington Times: ‘Secret Empires’ Revelations ‘Shocking, Startling, Stunning–and Sickening’
The astonishing widespread massive corruption of some of the biggest names in American politics that Peter Schweizer reveals in his new blockbuster expose is shocking, startling, stunning — and sickening.
“Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends” is an insightful and extraordinarily consequential book that should ignite a national uproar.
Don’t hold your breath. Our national media can be expected to do all in its power to suppress the possibility of any uproar — even when the corruption is this vast. It’s what they’re best at — covering up their own malfeasance and protecting politicians with whose ideology they’ve allied themselves.
One of the biggest scandals in American history was swirling around us. Leading U.S. government figures were embracing corruption. Foreign governments were colluding with American sleazes to hurt our country. Family and friends of these key political figures conspired as middlemen between foreign interests seeking influence and these enormously influential U.S. government officials.
PUBLISHED: 16:42 EDT, 7 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:52 EDT, 7 April 2018
The world's richest one per cent are on track to own two thirds of global wealth by 2030.
New figures from the House of Commons library show shocking levels of income inequality if financial trends continue in the way they have done since the 2008 crash.
Statistics reveal the top one per cent will account for 64 per cent of global wealth, which will total £216.5trillion in 12 years time - £99trillion higher than it is today.
They also show the richest one per cent has been growing much faster than it has previously, at an average of six per cent a year.
New figures from the House of Commons library show the world's richest one per cent are on track to own two thirds of global wealth by 2030
Experts believe increasing disparity will come as a result of higher saving rates among the wealthy and the accumulation of stocks and other assets, which bring disproportionate benefits, reports The Guardian.
A survey carried out by consultants Opinium shows UK voters are increasingly concerned by how much power the world's richest have.
It showed 34 per cent of those surveyed believe the super rich will yield the most power in 12 years time, while 28 per cent thought it would be national governments.
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The poll also revealed fears disparity will lead to increasing corruption, as the top one per cent take over politicians as the most influential on the global stage.
It was commissioned by former Labour cabinet minister Liam Byrne, as MPs, academics, business leaders and trade unions club together to take on growing inequality.
Mr Byrne wants to put pressure on G20 leaders after declaring global inequality is 'at tipping point'.
Actor Michael Sheen is also backing the calls, after taking a step back from his Hollywood career to campaign against credit providers.
Statistics reveal the top one per cent will account for 64 per cent of global wealth, which will total £216.5trillion in 12 years time - £99trillion higher than it is today
WHO, BUT FEINSTEIN and HILLARY WORK HARDER FOR CRIMINAL BANKSTERS AND THE LA RAZA HORDES THAN THIS CORRUPT BITCH???
THE PLUNDERING BARONESS PELOSI:
Nancy Pelosi triples her loot since the banksters nearly destroyed America’s economy and demands endless hordes of illegals to keep wages depressed!
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Screen Capture)
(CNSNews.com) - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) said today that the jobs report for March, which showed unemployment holding at 4.1 percent, indicates that “the wealthiest 1 percent continue to hoard the benefits of the U.S. economy.”
BLOG: SUCH A FUCKING LIE!!!
DEMS ARE THE PARTY FOR OPEN BORDERS, LA RAZA SUPREMACY, NO E-VERIFY AND NO LEGAL NEED APPLY!
"Democrats will never stop fighting for the hard-working middle class families who are the backbone of our nation," Pelosi said.
Here is Pelosi’s statement following the release of the March jobs report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
“March’s disappointing jobs report shows that corporations and the wealthiest 1 percent continue to hoard the benefits of the U.S. economy. Powerful special interests are reaping massive windfalls from the GOP tax scam, while workers are denied the raises and good-paying jobs they deserve.
“From the start, the White House and Republicans in Congress have put themselves and their rich donors first, and the American people last. Corporations are cheering their huge new tax breaks by enriching their executives and investors, while hard-working men and women see little help and rising health costs.
“Democrats are fighting to give the American people a better deal, with better jobs, better wages and a better future. We are committed to creating millions of new good-paying jobs and raising wages, lowering the soaring cost of living for families and giving every American the tools to succeed in the 21st Century economy. Democrats will never stop fighting for the hard-working middle class families who are the backbone of our nation.”
NANCY PELOSI, and her LA RAZA SISTERS, SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, FORMER SEN. BARBARA BOXER and NOW SEN. KAMALA HARRIS are a pantheon of staggering self-serving corruption.
They and their families have all gotten filthy rich off of these women’s elected office.
Their endless hispandering for the illegals’ votes has turned California into Mexifornia, a drug, gang and anchor baby welfare third-world dumpster!
ANYONE KNOW IF THE OL’ BARONESS AND CLOSET REPUBLICAN USES ILLEGALS AT THER ST. HELENA, NAPA WINERY? SHE’S LOTHE TO PAY LEGALS A LIVING WAGES. BUT THEN THE CATASTROPHIC NAPA FIRE WAS CAUSED BY ONE OF HER ILLEGALS, SO PERHAPS HER PLACE BURNED DOWN!
Pelosi's corrupt insider passing of bills that make her rich.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's home House District includes San Francisco.
Star-Kist Tuna's headquarters are in San Francisco, Pelosi's home district.
Star-Kist is owned by Del Monte Foods and is a major contributor to Pelosi.
Star-Kist is the major employer in American Samoa employing 75% of the Samoan workforce.
Paul Pelosi, Nancy's husband, owns $17 million dollars of Star-Kist stock.
In January, 2007 when the minimum wage was increased from $5.15 to $7.25, Pelosi had American Samoa exempted from the increase so Del Monte would not have to pay the higher wage. This would make Del Monte products less expensive than their competition's.
Last week when the huge bailout bill was passed, Pelosi added an earmark to the final bill adding $33 million dollars for an "economic development credit in American Samoa".
Pelosi has called the Bush Administration "corrupt".
In an unfortunate coincidence for Amazon, on the same day a puffy public relations piece about the retail giant’s pampering of 6,000 dogs made the rounds through our compliant media, so dida report about warehouse employees being forced to urinate into bottles in order to keep up with their respective work quotas without sanction.
At the retail giant’s 8.1 million square foot Seattle headquarters, life is not only good for Amazon’s employees, but 6,000 of their pets, who are not only allowed to spend the day with their owners at work, but enjoy all kinds of perks, including treats at every reception desk, a doggie deck where they can run around, and even a leash-free park.
While no one with a heart could begrudge the pampering of any animal, especially man’s best friend, the comparison to how poorly Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (who also owns the far-left Washington Post) reportedly treats a countless number of his employees, could not be more striking.
“The target grows every year. I do not have two more legs yet to make the 100% to pick, where you actually need to run and go to the toilet just during the break,” one Amazon warehouse worker who works in the UK, reported. Others claimed that they avoid “drinking water throughout their work shift for fear of having to use the toilet.”
For those of us who worked on the top floor, the closest toilets were down four flights of stairs,” claimed James Bloodworth, an undercover investigator. “People just peed in bottles because they lived in fear of being disciplined over ‘idle time’ and losing their jobs just because they needed the loo.”
Other reports have found that, unlike those Seattle-based dogs and their 17th floor bathroom amenities, one fulfillment center (read warehouse) in the UK offered its working class employees “disgusting and ill-maintained toilets are over a quarter mile away within the vast complex.” At this same complex, an investigative reporter found “staff asleep on their feet, exhausted,” adding that “those who could not keep up with the punishing targets faced the sack – and some who buckled under the strain had to be attended to by ambulance crews.”
According to these reports, Bezos appears to have created a disturbing caste system within his empire. The white collar employees and their pets are treated like royalty, while the working class are treated like paid slaves.
Bezos’ Washington Post, the left-wing news outlet President Trump has accused of acting as an Amazon lobbying firm, has already published 39 stories about Amazon this month, many of them in defense of Amazon, but not a word about Monday’s undercover report about working conditions being so bad, warehouse workers are peeing in bottles.
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