Wednesday, March 20, 2019


“This was not because of difficulties in securing indictments or convictions. On the contrary, Attorney General Eric Holder told a Senate committee in March of 2013 that the Obama administration chose not to prosecute the big banks or their CEOs because to do so might “have a negative impact on the national economy.”

The big banks have changed in many ways. Listen to their chief executives. Look at their businesses. Dive into their balance sheets. Much suggests that the largest lenders are no longer the unstable giants that cratered the global economy a decade ago.

But banking is also a powerful industry that knows how to resist change. The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 was Congress’s attempt to make banks stronger and better behaved. While the legislation overhauled much of what banks do, much remains the same.



"One of the premier institutions of big business, JP Morgan Chase, issued an internal report on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the 2008 crash, which warned that another “great liquidity crisis” was possible, and that a government bailout on the scale of that effected by Bush and Obama will produce social unrest, “in light of the potential impact of central bank actions in driving inequality between asset owners and labor."  

This manufactured crisis has, in turn, been exploited by the Obama administration and both big business parties to hand over trillions in pension funds and other public assets to the financial kleptocracy that rules America.
 “Our entire crony capitalist system, Democrat and Republican alike, has become a kleptocracy approaching par with third-world hell-holes.  This is the way a great country is raided by its elite.” ---- Karen McQuillan  THEAMERICAN

“This was not because of difficulties in securing indictments or convictions. On the contrary, Attorney General Eric Holder told a Senate committee in March of 2013 that the Obama administration chose not to prosecute the big banks or their CEOs because to do so might “have a negative impact on the national economy.”



"One of the premier institutions of big business, JP Morgan Chase, issued an internal report on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the 2008 crash, which warned that another “great liquidity crisis” was possible, and that a government bailout on the scale of that effected by Bush and Obama will produce social unrest, “in light of the potential impact of central bank actions in driving inequality between asset owners and labor."   

Bokhari: On Immigration, Guns, and Speech, Banks Act as a Shadow Government

US banks eyeing trade spat as earnings rise

JPMorgan Chase announced earlier this month that it would stop doing business with private prisons, following pressure from Democrats and progressive activists who know that the private prison sector provides key services to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The decision by JPMorgan is the latest in an increasingly popular tactic by the far left, which is to use the private sector to achieve policy objectives that would be politically or constitutionally impossible if attempted via government.
It also followed a similar decision by Wells Fargo in January, which said it would reduce its business relationships with private prisons as part of its “environmental and social risk management.”
Thanks to a craven corporate sector that allows itself to be led by a vocal minority of activists, the ability of ICE to do its job has suffered a significant blow, despite there being no democratic mandate for undermining the agency’s efforts to curb illegal immigration. Even a majority of Democrat voters oppose the far-left plot to abolish ICE – but if democracy mattered to the far-left, they wouldn’t be using unelected corporations to implement policy in the first place.
As Breitbart Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak wrote in a recent column, socialist Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is trying to pull off a similar trick with environmental policy, using her political bully pulpit to pressure banks into abandoning investment in the Dakota Access Pipeline. Despite having support from the region’s elected representatives – including former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat – far-left politicians representing districts hundreds of miles away from the pipeline once again want to use corporations to override democracy.
It’s a similar story with guns. Unable to rid America of its pesky second amendment, the left have instead heaped pressure on big banks to make it impossible for firearms businesses to operate. Last year saw a surge of crackdowns by financial services against the gun industry: Citibank said it would not do business with companies that sell “high capacity magazines,” while Bank of America said it would cut ties with gun stores that sell “AR-style” weapons. The online payment processor Stripe, already known for financially blacklisting right-wingers, doesn’t process payments for any kind of gun business. Only Wells Fargo has refused to join the trend, correctly stating that it is not a bank’s job to set U.S. firearms policy. 
Then, of course, there’s free speech. For independent and right-wing journalists and activists, financial blacklisting is on the rise. Not content with pressuring social media platforms to censor their opponents, progressives want banks, credit cards, online funding platforms and payment processors to cut off their livelihoods as well. Over the past two years, many of these companies have caved in — credit cards have withdrawn service from critics of Islam like Robert Spencer, while online funding platforms like Patreon have removed independent commentators like Carl Benjamin and journalists like Lauren Southern. More recently, Chase Bank was accused of withdrawing service from its customers for political reasons, although a company spokesman insisted its reasons were politically neutral.
Whether it’s gun policy, immigration, energy or censorship, the left has found a method of imposing its will that’s far more efficient than dealing with the American system of government, designed as it was to contain the worst impulses of political radicals. Sick of these constitutional inconveniences, the far-left now intend to enact tyranny through the politically-motivated harassment of the private sector — and the private sector is seeming only too happy to oblige. Can conservatives be awakened from their laissez-faire, free market stupor in time to stop it?
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. You can follow him on and add him on Facebook. Email tips and suggestions to



Income inequality grows FOUR TIMES FASTER under Obama than Bush.

“By the time of Bill Clinton’s election in 1992, the Democratic Party had completely repudiated its association with the reforms of the New Deal and Great Society periods. Clinton gutted welfare programs to provide an ample supply of cheap labor for the rich (WHICH NOW MEANS OPEN BORDERS AND NO E-VERIFY!), including a growing layer of black capitalists, and passed the 1994 Federal Crime Bill, with its notorious “three strikes” provision that has helped create the largest prison population in the world.”

Obamanomics: How Barack Obama Is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, Corporate Lobbyists, and Union Bosses


 Editorial Reviews

Obama Is Making You Poorer—But Who’s Getting Rich?

Goldman Sachs, GE, Pfizer, the United Auto Workers—the same “special interests” Barack Obama was supposed to chase from the temple—are profiting handsomely from Obama’s Big Government policies that crush taxpayers, small businesses, and consumers. In Obamanomics, investigative reporter Timothy P. Carney digs up the dirt the mainstream media ignores and the White House wishes you wouldn’t see. Rather than Hope and Change, Obama is delivering corporate socialism to America, all while claiming he’s battling corporate America. It’s corporate welfare and regulatory robbery—it’s OBAMANOMICS TO SERVE THE RICH AND GLOBALIST BILLIONAIRES.



Anti-Semitic, open borders for cheaper labor and funded by criminal banksters… and these pols are making vast fortunes sucking the blood of America!

We must not let them cheat their way to power over the rest of us.  Their ongoing vote fraud must be stopped and the Democrats need to take a look at themselves and at what they have become. It's not a pretty picture.  What they have become threatens to destroy the greatest nation on the planet and they are doing it on purpose.  They have nothing but contempt for the US as founded and for those of us who love this country. PATRICIA McCARTHY – AMERICAN THINKER

“Then we suffered the rattling election of Barack Obama, whose active membership in a white-, Jewish-, and America-hating church was well known to the electorate.  His close personal relationship with the likes of his adored Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan was no secret.  Obama was open about his goals.  He told us he was out to "fundamentally transform America" and the world.”  ALAN BERGSTEIN

“There is a deep racist and anti-Semitic disease in the leadership of the Democrats. As Senator Cory Booker brings his hatred for the Jewish State to the Senate, he should be asked whether he agrees with his hero, “The only good Zionist is a dead Zionist we must take a lesson from Hitler”. DANIEL GREENFIELD

This manufactured crisis has, in turn, been exploited by the Obama administration and both big business parties to hand over trillions in pension funds and other public assets to the financial kleptocracy that rules America.
 “Our entire crony capitalist system, Democrat and Republican alike, has become a kleptocracy approaching par with third-world hell-holes.  This is the way a great country is raided by its elite.” ---- Karen McQuillan  THEAMERICAN

“This was not because of difficulties in securing indictments or convictions. On the contrary, Attorney General Eric Holder told a Senate committee in March of 2013 that the Obama administration chose not to prosecute the big banks or their CEOs because to do so might “have a negative impact on the national economy.”

BARACK OBAMA POSITIONS MARK ZUCKERBERG of FAKEBOOK to be his global controller of propaganda for the Obama bankster-funded third term for life.

“They knew Obama was an unqualified crook; yet they promoted him. They knew Obama was a train wreck waiting to happen; yet they made him president, to the great injury of America and the world. They understood he was only a figurehead, an egomaniac, and a liar; yet they made him king, doing great harm to our republic (perhaps irreparable.)” ALLAN ERICKSON

The Banks Changed. Except for

All the Ways They’re the Same.

A decade ago this week, Wall Street imploded. Read our special coverage.

The big banks have changed in many ways. Listen to their chief executives. Look at their businesses. Dive into their balance sheets. Much suggests that the largest lenders are no longer the unstable giants that cratered the global economy a decade ago.
But banking is also a powerful industry that knows how to resist change. The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 was Congress’s attempt to make banks stronger and better behaved. While the legislation overhauled much of what banks do, much remains the same.

Banks rebuilt from the wreckage

Heading into 2008, the biggest firms simply weren’t made to withstand a storm. They didn’t have sufficient capital, the financial cushion that absorbs losses. Common equity, the amount shareholders have invested in a company, is a good measure of that cushion.
$630 billion
$1.1 trillion
Common equity is now a greater proportion of the top 10 firms’ assets, or the loans, securities and trading positions on their balance sheets, according to company filings and an analysis by The New York Times.
Capital wasn’t the only weak point in 2008. The big banks were also dangerously dependent on short-term borrowing like commercial paper and repo loans to finance their lending and trading. That type of borrowing dried up when Lehman Brothers went bankrupt and investors got spooked, crippling the broader financial system. Large banks have cut back on their use of this borrowing, according to figures from the Federal Reserve.

But a few top firms still dominate

The biggest financial institutions have only gotten bigger. This increases the likelihood that taxpayers will be called on again to rescue these behemoths if they get into serious trouble.
The total assets of the five largest U.S. banks as a share of all U.S. bank assets.
Source: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
And despite complaints that the new regulations would hamper growth, banks rake in huge profits. Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, the United States’ largest bank, suggested this year that a new golden age of banking was underway.

Their top ranks don’t look that different

In 2008, none of the 10 largest financial firms had female chief executives; the same is true today.
Mr. Dimon still runs JPMorgan Chase. The incoming chief of Goldman Sachs could be mistaken for the departing one.
Outgoing: Lloyd C. BlankfeinMichelle V. Agins/The New York Times

Incoming: David M. SolomonPatrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
But chief executive pay is down. In 2006, the last year before tremors started to hit the banking system, the chief executives of the top 10 American financial firms earned $36.3 million on average. In 2017, their average compensation was $20.3 million.

They have significant influence in Washington

Under President Trump, deregulation is again de rigueur. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, set up after the crisis to prevent abusive lending practices, has been defanged. Regulators have started to chip away at capital rules. And they have loosened the Volcker Rule, a landmark post-crisis regulation that bars banks from trading for their own profit.
“Dodd-Frank is a disaster. We’re going to be doing a big number on Dodd-Frank.”
— President Trump

And banks still do bad things

Since the financial crisis, United States banks have paid out roughly $175 billion in legal settlements, mainly for deceptive mortgage practices before the crisis, according to data compiled by Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.
Bank of America
$76 billion
JPMorgan Chase
Wells Fargo
Morgan Stanley
Source: Keefe, Bruyette & Woods
But banks were involved in plenty of other types of wrongdoing, like the manipulation of a key benchmark known as Libor, the rigging of foreign exchange markets, the aiding of tax evasion and the failure to crack down on money laundering. Most of these had little to do with the financial crisis, and some of this misconduct took place after 2008. As Wells Fargo’s recent scandals show, some bankers are still abusing their customers.
In an affidavit filed last year as part of a shareholder lawsuit, a former manager of a Wells Fargo branch (which the company called “stores”) described some of that abuse.
The branch manager, Ricky M. Hansen Jr. of Scottsdale, Ariz., was fired after contacting the bank’s ethics hotline about illegal accounts he had seen being opened by his coworkers.
Mr. Hansen’s boss, John Vasquez, had warned him not to call the hotline, saying those people were “a pain to deal with.” Mr. Vasquez was later promoted to district manager.


·         Sept. 12, 2018
A decade ago this week, Wall Street imploded. Read our special coverage.

Once a year or so, the economist Diane Swonk ventures into the basement of her 1891 Victorian house outside Chicago and opens a plastic box containing the items that mean the most to her: awards, wedding pictures, the clothes she was wearing at the World Trade Center on the day it was attacked. But what she seeks out again and again is a bound diary of the events of the financial crisis and their aftermath.
“It’s useful to go back and see what a chaotic time it was and how terrifying it was,” she said. “That time is seared in my mind. I looked at it again recently, and all the pain came flooding back.”
A decade later, things are eerily calm. The economy, by nearly any official measure, is robust. Wall Street is flirting with new highs. And the housing market, the epicenter of the crash, has recovered in many places. But like the diary stored in Ms. Swonk’s basement, the scars of the financial crisis and the ensuing Great Recession are still with us, just below the surface.
The most profound of these is that the uneven nature of the recovery compounded a long-term imbalance in the accumulation of wealth. As a consequence, what it means to be secure has changed. Wealth, real wealth, now comes from investment portfolios, not salaries. Fortunes are made through an initial public offering, a grant of stock options, a buyout or another form of what high-net-worth individuals call a liquidity event.
Data from the Federal Reserve show that over the last decade and a half, the proportion of family income from wages has dropped from nearly 70 percent to just under 61 percent. It’s an extraordinary shift, driven largely by the investment profits of the very wealthy. In short, the people who possess tradable assets, especially stocks, have enjoyed a recovery that Americans dependent on savings or income from their weekly paycheck have yet to see. Ten years after the financial crisis, getting ahead by going to work every day seems quaint, akin to using the phone book to find a number or renting a video at Blockbuster.
The financial crisis didn’t just kill the dream of getting rich from your day job. It also put an end to a fundamental belief of the middle class: that owning a home was always a good idea because prices moved in only one direction — up. The bubble, while it lasted, gave millions in the middle class a sense of validation of their financial acumen, and made them feel as if they had done the Right Thing.
In theory, if you lost your job, or suffered some other kind of financial setback, you could always sell into a real estate market that was forever rising. Ever-higher home prices became a steam valve, and the “greater fool” theory substituted for any conventional measure of value.
The kindling for the fire that consumed Wall Street and nearly the entire economy was mortgages that should never have been taken out in the first place. Homeowners figured the more house the better, whether or not their income could support the monthly payment, while greedy banks and middlemen were all too happy to encourage them.

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Where Brexit Hurts: The Nurses and Doctors Leaving London

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Barry Jenkins’s Films of Love, Pain and Black Male Vulnerability

Ten years ago, Lehman Brothers collapsed. Everything changed.

 Read more in our series »

When the bubble burst, the bedrock investment for many families was wiped out by a combination of falling home values and too much debt. A decade after this debacle, the typical middle-class family’s net worth is still more than $40,000 below where it was in 2007, according to the Federal Reserve. The damage done to the middle-class psyche is impossible to price, of course, but no one doubts that it was vast.

Banks were hurt, too, but aside from the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the pain proved transitory. Bankers themselves were never punished for their sins. In one form or another — the Troubled Asset Relief Program, quantitative easing, the Fed’s discount window — the financial sector was supported in spectacular fashion.

Trump and the Aristocracy of Fraud

Government of tax cheats, by tax cheats, for tax cheats.

Opinion Columnist
·         Oct. 4, 2018
It turns out that I may have done Donald Trump an injustice.
You see, I’ve always been skeptical of his claims to be a great dealmaker. But what we’ve just learned is that his negotiating prowess began early. Indeed, it was so amazing that he was already making $200,000 a year in today’s dollars at a very young age.
Specifically, that’s what he was making when he was 3 years old. He was a millionaire by the age of 8. Of course, the money came from his father — who spent decades evading the taxes he was legally required to pay on money given to his children.
The blockbuster New York Times report on the Trump family’s history of fraud is really about two distinct although linked kinds of fraudulence.
On one side, the family engaged in tax fraud on a huge scale, using a variety of money-laundering techniques to avoid paying what it owed. On the other, the story Donald Trump tells about his life — his depiction of himself as a self-made businessman who made billions starting from humble roots — has always been a lie: Not only did he inherit his wealth, receiving the equivalent of more than $400 million from his father, but Fred Trump bailed his son out after deals went bad.
One implication of these revelations is that Trump supporters who imagine that they’ve found a straight-talking champion who will drain the swamp while using his business acumen to make America great again have been suckered, bigly.
But the tale of the Trump money is part of a bigger story. Even among those unhappy at the extent to which we live in an era of soaring inequality and growing concentration of wealth at the top, there has been a tendency to believe that great wealth is, more often than not, earned more or less honestly. It’s only now that the amounts of sheer corruption and lawbreaking that underlie our march toward oligarchy have started to come into focus.
Until recently, my guess is that most economists, even tax experts, would have agreed that tax avoidance by corporations and the wealthy — which is legal — was a big issue, but tax evasion — hiding money from the tax man — was a lesser one. It was obvious that some rich people were exploiting legal if morally dubious loopholes in the tax code, but the prevailing view was that simply defrauding the tax authorities and hence the public wasn’t that widespread in advanced countries.
But this view always rested on shaky foundations. After all, tax evasion, almost by definition, doesn’t show up in official statistics, and the super-wealthy aren’t in the habit of mouthing off about what great tax cheats they are. To get a real picture of how much fraud is going on, you either have to do what The Times did — exhaustively investigate the finances of a particular family — or rely on lucky breaks that reveal what was previously hidden.
Two years ago, a huge lucky break came in the form of the Panama Papers, a trove of data leaked from a Panamanian law firm that specialized in helping people hide their wealth in offshore havens, and a smaller leak from HSBC. While the unsavory details revealed by these leaks made headlines right away, their true significance has only become clear with work done by Berkeley’s Gabriel Zucman and associates in cooperation with Scandinavian tax authorities.
Matching information from the Panama Papers and other leaks with national tax data, these researchers found that outright tax evasion actually is a big deal at the top. The truly wealthy end up paying a much lower effective tax rate than the merely rich, not because of loopholes in tax law, but because they break the law. The wealthiest taxpayers, the researchers found, pay on average 25 percent less than they owe — and, of course, many individuals pay even less.
This is a big number. If America’s wealthy evade taxes on the same scale (which they almost surely do), they’re probably costing the government around as much as the food stamp program does. And they’re also using tax evasion to entrench their privilege and pass it on to their heirs, which is the real Trump story.
The obvious question is, what are our elected representatives doing about this epidemic of cheating? Well, Republicans in Congress have been on the case for years: They’ve been systematically defunding the Internal Revenue Service, crippling its ability to investigate tax fraud. We don’t just have government by tax cheats; we have government of tax cheats, for tax cheats.
What we’re learning, then, is that the story of what’s happening to our society is even worse than we thought. It’s not just that the president of the United States is, as veteran tax reporter David Cay Johnston put it, a “financial vampire,” cheating taxpayers the way he has cheated just about everyone else who deals with him.
Beyond that, our trend toward oligarchy — rule by the few — is also looking more and more like kakistocracy — rule by the worst, or at least the most unscrupulous. The corruption isn’t subtle; on the contrary, it’s cruder than almost anyone imagined. It also runs deep, and it has infected our politics, quite literally up to its highest levels.
Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTopinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter.
Paul Krugman has been an Opinion columnist since 2000 and is also a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He won the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on international trade and economic geography. @PaulKrugman

Watch–Wells Fargo CEO Grilled for Outsourcing American Jobs to India


Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan was grilled during a congressional hearing this week for the multinational corporation’s outsourcing scheme that has left thousands of Americans out of work.

Last year, Wells Fargo executives announced that about 26,500 employees at the company would be laid off after years of the corporation’s outsourcing and offshoring of American jobs to India and the Philippines. In 2017, about 650 American workers were laid off by Wells Fargo in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington.
At the same time, Americans were being laid off, the multinational bank announced it would hire an additional 7,000 workers in the Philippines to add to its 4,000-strong workforce in the country.
In 2018, Wells Fargo executives said nearly 640 American workers would soon be let go and would not certify that those jobs would not be sent to India or the Philippines, as has been the case in the past.
Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA) questioned Sloan over the corporation’s outsourcing of American jobs. In one case, Axne explained, a Wells Fargo worker in Des Moines, Iowa was allegedly told by executives that her job was being moved to India.
Axne also detailed cases where Wells Fargo employees in Des Moines were allegedly sent to India to train their foreign replacements and have trained their replacements through “virtual classrooms” before they were laid off.
The exchange went as follows:
AXNE: In September 2018 Wells Fargo announced it planned to reduce its work force by laying off as many as 26,000 workers. In November 2018, Wells announced it was laying off 1,000 employees – 400 of those were in Des Moines, correct?
SLOAN: We never announced that we were going to layoff up to 26,000 employees. what I said at a town hall where I —
AXNE: Did you layoff 400 employees in Des Moines?
SLOAN: I was referring to the first part of your question. That’s not an accurate statement. Generally what I said was that between — that over the next three years, we expect our total employment to reduce by between five and 10% —
AXNE: I’m concerned about the people in my District. Were 400 of those people in Des Moines?
SLOAN: 400 folks were displaced in Des Moines.
AXNE: What was the reason for that layoff in Des Moines?
SLOAN: It depended upon their job. Some of those folks were displaced because of the fact that the amount of servicing demand that we had in the mortgage servicing business had declined. There were other reasons —
AXNE: I have a signed affidavit here saying that an employee in Des Moines was told her job was being moved to India and employees in that area have gone to India to train those replacements and I’ve heard from employees that are using your virtual classrooms for that same purpose to train other people in other companies. Are these recent layoffs really just you moving jobs overseas?
SLOAN: No. That’s incorrect.
AXNE: You’ve added more than 10,000 employees between India and the Philippines in the last five years and I know you’re building a new facility in Philippines for another 7,000 employees I believe. Can we expect that more of your planned layoffs are going to be jobs moved overseas?
SLOAN: No. I don’t believe that’s going to be the case. We have 20,000 job opening at Wells Fargo today. 90% of those are here in the US, probably more than that. We hire between 40 and 50,000 —
AXNE: I fail to understand, though, how we’re laying people off in this country and building jobs overseas. thank you.
In Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District in 2018, there were more than 2,000 H-1B foreign visa workers employed at a variety of companies earning mostly between $60,000 to $80,000 a year — U.S. jobs that would have otherwise gone to American middle class professionals. Wells Fargo, as of 2018, employed 36 H-1B foreign visa workers in Iowa’s 3rd District.
Every year, more than 100,000 foreign workers are brought to the U.S. on the H-1B visa and allowed to stay for up to six years. There are about 650,000 H-1B visa foreign workers in the U.S. at any given moment. Americans are often laid off in the process and forced to train their foreign replacements, as highlighted by Breitbart News. More than 85,000 Americans a year potentially lose their jobs to foreign labor through the H-1B visa program.
Wells Fargo has consistently imported foreign workers through the H-1B visa program to take high-paying, white-collar U.S. jobs. Between 2015 and 2017, Wells Fargo tried to import nearly 400 foreign workers to take jobs in the U.S.
Cheap, foreign labor is the most prominent driver of multinational corporations outsourcing American workers’ jobs to third-world nations.
For instance, while the average yearly American family’s income is roughly $73,000, the average family’s income in the Phillippines is about $5,200 U.S. dollars, making it a haven for multinational corporations to exploit cheap labor, lay off Americans, and widen executives’ profit margins.
Outsourcing and the offshoring of American jobs to foreign countries is a business model that has been embraced by multinational corporations. Corporations like AT&THarley-DavidsonRalph LaurenNike, and IBM have all laid off Americans in order to send their jobs overseas.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.

Median CEO pay in US tops $1 million a month

The median income for 132 CEOs of major US corporations jumped to $12.4 million in 2018, more than $1 million a month, according to an analysis published Sunday by the Wall Street Journal. The CEOs, representing about one-quarter of the S&P 500 firms for which figures have thus far been released, saw pay rises of about 6.4 percent apiece compared to 2017.
The CEO gains were driven by rising stock prices for the year, despite a sharp drop in December 2018, the worst December for the financial markets since the Great Depression. Assuming the pay rises for the remaining CEOs in the S&P 500 match those of the first group, 2018 would mark the third consecutive year of record CEO pay in the United States.
Bob Iger, CEO of Disney
Among the biggest payouts were $66 million for Robert Iger, longtime CEO of Walt Disney Co., $44.7 million for Richard Handler, CEO of Jefferies Financial Group, and $42 million for Stephen MacMillan, CEO of medical equipment maker Hologic Inc. Patrick McHale of Minneapolis-based manufacturer Graco Corp. made $34.9 million in 2018.
Some CEOs outside the S&P 500 received even bigger windfalls, topped by the $125 million for Nikesh Arora, a former Google executive who became CEO of Palo Alto Networks, a cybersecurity company, only in June 2018.
Corporate criminals like the CEO of Boeing and the heads of the major banks suffered no consequences from the devastation that their actions have caused for their own workers and the population as a whole.
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg received $23.4 million after a year that ended with the crash of a 737 Max jetliner operated by Lion Air of Indonesia, killing 189 people. Two weeks ago, a second crash of a 737 Max, this time in Ethiopia, killed 157 people and led to the worldwide grounding of all the 737 Max 8 and Max 9 jets made by the company. Boeing stock plunged 10 percent, wiping out $25 billion in stock market value.
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase
Among bankers, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase topped the list with $31 million, while Brian Moynihan of Bank of America received $23 million. Along with Goldman Sachs, these banks played central roles in precipitating the 2008 Wall Street crash.
Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan saw a pay rise to $16.4 million, including his first-ever bonus, despite the company’s stock plunging 24 percent due to the scandal involving the creation of millions of false accounts for customers, leading to fines and regulatory penalties.
Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett received a 10 percent raise in 2018, raking in $17.75 million, while the company continues to slash jobs both in the United States and internationally. According to press reports, the Ford CEO received 276 times the median pay for all Ford employees. General Motors has yet to report the 2018 compensation for CEO Mary Barra, who made $21.9 million in 2017.
Jim Hackett, CEO of Ford
A study reported last month in the magazine Institutional Investor found that median CEO pay at major US corporations has soared over the past four decades—from $1.8 million in the 1980s to $4.1 million in the 1990s, reaching $9.2 million in the early 2000s.
Following a drop after the 2008 Wall Street crash, when CEO compensation was driven down by falling share prices, the combined compensation from pay, stock options and bonuses for corporate bosses has returned to the level that prevailed before the financial crisis. In contrast, most workers have seen no significant recovery.
CEO pay has risen nearly 72 percent since the low point in 2009 and is now just 3.3 percent below the record levels set in 2007, on the eve of the financial collapse. According to the study reported in Institutional Investor, CEO pay grew 17.6 percent between 2016 and 2017 alone, while average pay for workers rose by only 0.3 percent.
The ratio of CEO pay to the pay of the average worker has risen from 20-1 in 1965 to 30-1 in 1978, 58-1 in 1989, 112-1 in 1995 and a record 344-1 in 2000. After the dip following the 2008 crash, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio rose back to 312-1 in 2017.
One corporate CEO’s record pay package deserves particular attention: Daniel Loepp, CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the largest insurer in the state, covering the majority of autoworkers and other industrial workers, as well as auto retirees. Loepp has seen his annual compensation rocket from $1 million in 2006, when he became CEO, to $9 million in 2015, $13.4 million in 2017 and $19.2 million in 2018, including a staggering bonus of $16.2 million.
Daniel Loepp, CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Loepp’s bonus was “only” $10.4 million in 2017, and the $5.8 million raise in his bonus was due to meeting “performance targets” set by the corporate board. These targets included slashing corporate expenses by $360 million over the past three years, through cuts in jobs and employee compensation. Loepp also pushed through a cut in the health care coverage for Blue Cross retirees, who had expected, having worked for a health care company, that their benefits would be secure.
Loepp is by far the best-paid chief executive officer of a company that is still nominally not-for-profit—but posted an “operating margin” last year of $605 million—and which, because of its longstanding relationship with the auto industry, the UAW and the AFL-CIO, has eight union executives on its board of directors.
These union officials approved the bonus and other compensation for Loepp and set the “targets” that Loepp had to meet, which were achieved by cutting the jobs and benefits of Blue Cross Blue Shield workers, many of them members of the UAW, as well as benefits for workers insured by the company, which is the principal health insurer for unionized workers across the state.
The Detroit Free Press contacted the eight union officials, including those from the UAW, Michigan Education Association, Michigan Building Trades Council, and Michigan AFL-CIO, to question them about the basis for Loepp’s whopping bonus and raise. Seven did not respond, while the Teamsters Union representative on the board of directors defended the $19.2 million payout.
William Black, executive director of Michigan Teamsters Joint Council 43, said in an email to the newspaper: “We at the board are sensitive to compensation issues, and we have emphasized that pay be tied to performance... His compensation is heavily weighted against company performance, as it should be. That performance has been very strong in recent years.”

This statement underscores the scurrilous and thoroughly corrupt role of the unions in supporting the profit system and the gouging of union members to enrich the capitalists and the corporate bosses. The union executives have far more in common with Loepp than with the workers they claim to represent. In institutions like the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, the union officials preside over multibillion-dollar corporate entities with salaries and bonuses that are modeled on those of the Loepps, Hacketts and Jamie Dimons.

Exclusive–Alan Tonelson: ‘Completely Unapologetic’ Globalists Who Oversaw Great Recession Are ‘Fueling Populism’

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 24: Protesters gather outside of the New York Stock Exchange October 24, 2008 in New York City. The demonstrators were frustrated with the goverment bailout package and voiced concerns about poor and working class Americans. It was another tumultuous week on Wall St. with the Dow …
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Economist Alan Tonelson, founder of the economics and public policy blog RealityChek, says the political and economic establishment that oversaw the Great Recession is “fueling populism” by being “completely unapologetic” about the failures of their globalist ideology.

In an exclusive interview with SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Tonight, Tonelson reflected on a lengthy Washington Post essay by the Brookings Institute’s Robert Kagan that decries the rise of populist-nationalist movements like President Trump’s election, France’s Marine Le Pen, Hungary’s Viktor Orb├ín, and Brexit in the United Kingdom.
Tonelson said the same economic and political elites that drove the U.S. into the Great Recession of the 2000s, championed the invasion of Iraq, and support an open borders, low-wage economic model refuse to acknowledge their failures:
I would put first and foremost, though the global financial crisis and Great Recession, whose aftermath is still very much with us … I mean, you could finish this humongously long Robert Kagan piece — which as we said represents what the establishment wants you to know about what America needs to do in the world and especially why it’s vital to get rid of Donald Trump ASAP — you would finish this immensely long piece without ever knowing that there was a global financial crisis, without ever knowing that the same elites whose agenda [Kagan] so strongly supports nearly brought the entire global economy down, produced the worst economic slump since the Great Depression of the 1930s, a slump that was so deep that it still lingers on in so many ways. [Emphasis added]
The growth rates have been very weakened, the wage growth has been very weakened until very recently and its not gangbusters right now either. And this is what the American people were furious about. They lost jobs, they lost incomes, they lost homes, they lost savings, and not only has no one responsible really paid any price whatsoever, but the same establishment is completely unapologetic and reacts to any criticism of its alleged expertise with words and phrases like “deplorables” and “know-nothings” and “racists” and xenophobes,” etc. [Emphasis added]
These “unapologetic” elites, Tonelson said, are driving populist-nationalist movements around the worlds.
“This is what continues fueling populism not only in this country but around the world because Europe’s elites have been unapologetic too,” Tonelson said.
Trump’s “America First,” economic nationalist agenda is vastly popular across the countryand American electorate. Most recent polling from the Harvard/Harris Poll revealed that about 3-in-4 support an immigration policy that puts the needs of American citizens first. Likewise, 65 percent of voters said they preferred political candidates who support imposing tariffs on China to protect U.S. industry and jobs, and nearly 3-in-4 voters said they would be more likely to support a candidate who opposes endless foreign wars.
The Great Recession spurred nationwide job loss for America’s working and middle class, with unemployed peaking at 10 percent in October 2009. The U.S. construction and manufacturing industries experienced the worst employment declines. At the same time, in 2008, the country’s biggest banks were bailed out to the sum of $700 billion dollars in U.S. taxpayer money.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder

Maxine Waters: Wells Fargo CEO ‘Should Be Shown the Door’

The Associated Press
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said that Wells Fargo should oust its president and CEO Timothy Sloan after the bank announced it would give him a pay raise.

Waters said Sloan “should be shown the door”
 after Wells Fargo released a 
regulatory filing Wednesday showing that 
Sloan received a nearly $1 million pay raise— 
a 4.9 percent salary increase from the 
previous year— and took home an $18.4 
million salary in 2018.
Sloan reportedly made 284 times more than the median salary for a Wells Fargo employee.
The bank disclosed Sloan’s compensation, which included a $2 million bonus, the day after members of the House Financial Services Committee on both sides of the aisle grilled him for what Waters called “ongoing lawlessness” by Wells Fargo.
Waters said the decision for the company to give Sloan a raise considering the circumstances was “outrageous and wholly inappropriate” given how the bank spent billions of dollars in 2018 paying fines to regulators and settling legal disputes.
“It was very clear from Mr. Sloan’s testimony that Wells Fargo has failed to clean up its act,” Waters said in a statement.
Sloan faced bipartisan questioning at Tuesday’s congressional hearing about the company’s sales scandals over the past few years and about the company’s scheme to outsource and offshore American jobs.
A representative for Wells Fargo declined to comment.

America Created Just 20,000 Jobs in February...and those all went to foreign born!

Exclusive–Mo Brooks: ‘Masters of the Universe’ Want More Immigration to ‘Decrease Incomes of Americans’
Consequently, the pumping of ultra-cheap money into the financial system, fueling speculation and parasitism, together with ever-widening social inequality, is not a temporary measure but must be made permanent.
The declining living standards of the working class are feeding directly into the retail apocalypse and mass layoffs of retail workers will only exacerbate the issue. 
Workers’ wages have seen little to no growth in the last four decades, and any economic growth experienced since 2008 has gone to 
“US household net worth sees biggest fall since crisis”
“Trump Touts Legal Immigration System for ‘Our Corporations’ at Expense of 
American Workers “– JOHN BINDER

Trump’s shift from a wage-boosting legal immigration system to one that benefits corporations and their shareholders coincides with recent big business lobby influence over his White House, at the behest of advisers Jared Kushner and Brooke Rollins.
“Trump Abandons ‘America First’ Reforms: ‘We Need’ More Immigration to Grow Business Profits”  JOHN BINDER
Additionally, Koch spokespeople at the donors’ conference said the network has its sights set on pushing amnesty for millions of illegal aliens this year.

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