HERE’S HOW IT WENT DOWN:
BEFORE HE STARTED HIS FIRST DAY IN OFFICE, OBAMA HAD ALREADY TAKEN MORE BRIBES FROM CRIMINAL BANKSTERS THAN ANY POLITICIAN IN HISTORY! WHAT DID THE BANKSTERS KNOW THAT WE DIDN’T?
OBAMA IMMEDIATELY WENT TO WORK PULLING THE MOST CORRUPT OF BUSH’S WALL ST BANKSTERS TOGETHER, LIKE BUSH’S ARCHITECT FOR BANKSTER BAILOUTS, TIM GEITHNER, TO WRITE THE BANKSTERS’ NO-STRING BAILOUTS AS DICTATED BY HIS DONORS!
THEN OBAMA BROUGHT IN TWO OF THE MOST CORRUPT AND BANKSTER-OWNED POLITICIANS, CHRIS DODD AND BARNEY FRANK TO HAMMER OUT A BANKSTER APPROVED “REGULATION”, WHICH WAS UTTERLY AS WORTHLESS TO CONSUMERS AS THESE BANKSTERS COULD BUY. THE BANKSTERS ARE ALREADY BUYING POLITICIANS TO UNWIND THE LIMP REFORMS!
EVEN AS A NATION GRAPPLES WITH ECONOMIC MELTDOWN, AND MILLIONS OF AMERICANS HAVE LOST THEIR LIFE SAVINGS DUE TO THE CRIMES OF THESE BANKSTERS, THEIR PROFITS HAVE SOARED!!!!!!!!
BANKSTERS’ PROFITS UNDER THEIR BOY OBAMA ARE GREATER IN THE FIRST TWO YEARS OF HIS CORRUPT ADMIN ARE GREATER THAN ALL EIGHT YEARS OF BANKSTERS’ PILLAGE UNDER BUSH!
The terms of the agreement are entirely favorable to the banks, while doing little or nothing to aid the millions of people who have been devastated by the collapse of the US housing market.
Obama administration brokers pro-bank mortgage fraud settlement
By Joseph Kishore
10 February 2012
10 February 2012
The Obama administration announced on Thursday a settlement between five major banks and federal and state governments over massive fraud relating to home foreclosures. The terms of the agreement are entirely favorable to the banks, while doing little or nothing to aid the millions of people who have been devastated by the collapse of the US housing market.
Government officials reported that the final deal is valued at about $25 billion spread out over a multi-year period. This is a paltry sum in relationship to the extent of the housing crisis, the profits of the banks and the scale of corporate criminality. However, only a small portion of this would come from direct financial sanctions on the banks.
Forty-nine of the 50 US states signed on to the settlement with the five banks—JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Bank of America (which bought mortgage firm Countrywide), and Ally Financial Inc. (formerly GMAC, the financial arm of General Motors). These five banks involved had net profits of $46 billion last year alone.
In exchange for the settlement, the banks will be released from liability for fraudulent and likely criminal activities. This includes “robo-signing,” in which the banks had employees sign hundreds of thousands of legal foreclosure documents without any knowledge of the underlying mortgages. Banks were also involved in forging documents. The true extent of the illegal operations is not known, and keeping this information secret is one of the aims of the settlement.
Evidence of these actions first emerged in 2010. States launched investigations in response, and the Obama administration stepped in to package these investigations and lead them to a settlement favorable to the banks. Over the past several weeks, the administration has placed heavy pressure on several state holdouts to sign on to the deal.
Of particular importance for Bank of America is the fact that the settlement will end a lawsuit filed by Nevada and Arizona over allegations that the bank has been deceiving homeowners seeking to participate in a refinancing program.
Only about $5 billion of the settlement will take the form of direct payments, including, according to government officials, a payment of about $2,000 to some individuals who had their homes foreclosed between September 2008 and December 2011.
Despite the evidence of fraud, no one will get their home back. Since 2007, there have been some 4 million home foreclosures.
About $17 billion will come from the modification of existing loans, spaced over a three-year time period. Details are still emerging, but it is evident that decisions on what loans to modify will be left to the banks themselves. Many of the loans have already been packaged off and sold to investors (“securitized”), thus minimizing the impact on bank assets.
The $17 billion in loan modifications is a tiny fraction of the total negative equity (the value of loans in relation to the value of the underling houses) of $700 billion to $750 billion. The deal will affect less than 10 percent of US homeowners who are “under water.”
An additional $3 billion is to come in the form of mortgage refinancing, again left to the discretion of the banks.
The banks will be tasked with self-reporting their actions. The industry and the state attorneys general selected North Carolina banking commissioner Joseph Smith to “oversee” the agreement and determine whether the banks are in compliance based on the bank reports. Smith is a former bank lawyer with close ties to the industry.
Markets reacted enthusiastically to the terms, and bank stocks rose Thursday. The banks involved already have set aside funds that cover the amount of the agreement. Indeed, since many banks have written down the value of their existing loans, the agreement could have a positive net impact on their balance sheets.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a panacea for the housing industry,” commented Barclays analyst Jason Goldberg, “but it is good for the banks to get this behind them.”
Perversely, the deal will likely lead to a surge in home foreclosures, with banks now confident that they can proceed with business as usual. Bloomberg News commented, “Lenders slowed the pace of foreclosures as they negotiated with attorneys general in all 50 states for more than a year… With today’s agreement, banks are likely to resume property seizures.” Increased foreclosures will also lead to a further fall in home prices.
In hailing the deal, Obama said that it would “speed relief to the hardest-hit homeowners, end some of the most abusive practices of the mortgage industry, and begin to turn the page on an era of recklessness that has left so much damage in its wake.”
In fact, as with every component of the administration’s policy, the agreement will leave things entirely as they are, while giving a free pass to corporate criminals responsible for the economic crisis.
ISN’T OBAMA SIMPLY BUSH’S THIRD TERM, BUT EVEN MORE CORRUPT???
*“There is, however, nothing paradoxical about this. The crash of 2008 was set off by the collapse of an enormous speculative bubble. Since that time, world governments, led by Washington, have scrambled to ensure the wealth of the very financial aristocracy that created the crisis, at the direct expense of the vast majority of the population.”
Unemployment and the global financial aristocracy
2 November 2011
The International Labour Organization’s report on global unemployment, released Monday, paints a stark picture of world capitalism.
Three years after the onset of the economic crisis in 2008, the global jobs situation is disastrous. According to the ILO, 80 million jobs would have to be added in the next two years just to reach pre-crisis employment levels. Basing itself on extraordinarily optimistic assumptions, the ILO anticipates that only half that number will be created.
In the advanced industrial countries, including the United States and Europe, there are 13 million fewer jobs now then four years ago. Employment in these countries is not expected to recover until well past 2016. Youth unemployment is above 20 percent, and long-term unemployment has soared to record heights. (See, “ILO report warns of sharp employment downturn, social unrest“)
Beyond the immediate indicators of social distress—to which many more could be added—the ILO report points to an unprecedented state of global class relations. Conditions are building up for a social explosion on a world scale.
One of the ILO’s comments is especially revealing. Its report refers to the “paradox” of the past three years; that “the impact of the global economic crisis of 2007-08 on the financial sector was short-lived initially—despite it being at the very origin of the downturn.”
There is, however, nothing paradoxical about this. The crash of 2008 was set off by the collapse of an enormous speculative bubble. Since that time, world governments, led by Washington, have scrambled to ensure the wealth of the very financial aristocracy that created the crisis, at the direct expense of the vast majority of the population.
Unlimited funds have been turned over to the banks, with no strings attached, in the form of direct bailouts and cheap cash. In the United States alone, some $14 trillion has been made available. The argument advanced to justify this transfer of wealth—that it was necessary to revive economic growth and “create jobs”—has proven a fraud. The funds have simply been funneled back into the financial system and the pocket books of the ruling elite.
The ILO complains that even non-financial institutions—which, in the US in particular, have record cash hoards—have shunned productive investment in favor of stock buybacks and other financial transactions. Actual production is not considered sufficiently profitable.
The response of the ruling class to the financial crisis has led not only to an unprecedented decline or even collapse in the living standards of workers all over the world; it has also failed to resolve any of the contradictions that led to the crisis in the first place. Bad assets have been transferred to governments, which now face bankruptcy, most immediately in Europe. The financial system itself, heavily invested in government debt, stands on the brink of another collapse.
Every dollar handed to the financial aristocracy must in turn be extracted from the flesh of the working class. Austerity measures have only undermined growth, depleting government treasuries, and thus requiring new doses of austerity. “In short,” the ILO writes, “there is a vicious cycle of a weaker economy affecting jobs and society, in turn depressing real investment and consumption, thus the economy and so on.”
Events Tuesday brought out sharply the relationship of the financial aristocracy to the overwhelming majority of the population. For his own purposes, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou proposed to put the most recent bailout/austerity scheme to a referendum. Financial markets reacted with horror at the prospect of the Greek or any other population having some democratic say on the course of events. The major powers and their propaganda machines mobilized themselves, insisting that the package had to be pushed through at any cost, and by the end of the day the future of the Greek government was in question.
At the same time, the divisions among these powers—over who will be forced to foot the bill and who will get the biggest share of the spoils—has precluded any coordinated international response. The crisis of the eurozone points to the reemergence of national conflicts, which in the 20th century sparked two catastrophic world wars.
The ILO’s prediction that the global conditions are producing conditions for increased “social unrest” now has the character of a truism. Indeed, 2011 has already witnessed a significant upturn in the global class struggle, beginning in Tunisia and Egypt in January and February, and extending to Europe, the United States and Latin America. The Occupy Wall Street movement is itself an initial expression of the reemergence of explosive class struggles at the center of world capitalism, unlike anything that has been seen in generations.
The financial aristocracy stands as an absolute barrier to even the most trifling reforms. “Everything for the rich!” is the watchword of each ruling elite. In the face of these class realities, the ILO’s counsel—that governments institute significant jobs programs and reverse the staggering growth of social inequality—is hopelessly utopian. In the United States, experience with the Obama administration, the government of “change,” has assuredly demonstrated the absolute stranglehold of the financial elite over the entire political system.
A crisis has a way of clarifying class relations. For three years, the ruling class and its political representatives have been free to advance their solution, a solution that has only paved the way for an even greater disaster. The response of the international working class now emerges as a new and decisive factor in the global situation.
There is no way out of the crisis in the interests of the working class that does not target the power of the corporate and financial elite and the social system that it defends. In fighting for their basic rights—including, above all, the right to a job—workers everywhere are driven into struggle against capitalism.
The success of that struggle requires above all the building of a new, socialist leadership in the international working class.
NO REPUBLICAN IN HISTORY HAS WORKED HARDER FOR WALL ST BANKSTERS THAN OBAMA! THEY HAVE FILLED HIS POCKETS WITH THANKS.
OTHER THAN BANKSTERS, ONLY ILLEGALS GET OBAMA’S ATTENTION MORE! HE IS THE FIRST LA RAZA SUPREMACIST PRESIDENT!
“In other words, despite the trillions of dollars handed out to the banks and financial institutions over the past three years by governments around the world, nothing has been resolved. The global economy could be plunged into a disaster at any time. This underscores the fact that the crisis of 2008 was not a conjunctural downturn, from which there would be a recovery, but the start of an ongoing breakdown in the world capitalist economy, threatening the jobs and livelihoods of billions of people.”
World economy set for another major downturn
By Nick Beams
19 January 2012
19 January 2012
The World Bank has issued a grim forecast on the outlook for the world economy, with the potential for a crisis worse than that which followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. The warning was contained in the Bank’s Global Economic Prospects report, issued yesterday.
These predictions were backed by a United Nations report. It said the world economy was “teetering on the brink of another major downturn,” with output growth slowing “considerably” in 2011 and only “anaemic growth” expected in 2012 and 2013.
The World Bank pointed to a significant worsening of economic prospects, beginning in August 2011 as the euro zone financial crisis started to deepen. This was having a major impact on so-called emerging markets where rates on credit default swaps (CDS)—an indication of fears of a debt default—had been rising.
However, this was by no means the only sign. “For developing countries, the contagion has been broadly based,” the report stated. “Developing-country markets have lost 8.5 percent of their value since July-end. This, combined with the 4.2 percent drop in high-income stock-market valuations, has translated into $6.5 trillion, or 9.5 percent of global GDP, in wealth losses.”
Even more significant was the sharp decline in capital flows to developing countries as investors withdrew money in the second half of last year. “Overall, gross capital flows to developing countries plunged to $170 billion in the second half of 2011, only 55 percent of the $309 billion received during the like period of 2010.”
According to the report, “the world economy has entered a dangerous period” as the financial turmoil in Europe spread to developing and other high-income countries that had previously been unaffected.
The World Bank’s forecasts of world economic growth had been “significantly downgraded” from its previous assessment six months ago. It now expected the global economy to expand by only 2.5 percent and 3.1 percent in 2012 and 2013, compared to the previous prediction of 3.6 percent for both years. Any rate below 3 percent is generally considered to be a recession for the world economy as a whole. Europe was now in a recession and growth in high-income countries was expected to be only 1.4 percent.
Even these weak results may not be achieved. “The downturn in Europe and the slow growth in developing countries could reinforce one another more than is anticipated,” resulting in even worse results and “further complicating efforts to restore market confidence.” At the same time, “the medium-term challenge represented by high debts and slow trend growth in other high-income countries has not been resolved and could trigger sudden adverse shocks.”
The consequences would be even greater than those of the breakdown of the global financial system after September 2008.
“While contained for the moment, the risk of a much broader freezing up of capital markets and a global crisis similar in magnitude to the Lehman crisis remains. In particular, the willingness of markets to finance the deficits and maturing debt of high-income countries cannot be assured. Should more countries find themselves denied such financing, a much wider financial crisis that could engulf private banks and other financial institutions on both sides of the Atlantic cannot be ruled out.”
In other words, despite the trillions of dollars handed out to the banks and financial institutions over the past three years by governments around the world, nothing has been resolved. The global economy could be plunged into a disaster at any time. This underscores the fact that the crisis of 2008 was not a conjunctural downturn, from which there would be a recovery, but the start of an ongoing breakdown in the world capitalist economy, threatening the jobs and livelihoods of billions of people.
The report stated: “In the event of a major crisis, the downturn may well be longer than in 2008/09 because high-income countries do not have the fiscal or monetary resources to bailout the banking system or stimulate demand to the same extent as in 2008/09. Although developing countries have some maneuverability on the monetary side, they could be forced to … cut spending—especially if financing for fiscal deficits dries up.”
The impact of the financial turmoil in Europe is expressed in world trade—always an indicator of the state of the global economy. The report noted that trade volumes had declined at an annualised pace of 8 percent during the three months ending in October 2011 “mainly reflecting a 17 percent annualised decline in European imports.”
Exports from so-called developing countries fell at an annualised rate of 1.7 percent in the third quarter of last year and continued to fall in November. The countries of South Asia were among the hardest hit, with sharp contractions, following rapid export growth in the first half of the year. Exports from East Asia were falling at double-digit annualised rates. While some of this decline was due to the impact of the floods in Thailand, it also expressed the contraction of markets in Europe and other high-income regions.
World Bank chief economist Justin Lifu Liu said China still remained a bright spot. Its growth rate, although down to a forecast of 8.4 percent for this year, compared to 9.1 percent last year, remained relatively high. “If China can maintain its growth, it’s good for the world, providing support for commodities markets and growth in other countries.” He warned that while China’s exports would be adversely affected by the worldwide downturn, the Chinese government was one of the least indebted in the world and had “relatively large room for manoeuvre to stimulate the economy.”
In view of recent reports from Beijing on the state of the Chinese economy and the mounting problems faced by government and monetary authorities, such comments can be likened to whistling past the graveyard.
This week, the Chinese government announced that the growth rate for the last quarter of 2011 was an annualised 8.9 percent, the lowest for 10 quarters. Overall growth for 2011 was 9.2 percent, the weakest since 2009 when China experienced the impact of the Lehman collapse.
A National Bureau of Statistics spokesman said 2012 would be a year of “complexity and challenges.” The Financial Times reported that his remarks were “laced with words such as ‘gloomy’, ‘complicated’ and ‘severe’.”
Huang Yiping, the chief economist at Barclays Bank, which has just completed a study of China’s real estate bubble, told the FT that the probability of a big stimulus package was much lower now because the government was still dealing with the effects of the last one. “China has very heavily indebted local governments and has seen an extraordinary credit expansion that contributed to large asset bubbles, particularly in housing, over the last few years. Over-investment is also a major concern and these are all problems that have contributed to collapse in other developing economies in the past,” he said.
A severe economic crisis in China will have major social and political consequences, with the government calculating that it needs at least 8 percent growth to maintain social stability and prevent a challenge to its rule. There will also be significant consequences for commodity exporting countries such as Canada, Australia and Brazil that have, to some extent, been insulated from the full impact of financial turbulence by high prices and volumes for their commodity exports to China.
2009 - NOT A BANKSTER GOES TO PRISON!
NEW YORK TIMES
December 14, 2009
Disaster and Denial
By PAUL KRUGMAN
When I first began writing for The Times, I was naïve about many things. But my biggest misconception was this: I actually believed that influential people could be moved by evidence, that they would change their views if events completely refuted their beliefs.
And to be fair, it does happen now and then. I’ve been highly critical of Alan Greenspan over the years (since long before it was fashionable), but give the former Fed chairman credit: he has admitted that he was wrong about the ability of financial markets to police themselves.
But he’s a rare case. Just how rare was demonstrated by what happened last Friday in the House of Representatives, when — with the meltdown caused by a runaway financial system still fresh in our minds, and the mass unemployment that meltdown caused still very much in evidence — every single Republican and 27 Democrats voted against a quite modest effort to rein in Wall Street excesses.
Let’s recall how we got into our current mess.
America emerged from the Great Depression with a tightly regulated banking system. The regulations worked: the nation was spared major financial crises for almost four decades after World War II. But as the memory of the Depression faded, bankers began to chafe at the restrictions they faced. And politicians, increasingly under the influence of free-market ideology, showed a growing willingness to give bankers what they wanted.
The first big wave of deregulation took place under Ronald Reagan — and quickly led to disaster, in the form of the savings-and-loan crisis of the 1980s. Taxpayers ended up paying more than 2 percent of G.D.P., the equivalent of around $300 billion today, to clean up the mess.
But the proponents of deregulation were undaunted, and in the decade leading up to the current crisis politicians in both parties bought into the notion that New Deal-era restrictions on bankers were nothing but pointless red tape. In a memorable 2003 incident, top bank regulators staged a photo-op in which they used garden shears and a chainsaw to cut up stacks of paper representing regulations.
And the bankers — liberated both by legislation that removed traditional restrictions and by the hands-off attitude of regulators who didn’t believe in regulation — responded by dramatically loosening lending standards. The result was a credit boom and a monstrous real estate bubble, followed by the worst economic slump since the Great Depression. Ironically, the effort to contain the crisis required government intervention on a much larger scale than would have been needed to prevent the crisis in the first place: government rescues of troubled institutions, large-scale lending by the Federal Reserve to the private sector, and so on.
Given this history, you might have expected the emergence of a national consensus in favor of restoring more-effective financial regulation, so as to avoid a repeat performance. But you would have been wrong.
Talk to conservatives about the financial crisis and you enter an alternative, bizarro universe in which government bureaucrats, not greedy bankers, caused the meltdown. It’s a universe in which government-sponsored lending agencies triggered the crisis, even though private lenders actually made the vast majority of subprime loans. It’s a universe in which regulators coerced bankers into making loans to unqualified borrowers, even though only one of the top 25 subprime lenders was subject to the regulations in question.
Oh, and conservatives simply ignore the catastrophe in commercial real estate: in their universe the only bad loans were those made to poor people and members of minority groups, because bad loans to developers of shopping malls and office towers don’t fit the narrative.
In part, the prevalence of this narrative reflects the principle enunciated by Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” As Democrats have pointed out, three days before the House vote on banking reform Republican leaders met with more than 100 financial-industry lobbyists to coordinate strategies. But it also reflects the extent to which the modern Republican Party is committed to a bankrupt ideology, one that won’t let it face up to the reality of what happened to the U.S. economy.
So it’s up to the Democrats — and more specifically, since the House has passed its bill, it’s up to “centrist” Democrats in the Senate. Are they willing to learn something from the disaster that has overtaken the U.S. economy, and get behind financial reform?
Let’s hope so. For one thing is clear: if politicians refuse to learn from the history of the recent financial crisis, they will condemn all of us to repeat it.
WHAT DID THE BANKSTERS KNOW ABOUT OUR ACTOR OBAMA THAT WE DIDN’T KNOW?
Records show that four out of Obama's top five contributors are employees of financial industry giants - Goldman Sachs ($571,330), UBS AG ($364,806), JPMorgan Chase ($362,207) and Citigroup ($358,054).
BARACK OBAMA HAS COLLECTED NEARLY TWICE AS MUCH MONEY AS JOHN McCAIN
BY DAVID SALTONSTALL
DAILY NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT
July 1st 2008
Wall Street firms have chipped in more than $9 million to Barack Obama. Zurga/Bloomberg
Wall Street is investing heavily in Barack Obama.
Although the Democratic presidential hopeful has vowed to raise capital gains and corporate taxes, financial industry bigs have contributed almost twice as much to Obama as to GOP rival John McCain, a Daily News analysis of campaign records shows.
Cramer also does not discount nostalgia for the go-go 1990s, when Bill Clinton led the largest economic expansion in history.
For both candidates, Wall Street's investment and banking sectors have become among their portliest cash cows, contributing $9.5 million to Obama and $5.3 million to McCain so far.
"No matter who wins in November, Wall Street will have a friend in the White House," said Massie Ritsch of the Center for Responsive Politics, which crunched the data for The News.
In addition to calling for corporate and capital gains tax hikes, Obama has proposed raising income taxes on those earning more than $250,000.But Wall Street is often motivated by something more than money - winning.
"In general, these are professional prognosticators," said Ritsch. "And they may be putting their money on the person they predict will win, not the candidate they hope will win."
Records show that four out of Obama's top five contributors are employees of financial industry giants - Goldman Sachs ($571,330), UBS AG ($364,806), JPMorgan Chase ($362,207) and Citigroup ($358,054).
McCain's top five include Wall Street's Merrill Lynch ($230,310) and Citigroup ($219,551).
Obama's Wall Street haul is not the biggest ever. That distinction belongs to President Bush, who as an incumbent in 2004 raised $10,852,696 from Wall Street interests through April that year - about $1 million more than Obama.