Sunday, September 16, 2018

THE BANKSTERS TAKE STUDENTS WITH LOANS TO THE CLEANERS.... Follows the same predatory practices that brought down the mortgage industry

Obama Appointee Action on Student Loan Trusts Could Cause Massively Negative Ripple Effects

Phil Kerpen
 By Phil Kerpen | September 14, 2018 | 11:24 AM EDT

Richard Cordray, former Director of the department formerly known as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- now called the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. (Screenshot)
On his way out the door, former Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (then known as CFPB – Acting Director Mick Mulvaney changed it to BCFP this year to reflect its exact legal name) chief Richard Cordray signed off on a shockingly corrupt settlement agreement that could have widespread negative consequences for student loan borrowers and more broadly for consumer finance across the economy. 
It was an enforcement action against the National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts, a group of 15 Delaware trusts that hold about 800,000 student loans totaling $12 billion, of which $5 billion is presently in default.  These are loans that were made by dozens of private banks and then aggregated by institutional investors and repackaged as securities.
Because these are private loans, enforcement actions against borrowers in default require individual lawsuits to be filed – and the trusts used an array of debt collection entities to bring thousands of such lawsuits.  Many of these lawsuits filed by third party debt collection entities were bogus, taking action without proper documentation or in some cases taking action against people who did not actually owe anything.  Some of the debt collectors have already been fined for their violations.
But under Cordray the BCFP went further, declaring the trusts themselves “covered persons” under the Consumer Financial Protection Act and brought an enforcement action against the trusts, even though they are passive entities that did not engage in any of the improper activities.
If that action stands, the well-established, low-risk mechanism of securitizing loans through trusts would become a legally fraught process.  And that would cause a massively negative ripple effect.
“For future students and their parents, this Byzantine fight over securitized loans may prove costly,” Bloomberg reporter Shahien Nasiripour explained. “The threat of a government agency setting aside securities contracts based on student loan payments could lead hedge funds to devalue their holdings, and cause them to demand higher interest rates on future loans to compensate for the risk of unilateral government action.”
Worse, the fallout would not be contained to the student loan market.  A robust securitization market helps keep interest rates down for mortgages, auto loans, and credit cards.
Unfortunately, the trusts themselves eagerly agreed to Cordray's power grab – because the hedge fund titan, Donald Uderitz, who bought up control of the trusts stood to benefit.
As Andrew Wilford explained, the BCFP “stepped in and made a deal with Uderitz to transfer servicing powers to Uderitz’s firm, VCG, in return for fines on some trustees and other servicing companies. The upshot for Uderitz and VCG is that Uderitz will make a killing off servicing and administering the debt.”
In effect, Uderitz "settled" with Cordray to use trust assets for his own company's benefit.  Moreover, the use of trust assets to settle claims against debt collectors, who were all hired subject to contracts that held the collectors responsible for compliance violations – would undermine investor confidence and drive up the cost of capital and therefore interest rates for borrowers.
The litigation has played out slowly despite the fact it was settled.  The trustees intervened and more recently the broader securitization industry filed an amicus brief based on concerns that their entire market could be disrupted.
Meanwhile, the trusts have been unable to even pay the lawyers Uderitz hired to represent them, with trustees blocking him internally.  The lawyers claim to have over $3 million in unpaid legal fees, and the judge has ordered the trusts to obtain new representation.
All of which is a recipe for continued uncertainty in what has been and should be one of the lowest risk corners of the finance world.
It's been nearly a full year since the Cordray consent decree was announced in this case, and there is no reason for the uncertainty and confusion to continue into a second year.  The BCFP should withdraw its claims and drop the lawsuit completely without prejudice.  In doing so Acting Director Mick Mulvaney would be reversing another of Cordray's major missteps, and could then focus on holding the guilty parties – and only the guilty parties – responsible for improper collection tactics.
Phil Kerpen is head of American Commitment and a leading free-market policy analyst and advocate in Washington.

Decade after financial crisis JPMorgan predicts next one’s coming soon

Published time: 13 Sep, 2018 14:00
© Ole Spata / Global Look Press
With the 10th anniversary approaching of the catalyst for the last major global stock market crash – the Lehman Brothers’ collapse – strategists from JPMorgan are predicting the next financial crisis to strike in 2020.
Wall Street’s largest investment bank analyzed the causes of the crash and measures taken by governments and central banks across the world to stop the crisis in 2008, and found that the economy remains propped up by those extraordinary steps.
According to the bank’s analysis, the next crisis will probably be less painful, however, diminished financial market liquidity since the 2008 implosion is a “wildcard” that’s tough to game out.

Global debt balloons to all-time high of $164 trillion 
“The main attribute of the next crisis will be severe liquidity disruptions resulting from these market developments since the last crisis,” the reports says.
Changes to central bank policy are seen by JPMorgan analysts as a risk to stocks, which by one measure have been in the longest bull market in history since the bottom of the crisis.
JPMorgan’s Marko Kolanovic has previously concluded that the big shift away from actively managed investing has escalated the danger of market disruptions.
“The shift from active to passive asset management, and specifically the decline of active value investors, reduces the ability of the market to prevent and recover from large drawdowns,” said JPMorgan’s Joyce Chang and Jan Loeys.

Stock markets ‘right on the brink’ of 50% crash, financial expert warns 
The bank estimates that actively managed accounts make up only about one-third of equity assets under management, with active single-name trading responsible for just 10 percent or so of trading volume.
JPMorgan referred to its hypothetical scenario as the “great liquidity crisis,” claiming that the timing of when it could occur “will largely be determined by the pace of central bank normalization, business cycle dynamics, and various idiosyncratic events such as escalation of trade war waged by the current US administration.”
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

World’s top 5 ‘most evil’ corporations

Published time: 3 Mar, 2018 05:55Edited time: 3 Mar, 2018 13:04
Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon, poses as he stands atop a supply truck during a photo opportunity at the premises of a shopping mall in the southern Indian city of Bangalore © Abhishek N. Chinnappa / Reuters


·         2





Most companies become successful thanks to their stellar reputations. But not always. RT Business scraped the bottom of the barrel to find the most hated companies trending on the internet.


The company that needs no introduction, creator of DDT and Agent Orange, Monsanto is one the world’s largest pesticide and GMO seed manufacturers. It is known for being the first company to genetically modify a seed to make it resistant to pesticides and herbicides. Monsanto’s herbicides have been blamed for killing millions of crop acres, while its chemicals were added to blacklists of products causing cancer and many other health problems.

EU to approve ‘marriage made in hell’ between #Bayer & #Monsanto 


Once the darling of Microsoft-hating gadget lovers, Apple more recently has been accused of mistreating or underpaying their employees, hiding money offshore, and not paying taxes. It has also been accused of violating health or environmental legislation, and misusing its position where they have a monopoly in the market. And, oh yes, deliberately slowing older iPhones and overcharging for its products to boot.

'No consent': #Apple sued for deliberately slowing down older iPhones 

Apple sued for deliberately slowing down older iPhones — RT Business News



The world's largest food and beverage company Nestle says it is committed to enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. However, it has been dragged through numerous scandals involving slave labor. The multinational is one of the most boycotted corporations in the world, as violations of labor rights have been reported at its factories in different countries.
NestlĂ© admits possibility of slave labor in its coffee #supplychain 


Philip Morris

The products of the American multinational cigarette and tobacco manufacturing company are sold in over 180 countries outside the United States. Philip Morris owns Marlboro, one of the world's biggest brands. Back in 1999, Philip Morris courted officials of the Czech Republic by explaining how smoking would in fact help their economy, due to the reduced healthcare costs from its citizens dying early.


American fast-food company McDonald's was founded in 1940. The company serves more customers each day than the entire population of Great Britain, but has a long history of terrible labor practices. It has been constantly under fire for serving unhealthy junk food, which contributes health problems. Researchers have found that McDonald’s burgers cannot decompose on their own.

McDonald’s becomes weed users’ highest-ranking fast food joint. 

McDonald’s becomes weed users’ highest-ranking fast food joint — RT US News

Notable mentions of corporations not quite evil enough to make the top list:

British American Tobacco
Dow Chemical
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section


Ten years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers

15 September 2018
Ten years ago on this day, the global capitalist system entered its most far-reaching and devastating crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. A decade later none of the contradictions which produced the financial crisis has been alleviated, much less overcome. Moreover, the very policies carried out to prevent a total meltdown of the financial system, involving the outlay of trillions of dollars by the US Federal Reserve and other major central banks, have only created the conditions for an even bigger disaster.
The immediate trigger for the onset of the crisis was the decision by US financial authorities not to bail out the 158-year-old investment bank Lehman Brothers and prevent its bankruptcy. There is considerable evidence to suggest that this was a deliberate decision by the Federal Reserve to create the necessary conditions for what they knew would have to be a massive bailout, not just of a series of banks but the entire financial system.
The previous March, the Fed had organised a $30 billion rescue of Bear Stearns when it was taken over by JP Morgan. But as the Fed’s own minutes from that time make clear the Bear Stearns crisis was just the tip of a huge financial iceberg. The Fed noted that “given the fragile conditions of the financial markets at the time” and the “expected contagion” that would result from its demise it was necessary to organise a bailout. As Fed chairman Ben Bernanke later testified, a sudden failure would have led to a “chaotic unwinding” of positions in financial markets. The bailout of Bear Stearns was not a solution but a holding operation to try to buy time and prepare for what was coming.
While the demise of Lehman was the initial trigger, the most significant event was the impending bankruptcy, revealed just two days later, of the American insurance firm AIG, which was at the centre of a system of complex financial products running into trillions of dollars.
Due to the interconnections of the global financial system, the crisis rapidly extended to financial markets around the world, above all across the Atlantic to Europe where the banks had been major investors in the arcane financial instruments that had been developed around the US sub-prime home mortgage market, the collapse of which provided the immediate trigger for the crisis.
The value of every crisis, it has been rightly said, is that it reveals and starkly lays bare the underlying socio-economic and political relations that are concealed in “normal” times. The collapse of 2008 is no exception.
In the twenty years and more preceding the crisis, particularly in the aftermath of the liquidation of the Soviet Union in 1991, the bourgeoisie and its ideologists had proclaimed not only the superiority of the capitalist “free market” but that it was the only possible socio-economic form of organisation. Basing themselves on the false identification of the Stalinist regime with socialism, they maintained that its liquidation signified that Marxism was forever dead and buried. In particular, Marx’s analysis of the fundamental and irresolvable contradictions of the capitalist mode of production had proved to be false. According to the central foundation for what passed for theoretical analysis, the so-called “efficient markets hypothesis,” a financial meltdown was impossible because with the development of advanced technologies all information had been priced into decision making and so a financial collapse was impossible.
Rarely have the nostrums of the bourgeoisie and its ideologists been so graphically exposed.
Two days after the crisis erupted, President George W. Bush declared “this sucker’s going down.” Later, the high priest of capitalism and its “free market,” the now bewildered former head of the US Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan, testified to the US Congress that he had been completely confounded because markets had failed to behave according to his “model” and its assumptions.
The crisis also exposed in full glare another of the central myths of the capitalist order—that the state is somehow a neutral or independent organisation committed to regulating social and economic affairs in the interests of society as a whole.
It confirmed another central tenet of Marxism, expounded more than 170 years ago, that “the executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the bourgeoisie.”
This was exemplified in the naked class response to the financial meltdown. The plans, already developed by the Fed and other authorities to cover the losses of the financial elite, whose speculative and in many cases outright criminal activities had sparked the crisis, were put into operation.
In the lead-up to the presidential election of November 4, Wall Street swung its support behind Obama—with the media promoting him as the candidate of “hope” and “change you can believe in”—over McCain. The Democrats had committed themselves to the bailout, securing the passage of the $700 billion TARP asset-purchasing program through Congress. This massive increase in the national debt of the United States was authorised with virtually no debate.
Of course, a new political fiction was immediately advanced. It was necessary to bail out Wall Street first, the public was told, in order to assist Main Street. However, this lie was rapidly exposed. The crisis was the starting point for a massive assault on the working class. While bankers and financial speculators continued to receive their bonuses, millions of American families lost their homes. Tens of millions were made unemployed.
In the following year, the rescue operation organised by the Obama administration of Chrysler and General Motors, with the active and full collaboration of the United Auto Workers union, resulted in the development of new forms of exploitation, above all through the two-tier wages system, paving the way for even more brutal systems such as those pioneered by Amazon.
This was the other side of a Wall Street bailout—a massive restructuring of class relations in line with the edict of Obama’s one-time chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to “never let a serious crisis go to waste” because it provides “an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
The same class response was in evidence elsewhere. After the initial effects of the crisis had been overcome, the European bourgeoisie initiated an austerity drive forcing up youth unemployment to record levels. In Britain workers have endured a sustained decline in real wages not seen in more than a century.
The most egregious expression of this class logic has been seen in Greece with the imposition of poverty levels last seen in the Great Depression of the 1930s. The numerous bailout operations were never aimed at “rescuing” the Greek economy and its population but directed to extracting the resources to repay the major banks and financial institutions.
The crisis revealed the real nature of bourgeois democracy. The euro zone and the European Union were exposed as nothing more than a mechanism for the dictatorship of European finance capital. As one of the chief enforcers of its diktats, the former German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble, declared, in the face of popular opposition, “elections cannot be allowed to change economic policy.”
As the working class in every country confronts stagnant and declining wages, falling living standards, the scrapping of secure employment and attacks on social services, leading to mounting health and other problems, innumerable reports and data chart the development of a global system in which wealth is siphoned up the income scale.
According to the latest Wealth-X World Ultra Wealth Report some 255,810 “ultra-high net worth” individuals, with a minimum of $30 million in wealth, now collectively own $31.5 trillion, more than the bottom 80 percent of the world’s population—comprising 5.6 billion people. Overall the wealth of this cohort increased by 16.3 percent in 2016–17, rising by 13.1 percent in North America, 13.5 percent in Europe and 26.7 percent in Asia.
The full significance of the bailouts of the financial system and the subsequent provision of trillions of dollars is clear. It has brought about the institutionalisation of a process, developing over the preceding decades, where the financial system, with the stock market at its centre, functions as a mechanism for the transfer of wealth to the heights of society.
In its analysis of the financial crisis, the World Socialist Web Site insisted from the outset that this was not a conjunctural development, from which there would be a “recovery,” but a breakdown of the entire capitalist mode of production.
That analysis has been completely confirmed. While a total financial meltdown was prevented, the diseases of the profit system that gave rise to the crisis have not been overcome. Rather, they have metastasised and mutated into new and even more malignant forms.
The actions of the US Federal Reserve and other major central banks in pumping trillions of dollars into the financial system in order to “rescue” it, and to enable the continuation of the very forms of speculation that led to the crisis, have only created the conditions for a new disaster in which the central banks themselves will be directly involved.
This fact of economic and financial life can even be seen in the comments by bourgeois analysts and pundits on the occasion of the upcoming anniversary. While they generally maintain that the financial system has been “strengthened” since 2008—a completely worthless assertion given that it was held to be strong in the lead up to the crash and any warnings of growing risks were dismissed as “Luddite” by such luminaries as former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers—no one dares to proclaim that the underlying problems have been resolved.
Rather, taking heed from the warning of JP Morgan chief Jamie Dimon that while the trigger for the next crisis will not be the same as the last but “there will be another crisis”, they nervously scan the horizon for signs of where it might strike.
Some analysts point to the rise in global debt, which is now running at 217 percent of gross domestic product, an increase of 40 percentage points since 2007, contrary to all expectations that, since debt was a major cause of the 2008 crisis, some deleveraging would have occurred.
Others single out the mounting problems in so-called emerging markets facing repayments on dollar-denominated loans, a source of speculation when interest rates were at record lows but which now present major refinancing problems as interest rates have started to rise.
The seemingly unstoppable rise of stock markets, fuelled by the provision of ultra-cheap money by the Fed and other central banks, is also an issue of concern. The increased use of passive investment funds tied to global indexes via computer trading systems tends to reinforce downswings as has been seen in a series of “flash crashes” such as that of last February when Wall Street fell by as much as 1,600 points in intraday trading.
The greatest source of anxiety, although it is not mentioned so much publicly, is the resurgence of the working class and the push for increased wages. To the extent it is discussed publicly, this fear, manifested in stock market falls generated by news of relatively small wage increases, is generally couched in terms of “political tensions” caused by increased social inequality.
A further expression of the ongoing and deepening breakdown of the capitalist order is the disintegration of all the geo-political structures and relationships that have constituted the framework within which the movements of capitalist economy and finance have flowed throughout the post-war period.
In the wake of the 2008 crisis, the leaders of the G20 gathered in April 2009, in the midst of a collapse in world trade taking place at a faster rate than in 1930. They pledged to never again go down the road of the protectionist tariff policies that had played such a disastrous role in the Great Depression and had worked to create the conditions for the outbreak of World War II, just ten years after the Wall Street crash of October 1929.
That commitment lies in tatters as the Trump administration, seeking to counter the economic decline of the US so graphically revealed in the 2008 collapse, embarks on ever widening trade war measures.
The principal target, at least to this point, is China. But the Trump administration has designated the European Union as an economic “foe,” and has already implemented trade war measures against it, with more in the pipeline.
The G7, the grouping of major capitalist powers set up in the wake of the world recession of 1974–75 and the end of the post-war boom to try to regulate the affairs of world capitalism, exists in name only following the acrimonious split at its meeting last June with the US decision to impose tariffs against its nominal “strategic allies.”
World war has not yet broken out. But there are innumerable flashpoints—in the Middle East, in Eastern Europe, in North East Asia and in the South China Sea to cite just some examples—where a conflict could erupt between nuclear-armed powers. The impetus for a new global conflagration is the drive by US imperialism to counter its economic decline by asserting its dominance over the Eurasian landmass at the expense of its enemies and allies alike.
It is of enormous significance that the civil war that has erupted in the American state apparatus between the state and military-intelligence apparatus, whose mouthpiece is the Democratic Party, and the Trump administration is over how this objective should be accomplished; that is, whether the American drive should be directed in the first instance against Russia or China. At the same time, all the major powers are boosting their military budgets in preparation for the escalation of military conflicts.
The political system in every country is beset by deep crisis. The very rapidity of the crisis is accentuating the contradictions between the objective dangers and the level of class consciousness. The chief obstacle to achieving the necessary alignment of working class consciousness with the objective reality of capitalist crisis on a world scale remains the reactionary political role of the old bureaucratised labour and trade union organisations, abetted by the various pseudo-left tendencies, in suppressing the class struggle. But the conditions are developing for these shackles to be broken.
In the founding program of the Fourth International, Leon Trotsky wrote: “The orientation of the mass is determined first by the objective conditions of decaying capitalism, and second, by the treacherous policies of the old workers’ organisations. Of these factors, the first, of course, is the decisive one: the laws of history are stronger than the bureaucratic apparatus.”
That perspective is now being confirmed in the resurgence of the class struggle internationally, above all in the centre of world capitalism, the United States.
Conscious of their profound weakness in the face of such a movement, and fully aware of its revolutionary implications, the ruling classes in every country have been developing ever-more authoritarian forms of rule.
Their greatest fear is the development of political consciousness, that is, the understanding in wider sections of the working class, and above all the youth, of its real situation, that its enemy is the entire capitalist system. Above all, the ruling elites fear the development of a revolutionary socialist movement, based on the principles and program of the Fourth International. This is why the World Socialist Web Site is the central target of internet censorship. It is also the reason for the escalation of attacks by the German coalition government on the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, the German section of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).
But the efforts to suppress the work of the International Committee will fail. The renewal of class struggle will provide new forces for the development of the working of the ICFI throughout the world.
The meltdown of 2008 demonstrated above all that the working class confronts a global crisis. The crisis can therefore be resolved only on a global scale through the unification of the working class across national borders and barriers on the basis of an international socialist program for the reconstruction of society to meet human need and not profit.
Nick Beams

Who Can We Blame For The Great Recession?

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the “Great Recession” and the media are trying to determine if we have learned anything from it. The Queen visited the London School of Economics after the “Great Recession” to ask her chief economists why they hadn’t seen this disaster coming. They told her they would get back to her with an answer.  Later, they wrote her a letter saying that the best economic theory asserts that recessions are random events and they had successfully predicted that no one can predict recessions.  
Still, George Packer, a staff writer at the New Yorker magazine since 2003, thinks he knows more than the LSE academics. He wrote the following in the August 27 print issue:
"It was caused by reckless lending practices, Wall Street greed, outright fraud, lax government oversight in the George W. Bush years, and deregulation of the financial sector in the Bill Clinton years. The deepest source, going back decades, was rising inequality. In good times and bad, no matter which party held power, the squeezed middle class sank ever further into debt...
"In February, 2009, with the economy losing seven hundred thousand jobs a month, Congress passed a stimulus bill—a nearly trillion-dollar package of tax cuts, aid to states, and infrastructure spending, considered essential by economists of every persuasion—with the support of just three Republican senators and not a single Republican member of the House."
Typically, journalists will defer to an expert on matters in which they aren’t trained, which is most subjects. But Packer didn’t bother to ask an economist as the Queen did. Had he done so, he would have received the same answer from mainstream economists – recessions are random events and can’t be predicted. If economists knew the causes of recessions they could predict them when they see the causes present. 
So where did Packer get his “causes” for the latest recession? In the classic movie Casablanca, the corrupt and lazy policeman Renault is “shocked” to find gambling going on at Rick’s place and orders the others to round up the “usual suspects.” That’s what Packer does. People have blamed greedy businessmen and bankers for crises for centuries. Since the rise of socialism they added capitalism and the politicians who support it. The only new suspect in the socialist line up is inequality, even though inequality has varied little since 1900 and is near its record low since then.
Had Packer consulted the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, he wouldn’t have received much help. Keep in mind that mainstream economists think recessions are random events. After the storm subsides, they can identify likely contributors for the latest disaster, but those differ with each recession. Recently Chicago Booth queried experts for the top contributing factors of the latest recession. The top answer was flawed regulations, followed by underestimating risk and mortgage fraud. 
The “flawed regulations” excuse assumes that bitter bureaucrats who write the regulations are wiser than the actual bankers and ignores the fact that banking is one of the most regulated industries. One analyst described the recent recession as the perfect storm of regulations so massive no one group could understand them all and many of them working against other regulations. 
Blaming “underestimated risk” is good Monday morning quarterbacking. Everyone has 20/20 hindsight, or 50/50 as quarterback Cam Newton said. The same economists don’t explain why banks that took similar risks didn’t fail or why what seems risky now didn’t seem so risky in 2007. As for fraud, the amount was negligible and is always there; why did it contribute to a recession this time? Sadly, the correct answer to what caused the Great Recession– “Loose monetary policy” – came in next to last among Chicago Booth’s experts. 
Perspective is vital. A magnifying glass can make a lady bug look terrifying. Let’s pull back and put the latest recession in a broader context. There have been 47 recessions/depressions since the birth of the nation. Before the Great Depression economists called crises “depressions” and since then they are “recessions.” They’re the same thing; economists thought “recession” was less scary. 
Recessions before the Great Depression were mild compared to it. It took the Federal Reserve and the US government working together trying to “rescue” us to plunge the country into history’s worst economic disaster. Journalists like Packer have convinced people that the Great Recession of 2008 was second only to the Great Depression, but if we combine the recessions of 1981 and 1982, separated only by a technicality and six months, that recession would have been worse. The Fed did not reduce interest rates after that recession because it was still battling the inflation it has caused in the 1970s, yet the economy bounced back and recovery lasted almost a decade. 
I want to drive home the fact that the three worst recessions in our history assaulted us after the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913. 
The best explanation of the causes of recessions, because it enjoys the greatest empirical support, is the Austrian business-cycle theory, or ABCT. Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek are most famous for refining and expounding it, but the English economists of the Manchester school were the first to write about it. They discovered that expansions of the money supply through low interest rates motivated businesses to borrow and invest at a rapid rate. That launches an unsustainable boom because businesses are trying to deploy more capital goods than exist. Banks raise rates to rein in galloping inflation and the boom turns to dust. 
Banks don’t control interest rates today as they did in the past. That’s the Federal Reserve’s job. The Fed generally reduces interest rates or expands the money supply through “quantitative easing,” or buying bonds from banks, in order to force an economy in the ditch to climb out. The recovery from the Great Recession remained on its feet for so long because the Fed’s policy of paying interest on reserves at banks soaked up much of the new money it created out of thin air. Also, much of the money went overseas to buy imports or as investments. 
The lesson – don’t ask medical advice from your plumber or economics from a journalist. And if you ask an economist, make sure he follows the Austrian school. 
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.”


“Attorney General Eric Holder's tenure was a low point even within the disgraceful scandal-ridden Obama years.” DANIEL GREENFIELD / FRONTPAGE MAG
Why the swamp has little to fear

The midterm elections will either halt or hasten the current soft coup whose aim is to overthrow a legally elected President now being conducted by the swamp.   And if the history of Washington, D.C. corruption is any indication of what will happen after the midterms, the swamp will survive regardless of its coup's success or failure.  But the efforts to expose the treasonous plot will fade away into the dustbin of political history after being seen as just another waste of time and taxpayer money.  The seemingly endless parade of corruption scandals and mind-numbing criminal activity will go on unabated and continue to escalate to unimaginable heights because of an inescapable fact of human nature. 
In a Forbes 2015 article entitled "The Big Bank Bailout," author Mike Collins mentions several ways to prevent another housing bubble crisis from destroying the world economy when he writes, "But perhaps the best solution is to make the CEOs and top managers of the banks criminally liable for breaking these rules so that they fear going to jail.  These people are not afraid to do it again so if you can’t put some real fear in their heads, they will do it again."
What Collins has honed in on is accountability and punishment, the very things lacking in today's dealings with the swamp.  Just as the major banking institutions will soon, if not already, re-enter into risky, corrupt, and illegal lending practices because there was not a "smidgen" of accountability for the trillions of dollars they lost in the housing bubble catastrophe, so too will the past and presently unknown criminals within the IRS, FBI, and DOJ continue to thumb their noses at the law.
What the American people have been subjected to over the past 18 months since President Trump took office is a series of crimes that have been painstakingly unearthed but little else.  "Earth-shattering," "bombshell," and "constitutional crisis" are just some of the words and phrases used by media outlets to describe the newest update regarding the many ongoing investigations.  These words are meant to shock the audience but no longer have the impact they once did because of their overuse and because of the likely lack of any substantive outcome.  What Americans have seen are trials without consequences, clear proof of guilt with no punishment.  Draining the swamp without any repercussions to the swamp creatures inside is like going on a diet but eating the same foods.  
Americans witnessed no accountability regarding exhaustive investigations into the deadly circumstances surrounding the swamp's gun-walking campaign named Fast and Furious, a program where U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and hundreds of innocent Mexican citizens were killed with guns the government sold to criminals.  The swamp continued on its power mission and attempted the deceitful confiscation of America's health care with Obamacare, whose real aim was a redistribution of the nation's wealth.  After little pushback and the passage of Obamacare,  Americans witnessed Benghazi in 2012, and when nothing was accomplished over the investigations of that tragedy, the swamp trampled on the rights of conservatives in what became known as the IRS scandal of 2013.  Nothing was done about that.  And on and on, with the swamp committing one bigger and bolder crime after the next with impunity. 
So we have arrived at the doorstep of the Russian collusion investigation farce by first traveling through the swamp of unsolved crimes perpetrated inside the Obama administration.  With the passage of time, swamp-dwellers like Eric Holder and Lois Lerner, knee-deep in the mud with congressional contempt charges, continue to be financially enriched and will slowly be forgotten, while more recognizable swamp royalty like Hillary Clinton get to run for president. 
Until Americans see guilty members within the United States government wearing orange jumpsuits and serving time, the investigations and congressional hearings are mere sideshow spectacles to appease the masses.