Sunday, February 23, 2020





IN THE November 2006 election, the voters demanded congressional ethics reform. And so, the newly appointed chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is now duly in charge of regulating the ethical behavior of her colleagues. But for many years, Feinstein has been beset by her own ethical conflict of interest, say congressional ethics experts.

“All in all, it was an incredible victory for the Chinese government. Feinstein has done more for Red China than other any serving U.S. politician. “ Trevor Loudon

“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  AMERICAN

Senator Who Employed Chinese Spy Endorses Joe Biden for President

Win McNamee/Getty Images
  9 Oct 20192,419

A high-profile U.S. senator with professional and personal ties to China — including once employing one of its spies — is backing former Vice President Joe Biden amid mounting questions over his son’s business dealings with the communist regime.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), a former chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, announced her endorsement of the former vice president on Tuesday, claiming to have witnessed Biden’s “fortitude” and leadership during their overlapping tenures in Congress.
Feinstein said in a statement:
I’ve worked closely with Vice President Biden and I’ve seen firsthand his legislative ability, his statesmanship, and most importantly his moral fortitud. During his time in Congress and in the White House, Joe Biden has been a tireless fighter for hard working American families.
The endorsement comes as Biden’s presidential campaign is besieged by scandal regarding the lucrative business dealings his youngest son, Hunter, had with foreign governments.
Only hours before Feinstein’s endorsement, the Chinese government announced it would not investigate how Hunter Biden ended up at the center of one its top private equity firms. The Chinese foreign ministry made the decision after President Donald Trump publicly called for a probe of Hunter Biden’s dealings with Bohai Harvest RST (BHR). In particular, Trump has noted that the circumstances surrounding BHR’s creation could have posed a conflict of interest for Joe Biden.
As Peter Schweizer, senior contributor at Breitbart News, revealed in his bestselling book Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, Hunter Biden inked the multibillion-dollar deal that created BHR with a subsidiary of the state-owned Bank of China in 2013.
The timing of the lucrative deal has been brought into question as it came only 12 days after Hunter visited China with his father aboard Air Force Two. Officially, the then-vice president was visiting the country amid escalating tensions over islands in the South China Sea and decided to bring his granddaughter and son along. In a March 2018 interview with Breitbart News Tonight, however, Schweizer detailed the political machinations that preceded Hunter Biden’s $1.5 billion venture with China:
In December of 2013, Vice President Joe Biden flies to Asia for a trip, and the centerpiece for that trip is a visit to Beijing, China. To put this into context, in 2013, the Chinese have just exerted air rights over the South Pacific, the South China Sea. They basically have said, ‘If you want to fly in this area, you have to get Chinese approval. We are claiming sovereignty over this territory.’ Highly controversial in Japan, in the Philippines, and in other countries. Joe Biden is supposed to be going there to confront the Chinese. Well, he gets widely criticized on that trip for going soft on China. For basically not challenging them, and Japan and other countries are quite upset about this.
Since its creation, BHR has invested heavily in energy and defense projects across the globe. As of June, Hunter Biden was still involved with BHR, sitting on its board of directors and owning a minority stake of the fund estimated to be worth more than $430,000.
Such dealings at the center of politics and business, while perhaps not illegal, are not exclusive to the Biden family alone. As a few noted at the time of Feinstein’s endorsement, the senator and her husband have their own close ties to the communist country.
During her tenure as mayor of San Francisco in the late-1970s and early-1980s, Feinstein took advantage of the newly normalized diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China by establishing one of the first sister city partnership between San Francisco and Shanghai. Through that partnership, Feinstein led trade delegations to China in which she and her husband, Richard Blum, became acquainted with some of the country’s most prominent political leaders.
As the Federalist noted in August 2018, Feinstein and her husband leveraged those relationships to boost their own wealth. In 1986, Feinstein and Jiang Zemin — the then-mayor of Shanghai, who would later ascend to the presidency of the People’s Republic of China — “designated several corporate entities for fostering commercial relations.” One of those firms was Shanghai Pacific Partners, which employed Blum as a director. Blum reportedly had an interest of upwards of $500,000 in a project backed by Shanghai Pacific Partners.
After Feinstein was elected to the Senate in 1992, Blum continued profiting off their ties to China. A the same time, the freshman lawmaker was pitching herself as a “China hand” to colleagues, even once claiming “that in my last life maybe I was Chinese.” Through her seat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Feinstein led the fight on a number of initiatives seen as being favorable to China, including granting the country permanent most-favored-nation trading status in 2000.
Despite Feinstein and her husband having a close relationship with Jiang, the Chinese government targeted the senator as part of its espionage operations. In the early 2000s, the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) recruited a longtime employee of the senator to gather information about the inner workings of her congressional and district offices. Feinstein only learned of the staffer’s duplicity in 2013, after he’d already been on her payroll for more than 20 years.
“While this person, who was a liaison to the local Chinese community, was fired, charges were never filed against him,” Politico reported in 2018, speculating that because “the staffer was providing political intelligence and not classified information—making prosecution far more difficult.”
Apart from the convoluted history of the senator’s ties to China, the political timing of Feinstein’s endorsement also caught many off guard. The California Democrat, who hosted a fundraiser on Biden’s behalf last week alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) daughter, is only the most recent figure from the Democrat establishment to openly pledge support for the former vice president. Feinstein’s endorsement, however, was not totally expected, especially since her seamate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), is mounting a bid of her own for the Democrat nomination. In fact, earlier this year, Feinsten flirted with the notion of remaining neutral in the 2020 contest out of respect for Harris.
Compounding the political picture is that most polls show Biden no longer the favorite to win California, having fallen behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Feinstein, however, did not address any of that when endorsing the former vice president on Tuesday. Instead, the senator offered platitudes about Biden’s work to enhance gun control and how his campaign was a “fight to restore the soul of the nation.”

Sanders called JPMorgan’s CEO America’s "biggest corporate socialist" — here’s why he has a point

Sen. Bernie Sanders called JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon the “biggest corporate socialist in America today” in recent ad

FEBRUARY 13, 2020 9:59AM (UTC)
This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Sen. Bernie Sanders called JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon the "biggest corporate socialist in America today" in a recent ad.
He may have a point — beyond what he intended.
With his Dimon ad, Sanders is referring specifically to the bailouts JPMorgan and other banks took from the government during the 2008 financial crisis. But accepting government bailouts and corporate welfare is not the only way I believe American companies behave like closet socialists despite their professed love of free markets.
In reality, most big U.S. companies operate internally in ways Karl Marx would applaud as remarkably close to socialist-style central planning. Not only that, corporate America has arguably become a laboratory of innovation in socialist governance, as I show in my own research.
Closet socialists
In public, CEOs like Dimon attack socialist planning while defending free markets.
But inside JPMorgan and most other big corporations, market competition is subordinated to planning. These big companies often contain dozens of business units and sometimes thousands. Instead of letting these units compete among themselves, CEOs typically direct a strategic planning process to ensure they cooperate to achieve the best outcomes for the corporation as a whole.
This is just how a socialist economy is intended to operate. The government would conduct economy-wide planning and set goals for each industry and enterprise, aiming to achieve the best outcome for society as a whole.
And just as companies rely internally on planned cooperation to meet goals and overcome challenges, the U.S. economy could use this harmony to overcome the existential crisis of our age — climate change. It's a challenge so massive and urgent that it will require every part of the economy to work together with government in order to address it.
Overcoming socialism's past problems
But, of course, socialism doesn't have a good track record.
One of the reasons socialist planning failed in the old Soviet Union, for example, was that it was so top-down that it lacked the kind of popular legitimacy that democracy grants a government. As a result, bureaucrats overseeing the planning process could not get reliable information about the real opportunities and challenges experienced by enterprises or citizens.
Moreover, enterprises had little incentive to strive to meet their assigned objectives, especially when they had so little involvement in formulating them.
A second reason the USSR didn't survive was that its authoritarian system failed to motivate either workers or entrepreneurs. As a result, even though the government funded basic science generously, Soviet industry was a laggard in innovation.
Ironically, corporations — those singular products of capitalism — are showing how these and other problems of socialist planning can be surmounted.
Take the problem of democratic legitimacy. Some companies, such as General ElectricKaiser Permanente and General Motors, have developed innovative ways to avoid the dysfunctions of autocratic planning by using techniques that enable lower-level personnel to participate actively in the strategy process.
Although profit pressures often force top managers to short-circuit the promised participation, when successfully integrated it not only provides top management with more reliable bottom-up input for strategic planning but also makes all employees more reliable partners in carrying it out.
So here we have centralization — not in the more familiar, autocratic model, but rather in a form I call "participative centralization." In a socialist system, this approach could be adopted, adapted and scaled up to support economy-wide planning, ensuring that it was both democratic and effective.
As for motivating innovation, America's big businesses face a challenge similar to that of socialism. They need employees to be collectivist, so they willingly comply with policies and procedures. But they need them to be simultaneously individualistic, to fuel divergent thinking and creativity.
One common solution in much of corporate America, as in the old Soviet Union, is to specialize those roles, with most people relegated to routine tasks while the privileged few work on innovation tasks. That approach, however, overlooks the creative capacities of the vast majority and leads to widespread employee disengagement and sub-par business performance.
Smarter businesses have found ways to overcome this dilemma by creating cultures and reward systems that support a synthesis of individualism and collectivism that I call "interdependent individualism." In my research, I have found this kind of motivation in settings as diverse as Kaiser Permanent physiciansassembly-line workers at Toyota's NUMMI plant and software developers at Computer Sciences Corp. These companies do this, in part, by rewarding both individual contributions to the organization's goals as well as collaboration in achieving them.
While socialists have often recoiled against the idea individual performance-based rewards, these more sophisticated policies could be scaled up to the entire economy to help meet socialism's innovation and motivation challenge.
Big problems require big government
The idea of such a socialist transformation in the U.S. may seem remote today.
But this can change, particularly as more Americans, especially young ones, embrace socialism. One reason they are doing so is because the current capitalist system has so manifestly failed to deal with climate change.
Looking inside these companies suggests a better way forward — and hope for society's ability to avert catastrophe.
Paul Adler, Professor of Management and Organization, Sociology and Environmental Studies, University of Southern California
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

Billionaire JP Morgan chief attacks socialism as 'a disaster'

 This article is more than 10 months old
·         Jamie Dimon: socialism leads to ‘corruption and favouritism’
·         America’s top banker, paid $31m last year, defends capitalism
 Jamie Dimon said capitalism was ‘the most successful economic system the world has ever seen’. Photograph: Jacquelyn Martin/AP
The world’s most powerful banker has attacked socialism, saying it produces “stagnation, corruption and often worse”.

 Jamie Dimon, spare us your crocodile tears about inequality

Robert Reich

Read more
JP Morgan’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, took aim at socialism in his annual letter to shareholders, and warned it would be “a disaster for our country”.
Dimon, who was paid $31m last year as the head of America’s largest bank and who is estimated by Forbes to be worth $1.3bn, took his swipe as a new wave of left politics has emerged in the US.
Democratic socialism has been embraced by a new generation of politicians, including New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and supporters of Bernie Sanders, a longtime socialist now making a second bid for the presidency.
Dimon’s attack also comes as many leftwing Democrats, including Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren, have called for the breakup of big businesses and greater regulation of banking in particular.
In his letter, Dimon wrote: “When governments control companies, economic assets (companies, lenders and so on) over time are used to further political interests – leading to inefficient companies and markets, enormous favoritism and corruption.”
He went on: “Socialism inevitably produces stagnation, corruption and often worse – such as authoritarian government officials who often have an increasing ability to interfere with both the economy and individual lives – which they frequently do to maintain power. This would be as much a disaster for our country as it has been in the other places it’s been tried.”
Socialism is set to be one of the key issues of the 2020 election cycle. Donald Trump has already begun campaigning against socialism and used his State of the Union address to declare that “America will never be a socialist country.”

Business Today: sign up for a morning shot of financial news

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Dimon has previously warned income inequality is dividing America.
“It is absolutely obvious that a big chunk of [people] have been left behind,” Dimon said last month. “Forty percent of Americans make less than $15 an hour. Forty percent of Americans can’t afford a $400 bill, whether it’s medical or fixing their car. Fifteen percent of Americans make minimum wages, 70,000 die from opioids [annually].”
In his letter, Dimon acknowledged capitalism’s “flaws” but praised it as “the most successful economic system the world has ever seen”.
He wrote: “This is not to say that capitalism does not have flaws, that it isn’t leaving people behind and that it shouldn’t be improved. It’s essential to have a strong social safety net – and all countries should be striving for continuous improvement in regulations as well as social and welfare conditions.”

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon takes on socialism, says it will lead to an ‘eroding society’

·         J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon criticized socialism, saying it leads to an “eroding society.”
·         Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Dimon told CNBC that capitalism is not perfect but is capable of fixing the problems of today.
Jamie Dimon: ‘I don’t think people understand what socialism is’
Socialism has failed where it’s been tried and ultimately leads to an “eroding society,” J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said Wednesday.
With democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders among the leaders in the Democratic presidential race and other candidates espousing similar-sounding ideas, the head of the nation’s biggest bank by assets said the idea of socialist control of the means of production would be detrimental to the U.S.
“I honestly don’t think they understand what socialism is,” Dimon told CNBC during a “Squawk Box” interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, referring to a question about millennials.
Watch CNBC’s full Davos interview with JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon
“Most state-owned enterprises don’t do a particularly good job,” he added. “You look around the world and they become corrupt over time. That doesn’t mean that capitalism is perfect. That doesn’t mean that every public company is perfect. No, there are flaws.”
Sanders has been the most out front of the candidates in backing socialism, though many of his opponents in the Democratic race also back universal health care, increased business taxes and greater government control over private enterprise.
Dimon said he did not want to address any specific candidates. But he said that socialist governments traditionally have done a poor job allocating capital and end up backing politically popular endeavors and “bridge to nowhere” projects.
“Once you do that, you will have an eroding society,” he said.
“They do need to fix inner-city schools, infrastructure, health care,” Dimon added. “We can fix all of those in a capitalist society.”

Bernie Sanders Slams Jamie Dimon On Socialism – They’re Both Wrong

Bernie Sanders has hit back against Jamie Dimon's comments about socialism, but they're both missing the point on Wall Street greed.

Bernie Sanders is looking to school Wall Street giant Jamie Dimon on socialism but does the Senator really know better? | Source: Getty Images /AFP/REUTERS/Edited by CCN
·         Bernie Sanders went after Jamie Dimon on Twitter calling him a hypocrite for his comments on socialism.
·         Senator Sanders is not telling the whole truth when it comes to Wall Street bailouts.
·         Jamie Dimon is also wrong as corporate welfare is rampant, and creating a dangerous imbalance in U.S. society.
What is the saying about people in glass houses? Jamie Dimon has been getting a lot of press for his comments on several economic topics at the billionaire ski-meet, otherwise known as the World Economic Forum in Davos. Of particular interest were his comments regarding socialism, of which the JPMorgan Chase CEO and Chairman were very critical. The United States’ most famous socialist, Senator Bernie Sanders, is not having it, and reminded Dimon of a very inconvenient truth.

Bernie Sanders Stretches The Truth To Slam Jamie Dimon

While the above tweet will no doubt get Bernie Bros feeling the Bern and pumping their fists, a note of caution. JPMorgan Chase did pay back their bailout money, and Bernie Sanders must be referring to Wall Street as a whole, not specifically Jamie Dimon’s bank, which only received $25 billion.

The JPMorgan Chase CEO Owes A Lot Of His Considerable Wealth To Socialism

So Sanders is not telling it precisely as it is here. The point he is really making paraphrases as “don’t insult the concept of receiving aid from the government when your corporation went broke and used Wall Street food stamps.” The senator has a point.
What truly irks the everyday American is not that some people rise to the top of the corporate ladder on Wall Street and earn billions. What annoys them is when those CEO’s mess up, get everything wrong, screw over the working man and crash the housing market, and still walk away with their vast compensation packages.
Yes, the taxpayer technically got most of it back, but a large contingent of those people didn’t get the jobs or houses back that they lost in the recession.

Fed Interventions Are Enabling Wall Street Recklessness, Again

The same economic mistakes that required the Federal Reserve to put the U.S. economy on life support have, in turn, stagnated wage growth and disproportionately benefited the financial class that got so greedy in the first place.
Now that Jamie Dimon has shown that JPMorgan paid back their bailout money, what’s to stop them from taking excessive risks and blowing everything up again? Rinse and repeat, as Wall Street relies on government handouts to catch it when it falls.
Long considered somewhat of a conspiracy theory, more and more market voices are speaking up against the Fed’s interventions in financial markets. Scott Minerd, the CIO of Guggenheim Partners, is about as mainstream a figure as you can get in the hedge fund world, and he called the stock market a “Ponzi scheme” in Davos.

You Can’t Cherry-Pick What Is Socialism & What’s “Necessary”

So Bernie Sanders is absolutely right. Taxpayer funds were used to make the rich richer but looks to be wrong that these were not a good investment from perspective of taxpayer funds.
Source-AZ Quotes
Jamie Dimon is wrong because he doesn’t understand that he is himself, a billionaire product of corporate socialism. CEOs love to talk about how corporations should legally be treated as individuals, so we can probably just call it socialism.
A person who is down and out in society is no different from a bankrupt Wall Street firm when it comes to needing a handout. Whatever the result, or the amount in question, they are all part of the same system.
Bernie Sanders is right to tell you not to listen to people like Jamie Dimon, who criticize socialism when they don’t need it, yet are first in line and full of excuses when they do. Secondly, please don’t believe word for word everything Bernie Sanders says about Wall Street, because he is often exaggerating to make his point.
Finally, it’s impossible to have an article about socialism and not give former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher the last word.
This article was edited by Samburaj Das.
Last modified: January 23, 2020 9:29 AM UTC
Financial speculator & author living in the hills in Los Angeles. J.D. but very much not a lawyer. Favorite trading books are anything written by Jack Schwager. Email:,

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