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29 апреля, 01:55

The Real Barack Obama Is Finally Exposed To Everyone

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog, There is no reason for the Democratic Party to exist.– Jimmy Dore I’ve been surprised by the number of people who lived in total denial about who Barack Obama actually was throughout his entire administration, suddenly pointing out the ethical and demoralizing implications of his recent decision to accept $400,000 for a speech to Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald. For myself and countless others, the writing was on the wall from virtually day one when he appointed Wall Street sycophants Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers to senior positions within his administration. Then came the policies, which were even more generous to Wall Street than any cynic could imagine. I posted countless pieces on Obama’s cronyism throughout his Presidency, constantly referring to him as an oligarch-coddling fraud, which his record unquestionably confirms. It wasn’t just Wall Street either. Although his protection and empowerment of that industry was particularly shameless, he coddled and elevated corporatism and cronyism generally throughout his eight years. As I observed in the 2015 post, Cronyism Pays – Eric “Too Big to Jail” Holder Triumphantly Returns to His Prior Corporate Law Firm Job: Trying to determine Barack Obama’s most corrupt, crony appointee presents a virtually impossible task. Every single person he’s appointed to a position of power over the course of his unfathomably shady, violent and unconstitutional presidency, has been little more than a gatekeeper for powerful vested interests. Obama’s job was to talk like a marxist, but act like a robber baron. In this regard, his reign has been an unprecedented success. So why am I writing about Barack Obama? He’s no longer President, and we once again face many of the exact same issues under President Trump. I’m addressing it because I think the fact so many people are finally having this conversation is a very good thing. We can’t have an honest dialogue about such an existential issue without admitting to ourselves the sad truth about who Barack Obama is. While I certainly understand it would’ve been far more beneficial had many of these people faced reality years ago, we don’t get to decide when people come around to admitting to themselves the truth about a person they worshipped (as my screaming into the wilderness for eight years can attest). Denial is an extremely powerful thing, and tens of millions of Democrats were completely bamboozled by Obama due to their personal obsession with the man. This is precisely why cult of personality worship is so dangerous and counterproductive when it comes to politics. We need to grow up as a culture and start supporting policies over people, logic over emotion. If you become attached to a politician or a political party like a sports team, that individual or institution can very easily manipulate and betray you. We see this over and over again, and until we move to a higher level of understanding about the world around us, we will continue to be victimized by disingenuous, opportunistic shysters. Today’s post will highlight two excellent exposes of the real Barack Obama by two individuals who were not fooled by Obama’s soaring rhetoric and false promises, Matt Stoller and Jimmy Dore. Let’s start with excerpts from Matt’s recent Medium piece, Obama the Hamiltonian: Obama, like Bush, is a Hamiltonian. He believed that those at the top of large concentrated financial institutions are experts, with top-tier credentials, and, therefore, rightful rulers. As Mr. Obama put it, Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JP Morgan Chase, and Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, were just “smart businessmen.”   Behind this is a deep moral debate that goes back hundreds of years, to the days of Hamilton and Nicholas Biddle. Since the Boston Tea Party revolt against the British East Indies Company’s attempted monopolization of the tea trade in 1773, Americans understood local commercial institutions as enabling key decisions to be made closer to the people who bore the costs of those decisions. Advocates of centralization, like Hamilton, believed that this was an unstable and weak model for how to craft a nation-state, and that a quasi-aristocratic class should rule.   The policy path of the Obama administration, like the Bush and Clinton administrations before it, and in some ways like Hamilton’s Treasury Department, was largely construed around aiding the big, and hurting the small. Local banks lost out during the crisis, as did community-oriented banks. Black-owned banks, for example, were ten times less likely to receive bailout money than non-black-owned banks. This hit at the individual level as well. People in foreclosure were treated with one set of rules, while large Wall Street firms with significant debt were treated with another. As all of you must know by now, my personal convictions and philosophical leanings call for the exact opposite approach. This Hamiltonian process of concentrating power was most obvious in the banking sector, but it is also part of an overall trend towards the monopolization of our commercial society and increasing control over our lives, our liberties, and our democracy by private financiers. Some within the Obama administration noticed problems towards the end of the administration. His administration challenged the Comcast-Time Warner merger and issued an executive order on monopoly. Antitrust chief Renata Hesse made a speech explicitly rejecting the modern pro-concentration treatment of antitrust. But this was far too little, loo late.   The open markets in which entrepreneurs thrive, in which workers have bargaining power, in which business is conducted honestly and effectively for the benefit of society, was fundamentally weakened during the eight years of the Obama administration, just as they had been during the Bush administration before it. The result is a bipartisan corrosive cynicism towards democracy,   Americans have been saying no to this for ten years. In 2006 and 2008, Americans threw the governing Republican Party out of power. In 2010 and 2014, they did the same to the Democrats, installing Obama in power. Then, in 2016, Donald J. Trump beat both 16 Republican candidates, and then Hillary Clinton. It’s hard to see these electoral tremors as anything other than a rejection of the moral framework of both party establishments.   For virtually his whole Presidency, President Obama operated according to a Hamiltonian worldview in which social justice and concentrated capital went hand-in-hand, where technocracy was seen as superior to democracy. It is that same moral vision that animated Obama in accepting nearly half a million dollars in speaking fee money. Obama was the damn President?—?he’s a smart guy, and yeah, this is who he should be spending time with and naturally this transfer of wealth is a just reward for him to live the lifestyle to which the virtuous class is entitled.   Obama’s good society was one in which a few actors in this class organize our culture using their power over our lives and liberties, because their virtue has enabled them to have the capital or credentials to do so. It’s why his policy agenda on the challenges of today’s political economy was education, early childhood education, and a higher minimum wage, rather than any means to liberate us from the concentrated financiers that organize our markets and our communities. They are doing this for our own good, for one day, maybe not you or me, but perhaps our children might be able to scratch and claw into this rarefied class. If, of course, they have the virtue and intelligence to do so. Many people believe in this system. Many don’t. But now we can actually have the argument in an honest way. The entire post is excellent and you should read it in full and share. He makes the very critical point that we as a people cannot move forward until we admit to ourselves what this country has actually become. Perhaps a shattering of the Obama illusion for the millions of those who were until recently somehow still clinging on to the dishonest “hope and change” rhetoric can serve as a starting point for some real change. Finally, I want to share Jimmy Dore’s latest rant on the topic. Readers know how much I love his show based me consistently highlighting it on these pages, but this might be his best one yet. Before you take a watch, I want to note that this week has been a little slow on the Liberty Blitzkrieg donation front, so if you enjoy my work and have the means to contribute, please consider doing so. Ad revenue from the likes of Google has completely plummeted this year, and no longer represents a remotely reasonable source of revenue. I will have to depend on readers much more going forward. Here’s how to: Support Liberty Blitzkrieg

28 марта, 16:45

The Overlapping Crises Are Coming, Regardless Of Who's In Power

Authored by Charles Hugh-Smith via OfTwoMinds blog, No leader can reverse the dynamics of mutually reinforcing crises. Commentators seem split into three camps: those who see Trump as a manifestation of smouldering social/economic ills, those who see Trump and his supporters as the cause of those ills, and those who see Trump as both manifestation and cause of those ills. I think this misses the point, which is the overlapping crises unfolding in this decade-- diminishing returns on skyrocketing debts, the demographics of an aging populace, the erosion of the social contract and the profound disunity of political elites--will continue expanding and feeding on each other regardless of who is in power. Historical analysis seems to swing between the "Big Man/Woman" narrative that views individuals as the drivers of history, and the "Big Forces/it's all economics" narrative that sees individual leaders as secondary to the broad sweep of forces beyond the control of any individual or group. So while the mainstream views President Lincoln as the linchpin of the Civil War--his election triggered the southern secession--from the "Big Forces/it's all economics" view, Lincoln was no more than the match that lit a conflict that was made inevitable by forces larger than the 1860 election. The tension between these two narratives is valuable, as history cannot be entirely reduced to individual decisions or broad forces (weather, resource depletion, financial crisis, geopolitical upheaval, demographics, plague, etc.). The dynamic interplay between the two shapes history. Individuals do matter--but they cannot offset structural crises for long. Which brings us to Trump. The status quo is falling apart for profoundly structural reasons: promises made when growth was robust, debt was modest, energy was cheap and abundant and the work force was far more numerous than those dependent on the central state's "pay as you go" pension and welfare programs-- these promises made in yesteryear can no longer be kept, regardless of who's in power. We cannot get blood out of a turnip, and those who claim we can are only exacerbating the coming crises with their fantasies and denials. I've been addressing these slow-moving, inevitable crises for the past 10 years. Despite the illusion of tepid "growth" and the maintenance of the status quo, beneath the surface everything is becoming much more fragile and increasingly brittle. Even Timothy Geithner concedes this in his recent Foreign Affairs article on how to deal with the next global financial crisis. The central banks and states have expended all their ammunition-- lowering interest rates, creating money out of thin air to bolster systemic liquidity, buying bonds and other assets to prop up shaky markets, and borrowing immense sums to prop up government spending-- and there is little left for the next crisis. Why I Have to Agree with Tim Geithner on This (March 8, 2017) And this sober view--that some additional central bank trickery can save the system in the next financial crisis--assumes things that are unlikely to be true: what if energy is no longer cheap and abundant? What if gobal weather isn't conducive to grain surpluses? What if central banks buying stocks no longer props up the market? What if debt finally reaches levels that cannot be sustained? Could Hillary, or some other leader, forestall these deeply structural crises? The short answer is no. The only thing a leader can actually do is lower expectations so the erosion of promises that cannot be kept will be accepted as inevitable, and bolster hope while demanding sacrifices of all those who have benefited from the status quo. If we look back on great leaders who dealt with one crisis after another, we find they didn't actually make the crises disappear; they only managed them on the margins, and spoke to the need to make sacrifices for a better future. If we set aside the rose-colored glasses, we find that Franklin Roosevelt didn't actually "lead the nation out of Depression." The nation was still deeply entrenched in the Depression in 1940, after 8 years of FDR's leadership. It took World War II and federal borrowing and spending on an unimaginable scale to extricate the U.S. from the grip of bad debt the powers that be refused to write off and the resulting stagnation. Which brings us again to Trump. Since no one can actually resolve these overlapping crises, a focus on the individual leader's actions is a distraction. Yes, an individual can manage the margins of crisis more or less effectively. But overlapping mutually reinforcing crises are not a war, with a victorious and a vanquished side. As Peter Turchin and other writers I have quotes and discussed for many years have detailed, these structural trends play out regardless of policy tweaks or grand pronouncements. Leaders who manage to ease the decline or temporarily reverse it are considered successes; those who exacerbate the decline are considered failures. Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform. No leader can reverse the dynamics of mutually reinforcing crises. No one can reverse the diminishing returns on financialization, debt, centralization, financial fakery, rentier state-cartel parasitism, or reverse the decline in paid work, the erosion of well-being and health and rising inequality. There is no way to actually forestall the reckoning as the forces of demographics, financial predation, Imperial over-reach, soaring debts, political disunity, technology disruption and the failings of state-cartel centralization grind up the status quo. This essay was drawn from Musings Report 5. The weekly Musings Reports are emailed exclusively to major donors and patrons ($5/month or $50 annually). Recent podcasts/video programs: Keiser Report: Jon Corzine’s Big, Bad Bond Bet (25:43 min., 2nd half) Self-Employment & Financial Bubbles (1:26 hrs) Charles Hugh Smith On Inequalities And The Distortions Caused By Central Bank Policies (30 min.) Rogue Money (56:59 min.)

17 марта, 18:43

Atlanta Fed vs NY Fed: Whose GDP Forecast Is Right?

Authored by Salil Mehta via Statistical Ideas blog, There is a 2/3 chance that both competing Federal Reserve 2017 Q1 GDP nowcasts are wrong! That’s an audacious prediction for the storied NY and Atlanta institutions (one of them led by my former big boss Timothy Geithner), and yet there is no way around the current confusion they are in.  This is also critically important as one is showing a robust 3.2% growth reading, while the other is at 0.9% (the 2nd lowest reading in nearly 3-years) and essentially indicates that we are descending towards recession.  [NOTE - NOWCAST just downgraded their forecast dramatically from 3.19% to 2.83%] Are we descending towards recession?  It's unlikely but zero-growth is certainly in the cards and not reflected by these two nowcasts, and we certainly think there is only a single digit probability of a >3% GDP.  How could the NY Fed plausibly give such a madly high estimate (which if true would be the second highest in 2-years)?  Yet there you have it, two extreme readings, and a 2.3% (3.2%-0.9%) chasm between them.  We show here that the Federal Reserve’s conclusions are somewhat ridiculous, though shouldn’t be since they impact the open market committee monetary decisions that the world looks to.  And there are humbling lessons from these nascent Big Data, overfit models. The chart here shows some basic information regarding the current GDP nowcasts.  As we via the two blue bars, we have the Atlanta nowcast on the left (the bar was recently as high as 3.4% earlier this year).  And the NY nowcast on the right (the bar was recently as low as 1.5%).  That’s right, both nowcasts passed each other, while aggressively moving further in the opposite direction!  The large swings in each are also doubtful, given each nowcast’s eventually advertised, margin of error (concordant paradigm in various forecasts by Taleb).  For a good chronology of these nowcast reports, refer to MishTalk. Each nowcast boasts a margin of error of just ~1%, and this clearly poses an issue since the average of these two nowcasts (shown in orange at 2.1%) is clearly outside of both the Atlanta and the NY stated margin of error!  As supportive reference, we also show (in green) that the current 2016 Q4 GDP is nearby at 1.9%.  Now we should ask some important questions about how we keep getting into more strange nowcasts in the past year that they both have operated.  The first thing to appreciate is that the nowcasts are supposed to predict very tight errors that are uncorrelated to the variance in the actual GDP itself.  And good nowcasts should have errors independent of one another, except since the NY and Atlanta Fed operate independent of one another there is a good chance that there may be some modeling similarities.  We modestly assume this and derive through the variance formula (VarianceAtlanta+VarianceNY+2?Atlanta?NY?Atlanta,NY) that the margin of error of the difference between the models is just less than 1% (silver vertical interval arrows in chart above).  This is a highly plausible tight expected variance.  Sample size is also trivial here as we don't have the true expectation to model a limit from.  And with this, the probability of seeing an inadvertent 2.3% difference between the two correct Federal Reserve models is ½ probability that the GDP is near the 2.1% average that inappropriately happens to be well outside both two nowcasts’ margin of error.  And between those two we can safely claim that there is a 2/3 chance that both models are total wrong (and merely

17 марта, 02:45

Mike Krieger: "Forget Russia, Donald Trump Works For Wall Street"

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog, The evidence is overwhelming and indisputable at this point. Donald Trump is a phony, who has given his administration over to Wall Street crooks even more enthusiastically than his predecessors, and his predecessors were very enthusiastic. I’ve written about this many times, and I warned throughout the campaign that my biggest fear was Trump is far too cozy with the finance industry, fake populist statements aside. His latest hire for the number two position at the Treasury Department once again proves the point. As David Dayen reports in his excellent article at The Intercept, Donald Trump Isn’t Even Pretending to Oppose Goldman Sachs Anymore: The continuity of Wall Street’s dominant role in American politics - regardless of what party sits in power or how reviled the financial industry finds itself across the country - was perhaps never more evident than when Jake Siewert, now a Goldman Sachs spokesperson, on Tuesday praised the selection of Jim Donovan, a Goldman Sachs managing director, for the No. 2 position in the Treasury Department under Steve Mnuchin, himself a former Goldman Sachs partner. America will never recover until this is dealt with, and Trump has made it perfectly clear he will not deal with it. “Jim is smart, extraordinarily versatile, and as hard-working as they come,” Siewert gushed. “He’ll be an invaluable addition to the economic team.”   The punch line? Siewert was counselor at the Treasury Department to Timothy Geithner, as well as a White House press secretary under Bill Clinton.   The ubiquity of Goldman Sachs veterans across numerous presidencies throughout history, both Republican and Democratic, has been well documented. But Donald Trump sold himself as something different, an economic nationalist determined to rankle Wall Street. He even ran campaign ads savaging bankers like Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein for their role in a “global power structure.”   That populist smokescreen is long gone now.   Mnuchin and Donovan are just two of five Goldman expats in high-level positions on Trump’s team. Steve Bannon spent a limited time at Goldman Sachs, but White House assistant Dina Powell, who headed the bank’s philanthropic efforts, and National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, Goldman’s former president, had higher-ranking positions for a longer period. Jay Clayton, Trump’s nominee for the Securities and Exchange Commission, was a partner for Goldman’s main law firm, Sullivan and Cromwell.   White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus reportedly blocked Donovan from Treasury initially, amid fears of an image problem with too many “Goldman guys.” But Donovan got the post anyway. You know it’s bad when Reince thinks there are too many Goldman baby squids around. Even in areas where populist sentiment was seen as pre-eminent, Trump has reportedly succumbed to the Wall Street advance. A dramatic piece in the Financial Times described a “civil war” within the White House over trade, pitting Trump’s hard-liners like Bannon and trade policy adviser Peter Navarro against the likes of Cohn. It stated that Navarro was being sidelined, with Cohn taking a larger role in the negotiations over NAFTA, and with foreign leaders working through the National Economic Council rather than Navarro in trade talks. AFL-CIO official Thea Lee said in the story, “It appears the Wall Street wing … is winning this battle.”   At the NEC, Cohn hired Andrew Quinn, a chief negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, to coordinate international trade and development. A stewing Breitbart News called Quinn “the enemy within.” Drain the swamp baby. Banks have celebrated since Trump’s election, composing the lion’s share of the “Trump bump” in stock prices. Goldman Sachs shares have risen from $181.92 on Election Day to around $250 today, an increase that accounts for as much as one-fifth of the total rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average over that period. It’s now completely obvious that the Trump administration has been hijacked by Wall Street, so where’s the resistance? When it comes to the self-proclaimed leaders of this “resistance,” the corporate media and the Democratic Party, the resistance is nowhere to be found. They’re simply too busy focusing on invented Russia conspiracy theories to deal with the provable conspiracy right in front of their faces. I find that quite curious. It doesn’t take much critical thinking to immediately discover why. Russia fear-mongering is the perfect way to superficially oppose Trump, without actually opposing him. Corporate media and Democrats don’t dare focus on Trump’s Wall Street embrace because Wall Street owns their asses too. That’s the dirty little secret here. While that’s bad enough, the only reason Trump is actually able to get away with such an obvious betrayal and lack of swamp drainage, is because his supporters allow him to. His power resides in his base, and if his base shrugs as he sticks a knife in their backs, then he’ll continue to stick the knife in. As I mentioned on Twitter yesterday. I'm not surprised that Trump is a fraud, I'm surprised at how much of a fraud he is. — Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) March 15, 2017 More important point, like Obama before him, the only reason Trump can get away with his con are his pathetic, cheerleading supporters. — Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) March 15, 2017 Trump could lock half his supporters in a cage in the basement of Trump Tower for a year and they'd love him for it.He's getting the pedos! — Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) March 15, 2017 Trump’s core supporters have a lot more to lose than I do if he continues along this path. Get angry or get screwed over, the choice is yours. Unfortunately, I’m not hopeful. As we should all know by now: “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

08 марта, 19:26

Geithner's Right (For Once)

Via Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog, Geithner's conclusion: current policy extremes, politics and astounding debt levels limit policymakers' emergency options in the next crisis. Many of us disagree with the bloviated, self-congratulatory notion that the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury saved the U.S. economy, capitalism and everything else in 2008-09 up to and including the Central Bank of Mars and the bat guano futures market. That said, I found myself in agreement with Timothy Geithner's recent assessment of systemic risk and the limits of regulation published in Foreign Affairs magazine: Are We Safe Yet? How to Manage Financial Crises (subscription/registration required) Geithner starts with some refreshingly straight talk: financial systems are inherently fragile and prone to panics and runs. This echoes what Alan Greenspan wrote in the pages of his own analysis of inherent financial fragility in Foreign Affairs Never Saw It Coming: Why the Financial Crisis Took Economists By Surprise. "The danger is particularly acute in periods that see both large increases in wealth and optimistic beliefs about the economy--that the economy is safe, that risky assets will rise in value, that liquidity is freely available, and so on." Like now, right? Geithner goes on to describe the unknown unknowns of risk-off contagion: "Panics, although scary and dangerous, don’t inevitably end in economic crashes. Much of what determines the severity of the outcome is the quality of the policy choices made in the moment. When expected losses to the value of assets appear very large, there will be uncertainty about which party will bear those losses. This uncertainty can lead to a general reduction in funding for a broad range of financial institutions. That, in turn, can force those institutions to liquidate assets at fire-sale prices, which, if used to measure the riskiness of assets across the system, will make large parts of the financial system appear to be insolvent. This dynamic is not self-correcting. Left unchecked, it will simply accelerate.   Nor are the dynamics of contagion fully knowable in advance. To paraphrase Ernest Hemingway, runs happen gradually, then suddenly. Their characteristics and severity depend on how things evolve in the event and on what policymakers do in response. What matters most are not the first-round effects of direct losses from the defaults of the weakest firms or even the linkages among those firms. Rather, what drives contagion is an increase in the perceived risk that a large number of firms could fail." While giving lip-service to the benefits of accepting losses, Geithner sees the state as the key player in any crisis. While I don't agree with the idea that the only way to avoid depression is for the state/central bank to backstop everyone, it's easy to see the logic once you accept Geithner's claim that policymakers "cannot eliminate the inherent fragility of the financial system, and they cannot escape the reality that its survival requires extraordinary intervention on the part of the state." Where I once again find myself in agreement is when Geithner explains why additional regulation doesn't reduce systemic fragility--rather, it increases it: "There is no reason to be more confident about policymakers’ ability to defuse financial booms or head off financial shocks preemptively. Central banks and international financial institutions have made huge investments in producing sophisticated charts aimed at identifying early warning indicators of systemic risks. But financial crises cannot be forecast. They happen because of inevitable failures of imagination and memory. Financial reforms cannot protect against every conceivable bad event. So it is important to recognize that the overall safety of the financial system--and the health of the broader economy--hinges on more than just the strength of financial regulation." Geithner's conclusion: current policy extremes, politics and astounding debt levels limit policymakers' emergency options in the next crisis which Geithner concedes is inevitable given the inherent instability of our financial system. "Solvency problems become more likely to be treated as liquidity problems. The government delays action until the only remaining options are even less politically appealing." Geithner's proposed solution is basically unlimited state/central bank power to backstop anyone and everyone and create unlimited credit on demand: "The right regime should recognize that successful crisis management requires allowing the government and the central bank to take risks that the market will not take and absorb losses that the market cannot absorb. It should allow the government to act early, before a panic gains momentum. And it should establish an overarching goal of preserving the stability of the whole system and restoring its capacity to function--not avoiding the failure of individual firms." While I am not persuaded that repeating the unlimited liquidity/credit "fix" of 2008-09 will resolve the next crisis, I do agree that the room to maneuver is shrinking. The American public has little stomach for another massive bailout of super-wealthy bankers and financiers, and the public is equally wary of granting the Fed the ability to buy staggering quantities of stocks, empty malls, bat guano futures and everything else the Fed will have to buy to keep the markets aloft forever. What Geithner is unwilling to say is what's obvious: now that policymakers have shot their wad and the room for maneuver is limited, there can't be a centralized, painless "fix" for the next inevitable financial crisis. Eight years after the crisis of 2008-09, central banks are still propping up a fragile, sick-unto-death financial firetrap:

14 февраля, 03:45

Senate Confirms Steven Mnuchin As Treasury Secretary With 1 Democrat Breaking Party Lines

After nearly a full month has passed since his original confirmation hearing back in mid-January, the Senate has finally voted to confirm former Goldman Sachs banker, Steven Mnuchin, as Trump's Treasury Secretary, adding one more official former vampire squid to the team of Trump's "Goldman Guys."  One Democrat, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, broke party lines and voted in favor on Mnuchin resulting in a final vote tally of 53-47.  Mnuchin's confirmation once again puts a Goldman Sachs veteran in charge of the Treasury for the first time since Hank Paulson departed the office in 2009.  NEW: Senate confirms nomination of Steven Mnuchin to be treasury secretary, 53 yeas to 47 nays https://t.co/Okz2bwUl4f pic.twitter.com/UQsvFb5F52 — CBS News (@CBSNews) February 14, 2017 JUST IN: Senate CONFIRMS @stevenmnuchin1 to be Pres Trump's Treasury Sec, 53-47. DEM 'YES' VOTE:Manchin GOP 'NO' VOTE:None. — Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) February 14, 2017   Per the Wall Street Journal, the delay between presidential administrations in filling the Treasury post for Trump's administation was the longest in the nation’s history. Moreover, the lack of bipartisan support for a Treasury secretary is unusual.  Previously, the closest vote for the job came in 2009 for President Barack Obama’s first Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, who won confirmation on a 60-34 vote with 10 votes from Republicans. His nomination became controversial after disclosures that Mr. Geithner failed to pay some employment taxes in a timely manner. Given that Mnuchin is being confirmed weeks later than the Treasury Secretaries of previous administrations, he faces numerous immediate challenges including a debt ceiling expiration on March 15th and a meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers on March 17th.  Per Reuters: Lawmakers, lobbyists and business groups have been waiting for Mnuchin to fill in the many blanks on how he will pursue tax reform and handle delicate economic cooperation efforts with China, Mexico and other trading partners worried about President Donald Trump's "America First" trade strategy.   Mnuchin faces immediate challenges with the March 15 expiration of a U.S. debt ceiling suspension, ushering in the threat of a new default showdown, and a March 17 meeting of finance ministers from the Group of 20 major economies, where he will face tough questions about Trump's plans to increase trade protections.   "There is a real open question as to whether this administration is going to cut itself off from international monetary cooperation, whether it's exchange rate policies or attitudes towards multilateral institutions or international regulatory policy," said Edwin Truman, a former Treasury and Federal Reserve official now with the Peterson Institute for International Economics   Truman said Mnuchin's hardest job would be managing a sprawling tax reform effort with Congress that seeks to slash business tax rates and enact a new border tax adjustment system aimed at boosting U.S. exports. He noted that was a longer-term project.   With his confirmation now complete, Mnuchin will have to get to work building a team which is expected to consist of several former Wall Street bankers, including David Malpass of Bear Stearns, Jim Donovan of Goldman Sachs and Justin Muzinich of Morgan Stanley. Treasury and White House representatives did not respond to requests for comment on Monday on reports that Trump would soon nominate David Malpass, a former economist at failed Wall Street bank Bear Stearns, as Treasury undersecretary for international affairs, the agency's top economic diplomacy job.   Malpass, a Trump campaign adviser who had been leading Treasury transition efforts, was seen as a leading candidate for the job, with experience from international economic posts in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.   Other names that have been floated for senior posts include Goldman Sachs banker Jim Donovan for deputy Treasury secretary and Justin Muzinich, a former Morgan Stanley banker, for undersecretary of domestic finance. With Mnuchin now confirmed, all eyes will anxiously turn toward General Michael Flynn to see whether the embattled National Security Advisor will keep his position in light of recent revelations regarding with his apparently unapproved discussions about sanctions with a Russian ambassador.

22 января, 00:00

"Open Your Ears" - Populism Is A Feature (Not A Bug) Of Democratic Society

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Bltizkrieg blog, I have serious concerns about a Trump Presidency. I’ve laid these out repeatedly in the past, but to summarize, they center around his authoritarian nature, a disregard for civil liberties, and lastly the fact that many of the people he has surrounded himself with posses an ideology which runs completely counter to the populist message he espouses. As I warned back on November 9th, in the post Americans Roll the Dice With President Donald Trump: Trump will be a failure unless he brings the right people into his inner circle. This is of the utmost importance. Indeed, I knew for certain Obama was a total fraud the moment he appointed Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner to key positions within his administration. This is the area I think Trump is most vulnerable to making some very big mistakes.   Irrespective of my serious concerns, I desperately want Trump to succeed. America needs him to succeed. I’m confident that Trump will never read a single word of this, but it’s also possible someone with access to him will. If so, please consider my observations. The Republic depends on him unifying the people and helping to foster an environment in which every American has a opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I’ve been very disappointed with a large number of Trump’s cabinet picks, and I think the people he has surrounded himself with in general will be a hindrance to populist polices that can help the American public. That said, I acknowledge he hasn’t actually done anything yet as President, so I’ll reserve further judgment for now. Going forward, I will applaud Trump when he takes action I believe to be in the best interests of the people, and I will critique him when he does the opposite. This is what every thinking American should do, but I’m not delusional enough to expect it. I understand the inherent human desire to be tribal, attach yourself to a group and cheerlead your team. Unfortunate as that may be, it’s still very much a part of the world we live in. Another reality of the world we inhabit at this time is that we’re in the midst of a very powerful populist political wave in then Western world. I fully welcome this reality, as I explained in the recent post, In Defense of Populism:  Populism is not a bug, but is a key feature in any democratic society. It functions as a sort of pressure relief valve for free societies. Indeed, it allows for an adjustment and recalibration of the existing order at the exact point in the cycle when it is needed most. In our current corrupt, unethical and depraved oligarchy, populism is exactly what is needed to restore some balance to society. Irrespective of what you think of Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, both political movements were undoubtably populist in nature. This doesn’t mean that Trump will govern as populist once he is sworn into power, but there’s little doubt that the energy which propelled him to the Presidency was part of a populist wave. We need more populism in society from all sides, not less. Any resistance to Trump becomes unproductive, unhinged and dangerous without a countervailing message. As I expressed on Twitter earlier today in a series of tweets: I hope many populist movements unaligned with Trump get going in the years ahead. We need competing populism now, and a total end to elitism — Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) January 20, 2017 If those who disagree with Trump continue to embrace hysteria, Russia paranoia and overall illogical insanity, they'll get what they deserve — Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) January 20, 2017 This is an age of populism. We need populism. If you don't embrace it and form your own popular movements, you will be a casualty of history — Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) January 20, 2017 The most dangerous types of people are actually those who hate Trump, but think the current path the country is on is just fine. — Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) January 20, 2017 Journalist Nafeez Ahmed expressed a similar sentiment in his piece, Donald Trump Is Not the Problem – He’s the Symptom: New ties of solidarity are emerging across the left and right of the political spectrum. Constitutional conservatives and anti-Trump Republicans are finding themselves on the same side as progressives.   There is a powerful lesson here. In the wake of Trump’s victory, many of my American friends and colleagues who lamented Clinton’s failure see the future as essentially one-track: we need to get the Democratic Party back in power in another four or eight years.   Yet this utter banality in our political imagination is precisely what allowed the Trumpian moment to arise in the first-place – the abject deference to the inevitability of working within a broken two-party structure, regardless of its subservience to narrow vested interests, regardless of its accelerating distance from the American people.   The solution is not to react to Trump as if he, too, is the Other, but to recognise him as little more than the Great Orange Face of regressive social forces that we all enabled, forces tied to a global system that is no longer sustainable. That means raising the stakes, and shooting to build something bigger, better and brighter than merely an ‘anti-Trump’ movement.   In the Trumpian moment, we must be neither Republicans, nor Democrats, left nor right, conservative nor liberal. We are humans, together, not merely resisting a broken system that is beyond fixing, but planting the seeds to build a new system as we travel deeper into the post-carbon century. Yes, Trump is a psychotic blip in this great transition. But he is also the culmination of a state of political psychosis which began long before him, and which we’ve all been part of.   So the question is no longer what we’re against. The question is this: what are you really standing for? And what are you going to do to build it? Although the above mentality is the only possible route to a better world, so much anti-Trump “resistance” is little more than an whiny, petulant, unmitigated joke. Here’s just one recent example, courtesy of Variety. The Directors Guild of America is investigating a threat in an anonymous email targeting guild members who opt to work on TV coverage of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.   The email, first reported by TMZ, called  Trump “the monster we all fear” and said, “It is not an overstatement that he is about to destroy this country if we don’t do something about it.”   The email said, “There is no need of naming names when the Inaugural credits will tell us enough about the people who truly care about this country and those who don’t share the same ideals.”   In response, the DGA issued a statement Thursday afternoon: “This is a DGA-covered project, staffed with DGA-represented employees. We have been in communication with our members, and let them know we support their right to work on this project, and intend to protect them fully. We have, and will continue to, investigate the source of this anonymous email.”   TMZ said at least 66 DGA members received the email, sent between Jan. 6 and 10 and written by someone who did not disclose their name. The site said it had spoken with recipients who believed that the author is a DGA member in a position to hire other members and that a DGA executive received the email on Jan. 7. Think about how insane this is. These so-called anonymous “resisters” are threatening people for simply covering the inauguration. Unfortunately, this mindset is far more pervasive than you might recognize. For example, look at what liberal stalwart Robert Reich recommended doing on Twitter earlier yesterday: Just about now, Trump is being sworn in. Don’t watch. Don’t listen. Don’t legitimize. Here’s a countdown timer... https://t.co/EBZx18Ojpc — Robert Reich (@RBReich) January 20, 2017 Take a look at how many people “liked” this tweet. As if anyone in history successfully challenged a powerful adversary by covering their ears and saying lalalalalala. But that’s what people such as Robert Reich seem to be suggesting. It’s the height of idiocy. In conclusion, we need popular movements, we don’t need stupidity. If you don’t like Trump’s vision, you better have competing vision and be willing and able to articulate it. The status quo is dead. We are in a populist age, with tremendous opportunity to make the world a better place if we can take the moment and run with it. As it stands, the Democratic Party remains business as usual, and if it stays that way, will continue to lose election after election and become a increasingly irrelevant factor in American political life. If you don’t want to be an irrelevant victim of history, the time is now to become involved in powerful political movements. This doesn’t include covering your ears, smashing windows and complaining about the Russians.

19 января, 02:09

Donald Trump And GOP Are Building A 'Swamp Cabinet,' Chuck Schumer Says

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); WASHINGTON ― President-elect Donald Trump and Senate Republicans are rushing Cabinet nominees with murky backgrounds through an inadequate vetting process, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday. “This is a swamp Cabinet full of bankers and billionaires ― a swamp Cabinet,” Schumer told reporters on Capitol Hill after Democrats met to discuss the status of hearings on Trump’s top advisers. “It’s no surprise Republicans are trying to rush through these hearings,” Schumer said. “They don’t want the public to know the true views of their nominees, the potential conflicts of interest, just how many of them come from the top 1 percent and are even billionaires.” Because Democrats changed the rules for confirmations a little more than three years ago so that just 51 votes are needed, there’s not much party leaders can do about their complaints. But Schumer vowed to tie up controversial appointments during Senate floor debates. “If Senate Republicans aren’t willing to give the American people a chance to examine and consider these nominees in full and fair hearings, then they should be prepared for that debate on the floor ― extensive debate on the floor,” he said.   They don’t want the public to know the true views of their nominees, the potential conflicts of interest, just how many of them come from the top 1 percent and are even billionaires. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) Democrats especially highlighted news that Trump’s choice to run the Office of Management and the Budget, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), did not paid taxes on a nanny from 2000 to 2004. Democratic appointees have gone down over similar issues in past years ― Zoe Baird from the Clinton administration belatedly admitted to not paying nanny taxes, and Tom Daschle belatedly paid taxes for a car and driver his employer gave him. Trump’s transition office said Mulvaney discovered last month that he hadn’t paid taxes for his nanny, but he has paid them now. Still, Schumer was not satisfied. “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” Schumer said. “If failure to pay taxes is disqualifying for Democratic nominees, the exact same thing should be true for Republican nominees.” Other Senate Democrats weren’t as quick to say the tax oversight was enough to make Mulvaney ineligible for the OMB job.  Asked if such revelations are disqualifying for a Cabinet nominee, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said, “Well, it was at one time.” John Czwartacki, a Trump spokesman, said the president-elect “fully stands behind” Mulvaney. “In typical partisan attack dog fashion, Senator Schumer has proven himself a complete hypocrite,” Czwartacki said in an email, pointing to then-President-elect Barack Obama’s nomination of Timothy Geithner for Treasury secretary. Geithner came under similar scrutiny during his confirmation process when it was revealed that he hadn’t paid all of his taxes while working at the International Monetary Fund. He was ultimately confirmed. Schumer said at the time that Geithner’s failure to pay taxes “was not something that ought to prevent his nomination,” Czwartacki noted. “The fact of the matter is that nobody is more qualified and more prepared to fight to rein in Washington spending and fight for taxpayers than Mick Mulvaney,” Czwartacki said. But Democrats insist that the situation with Trump’s nominees is different. “I’ve never seen anything quite like this because we’ve never had so many billionaires in one room in my life,” Durbin said. “That creates real problems when it comes to vetting.” Schumer, joined by Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), scolded Republicans for rushing Democrats through hearings and moving forward before all background paperwork had been submitted. Senators are still waiting on paperwork from Trump’s pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, who came under fire during her confirmation hearing on Tuesday. Republicans only allowed one round of questioning for DeVos, and scheduled the hearing late in the day. Democrats tore into Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, over ethics concerns. Price admitted on Wednesday that he decided to buy stock in an Australian biotech firm after learning about it from Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), a board member of that company. There are nine nominees that still trouble Democrats, Schumer said. He plans to press Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for more time to review and question them. Barring an agreement with McConnell to slow down the process, Democrats don’t have much leverage. They would need to stay united and sway some Republicans to block any of the nominees.  “The bottom line is it will take some courage of some Republicans to join us ― only two or three on many of these nominees ― to defeat them,” Schumer said. function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_2'),onPlayerReadyVidible); -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

19 января, 01:15

Mick Mulvaney's Unpaid Taxes

Donald Trump’s nominee for budget director disclosed to the Senate that he failed to pay taxes for a household employee in the early 2000s.

18 января, 21:40

Mulvaney failed to pay $15k in taxes for nanny

Donald Trump's choice to lead the Office of Management and Budget made the disclosure ahead of his confirmation hearing.

10 января, 19:20

4 Key Times Presidential Nominees Failed to Gain Senate Confirmation

By Sarah Snyder, American University School of International Service Republicans are rushing to begin confirmation hearings for Cabinet appointments even before the FBI has finished its background checks. For President-elect Donald Trump's opponents, this makes uncovering flaws in his nominees all the more challenging. As a scholar of U.S. history, I have studied the many cases in which presidential nominees, particularly judges, have failed to gain Senate confirmation. However, there are only four cases since 1970 in which a Senate controlled by the president's party did not confirm the president's nominees. In each case, the failed nominee had either ethical, financial or legal lapses in their records. Here's a list of their roadblocks, which might give you an idea of potential obstacles to Trump's nominees. Four failed nominations In 1993, President Bill Clinton nominated Zoe E. Baird to be attorney general. Only five days later she asked Clinton to withdraw her nomination. Her candidacy stumbled on the disclosure that she had hired undocumented immigrants and had not paid appropriate taxes on their wages. Particularly galling to opponents was the idea of the nation's chief law enforcement officer having broken the law. As The New York Times put it, there "must be a natural fit between a job and the ethics, background, finances, and talents of a nominee." Clinton nominated, and the Senate confirmed Janet Reno instead. In 2001, President George W. Bush's nomination of Linda Chavez to be secretary of labor was similarly short-lived. She had offered shelter and financial support to an undocumented immigrant. In 2001, Linda Chavez withdrew as nominee for secretary of labor. AP Photo/Doug Mills, File Although she denied employing the immigrant, the revelation raised questions for senators and the public about her candidacy. Her nomination may also have been at risk due to the resistance of organized labor to her record on the minimum wage, affirmative action and sexual harassment. She quickly asked that her nomination be withdrawn under pressure about conflicting statements she made about her knowledge of the immigrant's legal status. Elaine Chao, whom Trump has nominated to be secretary of transportation, served as Bush's first secretary of labor instead. George W. Bush ran into trouble again when he nominated Bernard Kerik to head the Department of Homeland Security in 2004. Unpaid taxes on domestic workers of unclear immigration status precipitated Bush's decision to withdraw Kerik's name. The Senate later confirmed Michael Chertoff as secretary of homeland security. Given how many times employing undocumented immigrants has imperiled Cabinet nominees, the Trump transition team has presumably been attentive to the hiring records of its nominees. But there are other issues the transition team may have failed to anticipate. For example, President Barack Obama's nomination of Senator Tom Daschle to be secretary of health and human services was sunk by unpaid taxes on a limo service as well as consulting income. Particularly troubling was the source of the car and driver - a political supporter, which may have been one reason his nomination failed. Observers also raised questions about Daschle's close ties to the health care industry that the department hoped to reform. Kathleen Sebelius joined Obama's Cabinet instead. Nevertheless, unpaid taxes didn't stop Timothy Geithner from becoming secretary of treasury in 2009. His confirmation suggests the timing and scale of an ethical lapse could make or break Trump's nominees. Opportunities in the coming weeks Focusing on nominees whose qualifications do not correspond to the job description is one potential strategy for opponents. For example, Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and author, seems a poor fit for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. But convincing Republicans to override their leader on this basis seems unlikely. More often, conflicts of interest, past statements or lapses in judgment preclude confirmation. Nominees' ethical records could be where they are most vulnerable. For example, Sen. Jeff Sessions, nominee to be attorney general, has come under attack from former colleagues and observers in the press for omissions in a questionnaire he submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Ethics has been salient in Trump's call to "drain the swamp," and the recent flap over Republican efforts to downgrade the Office of Congressional Ethics. Ethical lapses, therefore, could jeopardize Trump's nominees in the coming weeks and months. Although the president-elect has faced criticism for past and potentially future conflicts of interest, the voters elected him despite these concerns. It remains to be seen if the Senate will hold Cabinet nominees, who can't claim a popular mandate, to a higher standard. Sarah Snyder, Associate Professor, American University School of International Service This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

20 ноября 2016, 02:15

Obama's 'Zero' Legacy

Authored by Eric Zuesse via Strategic-Culture.org, «Trump did more than any democrat to deflate the neocon/neoliberal agenda that liberals themselves screamed was fascist when Bush was president». That was a brilliant and profoundly true reader-comment recently posted about Hillary Clinton supporters who are demonstrating against Trump’s winning the Presidency. Clinton-Obama Democrats who remain loyal to the Democratic Party in the wake of Trump’s victory are world-champion hypocrites, even if they’re too oblivious to know it. The Clinton-Obama political tradition of pro-megacorporate government, actually repudiates, instead of embodies, that of the Democratic Party’s earlier quintessential exemplar: the 1932-1980 FDR-dominated (Franklin Delano Roosevelt) era, the most progressive period in all of U.S. history. Though I voted both times for Barack Obama, he turned out to be one of the worst U.S. Presidents, if not the worst of them all — even if he was (as I thought each time) the best of the bad (in each election).  His only real legacy as President turns out to have been disasters, including things far worse than his failed Obamacare, which increased the healthcare inflation-rate in our country, where healthcare already costs twice as much — and twice as high a percentage of GDP — as the international OECD average, but delivers inferior healthcare results. America is becoming internationally even less competitive in our healthcare system than before — which was already at the international bottom. It’s sucking the lifesblood out of the U.S. economy. But most of the real hell that Obama produced is in foreign countries: his bloody coup in Ukraine followed by civil war there, and the bloody catastrophe in Libya, and the bloody years-long attempt (ever since Obama first came into office) to overthrow the non-sectarian leader of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, and replace him with Al Nusra and other jihadists that the Obama-regime weaponized and the Saud regime financed and recruited hoping for them to replace Assad and produce a Sharia-law Syrian government. Al Qaeda in Syria — «Al Nusra» — were leading Obama’s ‘moderate rebels’ in Syria. The Administration kept this fact hidden from the American public until late in October when Hillary’s victory seemed assured and so Obama started to acknowledge publicly that he was actually backing all of the anti-Assad people there except ISIS. Thus, for example, on October 20th, Russia’s Sputnik News quoted an interview two days earlier in which the American Russia-expert Stephen Cohen had remarked upon this sudden change: «If you pick up a paper today the narrative is completely different», the US academic stressed, «In Aleppo there are only rebels, there are no longer terrorists. You don't see the word 'terrorist' or 'jihadist' in the narrative any more. And alongside them, with rebels protecting them, there are children who are being killed by Russian and Syrian war planes». As the whole narrative has been re-written, Moscow and Damascus are now being portrayed as «war criminals» which are targeting civilians in Aleppo, he noted. Whereas previously, Obama behind-the-scenes had been protecting and arming the non-ISIS jihadists even while acknowledging that they existed, he was now starting publicly to acknowledge that the U.S. was actually supporting them. According to the US academic, the inconvenient truth is that the US and its allies in one way or another have abetted terrorists in Syria for many years. «The motive of the United States, the only mission that the US has in Syria, is removing [Syrian President] Assad from power», Cohen emphasized, adding that the most powerful force fighting against Damascus are jihadi terrorists. But after the election, because Trump will be Obama’s successor, Obama has finally decided that Al Qaeda and the other jihadist groups that it leads in Syria are no longer ‘moderates’, but instead are people to target and kill in Syria. Finally — after his having long refused to join Russia’s air-campaign to kill them there. I write this as a three-time voter for Barack Obama (both the primaries and the general election in 2008, and then again the general in 2012). I first became disappointed with Obama soon after his election in 2008 as President, when, on 25 November 2008, he chose as the White House’s chief economic advisor the snobbish Republican-turned-Democrat Lawrence Summers, whose advice to President Bill Clinton in 1999 had encouraged him to terminate FDR’s Glass-Steagall separation of consumer-banking (checking and savings accounts) from investment-banking (Wall Street’s casinos). That Clinton action had left the FDIC protections of savers on the hook to bail out the billionaire gamblers who found themselves without a musical-chairs seat when the music finally stopped and George W. Bush's MBS Ponzi real-estate economy came crashing down in 2007-2008. Clinton’s repeal of Glass-Steagall necessitated the Bush-Obama bailout of Wall Street — Main Street’s bailout of Wall Street.  I recognized Obama to be a total fake ‘progressive’ because, the day before, on 24 November 2008, he had appointed yet another pro-repeal ‘Democrat’, Summers’s friend Timothy Geithner, who was the G.W. Bush era’s N.Y. Federal Reserve Bank President and thus king of Wall Street, to become U.S. Treasury Secretary, supposedly to help America recover from the crash that Geithner and Summers and Bill Clinton had in crucial ways created. (The other major way they did was their supporting total deregulation of derivative securities — turning derivatives into the financial system’s crack cocaine. Brilliant! Brilliantly evil.) And even before that, on November 18th, he had appointed Eric Holder to be Attorney General, signaling that the U.S. ‘Justice’ Department was to become headed by Wall Street’s Mr. Unaccountability, an infamous champion of keeping billionaires not only unconvicted and even uncharged but uninvestigated on any criminal law the billionaire might actually have committed — and thus out of prison. Even then — before he had so much as entered the White House — Obama showed that he wasn’t really interested in serving the public but in protecting the banksters, just like Bill Clinton and G.W. Bush had done before him. I kept voting for Obama because the alternative — originally Hillary Clinton, and then John McCain, in 2008, but now Romney in 2012 — was even worse. The system itself was rotten; it gave us only a choice only between bads (goods for the aristocracy but bads for the public) — this was by now clear.  And here’s how bad President Obama actually was: On 27 March 2009, Obama secretly told the chieftains of Wall Street assembled at a private meeting inside the White House (from which these morsels leaked out), «My Administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks», thus comparing these billionaires and agents of billionaires, with the martyred Blacks whom KKKers in previous decades had chased with pitchforks before lynching. But that’s not all of what Obama said to the banksters. This arrogant self-identifier with the aristocracy was very direct with them about his siding with them and their agents who had ripped off the entire world and enriched themselves thereby: «You guys have an acute public relations problem, and I want to help… I’m not out there to go after you. I’m protecting you». And that’s exactly what he then, in fact, did (he told the truth only to his masters, never to their victims the public):  On 15 November 2011, TRAC Reports headlined that «Criminal Prosecutions for Financial Institution Fraud Continue to Fall», to record lows under Obama, even below the pathetic level of George W. Bush. 2009 was a record low. 2010 was a new record low. So was 2011. TRAC Reports never issued a follow-up article on that, but on 21 October 2016, they headlined with their usual understatement, «White Collar Crime Prosecutions for August 2016», and showed there that since 2003 each month’s white-collar-crime prosecutions had peaked in 2011, and now were at record lows in 2015 and 2016. This at least suggests that the category of white-collar crimes that consists of «financial institution fraud» had at least not risen from its all-time low posted in 2011. During Obama’s 24 January 2012 State of the Union address, he promised «to expand our investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis. (Applause.) This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law». He lied. Two years later, the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice issued on 13 March 2014 its «Audit of the Department of Justice’s Efforts to Address Mortgage Fraud», and reported «We found mortgage fraud to be a low priority, or not [even] listed as a priority, for the FBI Field Offices we visited». No wonder that white-collar-crime prosecutions were subsequently at record lows. It’s not merely Hillary Clinton and her emails; it’s the entire aristocracy who stand above the nation’s laws, under Barack Obama’s Presidential Administration. Impunity hidden behind lies is what defines Obama’s Presidential legacy. But it’s zero in other ways, too. Obama’s most ambitious project was his three proposed mega-‘trade’ treaties — TPP, TTIP, and TISA — each of which was designed with a feature in it called «Investor State Dispute Resolution» or ISDS, which empowers international corporations to sue any signatory nation that will increase any regulation regarding the environment or product-safety or the rights of workers (employees) — no matter what the latest scientific findings on such a given subject might happen to indicate. The international corporation can sue for ‘loss of profits’ when any such regulation is made more stringent. Profits to stockholders are sovereign and protected above the citizenry, the electorate; the controlling stockholder in an international corporation is granted rights that are above the rights of any mere citizen — even if that controlling stockholder lives abroad, and even if the international corporation is a foreign corporation. ISDS grants only one-way rights to sue: corporations suing governments, no governments suing corporations. Taxpayers pay those fines. The suits are heard in no court of law in any nation but in international-corporate panels, each having three ‘arbitrators’ no judges and no juries and no democratic accountability to any electorate at all except to stockholders who elect the board of directors in their international corporation. Hillary Clinton favored it and would probably have passed some or all of these, essentially, fascist-world-government treaties, into law, but instead Donald Trump will be President. He is far less likely to move forward with Obama’s grand scheme. «Poverty Rose In 96% Of U.S. House Districts, During Obama’s Presidency». What does Obama have to show for his 8 years in the White House? He served his masters well, even if not as well as he had been hoping. The income and wealth of the billionaires soared like at no time since 1923-1928. The «Share of income and wealth of bottom 90 % wealth holders» both declined. He served his masters well. But they weren’t the American public, and they certainly weren’t the publics in other nations, especially not in Syria, Libya, Ukraine, Honduras, and Haiti, in each of which nations Obama made things far worse, and turned them into hell. To call his legacy «zero» is actually unrealistic praise; his legacy is deeply negative. He’ll be rewarded handsomely for it, by his masters — which never were the American public.

18 ноября 2016, 20:46

The Challenge of Selecting a New Treasury Secretary

Critics lament that the department is often headed by a Wall Street financier, but the job requires expertise that only insiders tend to possess.

18 ноября 2016, 20:46

The Challenge of Selecting a New Treasury Secretary

Critics lament that the department is often headed by a Wall Street financier, but the job requires expertise that only insiders tend to possess.

03 ноября 2016, 12:56

Student loans, indebtedness, and financial literacy in the United States

Annamaria Lusardi (@A_Lusardi), Denit Trust Chair of Economics and Accountancy at the George Washington University School of Business; Founder and Academic Director of the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC) and chair of the OECD/International Network on Financial Education Research Committee. She is also the academic advisor of the National Financial Capability Study which measures […]

28 октября 2016, 00:30

Waking Up In Hillary Clinton's America

Authored by Nomi Prins, originally posted at TomDispatch.com, As this endless election limps toward its last days, while spiraling into a bizarre duel over vote-rigging accusations, a deep sigh is undoubtedly in order. The entire process has been an emotionally draining, frustration-inducing, rage-inflaming spectacle of repellent form over shallow substance. For many, the third debate evoked fatigue. More worrying, there was again no discussion of how to prevent another financial crisis, an ominous possibility in the next presidency, whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton enters the Oval Office -- given that nothing fundamental has been altered when it comes to Wall Street’s practices and predation. At the heart of American political consciousness right now lies a soul-crushing reality for millions of distraught Americans: the choices for president couldn’t be feebler or more disappointing. On the one hand, we have a petulant, vocabulary-challenged man-boar of a billionaire, who hasn’t paid his taxes, has regularly left those supporting him holding the bag, and seems like a ludicrous composite of every bad trait in every bad date any woman has ever had. On the other hand, we’re offered a walking photo-op for and well-paid speechmaker to Wall-Street CEOs, a one-woman money-raising machine from the 1% of the 1%, who, despite a folksiness that couldn’t look more rehearsed, has methodically outplayed her opponent. With less than two weeks to go before E-day -- despite the Trumptilian upheaval of the last year -- the high probability of a Clinton win means the establishment remains intact. When we awaken on November 9th, it will undoubtedly be dawn in Hillary Clinton’s America and that potentially means four years of an economic dystopia that will (as would Donald Trump’s version of the same) leave many Americans rightfully anxious about their economic futures. None of the three presidential debates suggested that either candidate would have the ability (or desire) to confront Wall Street from the Oval Office. In the second and third debates, in case you missed them, Hillary didn’t even mention the Glass-Steagall Act, too big to fail, or Wall Street. While in the first debate, the subject of Wall Street only came up after she disparaged the tax policies of “Trumped-up, trickle down economics” (or, as I like to call it, the Trumpledown economics of giving tax and financial benefits to the rich and to corporations). In this election, Hillary has crafted her talking points regarding the causes of the last financial crisis as weapons against Trump, but they hardly begin to tell the real story of what happened to the American economy. The meltdown of 2007-2008 was not mainly due to “tax policies that slashed taxes on the wealthy” or a “failure to invest in the middle class,” two subjects she has repeatedly highlighted to slam the Republicans and their candidate. It was a byproduct of the destruction of the regulations that opened the way for a too-big-to-fail framework to thrive. Under the presidency of Bill Clinton, Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era act that once separated people’s bank deposits and loans from any kind of risky bets or other similar actions in which banks might engage, was repealed under the Financial Modernization Act of 1999. In addition, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act was passed, which allowed Wall Street to concoct devastating unregulated side bets on what became the subprime crisis. Given that the people involved with those choices are still around and some are still advising (or in the case of one former president living with) Hillary Clinton, it’s reasonable to imagine that, in January 2017, she’ll launch the third term of Bill Clinton when it comes to financial policy, banks, and the economy. Only now, the stakes are even higher, the banks larger, and their impunity still remarkably unchallenged. Consider President Obama’s current treasury secretary, Jack Lew. It was Hillary who hit the Clinton Rolodex to bring him back to Washington. Lew first entered Bill Clinton’s White House in 1993 as special assistant to the president.  Between his stints working for Clinton and Obama, he made his way into the private sector and eventually to Wall Street -- as so many of his predecessors had done and successors would do.  He scored a leadership role with Citigroup during the time that Bill Clinton’s former Treasury Secretary (and former Goldman Sachs co-Chairman) Robert Rubin was on its board of directors.  In 2009, Hillary selected him to be her deputy secretary of state. Lew is hardly the only example of the busy revolving door to power that led from the Clinton administration to the Obama administration via Wall Street (or activities connected to it). Bill Clinton’s Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs, Timothy Geithner worked with Robert Rubin, later championed Wall Street as president and CEO of the New York Federal Reserve while Hillary was senator from New York (representing Wall Street), and then became Obama’s first treasury secretary while Hillary was secretary of state. One possible contender for treasury secretary in a new Clinton administration would be Bill Clinton’s Under Secretary of Domestic Finance and Obama’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman, Gary Gensler (who was -- I’m sure you won’t be shocked -- a Goldman Sachs partner before entering public service). These, then, are typical inhabitants of the Clinton inner circle and of the political-financial corridors of power. Their thinking, like Hillary’s, meshes well with support for the status quo in the banking system, even if, like her, they are willing on occasion to admonish it for its “mistakes.” This thru-line of personnel in and out of Clinton World is dangerous for most of the rest of us, because behind all the “talking heads” and genuinely amusing Saturday Night Live skits about this bizarre election lie certain crucial issues that will have to be dealt with: decisions about climate change, foreign wars, student-loan unaffordability, rising income inequality, declining social mobility, and, yes, the threat of another financial crisis. And keep in mind that such a future economic meltdown isn’t an absurdly long-shot possibility. Earlier this year, the Federal Reserve, the nation’s main bank regulator, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the government entity that insures our bank deposits, collectively noted that seven of our biggest eight banks -- Citigroup was the exception -- still have inadequate emergency plans in the event of another financial crisis. Exploring a Two-Faced World Politicians regularly act one way publicly and another privately, as Hillary was “outed” for doing by WikiLeaks via its document dump from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s hacked email account. Such realities should be treated as neither shockers nor smoking guns. Everybody postures. Everybody lies. Everybody’s two-faced in certain aspects of their lives. Politicians just make a career out of it. What’s problematic about Hillary’s public and private positions in the economic sphere, at least, isn’t their two-facedness but how of a piece they are. Yes, she warned the bankers to “cut it out! Quit foreclosing on homes! Quit engaging in these kinds of speculative behaviors!” -- but that was no demonstration of strength in relation to the big banks. Her comments revealed no real understanding of their precise role in exacerbating a fixable subprime loan calamity and global financial crisis, nor did her finger-wagging mean anything to Wall Street. Keep in mind that, during the build-up to that crisis, as banks took advantage of looser regulations, she collected more than $7 million from the securities and investment industry for her New York Senate runs ($18 million during her career). In her first Senate campaign, Citigroup was her top contributor.  The four Wall-Street-based banks (JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley) all feature among her top 10 career contributors. As a senator, she didn’t introduce any bills aimed at reforming or regulating Wall Street. During the lead-up to the financial crisis of 2007-2008, she did introduce five (out of 140) bills relating to the housing crisis, but they all died before making it through a Senate committee. So did a bill she sponsored to curtail corporate executive compensation. Though she has publicly called for a reduction in hedge-fund tax breaks (known as “closing the carried interest loophole”), including at the second debate, she never signed on to the bill that would have done so (one that Obama co-sponsored in 2007). Perhaps her most important gesture of support for Wall Street was her vote in favor of the $700 billion 2008 bank bailout bill. (Bernie Sanders opposed it.) After her secretary of state stint, she returned to the scene of banking crimes. Many times. As we know, she was also paid exceedingly well for it. Friendship with the Clintons doesn’t come cheap. As she said in October 2013, while speaking at a Goldman Sachs AIMS Alternative Investments’ Symposium, “running for office in our country takes a lot of money, and candidates have to go out and raise it. New York is probably the leading site for contributions for fundraising for candidates on both sides of the aisle.” Between 2013 and 2015, she gave 12 speeches to Wall Street banks, private equity firms, and other financial corporations, reaping a whopping $2,935,000 for them. In her 2016 presidential run, the securities and investment sector (aka Wall Street) has contributed the most of any industry to PACs supporting Hillary: $56.4 million. Yes, everybody needs to make a buck or a few million of them. This is America after all, but Hillary was a political figure paid by the same banks routinely getting slapped with criminal settlements by the Department of Justice. In addition, the Clinton Foundation counted as generous donors all four of the major Wall Street-based mega-banks. She was voracious when it came to such money and tone-deaf when it came to the irony of it all. Glass-Steagall and Bernie Sanders One of the more illuminating aspects of the Podesta emails was a series of communications that took place in the fall of 2015. That’s when Bernie Sanders was gaining traction for, among other things, his calls to break up the big banks and resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933.  The Clinton administration’s dismantling of that act in 1999 had freed the big banks to use their depositors’ money as collateral for risky bets in the real estate market and elsewhere, and so allowed them to become ever more engorged with questionable securities. On December 7, 2015, with her campaign well underway and worried about the Sanders challenge, the Clinton camp debuted a key Hillary op-ed, “How I’d Rein in Wall Street,” in the New York Times. This followed two months of emails and internal debate within her campaign over whether supporting the return of Glass-Steagall was politically palatable for her and whether not supporting it would antagonize Senator Elizabeth Warren. In the end, though Glass-Steagall was mentioned in passing in her op-ed, she chose not to endorse its return. She explained her decision not to do so this way (and her advisers and media apostles have stuck with this explanation ever since): “Some have urged the return of a Depression-era rule called Glass-Steagall, which separated traditional banking from investment banking. But many of the firms that contributed to the crash in 2008, like A.I.G. and Lehman Brothers, weren’t traditional banks, so Glass-Steagall wouldn’t have limited their reckless behavior. Nor would restoring Glass-Steagall help contain other parts of the ‘shadow banking’ sector, including certain activities of hedge funds, investment banks, and other non-bank institutions.” Her entire characterization of how the 2007-2008 banking crisis unfolded was -- well -- wrong.  Here’s how traditional banks (like JPMorgan Chase) operated: they lent money to investment banks like Lehman Brothers so that they could buy more financial waste products stuffed with subprime mortgages that these traditional banks were, in turn, trying to sell. They then backed up those toxic financial products through insurance companies like AIG, which came close to collapse when what it was insuring became too toxically overwhelming to afford.  AIG then got a $182 billion government bailout that also had the effect of bailing out those traditional banks (including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, which became “traditional” during the crisis). In this way, the whole vicious cycle started with the traditional banks that hold your deposits and at the same time could produce and sell those waste products thanks to the repeal of Glass-Steagall. So yes, the loss of that act caused the crisis and, in its wake, every big traditional bank was fined for crisis-related crimes. Hillary won’t push to bring back Glass-Steagall. Doing so would dismantle her husband’s legacy and that of the men he and she appointed to public office. Whatever cosmetic alterations may be in store, count on that act remaining an artifact of the past, since its resurrection would dismay the bankers who, over the past three decades, made the Clintons what they are. No wonder many diehard Sanders supporters remain disillusioned and skeptical -- not to speak of the fact that their candidate featured dead last (39th) on a list of recommended vice presidential candidates in the Podesta emails. That's unfortunately how much his agenda is likely to matter to her in the Oval Office. Go Regulate Yourselves! Before he resigned with his nine-figure golden parachute, Wells Fargo CEO and Chairman John Stumpf addressed Congress over disclosures that 5,300 of his employees had created two million fake accounts, scamming $2.4 million from existing customers. The bank was fined $185 million for that (out of a total $10 billion in fines for a range of other crimes committed before and during the financial crisis). In response, Hillary wrote a letter to Wells Fargo’s customers. In it, she didn’t actually mention Stumpf by name, as she has not mentioned any Wall Street CEO by name in the context of criminal activity. Instead, she simply spoke of “he.”  As she put it, “He owes all of you a clear explanation as to how this happened under his watch.” She added, “Executives should be held individually accountable when rampant illegal activity happens on their watch.” She does have a plan to fine banks for being too big, but they’ve already been fined repeatedly for being crooked and it hasn’t made them any smaller or less threatening.  As their top officials evidently view the matter, paying up for breaking the law is just another cost of doing business. Hillary also wrote, “If any bank can’t be managed effectively, it should be broken up.” But the question is: Why doesn’t ongoing criminal activity that threatens the rest of us correlate with ineffective management -- or put another way, when was the last time you saw a major bank broken up? And don’t hold your breath for that to happen in a new Clinton administration either. In her public letter, she added, “I’ll appoint regulators who will stand with taxpayers and consumers, not with big banks and their friends in Congress.”  On the other hand, at that same Goldman Sachs symposium, while in fundraising mode, she gave bankers a pass relative to regulators and commented: “Well, I represented all of you for eight years. I had great relations and worked so close together after 9/11 to rebuild downtown, and [I have] a lot of respect for the work you do and the people who do it.” She has steadfastly worked to craft explanations for the financial crisis and the Great Recession that don’t endanger the banks as we presently know them. In addition, she has supported the idea of appointing insider regulators, insisting that “the people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry.” (Let’s not forget that former Goldman Sachs CEO and Chairman Hank Paulson ran the Treasury Department while the crisis brewed.)  Among the emails sent to John Podesta that were posted by WikiLeaks is an article I wrote for TomDispatch on the Clintons' relationships with bankers.  “She will not point fingers at her friends," I said in that piece in May 2015. She will not chastise the people who pay her hundreds of thousands of dollars a pop to speak or the ones who have long shared the social circles in which she and her husband move.” I also suggested that she wouldn't call out any CEO by name. To this day she hasn’t. I said that she would never be an advocate for Glass-Steagall. And she hasn’t been. What was true then will be no less true once she’s in the White House and no longer has to make gestures toward the platform on which Bernie ran and so can once again more openly embrace the bankers’ way of conducting business. There’s a reason Wall Street has a crush on her and its monarchs like Goldman Sachs CEO and Chairman Lloyd Blankfein pay her such stunning sums to offer anodyne remarks to their employees and others. Blankfein has been coy about an official Clinton endorsement simply because he doesn’t want to rock her campaign boat, but make no mistake, this Wall Street kingpin’s silence is tantamount to an endorsement. To date, $10 trillion worth of assets sits on the books of the Big Six banks. Since 2008, these same banks have copped to more than $150 billion in fines for pre-crisis behavior that ranged on the spectrum of criminality from manipulating multiple public markets to outright fraud. Hillary Clinton has arguably taken money that would not have been so available if it weren’t for the ill-gotten gains those banks secured. In her usual measured way, albeit with some light admonishments, she has told them what they want to hear: that if they behave -- something that in her dictionary of definitions involves little in the way of personalized pain or punishment -- so will she. So let’s recap Hillary’s America, past, present, and future. It’s a land lacking in meaningful structural reform of the financial system, a place where the big banks have been, and will continue to be, coddled by the government. No CEO will be jailed, no matter how large the fines his bank is saddled with or how widespread the crimes it committed.  Instead, he’s likely to be invited to the inaugural ball in January. Because its practices have not been adequately controlled or curtailed, the inherent risk that Wall Street poses for Main Street will only grow as bankers continue to use our money to make their bets. (The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act was supposed to help on this score, but has yet to make the big banks any smaller.) And here’s an obvious corollary to all this: the next bank-instigated economic catastrophe will not be dealt with until it has once again crushed the financial stability of millions of Americans. The banks have voted with their dollars on all of this in multiple ways. Hillary won’t do anything to upset that applecart. We should have no illusions about what her presidency would mean from a Wall Street vs. Main Street perspective. Certainly, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon doesn't. He effectively endorsed Hillary before a crowd of financial industry players, saying, "I hope the next president, she reaches across the aisle." For Wall Street, of course, that aisle is essentially illusory, since its players operate so easily and effectively on both sides of it. In Hillary’s America, Wall Street will still own Main Street.

26 октября 2016, 16:32

Here's How To Tell If Hillary Clinton Will Keep Her Promises On Trade

WASHINGTON ― Most Americans have never heard of Lael Brainard. But to Democratic Party insiders already jockeying over the direction of a Hillary Clinton presidency, Brainard is a household name. She is one of a handful of candidates being circulated as a potential Clinton administration treasury secretary, and the implications her appointment may have for trade policy are roiling progressives in Washington.  In an era of extreme congressional gridlock, power in the nation’s capital is heavily concentrated in the executive branch. Personnel choices carry dramatic policy implications. Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner oversaw a foreclosure relief plan that abused families and was designed to help big banks. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez figured out how to use an old law to expand overtime pay for millions of Americans. And the flood of emails released by WikiLeaks over the past month show that Clinton’s treasury secretary will have an opportunity to sway an inner circle divided over the top economic issues animating progressive Democrats ― financial reform and trade policy. During the Democratic primary against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Clinton confidants seriously debated whether she would embrace a new version of Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era law repealed in 1999 that separated traditional boring banking from high-flying securities trades. Emails also show Clinton’s team agonizing for months over what position to take on Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact with 11 other nations. In June 2015, Clinton herself praised ideas detailed by former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers supporting the TPP. “For more sophisticated audiences or interviews, his points are useful,” Clinton wrote to longtime aide John Podesta, just a few months before she herself would come out against the trade deal. A voice for monetary policy sanity Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have been pressuring Clinton to break from the team of centrist Wall Street-friendly personnel who dominated the economic direction of the Bill Clinton and Obama administrations and seek out different voices.  As an alumna of both of those Treasury Departments, Brainard is a member of that old guard. But since 2014 she has served on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, where she has been a consistent voice for sanity on monetary policy, calling to keep interest rates low to spur economic growth. Until workers see strong wage increases, Brainard has maintained, the central bank should not clamp down on paychecks by hiking interest rates. Progressive economists have supported this principle for 70 years, but have largely been overshadowed for the past 30 by conservatives more frightened of inflation than unemployment. Brainard has even had to battle other Obama appointees at the Fed over the idea. And she gets results. Interest rates remain near all-time lows, despite caterwauls from the conservative monetary policy establishment. But Brainard’s record on trade is certain to ignite the ire of the Bernie Sanders base. When she joined Bill Clinton’s administration in 1997, Brainard helped implement the North American Free Trade Agreement and manage China’s entrance on the stage of global commerce as a member of the World Trade Organization. As the top diplomat at Treasury under President Barack Obama, Brainard advocated for disappointing trade pacts with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, and laid the groundwork for much of what eventually became the TPP, while overseeing tepid efforts to thwart currency manipulation in China. She has, in short, been involved with just about everything progressives have complained about on trade since the 1990s.  “Moving Brainard from the Federal Reserve to Treasury is like telling Michael Jordan to ditch basketball and try baseball,” said Jeff Hauser, director of the Revolving Door Project at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a liberal think tank. NAFTA and China Brainard declined to comment on the record for this article ― sitting Fed governors do not typically talk to the press about matters unrelated to the central bank. Her early work in the Clinton Treasury focused on Mexico, helping navigate the peso crisis and enforce the economic reforms required by NAFTA, which had been signed into law a few years before she joined the administration. “With regard to NAFTA, I think right now we’re going at a time of real strength and resilience in the trade relationship,” Brainard told reporters in 1999, during a press conference in which she encouraged further privatization of government services in Mexico. “I think both in Mexico and in the United States there’s substantial evidence to show that NAFTA has worked for both countries.” That was the consensus view within the the Clinton administration. But progressive critics of the deal who were marginalized in the 1990s note that NAFTA put downward pressure on U.S. wages without raising them for workers in Mexico. Liberal economists at the Economic Policy Institute estimate that NAFTA cost the U.S. economy about 700,000 jobs through 2011. Even when firms didn’t simply move domestic factories into Mexico to exploit cheaper labor costs, the threat of relocation undercut workers’ bargaining power with their managers. Most serious NAFTA critics in the 1990s were associated with organized labor, which also raised vehement objections in 2000 to granting China permanent normalized trade relations with the United States. At the time, the Clinton administration believed shepherding China into the World Trade Organization was a largely symbolic gesture, one that President Clinton suggested might help foster political reforms in China. Instead, the United States lost millions of manufacturing jobs to China, which continues to be a hotbed of authoritarian human rights abuses.  But these issues have only recently become troubling to the elite bipartisan center of the American political spectrum. Today, centrist experts, including Clinton confidant Anne Marie Slaughter, worry the U.S. trading relationship with China creates national security risks. A trade-deal advocate But none of this posed problems for Brainard when Obama nominated her to be Treasury’s top diplomat in 2009. She weathered a Senate confirmation hearing touting her work “to shape China’s entry into the WTO.” Once at the Obama Treasury, Brainard took a cautious approach to China, resisting calls to formally label the country a currency manipulator. China exacerbates the U.S. trade deficit by hoarding about $3 trillion in currency reserves. This depresses the value of China’s yuan against the dollar, making U.S. exports more expensive in China and Chinese exports cheaper in the United States. In congressional testimony, Brainard repeatedly argued that the yuan was appreciating steadily against the dollar through more informal pressure, and that this progress was not worth risking by deploying more confrontational tactics. Since 2005, the Chinese currency has indeed generally risen against the dollar. But progressive economists maintain this movement has been much too slow, as evidenced by the sheer size of the currency reserves China still holds today. And despite the general upward trend, when the Chinese government has faced sluggish growth, it has intervened in currency markets to devalue its currency, as it did last year. The old guard of D.C. economists tolerated the problems associated with this type of trade for a reason. The prevailing bipartisan ideology inside the Beltway held that the benefits of lower prices from free trade (and even currency manipulation), outweighed the costs of job losses. You might lose your factory job, but you could find another gig and shop at Wal-Mart. Higher taxes on the wealthy could supplement your income with social services. It’s not clear that this redistribution was ever really delivered, but it is clear that entire communities were hollowed out, and that a lot of people got angry. For many, frustration has been channeled into ugly political attitudes. According to a massive study by The Wall Street Journal, in the Republican primaries, Donald Trump won 89 of the 100 counties most negatively affected by expanded trade with China. But as unions and liberal economists piled up evidence that the 1990s trade model wasn’t working, Obama, Geithner and Brainard pushed ahead with the same basic platform. As Obama’s treasury under secretary for international affairs, Brainard’s diplomacy included advocating for a new slate of trade pacts that, once again, drew progressive criticism and, once again, worked out much as critics had predicted. When Obama signed three trade deals with Korea, Panama and Colombia into law in October 2011, Brainard celebrated with a Treasury Department blog post saying the new agreements would “level the playing field and create new opportunities for our workers, businesses, farmers and ranchers.” The Korea deal has cost the U.S. 95,000 jobs in its first few years, according to Economic Policy Institute, while the pact with Colombia has forced U.S. workers to compete with jobs in a country where the murder of union leaders is routine. ‘Serious imprint’ on TPP Brainard viewed the Korea pact as a step toward a much more ambitious goal ― the 11-nation TPP. “We are sort of back in the game in the region and it is extremely important that we can develop a trade agreement through the Trans‑Pacific Partnership that is highest standard in that region of the world,” Brainard said in a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee four days after Obama signed the Korea trade deal. “That is our strongest suit in terms of having a good offense.” Brainard continued to promote TPP until she left office in the fall of 2013. This advocacy wasn’t unusual or controversial within the Obama administration. As secretary of state, Clinton called TPP “the gold standard” for trade pacts, and Obama views it as one of the most important elements of his foreign policy legacy, despite his own party’s revolt against it. The actual negotiation of the deal was carried out by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, not the Treasury Department, and was not completed until long after Brainard left Treasury for the Fed. Still, as the chief Treasury diplomat, Brainard helped set the pact’s goals, just as Clinton did at the State Department. “Structurally a lot of this fell under her,” one former Treasury official told HuffPost. “The fact that she had influence and a serious imprint is pretty cut and dry.” And the terms of TPP are clearly out of step with both progressive thinking and the shifting bipartisan center of elite opinion. Doctors Without Borders, the Nobel Prize-winning humanitarian group, opposes TPP, arguing it will raise the price of medicine in poor countries. The elite drift is even more apparent on a process known as Investor State Dispute Settlement, or ISDS, which permits corporations to challenge the laws and regulations of sovereign nations if they believe these rules unfairly hurt their investments. Under ISDS, corporations can wholly circumvent a nation’s court system and directly challenge laws before an international arbitration panel. The Shifting Center In September, 223 law professors and economists signed a letter calling on Congress to reject TPP so long as ISDS is included in the deal. The signatories included liberal globalization critics like Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz alongside previous free trade advocates like Jeffrey Sachs.  “Through ISDS, the federal government gives foreign investors – and foreign investors alone – the ability to bypass that robust, nuanced, and democratically responsive legal framework,” the letter reads. But just as ISDS was becoming the subject of centrist skepticism, TPP expanded its scope by allowing financial services firms to make use of the process for the first time in any U.S. trade deal.  From her primary battle with Sanders, to her swing-state stumping with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Hillary Clinton has presented clear, progressive objections to TPP. When Clinton insider Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said at the Democratic National Convention that Clinton would reverse her opposition once elected, the Clinton campaign unloaded on him, insisting she was dead serious about her trade complaints. She can prove it with appointments. function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Sign up for the HuffPost Must Reads newsletter. Each Sunday, we will bring you the best original reporting, longform writing and breaking news from The Huffington Post and around the web, plus behind-the-scenes looks at how it’s all made. Click here to sign up! -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

26 октября 2016, 16:32

Here's How To Tell If Hillary Clinton Will Keep Her Promises On Trade

WASHINGTON ― Most Americans have never heard of Lael Brainard. But to Democratic Party insiders already jockeying over the direction of a Hillary Clinton presidency, Brainard is a household name. She is one of a handful of candidates being circulated as a potential Clinton administration treasury secretary, and the implications her appointment may have for trade policy are roiling progressives in Washington.  In an era of extreme congressional gridlock, power in the nation’s capital is heavily concentrated in the executive branch. Personnel choices carry dramatic policy implications. Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner oversaw a foreclosure relief plan that abused families and was designed to help big banks. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez figured out how to use an old law to expand overtime pay for millions of Americans. And the flood of emails released by WikiLeaks over the past month show that Clinton’s treasury secretary will have an opportunity to sway an inner circle divided over the top economic issues animating progressive Democrats ― financial reform and trade policy. During the Democratic primary against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Clinton confidants seriously debated whether she would embrace a new version of Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era law repealed in 1999 that separated traditional boring banking from high-flying securities trades. Emails also show Clinton’s team agonizing for months over what position to take on Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact with 11 other nations. In June 2015, Clinton herself praised ideas detailed by former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers supporting the TPP. “For more sophisticated audiences or interviews, his points are useful,” Clinton wrote to longtime aide John Podesta, just a few months before she herself would come out against the trade deal. A voice for monetary policy sanity Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have been pressuring Clinton to break from the team of centrist Wall Street-friendly personnel who dominated the economic direction of the Bill Clinton and Obama administrations and seek out different voices.  As an alumna of both of those Treasury Departments, Brainard is a member of that old guard. But since 2014 she has served on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, where she has been a consistent voice for sanity on monetary policy, calling to keep interest rates low to spur economic growth. Until workers see strong wage increases, Brainard has maintained, the central bank should not clamp down on paychecks by hiking interest rates. Progressive economists have supported this principle for 70 years, but have largely been overshadowed for the past 30 by conservatives more frightened of inflation than unemployment. Brainard has even had to battle other Obama appointees at the Fed over the idea. And she gets results. Interest rates remain near all-time lows, despite caterwauls from the conservative monetary policy establishment. But Brainard’s record on trade is certain to ignite the ire of the Bernie Sanders base. When she joined Bill Clinton’s administration in 1997, Brainard helped implement the North American Free Trade Agreement and manage China’s entrance on the stage of global commerce as a member of the World Trade Organization. As the top diplomat at Treasury under President Barack Obama, Brainard advocated for disappointing trade pacts with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, and laid the groundwork for much of what eventually became the TPP, while overseeing tepid efforts to thwart currency manipulation in China. She has, in short, been involved with just about everything progressives have complained about on trade since the 1990s.  “Moving Brainard from the Federal Reserve to Treasury is like telling Michael Jordan to ditch basketball and try baseball,” said Jeff Hauser, director of the Revolving Door Project at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a liberal think tank. NAFTA and China Brainard declined to comment on the record for this article ― sitting Fed governors do not typically talk to the press about matters unrelated to the central bank. Her early work in the Clinton Treasury focused on Mexico, helping navigate the peso crisis and enforce the economic reforms required by NAFTA, which had been signed into law a few years before she joined the administration. “With regard to NAFTA, I think right now we’re going at a time of real strength and resilience in the trade relationship,” Brainard told reporters in 1999, during a press conference in which she encouraged further privatization of government services in Mexico. “I think both in Mexico and in the United States there’s substantial evidence to show that NAFTA has worked for both countries.” That was the consensus view within the the Clinton administration. But progressive critics of the deal who were marginalized in the 1990s note that NAFTA put downward pressure on U.S. wages without raising them for workers in Mexico. Liberal economists at the Economic Policy Institute estimate that NAFTA cost the U.S. economy about 700,000 jobs through 2011. Even when firms didn’t simply move domestic factories into Mexico to exploit cheaper labor costs, the threat of relocation undercut workers’ bargaining power with their managers. Most serious NAFTA critics in the 1990s were associated with organized labor, which also raised vehement objections in 2000 to granting China permanent normalized trade relations with the United States. At the time, the Clinton administration believed shepherding China into the World Trade Organization was a largely symbolic gesture, one that President Clinton suggested might help foster political reforms in China. Instead, the United States lost millions of manufacturing jobs to China, which continues to be a hotbed of authoritarian human rights abuses.  But these issues have only recently become troubling to the elite bipartisan center of the American political spectrum. Today, centrist experts, including Clinton confidant Anne Marie Slaughter, worry the U.S. trading relationship with China creates national security risks. A trade-deal advocate But none of this posed problems for Brainard when Obama nominated her to be Treasury’s top diplomat in 2009. She weathered a Senate confirmation hearing touting her work “to shape China’s entry into the WTO.” Once at the Obama Treasury, Brainard took a cautious approach to China, resisting calls to formally label the country a currency manipulator. China exacerbates the U.S. trade deficit by hoarding about $3 trillion in currency reserves. This depresses the value of China’s yuan against the dollar, making U.S. exports more expensive in China and Chinese exports cheaper in the United States. In congressional testimony, Brainard repeatedly argued that the yuan was appreciating steadily against the dollar through more informal pressure, and that this progress was not worth risking by deploying more confrontational tactics. Since 2005, the Chinese currency has indeed generally risen against the dollar. But progressive economists maintain this movement has been much too slow, as evidenced by the sheer size of the currency reserves China still holds today. And despite the general upward trend, when the Chinese government has faced sluggish growth, it has intervened in currency markets to devalue its currency, as it did last year. The old guard of D.C. economists tolerated the problems associated with this type of trade for a reason. The prevailing bipartisan ideology inside the Beltway held that the benefits of lower prices from free trade (and even currency manipulation), outweighed the costs of job losses. You might lose your factory job, but you could find another gig and shop at Wal-Mart. Higher taxes on the wealthy could supplement your income with social services. It’s not clear that this redistribution was ever really delivered, but it is clear that entire communities were hollowed out, and that a lot of people got angry. For many, frustration has been channeled into ugly political attitudes. According to a massive study by The Wall Street Journal, in the Republican primaries, Donald Trump won 89 of the 100 counties most negatively affected by expanded trade with China. But as unions and liberal economists piled up evidence that the 1990s trade model wasn’t working, Obama, Geithner and Brainard pushed ahead with the same basic platform. As Obama’s treasury under secretary for international affairs, Brainard’s diplomacy included advocating for a new slate of trade pacts that, once again, drew progressive criticism and, once again, worked out much as critics had predicted. When Obama signed three trade deals with Korea, Panama and Colombia into law in October 2011, Brainard celebrated with a Treasury Department blog post saying the new agreements would “level the playing field and create new opportunities for our workers, businesses, farmers and ranchers.” The Korea deal has cost the U.S. 95,000 jobs in its first few years, according to Economic Policy Institute, while the pact with Colombia has forced U.S. workers to compete with jobs in a country where the murder of union leaders is routine. ‘Serious imprint’ on TPP Brainard viewed the Korea pact as a step toward a much more ambitious goal ― the 11-nation TPP. “We are sort of back in the game in the region and it is extremely important that we can develop a trade agreement through the Trans‑Pacific Partnership that is highest standard in that region of the world,” Brainard said in a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee four days after Obama signed the Korea trade deal. “That is our strongest suit in terms of having a good offense.” Brainard continued to promote TPP until she left office in the fall of 2013. This advocacy wasn’t unusual or controversial within the Obama administration. As secretary of state, Clinton called TPP “the gold standard” for trade pacts, and Obama views it as one of the most important elements of his foreign policy legacy, despite his own party’s revolt against it. The actual negotiation of the deal was carried out by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, not the Treasury Department, and was not completed until long after Brainard left Treasury for the Fed. Still, as the chief Treasury diplomat, Brainard helped set the pact’s goals, just as Clinton did at the State Department. “Structurally a lot of this fell under her,” one former Treasury official told HuffPost. “The fact that she had influence and a serious imprint is pretty cut and dry.” And the terms of TPP are clearly out of step with both progressive thinking and the shifting bipartisan center of elite opinion. Doctors Without Borders, the Nobel Prize-winning humanitarian group, opposes TPP, arguing it will raise the price of medicine in poor countries. The elite drift is even more apparent on a process known as Investor State Dispute Settlement, or ISDS, which permits corporations to challenge the laws and regulations of sovereign nations if they believe these rules unfairly hurt their investments. Under ISDS, corporations can wholly circumvent a nation’s court system and directly challenge laws before an international arbitration panel. The Shifting Center In September, 223 law professors and economists signed a letter calling on Congress to reject TPP so long as ISDS is included in the deal. The signatories included liberal globalization critics like Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz alongside previous free trade advocates like Jeffrey Sachs.  “Through ISDS, the federal government gives foreign investors – and foreign investors alone – the ability to bypass that robust, nuanced, and democratically responsive legal framework,” the letter reads. But just as ISDS was becoming the subject of centrist skepticism, TPP expanded its scope by allowing financial services firms to make use of the process for the first time in any U.S. trade deal.  From her primary battle with Sanders, to her swing-state stumping with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Hillary Clinton has presented clear, progressive objections to TPP. When Clinton insider Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said at the Democratic National Convention that Clinton would reverse her opposition once elected, the Clinton campaign unloaded on him, insisting she was dead serious about her trade complaints. She can prove it with appointments. function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Sign up for the HuffPost Must Reads newsletter. Each Sunday, we will bring you the best original reporting, longform writing and breaking news from The Huffington Post and around the web, plus behind-the-scenes looks at how it’s all made. Click here to sign up! -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

19 октября 2016, 19:42

Wall Street Millionaire: Elizabeth Warren is 'Just Noise'

In a CNBC interview Tuesday, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink left the door open to serving as Hillary Clinton’s Treasury Secretary. Fink has been discussed as a potential Treasury Secretary for years. He operates the largest asset management firm in the world, which has helped him amass a tremendous personal fortune, along with positions advising major policymakers. During the financial crisis, he leveraged his connections to secure no-bid contracts managing the government’s bailout portfolios, and his ideas have influenced some of Clinton’s policy proposals.  The progressive wing of the Democratic Party, of course, is resistant to the prospect of a Wall Street tycoon running the nation’s financial policy, particularly one who views former Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson and Timothy Geithner ― architects and implementers of the bank bailouts ― as role models. When Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) gave a speech last month at the Center for American Progress warning the audience of Clintonites against naming revolving door financiers to top regulatory posts, she had Fink in mind, among others. “I know that personnel is policy,” Warren said. “But let me be clear — when we talk about personnel, we don’t mean advisors who just pay lip service to Hillary’s bold agenda, coupled with a sigh, a knowing glance, and a twiddling of thumbs until it’s time for the next swing through the revolving door, serving government then going back to the very same industries they regulate. We don’t mean Citigroup or Morgan Stanley or BlackRock getting to choose who runs the economy in this country so they can capture our government.”   When CNBC’s Joe Kernan asked Fink about Warren’s speech on Tuesday, the executive didn’t deny interest in joining a Clinton government. “She’s talking about big money managers and players,” Kernan said. “And I’d feel left out if I were Goldman Sachs … I’d want her making fun of me. So are you happy she mentioned you or unhappy?” “Neither,” Fink responded. “It’s just noise. It’s noise. I’m not paying much attention to what she’s saying. Specifically, at BlackRock there is no revolving door. I don’t know anybody who went to government. We have a number of people who left government and stayed in the private sector and are part of BlackRock.” Watch Fink’s comments in the video below: function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); “[Warren] doesn’t want anyone on Wall Street whose ever had any experience doing anything in Washington,” CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin added. “That’s all you need to know.” The CNBC anchors were a little confused. The reason Warren didn’t name-check Goldman Sachs in her speech probably had something to do with maneuvering by progressives to secure a Clinton gig for Gary Gensler, widely regarded as the toughest financial regulator of the Obama years. Gensler is also a Goldman alum. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

19 октября 2016, 19:42

Wall Street Millionaire: Elizabeth Warren is 'Just Noise'

In a CNBC interview Tuesday, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink left the door open to serving as Hillary Clinton’s Treasury Secretary. Fink has been discussed as a potential Treasury Secretary for years. He operates the largest asset management firm in the world, which has helped him amass a tremendous personal fortune, along with positions advising major policymakers. During the financial crisis, he leveraged his connections to secure no-bid contracts managing the government’s bailout portfolios, and his ideas have influenced some of Clinton’s policy proposals.  The progressive wing of the Democratic Party, of course, is resistant to the prospect of a Wall Street tycoon running the nation’s financial policy, particularly one who views former Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson and Timothy Geithner ― architects and implementers of the bank bailouts ― as role models. When Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) gave a speech last month at the Center for American Progress warning the audience of Clintonites against naming revolving door financiers to top regulatory posts, she had Fink in mind, among others. “I know that personnel is policy,” Warren said. “But let me be clear — when we talk about personnel, we don’t mean advisors who just pay lip service to Hillary’s bold agenda, coupled with a sigh, a knowing glance, and a twiddling of thumbs until it’s time for the next swing through the revolving door, serving government then going back to the very same industries they regulate. We don’t mean Citigroup or Morgan Stanley or BlackRock getting to choose who runs the economy in this country so they can capture our government.”   When CNBC’s Joe Kernan asked Fink about Warren’s speech on Tuesday, the executive didn’t deny interest in joining a Clinton government. “She’s talking about big money managers and players,” Kernan said. “And I’d feel left out if I were Goldman Sachs … I’d want her making fun of me. So are you happy she mentioned you or unhappy?” “Neither,” Fink responded. “It’s just noise. It’s noise. I’m not paying much attention to what she’s saying. Specifically, at BlackRock there is no revolving door. I don’t know anybody who went to government. We have a number of people who left government and stayed in the private sector and are part of BlackRock.” Watch Fink’s comments in the video below: function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); “[Warren] doesn’t want anyone on Wall Street whose ever had any experience doing anything in Washington,” CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin added. “That’s all you need to know.” The CNBC anchors were a little confused. The reason Warren didn’t name-check Goldman Sachs in her speech probably had something to do with maneuvering by progressives to secure a Clinton gig for Gary Gensler, widely regarded as the toughest financial regulator of the Obama years. Gensler is also a Goldman alum. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

29 октября 2012, 19:17

Дети вице-президента CNBC были убиты на следующий же день после публикации каналом скандальной статьи

На этой неделе новостная организация CNBC привлекла внимание мейнстрим-СМИ к крупнейшему в истории США иску об отмывании денег и рэкете, в рамках которого «банкстеры» и их партнёры по рэкету обвиняются в полученных нечестным путём доходах в размере 43 триллионов долларов.В иске говорится, что в дело вовлечены должностные лица, находящиеся на самых высоких постах в правительстве и финансовом секторе.После того, как эта информация удивительным образом оказалась в мейнстрим-новостях, начались разворачиваться весьма подозрительные события.В течение нескольких часов исходная страница, где размещался материал, была удалена, а старший вице-президент CNBC Кевин Крим получил известие о том, что его дети были убиты при очень загадочных обстоятельствах.Похоже, сначала произошло убийство, затем была удалена страница.По сообщениям основных СМИ, в убийстве детей виновна няня, которая предположительно зарезала обоих детей.Те же источники новостей сообщают о том, что после убийства няня якобы сама себе перерезала горло.Полиция обнародовала очень мало информации, и хотя весь случай целиком пока не был озвучен официально, кажется вполне вероятным, что убийства, это не что иное, как демонстрация силы против прессы из-за публикации такой убийственной информации о самых влиятельных людях в мире.Вот некоторая информация об иске с вебсайта Marketwatch:«В рамках судебного процесса в окружном суде юридической фирмой Spire Law Group, действующей от лица домовладельцев страны и налогоплательщиков Нью-Йорка, а также в соответствии с законами о компенсации налогоплательщику, коллективный деликтный иск (иск о взыскании истекающих из причинения вреда обязательств; прим. mixednews.ru) был расширен на федеральный суд Бруклина, Нью-Йорк, в стремлении прекратить все конфискации по ипотеке в пределах страны вплоть до решения по возврату 43 триллионов долларов ($43,000,000,000.00) «банкстерами» и их сообщниками, также в рамках дела были выдвинуты требования на аудит ФРС и всех «спасательных программ» бывего генерального инспектора программы TARP Нейла Барофски, который заявил, что никакие из денег в рамках программы TARP и других «спасательных денег», выделявшихся из казны, никогда не были погашены, несмотря на заверения ответчиками в обратном, а также аналогичные публичные заверения на национальном телевидении президентом Обамой и администрацией президента Обамы, и в более частном порядке Конгрессу Соединённых штатов.Поскольку администрация Обамы уголовно не преследует никого из «банкстеров», и по сути активно занимает у этих же «банкстеров» деньги для кампании г-ны Обамы, национальная группа инициирующих дело истцов-домовладельцев была вынуждена расширить свой иск, включив рэкет, отмывание денег и преднамеренные нарушения санкций в отношении Ирана и Закона об эмбарго национальными банками, включенными в число ответчиков-»банкстеров».Одними из предполагаемых заговорщиков являются Генеральный прокурор Холдер, помощник генерального прокурора Тони Вест, бывший губернатор Нью-Джерси Джон Корзайн, бывший министр финансов и один из банкстеров Роберт Рубин, министр финансов Тимоти Гейтнер, Викрам Пандит (недавно ушедший в отставку опальный председатель совета директоров Citigroup), старший советник Белого дома Валери Джарретт, бывший «директор по коммуникациям» в администрации Обамы Анита Данн, муж Аниты Данн и главный юрисконсульт предвыборной кампании Обамы Роберт Бауэр, а также сами «банкстеры», и их аффилированные и доверенные лица.Ожидается, что все новости на эту тему с CNBC будут удалены, и другим новостным источникам воспрепятствуют в освещении этой информации. Тем не менее, сохранились скриншоты оригинальной статьи на CNBC, подтверждающие подлинность этой истории.Это второй случай на этой неделе, в котором высокопоставленные руководители стали жертвой подозрительного нападения, которое очень напоминает заказное убийство.The Telegraph 25 октября сообщил о том, что в Брюсселе 60-летний руководитель в нефтяной компании ExxonMobil Николас Мокфорд был застрелен на глазах у своей жены.http://mixednews.ru/archives/26036