• Теги
    • избранные теги
    • Люди327
      • Показать ещё
      Страны / Регионы110
      • Показать ещё
      Международные организации51
      • Показать ещё
      Разное187
      • Показать ещё
      Компании550
      • Показать ещё
      Издания47
      • Показать ещё
      Формат4
      Показатели42
      • Показать ещё
      Сферы2
Тимоти Гейтнер
20 ноября, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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.

Выбор редакции
14 октября, 16:45

"The Most Important WikiLeak" - How Wall Street Built The Obama Cabinet

Perhaps the most startling discovery of the WikiLeaks dumps so far didn't come from the most recent emails surrounding the various Hillary scandals, though there are many great ones, but from 2008 when John Podesta served as co-chair of President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team.  The email came from Michael Froman, a former Citibank executive, who single-handedly built the entire cabinet of what was supposed to be the "main street" President.     The email in question was even sent from Froman's Citibank email address (rookie!) and includes "A list of African American, Latino and Asian American candidates, broken down by Cabinet/Deputy and Under/Assistant/Deputy Assistant level, plus a list of Native American, Arab/Muslim American and Disabled American candidates." Apparently Obama wasn't as worried about placing women in senior-level positions but Froman decided to offer up some suggestions anyway. "While you did not ask for this, I prepared and attached a similar document on women." Froman even went ahead and "scoped out" which people should be appointed to which cabinet positions. "At the risk of being presumptuous, I also scoped out how the Cabinet-level appointments might be put together, probability-weighting the likelihood of appointing a diverse candidate for each position (given one view of the short list) and coming up with a straw man distribution."   As New Republic points out, the Froman appointments ended up being almost entirely right. The cabinet list ended up being almost entirely on the money. It correctly identified Eric Holder for the Justice Department, Janet Napolitano for Homeland Security, Robert Gates for Defense, Rahm Emanuel for chief of staff, Peter Orszag for the Office of Management and Budget, Arne Duncan for Education, Eric Shinseki for Veterans Affairs, Kathleen Sebelius for Health and Human Services, Melody Barnes for the Domestic Policy Council, and more. For the Treasury, three possibilities were on the list: Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, and Timothy Geithner.   This was October 6. The election was November 4. And yet Froman, an executive at Citigroup, which would ultimately become the recipient of the largest bailout from the federal government during the financial crisis, had mapped out virtually the entire Obama cabinet, a month before votes were counted. And according to the Froman/Podesta emails, lists were floating around even before that.   Many already suspected that Froman, a longtime Obama consigliere, did the key economic policy hiring while part of the transition team. We didn’t know he had so much influence that he could lock in key staff that early, without fanfare, while everyone was busy trying to get Obama elected. The WikiLeaks emails show even earlier planning; by September the transition was getting pre-clearance to assist nominees with financial disclosure forms.   So if this history is any guide then the real power within a future Clinton administration is being formed right now.  In fact, another email from January 2015 reveals that Elizabeth Warren was already "intently focused on personnel issues" almost two full years ago as evidenced by the following recap of a conversation that the Hillary campaign had with her Chief of Staff, Dan Geldon.   He was intently focused on personnel issues, laid out a detailed case against the Bob Rubin school of Democratic policy makers, was very critical of the Obama administration's choices, and explained at length the opposition to Antonio Weiss. We then carefully went through a list of people they do like, which EW sent over to HRC earlier.   We spent less time on specific policies, because he seemed less interested in that.   He spoke repeatedly about the need to have in place people with ambition and urgency who recognize how much the middle class is hurting and are willing to challenge the financial industry.   To the extent there are any purists left, this should clear up any illusion of who controls the political powers that be.

30 сентября, 19:57

The Fed's Monetary Politburo Is Finally Catching Some Flack

Submitted by David Stockman via Contra Corner blog, Now that’s more like it. Echoing Donald Trump’s Monday night bull’s-eye regarding the Fed’s thoroughly political essence, Rep. Scott Garrett put more wood to Janet Yellen during Wednesday’s hearing: Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., seized Trump’s mantle during Wednesday’s hearing, saying “the Fed has an unacceptable cozy relationship” with the Obama administration and Democrats.   “As the saying goes, perception is reality,” Garrett told Yellen. “Whether you like it or not, the public increasingly believes that the Fed’s independence is nothing more than a myth.” Of course it’s a myth, and a dangerous one at that. The truth is, Keynesian monetary central planning is inherently, massively and irremediably “political”. That’s because it interjects the state deeply into the money and capital markets—-the very heart of capitalism—-and thereby in plenary fashion manipulates, rigs and falsifies the prices of all financial assets. So doing, it supersedes governance by the many via continuous auction and free market processes of financial valuation and allocation with governance by the few, who rule arbitrarily and often secretly via ideological whims and shibboleths that they are pleased to call “policy”. Worse still, the Eccles Building politicians who rule the financial markets directly—-and through them much of the balance of capitalism indirectly—- are unelected and are accountable to no democratic oversight and control whatsoever. They have essentially seized great power in the manner of a coup d’ etat, and have then added insult to injury by proclaiming the utterly spurious doctrine of Fed “independence”. The cover story, of course, is that central banking is such a complex, arcane and intellectually demanding business that only a tiny elite of the best and brightest are capable of manning the monetary dials. Indeed, it is claimed that the job of keeping capitalism on the straight and narrow path toward the Keynesian nirvana of full-employment—-and off the shoals of underperformance, recessionary lapse and depressionary crisis, where it is otherwise inclined—-can only be accomplished by an elite politburo; and one that is accountable only to itself and its esoteric econometric models. Folks, that is self-serving bunkum and poppycock. If you want to have financial rule by politicians rather than markets, the FOMC has absolutely no more competence than the House Financial Services Committee. In fact, if you want to set the money market rate by essentially throwing a dart at the wall, you could pick the FOMC by lot from the phone book! After all, the so-called science of Keynesian central banking amounts to nothing more than deciding by how much you want to falsify the market price of money and financial assets——-along with how frequently you want to change the “fix” and which components of the yield curve and tradable assets you want to rig. Since the purported geniuses who occupy the 12 chairs at the FOMC have essentially not changed the peg for 94 months running, the job can’t be all that hard. Does it really take an economics PhD or ex-banker to figure this out or, for that matter, to ascertain that Wall Street gamblers prefer free money, as opposed to expensive money, to fund their speculations? In fact, it all boils down to the very kind of binary decisions that both elected politicians and average voters excel at making. To wit, if you are rigging the financial markets, who do you want to help and who do you want to hurt? That is, borrowers or savers, speculators or entrepreneurs, money shufflers or wage earners, bankers or depositors, the risk-prone or the risk-averse, day-traders or business-builders, etc. It’s really not all that hard to rig markets if you have a printing press and plenary authority to redistribute economic gain and pain and societal income and wealth by political fiat, and without the inconvenience of periodic elections. Needless to say, there is one hell of an argument in favor of market-based price discovery by capital providers and capital users in their tens of millions as opposed to a tiny posse of politicians in the Eccles Building or in the Rayburn Building or from the phone book. But until very recently, the choice between financial rule by politicians versus markets wasn’t even on the radar screen of public discussion. No more. Donald Trump deserves the nation’s eternal gratitude for finally raising the topic—–even if his point was narrowly partisan and electoral. But politics is politics, and now that Flyover America has been reminded that the Fed is knee deep in it, hopefully the drumbeat will grow louder. Fortunately, the obtuse arrogance of the monetary politburo itself is helping to screw-up the courage of politicians like Rep.Garrett. He has apparently come out of the monetary closet and hopefully has provided an example for his Capitol Hill colleagues. In this instance, Hillary Clinton’s Treasury Secretary designate, and lifelong financial apparatchik, Lael Brainard, made it easy. She’s been an in-your-face contributor to the Clinton campaign, and has been visibly lobbying for the high office that Jack Lew, Tim Geithner and Hank Paulson have recently so thoroughly defiled with their bailouts and booty: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s defense of the central bank as non-partisan came under attack on Wednesday, as a Republican congressman cornered her on whether a key policy maker would have a conflict of interest in discussing a post in the next U.S. president’s administration.   Fed Governor Lael Brainard has donated to Clinton’s campaign and is widely viewed as a potential Clinton pick for Treasury secretary. Yellen hesitated and then demurred when Representative Scott Garrett of New Jersey asked whether Brainard would have a conflict of interest if she were indeed in talks with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign about a position. The election takes place Nov. 8. As it happened, this isn’t the first time. Our Wall Street/Washington financial rulers have become so brazen in their political machinations that Tim Geithner actually confessed to lobbying Obama for the Treasury job in the white heat of the October 2008 meltdown. That is, when as the President of the New York Fed he was supposedly helping to administer the secret ministrations by which the best and brightest go about saving capitalism from itself, he actually had his head far up the Democratic candidate’s keister in pursuit of politics: In his memoir, Timothy Geithner recalls meeting with then-Senator Obama in his room at the W Hotel in midtown Manhattan before the 2008 election, where the future president suggested that he might ask Geithner — then head of the New York Fed — to come to Washington as Treasury secretary. That meeting was in mid-October; Geithner voted at the next Fed meeting, at the end of the month, to cut interest rates by a half percentage point amid the deepening financial crisis. The process of defrocking the high priests of the monetary temple might even become contagious. This morning one Ruchir Sharma, who is chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, let loose a real stunner. Excerpts from his Wall Street Journal piece are highlighted below. But first let’s cut to the chase. Approximately 3,200 days have elapsed since January 2008 and on 70 of those days, or 2% of the time, the monetary politburo was in session at the Eccles Building. Yet, mirabile dictu, (wonderful to relate) 60% of the entire stock market gain during that nearly nine-year period occurred on exactly those 2% of days. Can you say, rigged! Donald Trump did. Scott Garrett did. Now even the Morgan Stanley guy has let the cat out of the bag.  …….Since the Fed began aggressive monetary easing in 2008, my calculations show that nearly 60% of stock market gains have come on those days, once every six weeks, that the Federal Open Market Committee announces its policy decisions.  Put another way, the S&P 500 index has gained 699 points since January 2008, and 422 of those points came on the 70 Fed announcement days. The average gain on announcement days was 0.49%, or roughly 50 times higher than the average gain of 0.01% on other days.   This is a sign of dysfunction. The stock market should be a barometer of the economy, but in practice it has become a barometer of Fed policy. Yes, you could call it “dysfunction”. But the right word is sheer madness. In effect, the politicians at the Fed have entered a symbiotic embrace with the gamblers on Wall Street. Yet, finally, even an honest voice from the latter has dared to describe the untoward results. Here is more unpeeling of the Fed “independence” lie from Ruchir Sharma’s blockbuster op ed: Fed policy proclamations had little influence on the stock market before 1980. Between 1980 and 2007, returns on Fed announcement days averaged 0.24%, about half as much as during the current easing cycle. The effect of Fed announcements rose sharply after 2008 when the Fed launched the early rounds of quantitative easing (usually called QE), its bond purchases intended to inject money into the economy.   Whether this is a “big, fat, ugly bubble” depends on how one defines a bubble. But a composite index for stocks, bonds and homes shows that their combined valuations have never been higher in 50 years. Housing prices have been rising faster than incomes, putting a first home out of reach for many Americans.   Mr.Trump was also right that despite the Fed’s efforts, the U.S. has experienced “the worst revival of an economy since the Great Depression.” The economy’s growth rate is well below its precrisis norm, and the benefits have been slow to reach the middle class and Main Street. Much of the Fed’s easy money has gone into financial engineering, as companies borrow billions of dollars to buy back their own stock. Corporate debt as a share of GDP has risen to match the highs hit before the 2008 crisis.   In this way the Fed’s policies have fueled a sharp rise in wealth inequality world-wide—and a boom in the global population of billionaires. Ironically, rising resentment against such inequality is lifting the electoral prospects of angry populists like Mr. Trump, a billionaire promising to fight for the little guy. His rants may often be inaccurate, but regarding the ripple effects of the Fed’s easy money, Mr. Trump is directly on point. So now perhaps another question can be raised. Why do we even need politicians to peg and falsify the price of money and financial assets? Has there been a shortage of debt that requires artificially low interest rates to encourage households, businesses and government officials to borrow? Has the financial sector languished and dragged down the real economy—especially since Alan Greenspan discovered the printing press in the basement of the Eccles Building during the stock market crash of October 1987? Do we need chronic, egregiously “easy money” when the financial sector’s size has risen from 1.5X national income during the halcyon days of the 1950s and 1960’s to 5X the flat-lining economy of the present era? Do we need a posse of politicians at the Fed empowered to ride roughshod over every financial asset price for the absurd purpose of generating more inflation? Is that not the equivalent of carrying coals to Newcastle when the American economy already has nearly the highest costs and wages in the world? Have these central bank politicians ever offered a smidgeon of proof that consumers don’t buy flat screen TVs, computers or i-Phones because their prices are falling? Or that they delay purchasing food, fuel and necessities because the CPI is too weak? Or that they need to be smacked in the forehead by “sticker shock” in order to buy a car? To the contrary, in a world in which massive amounts of jobs and incomes have been off-shored owing to the China Price for goods and the India Price for services what would be so bad about a little deflation, exactly? In fact, workers in the middle and lower reaches of the jobs market have not even kept up with the average nominal wage, which has nearly tripled since 1987, even as their after-inflation paychecks—-measured by an honest cost-of-living deflator—-have been shrinking for decades. At the end of the day, the current regime of political rule of financial markets is based on the monetary politburo’s self-serving myth that flexible, mobilized, market-set interest rates will impair economic prosperity and that left to its own devices capitalism has a death wish. To the contrary, mobilized, free-market interest rates are the only route to financial stability, efficient capital allocation and the extinguishment of the rampant speculation and malinvestment which is bringing American capitalism to ruin. Accomplish that much, and the business cycle will self-correct and capitalist prosperity will be off to the races. To be sure, there is a long way from here to there. But calling out the politics-ridden nature of the Federal Reserve and the myth of its vaunted “independence” is a least a start in the right direction.

23 сентября, 00:58

Elizabeth Warren Seems To Be Staking Out Her Place In A Clinton Presidency

Earlier this summer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) became the spear tip of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, skewering Republican nominee Donald Trump in repeated head-to-head battles on Twitter. Now, the progressive firebrand appears to be staking out her role in a potential Clinton administration as a bulwark against the influence of Wall Street. “We believe Sen. Elizabeth Warren is succeeding in establishing herself as the chief financial policymaker in a potential Clinton White House,” Jaret Seiberg, managing director at the financial research firm Cowen Group, wrote in an investor memo on Thursday. “She has threatened to stop Clinton nominees with ties to BlackRock and other firms. And she is using the bully pulpit to shape the debate over the Wells Fargo cross-selling controversy.”  On Wednesday, Warren signaled that she would try to stop any appointment of big bank executives to Clinton’s cabinet. First, she said progressives need to vote Clinton into office. Then, she said she plans to pressure Clinton to fill her cabinet with “advisers who believe in the agenda she has outlined.”  “We don’t mean advisers 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,” Warren said in a speech at the progressive think tank Center for American Progress. “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.” 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); BlackRock chief Larry Fink has been widely floated as a possible candidate for Treasury secretary. Fink, whose firm is the world’s largest asset manager, wants the job. He controls $4.6 trillion ― about a trillion dollars more than the annual federal budget. Fink almost clinched the position in 2012 after then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner stepped down, and he’s assembled what The Intercept calls “a veritable shadow government full of former Treasury Department officials.”  Hamilton “Tony” James, the president of the private equity giant Blackstone, has likewise been floated for the job. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg’s name also came up last week.  “This is about people who understand the urgency of the need for rebuilding opportunity in America now and who will fight for it with everything they’ve got,” Warren said on Wednesday. “People who will fight for every single promise Hillary Clinton has put forward during this campaign ― including her promise to end the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington.”  Notably absent from her list of personae non gratae was Gary Gensler, the former chair of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and a partner at Goldman Sachs.  “Gensler generally enjoys broad support from progressives and is seen as driving the crackdown on derivatives that was included in Dodd-Frank,” wrote Seiberg, the Cowen Group director. “He is also the CFO of Clinton’s campaign.”  Clinton, for her part, has outlined a fairly progressive policy platform in an effort to appeal to fans of Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who challenged Clinton for the Democratic nomination with calls for systemic financial reform. “They have taken seriously the need to keep the reform-oriented wing of the party happy enough,” one Warren ally recently told The Huffington Post, “and for now they seem to have succeeded.” Warren’s speech came a day after she hammered Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf for his role in a five-year scheme in which thousands of bankers opened more than 2 million accounts for customers without them knowing. “You should resign,” she told Stumpf, speaking at the Senate banking committee. “You should give back the money you took while this scam was going on, and you should be criminally investigated.” It’s common for Congressional panels to pick apart scandal-struck corporate leaders. But Seiberg predicts that Warren’s “enormous clout” within the Democratic Party will be amplified as senators begin looking ahead to the 2018 election season. “Yes, there is always a lot of rhetoric on Capitol Hill,” Seiberg wrote. “But her comments went further than what we typically hear. It shows that she is a master of the bully pulpit. And she can use that to frame the debate.”  “This is why we continue to believe that Clinton will be limited if she wants to moderate policy related to the biggest banks,” he added. “Warren has effectively declared that she has veto power over what Clinton will do.”  -- 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.

23 сентября, 00:58

Elizabeth Warren Seems To Be Staking Out Her Place In A Clinton Presidency

Earlier this summer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) became the spear tip of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, skewering Republican nominee Donald Trump in repeated head-to-head battles on Twitter. Now, the progressive firebrand appears to be staking out her role in a potential Clinton administration as a bulwark against the influence of Wall Street. “We believe Sen. Elizabeth Warren is succeeding in establishing herself as the chief financial policymaker in a potential Clinton White House,” Jaret Seiberg, managing director at the financial research firm Cowen Group, wrote in an investor memo on Thursday. “She has threatened to stop Clinton nominees with ties to BlackRock and other firms. And she is using the bully pulpit to shape the debate over the Wells Fargo cross-selling controversy.”  On Wednesday, Warren signaled that she would try to stop any appointment of big bank executives to Clinton’s cabinet. First, she said progressives need to vote Clinton into office. Then, she said she plans to pressure Clinton to fill her cabinet with “advisers who believe in the agenda she has outlined.”  “We don’t mean advisers 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,” Warren said in a speech at the progressive think tank Center for American Progress. “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.” 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); BlackRock chief Larry Fink has been widely floated as a possible candidate for Treasury secretary. Fink, whose firm is the world’s largest asset manager, wants the job. He controls $4.6 trillion ― about a trillion dollars more than the annual federal budget. Fink almost clinched the position in 2012 after then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner stepped down, and he’s assembled what The Intercept calls “a veritable shadow government full of former Treasury Department officials.”  Hamilton “Tony” James, the president of the private equity giant Blackstone, has likewise been floated for the job. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg’s name also came up last week.  “This is about people who understand the urgency of the need for rebuilding opportunity in America now and who will fight for it with everything they’ve got,” Warren said on Wednesday. “People who will fight for every single promise Hillary Clinton has put forward during this campaign ― including her promise to end the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington.”  Notably absent from her list of personae non gratae was Gary Gensler, the former chair of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and a partner at Goldman Sachs.  “Gensler generally enjoys broad support from progressives and is seen as driving the crackdown on derivatives that was included in Dodd-Frank,” wrote Seiberg, the Cowen Group director. “He is also the CFO of Clinton’s campaign.”  Clinton, for her part, has outlined a fairly progressive policy platform in an effort to appeal to fans of Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who challenged Clinton for the Democratic nomination with calls for systemic financial reform. “They have taken seriously the need to keep the reform-oriented wing of the party happy enough,” one Warren ally recently told The Huffington Post, “and for now they seem to have succeeded.” Warren’s speech came a day after she hammered Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf for his role in a five-year scheme in which thousands of bankers opened more than 2 million accounts for customers without them knowing. “You should resign,” she told Stumpf, speaking at the Senate banking committee. “You should give back the money you took while this scam was going on, and you should be criminally investigated.” It’s common for Congressional panels to pick apart scandal-struck corporate leaders. But Seiberg predicts that Warren’s “enormous clout” within the Democratic Party will be amplified as senators begin looking ahead to the 2018 election season. “Yes, there is always a lot of rhetoric on Capitol Hill,” Seiberg wrote. “But her comments went further than what we typically hear. It shows that she is a master of the bully pulpit. And she can use that to frame the debate.”  “This is why we continue to believe that Clinton will be limited if she wants to moderate policy related to the biggest banks,” he added. “Warren has effectively declared that she has veto power over what Clinton will do.”  -- 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 сентября, 03:54

The Anniversary Of Lehman And Men Who Don't Work

Last week marked the 8th anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the huge Wall Street investment bank. This bankruptcy sent financial markets into a panic with the remaining investment banks, like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, set to soon topple. The largest commercial banks, like Citigroup and Bank of America, were not far behind on the death watch. The cascade of collapses was halted when the Fed and Treasury went into full-scale bailout mode. They lent trillions of dollars to failing banks at below market interest rates. They also promised the markets that there would be "no more Lehmans" to use former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's term. This promise was incredibly valuable in a time of crisis. It meant that investors could lend freely to Goldman and Citigroup without fear that their loans would not be repaid - they had the Treasury and the Fed standing behind them. The public has every right to be furious about this set of events eight years ago, as well what has happened subsequently. First, everything about the crisis caught the country's leading economists by surprise. Somehow, the country's leading economists both could not see an $8 trillion housing bubble, nor could they understand how its collapse would seriously damage the economy. This bubble was clearly driving the economy prior to the crash, it is difficult to envision what these economists thought would replace the demand lost when the bubble burst. The immediate fallout from the collapse of Lehman also caught the Fed and Treasury by surprise. Having made the decision to allow the market to work its magic on a major bank, they apparently did not anticipate the consequences. The Fed and the Treasury later cooked up the excuse that they lacked the legal authority to save Lehman, as though someone would have brought a lawsuit to stop them if they had tried. Having failed to recognize both the risks of the bubble and the consequences of the Lehman collapse, the Fed and Treasury then pulled out all the stops to keep the big Wall Street banks in business. They said this was necessary to prevent another Great Depression. It is difficult to see how letting the market work on Wall Street would have condemned us to a decade of double digit unemployment. Would fiscal and monetary stimulus no longer work? To support the Second Great Depression myth, a paper from Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi, two of the country's most prominent economists, tried to show how we would have had a decade of double-digit unemployment without the Wall Street bailout. In fact, the paper shows nothing of the sort. It shows that if we never took any steps to boost the economy we would have faced a decade of double-digit unemployment. That distinction may be too subtle for people who write on economics for a living, but most of the public understands the difference. The record of failure continued into the recovery. Most economists believed that we would see a quick bounce back from the crash, even without any exceptional amounts of government stimulus. This was the excuse for the austerity that was imposed across the world in 2011. As a result, we have seen an incredibly slow recovery in the United States, and an even slower one in Europe. Workers in the United States are just now getting back to their pre-recession levels of income. According to the Congressional Budget Office, potential GDP is now 10 percent less ($1.9 trillion) than the amount projected for 2016 before the downturn. This is a recurring loss of GDP that amounts to almost $6,000 a year for every person in the country. This is an incredible burden that the austerity crew has imposed on our children and grandchildren. This brings us to the story of men who don't work. There are many economists who argue that the economy is now fully employed and it is time for Federal Reserve Board to raise interest rates to slow the economy and the rate of job growth. While the unemployment rate is relatively low, those of us who are opposed to Fed rate hikes point out that millions of prime age workers (ages 25-54) have dropped out of the labor force and are not counted as unemployed. These people likely would be working if the economy created the jobs. But the rate hike crew decided the problem is that millions of men are no longer suited for the labor market. One economist even argued that these men have opted for Internet porn and video games over work. It's touching to see economists talking about the problems of men without jobs. However economists who pay attention to economic data know that there has been a sharp drop in employment rates among prime age women also. In fact, the drop in employment among less-educated prime age women has actually been larger than the drop among less-educated prime age men. In other words, our leading economists had no clue about what was going on in the economy at the time of the crash, they got the recovery completely wrong, and they still don't seem to have a clue today. But they are good at making up stories about the lack of marketable skills of less-educated workers. -- 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 сентября, 11:46

Участники конференции Delivering Alpha предупреждают об опасности.

Конференция состоялась на прошлой неделе в Нью-Йорк Сити. Наибольшее внимание крупными финансистами было уделено обсуждению вопросов, связанных со ставками центробанков и окончанием долговых циклов. Главы хедж-фондов были единодушны в том, что отрицательные ставки являются серьезной опасностью и без скорейшей нормализации ситуации со ставками на рынках формируется гигантский пузырь, способный разрушить мировые рынки. Об опасности текущей ситуации говорили многие участники. Выступления можно посмотреть на канале CNBC  Тимоти Гейтнер, бывший министр финансов, при котором случился ипотечный кризис 2008 года, назвал рынок «опасным» и «страшным»: «Я думаю, что более страшные вещи на самом деле происходят в политике — идёт пугающая эрозия акцента на прагматизм в политике, уменьшается способность делать разумный экономический выбор, то есть то, что действительно должны делать правительства.»  Лично мне нравится, что бывшие политики всегда говорят разумные вещи после того, как они избавляются от своих должностей и над ними перестает висеть долг говорить политически ангажированные вещи. Странно, но я тоже считаю, что ФРС не может сделать «разумный экономический выбор», о чем я уже давно повторяю — не один год) Рэй Дэлио сказал, что видит «опасную ситуацию» на долговых рынках. Карл Икан тоже говорил об опасности хождения по «краю обрыва». Пол Сингер был однозначен в оценке ситуации: «Я думаю, что это очень опасное время в мировой экономике и мировых финансовых рынках». Будем считать, что нас предупредили, чтобы потом не оказаться в ситуации инспектора Лестрейда: Дополнительно Питер Оппенгеймер из Goldman Sachs предупредил, что инвестирование в акции и облигации является «недопустимым риском». Он рекомендовал продать облигации, S&P-500 и Stoxx 600 «по причине завышенной стоимости активы и риск шоков».Он обосновал свою оценку «возобновлением цикла повышения ставок, усиления доллара и увеличением политической неопределенности перед выборами в США».Мы помним ошибочные прогнозы рынка от Goldman Sachs за прошлые два года, когда, например, летом 2015 года прогнозировался уровень цен на золото близко к $800. Этот прогноз тогда мне казался нелепостью и я покупала золото год назад. У нас даже был спор на смарте по поводу цен на золото. Спор, в котором я оказалась права, отказывая в доверии оценке и прогнозу Goldman Sachs. Но в данном случае у меня нет никаких аргументов, чтобы возразить Питеру Оппенгеймеру из Goldman Sachs. 

24 августа, 14:25

The Return of Glass-Steagall???

The Atlantic writes: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, have included plans to reintroduce the [Glass-Steagall] bill in their economic platforms. The argument for the act is that it could have prevented (or at least dampened) the 2008 financial crisis, and that reinstating it could ward off future ones. Is that the case? The Atlantic’s editors […] The post The Return of Glass-Steagall??? appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

02 августа, 16:05

The Real Obama Liberal Legacy: Recovery Summer

The end of the Obama presidency is near. In its wake are a string of broken promises, a stagnant economy, growing global threats, and an anxious nation. Predictably, the president has begun to put his spin on the last eight years. He’s even taken to parroting conservative themes—channeling Reagan, some have suggested—to recast his time in office as somehow centrist. But let’s get real. No one’s being fooled. The real Obama legacy is one of sprawling liberalism, divisive identity politics, bigger government, and America ceding leadership in the world. Today we’re introducing a new periodic series—The Real Obama Liberal Legacy—to highlight the results of liberal progressivism put into practice. Republicans are offering A Better Way, but we must also not overlook the failures of the last eight years. First up, Recovery Summer. The promise: “I'm calling this the summer of recovery,” Vice President Biden declared in July 2010 amid a months-long campaign by the administration to sell its stimulus plan to the public. The reality: Remember how well the economy recovered that summer? Yeah…we don’t either. In fact, with the middle class disappearing and wages stagnant, we still haven't really recovered. A new nonpartisan study shows that the president's policies "produced the worst recovery from a recession since the Great Depression."  What went wrong: The stimulus package passed in 2009 was full of pet projects, from $3.4 million for that tortoise eco-passage tunnel (no joke) to the corrupt $535 million Solyndra experiment (we’ll get to that later). Or how about the $783,000 that was spent on a study of why young people consume malt liquor and marijuana? Millions of dollars went simply to highway signs that advertised stimulus-funded projects. Talk about malarkey: Then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner contributed to the Recovery Summer push with the now-infamous op-ed headline: “Welcome to the Recovery.” Days later, the Labor Department reported that the economy had lost another 131,000 jobs. Wipeout: There would be no sequel to Recovery Summer. By early 2011, the White House decided to stop defending the "stimulus" or even using the word altogether. “It was pretty obvious that people didn’t see a difference in the economy yet,” Bill Daley, the president's chief of staff at the time, said.  There's a better way: Recovery Summer is a microcosm of the president's economic legacy: boasts and slogans giving way to anxiety and stagnation. There is a better way to grow our economy. Learn more about our plan at better.gop.

12 июля, 16:19

Warren's no-bankers push makes it into Dem platform

Tucked into the Democratic Party's draft policy platform is a pledge long promoted by Sen. Elizabeth Warren that could limit Wall Street's influence in a Hillary Clinton administration.

Выбор редакции
30 июня, 11:00

The Elites Have Lost The Right To Rule

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog, In the end, the elites will be overthrown and a power vacuum will form.  The transition period will be extremely difficult as the elites will fight their demise to the end.  For you see, they care nothing for you they care about their power and control.  Nevertheless, rulers have always only ruled by the will (or apathy) of the people and when the people become overly taxed and abused they always rebel.  The main thing to think about is what kind of society do we want to rebuild from the ashes.  I am of the view that it must be a return to the Constitution and an elimination of central banking power and secrecy.  Let’s not fall for a demagogue or be pushed into a war when things are at their worst.   – From my 2010 post: The Elites Have Lost The Right to Rule While the Trump and Brexit movements are indisputably fascinating merely as public indictments against the greedy and criminal status quo, they are equally meaningful from another perspective. The reaction from many in the media to both Trump and Brexit have betrayed their ulterior motives by exposing dangerous, antidemocratic biases. Now this has nothing to do with whether or not you are in favor of either Trump or Brexit. Personally, I think Trump is a very unwelcome reaction to the destructive trends going on around us. He’s extraordinary divisive (even amongst people who hate the establishment), has no regard for civil liberties, and displays obvious authoritarian tendencies. Despite this point of view, I don’t focus obsessively on all the negative aspects of Trump in my posts, because I acknowledge that Trump is a symptom of a much larger problem, not the root cause of it. Dealing with symptoms can keep things settled for a time, but the problem will invariably return in far worse form should the underlying causes remain unresolved. People are acting as if it can’t possibly get worse than Trump. Believe me, it can get a lot worse. With that out of the way, let’s talk about root causes. Donald Trump and Brexit are direct responses to a horribly rigged, parasitic and phony global economy. I’ve been writing about this dangerous reality and warning about its unpleasant inevitable outcomes for over half a decade. It’s not just me of course. Countless people have been doing it, including self-aware individuals from the 0.01%. Recall Nick Hanaeur’s article which I highlighted in the 2014 post: The Pitchforks are Coming…– A Dire Warning from a Member of the 0.01%. He warned: If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when. Nick, I and the millions of others who are angry about this destructive system aren’t crazy. Nor are we racists or ignoramuses. We’re merely people who pay attention and are willing to admit the obvious. The system is rigged and the current crop of “elites” rigged it. Take for example some data from a recent Market-Edison Research poll: The latest Marketplace-Edison Research poll shows Americans’ stress over their personal financial situation building even before Brexit.  We asked basic questions about, for example, household budgets, family vacations and paying bills. Americans’ responses showed that, in May, our country’s anxiety level climbed to its highest point since the beginning of our poll. Here are a couple of things Americans told us: More of them are losing sleep over their financial situation: 32 percent now compared with 28 percent in September 2015. They are less confident that they could find a new job within six months if they were to lose their current job: 41 percent are very confident about finding a new job now compared with 46 percent in September 2015. On questions about trade and economic fairness — issues that British voters debated in the U.K. before Brexit — and that are resonating in the U.S. 2016 presidential campaign: A majority of Americans — 55 percent — think the decline of manufacturing jobs is more due to trade deals than natural changes in the economy. Americans from across the economic and political spectrum — 71 percent of them — think the U.S. economic system is “rigged” in favor of certain groups. Go ahead and read that again. 71% of Americans from across the economic and political spectrum think the U.S. economy is rigged. The truth is they don’t think the economy is rigged, they know it is. This knowledge coupled with an understanding that the status quo will do everything it can to keep it that way, is precisely why so many people are grasping for something, anything to potentially blow up the status quo irrespective of any negative consequences. The people aren’t to blame for this situation, the elites are. So Trump and Brexit represent the sorts of outcomes that anyone paying the slightest amount of attention should not be surprised by. The volcano that is the average citizenry was bound to erupt, and erupt it has in 2016. As such, you’d hope those trusted media pundits and journalists who are anti-Trump and anti-Brexit would spend a little time reflecting upon what exactly got us to this point. Incredibly, many of them are doing absolutely nothing of the sort. It’s just like all the people who said after the 2008 financial crisis hit that “nobody could have seen it coming.” Well a lot of people saw it coming, just like a lot of people predicted the burgeoning political mayhem. Therein lies the rub. This is all about power and stature, and the current status quo and their henchmen/henchwomen know that they can never admit they were wrong about anything. To admit they were wrong would mean to ultimately lose their positions and influence. They would do anything to preserve it, which is precisely why so many of these so-called “thought leaders” are panicking now. They are used to getting away with anything, including propagandizing an entire country to war, torture and countless crimes against humanity. Some of them are rightly terrified that their days of unaccountable punditry could be coming to an end. Thus, they lash out against the public for rejecting their “expert” wisdom. I think it’s once again important to take a look back at the immediate post-financial crisis period. How many of the people who saw the crisis coming were put into prominent positions of power within the Obama administration? I can’t think of one. On the other hand, I very vividly recall the day Obama announced that Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner would be brought into prominent government positions. His team assembled, Obama went to work by bellowing propaganda, throwing money at the financial companies that blew up the planet, and pretending the crisis was an act of God. As as result, the status quo maintained its position. The exact same thing is happening again right now, but this time members of the media/punditry feel personally under attack. Most of them are incapable of admitting that their careers exist solely as a condition of constantly glorifying and promoting the agenda of the rich and powerful, while pretending the rest of the country doesn’t exist. Perhaps if the media had done its job all these years, the citizenry would’ve been far more informed and halted some of these trends before they reached the terminal stage. But the media as whole didn’t do that, and here we are. As such, many journalists and pundits are furiously scrambling to put the blame somewhere else. It’s all Trump’s fault. Or it’s the crazy racists, the poor, the uneducated, as if all these populist movements spontaneously emerged out of some magical revolutionary vacuum just like they told us the financial crisis did. One thing these people never, ever do is reflect upon how we actually got to this place. Of course, I don’t want to overly generalize. There have been many excellent and introspective articles written in the wake of Trump and Brexit, as there should be. We shouldn’t be in a position where we have to applaud the good ones simply because there are so many bad ones, yet that’s the world we live in. In this regard, I want to highlight two very distinct articles contemplating Brexit which I read today. One demonstrates media at its best, while the other perfectly characterizes all that is wrong with the status quo and its sycophantic minions. First, the good. Ellie Mae O’Hagan wrote an article for the Guardian titled, When Political Leaders are Selected via Elitism Not Talent, You Get Chaos. Here are a few excerpts: This total incompetence, this craven self-interest, this embarrassing fecklessness is what you get when you live in a country where political leaders are mainly selected via elitism rather than talent: 33% of MPs went to private school, and nearly a quarter went to Oxbridge. This doesn’t just end with members of parliament either: 43% of newspaper columnists and 26% of BBC executives were all educated privately. Oxbridge graduates make up 57% of permanent secretaries, 50% of diplomats, 47% of newspaper columnists, 44% of public body chairs and 33% of BBC executives.   It’s no surprise that people feel alienated by politics and locked out of democracy, and view the people who represent them as out of touch. Indeed, Brexit should be seen as an expression of that as much as anything else. But there is less discussion about what this elitism means for the quality of people who actually end up leading us and formulating political discourse. And this seismic crisis should change that, because it reveals that a lot of these people are basically defunct – obsolete in this new era of crisis.   Think of what has been happening in this country since 2008. In mainstream politics there has been virtually no analysis of what caused the financial crisis, no attempts to address the underlying structural problems in the economy, no retribution for the people that caused it, no serious attempt to stem widening inequality, no support for the people who lost their jobs during the recession, no viable solution to a worsening housing crisis, no hope for a generation of young people entering into an unstable, precarious economy.    This is not about individual politicians. Indeed, there are many who are talented – Ruth Davidson, Nicola Sturgeon, Caroline Lucas to name a few. But the political class as a whole, and how it functions alongside its outer circle of pundits, lobbyists, policymakers and so on, has proven itself to be woefully unqualified to cope with crisis as well as being utterly unable to comprehend the country it is supposed to be governing. Now compare that to the title of an article written by James Traub at Foreign Policy. His piece, published yesterday, comes with a headline so mind-bogglingly detached and clownish you’d think it came from the The Onion. It’s called: It’s Time for the Elites to Rise Up Against the Ignorant Masses. Unfortunately, that’s not a joke, and it gets even better. Check out the caption below the headline, which I’m sure Mr. Traub was especially proud of. In writing this, Mr. Traub is explicitly saying that the 71% of Americans who think the economic system is rigged are merely “mindlessly angry.” What Mr. Traub is doing is merely spewing propaganda to achieve what Aldous Huxley explained in the following quote: “the propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that other certain sets of people are human.” By calling the masses “mindless,” he is dehumanizing them and therefore providing intellectual justification for continued status quo abuse of the general public. It’s a downright evil strategy to protect himself and secure his position going forward. His attitude perfectly reflects exactly why society needs to relegate people like him to the fringes, as opposed to positions of prominence and influence. Nevertheless, for some perspective about who’s actually “mindless,” let’s examine a few of his pearls of wisdom. Mr Traub writes: One of the most brazen features of the Brexit vote was the utter repudiation of the bankers and economists and Western heads of state who warned voters against the dangers of a split with the European Union. British Prime Minister David Cameron thought that voters would defer to the near-universal opinion of experts; that only shows how utterly he misjudged his own people.   Both the Conservative and the Labour parties in Britain are now in crisis. The British have had their day of reckoning; the American one looms. If Donald Trump loses, and loses badly (forgive me my reckless optimism, but I believe he will) the Republican Party may endure a historic split between its know-nothing base and its K Street/Chamber of Commerce leadership class.   The schism we see opening before us is not just about policies, but about reality. The Brexit forces won because cynical leaders were prepared to cater to voters’ paranoia, lying to them about the dangers of immigration and the costs of membership in the EU. Some of those leaders have already begun to admit that they were lying. Donald Trump has, of course, set a new standard for disingenuousness and catering to voters’ fears, whether over immigration or foreign trade or anything else he can think of. The Republican Party, already rife with science-deniers and economic reality-deniers, has thrown itself into the embrace of a man who fabricates realities that ignorant people like to inhabit.   Did I say “ignorant”? Yes, I did. It is necessary to say that people are deluded and that the task of leadership is to un-delude them. Is that “elitist”? Maybe it is; maybe we have become so inclined to celebrate the authenticity of all personal conviction that it is now elitist to believe in reason, expertise, and the lessons of history. If so, the party of accepting reality must be prepared to take on the party of denying reality, and its enablers among those who know better. If that is the coming realignment, we should embrace it. What’s so incredible about this piece is his instinctual and self-important condemnation of the “ignorant masses” for a variety of offenses, while failing to recognize the gigantic elephant-like ignoramus in the room: himself. After all, he’s basically saying everything would be fine and dandy if it weren’t for these mindless citizens meddling with elitist plans. He believes this nonsense so strongly, the headline of his article is essentially a call to arms for the elites against the pubic. Moreover, I have to ask: Did Mr. Traub see all of these emergent trends back in 2010? If not, why not? I sure as heck did, and I’m nobody special. Recall what I wrote in, The Elites Have Lost The Right to Rule: In the end, the elites will be overthrown and a power vacuum will form.  The transition period will be extremely difficult as the elites will fight their demise to the end.  For you see, they care nothing for you they care about their power and control.  Nevertheless, rulers have always only ruled by the will (or apathy) of the people and when the people become overly taxed and abused they always rebel.  The main thing to think about is what kind of society do we want to rebuild from the ashes.  I am of the view that it must be a return to the Constitution and an elimination of central banking power and secrecy.  Let’s not fall for a demagogue or be pushed into a war when things are at their worst. So how was I able to see all of this so far ahead of time? The answer is it was obvious if you were willing to pay attention, think critically and admit unpleasant realities. Yet here we are in 2016, with pundits, “thought leaders,” and experts alike screaming about Trump and Brexit as if these movements came from nowhere, while we all know they came from somewhere. They came from the dark, corrupt and hopelessly deranged policies of the status quo. The same status quo that remains in power to this very day. The sooner we rid ourselves of this societally cancerous tumor the better, because the longer it takes to move on to something else, the more negative that something else is likely to be.

29 июня, 00:08

DNC Platform for Wall Street Speculation Tax

The Democratic Party Platform Committee has taken a position in support of a tax on Wall Street transactions, according to a statement by committee member Rep. Keith Ellison. This is just the latest sign of the mainstreaming of a bold policy that would shrink the size and power of Wall Street. Even at a rate of just a small fraction of a percent on each trade, such taxes would slash the profitability of the high-speed speculation that dominates our financial markets but has no real economic value. At the same time, the tax could generate massive revenue for job creation and other urgent needs. If you want to get a sense of just how far this transformative idea has come, you need look no further than a 2009 cable sent by the U.S. embassy in London back to Obama administration officials in Washington. Unearthed by Wikileaks, the cable is a litany of complaints about then-UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown's efforts to get the Obama administration to join the financial transaction tax bandwagon. The cable notes that Brown even had the gall to raise the issue in a Thanksgiving Day call to the U.S. ambassador. Obama, we learned later, was not Brown's problem. According to Ron Suskind's 2011 Confidence Men, a book based on 700 hours of interviews with high-level Obama staff, the president initially supported the financial transaction tax. Larry Summers, who was then serving as Obama's Director of the National Economic Council, put the kibosh on it. Along with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Summers made sure that Obama would take sides with the Canadian conservatives to block a proposal by Brown and the leaders of Germany and France for a G-20 agreement on the tax at their 2009 summit in Pittsburgh. Brown, of course, was later unseated by British conservatives who made Summers and Geithner's objections seem lukewarm. Former UK Prime Minister John Major even used rhetoric harkening back to World War II, comparing the German and French plan for the tax to a "heat-seeking missile" directed at London's financial center. Boris Johnson, the former London mayor who now may be headed towards the Prime Minister's seat, is also hostile. So what accounts for the change in the Democratic Party? The Platform Committee's position didn't come out of nowhere. Over the years, growing U.S. and international campaigns for the tax have pushed on multiple fronts to mainstream the issue. One prong has been to help generate new research on the potential benefits. In 2010, after consultations with international civil society experts, the International Monetary Fund prepared a report for the G20 leaders confirming that transaction taxes were administratively feasible and could raise significant revenue. In 2011, the Joint Committee on Taxation, the body in Congress responsible for generating officials revenue estimates, analyzed one of several FTT bills, concluding that a U.S. tax of 0.03 percent on stock, bond, and derivative trades could raise $350 billion over 10 years. More recently, the Tax Policy Center estimated that a rate of 0.1 percent could generate up to $541.5 billion for the U.S. government over 10 years. Models with higher rates could raise even more. The campaigns have also pushed for new and sometimes unusual allies, including a growing list of business and financial industry professionals. In 2011, for example, Bill Gates told The Guardian, "It is very plausible that certain kinds of FTTs could work...I am lending some credibility to that. This money could be well spent and make a difference." A diverse array of labor, environmental, health, and other activists also rounded up support for the tax from prominent faith leaders, including Pope Benedict, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Bishop Desmond Tutu. In 2014, we started to see shifts among high-level Democrats. Rep. Chris Van Hollen included a financial transaction tax as part of a broader tax reform plan, reportedly with support from Rep. Nancy Pelosi. Then Bernie Sanders brought the issue into the center of the primary debates. The tax became a pillar of his Wall Street reform plan and he rarely missed a chance to raise it in his stump speeches. By linking the tax to the need for additional revenue to fund free higher education at public universities, Sanders made the tax even more popular. Where will it go from here? The platform committee will assemble one final time in Orlando to put the final touches on the platform before it comes up for a vote at the party's national convention in Philadelphia in late July. A recently formed Take On Wall Street campaign made up of dozens of labor, consumer, and other groups aims to keep up the heat and ensure the position in support of the tax is not stripped from the final document. Of course platforms have a history of being largely forgotten after the conventions are over. But advocates will always be able to point to this as one more measure of progress in a long bumpy road for the financial transaction tax. -- 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