Category: Corporatocracy

Banking Crisis: No lesson learned

| June 14, 2014 | Reply

Economist Anat Admati discusses the banking crisis with Bill Moyers, pointing out that real reform has not yet occurred.

BILL MOYERS: But as you surely know, the bankers tell us, not only do we have a safer system, but it’s getting even better as reforms are put into place. You look skeptical.

ANAT ADMATI: Well, they are truly trying to confuse people with their narratives. They just– either speaking a language that nobody can understand, or they say things, sometimes, that are completely wrong. And sometimes they’re just misleading.

But if you step back and look at the system, it’s very fragile. It’s one of those systems that’s like a big house of cards. You touch it, stuff can happen fast. And it’s far from any system that we would think of as reasonably stable, able to support the economy, all of that.

BILL MOYERS: You made that point in your TEDx talk. That the average US corporation relies on 70 percent equity and earnings. A company like Google, however, maintains 94 percent equity and borrows little. Banks, on the other hand, live on borrowed money and maintain very little equity— five percent. So when banks are over leveraged, and interconnected, and loans go bad, everything can topple, and there is poor old Uncle Sam trying to keep whole system from collapsing. And are they still taking these risks?

ANAT ADMATI: Oh, enormous. And by any measure of exposures to derivatives and the amount of debt versus their own money that they have, by most of these measures, it’s incredibly distorted and dangerous.

BILL MOYERS: I learned from you that two years before the financial crisis, the average size of the top 28 banks was $1.35 trillion five years ago. The average size last year, $1.7 trillion. And you say these too big to fail banks are particularly reckless and dangerous.

ANAT ADMATI: Look at them. They’ve basically become above the law. The people in them are able to do things that most other corporations would worry more about them doing because they can benefit from upsides all through the chain. And their creditors don’t worry enough, as much as other creditors would worry. And the downside eventually is everybody. So, by just taking the risk, they’re able to pass on some of their costs to other people. That’s kind of how it works for them.

Share

Read More

Premier episode of Lee Camp’s Redacted Tonight

| June 3, 2014 | Reply

Lee Camp’s premier episode of Redacted Tonight begins with a head-on assault upon Monsanto. It’s hard hitting and deals with extremely serious issues. Here’s the description of the show:

“In this episode, Lee Camp bites into Monsanto, which makes him ill, and John F. O’Donnell gets molested by the tentacles of the billionaire Kochtopus. Obama ends the War in Afghanistan with something other than peace, Chilean magician Papas Fritas makes $500 million in student debt disappear. Sam Sacks examines NSA reform – and by “reform,” we mean ”business as usual.” A second Deutsche Bank video against boasting bankers is mysteriously leaked, and speaking of leaks – radiation is leaking in New Mexico. Tennessee brings back a shocking punishment, and more!”

Share

Read More

Tax breaks are as big as the deficit

| May 29, 2014 | Reply

According to the National Priorities Organization:

In 2013, the cost of tax breaks was equal to the entire U.S. discretionary budget [1]. However, the discretionary budget is subject to an annual appropriations process, where Congress debates the proposed spending. Tax breaks, on the other hand, remain on the books until lawmakers modify them. As a result, over a trillion dollars a year in lost revenue – more than 1.6 times the 2013 budget deficit – goes largely unnoticed.

Share

Read More

Chris Hedges on the NDAA

| May 29, 2014 | 1 Reply

From Truthdig:

The U.S. Supreme Court decision to refuse to hear our case concerning Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which permits the military to seize U.S. citizens and hold them indefinitely in military detention centers without due process, means that this provision will continue to be law. It means the nation has entered a post-constitutional era. It means that extraordinary rendition of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil by our government is legal. It means that the courts, like the legislative and executive branches of government, exclusively serve corporate power—one of the core definitions of fascism. It means that the internal mechanisms of state are so corrupted and subservient to corporate power that there is no hope of reform or protection for citizens under our most basic constitutional rights. It means that the consent of the governed—a poll by OpenCongress.com showed that this provision had a 98 percent disapproval rating—is a cruel joke. And it means that if we do not rapidly build militant mass movements to overthrow corporate tyranny, including breaking the back of the two-party duopoly that is the mask of corporate power, we will lose our liberty.

Share

Read More

Why vote?

| May 26, 2014 | Reply

I wish I could say I disagree with this Harper’s article from 2012. Excellent points by Kevin Baker. Full title: “Why vote? When Your Vote Counts for Nothing.”

Share

Read More

Vermont is first state to reject Citizens United via Constitutional Convention

| May 21, 2014 | 1 Reply

On May 2, 2014 Vermont became the first state to call for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which precipitated a flood of cash into politics. These were overwhelming votes, and there was bipartisan support.

Share

Read More

Mayday: Our government is going down in flames

| May 7, 2014 | Reply

Are you tired of merely complaining about government corruption? Here’s your chance to do something. I just donated a significant amount of money to the SuperPac Kickstart campaign created by Lawrence Lessig, a tireless leader in the election reform movement. Listen to his 5-minute presentation and then ask yourself, “Isn’t this what I’ve been waiting for?” Please . . . PLEASE listen to this message and consider joining this movement. This approach has real potential to change the way Washington works. You’ll need to get past the dark irony that it will take money to beat money. The battle cry is “Mayday”–our government is going down in flames. Become a proud player in this effort.

Mayday PAC Launch from lessig on Vimeo.

Share

Read More

America’s Class Hierarchy

| May 4, 2014 | Reply

According to Freedom Infonet, American now has nine classes in its caste system. This description is depressing, because I suspect it is accurate.

Share

Read More

Too big to clean up. The audacity of Duke Energy.

| May 1, 2014 | Reply

I found this US Uncut image on FB:

Duke

Consider this well deserved attack ad:

Consider this link on this topic the topic of too big to clean up.

For more on Duke’s attacks on residential solar, see this article.

Share

Read More