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Seven years after the financial crisis began, many of the conditions that helped cause the near collapse of the U.S. banking system—and that were used to justify the multi-trillion-dollar U.S. government bailout of mammoth financial institutions—endure, warns a new report from the Corporate Reform Coalition (CRC).
Titled Still Too Big to Fail (pdf), Thursday’s report charges that since the meltdown began in 2008, regulators have failed to make sufficient progress on key components of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, or to boost transparency in political spending.
According to the CRC, which is made up of more than 75 good governance, organized labor, and environmental groups, action on both these fronts is necessary in order to prevent another financial disaster.
“The top six bank holding companies are considerably larger than before, and are still permitted to borrow excessively relative to the assets they hold,” the report states. “They are dangerously interconnected and remain vulnerable to sudden runs, because they borrow billions of dollars from wholesale lenders who can often demand their cash back each and every day.”
It goes on: “Banks can still use taxpayer-backed insured deposits to engage in high-risk derivative transactions here and overseas. Compensation incentives fail to discourage mismanagement and illegality, given that when legal fees, settlements, and fines mount, it is usually the shareholders, not the corporate executives who pay.”
And, the report warns, “[s]hould one of these giant banking firms fail again, it appears that the damage will not be contained.”
“Avoiding another meltdown depends on the will of federal regulators to use the new powers they were granted in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,” said Jennifer Taub, author of the report and professor of law at Vermont Law School. “If they behave as if they are beholden to the banks, we will likely face a more severe crisis in the future.”
Taub, also the author of the financial crisis book Other People’s Houses, highlights—”in plain language”—key regulatory reforms necessary to avert another crisis, including:
- ending bailouts by requiring the largest banks to provide credible “living wills” that show how they can file for bankruptcy or be resolved by the FDIC without triggering a financial crisis;
- further reducing excessive borrowing by the top six banks;
- reducing dependence by banks and other financial firms on overnight and other short-term borrowing;
- prohibiting banks from evading derivatives regulation through use of foreign subsidiaries;
- improving bankers’ accountability through rules around incentive pay and bonuses;
- requiring corporate political spending disclosure “so as to begin to deal with the influence peddling that impacts Congress and regulators”
In a statement, Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, lauded that final recommendation. Public Citizen, a CRC member, points out that the report’s call for corporate political spending disclosure adds to increasing pressure on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to act on a 2011 rulemaking petition—which has garnerd 1.2 million signatures in support—calling on the agency to require publicly held companies to disclose political spending.
“More transparency on the part of Wall Street would better serve both our economy and our democracy,” Gilbert said. “Shareholders deserve to know how companies are spending their money to influence financial policy. Without transparency there can be no accountability.”
Fuck us once, shame on you, fuck us twice… President Obama is scheduled to visit Nike’s Oregon headquarters on Friday to promote the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Yes, Nike – an Oregon company that grew to billions by outsourcing jobs to overseas sweatshops, an Oregon company that sets up P.O.-box subsidiaries in tax havens to avoid paying U.S. taxes, an Oregon company that uses threats to extort tax breaks from its “home” state.
Nike isn’t the solution to the problem of stagnant wages in America. Nike is the problem.
It’s true that over the past two years Nike has added 2,000 good-paying professional jobs at its Oregon headquarters, fulfilling the requirements of a controversial tax break it wrangled from the state legislature. That’s good for Nike’s new design, research and marketing employees.
But Nike’s U.S. workers make only a tiny percent of Nike’s products.
In fact, Americans made only 1 percent of the products that generated Nike’s $27.8 billion revenue last year. And Nike is moving ever more of its production abroad. Last year, a third of Nike’s remaining 13,922 American production workers were laid off.
Most of Nike’s products are made by 990,000 workers in low-wage countries whose abysmal working conditions have made Nike a symbol of global sweatshop labor.
YO! Phil, thanks for the little money you’ve spent here. Now get the fuck out.
You’re not welcome here.
Fuck the Ducks.
Whatever you think of us is totally irrelevant. We are the future, you are the past, pay your dues and get out of the way, because we’re not the way you used to be, when you were very young. You worthless fucking animal.
We do not forgive. We do not forget.
Citing sources familiar with the situation, representatives of some of the nation’s largest banks—including Citigroup, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America—have actively considered putting pressure on the Democratic establishment by making a coordinated threat to withold campaign contributions unless the populist rhetoric coming from Sen. Warren and her colleague from Ohio, Sen. Sherrod Brown, is toned down.
You know that old canard about banksters leaping to their deaths on Black Tuesday? It’s just that, a canard, history rewrit by those who can get away with it.
They didn’t jump.
Yo! Walden. Fucking trust-funder punk who has never done a day’s work in your life and don’t even live in Oregon, the state you purport to represent, you have no alternative to Obamacare because it was your dog-damned plan to begin with.
You just stay in Washington DC, racist asshole, you’re not welcome here.
“After more than five years of negotiations under conditions of extreme secrecy, on March 25, 2015, a leaked copy of the investment chapter for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was posted. Public Citizen has verified that the text is authentic. Trade officials from the United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam – are in intensive, closed-door negotiations to finish the TPP in the next few months.”The leaked text provides stark warnings about the dangers of ‘trade’ negotiations occurring without press, public or policymaker oversight. It reveals that TPP negotiators already have agreed to many radical terms that would give foreign investors expansive new substantive and procedural rights and privileges not available to domestic firms under domestic law.”
Obama is as guilty as the rest of them.
In California’s epic drought, wars over water rights continue, while innovative alternatives for increasing the available water supply go untapped.
Wars over California’s limited water supply have been going on for at least a century. Water wars have been the subject of some vintage movies, including the 1958 hit The Big Country starring Gregory Peck, Clint Eastwood’s 1985 Pale Rider, 1995’s Waterworld with Kevin Costner, and the 2005 film Batman Begins. Most acclaimed was the 1975 Academy Award winner Chinatown with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, involving a plot between a corrupt Los Angeles politician and land speculators to fabricate the 1937 drought in order to force farmers to sell their land at low prices. The plot was rooted in historical fact, reflecting battles between Owens Valley farmers and Los Angeles urbanites over water rights.
Today the water wars continue on a larger scale with new players. It’s no longer just the farmers against the ranchers or the urbanites. It’s the people against the new “water barons” – Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Monsanto and the Bush family – who are buying up water all over the world at an unprecedented pace.