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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.”
Forty-five years ago today the Ohio National Guard gunned down thirteen students on the campus of Kent State University. Four dead. Two were simply walking between classes. I turned fifteen, and stopped being a “hippie”.
We do not forgive. We do not forget. We are here. Now.
Fuck you, “America”.
“The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution isn’t for just protecting hunting rights, and it’s not only to safeguard your right to target practice. It is a Constitutional right to protect your children, your family, your home, our lives, and to serve as the ultimate check against governmental tyranny — for the protection of liberty,” Cruz wrote to supporters in a fundraising email on Thursday, under the subject line “2nd Amendment against tyranny.”
You’ve almost got it, bozo (respects), but it’s a little thinner than that: The Second Amendment to the Constitution provides redress, provides relief, for the impositions of tyrannies upon the majority (the rest of us) by a minority (you).
You are in the minority.
“Christians” don’t love Israel, don’t love the Jews. In order for their precious lord and master to come floating down out of the sky on a white horse with a thousand angels to carry the few faithful away to paradise – after the bloodbath, after the world is destroyed, the blood as deep as a horses’ bridle – two thirds of the Jews, two thirds of Israel must be destroyed. “Christians” don’t love Israel, don’t love the Jews, they want to see them destroyed.
Not to defend Israel. Israel is a Terrorist State. The Mother of All Terrorist States. An utterly foreign occupier perpetrating an American Taxpayer conceived, financed and morally sanctioned genocide upon the indigenous descendants of the “biblical hebrew”. It has no “right” to exist and this world will never know Peace until it does not.
Though I oft despair and concede yes, just let the rat bastards have their dog-damned little apocalypse and get it over with and when their precious lord and master doesn’t come floating down out of the sky on a white horse with a thousand angels to carry the few faithful away to paradise then perhaps get on with cleaning up the mess that has been made but no, that would be as clear and present a danger to my grandchildren’s survival as anthropogenic atmospheric disruption, as christian capitalist induced climate change.
We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us. Expect us.
Fire the bitch:
The American Humanist Association, an atheist group, has sent a letter of complaint to Pennsylvania’s Carlisle Area School District after a school nurse at Wilson Middle School refused to treat a middle school student who didn’t stand during the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
According to the letter, when the student was confronted by the nurse, she responded that she had the right not to stand if she wanted. The nurse responded, “Fine, then leave! I have the right not to service you!”
The AHA’s attorney, Monica Miller, wrote:
The student reports that she left the nurse’s office in tears and went to the administrative offices to call her mother. A secretary then led the student to an office, but at that time the same nurse appeared again, saying, “She isn’t calling a parent until I have a long conversation with her!” Still sobbing, the student said she only wanted to call her mother. At this point a school counselor arrived and took the student to his office, where the student remained for the first two class periods. Though he showed some sympathy, he also incorrectly instructed the student that she should stand in the hallway if she does not wish to stand for the Pledge exercise!
“The actions of the nurse are indefensible, as she provides an example of the kind of overzealous, dangerous patriotism that any true patriot would loathe,” the letter continued.
Human Beings, do not.
Hide Witch hide, the good folk come to burn thee;
They hide their keen enjoyment behind…
A perfect mask of duty.
There are no “gods”, only fairy tales. Fantasies to explain away the dark, justify sex with young children, and profit. You really don’t think the witch doctor really believes that tossing a virgin in a volcano will make it rain, do you? Nooo… tossing a virgin in a volcano keeps him in his cushy witch doctor gig, with the additional perk of spending a few quality end of life hours with the virgin – what…!? you thought the virgin, stoned to the bone on Ambien, Prozac, and Viagra and smiling all the way to the bottom, was still a virgin when the witch doctor tossed ‘em in? I’ve got some property to sell. Ocean-front. Cheap. Cash only, in small bills. You’ll love Idaho!
Recalling that in all legend lay a kernel of fact, reading the fabrications koran, bible, and torah in larger, historical context with other fabrications lain down in stone it is in fact quite easy to afford “Intelligent Design” a measure of credibility. When chariots with wheels of fire flitting about, vast arks propelling the seeds of life across vast empty spaces, and fathers asking of their wives “be this my son, or that of a “giant?” are lain aside the physical record it isn’t all that far fetched to supposit that at some point in the past half-million years extra-terrestrial travelers – for whatever reason: pure science, sheer boredom, desperate survival, or profit – genetically interfered with the development of the proto-humans they found roaming the savannahs of Northern and Western Africa. Not only are we but fleas agitating the hide of a far greater organism, but some bastard’s abandoned science project, if not cattle, as well. Wrap the twelve percent of your brain you use around that.
This notion that the bastard is going to come back and rescue us… that as the blood of our adolescent squabbles over whose imaginary dog has the bigger dick rises to the horses’ bridle will come floating down out of the sky on a white horse with a thousand angels to carry away the chosen few, the faithful… Who are these “Chosen People”, these “faithful”? The genetically purest cattle (or pigs, as it is)? More accurately: just who do they think they are? Get this straight, these “Chosen People”, these “faithful”, can destroy the world – burn the forests, chop down the mountains, turn the air we breath into toxic gas and waters we drink into vast garbage reservoirs… can
and at the last moment, the moment the world is utterly destroyed, after the bloodbath, some spectral being with whom they’ve entered into some kind of “special” contractual obligation is going to float down out of the sky and carry them away.
Uh-huh. To what?
Far the more likely thousands upon thousands of cavernous spacecraft, vast slaughter-houses piloted by ravenous vaguely reptilian creatures, replete with horns and folked tail, intent not as benevolent overseers of the demise of this world and our current iteration in human evolution and our children’s evolution onto the next iteration of humanity but as ravenous reptilian creatures… you know, hungry lizards.
We did, afterall, invite them to “Come Eat!”
Though I often despair of humanity, seeing the mass as that of maggots: a few will evolve and escape as flies, the vast majority will consume the host and die, we as a species, the human species, as a “race”, the human race, today stand at a cusp, an iteration, in the evolution, in the maturing, of humankind. But if we don’t abandon – outgrow – this irrational dependency on adolescent fairytales and attendant adolescent squabbles over whose imaginary dog has the bigger dick… we may very well not survive at all. And while Americans certainly enjoy the “right” to believe whatever fairytale it is chosen to be believed, we are equally free not to believe in fairytales, and leave me remind you of Ben Franklin’s admonishment that “‘rights’ end with the tip of [the] nose”. There is no inherent “right” to impose such nonsense on me, or mine, nor is there any “right”, “divine” or otherwise, to destroy the world my grandchildren are growing up in… in the name of some dog. To do so will result, “right”fully so, in short order and at my hand, in instruction in the difference between prey, and prayer.
Rather than beating of breasts and wailing on street corner, far better to do as Jesus said: put it in the closet.
[Originally published at Homeless on the High Desert Sunday 12 April 2009(pig-era) as a part of the Easter Blogswarm Against Theocracy, an international Internet protest of the imposition of religion upon government, and The People. Lyrics (blockquote) Paul Kantner, 1969. Thomas Ware – Ten Bears (O’Owlish Amenheh) – is a local “witch doctor” who would gleefully toss a virgin in a volcano… if he could find one.]
I often suggest a variation of Pascal’s Wager: If I am wrong, if the climate is not changing, the world not warming to in-habitability in my grand-childrens’ generation, I don’t lose a bloody damned thing. If you, the denier, are wrong, we all lose, our grand-children lose, the only world we know of we can live on. End of the road, way of the dinosaurs… extinction. Do you want to take that bet?
We do not forgive. We do not forget.
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.