Tag Archives | Bail Outrage

Record High: 1 in 8 Americans Are Receiving Food Stamps

Examples of the traditional "food stamp" that today are distributed on debit cards.

Examples of traditional "food stamps" that today are distributed on debit cards.

The Boston Globe via Bloomberg News reports:

The number of Americans who are receiving food stamps rose to a record 40.8 million in May as the jobless rate hovered near a 27-year high, the government reported yesterday.

Recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program subsidies for food purchases jumped 19 percent from a year earlier and increased 0.9 percent from April, the US Department of Agriculture said in a statement on its website.

Participation has set records for 18 straight months.

Unemployment in July may have reached 9.6 percent, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts in advance of the Aug. 6 release of last month’s rate. Unemployment was 9.5 percent in June, near levels last seen in 1983.

An average of 40.5 million people, more than an eighth of the population, will get food stamps each month in the year that began Oct.

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Bailed-Out Firms Using Bail-Out Funds to Lobby for More Government (i.e. Taxpayer) Money

Bailout ActionThe NY Times was reporting on this over a year ago and now we have a recent report from Fox News. As much I believe in “freedom of speech” the Supreme Court has already made it much easier for corporations to influence our government, and I definitely am NOT willing to pick up the tab for it … Stephen Clark of report from Fox News writes:

Several companies that escaped financial failure two years ago through massive taxpayer-funded bailouts are spending millions of dollars to make donations to political causes and even some candidates’ campaigns.

General Motors, Chrysler and Citigroup are just three of the biggest bailout recipients who have continued to remain politically active, through their political action committees, federal lobbying or direct donations to the pet projects of lawmakers.

The potential public relations disaster for firms spending big dollars on political causes and federal lobbying after being extended a taxpayer lifeline has led some, such as AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to suspend their political activities until they pay the government back in full.

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America’s Ten Most Corrupt Capitalists

How in the world is deregulatory kingpin Robert Rubin advising President Obama? Zach Carter writes on Alternet:
The financial crisis has unveiled a new set of public villains — corrupt corporate capitalists who leveraged their connections in government for their own personal profit. During the Clinton and Bush administrations, many of these schemers were worshiped as geniuses, heroes or icons of American progress. But today we know these opportunists for what they are: Deregulatory hacks hellbent on making a profit at any cost. Without further ado, here are the 10 most corrupt capitalists in the U.S. economy.
Robert Rubin1. Robert Rubin: Where to start with a man like Robert Rubin? A Goldman Sachs chairman who wormed his way into the Treasury Secretary post under President Bill Clinton, Rubin presided over one of the most radical deregulatory eras in the history of finance. Rubin's influence within the Democratic Party marked the final stage in the Democrats' transformation from the concerned citizens who fought Wall Street and won during the 1930s to a coalition of Republican-lite financial elites. Rubin's most stunning deregulatory accomplishment in office was also his greatest act of corruption. Rubin helped repeal Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era law that banned economically essential banks from gambling with taxpayer money in the securities markets. In 1998, Citibank inked a merger with the Travelers Insurance group. The deal was illegal under Glass-Steagall, but with Rubin's help, the law was repealed in 1999, and the Citi-Travelers merger approved, creating too-big-to-fail behemoth Citigroup.
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Congress Shot Down, Last Night, The Most Important Wall Street Reform Ever Proposed

What is Congress getting right now? A Philosopher’s Stone? The Holy Grail? The Ark of the Covenant? Your ideas are quite welcome. Zach Carter writes on Alternet:

Late last night, the U.S. Senate rejected the single most important element of Wall Street reform by a vote of 33 to 61.

The SAFE Banking Act would have forced the break-up of the nation’s six largest banks, and dramatically reduced the political clout of America’s financial elite.

The 61 votes against the measure are votes in favor of Wall Street’s stranglehold on our economy.

No matter what else is ultimately enacted in the name of Wall Street reform, Congress has decided that it will not confront the single greatest problem in the U.S. economy: too big to fail.

On Wednesday, the Senate also voted down a $50 billion Wall Street tax that would have been used to fund the cost of shutting down a major failing bank.

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Wall Streeters’ Chain Email Reveals They’re Even Worse People Than We Thought

Image: ExiledOnline.com

Image: ExiledOnline.com

Think that the financial crash has left investment banking hotshots humbler and wiser? Not likely. The National Review blog The Corner has a defiant email that has been circulating over the last couple days among discontented Wall Streeters. Seriously, these people are as douche-y as you imagined:

We are Wall Street. It’s our job to make money. Whether it’s a commodity, stock, bond, or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn’t matter.

We would trade baseball cards if it were profitable. I didn’t hear America complaining when the market was roaring to 14,000 and everyone’s 401k doubled every 3 years. Just like gambling, its not a problem until you lose. I’ve never heard of anyone going to Gamblers Anonymous because they won too much in Vegas.

Well now the market crapped out, & even though it has come back somewhat, the government and the average Joes are still looking for a scapegoat.

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How Frank Luntz Led Health Care ‘Reform’ Opposition

The reason I am sharing this is not because I think the so-called health care "reform" that passed actually qualified as such, but to point out one of the maestros (or Dark Lord of the Sith, depending on your take) behind the scenes of the opposition to such legislation. Know who Frank Luntz is. He manages to influence the public discourse in the United States, on a regular basis: P.S. It took the Democrats until April 15th to come up with this video? And you wonder why it took over a year to pass bullshit "reform"...
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Lehman Channeled Risks [i.e. Investors' Money] Through ‘Alter Ego’ Firm

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. HydeThe top headline of the front page of the New York Times remains unaltered in my story headline, except for what the word “risk” really means. In my mind the sense of an “alter ego” sounds like a horror story, not a financial or economic one…

LOUISE STORY and ERIC DASH report in the New York Times:

In the years before its collapse, Lehman used a small company — its “alter ego,” in the words of a former Lehman trader — to shift investments off its books.

The firm, called Hudson Castle, played a crucial, behind-the-scenes role at Lehman, according to an internal Lehman document and interviews with former employees. The relationship raises new questions about the extent to which Lehman obscured its financial condition before it plunged into bankruptcy.

While Hudson Castle appeared to be an independent business, it was deeply entwined with Lehman. For years, its board was controlled by Lehman, which owned a quarter of the firm.

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Did The Wall Street Bailout Really Make Money For Taxpayers?

New York Times columnist Aaron Ross Sorkin wonders if the government’s claim that its bailouts of Wall Street firms worked and will be profitable might be true. What do you think?
Moneybag

What if, after all that panting over Washington’s bailout of the financial system, we learned that it actually worked?

And what if, after all that vitriol over the government’s risking hundreds of billions of dollars to rescue Wall Street from disaster, it turned out that taxpayers might actually lose nothing, or even make a profit?

Could it be? Really?

Every couple of months the Treasury Department takes a moment to strategically leak some good news about the bailouts. It happened again on Monday, when a Treasury official told The Wall Street Journal that America’s coffers would be only $89 billion lighter after all accounts were settled from the rescues, down from an earlier estimate of $250 billion.

It’s enough to make us all feel rich, isn’t it?

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