Bail Outrage

From Americans United For Change:

Americans United for Change and American Family Voices unveiled a new television ad today as part of a ramped up coalitional effort urging Congress to pass President Obama’s financial regulatory reform plan to make Wall Street more transparent and accountable and prevent another financial crisis. The new ad comes as Citi, one of the largest recipients of taxpayer dollars, revealed how Wall Street is fully back to business as usual by announcing plans to create “the first derivatives intended to pay out in the event of a financial crisis.”

Ryan Grim and Shahien Nasiripour write on the Huffington Post:

A key question at the heart of the controversial bailout of AIG is just how much money the government lost. The Federal Reserve and Treasury Department have worked to keep that number secret and to conceal who was on the winning end.

An unredacted document obtained by the Huffington Post list the damage in detail. Goldman Sachs alone, for instance, got $14 billion in government money for assets worth $6 billion at the time — a de facto $8 billion subsidy, courtesy of taxpayers.

The list was produced as part of a congressional investigation led by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee into the federal bailout of AIG…

How easily we forget this whole mess started under a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, with the repeal of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act in 199. Here’s Huffington Post from a few months ago that sums up why a guy like this retiring is a big deal. Dan Froomkin writes:

He got it right last time.

Senator Byron Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota, was one of eight senators who stood up to oppose the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act in 1999. That repeal, which was signed into law by President Clinton exactly 10 years ago today, broke down the barriers between commercial banking and investment banking, and led to the growth of behemoth financial firms that were able to take enormous risks with impunity, because they were “too big to fail.”

“I think we will in 10 years’ time look back and say we should not have done this,” Dorgan said back then. The video of his speech has become something of a cult favorite for wonks — ten years, a $700 billion bailout and a major financial crisis later.

Here’s Plunder: The Crime of Our Time filmmaker Danny Schechter’s latest article on the Huffington Post. If you’d like to contribute to Danny’s effort to take down these “banksters” check our KickStarter, thanks for your support by your donation and helping to spread the word on this important film.

It’s a new week, a new year, and some, erroneously believe a new decade. What’s not new is the stranglehold the banks have on our economy, quietly stashing billions for more bonuses, while still restricting the flow of credit. Bad loans have been supplanted by no loans.

Writers on the left continue to go after one bankster — the one we love to hate: Goldman Sachs, which has become the poster child for profiteering and even serving bad coffee in their cafeterias. Most ignore the rest of the avaricious industry which is still volatile with big pockets of insolvency and dependence of government bailout funds.

While the media has recently focused on the terror threat posed in Detroit, the terrifying reality in Detroit is generally ignored. The Associated Press reports…

Anyone think Gordon Gekko would be saying this today? On second thought, he probably would…

The Huffington Post reports:

Derivatives is one of the dirty words of the financial crisis. Though these often-risky bets were blamed by many for helping fuel the credit crunch and the downfall of Lehman Brothers and AIG, it seems that Wall Street has yet to learn its lesson.

U.S. commercial banks earned $5.2 billion trading derivatives in the second quarter of 2009, a 225 percent increase from the same period last year, according to the Treasury Department.