Tag Archives | Banks

Stressed: What Are They Trying To Tell Us?

CitibankOk, I have to admit it, I feel as though my faith in economic justice is being tested with these stress tests. Truth is, I  am becoming more stressed than ever.

The reason: despite all the “regulations” in the Dodd Frank Financial “reform” and the Volcker Rule and The Fed’s “oversight:’ the banks seems to have free reign to do what they will despite the financial crisis, and the pathetic “recovery.”

There have been fines and settlements but nothing is settled. None of them have or will go to jail.

Economic conditions continue to stress out millions even as the Fed announces “stress tests” that appear on the surface to be a way of insuring that big banks won’t need more bailouts.

Sad to say, it’s more of the charade. Partially that’s because the banks dominate the Federal Reserve, a private, not public, institution.

And, partially, because when it comes to economic crises, the stories are buried in the business pages and rarely surface as topics of concern on popular talk shows and media that most folks watch.… Read the rest

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How Big Banks Are Cashing In On Food Stamps

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance ProgramVirginia Eubanks asks “Many benefit programs have gone high tech with debit cards and J.P. Morgan Chase and others are making a pretty penny charging users fees. What is there to be done?”, writing for The American Prospect:

The Agricultural Act of 2014, signed into law by President Obama last Friday, includes $8 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) over the next decade. One way the bill proposes to accomplish these savings is by reducing food stamp fraud. When the new farm bill is enacted, many of America’s hardest working families will experience cuts in services and have trouble putting food on their family’s table. But there will be major gains for an industry that most Americans might not expect: banking.

Banks reap hefty profits helping governments make payments to individuals, business that only got better when agencies switch from making payments on paper—checks and vouchers—to electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards.

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The Mega Banks’ Most Devious Scam Yet

General Jackson Slaying the Many Headed Monster cropBanks are no longer just financing heavy industry. They are actually buying it up and inventing bigger, bolder and scarier scams than ever, writes Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone:

…Today, banks like Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs own oil tankers, run airports and control huge quantities of coal, natural gas, heating oil, electric power and precious metals. They likewise can now be found exerting direct control over the supply of a whole galaxy of raw materials crucial to world industry and to society in general, including everything from food products to metals like zinc, copper, tin, nickel and, most infamously thanks to a recent high-profile scandal, aluminum. And they’re doing it not just here but abroad as well: In Denmark, thousands took to the streets in protest in recent weeks, vampire-squid banners in hand, when news came out that Goldman Sachs was about to buy a 19 percent stake in Dong Energy, a national electric provider.

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Encouraging Teachers To Go Into Debt To Buy Their Students’ School Supplies

Since we no longer adequately fund education, teachers’ love of their students is leveraged to emotionally pressure them into paying for essential classroom supplies out of their own pockets. Except, since we no longer pay teachers adequate salaries, they may need to go into debt to do so. Possibly at the forefront of a trend, the Silver State Schools Credit Union helpfully offers K-12 teachers personal loans to cover their students’ materials:

school_loan

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Bank Tellers Rely On Public Assistance, Too

If you think working for a bank is a  good idea, because a bank is a lucrative business, a business which is responsible for handing out the currency that keeps the economy running, the people working, and the masses fed, then why are bank tellers in the same boat as fast food workers and Wal-Mart employees?

VIA CBS Money Watch

Taxpayers spend $899 million annually in state and federal benefits to support bank tellers and their families, according to a new report from The Committee for Better Banks.

One-third of bank tellers receive some sort of public assistance, ranging from Medicaid to food stamps, the financial industry employee advocacy group found, citing research from the University of California-Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. In New York state, almost 40 percent of bank tellers and their family members are enrolled in public assistance programs, costing the state and federal governments $112 million in benefits.

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How Wall Street Criminals Have Partnered With The NYPD

bloomberg

Wall Street on Parade on questionable financial institutions teaming with the police to monitor everyone walking the city streets:

Nothing reveals the incestuous, one-percent-mindset that NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly have with Wall Street than [a photo showing] an employee of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s number one target for financial fraud investigations, JPMorgan Chase, working inside a high security spy center in Lower Manhattan to — wait for it — help the New York City Police Department catch crooks.

While most law enforcement bodies around the U.S. would instantly weed out serial wrongdoers as job hires, Bloomberg and Kelly have created an art form out of joint policing ventures with Wall Street, operating both a rent-a-cop program with Wall Street as well as pumping at least $150 million of taxpayer money into the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center where Wall Street employees sit elbow to elbow with NYPD officers.

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The 2005 Bankruptcy Bill: Knowing a Financial Crisis Was Imminent, Banks Lobbied Government to Pass Laws to Preserve Their Wealth

via chycho

bankruptcy

Our government representatives would like us to believe that the subprime mortgage crisis (2, 3, 4, 5) could not have been predicted. The truth is, the collapse was expected and authorities were well aware that crimes were being committed.


I. Introduction

It is said that if you want to find the corrupt, follow the money. This catchphrase, however, cannot be used as a preventative measure; it can only be used in retrospect to punish perpetrators of a crime. It does very little to protect us from predators. This is unfortunate when applied to our current crony capitalistic system; a wrong decision in our personal finances can mean the difference between living a life of debt servitude or one of freedom.

In our current centralized economic system, the best way to avoid pitfalls and preserve wealth, improving lifestyle, is to pay close attention to changes in laws and be mindful of their implications.… Read the rest

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Russian Man Outwits Credit Card Company Using Its Own Tactics

TinkoffGenius. Via MSN:

Unhappy with the terms of an unsolicited credit card offer he received from online bank Tinkoff Credit Systems, Dmitry Agarkov scanned the document, wrote in his own terms and sent it through. The bank approved the contract without reading the amended fine print, unwittingly agreeing to a 0 percent interest rate, unlimited credit and no fees, as well as a stipulation that the bank pay steep fines for changing or canceling the contract.

Agarkov used the card for two years, but the bank ultimately canceled it and sued Agarkov for $1,363 in charges, interest and late-payment fees. A court ruled that, because of Agarkov’s no-fee, no-interest stipulation, he owed only his unpaid $575 balance. Now Agarkov is suing the bank for $727,000 for not honoring the contract’s terms, and the bank is hollering fraud.

“They signed the documents without looking. They said what usually their borrowers say in court: ‘We have not read it,’” Agarkov’s lawyer said.

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Big Banks Conspiracy Destroying America

Goldman Sachs Tower 011I’m increasingly wondering if Paul Farrell writes financial meltdown and banks are bad stories for the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch as a sort of crazy-man foil for the establishment writers on Mr. Murdoch’s payroll:

Imagine 100 Goldman Sachs banks running America and the world. It’s happening. Forget politicians, Big Banks rule the world.

It was just a few years ago in “The Great American Bubble Machine,” a Rolling Stone feature, that Goldman was indicted by Matt Taibbi: “The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

Yes, till recently Goldman Sachs was boss, everywhere, the “world’s most powerful bank.” Taibbi: “From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression.” What an indictment.

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Senators Propose Bill To Break Up Biggest Banks

elizabeth warrenElizabeth Warren for president? Reuters reports:

 A small bipartisan group of senators on Thursday introduced legislation that would break up Wall Street’s megabanks by separating traditional banking activity from riskier financial services.

The bill, called the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, has an uncertain future, but it shows some lawmakers’ frustration that banks have only continued to grow since the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts, is one of the sponsors of the bill [along with] Republican Senator John McCain from Arizona, Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell from Washington, and Senator Angus King, an independent from Maine.

The legislation would bring back elements of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, which divided commercial and investment banking, and was repealed in 1999. It would separate the operations of traditional banks with accounts backed by the FDIC from riskier activities such as investment banking, insurance, swaps and hedge funds.

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