Tag Archives | Banksters

Why Do Banksters Get Help but Not Homeowners?

20070509 CitibankThe Daily Take Team at The Thom Hartmann Program critiques the Citibank settlement at TruthOut:

It’s time to start helping the people, and stop helping Wall Street.

According to an agreement announced earlier today, big bank Citigroup will pay $7 billion to settle a Department of Justice investigation into that bank’s involvement with risky subprime mortgages.

The agreement stems from Citigroup’s role in the trading of subprime mortgage securities, which helped to cause the 2007 financial collapse and Great Recession.

Of the $7 billion total settlement, $4 billion will be in the form of a civil monetary payment to the Department of Justice, $500 million will go to state attorney’s general and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and an additional $2.5 billion will go towards “consumer relief.”

But make no mistake about it. This agreement is another win for the big banks.

Under the agreement, Citigroup will most likely get a $500 million tax write-off.

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The Fiefdom Will Soon Be Complete: Wall Street Buying Up Farmland

PIC: LOC (PD)

PIC: LOC (PD)

Not merely satisfied with purchasing our foreclosed homes en masse and charging us to rent them back (thanks to a crisis they created), Wall Street has set their sights on America’s fertile soils. Sing it with me! This land is their land, this land is their land…

Via Tom Philpott at Mother Jones:

In a couple of posts last fall, I showed that corporations don’t do much actual farming in the United States. True, agrichemical companies like Monsanto and Syngenta mint fortunes by selling seeds and chemicals to farmers, and grain processors like Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill reap billions from buying crops cheap and turning them into pricey stuff like livestock feed, sweetener, cooking oil, and ethanol. But the great bulk of US farms—enterprises that generally have razor-thin profit margins—are run by independent operators.

That may be on the verge of changing. A recent report by the Oakland Institute documents a fledgling, little-studied trend: Corporations are starting to buy up US farmland, especially in areas dominated by industrial-scale agriculture, like Iowa and California’s Central Valley.

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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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JPMorgan Chase Resisting Inquiries Into Its Relationship With Bernie Madoff

jpmorganBehind every major criminal operation is a bank propping them up. Newsweek reports:

JPMorgan Chase has for years obstructed federal bank examiners trying to ascertain what it knew about Bernard Madoff’s gigantic Ponzi scheme, an official document obtained by Newsweek shows.

JPMorgan was the principal bank Madoff used in his fraud. On the day of his arrest in December 2008, he claimed to be the world’s biggest money manager, handling $64.8 billion of other people’s money.

The Justice Department refused in September to back up Treasury inspector general staff who wanted a court order to enforce a subpoena, in effect shielding JPMorgan from law enforcement, the October 8 document shows.

The JPMorgan memos are almost certain to show that years earlier the bank had grounds to suspect Madoff was running a fraud. Despite this, JPMorgan continued doing business with Madoff almost until the moment of his arrest in December 2008.

The memos Justice is helping JPMorgan conceal might also shed light on how the Securities and Exchange Commission failed to uncover the decades-long scam, despite audits and warnings from Harry Markopolos, the Boston fraud investigator who tried in vain to get an official investigation.

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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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SEC Investigating J.P. Morgan For Hiring Chinese Elites’ Children As Possible Form Of Bribery

jpmorganHold a position of global influence? Then there may be a job at J.P. Morgan for your offspring. Via Raw Story:

The United States is investigating JPMorgan over its hiring practices in China, the company confirmed Sunday. The New York Times had earlier reported that the investment bank was under investigation over claims it hired the children of influential Chinese officials to secure business in the country.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission filing confirmed that there had been a request from regulators for “information and documents relating to, among other matters, the firm’s employment of certain former employees in Hong Kong and its business relationships with certain clients.”

The Times had cited one case where the bank hired the son of Tang Shuangning, a former Chinese banking regulator who is now chairman of the state-run China Everbright Group financial conglomerate. JPMorgan secured a succession of sought-after deals from China Everbright after hiring the son, Tang Xiaoning.

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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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“True Patriot” Sentenced to Prison for String of Politically Motivated Bank Robberies

via The Seattle Times patrick-henry1

TACOMA — When Michael Fenter was arrested coming out of a Tacoma bank last fall with $73,000 in a bag and a gun at his hip, just about everyone had the same question: “Why?”

A marine carpenter who, with his wife, had realized a longtime dream to run a Port Townsend farm, Fenter had no criminal record, no drug problem and no clear motive. In letters to the court, friends and family called him “honest,” “gracious,” “wholesome” and “gentle.” They knew nothing of his secret life.

He pleaded guilty in March to robbing four banks in Seattle, Tacoma and California and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence.

Calling it “one of the most perplexing cases” he’s ever considered, U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin Settle sentenced Fenter on Monday to 10 years in prison, and ordered him to make restitution to the banks. He walked away with $86,000 from the first three robberies, and that money has never been accounted for.

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California Man Could Face Decade In Jail For Writing Anti-Bank Slogans In Chalk

chalk protest

The local government is acting on instructions from a “high-ranking bank security manager.” KMFB San Diego reports:

A North Park man is looking at more than a decade behind bars for using washable chalk to protest the banking industry. Jeff Olson is being charged with 13 counts of vandalism for writing anti-bank slogans on sidewalks outside three Bank of America branches.

A surveillance camera caught Olson in the act, writing on the sidewalk in front of a Bank of America in North Park. Olson admits it: “I wrote ‘No thanks big banks,’ I wrote ‘Shame on Bank of America,’” he said.

But the city attorney’s office — after receiving multiple emails from a high ranking bank security manager — decided to charge Olson with 13 counts of misdemeanor vandalism.

Olson’s attorney argued in motions Tuesday morning that this is free speech written in easily cleanable chalk, but Judge Howard Shore disagreed, saying this case has nothing to do with free speech.

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