Tag Archives | Danny Schechter
The President has spoken, but the system is still broken. The SEC has come down on Goldman Sachs but the company is now mounting a no-expense spared defense.. Shocking disclosures of greed and fraud continue to trickle out from the Mammon factory and Babylonian leviathan that is Wall Street.
What is, and isn’t, being done by “da people” to fight back?
The major issue on the agenda for activists is not just the Administration’s tepid financial reform package due for a Senate vote this week but supporting new legislation to break up the banks, a proposal that challenges the “TOO BIG TO FAIL” understanding between government and the banks. Thousands of activists are calling on their representatives to back the bill, and MoveOn.org is planning ads.
There is an ad already out there to fight fraud. Check it out.
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The case has not even been heard in court and the company denies all the allegations. Almost every business publication has carried commentaries by insiders who say the government may have a hard time prevailing, and dismissing all the Sturm and Drang.
And yet the public seems to be delighted if not outraged by the SEC’s charges against Goldman Sachs, the opulent investment bank that many Americans see as the poster child of those causing the financial crisis. Even in the world of business where dislike of government crackdowns is dominant, a new poll shows that a majority believe Goldman is getting what it deserves.
Argyle Executive Forum conducted the survey electronically among its senior corporate leadership community.
The precise wording of the survey question was:
As Goldman Sachs Group is currently at the center of a legal maelstrom triggered by the SEC’s fraud charge last week, we want to ask you how you currently feel about the charges.
Fox Business News was engrossed in interviewing a blonder than thou reality TV bimbo when the news that the Securities And Exchange Commission was filing fraud charges against Goldman Sachs broke on Friday afternoon.
The breaking news bulletins were already flying through cyberspace before the Fox Means Business network got around to moving from a snickering interview with a starlet confessing to commodifying and monetizing her appeal to the biggest story in months on the Street beat. Corporate fraud allegations seem to make free market boosters nervous.
At last, the mightiest of investment bank, described as a “giant squid on the face of humanity” by Matt Taibbi in a much-read diatribe, appeared to be in deep trouble. Taibbi himself was not convinced that the Government has the goods on Goldman.
He commented, “…What’s interesting is that I heard whiffs of this story going back as far as a year and you know I’m one of the harshest critics of Goldman Sachs and I actually backed off the story because I didn’t really believe it.… Read the rest
In politics, it’s always all about the narrative, about how issues are framed.
We ask ourselves how we can be experiencing the largest economic meltdown in decades with millions out of work and millions more losing their homes, yet with no real mass mobilization or ongoing response from the progressive world.
To understand this paradox, we need to reflect on how most of us define the problem.
To this day, there has not been an aggressive investigation of who and what brought down the system à la the Pecora Commission appointed by FDR. Instead we have a wimpy ineffectual body that can’t get its act together. The New York Times, which hailed its appointment, now buries its de facto obit way back in the business section, noting it has “been hobbled by delays and internal disagreements and a lack of focus.”
At the same time, the bookshelves are filling up with volumes of complicated treatises on the complexities of derivatives, risky profit models and credit default swaps.… Read the rest
My efforts to promote my new film PLUNDER are underway with a little help from our Globalvision team and the good folks at Disinformation, who have managed to get it on iTunes and various cable TV VOD systems, as well as DVD. I was happy to see that the Wall Street Journal ran a shorter version of their story saying the film is “not just for Michael Moore fans” on their Deal Blog in the weekend edition of the newspaper. Here are some of the comments on the WSJ blog:
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Why hasn’t anyone been successfully prosecuted for committing the crime Schechter speaks of? Because it’s too big. It’s too big of a problem for those culpable and those currently in charge (Wall Street and Washington) to deal with. Officials would much rather make the crisis a blip in our economic history, rather than a decade-defining moment (e.g.
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Independent filmmaker Danny Schecter would like to remind Wall Street that the disdain for bankers “is not coming from a bunch of lefties in some basement in the East Village. It is coming from mainstream America.”
Schecter hopes such mainstream angst can propel his latest film, “Plunder: The Crime Story of Our Time,” into the big leagues. Filmed on a budget of less than $50,000 and based on his book of the same title, the movie traces the roots of the financial crisis from the home owners who defaulted on their mortgages to the Wall Street banks loading up on mortgage investments.
The film sounds like the many books and made-for-television movies about the crisis. But Schecter, who has worked at ABC News and CNN, promises that his narrative is different because it approaches the subject like a crime story, not a mere financial story.
A Tale of Then and Now, FDR vs Obama: A Story of Shame, Co-option, Partisan Bickering and Industry Lobbying To Undermine Financial Reform
2009, The Intent: Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “What I want to initiate is the equivalent of what happened in the 30′s. They had something that was called the Pecora Commission. This was the commission that was formed when Franklin Roosevelt took office and they investigated what happened with the markets… We need to know. Some people can tell you one piece of it. Others can tell you another piece of it. But really it’s very hard – do you understand it? – for the American people and the rest of us as we try to make policy as we go forward to see the ramifications of any of the changes we’re being asked to make.”
THEN: Robert Kuttner: In 1932 through 1934 the Senate Banking Committee, led by its Chief Counsel Ferdinand Pecora, ferreted out the deeper fraud and corruption that led to the Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression.… Read the rest