Tag Archives | Money

Wall Street’s Steeply Increasing Republicanism

We’ve seen massive amounts of dark money in politics co-opt and buy our former democracy wholesale. This was especially clear in the post-Citizen’s United elections in the U.S., with special interests, corporations and/or lobbyists spending billions of dollars (that they otherwise argue they need to keep hold of with preferential legal and legislative treatment).

Wall Street, in particular, holds sway over the thinking in Washington, D.C. Our elected policy-makers are increasingly owned, or at least bought and paid for, in other words; whores. So they’re exercising their freedom of speech, and just as with their other shady deal-making, they tend to bet big. Wall Street gave big to the Democrats and Obama in particular in 2008. They gave to him early on before backing Romney as ‘one of their own’ in the financial sector.

But is there anything to the idea that their toxic objectivism is severely conservative nowadays? Open Secrets Blog, a great research site from the Center for Responsive Politics that was instrumental during the election, before and since, for exposing the flow of money from profiteering barons to pandering politicians.… Read the rest

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The Movement To Mint A Trillion Dollar Coin

Have you heard about the Trillion Dollar Coin? No joke, there’s serious talk in Washington about minting one. Joe Weisenthal explains at Business Insider:

There are really two stunning things about the movement to mint a trillion dollar coin to avert a debt ceiling crisis.

FIRST: the movement has gone absolutely nuts.

Everyone is talking about it.

Media outlets and individuals include: BBCFox NewsCNNPIMCO’s Bill GrossPaul KrugmanReutersThe GuardianWall Street JournalThe EconomistBloombergMSNBCCNBCNBCCBSABCThe AustralianRia Novosti (Russia), Stephen ColbertThe Washington Post. That’s just a partial list.

SECOND: Despite the supposed absurdity of it, and despite the fact that it flies in the face of everything everyone thinks about money, there are virtually no good arguments against it.

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The Cult Of Nick: KLF, Chaos, Magic, Music, Money

From The Cult Of Nick podcast:

In 1994 Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty took a million pounds to a deserted boathouse on the island of Jura and burnt it. The writer JMR Higgs looked at this event from a magickal perspective and came up with some interesting results. The story involves the world’s first joke religion, the JFK assasination, Robert Anton Wilson, Alan Moore and a bunch of ideas collectively known as “Chaos Magick”.

[...]

If you’re interested in “sigils” which we get to talking about right at the end of the interview go to the Disinfo.com website where I’ve written some short essays on the topic.

Click here to download the podcast for yourself.

The events and book are described by the author on his personal website here:

I read about it afterwards in an article in the Observer, which I immediately clipped and put in a drawer.

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The Mininum Wage Machine

Via Andrew Fishman’s Art, minimum wage machine is a sculpture installation by Blake Fall-Conroy, allowing anyone to work for minimum wage for as long as they wish:

Turning the crank on the side releases one penny every 4.97 seconds, for a total of $7.25 per hour. This corresponds to minimum wage for a person in New York.

This piece is brilliant on multiple levels, particularly as social commentary.  Without a doubt, most people who started operating the machine for fun would quickly grow disheartened and stop when realizing just how little they’re earning by turning this mindless crank. A person would then conceivably realize that this is what nearly two million people in the United States do every day…at much harder jobs than turning a crank. This turns the piece into a simple, yet effective argument for raising the minimum wage.

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Louisiana Supreme Court Upholds Police Right To Seize Motorists’ Cash

The burden of proof is on the driver to explain how they earned their money — otherwise, it belongs to the police. Information Liberation reports:

Drivers in Louisiana unable to document the source of every dollar they carry could find their money seized by police. The state Supreme Court yesterday ruled officers were right to grab $144,320 from motorist Tina Beers because, in the high court’s opinion, she was unable to come up with a credible explanation of where the funds came from.

On January 10, 2009, State Trooper Dupuis pulled over Beers’ minivan on Interstate 10. Beers traveling with her three children. The court record no longer preserves the cause of the original traffic stop because Dupuis quickly lost interest once he obtained permission to search the vehicle. The trooper found nine bundles of cash in compartment on the minivan floor. Dupuis knew his department might be able to keep the money, [which they did], but there were no drugs in the minivan nor did prosecutors ever find a criminal charge to lodge against Beers.

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Political Parties Are Basically Bank Accounts

Picture: Flickr 401(K) 2012 (CC)

Don’t think for an instant that just because the big moneyed GOP didn’t sweep the Senate and White House, that Citizen’s United didn’t change this election. With over $6 billion spent, much of it in secret, the rich are already claiming that this election (against the Big Bad Socialists) vindicates their philosophy. Although when your thinking is based on confirmation bias and intellectual dishonesty, basically everything vindicates you, no matter which way it goes. Al Franken and others are proposing constitutional amendments to overturn Citizen’s United, and others are still analyzing the damage done in House races and local Propositions. 11 states now support such measures, but still have outside spending to contend with.

Political science professor Thomas Ferguson is another critic of influence-peddling through poorly regulated campaign finance. He goes on to describe the corrupting effects of lobbying, ‘revolving door’ politicians, and the relationship of the financial industry.… Read the rest

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Shadow Banking Industry Now Worth $76 Trillion

Will unregulated, debt-based financial products destroy the world? Bloomberg reports that the funneling of capital into instruments of so-called “shadow banking” continues to balloon to unimaginably large proportions:

The shadow banking industry has grown to about $67 trillion, leading global regulators to seek more oversight of financial transactions that fall outside traditional oversight. The Financial Stability Board, a global financial policy group comprised of regulators and central bankers, found that shadow banking grew by $41 trillion between 2002 and 2011.

The size of the shadow banking system, which includes the activities of money market funds, monoline insurers and off-balance sheet investment vehicles, “can create systemic risks” and “amplify market reactions when market liquidity is scarce,” the FSB said.

Supervisors consider shadow banking activities to be those that allow banks to carry out business off balance sheets, as well as those which allow investors to bypass lenders and the functions they traditionally fulfill on the markets.

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Evolver Network Now on YouTube: ‘New Edge of Radical Economics’

Our Friends at Reality Sandwich/Evolver have launched a YouTube channel to share all of their video content. Suscribe here:

Via Reality Sandwich:

“Our first video features the full video from “The New Edge of Radical Economics,” an Evolver network event with David Graeber, Occupy Wall Street activist and author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years, and Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics, moderated by RS’s own Daniel Pinchbeck. Graeber and Eisenstein tackle the loaded question: What is money? They aptly compare money to magic, and explore the notion that money works because we all believe in it. You can watch it on our YouTube page, or check it out below.”

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Marijuana: America’s Next Big Business Boom?

Picture: R3D-3Y3 (PD)

The Daily Beast

With pot use up and legalization perceived as being just around the corner, reports that smart businessmen are looking at legalized marijuana as a smart investment:

Full dark in downtown Denver, and inside one of the twinkling high-rises that make the skyline, drug dealers are putting money into envelopes. They’re trying to be discreet. No one signed the security logbook in the lobby. All assume the room could be bugged. But if your image of the drug trade involves armed gangs or young men in parked cars, these dealers offer a surreal counterpoint. There’s a finance veteran, two children of the Ivy League, multiple lawyers, and the son of a police chief. At their side is a Pulitzer Prize–winning communications consultant, two state lobbyists, and a nationally known political operative. And the guest of honor: a state senator who likes the look of those envelopes being stuffed.

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