Tag Archives | Rich People

Free $10 Million Loans For All!

Madoff JokerIf you work on Wall Street it’s time to take Bill’s Hicks’ advice for advertising and marketers … because this will never happen. Sheila Bair writes in the Washington Post:

Are you concerned about growing income inequality in America? Are you resentful of all that wealth concentrated in the 1 percent? I’ve got the perfect solution, a modest proposal that involves just a small adjustment in the Federal Reserve’s easy monetary policy. Best of all, it will mean that none of us have to work for a living anymore.

For several years now, the Fed has been making money available to the financial sector at near-zero interest rates. Big banks and hedge funds, among others, have taken this cheap money and invested it in securities with high yields. This type of profit-making, called the “carry trade,” has been enormously profitable for them.

So why not let everyone participate? Under my plan, each American household could borrow $10 million from the Fed at zero interest.

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The TSA Precheck Program for the 1 Percent

TSA PrecheckBecause rich people sure do hate being inconvenienced. Via the WSJ:
Hate the full-body scans, pat-downs and slow going at TSA airport security screening checkpoints? For $100, you can now bypass the hassle. The Transportation Security Administration is rolling out expedited screening at big airports called "Precheck." It has special lanes for background-checked travelers, who can keep their shoes, belt and jacket on, leave laptops and liquids in carry-on bags and walk through a metal detector rather than a full-body scan. The process, now at two airlines and nine airports, is much like how screenings worked before the Sept. 11 attacks. To qualify, frequent fliers must meet undisclosed TSA criteria and get invited in by the airlines. There is also a backdoor in. Approved travelers who are in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's "Global Entry" program can transfer into Precheck using their Global Entry number.
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FBI Says Citibank Gave Billionaire Paul Allen’s Debit Card to ID Thief

Paul Allen in his Microsoft days with Bill Gates.

Paul Allen in his Microsoft days with Bill Gates.

David Kravets reports at WIRED’s Threat Level:

An alleged Army deserter is being charged with bank fraud in connection to the socially engineered hijacking of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s debit card.

In a complaint unsealed Monday, federal authorities allege Brandon Price, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, obtained the billionaire’s debit card from Citibank via a telephone call to the bank’s customer service bureau in January. At Price’s request, the bank changed Allen’s address to Price’s Pittsburgh house, and overnighted him the card.

“An individual identifying himself as Paul Allen called the customer service department of Citibank. The caller stated that he had misplaced his debit card at his residence, but did not want to report it stolen. The individual then successfully ordered a new debit card on the account of Paul Allen and had it sent via UPS,” FBI agent Joseph J. Ondercin said (.pdf) in a legal filing.

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The Private Social Network For The Extremely Rich and Powerful

moneykeyAn Esquire piece on $4 billion software company Tibco discusses its latest, perhaps most significant project:
TopCom is a private communications platform for the 200 most powerful people in the world. It is being officially launched in late January at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It is basically a customized, ridiculously secure version of tibbr, a platform developed as a kind of combination Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, texting, and Skype. It is a private social network, essentially — in this case, for world leaders. Because the World Economic Forum has a hierarchy, so does TopCom: The top two hundred WEF members — basically, the people who run the world — can speak to one another on a given subject, and then they can choose to loop in members from lower tiers (experts, academics, etc.) as needed, widening the pool of knowledge on whatever problem is on the table.
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Upper Classes ‘More Likely to Lie and Cheat’

John Bingham writes in the Telegraph:

Members of the upper classes are more likely to lie, cheat and even break the law than people from less privileged backgrounds, a study has found. In contrast, members of the “lower” classes appeared more likely to display the traditional attributes of a gentleman.

It suggests that the traditional notion of the upper class “cad” or “bounder” could have a scientific basis. But psychologists at the University of California in Berkeley, who carried out the study, also suggested that the findings could help explain the origins of the banking crisis – with self-confident, wealthy bankers more likely to indulge in reckless behaviour.

The team lead by Dr Paul Piff, asked several groups of people from different social backgrounds to perform a series of tasks designed to identify different traits such as honesty and consideration for others …

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If You Are Poor, It’s Because God Hates Your Guts

God & Money[Site editor's note: The following is an excerpt from the new Disinformation title 50 Things You're Not Supposed To Know: Religion, authored by Daniele Bolelli.]

The history of Christianity is like a treasure chest for anyone who is fond of contradictions. The Gospels bicker with each other by relating similar tales in very different ways. But even more obviously, Christianity has often so dramatically departed from the words attributed to Jesus as to make you wonder how these glaring contradictions can be justified. Jesus tells you to “Love your enemies” and “Turn the other cheek”? So let’s show how much we love Jesus by waging crusades, inquisitions, witch-hunts, and brutal campaigns of repression against anyone who doesn’t love Him as much as we do. Jesus’s pacifism has drowned in the hyper-violence that has characterized much of Christian history.

But—we may object—most Christians alive today seem to have lost the bloodthirsty enthusiasm of their ancestors, and are no longer inclined to exterminate non-Christians.… Read the rest

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How The Top 1% Are Reshaping America

Completed a few weeks before the Occupy Wall Street protests began, the latest episode of Al Jazeera's fantastic Fault Lines program takes a hard look at the wealthiest 1% in the United States, including talking to those in the 1% about what their wealth means:
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