Tag Archives | Rich People

Congress Got 25% Richer During Height of Recession

Rich CongressSeems like time to Occupy Congress … Paul Singer and Jennifer Yachnin report on Roll Call:

Members of Congress had a collective net worth of more than $2 billion in 2010, a nearly 25 percent increase over the 2008 total, according to a Roll Call analysis of Members’ financial disclosure forms.

Nearly 90 percent of that increase is concentrated in the 50 richest Members of Congress.

Two years ago, Roll Call found that the minimum net worth of House Members was slightly more than $1 billion; Senators had a combined minimum worth of $651 million for a Congressional total of $1.65 billion. Roll Call calculates minimum net worth by adding the minimum values of all reported assets and subtracting the minimum values of all reported liabilities.

According to financial disclosure forms filed by Members of Congress this year, the minimum net worth in the House has jumped to $1.26 billion, and Senate net worth has climbed to at least $784 million, for a Congressional total of $2.04 billion.

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Occupy Wall Street: Protesting Taxation Without Representation?

Gadsden FlagJohn Atcheson writes on CommonDreams:

When government gives banks and Wall Street some $12.8 trillion of the taxpayer’s hard-earned money in direct funds, guarantees and near zero interest loans, and the fat cats turn around and spend it on bonuses and high-risk investments rather than fixing the real economy for the 99% who have been affected, don’t ask why people are angry.  Especially when not a single bankster or speculator has been busted for a plethora of real crimes, while people lose their homes to improperly documented foreclosures.When the one-percenters and their bought-and-paid-for government pass a faux financial reform bill that doesn’t actually change the way things are done in the Banks’ boardrooms or on Wall Street and people take to the streets, how can that be a mystery?

And yes, that means you, too, Clinton, Obama and the Democratic Party.  Your abject collusion with the one-percenters, while spouting populist rhetoric every four years, is in some ways more worthy of disdain than the Republicans’ outright embrace of the 1% Doctrine.

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Banks To Charge You For Holding Your Own Money

Welcome to America: David Hancock reports on CBS News:

Investors are well aware that money markets pay next to nothing in interest these days. Now one bank has announced a policy to actually charge clients a fee to hold their cash. The policy by Bank of New York Mellon Corp. will apply to some large depositors to hold their cash, reports the Wall Street Journal.

In a letter reviewed by WSJ, Mellon advised that it will charge 0.13% plus an additional fee if the one-month Treasury yield dips below zero on depositors that have accounts with an average monthly balance of $50 million “per client relationship.”

“In the past month, we have seen a growing level of deposits on our balance sheet from clients seeking a safe-haven in light of the global interest rate and credit environment,” the bank told the Journal in an emailed statement.

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Turn the Shame Around

Herman CainFrom the Weekly Sift:

For the longest time I didn’t get Occupy Wall Street, but then Herman Cain helped me out: He said something so monumentally wrong that my reaction against it pointed me in the right direction.

Here’s Herman: Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself! … It is not someone’s fault if they succeeded, it is someone’s fault if they failed.

That’s when I got it. An unjust system’s first line of defense is shame. As long as we’re ashamed to admit that we’re victims, as long as we’re ashamed to identify with the other losers, we’re helpless.

It would be great to have a 10-point plan that solves everything. It would be great to have a party that endorses that plan and a get-out-the-vote movement to put that party into office. But none of that is going to happen until large numbers of us cast off our shame, until we turn the shame around: We need to stop being ashamed that we couldn’t crack the top 1%, and instead cast shame on an economic system that only works for 1%.

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Here’s How to Screw the Rich

Eat The RichInteresting points from TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington:

Tax the rich. Those bastards.

I get why people who aren’t rich hate those that are. No one really cares what they have, they only care what they have relative to others. When there is inequality, and there always is, even the hyper intelligent call for a redistribution of wealth. It’s an enduring longing for us as a species, and no evidence to the contrary will convince people it just doesn’t work in any large group.

What I really didn’t understand until recently though is why so many rich Americans seem to loathe their richness as much as everyone else does. Many in Silicon Valley want to tax the rich into the middle class and let government spend and spend and spend. The super rich tech elite flock to Obama, joining in the call to screw the rich as loudly as all the rest.

Then I figured it out. As I wrote then, the super rich won’t mind at all if we “tax the rich” as it’s currently defined. That’s because people who are super rich don’t really pay taxes…

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A View From The Top One Percent

jet-jets-private-plane-planes-planes-fly-rich-wealthy-charterVia Who Rules America?, a financial manager provides his perspective on the wealthiest one percent and 0.1 percent of Americans — i.e. his clients — regarding who they are, how they got so rich, and why he worries that they have too much power:

Membership in this elite group is likely to come from being involved in some aspect of the financial services or banking industry, real estate development involved with those industries, or government contracting.

Recently, I spoke with a younger client who retired from a major investment bank in her early thirties, net worth around $8M. Since I knew she held a critical view of investment banking, I asked if her colleagues talked about or understood how much damage was created in the broader economy from their activities. Her answer was that no one talks about it in public but almost all understood and were unbelievably cynical, hoping to exit the system when they became rich enough.

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Warren Buffett: ‘Stop Coddling the Super-Rich’

Photo: Mark Hirschey

Photo: Mark Hirschey (CC)

Billionaire Buffett sounds off in the New York Times:

Our leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.

While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors.

These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species.

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Billionaire Carves Name In Desert So Large It Can Be Seen From Space

Note: click on the image below to see on Google Maps. Harry Haydon writes in the Sun:

HAMAD

A desert sheikh has carved out a big name for himself — by having his moniker etched in capital letters visible from space. Workmen scoured “HAMAD” into the sand on the orders of Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan.

The name is two miles across — with letters a kilometre high. It is so huge that the “H”, the first “A” and part of the “M” have been made into waterways. The mega-rich sheikh, 63 — a member of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi — in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates — boasts a £14billion fortune that is second only to the Saudi king’s.

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Rent Your Own Country: Liechtenstein Available At $70,000 Per Night

At least when people say that our government is for sale, it’s meant metaphorically. Wired UK writes:

For a cool $70,000 a night (for a minimum of two nights), you can hire the tiny country of Liechtenstein, which measures around 61.7 square miles and has just 35,000 inhabitants. According to the profile on Airbnb, Liechtenstein can accommodate between 450 and 900 people, has 500+ bedrooms and 500+ bathrooms. The cancellation policy is classified as “Super Strict”.

[This] follows last year’s attempt by Snoop Dogg to rent Liechtenstein to shoot a music video. He was rebuffed because his management did not give enough prior warning.

Leichtenstein

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