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Monday, May 24, 2010

No Change Is Gonna Come

President Barack Obama has let down those that supported him during his run for the presidency. Now, he has let down a great many more Americans, not only those who casted their vote for him, but also, those who did not.

He entered the White House during an economic crisis promising transparency, open government, and the use of science to analyze the problems that face the country, but it appears that he has used corrupted data his analytic process.
The Senate just passed a financial reform bill ("Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010") that continues to allow for naked short selling, synthetic derivative trading, and the corrupted Too Big To Fail mega-financial banks without separating their investment from banking deal making. The Shadow Banking industry continues to do their securities investment alchemy in the dark shadows away from public view, accountability and regulation.
Here is what Michael Hirsh of Newsweek wrote:
“[T]he new bill might be better termed "the Accountants' and Lawyers' Welfare Act of 2010." The bottom line is that despite the blizzard of amendments and provisions added—including some very smart changes at the 11th hour, like imposing greater control of ratings agencies—what's likely to emerge on the other side of this in the years to come is a Wall Street that's largely unchanged if marginally more regulated. Indeed, if any structural changes to Wall Street follow from this law, it is likely to be that the biggest banks get even more powerful than they already are, despite the size limits being placed on them.”
“Now there is no threat of a finding of illegality and no penalty promised if swaps deals don't go through a clearinghouse.” “the banks fought hard—and won a partial victory—in an effort to water down the definition of open and competitive derivatives trading.” “When the bill passed out of Sen. Blanche Lincoln's agriculture committee—which shared oversight of derivatives with the banking committee—it had language defining a so-called swap execution facility as a "trading facility," clearly meaning that swaps could only be traded in pits or on electronic platforms with multiple buyers and bidders. That sounds like an obscure point, but it's actually central to Wall Street's profits, and it explains how the multi-trillion-dollar derivatives market got away from regulators in the 2000s. For the banks, the more swaps and other derivatives they can trade off exchanges in "custom-made" deals with customers, the harder it is for those customers to figure out the trade's fair value and real risk—and the easier for the banks to increase their profit margin.”
“Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), says they're not worried by these nuances because the bill gives them broad discretion to write rules requiring open trading and clearing of swaps and other derivatives.”
In the bill, new clearinghouses will be able to have full and unfettered access to the Federal Reserve’s cash discount access windows (you want fries with ‘dat pile of cash?). “The big banks, which will be able to create a whole new futures market of their own, perhaps even displacing the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.”
Right!! Go-To-Gensler feels all will be well, and not to worry your pretty little heads, with the financial predatory game plan because their plays will not be interrupted as they rush against America as they further funnel America’s wealth up the vacuum tube to the upper 10% of the earnings echelon.

The system continues to favor the financial mobsters instead of hard working average-type Americans who have become victims of the To Big To Fail corporate predators, as they receive big bonuses and lucrative perks, while proceeding with Business-As-Usual. Congress has handed them the “move to the finish line game card”. This card was handed en masse by the Republicans in the Senate Finance Committee. The Democrats would have likely created a bill with real reform teeth had they not been obstructed throughout the process by the Republican members who are extremely indebted to the oligarchs. But, the majority of Democrats serving on the committee decided to back off and capitulate instead of making a strong stand demanding a meaningful and long lasting reform bill for the Congress vote on. There was no line-drawn-in-the-sand stand made here! More of the same garbage has been served up to the financially wounded American public.

Barack Obama has kept himself hidden behind the “ Manchurian Curtain”, while charading to be serious about financial reform. His Treasury Security Timmie daG Geithner did not want to see synthetic derivative trades, or over-the-counter derivative trades, such as credit default swaps, by banks done away with, the position Senator Blanche Lincoln had taken, because he said that the financial industry was the only sector contributing to the GDP. I guess it is acceptable that the revenues received are from dirty monies gotten through corrupt trading techniques. High Frequency Trading is what was responsible for the near 1000 point drop, before a partial recovery, on the DOW back in mid-May. It was OK that Mom and Pop America’s stop-losses on their trades failed and their retirement investment dollars went up in smoke as the financial mobsters made a ton of cash by messing with Proctor and Gamble, as well as other big named stocks.

It is OK with Mr. OK-Obama that HFT is acceptable even though computers have now taken over high speed Wall Street gambling by jumping ahead of trades forcing Mom and Pop America to pay a higher price for the stock they wish to purchase as the HFT Algorithmic Robots make a few more cents a trade for their human masterminds, amounting to millions of dollars, over big volumes in a day’s virtual work. This is predatory trading, yet the White House and Congress allows it happen. The country of Germany got “religion” this past week as they banned naked and short selling, and damaging derivative trading. They acted overnight, faster than a New York Minute, and did not need lots of discussion, debating or rangling about these dangerous Wall Street investment instruments before killing them.

Was this the change Obama promised the American people? No change for Wall Street HFTraders. Give them all a Smiley Cookie!

Now we have a month long disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. More change to believe in. We are now engaged in a bailout for BP as the government gets involved in the attempted clean up fiasco. The taxpayers are now paying for the Navy’s involvement.

We have watched the Federal Minerals Management Service win the Most Incompetent Federal Agency award as they take the blame for being in bed with the oil companies. ‘No rules-no regulation-no kidding’ was the theme of Dick Cheney’s Energy Corporate Collusion Conference he held in the early days of his role as Preferred President by Proxy of the United States of American. Mr. GameBoy Bush was too busy cuttin’ brush to pay much attention.

Currently, we are finding the Gulf filling up with 50,000 barrels of oil per day, and 37 MILLION barrels of methane gas per day as BP continues their plundering and bungling of the blowhole-fixit-up-ur job. There is nothing like believing that sticking a shop vac hose a mile down in the Gulf waters to suck up the billowing oil and gas out of a ruptured volcano to be a sensible solution to a monumental catastrophe. Only a cheap oligarch would put cost savings before preserving life, environment, and livelihoods.

There is something wrong if the nation’s Attorney General Eric Holder believes that no laws have been broken when every American believes that Mr. Hayward is criminally negligent. But, the LilBoyBush administration removed the most effective technical safeguards that would have prevented the pipe from exploding and killing 11, while injuring others and destroying the ecosystem living in the Gulf of Mexico.

And, there has to be something seriously wrong if Eric Holder cannot find a single crime to pin on AIG executives for destroying the company, robbing the Treasury, handing over billions of dollars of bailout cash to Goldman Sachs to fatten the pile they had already received from the taxpayers, believing that the credit default swaps were issued without fraudulent intent, and demonstrating criminal negligence to all the investors who believed that their retirement funds were secure with the company.

This appears to be the change we were promised---the freedom for corporate mobsters to prevail.

Regarding the Gulf of Mexico, it is a semi-enclosed sea with two ports.
The major inflow port is the Yucatan Channel, which brings Atlantic Ocean currents into the Gulf interior because of the Loop Channel, which is deep and oxygen-rich drawing in the Atlantic Ocean waters from the Caribbean Sea; and, the major outflow port is at the Florida Straits outflow channel that mixes deep oxygen-rich water with less oxygen-rich shallow waters that flow back into the Gulf instead of outflowing with the Loop Channel back into the Atlantic. This means that the toxic Gulf seawater ends up flowing back around the Gulf of Mexico seaports, cities and beaches, estuaries and wetlands again and again killing more and more of the ecosystem smothering it of its precious oxygen with heavy hydrocarbon-rich waters.

Now whatever outflows from the Gulf into the Loop Channel waters of the Atlantic push the toxic seawater up along the Atlantic, and eventually, to Great Britain killing life that finds itself in its flow. As one can see, this BP catastrophe is the nightmare that keeps on giving.

So, Mr. BobbieBo Jindal, do you still like to sing the duet with Sarah Palin-Pinhead, “Drill Bayou Baby Drill?” I bet not!! This is what your Party delivered to your great state of Louisiana---A Bush/Cheney Energy Drilling Plan that required no functioning shut off valve system or effective clean up plan. BobbieBo Jindal, this is called Laissez Faire Capitalism. This is the Reagan legacy! Can we blame Obama? Well yes!!! He appeared to have done nothing upon taking office to safeguard the offshore drilling platforms covering our waters. Where was the Obama Science Plan? Oh, it has not been finished yet!!

Socialize the losses, and privatize the profits!!!!

I haven’t heard Barack Obama tell us why keeping the mega-banks alive and those just too big enough to fail one more time are important for the well-being of the country, the financially injured taxpayers, or the business community teetering on default? What have they contributed since 2007? Commercial credit to small business continues to be frozen up pretty tightly. What is going to happen when commercial real estate mortgage’s fail in the coming near future? What is going to happen when more residential mortgages go into foreclosure and default? Another 8 million is the estimation. What is going to happen when more US businesses begin closing their doors, over the next couple of years, many as a result of predatory private equity group takeovers, throwing another 2 million workers under the bus because of their predatory corporate investment practices?

This is what Palin-da-Pinhead’s “gottcha” means. Gottcha by the throat brought to you by Wall Street.

Has Barack Obama answered to the American public why the Federal Reserve has printed $400 Billion in order to help rescue the Eurozone without the approval of Congress? No!! Is this the transparency he promised us? Can our president tell us all exactly what junk collateral Bennie daBeard Bernanke received from the Eurozone in exchange for his newly printed and Quantitatively Eased up cash bailout?

As Nobel Prize winner Professor Paul Krugman says, the US is becoming the lost generation of deflationary 1980’s Japan. When you have decades of deflation whatever cash you have earns no interest, and whatever wages you earn is kept very low with little chance for wage growth. And, when you have a corrupt Wall Street engaged in a casino-like gambling approach to wealth acquisition by siphoning the wealth from the lower 80% of workers up to the upper 10%, you get workers having to pick up the tab for an economy in deflation. It becomes the workers and manufacturing that get taxed heavily, instead of finance, capital gains, and dividends.

This must be the change Barack Obama promised us during his campaign! He conned us!

As the Barack Obama stimulus package folds in on itself, we will see that it did not create sustainable jobs, but only provided for temporary employment. It was a leaky life preserver instead of a lifeboat. Our joblessness rate and those underemployed are rising in numbers. The job gains Mr. President boasted about last month---500,000---are going up in smoke. We are in the worst job environment since the Great Depression and it appears to not be going away anytime soon.

I have to agree with Professor Nouriel Roubini that we will experience a double-dip recession. Also, there are those also speaking about the DOW falling back down to 8000, which some feel is where it belongs.

A barrel of oil has dropped below $70 even though much of it is drowning in the Gulf of Mexico. As we all recall, whenever there is an oil tanker explosion, or a fire at a refinery oil prices spike. But not now. Why? Because the economy is so bad, and expendable incomes are so fragile, the oil companies know that if they raise prices, Americans will cut back their driving habits. They get that part of personal spending.

It is time to get vocal. It looks like there is public protesting, 30-35,000 in Trenton, New Jersey against state budget cuts, which are directly related to the rigged elite corporate capitalistic oligarchy who want to pass the pain onto the working person instead of having the oligarchs feel the pain.

Professor Simon Johnson, of Baseline Scenaro dot com, wrote in his piece, The Road To Serfdom:

Unregulated finance, the ideology of unfettered free markets, and state capture by corporate interests are what ended up undermining democracy both in North America and in Europe.  All industrialized countries are at risk, but it’s the eurozone – with its vulnerable structures – that points most clearly to our potentially unpleasant collective futures.”

“Debt peonage looms for a wide range of countries that were recently thought immune to serious fiscal crisis, including the United States and UK.”

“The UK and US need to prepare themselves for more storms.  The United States will be in the more pleasant position as the world’s safe haven, but this will only encourage America’s profligate politicians to spend more and build more debt.”

“Hayek’s [Friedrich von Hayek, (1899-1992) economist and author of The Road To Serfdom] predicted demise of western society will prove correct, but welfare systems will prove the victim, rather than the mechanism, erased by a political and financial elite gone awry.”

The giant elite financial and corporate predatory oligarchs are no longer capable of managing and dictating an orderly and productive society. We must not permit them to remain in control. They have been proven horrendous failures and their greedy power grabs have been executed at a monumental cost to every one of the 90% who lives under their filthy and toxic thumbs, as well as becoming a significant national security risk---CODE RED.

Will this be the summer of protest? I hope so!! If not, nothing will change, and more government debt will be funneled to the top 10% through Market Making Manipulative Maneuvering.

Thanks for reading, jerry

"When plunder has become a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
Claude Frédéric Bastiat
(Thanks Justin!)


SPECTRE of Deflation said...

Surprise! Canada can no longer afford its National Health System. costs force Canada to reassess health model
By Claire Sibonney - Analysis Claire Sibonney - Analysis Mon May 31, 2:38 pm ET

TORONTO (Reuters) – Pressured by an aging population and the need to rein in budget deficits, Canada's provinces are taking tough measures to curb healthcare costs, a trend that could erode the principles of the popular state-funded system.

Ontario, Canada's most populous province, kicked off a fierce battle with drug companies and pharmacies when it said earlier this year it would halve generic drug prices and eliminate "incentive fees" to generic drug manufacturers.

British Columbia is replacing block grants to hospitals with fee-for-procedure payments and Quebec has a new flat health tax and a proposal for payments on each medical visit -- an idea that critics say is an illegal user fee.

And a few provinces are also experimenting with private funding for procedures such as hip, knee and cataract surgery.

It's likely just a start as the provinces, responsible for delivering healthcare, cope with the demands of a retiring baby-boom generation. Official figures show that senior citizens will make up 25 percent of the population by 2036.

"There's got to be some change to the status quo whether it happens in three years or 10 years," said Derek Burleton, senior economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank.

"We can't continually see health spending growing above and beyond the growth rate in the economy because, at some point, it means crowding out of all the other government services.

"At some stage we're going to hit a breaking point."


In some ways the Canadian debate is the mirror image of discussions going on in the United States.

Canada, fretting over budget strains, wants to prune its system, while the United States, worrying about an army of uninsured, aims to create a state-backed safety net.

Healthcare in Canada is delivered through a publicly funded system, which covers all "medically necessary" hospital and physician care and curbs the role of private medicine. It ate up about 40 percent of provincial budgets, or some C$183 billion ($174 billion) last year.

Spending has been rising 6 percent a year under a deal that added C$41.3 billion of federal funding over 10 years.

But that deal ends in 2013, and the federal government is unlikely to be as generous in future, especially for one-off projects.


SPECTRE of Deflation said...

"Just look at us. Everything is backwards; everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information and religions destroy spirituality" - Michael Ellner

Short Short Stories said...


From what I read in the piece you posted, there was nothing that said the Canadian government can NO LONGER AFFORD ITS NATIONAL H.S.

Dude, what it said was because of their economic situation, and a matter of fact, their economy is doing much better than ours, they have to make modifications to the NHS. It will remain a NHS with changes. Many Canadians DO have private supplemental health policies to cover the very procedures that were mentioned in the piece.

In this country's health system, our private insurance system is literally bankrupting millions of Americans WITH insurance policies that WON"T cover the procedures they are paying premiums which they are suppose to cover. The death panel private insurance system appears to rule here!!!

I guess you believe the Medicare system your mother is on should become private and placed into the hands of the corporate health insurance oligarchy elite which would be happy to ration her care.

SPECTRE of Deflation said...

Oh change is indeed coming although just not in the way you had thought possible. You have mentioned Manchurian Candidate in the past to your credit.

Obama's secret Special Operations Forces grow and Can be used domestically!

U.S. 'secret war' expands globally as Special Operations forces take larger role

By Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 4, 2010

It's a long, multi-page article. Here's an excerpt:

The surge in Special Operations deployments is the other side of the national security doctrine of global engagement and domestic values President Obama released last week.

One advantage of using "secret" forces for such missions is that they rarely discuss their operations in public. For a Democratic president such as Obama, who is criticized from either side of the political spectrum for too much or too little aggression, the unacknowledged operations provide politically useful tools.

Obama, one senior military official said, has allowed "things that the previous administration did not."