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Gender: Male
Hometown: Sisters, Oregon
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 5,665

Journal Archives

Former Citi CEO admits: Big bank model doesn't work. Repeal of Glass-Steagall was wrong.

Former Citigroup CEO: Big banks don't work

In an op-ed published in the Financial Times, John Reed says large banks like the one he used to run are now "inherently unstable and unworkable."

The man who was one of the chief architects of the "Big Bank" model now says the United States never should have repealed the Glass-Steagall banking act in 1999.

That's exactly what Democratic presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley have been arguing on the campaign trail. They want the law reinstated. Hillary Clinton and the Republican candidates do not.

Here is more from the complete OP-ED which can be seen here.

As I have reflected about the years since 1999, I think the lessons of Glass-Steagall and its repeal suggest that the universal banking model is inherently unstable and unworkable. No amount of restructuring, management change or regulation is ever likely to change that.

Breaking up the big banks by reinstating Glass-Steagall or something close to it is not a right/left issue. It is simply good public policy for those living outside of Wall Street. It's supported across the political spectrum from left wing economist Joseph Stigletz to right wing opinion magazines like the Weekly Standard.

Why is it framed in some political circles as a pet issue of the radical left that doesn't really matter?

In '08 Hillary advocated stronger urban gun laws and locally weaker laws in rural areas.

In 2016 she now claims that position means you have a "black problem". A charge apparently directed at Bernie Sanders but almost exactly her own position during the 2008 campaign.

Here is Clinton at the April 16 2008 debate:

SENATOR CLINTON: What I favor is what works in New York. You know, we have a set of rules in New York City and we have a totally different set of rules in the rest of the state. What might work in New York City is certainly not going to work in Montana. So, for the federal government to be having any kind of, you know, blanket rules that they're going to try to impose, I think doesn't make sense.

Transcript link

Video, skip to approximately 8:00


Hillary is open to raising the retirement age? Retirement is for losers anyway.


Sheesh. What a freeloader!

Prosecution of Corporate Crime Has Plummeted Under Obama Administration: Report

Nope. Didn't see it! Analysis released by Syracuse University yesterday shows prosecution of corporate criminal activity sinking by 29% in the last ten years. Read the whole report here.

The analysis by Syracuse University finds that the government’s criminal prosecution of corporations has dropped 29 percent in the past decade -- particularly remarkable as the decline not only followed headline-grabbing scandals at financial, accounting and energy firms but also occurred even as the number of corporate crime cases referred to prosecutors has increased.


In 1999, the Clinton administration’s deputy attorney general Eric Holder issued a memo telling federal prosecutors that when they contemplate whether to issue charges against corporations, they should consider “collateral consequences, including disproportionate harm to shareholders and employees not proven personally culpable.” That message was amplified by the Bush administration’s Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip, whose 2008 directive to federal prosecutors told them to "take into account the possible substantial consequences to a corporation's employees, investors, pensioners and customers.”

With Obama administration officials echoing the same themes -- and with critics calling the concept “too big to jail” -- prosecutions plummeted: Syracuse researchers found that there were almost 22 percent fewer corporate prosecutions in the five years after the Filip memo than in the five years before.


For some additional background on Eric Holder's philosophy on white-collar justice:

Eric Holder Admits Some Banks Are Just Too Big To Prosecute

And the point of all this?

Holder returns to law firm that lobbies for big banks. 7-8 figure compensation

First they ignore you . . . socialist Corbyn dominates centrist neolibs in UK leadership election.

Jeremy Corbyn is somewhat crusty guy given to wrinkled up old shirts and neglected hair who walks to work by himself. Sound familiar?

Despite beating his three Westminster establishment opponents with a whopping majority of 59% of rank and file Labour membership he only made the ballot because several MP's agreed to add his name to the ballot to "expand the debate". One of these MP's called herself a "moron" for doing so.

Some admitted nominating Mr Corbyn to ensure the contest represented the full spectrum of voices in the party and hoped members would dismiss the crazy views of the left in favour of a more mainstream candidate.

Then they laugh at you . . .

Have his rivals dreams come true?

Here’s Corbyn as his Labour rivals might like to see him — safely under lock and key.
The grinning leftie was snapped in the stocks for his local paper in 1994.


Then they fight you . . .

Jeremy Corbyn poses national security threat, says George Osborne

“For the new unilateralists of British politics are a threat to our future national security and to our economic security. We’re going to take on their dangerous arguments and defeat them.”


Tony Blair: Jeremy Corbyn’s politics are fantasy – just like Alice in Wonderland

There is a politics of parallel reality going on, in which reason is an irritation, evidence a distraction, emotional impact is king and the only thing that counts is feeling good about it all.

The explanation for this parallel reality is something to do with people feeling empowered by their ability through it, to “fight back” against “the system”, the traditional ways of thinking about politics with all its compromises, hard decisions and gradual increments. It is the clarity of full-throated opposition versus the chin-stroking nuance of: “What would we do if we were in government?”


SIDE NOTE: Jeremy Corbyn wants Tony Blair to be tried for war crimes. They aren't buddies.

Fury as Jeremy Corbyn backs extremist Muslim charity that supported Jihadi John


Jewish Labour MP Slams Jeremy Corbyn for anti-Semitic’ Ties

National Post View: The spectre of anti-Semitism

Corbyn has endorsed terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah, and has lent his support to Dyab Abou Jahjah, founder of the Arab European League, which promotes Holocaust denial and obscenely anti-Semitic cartoons on its website. Corbyn’s support is strongest amongst youth who have no memory of the Holocaust and who have grown up in an environment in which constant condemnation of Israel by leftists is the norm.


And then you win . . .

Hillary and Bernie are both holding events in Portland this week.

If you happen to live in the Portland area I've included the details for both FYI.

Bernie Sanders

TIME: Sunday, August 9, 2015 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM PDT

LOCATION: Veterans Memorial Coliseum (Portland, OR)
300 N Winning Way
Portland, OR 97227

HOST: Bernie Sanders

RSVP: Click the link or visit https://go.berniesanders.com/page/event/detail/rally/4jgdq
The venue has a capacity of nearly 13,000 and the campaign is claiming 9,000 have already RSVP'd so hurry!

TOPICS OF DISCUSSION: Economic and social injustice, income equality and the corrosive influence of money in politics.

COST: Free. However, I'm sure donations will be welcome.

Hillary Clinton

TIME: Aug. 5th, 2015

LOCATION: The Dunthorpe home of Win McCormack and Carol Butler

GUEST: Hillary Clinton

RSVP: Hillary for America

TOPICS OF DISCUSSION: Things of vital interest to $2700 per place donors.

COST: $2700 per place.

Have fun. Be sure to let us know which one you attended.

Clinton in 2011: Greek austerity is necessary "chemotherapy" to give Greece a "strong economy".


Of course we all know the actual result. 25% drop in GDP, 25% unemployment, untold suffering by the Greek people and absolutely no prospect of repaying the debt under the original terms with a badly shrunken economy.

Economists like Paul Krugman, Dean Baker and Joseph Stigletz warned this would be precisely the result of Friedmanesque austerity measures in Greece. Washington conventional wisdom was wrong, taking a stand in favor of massive cuts despite the human costs. Hillary Clinton was squarely on the side of Washington conventional wisdom.

As president will she be willing to break with the Washington consensus when it is clearly wrong? Has she done so in the past?

About slavery and human trafficking. TPP legitimizes a Malaysian government that condones it.

That's according to our own State Department.

Instead of being marginalized as a rogue state Malaysia is sitting with us at the table as partner in the TPP. Their behavior is being excused at the insistence of Republicans and the administration right now.

Why Is The U.S. Desperate To OK Slavery In Malaysia?

WASHINGTON -- On Friday night, in an impressive display of dysfunction, the U.S. Senate approved a controversial trade bill with a provision that the White House, Senate leadership and the author of the language himself wanted taken out.

The provision, which bars countries that engage in slavery from being part of major trade deals with the U.S., was written by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.). At the insistence of the White House, Menendez agreed to modify his language to say that as long as a country is taking "concrete" steps toward reducing human trafficking and forced labor, it can be part of a trade deal. Under the original language, the country that would be excluded from the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership pact is Malaysia.


I think we can agree that slavery is a pretty big shit sandwich. Hopefully you aren't suggesting it's OK to take a bite because the sons and daughters belong to somebody else.

TPP contains a provision for bailing out derivative losses. Is this what re-negotiating NAFTA means?

You probably remember President Obama's pledge during the campaign of 2008 to re-negotiate NAFTA on behalf of unions and environmentalists.

Never happened. However, as part of Obama's effort to sell the Trans Pacific Partnership the administration has depicted the agreement as an improved trade deal that would fix NAFTA's problems and make good on the President's promise.

Sounds good but the leaked environmental and investment chapters say it's not true.

TPP widens the scope of an "investment" to derivatives, opening the door for compensation from governments in the event of losses resulting from new law or regulation. Derivatives are side bets on the performance of an investment that have no equity stake in the underlying security or commodity price. Derivatives are NOT an investment and the scale of the derivatives market far exceeds that of the cash value of stock markets. This means a massive increase in taxpayer exposure to losses and increased incentive for banks to ramp up leverage and risky bets without actually investing in the economy.

Investment means every asset that an investor owns or controls, directly or indirectly, that
has the characteristics of an investment, including such characteristics as the commitment
of capital or other resources, the expectation of gain or profit, or the assumption of risk.
Forms that an investment may take include:
(a) an enterprise;
(b) shares, stock and other forms of equity participation in an enterprise;
(c) bonds, debentures, other debt instruments, and loans;23
(d) futures, options and other derivatives;

NAFTA limited the definition of an investment to money directly connected with an enterprise.

The leaked environment chapter also loosens rather than strengthens protections included in trade deals as recently as the Bush administration.

Sierra Club: Obama’s record on environment and trade worse than George W. Bush

Environmentalists told the New York Times that the Obama Administration was “retreat on a variety of environmental protections — including legally binding pollution control requirements and logging regulations and a ban on harvesting sharks’ fins — to advance a trade deal . . . .” Further the Sierra Club’s Ilana Solomon, saying “the draft omits crucial language ensuring that increased trade will not lead to further environmental destruction.” The problems in the draft are detailed in their Joint Analysis.

In a press release Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club says: “If the environment chapter is finalized as written in this leaked document, President Obama’s environmental trade record would be worse than George W. Bush’s. This draft chapter falls flat on every single one of our issues – oceans, fish, wildlife, and forest protections – and in fact, rolls back on the progress made in past free trade pacts.”

Banks and corporations are negotiating this agreement with former bankers and lobbyists who were paid huge exit bonuses to draft TPP on behalf of the American public. It's true that NAFTA is being "re-negotiated" by this agreement but it seems to me we're replacing it with something even worse.

Accidental moment of candor: Rahm Emanuel adviser reveals what is wrong with Democratic politics.


“Unless they get the crazy lefty money machine going nationally, it’s not going to matter that there’s a resurgent left,” said an adviser to Mr. Emanuel who did not want to speak publicly about strategy. “The liberals at Heartland Cafe in Rogers Park can think great thoughts and read poetry for Chuy, but nothing else will happen.”

By "crazy left" he means what was the "moderate left" 20 years ago. AKA people who have been "right" about just about everything ranging from the Iraq war to tax policy, trade policy and more.

It seems to me that this election is one battleground for the future of the Democratic party and Chuy has won something by just forcing a runoff.

Worth a read.

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