Hometown: Seattle, WA
Member since: Mon Dec 13, 2004, 01:55 AM
Number of posts: 7,833
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Member since: Mon Dec 13, 2004, 01:55 AM
Number of posts: 7,833
for the role he has played in all of this:
Moving Deutsche Bank from a stable conservative bank to one taking risky ventures
Resisting regulation while increasing speculation
Pushing austerity while raking in record profits (though he has not done so well at the profit part recently)
Privatizing profits while socializing risk
When the Swiss banker turns over his position in May of this year to the leadership duo of Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen, he will leave behind a Deutsche Bank that is radically different from the financial institution that he took over in 2006. What was once a successful yet conservative German credit institution has become a global investment bank -- one which plays a role in all important markets and earns gigantic profits.
Many in Germany, however, view the bank's growth with skepticism. Ackermann has become the poster boy in the country for unscrupulous financial capitalism and the media has done little to counter that view. He is seen as only being interested in maximizing profits -- an economic principle that Germans have long been skeptical of, and one which has lost all acceptance since the beginning of the financial crisis.
Even more so in recent weeks, as the crisis has spiralled. As head of the Institute of International Finance, he is a lobbyist for Europe's banking industry, and one of the people holding the fate of Greece in his scissorhands.
A minor detail. German prosecutors tried him for handing outsize bonuses to executives at the telecoms firm Mannesmann. He paid €3.2m (£2.8m) of his own money to make it all go away.
He was originally scheduled to go last year, but two successors have now finally been named. Deutsche Bank will miss him. Not so sure about Greece.
Greek debt crisis
Further information: Greek government-debt crisis
In 2011, the IIF was the main negotiating partner of the EU government, acting on behalf of the private creditors of Greece, on its debt restructuring. In the second bailout plan (July), some academics raised issues about its communication about "haircuts" on Greece's debt (estimates biased upward), and, more generally, the IIF's undue influence in favor of banks, at the expense of Greece's future
More info on past endeavors here:
Posted by suffragette | Sun May 20, 2012, 10:15 PM (1 replies)
Voting has begun in the French presidential election, a ballot which could transform the political colours of France and spark a change in Europe's approach to its debt crisis and austerity measures.
All polls for months have shown the Socialist party candidate, François Hollande, beating the rightwing Nicolas Sarkozy, the most unpopular French president ever to run for re-election. The left is hoping for its first Socialist president since François Mitterrand's re-election in 1988, which would be a rare event in a Europe that has swung to the right in recent years and weakened the left.
If Sarkozy is defeated after one term in office, he would become the 11th European leader to be swept from power since the economic crisis. Hollande has promised to renegotiate Europe's fiscal pact on austerity and shift the focus to growth measures.
Sarkozy has remained defiant, claiming that the polls were mistaken, predicting a higher-than-expected turnout that would play in his favour. In the final days of campaigning, he suggested the poll could be so tight that there may need to be a recount, comparing it to George W Bush's win in 2000 after a Florida recount.
Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/06/frnech-election-francois-hollande-polls
Posted by suffragette | Sun May 6, 2012, 12:21 PM (9 replies)
Those protests were exactly about changing laws for the better, in that case about "They were demanding enforcement of the first major law to bar discrimination against the disabled."
Very much in-your-face and they won.
But in San Francisco at the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, protesters didn't give up. One day turned into a second day and then a third. More than 100 disabled demonstrators stayed in the building for weeks, refusing to leave until the regulations were signed.
On April 28, nearly four weeks into the sit-in, HEW Secretary Joseph Califano endorsed the regulations. The protesters had won.
Much, much more at link.
Photographer HolLynn D'Lil wrote a poem about the image:
Through the Glass
Those who wouldn't go outside
Those who couldn't go inside
Shattered the walls.
Edited to add:
Good piece here with retrospective on the above protest and the power of people joining together to effect change:
The San Francisco 504 sit-in did not succeed because of a brilliant strategy by a few disability leaders. It succeeded because the Deaf people set up a communication system from the 4th floor windows inside the building to the plaza down below; because the Black Panther Party brought a hot dinner to all 150 participants every single night; because people from community organizing backgrounds taught us how to make collaborative decisions; because friends came and washed our hair in the janitor's closet sink.
The people doing disability rights work in the 1970s rarely agreed on policies, or even on approaches. The successes came because people viewed each other as invaluable resources working towards a common goal.
Posted by suffragette | Tue May 1, 2012, 02:31 AM (0 replies)
This at a time when so many areas face local, state and federal cutbacks.
With the money increasingly being diverted to this security economy comes the continued branching out of these agencies actions in order to justify the money.
TSA Funding Up in 2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act
By: Mickey McCarter
12/29/2011 ( 4:00am)
Although overall appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are down slightly this year from Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) remains a consistent winner in the battle of the budget.
In the FY 2012 consolidated spending act (Public Law 112-074) signed by President Barack Obama last Friday, TSA received about $7.85 billion, up $153 million from 2011. TSA and US Customs and Border Protection, perhaps two of the three most visible DHS agencies along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, both received increases although the total DHS budget dropped to $39.6 billion in base discretionary funding in FY 2012, down about $111 million from last year.
We've seen it up in WA state with the Border Patrol expanding their territory, stops and even branching out to areas such as 911 dispatching. This even as a whistle blower noted they are having to create work to spend the $$$.
edited to add:
Think Arizona is bad for immigrants? Try our Olympic Peninsula
"Do you have your papers?" As if Forks were in Eastern Europe 60 years ago.
Posted by suffragette | Mon Apr 30, 2012, 03:22 PM (1 replies)
Some other key points from the Democracy Now article:
AMY GOODMAN: What about the role of unions? And do you think there is a role being played here, and the push for privatization?
CHUCK ZLATKIN: Well, the unions are an important factor, because part of the reason that it looks so good to privatize is, as they see this business and they’re saying, "Look at this, we’re paying close to 600,000 workers a living wage, benefits and retirement package. Well, if we could break the union and eliminate that, we could bring in people, at-will workers for an hourly wage with no benefits, and that money could go to, not the American people or costs in government, that would go to profits. This is another situation where working-class people and poor people are being asked to suffer and sacrifice to benefit the rich.
AMY GOODMAN: Very quickly, if the Post Office goes the route of privatization, will the—private companies will be asking for subsidies to deal with, for example, rural areas in this country. And in the end, the U.S. taxpayers will continue to foot the bill, but this will be for private gain.
CHUCK ZLATKIN: Well, yeah, they’ll either ask for subsidies, or they’ll refuse to do it. Universal service will be doomed. They’ll pick and choose the profitable areas to service, and the rest of the people will have to fend for themselves. And I would just ask the people who are concerned about this to come out today to rally in every congressional district in the country. You can go to "Save America’s Postal Service," saveamericaspostalservice.org and find out the location near you. This is about saving an institution for the people who depend upon it.
The info about Donahoe's predecessor, John E.Potter, receiving a huge golden parachute at retirement is also very important, especially in contrast with the cuts the workers are facing and in contrast with the claims about lack of performance of the USPS, given that would have occurred under his leadership.
Add to that, it looks like the changes that were made that led to the enormous pay and retirement package for him (and likely any "CEO of the USPS coming after him) was part of the same onerous 2006 legislation that is crippling the USPS now. And that is a pattern similar to the outsized, unfair and ever increasing corporate differential between CEOs and workers that has been increasing for years now.
See the paragraph about Potter in the Democracy Now piece and then read this article - more at link:
Postmaster General John E. Potter could earn about $5.5 million in deferred compensation, retirement benefits and accrued annual leave for the rest of his life when he leaves the U.S. Postal Service next month, according to financial statements.
A 2006 postal reform law permitted the Postal Service to compensate top executives with more generous pay and benefits packages to help recruit talented outsiders.
But critics note that Potter and other postal executives are career insiders who have seen their salaries rise through the years despite the Postal Service's poor financial performance.
Postal unions also argue that workers are being unfairly asked to make financial concessions while top executives earn six-figure salaries and retirement payouts.
Posted by suffragette | Sat Feb 25, 2012, 03:29 PM (1 replies)
Again, great job pulling this together.
Posted by suffragette | Sat Feb 25, 2012, 02:38 PM (1 replies)
privatizing public services.
A greedy 3-fer, if you will.
Great job of pulling the pertinent pieces together in your OP and this post.
Posted by suffragette | Sat Feb 25, 2012, 01:54 PM (1 replies)
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - A city bus driver from Vancouver, B.C., who tried to enter the U.S. at the Blaine crossing was arrested and thrown into jail after border officials mistook him for an international fugitive with the same name.
Several days later, the case against the bus driver was dismissed - but not before he spent a "horrendous" night in jail at Bellingham and spent thousands of dollars posting bail and on lawyer's fees to get out of the Kafkaesque jam.
Bus driver Richard Brandow's ordeal began on a trip with a friend to scope out motor homes for sale in Washington state for his pending early retirement.
When he drove up to the checkpoint at Blaine on Feb. 11, he was arrested on a 20-year-old warrant when border officials took him for a man with the same name who is more than a decade his junior.
Much more at link, including info about the computer virus the alleged hacker (the other Richard Brandow) made 20 years ago. Apparently it placed a "peace symbol or peace message" and the hacker's name on the screen - and for that there was a 20 year warrant?
Posted by suffragette | Sun Feb 19, 2012, 03:59 PM (5 replies)
Spain's conservative government faced its first mass protests on Sunday as hundreds of thousands took to the streets to demonstrate against austerity, spending cuts and radical changes to labour rights.
Madrid's central Puerta del Sol square filled for the first time since the "indignant" protesters camped there last May, as people gathered to protest against reforms introduced by prime minister Mariano Rajoy's government.
Unions complained that labour reform would lead to a fresh surge in lay-offs. Rajoy himself has said he expects them to call a general strike soon.
"There has to be a general strike," said Alberto Carrillo, a teacher who protested in Madrid. "They've cut rights, but not said how they plan to create jobs."
Posted by suffragette | Sun Feb 19, 2012, 02:18 PM (1 replies)
Still, it's unlikely that the President has cuts to benefits in mind because he has always stressed that he will protect benefits and that Social Security doesn't contribute to the deficit.
Yet here (I have bolded the sentences for ease of viewing):
June 27, 2010
Remarks by President Obama at G-20 Press Conference in Toronto, Canada
And we have set up this fiscal commission who will provide reports starting in November -- and one of the encouraging things, although there was resistance, ironically, on the part of some of the Republicans who originally had been co-sponsors of legislation to create the fiscal commission and they, in fact, ended up voting against it -- what’s been encouraging, based on what I’m hearing both from Democrats and Republicans, is that there’s been a serious conversation there. People are looking at a whole spectrum of issues to get at what is basically a structural deficit that preceded this financial crisis.
Even if -- the financial crisis made it much worse, but even if we had not gone through this financial crisis, we’d still have to be dealing with these long-term deficit problems. They have to do with Medicaid; they have to do with Medicare; they have to do with Social Security. They have to do with a series of structural problems that are not unique to America. Some of it has to do with an aging population. And we’ve got to look at a tax system that is messy and unfair in a whole range of ways.
Posted by suffragette | Fri Jan 27, 2012, 02:33 AM (0 replies)