News & Comment
Blogs and Opinion
Buyer Beware: CFPB Reveals Your Credit Score Could Be A Fake by Amy Traub, policyshop.net | September 28, 2012Say you want to buy a house or a car and you need a loan to do it. You do what every personal finance site recommends and obtain a free copy of your credit report from annualcreditreport.com. Then, urged on by the ads from TransUnion, Equifax, or Experian – the “big three” credit reporting firms that compile the reports – you opt for not only the free report but also shell out for what the companies promise is your actual three-digit credit score. A number! Now, you may think, I know what the auto lenders and banks making mortgages really think of me. I have a sense of what rates I qualify for and what type of car or home I can afford. There’s just one problem: the score you paid for is likely not the same one potential lenders will use to assess you. In fact, it could be way off. read more »
Forbes 400 List Reveals Why the Greedy Rich Fully Deserve Your Contempt -- And Jesus’s by Lynn Parramore, alternet.org | September 27, 2012The redistribution of wealth toward the top is clearly getting worse. In fact, despite the financial crash, the Occupy movement, and the obvious failure of trickledown economics, the Census Bureau reports that the gulf between the rich and the rest of us is at an all-time high. Maybe that’s why the rich and their apologists are getting a bit defensive lately. Like a drug addict turning every cushion upside-down in search of lost change, the 1 percenters are scrounging up every timeworn myth, lame justification and absurd rationalization they can think of to convince us that the rich are super-smart, hard-working job creators instead of greedy parasites refusing to pay their share in taxes and play by the same rulebook as everyone else. This line gets harder to sell every minute. read more »
HuffPost Live Video Discussion on "The Radical Rich" by Richard (RJ) Eskow, OurFuture.org | September 27, 2012The Huffington Post's new online video component is called HuffPost Live. read more »
- Reading Liz Rose's presentation of the "Rhetoric or Resources: It is Time to get Serious" report by Bart Dzivi I managed a wry smile. Here was yet another report, worthy and earnest making the case for action against systemic fraud at the highest level within the American Financial system. It calls for urgent action in order to prevent criminality escaping justice through the statute of limitations. The call for justice is based on the assumption the Department of Justice would prosecute if the true facts were officially known, a reasonable assumption in a society based on the rule of law and democratic accountability. With respect to the US Federal government that assumption is no longer valid. read more »
Hedge Fund Hype, Wall Street Horoscopes, and Drop-Top Jets: The Magical Minds of the "Radical Rich" by Richard (RJ) Eskow, OurFuture.org | September 26, 2012Strange stories from the newswires: Thousands of Wall Street traders subscribe to "financial astrology" newsletters. A series of wealthy Americans erupt into rage-filled public outbursts. Mitt Romney wonders why you can't open a jet's windows in mid-flight. read more »
The Real Problem With Romney's Offshore Investments by Stephanie Mencimer, Mother Jones | September 25, 2012Mitt Romney's taxes are once again in the news thanks to Friday's release of his full 2011 tax return. As with his 2010 filings, the documents highlight the GOP candidate's extensive overseas holdings, which some tax experts believe has allowed him to lessen his tax liability. But the problem with Romney's reliance on offshore tax havens goes beyond his own tax bill. The Internal Revenue Service and many members of Congress have sought for years to close some of the loopholes that are draining billions of dollars from the federal treasury and shifting the tax burden from wealthy corporations to average individuals. Yet through his work at Bain Capital and his personal investments, Romney has supported a shadowy financial system with far-reaching ramifications for the U.S. and foreign governments. read more »
What Romney's Hiding: 'It's the Amnesty, Stupid' by Paul Abrams, Huffington Post | September 24, 2012Why does the press feign puzzlement about what Romney is hiding by not revealing his 2009 tax returns? His disclosure of his 2010 account omitted information about his Swiss bank account at the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS). Why is the press not asking for this form? UBS was fined $760 million for putting Americans into abusive tax shelters and forced to reveal more than 4000 Americans who banked with them under numbered accounts. The 4000+ Americans who were exposed by UBS were offered amnesty from criminal prosecution for tax evasion if they closed their Swiss Account, recalculated and paid all back taxes and paid a 25 percent penalty on the largest amount. Romney closed his UBS account in the time required. He did not close his other foreign accounts. Should not the press be peppering Romney with questions about amnesty? read more »
Romney's Backers, Romney's Brain: The Money, The Thinking, The Plan by Richard (RJ) Eskow, OurFuture.org | September 21, 2012In a 1994 science-fiction novel called Interface, a Presidential candidate has an electronic chip in his brain that links his mind to real-time polling data. His words, deeds, even his thoughts are immediately responsive to the public mood. Mitt Romney seems a lot like that - except that Romney's chip is connected to money. read more »
The GOP's Zombie Dodd-Frank Would Lose the Core Logic of Financial Reform by Mike Konczal, nextnewdeal.net | September 21, 2012It was just announced that Tim Pawlenty will become the head of the bank lobbying group Financial Services Roundtable. The powerful financial lobbying group, which represents groups like JP Morgan and Bank of America among other big financial sector players, appears to be aligning itself more closely with the Republican Party and betting on the idea that Republicans will control at least part of Congress. But what do they want? Recently, Phil Mattingly had an article at Bloomberg Businessweek about how the GOP and Mitt Romney would approach Dodd-Frank. Mattingly's argument is that it is unlikely that the Republicans will outright repeal Dodd-Frank. "Instead, President Romney would likely try to give the financial industry something it wants more: a diluted financial reform law that would relax restrictions on some of its most profitable—and riskiest—investments but maintain enough government oversight to give the banks cover." So what would the Republicans try to dilute and remove? read more »
The Looming Threat That Could Initiate the Next Economic Collapse by Alexander Arapoglou and Jerri-Lynn Scofield, alternet.org | September 20, 2012Most people now realize big banks aren’t their friends. Only in the fairy tale movie world of It’s a Wonderful Life does banker George Bailey lend a helping hand to friends and neighbors to build a prosperous Bedford Falls. But many people have no idea that the regulated banking system is only one part of a gigantic problem. Lurking behind regulated banks is the shadow banking system. And it’s from out of these shadows that the next big shock to the global financial system, threatening everyone’s nest egg, might come. What is shadow banking? Different writers mean different things when they use the term. But the fact that it’s hard to explain only makes it more difficult to constrain. read more »
A culture of bullying and greed: Wanted - interns for Goldman Sachs... , independent.co.uk | October 17, 2012
WikiLeaks Is Down After Denial of Service Attacks, mashable.com | August 9, 2012
After five days of denial of service attacks, the WikiLeaks website has been knocked out. more »
The Spreading Scourge of Corporate Corruption, The New York Times | July 11, 2012
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the Libor scandal is how familiar it seems. Sure, for some of the world’s leading banks to try to manipulate one of the most important interest rates in contemporary finance is clearly egregious. more »
Needy States Use Housing Aid Cash to Plug Budgets, The New York Times | May 16, 2012
Vermont Legislature Passes Resolution Challenging Citizens United, commondreams.org | April 21, 2012
From 'Pipe Dream' to 'Mainstream' citizens fight back against corporate personhood more »
Goldman Sachs: Lloyd Blankfein 'disappointed' by claims of 'toxic' greed, telegraph.co.uk | March 14, 2012
Legal Fees Mount at Fannie and Freddie, The New York Times | February 22, 2012
Taxpayers have advanced almost $50 million in legal payments to defend former executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the three years since the government rescued the giant mortgage companies, a regulatory analysis has found.
To: DOJ Funky fascist America Dept
Subject: Accountability more »
Apple investigates 'sweat shop' factories following suicide threat, telegraph.co.uk | February 13, 2012
The technology giant, which has faced criticism over working conditions at some of its suppliers’ plants in China, said today that it had asked the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to conduct “special voluntary audits” of several facilities, including factories owned b more »
On the Trail of Mortgage Fraud, The New York Times | January 17, 2012
When is a crime not a crime?
When criminality subverts the system, challenges the system, becomes the system. From the Kleptocrats' point of view it is the systematic breakdown of each and every law which gets in their way; preventing the ascent to power of their enhanced moral values.
The Kleptocrats are really America's third political party.
Help Stop SOPA/PIPA Breaking The Internet, wordpress.org | January 14, 2012
You are an agent of change. Has anyone ever told you that? Well, I just did, and I meant it.