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11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.16 As 'Green New Deal' Demand Grows, Democrats Have Choice: Confront and Defeat Fossil Fuel Industry or Take Credit for 'Doomed' Planet [Two choices: Save life-on-Earth or help Republicans let it die?]
11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]
11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]
11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
International & Futurism
11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]
11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]
Bogus Washington-Proposed Financial Reform
Thursday, 1 April 2010
Proposed financial reform is just camouflage for Wall Street's latest power play, leaving ordinary people sitting ducks to be scammed again with the full faith and blessing of Washington.
In Washington, the more things change, the more they stay the same, or usually get worse. It's true each election cycle, and when Congress enacts "reform," watch out.
Obamacare: legislation that rations care and enriches corporate providers.
Financial reform, shaping up to be more business as usual, masquerading as change, and leaving what's needed unaddressed and papered over.
What Real Reform Looks Like - Abolish or Nationalize the Fed
For many years, Ron Paul waged a lonely struggle to abolish the Fed, trying and failing in the 106th, 107th, 108th, and 110th Congresses. Numerous times he explained what he said on the House floor on September 10, 2002, namely:
Under the Fed, we've also had rising consumer debt; record budget and trade deficits; an unsustainable national debt; a high level of personal and business bankruptcies; millions of lost homes; high unemployment; loss of the nation's manufacturing base; soaring poverty levels; an unprecedented wealth gap between the rich and most others; and a hugely unstable economy lurching from one crisis to another, the current one near-catastrophic with years more pain and suffering ahead for growing millions.
Yet the 1913 Federal Reserve Act violates the Constitution's Article I, Section 8 giving Congress sole power to coin (create) money and regulate the value thereof. In 1935, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress can't constitutionally delegate it to another body.
Yet, as financial writer Ellen Brown explains, Federal Reserves Notes comprise about 3% of the money supply, the remainder created by private banks through loans. When made, the money supply expands. When repaid it contracts unless equal or greater loan amounts are made. Today, they're not, so credit is contracting precipitously.
The founders wanted gold and silver as legal tender, not fiat money or a central bank, President Andrew Jackson calling the Bank of the United States (the Fed's equivalent in his day) a "hydra-headed monster."
Under the Fed, America's monetary system combines money, credit and debt into a dishonest system of empty promises in exchange for future ones, new generations forced to pay increasingly greater amounts for today's excesses, a process designed to suck maximum public wealth into elitist private hands.
Privatized money control is the single greatest threat to democracy. Since 1913, Wall Street bankers have incrementally stolen it in collusion with corrupted officials, modern day ones crafting fake financial reform to end the little that's left and extract as much more public wealth as possible.
On July 8, 2009, the House introduced HR 3126: Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009:
On October 22, 2009, it was reported to Committee but not passed.
On December 2, 2009, the House introduced HR 4173: Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009:
It was rushed through committees, then passed on December 11.
On December 16, 2009, the Senate introduced S. 2886: Banking Integrity Act of 2009:
It was referred to committed and not voted on.
On March 15, the Senate introduced the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010:
In a March 15 MSNBC The Ed Show interview, Congressman Ron Paul said the following:
They're essentially old wine in new bottles, masquerading as reform. If enacted, the public again will be scammed.
On March 22, the Senate Banking Committee passed the Financial Stability Act 13 - 10 (along party lines), and sent it to the floor for debate.
Obama's "Financial Regulatory Reform, A New Foundation: Rebuilding Financial Supervision and Regulation"
Announced on June 17, 2009, it's a plan to create new government agencies, more greatly empower the Fed, and address major problems problems. Its objectives include:
Its proposed reforms include:
America has a legacy of failed public agencies as well as regulatory and legislative reform for familiar reasons - no teeth or real oversight, mostly because financial and other industries end up self-regulating, consolidating, and growing at the expense of the public interest - smaller firms then crowded out, bought up, or eliminated. Giving the Fed more power lets banking giants make their own rules, decide how and whether to enforce them, and operate the way they wish because no one in government dares challenge them.
It's no surprise why Obama's 2009 plan, House enacted legislation, and what the Senate will now debate capitulate to Wall Street. Their lawyer/lobbyists wrote the bills to give them more, not less, power, masquerading as reform.
If enacted, banks will get congressional cover to self-regulate, continue past fraudulent practices, inflate new bubbles, transfer more public wealth to themselves, crush competition, wreck the economy further, and be bailed out again to buy more assets at cheap prices, then start the whole process over again.
On December 30, moneymorning.com's contributing editor Shah Gilani put it this way:
House legislation especially props up failed banks, more than ever empowers them, and insures the full faith and credit of Washington to bail them out whenever needed.
As for consumer protection, current and past agencies serve bankers, not the public - notably the SEC, Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the private banking cartel Federal Reserve, wholly owned by its member banks, Wall Street giants holding controlling interest.
The so-called credit rating agencies are part of the scheme. Ones like Moody's, Standard & Poor's, Fitch and others bogusly assessing toxic securitizations and other financial alchemy in return for large fees and big profits. The House bill does nothing to correct this, the final Senate one not likely to either. Instead, they'll give enforcement power to the notoriously corrupt SEC, staffed with officials that move to high-paying industry jobs, so refrain from future slapping hands that may feed them.
Other House (and likely Senate) bill problems include:
If the final Senate bill resembles HR 4173 as appears likely, Wall Street shenanigans will be green-lighted. A future greater financial crisis is assured. Giant banks will get bigger. Trillions more in public wealth will be looted. Current financial reform debate will be revisited, but nothing will be resolved now or then unless grassroots outrage forces it.
Dean Baker, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said the House bill:
On March 25, writing for the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC - nlpc.org), Carl Horowitz called the Senate bill "the equivalent of a revolving bailout for failing Wall Street and banking institutions."
Its provisions still a work in progress, ones in it, unless amended, include:
Both House and Senate bills empower existing authorities, lets them run newly established ones, so reform amounts to old wine in new bottles, leaving bankers in charge and the public as vulnerable as before to a certain future crisis they'll have to pay for again. Shah Gilani's December 30 moneymorning.com article explained it up nicely, saying:
Proposed "financial reform (is) just camouflage for Wall Street's latest power play," leaving ordinary people sitting ducks to be scammed again with the full faith and blessing of Washington.
Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
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