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Health Care & Environment
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?]
Obama's New Consumer Watchdog
Her role is more "show" than "dough," to provide a veneer of credibility with little enforcement muscle.
Monday, 20 September 2010
"Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws," or what laws they make. Consumer watchdogs are no antidote against that kind of power.
On September 17, New York Times writers Jackie Calmes and Sewell Chan headlined, "Obama Picks Warren to Set Up Consumer Bureau," saying:
She'll be an assistant to the president, a "czar" for some, a designation held by numerous other White House advisors. She'll also be a Treasury Secretary advisor, reporting jointly to Obama and Tim Geithner.
Who Is Elizabeth Warren?
A bio on the elizabethwarren.com web site includes the following:
At age 16, she was an Oklahoma state champion debater.
Her education includes a BS from the University of Houston (1970) and a JD from Rutgers Law School (1976) where she was Editor to the Rutgers Law Review.
She taught law at Rutgers, the University of Michigan, the University of Houston Law Center, the University of Texas School of Law, and University of Pennsylvania's School of Law before joining Harvard Law School in 1992, where she's now Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law.
She's also a member of the FDIC's Committee on Economic Inclusion, the Executive Council of the National Bankruptcy Conference, as well as former Vice-President of the American Law Institute, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Chief Adviser to the National Bankruptcy Review Commission.
In addition, until her new appointment, she headed the Congressional Oversight Panel administering the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) for banks, but couldn't constrain their multi-trillion dollar bailout, interest-free money, and virtual regulatory freedom.
Her writings include over 100 scholarly articles, six academic books, and several best-selling ones. Co-authored with her daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi, her most recent one is "All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan." An earlier 2003 one with her daughter is titled, "The Two Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke," written years before the current economic crisis. It's devastating many more of them, their numbers steadily increasing because of financial predators Warren will have little power restraining. That's the problem.
Obama's so-called financial reform gives Wall Street a free pass. Described as the most sweeping package since the 1930s, it's, in fact, virtually toothless, an earlier article calling it "a stealth scheme for global monetary control." A follow-up story explained more.
It's business, not consumer-friendly, and why not when powerful insiders wrote it.
In June 2009, The New York Times explained how, saying:
Among other provisions, the bill gives the Wall Street owned Federal Reserve greater power. It lets big banks be self-regulating, facilitates greater consolidation, crowds out smaller firms, and establishes a Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP), unable to rein in financial excesses, including abusive mortgage lending that fueled the housing crisis.
Yet New York Times writers Calmes and Chan were effusive, saying:
False. It's pretense, a veneer of change, not the real thing, a line from Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore explaining it, saying:
"Things are seldom as they seem. Skim milk masquerades as cream," especially for corporate interests, Wall Street heading its queue, making the key rules, getting its way, including what passes for financial reform. It's cover for business as usual.
While the BCFP will supposedly oversea banking practices regarding credit cards, mortgages, payday loans, student loans, and other consumer financial products, exempted are financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets as well as auto financing. Further, BCFP power to review large firms will be impeded by their ability to circumvent rules to do pretty much as they please. They wrote the new rules to assure it. Otherwise, "financial reform" wouldn't have passed.
Yet Obama called Warren "one of the country's fiercest advocates for the middle class," and the BCFP a new "watchdog." In name only, in fact, because Wall Street owns Washington, permeates government, and runs it like a subsidiary, its people in charge of what counts most - the nation's money handled by the US Treasury and Federal Reserve that, of course, has nothing to do with government. It's a private institution owned and controlled by bankers, big ones, chairman Bernanke serving them, not popular interests, a status no consumer "watchdog" will change or even challenge.
In fact, the BCFP will come under the Fed after July 21, 2011, though the new law prohibits any interference. However, the Treasury's new Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) has veto power over BCFP policies. It's also a step toward world money and banking control, perhaps with one currency under a global central bank, banking giants, the IMF, and other international lending agencies. Against them, the most dedicated consumer watchdog will be impotent.
Warren, of course, is a temporary appointee, a director to be chosen by mid-2011. She also won't serve on the FSOC that has real power under Geithner. Her role is more "show" than "dough," to provide a veneer of credibility with little enforcement muscle.
Further, though critical of banker bailouts, she fully supports Obama's policies. Why else would she be appointed, not to criticize that would get her removed and replaced. Consumer advocacy praise for her is premature, given how little authority she'll have, and her reluctance to bite the hand that selected her.
Stay tuned. Wall Street's power is undiminished, its hand firmly in control, its agents running the Fed and Treasury, in charge of the nation's money.
Remember what Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744 - 1812, founder of the family's banking dynasty) once said:
"Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws," or what laws they make. Consumer watchdogs are no antidote against that kind of power, not when Congress, the administration and courts stand firmly in support, spurning populist interests, Democrats no different from Republicans.
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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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on September 20, 2010.