I was just doing some internet strolling in the few minutes I have to spare today and came across this piece on the stunning differences between President Obama and Senator Bernie Sanders. The kind of differences that eliminate any false ideas of what really is the gray area of compromise and what is all show with no substance.
Doug Suttles of BP: Well, Tom, I'm not the best expert on the technology but I think events like this typically advance the technology by leaps and bounds....I think that probably part of the reason is there have been so few big spills. The events haven't driven the technology change that's out there. I think this event probably will.
Apparently it is because < shakes my head > they claim they have not had enough oil spills to practice on:
Meanwhile and exhibiting its infinite wisdumb in disaster manipulations, BP has decided to hire the Vampire Squid, among others, to teach them how to navigate the Gulf Gusher fall out:
As news of Morgan Stanley being put under the microscope for similar reasons, Naked Capitalism looks at some criticism of the scrutiny Goldman Sachs has received and why they received this scrutiny in the first place:
From Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman and her crew takes a look the latest Matt Taibbi piece in Rolling Stone Magazine:
In a new article in Rolling Stone magazine, journalist Matt Taibbi takes an in-depth look at the experience of one small Alabama town and its disastrous dealings with Wall Street. Taibbi writes, “The destruction of Jefferson County reveals the basic battle plan of these modern barbarians, the way that banks like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs have systematically set out to pillage towns and cities from Pittsburgh to Athens.”
The Democracy Now! video is below the fold while the Rolling Stone piece is at the other end of this link and deals with how it all is hurting your school and your local government. To make matters worse for many of these communities they also have to deal with how their local government has been corrupted by bribes from the bankers.
Ask yourself who knows how much has really been borrowed by various governments around the world?
Greece is turning into a battle royal between the global financial
elites and the average worker in the industrial West. This started out
as a more limited struggle, pitting the finance ministers and central
banks of the European Union against the Greek unions, but the fight has
unexpectedly broadened with news of the surreptitious involvement of
Goldman Sachs in helping Greece avoid borrowing constraints.
The picture painted in the Western financial press makes the unions
the villain in this play. The unions are described as greedy, lazy, too
quick to strike, and insensitive to the burdens they were imposing on
the Greek economy. To cope with union threats and extortion, various
Greek governments had no choice but to borrow excessively, and well
beyond the European Union target range that allowed domestic budget
deficits to be no higher than 3% of GDP. As of last year, Greece’s
budget deficit was 12.7% of GDP.
The sheer level of these deficits – the highest in the European
community – has spooked international investors and the ratings
agencies like Moody’s, which have dropped the Greek sovereign credit
rating and threatened further demotions if nothing is done. This, along
with the prospect of default on their government debt, has thrown
Greece into a crisis and into the hands of the EU commissioners and
finance officials who are contemplating a bailout.
What part of my citation from this story is dripping with irony? Take your time, but it should be easy to spot without too much hard work.
The president will announce a series of measures to cut down on excessive risk-taking as part of a revamp of the country's financial regulatory system, a senior Obama official said on Wednesday.
The move could also help the White House tap into public rage over Wall Street excess after Obama's Democratic Party was rebuffed by voters in Massachusetts, who elected Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. senate.
"The proposal will include size and complexity limits specifically on proprietary trading and the White House will work closely with the House and Senate to work this into legislation," the official said.
Did you see it? I'm sure you did, but being the incurable know-it-all that I am, let me point it out for you anyway:
"[T]he White House will work closely with the House and Senate to work this into legislation."
I hope this doesn't mean that they will go about this the same way they "worked closely with the House and Senate" to get a workable health care reform bill passed. Because if that's the case all I can see is another looming failure where certain Senators and Blue Dog Democrats hijack the process and turn the financial reforms the administration proposes into the same bowl of thin gruel that health care reform ended up as, thanks to people like Bart Stupak, Joe Lieberman, Olympia Snowe and Ben Nelson.
In a comment to a post by Rabbi Michael Lerner in Tikkun Daily, Kucinich Denounces Health Care Sell Out by House Dems, Jill Schmidt asked:
I don't get why insurance companies aren't for a bill that will get them 21 million more clients. If anyone out there gets it, please reply.
Jill poses an excellent question that is shared by hard-working, thoughtful Americans from coast to coast. Fortunately, Goldman Sachs revealed the answer in a perverse ten page report posted in its entirety by Huff-Po reporter Sam Stein. (Kudos to Sam for his excellent work!)
The answer also explains why we must continue to work with the Democrats who actually voted for a health care reform bill to end the tyranny of insurance corporations over our personal lives.
Today, McClatchy Newspapers added the how to the what Goldman did in its investment banking business. Right after the 2008 election, Pro Publica
broke a story about Goldman urging key clients to dump California bonds
after Goldman had a big pay day from the state to sell the bonds in the
In remarks that will fuel the row around excessive pay, Lord Griffiths, vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs International and a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, said banks should not be ashamed of rewarding their staff.
Speaking to an audience at St Paul's Cathedral in London about morality in the marketplace last night, Griffiths said the British public should "tolerate the inequality as a way to achieve greater prosperity for all"
A number of stories dealing with different forms of cyberwarfare have been floating around the last couple of days. Are they connected? Probably not. They are all interesting in their own right and in my opinion bear further investigation. What do you think?
LQD = Lazy Quote Diary
Matt Taibbi has been wading through the objections to his Rolling Stone article a few weeks ago detailing how Goldman Sachs has profited obscenely by using its political influence to help create, then prick, a series of financial bubbles over the past century. Taibbi's reply is very much worth reading, to see the depths to which defenders of the financial status quo will stoop, such as hurling the "anti-semitic" charge. But, here is the conclusion, which I consider the best part:
Last week ago, Institutional Risk Analytics interviewed Josh Rosner of Graham Fisher & Co and David Kotok of Cumberland Advisors, and the discussion is one of the most direct and revealing of the true political nature of the financial collapse I have yet seen.