MF Global bankruptcy-On the Edge with Max Keiser

The Icelandic Example? – Michael Hudson on GRTV

Vision: Everyday Brits Are in Revolt Against Wealthy Tax Cheats — Can We Do That Here?

by Johann Hari, AlterNet

Imagine a parallel universe where the Great Crash of 2008 was followed by a Tea Party of a very different kind. Enraged citizens gather in every city, week after week—to demand the government finally regulate the behavior of corporations and the superrich, and force them to start paying taxes. The protesters shut down the shops and offices of the companies that have most aggressively ripped off the country. The swelling movement is made up of everyone from teenagers to pensioners. They surround branches of the banks that caused this crash and force them to close, with banners saying, You Caused This Crisis. Now YOU Pay.

As people see their fellow citizens acting in self-defense, these tax-the-rich protests spread to even the most conservative parts of the country. It becomes the most-discussed subject on Twitter. Even right-wing media outlets, sensing a startling effect on the public mood, begin to praise the uprising, and dig up damning facts on the tax dodgers.

Instead of the fake populism of the Tea Party, there is a movement based on real populism. It shows that there is an alternative to making the poor and the middle class pay for a crisis caused by the rich. It shifts the national conversation. Instead of letting the government cut our services and increase our taxes, the people demand that it cut the endless and lavish aid for the rich and make them pay the massive sums they dodge in taxes.

This may sound like a fantasy—but it has all happened. The name of this parallel universe is Britain. As recently as this past fall, people here were asking the same questions liberal Americans have been glumly contemplating: Why is everyone being so passive? Why are we letting ourselves be ripped off? Why are people staying in their homes watching their flat-screens while our politicians strip away services so they can fatten the superrich even more?

[read the rest, here]

Obama Pulls a Clinton

by Robert Sheer, Truthdig

Here we go again. When Bill Clinton suffered an electoral reversal after his first two years in office, he abruptly embraced the corporate money guys who had financed his congressional opposition in an effort to purchase a second term. On Tuesday in his Wall Street Journal Op-Ed piece, Barack Obama veered sharply down that same course, trumpeting his executive order “ … to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive. …”

He employed the same “creating a 21st-century regulatory system” rationalization used by Clinton when he signed off on the sweeping deregulation legislation that unleashed the Wall Street greed that ended up being the biggest job-killer since the Great Depression. “Over the (past) seven years, we have tried to modernize the economy,” Clinton enthused as he signed the Financial Services Modernization Act that repealed key New Deal legislation, adding, “And today what we are doing is modernizing the financial services industry, tearing down those antiquated laws and granting banks significant new authority.” Modernizing was the propaganda constant, as in the Commodity Futures Modernization Act that Clinton signed, thus shielding financial derivatives from any government regulation.

[read the rest, here]

Journalism of Appeasement. Corruption, Smoke and Mirrors

(A must read)

by David DeGraw, Global Research

Here’s a brief summation of my recent reporting:

If we continue to let our politicians and wealthy members of society live in comfort, free from the consequences of their actions, we are complicit in our own demise.

Our country is so overrun with corruption, we cannot remain passive and expect things to get any better.

The economy is propped up by smoke and mirrors and will inevitably collapse. Without immediately breaking up the banks and holding the thieves accountable, we will continue on our downward spiral with increasingly severe and devastating consequences.

These are extremely unpleasant truths that we are now forced to confront. We have to act now. If you are not calling for revolution or organizing, you are either unaware of what’s happening around you, horribly naïve or a fascist sympathizer.

In response to statements like those above, I’ve been exchanging emails with colleagues (journalists and news editors) who have become “uncomfortable” with my reporting style and been saying some variation of the following: “You’re being too radical. This is too extreme for us to publish.”

While I appreciate their opinions, I want to make something 100% clear. I am fully aware that these words are harsh, and may turn off some people. However, in extreme times, telling the truth will make you sound extreme. Ultimately, I don’t mind if you think I sound “too extreme,” I don’t care if I make people “uncomfortable,” or if, in your opinion, I’ve become “too radical.” Try telling that to the 52 million Americans who are now living in poverty. Tell that to the millions of American families who have lost their homes and jobs. Tell that to the 59 million people who can’t afford health insurance. Tell that to the overwhelming majority of the population who are stressed out, living paycheck to paycheck, buried in debt they will never get out of and desperately struggling to make ends meet.

Try telling that to all the people who have emailed me explaining their dire situations due to this economic crisis. Tell that to all the people I personally know who have taken major pay cuts.

I will not participate in the journalism of appeasement.

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The Secret of Oz – English

Updated version

To further support the hypothesis that the Wizard of Oz was about the influence of the English central banking system on America, take a look at the original cover. What artistic element of this does not fit with the rest?

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Fed report lifts lid on Great Bank Heist of 2008-2009

by Barry Grey, WSWS

The US Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday released documents on emergency measures it took between 2007 and 2010, using taxpayer funds, to bail out major financial firms in the US and around the world. The sums involved are staggering.

Fed bailout loans outstanding reached a high of $3.3 trillion, but the cumulative amount of cash funneled by the US central bank to banks, hedge funds and major industrial corporations reached the tens of trillions of dollars.

Every major Wall Street bank was on the Fed dole, as were giant companies including General Electric and Verizon Communications. The Fed ran nearly a dozen separate bailout programs which together eclipsed by far the Treasury Department’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program―the program that handed over billions in public funds to the banks in 2008 and 2009. In comparison to the amounts funneled by the Fed to US financial institutions, the Obama administration’s $787 billion stimulus package was a drop in the bucket.

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