Jeff Merkley, Oregon Senator Takes on the Banks

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Editor’s Notes:  

Hat Tip to Nancie Koerber, whose efforts in Oregon have achieved more traction than virtually any other group in the nation. I endorse this petition. Senator Jeff Merkley’s efforts could have national implications if we the people get on this drive and enforce it through petitions and letters. I have often said in my speaking engagements and in my meetings with politicians, that if they really want to win big, they should capitalize on the one common idea about which all sides of the political spectrum are in agreement: the Banks did this to us and we should stop them. This applies to all politicians — Democrat, Republican, Independent and minor parties. Any politician who fails to grasp this essential truth of the American psyche is putting their political career behind them, not in front of them.

There is a lot of anger out there which has not been focused or directed at any particular result. This petition basically seeks to re-establish the protection of bank deposits from the whims of bankers who want to gamble with what is left of their money. It’s not the same as Glass-Steagal but it seeks the same result.

This is not a theoretical argument. banks were allowed to be created so that people would have a safe place to keep their money and the banks were allowed to lend out a percentage of that money to make a profit and pay expenses. Banking was never intended to be a vehicle for paying $10 million bonuses at the expense of protected pension funds, homeowners and consumers.

Investment\

firms were allowed to exist because they created a marketplace in which access to capital was easier than without that marketplace. The purpose was to fuel an expanding economy. It was never intended that brokerage firms would be a vehicle for draining wealth out of the economy. The very fact that we have that result indicates that the current investment bank infrastructure needs to be revamped.

It’s like driving a car. When you turn the key you expect the car to start. When you step on the accelerator you expect the car to move. But none of that can happen if there is no gas in the tank to drive the engine that turns on when you turn the key and makes the engine work when you press the accelerator. Until Glass-Steagal was repealed, we had the right infrastructure, more or less, for capital creation and access to capital. Then the whole model was turned upside down and the wealth drained from the economy into the investment banks. Now the Banks want to keep it upside down, meaning their goal is no longer to provide capital but to take it, converting our capitalist society into a fascist society. Look up the terms and you’ll see what I mean.

It is all up to you. The Banks have legislators by the throats and law enforcement is all tangled up in politics and “Settlements” that prevent them from acting properly. In the Savings and Loan crisis in the 1980’s, similar behavior landed more than 800 people in jail. This time we have nothing because some of the behavior was made legal. The excuse for not prosecuting fraud, forgery, fabrication and false recording of false documents with false information in them is yet to be explained.

And the remedy for the 5 million foreclosures that have been “closed out” is not yet in public discourse. I intend to make it central to public discourse because the return of property or money to the victims of this heinous economic crime is essential to the recovery of our economy. Right now, the financial services sector accounts for about half of our reported Gross Domestic Product whereas thirty years ago it accounted for 16%. They have tripled their size and influence at the expense of real economic activity, which has been replaced by trading fabricated documents and declaring false profits.

For those of you who like the idea of slavery, keep voting with the politicians who remove restrictions from the banks’ activities. If you think slavery was not a good idea, then sign this petition and start a few of your own. The physical chains of our immoral history allowing and promoting the trading of people as property has been replaced by the trading of people as property through derivatives and other false instruments. The net result is the same. Changing the title from plantation owner to banker does little to expand the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. With an increasing number of people earning less out of our economic growth than any other time in history and replacing earnings with debt, we are now subject to a system of slavery that is enforced by the government.

Below is an email from your U.S. Senator, Jeff Merkley (D-OR). Sen. Merkley created a petition on SignOn.org, the nonprofit site that allows anyone to start their own online petition. If you have concerns or feedback about this petition, click here

Dear Oregon MoveOn member,

Bankers on Wall Street wrecked our economy by taking reckless risks in pursuit of massive paydays. And, as J.P. Morgan has made clear, Wall Street learned nothing and is still gambling.

If you agree that gambling should happen in hedge funds, not in the federally insured banks that families and small businesses depend on, click here to sign my petition: 

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=276552&id=44278-19313702-uxkpvGx&t=2

I successfully fought, with your help, for a ban on high-risk trading by big Wall Street banks. This rule, called the Volcker rule firewall, is meant to ensure that when Wall Street’s bad bets blow up, you and I don’t get burned again. But for the last two years, Wall Street’s legion of lobbyists have been trying to blow holes in that firewall.

Wall Street lobbyists want the Fed to write the J.P. Morgan loophole into law. We can’t let that happen. And with your help, we won’t.

Please add your name to my SignOn.org petition urging Ben Bernanke and the Fed to close down the JP Morgan loophole.

Thanks!

–U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

This petition was created on SignOn.org, the progressive, nonprofit petition site that will never sell your email address and will never promote a petition because someone paid us to. SignOn.org is sponsored by MoveOn Civic Action, which is not responsible for the contents of this or other petitions posted on the site

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39 Responses

  1. […] Read more… Posted in Banks, MERS, News Around The Country, States « MERS’ Owners Offer Bogus Title Certification CAR- California Assn. of Realtors Tries to Kill Homeowners Bill of Right » You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. […]

  2. Senator apparently doesn’t know much about real purpose of banks- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHxl3HOmQGk

  3. Anyone have their computer act really weird late yesterday afternoon?

  4. The whole planet has been poisoned. Radioactive waste, antimony, arsenic, lead, mercury. They are getting ready to build another reactor here in S. GA. The people don’t want it or the expense, but the powerful company behind it got everything they wanted, including the right to pass the costs on to the people who don’t want it.
    The spray chem trails daily into the upper jet stream so they can agitate the aloft particles and manipulate the weather with the HAARP Antenae. This planet won’t sustain life in twenty more years.
    If you believe in a Creator, you will live to meet Him. He has fashioned a “new heaven and new earth” according to scripture. Those with their names on the scroll of the living will be taken up to the new earth. The bad guys get to spend their days on the old, poisoned earth that they wrecked, poisoned, spoiled and defaced with their irreversable choices and their money worship–the hell they created.
    Logically, the worst they can do to you is kill you, like they did all the people who spoke out about 9/11. So if you get killed, your worries are over, and if you live to meet our Creator your worries are over, so I see perfect logic in your optimism, I just don’t think the leopards are going to change their spots or the bankers are going to be put in jail by the government they’ve purchased. None the less, I’m suing the bastards and I plan to win. “God’ll get ’em for that” as Maud used to say.

  5. @ToLLe,

    I don’t see any contradiction in what I say. Everything WILL get better and it cannot while those entities still exist and have power over us.

    The99Declaration is having its big convention shortly. We’ll see what comes out of it. I have faith. And I don’t believe in death being the end of everything. So, no matter what takes place during my lifetime, it’s only temporary, good and bad. What I don’t want is being harassed by money-lenders to the point where all i have in this life is bad after bad after bad. I’ll be damned if i give control to anyone or anything over how I feel and over the time I have left here.

    Since I don’t have the key to the big-scheme outcome, all I can do is distance myself from anyone and anything susceptible to make my life more difficult. It takes adjustment (like not having a bank account, for example). it may even take for me to move away and relocate to another part of the planet. There are enough people like me to start together something else, elsewhere. And in the meantime, I hang on to all the signs i see that it is the end of the banks. It may take a while but the writing have been on the wall for quite some time. Everything comes to an end. Every big empire collapses. America has seen its haydays. i’m ready for what’s next. And I’m ready to work at it and make it a hell of a lot different from what we have.

  6. Do you all focus on banks to encourage the spin? Or do you really not understand CONGRESS approved this mess and the civil remedy is why lawyers don’t take fraud to court!

  7. And least we forget, Howard Atkins CFO Norwest Insurance and ‘investor’ Tropicanna sitting real pretty one of ‘his’ banks the employees of the Tropicanna Casino revealed …

    Nancy Drewe, on June 29, 2012 at 10:37 am said:

    Spin by Senator useless spin – high risk trading – exceptions – where is the list of exceptions – they are real – what about the Waivers! And oh least we forget – UCC has everythign to do with treaties of foreign nations and why we have the perverted egregious acts to begin with ‘called’ for lack of the real term “GET OUT OF JAIL” Free Card -Monopoly -Atlantic City – noboday paid attention! The ‘Get Out of Jail Free Card’ when in default! and ‘non-enforcment of laws of these United States of America

  8. Spin by Senator useless spin – high risk trading – exceptions – where is the list of exceptions – they are real – what about the Waivers! And oh least we forget – UCC has everythign to do with treaties of foreign nations and why we have the perverted egregious acts to begin with ‘called’ for lack of the real term “GET OUT OF JAIL” Free Card -Monopoly -Atlantic City – noboday paid attention! The ‘Get Out of Jail Free Card’ when in default! and ‘non-enforcment of laws of these United States of America

  9. Enraged, you’ve gone from “everything will get better, trust me” to “their end is nigh, they will all go to jail”, all over just the last six months. But just what in the world would make you believe that TPTB, the very puppetmasters behind the entire fraudulent mess and government’s total capture would ever willingly fix the problem and jail the bastards (themselves), as in your first case scenario? Or, giving up on that idealism, what makes you think, in your second for for-instance, i.e. bank dismantlement, that there will ever be any sort of gentlemanly dismemberment of the banks and a lining up of paddy wagons? Are you 1) dreaming, 2) on drugs, 3) dreaming while on drugs, 4) or simply a hopelessly wishful thinker? BTW, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with optimism as long as it doesn’t involve one gleefully hopping on the freight car headed towards the razor wired building in the distance with the hopes that our government will do the stand up thing, as in, “Oh look….we get to take a shower!”

    I see nothing short of flaming ivory towers correcting the myriad problems, as THEY will do absolutely anything to keep a hold on the powers that they’ve purchased over the last 35 or so years. The president lies to Americans daily, the chief law enforcement officer in the land should be arrested, all 50 state AGs have sold each and every one of us down the river, and you hold out the hope that there will be some sort of rational meeting of the minds that finally returns common sense to the land? Are you selling any of these drugs? I could use a hit.

    THEY aren’t budging, and the majority of Americans are too stupid to see what’s going down all around them, much less realize what has to happen to fix it. As long as they can hold onto their dwindling part time job and ever shrinking paycheck, they’re OK with the hope that they’re good for a while. The neighbors deserve their fate. And so does the rest of the populace.

    If I believe one thing, it’s that THEY will not loosen their grasp until forced to do so. THEY exist for the very inequalities that they’ve connived. It’s them, or us.

    JAMES GALBRAITH: The overwhelming emphasis, in the administration’s program, I think, has been to return things to a condition of normalcy, to use a 1920s word, that prevailed five and ten years ago. That is to say, we’re back to a world in which Wall Street and the major banks are leading, and setting the path–

    BILL MOYERS: To restore what was.

    JAMES GALBRAITH: To restore what was–

    BILL MOYERS: Instead of reform what is.

    JAMES GALBRAITH: And I don’t think what was can be restored.

    BILL MOYERS: And you say that’s the objective of the administration’s policies? Geithner, Bernanke, Summers, the President himself?

    JAMES GALBRAITH: To the extent that there’s a defined objective, that’s it, yes. I think in the immediate day-to-day work, they’ve largely been preoccupied with keeping the existing system from collapsing. And the government is powerful. It has substantially succeeded at that, but you really have to think about, do you want to have a financial sector dominated by a small number of very large institutions, very difficult to manage, practically impossible to regulate, and ruled by, essentially, the same people and the same culture that caused the crisis in the first place.

    ~snip~

    JAMES GALBRAITH: That’s the point about the crisis, is that it could have been prevented. The people in authority two, three, five years ago, knew how to prevent it. They chose not to act, because they were getting a political and an economic benefit out of the speculative explosion that was occurring.

    BILL MOYERS: You mean, the people who could have prevented the dam from breaking were too busy fishing above it, and reaping big rewards to want to fix the crack in it?

    JAMES GALBRAITH: Sure. The Federal Reserve, in particular, knew that the dam was cracking. Alan Greenspan, I think, almost surely knew this, and chose to wait until it had washed away.

    BILL MOYERS: Why?

    JAMES GALBRAITH: They let all of this run, because they were getting a superficially stronger economy out of it. The ownership society, all that was a scam, basically, designed to lure people who could never afford these mortgages into accepting them. And yes, I think they, any rational person, certainly people in the industry, knew that this was not going to last. There was a little industry code, I’ve learned, IBGYBG. “I’ll be gone. You’ll be gone.”

    BILL MOYERS: Really?

    JAMES GALBRAITH: Yeah.

    BILL MOYERS: The industry being the securities industry?

    JAMES GALBRAITH: Well, and the mortgage originators and the bankers, generally.

    BILL MOYERS: But that’s criminal fraud.

    JAMES GALBRAITH: Oh sure. There was a huge amount of it. The Bush administration did not actively investigate the fraud that they knew, that the FBI knew was occurring, from 2004 onward. And there will have to be full-scale investigation and cleaning up of the residue of that, before you can have, I think, a return of confidence in the financial sector. And that’s a process which needs to get underway.

    That was from 2009, and things have gotten worse, not better.

  10. “This is only buying a little time, the banks will be dismantled and the bankers will go to jail.”

    As much as I want that…I think it’s premature to say it.

    If you wish upon a star,
    You’ll find you don’t get too far,
    You’ll wind up right where you are,
    Someday.

    Don’t just go and buy a gun,
    ‘Cause there’ll be an ammo run!
    Make sure you get bullets too,
    Okay?

    I don’t think we’ll make it happen,
    If we keep our jaws a flappin’,
    Sentencing may never happen,
    Anyway.

  11. It’ds really irritating. The same names come back over and over. Rotten outfits that have been conducting rotten business for so long, they no longer know right from wrong. Lloyd has been a financial disgrace forever. (So has AIG, by the way: the only role they ever played was… financial. The quintessence of adoring the wrong master. The very existence rest exclusively on MONEY for the sake of making it) Every single day, we learn of additional misdeeds. How much more do we have to uncover before we remove them from the planet? And it’s trus too for what Chase, B of A, WF and cohort are concerned. There is a time when they MUST be erased from the planet and from our memory. The time is NOW!!!
    Friday, June 29, 2012Bob Diamond – Rbs Set For Fine As Barclays Boss Remains Defiant Reuters
    Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:24pm IST

    * RBS faces 150 mln stg fine over Libor probe -report

    * Any resolution for RBS is “months away” -source

    * Barclays’ Diamond tells analysts he won’t stand down

    * UK regulator settles with 4 banks on SME mis-selling

    * Barclays shares up 3 pct; RBS up 3 pct as EU banks rally

    LONDON, June 29 (Reuters) – Royal Bank of Scotland could face a hefty fine from the same interest rate rigging scandal that has hammered Barclays this week and left its boss Bob Diamond fighting for his job.

    Taxpayer-backed RBS is set to be fined about 150 million pounds ($233 million) for participating in market manipulation offences similar to those engaged in by Barclays, the Times newspaper said.

    RBS said it, like many others, is continuing to co-operate with regulators on the ongoing investigation. Any resolution of its case is months away, a person familiar with the matter said.

    Britain’s banking woes deepened on Friday as the Financial Services Authority said it had settled with four banks Barclays, RBS, HSBC and Lloyds after finding evidence they mis-sold products to protect small businesses against a rise in interest rates.

    Compensation could run into the hundreds of millions of pounds, lawyers have said, although Lloyds said the cost for it would not be material.

    The FSA said from 2001 to date, banks sold around 28,000 interest rate protection products to customers, although it did not did not say how much it would cost the banks.

    A string of mis-selling cases has rocked the financial services industry for over two decades and banks are already likely to pay upwards of 9 billion pounds ($14 billion) in compensation for mis-selling loan insurance.

    The Libor mis-selling scandal is expected to draw in many banks globally, but Diamond has found himself first in the firing line after U.S. and British authorities fined Barclays $450 million on Wednesday for manipulating the London interbank offer rate (Libor).

    Prime Minister David Cameron said Diamond – who was running the investment banking arm Barclays Capital when the rigging occurred in 2005-2009 – and other bosses had some “big questions to answer”. Britain also called in the fraud squad to investigate possible crimes.

    “Politicians have already been baying for blood and calling for the head of Bob Diamond , especially as he was in charge at BarCap at the time,” said Stephen Peak, manager of the Henderson UK Alpha and European Absolute Return funds and a shareholder in the bank.

    “We feel that the Barclays board will instinctively wish to resist this, as Diamond is clearly the architect and leading light of Barclays, but feel that the pressure may be too great.”

    DEFIANT

    Diamond admitted in an open letter to Britain’s Treasury Select Committee late on Thursday that the bank engaged in “inappropriate behaviour” to lower submissions.

    In his letter, Diamond said the investigation highlighted two types of manipulation used by the bank, and he would happily attend a Treasury Committee meeting on the issue. He told Morgan Stanley analysts on Thursday he did not intend to stand down.

    Diamond, whose fat bonuses have drawn widespread criticism, won few political friends last year when he told a parliamentary committee that it was time for bankers to stop apologising.

    Barclays Chairman Marcus Agius is also coming under pressure to step down over the scandal.

    Shares in Barclays slumped 15 percent on Thursday on concern that Barclays will face lawsuits from U.S. investors and that Diamond may go. Shares in RBS and Lloyds also fell sharply.

    They rebounded sharply early on Friday. By 0704 GMT Barclays, RBS and Lloyds shares were each up 3-4 percent and HSBC added 2 percent, buoyed by a 3 percent rise by the European bank index after Euro zone leaders agreed emergency action to cut Spain’s and Italy’s borrowing costs.

    The Libor scandal, which disclosed e-mails in which bankers appeared to promise bottles of champagne to each other for help in setting the rates, has fuelled the anger with the financial industry.

    Authorities in Europe, North America and Japan are investigating many banks which help to set Libor, and others are expected also to be heavily fined.

    The Times cited informed sources as saying RBS accepted that it was guilty of offences similar to those committed by Barclays’ traders, though at RBS they were more isolated and less serious.

    Thomson Reuters Corp is the British Bankers’ Association’s official agent for the daily calculation and publishing of Libor. The company said it continues to support the BBA in calculating and distributing Libor rates.

  12. This is only buying a little time. The banks will be dismantled worldwide, no matter what, and bankers will go to jail. Think about it: otherwise, everything we have ever learned as a species was a lie, right and wrong don’t exist, good and bad don’t exist and humans are the victim of the greater hoax ever pulled. As Bob de Niro said: “If there really is a Gawd, he’s gona have a lot of explaining to do!”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/world/europe/european-union-meeting-opens-without-french-german-accord.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=world

    European Leaders Agree to Use Bailout Fund to Aid BanksBy STEVEN ERLANGER and PAUL GEITNER
    Published: June 28, 2012

    “BRUSSELS — Working through the night in the face of pressure from the embattled euro zone countries Italy and Spain, European leaders agreed early Friday to use the Continent’s bailout funds to recapitalize struggling banks directly, according to the European Council president, Herman Van Rompuy.

    The decision, by leaders of the 17-nation euro zone, would allow help to banks without adding directly to the sovereign debt of countries, which has been a problem for Spain and potentially for Italy. Both countries have seen the interest rates on their debt rise to levels that would be unsustainable in the long term, and the Italian and Spanish leaders, Prime Ministers Mario Monti and Mariano Rajoy, came here to push their colleagues to help…”

  13. Friendly advice.

    Timing is everything. Cyber attacks against banks have intensified today. Compare with the previous days. I would believe it much more prudent to remove your money while you still can, even if nothing major happens to your own account or bank.

    http://www.fraudwatchinternational.com/phishing/index.php?page=2

  14. I’m sort of glad to hear someone has the balls to rob the rich, even if it’s cybercrime. They derserve the “eye for an eye” treatment. Good reason to take your money out of the banks who keep tellin’ ya your money is SAFER there. (An even better reason is to stop funding their financial terrorism.) So…is Robin da Hood gonna give the stolen rich man’s money to the poor, or just keep it?
    See, life in these times really is like an old tale!

    Being a Moneychanger should come with an automatic death penalty. Quick trial, make all the other bankers watch from the gallery, off with his head. Sure would end a lot of suffering and solve the problem. We don’t need no stinkin’ banks! (or banksters)

  15. @ davies910 Thank You for the article. I had no idea, WOW! What we need are new TIL pre-disclosure laws. They bury this stuff in 200 pages of legal language at closing and hope it flies is crazy!

  16. from the Jeff Barnes site:

    “Mr. Barnes has now obtained orders compelling securitization discovery in Oregon, New Mexico, New Jersey, Delaware, Hawai’i, Tennessee, and Florida, and has had foreclosures dismissed and attorneys’ fees assessed against foreclosing “banks” for noncompliance with court discovery orders in several of those states.”

  17. http://presstv.com/detail/2012/06/26/248041/us-must-turn-gun-on-wall-st-not-syria/

    American Banks Gearing Up For More Foreclosures

    The bankers and the corporations have made trillions and trillions of dollars out of stealing peoples’ homes, luring people into bad situations and basically profiteering off peoples’ misery.
    People are learning that all these foreclosure laws, all of the great legal apparatus set up has been written by the very people who were carrying out these crimes.

    The government from the highest level works for the banks and the corporations and the reason there is change to this and the reason there is suddenly uproar is because the people have taken history into their own hands.
    They are out on the streets in big numbers; they are demanding that things change. You know, there have been moratoriums in the past that have been passed during the great depression there were moratoriums in the United States in many states.
    But it was done in response to the fact that the Unemployment Councils, Community Organizations would break the locks and take back the homes that were foreclosed.
    ——————————————————————————–

  18. As long as banks and cohort have any money, they will sue. The problem is: they know damn well that states are running out of cash at a fast pace. If we don’t get back what is ours, they will prevail!

    Firm named in Nevada robosigning cases countersues Masto
    Wednesday
    27 June 2012
    7 p.m.

    Catherine Cortez Masto
    The foreclosure processor sued by Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto in last year’s robosigning cases has now retaliated, suing Masto and alleging due process violations.

  19. and Jeff Barnes is ROCKIN’! check his site for latest developments. You WILL be encouraged.

  20. […] Filed under: bubble, CDO, CORRUPTION, currency, Eviction, foreclosure, GTC | Honor, Investor, Mortgage, securities fraud Tagged: Ben Bernanke, capitalist society into a fascist society, Gdp, Glass-Steagal, Gross Domestic Product, Jeff Merkley, JP Morgan, Nancie Koerber, Oregon MoveOn, Oregon Senator, politician, Savings and Loan Livinglies’s Weblog […]

  21. ” Besides, the banks own all elected state judges. Only Federal District or Appeals Judges have the capacity to understand the complicated fraud”

    Your right, Brian. No traction till you get to the Fed venue one way or another. Most people with assets cannot use the BK system to bring that adversary or lien avoidance action.
    Wells solicited and gave my judge a nice refinance while he’s sitting on the bench throwing people out of their homes. No problem.

    I lit up everybody again today. DOJ, AG, the GOV, FBI, DA, and the best response I got was “Did you call the CFPB?” I said “Yeah, and they closed my case after one phone call by Wells Fargo when they never even got me on the phone?! What kind of answer is that?! That’s why I’m callin’ YOU!””

    I’m telling you. They’re fuckin’ laughin’ at us. The Fed is who’s stealing your house. Not the banks. It’s the Treasury, stupid! Look at the GMAC RES CAP deal, and you’ll see that RESCAP was servicer for the TARP deals (ML1,2,3). Now ALLY (your Federal Government-owned bank, who is also the world’s largest “subprime” lender) is separating itself from that cluster fuck of a deal so they can continue on their merry way supporting the unions and screwing the bondholders.

    C’mon, Maher, chime in. I know you’re out there. Unless you gave up on us? I wouldn’t blame you, bro.

    @evoldog1234: I know how you feel. This place has burnt itself out for the most part. Too bad. I know Neil can’t work for free, but I never thought it would evolve to this. This should have turned into online law school. Just couldn’t get it out of them.

    One more thing: these bank attorneys have no shame or conscience. They will fight to fight and wear out you and your attorney. They will lie, fabricate, forge, record, submit any damn kinda fraudulent document they want to. The reason is above in the fourth paragraph.

    Sorry for the rant. Had to say it. Nobody can be offended around here, that’s for sure!

    Keep up the fight.

  22. from that posting from davies:

    “By restricting a lender’s ability to foreclose and exposing them to unnecessary liability, this report will dry up inventory, and it will further discourage lending other than to the most highly qualified borrowers.”

    IT’S NOT THE “LENDERS” FORECLOSING, YOU IDIOT!!! IT’S DEBT COLLECTORS OF UNSECURED FRAUDULENT FALSE DEFAULT DEBT!!! Sheesh.

  23. Here is the confirmation from another site. Note that those attacks target ONLY the large bank accounts.

    June 26, 2012, 2:40PM

    New Fraud Ring ‘Operation High Roller’ Targets the Rich

    Comment by Christopher Brook

    A recent fraud ring through which attackers raided high-value bank accounts, nicknamed Operation High Roller (.PDF), employed attacks that were quick, required no human interaction and have already affected several tiers of credit unions, regional banks and large global banks, over the last several months.

    In the ring, analyzed in a report by McAfee and Guardian Analytics, groups of attackers have used 60 servers to exploit 60 banks, focusing on “high-value commercial accounts” and “high net worth individuals” in Europe, Latin America and the United States.

    It’s unclear how much money the attackers have managed to make off with so far, though McAfee estimates the criminals have pilfered at least $78 million – yet may have attempted up to $2.5 billion in fraudulent transfers, stretching back to January this year.
    Spanning the globe, some of the first attacks were discovered in Germany in January and later the Netherlands and Latin America in March. The first evidence of US-based attacks also came in March following a series of intrusions on 109 companies by eight to 10 types of malware. Bank accounts that contained less than several million dollars were not targeted, backing up the attack’s codename.

    Criminals initiated the attacks and narrowed their crosshairs on commercial and investment accounts that usually hold tens of millions of dollars. After the accounts were targeted, a series of mule business accounts attempted to siphon money from the victims, with some transfers nearing $130,000. Later that month, after “the scope of the fraud became clear,” the research team in charge of Operation High Roller began to notify law enforcement in hopes of apprehending the criminals behind the US-controlled servers.

    The attacks make use of Zeus and SpyEye, using the the Trojans’ ability to gather intelligence on each bank account owner, bypass two-factor physical authentication and defeat fraud detection. Unlike typical Zeus and SpyEye attacks, however, the type of malware involved in Operation High Roller is completely automated, meaning thefts can happen repeatedly without human intervention after the system has been implemented.

    The banking Trojans have been almost synonymous since their alleged union in early 2011, with variants going on to affect Android devices and Autorun before being targeted by Microsoft earlier this year.

    Recommended Reads

  24. THIS IS BIG!!!

    The robbers robbed.

    Cyberattack on bankis worldwide. This says 2.49 billionsd stolen but the update mentions a lot more.

    .McAfee discovers $78 million worth of sophisticated cyber attacks against banking systems
    By Tom Warren on June 26, 2012 07:07 am

    Security firms McAfee and Guardian Analytics have published a joint fraud report, dubbed Operation High Roller, on new methods of siphoning money from banking systems. Using a series of highly sophisticated cyber attacks to target high balance accounts, criminals have been able to successfully bypass physical “chip and pin” authentication and use server-based fraudulent transactions to steal money from a number of accounts in Europe. The attacks originated in Italy, using SpyEye and Zeus malware to transfer funds into fraudulent accounts.

    Although the fraud requires an initial client-based attack, McAfee discovered 426 unknown variants of the typical Zeus or SpyEye malware that were difficult to detect. The most unique part of the attack is the ability for the malware to use JavaScript web injects to alter internet login experiences for users and glean login information and two-factor authentication tokens. Once the malware has successfully retrieved this information from an end user, it initiates a bank transfer while holding up a users session. “Financial institutions must take this innovation seriously,” say McAfee, warning that the latest technique can be used for other forms of physical security devices.

    The majority of attacks appear to have taken place across European banking systems, but McAfee warns that it has found evidence of attacks at Latin American and North American financial institutions too. The company is warning that 60 servers have been processing thousands of attempted thefts from high-value accounts over a period of months, resulting in attempts to steal at least €60 million (US$78 million). McAfee says that if all the attempted fraud attacks were successful then the total attempted fraud could be as high as €2 billion ($2.49 billion).

  25. “if lenders don’t have the remedy of foreclosure to ensure they can recover their security in appropriate situations, they will be less likely to lend, credit will be less available and the housing market recovery will limp along even more slowly.” WTF?
    “Lenders” don’t have any security in anything because they defrauded the borrowers and securitized the Notes after having been paid in full. Credit is tighter than a dime between Jamie Dimon’s butt cheeks. The so called recovery has been a fairy tale that has been ongoing for five years, hawked by corrupt main stream media who drizzle phony statistics into propaganda and publishes it for all the dupes with their heads up the TV to watch, so they’ll tell others what they believe must be true. Market recovery? Baloney

  26. You’d have to have the intellect of a box-O-rocks to believe this crap:

    Lending is already tight. Even the best qualified borrowers are finding it difficult to obtain financing. By stopping legitimate foreclosures, banks will be forced to further tighten lending standards at the expense of homebuyers.

    I’d like to slap whoever said that with a 2X4. Maybe even a 2X8. Multiple times. It’s passed time for a revolution.

  27. Here is another scam that builders pulled off. It is called a charitable contribution. There is a fee every time a home is sold. These went 95% to the builder lender, and 5% to the down payments for those who could not afford one. Surprise they still got the money back for the down payment.
    The worse is that these were securitized and sold forward. They could estimate the future revenues and then sell them. This is a well written documents that explains this scam. If your title has one of these remember you were securitized for a second time. Thinking you were being generous by donating money for someone who could not afford it. We you were screwed again. Enjoy this well written document.

    recenuehttp://www.scribd.com/doc/98214436/Lennar-Lennar-Charitable-contributions-american-title-title-issues-review-article-charitable-contributions

  28. How can they say these law suits are merit less. Maybe they should read some of them. Besides the banks own all elected state judges. Only Federal District or Appeals Judges have the capacity to understand the complicated fraud.

    So speed dial those Senators and others. Give them more money. It will happen for sure. You can buy your way. But you can’t stop the momentum that is the people.

  29. California obstructionists for homeowners bill of rights

    See below, the banks and their agents will block it.

    C.A.R. Opposing Conference Report that STALLS Housing Recovery
    Call Your Senator TODAY! (Call your Realtor TODAY! And CANCEL your listings. Especially Short Sellers.)
    C.A.R. is OPPOSING a conference report, AB 278, containing anti-foreclosure legislation sponsored by the state Attorney General. C.A.R. opposes provisions in this measure which will allow anyone to stop the foreclosure process by filing a lawsuit, merited or not. C.A.R. agrees that careful and balanced reforms to the foreclosure process are necessary. However, C.A.R. opposes this conference report because it will further delay the housing recovery by inviting bad-faith lawsuits and defaults, and making it difficult for even well qualified borrowers to obtain financing. Financing is already very difficult to get. This conference report will only make a difficult situation worse.
    Initially the Attorney General had sponsored a package of bills; the so-called the “Homeowners Bill of Rights.” For procedural reasons, the majority of these bills have been under consideration by a Conference Committee made up of six legislators. REALTORS® had the opportunity to educate these legislators about C.A.R.’s concerns as part of Legislative Day and since then C.A.R. lobbyists have been working directly with the conferees and legislative staff to make them aware of the unintended consequences of some of these proposals. The Conference Committee has now issued its final report and it must be passed by both Houses of the legislature. These votes may occur as early as Monday, July 2nd.
    Action Items
    Please call your state Senator TODAY!
    Call 1-800-969-3310 and enter your NRDS ID followed by the “#” sign to be connected.
    Ask your Senator or his or her staff to vote NO the conference report.
    Please note: C.A.R. is only targeting Democratic Senators for this mobilization effort. If you live in a state Senate district represented by a Republican you may not be connected to your legislator’s office.

    Background
    The Attorney General has sponsored a package of bills to place into California law an expanded version of the national settlement between major banks and state attorneys general. The contents of some of these bills have been under consideration by a Conference Committee comprised of six members who have just approved a conference report on a party-line vote. Some provisions will have the unintended effect of drying up mortgage loans for anyone but the most well-qualified borrowers, and increasing the costs of all mortgages.
    One provision allows any borrower, no matter what the circumstances, to file a lawsuit. This will encourage opportunistic lawyers to pursue frivolous lawsuits, bringing unnecessary and unjustifiable delays to an already difficult and time consuming process. The language is so vaguely written that the borrower doesn’t even have to show that they have been harmed to file suit and be awarded damages. One-sided attorneys’ fees may still be awarded only to plaintiffs based on the very broad definition of a “prevailing party” in the report. And, of course, if lenders don’t have the remedy of foreclosure to ensure they can recover their security in appropriate situations, they will be less likely to lend, credit will be less available and the housing market recovery will limp along even more slowly.

    C.A.R. is OPPOSED to the conference report because:
    • The housing market recovery is still fragile. About half of all sales are of distressed properties. By restricting a lender’s ability to foreclose and exposing them to unnecessary liability, this report will dry up inventory, and it will further discourage lending other than to the most highly qualified borrowers. Additionally, these bills will artificially slow down the foreclosure process, keeping properties off the market that are legitimately in foreclosure. Finally, by removing the threat of foreclosure, the bill erodes the incentive for short sales as well.

    • The bill invites bad-faith defaults and lawsuits. By broadly defining under what circumstances a lawsuit can be filed, even those legitimately in foreclosure can “game” the system. Additionally, the bill creates an incentive for plaintiffs’ attorneys to file frivolous lawsuits even if no harm has been done to the borrower. The courts are already overwhelmed. This bill, by inviting frivolous lawsuits puts an additional strain on the already underfunded courts What a JOKE! They and the Banksters are really the ones “gaming” the system.

    • Lending is already tight. Even the best qualified borrowers are finding it difficult to obtain financing. By stopping legitimate foreclosures, banks will be forced to further tighten lending standards at the expense of homebuyers.
    For More Information, please contact DeAnn Kerr at deannk@car.org

  30. @eTolle,
    Not all of us, buddy. They’ll have to steal mine.

  31. I didn’t know that guy. Powerful. He says it all.

    http://liberalpro.blogspot.com/2012/06/i-dont-want-to-conquer-world.html

    I Don’t Want to Conquer The World
    .
    Let’s face it, this relationship with the Obama administration just isn’t working out. I’m going to give some concrete reasons why. I’m also going to give my opinion at the end of this article. Let me say that this list is flabbergasting. Anyone with any common-sense can figure out why. I didn’t enjoy writing this at all. It’s because I’m an American citizen. All of this was done in my name and the name of every American citizen. It’s about time we changed the direction of this government and you can’t do it at the ballot box voting for the Democrat or Republican they decide to put in front of you. There isn’t a dimes worth of difference between the political parties. The Democrats represent fascism light while the GOP represents regular fascism. Here’s what’s going on:
    1. Not Charging Anyone in the Bush Administration with War Crimes or Criminal Misconduct. The first thing that should have tipped us all off is when he told us all that he was going to look forward and not backwards, meaning that he wasn’t going to go after members of the Bush regime for war crimes or for breaking any other laws while in office. Of course most Americans figured he was just avoiding a partisan fight in Congress, but what we really found out is that he was just staying silent about the war crimes and executive power abuses of the Bush era so that he could pull off his own war crimes and executive power abuses.

    2. Drone Strikes. Probably the most heinous behavior of this morally corrupt administration is the weekly war conference between his advisors and the military and civilian intelligence agencies about who should be killed by drone strikes that week. Imagine having a weekly conference to decide who lives and dies in a place half way around the planet and choosing victims. This is without any semblance of due process. No charges, no investigation, no trial…nothing except hearsay. This includes choosing Americans to die. Can anyone say War crime?

    3. Uncritical Support of Israel. We supported this rogue state as they attacked the Gaza strip with white phosphorus and cluster bombs, both of which are banned by the Geneva Convention as inhumane. We watched as fighter jets attacked, all of these weapons supplied by the United States. We give these brave Israeli’s three billion dollars for “defense “each year. We turn a blind eye as they use weapons that don’t discriminate between friend or foe when they kill women and children. Over two thousand Palestinians died during that brave Israeli “incursion” into Gaza with tanks and armored personnel carriers. Not a word was said, not even by that recipient of a Noble Peace prize. This was a colossal refusal to point out pure evil.

    4. Sabre-rattling on Iran. Every day we hear of the treachery and deceit by the evil Islamic State of Iran. We hear of their intention to develop nuclear weapons. Even though the IAEA has claimed that Iran had stopped working on development of nuclear weapons in 2003 the noble entity of Israel does not believe that it has. Benjamin Netanyahu received numerous standing ovations from the thugs in Congress. No one thinks twice about the claims Israel makes about the dangers of a nuclear Iran. Even though the top brass in the Iranian Army were trained largely in the US when the Shah was in power and Iran was a close ally. Now it has turned into an evil empire. No one talks about Iran’s track record on aggression, noting that Iran has not attacked any State in more than two hundred years. Just like the lead up to war in Iraq, every day brings new accusations about Iran’s real intentions. Like watching a repeat of a bad TV show… Iraq redux. It appears that the US didn’t learn a thing from the Iraq war. Will this be the spark that turns the Middle-East into a smoldering hell?

    5. Interfering in Syria. The United States and its allies, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and The United Arab Emirates send M-16’s and other weapons of war in an obvious bid to cause the much desired “regime change” in Syria. Rebel fighters from Libya and other nations sneak into Syria and fight to establish an Islamic State in Syria while the US turns a blind eye, hoping that a new regime in Syria will be friendly towards the West. Nobody can say for sure what outcome will arise from toppling the Bashir regime. Russia and China warn the United States about “meddling” in Syrian affairs. The United States, the World’s only “superpower” seems to ignore the threats from these two nuclear states. Once the US decides that regime changer is the only solution, the game will not stop until its objectives have been met. A bully in foreign affairs, nobody in Washington remembers that “reset button” that was pushed last year to set relations with Russia right. The US consistently toys with the Russian Bear. Not unlike the situation with Iran, could this confrontation about Syria be the nuclear start button that leaves the Middle East and maybe the planet in a smoldering hell?

    6. Propping-up the regime in Bahrain. We turn a blind eye again to the troubled State of affairs in Bahrain. There, the Khalifah monarchy uses troops from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to keep those that cry for democracy down. The ruthless Khalifah regime even imprisons and tortures medical personnel, doctors and medics that treat the wounded. The United States, which has its mighty Fifth Fleet anchored at the Capitol of Manama, has congratulated the regime for coming to a “accommodation” with the protestors, when in fact there was no “accommodation”, just a ruthless crackdown on dissidents, using torture and imprisonment. More ruthless than the regime in Damascus, the US, acting in its own self-interest, abides the human rights violations of the monarchy. Where is the much-touted call for democracy here?

    7. Plotting Against Venezuela. The government of Venezuela, led by the vilified socialist, Hugo Chavez, was toppled by the wealthy right-wing elements of the Venezuelan opposition with help from the CIA in 2002. The US recognized the new government just hours after the coup. The people of Venezuela became incensed by the coup and took to the streets in protest. As a crowd of almost a million people descended on the Capitol, the Army changed sides and a firefight erupted between the Army and the Secret Police. The Army took control and demanded that Hugo Chavez be reinstated as President. The Bolivarian State of Venezuela, a democratic socialist republic, still exists there. This is a thorn in the side of the American administration in Washington. By all means possible, they vilify Chavez at every opportunity. Why is a functioning democracy in Latin America a problem there? The reason is that Chavez nationalized oil refineries that refused to split profits from oil 50-50, insisting that 80-20, the 80% going to the oil companies and 20% going to the people of Venezuela (the standard contract around the world). The only oil company that agreed to the split was Citgo. This was an affront to capitalism, the de-facto religion of America. Watch for more interference from America in Venezuelan affairs.

    8. Our Armament Economy. Just as our industry in America was outsourced to nations that had cheap labor pools, our defense industry grew by leaps and bounds. With the many wars that America is involved in, from Central Africa, to the Horn of Africa all the way to Afghanistan and Pakistan, our defense budget boomed. Between The Department of Defense to the Intelligence Departments either belonging to the military or connected to the military, the actual budget according to different sources is about three trillion dollars. Also according to IPS: U.S. Sets Another Record on Defence Sales, Already.

    “Despite the global economic strain, demand for U.S. defence products and services is stronger than ever,” Andrew J. Shapiro, an assistant secretary in the U.S. State Department, said on Thursday.

    He confirmed that the U.S., long the world’s largest weapons exporter, has already seen more than 50 billion dollars in government-to-government military sales this fiscal year.”

    9. Shifting the Military focus from the Middle-East to the Pacific. Some regard this as an attempt to contain the World’s second largest economy and a nuclear rival, The People’s Republic of China. Negotiating with the Philippines for the right to use Subic Bay for use of the port for the Seventh Fleet the US is also negotiating with Vietnam for the deep-water port of Cam Ranh Bay. Singapore has offered its naval facilities for use by high-speed Littoral ships. Marines will be stationed in Australia. According to The Japan Times:

    “The Yomiuri Shimbun reported that the new force layout would divide the Marine Corps command, ground force, air and logistic units into an arc of bases forming a flank along the eastern seaboard of China.”
    This of course, will not be a stepping stone for better relations between China and the United States.

    10. Paying Wall Street. In what amounted to a gigantic “giveaway” The United States and The Federal reserve decided to heap $4.76 TRILLION Dollars on the financial firms and investment banks “Too big to fail”. This is according to Source Watch. This amount is staggering. Hardly any accounting for the funds was demanded by Congress. Some claim that investment banks and other entities are sitting on trillions while small business loans and mortgages remain next to impossible to attain. This gigantic bail-out was the spark that ignited the Occupy Movement that was started by Occupy Wall Street located in Zucotti Park. CEO’s received huge million dollar bonuses directly after the bail-out. This incensed Americans when Wall Street defended the bonuses claiming that they were based on “performance”. This so-called “performance” took place when casino-economics ruled the financial markets with the selling of derivatives.
    “A derivative is a financial contract whose value is derived from the performance of underlying market factors, such as interest rates, currency exchange rates, and commodity, credit, and equity prices. Derivative transactions include an assortment of financial contracts, including structured debt obligations and deposits, swaps, futures, options, caps, floors, collars, forwards, and various combinations thereof.”

    Investors could buy these derivatives, betting on the failure of any number of things. Financial wizards bet on “credit default swaps”. “A credit default swap (CDS) is a financial swap agreement that the seller of the CDS will compensate the buyer in the event of a loan default or other credit event. The buyer of the CDS makes a series of payments (the CDS “fee” or “spread”) to the seller and, in exchange, receives a payoff if the loan defaults.”

    Buyers of these credit default swaps bet on different investment houses and banks that would experience loan defaults. Lehman Brothers was a good bet. These credit default swaps could be bought even though the buyer had no financial interest in the institution they were betting on. Unlike insurance, where the buyer had to have a financial interest in what they were insuring, these were like bets at a casino, hence the term “casino economics”. When Lehman Brothers went belly up, along with a number of banks, ING, the largest insurance company in America, held most of these derivatives and had no way to make the pay-outs that the investors demanded. To stop ING from going belly-up the Federal Government stepped in and poured billions into the firm.

    These derivatives made some investors rich, courtesy of the Federal Government. The figures for the amount it took to bail-out Wall Street were a calculation that “was peer-reviewed by economists at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. This table relies entirely on government data and represents an accounting of actual government funds disbursed, mostly in the form of loans. Our total includes major programs of the U.S. Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and other government agencies to assist the financial sector and institutions that had a role in the crisis.”

    All of the reasons above are the reasons why I doubt that the United States acts in the best interests of the American people. The war taking place in Afghanistan is a prime example of this logic. The American people have no vested interest in that nation. This “War on Terror” is a façade for the real goal of Full-Spectrum Dominance by the United States. The US is striving for global hegemony. Is this what the majority of Americans want? Where does it say in the Constitution that our number one priority should be top dominate the World?

    The trouble with empires is that they not only rise, in the end they fall. It appears that the earlier empires such as Egypt and Rome lasted hundreds of years. As time went by, the empires that rose after lasted for shorter and shorter times. The Soviet Empire only lasted nearly one hundred years. How long will the American Empire last. Is it worth spending more on our military than all the other nations on the planet together?

    We spend 711 Billion dollars according to our military budget alone. This does not take into account appropriations for ongoing wars and intelligence costs that balloon the cost to almost three trillion dollars. The rest of the world spends 851 billion dollars combined. Why is that? It’s because we have military bases in 63 different countries. “The US tends to view the Earth surface as a vast territory to conquer, occupy and exploit. The fact that the US Military splits the World up into geographic command units vividly illustrates this underlying geopolitical reality”. Is this what the American people want? It’s not what I want. As far as conquering the world, just because we believe that we can, is an idea that I don’t support. 53 cents out of every dollar in taxes goes to the military. I don’t think that the majority of Americans would support that if they knew and thought about it.
    This march toward global domination is insane, insane and expensive too. Funding the military and associated intelligence agencies is like pouring money down the toilet. If Romney is elected Defense spending t will spike $2.1 trillion. Wow. These people just won’t stop. In all of this you can count me out. I just want to live the rest of my life and see my granddaughter grow up.

    I have simple needs and one of those needs isn’t watching my government try to conquer the world.

    Posted by Timothy V. Gatto at 4:35 AM

  32. Hard numbers and hard facts.

    “The American People Are Angry

    Senator Bernard Sanders Floor Statement – June 27, 2012

    By Bernie Sanders

    June 28, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — Madam President, the American people are angry.

    They are angry because they are living through the worst recession since the great depression.

    Unemployment is not 8.2%, real unemployment is closer to 15%.

    Young people who are graduating high school and graduating college, they’re going out into the world, they want to become independent, they want to work, and there are no jobs.

    There are workers out there 50, 55 years old who intended to work the remainder of their working lives, suddenly they got a pink slip, their self-esteem is destroyed, they’re never going to have another job again and now they’re worried about their retirement security.

    What the American people are angry about is they understand that they did not cause this recession. Teachers did not cause this recession. Firefighters and police officers who are being attacked daily by governors all over this country did not cause this recession. Construction workers did not cause this recession. This recession was caused by the greed, the recklessness and illegal behavior of the people on Wall Street.

    These people on Wall Street spent billions of dollars, billions of dollars, trying to deregulate Wall Street and they got their way. $5 billion in ten years is what was spent, and then they were able to merge investment banks with commercial banks, with insurance companies. They got everything they wanted. They said get the government off the backs of Wall Street. They got it. And the end result was that they plunged this country into the worst recession since the great depression.

    Now, four years after the financial crisis caused by J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and the other huge financial institutions, one might have thought that perhaps they learned something, that maybe the lesson of the great financial crisis was you cannot continue to maintain the largest gambling casino in the history of the world. But apparently they have not learned that lesson. They are back at it again and we have recently seen the $2 billion or $3 billion or $5 billion in gambling losses at J.P. Morgan Chase. If we’re going to put people back to work we need Wall Street to invest in the productive economy. Small and medium-sized businesses all over this country need affordable loans and that’s what financial institutions should be doing. They should be helping us create jobs, expand businesses, not continue to engage in their wild and exotic gambling schemes. Now, Madam President, when we talk about why the American people are angry, they are angry because they understand that Wall Street received the largest taxpayer bailout in the history of the world. But it was not just the $700 billion that congress approved through the TARP program. As a result of an independent audit that some of us helped to bring about in the Dodd-Frank bill, we learned, Madam President, that the Federal Reserve provided a jaw-dropping $16 trillion in virtually zero interest loans to every major financial institution in this country, central banks all over the world, large corporations and, in fact, to wealthy individuals. And what the American people are saying is if the Fed can provide $16 trillion to large financial institutions, why can’t they begin to move to protect homeowners, unemployed workers, and the middle class of this country?

    The American people are looking, and they are angry not just because unemployment is high, they’re angry not just because millions of people have lost their homes and their life savings. They are angry because they understand that the middle class of this country is collapsing, poverty is increasing, while at the same time the people on top are doing phenomenally well. They, the taxpayers of this country, bail out Wall Street, and Wall Street recovers. Wall Street does well, but now we have kids in this country graduating college deeply in debt, can’t find a job. We have older workers losing their jobs and people are saying what is going on in America?

    The American people ultimately, I believe, are angry because they are looking at this great country, a country which many of our veterans fought and died for and what they are seeing is that this nation is losing its middle class, is losing its democratic values, and, in fact, is moving toward an oligarchic form of government where a handful of billionaires control the economic and political life of this nation.

    In the United States today we have the most unequal distribution of wealth and income since the 1920’s. Now, you’re not going to see what I’m talking about on Fox, you’re not going to see it on NBC or CBS, but it’s important that we discuss this issue because it’s one of the most important issues facing America.

    Today the wealthiest 400 individuals in America own more wealth than the bottom half of America, 150 million people.

    Today, the six heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune now own more wealth than the bottom 30% of the American people. One family owns more wealth than the bottom 30%, 90 million Americans.

    Today the top 1% own 40% of all of the wealth in America. The top 1% owns 40% of all the wealth in America. What do we think the bottom 60% of the American people own?

    I ask this question a lot around Vermont. People say maybe they own 15%, maybe they own 20%. Well, the answer is they own less than 2%. Less than 2%. So you got the bottom 60% of the American people owning less than 2% of the wealth, top 1% own 40% of the wealth.

    Here’s another astounding fact and we don’t see this too much in the media. Many of my colleagues don’t talk about it too often but incredibly, the bottom 40% of the American people own 0.3% of the wealth of this country. And I know we have some of my colleagues coming up here and say look, not everybody in America is paying taxes.

    We have millions of people not paying any taxes. No kidding. They don’t have any money. Because all of the money is on the top.

    According to a new study from the Federal Reserve, median net worth for middle-class families dropped by nearly 40% from 2007 to 2010, primarily because of the plummeting value of homes. That is the equivalent of wiping out 18 years of savings for the average middle-class family. Now, I talked a moment about distribution of wealth. That’s what you accumulate in your lifetime. Let me say a word about income, which is what we earn in a year. The last study on income distribution showed us that between the years 2009 and 2010 — 2009 and 2010 — 93% of all new income created went to the top 1%, while the 99% had the privilege of enjoying the remaining 7%. In other words, the wealthy people in this country are becoming wealthier, the middle class is disappearing and poverty is increasing. Now, when we talk about an oligarchic form of government, what we’re talking about is not just a handful of families owning entire nations. We’re also talking about the politics of the nation.

    And as a result of this disastrous Citizens United decision which is now two years old, one of the worst decisions ever brought about by the Supreme Court of this country, a decision that they just reaffirmed a few days ago with regard to Montana, what the Supreme Court has said to the wealthiest people in this country, okay, you own almost all the wealth of this nation — that’s great — now we’re going to give you an opportunity to own the political life of this nation. And if you’re getting bored by just owning coal companies and casinos and manufacturing plants, you now have the opportunity to own the United States government. So we have people like the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson. The Koch Brothers are worth $50 billion. That’s what they’re worth. And, they have said they’re prepared to put $400 million into this campaign to defeat Obama, to defeat candidates who are representing working families.

    Sheldon Adelson says he’s only worth $20 billion. He’s kind of a pauper. But he’s willing to spend what it takes to buy the government. And if you look at it, it ain’t a bad deal. If you’re worth $50 billion and you spend a billion or two, you can buy the United States government. That’s a pretty good investment. And that’s what they are about to do. So on one hand we have a grossly unequal distribution of wealth and income. These guys control the economy.

    You have the six largest financial institutions in this country that have assets equivalent to two-thirds of the GDP. of America. Over $9 trillion. These six financial institutions write half the mortgages, two-thirds of the credit cards in America. Huge impact on the economy. That’s not enough for these guys. Top 1% owns half of the wealth. Not enough for these guys. Now they have the opportunity to buy the United States government. So that’s where we are.

    Now, in my view, working families all over this country are saying, enough is enough. They want this congress to start standing for them and not just the millionaires and the billionaires who are spending unbelievable sums of money in this campaign. So it seems to me, Mr. President, that what we have got to do is start listening to the needs of working families, the vast majority of our people, and not just the people who make campaign contributions. And I know that’s a very radical idea. I do know that. But, you know, it might be a good idea to try a little bit to reaffirm the faith of the American people in their democratic form of government. Let them know just a little bit that maybe we are hearing their pain, their unemployment, their debt. The fact that they don’t have any health care. The fact they can’t afford to send their kids to college. Maybe, just maybe, we might want to listen to them before we go running out to another fund-raising event with millionaires and billionaires.

    I do know that is a radical idea. So let’s talk about what we can actually do for the American people. In the midst of this terrible recession, where real unemployment is closer to 15% if you include those folks who have given up looking for work and those people who are working part time when they want to work full time, we know that the fastest way to create decent paying jobs is to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

    In Vermont, many of our bridges are in desperate need of repair, our roads are in need of repair, and our rail system is falling further and further behind Europe and China. We’ve got water systems that desperately need repair, wastewater plants, we have schools that need repair. We can put millions of people back to work making our country more competitive, more efficient by addressing our infrastructure crisis. Let’s do it. It is beyond my comprehension that we can’t even get a modest transportation bill signed into law. I know that Chairwoman Boxer and Senator Inhofe are working on a modest transportation bill. We can’t even get that through the house. In fact, we’ve got to do a lot more than that. But at least they’re making the effort.

    Mr. President, at a time when we spend some $300 billion a year importing oil from Saudi Arabia and other foreign countries, at a time when this planet is struggling with global warming and all of the extreme weather disturbances that we see and the billions of dollars that we are spending in response to these extreme weather disturbances, we need to move toward energy independence, we need to reverse greenhouse gas emissions. In other words, we need to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel into energy efficiency and into sustainable energy like wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. And when we do that, we also create a substantial number of decent paying jobs. And, by the way, in the midst of a very competitive global economy, what we should not be doing is laying off teachers and child care workers. We should be investing in education, not laying off those people who are educating our kids.

    I know that there is a lot of discussion on the floor with regard to the national debt, almost $16 trillion. The deficit over $1 trillion. That is a serious issue and we’ve got to deal with it. But my view is a little bit different than many of my colleagues in terms of how we deal with it.

    I think most Americans understand the causation of the deficit crisis.

    President Bush went to war in Iraq and he went to war in Afghanistan. And, you know, he just forgot something. We all have memory lapses, don’t we?

    We go shopping and we forget to buy the milk or the bread. He had a memory lapse. He forgot to pay for them. Now, a couple a trillion dollars and he forgot to pay for them. And all of our deficit hawks out here, all of those folks that say, “You got to cut food stamps, you got to cut education, you got to cut health care.” Oh, two wars, $2 trillion, $3 trillion, $4 trillion, no problem. No problem at all. And, for the first time, as I understand it, in the history of this country, we went to war — which is an expensive proposition — and at the same time not only did we not raise the money to pay for the war, we went the other way, we decided to give huge tax breaks, including to the wealthiest people in this country. You spend trillions going to war, you give tax breaks to the wealthiest people in this country, well, that begins to add up.

    That’s called creating a deficit. And then on top of that, because of the greed and the recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street which drove us into this recession, when you’re in a recession and people are unemployed and small businesses go under, less revenue is coming in to the federal treasury.

    You’re spending a whole lot, less revenue is coming in, and you have a deficit crisis. Now, some of my Republican friends — and some Democrats, I should say — they say, well, maybe, maybe we should have paid for the war. Yeah, you’re right. Maybe we shouldn’t have given those tax breaks to the rich. Yeah, maybe you’re right. But, be that as it may, we are where we are, and we need deficit reduction and we know how to do it.

    We’re going to cut Social Security. And my friends back home, when you hear folks talking about Social Security reform, hold on to your wallets because they are talking about cuts in Social Security. Nothing more, nothing less. They’re talking about something that in Vermont, nobody has heard of, the concept called chained CPI.

    Every time I go home, I ask them. People don’t know what chained CPI is. The so-called chained CPI is the belief — and I know senior citizens back home are going to start laughing when I say this — that COLAs (cost of living adjustments) for Social Security are too high. And seniors back home start scratching their heads and say wait, we just went through two years when my prescription drug costs went up, my health care costs went up and I got no COLA and there are people in Washington, Republicans, some Democrats, they think I my COLA was too high?

    What world are these people living in?

    And that’s the reality. So some of the folks here want to pass something called a chained CPI, which, if it were imposed –and I will do everything I can to see that it does not get imposed — would mean that between the ages of 65 and 75, a senior would lose about $560 a year, and then when they turn 85 and they’re trying to get by off of $13,000 or $14,000 a year, they would lose about a thousand bucks a year. That’s what some of our colleagues want to do. Virtually all the Republicans want to do it. Some Democrats want to do it as well. As chairman of the defending Social Security caucus, I’m going to do everything that I can to prevent that. Now, they also want to cut Medicare and they want to cut Medicaid. Well, we’ve got 50 million people without any health insurance at all. We’ve got people paying huge deductibles. Medicaid covering nursing home care. They want to cut Medicare and Medicaid. They have the brilliant idea, some of them, that maybe we should raise the retirement age for Medicare from 65 to 67.

    Mr. President, tell me about somebody in Minnesota who’s 66 and is diagnosed with cancer, and if we do what the republicans want us to do in the house, which is to create a voucher plan for Medicare, we’d give that person a check for, I don’t know, $7,000 I think or $8,000 and say, you can go out to a private insurance company – anyone you want — here’s your $7,000 or $8,000, you’re suffering with cancer, go get your insurance. And I guess that would last you maybe one day or two days in the hospital. That’s what it would do. That’s the republican plan. So, Mr. President, I agree that deficit reduction is a real issue and I think we have got to deal with it. But we are not, if I have anything to say about it, going to deal with it on the backs of the elderly, the children, the sick, the poor and the hungry. The way you deal with deficit reduction in a responsible way, in a fair way is you say to the billionaires in this country, who are doing phenomenally well, that there’s something a little bit absurd that millionaires and billionaires today, in the midst of the deficit crisis, are paying the lowest tax rates that they have paid in decades.

    So, yes, we’re going to have to ask the wealthiest people in this country to start paying their fair share of taxes. I saw a piece in the paper the other day. It was quite incredible. Some billionaires apparently are leaving America, they’re giving up their citizenship, and they’re going abroad. These great lovers of America who made their money in this country, when you ask them to start paying their fair share of taxes, they’re running abroad. We have 19-year-old kids in this country who’ve died in Iraq and Afghanistan defending this country, they went abroad not to escape taxes, they’re working-class kids who died in wars and now some billionaires want to run abroad in order to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. What patriotism, what love of country. So, Mr. President, yeah, we’ve got to deal with deficit reduction. But you don’t cut Social Security, you don’t cut Medicare, you don’t cut Medicaid, you don’t cut education.

    You ask the wealthiest people, the millionaires and billionaires, to start paying their fair share of taxes. You end these outrageous corporate loopholes. Senator Conrad showed a picture of a building in the Cayman Islands where there are 18,000 corporations. They’re there in the Cayman Islands using a postal address in order to avoid paying their taxes. We’re losing about a hundred billion a year. You’ve got large corporations making billions, paying in some cases nothing in taxes. That’s the way you go to deficit reduction, not on the backs of people who are already hurting. So, Mr. President, we are in a very difficult moment in American history. We are in the process of losing the great middle class. We’re seeing more of our people living in poverty. We’re seeing savage attacks being waged against the elderly in terms of cuts in Social Security and Medicare, attacks against those who get sick in terms of going after Medicaid and Medicare. And I think what the American people are saying is enough is enough. This country, this great country, belongs to all of us. It cannot continue to be controlled by a handful of billionaires who apparently want it all. You know, I, for the love of me, I cannot understand why people who have billions of dollars are compulsively driven for more and how many people have got to die because they don’t go to a doctor because you want to avoid paying your taxes?

    Well, that’s not what America is about. That’s not what people fought and died to create. With that, we have got a fight on our hands. The job of the United States national is to represent the middle-class families of this country, all of the people, and not just the super-rich. I hope we can begin to do that.

    Bernie Sanders was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 after serving 16 years in the House of Representatives. He is the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history.

    Posted by Timothy V. Gatto at 4:08 PM No comments: Bernie Saunders.

  33. And this for the icing on the cake. I posted it on the wrong page but i don’ty want anyone to miss this: things are moving in the right direction. Even if it doesn’t clear the senate (and i can’t see why it shouldn’t…) at lest we know that the House is thoroughly fed up with the feds.

    Federal Reserve Audit Approved by US House Committee
    Jun 28

    Posted by Wes Annac

    Federal Reserve Audit Approved by US House Committee

    Stephen: While this story concerns US politician Ron Paul’s determined fight to have the Federal Reserve audited, it has far-reaching (and hugely positive) repercussions for the whole world; as the Federal Reserve and its elitist monetary policies reach into the central banking cabal that dictates the operational basics for the world’s current – and unfairly obsolete- financial system.

    Ron Paul’s Federal Reserve Audit Approved by House Committee
    By Stephen C. Webster, Raw Story – June 27, 2012

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/06/27/ron-pauls-federal-reserve-audit-approved-by-house-committee/

    One of Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) lifelong policy goals is on the brink of becoming a reality.

    In a nearly unanimous voice vote on Wednesday, the House Oversight Committee approved a bill that would require the U.S. Federal Reserve to conduct a first-ever complete audit of its books and divulge details about its monetary policy discussions. The bill is expected to be taken up by the full House of Representatives sometime next month.
    Paul, a longtime critic of the Fed and fiat currencies in general, had previously supported an audit that became part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. That audit required the Fed to disclose its lending practices during the 2008 financial crisis, revealing that the bank doled out more than $16 trillion in loans and assets swaps to financial institutions all over the world in an effort to stabilize global markets and keep credit flowing.

    Paul, however, felt that the audit which ultimate cleared the U.S. Senate was a stripped down version of what he believes is needed, and most of his colleagues now agree. His bill has garnered an impressive bipartisan coalition of more than 257 co-sponsors — more than half the House — giving it enough votes to pass.

    The Senate version, introduced by Paul’s son Rand (R-KY), faces a tougher road. All of its 20 co-sponsors are Republican, and it has been stuck in the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, which is chaired by Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD). He has not said whether the bill will be marked-up for debate.

  34. ..House votes to hold attorney general in contempt
    By LARRY MARGASAK | Associated Press – 24 mins ago..

    http://news.yahoo.com/house-votes-hold-attorney-general-contempt-204723646.html

    Well, guys, whatever it takes to get Covington and Burling out of government. One down. Summer and Geithner to go. First, disable them by removing their direct contact in government. Then, go after the firm itself. And if there is a God, maybe they’ll go the Dewey road…?

  35. Same arrogance, same greed, same m.o., almost the same name… By George, he must be related to Jamie boy… Some kind of a clone, maybe? The part i liked the best was his speaking engagement for which he demanded to be paid for his time, plus to have his taxes on it paid plus the taxes on that benefit. Maybe it’s me: I don’t ask enough. Guys, we need to learn to ask and even demand. Sheesh…! Now i know where my parents failed me.

    Banking keeps getting away with it, just as the unions didHeads will probably roll for the Libor scandal, but this crisis won’t end until the profession’s link with politicians is severed

    Simon Jenkins
    guardian.co.uk, Thursday 28 June 2012 15.30 EDT

    Too big to fail … now too big to jail? There seems no end to the immunity – moral, political, fiscal and possibly legal – claimed by the present masters of the universe, the bankers. In a side-splitting, coffee-spluttering radio interview today, Sir Martin Taylor, the former chief executive of Barclays, mused that his old board might consider the best person to “turn the page” on the bank’s latest scandal might be none other than its author and present chief executive, Bob Diamond. That is presumably despite the bank being fined £290m and pending possible charges of fraud.

    Diamond has “taken responsibility” for the division that from 2005 onwards manipulated inter-bank loans so as to disguise the bank’s vulnerability in the runup to the 2008 credit crunch. The clear intention was to mislead the market and enrich bank staff with bonuses. Responsibility apparently means Diamond “giving up” a bonus which, surely, he has yet to earn.

    A year ago the Barclays chief dazzled the BBC into letting him give a lecture on banking and citizenship, a lecture now sodden with irony. He spoke of the importance of an organisation’s culture, of “how people behave when no one is watching”, and how “our culture must be one where the interests of customers and clients are at the very heart of every decision we make”. Bankers must be good citizens, said Diamond,, or there would be social unrest.

    At the time Diamond was demanding his own shareholders pay him not just a salary, but the tax on that salary and then the tax on that taxable benefit. It is not clear who paid the tax in this spiral of greed. Diamond must also have known his colleagues were then being investigated by the Financial Services Authority for irregularities in the bank’s trading. Diamond’s entire reputation was built on his banking culture, one of bonus-hunting, offshore tax avoidance and killer-takes-all rivalry. For him to give a lecture on ethics invited cliches about Jack the Ripper and door-to-door salesmanship.

    The Barclays affair should be a sideshow to our present discontents. The world currently faces the greatest collapse in western statecraft since the second world war. Economists, officials, politicians, even commentators, seem gripped by professional and intellectual rigor mortis, one horribly reminiscent of the 1930s. All experience tells them that a collapse in global demand needs monetary injection, not contraction. Yet they deny it, and bankers lie about it. In Britain we all parrot that £325bn has been “pumped into the economy” by the Bank of England. It has not. The money is nowhere to be seen. It is a device, a headline, a sick joke.

    At such times it is comforting to turn from the murky failures of the present to the clear ones of the past. The snoozing Commons Treasury committee is yet again “to call Mr Diamond the account”, so it can show off its interrogatory machismo. Lord Myners, formerly of the Guardian, won himself plaudits today by calling Barclays “the most corrosive failure of moral behaviour that I have seen in a major financial institution”. But he was a worldly banker himself, and City minister in 2008-9, when the whole house of cards was collapsing amid media reports of “something fishy” in the Libor market. Labour was putty in the hands of the bankers.

    From the credit crisis to the present day, the one profession with open access to Downing Street is banking. It lobbies successfully on everything from bailouts to bonuses, non-doms to Tobin taxes, euro regulation to “quantitative easing”. When told to lend to small businesses, it refuses. When given money to do so, it buries the money. When ministers plead for lower salaries, it increases them. The government takes over a bank, RBS, and its computers crash. Bankers get ribbed in the press – but so what, when the bonus is in the safe and few are ever called to account, banned from trading, or sent to jail?

    Banking gets away with all this because it enjoys the same unaccounted access to power that trade unions enjoyed in the bad old days. It first refused regulation and now welcomes it, because only thus can it be protected from the consequences of its own greed. It preaches the nobility of the markets and then rigs them. We should listen every day to Adam Smith’s maxim, that “people of the same trade seldom meet together … but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public or in some contrivance to raise prices”.

    Most running controversies today reflect deep confusion in corporate ethics and accountability. Barclays traders, News of the World reporters, immigration office officials, even drone bombers, turn instinctively to the excuse that they were “just obeying orders”. Thus is moral responsibility dispersed and blame passed upwards to the boss, the board, the regulator, the government, ultimately democracy. The great let-out is that “we are all to blame”. As the philosopher Reinhold Niebuhr remarked, moral individuals can still constitute an immoral society. Guilt is diffused in a crowd.

    Failure of regulation has become a catch-all to sanitise personal and corporate misbehaviour in large organisations. This merely means that, when an outrage has been detected, and a feeding frenzy begins there are howls for heads to roll. Certainly at Barclays public decency, if nothing else, demands some sacrifice. But the real fault lies in bigness, in the ease with which corporations can fall victim to ethical compromise and pretend it is not their fault but the regulator’s.

    There must surely be a reckoning one day for the loss and agony that the credit crunch has inflicted – and is still inflicting – on millions of innocent victims. But as we seek out the guilty men, we should know that as long as banking retains its stranglehold on policy, the disaster will continue.

  36. If we can convict Madoff’s brother and obtain from him that he forfeit everything he owns except his socks, why can’t we do likewise for Jamie boy, the Stumpf and cohort?

    http://news.supplyboys.com/2012/06/27/court-bernard-madoff-brother-to-plead-guilty-forfeit-143b-.aspx

    Court: Bernard Madoff brother to plead guilty, forfeit $143B

    NEW YORK – The brother of Ponzi scheme king Bernard Madoff is scheduled to plead guilty to conspiracy in a criminal case resulting from the multibillion-dollar fraud, court papers say.

    Louis Lanzano, AP

    Peter Madoff is the former chief compliance officer at the private investment arm of Bernard Madoff’s business.

    Court papers signed by a federal judge in Manhattan on Wednesday show Peter Madoff will plead guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and other offenses including falsifying records. Madoff also agreed to the criminal forfeiture of $143 billion, including all of his real and personal property.

    Madoff agrees to serve 10 years in prison, the court papers say. His attorney didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment Wednesday.

    Bernard Madoff is serving a 150-year prison sentence in Butner, N.C., after revealing in December 2008 that he cheated thousands of investors of roughly $20 billion for years, using money from new investors to pay returns to existing clients.

    Lawyers for a court-appointed trustee recovering money for Bernard Madoff’s investors had said Peter Madoff also was the company’s senior managing director.

    The trustee, Irving Picard, said in court papers that Peter Madoff, who had worked with his brother since 1965, “failed miserably” to meet his responsibilities to monitor the company’s operations and ensure its compliance with federal securities laws.

    The court papers said Peter Madoff had received at least $60 million during the fraud and used fake stock trades to make large withdrawals seem justified.

    Picard sought nearly $200 million from Madoff family members, claiming they usedBernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC as “the family piggy bank” to pay for vacation homes, cars, boats and even a stake in a beauty parlor.

    Picard’s pending lawsuit alleges that over the years Peter Madoff, his daughter and his nephews “withdrew millions more than they invested” in private investment accounts they had with the firm.

    Peter Madoff “ignored obvious red flags that the profits reflected in account statements could not have been earned legitimately, to the detriment of BLMIS and its other customers,” the lawsuit says.

    Bernard Madoff’s relatives have said they didn’t know about his Ponzi scheme.

    The massive scheme, run since at least the early 1990s, demolished the life savings of thousands of people, wrecked charities and shook confidence in the U.S. financial system. When Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty, he insisted that he acted alone, describing a separate wholesale stock-trading firm run by his sons and brother as honest and legitimate.

  37. @ToLLe,

    “The perfect crime turns out to be one that can be committed over and over again. The theft that keeps on taking.” Guess why? because we are stupid enough to keep on giving…

  38. LOL! They are like snake charmers, congress is mesmerized or enamorate of the banksters. Did you see the love stares when Dimon testified before the congressional committee? I halfway expected them to blow the bastard a kiss. I really think this thing is going to continue until we load our rifles and get their attention that not everybody has a roof over their head thanks to these criminals.

  39. “The Banks have legislators by the throats….”

    Uhm…. that’d be their wallets they’ve got them by, as they overstuff them to three times their size.

    “….law enforcement is all tangled up in politics and “Settlements” that prevent them from acting properly.”

    Actually, law enforcement may have signed off on the crimes, but that was only good through the date the judge signed off on the Great Sellout . Any ongoing or new criminality should be enforced posthaste.

    But just try telling that to your AG. Mine said that there was a monitor overseeing the settlement, and that any criminality should be brought up with the monitor. In other words, “don’t bring us anything….we see nothing!”

    The perfect crime turns out to be one that can be committed over and over again. The theft that keeps on taking.

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