Tag Archives: banking

The Art of the Grift

From the DAILY BEAST:

NEW YORK – Anthony Scaramucci, the newly appointed White House Communications Director, has the hair and wardrobe of a stock-photo businessman, a nickname too absurd to stick with anyone else (“the Mooch”), and a fortune made from hawking high-cost, low-performance investments to ordinary people who don’t need them.

His appointment Friday may have been a surprise to White House staff. But Scaramucci landing a high-profile Trump administration job is what what a sociologist might call “overdetermined.”

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100% Ridiculous

From POLITICAL HOTSHEET at CBS NEWS:

Over the past several weeks, hundreds of Americans have submitted personal tales of economic hardship on the “Occupy Wall Street”-affiliated Tumblr “We are the 99 percent.” Now, conservatives who oppose the Wall Street protests have an answer to it in the form of their own Tumblr, entitled “We are the 53%.”

According to the Washington Post, the blog was conceptualized by Redstate.org founder Erick Erickson, who collaborated on it with the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Josh Trevino and conservative filmmaker Mike Wilson.

The Tumblr claims to represent the 53 percent of Americans who pay federal income taxes – the implication being that those associated with “Occupy Wall Street” are not also part of that 53 percent and do not pay federal income taxes.

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I woulda thought of a really cool title, but I was preoccupied.

From Bloomberg Businessweek:

Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) — Democrats are rallying around the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, seeking to channel the movement’s energy into votes in the 2012 elections by sharpening contrasts with Republicans who criticize the protests.

“If you’re concerned about Wall Street and our financial system, the president is standing on the side of consumers and the middle class,” senior White House adviser David Plouffe said when asked about the demonstrations during an interview today on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “And a lot of these Republicans are basically saying, ‘You know what? Let’s go back to the same policies that led to the Great Recession in the first place.’”

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Takin’ It to the Streets!

From THE HILL:

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) described Wall Street protesters as a mob on Friday and implied Democrats were egging them on.

In a speech to the conservative Values Voter Summit, Cantor said he was “increasingly concerned by the growing mobs” and criticized Democrats who have showered praise on the protesters in New York and other cities.

“Some in this town have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans,” Cantor said.

Funny how he never seemed to have a problem with the Teabaggers or the bullshit of Rethugs trying to diss Democrats by consistently saying the Democrat party instead of Democratic.  Pettiness and derision and division seem to be just fine with widdle Ewic Token Cantaw until someone picks on his rich buddies.

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Just Put Your Lips Together and Blow

From THINK PROGRESS ECONOMY:

A new Stop Snitchin campaign to deter would-be informants, in this case against people speaking up against crimes on Wall Street, is quietly taking shape, this time far from the media’s eye.

Financial experts and academics agree that strong whistleblower regulations could have prevented the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme and indeed much of the financial crisis if employees at firms engaged in fraudulent activity had spoken up early or had reported complex crimes to the appropriate authorities. Employees at firms at the center for the financial crisis, including troubled lender Countrywide, have cited intimidation and other illicit tactics as the reason few people spoke up as whistleblowers. Since the old whistleblower laws provided for weak legal protections for informants and relatively rare rewards, the Dodd-Frank financial reform law passed last year revamped the system with new rights for informants blowing the whistle on financial crimes.

Bank lobbyists and Fox News, however, have made such protections enemy number one.

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A Poisoned Apple for Teacher

From INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES:

Presidential candidate Rick Perry has touted Texas’ thriving economy as a sign that he would make an excellent economic steward, but one of his proposals might not do so well on a national scale: a plan to let Wall Street gamble on when retired Texas teachers would die.

According to notes of a meeting provided to The Huffington Post, Perry’s budget director Mike Morrissey advanced a plan in which investors from Swiss banking firm UBS profited from teachers’ deaths by purchasing life insurance policies on them. A fee for arranging the deals would accrue to Texas, which Morrissey said could eventually generate as much as $700 million for Texas.While Perry’s office has repeatedly denied explicitly backing the scheme, maintaning that the governor was simply keeping an open mind by listening to the proposal, an attendee at a meeting where the idea was pitched to teachers’ groups told The Huffington Post that the governor was fully behind the idea. Insurance Commissioner Jose Montemayor, a Perry appointee, was a particularly enthusiastic advocate.

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Goldman Sucks

From THINK PROGRESS:

Last week, ThinkProgress revealed that Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) hired Peter Haller, a former Goldman Sachs vice president, as one of his top aides. Haller, who adopted his mother’s maiden name in 2008 and had escaped public scrutiny until now, coordinated an Oversight Committee letter to regulators demanding that they justify new Dodd-Frank rules impacting investment banks like his old employer, Goldman Sachs. After publication of our story, the Project on Government Oversight discovered more of Haller’s Oversight Committee letters, again on issues directly related to Goldman Sachs.

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