Friday, March 16, 2012

An Insider’s View of Wall Street Criminality: Toxic Culture of Avarice and Fraud

The rats of Wall Street are jumping the burning ship of the U.S. in droves, and why not - they already have theirs; retire in style on private islands paid for with looted taxpayer money

World Socialist Web Site
By Andre Damon and Barry Grey
03/15/2012

Greg Smith, an executive director at Goldman Sachs, announced his resignation Wednesday in an op-ed piece in the New York Times, denouncing the bank's “toxic” culture of avarice and fraud.


Obama's financial pimp Geithner headed for the can....
Smith headed the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In his column, entitled “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs,” he describes a corporate environment that encourages and rewards big short-term returns gained through the bilking of clients and the general public. “It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off,” he writes.

Speaking of one’s clients as “muppets” and describing deal-making as “ripping eyeballs out” are commonplace at Goldman, according to Smith. The way to advance at the Wall Street giant, he writes, is to persuade your clients “to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of,” get your clients “to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman,” and trade “any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym.”

The column describes an operation in which laws and regulations requiring financial institutions to deal honestly with their clients and protect their interests are routinely violated. The insider’s indictment of Goldman Sachs highlights a broader process—the criminalization of American capitalism as a whole.


...along with these scumbags, all going to jail sooner rather than later
It confirms from the inside that three-and-a-half years after Wall Street’s manic pursuit of super-profits triggered a global financial meltdown and the deepest slump since the Great Depression, nothing has changed in the boardrooms of corporate America. The same fraudulent and often illegal practices that enriched the financial aristocracy and plundered the rest of society continue unabated. The criminals at the top, having been bailed out with trillions of taxpayer funds, are making more money than ever, while millions of ordinary people are being driven into poverty and homelessness.

Education, health care, pensions are being gutted, wages are being slashed and more austerity is on the agenda because there is supposedly “no money.” Corporate profits and CEO pay, meanwhile, are setting new records.

This is an indictment not simply of Goldman Sachs, or even Wall Street alone, but rather the entire economic and political system. Every official institution—the White House, Congress, the courts, the media, the Democratic and Republican parties—is complicit.


Homeless populations in the U.S. continue to explode
Smith’s column was widely reported in the media. NBC Nightly News led its report Wednesday night with the story, interviewing a former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission who was brought on to deplore the type of practices described by the former Goldman executive. The ruling class is well aware that popular anger against Wall Street is rising and capitalism itself is becoming increasingly discredited in the eyes of millions of Americans—a process that found an initial expression in the Occupy Wall Street protests. It is concerned that Smith’s piece will further fuel this sentiment.

The practices to which Smith points—and worse—are well known to the Obama administration and the financial regulatory agencies. In April of last year, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations published a 640-page report outlining in detail the fraudulent and illegal practices of major banks that contributed to the September 2008 crash. Fully 260 pages of that report were devoted to Goldman Sachs. They explained chapter and verse, giving dates and naming names, how the bank defrauded its clients by selling them mortgage securities while betting against the same investments, without telling them it was doing so.


Children sucked into vortex, become victims of Child Services
The committee also documented the complicity of the credit rating firms and federal regulators in the colossal mortgage Ponzi scheme that collapsed in 2007-2008, setting off a new world depression. It cited securities laws that had been violated by Goldman and two other banks it examined, Washington Mutual and Deutsche Bank, and referred this information to the Obama administration’s Justice Department.

The response of the White House was to do absolutely nothing. Not a single senior bank executive has been criminally charged, let alone imprisoned, for crimes that have devastated the lives of countless millions of people in the US and around the world. Instead, the White House has shielded the corporate criminals.


One Wall Street firm after another—Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup, Countrywide Financial—has been allowed to settle charges filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission out of court, paying token fines while admitting no wrongdoing. That this continues is seen in the filing Monday in federal court of the sweetheart settlement between five major banks and the state and federal governments of charges arising from the banks’ illegal processing of foreclosures. The banks have merely to pay a combined fine of $5 billion for illegally throwing thousands of families out of their homes, with no admission of wrongdoing. In return, they get the quashing of state investigations that threatened to result in tens of billions in damages and fines.

Not only does the Obama administration protect the Wall Street criminals, it includes their representatives among its top personnel. To cite some examples:

* Mark Patterson, a former Goldman Sachs lobbyist, is the chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

* Dianna Farrell, former financial analyst at Goldman Sachs, is deputy director of the National Economic Council.

* Jacob Lew, Obama’s chief of staff, was a top executive at Citigroup. He follows two other bankers chosen by Obama to head his White House operations—former JPMorgan executive William Daley and former Chicago investment banker Rahm Emanuel.

The criminalization of the American corporate-financial elite cannot be separated from the capitalist system itself. It is the product of a decades-long process of crisis and decay, in which the ruling elite has increasingly separated its wealth-making from the production of real value.

Manufacturing and the productive infrastructure have been decimated, while financial manipulation and speculation have come to dominate economic life. The working class has suffered a catastrophic decline in its social position at the same time that a parasitic financial aristocracy has come to exercise a de facto dictatorship over the political system.

Like all aristocracies, the American financial elite will not accept any infringement of its wealth and power. The working class must break its grip by mobilizing its strength in opposition to both parties of Wall Street and fighting for the establishment of a workers’ government and socialist policies, beginning with the nationalization of the banks and corporations and their transformation into public enterprises under the democratic control of the working people.

Global Research Articles by Andre Damon

Global Research Articles by Barry Grey

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Karzai tells NATO to pull back, Taliban-U.S. talks off

Of course talks off, Taliban has won and now they do not have to "negotiate" anything; taxpayer BILLIONS in buy off money given to Taliban, tribal warlords to play nice completely wasted, provided Jeeps and higher-grade prostitutes for leaders, more dope money

The Columbus Dispatch
By Amir Shah and Sebastian Abbot
03/15/2012

AP -

The U.S. campaign in Afghanistan suffered a double blow today when the Taliban broke off peace talks and President Hamid Karzai demanded NATO troops immediately pull out of rural areas because of anger over a U.S. soldier's alleged killings of 16 civilians.


Afghan "Taliban" have won yet another historical war
The setbacks effectively paralyze the two main tracks for ending the 10-year-old war. Part of that exit strategy is to gradually transfer authority to Afghan forces while another tack is to pull the Taliban into some sort of political discussions with the Afghan government.

Karzai also said he now wants Afghan forces take the lead for countrywide security in 2013, a year ahead of schedule. He spoke as Afghan lawmakers were expressing outrage that the U.S. flew the soldier suspected in civilian killings to Kuwait Wednesday night when they were demanding he be tried in the country.

"Afghan security forces have the ability to keep the security in rural areas and in villages on their own," Karzai said in a statement after meeting visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. He said he had conveyed his demand to Panetta during their meeting.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai confirmed that Karzai was asking for NATO to immediately pull back from villages and rural areas to main bases.

The soldier, who has not been named, is accused of going on a shooting rampage in villages near his base in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing nine children and seven other civilians, and then burning some of their bodies.


So now it's back to the "good old days" thanks to Obama
Karzai told Panetta that the weekend shootings in southern Afghanistan were cruel and that everything must be done to prevent any such incidents in the future. He said that was the reason he was demanding the pullout from rural areas now and early transfer of security.

President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron said in Washington yesterday that they and their NATO allies were committed to shifting to a support role in Afghanistan in 2013.

Obama gave his fullest endorsement yet for the mission shift, but he said the overall plan to gradually withdraw forces and hand over security in Afghanistan will stand.

In January, after French President Nicolas Sarkozy suggested that foreign forces speed up their timetable for handing combat operations to Afghan forces in 2013, Karzai said he would be in favor of that - if it were achievable.


Afghan women will suffer once more
The call for an immediate exit from rural areas is a new demand however, and it is unclear how it will affect the transition strategy and ongoing talks with the U.S. about how to manage a long-term U.S. military presence in the country.

Karzai is known for making dramatic demands then backing off under U.S. pressure. Even if he eventually changes his tone, the call for a pullback will likely become another issue of contention between the Afghans and their international allies at a time of growing war weariness in the United States and other countries of the international coalition.

The Taliban said they were calling off talks with the United States because the U.S. kept changing the terms of negotiations.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the insurgent group wanted to limit talks to prisoner exchanges and the establishment of a political office in Qatar, but U.S. negotiators wanted to broaden the discussion.


Afghanistan's old bosses will be new bosses once again
The Taliban said U.S. officials have recently made new demands in the talks, but did not specify what they were.

"Because of these American changes, the Taliban was obliged to stop the talks," Mujahid said.

Mujahid also said that the Afghan government had not been part of any negotiations and that the insurgent group did not want the Afghan government included.

Panetta applauded Karzai last month for telling an interviewer that the U.S., Afghan government and the Taliban recently held three-way talks aimed at moving toward a political settlement of the war.

The Taliban denied the claim at the time.

Afghan officials told The Associated Press that the U.S. had agreed in January to include representatives of the Karzai government in future meetings, but U.S. officials would not confirm that. U.S. officials did say that if this initial trust-building phase of contacts with the Taliban blossoms into full peace negotiations, the U.S. would sit alongside the Taliban and the Afghan government.

----

Associated Press writers Deb Riechmann, Heidi Vogt and Lolita C. Baldor in Kabul, Mirwais Khan in Kandahar, Kathy Gannon in Islamabad and Adam Schreck in Kuwait City, Kuwait, contributed to this report.

Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

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This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.



Coward Panetta Insults, Orders US Marines in Helmand to Disarm

Panetta - and his master Obama - not worth dogshit scraped off Marine's boots; insult will be noted for future consideration; Obama criminals now afraid of own guards

The Siasat Daily
03/15/2012

Kabul -

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has ordered the disarmament of the US marines meeting with him in Helmand Province.


Insult will not be forgotten
This is noteworthy because it is customary for American troops to have their rifles in hand when the US Defense Secretary addresses them.

The explanation given by officials is that the soldiers were ordered to leave their rifles behind to be "consistent with the Afghans."



This may display a lack of trust of senior US officials in American soldiers.


Panetta began his two-day visit after landing at the Camp Bastion military base on Wednesday.

During the visit, the Pentagon chief is scheduled to meet US soldiers and commanders, as well as Afghan government officials.

The visit comes after a US trooper on Sunday opened fire on Afghan civilians inside their homes in the district of Panjwaii in the southern province of Kandahar, killing more than 16 of them and injuring several others.





------Agencies


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This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


Ally Manning Is No Axis Sally, But Is the U.S. Government?

Obama and his DoD continue to use Manning as whipping-boy for his regime's crimes; Nazi Gillard at least looked, acted like lady compared to Obama Nazis Rice, Clinton

World News
By Dallas Darling
03/15/2012

Not only did World War II change the entire world, but it completely transformed the nature of the United States, including its futuristic foreign policies. The reason for this change is that since World War II, the U.S. has viewed each and every war through a World War II narrative. America's entrance into World War II was a "just" entrance, a wholesome cause in defeating the rise of the Axis Powers (Third Reich and Nazism, Italy's fascist government, and Japanese militarism) and in preventing unimaginable human rights abuses, including the Non-German, the Undesirables Holocaust.


Hitler's propagandist mouthpiece Mildred Gillars
Seeing as World War II was a respectable and responsible war, the U.S. has viewed itself as the vanguard of human rights and freedoms around the world, and that every military engagement since then was/is just and righteous. It is a war account, a perception, that has been gregariously misapplied numerous times. A World War II narrative, then, has continuously been used to rationalize unjust and undeserved military engagements, along with endless military mobilizations for dozens of needless conflicts. Not only has this been devastating to the U.S., perhaps the end of its history, but to the rest of the world.

This month in 1949, Axis Sally was sentenced to imprisonment for broadcasting Nazi propaganda during World War II. Her real name was Mildred Gillars. She was an American actress and singer who was studying in Dresden, Germany and later worked for Radio Berlin. When Germany accused Poland of terrorism, leading to a preemptive invasion, Gillars used her oratorical talents to broadcast propaganda. She, like the Nazis, glorified war by selectively reporting victories at the expense of defeats. Gillars also censored reports of German atrocities and loss of liberties at home and abroad.



U.S. "Axis Susan" at UN:  Tough guy Susan "Butch" Rice
Although she used the name "Midge at the Mike," the Allied forces gave her the nickname "Axis Sally." Prior to the D-Day landings that pushed back Adolf Hitler's forces, Axis Sally tried planting seeds of doubt in the minds of Allied troops by claiming Europe was better off under the Third Reich. She also transmitted bogus Allied atrocities. Days before the Nazis surrendered, Axis Sally was still propagating that Germany was winning and in the midst of a moral and just cause, and that God was on the Third Reich's side. She broadcasted to German troops that their deaths would not be in vain.

Pfc Bradley Manning has been accused of releasing WikiLeaks reports, reports that were kept secret from U.S. citizens and the entire world. If guilty, he is guilty of what the Allied forces fought and died for during World War II. He is responsible for reporting the truths and realities of war and warfare, for revealing atrocities and tortuous policies abroad, and for challenging a loss of freedoms at home. He is in contempt for questioning leaders and their lies, their propaganda that manipulated Americans into committing undeserved preemptive wars and for U.S. troops to die in vain.

If Pfc Manning did aid WikiLeaks, he is also accountable for challenging an age-old myth, in that, all wars and military engagements are moral and righteous, and that God is on the side of nations that are the most powerful or that have the most advanced weaponry systems, as the Nazis did. He is culpable of objective reality too, something no sane person should fear, and of shattering a post-World War II narrative that reveres and worships each and every war that the U.S. fights. Is it treasonous to convey to the world human rights abuses and atrocities, no matter which nation commits them?



Obama "Axis Sally:"  Hillary "The Hag" Clinton rates Gillard treatment
A United Nations - which was formed after World War II to promote international peace and to prevent human rights abuses-Rapporteur, Juan Mendez, recently accused the United States government for abusing Pfc Manning. Charges against the U.S. government range from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment to excessive and prolonged isolation while at Quantico. Mendez also is accusing U.S. officials of blocking the investigation, of not allowing or granting Pfc Manning his amendment rights and due process.

Axis Sally was eventually tracked down and arrested. She was brought back to the U.S. and found guilty of treason and sentenced to several years in prison. In an Orwellian-like homeland security and police state, war is peace, lies are truth, slavery is freedom, ignorance is strength, treason is patriotism, threats are information, guilt is innocence, and criminals are not imprisoned. The Axis Sallies of the world are free to continue to commit treachery and encourage needless and unjust wars, wars that maim and kill thousands.


Meanwhile, the Ally Mannings of the world are locked in prisons where they are silenced, abused and tortured, along with justice and the truth.


Ally Manning is no Axis Sally, but maybe the U.S. Government Is.

Dallas Darling (darling@wn.com)

Dallas Darling is the author of Politics 501: An A-Z Reading on Conscientious Political Thought and Action, Some Nations Above God: 52 Weekly Reflections On Modern-Day Imperialism, Militarism, And Consumerism in the Context of John's Apocalyptic Vision, and The Other Side Of Christianity: Reflections on Faith, Politics, Spirituality, History, and Peace. He is a correspondent for
www.worldnews.com. You can read more of Dallas' writings at www.beverlydarling.com and wn.com//dallasdarling.


Obama Flag Desecration Slap in the Face to Veterans and Patriots

Obama will stop at nothing to denigrate, insult, marginalize American active duty personnel, Veterans, who he fears

Agencies
03/14/2012

COMMENTARY | 

Veterans have complained about an American flag flying over the Lake County Democratic Party headquarters in Florida with President Barak Obama's picture in place of the stars, according to Fox News. Nancy Hurlbert, chairwoman of the Lake County Democratic Party, took down the flag, but she has not committed to keeping it down. Even though I am not a veteran, I am offended by the Obama flag as well.


Liars, Cowards, TRAITORS Obama crew desecrates U.S. flag
Hurlbert explained to Fox News how she believes the argument against the Obama flag was made by people who do not want President Obama to win the next election. Her quote of "Certain elements cannot accept Barack Obama as president," leads me to believe she does not understand the flag code. Strangely enough, the veterans attempted to present her with a copy of the code.

By making the complaints about the Obama flag simply about President Obama, Hurlbert discredits the patriotism of anyone who would be upset by the alteration of an American symbol. People have died for our right to fly the flag and making a complaint about it not being flown correctly is an action of a patriot. While Hurlbert's ignorance might not need to be a focus of disciplinary action, her trivializing the patriotism of the veterans who questioned her should lead to admonishment.


Treasonous scumbag Obama could care less about insult
Another statement she made turns my stomach as well. She pointed out how the Obama flag flew over the Democratic headquarters for weeks without anyone complaining. Just because some people passed by without complaining does not make it right. People stay quiet about all types of wrongs, but silence does not equal agreement. Also, I highly doubt most Americans know about the flag code, especially when I see my neighbors flying their flags at night without proper spotlighting or during rainstorms.

If I had seen the Obama flag flying, I would have complained as well. It does not matter whose picture is placed on the flag as it is still disrespectful. If President Obama wants to add some credibility in the eyes of veterans and people who have undying respect for the flag, he should ban them from party offices.


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This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


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ANDREW KREIG: EXPERTS REJECT FIRE AS CAUSE FOR 9/11 WTC COLLAPSES

The real truth on 9/11 slowly continues to bleed out

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Technical experts are mounting major challenges to official U.S. government accounts of how three World Trade Center skyscrapers collapsed in near-freefall after the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

Many researchers are focusing especially on the little-known collapse of

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The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

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STRATFOR Editor’s Note: This installment on the United States, presented in two parts, is the 16th in a series of STRATFOR monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States.

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Geopolitics Of The United States Part 2: American Identity And The Threats of Tomorrow

A look back at 2011 predictions for the future in order to put events of today into perspective

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We have already discussed in the first part of this analysis how the American geography dooms whoever controls the territory to being a global power, but there are a number of other outcomes that shape what that power will be like. The first and most critical is the impact of that geography on the American mindset.

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By Robert S. Finnegan

This e-mail outlines and confirms the acts of espionage against Indonesia and Indonesians by Akiko Makino and the others involved both in Kobe University and in AI Lab at University of Airlangga, Surabaya; Bahasa Indonesia original follows English translation...

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UPDATED 01/07/2015 : New Analysis Challenges Tamiflu Efficacy; Hong Kong Corona Virus Outbreak

UPDATED 01/07/2015 : FOX NEWS CORPORATE PHARMA SHILL MEGAN KELLY AND FOX NEWS QUACK DOCTOR NOW PUSHING TAMIFLU FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND CHILDREN;

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THE 5TH ESTATE UNEQUIVOCALLY WARNS THE PUBLIC NOT TO TAKE OR GIVE THIS PROVEN DANGEROUS, INEFFECTIVE DRUG TO ANYONE

Obama criminals now resulting to biowarfare in quest to destroy Chinese and ASEAN economy; "novel virus substrain" points directly to a Kawaoka / Fouchier / Ernala-Ginting Kobe lab virus weaponized and genetically altered to specifically target and infect the Asian population: Ribavirin...

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The 5th Estate has just purchased a library on H5N1 "Novel" virus pandemics, there are dozens of PDF and Exel documents we feel will assist you in saving lives following intentional releases of the H5N1 and now MERS viruses; we will begin by printing those that appear to be extremely relevant here: H5N1 Kobe-Kawaoka-Ernala series continues soon with more "Smoking Gun" e-mails from Teridah Ernala to The 5th Estate . . .

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By Robert S. Finnegan

On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.

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