Tag Archives: CitiGroup

With Rent Freezes About to Expire, Mnuchin Lobbies for More Wall Street Bailouts

As millions of Americans stand on the brink of economic annihilation, the money keeps flowing to Wall Street thanks to carefully contrived mechanisms to maintain a dying financial system afloat.

By Raul Diego  Published 12-4-2020 by MintPress News

Steven Mnuchin. Photo: White House

Many prophetic scenes depicted in a series of Mayan codices written in the early days of the Spanish colony, and translated and compiled in El Libro de los Libros del Chilam Balam, describe a world foreign to its original authors. But, one which was barreling down on them and their civilization even as the Mayan high priests recorded their visions for each stop on their cyclical calendar system.

The metaphors they leaned on to describe these new Western values and systems were accurate, despite having nothing comparable in their own cosmology or parallels in their relationship with the earth. In one of the most striking prophecies, the interpreting shaman warns of the days of “the golden club,” subtly alluding to the new paradigm of wealth and commercial imperatives being imposed on their world. Continue reading

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You’ll Never Guess How Big Banks Want the Fed to Handle the Coronavirus: More Wall Street Deregulation

“Surely, the big banks aren’t craven enough to use COVID-19 as an excuse to lobby for long-sought regulatory rollbacks, right? Wrong!”

By for Common Dreams. Published 3-3-2020

The Bank Policy Institute, a lobbying group for big banks, drew criticism for a policy memo suggesting financial deregulation as a response to the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo: Phillipp/Flickr/cc)

A lobbying group for big banks in the United States came under fire Tuesday from financial industry experts for pressuring federal officials to push through long-sought regulatory rollbacks in response to the worldwide economic concerns sparked by the global coronavirus outbreak.

On Sunday, Bank Policy Institute (BPI) chief executive Greg Baer, head of research Francisco Covas, and chief economist Bill Nelson published a post on the group’s website entitled “Actions the Fed Could Take in Response to COVID-19.” The BPI is a lobbying group whose members include Bank of America, Citigroup JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo. Continue reading

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As Trump Threats Stir Global Arms Race, New Report Details the Nuclear War Profiteers

“If you have been wondering who benefits from Donald Trump’s threats of nuclear war, this report has that answer.”

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 3-7-2018

The new report “names those that are still okay with trying to make a profit from producing nuclear weapons.” (Photo: ippnw Deutschland/flickr/cc)

A new report offers a comprehensive look at who’s profiting from the new nuclear arms race.

“If you have been wondering who benefits from Donald Trump’s threats of nuclear war, this report has that answer,” said Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), winner of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

ICAN, along with Netherlands-based peace group Pax, released the report, entitled “Don’t Bank on the Bomb,” on Wednesday. It shows that 329 financial institutions in 24 countries invested $525 billion into the top 20 companies involved in the production, maintenance, and modernization of nuclear weapons from January 2014 through October 2017. Continue reading

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Legislation They Can Bank On

Looking West-Northwest at Citigroup Center, New-York. Photo by Johan Burati [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Looking West-Northwest at Citigroup Center, New-York. Photo by Johan Burati [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

We have all heard of Bernie Madoff and his now infamous ponzi scheme which bilked millions of dollars in assets from unsuspecting investors, most of whom lost their life savings and security as they entered their “golden” retirement years. The fallout from the crime still reaches into society today. Americans are tired of not seeing justice brought to those responsible. But Bernie’s in prison, so everything is as it should be again, right?

Not so fast, and not so easy. Remember that JP Morgan Chase was fined $13 billion by the US government for their part in practices leading to the financial crisis. And how are they connected to Madoff? Madoff ran his bogus investments through accounts at JP Morgan Chase, which led to an account manager noticing unusual activity.  JPMorgan filed a report with U.K. regulators in October 2008 that famously described Madoff’s returns as “too good to be true.” But JPMorgan never filed a corresponding report with U.S. regulators.  In January, 2014, JP Morgan Chase reached a $1.7 billion dollar settlement to resolve the criminal charges related to Madoff.

Monday, July 14, Citibank followed the tradition, with a Department of Justice settlement of a $7 billion fine, the result of an investigation into Citi’s defrauding of investors with mortgage securities leading up to the financial crisis. Yet, as we may feel some small degree of an ah-ha moment by knowing Citi was fined, one must remember they also posted their earning reports the same day which showed higher than expected returns for the cycle. By posting the same day as the fine is announced, Citi is preempting the need for damage control by inferring assurances that not even these fines can damper their profitable way of doing business.

To his credit, US Attorney General Eric Holder stated that this settlement in no way releases the parties from possible future criminal prosecutions. We wonder how long we will wait to see if he will make good on his inference of justice to be served.

And why are these banks so self-assured that they are untouchable?

In May of 2013, the New York Times reported lobbyists activities in Washington that showed CitiGroup lobbyists directly involved in the actual drafting of legislation that oversees banking regulations. “In a sign of Wall Street’s resurgent influence in Washington, Citigroup’s recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House committee’s 85-line bill. Two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word. (Lawmakers changed two words to make them plural.)” states a report in DealBook,

So what we have here are people who choose to disregard laws and regulations in pursuit of huge profits and mega bonuses. When laws and inconvenient factors such as the Department of Justice gets in their way, they simply go to Washington and draft new rules that they bribe lobby Congressional members to pass as law. When the American public first caught wind of what was going on, they convinced the Supreme Court that they had rights as corporations, because they are people too. SCOTUS agreed with them in the Citizens United ruling, which has opened the floodgate to the demise of democracy and the birth of plutocracy.

When the fox is left in charge of the hen house, it is a matter of time
before the chickens are all devoured.

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