Tag Archives: Wall Street

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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A Memo to the GOP, Wall Street, Joe Biden, and All Democrats: ‘No, Mitch McConnell Is Not the 46th President’

“President Biden will be under no obligation to hand Mitch McConnell the keys to his Cabinet,” progressive groups argue.

By Jon Queally, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 11-8-2020

Mitch McConnell. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr

A pair of progressive advocacy groups is pushing back hard against an emerging narrative that President-elect Joe Biden—declared the projected winner of the 2020 presidential race on Saturday—should submit in any way to the authority of Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, assuming Republicans retain control of the Senate, when it comes to picking a cabinet or setting legislative priorities heading into 2021.

In a detailed joint memo (pdf) issued Friday that followed reporting from news outlets, including Axios, that suggested that Biden will be forced to accommodate McConnell as he selects top appointments during the transition period and upon taking office in January, government watchdog groups Demand Progress and the Revolving Door Project argued that this would be a deeply misguided direction to go—one that would have disastrous consequences for the new administration and the Democratic Party as a whole. Continue reading

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Just Hours After Ordering Pay Cut for Millions of Public Workers, Trump Proposes $100 Billion Gift to Richest 1%

“Trump wants to send another kiss to the rich—unilaterally, without any approval from Congress. He ignores the law, governs for the top one percent, and doesn’t give a hoot about the rest of us.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-31-2018

“Hours after cheating millions of middle class workers, Trump wants to send another kiss to the rich—unilaterally, without any approval from Congress,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) wrote on Twitter late Thursday. (Photo: Timothy Krause/cc/flickr)

Hours after he launched yet another “direct attack” on workers by canceling a modest pay raise for around two million federal employees, President Donald Trump told Bloomberg on Thursday that he is considering a regressive and possibly illegal plan to use his executive power to hand the rich another $100 billion in tax cuts by indexing capital gains to inflation.

“There are a lot of people that love it and some people that don’t,” Trump said of the plan, which would disproportionately reward the top 0.01 percent of Americans. “But I’m thinking about it very strongly.” Continue reading

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#MeToo movement finds an unlikely champion in Wall Street with the new ‘Weinstein clause’

 

 

Elizabeth C. Tippett, University of Oregon

If you were worried that the #MeToo movement might fade away, fear not. It has been carved into one of the most immovable objects in human history.

Legal boilerplate.

And not just any boilerplate. But the language in giant merger agreements, used when one company is buying out another company. Continue reading

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‘Spectacular Betrayal’ as Trump Hands Economy ‘Back Over to Wall Street’

‘The Wall Street bankers against whom Trump ran are making policy now,’ says Public Citizen

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 2-3-2017

Executive orders seen as “a cave-in to the power of Wall Street and the financial lobby.” (Photo: Dave Center/flickr/cc)

President Donald Trump is handing the U.S. economy “back over to Wall Street” on Friday, with a regulatory rollback that critics say could put consumers and the financial system at risk.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump signed executive orders Friday “establish[ing] a framework for scaling back the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law” and rolling back an Obama-era regulation requiring advisers on retirement accounts to work in the best interests of their clients. That rule was set to go into effect in April. Continue reading

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So, You Thought Bank of America Would be Punished for Role in 2008 Crisis? Think Again

By Claire Bernish. Published 5-23-2016 by The Anti-Media

United States — In a reversal of the smidgen of accountability forced on Bank of America for its role in the 2008 financial crisis, a U.S. appeals court threw out a jury’s verdict — and with it, the $1.27 billion fine BoA would have paid for mortgage fraud.

Though the Department of Justice had alleged Countrywide Financial Corp., which was purchased by Bank of America in 2008, had sold Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac thousands of bad loans through its “Hustle” mortgage program, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York found insufficient evidence to back charges of fraud. Continue reading

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Despite Epic Crash of World Economy, White Collar Prosecutions at 20-Year Low

But that doesn’t mean Wall Street malfeasance itself is on the wane, researchers point out

Former Attorney General Eric Holder returned to his former employer, the white-collar defense firm Covington & Burling, after leaving the Justice Department. (Photo: US Department of Agriculture/flickr/cc)

Former Attorney General Eric Holder returned to his former employer, the white-collar defense firm Covington & Burling, after leaving the Justice Department. (Photo: US Department of Agriculture/flickr/cc)

Written by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published August 4, 2015.

Despite lofty rhetoric from politicians who vowed in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis to hold Wall Street accountable, U.S. Justice Department statistics show a “long-term collapse” of federal white collar crime prosecutions, which are down to their lowest level in 20 years, according to a new report from Syracuse University.

The analysis of thousands of records by the university’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) shows a more than 36 percent decline in such prosecutions since the middle of the Clinton administration, when the decline first began. While there was an uptick early in Barack Obama’s presidency, current projections indicate that by the end of the 2015 fiscal year, such prosecutions will be at their lowest level since 1995.

But that doesn’t mean white collar crime itself—which involves a wide range of activities such as health care fraud and the violation of tax, securities, antitrust, federal procurement, and other laws—is on the wane.

“The decline in federal white collar crime prosecutions does not necessarily indicate there has been a decline in white collar crime,” the researchers are swift to point out. “Rather, it may reflect shifting enforcement policies by each of the administrations and the various agencies, the changing availabilities of essential staff and congressionally mandated alterations in the laws.”

They add that “because such enforcement by state and local agencies for these crimes sometimes is erratic or nonexistent, the declining role of the federal government could be of great significance.”

Furthermore, failure to prosecute white collar crimes does more than let individual fraudsters off the hook, as journalist Glenn Greenwald argued in 2013:

The harms from this refusal to hold Wall Street accountable are the same generated by the general legal immunity the US political culture has vested in its elites. Just as was true for the protection of torturers and illegal eavesdroppers, it ensures that there are no incentives to avoid similar crimes in the future. It is an injustice in its own right to allow those with power and wealth to commit destructive crimes with impunity. It subverts democracy and warps the justice system when a person’s treatment under the law is determined not by their acts but by their power, position, and prestige. And it exposes just how shameful is the American penal state by contrasting the immunity given to the nation’s most powerful with the merciless and brutal punishment meted out to its most marginalized.

But while news of the 20-year low is troubling, it’s not particularly surprising. As journalist David Sirota noted on Thursday for the International Business Times:

In 2012, President Obama pledged to “hold Wall Street accountable” for financial misdeeds related to the financial crisis. But as financial industry donations flooded into Obama’s reelection campaign, his Justice Department officials promoted policies that critics say embodied a “too big to jail” doctrine for financial crime.

Sirota went on to point out, both the former head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, Lanny Breuer, and former Attorney General Eric Holder made similar remarks at the time. “Prior to serving in the Obama Justice Department, both Breuer and Holder worked at white-collar defense firm Covington & Burling,” Sirota wrote. “Both of them went back to work for the firm again immediately after leaving their government posts.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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