…my brother’s keeper? another ‘pen’, or a better baltimore?…

…whew! so, west baltimore is finally gone, ‘disappeared’ from the impatient US MSM, back to its invisibility. even if of stark poverty, destitution and hopelessness…

The corporate US media has finally regained control over the ‘message’ (sorry, world!), and the US President is at last sole voice of the ‘truth’. With the avalanche of presidential pronouncements, the reality of Baltimore will be promptly lost on a still significant number of incurious USans, as rhetoric rules the day.

We now move forward, as we mention two major accomplishments of the US President for a hard pressed citizenry. His laser focus on jobs, and his forceful initiative to address the widening gap in inequality in the US, the ‘defining challenge of our time’.

Well, before moving forward, a brief digression. Which raises the doubt, ‘Surely, somebody must be wrong on this’. Courtesy RT, we have this observation,

Nevertheless, Democrats continued to criticize the president over the TPP, as well as another trade deal being negotiated with the European Union, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

“I think if you could get my colleagues to be honest, on the Democratic side, with you ‒ and I think you can mostly ‒ they will say they’ve been talked to, approached, lobbied and maybe cajoled by more cabinet members on this issue than any issue since Barack Obama’s been president,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) told the Huffington Post. “That’s just sad,”

Brown said the administration should be spending more time pushing a higher minimum wage, strengthening regulations on Wall Street and expanding Medicare.

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…’not necessarily illegal’…maybe ‘immoral…inappropriate…reckless’…

We put paid to all the self-righteousness, the insufferable sanctimoniousness: the lights, the cameras, the props, the teleprompter and the rhetoric…

And we do so even as the Wall Streeters remain comfortably ensconced also on the inside, to be later rewarded for ‘doing God’s work’ as the revolving door of the exceptionals revolves – as, for example, the former Assistant Attorney General in the US Department of Justice and star in that Frontline documentary, The Untouchables.

But first, we glance quickly at this observation by Chris Arnade in Comment is free of The Guardian, Looking for fraud? Don’t look at food stamp recipients, look at Wall Street, where the lede states, Food stamps keep 47 million people from going hungry, so cuts hurt. Congress should focus on where the real abuse happens

Describing his life as a Wall Streeter, Arnade recounts,

We swapped stories with pride. We didn’t call what we were doing fraud, which is such a louche word. We called it “arbitrage”.

We take note of that sentence and especially, that word, arbitrage.  Read the rest of this entry »

lehman and lemmings…

…On 15 September 2008 Lehman Bros had been enjoying ‘A’ ratings from the credit rating agencies, especially Standard and Poor’s (S&P). On that date Lehman had filed for bankruptcy…

For that anniversary The Guardian examines the drastic spill-over effect in the UK from Lehman Brothers declaring bankruptcy on 15 September 2008 in the US – some wizards of finance had somehow failed to complete the calculation of the unintended effects. And the then Treasury Secretary was formerly of Goldman-Sachs. Lehman Brothers collapse, five years on: ‘We had almost no control’

Just how important, inviolate are the Wizards of Wall Street? Dean Baker explains unambiguously with. Why the Wall Street Perps Walked

And how would the corporate media spin the yarn? In this case the NYT. We’ll let Prof William K. Black dissect the nonsense, especially the ‘robust’ regulation about which financial institutions complain. Prof Black scrutinises the SEC, thereby rubbishing nonsense of enforcement. He starts off his three part analysis with,  Not with a Bang but a Whimper – the SEC Enforcement Team’s Propaganda Campaign

“Justice” became an oxymoron in the Bush and Obama administration.  It now means that the elite frauds that became wealthy through their crimes that drove our financial crisis should enjoy de facto immunity from prosecution.  The NYT, however, pictures the SEC as an ultra-aggressive enforcer that virtually never fails to take on the elite CEOs leading the control frauds.  The entire piece is one extended leak by the SEC’s enforcement leadership which has been severely criticized for its failure to recover the fraudulent profits that elite Wall Street bankers obtained by running the control frauds.  The puff piece, with no critical examination, presents these key statements.

Krugman is straight to the point, from the Lehman Bros bankruptcy, and the financial and economic collapse (‘The Great Recession’). Years of Tragic Waste. The performance of the policy makers?

Obviously, the Obama people are less wrong than the Republicans. But, by any objective standard, U.S. economic policy since Lehman has been an astonishing, horrifying failure.

[Bold added] Read the rest of this entry »