Friday, April 5, 2013

13-04-05 Judge Judy, prostitutes, and the US taxpayer...

From a discussion board:
12:54 AM (4 hours ago)

Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2013 13:15:13 -0500
Subject: FW: FW: Today's Quote (UNCLASSIFIED)
Today's Quote
Judge Judy to a prostitute: "When did you realize you were raped ?" 
Prostitute (wiping away tears):"When the check bounced..."
---The American taxpayers will soon reach the same conclusion...  
------ End of Forwarded Message

13-04-04 Too Big to Jail? by Senator Bernie Sanders

Too Big to Jail?

By  (about the author)      
OpEdNews Op Eds 
We are supposed to be a country of laws. The laws should apply to Wall Street as well as everybody else. So I was stunned when our country's top law enforcement official recently suggested it might be difficult to prosecute financial institutions that commit crimes because it may destabilize the financial system of our country and the world.
"I am concerned," Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee, "that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if we do prosecute -- if we do bring a criminal charge -- it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy."
The attorney general was talking about some of the same financial institutions that received billions, and in some cases trillions, of dollars in taxpayer bailouts after their greed, recklessness and illegal behavior plunged the country into a terrible recession. Over my opposition, Congress approved a $700 billion taxpayer bailout of financial institutions that were on the brink of collapse which some in Congress considered "too big to fail."

Video URL:

In addition, the Federal Reserve provided over $16 trillion in total financial assistance to these same institutions during the financial crisis (which only became public after an amendment I inserted into the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requiring the Fed to disclose this information).
The attorney general's view seems to be that if you are just a regular person and you commit a crime, you go to jail. But if you are the head of a Wall Street company, your power is so great that a prosecution could have destabilizing consequences with national or even worldwide implications.
In other words, we have a situation now where Wall Street banks are not only too big to fail, they are too big to jail. That view is unacceptable.
The attorney general's troubling acknowledgement has revived interest in an idea that is drawing more and more support. It is time to break up too big to fail financial institutions.
The 10 largest banks in the United States are bigger today than they were before a taxpayer bailout following the 2008 financial crisis.
U.S. banks have become so big that the six largest financial institutions in this country (J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley) today have assets of nearly $9.6 trillion, a figure equal to about two-thirds of the nation's gross domestic product. These six financial institutions issue more than two-thirds of all credit cards, over half of all mortgages, control 95 percent of all derivatives held in financial institutions and hold more than 40 percent of all bank deposits in the United States.
I will soon introduce legislation that would give the Treasury secretary 90 days to compile a list of commercial banks, investment banks, hedge funds and insurance companies that the Treasury Department determines are too big to fail. The affected financial institutions would include "any entity that has grown so large that its failure would have a catastrophic effect on the stability of either the financial system or the United States economy without substantial government assistance." Within one year after the legislation becomes law, the Treasury Department would be required to break up those banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions identified by the secretary.
Breaking up the too big to fail financial institutions is a notion that has drawn support from some leading figures in the financial community. Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, wrote this: "The safer the individual banks, the safer the financial system. The ultimate destination -- an economy relatively free from financial crises -- won't be reached until we have the fortitude to break up the giant banks." James Bullard, the head of the St. Louis Fed, also weighed in. "I do kind of agree that 'too big to fail' is 'too big to exist.'" Thomas Hoenig, the former Kansas City Fed president, was an early supporter of the idea of breaking up big U.S. banks. "I think [too big to fail banks] should be broken up. And in doing so, I think you'll make the financial system itself more stable. I think you will make it more competitive, and I think you will have long-run benefits over our current system, which leads to bailouts when crises occur."
In my view, no single financial institution should be so large that its failure would cause catastrophic risk to millions of American jobs or to our nation's economic wellbeing. No single financial institution should have holdings so extensive that its failure could send the world economy into crisis. And, perhaps most importantly, no institution in America should be above the law. We need to break up these institutions because of the tremendous damage they have done to our economy.
If an institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist.
Bernie Sanders was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 after serving 16 years in the House of Representatives. He is the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history. Born in Brooklyn, Bernie was the younger of two sons in a (more...)

13-04-05 Secret off shore bank accounts leaked... let's see how many state, US judges and other officers are on the take...


So far, only a small part of the data was published. Regardless, it is now obvious that senior government officials in Europe were hiding bank accoutns offshore.
One must wonder how many US government officials will be found in such records. To start out, it is hard to believe that judges across the US engage in misconduct in favor of the banks for the banksters' beautiful eyes only. Moreover, both California and US jusges in such cases, who were asked to state on the record (pursuant to the Californai Code of Judicial Ethics), whether they or family members living with them received financial benefits from Bank of America, refused to do so... And forgiveable loans and similar schemes cannot be reasonably handled by the banks for so many judges. It is likely that a more effective, large-scale mechanism was created, such as electronic transfers to offshore accounts.
Last couple of times around, governments were able to stem the data leaks: The UBS AG whistleblower foolishly turned his data over to the US government, expecting to get his False Claims Act reward. Instead, he was swiftly place in federal prison. b) Another whistleblower was prosecuted by the Swiss, for attemtpiung to disclose holders of numbered bank accounts. This time, the gush appears unstoppable.
In 2007, I was trying to figure out the running price in LA for extremely fraudulent approval of sub-prime mortgages by Countrywide. I was told by a very knowledgeable person that the going price was about $ 10,000 for a for a $ 2.0 m loan... The San Raffael Branch Manager, Maria McLaurin, who was involved in such conduct, was approving fraudulent loans to the tune of billions of dollars a year, and was known for her frequent trips to Mexico... It appeared that the underwriters were not getting their piece of the pie, only the branch manager.
In smaller nations, like Israel, Cyprus, they probably still do it the old fashioned way: In the corruption trial of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, it turned out that such bribes were delivered in sealed envelopes to his personal secretary, which transferred the envelopes to his personal attorney (who else...), who kept it in a safe in his office. Olemert had to resign at the onset of the trial. The case is not over yet, but it seems that due to the unique logic of the local justice system, Olmert will not be imprisoned.He has even considered rerunning for office! jz
[1] Bribing of state and US judges by Bank of America must be serious concern. ...

Millions of leaked emails and other documents have brought some of the darkest financial secrets of the world’s wealthiest people to light. The documents, which span the past 30 years, reveal the misuse of offshore tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, Switzerland, and the Cook Islands by everyone from American doctors and Wall Street investors to Greek villagers and the families of notorious dictators and despots. According to the report, a good chunk of the money that was invested secretly across international borders included the proceeds of financial crimes such as Ponzi schemes.
Sample offshore owners named in the leaked files include:
• Jean-Jacques Augier, François Hollande's 2012 election campaign co-treasurer, launched a Caymans-based distributor in China with a 25% partner in a BVI company. Augier says his partner was Xi Shu, a Chinese businessman.
• Mongolia's former finance minister. Bayartsogt Sangajav set up "Legend Plus Capital Ltd" with a Swiss bank account, while he served as finance minister of the impoverished state from 2008 to 2012. He says it was "a mistake" not to declare it, and says "I probably should consider resigning from my position".
• The president of Azerbaijan and his family. A local construction magnate, Hassan Gozal, controls entities set up in the names of President Ilham Aliyev's two daughters.
• The wife of Russia's deputy prime minister. Olga Shuvalova's husband, businessman and politician Igor Shuvalov, has denied allegations of wrongdoing about her offshore interests.
•A senator's husband in Canada. Lawyer Tony Merchant deposited more than US$800,000 into an offshore trust.
He paid fees in cash and ordered written communication to be "kept to a minimum".
• A dictator's child in the Philippines: Maria Imelda Marcos Manotoc, a provincial governor, is the eldest daughter of former President Ferdinand Marcos, notorious for corruption.
• Spain's wealthiest art collector, Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, a former beauty queen and widow of a Thyssen steel billionaire, who uses offshore entities to buy pictures.
• US: Offshore clients include Denise Rich, ex-wife of notorious oil trader Marc Rich, who was controversially pardoned by President Clinton on tax evasion charges. She put $144m into the Dry Trust, set up in the Cook Islands.
It's estimated that more than $20 trillion acquired by wealthy individuals could lie in offshore accounts. The UK-controlled British Virgin Islands has been the most successful among the mushrooming secrecy havens that cater for them.

Secrecy for Sale: Inside the Global Offshore Money Maze

Dozens of journalists sifted through millions of leaked records and thousands of names to expose offshore secrecy.
April 4, 2013  |  

A cache of 2.5 million files has cracked open the secrets of more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts, exposing hidden dealings of politicians, con men and the mega-rich the world over.
The secret records obtained by the  International Consortium of Investigative Journalists lay bare the names behind covert companies and private trusts in the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands and other offshore hideaways.
They include American doctors and dentists and middle-class Greek villagers as well as families and associates of long-time despots, Wall Street swindlers, Eastern European and Indonesian billionaires, Russian corporate executives, international arms dealers and a sham-director-fronted company that the European Union has labeled as a cog in Iran’s nuclear-development program.
The leaked files provide facts and figures — cash transfers, incorporation dates, links between companies and individuals — that illustrate how offshore financial secrecy has spread aggressively around the globe, allowing the wealthy and the well-connected to dodge taxes and fueling corruption and economic woes in rich and poor nations alike.
The records detail the offshore holdings of people and companies in more than 170 countries and territories.

Vast Hidden Wealth Revealed in Leaked Records

An enormous leak of confidential financial records has revealed the identities of thousands of wealthy depositors -- including European officials and corporate executives, Asian dictators and their children, and even American doctors and dentists -- who have stashed immense amounts of money in offshore tax havens. The leak of records covers 2.5 million files that disclose information about more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts and nearly 130,000 individuals and agents, including the wealthiest people in more than 170 countries. It said the files 'illustrate how offshore financial secrecy has spread aggressively around the globe, allowing the wealthy to avoid taxes, fueling corruption and economic woes in rich and poor nations.' The current banking crisis threatening Cyprus, it said, 'is one example of how the offshore system can impact an entire country's financial stability.'

The Secret World of Tax Havens Just Got a Whole Lot Less Secret

Anyone who's looking for an in-depth and more than a little disturbing look into how the rich and powerful use offshore tax havens need look no further than a new report from the Center for Public Integrity's International Consortium of Investigative Journalists out today. The findings shed light on 120,000 offshore companies and trusts, almost 130,000 individuals, and pertain to nearly 170 different countries. Given the size of the trove, there's myriad ways for the data to be cut and nearly countless stories to tell, but few paint a rosy picture of international finance.

Tax Dodger's Nightmare: $1.6 Trillion In Off Shore Accounts Exposed! And The World Is Waiting To Find Out WHO!!

The names have not been fully revealed yet, but the largest leak of financial chicanery in history may expose corporations and people we know, love ... and trust.    

13-04-05 Georgia Students Fight to End Whites Only Segregated Prom -- in 2013!

Georgia Students Fight to End Whites Only Segregated Prom -- in 2013!

Wilcox County High School has two proms: one for white students and one for non-white students
Photo Credit: (Credit: WSAV

Four girls in Rochelle, Ga. are fighting to do in their hometown what the Civil Rights Act was meant to do for all of America in 1964: end segregation.