#OccupyWallStreet Updates

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by Anonymous, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. I was just thinking if someone went after some of them HBGary-style that would be very sad. Many tears would be shed.
  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Judge lets Department of Justice proceed with fraud case against Bank of America | Reuters

    Exclusive: Bank of America asks Attorney General Holder to meet with its CEO - sources | Reuters
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  3. The Wrong Guy Member

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  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    John Oliver on income inequality: Let's just call it America Ball.

    In his latest monologue on Last Week Tonight, John Oliver takes on income inequality. By at least one measure, U.S. income inequality is at its worst since 1928. Yet barely half of Americans think this disparity is a serious concern. Oliver thinks this last point might be explained by Americans tricking themselves into believing they can still work hard and become a modern day Horatio Alger. Some might call that optimism. Oliver considers it a deluded gambling problem.

    "America now has a system where wealth is essentially dispersed as a lottery of birth," he says. "And maybe the reason we seem to accept that is that even though we know the odds are stacked against us, we all think we're going to win the lottery." To illustrate his point, Oliver plays a quick game of what he dubs "America Ball." It's a lottery that consists of two separate drawings: one for people with inherited wealth, and one for people born poor. We won't spoil the ending. And check out the full clip below:
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  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientists: Rich People, Poor People May Have Shared Common Ancestor | The Onion

    ITHACA, NY — According to a study released this week by geneticists at Cornell University, substantial evidence indicates that rich people and poor people — disparate populations long thought to be entirely unrelated — may have once shared a single common ancestor.

    “After conducting careful DNA analysis, our research team was taken aback to discover that the wealthy and the working class actually have a considerable number of genetic similarities,” said study co-author Kenneth Chang, adding that despite the disparity between the modern-day affluent and low earners in terms of behavior, appearance, and lifestyle, numerous genetic markers revealed that their predecessors may have once lived beside one another without any noticeable differences.

    “Side by side, poor people and rich people look almost nothing alike, of course. It took months of chromosomal comparison to discover that links exist between, say, a top-level consultant at Bain Capital living in a gated community and a mother of three relying on multiple low-wage jobs to survive. And upon close inspection, it is possible to detect subtle, but striking, physical resemblances between these vastly different peoples.”

    Scientists also determined that the ultra-rich were closely related to jellyfish and other soft-bodied invertebrates.,36547/
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  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    Bank of America ordered to pay $1.27 billion for Countrywide fraud | Reuters

    A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Bank of America Corp to pay $1.27 billion of damages after a federal jury found the second-largest U.S. bank liable for fraud over defective mortgages sold by its Countrywide unit.

    The decision by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan came nine months after jurors found Bank of America and former Countrywide executive Rebecca Mairone liable for defrauding government-controlled mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through the sale of shoddy Countrywide loans in 2007 and 2008.

    Rakoff said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bought $2.96 billion of questionable loans. He said the $1.27 billion damages award reflected a finding by a government expert that only some of the loans had material defects, while others were acceptable.

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  7. The Wrong Guy Member

    Bank of America to pay record $17 billion for mortgages sold | UPI

    Bank of America and the Justice Department are close to agreeing to a $17 billion settlement that will end an investigation into mortgages sold by the bank in the run up to the 2008 financial crisis.

    The settlement, which is still not final, could be the largest punitive penalty on seen by any bank, larger than the proposed $13 billion settlement reported a few weeks ago. Prior to this deal, the $13 billion settlement between the Justice Department and J.P. Morgan Chase, reached last November over similar allegations, was the largest.

    If finalized, Bank of America would pay the Justice Department, states and other government bodies $9 billion, while the remainder of the money will be used reduce mortgage balances for struggling homeowners.

    Talks almost broke down last month when Bank of America agreed to pay only $3 billion in cash, which was squarely rejected by the Justice Department.

    According to a person close to the matter, the two sides were able to find common ground after Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan had a phone call with Attorney General Eric Holder last Thursday. Holder is reported to have told Moynihan that if the two sides weren't able to reach a deal, the Justice Department would file a lawsuit the next day.

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    AP source: BofA agrees to pay $16-$17B in US deal"Bank+of+America"+"Justice+Department"
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  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    The 'Wolf of Occupy Wall Street' has hijacked a popular activist Twitter account

    A Twitter account affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement was compromised last Friday when a contributor changed the account’s password, retaining sole access.

    Activists booted from the account say the dispute began when Justin Wedes, who’s been involved with OWS since its outset, attempted to stop the group from using the word “genocide” in describing the recent deaths of Palestinians in Gaza.

    Emails provided to the Daily Dot show that one former contributor was recently contacted by Wedes and told that his use of the word “genocide” was undermining the credibility of the @OccupyWallStNYC twitter account. After the scolded activist relayed the message to others in the group, Wedes was accused of “censoring dissent.”

    What started as a complaint about censorship, however, quickly escalated into a discussion over alleged abuses of OWS media by Wedes, who founded the account in 2011. The chief complaint against Wedes was that he consistently violated the group’s rules, using the account with over 174,000 followers to promote his personal accounts and projects.

    “If he had problems with the way it was run, he should have voiced concerns to us directly or quit,” a former contributor, who asked not to be identified, told the Daily Dot.

    Wedes did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

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    Wolf of Occupy Wall Street: Statement on Justin Wedes's hijacking of @OccupyWallStNYC

    Occupy Wall Street has no owners, no single founder and no official singular leader. OWS is an organic body made up of concerned citizens of the world who work towards wresting power from the ruling elites and putting it back into the hands of the People.

    Throughout our brief history there have been opportunists who would use the name to build their personal careers and benefit financially from their association with Occupy Wall Street. Often, these people have taken advantage of their access to online resources that act as megaphones to spread our movement's message. Such abuse of power takes away from the solidarity and unity that needs to exist in order to do the necessary work at hand.

    These people operate much like disaster capitalists, preying on the poor and disenfranchised who are deep in their struggles for self determination. A community's struggle becomes sheerly a platform to amplify their own voices and build their personal brands. Those of us on the inside have watched this play out over and over and have tried to maintain the integrity of our messaging and in some cases have failed. Addressing these abuses of power always takes away energy from the more important and urgent work at hand. The ensuing controversy sometimes spills out over the public domain (like right now) and appears to the outside world as petty infighting that does more damage to our reputation and therefore our ability to be effective activists. These abuses of power and the ensuing fallout ultimately damages the name of Occupy Wall Street, which many of us have worked very hard to create.

    It is our wish with this letter to send a warning to activists and organizers across the globe about a certain individual who is claiming to represent Occupy Wall Street: Justin Wedes.

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  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    While searching for something else, I found this article that got missed, from June 10, 2014.

    NYC settles with 14 Occupy protesters for $583K | Associated Press

    The city has agreed to pay nearly $600,000 to settle allegations that police wrongfully arrested a group of Occupy Wall Street protesters, marking the largest settlement to date in a single Occupy-related civil rights case, the marchers' lawyers said Tuesday.

    The $583,000 pact involves 14 demonstrators who said police ordered them to leave but prevented them from doing so and arrested them in lower Manhattan early on New Year's Day 2012. The disorderly conduct cases got dismissed, according to the protesters' federal lawsuit, which argues they were arrested "for expressing their views."

    "We were out there to send a message, and our rights were suppressed," one of the demonstrators, Garrett O'Connor, said Tuesday. The 34-year-old labor activist said police tackled him to the ground as he tried to follow their order to clear out.

    The city didn't immediately comment. City lawyers had said in court papers this fall that the arrests were lawful and police "acted reasonably, properly, lawfully and in good faith."

    The march unfurled after a restive New Year's Eve in Zuccotti Park, the lower Manhattan plaza where the anti-economic-inequality Occupy protesters had set up camp from the previous September until the city rousted them that November. Some 68 people were arrested there on that New Year's Eve when police said the protesters tore down barricades surrounding the park.

    Shortly after midnight, some others set off to walk en masse to Manhattan's East Village.

    A city lawyer called the march "rowdy and tumultuous" at a court date last fall, according to a transcript. But the protesters' lawsuit says they behaved peacefully and obeyed traffic laws, and police at times blocked traffic to let them cross streets safely together.

    But then, in the East Village, officers boxed them in and made arrests, the suit says.

    Video supplied by their lawyers, the firm Stecklow Cohen & Thompson, shows officers saying the demonstrators are blocking the sidewalk and will be arrested if they don't leave, while some protesters ask how they can. Some footage shows police pointing out ways the demonstrators can go; subsequent parts show arrests beginning.

    Police have made more than 2,600 arrests on various charges at Occupy-related events over time. The Manhattan district attorney's office agreed to dismiss more than 78 percent of the cases. More than 400 people pleaded guilty or were convicted at trials, 11 were acquitted, and judges dismissed some other cases, according to the DA's office.

    There's no official list of Occupy-related settlements, but lawyers involved track them informally. They include $230,000 that the city and Zuccotti Park's private owner are paying over allegations that a book collection was trashed when the park was cleared, and $55,000 to a man arrested while shooting video at an Occupy demonstration, according to lawyers in those cases.
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  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Cornel West: “He posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency”

    Exclusive: Cornel West talks Ferguson, Hillary, MSNBC -- and unloads on the failed promise of Barack Obama

    By Thomas Frank, Salon

    Cornel West is a professor at Union Theological Seminary and one of my favorite public intellectuals, a man who deals in penetrating analyses of current events, expressed in a pithy and highly quotable way.

    I first met him nearly six years ago, while the financial crisis and the presidential election were both under way, and I was much impressed by what he had to say. I got back in touch with him last week, to see how he assesses the nation’s progress since then.

    The conversation ranged from Washington, D.C., to Ferguson, Missouri, and although the picture of the nation was sometimes bleak, our talk ended on a surprising note.

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  11. The Wrong Guy Member

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  12. The Wrong Guy Member

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  13. Anonymous Member

  14. White Tara Global Moderator

    ONCE standing united, the organisers of Occupy Wall Street are now embroiled in a bitter legal battle among themselves.
    According to BuzzFeed News, activists who organised the OWS movement are suing another activist for control of the main Twitter account.
    The cause of the dispute is one of the main accounts @OccupyWallStNYC that circulated information during the prime days of the movement in 2011.
    NEW ANGLE: Occupy Wall St to launch debit card
    Maria Holmes, a video editor who was part of the central organising team of OWS, said the Twitter account was created by Adbusters Magazine, which also provided the initial spark to Occupy by calling for a protest.
    More at link;
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  15. DeathHamster Member

    It seems to me that the value of the Twitter account was the content, not the name. Occupy, by any other name, would smell as tweet.
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  16. The Internet Member

    I think the value is in the nearly 200,000 followers.
  17. No. Stop.
  18. DeathHamster Member

    So why are they following it?

    What's the value in a pile of followers if they aren't smart enough to decide to follow the new "official" account as well or instead of? Does someone get a penny * followers for every tweet? No.
  19. /b/

  20. /b/

  21. ItchyScratchy Member

    Why people don't bring swim goggles to these things is beyond me. Come on /b/ you run this shit, but you run it like shit.
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  22. /b/

  23. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  24. The Wrong Guy Member

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  25. The Wrong Guy Member

    Fast Food in Denmark Serves Something Atypical: Living Wages | New York Times

    Last paragraph:

    “We don’t want there to be a big difference between the richest and poorest, because poor people would just get really poor,” Mr. Drescher added. “We don’t want people living on the streets. If that happens, we consider that we as a society have failed.”
  26. The Wrong Guy Member

    Edward Snowden: A ‘Nation’ Interview | The Nation

    Here's an excerpt that's most related to this thread:

    The Nation: When was the last time civil disobedience brought about change?

    Snowden: Occupy Wall Street.

    The Nation: One of us might disagree with you. Arguably, Occupy was a very important initiative, but it was soon vaporized.

    Snowden: I believe strongly that Occupy Wall Street had such limits because the local authorities were able to enforce, basically in our imaginations, an image of what proper civil disobedience is — one that is simply ineffective. All those people who went out missed work, didn’t get paid. Those were individuals who were already feeling the effects of inequality, so they didn’t have a lot to lose. And then the individuals who were louder, more disruptive and, in many ways, more effective at drawing attention to their concerns were immediately castigated by authorities. They were cordoned off, pepper-sprayed, thrown in jail.

    The Nation: But you think Occupy nonetheless had an impact?

    Snowden: It had an impact on consciousness. It was not effective in realizing change. But too often we forget that social and political movements don’t happen overnight. They don’t bring change immediately — you have to build a critical mass of understanding of the issues. But getting inequality out there into the consciousness was important. All these political pundits now talking about the 2014 and 2016 elections are talking about inequality.

    The article is also mentioned in this post in the thread about Snowden:
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  27. White Tara Global Moderator


    Read more:
    Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook
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  30. The Wrong Guy Member

    Fed Delays Volcker Rule, Giving Wall Street Another Holiday Gift

    Christmas came early for Wall Street this year. The Federal Reserve on Thursday granted banks an extra year to comply with a key provision of the Volcker Rule, a move that gives financial lobbyists more time to kill the new regulation before it goes into effect.

    The Volcker Rule is a key element of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law that bans banks from engaging in proprietary trading -- speculative deals that are designed only to benefit the bank itself, rather than its clients. Thursday's move by the Fed gives banks an additional year to unwind investments in private equity firms, hedge funds and specialty securities projects. The central bank also said it plans to extend the deadline by another 12 months next year, which would give Wall Street a two-year reprieve through the 2016 presidential election.

    The Fed's delay comes less than a week after Congress granted Wall Street a reprieve from another reform that had been mandated by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law. The measure, known as the swaps push-out rule had eliminated federal subsidies for trading in risky derivatives -- the complex contracts at the heart of the 2008 banking meltdown. Bank watchdogs say the Volcker Rule delay adds insult to injury.

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  31. The Wrong Guy Member

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  32. The Wrong Guy Member

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  33. The Wrong Guy Member

    Judge Rules FBI Can Keep Occupy Houston Assassination Plot Secret

    Derrick Broze talks with Ben Swann regarding the apparent plot to assassinate members of Occupy Houston.
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  34. A.O.T.F Member

  35. The Wrong Guy Member

    Elizabeth Warren To Wall Street: Drop Dead | Wonkette

    In 2008, the financial sector collapsed and nearly brought down our whole economy. What were the ingredients behind that crash? Recklessness on Wall Street and a willingness in Washington to play along with whatever the big banks wanted.

    Years have passed since the crisis and the bailout, but the big banks still swagger around town. And when Citigroup and the others don’t quite get their way or Washington doesn’t feel quite cozy enough, they quickly move to loud, public threats. Their latest move is a stunner.
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  36. anonsparrow Member

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  37. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Hey lookie who's here!
  38. The Wrong Guy Member

    Too Big To Fail Banks Sorry For Scheming To Steal All The Money In The World

    By Evan Hurst, Wonkette, May 20, 2015

    In a story so shocking it’s not shocking at all, news comes today that six of the too-biggest-to-failiest banks in the entire world worked together in secret to control currency prices, for SIX YEARS, and thus enriched themselves in the process. And now they have to pay $5.8 billion in fines, because they are guilty guilty GUILTY. No, really, act surprised:

    Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays Plc and Royal Bank of Scotland Plc agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to manipulate the price of U.S. dollars and euros in settlements with the Justice Department announced in Washington Wednesday. The main banking unit of UBS Group AG agreed to plead guilty to charges related to interest-rate manipulation. The Swiss bank, the first to cooperate with antitrust investigators, was granted immunity in the currency probe.

    The four banks that agreed to plead guilty to currency charges are among the world’s biggest foreign-exchange traders. They were accused of colluding to influence benchmark rates by aligning positions and pushing transactions through at the same time. Traders who described themselves as members of “The Cartel” used online chat rooms to discuss their positions in the minutes before the rates were set, the Justice Department said.

    While yr Wonkette is not a Wall Street Banker, we feel qualified to point out that when gigantic corporations, which are supposed to be competing with each other in the HOLY FREE MARKET, instead decide not to compete, but to secretly give each other free handjobs while they fuck with currency prices, just so they can all make fucktons of money (everybody wins in this “competition”), then that is a problem!

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  39. The Wrong Guy Member

    Jon Swaine @jonswaine · 9 minutes ago
    Bank of England accidentally emails @Guardian plan for dealing with UK exit of EU, including how to deny plan exists

    Secret Bank of England taskforce investigates financial fallout of Brexit | The Guardian

    Bank of England officials are secretly researching the financial shocks that could hit Britain if there is a vote to leave the European Union in the forthcoming referendum.

    The Bank blew its cover on Friday when it accidentally emailed details of the project – including how the bank intended to fend off any inquiries about its work – direct to the Guardian.

    According to the confidential email, the press and most staff in Threadneedle Street must be kept in the dark about the work underway, which has been dubbed Project Bookend.

    It spells out that if anyone asks about the project, the taskforce must say the investigation has nothing to do with the referendum, saying only that staff are involved in examining “a broad range of European economic issues” that concern the Bank.

    The revelation is likely to embarrass the bank governor, Mark Carney, who has overhauled the central bank’s operations and promised greater transparency over its decision-making.

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  40. The Wrong Guy Member

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  41. The Wrong Guy Member

    White House's SEC Pick at Odds with Elizabeth Warren's Wall Street Reform

    Possible Obama SEC Pick Specializes in Helping Corporations Hide Political Expenditures

    As a battle rages over whether the Securities and Exchange Commission should require publicly traded companies to disclose their political expenditures, the White House is said to be considering nominating a high-powered Washington attorney to the SEC who specializes in advising corporate clients on how to avoid such disclosures.

    Bloomberg and other news organizations have reported that Keir Gumbs, a partner at Covington & Burling, is one of the White House’s top two picks to replace outgoing Democratic commissioner Luis Aguilar. Though Gumb’s nomination, which requires Senate approval, would maintain the Democrats’ 3-2 advantage on the commission, many progressive groups like CREDO have already publicly criticized the White House’s presumed nominees for having “no track record of being Wall Street reformers.”

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  42. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    I'm sure Dimon has been lobbying Obama non stop. He probably sold this candidate as ' balance'
  43. DeathHamster Member

    Isn't that too soon?

    First they need to convict a whole bunch of them, then wait until some of them get to parole status. Then some Wall Street reformers to help them reenter the real world would be useful.
  44. The Wrong Guy Member

    Why Eric Holder’s new job is an insult to the American public | Salon

    If Las Vegas took bets on whether recently departed Attorney General Eric Holder would return to corporate law firm Covington & Burling, the casinos would have run out of money faster than Greek banks. Newborn infants could have guessed at a homecoming for the former partner at Covington from 2001 to 2009. Last year, Holder bought a condo 300 feet from the firm’s headquarters. The National Law Journal headlined the news, “Holder’s Return to Covington Was Six Years in the Making,” as if acting as the nation’s top law enforcement officer was a temp gig. They even kept an 11th-floor corner office empty for his return.

    If we had a more aggressive media, this would be an enormous scandal, more than the decamping of former Obama Administration officials to places like Uber and Amazon. That’s because practically no law firm has done more to protect Wall Street executives from the consequences of their criminal activities than Covington & Burling. Their roster of clients includes every mega-bank in America: JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Bank of America. Yet Holder has joined several of his ex-employees there, creating a shadow Justice Department and an unquestionable conflict of interest. In fact, given the pathetic fashion in which DoJ limited punishment for those who caused the greatest economic meltdown in 80 years, Holder’s new job looks a lot like his old job.

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  45. The Wrong Guy Member

    Occupy Wall Street just won

    By Tom Toles, The Washington Post, July 15, 2015

    The leaderless, agenda-less, amorphous blob that camped out in New York and Washington and various other cities before disappearing without a trace had become a symbol of how not to achieve political change. Until it won.

    It was a movement born out of frustration and idealism and eventually wore out and was swept out of its soggy civic encampments by the municipal broom. There it was, and then there it wasn’t.

    It was criticized for its lack of agenda items, and if you visited it while it was around, it was all a little vague as to what was going on. It was essentially there as a witness, to an idea. The idea was that economic and social inequality were getting out of hand, and that financial and corporate power were running away with the game.

    They did achieve one thing in their not-all-that-brief moment in the sun and not-so-sunny, and that was to put the idea of the 99% into the public discussion.

    And now, with Hillary’s latest speech where she followed Bernie Sanders into Occupy turf, we have the Occupy worldview dead center in a presidential election campaign. Not a bad day’s work for hippies.

    The secret to having your idea gain traction is to get the idea right. That’s what Occupy did. They didn’t know what to do about it because the game was fixed at every level. No agenda items they proposed stood a chance until more people got clued in to how the political terrain had frozen. So they stood there in the rain and cold, and the idea got into the back of everyone’s head that maybe they had a point. Some further reflection was all it took.

    Now it’s all anyone is talking about.

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  46. The Wrong Guy Member

    Obama Administration Finds New Way to Let Criminal Banks Avoid Consequences

    Three top Democrats are accusing the Department of Housing and Urban Development of quietly removing a key clause in its requirements for taxpayer-guaranteed mortgage insurance in order to spare two banks recently convicted of federal crimes from being frozen out of the lucrative market.

    HUD’s action is the latest in a series of steps by federal agencies to eliminate real-world consequences for serial financial felons, even as the Obama administration has touted its efforts to hold banks accountable.

    In this sense, the guilty plea has become as meaningless to banks as their other ways of resolving criminal charges: out-of-court settlements, or deferred prosecution agreements. “Too Big to Fail” has morphed into “Too Big to Jail” — and then again, into “Bank Lives Matter.”

    Sens. Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Maxine Waters fired off a letter to HUD on Tuesday, saying they believe that the timing of the change was designed to clear the way for two banks recently convicted of federal crimes — JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup — to continue to make Federal Housing Administration-insured loans. Last year, JPMorgan Chase wrote $1.67 billion in FHA loans, and Citi wrote $342 million, according to data from the Congressional Research Service.

    On May 20 of this year, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup both entered a guilty plea on one felony count of conspiring to rig foreign currency exchange trades, the largest market on the globe.

    Five days earlier, on May 15, HUD slipped a notice into the Federal Register, seeking to alter its standard loan-level certification form, known as HUD-92900-A. This form must be filled out for lenders to receive FHA insurance, which reimburses them if the homeowner falls into foreclosure.

    On the current HUD-92900-A form, lenders must certify that their firm and its principals “have not, within a three-year period … been convicted of or had a civil judgment rendered against them” for a variety of crimes, including “commission of fraud … violation of Federal or State antitrust statutes or commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements or receiving stolen property.”

    JPMorgan and Citi’s guilty plea would fall under the antitrust statute, and according to Brown, Warren and Waters’ reading of the certification, that would make them ineligible to obtain FHA insurance on their loans.

    On the updated form, this language has been excised. The notice in the Federal Register did not even mention the removal, making it impossible to discover without comparing the old form and the proposed form side by side. The Wall Street Journal ran a story about the certification changes in May, but failed to notice that the new language would let law-breaking banks off scot-free.

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  47. The Wrong Guy Member

    Iraq War General Ray Odierno Cashing In With New Job at JPMorgan Chase

    Four-star General Ray Odierno retired from his position as U.S. Army chief of staff on Friday. Now, less than a week after mustering out, he’s cashing in. The former general has taken a job as a senior adviser to the investment firm JPMorgan Chase.

    In a press release posted on JPMorgan’s website on Thursday, the firm announced that Odierno is joining the company in “a senior advisory capacity,” providing “strategic advice and global insights” to CEO Jamie Dimon as well as the company’s board of directors. The announcement also said Odierno “will represent JPMorgan Chase through engagement with clients, government officials and policy makers in the U.S. and internationally.”

    Odierno, who led the U.S. 4th infantry division during the initial stages of the occupation of Iraq, has been criticized for the allegedly heavy-handed and brutal behavior he permitted as a commander. While troops under his command were credited with the capture of Saddam Hussein, they were also criticized for their extremely harsh tactics in dealing with the local population. In Thomas Ricks’ 2006 book Fiasco, Odierno was characterized as helping enable indiscriminate mass detentions, prisoner abuse, and extrajudicial killings of Iraqi civilians in the area under his control.

    In one particularly brutal 2003 incident documented in the book, Odierno overruled a recommendation that a soldier under his command be court-martialed for the killing of a Iraqi detainee who had turned himself in to U.S. forces, saying that the soldier accused of the murder was “a cook, he didn’t get proper training,” and that the detainee was “very aggressive, a bad guy.” The detainee, an Iraqi man named Obeed Radad, had turned himself in to U.S. forces after learning that they had been looking for him. He was shot and killed while being held in an isolation cell at a U.S. detention center in Tikrit, after allegedly trying to escape through a barbed wire fence.

    The kind of behavior exhibited by Odierno’s forces would be said to have fostered the insurgency against U.S. troops in the country.

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  48. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  49. The Wrong Guy Member

    JPMorgan Hires 4-Star General Notorious for Extrajudicial Killings in Iraq

    By Claire Bernish, The Anti Media, August 25, 2015


    Proving yet again the ubiquitous ties between government and private interests, four-star General Ray Odierno — who retired as the U.S. Army’s Chief of Staff on August 14 — made a rather abrupt leap in career choice to senior adviser for JPMorgan Chase less than a week later.

    Not that the commander of the 4th Infantry Division — whose notorious reputation during the Iraq “War” included a penchant for indiscriminate, mass detention and extrajudicial killings of civilians — was otherwise considering humanitarian work when the megabank advising position happened to open up. It would seem the new role is perfect for Odierno, as he will be advising CEO Jamie Dimon, the Board of Directors, and the Operating Committee with “international planning and country risk analysis, technology, operations, and the rapidly evolving issues of physical and cyber security,” according to a company statement.

    JPMorgan’s statement mentions the ex-general’s role with “physical security” in his upcoming duties, but even a cursory glance at the practices by those under his command in Iraq makes those goals seem, well, questionable.

    A military intelligence specialist at the time, Sgt. Kayla Williams, said they passed by Odierno’s 4th Infantry Division, whose soldiers appeared “mean and ugly. They stood on top of their trucks, their weapons pointed directly at civilians . . . What could these locals possibly have done? Why was this intimidation necessary? No one explained anything, but it looked weird and felt wrong.”

    Though troops under Odierno’s command were credited with capturing Saddam Hussein, their philosophy — which can be summarized as “round[ing] up all the military-aged males” because they didn’t know (or bother to find out) “who’s good or bad” — was dubious for transforming erstwhile neutral civilians into willing combatants.

    In fact, a member of the psychological operations unit attached to Odierno’s artillery brigade found it necessary to file a formal complaint concerning those troops’ treatment of Iraqi civilians.

    After returning from Iraq, Odierno achieved the rank of Chief of Staff in 2011 — while still maintaining his support of the Bush administration’s decision to invade the country in the first place. According to The Intercept, he explained earlier this year that Saddam “was moving toward terrorism and I believe that if he continued to have problems, we don’t know what he would have done in terms of being part of the problem with terrorism.”

    Though Odierno’s abrupt transplant from top military commander to high-powered, international banking adviser might have you shaking your head, such a convenient arrangement is far from atypical. As reported in the Boston Globe in 2010, 80% of generals with at least three stars found placement as executives or consultants in the private sector — largely within the defense industry — nearly immediately upon retirement.

    “Ray has dedicated his life to serving our country, rising to the top of the Army with proven leadership that delivers results,” stated Dimon in the announcement of Odierno’s new position. “His experience, vision and impressive track record of success when confronting overwhelming challenges will provide significant value to our leadership team, the firm and our clients across a wide range of issues.”

    Success, it would seem, is in the eye of the beholder.

    This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and
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  50. The Wrong Guy Member

    Progressives Demand Answers From Clinton on Golden Parachutes for Wall Streeters-Turned-Government Officials

    A coalition of eight progressive organizations, using material previously published at The Intercept, have challenged Hillary Clinton to disavow the use of “golden parachute” bonuses for former Wall Street executives who enter government service.

    In a letter to the Clinton campaign delivered today, the organizations, including Rootstrikers, Democracy for America, CREDO and Political Action, refer to two top aides to Clinton when she served as secretary of state, Thomas Nides and Robert Hormats. As The Intercept reported in July, Nides and Hormats received millions of dollars in golden parachute payments from their respective ex-employers, investment banks Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, after becoming Clinton’s deputies.

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  51. The Wrong Guy Member

    When the Bank Robs You: Wells Fargo Contractors Allegedly Stole Family Heirlooms Rescued From Nazis

    The few remaining defenders of the Obama administration’s failure to prosecute the executives who helped cause the 2008 financial crisis argue that the bankers’ actions were unethical but not criminal. President Obama himself has made this claim: “Some of the most damaging behavior on Wall Street … wasn’t illegal,” he told Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes in December 2011.

    The president might want to take this up with David Adier, who says he was victimized by Wells Fargo breaking and entering into his family’s home in Morris Township, New Jersey, and then committing property damage and theft. Burglary is a felony subject to prison time — if anybody but a bank does it.

    Adier’s case is doubly disturbing because of what was taken: items his father retrieved from his family’s apartment in France before fleeing the Nazis in 1940, including a Kiddush cup, a Seder plate and a sewing machine used by his grandmother.

    Adier has since filed suit against Wells Fargo. According to the complaint, Wells Fargo’s contractors deemed the house abandoned, despite explicit instructions that it was not. The house had been in Adier’s family for 40 years, Adier and his sister had grown up there, and Adier’s father had lived there until his death in August 2012. According to Adier, who lives 30 miles away in Bayonne, he missed two payments on the home’s mortgage over the next several months due to troubles with his small business. On November 29, 2012, Wells Fargo’s contractors illegally broke in for the first time.

    “I feel like they ripped my family history from me,” said Adier. “This was the house I grew up in, where I had nothing but great family memories. They’ve taken away my life, my childhood, my sense of security.”

    Adier is not alone. Since the beginning of the foreclosure crisis in 2007, banks have hired contractors to inspect properties in foreclosure and determine whether they are abandoned. If they make that subjective determination — based on overgrown grass, or a broken window — they are authorized to enter the home, change the locks, and “trash-out” the property by removing all belongings.

    Banks claim they must secure abandoned properties to protect their investment and fulfill responsibilities under state laws. But the contractors frequently get things wrong, illegally ransacking properties still inhabited by homeowners, spurring hundreds of lawsuits. “It’s happening at exactly the same rate” now as during the previous seven years, argues Adier’s attorney, Josh Denbeaux.

    Homeowners have been complaining for years about coming home to find that their keys no longer work. Contractors took the remains of Mimi Ash’s late husband. They took Angela Iannelli’s pet parrot, Luke. They took the American flag off a house belonging to Rick and Sherry Rought, who had bought it entirely in cash from Deutsche Bank after the bank had foreclosed on its previous owners. Nilly Mauck’s condo was trashed because contractors mixed up the number of the property they were supposed to inspect. Nancy Jacobini’s home was broken into while she sat on her couch; she locked herself in the bathroom and called 911. A year later, the same contractor broke in again.

    “I’ve got this client, they are away from their home,” said Matt Weidner, a foreclosure defense attorney in St. Petersburg, Florida. “They come home to find a dude in there hacking their goddamn house apart. There’s a hammer sitting in the wall, like they said fuck it, we’re done for the day, we’ll just shove this in here.” The partially demolished home has sat that way for three years, amid litigation.

    Denbeaux blames the business model. According to contracts he has acquired in discovery, banks pay contractors a small fee to do the drive-by inspection, but several hundred dollars to padlock the doors, and hundreds more for a trash-out. “Whether they do a lock-out or a trash-out is based on a report by day laborers,” Denbeaux said. “They know how to say the property is abandoned and make money.”

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  52. The Wrong Guy Member

    • Like Like x 2
  53. The Wrong Guy Member

    Keegan Stephan ‏@KeeganNYC 52 minutes ago
    The cop effectively in charge of policing protests in NYC was a prison guard at Abu Ghraib:

    From Abu Ghraib To Black Lives Matter: Meet The NYPD's Most Notorious Anti-Activist Cop | Gothamist

    Since the peak of Occupy Wall Street in the fall of 2011, New York activists have become familiar with Deputy Inspector Andrew J. Lombardo. He’s referenced in numerous tweets, YouTube videos, and news reports. His tactics of seemingly arbitrary arrests, intense questioning, and what some have described as “mind games” have been documented by activists and First Amendment organizations for years.

    What isn’t known is that before he rose to be one of the NYPD’s most prominent point men on NYC protests, Lombardo, or “The Lombardo” as many activists not-so-lovingly call him, was a prison guard at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq for the 800th MP Battalion during the time of the prisoner torture scandal.

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  54. The Wrong Guy Member

    Anonymous Targets the U.S. Banking System with Operation 'Black October' | Hacked

    Anonymous has announced a peaceful revolution by calling out to people to join “Black October”, a campaign which it believes will be an “easy” way for the 99% to demonstrate their collective strength and “beat” the richest 1%.
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  55. The Wrong Guy Member

    Talk of Criminally Prosecuting Corporations Up, Actual Prosecutions Down

    A new analysis of federal data from Syracuse University finds that the Justice Department’s criminal prosecutions of corporations fell 29 percent from 2004 to 2014, even as criminal referrals to the Justice Department from other federal agencies have risen.

    In fiscal year 2014, the Justice Department brought 237 cases against corporations, the lowest number since 2010, and well below the high-water mark of the decade: 398 cases in 2005. The number of convictions fell to 162, well below the Bush administration average of about 240.

    The data comes from the Justice Department itself, obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) through a Freedom of Information Act request. TRAC also synthesizes data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission, a division of the federal courts, to arrive at its totals.

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  56. The Wrong Guy Member

    Bernie Blew It: He Sold Out Instead of Confronting Clinton

    By Robert Scheer, Editor, Truthdig


    Bernie blew it. By embracing rather than confronting Hillary Clinton, Sen. Sanders fell into the trap of sellout mainstream politics, improving his personal brand as an appealing but ultimately non-threatening advocate for the downtrodden while studiously avoiding any suggestion that the smiley-faced woman standing next to him is deeply complicit in Wall Street's rape of the nation.

    In Tuesday's debate he pointedly ignored the Clinton family's role in deregulating Wall Street, and in doing so he allowed Hillary Clinton to cast gun regulation as the key issue that divides her from him. Forgotten was Bill Clinton's selection of Goldman Sachs honcho Robert Rubin to be his treasury secretary, an appointee who with President Clinton's complicity presided over the dismantling of New Deal limits on financial greed.

    The Clinton family tradition of sucking up to Wall Street is why Hillary and Bill and the foundation their daughter heads have been rewarded with millions in lecture fees and donations that are the basis of Hillary's rags-to-riches fairy tale. When she says she wants every child to have the opportunity that her grandchild has, that presupposes a father set up in the hedge fund business by Goldman Sachs chairman and Clinton buddy Lloyd Blankfein.

    Yes, Bernie Sanders has an immensely honorable record of waging the good fight for struggling Americans. On issues of economic justice, he is second to none, but that makes his stumble in this debate so depressing. I have long admired the man, but his failure to directly hold the Democratic leadership accountable for the bipartisan hollowing out of the American workforce was disappointing. The destruction of the hardworking, decently paid middle class was abetted by lousy trade deals like NAFTA and more recently the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Hillary Clinton called the "gold standard" until it became politically inconvenient to insist on that absurdity.

    Sanders' eagerness to forgive Clinton for any malfeasance in her email scandal was the debate's most celebrated but disgraceful moment. Ignoring her outrageous hypocrisy in endorsing the government's right to read the personal emails of everyone in the world, including the leaders of Germany and Brazil, but not her own, Sanders absolved the former secretary of state of the kinds of security breaches that have put lower-level government workers in prison. "Let me say this," Sanders declared as he cut into the applause for Clinton's dismissal of the email controversy as simply partisan contrivance. "Let me say ... something that may not be great politics. But I think the secretary is right, and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails!" Of course it was great politics, creating a kumbaya moment among the assembled Democrats, with an appreciative Clinton murmuring, "Thank you. Me, too. Me, too." Suddenly Sanders had morphed into a Tony Blair complement to the Margaret Thatcher wannabe standing next to him.

    Sanders remains proud of his opposition to the Patriot Act -- still supported by Clinton -- which authorized mass surveillance by the National Security Agency. So why didn't he point out the hypocrisy of a Cabinet member not trusting the government with her personal emails but feeling perfectly fine about the most intimate private data of the rest of us being subject to a vast and secret system of government spying? Spying that Clinton knew all about, but that was concealed from the American public until it was revealed by a brave whistleblower whom Clinton wants to imprison.

    We learned of the domestic spying, since limited by an act of Congress, only through the disclosures of Edward Snowden, whose motives and patriotism Clinton continues to castigate. Repeating her persistent denigration of a young man who served the needs of a democracy as Clinton so abjectly betrayed our Constitution, Clinton stated that Snowden must come back and "face the music." Once again, as she has done repeatedly, Clinton falsely claimed that Snowden could have sought whistleblower protection when she should know that such protection is only for government employees, not a contractor as Snowden was. And she again smeared Snowden for taking refuge in Russia, as if that was his choice rather than the result of the State Department stripping his passport while he was in transit at the Moscow airport.

    One should have no expectation that Clinton will be anything but deceitful in beating the drum for the "impostures of pretended patriotism" that George Washington warned about in his farewell address. Her hawkishness is ingrained, and the smug satisfaction she brings to an appraisal of the wreckage she has encouraged in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Syria was on full display during the debate's painfully shallow consideration of foreign policy choices.

    That the former Goldwater Girl is a devotee of peace through bombing is not news, but her unctuous satisfaction with the results of her warmongering tenure as secretary of state is a depressing harbinger of worldwide chaos should she be elected president. And don't lecture me about the future of a Supreme Court in the hands of someone who would hang Edward Snowden if she could work it for the polls. Et tu, Bernie?

    • Like Like x 1
  57. Criticize the guy because he isn't strident, ignoring he is the best of a sad lot. Criticize elsewhere.
    • Like Like x 1
  58. He's right to criticize. Look its over the people have lost. Bernie is going to sell out to all the same assholes that Clinton already sold out to a long time ago. Welcome to politics in 'Merica. The only way to change things is to have a REAL Revolution. Occupy is just another event in a long line of ordinary people fighting back. We probably won't see it in our time but eventually all of these bastards are going to get what's coming to them. Monsanto, Big Oil, the Military Industrial complex, the jail for profit fuckwads, Whatever dipshit is on Faux News spewing garbage right now...its all going to fall. But, we'll never see it because the only thing the US has a real monopoly on is Ignorance and Cowardice and that starts with our leaders.
    • Like Like x 1
  59. The Wrong Guy Member

    Iceland Jailed Dozens of Corrupt Bankers, The Opposite of What America Does | The Free Thought Project

    In stark contrast to the record low number of prosecutions of CEO’s and high-level financial executives in the U.S., Iceland has just sentenced 26 bankers to a combined 74 years in prison.

    The majority of those convicted have been sentenced to prison terms of two to five years. The maximum penalty in Iceland for financial crimes is six years, although hearings are currently underway to consider extending the maximum beyond six years.

    The prosecutions are the result of Iceland’s banksters manipulating the Icelandic financial markets after Iceland deregulated their finance sector in 2001. Eventually, an accumulation of foreign debt resulted in a meltdown of the entire banking sector in 2008.

    Continued here:
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  60. The Wrong Guy Member

  61. Jeff Jacobsen Member

    "Instead of welcoming other progressive forces and actually co-opting them, purists shamed 'liberals,' cultivated a radical macho culture more focused on big speeches at assemblies and arrests in the streets than the hard organizing behind the scenes, and turned Occupy into a fringe identity that only a few people could really claim to the exclusion of the hundreds of thousands who actually made it real.
    Occupy Wall Street created a new discourse, brought thousands of people into the movement, shifted the landscape of the left, and even facilitated concrete victories for working people. But at the same time, a substantial chunk of its leadership was allergic to power. And we made a politic of that. We fetishized it, wrote articles and books about it, scorned the public with it. Worst of all, we used it as a cudgel with which to bludgeon each other.
    Sure, the cops came for us — we invited them, after all. But we were the problem: When the state tugged hard enough, we tore at the seams.
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  62. The Wrong Guy Member

    Eric Holder Makes Ads for Hillary Clinton While Making Deals for Corporate Clients

    By David Dayen, The Intercept, February 4, 2016

    Former Obama administration attorney general Eric Holder is prominently featured in a Hillary Clinton campaign ad running in South Carolina. “If you want to make sure Republicans don’t take us backward, help Hillary move us forward,” Holder says.

    Meanwhile, in his post-public service life as a partner with white-collar defense firm Covington & Burling, Holder is upholding his Justice Department’s tradition of negotiating lower fines for corporate offenses, albeit from the other side of the negotiating table.

    The Associated Press reports that Holder, whose Justice Department prosecuted no major executive for the fraud that led to the 2008 financial crisis, is representing South African telecommunications conglomerate MTN in a $3.9 billion dispute with the country of Nigeria.

    MTN Nigeria did not deactivate 5.2 million unregistered cell phone SIM cards after the Nigerian Communications Commission ordered them to do so by August 2015. Extremist groups operating in Nigeria use the cards for communications in kidnappings and attacks.

    The commission initially imposed a $5.2 billion fine, which MTN challenged in court and got reduced to $3.9 billion. Now, Holder “is leading MTN’s legal team” in attempting to get the fine further reduced or eliminated, according to the commission’s spokesman, Tony Ojobo. The Federal High Court in Lagos has given MTN and the commission until March 18 to negotiate a settlement. Holder is negotiating directly with Nigerian officials, the AP reported.

    During his Justice Department leadership, Holder specialized in negotiating settlements with corporations. The Justice Department issued a record number of deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements, allowing corporations charged with misconduct to buy their way out of trouble without jail time or clawed-back bonuses.

    Covington & Burling defends corporate clients all over the world, including telecom, pharmaceutical, and financial interests. They openly promote getting bank clients off the hook in their marketing materials.

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  63. The Wrong Guy Member

    Why Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein Called Bernie Sanders “Dangerous”

    By Jon Schwarz, The Intercept, February 8, 2016

    Lloyd Blankfein, longtime CEO of Goldman Sachs, didn’t like what Bernie Sanders said about him in early January, and he fired back on CNBC’s “Squawkbox” last week, saying Sanders’s critique “has the potential to be a dangerous moment.”

    But there’s more to that story than it appears. It’s not simply that Sanders uses Blankfein as a symbol of the “greed of Wall Street” — it’s that Sanders does so while highlighting the evocative contrast between the 2008 bailout of Wall Street and Blankfein’s public advocacy for cuts to entitlements.

    Sanders took offense when Blankfein, in a 2012 segment on “60 Minutes,” said, “You’re going to have to undoubtedly do something to lower people’s expectations” that they will get their full Social Security and Medicare benefits because “we can’t afford it.” Blankfein advocated an increase in the eligibility age for both programs as well as other cuts because “entitlements have to be slowed down and contained.”

    Soon afterwards Sanders excoriated Blankfein in a speech from the floor of the Senate titled “The Face of Class Warfare”:

    Sanders: "Sometimes there is no end to arrogance. … Lloyd Blankfein is the CEO of Goldman Sachs. … During the financial crisis Goldman Sachs received a total of $814 billion in virtually zero-interest loans from the Federal Reserve and a ten billion dollar bailout from the Treasury Department. … And now with his huge wealth he is coming here to Washington to lecture the American people on how we have got to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for tens of millions of Americans who are struggling now to keep their heads above water."


    No one on Wall Street wants someone running for president asking why the United States “can’t afford” Social Security and Medicare but could afford to bail out them out.
    • Like Like x 2
  64. The Wrong Guy Member

    This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Everett Numbers and

    Big Banks Hiring Former Spies to Snoop on Employees

    By Everett Numbers, theAntiMedia

    At risk of being fined for individual acts of illegal trades or speculation, the biggest banks are deploying surveillance tactics not far off from ones used by the government in the war on terrorism.

    Every move bank employees make is likely being monitored by former military intelligence or CIA and GCHQ members, or even computer algorithms, according to a Bloomberg report based on interviews with“more than a dozen recruiters, bank executives and compliance officers.“

    HSBC, Deutsche Bank, and JP Morgan Chase & Co. were listed among the too-big-to-fail banks monitoring everything from cigarette breaks to text message metadata. In a January interview, Deutsche Bank Co-Chief Executive Officer John Cryan told Bloomberg the business of banking was being balanced with new policing duties necessary for preventing heavy regulatory fines.

    “We want to be able to identify any potential issues before they turn into anything troubling,” Bryon Linnehan, a veteran military intelligence officer who honed his skills in Iraq for two years before joining Barclays last May, told Bloomberg.

    Last year, Barclays was fined $2.2 billion for its role in the Libor scandal, where six banks manipulated foreign exchange rates. Total fines for all the institutions involved amounted to nearly $6 billion.

    Chris Mathers, a former Canadian police officer turned bank consultant, sees “the regulator” as “the biggest threat to banks today, the absolute biggest threat,” according to Bloomberg.

    The surveillance levied against bank employees can be comprehensive, including monitoring behavioral patterns both online and off. Web browsing history, especially to gambling sites or others that pay out for accurate event predicting — also known as spread-betting — can prompt further investigation just as easily as an employee’s movements to certain parts of the office building. Vacation frequency, and even too much persistent financial success, can also raise suspicions.

    “Military-intelligence people are used to parsing partial bits of data from communications, from behaviors, and putting those together in a way that would predict the next terrorist attack or some other type of much more horrible thing than we’re dealing with,” Ben Bair, global head of whistle-blowing and investigations at Barclays in London, told Bloomberg. “And that’s what we need to take surveillance to the next level.”

  65. DeathHamster Member

  66. The Wrong Guy Member

    HSBC avoided US money laundering charges because of 'market risk' fears | BBC News

    US officials refused to prosecute HSBC for money laundering in 2012 because of concerns within the Department of Justice that it would cause a "global financial disaster", a report says.

    HSBC escaped US money-laundering charges after Osborne's intervention | The Guardian

    UK chancellor and a British banking regulator warned of ‘global financial disaster’ if bank were prosecuted, House report says
  67. The Wrong Guy Member

    5,300 Wells Fargo employees fired over 2 million phony accounts | CNN


    Everyone hates paying bank fees. But imagine paying fees on a ghost account you didn't even sign up for.

    That's exactly what happened to Wells Fargo customers nationwide.

    On Thursday, federal regulators said Wells Fargo (WFC) employees secretly created millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts -- without their customers knowing it -- since 2011.

    The phony accounts earned the bank unwarranted fees and allowed Wells Fargo employees to boost their sales figures and make more money.

    "Wells Fargo employees secretly opened unauthorized accounts to hit sales targets and receive bonuses," Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said in a statement.

    Wells Fargo confirmed to CNNMoney that it had fired 5,300 employees over the last few years related to the shady behavior. Employees went so far as to create phony PIN numbers and fake email addresses to enroll customers in online banking services, the CFPB said.

    Continued here:

    $124 million payday for top Wells Fargo exec who led fake accounts unit | CNN


    Carrie Tolstedt has made a fortune presiding over Wells Fargo's efforts to aggressively sell multiple accounts to each of its millions of customers.

    But that "cross-selling" strategy is now under intense scrutiny after the bank was caught creating over 2 million fake bank and credit card accounts without the knowledge or consent of its customers. Wells Fargo on Thursday was fined $185 million and admitted to firing 5,300 employees in recent years.

    The disturbing practices took place under the leadership of Tolstedt, who headed the community banking division of Wells Fargo (WFC) for at least nine years.

    Last year, as executive vice president of the division, Tolstedt made $9 million in total pay, a reward for "continued growth in primary checking customers" and other metrics.

    Despite the shocking scandal at her division, 56-year-old Tolstedt is set to walk away with an even bigger fortune when she retires at the end of the year -- a $124 million payday through a mix of shares, options and restricted stock, according to calculations of company filings based on the current stock price.

    One of Tolstedt's biggest achievements was the expansion of multiple accounts held by Wells Fargo customers. In 2014, Wells Fargo specifically cited "strong cross-sell ratios" as a factor behind Tolstedt's multi-million dollar pay.

    In fact, that same year, in a presentation to investors, Tolstedt and other executives touted the bank's "expertise" in selling multiple products, which was immensely profitable for the bank. In fact, customers that had 10-plus products each with the bank were 10 times more profitable. The phrase "cross-sell" came up in the presentation 19 times.

    It was this kind of internal analysis that led to Wells Fargo's internal goal of selling at least eight financial products per customer. Wells Fargo calls it the "Gr-eight initiative."

    The pursuit of cross-selling was at the heart of the pressure cooker environment described by Wells Fargo employees to CNNMoney. In fact, a lawsuit filed by Los Angeles against Wells Fargo in May 2015 says that the bank was consumed by this goal. District managers discussed daily sales for each branch and employee "four times a day, at 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm and 5 pm," the lawsuit said.

    To reach unrealistic goals, Wells Fargo employees engaged in all kinds of sordid practices, including the creation of fake email accounts.

    Wells Fargo did not comment on Tolstedt's compensation, which CNNMoney calculated from regulatory filings. Fortune previously reported on Tolstedt's huge looming payday.

    In theory, Wells Fargo could try to "claw back" this pay, given the turmoil in Tolstedt's division. Wells Fargo's policies give the bank the ability to demand bonuses and other forms of pay be taken away if they're based on "materially inaccurate financial information or performance criteria."

    Creating millions of fake accounts would seemingly fall under that category. And Tolstedt was head of Wells Fargo's retail banking and credit card divisions during the time that regulators say the illegal sales activity took place.

    However, a Wells Fargo spokesman declined to comment to CNNMoney on whether the bank is planning to claw back any of Tolstedt's pay.

    Continued here:

    Senators urge ‘immediate’ hearings on Wells Fargo sales practices | The State


    Five U.S. senators called Monday for immediate hearings into revelations Wells Fargo employees opened fraudulent customer accounts, as the bank faced more fallout from its sales practices.

    Also Monday, credit-rating firm Moody’s Investors Service said the conduct by the bank’s employees is a “credit negative” for Wells, putting it at risk of a downgrade. And a prominent bank analyst said the revelations probably should result in a claw-back of compensation for Wells Fargo’s head of community banking, Carrie Tolstedt, who in July announced plans to retire at the end of this year.

    The moves came after the San Francisco bank, whose largest employee base is in Charlotte, agreed Thursday to pay $185 million in fines to resolve claims that employees opened accounts that customers may not have authorized. Regulators said employees took part in a “widespread illegal practice” by secretly opening more than 2 million deposit and credit card accounts.

    Wells Fargo declined further comment on Monday.

    In a letter, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and four other Democratic members of the Senate Banking Committee wrote Monday that the “magnitude of this situation warrants thorough and comprehensive review.” The letter, sent to committee Chairman Richard Shelby, also calls for the committee to “thoroughly examine this issue, including: how it is possible that more than 5,000 employees could bilk customers over the course of five years.”

    It’s unclear whether such a hearing will take place. A spokeswoman for Shelby, an Alabama Republican, told the Observer Shelby’s office is collecting information from Wells Fargo and regulators “to determine if further action by the committee is needed.”

    The senators called the behavior of the banks’ employees a “critical issue” and said the committee should take “prompt action” to probe its cause, scope and impact – as well as any possible safeguards to prevent similar behavior in the future.

    Continued here:
  68. The Wrong Guy Member

  69. The Wrong Guy Member

    Wells Fargo says 3.5 million accounts involved in scandal | The Associated Press


    The scope of Wells Fargo’s fake accounts scandal grew significantly on Thursday, with the bank now saying that 3.5 million accounts were potentially opened without customers’ permission between 2009 and 2016.

    That’s up from 2.1 million accounts that the bank had cited in September 2016, when it acknowledged that employees under pressure to meet aggressive sales targets had opened accounts that customers might not have even been aware existed. People may have had different kinds of accounts in their names, so the number of customers affected may differ from the account total.

    Wells Fargo said Thursday that about half a million of the newly discovered accounts were missed during the original review, which covered the years 2011 to 2015.

    After Wells Fargo acknowledged the fake accounts last year, evidence quickly appeared that the sales practices problems dated back even further. So Wells Fargo hired an outside consulting firm to analyze 165 million retail bank accounts opened between 2009 and 2016.

    Wells said the firm found that, along with the 2.1 million accounts originally disclosed, 981,000 more accounts were found in the expanded timeline. And roughly 450,000 accounts were found in the original window.

    The scandal was the biggest in Wells Fargo’s history. It cost then-CEO John Stumpf his job, and the bank’s once-sterling industry reputation was in tatters. The company ended up paying $185 million to regulators and settled a class-action suit for $142 million.

    New managers have been trying to amends with customers, politicians and the public.

    But it’s been tough, as new revelations keep coming. Wells Fargo said last month that roughly 570,000 customers were signed up for and billed for car insurance that they didn’t need or necessarily know about. Many couldn’t afford the extra costs and fell behind in their payments, and in about 20,000 cases, cars were repossessed.

    Other customers have filed lawsuits against Wells Fargo saying they were victims of unfair overdraft practices. Wells Fargo is also still under several investigations for its sales practices problems, including a congressional inquiry and one by the Justice Department.

    Wells Fargo said Thursday that of the 3.5 million accounts potentially opened without permission, 190,000 of those incurred fees and charges. That’s up from 130,000 that the bank originally said. Wells Fargo will refund $2.8 million to customers, in addition to the $3.3 million it already agreed to pay.

    In addition, San Francisco-based Wells admitted that 528,000 customers were likely signed up for online bill payment without authorization. It’ll refund $910,000 in fees to those customers.

    Since last fall, Wells has changed its sales practices, ousted other executives and called tens of millions of customers to check on whether they truly opened the accounts.

    “To rebuild trust and to build a better Wells Fargo, our first priority is to make things right for our customers, and the completion of this expanded third-party analysis is an important milestone,” Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan said in a statement.


    Wells Fargo: There were nearly twice as many potentially fake accounts opened than originally thought | CNBC


    On Wednesday, billionaire investor Warren Buffett told CNBC that when one puts a spotlight on a large financial institution like Wells Fargo, they're likely to find something.

    "What you find is there's never just one cockroach in the kitchen when you start looking around," the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway said on "Squawk Alley."

    Berkshire is Wells Fargo's largest shareholder, holding a 9.4 percent stake.

    "Anytime you put focus on an organization that has hundreds of thousands of people ... you may very well find that it wasn't just the one who misbehaved that you find out about," Buffett said.

    More at‏ @OpenSecretsDC 1 hour ago
    Now that Wells Fargo is back in the news, let's take a look at which members of Congress own shares in the company.
  70. The Internet Member

    The Wells Fargo story is astonishing. Maybe I'm imagining the situation wrong --but sales targets are assigned to grunts at local banks, right? That means many thousands of people are doing sneaky crimes. Other people at a local bank must notice but nobody blows the whistle?

    I'm trying to picture this: unbeknownst to me, I have a car insurance policy that I don't pay. So my car gets repossessed? How does this happen?

    The Wells Fargo story proves that you can pressure huge numbers of basically good people into doing bad things without violence. All it takes is the fear of not meeting sales targets.
  71. The Wrong Guy Member

    JP Morgan’s notorious swindle of Eric Holder was even more devious than it seemed, docs show | ThinkProgress

    JP Morgan's sweetheart deal with the feds over foreclosure abuses seemed like it couldn't get worse.


    The Obama White House’s settlement deals with major banks over mortgage finance and foreclosure abuses were widely panned as paper tigers at the time they were announced, with dollar figures too small to meaningfully punish the banks’ misdeeds and fine-print conditions that shrunk the penalties even further in practical terms.

    But now, thanks to fresh reporting from David Dayen in The Nation, the true depravity of Obama’s deal with JP Morgan is plain. The bank’s “payments” under the settlement were made in substantial part by counting loans the bank had already sold to third parties as part of JP Morgan’s own books, to satisfy the paltry debt-forgiveness requirements of the settlements.

    The bank’s deal — struck after then-Attorney General Eric Holder agreed to override his staff’s plans to go to take their fraud evidence to court once JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon reached out personally to the Department of Justice — required it to cancel billions of dollars in loan debts for homeowners. The provision was marketed as direct aid to the little guy, even though it was clear from the jump that the bank would be able to turn the forgiveness provisions to its own financial benefit as well.

    But JP Morgan went further than abusing the spirit of the deal, documents obtained by Dayen now show. The bank claimed — and the DOJ accepted — credit for forgiving loans that were already off of its books, long since sold to other firms hoping to collect from the embattled families on the other end of the contracts.

    “JPMorgan no longer owned the properties because it had sold the mortgages years earlier to 21 third-party investors” who are now suing the bank in federal court, Dayen writes. “In a bizarre twist, a company associated with the Church of Scientology facilitated the apparent scheme. Nationwide Title Clearing, a document-processing company with close ties to the church, produced and filed the documents that JPMorgan needed to claim ownership and cancel the loans.”

    In other words, JP Morgan, a multi-billion-dollar-a-year banking and investments house, first engaged in highly profitable mortgage-backed securities trading that many in the finance industry knew were headed for a crash but trusted to return short-term profits and personal wealth. After the crash, when the pushy sales tactics of ground-level mortgage brokers and dishonest wink-nudge partnerships between securities traders and ratings agencies had left millions of American homeowners underwater on their loans and facing eviction from overpriced homes, the bank took to robo-signing documents to justify illegitimate foreclosures that homeowners would otherwise have been able to dispute.

    And then, when government investigators had put together enough proof to scare Dimon into calling Holder and striking a deal, the bank had the audacity to fulfill its meager commitments to the government and the public by counting products they no longer owned as part of their penance.

    Then, despite having won a sweetheart deal far smaller than the harm his firm had caused and further driving down the cost of that deal through the fraud alleged in Dayen’s documents, Dimon publicly decried the settlement as “unfair” and suggested regulatory scrutiny of banking was unpatriotic.

    Even before the revelation that Dimon’s team used somebody else’s money to cover its commitments, the debt-relief provisions of the Holder-Obama team’s various deals with mortgage fraudsters were alarming watchdogs.

    The consumer relief that banks agreed to provide did not cost them money. Often, the renegotiation of these loans was actually better for the banks’ bottom line than it would have been to foreclose. A renegotiated loan that a homeowner can afford to repay is an account receivable for the bank, as opposed to a foreclosure process where they would likely lose money.

    Continued at
  72. DeathHamster Member

  73. The Wrong Guy Member

    There's a related post in the Trump thread:

    Offshore Trove Exposes Trump-Russia links and Piggy Banks of the Wealthiest 1 Percent

    A new leak of confidential records reveals the financial hideaways of iconic brands and power brokers across the political spectrum.

    By the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, November 5, 2017
  74. The Wrong Guy Member

    Supreme Court to decide who is a protected whistle-blower in corporate America | Los Angeles Times


    The Supreme Court is set to decide whether corporate whistle-blowers are protected from being fired if they disclose wrongdoing to company officials rather than to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    At issue in the case to be argued Tuesday is the scope of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, which aimed to encourage whistle-blowers and prevent the kind of retaliation seen against those who tried to sound an alarm at Lehman Bros. and other firms that collapsed during the Great Recession.

    But it is unclear that the law does as much as its sponsors and supporters assumed. It faces a stiff challenge based on “textualism,” the approach that has won favor with most of the justices, and none more so than new Justice Neil M. Gorsuch. He has repeatedly declared his devotion to deciding cases based on the text of the law, not its broader purpose.

    Although the 2010 law clearly says companies may be sued if they “discharge [or] demote” employees for disclosing wrongdoing, it separately defines a whistle-blower as an “individual who provides information … to the commission.”

    The question is now whether that narrow definition excludes those who step forward to expose potential frauds by reporting them internally, rather to the SEC.

    And if a company quickly fires such an employee — before a report is made to the SEC — is the whistle-blower left unprotected by the Dodd-Frank law?

    Continued at
    • Like Like x 1
  75. The Wrong Guy Member

    Wells Fargo will be fined $1 billion | CNN

    Two federal regulators are close to fining Wells Fargo $1 billion for forcing customers into car insurance and charging mortgage borrowers unfair fees.
  76. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  77. Hellohello Member

    I don't know where to post this, and I'm sure that Anonymous gets this request all the time nowadays, but I just want to say this anyway: In 2012, Anonymous claimed credit for preventing Republicans from cheating their way into the White House. Could you please do the same here? I know this sounds alarmist, but it is my honest opinion: it will be the end of freedom and democracy in America for a long time if the Republicans win the midterm elections. They've already caught Russians trying to hack in Claire McAskill's campaign. PLEASE prevent the Republicans/Russians from cheating!
  78. Hellohello Member

    Random news culled from Twitter. I don't know how to embed Tweets; sorry:

    The man who purged 600k voters from the rolls and is intimately involved with the KSU elections center that wiped their servers and backup servers after a suit was filed to investigate election security in Georgia! What could go wrong? #gapol

    SCOOP: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) was the target of a bizarre impersonation attempt aimed at getting inside info on U.S. sanctions targeting Russia. We have the emails & audio. (W/ @kpoulsen)

    ICYMI, #Russia liquidated almost all of its holdings in U.S. Treasury securities during run up to #HelsinkiSummit, in move labeled 'unprecedented' by experts

    If you have a burning desire to flip the House, wherever you live, the most important thing you can do this week is phone bank for @dannyoconnor1 to get out the vote. #OH12

    This is nuts. Trump is now considering bypassing Congress and the law to shower an additional $100 billion tax cut on the wealthy.

    BREAKING: Overwhelming new poll results put protecting pre-ex conditions as top midterm issue including 64% of independents & half of Republicans. Trump position on pre-ex and position of Supreme Court nominee massively unpopular.
  79. Hellohello Member

  80. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  81. The Wrong Guy Member

    Tonight I found myself thinking about Mike Ruppert. In a search I noticed that the video I had posted in this thread had been deleted, so I have quoted it above, replacing it with one that someone else had posted.

    In that post, I added this personal comment. Quote:

    In this video, Mike mentions the lecture he gave in 2001 at Portland State University. It was while he was getting ready to speak that I introduced myself to him, and told him that I would do anything I could to help him. As you will understand if you take the time to watch this entire video, and pay attention to what he says, I have tremendous respect for him. I hope that many people spread this video around.

    This is the 2014 VICE documentary about Michael C. Ruppert, titled Apocalypse, Man.

    This was uploaded on April 15, 2014, and is titled Abby Martin's Personal Tribute to Investigative Journalist Michael C. Ruppert.

    "Abby Martin gives a heartfelt tribute to investigative journalist and former LAPD detective, Michael C. Ruppert, highlighting his career from exposing CIA drug trafficking to his groundbreaking research on 'Peak Energy', and remembers his sincere devotion to truth and justice."

    Rock on, Mike. We'll see you later.

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