Daily Archives: April 28, 2016

Obama Says ‘The Big Short’ Was Wrong: Wall Street Has Changed

Yeah, right, Obama. And no bank execs gone to jail thanks to Eric Holder’s DOJ.

Reflecting on his economic legacy, President Barack Obama disputes the conclusion in “The Big Short” movie that nothing changed on Wall Street after the 2008 economic meltdown, and maintains that his policies have helped stabilize the financial sector.

In a wide-ranging interview with the New York Times published on Thursday, Obama bemoaned his fractious relationship with Wall Street, said finance is absorbing more science and engineering talent than it should, and speculated he might have gone into business if not politics. But he has little patience for criticism from business leaders.

“One of the constants that I’ve had to deal with over the last few years is folks on Wall Street complaining, even as the stock market went from in the 6,000s to 16,000 or 17,000,” he said, referring to the rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average during his administration. “They’d be constantly complaining about our economic policies. That’s not rooted in anything they’re experiencing; it has to do with ideology and their aggravations about higher taxes.”

In the Dodd-Frank legislation to overhaul the financial system, Obama sees a major shift in how Wall Street is regulated. He takes issue with Hollywood’s version, reflected in the 2015 film “The Big Short,” which suggested that little has changed on Wall Street. The movie was based on the 2010 best-seller of the same name by Michael Lewis.

Obama on Sanders

“There is no doubt that the financial system is substantially more stable,” Obama said, adding, “It is true that we have not dismantled the financial system, and in that sense, Bernie Sanders’s critique is correct.”

Obama’s statement put further distance between himself and the Vermont senator whose bid to succeed him in the Oval Office has attracted large rallies and featured repeated calls to break up America’s biggest banks. Obama said such a drastic change in the financial system could have unintended consequences.

“One of the things that I’ve consistently tried to remind myself during the course of my presidency is that the economy is not an abstraction,” Obama said. “It’s not something that you can just redesign and break up and put back together again without consequences.”

Read on.

Bank of America shareholders approve new director, and other news from inside the annual meeting

Business as usual from the banksters..

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) shareholders approved all three of the company’s proposals at the 2016 shareholder meeting in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday.

All 13 board of director nominees were elected with at least 94 percent of the vote cast in favor of each person. One of those nominees was new board member Thomas Woods, who will replace Chad Gifford. Gifford is now officially retired from the company.

Read on.

A 15-year old grilled Bank of America’s CEO about the bank’s performance, and she nailed it

Business Insider:

Natalie Clarke, a 15-year-old who owns 5,000 shares at Bank of America, is on to something.

Clarke fired a pressing question at the bank’s executives during an annual meeting yesterday,according to Christina Rexrode over at The Wall Street Journal. 

What is the bank doing to become more efficient?

The bank is slashing staff as it copes with low interest rates, sluggish trading and the impact of depressed oil prices. In the first quarter, Bank of America missed on revenue and reported lower trading revenue.

Still, there are some, like Clarke, who would like to see the bank do more. Mike Mayo, an analyst at CLSA, grilled the Bank of America executive team on a similar topic during the bank’s first quarter earnings call.

Bank of America chief executive Brian Moynihan told Clarke that the bank would keep cutting costs, according to the WSJ. Moynihan also wished her luck in getting into the University of Notre Dame, where he holds a law degree.

This isn’t the first time Clarke has directed questions at Bank of America’s leadership team. A North Carolina-native, she thinks shareholders should pay more attention in the companies they invest in:

“There’s a lot of people who own stock in Bank of America,“ Miss Clarke said, but at the annual meeting, “there’s barely enough to fill half a ballroom at a hotel.”

Panama signs bank account info sharing deal with US

(AFP) Panama and the United States on Wednesday signed an agreement on sharing of back account information in a step Panama’s finance minister hailed as proof of his country’s cooperation in fighting tax evasion.

The bilateral agreement comes weeks after the Panama Papers, a series of reports around the world revealing how one Panamanian law firm set up offshore entities to help the world’s wealthy stash their assets.

Following the revelations, Panama has come under intense international pressure to open its financial sector to greater transparency or risk being put back on an global “tax haven” blacklist.

While the government has long said it is committed to that goal and has made some reforms in that direction, it has so far not signed up to an international standard on automatic sharing of tax information set by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Wednesday’s signing formalized an arrangement on exchanging bank account details already observed between the two countries. The US and Panama also already have a separate agreement in force on sharing tax information.

Read on.

“Woman’s card,” “man’s card,”…have we seen this tactic before in political races before?

Written by Biloxi

Rest assured if Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the nominees of their political parties, this Presidential election will be the most expensive, nastiest, and ugly race this year. And the Donald just started off his attack against Hillary Clinton on Tuesday night on accusing Clinton of using the “woman’s card.” And he still continued his attacks against Clinton today:

Donald Trump played the “woman card” card again Thursday, pointing to Hillary Clinton’s gender as the reason for her campaign’s success during an interview with the Today show.

The Republican front-runner’s remarks came two days after he first played the “woman card” card in a speech following Tuesday’s primaries, when he said that Clinton wouldn’t get 5% of the vote were she a man.

On Thursday, Trump told hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie over the phone that “without the woman’s card, Hillary would not even be a viable person to even run for city council positions.”

Trump’s assertion that women voted for Clinton because she’s a woman appeared to be countered seconds later by Trump himself, when Lauer asked Trump if women voted based on gender.

“No, I think they vote for security. I think they vote for jobs. And that’s why I’m doing so well,” Trump said, stressing his success in exit polling among women in the past two weeks’ primaries.

If you remember the 1984 Vice Presidential Debate between Geraldine Ferraro and George H.W. Bush where Bush was talking down to Ms. Ferraro. But, she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and let him know how she felt:

And who can forget John McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, in 2008 Presidential race when McCain accused then Sen. Barack Obama’s reference to “lipstick on a pig” was an attack on Palin.But, was there ever an attack from a woman candidate on a man candidate? Yes.

Remember Christine O’Donnell who ran for then Senator Joe Biden’s Senate seat in 2010 against Mike Castle when she played the manhood card? Ms. Donnell questioned her opponent’s manhood calling Mike Castle’s tactics “un-manly” and that he should put his “man pants” on because this is not a “bake sale:”

Mike Castle, who was the favorite to win the GOP Senate primary lost to Ms. O’Donnell. And eventually O’Donnell lost the Senate race against Chris Coons.

All political races boils down to the voters on who will vote for the person of their choice who will become public servants to the voters. Character is determined by voters not gender, race, religion, etc. Character will be tested on Clinton and Trump in this Presidential race. And that character will be tested in the Oval Office to whomever wins in November. As Abe Lincoln said, “To test a man’s ( woman’s) character, give him (her) power.”

The Financial Crisis Initiative

This week, three of the Bank Whistleblowers United founders, joined me in Dallas, to be on the McCuistion Television program specifically addressing our BWU initiative, what really caused the financial crisis and what must be done now to prevent another. The TV taping went very well and I’ll be sharing the program itself with you in a future post. Unfortunately, due to bronchitis our fourth BWU member, Gary Aguirre was not able to join us.
He and I had been scheduled to be on a panel for The National Center for Policy Analysis, Financial Crisis Initiative the following day.  Dennis McCuistion, the host of the TV program and coincidentally NCPA’s Financial Crisis Initiative task force leader invited both Michael Winston and Bill Black to be part of the NCPA panel filling Gary’s place.
The conference focused on the research from the Initiative, of which I am part of as a working group leader, as I explained in my article, “What Caused the 2008 Financial Crisis, Interview with NCPA.

Former Speaker of the House and now convicted child molester felon Dennis Hastert’s stunningly hypocritical 1998 speech about impeaching Bill Clinton


That was then Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert advocated for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998, saying no one is above the law. (C-SPAN).

Washington Post:

On Dec. 18, 1998, Hastert — a month away from taking the gavel as speaker — rose to address the topic.

Mr. Speaker, I am saddened that there is clear and convincing evidence that the president lied under oath, obstructed justice and abused the powers of his office in an attempt to cover up his wrongdoing. I regret that the president’s behavior puts me in the position of having to vote in favor of articles of impeachment and pass this matter on to the U.S. Senate for final judgment. In facing this solemn duty, I looked to the wisdom of our founding fathers.

According to Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 65, impeachment concerns offenses with proceed from the misconduct of public men — or in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. The evidence in President Clinton’s case is overwhelming, that he has abused and violated the public trust. In this nation, all men are created equal. Simply put, the president in our representative democracy is not a sovereign who is above the law.

Tomorrow, I shall cast a difficult vote. The president’s inability to abide by the law, the Constitution and my conscience have all led me to the solemn conclusion that impeachment articles must be passed.

That was then and this is now. The chickens come home to roost for Hastert. Now Hastert is convicted felon and child molester. And the judge that sentenced Hastert had some very choice words for Hastert. From Thinkprogress:

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was sentenced in federal court today to 15 months in prison and a $250,000 fine, in addition to two years of supervised release, on the condition that he get treatment as a sex offender. Last year, Hastert pled guilty to breaking banking laws by making illegal withdrawals — which he then lied about to the FBI.

Hastert took out $1.7 million in small amounts to avoid suspicion, according to the indictment, which he then used as hush money to prevent a victim of sexual abuse from going public. The victim, identified only as “Individual A” in the court papers, was a 14-year-old on Hastert’s wrestling team when Hastert was a teacher and wrestling coach at Yorkville High school in Illinois. When the allegations become public, three other victims came forward and said that they had been molested by Hastert while he was their wrestling coach. While the statute of limitations on the sexual crimes ran out long ago, the judge can take any behavior surrounding the banking crimes into account when sentencing.

One of Hastert’s victims, now 53-year-old Scott Cross, came forward publicly for the first time before today’s sentencing. He testified that he was molested by Dennis Hastert while on the wrestling team in 1979. He was 17 years old at the time.

Cross’ brother, Tom Cross, is a former Republican House Minority Leader in the Illinois legislature and a former Hastert political ally. Hastert mentored Cross and helped him get into politics.Hastert asked his former protege for a letter of support earlier this year, but by then Tom Cross knew of his brother’s allegation and declined.

The sister of another alleged victim, Stephen Reinboldt, also testified. At the sentencing, Hastert admitted to wrongdoing and apologized to the boys he “mistreated,” including Reinboldt. He also said that he didn’t remember abusing Cross — but that he accepted his allegations.

In sentencing, Judge Thomas M. Durkin called Hastert a “serial child molester” and noted that any sentence he would be able to give would be far less than what Hastert would have received for his sexual crimes.

And the difference between scandals between Bill Clinton and  Dennis Hastert is that Clinton’s indiscretion was consensual and not rape. Clinton is only guilty of morals and cheating on his wife. Hastert, on the other hand, is a convicted felon and now sex offender when he molested underage boys when he was a teacher decades ago.