Daily Archives: June 5, 2016


Cartoon for Sunday


Art imitates life: The Purge: Election Year


Coming July 1 to a theatre near you. Certainly art is imitating life especially this 2016 Presidential election. You can read the plot here. This movie is part of The Purge series:

The series takes place in a future America where every year there is a 12-hour period during which all crime, including murder, is legal.

Let’s just hope that this plot of violence in this movie does not happen with the current political climate in this country.


Billionaire environmentalist behind anti-Donald Trump immigration ads

A billionaire environmentalist is spending big money in California to skewer presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump — the latest volley in a barrage of anti-Trump advertising that has saturated TV airwaves.

The billionaire? Tom Steyer, who has so far contributed $24 million to his personal super PAC, NextGen Climate Action Committee. That ranks him among the top contributors to all super PACs so far this election.

NextGen Climate Action Committee says it acts “politically to prevent climate disaster and promote prosperity for every American.”

Read on.



Mildred Obi marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when she was 16; I met her in Atlanta a little over a year ago, April 15, 2015, standing outside of a McDonald’s overrun with striking fast-food workers who were chanting: “We shut it down!” after successfully getting the management of the store to lock its doors.

I was in Atlanta reporting on Occupy Our Homes for my upcoming book, and Obi told me her story as we walked alongside the “Fight for $15” march. After having to leave the workforce due to a disability, she had trouble paying her mortgage and tried to get her bank to work with her so that she could stay in her house. But nothing worked, and she was foreclosed upon in 2009, as the collapse of the housing bubble ramped up foreclosures. She reached out to her bank, or what she thought was her bank—her original mortgage was with notorious lender Countrywide, which was swallowed up after the financial crisis byBank of America. But somewhere in there, she realized, U.S. Bank also had some sort of claim on her mortgage.

“It’s just a maze,” she told me. “You really don’t know who to go after if you’re really fighting. And then I couldn’t afford an attorney, so I would sit up at night—I have a visual impairment—researching, going to law libraries, researching.”

What Obi was struggling with is the subject of journalist David Dayen’s excellent new book, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud.

Check out the rest here…

Jamie Dimon: Millennials Ultimately Powerless Against Chase’s Charms

So says Big Papa J, the overpaid jobholder whose company screwed over many of the millennials’ families members who lost their homes from the banks’ greed. Millennials are smart enough to know who the banksters  are that caused the 2008 financial and housing crisis…

Deal Breaker:

Papa J knows what the young people are all about: that sweet, sweet direct deposit. Once those paychecks start rolling in you’ll be practically begging Chase to hold onto your money for safekeeping.

“They say millennials don’t like banks — I say, yeah, until that first paycheck,” Dimon said. “Then they direct deposit and they love Chase.”

A throwaway line from Jamie Dimon shows why the fintech hype has gone too far [BI]


(WASHINGTON, D.C.)  —  When the 2008 financial crash slammed the New York City construction industry, Maribel Touré’s husband lost his job as an architect. On top of that, Maribel suffered a serious accident.

But what really plunged the family into financial trouble was sending their daughter to college.

As a child growing up in Mexico, Maribel’s father had repeatedly told her that la educación es la clave— “education is the key.” So she worked hard to obtain a college degree in Mexico and then moved to the United States, where she became a radiology technician.

Maribel wanted the same opportunity for her daughter to obtain “the key.” But high tuition bills strained the family budget and pushed them to the brink of foreclosure.

“The government was helping the banks, but they refused to help me,” Maribel said recently. “I never stopped working and I never stopped paying my taxes — the same taxes the government was giving to the banks.”

Maribel is just one of many Americans who were hurt by the financial crisis and want more done to crack down on the Wall Street greed and recklessness that caused it. That’s why she’s added her support to a new Take on Wall Street campaign that aims to channel widespread public anger over our broken financial system into concrete, bold change.

The campaign’s priority reforms would help ensure that Wall Street pays its fair share of taxes. The additional revenue could be used for urgent needs, such as making college more affordable for families like the Tourés.

A small tax of just a fraction of a percent on each stock and derivative trade, for example, could generate massive revenue while also curbing short-term speculation. For ordinary investors, such a tax would be hardly noticeable. The real targets would be the high-speed traders who now dominate our financial markets while adding no real value to the economy.

Read on.

Trump University Script Tells Students to Inflate Income

PHOTO: A slide from a cache of Trump University documents released by court order May 31, 2016.

A slide from a cache of Trump University documents released by court order May 31, 2016.

ABC News:

A Trump University seminar presentation advised students to try to boost their credit card limit by inflating their annual income by $75,000, according to documents made public in federal court this week. The instruction, legal experts said, could amount to a lesson in bank fraud.

“If someone is encouraging people to make a false representation about their current income, that might be an appropriate target for prosecution,” said John W. Moscow, a former head of the fraud bureau of the New York County District Attorney’s Office.

“If the caller actually does what they were told to do, that could easily be fraud,” agreed Randall M. Fox, who served as the founding bureau chief of the New York attorney general’s taxpayer protection bureau.


An undated presentation called “Fast Track to Foreclosure Investing,” offers an inside look at how the costly real estate seminars worked and includes instructions for increasing credit card limits, presumably to enable someone to invest more money in foreclosed property.

“When asked for your income,” the instructor’s script reads, “take your current income and add $75,000 from your real estate enterprise.”

Moscow, now in private practice, said credit limits are not based on the possibility of future earnings, no more than they would be based “on the chance of holding a winning lottery ticket.”


Former Texas official says he was told to drop Trump University probe

WASHINGTON — Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton moved to muzzle a former state regulator who says he was ordered in 2010 to drop a fraud investigation into Trump University for political reasons.

Paxton’s office issued a cease and desist letter to former Deputy Chief of Consumer Protection John Owens after he made public copies of a 14-page internal summary of the state’s case against Donald Trump for scamming millions from students of his now-defunct real estate seminar.

Owens, now retired, said his team had built a solid case against the now-presumptive Republican presidential nominee, but was told to drop it after Trump’s company agreed to cease operations in Texas.

The former state regulator told The Associated Press on Friday that decision was highly unusual and left the bilked students on their own to attempt to recover their tuition money from the celebrity businessman.

Read on.

Matt Damon blasts banks for ‘biggest heist in history,’ backs Sen.Warren


Yet Damon—an outspoken Democrat who has endorsed Hillary Clinton—reserved some of his harshest critique for bankers, which he faulted for the 2008 financial pandemic that reverberated through the global economy. Ironically, Clinton has come in for sharp criticism for her ties to the financial industry, cultivated during her tenure as New York’s junior senator.

Calling the crisis “the biggest heist in history,” the “Jason Bourne” actor insisted that financial institutions were aware of the ramifications of their actions, which he called fraudulent.

“It was theft, and you knew it. It was fraud and you knew it, And you know what else? We know that you knew it,” Damon said. “I don’t know if justice is coming for you in this life or the next but if it does come in this life? Her name will be Elizabeth Warren,” he added.

Judging by the sparse applause during his comments, Damon may have been speaking to a less than receptive audience.

Panama Papers Reveal How Wealthy Americans Hid Millions Overseas

Over the years, William R. Ponsoldt had earned tens of millions of dollars building a string of successful companies. He had renovated apartment buildings in the New York City area. Bred Arabian horses. Run a yacht club in the Bahamas, a rock quarry in Michigan, an auto-parts company in Canada, even a multibillion-dollar hedge fund.

Now, as he neared retirement, Mr. Ponsoldt, of Jensen Beach, Fla., had a special request for Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm well placed in the world of offshore finance: How could he confidentially shift his money into overseas bank accounts and use them to buy real estate and move funds to his children?

“He is the manager of one of the richest hedge funds in the world,” a lawyer at Mossack Fonseca wrote when the firm was introduced to Mr. Ponsoldt in 2004. “Primary objective is to maintain the utmost confidentiality and ideally to open bank accounts without disclosing his name as a private person.”

In summary, the firm explained: “He needs asset protection schemes, which we are trying to sell him.”

Thus began a relationship that would last at least through 2015 as Mossack Fonseca managed eight shell companies and a foundation on the family’s behalf, moving at least $134 million through seven banks in six countries — little of which could be traced directly to Mr. Ponsoldt or his children.

These transactions and others like them for a stable of wealthy clients from the United States are outlined in extraordinary detail in the trove of internal Mossack Fonseca documents known as the Panama Papers. The materials were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitungand the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, and have now been shared with The New York Times.

Read on.