Democracy Now! Mobile Projectionists Light Up New York City Buildings, and Protesters’ Spirits, with Occupy-Themed Display As tens of thousands marched in a seemingly endless sea of people last night in downtown New York City, large words in light appeared projected onto several downtown buildings. We spoke with two of the projectionists who made it happen as they stood in the streets. AMY GOODMAN: During the march on the Brooklyn Bridge, as tens of thousands streamed in an endless sea of people, words in light appeared projected onto several downtown buildings. TAYLOR K.: My name is Taylor K. RENÉE FELTZ: How does this fit into the idea of occupying public space and putting your message out? TAYLOR K.: Fits perfectly in. AMY GOODMAN: Among the buildings where the projections were sent was the iconic Verizon building nearby.
What can the Fed do? Cross-posted from Credit Writedowns The Federal Reserve has released its latest statement on the state of the US economy.Its Chairman Ben Bernanke has now spoken to the press as well. The overall assessment was rather downbeat. (video below) Monetary Policy’s Impotence If you compare the Fed statement to its previous one, you will understand the Fed has downgraded the economy’s outlook. Part of the slowdown is temporary, and part of it may be longer-lasting. Now remember, since the Panic of 2008, the Fed has brought its policy rate down to zero. The Balance Sheet Recession Nomura’s Chief Economist Richard Koo wrote a book last year called “The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics” which introduced the concept of a balance sheet recession, which explains economic behaviour in the United States during the Great Depression and Japan during its Lost Decade. For his part, the father of the Balance Sheet Recession theorem Richard Koo says QE2 drove speculation, but what about the real economy?
Evidence Suggests Cover-Up In ATF Scandal, As More Guns Appear At Crime Scenes Just hours after the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, federal officials tried to cover up evidence that the gun that killed Terry was one the government intentionally helped sell to the Mexican cartels in a weapons trafficking program known as Operation Fast and Furious. The revelation comes just days after a huge shake-up of government officials who oversaw the failed anti-gun trafficking program and Congress renewed its demand for more answers. Also late Thursday, Sen. Charles Grassley's office revealed that 31 more Fast and Furious guns have been found at 12 violent crime scenes in Mexico. In an internal email the day after Terry's murder, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emory Hurley and then-U.S. Grassley, R-Iowa, and Rep. “The level of involvement of the United States Attorney’s Office ... in the genesis and implementation of this case is striking,” wrote Issa and Grassley. Issa and Grassley said they want to speak with Hurley and Assistant U.S.
The $7 trillion secret loan program: The government and big banks should be punished for deceiving the public about their hush-hush bailout scheme Photograph by Jupiterimages/ Getty Images. Imagine you walked into a bank, applied for a personal line of credit, and filled out all the paperwork claiming to have no debts and an income of $200,000 per year. The bank, based on these representations, extended you the line of credit. Then, three years later, after fighting disclosure all the way, you were forced by a court to tell the truth: At the time you made the statements to the bank, you actually were unemployed, you had a $1 million mortgage on your house on which you had failed to make payments for six months, and you hadn’t paid even the minimum on your credit-card bills for three months. Yet this is exactly what the major American banks have done to the public. The banks’ claims of financial stability and solvency appear at a minimum to have been misleading—and may have been worse. So where are the inquiries into the false statements made by the bank CEOs? So what to do?
The Regency « zunguzungu Most of the Regents of the University of California — whose very name gives you a good idea of the kind of power they wield over the direction and functioning of the University of California – are unelected, appointed to 12 year terms by the governor of California, and almost without exception, they have no real background or apparent interest in education. They are corporate moguls, the 1%, whatever you want to call them. On Monday, they defied California’s open meeting laws by sort-of teleconferencing from four different campuses, voting to raise various administrative salaries by about $3.5 million, including the UC Davis chief campus counsel. Perhaps they suspected he would be busy in the near future? The students still came. As a scathing editorial in the San Jose Mercury put it: The phone-it-in session conducted in four locations was an abuse of the spirit, if not the letter, of state open-meeting laws. It will though. “Marketing strategy aside, Mr. Like this: Like Loading...
‘Occupy Wall Street’ protest camp in L.A., Philadelphia remain despite arrests Early Monday morning, police surrounded the camp, but eventually said they would not evict the protesters. Reuters reports that around 2,000 protesters joined the camp to show their support. A few protesters and police clashed on a street corner after protesters refused to get out of the middle of the street. A small number of protesters were arrested. On a livestream recorded by some of the 100 or so protesters that remained after the night’s standoff, members of Occupy Los Angeles praised the police for their tactics, saying the cops handled the confrontation well. Police have stated that there is no hard deadline to remove the protesters, but that they would attempt to do so with as little “drama” as possible. Police Chief Charlie Beck said it remains unclear when the nearly two-month-old Occupy LA camp would be cleared. “There is no concrete deadline,” Beck told reporters Monday morning after hundreds of officers withdrew without moving in on the camp. A hearing in U.S.
How the Fed defeated President Truman to win its independence | Gavyn Davies | Insight into macroeconomics and the financial markets from the Financial Times on macroeconomics Welcome. If you have yet to register on FT.com you will be asked to do so before you begin to read FT blogs. However, our posts remain free. A blog on macroeconomics, economic policymaking and the financial markets. Gavyn usually writes about a key topic of the week on Sunday. Follow Gavyn Davies on the A-List. Gavyn Davies is a macroeconomist who is now chairman of Fulcrum Asset Management and co-founder of Prisma Capital Partners. He has also served as an economic policy adviser in No 10 Downing Street, an external adviser to the British Treasury, and as a visiting professor at the London School of Economics. Gavyn Davies is an active investor and may have financial interests and holdings in any of the topics about which he writes. To comment, please register for free with FT.com and read our policy on submitting comments.
How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico's murderous drug gangs | World news | The Observer On 10 April 2006, a DC-9 jet landed in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, on the Gulf of Mexico, as the sun was setting. Mexican soldiers, waiting to intercept it, found 128 cases packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100m. But something else – more important and far-reaching – was discovered in the paper trail behind the purchase of the plane by the Sinaloa narco-trafficking cartel. During a 22-month investigation by agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and others, it emerged that the cocaine smugglers had bought the plane with money they had laundered through one of the biggest banks in the United States: Wachovia, now part of the giant Wells Fargo. The authorities uncovered billions of dollars in wire transfers, traveller's cheques and cash shipments through Mexican exchanges into Wachovia accounts. Criminal proceedings were brought against Wachovia, though not against any individual, but the case never came to court.
7.77 trillion in secret Federal Reserve loans to banks? I have been looking into the claim recently made by any number of internet sites (for example, here’s one of the many hundreds, if you insist on a link) that the Federal Reserve made $7.77 trillion in secret loans to banks. The claim is outrageously inaccurate, as I explain below. Let me begin with some accounting basics. Suppose that at the start of January I make a 3-month loan of $100 to person A and a 1-month loan of $100 to person B. At the start of February, person B rolls it over into a new 1-month loan, and does so again at the beginning of March. The correct answer, of course, is that I lent $100 to person A and I lent $100 to person B. This is a very elementary point in economics or accounting. On the other hand, if your goal is to come up with a number that sounds really big, you’ll be excited to learn that I also lent $100 to person C in the form of a series of daily loans. So where in particular did people come up with this $7.77 trillion figure?
U.N. Envoy: U.S. Isn't Protecting Occupy Protesters' Rights WASHINGTON -- The United Nations envoy for freedom of expression is drafting an official communication to the U.S. government demanding to know why federal officials are not protecting the rights of Occupy demonstrators whose protests are being disbanded -- sometimes violently -- by local authorities. Frank La Rue, who serves as the U.N. "special rapporteur" for the protection of free expression, told HuffPost in an interview that the crackdowns against Occupy protesters appear to be violating their human and constitutional rights. "I believe in city ordinances and I believe in maintaining urban order," he said Thursday. "But on the other hand I also believe that the state -- in this case the federal state -- has an obligation to protect and promote human rights." "If I were going to pit a city ordinance against human rights, I would always take human rights," he continued. "One of the principles is proportionality," La Rue said.
Kalle Lasn on OWS, the Israel lobby & the New York Times Kalle Lasn in front of the Adbuster’s corporate flag of America. (Photo: Globus) When the Occupy Wall Street protests began to attract attention in the fall, everyone wanted to know where the idea to set up a permanent protest at the heart of Manhattan’s financial district came from. The answer was the mind of Kalle Lasn, the co-editor (along with Micah White) of the anti-consumerist “culture jamming” magazine Adbusters. It was Adbusters, calling for an American “Tahrir moment,” that originally put out the call to occupy Wall Street on September 17. But not all the attention Lasn and his magazine received was positive, though. “For me, the New York Times is really important right now, because it was one of the most ugly experiences of my year, where they took a couple of quick swipes at my magazine and me personally,” Lasn told Mondoweiss in a recent phone interview. Alex Kane: Tell me about yourself, I’ve read some, but details about your life and what you’re doing at Adbusters. KL: Yes.
The Fed As A Reverse Robin Hood | zero hedge In today's edition of Bloomberg Brief, the firm's economist Richard Yamarone looks at one of the more unpleasant consequences of Federal monetary policy: the increasing schism in wealth distribution between the wealthiest percentile and everyone else. While the Fed's third mandate is by now all too clear: push the Russell 2000 to the highest possible level, one can now suggest that the 4th mandate is one that would make Robin Hood spin in his grave: "To the extent that Federal Reserve policy is driving equity prices higher, it is also likely widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots....The disparity between the net worth of those on the top rung of the income ladder and those on lower rungs has been growing. According to the latest data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, the total wealth of the top 10 percent income bracket is larger in 2009 than it was in 1995. The withdrawal of Fed accomodation may eventually stop supporting a wider income gap.
How Organized Crime Infested Japan Inc. Rarely in the history of Japan Inc. has there been a more remarkable board meeting. On Nov. 25, the directors of Olympus Corp. gathered at their Tokyo headquarters, their company under siege. Once a solid international brand, a maker of cameras and medical equipment, the company is now at the center of a global investigation as to whether, and to what extent, its top management was involved in funneling billions of dollars in allegedly illicit payments to offshore accounts. At the center of the meeting was Michael C. When Woodford returned to Tokyo for the board meeting (though fired, he was still on the board because of a quirk in Japan's corporate-governance rules), all hell had broken loose. If suspicions about yakuza involvement are proved accurate, it will not be the first time Japan Inc. has been linked to organized crime. The yakuza continued to cast a sinister pall in ensuing years — even over foreign-owned firms.
Too Big to Stop: Why Big Banks Keep Getting Away With Breaking the Law - James Kwak - Business For the country's biggest financial institutions, it's still worth it to break the law, because the government has no way to make the banks pay for acting illegally Reuters Move along, nothing to see here. That's been the Wall Street line on the financial crisis and the calamitous behavior that caused it, and that strategy has been spectacularly successful. Occasionally, a news event brings the need for financial reform momentarily into the partial spotlight, like last week when Judge Jed Rakoff rejected a proposed settlement between the SEC and Citigroup over a complex security called a CDO (actually, a CDO-squared) that the bank manufactured and pushed onto investor clients solely so it could bet against it. The issue in the Goldman case was whether the bank properly disclosed that John Paulson, a hedge fund manager, was involved in the selection of securities for the deal, because he wanted to bet against them.