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This global financial fraud and its gatekeepers

This global financial fraud and its gatekeepers
Last fall, I argued that the violent reaction to Occupy and other protests around the world had to do with the 1%ers' fear of the rank and file exposing massive fraud if they ever managed get their hands on the books. At that time, I had no evidence of this motivation beyond the fact that financial system reform and increased transparency were at the top of many protesters' list of demands. But this week presents a sick-making trove of new data that abundantly fills in this hypothesis and confirms this picture. The notion that the entire global financial system is riddled with systemic fraud – and that key players in the gatekeeper roles, both in finance and in government, including regulatory bodies, know it and choose to quietly sustain this reality – is one that would have only recently seemed like the frenzied hypothesis of tinhat-wearers, but this week's headlines make such a conclusion, sadly, inevitable. And what, in fact, happened? And then what happened? And then what happened? Related:  during #mediablackout do NOT scoop the wire : EvictionDaytax havens - offshoreNYPD on Banks payroll ; Police on Uni's payroll & more

Mayor Bloomberg Defends NYPD's Handling Of Press During Raid Mayor Bloomberg is still defending the NYPD's raid on Occupy Wall Street in November. In two separate incidents this week, the Mayor addressed criticism from journalists who say they were "roughed up" and blocked from covering the raid, forcibly enforcing a media blackout on police activities. During his weekly radio appearance on Friday morning, Bloomberg insisted: We didn't keep anybody from reporting, you just had to stand to the side. You don't have a right as a press person to stand in the way just in the interest of getting the story... Following the raid, the Society of Professional Journalists condemned the city's actions and went on to say that the Mayor's efforts insinuated what "would seem to be a strategic decision to cloak potentially volatile police activity from the public." On Thursday, Mayor Bloomberg took a rather bitter shot at Nadler and dismissed any need for an investigation. Nadler responded to the scathing remarks: Video unavailable due to location

The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy | Naomi Wolf US citizens of all political persuasions are still reeling from images of unparallelled police brutality in a coordinated crackdown against peaceful OWS protesters in cities across the nation this past week. An elderly woman was pepper-sprayed in the face; the scene of unresisting, supine students at UC Davis being pepper-sprayed by phalanxes of riot police went viral online; images proliferated of young women – targeted seemingly for their gender – screaming, dragged by the hair by police in riot gear; and the pictures of a young man, stunned and bleeding profusely from the head, emerged in the record of the middle-of-the-night clearing of Zuccotti Park. But just when Americans thought we had the picture – was this crazy police and mayoral overkill, on a municipal level, in many different cities? – the picture darkened. To Europeans, the enormity of this breach may not be obvious at first. Why this massive mobilisation against these not-yet-fully-articulated, unarmed, inchoate people?

Law School Study Alleges NYPD Overstepped its Power During Occupy Protests A report by New York University and Fordham Law Schools studying the actions that police took in response to Occupy protests has found that the New York Police Department consistently overstepped its powers while policing protesters. The study’s authors allege that the officers frequently used excessive force in policing non-violent protestors, making unjustified arrests and conducting violent raids on peaceful encampments. “All the case studies we collected show the police are violating basic rights consistently, and the level of impunity is shocking,” NYU law professor Sarah Knuckey told The Guardian. The report, for which Knuckey was a lead author, lists 130 specific incidents of alleged police force. Researchers collected data on the arrests by watching hundreds of hours of footage, reviewing press on the protests, interviewing witnesses and obtaining documents through freedom of information requests filed with the NYPD.

Update: Het LIE MORE-schandaal Dat weten we sinds eind juni bekend werd dat de Britse Barclays Bank strafvervolging heeft afgekocht door 450 miljoen dollar aan boetes te betalen aan het Amerikaanse ministerie van Justitie (160 miljoen) en de toezichthouders CFTC (VS, 200 miljoen) en FSA (Brits, 96 miljoen). Maar hoe groot is nu de schade die met deze manipulatie is aangericht? Ontvangers van woninghypotheken en bedrijfskredieten kunnen zowel zijn benadeeld - door te hoog vastgestelde rentes - als bevoordeeld - door te lage rentes; The Economist wees daar al ruim twee weken geleden op. Op donderdag 12 juli, de dag waarop De Groene over het schandaal berichtte, publiceerde Morgan Stanley een eerste educated guess (pdf). Over de schade voor 'ons', kleine particuliere - en bedrijfskrabbelaars, spreken de analisten van deze zakenbank, die tot dusver niet is genoemd als medepleger van de LIBOR-fraude, zich wijselijk niet uit. De indirecte schade is niet te kwantificeren, maar die kan fors oplopen. Beeld: Londen, 4 juli.

Bloomberg/Warlord? Fired! November 22, 2011FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WOMAN LOSES JOB FOR BLOOMBERG/WARLORD COMPARISON"Bloomberg rep" fired from market research firm for performance highlighting absent mayor's violent tactics Video: An actress who played a Bloomberg representative in a satirical performance a block away from the mayor's E. 79th St. residence this past Sunday was fired from her job as an independent contractor at a market research consulting firm. "They said my performance had put the company in an uncomfortable position," said Mary Notari, who learned of her firing from a phone call Monday afternoon. In Notari's performance, she asked the recently-evicted protesters how they would "feel if someone came to your place of residence and prevented you from moving freely." Police prevented protesters from entering the E. 79th St. block where the mayor spends weekdays. “Don’t get me wrong, I find drum circles just as annoying as the mayor does," said Notari.

Wealth doesn't trickle down – it just floods offshore, new research reveals | Business | The Observer The world's super-rich have taken advantage of lax tax rules to siphon off at least $21 trillion, and possibly as much as $32tn, from their home countries and hide it abroad – a sum larger than the entire American economy. James Henry, a former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey and an expert on tax havens, has conducted groundbreaking new research for the Tax Justice Network campaign group – sifting through data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and private sector analysts to construct an alarming picture that shows capital flooding out of countries across the world and disappearing into the cracks in the financial system. Comedian Jimmy Carr became the public face of tax-dodging in the UK earlier this year when it emerged that he had made use of a Cayman Islands-based trust to slash his income tax bill. "These estimates reveal a staggering failure," says John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network.

NYPD 'consistently violated basic rights' during Occupy protests – study | World news The first systematic look at the New York police department's response to Occupy Wall Street protests paints a damning picture of an out-of-control and aggressive organization that routinely acted beyond its powers. In a report that followed an eight-month study (pdf), researchers at the law schools of NYU and Fordham accuse the NYPD of deploying unnecessarily aggressive force, obstructing press freedoms and making arbitrary and baseless arrests. The study, published on Wednesday, found evidence that police made violent late-night raids on peaceful encampments, obstructed independent legal monitors and was opaque about its policies. The NYPD report is the first of a series to look at how police authorities in five US cities, including Oakland and Boston, have treated the Occupy movement since it began in September 2011. The research concludes that there now is a systematic effort by authorities to suppress protests, even when these are lawful and pose no threat to the public.

'The rating agencies have been the all-purpose bogeymen for the crisis' | Joris Luyendijk When the banking blog asks insiders who they blame for the financial crisis, most say: the rating agencies. It was the rating agencies that assigned super safe ("triple A") ratings to complex financial instruments. When these blew up, the agencies accepted no responsibility, claiming they had merely been expressing "opinions". William J Harrington was a senior analyst at rating agency Moody's between 1999 and 2010 in New York. It's really worth reading his testimony in full here. Some of Bill's quotes hint in one sentence at a whole universe of dysfunction: "In my days it was individual managers [at Moody's] who set the rules on how to interact with the bankers: for instance whether we could scream back at them (we could not)." The most shocking thing, at least for me, was this: "The CEO of Moody's in the runup to the fiasco in 2008 is now… still the CEO of Moody's. Bill says he has asked people at Moody's why those responsible weren't fired.

Massive Drum Circle for Bloomberg Now, finally, a drum circle you don't have to be high to enjoy: this Sunday at 2pm, for 24 hours, bring the love to Mayor Bloomberg's personal townhouse: 17 East 79th Street. Tie-dye, didgeridoo, hackeysack welcome! No shirt, no shoes, no problem! Even though this is a 24-hour drum circle, don't be late! Please spread this announcement ( as far and fast as you can! The Wall Street Scandal of All Scandals Reich writes: "Yes, just when you thought the Street had hit bottom, an even deeper level of public-be-damned greed and corruption is revealed. Sit down and hold on to your chair." By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog 08 July 12 Sit down and hold on to your chair. What's the most basic service banks provide? How is this interest rate determined? But suppose our assumption is wrong. That would be a mammoth violation of public trust. Sad to say, there's reason to believe this has been going on, or something very much like it. Libor is the benchmark for trillions of dollars of loans worldwide - mortgage loans, small-business loans, personal loans. So far, the scandal has been limited to Barclay's, a big London-based bank that just paid $453 million to U.S. and British bank regulators, whose top executives have been forced to resign, and whose traders' emails give a chilling picture of how easily they got their colleagues to rig interest rates in order to make big bucks. Robert B.