Matt Taibbi’s Quick List of Known Chase Settlements & Investigations

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In the revealing of a massive billion dollar fine against Jamie Dimon (aka: JPMorganChase) Taibbi decides to make a quick list of all the fines and investigations against them:

  • They were fined $153 million for the infamous “Magnetar” fund case, another scam in which a bank allowed a hedge fund to create a “born-to-lose” mortgage portfolio to bet against. Very similar to the Abacus case that’s at the heart of the ongoing “Fabulous Fab” trial;
  • Chase paid $228 million for its role in the egregious municipal bond bid-rigging case we wrote about in Rolling Stone in 2011;
  • Chase paid $297 million to the SEC last November for fraud involving mortgage-backed securities;
  • Chase paid $75 million in cash and generously agreed to forego $647 million in fines in the Jefferson County, Alabama mess, in which a small-town pol was bribed into green-lighting a series of deadly swap deals;
  • In two separate orders this spring, Chase was reprimanded by the OCC and the Fed for money-laundering behaviors similar to the infamous HSBC case, and also for regulatory failures and fraud in the London Whale episode. There was a separate FBI investigation into the London Whale probe in which they allegedly lied to customers and investors about the loss;
  • They’re under investigation for allegedly failing to disclose Bernie Madoff’s trading activities to authorities;
  • They were one of 13 banks asked to pay up in this year’s $9.3 billion robosigning settlement;
  • They were one of four banks last year to settle for a total of $394 million with the OCC for improper mortgage servicing practices;
  • They were ordered by the CFTC to pay $20 million last year for improper segregation of customer funds (this was part of the Lehman investigation). The CFTC also fined Chase $600,000 last year for violating position limits in the cotton markets;
  • Last year, Chase paid a $45 million settlement to the federal government for improperly racking up fees for veterans in mortgage refinancings. Hey, if you’re going to steal from everyone, you can’t leave out those veterans overseas!
  • In 2010, Chase paid $25 million to the state of Florida for selling unregistered bonds to a state-run municipal money-market fund;
  • The bank last year was convicted in Europe along with several other banks for fraudulent sales of derivatives to the city of Milan. A total of about $120 million was seized from Chase and three other banks.

Color-JP-morgan-chase-wallThere have been so many settlements with so many agencies around the world (I’m in a hurry and can’t get to Chase’s messes in Britain, Japan and elsewhere) that they’re almost impossible to count. Some papers are reporting that Chase is being investigated by as many as eight different agencies in the U.S. alone.

Their primary function is to help define what’s safe to buy and what isn’t

Thanks to a mountain of evidence gathered for a pair of major lawsuits, documents that for the most part have never been seen by the general public, we now know that the nation’s two top ratings companies, Moody’s and S&P, have for many years been shameless tools for the banks, willing to give just about anything a high rating in exchange for cash. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-last-mystery-of-the-financial-crisis-20130619

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Matt Taibbi

Domestic politics have devolved into an ongoing hostage crisis in which the opposition party threatens to blow up the financial universe every six months or so, and the leading political minds in the country can’t figure out how to keep this from being a permanent feature of our budgetary process. Meanwhile, global monetary policy is drifting in the direction of semipermanent stimulus, and no one has any idea how it all ends. It’s two different runaway-freight-train action movies going on at the same time. God help us.

Read more @ RollingStone

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Elizabeth Warren Gets The Keys To The Bank Destroying Kingdom

banking-and-warrenThe Elizabeth Warren-led terrorist actions towards big banks is on the move.

Yesterday big bankers of the world were astonished to learn that Bruno Freitas is now her ‘Economic Development Director & Senior Advisor.’

“Freitas, a New Bedford native, most recently worked as Barney Frank’s chief of staff and legislative director, although he has worked with the congressman in some capacity since 1994…;” (From MassLive)

Many of you might remember Barney Frank as “chairman of the House Financial Services Committee (2007–2011) and was a leading co sponsor of the 2010 Dodd–Frank Act.” (from Wiki). The Dodd-Frank Act is the biggest modern day ball and chain law that big banks have ever been shackled to. They’ve tried and failed many times to set themselves free of this law.

This latest move by Warren means that the most feared opponent of big banks now has access to every detail of insider information regarding criminal banking’s dirty tricks to not only overturn Dodd-Frank, but also many details of big bank efforts to usurp the authority of congress and government in general.

These bankers that thought they could forever move billions of dollars of the people’s hard-earned life savings around with no consequence if they fail, even make record profits if they fail… Well, those days are certain to end by the pen of Elizabeth Warren.

We Got Your Back Elizabeth WarrenThese bankers who think they’re ‘too big to fail’ at squandering the people’s money are for certain never going to fail with our life savings ever again because their gonna be dismantled by the hands of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren!

Barney Frank’s chief of staff now working for the Senator from Massachusetts is the equivalent of giving the keys, the ring and the sword of the bank destroying kingdom to Elizabeth Warren.

 

 

 

Return of A Much Better SoundCloud

SoundcloudThis blog was not so fun ‘cuz Soundcloud needed to get their site running better a year ago. So now that  their new version is out, we’ll be digging in deeper into the neverending problem of social networks that revolve around music and video. Usually they don’t work. They’re too cumbersome and the need to spam people’s stream with “suggestions” is counterproductive to what a connected community is all about.

Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook have shown us a faster web, a speedy way to scroll through tons of content. But that doesn’t work for music and video, which makes you slow down and focus on one piece of content for a while.

The good news is it may be possible that Soundcloud has solved most of these problems with their new design… We’ll see…

I’ll be testing and blogging about the new soundcloud here…

First Lesson: All the reasons I followed people are no longer relevant on the new Soundcloud… So I’m unfollowing everyone and starting from scratch. Of course mass unfollows and re-followings is how people used to game the system to get more followers so I’m only allowed to unfollow 200 people every 24 hours… <sigh>

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Eighteen Men Who Illegally “Borrowed” $4 Trillion Dollars

Aside

Evidence release by U.S. Senator Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.):

At least 18 former and current directors from Federal Reserve Banks worked in
banks and corporations that collectively received over $4 trillion in low-interest
loans from the Federal Reserve.

1) Jamie Dimon, the Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase, has served on the
Board of Directors at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York since 2007. During
the financial crisis, the Fed provided JP Morgan Chase with $391 billion in total
financial assistance. JP Morgan Chase was also used by the Fed as a clearinghouse
for the Fed’s emergency lending programs. In March of 2008, the Fed provided JP Morgan
Chase with $29 billion in financing to acquire Bear Stearns. During the financial crisis,
the Fed provided JP Morgan Chase with an 18-month exemption from risk-based leverage and
capital requirements. The Fed also agreed to take risky mortgage-related assets off of
Bear Stearns balance sheet before JP Morgan Chase acquired this troubled investment bank.

2. Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, served on the New York Fed’s
Board of Directors from 2006-2011. General Electric received $16 billion in low
interest financing from the Federal Reserve’s Commercial Paper Funding Facility
during this time period.

3. Stephen Friedman. In 2008, the New York Fed approved an application from
Goldman Sachs to become a bank holding company giving it access to cheap Fed
loans. During the same period, Friedman, who was chairman of the New York
Fed at the time, sat on the Goldman Sachs board of directors and owned
Goldman stock, something the Fed’s rules prohibited. He received a waiver in
late 2008 that was not made public. After Friedman received the waiver, he
continued to purchase stock in Goldman from November 2008 through January of
2009 unbeknownst to the Fed, according to the GAO.
During the financial crisis, Goldman Sachs received $814 billion in total financial
assistance from the Fed.

4. Sanford Weill, the former CEO of Citigroup, served on the Fed’s Board of
Directors in New York in 2006. During the financial crisis, Citigroup received
over $2.5 trillion in total financial assistance from the Fed.
5. Richard Fuld, Jr, the former CEO of Lehman Brothers, served on the Fed’s
Board of Directors in New York from 2006 to 2008. During the financial crisis,
the Fed provided $183 billion in total financial assistance to Lehman before it
collapsed.

6. James M. Wells, the Chairman and CEO of SunTrust Banks, has served on the
Board of Directors at the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta since 2008. During the
financial crisis, SunTrust received $7.5 billion in total financial assistance from
the Fed.

7. Richard Carrion, the head of Popular Inc. in Puerto Rico, has served on the
Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York since
2008. Popular received $1.2 billion in total financing from the Fed’s Term
Auction Facility during the financial crisis.

8. James Smith, the Chairman and CEO of Webster Bank, served on the Federal
Reserve’s Board of Directors in Boston from 2008-2010. Webster Bank received
$550 million in total financing from the Federal Reserve’s Term Auction Facility
during the financial crisis.

9. Ted Cecala, the former Chairman and CEO of Wilmington Trust, served on the
Fed’s Board of Directors in Philadelphia from 2008-2010. Wilmington Trust
received $3.2 billion in total financial assistance from the Federal Reserve during
the financial crisis.

10. Robert Jones, the President and CEO of Old National Bancorp, has served on
the Fed’s Board of Directors in St. Louis since 2008. Old National Bancorp
received a total of $550 million in low-interest loans from the Federal Reserve’s
Term Auction Facility during the financial crisis.

11. James Rohr, the Chairman and CEO of PNC Financial Services Group, served on
the Fed’s Board of Directors in Cleveland from 2008-2010. PNC received $6.5
billion in low-interest loans from the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis.

12. George Fisk, the CEO of LegacyTexas Group, was a director at the Dallas
Federal Reserve in 2009. During the financial crisis, his firm received a $5
million low-interest loan from the Federal Reserve’s Term Auction Facility.

13. Dennis Kuester, the former CEO of Marshall & Ilsley, served as a board director
on the Chicago Federal Reserve from 2007-2008. During the financial crisis, his
bank received over $21 billion in low-interest loans from the Fed.

14. George Jones, Jr., the CEO of Texas Capital Bank, has served as a board director
at the Dallas Federal Reserve since 2009. During the financial crisis, his bank
received $2.3 billion in total financing from the Fed’s Term Auction Facility.

15. Douglas Morrison, was the Chief Financial Officer at CitiBank in Sioux Falls,
South Dakota, while he served as a board director at the Minneapolis Federal
Reserve Bank in 2006. During the financial crisis, CitiBank in Sioux Falls, South
Dakota received over $21 billion in total financing from the Federal Reserve.

16. L. Phillip Humann, the former CEO of SunTrust Banks, served on the Board of
Directors at the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta from 2006-2008. During the
financial crisis, SunTrust received $7.5 billion in total financial assistance from
the Fed.

17. Henry Meyer, III, the former CEO of KeyCorp, served on the Board of Directors
at the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland from 2006-2007. During the financial
crisis, KeyBank (owned by KeyCorp) received over $40 billion in total financing
from the Federal Reserve.

18. Ronald Logue, the former CEO of State Street Corporation, served as a board
member of the Boston Federal Reserve Bank from 2006-2007. During the
financial crisis, State Street Corporation received a total of $42 billion in
financing from the Federal Reserve.

Move On Has A New Sign On Letter To End Bank Fraud

Just supposedly sent letter to Obama via Move On:

Subject: How we can hold Wall Street accountable

Hi,

Reports are out that in the next 48 hours, President Obama could make the call on whether to hold Wall Street accountable and open an investigation into the banks’ role in the housing crisis, or agree to a sweetheart deal that lets them off the hook.

I signed a petition urging the president to start an investigation to hold Wall Street banks accountable for the damage done to our economy. Can you join me at this link?

Thanks!

010 – Best New Soundcloud Uploads

Another great example of the kind of beautiful music that our overpowered corporate entertainment industry wants to entirely prevent you from hearing. But ask yourself, where is the crime in taking a song you’ve loved all your life and remixing it to be an expression of the music that has been inspired in you?

What was the world like before humans made music? Perhaps even asking that question is arrogant and abhorrent? Because the truth is that all creatures make music. And it’s not trivial music… It’s a lengthy complex sunrise to sunset performance of myriad species all working on the same composition. For example:

This sweet singing bass line… What a great way for NextWon to, as he says, “…send you a special thanks to all the MC’s, DJ’s, Producers, and fans, for all the love and support on the Cloud. Peace and Happy New Year 2012.”

There is a special place in heaven for people who use electronic music in a soothing way. I won’t tell you where the place is for people who use electronic music in a non-soothing way. Thanks Shifty Teeth for doing it right!

Rainer Mandler is in Hannover, Germany. He’s got a great voice and sings a song title that in english translates to “The Birth.” The guitar work adds great continuity to the piece. I wish I knew the words to the singing.

Tom & Josh, aka: Damon Hill are based in Boston and many hail them as two new song writers that the world hasn’t seen anything like since the days Simon & Garfunkel first made their splash.

Regulate The Faux Free Market To Death

“During the 2000 election campaign, the Bush camp rhapsodized about bygone days when “one of America’s greatest strengths was its energy self-sufficiency.” The theme has since been reiterated frequently, for the United States now produces at home less than half the oil it uses.” from Brookings.edu

Over the past decade the United States has made unprecedented efforts to increase the production of domestic energy. From huge subsidies to energy companies, to elimination of regulatory review, to making it easy as possible to use the most modern extraction techniques the US is now producing more energy than ever before. Problem is they are exporting this energy because it’s more profitable to do so.

So what happened to Bush’s self-sufficiency sentiment of 10 years ago? What happened is that we’ve yet to stop Wall Street / big banks from doing whatever is most profitable for themselves in ways that don’t protect vital domestic interests.

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time, the top export of the United States, the world’s biggest gas guzzler, is — wait for it — fuel. Measured in dollars, the nation is on pace this year to ship more gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel than any other single export, according to U.S. Census data going back to 1990. It will also be the first year in more than 60 that America has been a net exporter of these fuels. Just how big of a shift is this? A decade ago, fuel wasn’t even among the top 25 exports. And for the last five years, America’s top export was aircraft.

This routine where our nation keeps giving more money to the rich in order to lift up the poor must end! Exporting what makes us strong and self-sufficient only makes us weak. And none of us do this willingly.

We do this because the big banks, the oil companies and Wall Street have no sense of social responsibility, no sense of loyalty to anything other than quarterly profits for shareholders. The free market culture as it exists today will ruin us all if we don’t make it go away.

This is the economic culture that makes our nation and the greater world increasingly weak and more and more easy to exploit in the most dangerous of ways. This isn’t advocacy for nationalist protectionism. This is about the basic fundamentals of an economic system that can only be sustained if it benefits the many rather than the few.

Therefore anyone who tries to maintain this culture is the world’s real enemy. They have way too much control over the world’s energy and money. These elite movers and shakers think they can rule with no accountability, with no sense of liability to laws that were meant to represent the needs of us all equally.

Thus, we have to regulate this status quo faux free market to death. We need a new economy that divides up all the money equally. And those doing the dividing up of the money need to be beholden to the people’s interest, not the shareholder’s interests. We must put an end to this corporate capitalist’s super nationalist power grab.

009 – Best New Soundcloud Uploads

Nick Zammuto is from from the band ‘the Books‘ and its good, good stuff…

You’d think with a name like American Radio that this band is mainstream. Yet they’re more the face of anonymous than the face of fitting in. Not sure who they are really…

Great mash up of hard beats and soothing classical tones… Much like the chaos of the famous wanting to be unfamous. Also soothing in the way we all like to watch as famous fall from grace…

Sophie Madeleine is a musical genius from Brighton, Britain. She just uploaded a huge load of great tracks. Here’s my favorite:

A leader in today’s wildest leads in lead guitar… Great ability…

If you’ve had too much coffee put this on. A Mashup of Queen without the consitent beat, replaced by an even more persitent beat!

Johnson’s Analysis On Big Banks

Alternet recently published some really valuable research on how the big banks are out of control criminals. The details of the way they get  their profits out of all of our pockets is explained below. Brief excerpts of each his seven points is below…

1) …banks were faced with literally millions of foreclosures to process.  But, being Wall Street outfits, they didn’t want to be responsible for doing any actual work themselves.  Best to outsource the work to someone … cheap.  And that is what they did – and are still doing. The banks hired “robosigning” outfits to process the foreclosures, which resulted in accusations of documentation fraud, where the outfits file affidavits claiming to have documents they do not have.  The original mortgages often did not include proper paperwork to clearly prove who signed the loans or who had title, etc.  These firms would forge signatures, sign affidavits saying they had proper paperwork when they did not, and a number of other ruses to speed foreclosures.  And courts set up what were called “rocket dockets” to assist the process.

2) Predatory lending occurs when a lender uses unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent practices when selling a loan to a consumer. Borrowers are steered toward unaffordable loans, or charged higher fees or interest rates than those they qualify for.

3) The initial wave of mortgages to go bad were the “subprime” mortgages that were given to people barely able or even unable to make their payments.  Why were there so many of these mortgages in the system?  These mortgages were pushed on people by “predatory lenders” who would make a quick buck on upfront fees and commissions and then sell the loans to Wall Street to be repackaged into “CDOs” – the “toxic assets” that took down much of the financial system.

4) Betting Against Designed-to-Fail Bonds: Citibank made a lot of money from these bets because they knew where the toxic assets were, because they put them there, on purpose, in order to bet against them. CitiBank created these CDO toxic assets in a way that was designed to fail, and sold them to customers as solid investments, and then made bets that these assets were worthless. When the designed-to-fail assets failed, CitiBank made money, the customers were wiped out. The Securities and Exchange Comission (SEC) offered to “settle” this case with CitiBank, accepting a cash fine in exchange for dropping any prosecution or even making CitiBank admit wrongdoing.  But promsingly this was rejected by the judge.  DailyKos: Judge Rakoff stands up to SEC and Citigroup,

5) The Fed sent billions in bailout aid to banks in places like Mexico, Bahrain and Bavaria, billions more to a spate of Japanese car companies, more than $2 trillion in loans each to Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, and billions more to a string of lesser millionaires and billionaires with Cayman Islands addresses. “Our jaws are literally dropping as we’re reading this,” says Warren Gunnels, an aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. “Every one of these transactions is outrageous.”

6) For years regulators were warned about “an epidemic” of mortgage fraud, but looked the other way. For example, a CNN news story is from 2004, years before the financial collapse, FBI warns of mortgage fraud ‘epidemic’, warned, “Rampant fraud in the mortgage industry has increased so sharply that the FBI warned Friday of an “epidemic” of financial crimes which, if not curtailed, could become “the next S&L crisis.

7) The Bailout Pecking Order: …they got to keep the money.  For example, when you hear that Wall Street firm “Lehman Brothers” went bankrupt, you might think, “serves them right.” But what actually happened was that a lot of regular people ended up losing their jobs while a few people at the top got really, really rich.  CEO Richard Fuld, for example, ended up with almost half a billion.  (Really, really rich.)

Bonus mention from this great article: After the “S&L Crisis” there were 1,100 prosecutions and more than 800 bank officials went to jail.  This time – even with the appearance of widespread criminality in the financial industry – not so much.  In fact, not any. …our government again and again offers “settlements” that block the comprehensive investigations that come with prosecutions.

008 – Best New SoundCloud Uploads

Who’d a thought that classic rock would grow to be so cliché, so much like a dinosaur. I guess that’s what happens when we grow up too focused on the same kind of music. But now that we have so many styles to choose from it’s rare I’ll pick a regular old rock track as the best. But this track by Malukah did just that!

Soundcloud is mostly really bad techno… I never liked techno till I found some rare jems on Soundcloud. And though it may take time to sort through it all it’s so worth it when I find old familiar tunes that get sampled and brought back to life.

World Circuit Records has been uploading some great international music today. Here’s a really chill-sweet song from Cheikh Lo. A son called Guiss Guiss.

If you like the Band of Horses sound but think it’d be better if it was more simple, you’ll like this track.

Bleeding Heart Narrative is a 6-piece band based in London. So many layers to this track… It keeps changing into so many instruments and melodies throughout the entire length of it.

Wish there was more music with sounds of strings… It’s a sound not used often enough. In this track Julien Boulier goes all over the place with it.

What Big Banks Do Best These Days And Why It Can’t Continue

What banks do better than anything in recent years is convince their central bank that they will perish without another huge amount of money to prop them up. The thinking is that we need the big banks to keep functioning so that they can loan money to support businesses and fuel the economy/jobs.

Yet, time and time again we forget that this indirect approach of spending money to help the citizens puts the stimulus incentive on those who have almost zero interest in investing the money as intended. So rather than loans to big banks as a means to an end, the big banks become an end in and of themselves.

More to the point all these bailout loans are spent on banks acquiring failed portfolios of other banks that have failed ever more than them. And then in a clever slightly more profitable way the bankers reorganize the portfolios to maximize their ownerships while mitigating/hiding their losses/liabilities. It’s a high stakes shell game where the banks keep getting bigger and the resource available to fund them keep getting smaller.

Throughout this entire crisis the biggest banks have managed to get much, much bigger for the benefit of their own interests rather than the interests of the people whom they are supposed to be serving. This must end…

For example, look what happened this week in Europe:

The near half a trillion euro take-up of ECB funds represented the most the bank has ever pumped into the financial system and exceeded almost all forecasts. A total of 523 banks borrowed with demand way above the 310 billion euros expected by traders polled by Reuters,

“The take-up was massive … much higher than the expected 300 billion euros. Liquidity on the banking system has now increased considerably,” said Annalisa Piazza at Newedge Strategy.” http://reut.rs/uCgKN2

How much longer can this go on?

007 – Best New Soundcloud Uploads

Here’s some really nice Reggae beats by Marty Dread. He’s known as “Hawaii’s Reggae Ambassador”. His profile says he’s, “Constantly on the cutting edge, whether live on stage, or in the studio.”
 
Here’s Bryan Ferry covering a Bob Dylan song that was recently uploaded. It’s always nice when big named artists play and share music like the little guys.
 
It’s also really nice when big name artists like Donna Yulya (20 year-old sensation from Russia) make free downloads of their vocal tracks so as to make it as easy as possible for DJ’s to spin them into their mix.
 
DJ Rude Boi has come up with a really happy mix here in a magical blend between techno and traditional. Amazing great!
 
Really nice simple percussion and clarinet make this track great. Arun Ghosh describes himself as “clarinettist, composer, music educator and indojazzhead.
 
Alicia from Presov, Slovakia has been making digital music for only 10 months, yet has quickly found a significant international following.
 

Bloomberg’s Attempt To Be As Cool As Wikileaks Freaks Out Fed

From: Alternet “On December 6, the Fed struck back, issuing a four page unsigned memo intended to correct recent “egregious errors and mistakes” found in various reports of its emergency lending facilities.  The Fed argues that the “total credit outstanding under liquidity programs was never more than about $1.5 trillion.”  While Bloomberg wasn’t mentioned explicitly in the Fed memo, it was fairly clear to whom the response was directed.  The following day Bloomberg defended its reporting, and the Wall Street Journal’s David Wessel came to the Fed’s defense, characterizing Bloomberg’s methodology as a “great story,” but ultimately not “true.”

All this may sound like controversy, but it’s little more than a tempest in a teacup.

Here’s the hurricane: In reality, no less than $29.616 trillion is the total emergency assistance provided by the Fed to foreign and domestic entities during the Global Financial Crisis. Let’s repeat that: $29 trillion. This astounding number is over twice U.S. gross domestic product, the nominal value of all goods and services produced for the year 2010.  This is the total of the bailout as calculated by Nicola Matthews and myself as part of the Ford Foundation project, A Research And Policy Dialogue Project On Improving Governance Of The Government Safety Net In Financial Crisis.”

If We Don’t Trust ‘em, They Fizzle & Die

Today: “Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley fell nearly 6 percent. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lost more than 4 percent, the biggest drop among the 30 stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial average.
“If Europe is going to be bring us down it’s going to come through the financial firms,” said J.J. Kinahan, chief derivatives strategist at TD Ameritrade.
A report in The Wall Street Journal also said U.S. regulators will likely force U.S. banks to follow stricter rules to shore up their finances. The new rules are aimed at keeping banks from failing but would pinch profits.” from: http://bit.ly/tC1rol

Welcome To Ending Big Banks And Listening To Good Music Too!

It’s more than the Arab Spring… It’s more than Occupy Wall Street… It began a year ago when the Tunisian man depicted in this photo killed himself because his ability to earn an honest living, as well as live in dignity was denied by the local police and the ruling authorities.

Of this Wikipedia says: “Twenty-six year old Mohamed Bouazizi had been the sole income earner in his extended family of eight. He operated a purportedly unlicensed vegetable cart for seven years in Sidi Bouzid 190 miles (300 km) south of Tunis. On 17 December 2010 a policewoman confiscated his cart and produce. Bouazizi, who had such an event happen to him before, tried to pay the 10-dinar fine (a day’s wages, equivalent to 7USD). In response the policewoman insulted his deceased father. A humiliated Bouazizi then went to the provincial headquarters in an attempt to complain to local municipality officials. He was refused an audience.” 

The riots and blog posts/arrested bloggers in reaction to his death was what led to the first domino falling… It took many weeks to replace the government in Tunisia, many months in Egypt, and to a lesser degree government has now been cleaned out in Spain and Libya too. All across the world it has only just begun. Many more dominoes will fall.

Here’s a list of the ones most in need of falling.

The list of institutions that received the most money from the Federal Reserve can be found on page 131 from the GAO Audit and are as follows:  

Citigroup: $2.5 trillion ($2,500,000,000,000)
Morgan Stanley: $2.04 trillion ($2,040,000,000,000)
Merrill Lynch: $1.949 trillion ($1,949,000,000,000)
Bank of America: $1.344 trillion ($1,344,000,000,000)
Barclays PLC (United Kingdom): $868 billion ($868,000,000,000)
Bear Sterns: $853 billion ($853,000,000,000)
Goldman Sachs: $814 billion ($814,000,000,000)
Royal Bank of Scotland (UK): $541 billion ($541,000,000,000)
JP Morgan Chase: $391 billion ($391,000,000,000)
Deutsche Bank (Germany): $354 billion ($354,000,000,000)
UBS (Switzerland): $287 billion ($287,000,000,000)
Credit Suisse (Switzerland): $262 billion ($262,000,000,000)
Lehman Brothers: $183 billion ($183,000,000,000)
Bank of Scotland (United Kingdom): $181 billion ($181,000,000,000)
BNP Paribas (France): $175 billion ($175,000,000,000)

View the 266-page GAO audit of the Federal Reserve(July 21st, 2011) here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/60553686/GAO-Fed-Investigation