Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged Wall Street

485 notes

For these largely hourly workers, paper paychecks and even direct deposit have been replaced by prepaid cards issued by their employers. Employees can use these cards, which work like debit cards, at an A.T.M. to withdraw their pay.

But in the overwhelming majority of cases, using the card involves a fee. And those fees can quickly add up: one provider, for example, charges $1.75 to make a withdrawal from most A.T.M.’s, $2.95 for a paper statement and $6 to replace a card. Some users even have to pay $7 inactivity fees for not using their cards.

These fees can take such a big bite out of paychecks that some employees end up making less than the minimum wage once the charges are taken into account, according to interviews with consumer lawyers, employees, and state and federal regulators.

The New York Times, "Paid via Card, Workers Feel Sting of Fees" | June 30, 2013

Colleges are doing this as well with financial aid and veteran’s benefits refunds. I wasn’t taxed by the U.S. government on my education benefits, but Higher One sure took a chunk with all their fees.

Filed under Politics Economy poverty banks banksters Wall Street war on the poor

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But here’s the thing: most of the crimes Wall Street people commit involve highly specific, highly individualized transactions that won’t fit Eric Holder’s bag of cookie-cutter statutory definitions. That is not the same thing as saying they’re not crimes. They are: the crimes of the crisis period were and are very basic crimes like fraud, theft, perjury, and tax evasion, only they’re dressed up in millions of pages of camouflaging verbiage.

Or, even more often, the crimes have also been sanctified in advance by ‘reputable’ law and accounting firms, who (for huge fees) offered their clients opinions that, if X and Y are signed in accordance with Z, and A and B are stipulated by the parties, and everyone’s sitting Indian-style and facing the moon when the deal is agreed to, then it’s not fucked up and illegal when Goldman Sachs tells you it’s a co-investor in your deal when it’s actually got $2 billion bet against you.

You know that look a dog gives you when you show it something confusing, like an electric razor or a lawn sprinkler? That’s the look federal prosecutors give when companies like Goldman wave their attorneys’ sanctifying opinions at them. They scratch their heads and say: ‘Oh, wow, well since this was signed in Australia by three millionaire lawyers wearing magic invisibility cloaks, it really isn’t fraud! They’re right!’

Matt Taibbi, “Goldman Non-Prosecution: AG Eric Holder Has No Balls

Taibbi has consistently hammered the Obama administration on their non-action regarding Wall Street when other liberal writers have been content to look the other way, or worse, think history suddenly stopped on January 20, 2009. History did not stop, nor did the effects cease from the massive fraud perpetuated by Wall Street. 

Read Griftopia. And think about this: In 2008, Wall Street gave Barack Obama the most contributions of any other candidate. This year, they’re investing in Mitt Romney and the GOP by ratio of nearly 3:1 thus far. They know which side their bread is buttered on — it’s both. But the GOP side looks especially buttery in 2012.

Filed under Matt Taibbi Wall Street politics crime economy Barack Obama Eric Holder fraud Election 2012 2012

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Sen. Sanders Releases Explosive Bailout List

More than $4 trillion in near zero-interest Federal Reserve loans and other financial assistance went to the banks and businesses of at least 18 current and former Federal Reserve regional bank directors in the aftermath of the 2008 financial collapse, according to Government Accountability Office records made public for the first time today by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

On the eve of Senate testimony by JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Sanders released the detailed findings on Dimon and other Fed board members whose banks and businesses benefited from Fed actions.

A Sanders provision in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act required the Government Accountability Office to investigate potential conflicts of interest. The Oct. 19, 2011 report by the non-partisan investigative arm of Congress laid out the findings, but did not name names. Sanders today released the names.

Trust me, it’s infuriating. Sanders is a true champion for Wall St. reform.

Filed under Bernie Sanders politics Wall Street Bailout bailouts economy banks got bailed out we got sold out

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You know, I think it’s about envy. I think it’s about class warfare. When you have a president encouraging the idea of dividing America based on the 99 percent versus one percent — and those people who have been most successful will be in the one percent — you have opened up a whole new wave of approach in this country which is entirely inconsistent with the concept of one nation under God. The American people, I believe in the final analysis, will reject it.

I think it’s fine to talk about those things in quiet rooms and discussions about tax policy and the like. But the president has made it part of his campaign rally. Everywhere he goes we hear him talking about millionaires and billionaires and executives and Wall Street. It’s a very envy-oriented, attack-oriented approach and I think it will fail.

Mitt Romney, on Wednesday’s Today Show, discussing criticism of Wall Street and the rich. In other words, “Hey, poor people. Y’all are just jealous.”

Funny that. A Pew Poll released yesterday shows nearly two-thirds of the public (66%) believes there are “very strong” or “strong” conflicts between the rich and the poor—an increase of 19 percentage points since 2009. Also, participants identified the conflict between rich and poor as the largest, strong source of conflict in society:

If Romney is to be believed, at least two-thirds of Americans are just jealous.

Filed under Mitt Romney Politics Rich class warfare President Obama Obama Republican Republicans 99% 1% class warfare class economy Wall Street wealth inequality income

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Former AIG CEO Sues Claiming Taxpayers Need To Pony Up $25 Billion More

Brass ones. And not in a good way:

For many years, insurance behemoth AIG was so poorly managed that the American taxpayer eventually had to invest nearly $70 billion in the incompetently run company to prevent its collapse from taking the entire U.S. economy along with it. Former AIG CEO Maurice Greenberg, however, thinks that the American people haven’t done enough to protect his massive fortune, so his company filed a lawsuit demanding even more taxpayer money.

For reals. He’s suing on the basis that when the government seizes or takes over property (aside from property used in illegal activity, i.e. RICO seizures) the government must provide ‘just compensation’ - typically, fair market value. ThinkProgress points out that when we bailed out AIG, the fair market value was nearly nil.

See?

Now, let’s say AIG’s assets were involved in illegal activity. Just kidding! Quite a bit of what companies like AIG did was legal - or borderline legal. Deregulation doesn’t make tanking the market illegal - it makes it a near certainty.

Filed under AIG Maurice Greenberg Wall Street Economy politics fraud Financial markets economic crisis financial crisis the 1%

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Is it a radical statement to say the president should have issued this statement long-ago in regards to Occupy Wall Street? Because he hasn’t. I’d like to take this moment to point out how much Wall St. gave Barack Obama in 2008…
Goldman Sachs: $1,013,091
JPMorgan Chase & Co: $808,799
Citigroup Inc: $736,771
UBS AG: $532,674
General Electric: $529,855
Morgan Stanley: $512,232
Latham & Watkins: $503,295
 Total: $4,636,717
Here’s the top two recipients of donations from the financial/securities and investment sector since 2012:

As far as Wall Street, Obama’s already received over a third of what they donated in 2008 for the entire cycle. Though we can see who Wall Street’s favorite is for the GOP side. I don’t think it’s possible to deny the influence of corporate Wall Street dollars in our elections. 
Let’s take Goldman Sachs as an example. Here’s their break down for 2012: They’ve donated a total of $1,858,958 thus far, $508,609 to Democrats and $1,350,349 to Republicans, for a 27%/73% split.
Compare to 2008. By the end of the election cycle, Goldman Sachs donated $6,025,681. Of that, $4,489,893 went to Democrats, and $1,525,448 went to Republicans for a 75%/25% split.
This is why I laugh nearly uncontrollably when I hear Fox News talking about Obama’s occupiers. He’s not on our side, guys.
Essentially, we’re supposed to support democratic movements elsewhere, not here at home. God forbid you actually participate.
Gotcha.

Is it a radical statement to say the president should have issued this statement long-ago in regards to Occupy Wall Street? Because he hasn’t. I’d like to take this moment to point out how much Wall St. gave Barack Obama in 2008…

  • Goldman Sachs: $1,013,091
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co: $808,799
  • Citigroup Inc: $736,771
  • UBS AG: $532,674
  • General Electric: $529,855
  • Morgan Stanley: $512,232
  • Latham & Watkins: $503,295
  • Total: $4,636,717

Here’s the top two recipients of donations from the financial/securities and investment sector since 2012:

As far as Wall Street, Obama’s already received over a third of what they donated in 2008 for the entire cycle. Though we can see who Wall Street’s favorite is for the GOP side. I don’t think it’s possible to deny the influence of corporate Wall Street dollars in our elections. 

Let’s take Goldman Sachs as an example. Here’s their break down for 2012: They’ve donated a total of $1,858,958 thus far, $508,609 to Democrats and $1,350,349 to Republicans, for a 27%/73% split.

Compare to 2008. By the end of the election cycle, Goldman Sachs donated $6,025,681. Of that, $4,489,893 went to Democrats, and $1,525,448 went to Republicans for a 75%/25% split.

This is why I laugh nearly uncontrollably when I hear Fox News talking about Obama’s occupiers. He’s not on our side, guys.

Essentially, we’re supposed to support democratic movements elsewhere, not here at home. God forbid you actually participate.

Gotcha.

Filed under Occupy Wall Street OWS Occupy Everywhere brutality Obama Barack Obama Politics protest free speech democracy 2008 Wall Street Bought and paid for Goldman Sachs JP Morgan Chase Citigroup GE General Electric GOP Republican republicans Democrat democrats campaign contributions

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Finally, the real issues are being addressed. This is the reason all the right people are losing it. They are not stupid. They know that this bell cannot be unrung.

I urge you to read the Occupy Manifesto, written by the New York City General Assembly. It is unavoidably clear. This is not directionless action. If it were, the media would have moved on.

Who should be losing the most sleep over all this? Not Wall Street and not the ultrarich. No. It should be the president. He dropped the ball. It’s cool. The people picked it up. Sir, with all due respect, you’d better recognize.

Henry Rollins, "Occupy America" 

Click to read the whole thing. Enjoy.

Fuck. Yes.

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under Henry Rollins Occupy America Occupy Wall Street politics protest OWS We are winning Wall Street

151 notes

These people down there, they’re not the counter-culture. They’re the culture. They don’t want free love. They want paid employment. They don’t hate capitalism. They hate what’s been done to it.

And they resent the Republican mantra that the market perfectly rewards the hard-working and punishes the lazy, and the poor are just jealous moochers who want a handout. Yeah, because if there’s one group of people who hate handouts, it’s Wall Street.

Bill Maher’s take on the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Well done.

(Source: dailykos.com)

Filed under Bill Maher Occupy Wall Street politics republican republicans capitalism demands OWS Wall Street hypocrisy hippies protesters protest inequality GOP

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On buying an NYPD rent-a-cop for $37/hr: Commoners need not apply

Rebloggable by request:

 cellycelia asked:

Hey, I’m getting conservative skeptics ask for proof of nypd being paid off by banks. I found an article on JP Morgan paying them off. Is that the only incidence, or do you happen to know more?

Meg of Cognitive Dissonance

There’s plenty out there on this - it’s not a new thing. They’re called the “Paid Detail Unit” and it was originally to let cops work as security guards for bars and clubs.

Mayor likely unable to block bill on off-duty cops for bars: From 2004 about the “Paid Detail Unit”

Financial Giants Put New York City Cops On Their Payroll

Closing Time? A proposed after-hours license looms like an apocalyptic last call over everyone from Lotus to Schiller’s. Club owners’ alternative: Let us have cops!

NYPD now on Big Bank Payroll

Who Really Owns The NYPD? Turns Out It’s Not Such A Rhetorical Question

WALL STREET BANKS BUY POLICE PROTECTION AT $37 PER HOUR (PENSIONS/MEDICAL PAID BY TAXPAYERS, THOUGH)…NYC EXPECTS RACKET TO BRING IN NEARLY $12 MILLION IN 2011…

On Wall Street’s Private Police in NYPD Uniforms

If they have questions, I’ve got answers. Probably. 

Filed under NYPD Rent a cop politics Occupy Wall Street Rebloggable by request ask ask box NYC Police Wall Street

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Mother Jones breaks down where the money from the bailouts actually went and how big it actually was, as compared to what we’ve heard. All funds are in billions…
From MoJo:
 

The price tag for the Wall Street bailout is often put at $700 billion —the size of the Troubled Assets Relief Program. But TARP is just the tip of the iceberg of money paid out or set aside by the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve. In her book, It Takes a Pillage: Behind the Bailouts, Bonuses, and Backroom Deals from Washington to Wall Street, Nomi Prins uncovers the hush-hush programs and crunches the hidden numbers to calculate the shocking actual size of the bailout: $14.4 trillion and counting.
(Figures current as of October 31, 2009. Click here for an explanation of the abbreviations and programs.)

Mother Jones breaks down where the money from the bailouts actually went and how big it actually was, as compared to what we’ve heard. All funds are in billions…

From MoJo:

The price tag for the Wall Street bailout is often put at $700 billion —the size of the Troubled Assets Relief Program. But TARP is just the tip of the iceberg of money paid out or set aside by the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve. In her book, It Takes a Pillage: Behind the Bailouts, Bonuses, and Backroom Deals from Washington to Wall Street, Nomi Prins uncovers the hush-hush programs and crunches the hidden numbers to calculate the shocking actual size of the bailout: $14.4 trillion and counting.

(Figures current as of October 31, 2009. Click here for an explanation of the abbreviations and programs.)

Filed under Wall Street bailout money funds economy government politics chart TARP

742 notes

The people camped out on Wall Street are not leaving unless and until they are cleared out by force. They look all kinds of silly in their outfits, and some of their statements don’t make a whole lot of sense to people like you, but they have put down roots, and you better get used to them. I’m sure the whole phenomenon is quite perplexing to you - really, why don’t they just go home? Don’t these people have jobs?

I hate to be the Irony Police, but that’s pretty much the whole point. They can’t, and they don’t. Have homes and jobs, I mean. There was a guy out there a few days ago holding a sign in front of a mortgage-lending institution that read “These People Took My Parent’s Home.” There are all sorts of people walking around Wall Street yelling their lungs out at you because, well, they really would like the opportunity to find gainful employment, as well as a future, but that nifty shell game you and yours pulled off (on our dime) wound up immolating the economy of the common man/woman, and so the common man/woman has decided - in lieu of anything else better to do - to spend their you-created idle hours on your doorstep.

An Open Letter to Wall Street, by William Rivers Pitt on Truthout

Read the whole letter here. This is the one of the best summaries of the Occupy Wall Street protests I’ve seen.

Filed under Occupy Wall Street protest goal politics economy Wall Street Open letter protesters Irony police win Truthout