Mittwoch, 12. Mai 2010

Wall Street: Land of the Million Dollar Babies

Record-High Gold Tells of "Inflation & Sovereign Debt" Threat

The price of Gold jumped to new all-time highs against all-but-three of the world's major currencies on Wednesday morning, breaking US$1245 an ounce in London trade.

U.S. home prices drop by $25 billion

A report by San Francisco's Trulia Inc. says home prices around the United States were cut by 10 percent in April. In total, some $25 billion has been slashed from the list prices of for-sale homes.

Home Buyer Tax Credit Takes its Toll

One full week after the tax credit's expiration, mortgage applications fell 9.5 percent; this as mortgage interest rates dropped below 5 percent.

Wall Street: Land of the Million Dollar Babies

Wall Street is know around the world as the land of the million dollar babies since is chock full of people who have gotten incredibly rich as a result of handouts from the government.

Morgan Stanley Shares Decline On Reports Of Federal Probe

Morgan Stanley (MS) shares fell Wednesday on reports federal prosecutors are investigating whether the bank misled investors about mortgage-derivatives deals it helped design and sometimes bet against.

Hungry By the Numbers

How the government defines hunger - and what it looks like up close.

Home Prices Are Falling Again

The decline came even as the government and the Fed threw the kitchen sink at the housing market, an effort that included the Treasury paying people to buy houses and the Fed buying more than $1 trillion in mortgage bonds.

From Information Clearing House

How to Turn Congress Inc. Back to Just Congress

By Katrina vanden Heuvel

In just the first quarter of 2010, the finance, insurance and real estate sectors spent more than $123 million on 2,057 lobbyists. Any bets on whether the final financial reform bill will create the kind of robust, independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency that would serve as a watchdog with teeth?

Capitalism Without Capital

By Mike Whitney

This is a point that bears repeating: "...nearly $14 trillion worth of complex-securitized products were created" on top of just "$1.4 trillion" of subprime loans." No doubt, the investment bankers and hedge fund managers who inflated these monster balloons, knew that they were doomed from the get-go, but then, they must have also known that "I.B.G.-Y.B.G.", which in Wall Street parlance means, "I'll Be Gone and You'll Be Gone."

Taking Back Homes from the Banks

By Bill Quigley

Organizations across the US are engaging in "housing liberation" and "housing defense" to exercise their human rights to housing. Here are a few examples.

Finance 101: Blame the Poor
(While Taking Their Money)

By Gordon Arnaut

Did you know that the poor (and mostly black) people in the US caused the global financial crisis that threw the world economy into its worst slump since the Great Depression of the 1930's.


How Too-Big-to-Fail's Army of Lobbyists Has Captured Washington

Kevin Conner, Institute for America's Future: "Throughout the financial reform debate, the finance industry has waged an unprecedented assault on the democratic process, spending an estimated $1.4 million per day to influence Congress and hiring 70 members of Congress and 940 former federal employees to lobby on their behalf."

America's Ten Most Corrupt Capitalists

Zach Carter, AlterNet: "The financial crisis has unveiled a new set of public villains - corrupt corporate capitalists who leveraged their connections in government for their own personal profit. During the Clinton and Bush administrations, many of these schemers were worshiped as geniuses, heroes or icons of American progress. But today we know these opportunists for what they are: Deregulatory hacks hellbent on making a profit at any cost. Without further ado, here are the 10 most corrupt capitalists in the U.S. economy."


Is the Consumer Protection Bill Just One Huge Governmental Subversion of Privacy Ploy?

US Troops Executing Prisoners in Afghanistan

Seymour Hersh

By David Edwards

"I'll tell you right now, one of the great tragedies of my country is that Mr. Obama is looking the other way, because equally horrible things are happening to prisoners, to those we capture in Afghanistan," Hersh said. "They're being executed on the battlefield. It's unbelievable stuff going on".

Training That Makes Killing Civilians Acceptable

By Real News

Josh Stieber: In boot camp we trained with songs that joked about killing women and children.

"I gave them a good boy, and they sent me back a murderer"

By Seymour Hersh


Legendary investigative journalist Seymour Hersh delivered keynote address at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Geneva, sharing details about his work on My Lai in Vietnam, Abu Ghraib, and about his particular relationship with sources.

How Much Did Pharma Make On The H1N1 Vaccines?


Amazingly, this Country Actually Bans the Flu Vaccine

This island nation has suspended seasonal flu vaccinations for children under the age of five after a series of adverse events.

Stock Market Collapse: Another Goldman Market Rigging?

Ellen Brown, Truthout: "Two weeks ago, Goldman Sachs was on the Congressional hot seat, grilled for fraud in its sale of complicated financial products called 'synthetic CDOs.' Last week the heat was off, as all eyes turned to the attack of the shorts (bets that a stock will decline in value) on Greek sovereign debt and the dire threat of a sovereign Greek default. By Thursday, Goldman's fraud had slipped from the headlines and Congress had been cowed into throwing in the towel on its campaign to break up the too-big-to-fail banks. On Friday, Goldman was in settlement talks with the SEC."

Wall Street Goes to the Movies

Zach Carter, The Media Consortium: "Last week, the U.S. Senate rejected a plan that would have broken up the nation's six largest banks firms into firms that could fail without wreaking havoc on the economy. Even though the defeat reinforces Wall Street's political dominance, there is still room for a handful of other useful reforms, like banning banks from gambling with taxpayer money and protecting consumers from banker abuses. After looting our houses, banks are now pushing for the ability to bet on movie box-office receipts, and will keep trying to financialize anything they can unless Congress acts."


Big Bank Lobby: Too big to bare?

Our Future
by Robert Borosage


Two-hundred and forty former legislators, bank committee staffers, and Treasury officials deployed to lobby. $600 million spent in lobbying, trade association activity and political contributions since March 2008. And that is just from the six biggest banks. The entire financial industry is spending an estimated $1.4 million a day, hiring 70 former members of Congress to make their case. … As the Senate moves towards passing financial reform legislation, it is worth focusing on how the lobby works. Bailed out by taxpayers, the big banks … are emerging from the financial crisis larger and more concentrated than ever. Their very size offends market competition. Entities that are too big to fail cannot be disciplined by the market...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Vereinte Nationen warnen vor irreversibler Zerstörung von Ökosystemen

Nach einem UNEP-Bericht hat sich das Artensterben weltweit beschleunigt.


Wirtschaft - vom Aussterben bedroht?

Wie wir die Vielfalt der Natur gefährden und uns damit selbst auf die rote Liste setzen. In den letzten 50 Jahren hat sich die Weltbevölkerung verdoppelt. Die Weltwirtschaft wuchs dabei sogar um das Sechsfache. Auch der Lebensstandard vieler Menschen erhöhte sich dadurch. Doch mit diesem Wachstum fordern wir mehr von der Natur, als sie uns geben kann, ohne dabei selbst Schaden zu nehmen. Von Edgar Endrukaitis und Judith Winterstein

UN-Bericht: Biologische Vielfalt schwindet weltweit

Die biologische Vielfalt und damit der Reichtum unserer Erde geht noch immer in dramatischem Ausmaß zurück.

Biodiversitätsverlust kommt Wirtschaft teuer

Rapides Artensterben wird enorme Schäden verursachen.

Wissenschaftler mahnen radikale Änderungen in der Klimapolitik an

Eine radikale Abkehr von der Klimapolitik der vergangenen Jahre hat eine 14-köpfige Gruppe international renommierter Klima- und Klimawandelfolgenforscher gefordert.Ökosystemät

FDP auf einmal doch für eine Ampel in NRW bereit

Was bislang ausgeschlossen wurde, wird angesichts des Bedeutungsverlustes der Liberalen auf einmal doch möglich.

Keep ExxonMobil off the Lewis and Clark Trail


Clean up workers at risk from crude and corexit

Financial crisis is 'Social War on a global scale'

Fannie Mae Needs $8.4 Billion More

Fannie Mae asked the U.S. government for an additional $8.4 billion in aid after posting an $11.5 billion net loss for the first quarter, the latest sign that the bailout of the mortgage investor and its main rival, Freddie Mac, is likely to be the most expensive legacy of the U.S. housing-market bust.

From Information Clearing House

Judge Rules Torture Doesn't Violate Due Process

In a ruling that anticipates how the government will ignore torture as it tries alleged detainees in civilian court, Judge Lewis Kaplan rejected Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani's efforts to get his indictment for contributing to the 1998 embassy bombings dismissed because he was tortured while in US custody.

From Information Clearing House

Who Would Dare Downgrade U.S. Debt?


Our unsustainable debt

by Veronique de Rugy

America’s financial situation is unsustainable. In 2009 the federal government spent $3.5 trillion but collected only $2.1 trillion in revenue. The result was a $1.4 trillion deficit, up from $458 billion in 2008. That’s 10 percent of gross domestic product, a level unseen since World War II. Worse, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that we’ll be drowning in red ink for the foreseeable future, with annual deficits averaging $1 trillion during the next decade. While these figures are dramatic, they pale in comparison to what the federal government owes foreign and domestic investors... (for publication 06/10)

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

On how Wall Street destroyed Main Street

Politicians Lie to You About the Economy

The Myth That Justice Is Blind


The world is Kagan’s battlefield

by Justin Raimondo


The nomination of Elena Kagan has opened up a public debate on her qualifications, her public record (or lack of it), and even her sexual orientation. I will deal with none of these here. Normally, this space would not be concerned with the merits of a particular nomination to the Supreme Court, but is it really necessary for me to point out that we aren’t living in normal times? Ever since 9/11, when our rulers decided to junk the Constitution, and started picking off our civil liberties like a sharpshooter at the range, the judiciary has been one of the last defenses of a free people against the depredations of our war-maddened rulers. If Ms. Kagan is confirmed, however, that last recourse will be far less reliable. Her views on the First Amendment, alone, ought to have civil libertarians, both liberals and conservatives, manning the barricades and declaring, ‘No pasaran!’

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


The Problem With Elena Kagan Is Barack Obama


Elena Kagan's shaky record

What a Kagan appointment to the Supreme Court could mean for civil liberties.

From Information Clearing House

The Making of a Warmonger

BP funding ad campaign promoting frolicking on Gulf beaches

Nothing 'out of the ordinary' about oil well Deepwater Horizon was drilling


Amateur Video Of Gulf Oil Slick - Worse Than BP Admits

Officials have stopped guessing at the amount of oil leaking although some speculate it may be closer to 1 million gallons per day.

From Information Clearing House


Pandora's Oil Well

Jill S. Schneiderman, Truthout: "Technical jargon conceals by confusion. The immense scale of the problem surrounding the sinking of the Transocean drilling rig, Deepwater Horizon, requires that the public stay alert when confronted with slick lingo. So, I'd like to help readers understand from a geologist's viewpoint the sad absurdity of the Gulf of Mexico situation - one that is much more than yet another 'oil spill.'"


At BP Hearing, Blame Game for 'Cascade of Failures'


Oil spill swells to 4 Million gallons with fixes days off

A remote-controlled submarine shot chemicals into the maw of the massive leak to dilute the flow, further evidence that BP expects the gusher to keep erupting into the Gulf for weeks or more.

From Information Clearing House

US reconsidering pace of Iraq troop withdrawal

Worries over violence fueled by Iraq's political instability have forced U.S. commanders to reconsider the pace of a major pullout this summer.

From Information Clearing House

A look at costs of Afghan war to U.S. taxpayers

President Barack Obama's request in February for more money to pay for the war in Afghanistan is still snarled in Congress as lawmakers work on other priorities and deal with scarce budget resources.

From Information Clearing House

Red Cross confirms 'second jail' at Bagram, Afghanistan

Nine former prisoners have told the BBC that they were held in a separate building, and subjected to abuse.

From Information Clearing House

A Historic Breakthrough for U.S. Billionaires

By Sam Pizzigati

In 2010 America, schools, students, and teachers share the pain. The heirs to our mega rich, meanwhile, don't have to share anything.

Afghan Escalation Funding: More War, Fewer Jobs, Poor Excuses

By David Swanson

The fact is that military spending is destroying the U.S. economy. An excellent report from the National Priorities Project, "Security Spending Primer," provides a summary of research that supports these basic and well-documented facts...


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