Tag Archives: banking

Evil GOP bastards vote to gut Dodd-Frank banking regulations

Remember those terrifying days in September 2008 after the housing bubble had collapsed, the world’s financial system teetered on collapse, and the economy was in a free-fall?

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Yeah, Tea-Publicans in Congress hope you suffer from short-term memory loss and that you have forgotten all about those dark days.

The evil GOP bastards want to return to what they view as those halcyon days when the banksters of Wall Street ran wild in unregulated casino capitalism — speculation, fraud and theft — that nearly destroyed the world’s financial system. Not one bankster of Wall Street was ever convicted for the greatest financial crime in history, but the GOP is OK with that … the banksters are the “masters of the universe” whom the lickspittle servants of the GOP serve in Congress.

While You Were Paying Attention To Comey, House Republicans Voted For Everything Big Banks Want:

While much of the political world was watching the fallout from former FBI Director James Comey’s Senate testimony Thursday, House Republicans were jamming through a bill that would largely gut the financial regulations in Dodd-Frank, the landmark banking legislation passed in 2010 after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

But instead of quietly sneaking the legislation through, Republicans were loudly touting the bill ― which passed, 233-186, with all Democrats and one Republican (Walter Jones of North Carolina) voting no ― as a major victory.

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ICIJ releases a searchable data base of ‘The Panama Papers’

PanamaCityThe International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) that released the report  “The Panama Papers” (Getty images, Panama City) last month, a leak of financial data of companies and individuals using  tax havens to evade payment of taxes in their countries, How Reporters Pulled Off the Panama Papers, the Biggest Leak in Whistleblower History (“The leak includes more than 4.8 million emails, 3 million database files, and 2.1 million PDFs from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca that, according to analysis of the leaked documents, appears to specialize in creating shell companies that its clients have used to hide their assets”), has now released a searchable data base of those records. ICIJ releases database revealing thousands of secret offshore companies:

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists publishes today a searchable database that strips away the secrecy of nearly 214,000 offshore entities created in 21 jurisdictions, from Nevada to Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands.

The data, part of the Panama Papers investigation, is the largest ever release of information about offshore companies and the people behind them. This includes, when available, the names of the real owners of those opaque structures.

The database also displays information about more than 100,000 additional offshore entities ICIJ had already disclosed in its 2013 Offshore Leaks investigation.

ICIJ is publishing the information in the public interest.

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Our lawless Tea-Publican legislature opens the door to predatory lenders again

In 2008, the voters of Arizona defeated Prop. 200, a ballot measure from former state senator and lobbyist Jonathan “Payday” Paton and the predatory lending industry to extend the state authorization for payday loans in Arizona.

This did not end predatory lending in Arizona, however. The payday loan centers quickly converted to auto title loan centers, something still authorized under Arizona law. The predatory lending industry has tried several times since 2008 to revive certain forms of predatory lending in Arizona, but each time they have been thwarted — until now.

Tea-Publicans in the House narrowly approved a strike everything amendment to SB 1316 (.pdf) on Monday, authorizing high interest predatory flex loans.  Arizona House approves 204-percent ‘flex’ loans.

Laurie Roberts of The Republic writes, Roberts: House throws poor Arizonans to the sharks:

youre-going-to-need-a-bigger-boatNever again let it be said that our leaders don’t care about Arizona’s struggling families.

Or at least, the ungodly profits to be made off of them.

The Republican-controlled House on Monday approved Senate Bill 1316, allowing the payday loan industry to come into Arizona and offer “flex loans” with interest rates of up to 204 percent.

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Joseph Stiglitz on the Great Malaise

Overnight this happened again. China Halts Stock Trading After 7% Rout Triggers Circuit Breaker:

ChinaStockThe worst-ever start to a year for Chinese shares triggered a trading halt in more than $7 trillion of equities, futures and options, putting the nation’s new market circuit breakers to the test on their first day.

Trading was halted at about 1:34 p.m. local time on Monday after the CSI 300 Index dropped 7 percent. An earlier 15-minute suspension at the 5 percent level failed to stop the retreat, with shares extending losses as soon as the market re-opened. Traders said the halts took effect as anticipated without any major technical problems.

The world’s second-largest stock market began the year on a down note after data showed manufacturing contracted for a fifth straight month and investors speculated that the end of a ban on share sales by major stakeholders may come as soon as this week. Chinese policy makers, who went to unprecedented lengths to prop up stock prices during a summer rout, are trying to prevent financial-market volatility from weighing on economy set to grow at its weakest annual pace since 1990.

This caused jitters in markets around the world. U.S. Stocks Tumble After Selloff in China Renews Growth Concern:

U.S. stocks tumbled to begin 2016, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index off to its worst start in 15 years as a rout in Chinese equities renewed concern that an economic slowdown there will damp global growth.

Investors returning to the market after the New Year holiday faced a worldwide selloff sparked by weak factory data in China, while a reading that showed the fastest contraction in U.S. manufacturing in six years bolstered anxiety that slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy is spreading. A flareup in tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran added to the unease.

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Greece capitulates to its creditors demands, loses its sovereignty

euroA week ago Sunday, the citizens of Greece gave a resounding “no” vote to the proposed bailout package from its European Union creditors.

By Thursday, when the government of Greece had to put its final offer on the table to avoid bankruptcy, the government capitulated to its creditors. In Greece, defiance dissipates into capitulation.

But even this was not good enough for  Greece’s creditors, they demanded even more. Germany doesn’t want to save Greece. It seems to want to humiliate Greece.

The Sunday deadline for a deal was extended into early Monday morning, and Greece accepted an aspirational deal that requires its parliament to accept harsh constraints this week before its European union creditors will consider extending a bailout package. This is not a completed deal. The New York Times reports, European Leaders Reach Deal on Greek Debt Crisis:

Greece agreed to a deal with its European creditors on Monday after long and bitter negotiations, swallowing substantial new concessions in the face of imminent financial collapse and insistent demands from Germany and other countries that it prove it was worthy of a third bailout in five years.

The agreement, announced after a contentious all-night session among leaders of the 19 nations that use the European common currency, requires Greece to move quickly to adopt a host of economic policy changes and to allow close monitoring by Europe and the International Monetary Fund.

If Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras can push the central elements of the package through his Parliament in the coming days — a political challenge likely to prove difficult — the creditors said they would be willing to open negotiations on providing as much as 86 billion euros, or $96 billion, to keep Greece afloat for the next three years, and to consider proposals to ease repayment terms on much of Greece’s existing debt of more than €300 billion.

The creditors also agreed, once terms of the bailout are settled, to pull together a short-term stimulus program of up to €30 billion to help Greece’s ravaged economy.

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Global economic news goes from bad to worse

I’m sure this is totally unrelated to what is going on in China and the EU . . . this allegedly was not a “cyber attack,” but just a “technical issue.” New York Stock Exchange Ends Hours-Long Shutdown:

economy 1Trading on the New York Stock Exchange was shut down for hours on Wednesday as the exchange tried to cope with what appeared to be a technical glitch, rather than an attack.

It was the longest such suspension of trading at the exchange in recent years, although trading in the stocks listed on the N.Y.S.E. was able to continue on other stock exchanges, like Nasdaq.

Trading resumed late Wednesday afternoon, almost four hours after the shutdown began, less than an hour before the 4 p.m. closing bell.

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The shutdown was especially troubling because it came only hours after United Airlines temporarily grounded all of its flights following a technical issue. Other businesses had problems with their websites.

But both United and the New York Stock Exchange were adamant that the problems were a result of internal technical problems, rather than malicious hackers.

I’ll bet China’s government is wondering, “Why didn’t we think of this?” as the government’s direct intervention in its stock market has failed to stop the mass sell-off. Beijing’s Moves Fail to Stem Sharp Slide in China’s Stocks:

Stock prices in mainland China fell sharply again on Wednesday, despite another series of government measures meant to restore confidence and stabilize a market that has grown increasingly turbulent in the last month.

The sell-off is putting pressure on the government to take swift action, as losses pile up for the millions of ordinary investors that piled into the market. Just days after Beijing introduced a number of bold measures to prop up share prices, regulators announced new initiatives Wednesday, including allowing insurers to invest more money in stocks and creating a fund to buy up shares in small and midsize companies.

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