Why Presidential Candidates Are Talking About the Unique Threat Posed by Wall Street’s Megabanks

The handful of Wall Street’s sprawling too-big-to-fail “banks” pose a unique, dangerous threat to America’s families, workers, financial system and economy, which their “hide and disguise” strategy tries to conceal. They — and they alone — are capable of crashing the financial system and the economy, which is why they are too big to fail. This is a unique threat to the country and to the standard of living of every American. Preventing people from understanding that and from eliminating that risk is one of Wall Street’s key goals. This “hide and disguise” strategy is also used to push their special interest agenda of killing, gutting and weakening financial reform.

Source: Why Presidential Candidates Are Talking About the Unique Threat Posed by Wall Street’s Megabanks | Dennis M. Kelleher

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Alibaba Apologizes For Want Ad Seeking Candidates Who Resemble Porn Star

Alibaba has apologized and pulled a job ad seeking a “programmer encouragement specialist.” Requirements for the since-deleted position, as translated by Quartz, include an “adequately stunning” appearance and someone who might be an “open-minded lolita” like adult film star Sora Aoi or the South Korean actress Song Hye-kyo.The person in the position would be responsible for encouraging and inspiring programmers and engineers to do their best work, including waking them up for early morning meetings, the posting read.

Source: Alibaba Apologizes For Want Ad Seeking Candidates Who Resemble Porn Star

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Video: Corruption is Legal in America

What is this problem, exactly? Represent.Us, a group that supports campaign finance reforms and is advocating for them at the city, municipal and state levels, presents an answer in a new video.

Pulling from a study by political scientists Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, the video explains how legislative actions taken by politicians in Washington do not reflect the priorities of the broader population, but instead are moved by the opinions of the wealthy elite.


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Whistle-Blower on Countrywide Mortgage Misdeeds to Get $57 Million

This is the way a whistle blower should be treated. But, once again, no one is going to jail. That has to change. Too-big-to-jail has got to go:

A former Countrywide Financial executive who became a whistle-blower is collecting more than $57 million for helping federal prosecutors force Bank of America to pay a record $16.65 billion penalty in connection with its role in churning out shoddy mortgage and related securities before the financial crisis.

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“Our Democracy Is Dying”

Our Democracy Is Dying | Marianne Williamson

The question is whether we are going to fight for democracy or just go along with the destruction of our free country:

In case anybody hasn’t noticed, democracy in America is dying now. This isn’t an overstatement; it’s a fact. Corporate interests dominate our politics so much at this point that our government, for all intents and purposes, is merely its handmaiden. Whatever Wall Street wants, Wall Street gets. Corporatism is the new order of the day. One political party stands for it; the other political party won’t stand against it.

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Delta Airlines fires worker for saying Delta workers make under $15 an hour

Welcome to the Corporatocracy:

I have listened to what Hedges said several times, I have read the transcription multiple times and I cannot see that he said anything disparaging in what he stated. Had the baggage handlers voted in a union four years ago he would have been protected by a union contract; however, in 2010 Delta baggage handlers narrowly voted against unionization. Jay Parsley, a Delta employee based in Atlanta who organized the opposition to a union, stated at that time…

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Texas Oil Regulators Fired for Trying to Actually Regulate

That’s how you know you live in corporatocracy. The corporations can break the law because they are law:

What happens to energy regulators that dare to do their jobs and try to actually regulate energy companies? They get fired.

That’s the news according to a pair of Texas inspectors that monitored oil and gas operations in the state. Though each man worked separately, counties apart, their stories of being abruptly fired for following their job descriptions are troubling to say the least. Here are the stories that InsideClimate News turned up.

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The Kochs Eclipse the RNC

“The most powerful outside political force in America”

The Koch brothers and their allies are pumping tens of millions of dollars into a data company that’s developing detailed, state-of-the-art profiles of 250 million Americans, giving the brothers’ political operation all the earmarks of a national party.

The move comes as mainstream Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, are trying to reclaim control of the conservative movement from outside groups. The Kochs, however, are continuing to amass all of the campaign tools the Republican National Committee and other party arms use to elect a president.

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Energy Companies Use Attorneys General In Secret Alliance To Kill Regulations

Energy firms and state attorneys general have established a secretive alliance in an effort to derail environmental oversight and promote fossil fuels, according to an in-depth New York Times’ investigation published this weekend. Having reviewed thousands of emails and legal documents and undertaken dozens of interviews, the Times found that “Republican attorneys general have formed with some of the nation’s top energy producers to push back against the Obama regulatory agenda.”

via Energy Companies Use Attorneys General In Secret Alliance To Kill Regulations | ThinkProgress.

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The Fed Just Acknowledged Its Too Big To Jail Policy

The Fed Just Acknowledged Its Too Big To Jail Policy

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have long suspected that federal prosecutors didn’t pursue guilty pleas because they were afraid the consequences — a potential unraveling of a giant bank — would endanger the global economy. Attorney General Eric Holder suggested that was the case in March 2013, but quickly walked back his comments after a public outcry.

It wasn’t until May that years of persistent criticism eventually gave way to a guilty plea by Credit Suisse, the giant Swiss bank, to allegations it helped thousands of Americans hide their wealth to evade U.S. taxes.

But until Friday, no senior federal official had acknowledged this was explicit U.S. policy.

“We were not willing to find those firms guilty before, because we were worried that if we found them guilty, that could somehow potentially destabilize the financial system,” Dudley said. “We’ve gotten past that and I think it’s really important that we got past that.”

via The Fed Just Acknowledged Its Too Big To Jail Policy.

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Bank Of America Hires U.S. Officials For Financial Crime Team

How do banks get to hire government officials? I guess that’s why we live in a corporatocracy. Not only do corporations get still out of jail but they can buy themselves the people who should be charge of watching them:

Bank of America has hired two U.S. government officials to join its financial crimes team, according to three people familiar with the matter, as banks are under increasing pressure to police their transactions for suspicious activity.

Bank of America has hired Jaikumar Ramaswamy, who heads the U.S. Justice Department’s asset forfeiture and money laundering section, and Frederick Reynolds, who is deputy director of the Treasury Department’s anti-money laundering unit, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

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Run against corporations and you’ll lose the election

Elizabeth Warren was doing Tuesday what Elizabeth Warren usually does: sticking up for the little guy.

The populist Democratic senator from Massachusetts was in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, hosting an event to push Wal-Mart to raise wages and improve working conditions. “No one in this country should work full time and still live in poverty,” she said, wearing a green wristband to show solidarity with Wal-Mart workers. “Today a person can work full time, and a momma and a baby on a full-time minimum job cannot keep themselves out of poverty — and that’s wrong.”

A few hours earlier, Warren, joined by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, fired off letters to 16 financial institutions demanding more information about how they’re protecting consumers from fraud and identity theft. Later in the day, she cast her vote against the oil-and-gas interests backing the Keystone XL pipeline.

This would seem to be Warren’s moment. Exit polls in the midterm elections showed that 63 percent of voters thought the economy favors the wealthy, while only 32 percent said the economy is fair to most Americans. Harry Reid, the Senate Democratic leader, has made a leadership position for Warren. Presidential rumors persist, though she shows no signs of running.

Warren’s populism is appealing — not fiery or vengeful but compassionate and grounded in fairness. She also has the virtue of being correct: People don’t feel improvement in the economy because the gains haven’t been shared evenly, income inequality has widened and wages haven’t increased along with stock prices and corporate profits.

via Run against corporations and you’ll lose the election | HeraldNet.com – Opinion columns.

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13 Stores That Won’t Open On Thanksgiving

Boycott Black Friday:

Kmart, J.C. Penney, Toys R Us and Walmart are all opening their doors on Thanksgiving this year, but that doesn’t mean everyone is asking workers to report for Black Friday duty a day early.

At least 13 large retailers have decided to remain closed on Thanksgiving. In various statements, the companies have cited the questionable benefits of opening on Thursday and the importance of preserving the holiday for employees and customers alike.

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When Will This Administration Finally Imprison Crooked Bankers?

As every day goes by, with more and more wrist slaps of crooked banking and crooked bankers, I am more and more convinced that two of our nation’s top attorneys, Helen Davis Chaitman and Lance Gotthoffer, have it right: The Obama administration, and Eric Holder in particular, have decided to give get-out-of-jail-free cards to all criminal bankers.

Today’s wrist slap of UBS, JPMorgan, Citigroup, HSBC, and Royal Bank of Scotland for currency rigging is just the latest example that the U.S. Justice Department has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street.

via When Will This Administration Finally Imprison Crooked Bankers?.

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Matt Taibbi and Bank Whistleblower on How JPMorgan Chase Helped Wreck the Economy, Avoid Prosecution

A year ago this month the U.S. Department of Justice announced that the banking giant JPMorgan Chase would avoid criminal charges by agreeing to pay $13 billion to settle claims that it had routinely overstated the quality of mortgages it was selling to investors. But how did the bank avoid prosecution for committing fraud that helped cause the 2008 financial crisis? Today we speak to JPMorgan Chase whistleblower Alayne Fleischmann in her first televised interview discussing how she witnessed “massive criminal securities fraud” in the bank’s mortgage operations. She is profiled in Matt Taibbi’s new Rolling Stone investigation, “The $9 Billion Witness: Meet the woman JPMorgan Chase paid one of the largest fines in American history to keep from talking.”

via Matt Taibbi and Bank Whistleblower on How JPMorgan Chase Helped Wreck the Economy, Avoid Prosecution.

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