Links 11/2/11

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange loses appeal against extradition to Sweden Washington Post

Fracking ‘likely cause’ of quakes BBC

Greece explodes, Italy ticks MacroBusiness

Big Banks Betting on the Euro Kent Willard

“Politics: The Beginning and the End of the Euro” Mark Thoma

Greece Stands by Referendum Wall Street Journal

Crisis in the Eurozone” LBJ School of Public Affairs. See here for webcast. Live streams starting at 8:30 AM Central Time today and tomorrow.

Consent Needed for Debt Repayments Michael Hudson, Credit Writedowns

Creditors can huff but they need debtors Martin Wolf, Financial Times

Worry Builds for Deficit-Panel Deal Wall Street Journal

Exclusive: Romney Family Investment Group Partnered With Alleged Perpetrators Of $8 Billion Ponzi Scheme ThinkProgress (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Cain Accuser Got a Year’s Salary in Severance Pay New York Times (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

St Paul’s protests: Archbishop of Canterbury calls for tax on bankers Telegraph

Time for us to challenge the idols of high finance Rowan Williams, Financial Times. This is the lead op ed in the Financial Times. Why we don’t see anything comparable from US religious leaders?

Mayor 1% joins the Limbaugh chorus Digby (hat tip reader Carol B)

Biometric Door Locks and Bulletproof Windows: How Occupy Wall Street Is Scaring the Heck out of the 1% Alternet (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

The Looming Occupy Foreclosures Movement Dave Dayen, FireDogLake (hat tip reader Carol B)

In Corzine Comeback, Big Risks and Steep Fall New York Times

MFing Global TFMetals (hat tip reader Ted L). The bit about Corzine being sent by Goldman to do in competitors is a bit hard to swallow, but most of the rest of the post is useful and likely valid. I used Lind Waldock briefly, and all the people at O’Connor who traded futures swore by them. They were very professional. Sad.

All MF Global Funds Accounted For Bloomberg. Who paid for this headline? The story actually says the MF Global lawyer gave an optimistic reading, but the regulators are still digging. Contrast with: MF Global’s Collapse Draws FBI Interest Wall Street Journal.

Administration Favors Settling With Banks on Criminal Actions They’re STILL Engaged In Dave Dayen, FireDogLake

LPS: Foreclosures delinquent an average of 624 days Housing Wire. Per Adam Levitin, about seven or eight month of that is keeping borrowers in a “sweatbox” to maximize fee extraction. In addition, reports are rife that banks are keeping borrowers in homes in area where the inventory in already high (ie the home won’t sell quickly) so they are liable for property taxes.

In Retreat, Bank of America Cancels Debit Card Fee New York Times

A vicious cycle in the used-car business and Investors place big bets on Buy Here Pay Here used-car dealers Los Angeles Times (hat tip Dave Dayen)

Antidote du jour:

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  1. bmeisen

    re: BoA debit card fee

    It made sense once upon a time to use your credit card as an alternative to cash. You could build your credit rating and enhance your position in the mortgage game. Then the banksters gave mortgages to anyone, ridiculing the notion of creditworthiness and those who dutifully paid up credit card balances.

    Debit cards are here to stay, soon free-of-charge. Checking is dead and credit cards are on the way to the payment transfer doghouse wehre they belong. Will the banksters accept their fate as utility service personnel?

    1. Dave of Maryland

      I agree that writing checks at point-of-purchase is dead (I haven’t written one in maybe ten years), but the business use of checks – to pay suppliers – roars on.

      1. Dave of Maryland

        As I think of it, the business use of direct deposit is one-way. Amazon pays its vendors by direct deposit (top down) but small business pay their suppliers by check (bottom up).

        Have banks been successful in getting homeowners to give them the right to directly debit their bank accounts for the monthly mortgage? No, I didn’t think so, either.

        The nuances of checking.

    2. Jib

      I disagree. CC still work when you pay them off every month in convenience alone (one check to write to pay off all the purchases) and throw in the bonus points and they are fine.

      I refuse to even carry a debit card. The security is non-existent. I have known people who have had their cards stolen and the bank accounts drained. They get the money back but it takes a few days and meanwhile checks bounce and they have NO access to any cash.

      Many places that take debit cards also take ATM cards. You have to know the PIN to use the ATM card and that makes them much, much more secure than a debit card. Most banks will issue you an ATM card only (no VISA or MC label on the front) but you have to ask for it. If you dont like CC’s and you dont like writing checks (I hate it) then use the ATM card.

      1. bmeisen

        The notion that a debit card is unavoidably insecure is strange. Also that a debit card is something other than an ATM card.

        Here in Germany we have a card that we use as a substitute for cash to make purchases. It directly debits our account. It is also the card we use to get cash from an ATM machine. It has a PIN and there’s a limit on the amount of cash that can be drawn at one time. Mine is free if I keep an average balance above Euro 1000 on my account over a quarter. If not it costs Euro 5 a month.

        I hardly ever use my credit card – why should I play with the danger of using credit and paying interest when all I want is convenient payment transfer. The reason why checking lived way past its expiration date in the US is that as long as there were no debit cards, banks could use checking to nudge consumers into using credit when all they wanted was convenience. And of course the rest is history – i.e. bad credit histroy for millions of Americans and juicy interest charges for our friends at MC/VISA.

        The fact that checking remains popular in B2B is either evidence of just how backwards American business practices really are, or it’s evidence that checking is serving another function for large organizations. Maybe many organizations are engaging in systematic institutional kiting?

        Stolen credit card numbers have caused us more concern than stolen debit cards.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          The US for reasons I cannot fathom has antique card technology. I did a study in 1997. Chip cards were prevalent in other markets, even some high end third world countries (South Africa, for instance, where pay would be loaded onto chip cards of workers who didn’t have bank accounts). 14 years later, we still don’t have chip cards in the US.

          It is all about wringing out as much profit as possible from old infrastructure.

          1. Jon

            I think you have answered your own question.

            It’s all about the arbitrage.

            (P.S. A while back I engaged in a ill-conceived rant about a comment you made via legality of arresting OWS protesters. It was misplaced/misdirected–you were right and I was wrong. You responded with an appropriate degree of passion and I sincerely apologize for the agitation and appreciate the courtesy of response.


    1. Jesse

      Wow, nice find. That is some major CYA updating.

      The stereo-typing of the Greeks is really sickening… I found a clip of Real News interview that made the point to contrast the German-lead EU’s response to the Greek situation (i.e. ruthless/punitive austerity measures) with the American response to West Germany’s post-WW2 plight (i.e. the Marshall plan).

      And in the end, the solution is just so clear if painful: print. This whole crisis is so stupid.

    2. Cian

      While I don’t have any great love for Tim Worstall, and detest his politics, I know him well enough to know that he wouldn’t advocate a coup. That was meant as a joke. What he’s basically saying is that if Greece wants to stay in the Euro, and the EU won’t actually compromise, then what’s needed is a coup.

      Which if you think about it is true.

  2. Otter

    “Why we don’t see anything comparable from US religious leaders?”

    Rowan Williams is actually Christian.

      1. Otter

        You appear to be claiming that US churchpersons would discover Christian Charity only if their church steps were occupied.

        I do not believe that one could call such charity, Christian.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      From the linked article:

      …on the 10th floor of a luxury office tower overlooking Stanford…

      I can think of more instances of ‘smart, educated intellectuals’ screwing ‘dumb, uneducated bumpkins’ than the other way around.

  3. Tim

    BofA cancels debt card fees?

    How about every patriotic, progressive and just
    common sense American citizen just cancels their
    BofA accounts?

    Merchants are still paying for
    the privilege of accepting your debit or credit cards.

    Pay cash or write checks drawn on a credit union.
    Don’t let these bastards buy you off with a temporary
    reduction in their rate of scamming us.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Cash is great.

      Big bad wolf: Creditors need debtors too.

      Little Red Riding Hood: Not everyone can be a virtuous creditor?

      Big bad wolf: No. We need debtors.

      Little Red Riding Hood: Are you saying in incurring a debt, it’s a sacrifice a debtor makes so another person/corporation/nation can become a creditor?

      Big bad wolf: Maybe…

      Little Red Riding Hood: And the higher the debt, the bigger the sacrifice the debtor makes to make his creditor virtuous. And the bigger the sacrifice the debtor makes, the more the creditor ‘owes’ his virtue to the debtor?

      Big bad wolf: Perhaps you’re onto something…

      Little Red Riding Hood: That, that…that is so paradoxical, it’s almost like quantum mechanics…or MMT.

      Big bad wolf: Well…if you’re smart…

      Little Red Riding Hood: I like paradoxes. Life if full of them. But…maybe the debtor doesn’t have to make the sacrifice and the creditor doesn’t have to feel guilty about ‘owing’ a debt of gratitude to the debtor if he just pays CASH! Maybe if they just zero-credit BARTER!


      There you have it. With CASH, there is no co-dependency between the creditors and the debtors.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I should that what we sometimes think of as cash transactions are not strictly cash.

        For example, when a waiter puts your order on your table, are you not just borrowing that from the restaurant?

        You may pay cash, but it’s not strictly cash as there is a time gap (depending on how fast you eat and pay).

        1. MacCruiskeen

          A theoretical concern that doesn’t mean much in the real world. Yes, technically a short-term credit is extended in the situation you describe. But so what? When you speak of a “cash transaction” in normal English, we know what that means: you buy something, and hand over cash (currency) for it.

          The important thing is that using cash deprives the banks of their swipe-fee income. Also: it can be a private transaction.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Actually I agree with you about paying cash.

            While the example might be theoretical, my purpose is to support you by giving you a heads up about some counter arguments people might use to undermine you.

  4. Cian

    Why we don’t see anything comparable from US religious leaders?

    This is partly a response to the Occupy London movement, who ended up encamped out St. Pauls. There was a huge row, and the church has been forced into taking sides. Though Rowan is pretty sympathetic to this at the best of times, which doesn’t hurt.

    1. Neo-Realist

      Maybe the American Catholic Church and the Megachurches perceive themselves as corporations or corporatist in nature and their interests to be more aligned with the 1%. Also those damned OWS lefties support abortion:).

      1. Anon

        Occupy London Stock Exchange (OLSX) has played a blinder so far, but the focus on the Church of England is effectively peripheral (except for trying to get the Church to move its pension funds out of News Corporation, the company that trolls murdered schoolgirls).

        The encampment outside St Paul’s was led to believe it faced eviction earlier this week, but now they’re going to be there for another few months at least.

        And they are expanding. The subsidiary camp at Finsbury Square has been up for a week or more, and they’ve also occupied land down by the Tate Modern in the past day or so, on the southern bank of the Thames.

        I can’t help thinking of Brian Haw, who, though mad, bad, and dangerous to know, turned the occupation of a central London space, Parliament Square, into an art form. Haw’s focus was unrelenting – on the use of depleted uranium munitions against children in our Middle Eastern wars-for-oil.

        All sorts of measures were used to try to defeat him, move him on, but he stayed put, and got truly stuck in the national consciousness. I hope he is enjoying this one, wherever he is.

        Watching the squiderati having to show their passes to the boys in blue just to get in and out of Paternoster Square of a lunchtime makes OLSX worth a visit all on its own.

  5. Alex

    “Credito, no problemo” and its Hmong equivalent?

    Few Americans would have put up with the Buy Here Pay Here mentality or businesses in our communities a generation ago. When you let deliberately let huge numbers of uneducated and desperate people into our country with no expectations of privacy, no knowledge of constitutional rights, no family memory of decency and what “Middle Class” means, with few connection to our values, our traditions, with few or no connections to Western Civilization, this is the kind of thing you are going to foment.

    Meanwhile, the multi-generation Americans in the bottom rung of our Working Class have seen the invisible hand wave goodbye to them as they now not only have to “compete” with the wage expectations and working conditions of the economic refugees but now also get treated as such. Thank you pro-immigration liberal humanists for helping destroy our Middle Class and its ability to earn a livable wage.

    1. Anonymous Jones

      Nice fairy tale. Any evidence for it?

      It’s funny, if you actually looked at the evidence of the where the wealth in this country has actually gone, you might think that it’s the 0.1% that destroyed the Middle Class and that it’s the 0.1% that brainwashed you into focusing on the bottom quintile as the source of all your ills.

      It’s not like we have seen the same story for hundreds, nay thousands, of years, with the aristocracy convincing the idiots like you to blame not just themselves but those even more unfortunate.

      1. LeeAnne

        a superficial glance at the situation tells the whole story. what about ‘illegal’ don’t you understand. but, of course, I know, all you have to do is change the word to ‘undocumented.’ Arguemtn won!

      2. Alex

        Well Anonymous, Why don’t you just talk to any tradesman, a carpenter, sheet metal work, plumber in an urban
        ask them about the money they used to make and now

        $25 an hour was reasonable for a journeyman carpenter a decade ago. Now they are lucky to find work for $12 an hour and that’s ignoring inflation.

        You simply cannot expect people to be able to demand
        a living wage when there is an endless stream of
        Central Americans willing to do the job for far less.

        I don’t blame the Central Americans for coming here.
        Thanks to NAFTA destroying their ability to earn a living back home as say a corn farmer. I do blame the
        hand wringers like you that end up serving the interests of the top .01% unwittingly. Sorry that my argument doesn’t fit into the neat little bag that NPR sent you with
        your donation.

      3. Kevin de Bruxelles


        The primary process for concentrating wealth in America for the past thirty years has been globalization and specifically the offshoring of good working class jobs to the third world combined with the inshoring of the third world into America to take jobs that cannot be shipped. You live in California, go ask a 55 year old construction worker what the job market was like back in the late seventies to the early eighties before the process kicked in. Now there is no doubt that the US can take some immigrants, but they should be legal and care should be taken to make sure they do not depress wages.

        One of the other drivers of inequality is the concept of post-Nationalism. In this process since they have access to cheap labour elsewhere, the wealthy emancipate themselves from the nation state. Instead of promoting their people’s welfare, they turn parasitical and suck as much blood as possible from the increasingly few who bear the burden of actually producing. For the elite Left post-nationalism means undermining cultural traditions and flooding the nation with as many third world immigrants as possible. For these idealists, there should be no wage differences between a worker in the US or Tanzania. The Left helps allow immigrants to come in by enabling their domestic lumpenproletariat cultures to grow by tolerating up to celebrating those who refuse to work or become employable. The ghettos, barrios and trailer parks of America, by means of cultural pathology and depressed wages brought on and abated by globalization, are becoming more parasitical each year. As more people refuse to work, more immigrants come in to take these jobs, and yes the wages go down in the process.

        This is why the whole concept of the 99% is such bullshit. I don’t care if someone is rich as long as they are producing and providing jobs for others to produce. The real breakdown should always be between parasites and producers. In the US you probably have 75% who produce (blue and white collar workers) and 25% who suck blood (lumps and rentiers). You have two political tendencies whose primary goal is to protect one or the other groups of parasites.

        In no way is any of this the actual illegal immigrant’s fault, as long as they are productive, they are just doing what is in their best interest. The fault is both the elite Left and Right who have abandoned the best interests of their nation state for different reasons.

        1. Jeff

          Nicely put sir,

          What especially strikes me is the notion of the
          top resident 1% who treat the United States and its economy
          as though they were just tourists traveling through,
          even though they live here, use our infrastructure
          and depend on our public services to protect them.

          These are the people who would never go out of their
          way to hire an American worker but rather rely on
          the mow and blow illegals to do their garden and clean their home. There is no loyalty to their fellow citizens and no concern for the economy of the 99% except insofar as it allows them to live without producing a thing that is real.

          One of the common arguments of the brainwashed 99% that rabidly protect the interests of the 1% is the following that I have heard:

          “So why do you want to raise taxes on Steve Jobs making millions?…why do you want to tax the earnings of people like that”? “53% of Americans pay no taxes, did you
          know that? Huh?…” “Why are you picking on the wealthy?”

          The obvious retort is that
          “Steve Jobs and Apple actually make something that people want and buy versus parasitizing others or living off passive income…”?

          1. Gerard Pierce

            “Steve Jobs and Apple actually make something that people want and buy versus parasitizing others or living off passive income…”

            The problem, is if Apple paid the actual value of the child labor and sweatshop labor that go into it’s products, an iPhone would probably cost $1500.

            62 workers at a factory that manufactures products for Apple and Nokia had been poisoned by n-hexane, a toxic chemical that can cause muscular degeneration and blur eyesight.

            Jobs was always a sharp dealer, and even early in his career he was willing to parisitize Woz.

            He was a genius, but also a genius at looking out for number one.

        2. psychohistorian

          You lost me at this statement:
          “In the US you probably have 75% who produce (blue and white collar workers) and 25% who suck blood (lumps and rentiers).”

          Your assertion that there are 25% who suck blood is delusional. Are you blaming all of the unemployed for being blood suckers?

          I would rather our arguments about this sort of thing focus on ones intention to and example of leading a responsible life, regardless of circumstances. “Production” as you call it sounds fairly narrowly defined in your head.

          Another measure of ones humanity to me is the concept of sharing that cuts across all other groupings of people. IMO, one should not be able to leave grade school without becoming one with the concept of sharing.

          I paid into SS for 45 years and still keep “producing” stuff so save your personal attacks for someone else. I believe that many in our society that are poor “producers” are that way because of the economic and social incentives we have integrated into our daily lives. I really hope we are starting a process whereby we pull all those “social contract” issue out, discuss them and agree to build a better world .

          1. Kevin de Bruxelles

            Unemployment is typically a temporary state so I would certainly not consider these people as parasites. You have to look at the entire lifespan. Same with senior citizens who were producers during their working years. Parasites on the low end of the social ladder are Lumpenproletariat, who typically are criminals, drug addicts, and lifetime welfare recipients. These people suck resources from the economy and are especially hard on the working poor. On the higher end Rentiers are people who are able to extract wealth from an economy from their ability to collect rent without actually producing anything useful for an economy. The classic example would be an absentee landlord who extracts rent from the peasants on his land.

          2. Jeff

            Yes, it would be an ideal world if the BuyHere
            Payhere slick operators only victimized the
            welfare, drug and loafer class. The tragedy is that
            people who used to be, or might have been Middle Class are falling prey to them per the mechanics of credit
            histories that may well become the next decider of
            your social class.

          3. Skippy

            Psycoho did you not get the memo, smart people make money…dumb people don’t…dumb people are a drag on the wealthy and productive classes.

            Skippy…It is a personal choice to be poor and dumb.

          4. Lajoinie

            @Kevin de Bruxelles

            Speaking of parasites, why for example should male and female adolescents, voracious and sheep-like consumers who are always greedy for pocket money, not be *forced* into prostitution, the only means by which they could modestly reimburse the immense efforts and struggles that are made for their well-being?

            That is the real question, the authentic moral issue of our time!

        3. scraping_by

          This is one of the best outlines of current reality I’ve read. Tart it up into slogans and it can get somebody elected.

          Though, think again about your idea of being rich as creating jobs. This is the usual smokescreen of the rentier class and their immediate floors, the corporate masters. The first promote the idea of capital as mysterious and its holding as sacred, when capital can be a utility if you kick out the rich. And the CxOs of this world bloviate about entrepreneurship, when they’re obviously technocrats who stuck their nose up the right hole.

          Either are replaceable. Neither, in a truly free market for labor, would get that kind of reward. Whatever they do, it hardly seems worth a salary the size of a small country’s GDP.

  6. Francois T

    “Why we don’t see anything comparable from US religious leaders?”

    In the country that harbors “Church of Prosperity” and “Gospel of The Dollar”?

    Surely, you jest!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If you want to talk about the unholy of unholies, perhaps the place to look is the 0.0001% and not just the 1%.

      1. Jeff

        Re bank parasites feeding off unemployment debit cards. Why doesn’t he just withdraw it all at once? Does he have to take it in four payments?

        Cash is king. Patriots pay cash. Cash costs nothing.

        Are we so weak as society that we can’t figure out how to go into a bank and withdraw enough to live on for a month? We’ve been nickeled and dimed and five and ten dollared to death. The way to fight back is with the same small sums that in the aggregate add up to real rebellion.

  7. don

    “I used Lind Waldock briefly, and all the people at O’Connor who traded futures swore by them.”

    So Yves, are you a futures trader?

    Can it be said that futures trading is simply pure speculation divorced from production/consumption, that is, from the ‘real’ economy, in which said financial speculation simply reflects the financialization of the economy?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, I tried trading futures briefly, made some money, lost more, and quit. I lost more than I should have because my broker screwed me on execution (not Lind Waldoch, Prudential), and I had a referral from a big kahuna trader) so badly that when I squaked, they made of some (but only some) of the amount they’d pocketed. I was at Lind Waldoch for a very few trades, I think I was flat, and decided this was a suckers’ game. They were super professional and didn’t hassle me about closing the account.

      Over 70% of retail futures traders lose money.

  8. psychohistorian

    To me the breaking news is “our” House of Representatives voted today on House Resolution 13 that reaffirms the change in the American motto since 1956 from E pluribu unum to In God We Trust.

    It is my very strong opinion that until we get that legislative body to pass a Resolution returning America to the original motto of E pluribus unum, we will have not succeeded in returning our country to the secular vision that was intended, as evidenced in the original motto.

    1. psychohistorian

      Did I get in ahead of the spelling gestapo to note my missing s in the first pluribus?


      I propose that if the 99% effort fails that E PLURIBUS UNUM become the next rallying cry and lets see them spin that!!!!!!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        In Estonia, they had the Singing Revolution.

        I am intrigued by your Laughing Revolution.

        Maybe someone can comment on Dancing Revolutions.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Many wish we had a chance at referendum when To Big To Fail banks begged for ‘0% hair cut bailouts’ in late 2008.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s interesting when they said, let’s let the voters decide, and immediately the markets crashed.

          What a strage world we live in today.

          1. F. Beard

            It’s interesting when they said, let’s let the voters decide, and immediately the markets crashed. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Excellent observation. It is a tacit admission that we live in an exploitative economy that does not benefit the majority.

    2. scraping_by

      The only sobering part of Greek self-determination is the reality that every day more money is sluiced out of the economy.

      The object of the exercise, for the investors, is to keep up a revenue stream. Cutting back on health and welfare, throwing pensioners out on the street, grinding society to a halt, these are unconnected. Right now Greek pain is bondholders’ gain, and they’ll fight to keep gaining.

      The other sobering part is if the Greek government counts votes the way they do in Florida. But, sufficient unto the day…

  9. LucyLulu

    Latest News on Foreclosure Settlement:

    Ally CEO saying he won’t sign onto agreement. Apparently, as long as homeowner was delinquent, he feels “sloppy paperwork” is a-okay.

    Carpenter said Ally reviewed 25,000 foreclosure cases with potential evidence of forged documents and affidavits. The bank found each borrower reviewed had been delinquent on the loan at least one year, in some cases two, he said.

    “We deeply regret the sloppy operational practices that led to this. But we have contractual obligations as a servicer to foreclose when we must,” Carpenter said.

    And of course, the 50, or 43, or however many, are on the verge of an agreement, still…….. with the five largest banks, for $25 billion:

    “We think we have reached a settlement amount with the five largest servicers,” said a spokesman for Miller, who said additional agreements with other mortgage servicers are not included in the current settlement. “If we end up settling beyond the five, that would increase the amount.”

    A signed agreement is not imminent but a tentative figure, which Miller’s office could not confirm, would equal $25 billion.

    Of that, $20 billion would potentially go to principal reduction and refinancing for borrowers who are current on their mortgage but who owe more than their home is worth, according to a source with direct knowledge of the talks.
    The other $5 billion would go to homeowners who have been improperly foreclosed upon as previously reported, with a tentative $1500 payment to borrowers.

    The article also confirms that DeMarco will not entertain principal reductions for the 70% of loans guaranteed by Fannie/Freddie.

    Finally, while default rates are generally declining, the risk for strategic defaults on jumbo loans is on the upswing. Compared to 22% of all mortgages being underwater, more than half of jumbo mortgages are for more than the home is worth.

    Perhaps not only should we have “Occupy Foreclosures” but also “Occupy Mortgages” with a mortgage payment strike to force lenders into principal reductions???
    Disclaimer: Positive equity, current on mortgage, but believe the quickest recovery for housing market and economy in general will come if reprice the market to current values, everybody takes their losses. Payment of interest was to cover risk taken by lender/investor. Yeah, investors may have been defrauded with AAA ratings, but not by the borrowers, and even AAA risks can go bad. It is time to stop the extend and pretend game. (Nor was there any explicit guarantee by GSE’s.)

    1. Hugh

      It is always good to hear from Bill Moyers. But I think he skirts the criminal nature of our elites and that should be the focus. Jamie Dimon and the Koch brothers are not out of control capitalists. They are criminals.

      I also take exception to this comment: “Wealth acquired under capitalism is in and of itself no enemy of democracy.” Actually it is when it soaks up sufficient resources to keep society from addressing the basic needs of its members.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Life is full of mysteries but it would not be that absurd to see liberals agree with Republicans that we need more prisons…we need to put more criminals in jail.

        I think #OccupyWallStreet people will agree with that.

        More prisons! And use them. That’s what they are for.

        Perhaps deep down, we all have a little Republicanism in us. Gasp!

        1. PQS

          No, we just need to let the low level non-violent drug offenders go so we have room for all the white collar criminals.

          A few banksters in the pokey might do wonders for the current state of human rights violations that occur almost hourly in our prison system.

        2. aet

          Au contraire, Monseiur Le Boeuf;

          I say instead: Occupy the Bastille!! Break it open, and release all those wretches within!

          Ah zut – it has already been well done…tell me, the key to the Bastille still hangs in President Washington’s house at Mt Vernon, does it not? Has that fact been forgotten in the USA?

          Pardon me…who did you wish to see jailed again? The unjust, you say? Well, by all means!

          But maybe you, personally, will pay the costs for it, yes? No? Then we do – or must ?
          And you, personally, will select who is and who isn’t unjust enough to be locked up, no? No?

          No!!! We say…

          What, no?

          1. aletheia33

            i didn’t know about the key to the bastille being in washington’s house, or how it got there. checked it out, it’s interesting. lafayette, when leading revolutionary france, sent the key to him partly as a tribute to him for america’s revolution inspiring of the french one and partly as a reminder that, as lafayette put it,”I would never have drawn my sword in the cause of America, if I could have conceived that thereby I was founding a land of slavery,” urging george to free his slaves as an example to his fellow citizens.

            washington kept the key hanging in his hallway, where he must have seen it every day. he finally freed his slaves on his death–the only one of the founders to do so.

  10. Hugh

    Re Assange, the impartiality of the British judicial system is vastly overrated. This is unsurprising. Kleptocracies need a compliant judiciary to overlook their misdeeds and keep the rubes in line.

    Re Rowan Williams, it is interesting how his op-ed avoided mention of either wealth inequality or class.

    Worry builds in Congress that the Cat Food Commission II won’t come to a deal to screw over ordinary Americans??? This whole process is totally bogus. Nothing the original bill or this Cat Food Commission decides restricts or limits what any Congress may decide to do in the future.

    Those are interesting comments from Michael Hudson. Things are still not settled in Iceland. Icelanders still have a government that is unresponsive to their needs and wishes.

  11. Francois T

    “WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange loses appeal against extradition to Sweden”

    Next Step? DOJ will request extradition to the US. Of course, Sweden will fake demurring, but shall “accept” the request.

    And the obliteration of the Rule of Law shall continue until there is nothing left.

  12. rd

    On “How Occupy Wall Street is Scaring the 1%”:

    This appears to be turning into classical asymetrical warfare where a relatively small threat, so far even unacted upon is sufficient to cause large expensiture of resources and effort.

    ““Right now it’s like a college sit-in, demonstrating middle-class frustration, but it could eventually lead to violence and that is the scary next step.””

    So far, the violence has been largely one-way as the authorities have assaulted the protestors a number of times with a remarkable amount of self-control on the protestors part. If the protestors become violent en masse it will almost definitely be in response to repeated excessive force by the authorities.

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