07 5 / 2013
For the first time in the financial crisis, bank accounts are being raided and people’s savings are being seized. We look at the fallout of the EU’s cruel gamble, exposing the human cost…
31 12 / 2012
10 3 / 2012
The Republicans newly proposed jobs plan is based around tax breaks (including to hedge fund managers. More via Think Progress: “What’s really holding back small businesses is a lack of demand in the economy, and there’s no reason for businesses to hire, no matter how many tax breaks they receive, unless they have an expectation of more customers. As the chief economist for the conservative National Federation of Independent Business explained, “if you give a small business guy $20,000 he’ll say, ‘I could buy a new delivery truck but I have nobody to deliver to”…”.* Cenk Uygur and Michael Shure discuss on The Young Turks.Watch Michael on TwenTYTwelve: http://www.youtube.com/tytshows* http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/03/08/440767/gop-hedge-fund-tax-break/Subscribe to The Young Turks: http://bit.ly/eWuu5iFind out how to watch The Young Turks on Current by clicking here:http://www.current.com/gettyt The Largest Online New Show in the World.Google+: http://www.gplus.to/TheYoungTurksFacebook: http://www.facebook.com/tytnationTwitter: http://twitter.com/theyoungturks
02 12 / 2011
12 11 / 2011
November 12, 2011
To be clear, no single issue was the cause. Our economy is a complex and intricate system. What caused the crisis? Look:
●Fed Chair Alan Greenspan dropped rates to 1 percent — levels not seen for half a century — and kept them there for an unprecedentedly long period. This caused a spiral in anything priced in dollars (i.e., oil, gold) or credit (i.e., housing) or liquidity driven (i.e., stocks).
●Low rates meant asset managers could no longer get decent yields from municipal bonds or Treasurys. Instead, they turned to high-yield mortgage-backed securities. Nearly all of them failed to do adequate due diligence before buying them, did not understand these instruments or the risk involved. They violated one of the most important rules of investing: Know what you own.
●Fund managers made this error because they relied on the credit ratings agencies — Moody’s, S&P and Fitch. They had placed an AAA rating on these junk securities, claiming they were as safe as U.S. Treasurys.
4 Derivatives had become a uniquely unregulated financial instrument. They are exempt from all oversight, counter-party disclosure, exchange listing requirements, state insurance supervision and, most important, reserve requirements. This allowed AIG to write $3 trillion in derivatives while reserving precisely zero dollars against future claims.
5 The Securities and Exchange Commission changed the leverage rules for just five Wall Street banks in 2004. The “Bear Stearns exemption” replaced the 1977 net capitalization rule’s 12-to-1 leverage limit. In its place, it allowed unlimited leverage for Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns. These banks ramped leverage to 20-, 30-, even 40-to-1. Extreme leverage leaves very little room for error.
6Wall Street’s compensation system was skewed toward short-term performance. It gives traders lots of upside and none of the downside. This creates incentives to take excessive risks.
7 The demand for higher-yielding paper led Wall Street to begin bundling mortgages. The highest yielding were subprime mortgages. This market was dominated by non-bank originators exempt from most regulations. The Fed could have supervised them, but Greenspan did not.
8 These mortgage originators’ lend-to-sell-to-securitizers model had them holding mortgages for a very short period. This allowed them to get creative with underwriting standards, abdicating traditional lending metrics such as income, credit rating, debt-service history and loan-to-value.
9 “Innovative” mortgage products were developed to reach more subprime borrowers. These include 2/28 adjustable-rate mortgages, interest-only loans, piggy-bank mortgages (simultaneous underlying mortgage and home-equity lines) and the notorious negative amortization loans (borrower’s indebtedness goes up each month). These mortgages defaulted in vastly disproportionate numbers to traditional 30-year fixed mortgages.
●To keep up with these newfangled originators, traditional banks developed automated underwriting systems. The software was gamed by employees paid on loan volume, not quality.
●Glass-Steagall legislation, which kept Wall Street and Main Street banks walled off from each other, was repealed in 1998. This allowed FDIC-insured banks, whose deposits were guaranteed by the government, to engage in highly risky business. It also allowed the banks to bulk up, becoming bigger, more complex and unwieldy.
●Many states had anti-predatory lending laws on their books (along with lower defaults and foreclosure rates). In 2004, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency federally preempted state laws regulating mortgage credit and national banks. Following this change, national lenders sold increasingly risky loan products in those states. Shortly after, their default and foreclosure rates skyrocketed.
Bloomberg was partially correct: Congress did radically deregulate the financial sector, doing away with many of the protections that had worked for decades. Congress allowed Wall Street to self-regulate, and the Fed the turned a blind eye to bank abuses.
The previous Big Lie — the discredited belief that free markets require no adult supervision — is the reason people have created a new false narrative.
Now it’s time for the Big Truth.
28 10 / 2011
(Newser) – It looks like many of the big banks are backing down from threats to raise debit card fees, reports the Wall Street Journal. After Bank of America was pounded over its decision to slap debit card users with a $5 monthly fee, JP Morgan Chase, US Bancorp, Citigroup, PNC Financial Services Group, and KeyCorp have all said they will not be adding such fees—though they say it’s not a reaction to the Bank of America mess. “We looked at all options and quickly decided it didn’t fit with our overall strategy,” says a spokesman for KeyCorp.
Read more here.
28 10 / 2011
NYTimes: Economic growth in the United States picked up in the last quarter in the latest encouraging sign that the recovery, while painfully slow, had not stalled.
Consumers spent more, especially on health care and utilities, and businesses invested more, in software and vehicles among other items, spurring the fastest growth in a year. The nation’s total output of goods and services grew at an annual rate of 2.5 percent from July to September, almost double the 1.3 percent rate in the previous quarter, the Commerce Department estimated on Thursday.
That pace is not brisk enough, however, to recover the ground lost in the economic bust, relieve unemployment or even entirely dispel fears of a second recession.
Read more here.
08 9 / 2011
- Dear MoveOn.org member, If not a member please join the email signup list.
CNN hasn’t responded to the request from over 100,000 viewers to air the American Dream Movement’s response to President Obama’s major jobs speech tonight, like they aired the tea party’s response in January.
So we’re doing something innovative instead. We’re partnering with Rebuild the Dream to bring the American Dream Movement response directly to the American people.
We’ll live stream the president’s speech tonight starting at 6:45 p.m. ET alongside commentary from people who’ve been championing the fight for jobs. And we want you to join us!
You’ll be able to offer your own thoughts as you watch it live with thousands of American Dream Movement activists around the country. We just need to know how many people to expect so we can plan appropriately.
Watch the President’s #JobSpeech online with the American Dream Movement! http://j.mp/ojbcLW