Saturday, March 12, 2011

Go U N C!! (Basketball Capital of World (NC)) - No Surprise: MADOFF Connected With SEC and “Mortgage Backed Bonds” & Troops Speak Out!!!

U N C Outclasses Duke!
(Dateline) Greensboro, NC - Okay. It's a dream but it's already happened once (last week) and it could happen again. Reporting from "Basketball Town" (coined by The Wall Street Journal) and the "Basketball Capital of the World" (North Carolina) we bring you the:

A C C Watch the game online HERE ! ! !
The only time I watch national TV every night is this week (starting tonight - State game at & 7:00 (my daughter's school)). (Yes, I'm a sellout (as an alumnae).) But hey, it's my school! We learn the whys and wherefores from the Greensboro News & Record:
. . . it has been a case of 'can you top this?'

They have driven each other to the heights."

In recent years, basketball in the state has been dominated by Duke and UNC.

Every year since 1997, one or both have been in the finals of the ACC tournament, and between them, they have won 13 of the last 14 championships.

"There has never been anything like that," said Barry Jacobs, a freelance writer who works for Duke and UNC's official websites. "They are two of the most successful programs in the history of college basketball."

Without those two, a state like Kentucky, Indiana, or California might get labeled as basketball's best state.

But Mark Story, a sports columnist for the Herald-Leader in Lexington, KY, couldn't dispute the Journal's article.

"When you look at the facts, it's not even close," Story wrote. "As a basketball state, North Carolina is kicking our butt."

And, on another subject of the current moment . . . the national (and international) scam about what happened to our financial security becomes clearer and clearer. Of course, we know that Madoff's son was working in SEC enforcement throughout much of his Dad's heist. Or should I say The Family Heist? (P.S. I said at the time he was walked away in handcuffs that it had to be everybody up and down the line if he got away with something so obvious for so long (as my readers will remember). And tell me again how there were gains when Madoff made no trades? Who woulda guessed that an Obama appointment would end up handing Rethugs a gatling gun?)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Well we already knew that his son was working in SEC enforcement so it should come as no surprise that the SEC attorney that was involved in payouts to victims was also involved with Madoff. In fact, it should be no surprise that hundreds of “channels” were involved on Wall Street because Madoff never made a trade. It was a PONZI scheme, but he was well connected and knew perfectly well that the GREAT SECURITIZATION SCAM in mortgage-backed bonds was also a scam. So while the SEC and others generally like to grab people like this, and others like to blow the whistle and see the scheme fall apart, the SEC, being the recipient of a 29 page TEN YEAR OLD report prepared by one of the most knowledgeable analysts on Wall Street, did nothing. That report showed that what Madoff was saying was impossible from any angle and everyone on Wall Street knew for a fact that they had never seen or heard of a single trade from the Madoff “accounts.” Even the mega banks that had Madoff money parked in them knew they had not seen a trade and were talking and writing about it in emails and over cocktails at lunch. What Madoff didn’t realize was that powers bigger than him — and he had a lot of power — were using him as the scape goat to divert attention from their own scam. AND IT WORKED!

The plain truth is that if anyone blew the whistle on Madoff, then the entire mortgage scam would have come to a halt because Madoff would have traded his knowledge of the securitization scam for leniency or even immunity. He miscalculated, like all PONZI artists, because after 30 years he thought both his scheme and the securitization scheme would go on forever — a kind of mutually assured destruction tacit agreement existed between the mega banks and Madoff. Neither one ratted the other out even though both knew what was going on.

So now everyone is in a hurry to get the foreclosures done so we can put this nasty episode behind us, except it just won’t go away. The Banks, in control of government, are successfully arguing that if they are allowed to slowly convert this mess into another mess, the economy will be better off and that less people will be hurt. Using that logic, Madoff and all other PONZI operators should have been left alone. Ask anyone who got nicked by a PONZI scheme — they all secretly wished it could have gone a little longer so they would have gotten their money back — even though that meant that someone else’s money was “paying” them. This is why PEOPLE need to act in the their central role as the boss of this sovereign country. It says so right in the Constitution in clear unambiguous words. PEOPLE need to act, using their powers of removal, election, petitions, and referendums to take control of the government away from those who are using the current occupants of offices that pull the levers of power and put it into the hands of people who understand that if they pull the same crap, they too will fall under the axe of the real boss in this country — its voting citizens. NY TIMES

S.E.C. Chairwoman Under Fire Over Ethics Issues

By LOUISE STORY and GRETCHEN MORGENSON

The Securities and Exchange Commission took a beating two years ago for failing to detect Bernard L. Madoff’s multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme during the decades that he ran it. Now, its chairwoman is coming under Congressional fire for hiring as the S.E.C.’s general counsel someone with a Madoff financial interest — David M. Becker, who participated in matters involving how the scheme’s victims would be compensated.

The revelations about Mr. Becker’s role have raised fresh questions about ethical standards and practices at the agency, where Mary L. Schapiro was brought in as chairwoman two years ago with a mandate to strengthen its enforcement unit. Ms. Schapiro will appear before Congress on Thursday to discuss the matter. Questions about Mr. Becker arose last month after Irving H. Picard, the trustee overseeing the Madoff case, sued him and two of his brothers to recover $1.5 million of the $2 million they had inherited in 2004 from a Madoff investment by their late mother.

Mr. Becker’s financial ties to Madoff had not been publicly disclosed until that suit. Mr. Becker said that he advised Ms. Schapiro and the chief ethics officer of his financial interest in a Madoff investment account, “either shortly before or after” joining the agency in February 2009. Last Friday, H. David Kotz, the agency’s inspector general, announced that he would investigate the potential conflicts in Mr. Becker’s role as a Madoff recipient who was also the S.E.C.’s general counsel and senior policy director involved in decisions relating to the Ponzi scheme. Ms. Schapiro requested the review, a commission spokesman said. Lawmakers have also asked Ms. Schapiro for details of her discussions with Mr. Becker about his Madoff account when she hired him in 2009. Ms. Schapiro missed a deadline on Monday for those responses. An S.E.C. spokesman said Ms. Schapiro declined to comment on Tuesday. “One of the things the S.E.C. does is hold companies to a very high standard with regards to transparency and disclosure,” said Representative Randy Neugebauer, Republican of Texas, who is one of four Republican lawmakers asking Ms. Schapiro about her dealings with Mr. Becker and his disclosures. “We think it’s important that the same integrity exists within the S.E.C., ensuring that people working there do not have conflicts of interest and that here is a process to vet those issues and make sure they are taken care of in a way that gives confidence.” Perhaps the most significant Madoff matter involving Mr. Becker is a proposed reversal of the agency’s recommendation on how to compensate victims of the scheme, according to two people briefed on the S.E.C.’s discussions who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the matter. While the agency had agreed on a deal that would return to investors only the money they had put into their Madoff accounts, Mr. Becker argued that the commission should change its stance to allow victims to keep some of the gains their investments had generated, since the investment would have grown somewhat over time even in a low-interest account. The Becker family would benefit from this approach. Mr. Becker did not return a call for comment. In correspondence with lawmakers late last month, Mr. Becker also said that he alerted the ethics office about his family’s Madoff investment again that May after he received a letter from a number of law firms representing Madoff victims asking that the commission change its proposed compensation formula. Among the issues are whether Madoff investors who withdrew money before the fraud was exposed must return some of their proceeds — and if so, how much — to other investors. “I recognized that it was conceivable that this issue could affect my financial interests because the issue could affect the trustee’s decision to bring clawback actions against persons like me,” Mr. Becker wrote in response to lawmakers. The ethics officer approved his participation, he said. That officer reported directly to Mr. Becker and spent only 25 minutes reviewing the matter, according to Congressional staff members briefed on the discussions who requested anonymity because they also were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Congressional investigators want to know if Mr. Becker and Ms. Schapiro took all the necessary steps outlined in government ethics rules. Under the United States code, for example, Ms. Schapiro may have been required to make a written determination that Mr. Becker’s financial interest was not substantial enough to affect his job performance. A spokesman for the S.E.C. said that such a waiver would not be required unless Mr. Becker had been found to have a substantial financial conflict. Congress also asked Ms. Schapiro whether she discussed Mr. Becker’s Madoff account with other staff members or commissioners and if she took up the matter with officials in the federal government’s Office of Government Ethics, or the commission’s ethics counsel. “As the government official responsible for appointing Mr. Becker to his position in 2009, what steps did you take to manage the appearance of or actual conflict of interest presented by Mr. Becker’s financial interest in the Securities Investor Protection Corporation’ liquidation?” asked a March 1 letter signed by four Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee. They are Spencer Bacchus of Alabama, Jeb Hensarling of Texas, Scott Garrett of New Jersey and Mr. Neugebauer. In any Ponzi scheme, there are victims who withdraw money before the fraud is exposed. There are many such Madoff investors and determining how much they may keep is being sorted out in two places. Some investors are fighting in court to be entitled to the amount of money on their final Madoff statements, though they have been unsuccessful so far. Another battle involves how much customers can be compensated by the Madoff trustee and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, a government entity that helps recover money for customers of failed brokerage firms. The S.E.C. oversees SIPC; neither matter has been decided. Mr. Becker’s late mother, Dorothy, invested $500,000 with Mr. Madoff’s company; when she died in 2004, her three sons transferred the money into a new account at the firm. The next year, the investment was worth $2.04 million and they withdrew it. Mr. Picard said that the family should be allowed to keep the original $500,000 investment but return $1.54 million — all of the gain — to compensate other victims.

If the S.E.C. gets its way, Mr. Becker and his brothers would be allowed to keep more than that to compensate them for the time the money was invested with Mr. Madoff. How much more is unknown because details of the commission’s proposal have not been disclosed. Both SIPC and Mr. Picard, the trustee for the Madoff estate, have proposed that the customers who withdrew funds before the fraud was uncovered should be allowed to keep only as much money as they put in. Initially, the full commission agreed and approved that approach in early 2009, according to the two people briefed on the discussions. Mr. Becker joined the commission in February that year. By spring, he began meeting with lawyers for Madoff customers seeking a different formula. They wanted to let longer-term investors keep more money than those who had money with Mr. Madoff for shorter periods. Mr. Becker apparently dismissed arguments that investors were entitled to the amounts Mr. Madoff had listed on their final statements. In the summer of 2009, Mr. Becker did reverse the commission’s earlier decision, however. His legal staff came up with a new proposal to reflect the length of time the money was invested, and the commissioners approved it at the end of the year. Some at the agency who worked with SIPC expressed dissent about the change, according to the people briefed on the deliberations. Stephen P. Harbeck, the chief executive of SIPC, confirmed that his investor protection unit and the S.E.C. had initially agreed that victims should be able to keep only the money they had originally put into the Madoff firm. “Then they refined their opinion,” he said on Monday, referring to the S.E.C. He said that he did not know who had pushed for the change. The S.E.C.’s definition, Mr. Harbeck said, would benefit anyone who withdrew more money from their Madoff accounts than they had put in. Mr. Becker’s family would be among them. Spread the word. Comments: I hope there will be more revelations from Mr. Madoff. In fact, liar or not, he has nothing to lose. I think we should believe him. He was railroaded into jail with no cross examination. Cross examination would have been very interesting. In any event, Madoff is not lying. He has no reason to lie now. He is doing 150 years for something the rest of the big banks were doing as well. His son is dead. He must feel some remorse for that event. In fact, at this time, he may be spilling his guts to the FBI or some law enforcement agency. I am hoping that maybe–just maybe some sort of retribution is coming out of the giant Madoff Ponzi scheme. Also, that the SEC will be cleaned up and will be doing the sort of job it used to do back in the eighties and early nineties when it had some teeth and was not so egregiously corrupt. How the world must look at us and say, WTF! Burmese8@yahoo.com

pelucheven, on March 9, 2011 said: Dear Mr. Garfield, I do (not) wish to be a skeptic here, but these people go together to weddings, birthdays and everything else. they eat in the same fancy restaurants and golf in the same courses, what makes all of us belive they will be willing to do right by us if by doing so they will be hurting their buddies. I am not calling this a losing battle, but the fight is not just or fair. We have enemies and foes everywhere. even our own foreclosure defense attorneys are some times acting on the best interest of the banking mafia by becoming predatory lawyers and milking the last cent from their poor clients leaving them worst off than before, pennyless and defenseless.

And on a very hopeful note we ask "Will the troops start to speak out en masse now that they know there is no end in sight - ever?" (h/t to BeulahMan and Wariscrime.org)

This young man realized the same lie told to so many of my friends' kids. He discusses how he was bullshitted into believing these lies. He acknowledges that he felt that he had no other choice, except low wage jobs such as landscaping and believed that his marine job would lead to something better when he got out.

But then they accuse him of using the Marines and try to force him into the old brainwashing that gets most of them, suggesting that he should do it to be a patriot. Well, standing up to the lies is what makes him a patriot. Telling the truth about the illegal and immoral invasions... torture... maiming and killing of innocent people is what makes him a patriot. And I thank him for telling the truth.

But he finally realized that the toll that the Iraqi people paid is far more than any gains he would ever make. The murder of innocents and the fact that people much like those in his hometown were forced either to leave or fight to keep their homes. He saw that depleted uranium weaponry has caused untold birth defects and deaths.

It is these types of young people who need to stand up and tell the real side of the story and help stop the madness. At the very least, they may convince those that feel that this is the only job they can get to keep trying for something else and leave this murderous Empire's assassin squads.

________________

2 comments:

RealityZone said...

The war crimes that were committed by the West in Iraq will never be brought to light or prosecuted.
The Iraqi people and their babies are proof that we used D/U. What other "test chemicals" and "test weaponry" did we use on the Iraqi people?
We used them as mass test tube guinea pigs for the MIC. I am just sick of it all. I am disgusted as this dying Empire continues to kill, abuse, rape, and pillage innocent people, both abroad and at home.

The Ex-Wiz said...

You and me both, RZ.

You and me and millions of others.

But what can we do to stop it?

No one seems to want to organize (this century). Particularly after the Iraq actions in 2003 were ignored by the bought-off MSM.

I've said for a long time that we've got to get our own media.

And how about Broder finally being terminated? No more Sunday maunderings from that Area 51.

Couldn't have happened to a better-situated guy.