Yes, we are a most forgiving country, aren't we? (Christian virtue triumphs?)
We forgave the banks and all those entitled (connected) officials who decided their "just" punishments (and benefitted personally from letting them dip into the public's money at will) and then allowed them to actually stop being bankers and just start gambling. (No loans for you!)
The new name for the US.
Viva Las Vegas!
From the great George Washington's blog:
February 20, 2015
No Longer Focused On Deposits Or Loans
Bloomberg reported last month:
“Banks don’t have a need for deposits, and the demand for loans by households and firms is weak,” Niels Storm Stenbaek, chief economist at the Danish Bankers Association, said in a phone interview.Wait … what?
Banks don’t need deposits? They’re not giving many loans? Isn’t that what banks do?
If they’re not collecting deposits and making loans, what are they doing?
In reality, big banks aren’t really acting like banks anymore. Big banks do very little traditional banking, since most of their business is from financial speculation. For example, we noted in 2010 that less than 10% of Bank of America’s assets come from traditional banking deposits.
The big banks are manipulating every market. They’re also taking over important aspects of the physical economy, including uranium mining, petroleum products, aluminum, ownership and operation of airports, toll roads, ports, and electricity. And they are using these physical assets to massively manipulate commodities prices … scalping consumers of many billions of dollars each year (more here and here).
The evidence demonstrates that the big banks have essentially become huge criminal enterprises.
Apart from the above-described manipulation, virtually all of the big banks’ profits come from taxpayer bailouts and subsidies (see this, this and this). Why don’t they need deposits? Because the taxpayers are showering them with money.
And they don’t need deposits because – as is now admitted by the mainstream – banks create money out of thin air. In other words, banks don’t need deposits in order to make loans.
At the same time, the big banks have sat on the money the government threw at them – with the encouragement of the Fed – instead of loaning it out to Main Street to kickstart the economy. As we noted in 2012, small banks are much more interested in making loans to the little guy than the TBTFs:
As if we hadn't noticed some years ago.
Read it all here.
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Speaking of forgiving just about anything, can you believe that I just saw Arnold Schwarzenegger use the line, "Yeah, and I'm the Governor of California" on the last "Two and a Half Men."
Don't we just love those wayward philanderers? Yes, it was funny.
It's all so cute.
And definitive of what it's like now living in the USA! USA! USA!!!!
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
February 18, 2015
Hillary Clinton Speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative, a Program Funded by the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation
Hillary Clinton, who has yet to be named the Democratic candidate for President in 2016, finds herself enmeshed in a transatlantic scandal that is an untimely reminder of the scandal fatigue that Americans were forced to endure during the Presidency of her husband, Bill Clinton.
Last Monday, the "Guardian" newspaper, the BBC, the French newspaper, "Le Monde" and dozens of other news outlets disclosed that the Swiss banking unit of the global behemoth bank, HSBC, had assisted the ultra rich in hiding assets and providing advice on how to evade domestic tax authorities.
The documentation for the revelations was provided by a former HSBC employee, Hervé Falciani, to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
That news broke on Monday, February 9. The Clinton bombshell came the next day, Tuesday, February 10, when the "Guardian" reported that seven clients of the Swiss HSBC bank had cumulatively donated $81 million to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation – a nonprofit that runs the Clinton Global Initiative, the Clinton Presidential Library and numerous other programs.
The "Guardian" report was quick to point out that there was no evidence that any of the seven donors had evaded taxes and that it “is not unlawful for US or other non-Swiss citizens to hold accounts in Geneva.”
Two of the donors listed in the leaked files are raising eyebrows. According to the "Guardian" report, one of the donors who had a Swiss HSBC account is Jeffrey Epstein, “the wealthy financier who was jailed for 13 months in 2008 for soliciting sex with underage girls.”
Another, reports the "Guardian," was Denise Rich, the ex-wife of the now deceased Marc Rich, who fled the U.S. after being indicted for tax evasion, fraud and racketeering and then received a highly controversial pardon by President Clinton just hours before he left office.
On the heels of the "Guardian"’s report last week comes news in the "Wall Street Journal" this morning that the Clinton Foundation is also accepting donations from foreign governments.
One of those countries is Saudi Arabia, the country that has played an outsized role in collapsing the price of oil and putting many U.S. shale producers in financial jeopardy.
According to the "Journal," Saudi Arabia had donated between $10 and $25 million since 1999 to the Clinton Foundation with a portion of that coming in 2014. The Foundation’s database lists only a dollar range for donations.
Other recent foreign government donors include the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Australia, Germany and the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development agency of Canada, a government agency promoting the Keystone XL pipeline, according to the "Journal" report. The paper notes that the Clinton Foundation had stopped raising money from foreign governments in 2009 while Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State.
Adding further political intrigue, the "New York Times" is out with a report this morning indicating that the Geneva prosecutor’s office has released a statement acknowledging that it has opened a criminal inquiry into potential aggravated money laundering at the HSBC Swiss banking unit and is engaged in a search of its offices today.
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