Category Archives: Banking and Wall Street
Cyprus graphically illustrates where the road to socialism leads, on its way to full-flown Soviet-style communism:
The surprise decision by euro zone leaders to part-fund a bailout of Cyprus by taxing bank deposits sent shockwaves through financial markets on Monday, with shares and the bonds of struggling euro zone governments tumbling.
The bloc struck a deal on Saturday to hand Cyprus rescue loans worth 10 billion euros ($13 billion), but defied warnings – including from the European Central Bank – and imposed a levy that would see those with cash in the island’s banks lose between 6.75 and 9.9 percent of their money.
It is no longer safe to keep money in the bank, because profligate bureaucrats will find it there and confiscate it.
The purpose of this outrage was to prevent Cyprus from going into default.
That would have undermined the promise that Greece’s debt writedown last year was a one-off, but the unprecedented move to hit depositors adds a radical new dimension to the crisis across the euro zone.
The initial response of investors was unambiguous. Shares lurched lower, the euro fell to a new three-month low, while safe-haven assets such as gold and German government bonds jumped.
The cost of insuring the debt of even high-quality European banks against default also rose sharply with analysts citing fears the decision could spark contagion across peripheral regions with the potential for widespread outflows of deposits.
Anyone with money in a Spanish or Italian bank might consider keeping it instead under the mattress where it will be relatively safe.
After the Mediterranean dominos fall, Germany will be left to carry the entire Eurozone on its back. Don’t buy stock in its success.
Similar tax and spend policies, arising from similar contempt for the concept of private property, will have similar effects in the USA. It is only a matter of time.
Liberals tell us there is a third way between freedom and communism. There isn’t. You can’t cop out when it comes to good and evil. Every society has to choose, and if it chooses wrong, it has to face the consequences.
On tips from Ghost of FA Hayek, Dr. 9, Bob Roberts, Sean C, Don M, and Wiggins. Hat tip: Zero Hedge.
Found at American Digest
Vast Effin’ Warning: A London Cabbie Explains The Great EU Bank Robbery And Much Much More
“You will lose your f##king money in your bank,” is how this English gentleman cabbie begins his caustic diatribe against all that is wrong with European (and in fact) the world of bankers and elites. The so-called ‘artist taxi driver’ has a spit-flying hand-smashing epic rant while sitting in his taxi. “They did a stress test on the banks in Cyprus 18 months ago and said it’s f##king great” and now this; “this is some f##king crooked shit.” “They’re off their f##king nuts mate,” he explains as he asks rhetorically of the bankers getting the bailouts, “how many f##king ponies do their daughters’ need?”
That would be my solution to Phildelphia’s Burqa Problem. Daniel Pipes, well-known Islamic scholar and author, would like to see female Islamic garb (full face-covering burqas and niqabs) banned in public in Philadelphia, where burqas have become the disguise of preference for criminals, especially robbers of stores and banks.
Washington Times The Philadelphia region has had at least 15 robberies (or attempted robberies) of financial institutions in the past six years in which the thieves relied on an Islamic full-body cover. The most violent one took place on May 3, 2008, when Police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski was killed in a shootout following a robbery by perpetrators wearing burqas. One of the criminals also died in the exchange.
As David J. Rusin points out in his detailed survey of these crimes, Muslim garb holds two great advantages over other forms of disguise. First, plenty of covered women walk the streets of Philadelphia without criminal intent, thereby providing cover for thieves; the more head coverings around, the more likely it is that head coverings will facilitate criminal activity.
Second, the very strangeness and aloofness of these garments affords their wearers an extraordinary degree of protection. As in other cases (notably a purchase of alcohol in Toronto liquor stores by a 14-year-old boy in a burqa), clerks so fear being accused of racism or “Islamophobia” that they skip established methods, such as asking a niqabi to establish her (or his) identity.
In response, some banks have adopted policies of not allowing head coverings. For example, a PNC Bank branch office in Philadelphia boasts a sign stating: “The safety of our employees and customers is our foremost concern. We request that you remove any hats, caps, sunglasses or hoods while inside this financial institution.” Such policies may help account for the lack of burqa robberies in Philadelphia in almost a year.
Two burka-wearing bank robbers have pulled off a heist using a handgun concealed beneath their full Islamic veil.
Even if banks stop this crime wave, however, Islamic garb presents a more general danger. For example, a murderer wore an Islamic full-cover outfit in an attack at a barber shop in Philadelphia, also in April 2012, in which the owner was killed.
The abduction and rape of a 5-year-old child last month was less fatal, but equally horrific. A woman in a niqab signed Nailla Robinson out from the Bryant Elementary School in Philadelphia by pretending to be her mother taking the girl to breakfast. The girl then disappeared for nearly a day. Investigators believe the two walked a few blocks to where a man awaited them. Nailla was later found in a park by passersby. Last week, the police arrested Christina Regusters, 19, an employee at Bryant who apparently had prior contact with Nailla. Charges against her include criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, kidnapping, rape and recklessly endangering another person.
School kidnapping caught on CCTV
The usual two factors noted above were critical to this crime’s commission: the spread of full-body gear (Nailla’s mother, Latifah Rashid, wears a niqab, meaning Ms. Regusters could plausibly pretend to be her) and the Bryant school staff deferring to a niqabi (completely ignoring the many rules that restrict the withdrawal of a child from school).
These crimes prompt several reflections: First, as full-body Islamic covers spread, criminals increasingly use them to perpetrate their offenses. Second, government workers and others need to get over their timidity and apply normal security procedures to those wearing full-body coverings. Third, this is deadly serious business, involving thefts, rapes and murders. Finally, this problem has a simple solution: Ban the niqab and burqa in public places, as has been done in France and Belgium.
Daniel Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum.
From Bare Naked Islam: http://www.barenakedislam.com/
National Black Chamber of Commerce CEO: Obama policies are “borderline Communist”
By: John Hayward
2/27/2013 10:19 AM
Alford attributes Obama’s early appeal to charisma and, frankly, a good deal of racial solidarity, with voters from various minority groups seeing Obama as an avatar of their own hopes and dreams. He sees that appeal as naive after watching Obama campaign incessantly for years, while allowing the national economy to lie fallow, or imposing his agenda at a steep cost to our general prosperity.
“He’s spending, spending, spending,” said Alford. ”That’s the problem. He wants to tax, tax, tax… yet the irony of it is, he dogs successful people, he says they’re bad, rich is evil. But yet he’s courting the rich on his knees, to come and give him some money, so he can use it for whatever reason, I don’t know. He’s turned out… I don’t know what he’s planning for us.”
Alford compared Obama’s overwhelming support from the black community to the unconditional support a troubled family member might receive from parents and siblings… support which enables continued bad behavior. ”We gotta wake up, slap ourselves and wake up,” he said. ”This is America, and everybody is involved in this. If our children are hurting, it’s our responsibility to find someone who understands that pain – ‘feels it,’ like Bill Clinton would say. This guy doesn’t feel it. In fact, he issues a lot of that pain, with a smile.”
He understands that phrases like “borderline Communist” are heavily freighted, but stands by his use of the term. ”It’s so anti-capitalistic, this distribution of wealth,” Alford explained. ”That, to me, that says it all. He wants to re-distribute wealth, take money that was honestly earned by people who struggled, and suffered, and paid the price to win that money… he wants to take it from them, and give it to people who don’t have to do a thing. It’s the will of the State to oversee everyone.” Just for good measure, he went on to compare the Obama-friendly American media to Soviet propaganda.
While certainly contentious – one cannot deploy worlds like “communist” without setting off some fireworks – it is useful to consider the current conflict in terms of capitalism versus its adversaries. Obama-style government presents itself as a modification of capitalism – it’s more fair, equitable, compassionate, smarter, etc. but he would dispute Alford’s accusation that he has turned against it. But how much can the pure, practical expression of liberty be “modified” before it’s not really capitalism any more? And what are the proper terms for the ideologies historically aligned against it?
Alford concluded by deriding the supposedly agonizing 2.3 percent sequestration spending cuts as “peanuts,” noting that private-sector CEOs would be delighted if the worst thing they had to confront was such a tiny budget cut. Of course, that’s not the worst thing our unsustainable federal government must confront; they’re only acting like it is. And if they choke on the peanuts, they’ll never be able to handle the main course of fiscal restraint.
Nothing to see here folks, totally sustainable.
(CNSNews.com) – According to projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), entitlements and ObamaCare spending will comprise 53 percent of all federal spending over the coming decade, totaling $24.9 trillion.
In its updated Budget and Economic Outlook report released on Tuesday, the CBO projects that Social Security will account for $11.149 trillion in spending from 2014 to 2023 while federal health care entitlements, including Medicare, Medicaid, and ObamaCare, will spend $13.85 trillion. (That total includes TRICARE, CHIP, and “other” spending listed by the CBO under healthcare.)
ObamaCare’s insurance subsidies, exchange costs, and other spending are expected to cost the government $949 billion over the next 10 years. Medicare is expected cost $8.1 trillion while Medicaid is expected to cost $4.4 trillion.
Combined, these two entitlement categories (Social Security and all health care programs) will comprise 52.9 percent of the projected $47.2 trillion in total federal outlays from 2014 to 2023.
From Weasel Zippers: http://weaselzippers.us/
The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on Anti-American Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Oklahoma on Thursday expressed appreciation to the Oklahoma Bankers Association for ‘clarifying’ a security policy commonly referred to “no hats, no hoods, no sunglasses” used by many of the state’s banks.
(Gee, they are going to soften their rules on Muslim headgear, just when burqas and niqabs are becoming bank robbers’ favorite disguise) Tulsa World The two groups along with the Oklahoma Conference of Churches recently requested a meeting with the OBA following an incident in which a Muslim woman was initially denied access to a branch of Valley National Bank in Tulsa and asked to remove her religious head scarf, or hijab, before entering. The bank cited the “no hats, no hoods, no sunglasses” policy to justify its actions.
“Our goal in meeting with the OBA was to use this unfortunate incident as a teaching moment about the different types of head coverings worn by Muslim women and by individuals of other faiths,” said CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani, in a written statement.
Elaine Dodd, the vice president of the OBA’s fraud division, noted that the “no hats, no hoods, no sunglasses” program hasn’t changed, but…….”If someone is wearing a burqa, which does cover most everything, then a female bank employee can go with them and have them raise the veil,” Dodd said. “We want to be inclusive to all customers. It’s just that it’s a learning curve for all of us, and we appreciate them talking to us about it.”
The OBA published two articles in its January 2013 trade publication, Oklahoma Banker, revisiting the “no hats, no hoods, no sunglasses” initiative and offering suggestions on how member banks could respect the religious requirements of customers without sacrificing security.
In one article, Mary Beth Guard, with the OBA compliance team, explains the difference among head coverings – the hijab, niqab and burqa – worn by Muslim women. The hijab covers all or part of the hair and is draped around the neck. ”It should not interfere with your ability to match the person to a photo I.D. and there should be no reason to ask the customer to remove it,” the article says.
The niqab covers the face but leaves a narrow opening for the eyes, the article states. ”In connection with opening an account or doing some other transaction where you need to ascertain identity, a female bank employee should ask that the Niqab be lifted in order to allow viewing of the face,” the article says. “This should be done as discreetly as possible and it should be done in an area where the viewing of the face will not be witnessed by males (unless they are related to the individual).”
From Theo: http://www.theospark.net/
Hostess’s owners have decided to liquidate rather than ride out a nationwide strike by one of the largest of its dozen unions, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union. The Texas-based company owned by the private-equity shop Ripplewood Holdings and other hedge funds essentially gave up. On Friday it shut down its 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers and prepared to fire nearly 18,500 employees en masse and auction off its brand and recipe portfolio.
Hostess posted sales of $2.5 billion in 2011 but lost $341 million and lacked the cash flow to hold out through the bakers union work stoppage that had only lost a few days of production so far. One reason is a labor-rule burden that by comparison makes Detroit look like Hong Kong.
The snack giant endured $52 million in workers’ comp claims in 2011, according to its bankruptcy filing this January. Hostess’s 372 collective-bargaining agreements required the company to maintain 80 different health and benefit plans, 40 pension plans and mandated a $31 million increase in wages and health care and other benefits for 2012.
Union work rules usually required cake and bread products to be delivered to a single retail location using two separate trucks. Drivers weren’t allowed to load their own vehicles, and the workers who loaded bread weren’t allowed to load cake. On most delivery routes, another “pull up” employee moved products from back rooms to shelves.
This year management negotiated concessions from some of the unions, including the Teamsters, but the bakers rejected a last and best offer in September. Then the courts gave Hostess unilateral authority to modify collective-bargaining contracts, prompting the strike. So now it will liquidate, instead of attempting to emerge from Chapter 11 intact.
The 18,500 layoffs are equal to about 11% of the net new jobs the entire U.S. economy created in October. The unions are blaming private equity, or Bain Capital, or capitalism, but the election is over. And so is Hostess.
From American Power Blog: http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/
Miserable Economic Conditions Will Lead to Dependency, Envy, Strife, and Death – The Liberal Formula Being Carried Out in America
The objective of liberal politics is to induce the Democrat Death Spiral, a vicious cycle by which miserable economic conditions lead to government dependency and class envy, leading to Democrat electoral victories, leading to higher taxes and crippling regulations, leading to still more miserable economic conditions. Once the Democrat Death Spiral has been initiated, the more damage left-wing bureaucrats inflict on the economy, the more certain they are of reelection.
Detroit entered the Democrat Death Spiral decades ago. As a result of the city’s utter wretchedness, the Democrats who inflicted it receive upwards of 90% of the vote. There is no possibility of Democrats losing control, or of the city ever regaining its lost greatness.
California officially entered the Democrat Death Spiral when it brought back Jerry Brown despite a desperate economic situation that urgently required the state to turn away from Governor Moonbeam’s brand of profligate liberalism. In effect, the state committed suicide out of sheer moonbattery. Its prospects are no better than Detroit’s.
The United States of America officially entered the Democrat Death Spiral on November 6, 2012. Obama was not reelected despite the awful state of the economy under his rule but because of it. The more of a mess Obama makes, the more his Marxist rhetoric will resonate, the tighter the grip Democrats will have on America’s throat. This is why Obama will not lift a finger to improve the economic situation, but rather will deliberately worsen it by using taxation to drive up unemployment.
From here forward, the worse it gets, the worse it will get. Unless a way is found to reverse the cycle by removing liberals from power, each day will be the best day of the rest of America’s existence.
Be sure to thank the next liberal you see.
Last night, President Barack Obama dropped the biggest campaign gaffe of the season – only the media wasn’t watching. It happened during his testy exchange with Mitt Romney over gas prices. First, Obama denied that he’d done anything about denying licenses on oil and gas; he backed off of that shortly. Then he denied that production on federal land was down; he was lying. Finally, Romney hit him with this devastating line:The proof of whether a strategy is working or not is what the price is that you’re paying at the pump. If you’re paying less than you paid a year or two ago, why, then, the strategy is working. But you’re paying more. When the president took office, the price of gasoline here in Nassau County was about $1.86 a gallon. Now, it’s $4.00 a gallon.Obama’s response was horrendous:
Well, think about what the governor — think about what the governor just said. He said when I took office, the price of gasoline was $1.80, $1.86. Why is that? Because the economy was on the verge of collapse, because we were about to go through the worst recession since the Great Depression, as a consequence of some of the same policies that Governor Romney’s now promoting. So, it’s conceivable that Governor Romney could bring down gas prices because with his policies, we might be back in that same mess.In other words, bringing down gas prices by drilling creates economic recession. That was Obama’s argument.
Does anyone think this president understands basic economics?
To me this is the worst type of gaffe, because it involves substance, not some brain fart or slip of the tongue. Also recall that in 2008, Democrats, including, I believe, then candidate Obama hammered President Bush over high gas prices. Of course the media completely missed this gargantuan gaffe.
Candy Crowley, who moderated the debate like she has a poster of Obama over her bed, should have given this response
Chris at Wyblog pours even more scorn on President Clueless
There is so much sand-pounding stupidity in that statement, I don’t know where to start. FortunatelyElizabeth Price Foley guest-blogging at Instapundit schools The Smartest Guy In The Room using words even an Obamabot can understand.
Gas prices, like anything else, are a function of supply and demand. A recession or depression reduces demand. If supply stays constant, gas prices will fall. But if the supply side of the equation is also negatively affected/reduced — as, for example, the reduction of leases and drilling on federal land, as pointed out by Romney — gas prices should rise (as they have). The bottom line? Gas prices should have — probably would have — fallen in our current recession, due to decreased demand. But since the Obama Administration’s anti-carbon, anti-fossil fuel policies have taken hold, the negative impact on supply has outpaced the reduction in demand, leading to significantly higher prices.
From The Daley Gator: http://thedaleygator.wordpress.com/
Found at Moonbattery: http://moonbattery.com/
What are the purposes of the CIA and FBI? To collect intelligence, investigate crimes, defend American interests, ensure public safety? Of course not. They are federal agencies; therefore, their purpose is to advance moonbattery:
From the CIA’s website:
From the FBI’s website:
Meanwhile, our ambassadors are getting murdered and dragged naked through the streets in part because bureauweenies are too busy promoting sexual depravity to collect intelligence that would allow us to defend ourselves. The FBI still hasn’t secured the crime scene (or rather, act of war scene) at our overrun consulate in Libya.
The consequences of allowing our government to be dominated by liberals will continue to be hideous.
Hat tip: Before It’s News, on a tip from Joe B.
From Moonbattery: http://moonbattery.com/
The Declining Economic Freedom Of The United States
From 1980 to 2000,the US was generally rated the third freest economy in the world, ranking behind only Hong Kong and Singapore.
The ranking of the US has fallen precipitously; from second in 2000 to eighth in 2005 and 19th in 2010. By 2009, the United States had fallen behind Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Chile, and Mauritius, countries that chose not to follow the path of massive growth in government financed by borrowing that is now the most prominent characteristic of US fiscal policy. By 2010, the United States had also fallen behind Finland and Denmark, two European welfare states. Moreover, it now trails Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Taiwan, and Qatar. — | ZeroHedge
From American Digest: http://americandigest.org/
Holder and Corzine Don’t Have to Worry – Commies Are Running the Show and Will Give Them A Free Pass
Holder, Corzine, Obama and all the rest don’t give a shit
that any of this is coming out.They are sitting back and LAUGHING at all of it. You know why?
Because they know damn good and well that no one is going to actually do ANYTHING about any of this, just like no one did anything about it in Russia under Lenin and Stalin or China under Mao….. You want to see justice? Kiss your wife and kiddies goodbye, gear up, and tell me where the mustering point is. Unless and until that happens, not only will there be no justice, but the crimes will only get exponentially worse until we are the New Vendee and infernal columns of the Free Shit Army are being sent into suburbia to kill every human being in their path in the name of hope, change, “tolerance” and free shit. — Anne Barnhardt
From American Digest: http://americandigest.org/
Posted on | July 13, 2012 |
Just now watched James Rosen on Fox News explaining this to Jenna Lee and — despite the eye-glazing intricacies of the financial details involved — recognized it as a potentially major scandal:
Years before the Libor scandal ripped through the financial industry, Timothy Geithner sent a memo to the Bank of England calling for a slew of changes to make it harder for banks to rig this benchmark borrowing rate.
According to a June 2008 memo obtained by FOX Business, Geithner, who was then president of the New York Federal Reserve, listed six changes aimed at making it more difficult for banks to distort Libor.
The disclosure comes as lawmakers step up the heat on bankers and regulators in the wake of Barclays . . . reaching a $452 million settlement for allegedly intentionally manipulating its Libor rates. More than a dozen banks are being probed for their handling of Libor.
So, the Treasury Secretary who has been up to his eyeballs in the political manipulation of the U.S. economy warned against the private manipulation of financial data for profit.
Read it all at The Other McCain: http://theothermccain.com/