The Walmart cycle.

               One meme or article after another tells us to avoid Walmart. Which is absolutely right! They subsidize their company by paying low wages, thereby forcing their employees to receive Federal Benefits. That alone costs American tax payers billions of dollars a year. Not to mention the money they receive from Federal and State governments to build stores or warehouses in their areas or the tax breaks and tax havens they use to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes.

The Walton family are worth a couple hundred billion dollars. While making these billions of dollars they bemoan employees who ask for a higher wage or the right to unionize. All the while purchasing product from China, a Communist dictatorship that not only manipulates their currency but also subsidizes their companies. The Walton maintain that if they raise pay, they have to raise prices. While saying this they reap profits that have rarely been seen in American history.

Now here is the conundrum. The average person making even $12 an hour is that they do not have alot of disposable income. Electric, gas, phone, taxes and even sewer have all seen precipitous increases, all while this person has been stuck at $12 an hour. A family of 4, with mom and dad both working, will in many cases qualify for Federal Benefits. The failure of corporations to raise peoples pay while making record profits has presented these people with a pickle. Do I shop at a cheaper store and get more or shop at more expensive and get less. Where does this leave them?

At a time when Americans need more help then at possibly any time in our history, we have also found ourselves in a period of hyper-polarization. While these people need help, Paul Ryan and Republicans want to cut Federal Benefits while cutting taxes for the wealthy. Democrats led by Elizabeth Warren are trying to extend unemployment benefits, raise taxes on the wealthy, reel in to big to fail and fix income inequality. Bernie Sanders, the only Independent who really matters, my little joke, is fighting along many of the same fronts as Elizabeth Warren. It has become class warfare. Rich saying the poor dont work hard enough and poor asking for a fair share. All of this while 47 million Americans are on Food Stamps because of low pay or no jobs.

Here is where it comes full circle. These people on the bottom end up shopping at Walmart because of their low pay. By shopping at Walmart they are putting people like themselves out of work, as well as giving the Waltons a false sense that their model is a good thing. The person shopping there doesn’t want to do these things, but what company can compete with a monolithic corporation like Walmart. Of course it would be another corporation. What option do these people have? Even if you dont shop at Walmart, the majority of products are made somewhere else.

Banks win a legal battle against LIBOR lawsuits.

             Banks recently won a major legal battle against LIBOR lawsuits. A Federal Judge dismissed LIBOR lawsuits agsinst 16 banks, mostly because the plaintiffs couldn’t remove all of the obstacles to show how they have been harmed by violations of the U.S. Antitrust Laws. JP Morgan Chase and of course Bank of America were 2 of the banks.

This goes bank to the 2012 LIBOR scandal. It was admitted that banks were manipulating this key interest rate, which effects everything from municipal borrowing to derivatives. The court apparently doesn’t care, Republicans don’t care. So who really cares?

The people who were harmed care. Municipal borrowers and counterparties in derivative trades were harmed. But showing how theg were harmed is the problem. LIBOR rates of different durations were generated everyday. It hit investors and borrowers worldwide a tiny bit at a time. How woukd this be added up? The estimates in how much banks would pay in LIBOR lawsuits range from $7.8 billion to $176 billion.

In the cases dismissed, the plaintiffa included pension funds and money managers like Charles Schwab. They argue that they were cheated on bond income because LIBOR rates were to low during the financial crisis. Barckay’s, UBS and the Royal Bank of Scotland have payed out $2.5 billion to settle charges that they were manipulating rates.

LIBOR determines the benchmark rate at which many of the world’s largest banks are able to borrow money. It is done by surveying representatives from 18 major global banks. The rate impacts short-term interest rates for a variety of financial instruments and investments.The lawsuits claim the defendants colluded to artificially suppress LIBOR for the benefits of individual traders.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the economic reach of larger finacial institutions has had an inhibiting impact on prosecutions against banks. Elizabeth Warren, Democrat and Charles Grassley, Republican, cited Holder’s comments when they pushed for tougher settlements in cases against banks. That is a welcome departure from Republicans normal unending support of big banks. Republicans are the banks personal lobbyist. Maybe it is time for Too Big To Fail to find themselves in jail.

Despite crippling the economy, big banks continue dirty practices.

                  5 years since the Financial Crash that decimated our economy. 3 years after President Obama signed the Dodd/Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Despite all the damage these banks have done, they are still scamming and ripping off their customers. We have heard about a list of abuses and frauds, that ranged from small things, like hidden fees, to pushing minorities into subprime loans and then switching them to more expensive mortgages at signing time. To selling trillions of dollars of derivatives and making bets on the derivative without having the reserves to pay off what they owed.

No CEOs were prosecuted and banks were allowed to settle a host of charges. Shifting the burden of fines onto the shareholders. Elizabeth Warren has demanded action from Congress, despite meeting stiff resistance from Republicans. So of course the dirty practices continue, putting homeowners and our economy at risk.

Bank Protection Services put consumers at greater risk of harm. Big banks are still scamming their customers with high fees that create a huge profit for banks. Dodd/Frank required banks to ask customers if they can charge them for overdraft protection. People who opt out of this service pay alot less than those who use it. Banks have made $32 billion from these fees.

Transaction Ordering is forced arbitration clauses on a bank account. These require you to give up your legal right to take big banks to court if it cheats or harms you. If you don’t agree, you cannot get the account. It is also called mandatory arbitration and binding arbitration.

Marketing Refinancing that costs people. Banks are marketing a refinancing scheme that promises annual savings of more than $4,000. The scheme really just adds more than $37,000 to the loan. The idea is the focus on lowering monthly mortgage payments. But it gives the owner a higher overall interest rate and adds another 10 years to the loan.

Banks are trying to kill the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB polices the big banks and protects financial consumers. Republicans have been hired by banks to obstruct and kill this agency. Republicans have blocked confirmations and are obstructing the nominee to head the agency. Republicans Filibustered the nomination of Richard Cordray and vowed to Filibuster any nominee to head the agency. They have also launched a propaganda campaign against the CFPB. Calling it unaccountable and unrestrained.

This us a common theme over the last 5 years. Republicans working as lobbyists for the wealthy. While Democrats try to enforce laws, Republicans help the wealthy and corporations circumvent the laws. This is why Congress is gridlocked. Republicans hate of Obama has decimated any progress and have hurt the American people because of spitefulness.

House passes a bill that will lead to another financial collapse.

           The House passed a bipartisan written bill that allows banks to avoid new financial rules by operating overseas. Financial Reformers are happy about one thing- most Democrats voted against the bill. This signals a rocky road ahead for similar efforts to scale back new rules on banks. This also makes the bills passage in the Democrat led Senate less likely.

The bill in question, the Swap Jurisdiction Certainty Act was introduced earlier this year. It would exempt foreign arms of U.S. Banks from the new regulations on derivatives that are required by the Dodd/Frank Act. The bill was introduced as an effort to stem governnent over reach.

The House Financial Services Committee passed the bill just a few weeks ago, 11 Democrats voted against it and 0 Republicans out of the 61 member committee. Wall St. reformers and their allies in Congress rallied the troops, changing some minds. 122 out of 195 Democrats voted against it and 2 Republicans voted against it. It passed 301-124, these people will never learn or maybe never care.

Past moves to weaken financial regulations have recieved strong bipartisan support. Obviously that has changed, more Democrats than not will support Financial Reform. The fact Democrats are willing to deny Wall St. of their wishes and oppose the bill may help regulators resolve in doing their jobs. Reformers are hopeful Democrat objection to the bill could impede other attacks on the rules governing U.S. Banks foreign operations.

Wall St. is spending a lot of money lobbying regulators to weaken the Dodd/Frank regulations. Others worry about the financial industry trying to roll back regulations on foreign operations through a giant free trade deal being negotiated. Europe is calling U.S. regulations proposed overseas rules to aggressive. The deregulation of U.S. Banks overseas operations may cause them to concentrate business in less regulated foreign markets. Almost every major financial scandal involving derivatives has included trades conducted through a foreign entity. This sounds like a sound policy if we are trying to hurt the economy.

Before you know it our financial system will be in the crapper. Too Big To Fail Banks will again be at the forefront of the collapse. We will have to bail out these reckless businesses again. These banks should have been broken up and made to stay away from derivatives. But the amount of lobbying money us too much for Congress to pass up, even if it cripples our country. Greedy sods like this have cost the American people one to many times. Elizabeth Warren might be our last hope at protection, hopefully President Obama will support her.

When I hear you speak……… 2

             When I hear Elizabeth Warren speak I am elated to know we have an intelkegent passionate Senator who will attack the banks. I think she will attack any wrong doer with facts and intellegent solutions. She asks for answers and is not satisfied until she gets them. But at the same time she does not treat a person telling the truth, good or bad like an idiot.

            When I hear Mike Lee speak it makes me question how he got into government. He obviously only believes in the parts of the Constitution that work with his agenda. He believes in nullification which is unconstitutional yet says he is a protector of the document. I wonder which psych ward opened its doors and let him out.

             When I hear Bill Clinton speak I immeadiatly think of Monica Lewinsky. I realize he is a good man and an excelkent president but this is what I think of. I also think that he seems like a good egg I would like to share a couple beers with.

             When I hear Michelle Bachman speak I shake my head. This is another case of who let the loon out of her cage. She says some awfully outlandish things. It scares me to think that she was in the running for president. Seriously what assclowns supported that terrible idea.

             When I hear Mitt Romney speak I am glad I dont have to hear him very often. He may have been a good governor, but he was a hortible presidential candidate. It really doesnt say much for a party when this robot is your candidate. Sorry Mitt, but enjoy your lifetime siesta.

              When I hear Sarah Palin speak I stop listening. She is very hard on the ears.

              When I hear Rush Limbaugh speak I cant decide exactly how he makes me feel. It is a mixture of rage, sickness and pity. Rage because truth does not have a place on his show. Sick because some of the things he says are incredibly offensive, even to me. Pity because he has so many fools believing his crap.

                When I hear Rachel Maddow speak I am impressed. She has her staff on point doing the research and always has a factual answer. She is very sensible and sides with the intellegent and correct side of the debate. She seems unflappable, but of course she is a host and not in government. She is universally hated by conservatives, Tea Party member and Republicans. You go girl.

              This the second one if these. I enjoy this and encourage anyone who reads this to please give your input. If you have anyone you want here, let me know. Thank you.

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What I have learned from blogging.

               The research I have done for my blog so far has suprised me, enraged me, saddenned me, in some instances enriched me and certainly strengthened my core values. I am an even prouder and stronger supporter of liberal ideas than before. I was and still am a proud Obama supporter and I hope Hillary Clinton runs for president in 2016.

               I have listened to conservatives and Republicans spout off about how they are the protectors of the Constitution. That they are our true fiscal watchdogs and they care about core American values. They are truly the mist guilty when it comes to violating the Constitution. They violate the 1st Amendment regularly but yet protect the 2nd Amendment like a rabid dog. They protect the wealthy at the expense of every other American. They in my opinion are even guilty of treason with their complete dissent with the President to make him a 1 term president. Well GOP you failed.

              I have also been disappointed in the Democrats. They in many cases lack a backbone and let the Tea Party off the hook with their craziness. I think Harry Reid should have stood stronger on the Filibuster Reform instead of worrying about keeping his seat. I think Elizabeth Warren and Patty Murray have exceptional careers ahead of them. I believe they will work for us and continue to lower our National Debt responsibly.

              I am genuinely glad I started doing this. I realize that I am biased towards the liberal point of view, but if they are wrong they are wrong. I encourage open debate and will engage in it through conversation. I want to thank anyone who has read, liked, commented on or even hated my posts. I will continue to write and improve.

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Is it really illegal to steal?

               Since the crash of Wall Street this question is weighing heavily on my mind. How much money was really lost? How much did banks lose, truly lose? How many people were bankrupted? How many people lost their homes illegally? Does our country treat those with money differently? Elizabeth Warren went after the answers & they were disturbing.

           If a junkie goes into a corner store & robs it, he will be arrested. He will then serve time in prison. If a bank illegally forecloses on the property, the owner has to fight in court to get it back. Then nothing will happen to the bank. Why? That is stealing & misrepresenting themselves, police & judges. Yet no one from that banks is arrested & put away. How is that possible, the bank actually broke more laws. Is it because John Boehner, Mitch Mcconnell & the Republican party protect these banks. Do you think the banking industry contributes some of their $100 or so milion in lobbying to them.

            What about these banks getting bailouts? They recieved TARP funds from George Bush & Republicans who forced Democrats into giving it out. None of that money was paid back. They get bailed out while the guy with a pension or 401k gets fleeced. They lost everything because of careless & barely legal practices by these banks. Who then turn around & give million dollar bonuses to  CEOs & workers who caused this problem. Is this not a crime?

            How about Natural Gas Drilling companies polluting peoples drinking water & not being charged. State & Local governments giving them a free ride, no taxes, to destroy our land & poison us. No crime there of course. What about companies robbing us of good paying jobs by sending them overseas. Then getting a tax break for it. By doing this they are destroying our manufacturing base for short term profits. It is being encouraged by the Republican party.

             The banks selling toxic assets, not claiming all profits on tax returns. President Obama & his administration has tried to stop these things. He tried to return America back to Americans. For this he has been called a socialist, communist, fascist, has been accused of trying to take your guns, trying to steal your money. These accusations are made by a party with nothing to offer everyday Americans. They called 47% of us leeches.

            President Obama & the Democrats have fought to preserve our right to vote. Our right to free speech. The only rights the Republican party defend are your gun rights & the free market, which is not a right or in the Constitution. All I have shown here was theft by the banking industry, have any of them gone jail? NO! Will they? Heres hoping.

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