The editorial below says it all...we are being co-opted by just 5% of the population in the US; the investor class. These are the approximately $200,000 / year and above who earn a good amount from investments. As I said, your investments and mine....the small investors, are being used as fodder to ramp the market gains for these 5%......our pensions and 401Ks will continue to take hit after hit so these 5% make tremendous gains. Will your 401K be strong when you are ready to retire? Chances are NO. We know that the US is too capitalist to say good-bye to casino markets and it will take a while to elect new leadership who will legislate and enforce financial reform that will protect us.
What we can do is divest from these funds, pension and 401K and place this money in simple savings accounts and press for higher interest rates that will bring modest growth to our savings. THIS WORKED WELL FOR PRE-GLASS STEAGALL SAVERS AND WE WANT IT BACK! Ben Bernanke keeping interest rates at 0% not only keeps our savings rate low (they are after all trying to force you into the market) BUT IT IS WHAT ALLOWS THESE CORPORATIONS AND THE INVESTOR CLASS TO BRING IN RECORD PROFITS WITHOUT HAVING TO GROW THEIR WORKFORCE.
This will continue as the driver of corporate growth is global markets.....there will be no substancial job growth; there will be heightened push towards efficiency and reduction of labor costs as these unemployment numbers remain high. ALL THIS MEANS THAT THIRD WAY DEMOCRATS ARE WORKING WITH REPUBLICANS TO KEEP THE STATUS QUO FOR CORPORATIONS MAKING LABOR'S BARGAINING POWER WEAK.
These politicians are not working for the middle/lower class, they are working against their interests. ALL MARYLAND'S POLITICIANS ARE SUPPORTING THIS AGENDA. WE MUST VOTE THEM OUT! IF YOU JUST REELECEDT THEM AS WE DID IN MARYLAND? BE VERY PUBLIC ABOUT THEIR STANCES IN MEDIA AND IN RALLIES OUTSIDE THEIR OFFICES. DON'T LET THEM HIDE BEHIND POLITICAL SPIN!
Below you see that the debt that households incurred was driven by stagnant wages that made it impossible for the average person to maintain standards above poverty. That, and not greed or irresponsibility, was what caused the ballooning household debt.....and it is happening again for the same reasons....people are not making enough to stay out of poverty!
Inequality, Debt and the Financial Crisis Published: May 3, 2012 New York Times Editorial
Recentresearch by economists from the International Monetary Fund and academia offers some new insights about income inequality, with important implications. The researchers compared the top 5 percent of United States households from 1983 to 2007 with the remaining 95 percent. What they found is that as the rich got richer in the decades before the Great Recession, everyone else tried to maintain his standard of living by going deeper into debt. As income inequality grew over that period so did debt levels, because the rich increasingly invested their growing wealth in bonds and bank deposits, in effect providing money for ever more lending to the poor and middle class. The top group’s increasing wealth, and the bottom group’s increasing reliance on debt, spurred the growth of the financial sector. But with ever increasing debt, the financial system — and the broader economy — became ever more vulnerable to crisis. The data is eye-opening. In 1983, the top 5 percent had 80 cents of debt for every dollar of income, while the remaining 95 percent had 60 cents for every dollar. By 2007, after decades in which an increasing share of income flowed to the top, the situation had reversed. The top 5 percent had 65 cents of debt for every dollar of income, while the remaining 95 percent had $1.40 in debt for every dollar. The situation remains skewed today. The first step in restoring real stability to the economy is to lower the debt levels through what the researchers call “orderly debt reduction.” An example of that would be mortgage modifications. The second and more important step is to reduce income inequality by raising wages, possibly by strengthening collective bargaining. Income inequality and high household debt are not the only explanations of the financial crisis. But the researchers make a compelling case that greater equality and lower debt could make future crises less likely.
IF PEOPLE FEEL THAT NOTHING IS CHANGED FROM THE BUSH YEARS, YOU WOULD BE RIGHT. OBAMA'S APPOINTMENT OF BERNANKE (AND MARYLAND'S POLITICIANS FOLLOWING SUIT) SIGNALLED THE BANKS WILL CONTINUE AS USUAL. WEAKENING THE POWER OF THE FED UNTIL THE PEOPLE CAN REGAIN CONTROL OF GOVERNMENT IS THE MOST IMMEDIATE STEP. INSTEAD, OBAMA PRAISES BERNANKE AND TREASURY SECRETARY GEITHNER AS THEY NOT ONLY SAVE THE BANKS BUT MAKE THEM BIGGER AND LESS ACCOUNTABLE.
Chairman of the Federal Reserve
As stipulated by the Banking Act of 1935, the President appoints the seven members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; they must then be confirmed by the Senate and serve for 14 years. Once appointed, Governors may not be removed from office for their policy opinions. The chairman and vice-chairman are chosen by the President from among the sitting Governors for four-year terms; these appointments are also subject to Senate confirmation. By law, the chairman reports twice a year to Congress on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy objectives. He also testifies before Congress on numerous other issues and meets periodically with the Secretary of the Treasury.
Currently, the chairman is Ben Bernanke, a South Carolinamacroeconomist nominated by George W. Bush and sworn into office on February 1, 2006, for a term lasting until January 31, 2010. He was nominated for a second time by President Obama in 2009. In 2010 he was confirmed by the senate for a second term, ending January 31, 2014. Bernanke succeeded Alan Greenspan, who served for more than 18 years during the terms of four U.S. Presidents.
Tally of Senators Voting Intentions on Bernanke Confirmation Real Time Economics Last Updated: Jan. 27 at 5:25 pm 2010
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke‘s confirmation became less clear in recent days after some Democratic senators came out in opposition to his reappointment.
Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal have compiled a tally of senators who have declared their intentions for the confirmation vote based on interviews with the senators or their offices. Amid the threat of a filibuster, Bernanke needs the support of 60 senators for his nomination to succeed.
The Senate Banking Committee voted 16-7 last month to move the Bernanke confirmation to the full Senate.
Christopher J. Dodd Chairman (D-CT) Aye
Tim Johnson (D-SD) Aye
Jack Reed (D-RI) Aye
Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) Aye
Evan Bayh (D-IN) Aye
Robert Menendez (D-NJ) Aye
Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI) Aye
Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Aye
Jon Tester (D-MT) Aye
Herb Kohl (D-WI) Aye
Mark Warner (D-VA) Aye
Jeff Merkley (D-OR) No
Michael Bennet (D-CO) Aye
YOU CAN SEE THIRD WAY AND BLUE DOG DEMOCRATS IN THIS VOTE.....THAT IS WHY THEY ARE ON THE BANKING COMMITTEE. LOOK AT THE MARYLAND ASSEMBLY FINANCE AND TAX COMMITTEES....OVERWHELMINGLY FROM WEALTHY AND CONSERVATIVE DISTRICTS. HARRY REID IN THE US SENATE CREATES THOSE COMMITTEES AS DOES MIKE MILLER AND BUSCH IN THE MARYLAND ASSEMBLY.
THIS IS WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE AND IT TAKES ELECTING REAL PROGRESSIVE CANDIDATES WHO WILL VOTE OUT CURRENT DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP!
Maryland's Senators vote for more of the same!
Senator Yes No
CARDIN, Benjamin L. (D-MD) X
MIKULSKI, Barbara A. (D-MD) X
THIS IS A MAJOR CAMPAIGN ISSUE THAT WAS BLOCKED IN MARYLAND BY A MEDIA BLACKOUT OF ELECTIONS, ESPECIALLY FOR CARDIN. CARDIN NOT ONLY VOTED TO KEEP THE BANKING STATUS QUO, HE VOTED TO BREAKDOWN THE GLASS-STEAGALL BANKING WALL CREATING THESE MEGA-BANKS AND WENT THROUGH THE ENTIRE REELECTION CAMPAIGN WITHOUT A MENTION OF THIS.