The US, states attorney has in modern times been the agency tasked with white collar crime and keeping the average citizen protected. Anyone looking for fraud would make the connection above----I am not a rocket scientist. Who joins credit unions for the most part? Employees of say Johns Hopkins below you see their credit union-----and labor unions and these are the citizens whose wealth is lost every time there is an economic crash. Meanwhile, the more wealthy executives at an institution like Johns Hopkins ARE NOT CONNECTED TO THE CREDIT UNION---THEY NO DOUBT ARE COVERED IN CREDIT DEFAULT SWAPS INSURING AGAINST ANY LOSSES AND BETTING AGAINST CREDIT UNIONS BECAUSE THEY KNOW THE BANK FAILURES ARE COMING.
December 3, 2014
Banks Primed to ‘Collapse Like a House of Cards,’ Banking Expert Warns
This is how 95% of Americans lose their wealth each time while the 5% still allowed to increase wealth do so. So, any INSTITUTE calling for PUBLIC BANKING would have educated about this as I have---and not simply report AFTER THE FRAUD that these bankers are bad guys. This is how you know a group is really working for people or posing progressive in pushing policy that will become RIGHT-WING AND CORPORATE WEALTH AND PROFIT. We remember last economic crash many of our smaller banks failed because the FED and Wall Street banks froze all money movement. Well, this crash will see far more smaller banks taken down and you can bet WALL STREET PLAYERS HAVE BET ON THAT.
Below you see an Institute called a reform group not educating about the assets 95% of people are about to lose-----they are pointing to the CORPORATE STATE BANK.
410-534-4500 • 1-800-JHFCU-70 (1-800-543-2870)
Johns Hopkins Federal Credit Union NCUA Insured
We have known for several years Obama and Congress working with the FED and Wall Street were setting the stage for this coming massive bank failure and we know those banks tied to NCUA-----credit unions will be the first to fail. If you read the next article below you will see even FDIC BANKS----will fail because FDIC has been allowed to become so underfunded they have a few tens of billions of dollars to insure trillions of dollars of FDIC bank accounts.
THIS IS WHAT SARBANES, CARDIN, CUMMINGS, AND MIKULSKI----AND YES, VAN HOLLEN AND DONNA EDWARDS HAVE BEEN PASSING LAW FOR WALL STREET GAINS THESE SEVERAL YEARS. THIS IS THEIR LEGACY.
December 3, 2014
Banks Primed to ‘Collapse Like a House of Cards,’ Banking Expert Warns
Stanford professor Anat Admati warns banks are bigger today than before the previous crisis and are still playing with depositors’ money "The entire financial system is now living dangerously and close to the abyss,” Admati says.One of the foremost authorities on global banking is warning that the world financial system is primed to experience another collapse, with little likelihood of timely reform to avert the danger.
“We’re all living the illusion, like in 2006, when we thought that everything was all right, but the entire financial system is now living dangerously and close to the abyss” is how Stanford University’s Anat Admati put it in a lengthy interview Wednesday appearing in Globes, a leading Israeli financial newspaper.
Admati’s recent book “The Bankers’ New Clothes,” on the fragility of the global banking system, has earned the finance and economics professor recognition as one of the 100 “leading global thinkers of 2014” by Foreign Policy magazine and similarly as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people for 2014.
Ahead of a Globes-sponsored business conference Admati will address on Sunday, Admati sat down for an interview in which she warned that, by some crucial measures, “the banking system is at even greater risk than before” the 2008 crisis.
The country is treading a tenuous path toward another disaster of massive proportions, according to legendary fund manager Bob Rodriguez.
In particular, Admati notes that average bank size is greater today at $1.76 trillion than it was before the crisis in 2006, when bank size averaged $1.36 trillion.
“These are scary sizes, no matter how you look at it,” Admati tells Globes. “It should be remembered that the big banks are global banks, operating in scores of countries, and legally, they cannot fall. The banks are also interconnected, so a blow to one will hurt the others.”
A key reason for banks’ fragility is their opacity, particularly because their risk exposures to derivatives and to other banks are unknown.
“The result is that everything could suddenly collapse like a house of cards,” she says.
A primary focus of her critique of the banking system is the inefficacy of today’s complex banking regulation. Admati favors a far simpler approach, which is to “greatly raise” banks’ capital requirements. Admati suggests a neighborhood of 20% to 30%, two to three times higher than the single-digit leverage ratios common among U.S. banks.
If banks had to put more of their equity on the line, rather than rely on cheap and essentially subsidized financing from deposits, they would be more heedful of risk, the Stanford professor argues.
People following this HARP mortgage program created by Obama and Clinton neo-liberals as getting the American people back into home ownership did so in a way that made this Federal housing program operate just like the Bush-era in that these few years HARP is being subprimed and sold with ADJUSTABLE RATES ---the same conditions that happened in 2006-2008 that brought massive loses to our Federal coffers and to people tied to these loans. Well, look who is deep into selling HARP making those low-interests sound great? CREDIT UNIONS ATTRACTING MORE CONSUMERS FOR THESE LOANS----WHILE HAVING NO INSURANCE PROTECTION AGAINST THIS COMING CRASH.
Another million US citizens are tied to these HARP mortgages and many are being sold at credit unions most at risk of failure. Baltimore Development Corporation and Johns Hopkins and their pols KNOW THIS-----and have Baltimore citizens well positioned for losses. So, it is not only deposits that will be lost----it is the loans consumers have at what will be failing banks compromised as well.
Changes to HARP Create More Refinancing Opportunities
Credit unions have greater flexibility to help underwater borrowers with Government-Sponsored Enterprise backed loans.
The new Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) rules, developed at the direction of the Federal Housing Finance Agency with input from lenders, mortgage insurers, and the GSEs, eliminate the previous 125% loan-to-value ratio (LTV) cap on existing loans when refinancing to a fixed-rate loan. The changes, announced in October, also include enhancements for participating lenders.
In order to align their processes with the new criteria, the GSEs have instituted some changes effective for loan applications received on and after December 1, 2011. More changes are expected during the first quarter of 2012, including the delivery of loans with LTV greater than 125%.
More than 998,000 borrowers have refinanced through HARP from the program’s inception in March 2009 through November 2011. Under the revised criteria, significantly more underwater borrowers will have access to affordable, sustainable loans.
There is no way to accurately project the number of borrowers who will take advantage of the enhancements to HARP. However in testimony before a House Subcommittee in November, Edward DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, said, “Since HARP was introduced in 2009, almost 900,000 homeowners have refinanced through the HARP program. We believe the changes announced last week may help double the number of homeowners helped through HARP.”
HARP is available to borrowers with a current LTV above 80% on their principal residence as long as they have an acceptable payment history and are current on their mortgage payments. The loan must have been acquired by the GSEs on or before May 31, 2009.
For those loans delivered on or after January 3, 2012, certain risk-based fees have been eliminated if borrowers refinance into loans with terms of 20 years or less. Risk-based fees for longer-term mortgages have also been reduced.
Participating credit unions may benefit from reduced costs and representation and warrant relief as well as an increase in appraisal waivers, which could facilitate additional refinance activity.
The intent of enhancing HARP is to remove potential barriers for both lender and borrower and thereby provide options for credit unions to develop a practical strategy to reach their hardest-hit homeowners and communities with significant financial relief.
HARP is not the only refinancing option available to borrowers. In fact, almost nine million homeowners with GSE loans have refinanced since 2009 through a variety of programs and products. However, HARP is the only program that allows borrowers who owe more than the value of their home to take advantage of low interest rates and more stable, sustainable mortgage loans.
Highlights of the HARP changes include:
I shared this a few years ago so my followers already know all this----but this video and Ellen Brown does a good job in telling you how all this was staged by world banks including and driven by Wall Street. None of this could happen without Congress and the FED pushing for laws that allowed for the subpriming of our US Treasury and state municipal bond markets----and then passing laws that said failing banks CAN SEIZE depositor's accounts and pension plans to stay solvent....forget the FDIC insurance for $250,000.
Citizens should have divested a few years ago in pensions and 401Ks but we need to know that bank deposits will be compromised in this coming economic crash. A MAYOR OF BALTIMORE WHO SEES ALL OF THIS AS CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD---WHICH IT IS-----WILL FIGHT TO STOP THIS FROM HAPPENING IN BALTIMORE USING RULE OF LAW TO PROTECT. Establishment candidates are set to raise their hands and say OH WELL. See why local media and large venues are focused so hard on establishment candidates? Take a look at this video as it says more than the article below. Remember-----Cindy Walsh was writing about all this since 2010---that is how long we've known all this would happen.
Maryland Assembly and Baltimore City Hall pols allowed Maryland and Baltimore to be loaded with all these Wall Street frauds in bond and financial instrument leverage deals.
'says these new rules will allow banks to take money from depositors and pensioners globally. Brown explains, “It became rules we agreed to actually implement. There was no treaty, and Congress didn’t agree to all this. They use words so that it’s not obvious to tell what they have done, but what they did was say, basically, that we, the governments, are no longer going to be responsible for bailing out the big banks'.
Ellen Brown-5 Big Banks will Survive Next Financial Calamity-Everybody Else Bankrupt
Greg Hunter--YOU TUBE VIDEO
Big Banks Will Take Depositors Money In Next Crash -Ellen Brown
By Greg Hunter On December 10, 2014 In Market Analysis 239 CommentsBy Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com
The G-20 met recently in Australia to make new banking rules for the next financial calamity. Financial reform advocate Ellen Brown says these new rules will allow banks to take money from depositors and pensioners globally. Brown explains, “It became rules we agreed to actually implement. There was no treaty, and Congress didn’t agree to all this. They use words so that it’s not obvious to tell what they have done, but what they did was say, basically, that we, the governments, are no longer going to be responsible for bailing out the big banks. These are about 30 international banks. So, you are going to have to save yourselves, and the way you are going to have to do it is by bailing in the money of your creditors. The largest class of creditors of any bank is the depositors.”
It gets worse, as Brown goes on to say, “Theoretically, we are protected by deposit insurance up to $250,000 in the U.S. and 100,000 euros in Europe. The FDIC fund has $46 billion, the last time I looked, to cover $4.5 trillion worth of deposits. There is also $280 trillion worth of derivatives that the five biggest banks in the U.S. are exposed to, and under the bankruptcy reform act of 2005, derivatives go first. So, they are basically exempt from these new rules. They just snatch the collateral. So, if you had a big derivatives bust that brought down JP Morgan or Bank of America, there is no way there is going to be collateral left for the FDIC or for the secured depositors. This would include state and local governments. They all put their money in these big banks. So, even though we are protected by the FDIC, the FDIC is not going to have the money. . . . This makes it legal for these big 30 banks to take our money when they become insolvent. They are too-big-to-fail. This was supposed to avoid too-big-to-fail, but what it does is institutionalizes too-big-to-fail. They are not going to go down. They are going to take our money instead.”
Part of the coming financial calamity will involve hundreds of trillions of dollars in un-backed derivatives. Brown contends, “If the derivative bubble pops, nobody knows what is going to happen, and it’s obvious it has to pop. It can’t just keep growing. Depending on who you read, some people say it is up to two quadrillion dollars. It’s virtual money, and it cannot keep going on.”
When a financial crash does happen, you can forget about getting immediate access to your money. Brown says, “The banks will say, well, we don’t have it. All the money goes into one big pool since Glass Steagall was repealed. They are allowed to gamble with that money and that’s what they do. I think maybe Bank of America is the most vulnerable because of Merrill Lynch. Everybody is concerned, and they do very risky deals and they are on the edge. I think they have over $50 trillion in derivatives and over $1 trillion in deposits. . . The Dodd-Frank Act says we, the people, are no longer going to be responsible for the big banks when they collapse. It is not clear the FDIC will even be able to borrow from the Treasury, but even if they could, who is going to pay that money back? Let’s say they borrowed $1 trillion. Who is going to pay that $1 trillion back? It will bankrupt all the small banks that had to contribute to this premium. They will say we’re raising your premium to everything you got, basically. Little banks will go out of business, and who is going to survive–the big banks. . . . What we’re going to have left is five big banks, and everybody else is going to be bankrupt.”
Ben Bernanke was brought on board at the FED because he was an expert on the Stock Market Crash of 1929-----citizens were made to feel it would be his job to avoid another crash like that but FINANCIAL EXPERTS KNEW RIGHT AWAY BERNANKE was creating the exact conditions in banking and our economy to do the same thing. As you see tons of bank failures with people not even connected to the stock market losing because their deposits were taken in these failures.
All Baltimore and Maryland pols know this is coming----all Maryland State's Attorney know this is coming ----and all labor/justice organizations at national level know this is coming. Think about the national labor leaders backing Hillary all knowing this crash will kill their members' wealth.
All of this is tied to the NEED FOR A REAL PUBLIC BANK---NOT SIMPLY A STATE OR CITY BANK ALLOWED TO BE CONTROLLED BY BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT AND WALL STREET. Below you see what is happening in Baltimore, in Maryland, and across the nation as Clinton/Obama Wall Street global corporate neo-liberals with Republicans set this stage.
Thousands of fraudulent companies were formed to hoodwink unsavvy investors. Most investors never even thought a crash was possible – in their minds, the stock market “always went up.”
The Stock Market Crash of 1929
By Jesse Colombo (This article was written on July 17th, 2012)
America’s Stock Market Crash of 1929 was a powerful market crash that started in October of 1929 after the Roaring Twenties economic “bubble boom” finally popped.
America experienced an era of great peace and prosperity during the 1920s. After World War I, the so-called “Roaring Twenties” economic and cultural boom was fueled by industrialization and the popularization of new technologies such as radio and the automobile. Air flight was becoming common as well.
The Dow stock average soared throughout the Roaring Twenties and many investors aggressively purchased shares, comforted by the fact that stocks were thought to be extremely safe by most economists due to the country’s powerful economic boom. Investors soon purchased stocks on margin, which is the borrowing of stock for the purpose of gaining financial leverage. For every dollar invested, a margin user would borrow nine dollars worth of stock. The use of leverage meant that if a stock went up 1%, the investor would make 10%. Unfortunately, leverage also works the other way around and amplifies even minor losses. If a stock drops too much, a margin holder could lose all of their investment and possibly owe money to their broker as well.
From 1921 to 1929, the Dow Jones rocketed from 60 to 400, creating many new millionaires. Very soon, stock trading became America’s favorite pastime as investors jockeyed to make a quick killing. Investors mortgaged their homes and foolishly invested their life savings into hot stocks such as Ford and RCA. To the average investor, stocks were practically a sure thing. Few people actually studied the finances and underlying businesses of the companies that they invested in. Thousands of fraudulent companies were formed to hoodwink unsavvy investors. Most investors never even thought a crash was possible – in their minds, the stock market “always went up.”
How the Stock Market Crash of 1929 Happened
In 1929, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates several times in an attempt to cool the overheated economy and stock market. By October, a powerful bear market had commenced. On Thursday, October 24th 1929, a spate of panic selling occurred as investors began to realize that the stock boom was actually an over-inflated speculative bubble. Margin investors were being decimated as large numbers of stock investors tried to liquidate their shares to no avail. Millionaire margin investors went bankrupt almost instantly when the stock market crashed on October 28th and 29th. During November of 1929, the Dow sank from 400 to 145. In just three days, over $5 billion worth of market capitalization had been erased from stocks that were trading on the New York Stock Exchange. By the end of the 1929 stock market crash, a staggering $16 billion worth of market capitalization had been lost from NYSE stocks.
To make matters worse, many banks had invested their deposits in the stock market, causing these banks to lose their depositors’ savings as stocks plunged. Bank runs soon occurred when bank patrons tried to withdraw their savings from banks all at the same time. Major banks and brokerage firms became insolvent, adding more fuel to the stock market crash. The financial system was in shambles. Many bankrupt speculators, some who were once very affluent, committed suicide by jumping out of buildings. Even bank patrons who had not invested in shares became broke as $140 billion of depositor money disappeared and 10,000 banks failed.
The 1929 stock market crash was beneficial for some speculators, however. Jesse Livermore correctly predicted the crash and shorted stocks to profit from the decline, earning him over 100 million dollars. Joseph Kennedy, President John F. Kennedy’s father, sold his stocks before the 1929 stock market crash and kept millions of dollars of profit. Kennedy decided to sell his stocks because he overheard shoeshine boys and other novices speculating on stocks, leading him to believe that the stock market had been experiencing a speculative bubble.
The stock market crash of 1929 led to a major economic crisis known as the Great Depression. The Depression lasted from approximately October 1929 until the late-1930’s. Mass poverty became common and many workers lost their jobs and were forced to live in shanty towns. Former millionaire businessmen were reduced to selling apples and pencils on street corners. One-third of Americans were living below the poverty line during the Great Depression. The Dow Jones finally surpassed its 1929 high, a full 26 years later in 1955.
The Roaring Twenties and the stock market crash of 1929 was similar to any other speculative bubble and subsequent crash. The classic pattern of extreme euphoria and irrational expectations will always lead to devastating financial crashes.
Below you see the agency that should have been shouting with me these several years and as you see----they fail every time to actually provide the information citizens need. I try to copy and post reports but Maryland agencies like this are making it impossible to share this information freely.
Take a look at this Maryland Consumer rights Coalition report on banks that are safe----most being graded as B or C including those Wall Street big banks that defrauded everyone the first time. The people in this coalition are often ex-state's attorney lawyers and I have shouted against their failure to protect and provide information for 10 years. It was this same MCRC that received much of the small amount of subprime mortgage fraud settlement directed at 'helping' victims of fraud -----
This was printed just last year and this information of failing banks as you saw in the video above was well known since 2014------FROSH as GANSLER knew years ago this was coming-----
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN ALL ADVOCACY NON-PROFITS ARE CREATED BY THE WALL STREET BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATIONS THEMSELVES.
This report is aimed at SENIORS with their assets ------
I will be talking about how to fight and fix this soon---I simply want all to understand the problem.
GRADING BALTIMORE BANKS:
A Forum on Age-Friendly Banking Principles
APRIL 28, 2015
10 AM – 12 PM
Zeta Center For Healthy And Active Aging
4501 Reisterstown Road
Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition (MCRC) will release a “report card” grading 10 Baltimore banks on the quality of their services to older adults.
• A panel discussion will be held, featuring national, state, and local experts on better ways to serve older adults, including consumer financial protection, fraud protection, and access.
• MCRC will launch its SOAR (Securing Older Adult Resources) Project, which will host 10 events around Baltimore City educating older adults and providing on-site services and referrals on health care, housing, age-friendly banking, avoiding fraud, and more.
BRIAN FROSH, Maryland Attorney General
DANIEL GORIN, Supervisory Policy Analyst, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, Federal Reserve Board of Governors
ARNOLD EPPEL, Deputy Commissioner, Baltimore City Health Department, Division of Aging and Care Services
MARCELINE WHITE, Executive Director, MCRC
ROBERT ZDENEK, Director, National Neighbors Silver, NCRC
LEA GILMORE, Project Director, SOAR
MCRC Consumer Reports
Download these reports to get information and tips that will make you a more knowledgeable consumer.
Debt Settlement Report
Risky Business Auto Fraud Report
Auto Insurance Report
Grading the Banks-SOAR-Report
Predatory Home Loan Products Report
I will speak towards this more tomorrow but I wanted folks to think about how Clinton neo-liberals pose progressive when they use REAL social Democratic policy---in this case PUBLIC BANKS. I showed how we have to watch groups calling themselves INSTITUTES because they are often the ones tied to turning real public banking into CORPORATE STATE BANK.
Now, if we know Wall Street filled our credit unions with fraud to the point of imploding them this coming economic crash----and we know public private partnerships with Wall Street imploded our Federal Housing Agency-----our Federal Student Loans Agency-----our Federal Pension Guaranty Agency-----why would we think making our POST OFFICE into a public bank would end well?
The answer is IT WON'T. IT WILL IMPLODE OUR POST OFFICE WITH THIS SAME FRAUD. If your goal is killing our Post Office which is the goal of Clinton/Obama Wall Street global corporate neo-liberals and Republicans these few decades------you would tie our Post Office to banking at a time when all pols tied to appointing officials to these Postal banks are Clinton Wall Street global corporate neo-liberals and Republicans.
This is how you know Warren is a Clinton neo-liberal and she is simply Wall Street next 'populist Democratic leader' as is Robert Reich. These Wall STreet neo-liberals feeling our pain are pushing policies moving towards US International Economic Zones and global corporate campus SOCIALISM and this issue is one of them.
Who else is pushing this idea of banking in Post Office? The Obama appointed headmaster of our Post Office. Union members not being educated on this issue are often found to promote this although I am pleased many Post Office employees smell a rat.
THIS IS NOT A REAL PUBLIC BANKING SOLUTION.
Elizabeth Warren Has A Radical Plan To Remake The Post Office
- Feb. 3, 2014, 4:22 PM
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren wants to solve two American problems with one solution — turn the country's increasingly empty post offices into simple retail banks for low-income citizens without bank accounts.
In an op-ed in the Huffington Post, Warren writes that "about 68 million Americans — more than a quarter of all households — are underserved by the banking system. Collectively, these households spent about $89 billion in 2012 on interest and fees for non-bank financial services like payday loans and check cashing, which works out to an average of $2,412 per household."
That means poor Americans spend roughly 10% of their income on basic banking services, according to a recent report from the Office of the Inspector General.
Meanwhile, we've got an entire infrastructure of post offices and postal employees who are seeing the number of letters and packages they deliver dwindle more and more by the day.
The services Warren and the OIG are suggesting aren't complex — just check cashing, small international money transfers, small loans, reloadable prepaid cards, and bill paying. The OIG insists that the USPS wouldn't become a bank. In fact, it insists that these services would merely use the USPS's ubiquitous network to complement what banks do and go where banks can't go.
Other countries have already done this, and the OIG says that if even 10% of what underserved Americans pay on interest and fees went to the USPS it would generate $8.9 billion in new revenue per year.
Hey, if it works ...
If you know the 1% has shouted from DAVOS SWITZERLAND for several years to END THE POST OFFICE and you see nations having the strongest Postal Systems----like UK and here is INDIA all tying their Post Office to banking----and if we know are credit unions several decades ago looked just like what they are selling as this new POST OFFICE AS BANK MODEL----we know they are staging to fill our Post Office with the same level of fraud and corruption and that it will end with implosion----but not until all of our Federal Post Office assets are taken.
'The new rules notified by the government will push India Post closer to banks'.
Oh, that's it----pushing Post Office closer to banks--just what we need.
Now, post offices can provide ATM cards, account statements
ET Bureau Dec 31, 2014, 05.26AM IST
(Post offices moved a step…)NEW DELHI: Post offices moved a step closer to becoming banks. The government has allowed certain eligible branches to issue ATM cards to their account holders and also account statements instead of giving out passbooks, as most private sector banks do.
On Tuesday, the government issued a gazette notification amending the Post Office Savings Bank General Rules, 1981. The rules will come into force immediately. These facilities will be available to the branches that are working on core banking solution software, essentially branches that part of an electronic network.
Post offices currently provide savings account, recurring deposits, fixed deposits and many other small savings schemes run by the government including the popular Public Provident Funds.
The funds raised by them largely go to finance central and state governments. India post currently has about 1.55 lakh branches, nearly 90% are in the rural areas, which many experts see as a good vehicle for financial inclusion. The notification says the post office savings bank could issue automated teller machine or debit card to account holders on request or otherwise which can be used to withdraw funds from any of the branches having core banking.
The deposits to these accounts could be made and accepted through any electronic mode. The RBI had decided against issuing a banking licence to India Post when it gave out licence to IDFC and Bandhan Financial Services saying it would decide after consultation with government. The new rules notified by the government will push India Post closer to banks.
We have known Trans Pacific Trade Pact has language privatizing all that is public in infrastructure development, schools, and as we see here POST OFFICE. This has been a goal for decades but TPP will be used to move this forward. This is why Clinton Wall Street global corporate neo-liberals and Republicans are trying to push this Post Office as bank. Once that bank is attached-----they will keep making rules weakening protections and VOILA----POST OFFICE ASSETS ARE WALL STREET ASSETS.
This is not what a REAL PUBLIC BANK LOOKS LIKE ANYWAY. They simply exist in a community like a public school or public recreation center attached to a municipal building perhaps------EASY PEASY.
'Would it be a surprise to find that the corporations have inserted provisions into TPP demanding privatization of the Postal Service, schools, roads and anything else the public currently runs'?
This is why Wall Street global pols are pushing so hard to corporatize our K-12 and universities----moving to public private partnerships with road and bridge infrastructure as well----
IT'S ALL THERE IN A TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT WRITTEN MOSTLY DURING THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION AND CONTINUED BY OBAMA.
Will TPP Kill the Post Office?
06/05/2015 08:14 pm ET | Updated Jun 05, 2015
- Dave Johnson Fellow, Campaign for America’s Future
These are reasons we need to see the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership before Congress votes to pre approve it with fast track trade promotion authority (TPA). They are pushing what is literally a pig in a poke on us. We the people need to open that bag and have a good, long look inside before fast track buys the TPP pig in our name.
Negotiated in secret by corporate representatives, it is probable that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is loaded with things the big corporations have snuck in. We already know from leaks that TPP contains provisions allowing companies to sue our government in “corporate courts“ if they feel a law or regulation is cutting into their profits. What else is in there?
Will TPP Force Privatization?
As if we needed yet another reason for the public to see the text of TPP before Congress pre approves it with fast track, here is a question: Does the TPP contain provisions that corporations can use to force us to privatize “public” things like our Post Office, public schools, public roads etc., so they can replace them with profit-making enterprises that provide a return only to the wealthy few?
We need to see the provisions of TPP that are designed to regulate “state-owned enterprises” (SOEs) and see them now.
It is possible that the giant corporations have slipped language in that section that would force mass privatization of public services. This certainly is the kind of thing corporate/conservative ideologues would want to do if they could. And with the rigged process that is putting together TPP, they certainly have the opportunity to do this.
The U.S. Trade Representative website says TPP will have “groundbreaking new rules designed to ensure fair competition between state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and private companies.”
We are also pursuing pioneering rules to ensure that private sector businesses and workers are able to compete on fair terms with SOEs, especially when such SOEs receive significant government backing to engage in commercial activity.
Commitments ensuring SOEs act in accordance with commercial considerations and compete fairly, without undue advantages from the governments that own them, while allowing governments to provide support to SOEs that provide public services domestically; and
Rules that will provide transparency with respect to the nature of government control over and support for SOEs.
Will TPP enable the privatizers to declare things like our beloved U.S. Postal Service, schools and roads to be “commercial activity” that competes with private companies? How about our parks, libraries, public pensions and other public services?
Today corporations and investors consider our highways to be “commercial activity” and are competing to turn such roads into private business. There is a corporate movement battling to privatize our public schools and turn those into corporate profit centers. Private companies are trying to get (and many have gotten) the right to deliver our water instead of publicly owned municipal systems. Many municipalities have already turned over garbage collection to private companies, thereby impoverishing the workforce. Would it be a surprise to find that the corporations have inserted provisions into TPP demanding privatization of the Postal Service, schools, roads and anything else the public currently runs?
Ask any conservative and they will likely tell you that anything a government does to make people’s lives better only interferes with “the market.” They will tell you our public, “government” schools should be privatized. They will tell you that the Post Office needs to go away. They hate Amtrak, public broadcasting, the Export-Import Bank and, public transit. They certainly hate public health care. Many will even say that we shouldn’t have public parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone. They have even privatized prisons.
We the People need to take a good, long look at the text of TPP, run it past experts, let legal scholars tell us if the working might be interpreted in sneaky ways - before Congress votes to pre approve it with fast track. (The Senate has already voted to do this.)
FedEx, UPS And Our Post Office
I was on Nicole Sandler’s show, Radio or Not on Wednesday and she referenced a chart showing “all donations that corporate members of the U.S. Business Coalition for TPP made to U.S. Senate campaigns between January and March 2015, when fast-tracking the TPP was being debated in the Senate.”
Along with Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, there were FedEx and UPS at the top of the list. The same FedEx and UPS that have been lobbying to strangle the Post Office so they can get the business for themselves.
TPP is reported to have provisions regulating “state-owned enterprises.” (We don’t know for sure what it says because it’s secret.) UPS and FedEx are top donors to a campaign to pass the TPP. Uh Oh. Does this mean TPP contains provisions designed to kill our Post Office?
Why were FedEx and UPS giving money to senators just before a vote on fast track pre approval of TPP? Could it be because they have been able to sneak a privatization mandate into TPP? We don’t know because TPP is still secret. If fast track passes the House, we won’t be able to fix it when TPP comes up for a vote because the fast track law would prohibit Congress from making any amendments to the agreement.
Note that the AFL-CIO position on SOEs says the AFL-CIO “does not oppose SOEs and does not seek to privatize them.” But because the U.S. does not have “a comprehensive manufacturing strategy or adequate governmental support for manufacturing, without strict disciplines on anti-competitive behavior by SOEs, U.S. workers and producers remain at risk from those entities.”
In other words, when companies owned outside of the U.S. get government assistance helping them to force closure of U.S. production, this affects working people in a negative way.
Need To See The Text Before Preapproval Happens
The coming vote in the House of Representatives to fast-track trade deals essentially pre approves TPP before we can see what is in it. No less a source than the right-wing Breitbart states it perfectly, in “Two Members of Boehner’s Leadership Team Openly Refuse to Admit if They’ve Read Obamatrade“:
While they’re technically correct in asserting that TPA [Fast Track] is different from the specific TPP, there is essentially no way to stop a trade deal once it has been fast-tracked. Since fast track was created in the Richard Nixon administration, not one trade deal that started on fast track has been thwarted. As such, a vote for TPA is a vote for TPP, since passing TPA will all but guarantee the successful passage of TPP.
Even if the intent is not there in the current negotiations over TPP, a misplaced word or comma could be interpreted later to call for privatization of our schools and roads. Seriously, look at the argument the conservatives are making - and the Supreme Court might be buying - to destroy Obamacare. They are using what is literally a typo, regardless of the clear intent of those who wrote the law, to obtain a ruling that many of us can’t get health insurance subsidies.
Are there similar miswordings in TPP? We don’t know, and if fast track passes before we are allowed to examine the text for ourselves then it is too late - because fast track means we can’t fix it. We have to accept it as is, with only an up-or-down vote while the corporations are running the biggest briberylobbying/PR/pressure campaign we have ever seen to get Congress to pass it.
The public needs to know what is in TPP before fast track makes it a done deal. Release the text. If there really is a reason it has to be negotiated in secret so countries will “make their best offers,” then just release the parts that all parties in the negotiations are privy to and the parts that are already negotiated.
We need to see the text of TPP before they vote to pre approve it with fast track. Is there a privatization mandate in TPP? We need to know the answer.
Post Office told to cut Bank of Ireland ties as it expands banking services
• Post Office's banking services expansion plan comes under fire
• Government to inject £180m to extend 'people's bank' services
The Post Office is set to grow its range of banking services. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PAJill Treanor
Monday 29 March 2010 13.26 EDT Last modified on Tuesday 12 April 2016 14.59 EDTBank of Ireland as the government announced plans to plough another £180m into the 11,500 network to expand the range of financial services on offer.
The contract with the bank, in which the Irish government has a 16% stake, faced criticism as the Post Office must hand over 50% of its banking profits. There was also anxiety that the Post Office is not a member of the government's compensation scheme, which pays out when banks run into difficulty.
As the business secretary, Lord Mandelson, published the results of a consultation into banking in post offices, he said: "Since the banking crisis, we have set about reinventing the financial services industry piece-by-piece, building a system that is fairer, trusted and more reliable."
But the Post Office conceded that only 330 of its outlets had staff qualified to sell the fuller range of financial products that the government wants to offer, including current accounts and home mortgages which require a deposit of only 10%.
Post Office products already appear in a number of the best-buy tables which appear in the Guardian's Money section on Saturdays, including its instant access account. Its existing mortgages, which require 20% deposits, occasionally appear in best-buy tables too, according to Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at mortgage broker John Charcol.
The government wants to add a weekly budgeting account, children's saving account and allow credit union customers to use post offices, for which banks will pay a levy. Spanish bank Santander is to allow business customers to access their accounts through post offices and is negotiating, along with Royal Bank of Scotland, about allowing personal customers to do the same. Most other banks already allow their customers to use post offices, which handle £86bn of cash each year, about 14p of every 100p changing hands.
The announcement comes as part of the government's initiative to throw a lifeline to the cash-strapped post office network, which had already been promised £1.7bn of investment between 2007 and 2011. Criticism came from George Thomson, the general secretary of the National Federation of SubPostmasters. He said: "We do have concerns about the current joint venture model with the Bank of Ireland, under which half of all profits made on existing financial service products leave the Post Office.
"The federation believes that a British-backed Postbank model would allow all profits made by the Postbank to be retained by the Post Office, which is by far the best solution to sustain the future of the network."
Consumer group Which? also expressed concern that the Bank of Ireland was not a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which guarantees £50,000 of savings in UK banks.
"Most people would find that quite puzzling," said Dominic Lindley, policy adviser at Which?
The Post Office relies on the Bank of Ireland for its banking licence granted by the Financial Services Authority which allows it to take deposits. The Bank of Ireland is not a member of the FSCS though it currently enjoys an unlimited deposit protection from the Irish state, until September when the upper limit falls to €100,000 (£90,000).
Credit unions welcomed the expansion plans, particularly as the banks will pay a levy to cover the transaction fees that credit unions would face.
"Opening up the post office network to credit union services will help to deliver a step-change in the scale of credit unions in Britain, boosting access to their services for millions more people and raising awareness of credit unions as an ethical and sustainable banking alternative," said Mark Lyonette, chief executive of the Association of British Credit Unions, of which there are 325 groups around the country.
This is not the first time banks have been asked to pay a levy to the post office system. A decade ago they were forced to pay £200m to create a proposed "universal bank" in post offices, a scheme that was scrapped in favour of basic accounts which were suitable to receive social security payments.
While 10 years ago the banking industry was infuriated by the subsidy, the British Bankers' Association supported the current plans to bolster competition through the post office network. "This will mean more choice for customers and will be particularly useful for people in some of the more remote areas where it's not commercially viable to provide a bank branch," the BBA said in a statement.
Shadow business secretary Ken Clarke was less supportive, describing the plans as "too little, too late" while the government quashed any idea that the Bank of Ireland contract, signed in 2004, should be ended. "Developing a new structure at this time would be both expensive and time consuming," the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said.
The Bank of Ireland is due to give an update on its profits tomorrow but revealed a year ago that the venture made £48m from the services it offers through the Post Office after an upfront investment of £125m in 2004. The bank stressed it was a "committed and long-term partner" of the Post Office.
Girobank comes round again?
A Labour government, concerned the banking system was not providing the services people needed, first came up with the idea of a Post Office-based bank. The year was 1968, Harold Wilson was the prime minister. What was initially known as National Girobank went through a number of incarnations, becoming Girobank before being sold to Alliance & Leicester in 1990.
In 2000, the government wanted to create a "universal bank" in post offices but was forced to drop the plan when the banks complained it would carry the stigma of being a "poor person's bank". Instead the banks paid the government £200m to fund the creation of "basic" accounts.
The Girobank name was dropped in 2003 when it became known as A&L Commercial Bank, while the special relationship between the two organisations ended in 2004 when the Post Office set up a joint venture with Bank of Ireland to provide banking services.