Regarding Rawlings-Blake budget:
Sending the Firefighter's pensions to 401Ks and not offering pensions to future employees but requiring them to be college grads....sound republican? Yes, it is as is all Third Way corporate democratic policy. They are sending all working people to poverty no matter whether they have degrees or not...
The Atlantic Monthly had a good article in its Jan issue about the dubiousness of the banking industry and highlighted Wells Fargo which is being sold as a good bank. The article made clear that all sophisticated investors and academics like myself are now publicly calling Wall Street crony, criminal, and a harm to American society. We know trillions of dollars were stolen by banks in the massive frauds of last decade. Bill Clinton and Third Way corporate democrats are to thank for allowing Bush to super-size this mess. The article looks deep into the business operations of Wells Fargo and sees that there is absolutely no transparency or indications that anything legal is happening in this bank. It is telling the Wells Fargo looks right across from the Attorney General's office in downtown Baltimore. The article goes on to say that because the banks are ready to implode with just as much leverage and bad/risky debt as in 2008.....no one is investing in bank stock except the Federal Reserve which is feeding free money at 0% interest to keep them and the market looking solvent.
Guess who the main investors left holding bank stock are? That's right ......private and public pensions, municipal bonds, and insurance investments....ALL PUBLIC MONEY. See why Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore County exec and all of Maryland are placing ever more public assets like 401Ks in the market? To get a perspective the State of Maryland and the City of Baltimore pulled its pensions out of the then safe bond market and sent it to the stock market just before the crash...in 2007 where they are sitting ever since. They were used as fodder as they are now. Also, look at the Cyprus/PIGS European crisis where all that bank fraud is now being paid for with ....guess what....pensions and public assets! The Europeans are being taken for more because their retirements are in the banks and not in Trusts like our SS and entitlements. So when you hear depositors are going to pay on anything over $133,000.....that means on all these public assets. It is not only the Russian mafia that is paying as NPR/Marketplace...Wall Street all the Time....would have you believe. Third Way corporate democrats are allowing massive fraud to steal all of people's savings, retirements, and benefits.
THERE IS EVERY SIGN THAT THE ECONOMY IS GOING TO CRASH AND EVEN SO THESE CORPORATE POLS ARE LOADING PUBLIC ASSETS AND PENSIONS INTO THE MARKET.. THIS IS MALFEASANCE AND IT IS ILLEGAL.
Controversial Interview Exposes 5 Signs Stocks Will Collapse in 2013
Monday, 25 Mar 2013 02:05 PM
By Newsmax Wires
“After putting $803,436 in Obama’s re-election campaign, a media giant attempted to keep Americans from seeing the video by banning it from their sites,” stated Aaron DeHoog, the financial publisher who is unapologetic for the release of controversial footage that has gained international attention.
The video DeHoog is referring to is a stunning interview with famed economist Robert Wiedemer, author of the New York Times best-selling book Aftershock.
Wiedemer, best known for correctly predicting the collapse of the U.S. housing market, equity markets, and consumer spending that almost sank the United States during the “Great Recession”, provides disturbing evidence in the video interview for 50 percent unemployment, a 90 percent stock market crash, and 100 percent annual inflation . . . starting as soon as 2013.
When the host of the interview expressed disbelief in Wiedemer’s claims, he calmly displayed five indisputable charts to back up his predictions (click here to see those exact charts).
The interview has become a wake-up call for those unprepared (or unwilling) to acknowledge an ugly truth: The country’s financial “rescue” devised in Washington has failed miserably.
The blame lies squarely on those whose job it was to avoid the exact situation we find ourselves in, including current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and former Chairman Alan Greenspan, tasked with preventing financial meltdowns and keeping the nation’s economy strong through monetary and credit policies.
At one point, Wiedemer even calls out Bernanke, saying that his “money from heaven will be the path to hell.”
But it’s not just the grim predictions that are causing the sensation in Wiedemer’s video interview. Rather, it’s his comprehensive blueprint for economic survival that’s really commanding global attention.
The interview offers realistic, step-by-step solutions that the average hard-working American can easily follow.
Editor’s Note: See the 5 signs the stock market will collapse in 2013. Click here now
“[The interview] was originally filmed for a private audience,” DeHoog explains. “People were sitting up and taking notice, and they begged us to make the interview public so they could easily share it.”
Since that day, over 40 million concerned citizens have tuned in to prepare for “the unthinkable.”
As for the media giant that wanted to ban the video, DeHoog was able to work out a compromise.
“We agreed to tweak the webpage some, but we didn’t change the content of the interview. That had to stay the same. The interview simply states the financial data as is, and then simple, practical advice is given that viewers can take to protect their wealth, and even profit, during the days ahead.” Asked if he is concerned if Wiedemer’s predictions don’t come true, DeHoog replied, “Absolutely not. The best-case scenario is that Wiedemer is wrong. .
“Unfortunately, he has been dead-on thus far. No, our real concern is this, and it’s the more likely scenario — what if just half of Wiedemer’s predictions come true? Bottom line, it is imperative that Americans be prepared, and that is why we will continue to air this powerful interview.”
Editor’s Note: For a limited time, Newsmax is showing the Wiedemer interview and supplying viewers with copies of the new, updated Aftershock book including the final, unpublished chapter. Go here to view it now.
MY COMMENT TO ARTICLE BELOW:
Know that homeless were ticketed to death for things like loitering just so their inability to pay fines made them felons? Did you know this economy was blown up on purpose by the banks who committed massive fraud of trillions of dollars and have yet been made to repay their debt..these are big-time debtors needing big-time prison sentences. The millions of Americans whose lives were turned upside down because of this massive corporate fraud are themselves becoming the debtors unable to pay. You can believe that any government allowing open corporate fraud will not be protecting people victim of it. THESE ARE THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATIC POLICIES AND WE NEED TO RUN AND VOTE LABOR AND JUSTICE TO REVERSE THEM!
Now that we have a corporate leadership holding US politics you are seeing the removal of social safety nets, retirements, and access to legal justice. Think you will continue to shed credit card debt or medical debt now that corporate pols see the government coffers as cash for corporate profits? No way Jose! People will fall into deep credit debt just trying to survive and when this debt is no longer legal..they will be working on the chain gang. In MD that brings about $2 an hour to the prisoner and several more for the private prison contracting company.
Remember, Third Way democrats=Third world society. Don't think republicans will do any different!
Consumer groups fear that debtors' prisons are making a resurgence
Debtors can be arrested for ignoring court orders in small claims cases
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun
8:12 p.m. EDT, March 25, 2013
When a warrant for his arrest arrived at his mother's house, Bryan Bookman went to the district court in Essex to clear up the matter.
"That's when I was handcuffed and shackled, right on the spot, like I was a common criminal," said Bookman, who didn't have the money to post bail and spent the night in the Baltimore County Jail in Towson.
His crime? Failure to show up in court for a small claims case.
Debtors' prison, where people are incarcerated for owing money, seems like something out of another century. But consumer advocates say Bookman experienced a modern-day version in Maryland. When people with even small judgments against them fail to show up in court as ordered, the creditor can ask the judge to issue a so-called "body attachment" that allows the defendant to be arrested.
In the fiscal year ended June 30, 1,830 body attachments were issued by Maryland courts handling small claims of up to $5,000, according to the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition. And 39 defendants were incarcerated, including one person who spent 14 days in jail, the group reported.
"It's a de facto debtors' prison," said Marceline White, the coalition's executive director.
Most states permit body attachments and use them in a similar way to pursue consumers for small debts, she added.
But creditors and others say consumers aren't arrested for unpaid bills but for repeatedly ignoring court orders. Debtors easily can avoid arrest just by showing up in court, they say.
In Maryland, the process works like this:
A creditor wins a judgment against a consumer to collect on a debt. The creditor then asks the judge to bring the defendant into court to answer questions about available assets or employment so wages can be garnished. If the consumer fails to show up, the court may issue another summons to determine why the person shouldn't be held in contempt. And if the defendant is a no-show again, the creditor can ask the judge to issue a body attachment.
When defendants are arrested, a judge or commissioner might release them or set a bond. Defendants too poor to pay the bond end up in jail.
"People who owe money to creditors — guess what — they don't have money," said Peter Holland, who runs the Consumer Protection Clinic at the University of Maryland School of Law. "They have fallen on hard times. They are elderly. They are living on a fixed income. They are sick. They are jobless. Is it any surprise they are spending a night in jail because they don't make bail?"
Maryland lawmakers recently considered legislation that would prevent people from being arrested for failing to appear in court in small claims cases. The Maryland Bankers Association, the Maryland-DC Creditors Bar Association Inc. and the state judiciary all opposed it.
"No one is incarcerated for failure to pay a debt," said Kathleen Murphy, president of the bankers group. But "what we can't support is taking away the court's right to exercise some remedy when the judgment debtor ignores an order to appear."
The Maryland Judiciary also submitted testimony, saying: "By not allowing the arrest of an individual for failure to respond to a court order, that individual is essentially free to disregard the orders of the court, with no repercussion."
And Del. Luiz Simmons, a Montgomery County Democrat, showed little sympathy for defendants during a hearing on the legislation last month.
When he was a young lawyer, Simmons said, his mother-in-law hired him to collect on some of the hundreds of bad checks she received from customers at her dry cleaning business.
"People gave them for her dry cleaning and tailoring, knowing full well that it was very expensive to go to court" to collect, he said.
When a case reaches the stage of a body attachment, it means the defendant refused to show up twice, he said. "They have flouted the court."
Faced with stiff opposition, the legislation failed to progress in the legislature. But a related bill has broad support. This would require that a consumer arrested on a body attachment be immediately taken before a judge or commissioner. A hearing on that bill will be held Wednesday.
The new policy to rid cities of the poor and working class is to make homelessness a crime so loitering, taking food from trash, or simply hanging out in affluent business districts will now lead to fines over fines. As these penalties accumulate without payment the homeless are then charged with felonies. All of this makes that person ineligible for public housing..so you see these policies leave homeless no choices.
Homeless Vet Ticketed For Looking For Food In Trash
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Apparently, maintaining a proper trash can is apparently more important than feeding the homeless in Houston, Texas.
At least, that’s how it appears after James Kelly, a 44-year-old homeless vet, was so hungry that he was driven to digging into the trash to find his next meal. Earlier this month, he made the mistake of doing this in a trash bin near Houston City Hall. For that, he received a citation from a Houston police officer that charged him with “disturbing the contents of a garbage can in (the) downtown district.”
Really? Police officers in Houston have nothing better to do than issue citations to the homeless who are driven to desperately searching in the trash for food?
Houston Law: Don’t Touch The Trash
The Houston Police Department (HPD) later issued a short statement: “The ordinance is specific to the Central Business District. It is a violation for anyone to remove any contents of any bin, bag or other container that has been placed for collection of garbage, trash or recyclable materials. An officer has probable cause to issue such a citation when a person is seen opening a lid and rummaging through contents of a dumpster or trash can.”
Why on earth would anyone create such an ordinance?
According to Alternet,
The Chronicle traced the law back to 1942, when it was delightfully titled ”molesting garbage containers.” A 1988 rewrite expanded legal protection from molestation to recyclables, and over the last 2 decades it’s become increasingly restrictive as municipalities have become more and more committed to purging the homeless from city centers.
There’s another contributing factor: in 2012, Houston passed a law banning the feeding of the poor without proper registration. The homeless can no longer rely on the kindness of strangers because such acts are illegal, unless those strangers are registered.
Does this sound as crazy to you as it does to me?
Houston Law: Don’t Feed The Homeless
More from Houston’s News 92 FM:
The voluntary homeless feeding ordinance was passed last April in a 11-6 vote by Houston City Council. The program moves for registration of formal and informal food service organizations, free food handling training by the city’s Department of Health and Human Services, and coordination of locations and times of feeding.
Registrants are also required to obtain the consent of public or private property owners before distributing food.
So, first Houston takes away the homeless person’s option of a helping hand from a stranger, and next the city turns the homeless into criminals when they search for food in dumpsters. Whatever happened to compassion and respect?
This criminalization of the homeless is not just happening in Houston:
* The city of Atlanta conducted a sting operation in 2008, when police officers went undercover as tourists and office workers, to snag anyone begging. At that time, the city had banned panhandling within 15 feet of an ATM, bus stop, pay phone to public toilet, and anywhere at all after dark.
* More than 50 cities, including Atlanta, Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, Oklahoma City have adopted some kind of anti-camping or anti-food-sharing laws, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.
* Gary Williams just spent 30 days in jail, because on two occasions a San Francisco police officer found him slumped over, asleep, on a milk crate. Even though he had no camping gear with his, he was charged with unauthorized lodging and public nuisance, his lawyer, Andrea Lindsay, told AlterNet.
Laws that restrict panhandling are designed to target poor people living on the street. Other examples of such laws include bans on sitting or lying down on the sidewalk, eating in public, setting up camp or sleeping in a park or other public places. Most advocates for the homeless believe that these laws are created in order to push the homeless out of sight.
If you believe that searching in a trash can for food is not a criminal act, please sign our petition, asking the Houston Police Department to withdraw their citation. Kelly is due in court on April 10.
We appreciate this opinion piece as it is true....it should not be chartered here. Did you know that MD allowed the debt consolidating industry to come to MD to handle all the foreclosures and people's personal bankruptcies caused by massive bank fraud knowing these debt consolidation companies have been riddled with..you guessed it massive claims of fraud. It seems that being guilty of fraud is a business plus in MD.
The Atlantic Monthly had a great article about the state of the big banks....even sophisticated investors are calling them crony, criminal, and to be avoided using Wells Fargo as an example. Wells Fargo absorbed some of the worst of subprime mortgage offenders and as such still owes tens of billions of dollars in fraud beyond Doug Gansler's parking ticket of $25 billion. A professional look into its business practices shows how ugly banking still is and how it is ready to bring down the economy once again. Wells Fargo sits right across from the Attorney General's office in Baltimore.
The laws protecting corporations from fraud oversight and prosecution are still in place in MD. It is impossible for the public to seek justice and if by chance they do, the caps on awards will barely pay legal expenses. Third Way corporate democrats and republicans share the policy of protecting wealth and profits over people...the democratic base needs to send them packing!
Money-laundering firm should get no welcome in Maryland HSBC may be 'too big to jail,' but it doesn't deserve to be chartered here
By Bartlett Naylor 6:00 a.m. EDT, March 25, 2013
When criminal prosecutors at the U.S. Department of Justice found that giant bank HSBC — whose American operation is chartered in Maryland — had violated money-laundering laws covering $200 trillion in transactions, and with customers including terrorists, sanctioned states and Mexican drug lords, one might reasonably have expected a criminal prosecution.
After all, other, much smaller money launderers are currently serving prison sentences. However, the DOJ chose instead to fine HSBC roughly 12 percent of last year's profits. No one faces jail in this case.
This month, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told Congress that the firm's size challenged the government's prosecution. He testified, "I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy. ... Some of these institutions have become too large."
Few are comfortable with Mr. Holder's rationale. Senators on both sides of the partisan aisle decry using an institution's size as a reason for deferring prosecution. Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former Maryland bank regulator, observed that even bankers and those who follow banking may not support this rationale. She pointed to a poll of American Banker readers that "found that a mere 8 percent of readers who responded thought authorities took the right course in the case of enforcement against HSBC for money laundering violations. As many as 47 percent said the Justice Department should have prosecuted the bank, while another 45 percent said authorities should have gone after the individuals responsible for the violations."
In the case of HSBC, the public need not rely entirely on federal officials to do the right thing. Maryland officials can play an important role. Maryland law equips the state attorney general with a powerful tool to advance justice. According to the Maryland statute on corporations and associations, the attorney general "may institute a civil proceeding in the courts to forfeit the charter of any Maryland corporation and to revoke the authority of any foreign corporation to do business in this State," in cases where the corporation's activities serve to "aid, or abet the violation of criminal laws relating to ... illegal drug distribution."
In a situation where Marylanders and others in the country suffer because we've been held hostage to banks that are "too big to fail" (as President Barack Obama says), the chilling new policy of "too big to jail" adds another nightmarish dimension.
In January, Public Citizen wrote Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler and asked him to exercise his prerogatives in this matter. More than 600 Marylanders have joined 38,000 other Americans in a petition to the Maryland attorney general stating: "HSBC is a large corporation, but should enjoy no special privilege because of its size. A Maryland corporate charter should signal integrity, and we ask that you uphold this standard."
In a similar situation last year, New York's Department of Financial Services "determined that grounds existed for revocation of [Standard Chartered Bank's] license to operate in the State of New York and that interim measures must be taken to protect the public interest." Standard Chartered was accused of laundering some $250 billion in transactions involving Iran. The New York agency ultimately elected not to revoke the license, but the bank paid a substantial fine.
Mr. Gansler and Maryland alone can't resolve the problem of "too big to jail." Even if Maryland de-charters HSBC, it could recharter elsewhere. That other state, however, would suffer opprobrium for countenancing admitted money laundering operations.
Granted, pursuing the forfeiture of a charter of the world's fifth-largest company requires courage. That is all the more reason to move forward. My organization believes that that the attorney general should strongly consider forfeiting HSBC's Maryland charter, and we look forward to Mr. Gansler's response.
Bartlett Naylor, a Maryland native, is financial policy advocate for Public Citizen in Washington, D.C. His email is email@example.com.
THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS SAY........WHO'S YOUR MASTER!!!!!
Corporate Welfare – Employees Paying Taxes Directly To Corporations
2013/03/24By Justin Acuff
Taxes have been a part of government for as long as there have been things to tax, and the general idea behind them is pretty well understood. The government takes a portion of everyone’s income and spends it in such a way as to improve things for everyone in one way or another. That could be defensive spending, such as military technology or troop wages, administrative costs will always factor in, educational funding, etc. And that’s the way it works in America. Or is it? In truth, corporate lobbyists have ensured that our convoluted tax code heavily favors corporations. The fact is that it’s even possible, if you’re employed by a large corporation, that you’re paying your taxes directly toward your employing company.
In his recent book, The Fine Print, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston explains the laws that allow corporations to go to war with the American working class. In an interview with Alternet, he said the following:
It’s now up to 21 states. In 21 states, they’ve passed a law that says that taxes withheld from your paycheck, for the state, can be kept by the company. Now, every employer doesn’t get this windfall — you have to have to get a deal from the government to do it — 2,700 big companies, every big company you’ve ever heard of, General Electric, Procter and Gamble, Deutsche Bank, you name it, they’ve got these deals, where they get to keep the taxes. Billions of dollars are diverted this way. You know the best thing for the companies about this?
The workers don’t know, because once the taxes are withheld, the state government treats you as having paid your taxes. You paid your taxes. They just then give a credit to let the company keep the taxes. I’ve called journalists. I’ve called union people who negotiate union contracts. And they say, “What are you talking about?” I showed them the work I’ve done. They go, “Oh my God!” They have no idea that this is what’s happening, and the fact that it’s spread from the 16 states when I first wrote about this and it’s now grown to 21 – eventually, all of the 44 states with income taxes are going to allow this, if we don’t put a stop to it.
He also addresses the fact that a lack of regulation is actually limiting to competition when it comes to capitalism, as more successful businesses will rapidly form industrial monopolies and oligarchies:
I want more competition. Here’s what really goes on, however. We put up barriers to competition, and in fact, Wall Street has institutionalized this concept. Morningstar, they’re a big financial advice firm. They tell people that they should grade companies and decide whether to buy their stock, based on something called a “moat index.” Moat, like around a castle? A moat index asks, “What barriers has the government erected to keep anybody else from competing against that company?” Indeed, as I show in my book, you could get rich if you invest in those companies that have regulatory moats — where under the name of deregulation, we have insulated them from the rigors of the market.
This is the real welfare in America. Corporate welfare. Where the rich get richer, and they pay other people to convince Republicans how important it is to vote for conservative puppet politicians that will vote for laws that allow “the American people” to keep more of their income tax dollars — which really benefits the rich. In reality, it’s the Republican Party that is engaging in wealth redistribution. The difference in their version? They’re redistributing wealth to the top.
UPDATE: Sixteen states with programs like this are Utah, South Carolina, Ohio, New Mexico, New Jersey, North Carolina, Mississippi, Missouri, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas and Kentucky. We aren’t aware what the other five states in this group are at this time, and the article will be updated further when we have that information. Contact us if you are aware.
I would also like to add that the fight against corporate interests ruling our government is a bipartisan, because corruption reaches across the aisle. However, on this particular issue, conservative ideology promotes business interests no matter how harmful, and I think that the Democratic Party handles it slight better. Only slightly.