By greydogg, 99GetSmart
– IMF KNEW GREEK PROGRAM WOULD FAIL
By Katerina Nikolas, Digital Journal
Former Greek finance minister and Greece’s representative to the IMF until January, Panagiotis Roumeliotis, has spoken of the bail-out Memorandum imposed on Greece by its Troika of lenders, the IMF, EU and ECB. To Vima reported Roumeliotis accused the Troika of underestimating the negative affects the austerity program would have on the Greek economy, pushing it deeper into recession.
In an interview with the New York Times Roumeliotis revealed officials at the IMF knew the program was doomed to failure. He said “We knew at the fund from the very beginning that this program was impossible to be implemented because we didn’t have any – any – successful example.”
He added that whilst the IMF uses Greece’s failure to implement structural reforms as an excuse for the programs failure, the real cause “is that the severe cuts contributed to the downward spiral by decimating economic demand within Greece.”
Roumeliotis’s words reiterate those of German Chancellor Angela Merkel who admitted in June that Greece’s program of austerity was important even if it did not succeed, in order to set an example to other European countries to adhere to their future obligations within the EU. […]
* PROTECTORS OF WALL STREET
A vital new book from the TARP IG, and yesterday’s vote on a Fed audit, reveal some disturbing truths
By Glenn Greenwald, Salon
If you believe the Federal Reserve has done a fine job of managing monetary policy and trust it to continue to exert vast power with no accountability or transparency, then you are probably content with the status quo. But yesterday, “a powerful left-right coalition” in the House of Representatives — defying the Fed as well as a likely White House veto — voted overwhelmingly to enact Rep. Ron Paul’s bill to subject the Fed’s monetary policy to audits by the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan and independent congressional agency. As Dennis Kucinich, one of 89 Democrats to vote for the bill, put it: “It’s time that we stood up to the Federal Reserve that right now acts like some kind of high, exalted priesthood, unaccountable to democracy.”
Despite the large bipartisan House majority in favor of the bill, it is almost certain, as Reuters put it, “to die in the Democrat-controlled Senate.” That’s because “Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, at one time expressed support for an audit — though he reportedly has changed his mind.” Indeed, despite substantial Democratic support for the bill (including some from the progressive wing, such as Kucinich, Jerry Nadler and Raul Grijalva), “every top Democratic leader [in the House] voted against the bill, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland.” As former Alan Grayson aide Matt Stoller documented yesterday, Democratic leaders did not merely oppose the bill but actively whipped against it, meaning they sought to pressure caucus members to stay in line and oppose it; but as he observes: “The Democratic leaders, despite whipping, barely got a majority of the caucus to vote no. This is a massive failure on their part, and shows how weak they are.”
It was this same left-right coalition, led by Paul and joined by liberal Democrats such as Alan Grayson, that succeeded in enacting an Audit the Fed bill back in 2010. Even though that 2010 bill was substantially weakened by the same forces that oppose the bill now — the Fed, the White House, and party leadership — that audit, once completed, “revealed 16 trillion dollars in secret bank bailouts and has raised more questions about the quasi-private agency’s opaque operations” and independently showed that the Fed ignored rules to aid the largest banks. Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose watered-down Audit the Fed amendment is what passed in the Senate in 2010, said this about the audit revelations:
The first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve uncovered eye-popping new details about how the U.S. provided a whopping $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. . . . “As a result of this audit, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world,” said Sanders. “This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.”
The argument has always been that the Fed must be able to act with independence and secrecy and that transparency would undermine its credibility and lead to political interference in monetary policy; especially now, the ostensible concern is that Republicans will impede necessary measures. But as Stoller points out, none of the parade of horribles about which the Fed warned resulted from the 2010 audit, and more to the point, the Fed — prime enablers of banks, crony capitalism and oligarchy — has proven that it deserves neither the trust nor the credibility which it had previously commanded. It’s remarkable to watch the Democratic Party become its most devoted defenders. As Stoller said about yesterday’s vote: “It’s so tiresome to see the Democratic leadership take the side of Wall Street, over and over and over.” […]
* THOSE WHO BENEFITED FROM WALL STREET FRAUD MUST BE PROSTCUTED … INCLUDING ROGUE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WHO AIDED AND ABETTED THE CRIMES
By George Washington, Washington’s Blog
Yet the government has more or less made it official policy not to prosecute fraud, and instead to do everything necessary to cover up for Wall Street. For example, the Obama administration is prosecuting fewer financial crimes than under Reagan or either Bush.
For example, we pointed out in 2010:
The government’s entire strategy now – as during the S&L crisis – is to cover up how bad things are.
But it is not only a matter of covering up fraud that has already happened. The government also created an environment which greatly encouraged fraud.
Here are just a few of many potential examples:
- The Treasury department allowed banks to “cook their books”
- Regulators knew of and allowed the use of debt-hiding accounting tricks by the big banks
- Tim Geithner was complicit in Lehman’s accounting fraud, (and see this), and pushed to pay AIG’s CDS counterparties at full value, and then to keep the deal secret. And as Robert Reich notes, Geithner was “very much in the center of the action” regarding the secret bail out of Bear Stearns without Congressional approval. William Black points out: “Mr. Geithner, as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York since October 2003, was one of those senior regulators who failed to take any effective regulatory action to prevent the crisis, but instead covered up its depth”
- The former chief accountant for the SEC says that Bernanke and Paulson broke the law and should be prosecuted
- The government knew about mortgage fraud a long time ago. For example, the FBI warned of an “epidemic” of mortgage fraud in 2004. However, the FBI, DOJ and other government agencies then stood down and did nothing. See this and this. For example, the Federal Reserve turned its cheek and allowed massive fraud, and the SEC has repeatedly ignored accounting fraud. Indeed, Alan Greenspan took the position that fraud could never happen
- Paulson and Bernanke falsely stated that the big banks receiving Tarp money were healthy, when they were not
- Arguably, both the Bush and Obama administrations broke the law by refusing to close insolvent banks
- Congress may have covered up illegal tax breaks for the big banks. […]
* 2 ANAHEIM PROTEST: 1 FAUCOUS, 1 SILENT MARCH; 9 ARRESTED
Source: The Orange Country Register
Anaheim SWAT members cruise down Ball near Harbor, where a growing group of more than 100 protesters blocked traffic. SWAT TEAMS FOR LESS THAN 200 PEOPLE???
* A CALL TO ACTION: PROTEST ANAHEIM POLICE BRUTALITY AT DISNEYLAND 7/29/12 12PM-4PM EAST SHUTTLE AREA AND HARBOR BLVD
WE HAVE BEGUN ORGANIZING FOR PROTESTS AT DISNEYLAND @ East Shuttle Area and Harbor Blvd.
PROTESTS at DISNEYLAND will begin Saturday July 28, 2012 from 12 to 4 PM and again on Sunday July 29 from 12 to 4 PM.
We will protest every weekend until we get justice.
STAY UPDATED IN INFORMED ON FACEBOOK:
*** WARNING ***
WE MUST REMEMBER THAT THIS IS A PEACEFUL PROTEST!
IN THE TRADITION OF NON-VIOLENT STRUGGLES for civil rights and justice, we ask that all participants in these protests hold their anger, their outrage, so that THE MESSAGE OF OUR DEMANDS FOR JUSTICE CAN BE UNDERSTOOD. We need justice done against these racists in police uniform. PLEASE!!! DO NOT TAUNT THE POLICE; DO NOT GIVE THEM A FALSE REASON TO ATTACK THE MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN THAT WILL BE JOINING US IN THESE PROTESTS.
* THIS IS MY BODY
By Jason Stefaniak
VIDEO @ http://vimeo.com/45539176