* One More SEC/Citigroup Sweetheart Deal – Five Reasons to Be Outraged
By Richard (RJ) Eskow, Campaign for America’s Future
The President says he understands the frustration behind the Occupy Wall Street movement. That’s nice. But the anger will keep growing as long as the government keeps handing out free passes instead of perp walks to bankers at serial corporate criminals like Citigroup.
The Administration is finally talking the talk, but without criminal investigations it’s not walking the walk. It’s still not too late. While the SEC’s latest deal should outrage you, the Administration can makes things right with two decisive actions.
* Four US Banks Hold A Staggering 95.9% of US Derivatives: The $600 Trillion Time Bomb That’s Set To Explode
By Keith Fitz-Gerald
Do you want to know the real reason banks aren’t lending and the PIIGS [Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain] have control of the barnyard in Europe?
It’s because risk in the $600 trillion derivatives market isn’t evening out. To the contrary, it’s growing increasingly concentrated among a select few banks, especially here in the United States.
In 2009, five banks held 80% of derivatives in America. Now, just four banks hold a staggering 95.9% of U.S. derivatives, according to a recent report from the Office of the Currency Comptroller.
* Separating Oil and State
By Cameron Fenton
… A scan of the list of 543 oil and mining companies — with a collective market cap of over $1.1 trillion — listed by the Revenue Watch Institute is like reading a laundry list of land rights, human rights and environmental regulation violators including tar sands frontrunners like Suncor Energy, Cenovus Energy, Canadian Oil Sands Ltd and dozens of others. On top of this are known Latin-American human rights violating mining companies like Barrick Gold and more than a handful of companies like Niocan Ltd, currently involved in a fight to build a niobium mine on Mohawk territory near Montreal.
* Dr. Cornel West Arrested for Protesting ‘Stop and Frisk’ in New York City
By Muriel Kane
Princeton professor and noted activist Cornel West was arrested last weekend for protesting in front of the Supreme Court, and on Friday afternoon he repeated the experience in New York City.
West was part of a demonstration against the New York Police Department’s “stop and frisk” policy, in which individuals considered suspicious by the police are searched without due cause.
According to Salon’s Justin Elliott, the NYPD carried out 600,000 such searches last year, with 87% of the targets being black or Hispanic. Only 7% of the searches resulted in arrest, and critics of the policy say it does little to reduce crime and is probably unconstitutional.
* Globalization Scorches Greece
By Amitabh Pal
… Angry Greeks point out that all the German complaints about them living high off the hog on the euro are absurd, since Germany immensely benefits from a single currency providing it almost a full continent to easily export its goods to. (Plus, those Greeks with a longer memory recall the immense human and economic cost of the Nazi occupation of their country.)
A better way for Greece to go would instead be for the country to exit the euro and go back to its own currency. Some progressive economists are advising it to take this course.
“A threat by Greece to jettison the euro is long overdue, and it should be prepared to carry it out,” Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research writes in the New York Times, contrasting the recent experience of Greece with that of Argentina, which resumed high growth rates after removing the peso’s attachment to the dollar and defaulting on its foreign debt. “As much as the move might cost Greece in the short term, it is very unlikely that such costs would be greater than the many years of recession, stagnation and high unemployment that the European authorities are offering.”
* The Narrative Has Changed
By Geov Parrish
A ThinkProgress review of the media coverage of the last week of July found that the word “debt” was mentioned more than 7,000 times on MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News, and “unemployed” was only mentioned 75 times.
Yet now, things have changed… A ThinkProgress review of the same three networks between Oct. 10 and Oct. 16 finds that the word “debt” only netted 398 mentions, while “occupy” grabbed 1,278, Wall Street netted 2,378, and jobs got 2,738.
* About That Iraq Withdrawal
By Glenn Greenwald
… The Obama administration — as it’s telling you itself — was willing to keep troops in Iraq after the 2011 deadline (indeed, they weren’t just willing, but eager). The only reason they aren’t is because the Iraqi Government refused to agree that U.S. soldiers would be immunized if they commit serious crimes, such as gunning down Iraqis without cause . As we know, the U.S. is not and must never be subject to the rule of law when operating on foreign soil (and its government and owners must never be subject to the rule of law in any context). So Obama was willing (even desirous) to keep troops there, but the Iraqis refused to meet his demands (more on that fact from Foreign Policy‘s Josh Rogin).
* Flushing out the Corporate Corruption: Occupy Government
By Linn Washington Jr.
A press statement issued by the non-partisan OccupyGovernment.org states:
“We, the people, can take back our corrupt government if millions stand up and use our social networks to replace the multi-million-dollar TV ad campaigns, financed by corporate bribes, that members of Congress in both parties rely on to get elected and re-elected.”
* The Only Way to Save the Economy: Break up the Giant Insolvent Banks
As MIT economics professor and former IMF chief economist Simon Johnson points out, the official White House position is that:
(1) The government created the mega-giants, and they are not the product of free market competition
(2) The White House needs to “regulate and oversee them”, even though it is clear that the government has no real plans to regulate or oversee the banking behemoths
(3) Giant banks are good for the economy
This is false … giant banks are incredibly destructive for the economy.
We Do NOT Need the Big Banks to Help the Economy Recover
Do we need the Too Big to Fails to help the economy recover?
The following top economists and financial experts believe that the economy cannot recover unless the big, insolvent banks are broken up in an orderly fashion: