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Don’t Bring Me Down

June 24, 2009

There’s got to be some good news out there somewhere, right?

Things are gonna change, I can feel it.

Well maybe not. Fuck it. Might as well become a Scientologist. That’ll make me feel better :)

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. Stemella permalink*
    June 25, 2009 5:55 am

    This one won’t bring you down, it will cause a rise of, oh fuck no, they can’t be serious! (at least that’s what I said upon reading it)

    In memos

    of confidential meetings with top financial executives, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association said it began this month the “execution phase” of the operation, which pledges to “embrace change” and accountability. The plan targets policy makers and the media in New York, London, Washington and Brussels and calls for a “city-by-city, grass roots” approach.

    The securities industry “must be perceived as part of the solution, which will allow it to better defend against populist overreaction,” the documents, prepared for a June 17 meeting of SIFMA’s board, said.

    The board meeting minutes and staff-written papers, obtained by Bloomberg News, outline the program crafted by polling, lobbying and public relations companies paid at least $85,000 a month. The memos provide a glimpse, in often candid language, into how Wall Street is grappling with its pariah status.

    “It is imperative that in this historic period of reform, the industry be recognized as playing a positive role in seeking change and providing solutions to the problems we face,” one of the documents said. “There is currently widespread skepticism about the industry’s commitment to this needed change.”

    That’s right. The banksters are paying ad men, pollsters and lobbyists to change the perception that they are banksters, rather than, you know ceasing and desisting from ripping us all the fuck off!!!!

    SIFMA represents about 600 securities firms, brokerages and asset-management companies. It counts among its members the biggest U.S. banks, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., which have received capital injections from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. Bloomberg Tradebook, a broker-dealer subsidiary of Bloomberg News’s parent Bloomberg LP, also belongs.

    While financial companies’ lobbying clout has been reduced in the crisis, SIFMA’s memos said that Wall Street can’t afford to be left out as the Obama administration and Congress push for increased oversight, executive-pay limits and other restrictions likely to affect the industry for decades.

    Read the whole thing. Their audacity is almost funny, but then it isn’t.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 25, 2009 7:22 am

      You have got to be fucking kidding me. So now on top of using taxpayer dollars to continue bribing Congress directly, they’re also using them on a PR campaign. And they still aren’t loosening up credit, which was supposed to be the main purpose of handing them all this free money, which is causing businesses which aren’t too big too fail to struggle and go under.

      Companies like AMEX are cutting back the amounts on credit lines and then demanding almost immediate repayment to keep those credit lines from being cut off completely, at which point what they offer really isn’t credit anymore at all.

      Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  2. Stemella permalink*
    June 25, 2009 5:57 am

    Perp walk. Froggy march!!

    Here’s some happy news. Stanford just walked across my screen with about 8 other people coming out of a van heading into a courthouse, all in orange jump suits and in full manacles and chains. I hope he develops blisters.

    :-D

    • cometman permalink*
      June 25, 2009 7:22 am

      I hope he develops syphilis :)

      • Stemella permalink*
        June 26, 2009 7:56 am

        Wow! Even better! ;)

  3. cometman permalink*
    June 25, 2009 10:00 am

    Here’s another one that would be funny if the taxpayer weren’t on the hook for it all. Seems that there is a little disagreement among the banksters as to who was responsible for BofA taking over Merrill Lynch. BofA CEO Ken Lewis claims his job was threatened if he didn’t approve the takeover. Bernanke claims there was no strong-arming involved. I doubt either one of them is telling the whole truth but if I had to chose I’d say Bernanke’s version of events is probably closer to what actually happened, especially considering that BofA didn’t really have much to lose with the acquisition as the company was handed over $45 billion in the bailout, $20 billion of which was for Merrill.

    Dennis Kucinich who is one of a handful in Congress who has any credibility whatsoever leans towards Bernanke as well:

    Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, said he thought Lewis was the one pressuring the government. He said that the investigation revealed that Fed officials thought Bank of America failed to do proper due diligence when it came to Merrill Lynch.

    Of course this begs the question that if the Fed didn’t think BofA had performed their due diligence, why the hell didn’t the Fed, which was supposed to be providing some oversight, raise a stink when they could and should have?

    • Stemella permalink*
      June 26, 2009 8:05 am

      I don’t know which one is lying, I suspect both to a certain extent. Here’s an article from Naked Captalism that I saved yesterday before heading out: Is Bernanke Toast? that guesses if so, Canetoad would be a shoe-in. That’s what I suspected was going on too, but then I read that Squobama was standing by his bearded baldman. As bad as Ben has been I’d rather not see Larry take over the Fed.

      One of the commenters to the above article feels the way I do:

      Big Picture Trader said…

      This is not a conspiracy theory, it’s the plan. Summers will be the next Fed chairman next year, and he will have nearly unlimited power to reshape the global economy in the financial industries image. With this much at stake, how can it not be the plan?

      At this point, you couldn’t make up a crazier series of events and circumstances coming out of Washington daily. It’s actually quite sickening…

  4. cometman permalink*
    June 25, 2009 11:20 am

    I shouldn’t laugh but this was pretty funny – a chat about quantum physics gets a little heated:

    A homeless man is on trial in San Mateo County on charges that he smacked a fellow transient in the face with a skateboard as the victim was engaged in a conversation about quantum physics, authorities said Wednesday.

    Jason Everett Keller, 40, allegedly accosted another homeless man, Stephan Fava, on the 200 block of Grand Avenue in South San Francisco about 1:45 p.m. March 30.

    At the time, Fava was chatting with an acquaintance, who is also homeless, about “quantum physics and the splitting of atoms,” according to prosecutors.

    Keller joined in the conversation and, for reasons unknown, got upset, authorities said. He picked up his skateboard and hit Fava in the face with it, splitting his lip, prosecutors said.

    Keller’s lawyer is expected to invoke the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in his defense. If found guilty, Keller will be thrown into a box with Schroedinger’s cat for an indefinite period.

    Can I get a rimshot?!?!?

    • Stemella permalink*
      June 26, 2009 8:07 am

      Ba dum bump

      I laughed too!

  5. cometman permalink*
    June 25, 2009 11:40 am

    WTF?!?!?! Exorcisms are in the news today, one from Africa which resulted in the death by crucifixion of a mentally ill boy and another right here in the good ol’ US of A in an attempt to cure a teenager of the gay, which the church actually publicized on video.

    What the hell is wrong with these people? I think it was Diderot who said we won’t be free until the last monarch is strangled by the entrails of the last priest. Couldn’t happen a moment too soon.

  6. cometman permalink*
    June 25, 2009 11:48 am

    Nice take on the media coverage of the situation in Iran from Jack Bratich at Counterpunch:

    We can all remember a moment when we gazed up at the sky and used our imagination to make familiar shapes out of the clouds. In folk wisdom, seers practice aeromancy, a form of divination that involves observing atmospheric phenomena and nephomancy, the divination by studying clouds).

    What we are witnessing in the Iranian situation resembles this practice, only now the clouds are made of information. This infosphere is not the same as the old chestnut, the “fog of war.” It’s more like what I call the fog-machine of war, and its analysts are performing infomancy.

    People are seeing their hopes, fears, and their shadows in this data mist. One of these faith-based assertions is that more info equals more democracy. It’s not just that observers consider the anti-regime protests to be democratic, but they believe the use of social media is inherently democratic (i.e. more freedom of expression). But we were given official notice early in Obama’s administration that cyberwar is a renewed threat, so why not take heed and understand Iran as a case of warfare? In that light, more info = more infowar; more information means more disinformation. Propaganda used to come in print form and be dropped from the skies. Now it’s laterally spread through peer-to-peer networks, creating a bottom-up disinfosphere.

    ~snip~

    Are people tweeting from the streets or from other lands? Are they eyewitnesses or I-spies? Perhaps these news outlets could take a tip from entertainment tabloid television program EXTRA!, which at least makes an attempt at info-sorting with a regular segment called “Rumor Control.” A member of CNN’s gushing Twitterati, Ali Velshi acknowledged that the biggest problem is getting the true story. In a nod to the power and problems of crowdsourcing he admitted, “We are as good as you are.” Well, if that’s the case then we’re in trouble: CNN ought to keep its weekly program Reliable Sources, but refer to its other 167 week hours as Unreliable Sources. Witting or not, these news networks collectively retool the famous line allegedly telegraphed by William Randolph Hearst, updating it for the digital age: “You furnish the tweets, we’ll furnish the war.”

  7. cometman permalink*
    June 25, 2009 11:58 am

    And speaking of connecting the dots, check out this article from Jeremy Scahill.

    A US-trained paramilitary figure from the Balkans with a lengthy history with leading Clinton-era Democrats, including some now in the Obama administration, has been arrested in Europe on an Interpol warrant for war crimes. Agim Ceku, an Albanian from Kosovo, is a former Croatian Army General who was trained by the private US security firm Military Professional Resources Incorporated (MPRI) during the Clinton Administration. Ceku, backed by the US, would go on to become the “prime minister” of Kosovo despite the fact that he was responsible for some of the worst acts of “ethnic cleansing” in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s and was the leader of a paramilitary organization with drug trade ties, which Clinton’s top envoy to Kosovo called a “terrorist” organization.

    An update says Ceku has already been released by a Bulgarian court. But look at all the names in that article of people who supported this guy with lots of blood on his hands – Clinton, Albright, Wesley Clark, Holbrooke, Joe Biden and on and on.

    • Stemella permalink*
      June 26, 2009 8:42 am

      Amnesty International calls on Bulgaria for him to be extradited to Serbia

      Bulgaria: Promptly proceed with extradition of Agim Ceku to Serbia

      Agim Ceku has been arrested twice previously on the same warrant, first in October 2003 in Slovenia and later in March 2004 in Hungary. However, he was released by the Slovenian and Hungarian authorities reportedly after an intervention of the former Special Representative of the Secretary General who was the head of the United Nations Interim Administrative Mission in Kosovo.

      Amnesty International is deeply concerned with regard to impunity for war crimes committed in Kosovo. Political interference in the court of justice has been raised in Amnesty International’s report,Serbia: Burying the Past: Impunity for enforced disappearances and abductions in Kosovo

      The more I learn about the underbelly of the Clinton administration and it’s reincarnation under the Obama administration, the more I am disheartened. There is no honest justice left in this world. Laws are only for the oppressed and underclasses. The ruling class will always be above them or be able to buy their way out of them, until, that is, mother nature changes that equation. I think I’m resigned to that at this point.

  8. Stemella permalink*
    June 26, 2009 8:49 am

    Another Thomas Frank article in the WSJ: Obama and ‘Regulatory Capture’

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