Sen. Sanders on What Banking Should Be…

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., talks about the “spell” big businesses have over Washington.

Listen to the Radio Free Dylan podcast with Alan Grayson.

Honey, I Shrunk The Credit Score

Steven Marks knew he was wasting thousands of dollars every month paying the mortgage on a home he bought during the housing bubble that will never be worth that much again.

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Judd Gregg and Ben Nelson: More Socialism Please

As we find our economy subsisting on massive government spending and no-strings-attached bailouts, borrowed, of course, from future generations, what solutions do the same leaders who got us into this mess offer?

You already know the answer — more government handouts.

The latest gambit?

Politicians like Judd Gregg and Ben Nelson are fighting to keep the crooked $600 trillion derivatives market unreformed. The dirty not-so-little secret about derivatives? In their current form, they are basically government insurance where the bailed-out mega-banks get to keep the premiums but the taxpayer pays the claims.

Senator Gregg points out that good, honest American companies like Harley-Davidson and Caterpillar use these derivatives to hedge against things like currency changes and costs of materials. Hedging against price fluctuations is something that any smart business would want to do and should be encouraged.

What Senator Gregg doesn’t point out is that companies can already do this WITHOUT secret derivatives. They just have to buy them on a market exchange or, if it’s something unusual or exotic, go to an actual regulated insurer like Lloyd’s of London. If Mariah Carey can get her legs insured, I am pretty sure that Caterpillar can find a regulated insurer to cover a seasonal drop in steel prices.

The reason no one wants to cut this scam off is because it works out great for everyone except the taxpayer/sucker who actually pays the claims. The buyers get cheap insurance backed by the US government, the banksters (the big four: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America , Citigroup and Goldman Sachs) get to keep the premiums and WE THE TAXPAYER pay the claims — and trust me, AIG is just the tip of the iceberg (note: Fannie + Freddie) in this ongoing derivative bailout!

Just because a few good, American companies like Berkshire Hathaway (major stockholder: Ben Nelson) like getting a sweet deal from the taxpayer doesn’t mean that we should keep giving them one. This is especially true when CEOs like Warren Buffet already knew they were a deal too good to be true when they bought them. It is time for us to cut off their welfare checks.

Too many politicians in this country have decided that socialism buys votes, especially when their generation doesn’t have to pay for it. But thankfully, there are politicians willing to keep our great country from falling further into this abyss and are willing to put an end to this ridiculous taxpayer giveaway.

Call or write your Senator and tell them to support real derivative reform or that they will pay the consequences come election time.

The Case Against Geithner

As we sit here today, Wall Street continues to exploit a policy of government-sponsored giveaways and secrecy to pay themselves billions.

Record-setting bonuses due to banks like Goldman Sachs as early next week.

Yet instead of acting as our cop, Secretary Tim Geithner has become central to what may be a cover-up of the greatest theft in U.S. history.

Here is the evidence.

COUNT 1: The AIG Emails:

Recently-released emails show Geithner’s New York Federal Reserve Bank directing AIG to keep details of the 100-cents-on-the-dollar bailout secret in 2008 — A reversal of the traditional role of government, which is to force companies to become more transparent, not less.

A Treasury Spokeswoman says: “Secretary Geithner played no role in these decisions and indeed, by November 24, he was recused from working on issues involving specific companies, including AIG.”

Friday, the White House also defended the Treasury Secretary:

Gibbs: These decisions did not rise to his level at the fed.
CNN’s Ed Henry: How do you know that he wasn’t involved? He was the leader of the New York Fed.

Gibbs: Right, but he wasn’t on the emails that have been talked about and wasn’t party to the decision that was being made.

He wasn’t party to a decision to hide $62 billion dollar payouts to firms that became insolvent during his 5-year watch at the New York Fed?

Congressman Darrell Issa speculates that maybe Geithner wasn’t on the emails in question because his people felt so strongly they already knew their boss’s intentions, they didn’t feel the need to bother him with the details.

COUNT 2: He wasn’t even a regulator!

In Geithner’s own words during confirmation hearings in March:

“First of all, I’ve never been a regulator…I’m not a regulator.”

According to the New York fed bank’s website, that was your job!! And I quote from the Fed’s website: “As part of our core mission, we supervise and regulate financial institutions in the Second District.”

That district of course is the epicenter for bailed out banks and billion dollar bonuses.

Count 3: “The Christmas Eve Taxpayer Massacre.”

As you were wrapping those last presents, Geithner’s Treasury Department lifted the 400-billion dollar cap on taxpayer responsibility for potential losses for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The new cap? Unlimited taxpayer funds! Interesting timing… Christmas eve, Tim?

Still no word on recovering the hundreds of millions paid to the CEOs who created this mess.

COUNT 4: He’s too cozy with certain banks.

Remember those call logs when he first started… 80 contacts with Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and CitiGroup CEOs in just 7 months!

But Bank of America’s CEO only got three calls. Apparently Bank of America is not one of Geithner’s favorites, especially when you consider that there are still many unanswered questions about Tim Geithner’s role in threatening to fire Bank of America management if they didn’t go through with a deal to buy Merrill lynch.

COUNT 5: TARP Special Investigator Neil Barofsky’s report says Geithner’s New York Fed overpaid the big banks through AIG by billions of dollars.

Geithner says it had to be done. Maybe so, maybe not, but this takes us to our final point.

Since then, the Treasury Secretary has yet to really prove whose side he’s on — the Wall Street big wigs or the American taxpayer? Here’s the litmus test: Mr. Geithner, show us the past ten years of AIG emails or step down so that we can get somebody who will. A crime has been committed against the American taxpayer and right now you are standing at the door of the crime scene refusing to let anyone in.

Show us you’re not involved Mr. Geithner, prove the white house correct in defending you. All we are asking for is the transparency promised by the President you serve.

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