Category Archives: greed
Obama tells us that the greedy Corporatists at the US Chamber of Commerce are ‘possibly’ being funded by foreign interests and all the business journals go batshit crazy. Personally, I feel there is more of a chance that the CoC is funding their ads with foreign money than there is me buying a pair of shoes this week or me waking up tomorrow morning with an aching back since I have three blown discs. From Bloomberg’s Business Week:
The latest rhetoric may complicate an already tense relationship between the White House and the business community. The Bloomberg Global Poll last month found 77 percent of U.S.-based Bloomberg subscribers say Obama is too anti-business, and his favorability among the 1,408 investors worldwide is down to 49 percent from 73 percent in July 2009.
What a friggin load of horseshit. Obama has kissed the asses of the health insurance industry, auto industry (which I didn’t mind btw), banks, hedge funds, Wall Streeters and a whole friggin list of businesses and corporations with various bills he has signed into law and fucking plenty of what his administration has said and done since he took office.
Are those assholes in the ‘business community‘ just as fucking stupid as the teabaggers? Or are they just the usual greedy bastards who put profit over people..and over everything else?
Venture Vulture, oops, I mean capitalist Garrett Gruener talks about taxing the rich. From Kevin Drum’s writeup over at Mojo:
Venture capitalist Garrett Gruener has some advice for his fellow capitalists:
For nearly the last decade, I’ve paid income taxes at the lowest rates of my professional career. Before that, I paid at higher rates. And if you want the simple, honest truth, from my perspective as an entrepreneur, the fluctuation didn’t affect what I did with my money. None of my investments has ever been motivated by the rate at which I would have to pay personal income tax.
….No one particularly enjoys paying taxes, but one lesson we should have learned by now is that for the good of the country, we need to tax people like me more. At a minimum, we need to return to the tax rates of the Clinton era, when the economy performed far better. Simply taxing the wealthiest 2% of Americans at the same rates they were taxed before the Bush tax cuts could reduce the national deficit by $700 billion over the next 10 years. Remember, paying slightly more in personal income taxes won’t change my investment choices at all, and I don’t think a higher tax rate will change the investment decisions of most other high earners.
What will change my investment decisions is if I see an economy doing better, one in which there is demand for the goods and services my investments produce. I am far more likely to invest if I see a country laying the foundation for future growth. In order to get there, we first need to let the Bush-era tax cuts for the upper 2% lapse. It is time to tax me more.
I get real tired of saying this, but once again…the rich folks saw their income grow by 17-fucking-percent in 2009. Read that previous sentence again, then tell me why the fuck anyone can argue against lifting the Bush tax cuts for the rich folks at the top of the slag heap we call the economy. As Kevin says in his piece: …changing the top marginal rate from 35% to 39.6% will have no measurable impact at all on work or investment decisions. From a macroeconomic perspective, it will reduce the future deficit and nothing more. It’s a pure win for everyone, even the rich.(emphasis mine)
Amen brotha..a-friggin-men to that.
The price of this bullshit is utimately paid by the citizens of Jefferson county. From Democracy Now, via Crooks and Liars, we get a nightmare situation that should be considered criminal activity..and was on several levels. From Taibbi’s Rolling Stone article:
If you want to know what life in the Third World is like, just ask Lisa Pack, an administrative assistant who works in the roads and transportation department in Jefferson County, Alabama. Pack got rudely introduced to life in post-crisis America last August, when word came down that she and 1,000 of her fellow public employees would have to take a little unpaid vacation for a while. The county, it turned out, was more than $5 billion in debt — meaning that courthouses, jails and sheriff’s precincts had to be closed so that Wall Street banks could be paid.
It’s a horror story of course, complete with carpetbagging Wall Streeter’s and corrupt officials and businessmen. What took down this county? A new sewer system. From the RS article:
And once the giant shit machine was built and the note on all that fancy construction started to come due, Wall Street came back to the local politicians and doubled down on the scam. They showed up in droves to help the poor, broke citizens of Jefferson County cut their toilet finance charges using a blizzard of incomprehensible swaps and refinance schemes — schemes that only served to postpone the repayment date a year or two while sinking the county deeper into debt. In the end, every time Jefferson County so much as breathed near one of the banks, it got charged millions in fees. There was so much money to be made bilking these dizzy Southerners that banks like JP Morgan spent millions paying middlemen who bribed — yes, that’s right, bribed, criminally bribed — the county commissioners and their buddies just to keep their business. Hell, the money was so good, JP Morgan at one point even paid Goldman Sachs $3 million just to back the fuck off, so they could have the rubes of Jefferson County to fleece all for themselves.
Once you follow that trail and understand what took place in Jefferson County, there’s really no room left for illusions. We live in a gangster state, and our days of laughing at other countries are over. It’s our turn to get laughed at. In Birmingham, lots of people have gone to jail for the crime: More than 20 local officials and businessmen have been convicted of corruption in federal court. Last October, right around the time that Lisa Pack went back to work at reduced hours, Birmingham’s mayor was convicted of fraud and money-laundering for taking bribes funneled to him by Wall Street bankers — everything from Rolex watches to Ferragamo suits to cash. But those who greenlighted the bribes and profited most from the scam remain largely untouched. “It never gets back to JP Morgan,” says Pack.
Makes you physically ill doesn’t it? Taibbi’s article is a great read…even if it did make me want to throw-up. Below is the Democracy Now interview w/Taibbi.
When Enron fell apart, our nation tried to make sense of it. Congress critters tried to pass laws that guaranteed nothing like that ever happened again. Enron caused, by their actions in CA to manipulate the energy industry, the death of a very good friend of mine. We had rolling blackouts almost daily that summer in San Diego. She was killed when the traffic lights went out and someone t-boned her tiny little car, killing her instantly. But this isn’t really about Enron or my dear sweet friend that died because of their cold, calculating greed.
It’s about the banks and investment houses that shared Enron’s largess..and ultimately their losses as well. Its many of the same banks and investing companies that took TARP funds and/or were responsible for our recession now. Lets call them, the Enron Nine although only eight of them took part in the subprime meltdown. From The Nation link in this paragraph, with additional links added by me to those culpable bastards that still managed to stay afloat after Enron collapsed, only to become a large part of the subprime mortgage meltdown:
The “Enron Nine” (if we may call them that) are J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, First Boston, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch (bought by BofA for pennies on the dollar), Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers (filed largest bankruptcy in history). These financial institutions collaborated with the now-bankrupt energy company in its financial sleight of hand–the deals that enabled Enron to inflate its profits, conceal its burgeoning debts and push its stock price higher and higher. Together and individually, the banks and brokerages raised at least $6 billion for Enron through the debt or stock issues sold to unsuspecting investors from 1996 through 2001, when the Enron illusion finally expired. Another $4 billion or more was channeled into Enron’s “partnerships” like Jedi, Chewco and LJM1 and LJM2, which became the principal mechanism for hoodwinking shareholders. These deals were often hurriedly arranged at year’s end to paper over the company’s true condition and keep the fraud from collapsing.
Why then, would we bail these fuckers out? Why would our government have such a short memory on what many of these banks and investment houses did in the 1990’s? It drives me up a friggin wall to realize that these sumbitches were just as culpable now as they were in the Enron debacle. Lehman Bros, thankfully, was allowed to fail this time around. They surpassed Enron as the largest bankruptcy ever filed in American Courts. Credit Suisse was a major player in the subprime debacle as was Barclays and First Boston. They actually fueled the subprime market as major backers of the subprime lenders.
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room was the title of a fantastic book written by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, which was made into a documentary by the same name. I watched the documentary again last night. That is when it hit me, that eight of the ten banks and investment houses that played dirty with Enron also contributed to the subprime mortgage meltdown and three or four took TARP funds to stay afloat this time around.
So, the assholes in the banking and investment houses certainly were not the smartest guys in the room…any room.
They were just greedy..real friggin greedy. Below is the amount of TARP monies and/or Treasury monies the two surviving banks and one investment company, which is now considered a bank, have taken so far:
Bank Of America-$52.5 Billion
JP Morgan Chase-$25 Billion
That adds up to a helluva lot of tax dollars don’t it? It should make us all madder than a rat in a tin can. Not only did they play fuck-around with Lay, Skillings and Fastow…many of these same bastards let greed rule the day now.
Evidently they didn’t learn from the Enron debacle. Or they just didn’t give a shit…your choice.
But we had no choice in what corporations the Treasury bailed out or who got TARP funds. So the only way I can rationalize the idiocy of giving money to these same crooks is this:
Our government employees, in charge of straightening this subprime shitstorm out, evidently smoke a lot of pot and they have a real bad case of short term memory loss. Or they just don’t give a damn either.
Below is a trailer for Enron: The smartest guys in the room. You will be surprised at how much of the verbiage in the movie fits today’s nightmare. Or maybe.. you won’t…
Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Nick Adenhart pitched a great game last night. The 22 year old pitched his ass off, recording six scoreless innings. This was going to be his year in the majors, as Nick was a rookie. His dad, a retired secret service agent, had flown out for the game because his son told him “something special is going to happen tonight.”
On his way home from the game, some asshole in a minivan blew through a red light and killed Nick and two other men, one of whom was also with the Angels organization in an unknown capacity.
The asshole then took off on foot, but was later captured by police. Police identified him as Andrew Thomas Gallo, 22, and said he had a suspended license because of a previous drunken driving conviction. His blood alcohol was off the charts. Ironically he is also 22 years of age. Gallo was to be booked on three counts of murder, three counts of vehicular manslaughter, felony hit-and-run and driving under the influence of alcohol.
I have no words of consolation, just anger. A young life was snuffed out because of what? Some fucktard in a hurry? Some piece of self-absorbed pond scum that now faces felony hit and run charges?
Before I heard about Nick..I was reading today’s Daily Feature over at Sirens Chronicles. Its authored by my bud and BFF Betmo. It’s a good writeup that made me think so early in the AM. She is spot-friggin-on about us..the universal us of course. It’s about greed, and people who don’t blink an eye when it comes to committing fraud, or lying, or just being self-absorbed bags of batshit. Morality is in the eye of the beholder and frankly..not enough people are morally obligated to do the ‘right thing’ any more. They put self ahead of everything else.
Like the fucktard that killed Nick Adenhart and two other human beings. Like the bankers and Wall Streeters that brought the world’s economy to it’s knees.
I get a CT scan this afternoon. Doc is trying to figure out wtf is going on inside my old, decrepit, pain-wracked body. But that all seems to mean so little right now. At least I can call my son and tell him how much I love and adore him.
Nick and two others can’t. Their lives so full of hope, opportunity and promise..cut short by self-centered ignorance.
And the Wall Streeters..those worthless bastards that actually think they are worth the millions they got in bonuses, in spite of the shit storm they created worldwide. Those mutha fuckas are still walking around thinking of how to scam the system, how they can take other people’s money and make themselves more money, regardless of the fact that they have to sell their souls to do it.
Jesus-Christ-in-a-speedo..its all so fucked up ain’t it?
Sorry to be a ‘downer’ today..really, I am. But I had to get these thoughts out of my head and onto the computer screen.
Yesterday, I called animal control and turned in my neighbor and his inability to give a damn about his dog. Boozer is a cute but large puppy. He has lots of energy and he is sweet as hell when I go over to the chainlink fence and give him a little love, and sometimes a hotdog or two. Boozer lives outside, without shelter from the rain, the elements and 30 degree nightly temperature dips. He gets in the house once in awhile..but basically he lives outside..in a yard full of dog shit..so full he can’t take a step without hitting some.
I heard them bitching about me last night. They were saying it’s none of my business how they treat their dog. I almost went outside to confront them..thats how I roll..I don’t shy away from giving folks a piece of my mind. But the ball n’ chain went nuts and told me not to make it any worse than I have already. WTF? He fears the neighbor will hurt our felines in retaliation.
Bullshit you bastards..we all need to make it our business when we see something wrong. Boozer depends on his worthless owner for everything..for food, love, shelter..the whole nine-fucking yards. Why do they have a dog if they dont’ spend any time with him? Why do they make him live in a shit-filled yard, trying desperately to find somewhere to stay out of the rain yesterday and all the other days we have gotten rainstorms and freezing weather.
It’s crap like all the above that forces me to prefer animals over people more times than not.