Category Archives: New York

American Banking Oligarchs: Bill Moyers Journal

PBS Transcript:
February 13, 2009

BILL MOYERS: Welcome to the Journal.

The battle is joined as they say — and here’s the headline that framed it: “High Noon: Geithner v. The American Oligarchs.” The headline is in one of the most informative new sites in the blogosphere called: baselinescenario.com. Here’s the quote that grabbed me:

“There comes a time in every economic crisis, or more specifically, in every struggle to recover from a crisis, when someone steps up to the podium to promise the policies that — they say — will deliver you back to growth. The person has political support, a strong track record, and every incentive to enter the history books. But one nagging question remains. Can this person, your new economic strategist, really break with the vested elites that got you into this much trouble?”

Full story and podcast

Related Media from PBS website:

James Galbraith
Bill Moyers sits down to talk about the economic future with James K. Galbraith, Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr. Chair in Government/Business Relations at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Galbraith is the author of six books, the most recent, THE PREDATOR STATE: HOW CONSERVATIVES ABANDONED THE FREE MARKET AND WHY LIBERALS SHOULD TOO. (October 24, 2008)

George Soros, photo by Robin HollandGeorge Soros
Bill Moyers talks with one of the world’s most successful investors George Soros about the global capital meltdown, how he saw it coming, and what can be done now. (October 10, 2008)

Kevin PhillipsKevin Phillips on BAD MONEY
Bill Moyers sits down with former Nixon White House strategist and political and economic critic Kevin Phillips, whose latest book BAD MONEY: RECKLESS FINANCE, FAILED POLITICS, AND THE GLOBAL CRISIS OF AMERICAN CAPITALISM explores the role that the crumbling financial sector played in the now-fragile American economy. (September 19, 2008)

Joe Nocera, photo by Robin HollandJoe Nocera
JOURNAL guest-host Deborah Amos speaks with NEW YORK TIMES business columnist Joe Nocera about the bailout mania in Washington and who’s next in line to get federal assistance. (November 21, 2008)

HeadlinesWinners and Losers
NEW YORK TIMES business and financial columnists Gretchen Morgenson and Floyd Norris discuss who wins and who loses in the financial turmoil. (September 19, 2008)

FBI Domestic Spy PosterFacing up to the Economy
Bill Moyers talks with economist Dean Baker and journalist Bob Herbert about the economic challenges facing the government and the populace. (August 8, 2008)

FBI Domestic Spy PosterMortgage Mess
THE JOURNAL travels to ground zero of the mortgage meltdown — Cleveland, Ohio. Correspondent Rick Karr takes viewers to Slavic Village, one of the hardest hit neighborhoods in the nation when it comes to the spate of foreclosures caused by the subprime mortgage crisis. (July 18, 2008)

References and Reading from PBS website:

“Geithner Said to Have Prevailed on the Bailout”
By Stephen Labaton and Edmund L. Andrews, NEW YORK TIMES, February 9, 2009.

“Bank Test May Expand U.S. Regulators’ Role “
By Eric Dash, NEW YORK TIMES, February 11, 2009

“Bailout Plan: $2.5 Trillion and a Strong U.S. Hand”
By Edmund L. Andrews and Stephen Labaton, NEW YORK TIMES, February 10, 2009.

“Congressmen Hear from TARP Recipients Who Funded Their Campaigns”
by Lindsay Renick Mayer, CAPITAL EYE, February 10, 2009.

“So what is the plan?”
By Mark Thoma, THE ECONOMISTS VIEW, February 10, 2009.

“Special Report: A World of Trouble”
Get up-to-date international news and perspective from GlobalPost.

Simon Johnson

“Axelrod And Emanuel Were Right (On The American Bank Oligarchs)”
By Simon Johnson, THE BASELINE SCENARIO, February 10, 2009.

“High Noon: Geithner versus the American Oligarchs”
By Simon Johnson, THE BASELINE SCENARIO, February 8, 2009.

“Baseline Scenario for 2/9/2009 (11pm edition, February 8)”
By Peter Boone, Simon Johnson, and James Kwak, THE BASELINE SCENARIO, February 9, 2009.

“Global Economic Outlook (Senate Testimony)”
By Simon Johnson, THE BASELINE SCENARIO, January 29, 2009.

Published February 6, 2009.

Related Links:

Financial Crisis for Beginners

Naked Capitalism

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Go Suzy!

Tonight on CNN Anderson Cooper asked Suzy Orman what she thought of the payouts given to Wall Street bankers and she said – They should pay  the money back .

The 8 CEO’s who testified before Congress today paid themselves aproximately 191 million dollars in bonus money in 2007.

Confiscate the bonus…

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Merrill Lynch Makes 696 Millionaires Before Bailout and Merger

Watchdog blasts Merrill bonuses

Merrill doled out ‘gigantic’ bonuses despite heavy losses, says Cuomo

By Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer

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Jody’s Wall Street Plan – Confiscate Bonuses, Cap CEO Compensation & Fire Top Executives

Update:  Wed., February 04, 2009

Obama Limits Bailed-out Bank CEO Pay To $500,000 

Veiw Obama Press Conference

I fell asleep with my television on last night and woke up to CNN reporting on Claire McCaskill calling for a $400,000.00 compensation cap on bailout recipient pay. I was hardly inspired, in fact I was so irritated that I couldn’t go back to sleep.  Instead I made coffee and I drafted my own dreamy, dream world plan for Wall Street.

First, these are the people who made bad decisions, gave themselves obscene bonuses despite devastatingly poor performance, laid off everyone around them and then handed the American taxpayers the tab. Now it seems that Washington is coming up with ideas and plans to make sure these individuals behave more responsibly in the future.

My question is: Why do they still have jobs?  They made very bad decisions in the recent  past, why legislate against willfully negligent, irresponsible, treasonous behavior when they should have been fired and then  figuratively tared and feathered?

Since Americans are hellbent on spouting the virtues of capitalism then technically bailouts don’t exist, the death of a corporation is a cleansing act, the good filtered from the bad. Obviously, we can only tolerate capitalism when the greenbacks are flowing but when it comes to the harsh reality of being a capitalist it appears we don’t have the stomach to pull the trigger…so we’re really only situational capitalists.

If we don’t have the stomach to let them tank as part of a natural capitalistic process then at the very least we should have the good sense to filter the crap from the pool by firing the top executives. Then  legislate against negligence, irresponsibility and idiocy without worrying about controlling specific idiots…idiots who have already demonstrated their unabashed willingness to defecate all over the American people. After that cap, not just pay but ALL compensation,  confiscate the bonuses and call their conduct what it is: TREASON…even better HIGH TREASON!

Definition High Treason: Criminal disloyalty to one’s country.

Definition Treason : Oran’s Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as: “…[a]…citizen’s actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation].

Traitor: a person who betrays (or is accused of betraying) their own nation, family, friends, ethnic group, religion, social class, or other group to which they may belong.

Huffington Post: Claire McCaskill on compensation cap

The Hill: Senate Banking Chairman, Confiscate Bonuses

John Thain

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The Death of Stemware: Giving Saloon Nukie a Whole New Meaning

The New York Times Diners Journal reported on a new restaurant opening tomorrow called La Cave des Fondus. La Cave des Fondus is an American replication of the French restaurant Montmartre restaurant Le Refuge des Fondus an establishment where customers are served red and white wine in plastic baby bottles.

The Manhattan restaurant is owned by Jacques Ouari who told the New York Times, “I wanted to set up my place exactly like the one in Paris. It’s such a fun place. Everybody loves drinking beer and wine from baby bottles – even my father thought it was fun – and I think New Yorkers will like it too. I checked with the health department and as long as we put the bottles in the dishwasher they have no problem with it.”

Waitresses working for Hooters will without question feel the most pressure in light of the new trend, fearing the infantile digression will expand to increase the demand for breastfeeding. The Le Leche League has yet to comment on the increased use of plastic baby bottles but insiders expect that the group will issue a press release in the days to come capitalizing on the opportunity to reaffirm the health benefits of breast feeding.

While not yet known, a growing number of diners believe the type of nipple used by La Cave des Fondus will be a determining factor as to the ultimate success or failure of the new establishment. The Nuk, or as it is more commonly referred Nukie, is considered by many to be the best compliment to any alcoholic beverage.

***It should be noted that the Parisians establishment serves wine in baby bottles to avoid the French tax on wine served in glasses. While Parisians most likely appreciate this little tax dodge and go along with the slap-in-the-face humor, the activity may not hold the same charm with New Yorkers since the baby bottle will incur the same tax as an elegant piece of stemware.

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