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America is a Banana Republic
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caniff



Joined: 03 Feb 2004
Location: All over the map

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mises wrote:
caniff wrote:
mises wrote:
http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=169756

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/1-2-administrative-judges-commodity-futures-trading-commission-vowed-never-let-complainant-w

Quote:
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is an important agency. It is largely responsible for regulating derivatives and other important instruments.

It is supposed to prevent and prosecute fraud.

So it is stunning that one of the two administrative judges for the CFTC has written and filed a "Notice and Order" saying:

There are two administrative law judges at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission: myself and the Honorable Bruce Levine. On Judge Levine's first week on the job, nearly twenty years ago, he came into my office and stated that he had promised Wendy Gramm, then Chairwoman of the Commission, that we would never rule in a complainant's favor. A review of his rulings will confirm that he has fulfilled his vow. Judge Levine, in the cynical guise of enforcing the rules, forces pro se complaints to run a hostile procedural gauntlet until they lose hope, and either withdraw their complaint or settle for a pittance, regardless of the merits of the case.

***

In light of these unfortunate facts, if I simply announced my intention to retire, the seven reparation cases on my docket would be reassigned to the only other administrative law judge of the Commission, Judge Levine. This I cannot do in good conscience. Accordingly, I recommend that the Commission request ... the services of an administrative law judge to be detailed to the Commission from [another] agency ....


Twenty years.


I just wrote a page in response to this, but as I re-read it before posting I realized that it might cause a person to lose all hope in life itself. But then I realized I'm not about that so I deep-sixed it (it was my masterpiece, believe me).


So If an organization took a compliant to the CFTC claiming some sort of wrongdoing by Goldman and the complaint was in front of this Levine guy is the ruling potentially reversible now?


You'd like to think it would be, but I think we know how these things typically turn out.
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The Happy Warrior



Joined: 10 Feb 2010

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

caniff wrote:
mises wrote:
caniff wrote:
mises wrote:
http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=169756

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/1-2-administrative-judges-commodity-futures-trading-commission-vowed-never-let-complainant-w

Quote:
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is an important agency. It is largely responsible for regulating derivatives and other important instruments.

It is supposed to prevent and prosecute fraud.

So it is stunning that one of the two administrative judges for the CFTC has written and filed a "Notice and Order" saying:

There are two administrative law judges at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission: myself and the Honorable Bruce Levine. On Judge Levine's first week on the job, nearly twenty years ago, he came into my office and stated that he had promised Wendy Gramm, then Chairwoman of the Commission, that we would never rule in a complainant's favor. A review of his rulings will confirm that he has fulfilled his vow. Judge Levine, in the cynical guise of enforcing the rules, forces pro se complaints to run a hostile procedural gauntlet until they lose hope, and either withdraw their complaint or settle for a pittance, regardless of the merits of the case.

***

In light of these unfortunate facts, if I simply announced my intention to retire, the seven reparation cases on my docket would be reassigned to the only other administrative law judge of the Commission, Judge Levine. This I cannot do in good conscience. Accordingly, I recommend that the Commission request ... the services of an administrative law judge to be detailed to the Commission from [another] agency ....


Twenty years.


I just wrote a page in response to this, but as I re-read it before posting I realized that it might cause a person to lose all hope in life itself. But then I realized I'm not about that so I deep-sixed it (it was my masterpiece, believe me).


So If an organization took a compliant to the CFTC claiming some sort of wrongdoing by Goldman and the complaint was in front of this Levine guy is the ruling potentially reversible now?


You'd like to think it would be, but I think we know how these things typically turn out.


From a practical standpoint, you can't overturn every decision the guy has made in the past twenty years. You just can't.

I hate, hate, hate people who get into the legal profession and have serious ethics problems. That goes triply for judges. If you want to make a lot of money and be unethical while doing so, get an MBA and become an I-banker! Seriously.
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mises



Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Location: retired

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From a practical standpoint, you're certainly correct.

However, what mechanism is there to stop the potential flood of wronged claimants. One of the groups that has been seriously harmed by the CFTC is pension funds. They invest in commodity transactions that ultimately blow up and cost the fund (future and current pensioners) millions/billions. The appeal to the CFTC and are ruled against. The pension fund should appeal now. So two questions:

1) is there a mechanism for the hypothetical pension fund to appeal and
2) is there a mechanism for the government to block such appeals

?
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Madigan



Joined: 15 Oct 2010

PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

America may be turning into a Bannana Republic as the title of this thread suggests. However, there is a bit of good news. To wit, The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) may soon go out of business:

Quote:
The Chicago Climate Exchange, which pioneered and dominated U.S. carbon trading, is on the verge of shutdown as the outlook for global-warming legislation turns cold.

The exchange was seen as a way of extending Chicago's market- making prowess to unconventional products, providing a potential for growth as trading in traditional arenas slowed.

At the exchange's high point, in May 2008, allowances to emit a metric ton of carbon dioxide traded at $7.40, and analysts predicted the price would double if Congress enacted legislation encouraging the trading of pollution rights as a mechanism to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Today, three months after the Senate scuttled the cap-and-trade measure, emissions allowances have plunged to a dime. Trading, which peaked at 100,000 contracts a month, has all but ceased.


http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20101016/ISSUE01/310169989

Click here for a related graph.
So of it's any comfort bankers won't be able to profit, in the U.S. at least, from white guilt. Or at least white guilt pertaining to climate change. For now...
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The Happy Warrior



Joined: 10 Feb 2010

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mises wrote:
From a practical standpoint, you're certainly correct.

However, what mechanism is there to stop the potential flood of wronged claimants. One of the groups that has been seriously harmed by the CFTC is pension funds. They invest in commodity transactions that ultimately blow up and cost the fund (future and current pensioners) millions/billions. The appeal to the CFTC and are ruled against. The pension fund should appeal now. So two questions:

1) is there a mechanism for the hypothetical pension fund to appeal and
2) is there a mechanism for the government to block such appeals

?


I don't know. It would be either merely judicial impeachment or appeals. And even that would be difficult. Maybe caniff has some insights, but my basic feeling is the litigants are screwed.
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caniff



Joined: 03 Feb 2004
Location: All over the map

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Happy Warrior wrote:
Maybe caniff has some insights, but my basic feeling is the litigants are screwed.


I'd tend to agree - no political momentum (so far).

Are Fannie/Freddie and the Fed going to be audited?
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mises



Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Location: retired

PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The GSE audited? How does one audit smoke, mirrors and diversity quotas. What is the value of an asset that has improper paperwork (meaning the asset isn't owned by who owns it) and that has been sold - in total - to several organizations? How do you value that? It is not possible. Similar with the Fed.

Barney Frank, when not lobbying for the release of Pollard:

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/politics/view/20101022barney_grabs_bank_execs_____despite_vow_to_shun_bailed-out_lenders/

Quote:
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, in an intensifying clash with GOP upstart Sean Bielat, has pledged not to take campaign cash from lenders that got federal bailouts — yet has raked in more than $40,000 from bank execs and special interests connected to the staggering government loans, a Herald review found.


Now that is some banana republic BS.

Here's some more:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-k-black/foreclose-on-the-foreclos_b_772434.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-k-black/post_1115_b_772820.html

Fraud fraud fruad. The banks are big piles of fraud. Their gains are products of fraud. The bonuses are from fraud.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31510813/#39836703

Min 6:00

"..millions of acts of fraud.."
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mises



Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Location: retired

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/11/unicredit-debt-collection-scam-serves.html

Quote:
This story is so outrageous that I cannot figure out why it has not gone viral on the internet. Unicredit America Inc, a debt collection firm, had people dress up (pretending to be police), serve fake papers to people requiring them to show up in court.

People showed up in a fake court for a fake hearing with a fake witness stand, and an individual in black pretending to be a judge.


http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/exclinton-strategist-obama-event-similar-okc-reconnect-voters/

Quote:
Talk about a bad analogy: Appearing on television recently, former Hillary Clinton campaign adviser and current public relations executive Mark Penn suggested that President Obama needs a moment "similar" to the tragic terrorist attack on the Oklahoma City federal building, in order to "reconnect" with voters.

He didn't even seem to flinch in making the comment.

Penn is currently president and CEO of Burson-Marsteller, a multi-national public relations firm. He also served in 2008 as chief strategist for then-Senator Hillary Clinton's run for the White House. Before that, Penn advised former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in his third run for the UK leadership post, and served clients such as AT&T, Texaco, Ford, Merck, Verizon, BP, McDonald’s and Microsoft.


This is of course the second time a Clinton adviser has said something like this:

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/07/what_obama_needs_to_reverse_hi.html
Quote:
From the mouth of Rob Shapiro, a former Clinton advisor...

"The bottom line here is that Americans don't believe in President Obama's leadership," says Rob Shapiro, another former Clinton official and a supporter of Mr Obama. "He has to find some way between now and November of demonstrating that he is a leader who can command confidence and, short of a 9/11 event or an Oklahoma City bombing, I can't think of how he could do that."


I find it hard to relate to people who think like that.
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Space Bar



Joined: 20 Oct 2010

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mises wrote:
Quote:
Talk about a bad analogy: Appearing on television recently, former Hillary Clinton campaign adviser and current public relations executive Mark Penn suggested that President Obama needs a moment "similar" to the tragic terrorist attack on the Oklahoma City federal building, in order to "reconnect" with voters.

He didn't even seem to flinch in making the comment.

Penn is currently president and CEO of Burson-Marsteller, a multi-national public relations firm. He also served in 2008 as chief strategist for then-Senator Hillary Clinton's run for the White House. Before that, Penn advised former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in his third run for the UK leadership post, and served clients such as AT&T, Texaco, Ford, Merck, Verizon, BP, McDonald’s and Microsoft.


This is of course the second time a Clinton adviser has said something like this:

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/07/what_obama_needs_to_reverse_hi.html
Quote:
From the mouth of Rob Shapiro, a former Clinton advisor...

"The bottom line here is that Americans don't believe in President Obama's leadership," says Rob Shapiro, another former Clinton official and a supporter of Mr Obama. "He has to find some way between now and November of demonstrating that he is a leader who can command confidence and, short of a 9/11 event or an Oklahoma City bombing, I can't think of how he could do that."


I find it hard to relate to people who think like that.

So now when another false flag occurs before the next election, it is just going to be another coincidence, right? (That is not directed at you, mises, but at all the coincidence theorists who inhabit this place.)
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mises



Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Location: retired

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1327323/Morgan-Stanley-financial-adviser-escapes-felony-charges-hit-run-jeopardise-job.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Quote:
A financial manager for wealthy clients will not face charges for a hit-and-run because it could jeopardise his job, it has been revealed.

Martin Joel Erzinger, 52, was set to face felony charges for running over a doctor who he hit from behind in his 2010 Mercedes Benz, and then speeding off.

But now he will simply face two misdemeanour traffic charges from the July 3 incident in Eagle, Colorado.


His victim, Dr Steven Milo, 34, is meanwhile facing 'a lifetime of pain' from his injuries.

But prosecutors claim the decision is theirs to make.

'Justice in this case includes restitution and the ability to pay it,' said District Attorney Mark Hurlbert.

He said Erzinger, a private wealth manager who manages more than $1billion in assets at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Denver, is willing to take responsibility and pay restitution.

'Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger's profession, and that entered into it,' he said.

'When you're talking about restitution, you don't want to take away his ability to pay.'

Dr Milo is a physician living in New York City with his wife and two children, where he is still recovering from his injuries, court records show.

He suffered spinal cord injuries, bleeding from his brain and damage to his knee and scapula, according to court documents.

Over the past six weeks he has suffered 'disabling' spinal headaches and faces multiple surgeries for a herniated disc and plastic surgery to fix the scars he suffered in the accident.

'He will have lifetime pain,' his lawyer Harold Haddon told the court.

'His ability to deal with the physical challenges of his profession - liver transplant surgery - has been seriously jeopardised.'

Dr Milo told Hurlbert that the case 'has always been about responsibility, not money'.

'Mr Erzinger struck me, fled and left me for dead on the highway,' he wrote. 'Neither his financial prominence nor my financial situation should be factors in your prosecution of this case.'

But the prosecutor insisted that the case is, in part, about the money. 'The money has never been a priority for them. It is for us,' he said.

Dr Milo was bicycling eastbound on Highway 6 near Eagle when Erzinger allegedly hit him with the black 2010 Mercedes Benz sedan he was driving.

Erzinger fled the scene and was arrested later, police say. He drove until he reached a Pizza Hut parking lot, where he stopped and called Mercedes auto assistance to report the damage to his vehicle.


If restitution is the issue I assume the guy has sufficient funds as is. With 1b under management he earns at least 20m a year.
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kristof - Our Banana Republic

Kristoff wrote:
The richest 1 percent of Americans now take home almost 24 percent of income, up from almost 9 percent in 1976. As Timothy Noah of Slate noted in an excellent series on inequality, the United States now arguably has a more unequal distribution of wealth than traditional banana republics like Nicaragua, Venezuela and Guyana.

C.E.O.’s of the largest American companies earned an average of 42 times as much as the average worker in 1980, but 531 times as much in 2001. Perhaps the most astounding statistic is this: From 1980 to 2005, more than four-fifths of the total increase in American incomes went to the richest 1 percent.

So in this postelection landscape, let’s not aggravate income gaps that already would make a Latin American caudillo proud. To me, we’ve reached a banana republic point where our inequality has become both economically unhealthy and morally repugnant.


He's not even talking about the banks.
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Space Bar



Joined: 20 Oct 2010

PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mises wrote:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1327323/Morgan-Stanley-financial-adviser-escapes-felony-charges-hit-run-jeopardise-job.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Quote:
A financial manager for wealthy clients will not face charges for a hit-and-run because it could jeopardise his job, it has been revealed.

Martin Joel Erzinger, 52, was set to face felony charges for running over a doctor who he hit from behind in his 2010 Mercedes Benz, and then speeding off.

But now he will simply face two misdemeanour traffic charges from the July 3 incident in Eagle, Colorado.


His victim, Dr Steven Milo, 34, is meanwhile facing 'a lifetime of pain' from his injuries.

But prosecutors claim the decision is theirs to make.

'Justice in this case includes restitution and the ability to pay it,' said District Attorney Mark Hurlbert.

He said Erzinger, a private wealth manager who manages more than $1billion in assets at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Denver, is willing to take responsibility and pay restitution.

'Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger's profession, and that entered into it,' he said.

'When you're talking about restitution, you don't want to take away his ability to pay.'

Dr Milo is a physician living in New York City with his wife and two children, where he is still recovering from his injuries, court records show.

He suffered spinal cord injuries, bleeding from his brain and damage to his knee and scapula, according to court documents.

Over the past six weeks he has suffered 'disabling' spinal headaches and faces multiple surgeries for a herniated disc and plastic surgery to fix the scars he suffered in the accident.

'He will have lifetime pain,' his lawyer Harold Haddon told the court.

'His ability to deal with the physical challenges of his profession - liver transplant surgery - has been seriously jeopardised.'

Dr Milo told Hurlbert that the case 'has always been about responsibility, not money'.

'Mr Erzinger struck me, fled and left me for dead on the highway,' he wrote. 'Neither his financial prominence nor my financial situation should be factors in your prosecution of this case.'

But the prosecutor insisted that the case is, in part, about the money. 'The money has never been a priority for them. It is for us,' he said.

Dr Milo was bicycling eastbound on Highway 6 near Eagle when Erzinger allegedly hit him with the black 2010 Mercedes Benz sedan he was driving.

Erzinger fled the scene and was arrested later, police say. He drove until he reached a Pizza Hut parking lot, where he stopped and called Mercedes auto assistance to report the damage to his vehicle.


If restitution is the issue I assume the guy has sufficient funds as is. With 1b under management he earns at least 20m a year.

I'd support this resolution only if the victim agreed; otherwise, it amounts to buying your way out of a felony and inherently unjust.
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caniff



Joined: 03 Feb 2004
Location: All over the map

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/prepare-give-all-private-data-any-gold-purchase-over-100

Quote:
A week ago, when we reported on a move by the Dutch central bank that ordered a pension fund to forcibly reduce its gold holdings, we speculated that "this latest gold confiscation equivalent event is most certainly coming to a banana republic near you." And while we got the Banana republic right, the event that we are about to describe is not necessarily identical. It is much worse. A bill proposed in the State of Washington (House Bill 1716), by representatives Asay, Hurst, Klippert, Pearson, and Miloscia, whose alleged purpose is to regulate secondhand gold dealers, seeks to capture "the name, date of birth, sex, height, weight, race, and address and telephone number of the person with whom the transaction is made" or said otherwise, of every purchaser of gold in the state of Washington. Furthermore, if passed, Bill 1716 will record "a complete description of the property pledged, bought, or consigned, including the brand name, serial number, model number or name, any initials or engraving, size, pattern, and color or stone or stones" and of course price. But the kicker: if a transaction is mode for an amount over $100, which means one tenth of an ounce of golds, also required will be a "signature, photo, and fingerprint of the person with whom the transaction is made." In other words, very soon Washington state will know more about you than you know about yourself, if you dare to buy any gold object worth more than a C-note.


Nice.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is a banana republic?

To me, a banana republic is a a country with an oligarchic class that rules in conjunction with the military in such a way that the members (of both) get the monetary benefits and everyone else works for them or keeps a mighty low profile in order to avoid having their fingernails pulled out in the torture chamber.

It looks to me like the governor of Wisconsin is making a major push in that direction.
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mises



Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Location: retired

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pushing eh. Maddow tell you that? Where are Obama's prosecutions?

...

Speaking of, Inside Job is now available on the torrent sites. For a good overview of the banana'ish elements give it a watch. It's ok.

The US experienced total institutional failure. The auditors, the ratings agencies, the GSE's, the SEC, FINRA, CFTC, Justice Dept and the rest failed. The film does a mediocre job on balance but does stick it to a few devils.
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