Thursday, August 16, 2012


Paul Ryan sold shares on same day as private briefing of banking crisis by Dominic Rushe. The Guardian. August 13, 2012

[Excerpted] Vice-presidential candidate denies he profited from a 2008 meeting with Fed chairman in which officials outlined fears for financial crisis. 
Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's vice-presidential running mate, sold stock in US banks on the same day he attended a confidential meeting where top level officials disclosed the sector was heading for a deep crisis.

The congressman on Monday denied profiting from information gleaned from the meeting on 18 September 2008 when Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, then treasury secretary Hank Paulson and others outlined their fears for the banking sector. His office said he had no control over the trades.  

Public records show that on the same day as the meeting, Ryan sold stock in troubled banks including Wachovia and Citigroup and bought shares in Goldman Sachs, Paulson's old employer and a bank that had been disclosed to be stronger than many of its rivals. The sale was not illegal at the time....[end excerpt] 

No Criminal Case Is Likely in Loss at MF Global. By Azam Ahmed and Ben Protess. August 15, 2012. The New York Times

[Excerpted] A criminal investigation into the collapse of the brokerage firm MF Global and the disappearance of about $1 billion in customer money is now heading into its final stage without charges expected against any top executives. [end excerpt]

U.S. Not Seeking Goldman Charges. The Wall Street Journal August 10, 2012 p. C1 by Reed Albergotti and Elizabeth Rappaport

[excerpted] After a yearlong investigation, the Justice Department said Thursday that it won't bring charges against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. or any of its employees for financial fraud related to the mortgage crisis.
In a statement, the Justice Department said 'the burden of proof' couldn't be met to prosecute Goldman criminally....[end excerpt]
Majia here: These headlines demonstrate that one of the biggest problems in America is that powerful politicians benefit from Wall Street malfeasance and therefore no prosecution of financial crimes occurs.
Until we elect honest candidates who represent the public interest, America will continue to suffer economic pillaging by Wall Street. 
The failure to prosecute even the most overt crimes reinforces pillaging. 

Expect more raping and pillaging by our powerful corporations given widespread political corruption:


  1. "Until we elect honest candidates who represent the public interest".

    There are a few problems with it.

    First, it's difficult to recognize the honest candidates. Quite often the liars sound more credible than the honest person. Think about the most important job in the country - the President - and some of the candidates and winners we've had lately:

    - one who had an affair with an intern and lied about it to a grand-jury, but was economically one of the best presidents we've ever had

    - one who allowed him and us to be manipulated into two wars, killing hundreds of thousands of people based on information that was fabricated.

    - one who was capitalizing on his wife's tragic case of cancer, and speaking out on "family values" and sticking by your partner through the tough times - all while having an illicit affair which resulted in a pregnancy - which, when exposed, he still denied.

    - One who made a movie about global warming that was full of lies and half-truths, then capitalized on the sentiment it created by creating fake trading businesses - while private jetting around the world and living the high life - which eventually resulted in a attempted rape charge in a hotel room.

    - One who made his fame off his forefathers, and the fact that he was taken prisoner in a war, but behind closed doors is famous for playing ruthless politics and grinding more pork than about anyone.

    - And finally one who was smart, articulate and a credit to his minority status during the election; one who said everything right and promised a change, in very eloquent speeches - and who hasn't done a thing that he said he would do - in fact has done the opposite in most instances.

    The second problem with electing the right folks is that elections aren't fair. Congressional elections are won by the incumbent - what 80% of the time?

    And finally, what is the meaning of "public interest" ? Well, there isn't a real public interest - every one of us wants something different - so politicians can pick and choose whoever's interest is more interesting or lucrative for them.

    I think we need to have a more defining set of guiding principles.


  2. James,

    In some ways, your statement that we don't know what the meaning of the public interest shows how far things have fallen. It used to be a given that things like good infrastructure, relatively fast and predictable legal systems, libraries, an open patent system, and even an increasing opportunity for future generations to achieve higher education were broad goals that perhaps 90% of the public considered non-controversial goals for the country.

    It seems to me that the oligarchs have been successful in getting many people to spend a disproportionate time on hard-to-resolve issues, such as gay marriage, and avoid any discussion of goals that just about everyone would support, such as repairing highways and modernizing water and electrical grids.

    There were fights over how to pay for things or which areas would benefit first, but issues like developing the Interstate System were understood as being in the public interest.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.