Posted by Larry Doyle on March 9th, 2009 3:35 PM |
A great American and loyal reader (thanks FL) shared a report recently produced by not-for-profits Essential Information and The Consumer Education Foundation. This report, Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed America, has gotten little to no attention in the general media. What a shame. I find of particular interest the fact that a number of the currently discussed regulatory changes are directly addressing the points highlighted in this report. I personally view these proposed regulatory changes as substantiating this report and adding credibility to its effort. For the naysayers in the audience, I would ask you to review the report and reconsider your assessment.
I was struck a month ago by the incriminating statements put forth by Senator Chuck Hagel and CIA head Leon Panetta, which I highlighted on February 16th in Legalized Bribery. Those statements bluntly indict our massive system of lobbying, political fundraising, and the quality of those running for elected office! In light of that article, I am more and more convinced that our elected officials have turned their offices into massive for profit machines at the expense of our public well being.
I commend the authors of this report, Roger Weissman and James Donahue, for taking the time and making the extensive effort to expose the truth. The full report, 231 pages in length, spares no detail. In studying it, I found the information and analysis riveting. Let me try to summarize it for you. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on March 4th, 2009 11:03 AM |
While politicians, bankers, regulators, and commentators can and will point fingers as to where and how our system of financial oversight broke down, make no mistake it was due to too many people making and taking too much money!! I have highlighted the grotesque system of lobbying that has developed and corrupted our society in More Legalized Bribery.
We watch daily hearings on Capitol Hill in the spirit of doing what is right for our country. Please!! Spare me the nonsense and pandering. While collectively we deal with markets that are now down over 50%, the pols and the bankers have effectively robbed the bank and left the taxpayers with the bill to clean up the mess. Barron’s wrote a brief piece on this topic: how the Financial Sector Spent $5 Billion Lobbying Washington Over the Last Decade!!
It is high time we attach names and faces to those politicians and lobbyists who fed at this trough!!
Posted by Larry Doyle on February 21st, 2009 6:43 PM |
Why do I believe we will see a wave of material on this topic? Well, whenever I see it I plan on updating my post Legalized Bribery so that Former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and current CIA head Leon Panetta are continually vindicated.
Who lived rent free for 5 years in the Washington townhouse of a CT Congressman, directed hundreds of thousands of dollars to that Congressman’s husband’s lobbying effort, served on the board of Freddie Mac when it stifled Republican overtures, and now serves one door away from the Oval office?
Did Rahm Emanuel declare that rent-free arrangement as income? Did he pay taxes on it? Did he share that arrangement with the Congressional ethics committee? Rahm’s ‘Rent’ Is Just the Tip of Ethics Iceberg.
Change? No, this Legalized Bribery has been going on for a while.
Posted by Larry Doyle on February 7th, 2009 4:40 PM |
The American populace knows that the primary architects in the formulation of the Stimulus Plan working its way through Congress are Rahm Emanuel, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid. This contingent, along with President Obama, have not been bashful in stating they view the November election results as effectively a mandate to change policies emanating from Washington. Against that backdrop, the initially proposed Stimulus Plan was so loaded with pork that the Republicans and the American population at large slammed it as more a promotion of the Democratic agenda than a true stimulus plan.
I will give President Obama credit for formulating a Panel to Advise Obama on Economy. This panel will be known as the White House Economic Recovery Advisory Board. The Board will be headed by former Fed chair Paul Volcker. He will be joined by Jeff Immelt of GE, James Owens of Caterpillar, William Donaldson, former SEC chair, Roger Ferguson Jr. of TIAA-CREF, Richard Trumka of AFL-CIO, Anna Burger of SEIU, and Martin Feldstein, renowned Harvard economist. The group will be guided by Austan Goolsbee, an economic adviser to the White House.
Do you think President Obama and his economic team would listen to Mr. Feldstein or is that a “mere courtesy” having him on the board. Let’s review what Mr. Feldstein said about the Stimulus Plan just last week.