Benchmark oil for September delivery was up 7 cents to $94.40 a barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, its highest level since mid-May. The contract rose 90 cents to finish at $94.33 per barrel Wednesday in New York.
Goldman Sachs Above the Law
By James Hall
No doubt, the chief crook on Wall Street is virtually immune from any law that brings lesser mortals to their knees. The latest outrage summed up nicely in “Relieve Goldman Sachs of Their Legal Exposure“, passes with little notice in the establishment media.
“Goldman Sachs got a rare “reverse Wells notice” from the SEC, when they were told that a mortgage-backed securities deal which they earlier heard they would face prosecution for would not net them any civil enforcement. But that was just the beginning.
Later in the day, they learned they would not face any prosecution from the Justice Department for the misdealings brought to light in a Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report a year ago.”
In case you have not heard the details, the Eric Holder, DOJ of criminal protection and selective prosecution, hit a new low.
“In a written statement, the department said it conducted an exhaustive investigation of allegations brought to light by a Senate panel investigating the 2008-2009 financial crisis.
“The department and investigative agencies ultimately concluded that the burden of proof to bring a criminal case could not be met based on the law and facts as they exist at this time,” the department said.”
TARP was designed to bail out the insolvent banks. Goldman Sachs transformed itself into a BANK so that the firm could borrow from the Fed window.
The revolving door cycle of government regulators, opting for a promotion as an investment bankster and compensatory profit well earned from previous service, hardly gets the attention of the financial community or government oversight. The entire obscene relationship of crony favoritism inevitably leads to a society where the rule of law only applies to the competition.
The definitive “vampire squid” watchdog site, Goldman Sachs 666, is so effective that theGoldman Sachs hires law firm to shut blogger’s site. “The bank has instructed Wall Street law firm Chadbourne & Parke to pursue blogger Mike Morgan, warning him in a recent cease-and-desist letter that he may face legal action if he does not close down his website.”
Such excessive efforts to inhibit investigative reporting may seem that the global financial titan is afraid of public scrutiny. However, encouraging it is that the flow of information persists; the deplorable reality is that there is no political will to enforce common law violations.
The slanted regulations are written by Goldman Sachs attorneys and shepherd into law with their lobbyists. Their bought and paid for legislators dutifully do their bidding and eagerly take their campaign contributions. That is why the rejection of holding Goldman Sachs accountable by the Department of Justice is significant.
The incomparable ZeroHedge explains in, Confused Why Goldman Will Face No Criminal Charges? Here’s Why.
“We learned courtesy of Goldman’s 10-Q, that the US justice department will not press criminal charges against Goldman Sachs.
This, despite Senator Carl “Shitty Deal” Levin, in one of the most bombastic kangaroo court spectacles on live TV ever, asking for a criminal investigation after the subcommittee he led spent years looking into Goldman, and in which he said Goldman misled Congress and investors.”
The Department of Justice functions to discipline the other guy. Goldman Sachs is the hub of the financial pyramid. When partners are installed on the Federal Reserve or are appointed to Treasury, the money elite contain their grip on their control of the fiat money system.
This model dominated by bureaucratic technocrats, runs roughshod over the regulators. The mere notion that any Attorney General will enforce statues is naive, when every administration is bought and paid for by the same moneychangers.
Using the distinctive absurdity of legal rationalization, RT reports:
“The Justice Department said that it had conducted an “exhaustive investigation” into allegations of fraud during the crisis from 2008 to 2009. The probe reportedly uncovered email conversations between employees of Goldman Sachs branding mortgage securities sold to investors as “junk” and “crap”.
Moreover, the probe writes that the bank “used net short positions to benefit from the downturn in the mortgage market, and designed, marketed, and sold CDOs [collateralized debt obligations] in ways that created conflicts of interest with the firm’s clients and at times led to the bank’s profiting from the same products that caused substantial losses for its clients.”
Alas, such illegal conduct is acceptable in the world of politicized injustice. No one gets the judicial breaks and skates the fine line of illegality better then Goldman Sachs. The DoJ operates as a mob lawyer for the accused. Prosecuting the proprietors of the criminal system is taboo.
Accepting this obscenity as normal is frustrating. Until now, no practical legislative, regulatory, administrative, legal or punitive response has seen the light of day to hang the Goldman Sachs pirates from the yardarms.
Legal recourse will never provide comprehensive relief or rectify the abuses of this wicked protection racket that keeps Goldman Sachs above justice.
Only a total ban and breakup of the House of Rothschild and all their surrogate entities, can resolve by liquidation the monetary monopoly of debt created finance. Reinstituting Glass-Steagall would be a necessary first measure, but that reenactment alone is mere window dressing on a fraudulent Ponzi scheme.
Goldman Sachs stays one-step ahead of a critical mass meltdown, much of its own creation. The risks taken by this firm do not end with their former partners or current shareowners. This house of cards is entrenched in the IOU pecuniary system.
What visibly sets Goldman Sachs apart from the rest of Wall Street is their network of entangling influences in every corner and crack of government, media, business and the courts.
No other financial organization enjoys picking financial policy makers on every level in the process. If Congress cannot get the Department of Justice to follow the law, who can honestly believe that a viable Presidential candidate can buck the Wall Street culture that controls and funds the two party facade?
Tragically, the corruption of corporatist is not confined to crony investment banksters. The legal and court organism that watches over the crooked money machine deserves widespread disrespect for their complicity. Goldman Sachs’ day of reckoning await the wrath of the populace.
James Hall writes for BATR
Oil prices rise after US government reports unexpectedly big drop in supplies
By Associated Press, Published: August 15
On the ICE Futures exchange in London, Brent crude was up 2 cents at $114.33.
The Energy Department said Wednesday that stockpiles fell 3.7 million barrels last week to 366.2 million barrels, suggesting stronger demand. Analysts had predicted a decline of 1.5 million barrels, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill. It marked the third consecutive large weekly decrease in oil supplies. Decreases tend to cause a rise in oil prices.
Are black-budget ops stealing their money from the stock market?
by: Jon Rappoport
(NaturalNews) The Surveillance State has created an apparatus whose implications are staggering. It’s a different world now. And sometimes it takes a writer of fiction to flesh out the larger landscape.
Brad Thor’s new novel, Black List, posits the existence of a monster corporation, ATS, that stands along side the NSA in collecting information on every move we make. ATS’ intelligence-gathering capability is unmatched anywhere in the world.
At his site, www.BradThor.com, the author lists some of the open-source material he discovered that formed the basis for Black List. The material, as well as the novel, is worth reading.
On pages 117-118 of Black List, Thor makes a stunning inference that, on reflection, is as obvious as the fingers on your hand:
“For years ATS had been using its technological superiority to conduct massive insider trading. Since the early 1980s, the company had spied on anyone and everyone in the financial world. They listened in on phone calls, intercepted faxes, and evolved right along with the technology, hacking internal computer networks and e-mail accounts. They created mountains of ‘black dollars’ for themselves, which they washed through various programs they were running under secret contract, far from the prying eyes of financial regulators.
“Those black dollars were invested into hard assets around the world, as well as in the stock market, through sham, offshore corporations. They also funneled the money into reams of promising R&D projects, which eventually would be turned around and sold to the Pentagon or the CIA.
“In short, ATS had created its own license to print money and had assured itself a place beyond examination or reproach.”
In real life, whether the prime criminal source is one monster corporation or a consortium of companies, or elite banks, or the NSA itself, the outcome would be the same.
It would be as Thor describes it.
We think about total surveillance as being directed at private citizens, but the capability has unlimited payoffs when it targets financial markets and the people who have intimate knowledge of them.
“Total security awareness” programs of surveillance are ideal spying ops in the financial arena, designed to suck up millions of bits of inside information, then utilizing them to make investments and suck up billions (trillions?) of dollars.
It gives new meaning to “the rich get richer.”
Taking the overall scheme to another level, consider this: those same heavy hitters who have unfettered access to financial information can also choose, at opportune moments, to expose certain scandals and crimes (not their own, of course).
In this way, they can, at their whim, cripple governments, banks, and corporations. They can cripple investment houses, insurance companies, and hedge funds. Or, alternatively, they can merely blackmail these organizations.
We think we know how scandals are exposed by the press, but actually we don’t. Tips are given to people who give them to other people. Usually, the first clue that starts the ball rolling comes from a source who remains in the shadows.
What we are talking about here is the creation and managing of realities on all sides, including the choice of when and where and how to provide a glimpse of a crime or scandal.
It’s likely that the probe Ron Paul has been pushing—audit the Federal Reserve—has already been done by those who control unlimited global surveillance. They already know far more than any Congressional investigation will uncover. If they know the deepest truths, they can use them to blackmail, manipulate, and control the Fed itself.
The information matrix can be tapped into and plumbed, and it can also be used to dispense choice clusters of data that end up constituting the media reality of painted pictures which, every day, tell billions of people “what’s news.”
In this global-surveillance world, we need to ask new questions and think along different lines now.
For example, how long before the mortgage-derivative crisis hit did the Masters of Surveillance know, from spying on bank records, that insupportable debt was accumulating at a lethal pace? What did they do with that information?
When did they know that at least a trillion dollars was missing from Pentagon accounting books (as Donald Rumsfeld eventually admitted), and what did they do with that information?
Did they discover precisely where the trillion dollars went? Did they discover where billions of dollars, in cash, shipped to post-war Iraq, disappeared to?
When did they know the details of the Libor rate-fixing scandal? Press reports indicate that Barclays was trying to rig interest rates as early as January 2005.
Have they tracked, in detail, the men responsible for recruiting hired mercenaries and terrorists, who eventually wound up in Syria pretending to be an authentic rebel force?
Have they discovered the truth about how close or how far away Iran is from producing a nuclear weapon?
Have they collected detailed accounts of the most private plans of Bilderberg, CFR, and Trilateral Commission leaders?
For global surveillance kings, what we think of as the future is, in many respects the present and the past.
It’s a new world. These overseers of universal information-detection can enter and probe the most secret caches of data, collect, collate, cross reference, and assemble them into vital bottom-lines. By comparison, an operation like Wikileaks is an old Model-T Ford puttering down a country road, and Julian Assange, reviled as a terrorist, is a mere piker.
Previously, we thought we needed to look over the shoulders of the men who were committing major crimes out of public view. But now, if we want to be up to date, we also have to factor in the men who are spying on those criminals, who are gathering up those secrets and using them to commit their own brand of meta-crime.
And in the financial arena, that means we think of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan as perpetrators, yes, but we also think about the men who already know everything about GS and Morgan, and are using this knowledge to steal sums that might make GS and Morgan blush with envy.
The author of an explosive collection, THE MATRIX REVEALED, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.
About the author:
The author of an explosive new collection, THE MATRIX REVEALED, Jon
was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of
California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an
investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics,
medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine,
Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon
has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic,
and creative power to audiences around the world.
Factory owners: Federal prisoners stealing our business
Emily Jane Fox
Just hearing the word Unicor is enough to make Kurt Wilson see red.
Unicor is a government-run enterprise that employs over 13,000 inmates — at wages as low as 23 cents an hour — to make goods for the Pentagon and other federal agencies.
Wilson has been competing with Unicor for 20 years. He’s an executive at American Apparel Inc., an Alabama company that makes military uniforms. (It is not affiliated with the international retailer of the same name.) He has gone head-to-head with Unicor on just about every product his company makes — and said he has laid off 150 people over the years as a result.
“We pay employees $9 on average,” Wilson said. “They get full medical insurance, 401(k) plans and paid vacation. Yet we’re competing against a federal program that doesn’t pay any of that.”
Olympic athletes to be taxed on their medals and income
by: Fleur Hupston
(NaturalNews) American athletes could face paying taxes for the gold and silver medals they have won in the Olympic Games. This has outraged many, who feel that Olympians are ambassadors for their country and state and have undergone years of training and sacrifice to reach the level of competitiveness required to compete in the games.
The $25,000 compensation that gold medalists receive from the U.S. Olympic Committee is subject to both federal and state taxes. This applies to the $15,000 reward paid for silver medalists and the $10,000 for bronze winners.
California legislators have proposed forcing the IRS to not impose taxes on medal earnings. According to Assemblyman Allan Mansoor “These Olympians are ambassadors for our country and our state, and their sacrifices are often overlooked and taken for granted.” He added that “some athletes and their families go through severe financial hardships to finance their training.”
Indeed, Olympic athletes train for years to perform at the top level required of them. For many, most of their lives are devoted to attaining the prize of qualifying for the games. Once every four years, that hard work has a chance to pay off with a medal and a cash prize.
Are Olympic medals really solid gold?
Clearly, the real prize is what the gold medal symbolizes. Money-wise, it’s not worth as much as it looks.
A gold medal is worth about $800. A silver medal about $500, and the bronze, $3.
However, along with a $800 medal and its symbolism, the US Olympic Committee also awards a cash prize of $25,000 to gold medal winners, $15,000 to silver medal winners and $10,000 for bronze.
So if an American gold medalist wins a $800 medal and $25,000 cash, they must add $25,800 to their total income. And if this moves them into a higher tax bracket, then they’ll pay higher taxes on their winnings.
However, while there are many athletes who compete for the love of the sport, many medal-quality athletes have sponsors who pay most of their expenses and would not even feel the tax that would be imposed on them. In addition, a world-class athlete would have many deductible expenses – for training, travel, equipment and so on. Even the lower income, non-professional athletes would owe little or no tax on their Olympic cash bonus. Therefore, many people feel that imposing taxes on athletes in this way is perfectly justified.
You Will Not Believe What Some People Are Willing To Do For A Paycheck These Days
The Economic Collapse
It is absolutely amazing what some people will do to make a living in this economy. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and we have not seen this kind of desperation for jobs in America since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
What some people are willing to put up with just to bring home a paycheck these days will totally shock you. For example, would you slaughter dogs all day long even though you are really a dog lover? Would you personally train your replacement from China even though you knew he was about to take your job? Would you trade sex for a job? There are people out there actually doing all these things and worse. Every night in America, millions upon millions of people roll around endlessly in their beds and stare at their ceilings for hours because they can’t sleep. They are sick to their stomachs because their money is gone and nobody will hire them. They can’t provide even the basics for their families and they feel worthless. Unemployment can be absolutely soul crushing and it can suck the life right out of you. Things were supposed to be better by now, but they aren’t. The month after Barack Obama took office the unemployment rate broke the 8 percent barrier and it has stayed above it ever since. But the truth is that the “official” unemployment number greatly understates the real amount of suffering that is going on out there. In reality, the percentage of working age Americans that have jobs is lower today than when the last recession ended. There are millions upon millions of Americans that are desperate for some hope, and there is no hope on the horizon. In fact, things are going to be getting a whole lot worse for the U.S. economy.
I like personal stories because they tell us things that all of the economic statistics in the world never could.
There are millions of Americans that have had their lives totally turned upside down by this economy. They feel abandoned and worthless, and many of them feel as though life is no longer worth living.
As you read the following stories, try to put yourself in their shoes and try to feel their pain.
Also, try to remember that these kinds of stories are going to multiply in the years ahead as the U.S. economy falls apart all around us.
A 61-Year-Old Woman Begging For A Job
A recent article posted on gawker.com included the story of a 61-year-old woman who has been through hell and back during this economic downturn….
I sent out close to 500 resumes. Most never were even acknowledged and those that were I was told I was over qualified. When you would press them they would fumble but I was sure my age was part of the “over qualified”. The thoughts of wanting life to be over were with me every day. I wanted the horror to stop. Every time I would hear of the unemployment rates I would cry-what about ME.
At one point she was so desperate she took a job where she was making the decision about what dogs to slaughter at an animal shelter. Approximately 85 percent of the dogs at the shelter ended up being killed, and she was working about 80 hours a week doing this. The really sad part is that she really loves dogs….
In 2008 I was able to get a job at the local shelter as a dog trainer. That turned into a job as an Operations Manager. Though I was thankful for the job we had a euthanasia rate of nearly 85%. I was the one that would be the decision maker on who lives and dies of over 10,000 animals per year and the toll mentally was hard. Being salary I was working nearly 80 hours a week due to shorthanded staff.
After she was fired for not being aggressive enough in killing off dogs, she started endlessly sending out resumes once again. Nobody wants to hire her, and she essentially feels like an old lady begging for a job….
Since February I began sending out 3 resumes a day. As the no return answer, over qualified and now I was getting I was out of engineering too long I started to set my sights lower. I have sent in resumes to sit in the booth in gas stations, secretary and so on. Local colleges have said I am qualified to teach there but they have no openings. I am for all purposes the old lady begging for a job.
Personally Training Their Replacements
If you knew that your company was going to tear down your factory and send your job to China, would you personally train your replacement?
That is what a whole bunch of workers in Illinois are doing.
The following is from a recent article that appeared in the Guardian….
The shock of losing a precious job in a town afflicted by high unemployment is always hard. A foundation for a stable family life and secure home instantly disappears, replaced with a future filled with fears over health insurance, missed mortgage payments and the potential for a slip below the breadline.
But for Bonnie Borman – and 170 other men and women in Freeport, Illinois – there is a brutal twist to the torture. Borman, 52, and the other workers of a soon-to-be-shuttered car parts plant are personally training the Chinese workers who will replace them.
It’s a surreal experience, they say. For months they have watched their plant being dismantled and shipped to China, piece by piece, as they show teams of Chinese workers how to do the jobs they have dedicated their lives to.
Can you imagine that?
Would you be willing to do the same thing just to keep the paychecks coming in for as long as possible?
Sadly, both major political parties are obsessed with promoting unrestricted free trade even though millions of American jobs continue to go overseas.
Our top political candidates even argue about which of them love “free trade” more.
It truly is sickening.
Do you remember when U.S. taxpayers bailed out the auto industry?
Well, since the auto industry bailout approximately 70 percent of all GM vehicles have been built outside the United States.
The insanity has gotten to such a level that some Americans simply cannot take it anymore. Just consider the following example from a recent article by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele….
On his last day on the job, Kevin Flanagan, after clearing out a few personal effects and putting them in boxes in the back of his Ford Ranger, left the building where he’d worked for seven years.
He settled into the front seat of his pickup truck on the lower level of the company garage, placed a 12-gauge Remington shotgun to his head, and pulled the trigger. He was 41 years old.
He was a computer programmer. He’d been a programmer his entire working life. Until, that is, his job was shipped overseas. The business of moving traditional U.S. jobs abroad-called “outsourcing”-has been one of this country’s few growth industries. It’s the ultimate short-sighted business promoted by the country’s elite because it means lower wages and fatter profits. As for the American workers eliminated along the way, they are just collateral damage.
It turns out that Kevin’s replacement was a programmer from India that he personally trained.
Trading Sex For A Job
If you were truly desperate, would you trade sex for a job?
I hope not, but that is exactly what some Americans are doing.
The following is a story from a desperate unemployed woman that was posted on gawker.com recently….
I have been very depressed since I lost my job. I go through periods where I spend most of my days in bed, and although I’ve had a few interviews those people don’t even have the decency to let you know the position is filled. Sometimes I’d call for weeks asking for updates only to get the HR persons voicemail, and they’d never return my calls. With no experience I can’t even get a job waiting tables. I apply to every job in the paper and online, whether I’m qualified or not, and have had 7 interviews total, none of which ended with a job offer. Living paycheck to paycheck would be a blessing at this point.
She has become so desperate that she is even willing to trade her body for a paycheck….
The current ‘bright side’ is that I know someone who owns a small retail clothing chain and has offered me a minimum wage job there on the condition that we become ‘close friends’. I think you & I both know what that entails, but at this time in my life it seems like a better alternative than losing the little that I have. I’d have a paycheck equal to what I am getting on unemployment with the opportunity for overtime and advancements, full benefits and a schedule that would allow me to continue schooling.
A Lot More Layoffs Coming Soon
The frightening thing is that a whole lot more layoffs are on the horizon.
Just check out this excerpt from a recent article on thehill.com….
Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney are going forward with plans to issue layoff notices to thousands of employees due to looming defense cuts under sequestration, despite administration claims that such warnings are unnecessary.
So how many jobs will be lost?
Unfortunately, it is being projected that we could be looking at a million jobs lost….
Top industry officials have said publicly that automatic cut under sequestration could lead to the loss of 1 million defense-related jobs.
Industry leaders and their supporters in Congress say those job losses would hit battleground states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida particularly hard.
Like I have written about before, we simply cannot continue to steal more than a trillion dollars from future generations every single year, but when we do make deep cuts to the federal budget the economic pain is going to be immense.
We already have more than 100 million Americans on welfare.
What is this country going to look like if things get even worse?
The good news is that if you do lose your job and your home you might have somewhere to sleep. New York City is opening up a bunch of new homeless shelters….
New York City has opened nine new shelters in the last two months in efforts to handle the city’s rapidly growing homeless population, officials said.
The city recorded 43,731 homeless people in shelters this week, which is up 18 percent from the 37,143 at the same time last year, The New York Times reported.
So don’t get too down.
If you can’t find a job and you can’t afford a home perhaps you can at least get into one of those shiny new homeless shelters.
Seriously, I don’t actually want anyone reading this to end up in a homeless shelter.
That is why I endlessly urge people to adjust their priorities and to work as hard as they can right now to prepare for the very hard economic times that are coming.
Now is not the time to be going on expensive vacations and now is not the time to be blowing your money on all kinds of stupid stuff.
We are moving into the most difficult times that any of us have ever seen, and if you do nothing to prepare yourself you will be very sorry.
Banks falsify credit card lawsuits in 90 percent of cases?
US credit card companies have been churning out lawsuits and improperly collecting debt from consumers 90 percent of the time, at least according to a New York judge who deals with these cases.
Lawsuits produced by credit car companies to recoup unpaid bills often rely on inaccurate documents, incomplete records and generic testimonies from witnesses who repeatedly testify, the New York Times reported. The companies often sue clients for more money than is owed.
“I would say that roughly 90 percent of the credit card lawsuits are flawed and can’t prove the person owes the debt,” said Brooklyn civil court judge Noach Dear. The judge told the Times he sees as many as 100 such cases a day.
By “robo-signing” documents, banks “robotically” mass-produce similar papers for different clients, without properly reviewing them. In the process some of the papers get falsified.
Lenders often try to collect money from clients who have already paid their bills. Other times, they increase the lenders’ debt by unfairly adding fees and erroneous interest costs.
Some clients claim they don’t owe anything, but most disagreements come from credit card companies conflicting with clients about how much is rightfully owed.
But in 95 percent of lawsuits, the credit card companies win – even though the lawsuits sometimes include falsified credit card statements produced years after the borrowers fell behind on payments.
A former JPMorgan Chase employee admitted that nearly 23,000 delinquent accounts had incorrect balances.
Taryn Gregory said she was sued by Discover for more than $7,000 in credit card debt, even though she had only accumulated $4,000. Upon examining the lawsuit, the Times found that the documents said they were produced in 2004, even though the advertisements on the bottom of the page were from 2010.
American Express borrower Felicia Tancreto was sued for $16,000. She admitted having fallen behind on payments, but contested owing that much. After attending court, the judge dismissed the lawsuit for lack of evidence.
But in most cases, the borrowers do not attend court, causing the lenders to win 95 percent of the time.
“Our concerns center on the fact that debt collection lawsuits are a pure volume business. The documentation is very bare bones,” said Tom Pahl, assistant director for the Federal Trade Commission’s division of financial practices.
The extent of the “robo-signing” is not known, but the erroneous lawsuits have been a problem for years. In April 2011, JPMorgan Chase & Co. abandoned over 1,000 debt collection lawsuits after their bank documentation was questioned by courts.
But unless lawsuit victims defend themselves in court, suspicious judges suspect the credit card companies will continue to get away with overcharging their clients.
“I do suspect flaws,” said Harry Walsh, a superior court judge in California. “But there is little I can do.”
Filed Under: ECONOMY
About the Author: