Monday, July 22, 2019
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Friday News: “Trump’s words on D-Day are at odds with his...

by Lowell Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, June 7.  U.S. and Mexico Make Progress on Border...

Saturday News: “Why end of Mueller’s Russia probe could signal start...

by Lowell Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, March 23.  Israel's Netanyahu to play Trump card in...

Real Housewives of Wall Street

"According to popular legend, we're broke and in so much debt that 40 years from now our granddaughters will still be hooking on weekends to pay the medical bills of this year's retirees from the IRS, the SEC and the Department of Energy." - Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone

That's the hook Taibbi sets in his 28 April issue contribution: Real Housewives of Wall Street. The article is artfully crafted and about a more egregious violation of trust and power than General McChrystal's lack of professionalism and dignity; not to mention insubordination. It outlines some of the beneficiaries of Waterfall TALF (short for Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility) Opportunity. These were some of the very well to do who were "loaned" hundreds of millions of dollars against which they were essentially sheltered from risk while accumulating 100% of any gains. This story is a field of dreams that will fuel conspiracy theorists' belief in the supernatural powers of a Federal Reserve with tentacles that loans money to "banks in places like Mexico, Bahrain and Bavaria, billions more to a spate of Japanese car companies, more than $2 trillion in loans each to Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, and billions more to a string of lesser millionaires and billionaires with Cayman Islands addresses.

Senate Votes Unanimously For “One-Time Audit of Fed’s Bailout Role”

The New York Times reports that the U.S. Senate, earlier today, "voted unanimously to require a one-time audit of the Federal Reserve's emergency actions during and after the 2008 financial crisis as part of broad legislation overhauling the nation's financial regulatory system."  That vote was 96-0, with both Mark Warner and Jim Webb voting "yea."

The Senate also voted on a broader, more open-ended Fed audit amendment by David Vitter, but rejected it 37-62. Mark Warner voted "nay" on the Vitter amendment, while Jim Webb voted "yea."

Personally, I would have voted "yea" on the limited, one-time audit, but "nay" on the more open-ended one. I most certainly don't want anything done that would interfere with the Federal Reserve's independence, I don't want any fishing expeditions, and I absolutely do NOT want Congress micromanaging U.S. monetary policy. What a nightmare that would be; shudddddddddder.

Auditing the Fed: Where’d Our Money Go?

Hear Senator Bernie Sanders' (VT-I) fiery speech on the floor of the US Senate in support of the Sanders-DeMint bipartisan amendment requring transparency at the Federal Reserve and mandating a GAO audit. Senator Sanders asks a simple question: Where did all the taxpayers' money go? Who was involved, and were there conflicts of interest? He says at one point, the entire process looks like a scam to him, and he quotes chapter and verse. Example: the Fed gave billions at near-zero interest to big banks to restore liquidity and the flow of loans to small businesses, but it appears the banks used the money instead to buy US government Treasuries paying higher interest to them, and then used the money to pay themselves billions in bonuses---- the audit will find out for the American people. It is impressive, and frightening when you hear even this boiled-down history, and the most frightening thing is that apparently there is a rumor that President Obama will either veto the audit of the Fed, or present an alternative, watered-down version. My question: Do the banks really own our government? Listen to Bernie Sanders.