Saturday, June 23, 2012

Taibbi and Smith with Bill Moyers (Rolling Stone and Naked Capitalism)

Matt Taibbi and Yves Smith are two very accomplished and highly followed
commentators to economic and financial issues in the US. Bill Moyer discusses
the current JPM/Dimon story, and related stories of bankers behaving badly.


Matt Taibbi and Your Humble Blogger on Bill Moyers

Hope you enjoy this segment. I think I can speak for Taibbi in saying we had a good time with Moyers.
For those who prefer viewing the program on a bigger screen, it runs in NYC and DC on Sunday at 
6:00 PM. The staff is trying to organize a Twitter Q&A at that time (6:00 to ~6:40 EDT). I haven’t 
gotten confirmation that this is a go, but I’ll let you know in tomorrow’s Links (and they’ll be providing

SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2012

Finance and the Mafia State

By Sell on News, a global macro equities analyst. Cross-posted from Macrobusiness.
The argument advanced by the historian Philip Bobbitt that a transition is occurring in world politics 
from the nation state to the market state has long appealed as a snapshot of what is occurring in 
world politics. It is, as with any thesis about a large subject, far too simple to reflect accurately all
 that is happening, but it is nevertheless a fine starting point. As we witness the political travails 
plaguing southern Europe, it gives us a useful analytic to trace the outline of what is happening.  READ FULL ORIGINAL POST HERE

The Scam Wall Street Learned From

 the Mafia

How America's biggest banks took part in a nationwide 

bid-rigging conspiracy - until they were caught on tape

June 21, 2012 11:20 AM ET
national affairs
Illustration by Victor Juhasz
Someday, it will go down in history as the first trial of the modern American mafia. Of course, you won't hear the recent financial corruption case, United States of America v. Carollo, Goldberg and Grimm, called anything like that. If you heard about it at all, you're probably either in the municipal bond business or married to an antitrust lawyer. Even then, all you probably heard was that a threesome of bit players on Wall Street got convicted of obscure antitrust violations in one of the most inscrutable, jargon-packed legal snoozefests since the government's massive case against Microsoft in the Nineties – not exactly the thrilling courtroom drama offered by the famed trials of old-school mobsters like Al Capone or Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo.
But this just-completed trial in downtown New York against three faceless financial executives really was historic. Over 10 years in the making, the case allowed federal prosecutors to make public for the first time the astonishing inner workings of the reigning American crime syndicate, which now operates not out of Little Italy and Las Vegas, but out of Wall Street.
The defendants in the case – Dominick Carollo, Steven Goldberg and Peter Grimm – worked for GE Capital, the finance arm of General Electric. Along with virtually every major bank and finance company on Wall Street – not just GE, but J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, UBS, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Wachovia and more – these three Wall Street wiseguys spent the past decade taking part in a breathtakingly broad scheme to skim billions of dollars from the coffers of cities and small towns across America. The banks achieved this gigantic rip-off by secretly colluding to rig the public bids on municipal bonds, a business worth $3.7 trillion. By conspiring to lower the interest rates that towns earn on these investments, the banks systematically stole from schools, hospitals, libraries and nursing homes – from "virtually every state, district and territory in the United States," according to one settlement. And they did it so cleverly that the victims never even knew they were being ­cheated. No thumbs were broken, and nobody ended up in a landfill in New Jersey, but money disappeared, lots and lots of it, and its manner of disappearance had a familiar name: organized crime.

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