29 October, 2011

New York Times article: what a "foreclosure mill" law firm thinks of the people they "serve"

This opinion piece in The New York Times shows pictures of employees at law firm, Stephen J. Baum, dressed in costumes mocking those whose homes they facilitated foreclosures on.

New York Times Op Ed by Joe Nocera:  What the Costumes Reveal

25 October, 2011

Canada's "Silent" Bank Bailout

You think things in Canada are so much better than the USA? That's what finance minister Jim Flaherty said this week in commenting on why the Occupy protesters in Canada have less to complain about than our American neighbors. After all, we all know we didn't bail out the banks like they did. Or did we?

Maybe we're just a bit more naive. I know I was; I didn't know anything about this until I stumbled across it this week on the Internet. Our banks received 75 billion dollars from the government starting in 2009. Yet it slipped by most of us with no debate or criticism. Not even covered by the press.  An article by Michel Chossudovsky, "Canada's 75 Billion Dollar Bank Bailout", fills in the blanks. The following quotation is taken from the article.

No Parliamentary Debate 
The $700 billion US bank bailout under the Troubled Assets Relief Program, was the object of debate and legislation in the US Congress. 
In contrast, in Canada, the granting of 75 billion dollars to Canada's chartered banks was implemented at the height of an election campaign, without duly informing the Canadian public. 
Canada's media and financial press bears a responsibility in this regard. The matter was barely mentioned. It passed virtually unnoticed a few days before a federal election. 
Media coverage was minimal. There was no parliamentary debate. No discussion, no debate as one would have expected from the opposition parties at the height of an election campaign as well as in its aftermath.
Mergers and Acquisitions
We are not dealing with a Keynesian style deficit, which stimulates investment and consumer demand, leading to an expansion of production and employment. 
While, the bank bailout is a component  of government expenditure, it does not constitute a positive spending injection into the real economy. 
Quite the opposite. The bailout is a handout to the banks. It contributes to financing the restructuring of the banking system leading to a massive concentration of wealth and centralization of banking power. 
The bailout money will be used by Canada's chartered banks to consolidate their position as well as finance the acquisition of several "troubled" financial institutions in the US. (See text box below*)

*Please follow the link to see the text box mentioned above and read the full article, including the names of the US banks purchased by Canadian banks.

18 October, 2011

Global Day of Rage: Hundreds of Thousands March Against Inequity, Big Banks, as Occupy Movement Grows

Global Day of Rage: Hundreds of Thousands March Against Inequity, Big Banks, as Occupy Movement Grows

Excellent video coverage by Democracy Now News of the Occupy Movement  actions last weekend around the world, including a segment from Tokyo.