“On September 9 of this year, Nathan Vardi, writing for Forbes, reported that “Barbara Picower, the widow of the biggest beneficiary of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, has resumed her role as one of the nation’s top philanthropists, heading a new foundation with more than $2 billion in assets.”” – P Martens & R Martens
Sen. Charles Schumer
New York City has 8.4 million people living in its boroughs. But when it comes to defending those charged with financial crimes, it’s a very small, clubby world of people who are either related to each other or have worked together in the past. And this clubby group has one more thing in common: most of its members seem to be lavishing huge campaign contributions on U.S. Senator Charles (Chuck) Schumer of New York – a man who is in a position to recommend Federal Judge appointments and the Justice Department’s U.S. Attorney who will prosecute the financial crimes – or not.
These are the findings in a new on-line book, JPMadoff: The Unholy Alliance Between America’s Biggest Bank and America’s Biggest Crook, being offered free as a chapter a month by attorneys Helen Davis Chaitman and Lance Gotthoffer. (Chaitman is a nationally recognized litigator who was swindled by Madoff and is passionate about getting an unabridged recital of facts out to the public, including details about the extensive involvement in the fraud by the big Wall Street bank, JPMorgan Chase, and Madoff clients that the authors believe to have been co-conspirators.)
Chapter 3 is now up on the web site and delivers this nugget: “Senator Schumer was a frequent visitor to Madoff in his office in New York’s Lipstick Building.” This information came to Chaitman in 2009 from Madoff employees and is confirmed by a 2014 interview with Madoff himself by Politico’s MJ Lee, indicating that Schumer paid personal visits to Madoff to collect campaign contributions.
In the March Politico article, Lee adds this: “Approached in a Senate hallway last week, Schumer seemed willing to talk to a reporter — until the subject of Madoff came up. ‘I’m not commenting,’ the New York Democrat said as he walked away. ‘I am not commenting.’ ”
The web of relationships unveiled in the book include the following: Continue reading
“Our financial leaders, in conjunction with our political leaders, have continually re-created the web of money and credit that knits our economy together. But they have often taken only their own interests and those of the wealthiest citizens into account, not those of the general public. It is up to us to educate ourselves about money and banking, and to demand a system that is accountable to the people and serves our long-term interests.” E Brown
One thing to be said for the women now heading the Federal Reserve and the IMF: compared to some of their predecessors, they are refreshingly honest. The Wall Street Journal reported on July 2nd:
Two of the world’s most powerful women of finance sat down for a lengthy discussion Wednesday on the future of monetary policy in a post-crisis world: U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde. Before a veritable who’s-who in international economics packing the IMF’s largest conference hall, the two covered all the hottest topics in debate among the world’s central bankers, financiers and economists.
Among those hot topics was the runaway shadow banking system, defined by Investopedia as “The financial intermediaries involved in facilitating the creation of credit across the global financial system, but whose members are not subject to regulatory oversight. The shadow banking system also refers to unregulated activities by regulated institutions.” Examples given include hedge funds, derivatives and credit default swaps.
Conventional banks also engage in “shadow banking.” One way is by using their cash cushion as collateral in the repo market, where they can borrow to invest in the stock market and other speculative ventures. As explained by Bill Frezza in a January 2013 Huffington Post article titled “Too-Big-To-Fail Banks Gamble With Bernanke Bucks”:
If you think [the cash cushion from excess deposits] makes the banks less vulnerable to shock, think again. Much of this balance sheet cash has been hypothecated in the repo market, laundered through the off-the-books shadow banking system. This allows the proprietary trading desks at these “banks” to use that cash as collateral to take out loans to gamble with. In a process called hyper-hypothecation this pledged collateral gets pyramided, creating a ticking time bomb ready to go kablooey when the next panic comes around.
Addressing the ticking time bomb of the shadow banking system, here is what two of the world’s most powerful women had to say: Continue reading
“The stock market has been made the official metric of the nation’s economic health; too bad it’s a Ponzi scheme. Financial bubbles are what economist Robert Shiller calls “naturally occurring Ponzis” because the psychology of ever-rising prices and profits fuels an inflow of greater fools that sustains the bubble until all available greater fools have sunk their cash and credit into the bubble.” C H Smith
All the conventional policy fixes proposed by Demopublican politicos, technocrats and the vast army of academic/think-tank apparatchiks are the equivalent of slapping a coat of paint on a fragile facade riddled with dryrot. All these fake-fixes share a few key characteristics:
1. They focus on effects and symptoms rather than address the underlying causes, i.e. the dryrot at the heart of our government, society and economy.
2. They maintain and protect the Status Quo Powers That Be–no vested interests, protected fiefdoms or Financial Elites ever lose power as a result of these policy tweaks.
3. They are politically expedient, meaning they assuage the demands of vested interests rather than tackle the rot undermining the nation.
4. They ignore the perverse incentives built into current systems and the incentives of complicity, i.e. to cheer another coat of paint on the dryrot rather than face the costs of real reform.
The financial underpinnings of the economy and society are rotting from within:finance, higher education, defense, healthcare, law, governance, you name it. Continue reading
Presenter alex:g, Special Guest Text Jockey Daisy Jones, and Voice of the Visuals Tom Mutiny host Roger Hayes of The Lawful Bank. Roger has had a lifelong interest in the politics of banking and the international monetary system.
In the past decade has worked in a voluntary capacity to inform and educate others as to how the banking system is, in reality, nothing more than a gigantic Ponzi scheme, sponsored by a political elite with vested interests, and underpinned with taxpayers’ money. He will be discussing with us a new initiative, centred on ‘Bankster Mortgage Fraud.’
Source ukcolumn June 21 2014
“The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off.” –Gloria Steinem
Are you tired of floating around in that pink goop of the Matrix? Are you ready to slough off the illusion like it was an old hat? Has the White Rabbit been too fast for you so far? If you are reading this article, you are here to wake up. Here are five ways to slow that white rabbit down so you can catch up.
1) Money is a hoax
“The Western worldview says, in essence, that technological progress is the highest value and that we were born to consume, to endlessly use and discard natural recourses, other species, gadgets, toys, and often, each other. The most highly prized freedom is the right to shop. It’s a world of commodities, not entities, and economic expansion is the primary measure of progress. Competition, taking, and hoarding are higher values than cooperation, sharing, and gifting. Profits are valued over people, money over meaning, entitlement over justice, “us” over “them.” This is the most dangerous addiction in the world, not only because of its impact on humanity but because it is rapidly undermining the natural systems that sustain the biosphere.” –Bill Plotkin
It is not the more evolved aspect of ourselves that tricks us into thinking that we need money to survive; it’s the less evolved aspect of ourselves that does the tricking. With our advanced technologies we imagine that we know the way the world works, when, for the most part, we have forgotten how everything is connected.
Until we can relearn “a language older than words,” and once again engage in a healthy dialogue with nature and the cosmos, we will continue to be tricked by the less evolved aspects of ourselves. The more awareness we bring to this extremely complicated cognitive dissonance, the more possible it will be to achieve an ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable world. Continue reading
Last week JPMorgan Chase paid $2.6 billion in fines and restitution, signed a deferred prosecution agreement and walked away from their 22-year involvement with Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. But according to court documents filed in 2011 by the Trustee of the Madoff victims’ fund, Irving Picard, this was not a simple case of poor risk management at JPMorgan. This was an operation structured like those Russian nesting dolls, with the Ponzi scheme as the outside doll with many more frauds layered inside the big one.
After reading the documents released by the Justice Department in connection with the settlement, the Los Angeles Times asked in a photo caption of a smirking Madoff outside of Federal Court: “Bernie Madoff: Was he part of the JPMorgan ring, or was JPMorgan part of his ring?”
The New York Times had a far more charitable stance, with Floyd Norris writing: “Did JPMorgan Chase deliberately cover up Bernard L. Madoff’s fraud? The documents released this week by federal prosecutors do not show it did, and I suspect it did not.”
Interestingly, the folks in sunny California, 2400 miles away from Wall Street, had an epiphanous moment in that photo caption while the Times assumed an all too common ostrich position when it comes to Wall Street.
According to the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), the Justice Department prosecutors who settled the case against JPMorgan Chase used the investigative material from Picard to bring their charges and settle the case. Those court filings show layers upon layers of frauds within the Ponzi scheme.
According to the settlement documents released Tuesday by Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Bernie Madoff was not content to simply engineer the largest Ponzi scheme under the very noses of the largest squad of regulators in the history of finance, he was simultaneously running a brazen check-kiting scheme under the same noses.
Irving Picard, the Trustee of the Madoff victims’ fund set up by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), provided a great amount of detail on this operation in a court filing against JPMorgan in 2011. This week, U.S. Attorney Bharara added additional details.
According to Bharara, Madoff was writing checks from an account at “Madoff Bank 2” – a bank other than JPMorgan – to Norman F. Levy, a mutual customer of both Madoff’s firm and JPMorgan. Later the same day, Madoff would transfer money from his primary business account at JPMorgan to his account at Madoff Bank 2 to cover the earlier check. In the final leg of the transaction, Levy would transfer funds from his own JPMorgan Chase account to Madoff’s primary business account at JPMorgan in an amount sufficient to cover Madoff’s original check to him.
Former World Bank lawyer Karen Hudes says the global opinion of America is tarnished. Hudes contends, “Is the United States a credible super power? The answer to that is ‘we are neither.’ We’re not a super power and we are not credible.” Hudes goes on to warn, “The biggest game changer is something that people are just ignoring, and they ignore it at their peril, and that is the creation of a fourth credit rating agency. . . . If they do not get our act together, they will have no choice . . . We are losing our credit rating.”
Hudes, who is also a whistleblower, charges, “There is fraud and corruption from top to bottom in the financial system.” As far as global central banks are concerned (including the Fed), Hudes claims, “The central bankers have a scam going on. It’s a Ponzi scheme. The citizens of the world are paying interest on their currencies.