More significantly, the French have provided the rest of the world with an important lesson. That protest movements should ideally tap into widespread grievances and capture the support of the masses in order to be most powerful and effective. This shouldn’t be hard for anyone, since I can’t think of any major governments anywhere in the world that aren’t completely captured by destructive special interests and unprincipled oligarchs.Read More
Glass-Steagall Act, signed into law as the U.S.A. Banking Act of 1933, the legislation had been crucial to safeguarding the financial industry in the wake of the Great Depression. But with its repeal in 1999, the barriers separating commercial and investment banking collapsed, creating the preconditions for an economic crisis from whose shadow we have yet to emerge. Carmen Segarra, a Wall Street whistleblower in her book “Noncompliant: A Lone Whistleblower Exposes the Giants of Wall Street” described the deep corruption in our banking and financial system and how the powerful rewards bad behaviours.Read More
The gasoline tax was the last straw in a long series of measures favoring the rich at the expense of the majority of the population. That is why the movement achieved almost instant popularity and support.
Briefly, the message was this: we can’t make ends meet. The cost of living keeps going up, and our incomes keep going down. We just can’t take it any more. The government must stop, think and change course.
It is perfectly hypocritical to call the French gas tax an “ecotax” since the returns from a genuine ecotax would be invested to develop clean energies – such as tidal power plants. Rather, the benefits are earmarked to balance the budget, that is, to serve the government debt. The Macronian gas tax is just another austerity measure – along with cutting back public services.
Especially at state funerals, media and politicians pretend that US presidents are honorable men, instead of the mass murderers that all of them become in office.Read More
Though the CIA report in 2000 contained the first official admission of a relationship with Contreras, it shed no light on the actions of Bush and his deputy, Walters, in the days before and after the Letelier assassination. It also offered no explanation why Bush’s CIA planted false information in the American press clearing Chile’s military dictatorship.
While providing the 21-page summary on its relationship with Chile’s military dictatorship, the CIA refused to release documents from a quarter century earlier on the grounds that the disclosures might jeopardize the CIA’s “sources and methods.” The refusal came in the face of President Bill Clinton’s specific order to release as much information as possible.
“Just say thank you, please,” former President Obama told a room full of bankers, and boasted of making the US the world’s largest oil producer at an opulent gala with James Baker.
At this sumptuous black-tie gala, Obama talked the 1,100 elite guests into raising a staggering $5.4 million, in just one night (at an average donation of nearly $5,000), for Rice University’s centrist, pro-corporate Baker Institute for Public Policy, the honorary chair of which is James Baker.
Baker quipped that Obama would be getting paid 10 percent of the $5.4 million in donations. It is unclear how much Obama raked in for this specific speech, but given the $400,000 fees the ex-president has charged Wall Street firms to speak since leaving the White House, Baker’s joke might not have been far off.
The self-serving cover stories always tout the nobility of the elite issuing the PR: we in the Federal Reserve saved civilization by saving the Too Big To Fail Banks (barf); we in the corporate media do investigative reporting without bias (barf); we in central government only lie to protect you from unpleasant realities–it’s for your own good (barf); we in the NSA, CIA and FBI only lie because it’s our job to lie, and so on.
Three recent essays speak to the degradation of data and factual records in favor of self-serving cover stories and corrosive political correctness.
US backed terrorists located near Leramoon and Kafer Hamran in Northern Aleppo launched the chemical attack which injured over 100. The gas shells were delivered by an aid convoy from Turkey under the control of the White Helmets, an alleged first responder NGO funded by the CIA and MI6.Read More
It has little to do with any Shi’ite versus Wahhabite Sunni conflict. Rather it has to do with strategic control of world energy. So long as Saana was in control of a Saudi proxy, whether Saleh or then Hadi, it was a secondary priority for Washington. The oil was “safe,” even if the Yemen government had expropriated the US company oil properties. Once a determined independent Houthi Zaidi force was in control of Yemen or a major part, the threat became serious enough to give the eager new Saudi Defense Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman the green light to begin the war. That Houthi-controlled Yemen would be potential client for Russian or Chinese oil companies to open up serious exploration of the potentials. That combined with the fact that the Houthi also had friendly relations with Iran clearly set off red lights in the Obama Administration.
There is far more at stake in Yemen than we are being told.
In what appears to be the latest in a string of financial crimes and scandals that have generated some $18 billion in fines since the financial crisis, prosecutors are investigating whether two employees in the bank’s wealth management division helped clients set up accounts in offshore tax havens, including the British Virgin Islands, and possibly allowed criminals to move money through these shelters, some of which may have flowed through accounts at the bank (other employees may also have been involved, prosecutors said).
According to the Financial Times the illicit transactions that two DB wealth management employees neglected to flag in 2016 alone stood at €311 million ($353 million), but people familiar with the case is almost certainly much larger, given that the suspicious activity continued for five years.
From the LIBOR-rigging scandal to the offshore secrets of the Panama Papersand ‘dark money’ in the Brexit vote, it is everywhere. In my recent work with anti-corruption group Global Witness, I saw first-hand how ordinary people in some of the world’s poorest countries suffer the consequences of corruption and financial crime. We exposed suspicious mining and oil deals in Central Africa, in which over a billion dollars of desperately-needed public finances were lost offshore. The story is about the West as much as Africa. The deals were routed through a dizzying web of offshore shell companies in the British Virgin Islands, often linked to listed companies in London, Toronto and elsewhere.
For Strange, money laundering, tax evasion and public embezzlement were a result of the collapse in the 1970s of the post-war financial order.
Will the people prevail? – Will France set an example for the rest of Europe? – Mind you – Europe is in the plans to be derailed and robbed similarly and through different means.
So, what do the people of Argentina and the people of France have in common? – They both want to get rid of a despotic president, implanted by the western financial elite to steal the socioeconomic coffers of their heritage, and which, if not stopped, may continue a movement throughout the Americas and Europe.
Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft have bought more than 500 companies in the past decade. These giants are looking for the younger fast growers.
Today firms find it is more profitable to restrict production than to invest in growing. Think of airlines that don’t want more capacity, beer companies that don’t expand plants, and cable companies that don’t upgrade infrastructure.
Instead, firms take their high profits and plow them into share buybacks. The money goes to wealthy shareholders who spend less relative to their income than poor people. And so low investment and low consumption are tied together.
“The Wealth of Nations” and the Declaration of Independence were bold statements against the abuses of monopoly power. Americans wanted entrepreneurial freedom to build businesses in a free market.
Today, we need a new revolution to cast off monopolies and restore free trade.
Concentrating wealth in the hands of a global oligarchic elite—eight families now hold as much wealth as 50 percent of the world’s population—while demolishing government controls and regulations always creates massive income inequality and monopoly power, fuels political extremism and destroys democracy.
Neoliberalism generates little wealth. Rather, it redistributes it upward into the hands of the ruling elites. Harvey calls this “accumulation by dispossession.” Under neoliberalism, the process of “accumulation by dispossession” is accompanied by financialization.
Neoliberalism transforms freedom for the many into freedom for the few. Its logical result is neofascism. Neofascism abolishes civil liberties in the name of national security and brands whole groups as traitors and enemies of the people. It is the militarized instrument used by the ruling elites to maintain control, divide and tear apart the society and further accelerate pillage and social inequality.