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Archive for the ‘goldman sachs’ Category

Good news for the middle class has finally arrived. The 99 percent has a real candidate for US president now. On Tuesday, May 26, US middle class Senator Bernie Sanders officially announced his candidacy to be the Democratic nominee for the US presidency.

Former Wall Street Senator Hilliary Rodham Clinton is Bernie’s only competition for the nomination. Clinton has a boat load of money, but she carries a ton of baggage. Most notably, she and her husband, former Wall Street President Bill Clinton, are notorious redistributers of income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

If you listen to Bernie’s announcement speech above, the defining issue of this election is going to be income distribution, and more specifically, how the 1 percent went from stealing 8 percent of all US income in 1980 to 37 percent today. Who loses on this issue? Clinton does.

Sure the Dems will hold debates, and sure the moderator will make sure the debate issues will be about abortion, gun control, and a ton of social issues, and not income and wealth inequality, and yes the moderator will make certain the television camera’s never light upon Bernie’s face by not calling on him to answer any questions or to respond to Clinton’s answers, but Bernie will win this election, and by a fair margin.

One day after he announced that he intended to run for the presidency, back in April, 75,000 people volunteered to work on his campaign. A month later, he has 200,000 volunteers. By election time, Bernie will have half a million plus, perhaps a million plus, volunteers working on his campaign. Hilliary can spend half a billion dollars, but she can’t beat what Bernie has, volunteers and real hope for the 99 percent, rather than the phoney Obama hope and change!

A message from Bernie:

Friend –

For many months I have been traveling from coast to coast across our country, and have had the opportunity to meet with thousands of good, hard-working, and remarkable people. Like you and me, they are deeply concerned about the future of our country.

They wonder why they are working longer hours for lower wages. They worry about whether their kids will be able to afford college or get decent jobs. They fear that they may not have the savings to retire with dignity and security.

The challenges facing our country are enormous.

After a year of travel, discussion and dialogue, I have decided to be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president. But let’s be clear. This campaign is not about Bernie Sanders. It’s about a grassroots movement of Americans standing up and saying: “Enough is enough. This country and our government belong to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires.”

Our movement needs people like you involved to help it succeed. Add your name now to say you support my campaign for president.

Http://go.berniesanders.com/launch-photos

Bernie Sanders

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This story was written by Katie Rose Quandt and originally published on BillMoyers.com.

Front-line workers at our nation’s big banks — tellers, loan interviewers and customer service representatives — are required by their employers to exploit customers, according to a revealing report out today from the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD). Big banks have internal systems of penalties and rewards that entice employees to push subprime loans and credit cards on customers who would be better off without them.

CPD’s report outlines several illegal predatory practices big banks have been caught employing, usually via their front-line workers:

Blatantly discriminatory lending:
In 2011 and 2012, Bank of America and Wells Fargo paid out settlements for charging higher rates and fees to tens of thousands of African American and Hispanic borrowers than to similarly qualified white customers. Minority customers were also more likely to be steered into (more expensive, riskier) subprime mortgages.
Manipulating payment processing to maximize overdraft charges:
When a savings account balance drops too low, the bank charges a hefty overdraft fee on each subsequent purchase. Both Bank of America and US Bank paid settlements for intentionally processing customers’ largest debit card payments first, regardless of chronological order, in order to hit $0 faster and maximize overdraft fees. US Bank was also accused of allowing debit card purchases on zero-balance accounts to go through (and incur overdraft fees), instead of denying the charges upfront.
Forcing sale of unneeded products:
Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup were accused of forcing customers to purchase overpriced property insurance.
Manipulative sales quotas:
Lawsuits show Wells Fargo and Bank of America created incentive programs for employees with the interests of the company — not the customer — in mind. Wells Fargo’s sales quotas encouraged bank workers to steer prime-eligible customers to subprime loans, while falsifying other clients’ income information without their knowledge. Bank of America’s “Hustle” program rewarded quantity over quality, encouraging workers to skip processes and checks intended to protect the borrower.

Instead of cutting back on the risky, unethical practices that led to the Great Recession, the CPD report asserts that big banks have not learned from their mistakes. Bank workers report higher levels of sales pressure in 2013 than in 2008, and most do not have the job security or seniority to simply refuse to hawk credit cards or steer customers into risky financial situations. While the financial sector is turning near-record profits, the average bank teller made just $12.25 an hour in 2013 (a real-dollar decrease from 2007), causing 31 percent of tellers’ families to rely on public assistance. What’s more, 85 percent of these underpaid front-line bank employees are women, and one-third are people of color. Most are in no position to risk losing their job or having their pay docked for stepping out of line.

Several anonymous big bank employees went into detail about how their employers incentivize sales:

An HSBC employee reported that when workers fell short of sales goals, the difference was taken out of their paychecks.
A teller at a major bank said she is expected to sell three new checking, savings, or debit card accounts every day. If she falls short, she gets written up.
Customer service representatives at one major bank’s call-center said everyone is expected to make at least 40 percent of the sales of the top seller. Credit card sales count for extra, encouraging callers to push credit cards on customers who would be better served with checking or savings accounts.
A call-center worker said she offers a credit card to every customer, regardless of whether it would be beneficial. She explained: “If you aren’t offering, you can get marked down — the managers and Quality Analysts listen to your call, and can tell if you aren’t offering.”

“We’re not servicing their needs,” said one front-line worker. “What they want, what they need, isn’t important to us. Selling them a product is … Some of our customers just have their savings, many are just retirees.”

As the report concludes, “Our nation’s big banks are committed to a model that jeopardizes our communities and prevents bank employees from having a voice in their workplace.”

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People-feel-like-the-system

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) gave a blunt message to the big Wall Street banks that have threatened to withhold campaign donations to Senate Democrats as a means to get Democrats to convince Warren to shut up about the crimes of Wall Street.

“It will not work,” Warren said in a statement emailed to The Huffington Post.

Warren is not going to be bought off or frightened so easily. The CEO’s of the banks want to continue and extend their unpunished streak of criminal activities dating back more than two decades. Warren insists these banks should pay the price of their criminal activities which includes, fraud and money laundering, among many other crimes. And that’s how corrupt your government is. When you are rich, there is not a single criminal activity that will net you jail time nowadays.

According to the Huffington Post, “Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America have discussed ways to soften Warren’s strong tone, Reuters reports, and representatives of some have raised the idea of cutting campaign donations to Democrats. Only Citigroup — a frequent target of Warren’s criticism — so far is publicly withholding money from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.”

Cutting donations, Warren said, won’t work against her. She said, “They want a showy way to tell Democrats across the country to be scared of speaking out, to be timid about standing up, and to stay away from fighting for what’s right,” Warren wrote. “… I’m not going to stop talking about the unprecedented grasp that Citigroup has on our government’s economic policymaking apparatus … And I’m not going to pretend the work of financial reform is done, when the so-called ‘too big to fail’ banks are even bigger now than they were in 2008.”

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Why does President Obama want congress to grant him Fast Track Authority and the Trans Pacific Partnership? Why do Wall Street Senators like Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell and Ron Wyden want the president to have these things?

Richard Trumpka, president of the AFL-CIO, tells you in the video above it’s above shipping jobs overseas and lowering wages. He’s correct, and incorrect.

More precisely, the president wants Fast Track Authority in order to limit senate debate on the issue of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the largest income redistribution scam of all time, falsely labeled as a free trade agreement.  The TPP will ship millions of jobs overseas and lower wages here at home, but it will do so to redistribute the difference between the old higher wages here and the new super lower wages overseas to the 1 percent via higher share prices, rising profits and soaring dividends.

That should tell you who the president and Ron Wyden really represents in the white house (Goldman Sachs, Warren Buffett, massive hedge funds, etc….) and who Orrin Hatch and Mitch McConnell represents (Goldman Sachs, Koch brothers, and massive hedge funds).

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It’s all about redistributing income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent, mostly by controlling government politicians. The government of the US is totally corrupt.

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The Democrats in congress are mostly against the Keystone Pipeline, which will transport crude oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, if approved by congress and not vetoed by President Obama. The Republican senators and representatives are, by and large, for this potential environmental disaster.

If the pipeline doesn’t make it past a veto the Republicans will blame environmentalists that supposedly influence the Democratic members of congress and President Obama. However, one can rightly suspect that there is something more to this than meets the eye.

Perhaps the Democratic position has something to do with billionaire investor Warren Buffett doling out $15 billion to purchase the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad earlier this year, the largest railroad shipper of crude oil in the nation, according to its website. Buffett is a big financial supporter of the Democrats, but he financially dabbles a little bit with some Republicans.

Buffett heads Berkshire Hathaway, one the largest hedge funds in the world. Its stock price is currently over $200,000 per share. A hedge fund is nothing more than an unregulated investment firm that buys and sells stocks and bonds, sort of like a Goldman Sachs without any rules.

The Keystone Pipeline will transport oil from Canada and the United States to the Gulf of Mexico for export elsewhere. If completed, the pipeline may take a lot of business from Burlington Northern Santa Fe. In which case, the share price of Burlington Northern Santa Fe will likely drop as its profits decline. The profits from Burlington that Berkshire Hathaway receives will also fall, which could put downward pressure on its stock price. The result would be less money for all of those Democratic politicians who count on that money.

The billionaire Koch Brothers are a major financial player behind the building of the Keystone Pipeline. They invest billions in the Republican party and its candidates. They stand to make billions from building the pipeline, and the pipeline will service one of their Texas oil refineries.

Quite naturally, the pipeline represents a conduit of future cash for Republican Party candidates, whereas Burlington and Berkshire Hathaway represent a stream of cash for Democratic Party candidates.

There are other perks candidates of both parties receive from big contributors, such as vacations in Scotland and cushy jobs that make them rich after they leave office.

Notice none of the major corporate news media is mentioning issues such as these. That’s because the job of reporters and editors of the corporate news media is to keep you ignorant, and biased against the political party you don’t like.

In government, in legislation, in negotiating trade treaties, the Democrats represent a fraction of the 0.01 percent richest Americans, the Republicans represent another fraction of the 0.01 percent wealthiest Americans, and a third fraction of the richest Americans play both sides, such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, both of which are corporations whose primary interests are to increase the amount of income and wealth of the 1 percent at the expense of the 99 percent.

When the president vetoes the legislation approving the Keystone Pipeline, and the Republicans won’t have sufficient votes to override that veto, the press will dutifully quote Republican Party leaders about the alleged jobs lost due to not building the pipeline. They will, conveniently, not mention the jobs that might have been lost because of a decline in Burlington Northern Santa Fe profits had the pipeline been approved.

They will blame the environmentalists, and turn that word into an epithet. Naturally, the environmentalists will have played no role in the failure of government to approve of the pipeline because it’s all about who gets the money. Follow the money folks!

Republican and Democratic Party leaders don’t want the 99 percent to know that the real political battles in Washington D.C., and in state capitals across the nation, are being fought between a small group of billionaires at the expense of everyone else. And the corporate news media will continue to ensure that the debate over this issue is vigorous, but limited enough to deceive the American public. In other words, the corporate media intends to keep us in the dark over this issue, and then lie to us and point their fingers at the environmentalists for the failure of government to approve the Keystone Pipeline.

The battle over the Keystone Pipeline is all about money, and keeping us ignorant of this fact. Because once you know this fact, then you’ll begin to understand how the political and economic games, and the games the corporate media plays with information, are all rigged against the 99 percent.

One last note, the second job of the corporate news media is to keep the 99 percent divided over social issues, such as abortion, gun rights, the war against Christmas, red vs. blue state, gay marriage, and immigration, among many others, while keeping our eyes off the things that really matter, and that is what’s in your wallet. The corporate news media has done a marvelous in this respect.

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