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Posts Tagged ‘crimes’

20150224_problemThe financial collapse of 2008 was the worst recession since the Great Depression. Give President Obama and his administration credit for saving the economy from the depredations of Wall Street despite massive Republic resistance to resuscitating it, which they did solely for political gain. However, this historically weak recovery masks a startling reality.

Only one perpetrator of Wall Street crimes was ever brought to justice, and he wasn’t a big figure in the massive corruption going on. In March 2009, Obama met with Wall Street leaders and said, “I stand between you and the pitchforks. I am on your side and I will protect you.”

Only one banker from that era was prosecuted. That was Bernie Madoff, and the only reason he was carted off to prison was because he stole from rich people. And not one other Wall Street criminal executive went to jail after stealing billions via fraud, money laundering of Mexican drug cartel profits, and numerous other crimes. Many became his financial advisers, which meant Obama pursued policies to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent for eight long years.

At all times, Obama refused to bite the hand that funded his past, present and future, as well as funding much of the Republican and Democratic Parties. In other words, Obama was largely, if not completely, in the back pocket of Wall Street as were President Bill Clinton, both President’s Bush, Ronald Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, Wall Street Senator’s Ron Wyden, Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch.

Obama operated in a cesspool corruption. He was part of the problem, not the solution.

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Elizabeth Warren is a rarity nowadays. She is a US senator, unlike most senators, such as Ron Wyden, who is clearly a tool and senator of Wall Street and of perhaps even Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. In a new report prepared for Warren, called Rigged Justice, several not so shocking things are clearly illuminated which prove how corrupt the US government has become, and let’s face it, this government is one of the most corrupt in the world, at least among the so-called Democratic nations.

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“The Obama Administration,” the reports says, “has made repeated promises to strengthen enforcement and hold corporate criminals accountable, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in September that it would place greater emphasis on charging individuals responsible for corporate crimes. Nonetheless, both before and after this DOJ announcement, accountability for corporate crimes is shockingly weak.”

This is because both the Democratic and Republican establishments are completely reliant on money from the CEOs and corporations that commit these crimes. Most of the penalties faced by these CEOs and their corporations were so paltry that the report stated, “The examples (from this report) raise the disturbing possibility that some giant corporations—and their executives—have decided that following the law is merely optional. For these companies, punishment for breaking the law is little more than a cost of doing business.

There is a simple set of rules governing how US laws are applied. If you are rich, and you have used your money to corrupt the political system, the DOJ doesn’t look at you after it has caught you. The report goes on.

“When government regulators and prosecutors fail to pursue big corporations or their executives who violate the law, or when the government lets them off with a slap on the wrist, corporate criminals have free rein to operate outside the law. They can game the system, cheat families, rip off taxpayers, and even take actions that result in the death of innocent victims—all with no serious consequences.”

According to Warren, in an editorial in the New York Times, in 2015, “in case after case, federal agencies caught big companies breaking the law, defrauding tax payers, covering up deadly safety hazards, even precipitating the financial collapse of 2008, and let them off the hook with barely a slap on the wrist.” And to think that financially ordinary people go to prison for far less crimes than ripping off billions of dollars from taxpayers and investors, or knowingly selling products that kill.

“The failure to punish big corporations, the report went on, “or their executives when they break the law undermines the foundations of this great country: If justice means a prison sentence for a teenager who steals a car, but it means nothing more than a sideways glance at a CEO who quietly engineers the theft of billions of dollars, (not to mention the theft of the government and their regulatory agencies) then the promise of equal justice under the law has turned into a lie.” That promise died decades ago. “The failure to prosecute big, visible crimes has a corrosive effect on the fabric of democracy and our shared belief that we are all equal in the eyes of the law.

Some of the crimes committed included:

1 “The Cartel”: Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Barclays, UBS AG, and Royal Bank of Scotland. In May 2015, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Barclays, UBS AG, and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) agreed to pay a combined $5.6 billion settlement to the DOJ. Bank traders from Citicorp, JP Morgan, Barclays, and RBS created a secret group known as “The Cartel,” which for more than five years manipulated exchange rates in a way that made the banks billions of dollars at the expense of clients and investors. And, the fifth bank, UBS, separately agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud charges in connection with interest rate manipulation. Although DOJ required admissions of guilt as part of the settlement – a reflection of the severity of the charges – not one single individual faced any criminal prosecution. Moreover, the SEC granted waivers to each bank so that the banks could avoid the collateral consequences that were supposed to accompany a guilty plea. Those waivers meant that the banks’ much-hyped guilty pleas were ultimately “likely to carry more symbolic shame than practical problems.”

2. Novartis. In November 2015, DOJ announced a $390 million settlement of a civil fraud lawsuit with Novartis Pharmaceuticals over allegations that the company engaged in a kickback scheme with pharmacists to increase sales of their drugs to Medicare and Medicaid patients. These kickbacks allegedly were paid even as Novaris was already under a corporate integrity agreement for previous violations of the law. This $390 million represented just over 10% of the damages sought by the government. It placed no further restrictions on Novartis’ participation in federal government healthcare programs, included no admission of wrongdoing, and did not include an indictment of any individual responsible for the kickbacks. The settlement was so paltry that after it was announced, Novartis’s CEO candidly noted that “whether we change our behavior …[in response to the settlement] remains to be seen.”

3. Education Management Corporation (EDMC). In November 2015, DOJ settled a civil case with EDMC, the second-largest for-profit education company in the country. EDMC illegally paid high-pressure recruiters to enroll students and violated the False Claims Act by falsely certifying that it complied with Title IV of the Higher Education Act. EDMC received $11 billion in payments (90% of it via federal student grants and loans) from 2003-2011 as a result of these efforts. But the settlement recovered only $95 million –less than one percent of this total. The DOJ settlement did nothing to resolve federal student loan debts owed by those who were victims of the illegal recruitment, held no individual executives at EDMC accountable, required no admission of wrongdoing, and did nothing to prevent EDMC from receiving federal funds in the future.

What the report doesn’t mention is that US banks have been caught openly laundering money for Mexican drug cartels. They’ve been fined, and then were caught again, and not a soul has been charged with a crime.

For the complete report click the link below. http://www.warren.senate.gov/files/documents/Rigged_Justice_2016.pdf

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Goldman Sachs was the largest campaign contributor to the Obama presidential campaigns.

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President Obama is hardly the worst president in history. He’s had some fine accomplishments, but some of us were dismayed at the president for allowing Wall Street executives to get away Scot free from their massive crimes such as mortgage fraud and money laundering for the Mexican drug cartels, but he did rely on these people for campaign cash. This is the first president in any US financial crisis who directed his justice department not to go after a single one of the alleged criminals. That just shows how corrupt the US government is nowadays, and Obama is a product of his times.

The scorched earth politics of the Republican opposition left millions of people in poverty, and they were led by Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, and they did this all for the political gain of the part of the 0.01 percent the Republicans represent. The Republican Party is the greatest example of corruption in modern American history, but the Democratic party is close behind.

Some of us were sorely disappointed than insurance executives were the creators of Obamacare, and no public option was included in the program.

Some of us were dismayed that 95 percent of all US income growth under Obama went to the 1 percent year after year after year, and the president did nothing about that. But this benefited Wall Street and the 1 percent.

Some of us were disgusted the president continued to press for policies that increased income and wealth inequality, such as the Trans Pacific Partnership, the South Korea Free Trade Treaty, and Common Core. Again, this benefited Wall Street and the 1 percent.

As US Senator Elizabeth Warren said about Obama and his economic team, “They protected Wall Street. Not families who were losing their homes. Not people who lost their jobs. And it happened over and over and over.”

The next recession will be worse than the last, especially for the 99 percent. The economy recovered in an anemic fashion, with demand terribly low because of the inequality of income brought about by federal legislation. In 2008, this nation needed a strong leader, a new FDR, and we instead elected the best candidate either major political party was willing to nominate; we got a Wall Street drone.

We are currently in one of the most politically corrupt times in US history. Money has saturated the political and court markets. The Reagan tax cuts began the corruption. The corporate wing of the US Supreme court was the first serious victim of this corruption.

The truth is that the two major political parties are controlled by different factions of the 1 percent, although some of the factions play roles in the political direction of both parties, such as Goldman Sachs. The two parties divide the American people via social issues, and then the two unite to redistribute the income of the 99 percent to the 1 percent via legislation and free trade treaties.

President Obama is a product of his times. Despite that, and despite vicious opposition from the Republican Party that left millions more in poverty simply for political gain, history will likely remember the president more fondly than either of the Bush presidents, President Ford and possibly President Nixon, as well. However, it is possible he will land in the bottom ten worst presidents of all time. Among modern presidents, since say Teddy Roosevelt, Obama will definitely rank right there above Warren Harding, and very few others, so that in my list of the bottom ten president’s since Teddy Roosevelt, Obama rates among the not so bad, definitely not good category.

The Great Presidents

1. Franklin Roosevelt
2. Harry Truman
3. Teddy Roosevelt
4. Lyndon Johnson
5. Dwight Eisenhower
6. Woodrow Wilson
7. Jimmy Carter
8. Gerald Ford
9. William Howard Taft
10. John Kennedy

The corrupt presidents

11. Ronald Reagan
12. Calvin Coolidge
13. Bill Clinton
14. Richard Nixon
15. Bill Clinton
16. Barack Obama
17. George H. W. Bush
18. Warren Harding
19. George W. Bush
20. Herbert Hoover

Notice those who are the worst president’s were also president’s during the times when the federal government was the most corrupted, the 1920s, and the era from 1981 to the current era.

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Patriotism and Government

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Who Are the Culprits Behind the Economic Collapse? Why Aren’t Rich People Going to Jail for Their Crimes?

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