Posts Tagged ‘Obama administration’

Spencer Ackerman on Obama’s drone policy

April 28, 2015

The Obama administration considers the real alternatives to drone strikes to be the unpalatable options of grueling ground wars or passive acceptance of terrorism.

Then it congratulates itself for picking the wise, ethical and responsible choice of killing people without knowing who they are.

via The Guardian.

Citi’s open door in Washington

December 18, 2014

imrs

Senator Elizabeth Warren recently complained about Citigroup’s influence on the congressional budget and legislative process.   This chart from the Washington Post shows Citi has a strong voice in the executive branch as well.  So do Goldman Sachs and other big Wall Street firms.

Who’s in charge of U.S. financial policy?

December 12, 2014

goldman_sachs_obama_administration_3-14-12Via Ed Driscoll

I think this chart provides as good an explanation as any as to why the Obama administration does not prosecute individual bankers for financial fraud, does not propose breaking up the “too big to fail” institutions and protects bankers from the consequences of risky speculation.

Bill Black on why financial crime isn’t prosecuted

October 4, 2014

Bill Moyers did a great interview with Bill Black, an expert on white-collar crime and former financial regulator, on the Obama administration’s failure to prosecute financial fraud.  He sums up the situation accurately, clearly and briefly.  Here are highlights from the transcript.

§§§

WILLIAM K. BLACK:  Yeah, in baseball terms they’re batting 0.000.  But they’re not just batting 0.000, they took called strikes. They never got the bat off their shoulder and even swung.  They didn’t even try.

BILL MOYERS:  Do you remember when President Obama told “60 Minutes,” I think it was late December of 2011 that, “Some of the most damaging behavior on Wall Street…wasn’t illegal?”

BLACK: I do.

MOYERS: What did you think?

BLACK: I thought that he was wrong. That in fact if he listened to what the United States of America has demonstrated in court and through investigations, the activity was clearly illegal, it was a violation of a whole series of laws that make it felonies.

And these are just the frauds that caused the crisis. In addition to the frauds that caused the crisis, which are massive and we could talk about, we have the largest cartel in world history. This was the bid rigging of Libor, which is an international standard that sets the prices [interest rates] on over $300 trillion in [loans and financial] contracts.

A trillion is a thousand billion, right?  And then we have the foreclosure frauds where we have false affidavits [that the records were verified].  Over 100,000 felonies in that context.  And then we have the bid rigging on bond prices where all the major banks, according to the Justice Department, were involved.

And then we had the Federal Housing Finance Administration, a federal agency suing virtually every largest, of the largest 20 banks in the United States of America, saying they defrauded Fannie and Freddie through false sales.  And it goes on and on.

The savings and loan debacle, we made over 30,000 criminal referrals [during the administration of the elder George Bush].  Here, zero criminal referrals as far as we can get any public information.  So the first thing Holder should’ve done is re-establish the criminal referral process.  Because, you know, banks don’t make criminal referrals against their own CEOs.

MOYERS: Do you tell yourself, well, there is a justifiable and understandable reason why they don’t prosecute?

BLACK: No, there is no justifiable reason.  Apparently modern financial regulators are vastly more sophisticated than we were as financial regulators 25 years ago.  Because we had never figured out that the key to financial stability was leaving felons in charge of the largest financial institutions in the world.

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