Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Good, The Bad and the Just Plain Disgusting...

Here's something that is really GOOD! Another really great idea which allows a little to do a lot. This is an off shoot of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Rolling Jubilee is a Strike Debt project that buys debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, abolishes it. Together we can liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal. Debt resistance is just the beginning. Join them as we imagine and create a new world based on the common good, not Wall Street profits.
Called a “bailout of the people by the people,” jubilee comes from many faith traditions including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. A jubilee is an event in which all debts are cancelled and all those in bondage are set free.
Banks sell debt for pennies on the dollar on a shadowy speculative market of debt buyers who then turn around and try to collect the full amount from debtors. The Rolling Jubilee intervenes by buying debt, keeping it out of the hands of collectors, and then abolishing it. The objective being not to make a profit, but to help each other out and highlight how the predatory debt system affects all our families and communities.
Since they launched their effort, they have raised $566,890 which will purchase and abolish $11,238,000 of personal debt.

Check out their website to learn more, or to get involved.
Now here's something pretty bad.... 
At the request of rule-breaking bankers, a top U.S. regulator has for years settled bank cases in secret, raising the bar on just how far regulators are willing to go to help the industry they regulate.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which insures bank deposits in the U.S. and shuts down failing banks, has since 2007 repeatedly settled charges of banker wrongdoing by agreeing to"no press release" clauses that keep the settlements a secret, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In one particularly glaring example, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay $54 million to quietly settle charges that its New York mortgage-banking subsidiary, MortgageIT, sold bad loans to another mortgage bank, Independent National Mortgage Corporation, a/k/a "IndyMac." IndyMac collapsed under the weight of bad mortgage loans in July 2008, a notable milestone in the financial crisis.
In exchange for the settlement, the FDIC agreed not to announce the deal unless it was asked about it, the LAT writes. That was just one of "scores" of such settlements the LAT discovered through a Freedom of Information Act request that turned up 1,600 pages of documents.
The FDIC would not comment to the LAT about the no-press-release clauses, but a spokesman did say that it announces settlements "when damage payments are large and media interest intense." And many of the settlements turned up by the FOIA request were indeed fairly small. That does not explain the non-announcement of the Deutsche Bank settlement, which was relatively large and would probably have attracted some media interest.
The no-disclosure clauses might have helped the FDIC settle cases more easily, saving it the expense of going to trial. But so far the agency has been able to recover only $787 million of the $92.5 billion lost to bank collapses between 2007 and 2012, according to the LAT. Those bank failures were often helped along by the banker misbehavior flagged in the FOIA documents, which the LAT calls "a catalog of fraud and negligence: reckless loans to homeowners and builders; falsified documents; inflated appraisals; lender refusals to buy back bad loans."
The revelation comes just days after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder admitted publicly that some banks are simply too big to prosecute without hurting the broader economy. Instead, U.S. regulators have repeatedly doled out wrist slaps to major banks over allegations such as money laundering, mortgage fraud and foreclosure fraud, while declining to file criminal charges against either banks or individual bankers. I wonder what Elizabeth Warren will have to say about this!
And now, unfortunately, the really very  UGLY.....
Angelo Carusone, the VP of Media Matters is behind the DUMP TRUMP campaign to convince Macy's that using The Donald is detrimental to their image and is hurting their "brand". It must be working because Trump sent his enforcer, attorney Allen Garlen, to debate Angelo on this broadcast live debate. It's a little long, but worth it. Garlen tries to accuse Carusone of "mob like, bullying tactics" in his cruel treatment of The Donald...Garlen even tries to use Carusone's Italian name to insinuate that he is a scary, mean Mafia Bully. It's about the 6:30 mark in the video where Garlen loses it and from there, Carusone zooms in on the real issue:
What I would say is that it's quite consistent with what Mr. Trump's brand has become. I'm not making a characterization of Trump's brand ten years ago or five years ago. That's really irrelevant and not part of the discussion here.
The discussion is what Donald Trump's brand has become and in some ways he needs to keep upping the ante to get his free media fix.
And that's why it has become consistently more odious and contemptible. My point is not that Donald Trump should be sanctioned or silenced by the government, which is what you threatened to do to me, is to actually tell the government to stop me and silence me and punish me.
My point was simply that a company that I and 690 other thousand people support and like should not be investing in and as the CEO said, further developing that brand because Trump's brand is not worth pouring more money into.
And if he's as successful as you pointed out before, then I don't see what the problem is. He could easily go someplace else unless of course there are concerns that his brand has become something so toxic that nobody's really interested in it, at least at a fashion level.
Angelo has nearly 700,000 signatures on his petition at signon.com which I have proudly signed promoted on this blog and facebook and Garten did nothing in this interview to de-toxify or otherwise rehabilitate Trump.

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