The man who’d break the banks of America 2

Obama took a leading role in causing the subprime housing crisis which triggered the recession, but he blames it on the financial institutions which he forced to provide the bad loans.

This is an editorial from Investor’s Business Daily:

Obama pushed thousands of credit-poor blacks into homes they couldn’t afford. As a civil-rights attorney, he sued banks to rubberstamp mortgages for urban residents.

Many are now in foreclosure. …

Obama focused on “housing rights” when he worked as a lawyer-activist and community organizer in South Side Chicago. His mentor — the man who placed him in his first job there — wasthe father of the anti-redlining movement: John McKnight. He coined the term “redlining” to describe the mapping off of minority neighborhoods from home loans.

McKnight wrote a letter for Obama that helped him get into Harvard. After he graduated, [Obama] worked for a Chicago civil-rights law firm that worked closely with McKnight’s radical Gamaliel Foundation and National People’s Action, as well as Acorn, to solicit lending-discrimination cases.

At the time, NPA and Acorn were lobbying the Clinton administration to tighten enforcement of anti-redlining laws.

They also dispatched bus loads of goons trained by Obama to the doorsteps of bankers to demand more home loans for minorities. Acorn even crashed the lobby of Citibank’s headquarters in New York and accused it of discriminating against blacks.

The pressure worked. In 1994, Clinton’s top bank regulators signed a landmark anti-redlining policy that declared traditional mortgage underwriting standards racist and mandated banks apply easier lending rules for minorities.

Also that year, Attorney General Janet Reno and her aide Eric Holder filed a mortgage discrimination case against a Washington-area bank that forced it to target minority neighborhoods for subprime loans. Reno and Holder also encouraged civil-rights lawyers like Obama to file local lending-bias cases against banks.

The next year, Obama led a class-action suit against Citibank on behalf of several Chicago minorities who claimed they were rejected for home loans because of the color of their skin. …

Which was untrue. Would-be borrowers, whatever their race, who can provide no deposit and have no job are  – obviously, you may think – not eligible for loans.

But Citibank eventually settled, despite the weak case. Under the 1998 settlement, Citibank vowed to pay the alleged victims $1.4 million and launch a program to boost home lending to poor blacks in the metro area.

Citibank underwrote thousands of shaky subprime mortgages to satisfy the court in Obama’s case. Defaults were common. When home prices collapsed, most of the loans went bust.

By putting them on the hook for loans they couldn’t pay, Obama did them no favors. Blacks have been hit hardest by foreclosures. But what does Obama care …  he pocketed at least $23,000 from the Citibank case.

Today, he blames the devastating wealth drain in black communities on [the very] subprime mortgages [he insisted upon]. He says “greedy,” “predatory” lenders tricked poor minorities into paying higher fees and interest rates.

His closest economic advisers also promoted subprime lending. … [His] Chicago pal Austan Goolsbee, who later became his top economist, sang the praises of subprime loans in a New York Times column. He argued they allowed poor blacks “access to mortgages.”

One of Obama’s top bank regulators, Gary Gensler, once bragged that thanks to subprime mortgages, banks made home loans to minorities at “twice the rate” they made to other borrowers … “A subprime loan is a good option when the alternative is no access to credit,” he said years before the crisis.

Obama hasn’t learned from his mistakes.

Far from it … The mammoth credit watchdog agency he created (with input from NPA radicals) will dust off Clinton’s 1994 minority lending guidelines to crack down on stingy lenders. And he’s ordered Holder, now acting as his attorney general, to prosecute banks that don’t open branches in blighted urban areas.

Not only has Obama scapegoated banks for the crisis he helped cause, he’s exploited minority suffering to continue reckless policies that hurt those he claims to champion.

But the bankers do have a share in the blame. Only it is their weakness, not their economic might, that should be held against them.

Now, against their better judgment and common sense, they are letting themselves be forced by Obama into yet another money-squandering scheme. While he has learnt nothing from the subprime disaster, they have failed to acquire a spine.

His new demand is that the banks throw masses of moola down the gullet of Gaia, the Goddess of the Green religion.

And again, though it couldn’t be more obvious that Obama’s demands are a recipe for bankruptcy, they meekly comply!

Obama’s goal is to wreck the capitalist system. Can the bankers not see this? Or have they decided it’s a jolly good idea?

This also comes from from IBD:

First the affordable housing crowd shook down banks for mortgage payola for the poor. Now the environmental lobby is shaking them down for cash to underwrite President Obama’s risky green agenda.

Risky? More like a dead cert loser.

In a strange announcement, Bank of America this week pledged an eye-popping $50 billion in loans for “renewable energy” projects — windmills, solar panels and hybrids — over the next 10 years.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank joins a number of other large banks making green commitments amid complaints from environmental groups that they finance coal extraction, the new bugaboo of the left.

Wells Fargo has already committed $30 billion in green payola. JPMorgan Chase has pumped nearly $7 billion into renewable energy projects.

Just as they bowed to bullying by Obama-supported NPA and ACORN into giving loans to borrowers who could not possibly repay them, they are now bowing to the same tactics used by greenies.

BofA upped the ante just one month after five radical greenies climbed Bank of America stadium in Charlotte, N.C., and unfurled a 70-foot-wide banner rebranding the stadium the “Bank of Coal.”

A group called Rainforest Action Network took credit for the stunt. A San Francisco-based green version of ACORN, founded by an anti-capitalist Obama donor [who no doubt became rich enough to be a donor through capitalist enterprise], RAN wanted to highlight BofA’s funding of coal plants, which it claims cause global warming. …

RAN sent its goons to BofA’s annual meeting. They demanded the bank stop funding coal mining — specifically mountaintop clearing — and “expand investments in renewable energy.”

BofA … agreed to stop funding mountaintop mining and start funding windmills, even though coal is a more cost-efficient energy source — and far more profitable than alternatives.

What mysterious perversion of their minds drives the beneficiaries of capitalism to wreck it?

Why would the nation’s largest bank let tree huggers dictate its investments? The same reason it agreed to underwrite billions in risky mortgages in response to threats from ACORN and other housing shakedown groups: to protect its corporate brand.

Is that why? How is its corporate brand protected by its heading for bankruptcy?

Just like banks didn’t want to be labeled “racists” then, they don’t want to be branded “polluters” now.

And extortionists like RAN, who play dirty, attacking bankers on vacation and at graduation speeches, prey on that fear. Their subversive tactics work. They know CEOs will pay them off if they apply enough pressure.

Only, BofA, Wells Fargo, Citibank and other banking giants already paid off housing-rights groups literally trillions of dollars in mortgage commitments in the run-up to the housing crisis. Yet, they’re all being sued now for lending discrimination.

Now they’re falling into the next trap. Obama and his pals are using the banking system to finance their illusory Green Economy. …

Put plainly, these are socialists trying to destroy our free enterprise system.

These Giants of Finance are not evil as Obama and the “Occupy” revolutionaries like to pretend, they are merely fools and cowards. But if many of those who have their hands on the levers of power are foolish and cowardly, they can ruin a nation.

The IBD advises them to “unapologetically defend your business and the capitalist system, make it clear your obligation is to customers and shareholders — not radical activists.”

We doubt they’ll take such sensible advice.

Will Americans save Europe for Germany OR save their own Republic? 3

This is the essence of what the 2012 election is all about. Either we’re going to have a Constitutional republic run by the people we elect to run it, or we’ll continue to be subjected to the whims of an international cartel which privatizes profits and socializes losses, even as they threaten the autonomy of every democracy in the world in the process.

We quote from an article by Arnold Ahlert. He writes at Canada Free Press:

Americans, whether they know or not, are in for the fight of their lives. It’s been one week since the biggest story of the last three years was published by Bloomberg News, and maybe the only thing more fascinating than the story itself is the level of indifference it’s gotten from our so-called mainstream media. Remember the $700 billion in TARP funds used to bail out the banks? Chump change. Or more to the point, collateral for the $7.77 trillion made available by the Federal Reserve to bail out financial institutions all over the world.

That’s right, all over the world. Back in August, the facade was partially pierced when the number on the bailout went from $700 billion up to $1.2 trillion. That’s when it was revealed that almost half of the Fed’s top 30 borrowers were European firms, including Royal Bank of Scotland, Zurich-based UBS, Belgium-based Dexia SA and France’s Societe Generale SA.

Now we discover that even the $1.2 trillion was a crock. Or rather Bloomberg News discovered it, after filing a Freedom of Information Act petition that took more than two years to wend its way through the courts. Bloomberg got the information after the Supreme Court rejected an appeal last March by the Clearing House Association LLC, a group comprised of the nation’s largest commercial banks. They, along with Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, tried to prevent the details from becoming public. If it were up to them, Americans still wouldn’t know a thing.

Its a scheme in which the Feds made available an amount of money equal to half of America’s Gross National Product for an entire year. Furthermore, on a single day, December 5, 2008, the banks were in such dire straits they needed a combined $1.2 trillion to remain solvent. How duplicitous were the bankers themselves? A little more than a week before this level of borrowing occurred, former Bank of America CEO Kenneth D. Lewis, informed shareholders that B of A was “one of the strongest and most stable major banks in the world,” despite owing the Federal Reserve $86 billion at the time. In a March 26 letter to shareholders, JP Morgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon claimed his firm used the Fed’s Term Auction Facility (TAF) “at the request of the Federal Reserve to help motivate others to use the system”—even though his bank’s total borrowings were nearly twice its cash holdings. …

Last week it was also announced that several central banks are making “cheaper” dollars available to bailout the socialist basket cases in the EU. Cheap money for Europe means higher prices for Americans, as once again Bernanke and Company are debasing the currency and holding Americans hostage to the ransom demands of bankers, who once again are telling us systemic failure awaits if we refuse to kowtow to their demands.

So let me tell you what’s at stake here. It’s something that transcends Democrat and Republican, left and right, conservative and liberal. The real dividing line is between those who stillbelieve in … national sovereignty, and the New World Order supra-nationalists, for whom countries are little more than an annoying impediment getting in the way of their one world government schemes.

Even now Europeans are being told that the only way out from under the current crisis is to grant the European Commission the power to approve national budgets—before each country’s parliament gets to vote on them. If that sounds like the “making you an offer you can’t refuse” schtick from the Godfather, that’s because it is. No more Greeks or Italians deciding what’s best for Greece or Italy, flawed as those decisions might be. It’s take it or leave it from … bureaucrats in Brussels … whose unbridled arrogance gave the world an EU that was doomed to failure from the start. …

And where is Congress, who ought to be making it crystal clear that the United States Federal Reserve has no business bailing out an EU that steadfastly refuses to put its own house in order?

Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy want to start the EU all over again with a new treaty that binds the individual nations more tightly together – in other words to make Europe, with all its different languages, cultures, histories, interests, strengths and weaknesses, into a single state.

The EU is failing precisely because the attempt to bind the nations into a “United States of Europe” has proved impossible. Merkel and Sarkozy are prescribing a more intense dose of the killing disease as a cure for it.

If a tighter union were agreed to by the member states of the present EU, what it would mean in practice is the Germanization of all Europe. Germany as the strongest economic power would dominate the continent. It would be the realization of a long-standing German ambition. Germany would achieve through the power of economic success what it twice failed to achieve in the last century with military might. It would be a dictatorial domination. How else could Greeks and Italians be brought to work like Germans? And Europe – aka Greater Germany – will not, cannot, be a welfare state; the dream of socialism, which became ever more of a nightmare, is over.  

The EU was established  in the first place to satisfy the need of Germany to dissolve its guilt  – for the Second World War and the Holocaust – in the big pond of Europe; and the (paradoxically) nationalistic desire  of France to put on more muscle  – a vaster population, a zone of freely moving capital and labor – so it could rival the United States as a power in the world.  Yet France will not mind being dominated by Germany. It collaborated all too willingly with the Third Reich. (The French “resistance” is largely a myth, such resistance as there was being small, bitterly divided, and mainly Communist.)

The best hope for Europe would be a dissolution of the EU. Britain should withdraw from it as soon as possible. The EU idea was never popular in Britain, and if a referendum on continued membership were held now, the votes against it would almost certainly be in the majority – which is precisely why the Conservative government, which promised to hold such a referendum if it came to power, now won’t take the risk. Almost all the politicians of Europe love the (non-democratic) EU because it provides them with a bigger stage to strut on.

Our view, cold and hard, is that it would be a good thing if the Euro collapsed and the European Union broke into its constituent national pieces. The United States should be doing everything it can to disentangle itself from the banks of Europe, and refrain from helping any continuation of its ruinous welfare socialism. And Americans must save themselves from the fate Europe brought upon itself by voting to strengthen national sovereignty and  keep their Republic.

To fatten a cat 0

Redistribution is Socialism. No need to go looking for some dead economist’s definition of the S word. If a central agency with the power of coercion, which is to say a government, takes money from some and distributes it to others, that is Socialism in practice.  The reach of government is widened, individual freedom narrowed.

It should not be called an economic system, because it cannot create wealth. It stultifies innovation and productivity. It kills incentive. It levels down. It is the primrose path to poverty.

Under the leadership of Obama and his gang of collectivists, redistribution is well under way in America. Change to Socialism is well under way.

And Obama’s vision is not just of a socialist America but of a socialist world.

The Investor’s Business Daily comments on how a small, failing, Chicago bank that – inter alia – redistributes US tax-payers’ money to Kenya (the homeland of Obama’s father) is kept going by effort of the redistributionists in the White House.

Sometimes banks are too small to fail, such as when they are in the president’s hometown, deal with the president’s friends and serve the president’s agenda. Or should we perhaps say too connected to fail?

ShoreBank’s Web site boasts: “Van Jones [Obama’s erstwhile ‘Environment Czar’ and admirer of Mao – JB] saves at ShoreBank so his money fights for green jobs just like he does.” …

While President Obama rails against the robber barons of Wall Street, the politically connected Chicago financial institution with a politically correct agenda gets a pass and gets a bailout all its own. It is the poster bank for hope and change.

Fox Business points out that “ShoreBank has ties to the Obama administration. Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s senior adviser and a fixture in Chicago politics (as was the president), served on the board of Chicago Metropolis 2020, a civic organization which was run by Adele Simmons, a director at ShoreBank.”

ShoreBank was in trouble and needed financial help, either from the government or other financial institutions that have already received government money.

Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill., has joined Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., in a letter to Obama asking for records concerning ShoreBank and how it lined up at least  $125 million in capital from major banks to qualify for $75 million from the federal government.

ShoreBank has a history of making the very kind of risky loans that leftist agitators such as Acorn, with government help, pressured banks to do under the Community Reinvestment Act.

During his visit to Africa last year, Obama praised the bank for its involvement in projects in Kenya.

Kenya? Why is a struggling community bank in the Windy City involved in projects in Kenya? We hesitate to guess.

Ten other Illinois banks have already failed in 2010, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. ShoreBank has reportedly received $20 million from General Electric, $20 million from Goldman Sachs and $20 million from Citigroup — with more promised by JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley.

Considering ShoreBank’s track record, is this where taxpayer money should be going?

Forgive us. We forgot for a moment about that whole sharing the wealth and redistribution thing. …

“I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street,” President Obama said in an interview on the CBS “60 Minutes” program.

He did run to fundamentally transform America — and if those banks are on Main Street and they follow Obama’s agenda, they get help from those fat cats now in thrall to the government, not to mention all the president’s friends. Pretty sweet deal.

Looming up – a permanent TARP 1

The financial regulation bill is another huge threat to America’s painfully diminished prosperity, and so ultimately to Big Business and Big Labor.

But Big Business and Big Labor cannot see that, being chronically short-sighted. Contrary to Obama’s contention, they actually welcome the legislation.

The Heritage Foundation examines the bill which it calls, with good reason, a “Wall Street Bailout Bill” – a permanent TARP. And that, it says, is “what Wall Street wanted all along”.

Speaking to an audience of big business and big labor executives (including Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein, Bank of America’s Bruce Thompson and SEIU’s Andy Stern) at New York’s Cooper Union, President Barack Obama noted “the furious efforts of industry lobbyists to shape” the financial regulation bill “to their special interests.” Obama then admitted, “I am sure that many of those lobbyists work for some of you. But I am here today because I want to urge you to join us, instead of fighting us in this effort.” Obama should have saved his breath. Wall Street and big labor lobbyists have already joined forces to make sure the current Senate legislation has become a Wall Street Bailout Bill.

Big labor’s ties to this White House are already well documented. Less known is just how close Obama administration interests align with the big firms that benefit most from the TARP bailout. The Washington Examiner reports that at Goldman Sachs, the nation’s largest investment bank, four of the five in-house lobbyists were Democratic Capitol Hill staffers — the remaining one gave $1,000 to Hillary Clinton last election. And USA Today notes that Goldman Sachs alone has given nearly $900,000 since January 2009 to congressional candidates, with 69% of that cash lining Democrat pockets. Finally, then-candidate Obama collected almost $1 million from Goldman executives and employees in 2008, more than the combined Goldman haul of every Republican running for president, Senate and the House.

So what have Wall Street lobbyists bought with their campaign cash and high priced lobbyists? A bill that gives permanent TARP-like authority to Washington regulators, thus enshrining Washington as a permanent bailout machine. Specifically, the bill:

Creates a protected class of too big to fail firms. Section 113 of the bill establishes a “Financial Stability Oversight Council,” charged with identifying firms that would “pose a threat to the financial security of the United States” if they encounter “material financial distress.” While these firms would be subject to enhanced regulation, such a designation would also signal to the marketplace that these firms are too important to be allowed to fail and, perversely, allow them to take on undue risk.

Creates permanent bailout authority. Section 204 of the bill authorizes the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to “make available … funds for the orderly liquidation of [a] covered financial institution.” Although no funds could be provided to compensate a firm’s shareholders, the firm’s other creditors would be eligible for a cash bailout. The situation is much like the bailout AIG in 2008, in which the largest beneficiaries were not stockholders but rather other creditors, such as Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs.

Provides for seizure of private property without meaningful judicial review. The bill, in Section 203(b), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to order the seizure of any financial firm that he finds is “in danger of default” and whose failure would have “serious adverse effects on financial stability.” This determination would be virtually irreversible in court.

Establishes a $50 billion fund to pay for bailouts. Funding for bailouts is to come from a $50 billion “Orderly Resolution Fund” created within the U.S. Treasury in Section 210(n)(1), funded by taxes on financial firms. However, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the ultimate cost of bank taxes will fall on the customers, employees and investors of each firm.

Opens a “line of credit” to the Treasury for additional government funding. Under Section 210(n)(9), the FDIC is effectively granted a line of credit to the Treasury Department that is secured by the value of failing firms in its control, providing another taxpayer financial support.

Authorizes regulators to guarantee the debt of solvent banks. Bailout authority is not limited to debt of failing institutions. Under Section 1155, the FDIC is authorized to guarantee the debt of “solvent depository institutions” if regulators declare that a liquidity crisis (“event”) exists.

Imposes one-size-fits-all reform in derivative markets. … The Senate bill would require virtually all derivative contracts to be settled through a clearinghouse rather than directly between the parties. Applying such ill-designed blanket regulation would make financial derivatives more costly, more difficult to customize, and, consequently, less widely used—which would increase overall risk in the economy.

According to Rasmussen Reports, 64% of Americans are not confident that policymakers in Washington know what they’re doing with regards to Wall Street. They have every reason to be concerned. … The bill Obama is pushing would empower Secretary Geithner to repeat the AIG bailout ad infinitum. No need to ever go back to Congress for a new TARP. The Senate bill is a permanent TARP. Which is exactly what Goldman Sachs and the rest of their Wall Street lobbyists wanted all along.