Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Captive Government

Greetings good citizen,

Here we are in the third year of the slow motion collapse of the US Empire and we are reminded by no less an authority than the NY Times that our legislators are either totally clueless (or hopelessly corrupt, pick one, or both, it doesn’t matter!)

Recent ‘financial reform legislation’ (that didn’t even ‘suggest’ restoring Glass-Steagal) has had zero impact on the banking industry…but we knew that already BECAUSE it passed! Same thing with Health Care reform, nothing has changed.

Funny, for a guy who ran on ‘change’, nothing has, which is not to say that the steady ‘downhill march’ has even skipped a beat! (That’s the thing Bobo promised to put a stop to…that is what is meant when I say nothing has changed…because those hits just keep on coming!)

This should lead us to ponder what it will take to effect genuine change…or worse, how we/our children will deal with the decidedly negative changes those who have ‘captured’ our government are implementing.

Put the chips on the table good citizen and the ‘answer’ is staring you in the face, we have a ‘bad’ government; that is what needs fixing!

The ‘insidious’ thing about the persistent unemployment situation is that our kids don’t remember a time when it wasn’t ‘always like this’.

But let’s not kid ourselves, good citizen. If not for the ‘information age’ that put all of this data at our fingertips, we’d be as ignorant as our children remain.

By ‘default’ the captive government proves a captive media. (In fact, the capture of the government facilitated the capture [consolidation] of the media.)

Just because you disagree doesn’t make you right. Which is another way of saying what you believe does nothing to alter the truth!

“You can fill a person’s head with a great deal of nonsense and they are still capable of functioning adequately.” Conservatism is proof of this. (That is a ‘semi-famous’ quote but I have no clue as to the ‘true’ source…naturally, sans the ‘conservative bit’ at the end, I added that.)

Um, I keep hammering on this particular topic because all roads lead to this particular junction; make no mistake about it, we HAVE HAD a revolution, actually a ‘bloodless coup’ is a more accurate description: Those the government were supposed to be ‘protecting’ us from have taken over the government. Unfortunately, there is no simple way to ‘dislodge’ the interlopers.

Which leads us back to…ARE YOU READY TO RUMBLE?

But first let us proceed with tonight’s offering for another ‘feeble admission’ that our ‘captive government’ isn’t worth the cost of electing our corrupt representatives.

These guys took over on the premise that the government wasn’t ‘the solution’ but ‘the problem’…and they have yet to ‘waste’ an opportunity to prove that point.

The current disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is but one more fine example of ‘What the fuck are you gonna do about it…punk?’

Fed Finding Status Quo in Bank Pay
Published: June 8, 2010

Federal regulators reviewing the compensation policies of major banks are finding that the industry has not adequately adjusted its pay practices to reduce risk-taking. [We are left to wonder what it would take to put an end to reckless/predatory practices if legislation can’t solve the problem?]

The Federal Reserve, six months into a compensation review of the country’s 28 largest financial companies, has found that many of the bonus and incentive programs that economists say contributed to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression remain in place, according to people briefed on the examinations.

"We found that many banks have not modified their practices from what they were before the crisis," said Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman said during a House committee hearing on Wednesday morning. "We will be pushing banks to move as quickly as possible to restructure their compensation packages so that they will not be engendering excessive risk-taking. We will do that very quickly." [Don’t hold your breath good citizen…worse, this makes us wonder why bail-out money was provided with this specific contingency stipulated, complete with a ‘drop-dead’ provision for failure to comply? But let’s not forget whose government this really is…it sure ain’t your’s or mine!]

Officials have found, for example, that risk managers at several of the biggest banks still report to executives who have influence over their year-end bonuses and whose own pay might be constricted by curbing risk. In many cases, risk managers do not have full access to the compensation committee of the banks’ boards.

The review also revealed that banks tend to set similar bonus formulas for broad sets of employees and often do not adjust payouts to account for risks taken by traders or mortgage lending officers. Bank executives and directors, meanwhile, are often in the dark on the pay arrangements of employees whose bets could have a potentially devastating impact on the company.

The Federal Reserve’s examination is focusing on the structure of compensation arrangements, not their amounts, and the results have not been made public. However, some preliminary findings emerged from interviews with government officials and bank executives who have been briefed on the review. [What do you suppose the likelihood is of this information EVER being made public? Slim to none would be a fair estimate!]

Last month, the Fed sent letters to the chief executives of each of the 28 banks detailing officials’ concerns about their institution’s pay practices. The letters ordered them to promptly make changes. [Left unaddressed is the ‘or what’ part of the puzzle. No threat = no change!]

Bank officials are now in negotiations with federal officials over the steps they must take. The Fed is not expected to release its official report until next year, though it may provide new details when it releases a final set of pay guidelines that it has been working on at the same time. Those are expected in coming weeks. [Um, nobody should miss the irony here…how much ‘flexibility’ will ‘guidelines’ have? What (if anything) will be the penalty for non-compliance?]

The Fed’s review is the latest in a flurry of federal efforts to rein in banker pay and is occurring as Congress works to reconcile bills passed by the House and the Senate that will further tighten the government’s grip on the financial industry. Other agencies are also forging ahead with mixed success on compensation initiatives announced earlier this year, when it seemed that everyone in Washington was hoping to turn the politics of pay to their advantage. [Funny how that statement takes on a whole new meaning when viewed from the perspective of who ‘owns’ the government!]

Kenneth R. Feinberg, President Obama’s pay czar for banks bailed out by the government, is combing through the compensation awarded from October 2008 to February 2009 to the 25 highest earners at each company that received bailout money. He plans to publicize the results within the next three weeks. [Mark your calendars good citizen but don’t hold your breath, it’s not going to happen.]

Only about 180 of the 420 companies that accepted bailout money were subject to his review, and Mr. Feinberg has no authority, other than the threat of public embarrassment, to renegotiate compensation arrangements that he finds objectionable. [Why the ‘big void’?]

Other government efforts have run into delays. The Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, proposed a global bank tax, partly based on executive compensation, at several recent meetings with finance ministers from the Group of 20 large economies. But that initiative has failed to attract broad support and faces resistance from Australia and Canada, whose banks generally withstood the crisis. [Which begs a different question: should Timmy boy be tackling ‘global policy’? He is an ‘appointee’, not an elected official and therefore does not answer to the people…but who does since the ‘Reagan Revolution’?]

Separately, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has pushed back a board vote on a controversial plan that would tie a bank’s pay practices to the fees it pays to the agency’s insurance fund. Under the proposal, lenders that use long-term stock to reward employees and those that adopt provisions to claw back compensation would pay less money into the fund, while riskier pay practices could lead to higher assessments.

The banking industry opposes the plan, arguing it could increase compliance costs and conflict with other regulatory efforts on compensation. The F.D.I.C. vote, which was expected to take place at the agency’s June meeting, has been put off until at least late summer, according to people with knowledge of the agency’s plans. [After the destruction of the global economy is assured, it won’t matter what they decide!]

The Federal Reserve’s review started in early November, when senior officials informed the chiefs of the major banks and their compensation committees that they might need to change their pay practices ahead of new rules. The banks were required to respond to a four-page questionnaire, inquiring about policies like the golden parachute payouts for senior executives and the pay scales of lower-level mortgage bankers. [What do you suppose the ‘penalty’ was for non-compliance, a nasty e-mail?]

The Fed, just as it did with the bank stress tests in the spring of 2009, analyzed thousands of pages of answers it received to compare the results and identify patterns.

Um, if this were a ‘personal undertaking’ what do you suppose the ‘odds of success’ for this venture would be? I’d put them at ‘Doomed from the start!’

Even the ‘fake’ policy moves are toothless, rendering them worthless and a waste of time and energy. This is substantially worse than ‘window dressing’, even ‘for show’ policy has ‘imaginary’ teeth.

Sadly, that’s another disturbing truth. All of this crap at one time or another, WAS illegal. Naturally, once you ‘own’ the government, you get to ‘erase’ any inconvenient laws or even to pretend they weren’t violated, creating a huge advantage.

But sadly, once the ‘shit hits the fan’, the ‘let’s pretend’ game becomes more difficult to play…because you’ve screwed so many people!

The down side of playing ‘fuck-fuck’ is most people aren’t willing to accept ‘just kidding’ as an explanation for having their trust violated.

So, yeah… the road is a lot rockier than it appears…

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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