CORRUPTION & MALFEASANCE
MORAL DECAY - DESPERATION, SHORTAGES..
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|CORRUPTION & MALFEASANCE
- - CORRUPTION & MALFEASANCE - MORAL DECAY - > DESPERATION, SHORTAGES.
Systemic Corruption Has Destroyed America 06-03-15 George Washington via ZH
It's been less than a month since we posted on this topic. But sadly, there are already many new entries.
The Cop Is On the Take
Government corruption has become rampant:
- Senior SEC employees spent up to 8 hours a day surfing porn sites instead of cracking down on financial crimes
- NSA spies pass around homemade sexual videos and pictures they’ve collected from spying on the American people
- Investigators from the Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General found that some of the regulator’s employees surfed erotic websites, hired prostitutes and accepted gifts from bank executives … instead of actually working to help the economy
- The Minerals Management Service – the regulator charged with overseeing BP and other oil companies to ensure that oil spills don’t occur – was riddled with “a culture of substance abuse and promiscuity”, which included “sex with industry contacts”
- Agents for the Drug Enforcement Agency had dozens of sex parties with prostitutes hired by the drug cartels they were supposed to stop (they also received money, gifts and weapons from drug cartel members)
- The former chief accountant for the SEC says that Bernanke and Paulson broke the law and should be prosecuted
- The government knew about mortgage fraud a long time ago. For example, the FBI warned of an “epidemic” of mortgage fraud in 2004. However, the FBI, DOJ and other government agencies then stood down and did nothing. See this and this. For example, the Federal Reserve turned its cheek and allowed massive fraud, and the SEC has repeatedly ignored accounting fraud (a whistleblower also “gift-wrapped and delivered” the Madoff scandal to the SEC, but they refused to take action). Indeed, Alan Greenspan took the position that fraud could never happen
- Paulson and Bernanke falsely stated that the big banks receiving Tarp money were healthy, when they were not. The Treasury Secretary also falsely told Congress that the bailouts would be used to dispose of toxic assets … but then used the money for something else entirely
- Congress has exempted itself from the healthcare rules it insists everyone else follow
- Law enforcement also grabs massive amounts of people’s cash, cars and property … even when people aren’t CHARGED with – let alone convicted of – any crime
- Private prisons are huge profit-making centers for giant companies, and private prison corporations obtain quotas from the government, where the government guarantees a certain number of prisoners at any given time
- The government covered up the health risks to New Orleans residents associated with polluted water from hurricane Katrina, and FEMA covered up the cancer risk from the toxic trailers which it provided to refugees of the hurricane. The Centers for Disease Control – the lead agency tasked with addressing disease in America – covered up lead poisoning in children in the Washington, D.C. area (the Centers for Disease Control has also been outed as receiving industry funding)
- In response to new studies showing the substantial dangers of genetically modified foods, the government passed legislation more or less PUSHING IT onto our plates
- The Bush White House worked hard to smear CIA officers, bloggers and anyone else who criticized the Iraq war
- The FBI smeared top scientists who pointed out the numerous holes in its anthrax case. Indeed, the head of the FBI’s investigation agrees that corruption was rampant
- The government has intentionally whipped up hysteria about terrorism for cynical political purposes. For example, former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge admitted that he was pressured to raise terror alerts to help the president win reelection
- When the American government got caught assassinating innocent civilians, it changed its definition of “enemy combatants” to include all young men – between the ages of say 15 and 35 – who happen to be in battle zones. When it got busted killing kids with drones, it changed the definition again to include kids as “enemy combatants”
- The government treats journalists who report on government corruption as CRIMINALS OR TERRORISTS. And it goes to great lengths to smear them. For example, when USA Today reporters busted the Pentagon for illegally targeting Americans with propaganda, the Pentagon launched a SMEAR CAMPAIGN against the reporters
The biggest companies own the D.C. politicians. Indeed, the head of the economics department at George Mason University has pointed out that it is unfair to call politicians “prostitutes”. They are in fact pimps … selling out the American people for a price.
Government regulators have become so corrupted and “captured” by those they regulate that Americans know that the cop is on the take. Institutional corruption is killing people’s trust in our government and our institutions.
Neither the Democratic or Republican parties represent the interests of the American people. Elections have become nothing but scripted beauty contests, with both parties ignoring the desires of their own bases.
Indeed, America is no longer a democracy or republic … it’s officially an oligarchy. And the allowance of unlimited campaign spending allows the oligarchs to purchase politicians more directly than ever.
No wonder polls show that the American people say that the system is thoroughly corrupt.
Moreover, there are two systems of justice in America … one for the big banks and other fatcats … and one for everyone else. Indeed, Americans have less access to justice than Botswanans … and are more abused by police than Kazakhstanis.
Big Corporations Are Also Thoroughly Corrupt
But the private sector is no better … for example, the big banks have literally turned into criminal syndicates engaged in systemic fraud.
Wall Street and giant corporations are literally manipulating every single market.
And the big corporations are cutting corners to make an extra penny … wreaking havoc with their carelessness. For example:
- U.S. military contractors have pocketed huge sums of money earmarked for humanitarian and reconstruction aid. And see this (whistleblowers alerted the government about the looting of Iraq reconstruction funds, but nothing was done)
- There is systemic corruption among drug companies, scientific journals, university medical departments, and medical groups which set the criteria for diagnosis and treatment
(Further examples here, here, here, here and here.)
We’ve Forgotten the Lessons of History
The real problem is that we need to learn a little history:
- We’ve known for centuries that powerful people – unless held to account – will get together and steal from everyone else
Beyond Partisan Politics
Liberals and conservatives tend to blame our country’s problems on different factors … but they are all connected.
The real problem is the malignant, symbiotic relationship between big corporations and big government.
CORRUPTION & MALFEASANCE - MORAL DECAY - DESPERATION, SHORTAGES.
"it's been estimated that prescription drugs kill approximately 200,000 people in the US each year" - Michael Snyder
"nearly 70% of all Americans are on at least 1 prescription drug, and 20% are on at least 5 prescription drugs" - Mayo Clinic study
Click to Enlarge
RULE OF LAW
Slips With Economic Problems
or is IT a Cause of the Economic Problems as Crony Capitalism Takes Hold?
CORRUPTION & MALFEASANCE : Breathtaking" Corruption In Europe
"02-10-14 Pater Tenebrarum of Acting-Man blog, via ZH
A recent article at the BBC discusses the findings of a report by EU Home Affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem on corruption in the EU. According to the report, the cost of corruption in the EU amounts to €120 billion annually. We would submit that it is likely far more than that (in fact, even Ms. Malmstroem herself concurs with this assessment). This is of course what one gets when one installs vast, byzantine bureaucracies and issues a veritable flood of rules and regulations every year. More and more people are needed to administer this unwieldy nightmare of red tape, and naturally the quality of the hires declines over time due to the sheer numbers required.
Moreover, many small to medium sized businesses would probably not be able to survive if they didn't occasionally bribe officials. Big business considers bribes a perfectly normal cost of business anyway, especially when the business concerned involves milking tax cows. As you will see further below, the defense business – or better the war racket – is especially prone to corruption. Tax payers of course end up paying every cent. Another sector that is apparently subject to widespread corruption is health care – which should be no surprise, since health care provision is an almost fully socialistic enterprise in Europe. Bribes may well mean the difference between life and death in some instances. You will probably also not be overly surprised to learn that there was VAT fraud amounting to €5 billion in the bizarre and totally ineffective and useless 'carbon credits' market, which has turned into a boondoggle of amazing proportions. There's simply no other way of making a mint in that market we suppose. From the BBC:
“The extent of corruption in Europe is "breathtaking" and it costs the EU economy at least 120bn euros (£99bn) annually, the European Commission says. EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem has presented a full report on the problem.
She said the true cost of corruption was "probably much higher" than 120bn. Three-quarters of Europeans surveyed for the Commission study said that corruption was widespread, and more than half said the level had increased.
"The extent of the problem in Europe is breathtaking, although Sweden is among the countries with the least problems," Ms Malmstroem wrote in Sweden's Goeteborgs-Posten daily. The cost to the EU economy is equivalent to the bloc's annual budget. For the report the Commission studied corruption in all 28 EU member states. The Commission says it is the first time it has done such a survey.
National governments, rather than EU institutions, are chiefly responsible for fighting corruption in the EU.
In some countries there was a relatively high number reporting personal experience of bribery. In Croatia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece, between 6% and 29% of respondents said they had been asked for a bribe, or had been expected to pay one, in the past 12 months. There were also high levels of bribery in Poland (15%), Slovakia (14%) and Hungary (13%), where the most prevalent instances were in healthcare.
Last year Europol director Rob Wainwright said VAT fraud in the carbon credits market had cost the EU about 5bn euros.”
And that is merely what they actually know about. Remember, there are known unknowns and unknown unknowns here as well, and they probably dwarf what is actually known. One gets an inkling of how big the problem may really be when considering the case of Greece.
The EU corruption map according to the official report – via BBC.
Bribes Exceeding Greek Official's Memory Storage Capacity
Greece is of course a special case in terms of official corruption. If you ever wondered how the country could go bankrupt in such short order after joining the euro zone, wonder no longer. Here are a few excerpts from a recent article in the NYT about a lower level official in the defense ministry who received so many bribes that he cannot even remember them all anymore. The amounts involved are astonishing:
“When Antonis Kantas, a deputy in the Defense Ministry here, spoke up against the purchase of expensive German-made tanks in 2001, a representative of the tank's manufacturer stopped by his office to leave a satchel on his sofa. It contained 600,000 euros ($814,000).
Other arms manufacturers eager to make deals came by, too, some guiding him through the ins and outs of international banking and then paying him off with deposits to his overseas accounts.
At the time, Mr. Kantas, a wiry former military officer, did not actually have the authority to decide much of anything on his own. But corruption was so rampant inside the Greek equivalent of the Pentagon that even a man of his relatively modest rank, he testified recently, was able to amass nearly $19 million in just five years on the job.”
One certainly wonders what more powerful officials were able to skim off. Unfortunately, corruption is so widespread and reportedly involves the highest echelons of the bureaucracy and the body politic in Greece, so that one must expect that we will never find out. No wonder there is a lot of tax evasion in Greece: who wants to hand over his hard earned money to such a gang of thieves? It is like paying off the mafia.
Meanwhile, the companies paying the bribes are of course just as guilty, and many of them come from countries that are themselves ranked relatively low on the corruption scale – e.g. Germany and Sweden. It seems to be an 'opportunity makes thieves' type situation.
“Never before has an official opened such a wide window on the eye-popping system of payoffs at work inside a Greek government ministry. At various points, Mr. Kantas, who returned to testify again last week, told prosecutors he had taken so many bribes he could not possibly remember the details.
Mr. Kantas's testimony, if accurate, illustrates how arms makers from Germany, France, Sweden and Russia passed out bribes liberally, often through Greek representatives, to sell the government weaponry that it could ill afford and that experts say was in many cases overpriced and subpar.
The 600,000 euros, for instance, bought Mr. Kantas's silence on the tanks, which were deemed of little value in any wars Greece might fight, according to Constantinos P. Fraggos, an expert on the Greek military who has written several books on the subject. Greece went ahead and bought 170 of the tanks for about $2.3 billion.
Adding to the absurdity of the purchase (almost all of it on credit), the ministry bought virtually no ammunition for them, Mr. Fraggos said. It also bought fighter planes without electronic guidance systems and paid more than $4 billion for troubled, noisy submarines that are not yet finished and sit today virtually abandoned in a shipyard outside Athens. At the height of the crisis, when it was unclear whether Greece would be thrown out of the euro zone and long before the submarines were finished, the Greek Parliament approved a final $407 million payment for the German submarines.”
The Defense Ministry is hardly the only ministry suspected of being a hotbed of corruption. But the Defense Ministry makes a particularly rich target for investigators because Greece went on a huge spending spree after 1996 when it got into a low-level skirmish with Turkey over the Imia islets in the Aegean Sea.
One former director general of the Defense Ministry, Evangelos Vasilakos, calculated that Greece spent as much as $68 billion on weaponry over the next 10 years, much of it borrowed money. To win these deals, which involved the approval of military and Defense Ministry officials, as well as Parliament, arms dealers probably spent more than $2.7 billion on bribes, according to Tasos Telloglou, an investigative reporter for the Greek daily newspaper Kathimerini, who has written extensively on the subject.”
Buying $68 billion worth of largely useless weaponry is certainly quite a feat for a country of slightly over 11 million inhabitants. The Saudis may well be able to top that on a per capita basis, but they have a lot of oil money and haven't required a bailout from anyone. Greece was not able to actually afford these expensive toys.
Even if the weapons were in perfect working order, this buying spree wouldn't make any sense. Is Greece really going to fight a war with Turkey, a NATO partner? The very idea is absurd. Since we can rule this possibility out, what on earth are the weapons good for?
We can hereby amend Randolph Bourne's famous saying: 'War is the health of the State – and its minions and suppliers'.
MALFEASANTS & CORRUPTION
DOJ Sued For Crony Justice - Presenting "A Decade of Illegal Conduct by JP Morgan Chase" 02-10-14 Zero Hedge
Earlier today, the non-profit organization Better Markets did what so many others have only dreamed of doing - they sued JPMorgan.
Specifically, as they disclose in the fact sheet posted on their website, they are "challenging the historic and unprecedented $13 billion settlement agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice and JP Morgan Chase (“Agreement”). Better Markets alleges in its complaint that the DOJ violated the Constitution and laws of the United States by using a mere contractual agreement to resolve claims of historic importance without subjecting the Agreement to independent judicial review. In effect, the DOJ acted as investigator, prosecutor, judge, jury, sentencer, and collector, without any check on its authority or actions, even though the amount is the largest in the 237 year history of the United States. Because the DOJ has declared its intention to use the Agreement as a “template” in future similar cases, it is imperative that the DOJ’s unlawful and secretive approach in the settlement process be subjected to judicial review."
We wish them the best of luck, as in a "crony jsutice" system as corrupt as this one - perhaps best described, paradoxically enough by the fictional movie The International - where the same DOJ previously implicitly admitted it will not prosecute "systemically important" firms like JPM to the full extent of the law and instead merely lob one after another wrist slap at them to placate the peasantry, any hope for obtaining true justice is impossible.
That said, the key aspects of the Better Markets lawsuit deserve attention. They are broken down as follows:
For years leading up to the financial crisis of 2008, JP Morgan Chase allegedly engaged in pervasive fraud in the packaging and sale of thousands of mortgage-backed securities to investors. Those securities were stuffed with subprime loans that failed to meet applicable underwriting criteria. Employees, managers, and potentially high-level executives of JP Morgan Chase knew that the securities were riddled with toxic loans, but they allegedly concealed the truth from investors when they marketed and sold the securities. Investors lost huge but still unknown sums of money as a result of the fraud, and the bank’s illegal conduct contributed directly to the biggest financial crash since 1929 and the worst economy since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
After negotiating the Agreement in complete secrecy, the DOJ announced the $13 billion deal on November 19, 2013, claiming that it was holding JP Morgan Chase accountable for its illegal activities. Under the Agreement, DOJ grants JP Morgan Chase broad civil immunity in exchange for a $2 billion civil penalty, along with $4 billion in “consumer relief” for the benefit of homeowners with problem mortgages. The Agreement also allocates $7 billion to eight other agencies or states to resolve their claims against JP Morgan Chase.
Key Allegations in the Complaint
The Agreement was struck under the most extraordinary circumstances. For example—
- THE HISTORIC CLAIMS: The Agreement resolved claims of pervasive fraud that contributed to the worst financial crash since 1929 and the worst economy since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
- THE LARGEST AMOUNT EVER: The settlement amount was the largest in U.S. history from any single entity by more than 300%.
- THE BIGGEST BANK: JP Morgan Chase is the largest, richest, and most well-connected Wall Street bank in the United States.
- THE HIGHEST-LEVEL NEGOTIATORS: The Attorney General and other senior DOJ political appointees negotiated directly and entirely in secret with the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, someone who was considered a possible Treasury Secretary just a few years ago.
- THE $10 BILLION PHONE CALL: The cellphone of DOJ’s third highest ranking official rang with the “familiar” phone number of JP Morgan Chase’s CEO, who called to offer billions of dollars to stop DOJ from holding a press conference and filing a lawsuit in just a few hours. The call worked, and the press conference and lawsuit were both called off.
- THE UNPRECEDENTED AGREEMENT: DOJ gave complete civil immunity to JP Morgan Chase for defrauding thousands in exchange for $13 billion, via a contract that was negotiated and finalized in secret without any review or approval by a federal court.
?Notwithstanding the historic nature of the settlement, the Agreement was never subjected to judicial review, so there has been no independent evaluation of its terms. Furthermore, the vague settlement documents fail to disclose critically important information about every aspect of the deal. For example, the Agreement fails to identify or explain—
- THE LOSSES: How much did JP Morgan Chase’s clients, customers, counterparties, investors, and others lose as a result of its fraudulent conduct? $100 billion? $200 billion? More?
- THE PROFITS: How much revenue, profits, and other benefits did JP Morgan Chase receive as a result of its fraudulent conduct, and was it all disgorged? $10 billion? $20 billion? More?
- THE BONUSES: Who received what amount of bonuses for the illegal conduct?
- THE INVESTIGATION: What was the scope and thoroughness of the investigation that provided the basis for the Agreement?
- THE FRAUD: What are the material facts of the illegal conduct by JP Morgan Chase and the specific violations of law that were committed?
- THE CULPRITS: What exactly did the individual executives, officers, managers, and employees involved in the illegal conduct actually do to carry out the fraud, and do any of them still work for the bank?
- THE CORRECTIVE ACTION: Why did the contract fail to impose on JP Morgan Chase any obligation to change any of its business or compliance practices, which are standard conduct remedies that regulators routinely require? And how can the sanctions effectively punish and deter JP Morgan Chase, given its wealth and its extensive history of lawless conduct?
- THE LACK OF ADMISSIONS: Why are there no admissions of fact or law by JP Morgan Chase, and what, if any, are the concrete legal implications of their so-called “acknowledgment”?
By entering the Agreement without seeking any judicial review and approval, the DOJ violated the Constitution and laws of the United States.
- The Executive Branch, acting through the DOJ, violated the separation of powers doctrine by unilaterally striking a bargain with JP Morgan Chase to resolve unprecedented matters of historic importance, without seeking any judicial review and approval of the Agreement.
- The DOJ violated the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (“FIRREA”) by failing to commence a civil action in federal court so that the court could, among other things, assess the civil penalty.
- The DOJ acted arbitrarily and capriciously by, among other things, entering the Agreement without seeking judicial review and approval.
* * *
But perhaps the most informative aspect of the lawsuit fact sheet is simply stepping back and observing the relentless illegal transgressions by Jamie Dimon's firm. Better Markets summarizes them best as follows:
Highlights From A Decade of Illegal Conduct by JP Morgan Chase
- United States v. JPMorgan Case Bank, NA, No-1:14-cr-7 (S.D.N.Y. Jan 8, 2014) ($1.7 billion criminal penalty); In re JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., OCC Admin. Proceeding No. AA-EC-13-109 (Jan. 7, 2014) ($350 million civil penalty); In re JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Dept. of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Admin. Proceeding No. 2014-1 (Jan. 7, 2014) ($461 million civil penalty) (all for violations of law arising from the bank’s role in connection with Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, the largest in the history of the U.S.);
- In re JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., CFTC Admin. Proceeding No. 14-01 (Oct. 16, 2013) ($100 million civil penalty); In re JPMorgan Chase & Co., SEC Admin. Proceeding No. 3-15507 (Sept. 19, 2013) ($200 million civil penalty); In re JPMorgan Chase & Co., Federal Reserve Board Admin. Proceeding No. 13-031-CMP-HC (Sept. 18, 2013) ($200 million civil penalty); UK Financial Conduct Authority, Final Notice to JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. (Sept. 18, 2013) (£137.6 million ($221 million) penalty); In re JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., OCC Admin. Proceeding No. AA-EC-2013-75, #2013-140 (Sept. 17, 2013) ($300 million civil penalty) (all for violations of federal law in connection with the proprietary trading losses sustained by JP Morgan Chase in connection with the high risk derivatives bet referred to as the “London Whale”);
- In re JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., CFPB Admin. Proceeding No. 2013-CFPB-0007 (Sept. 19, 2013) ($20 million civil penalty and $309 million refund to customers); In re JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., OCC Admin. Proceeding No. AA-EC-2013-46 (Sept. 18, 2013) ($60 million civil penalty) (both for violations in connection with JP Morgan Chase’s billing practices and fraudulent sale of so-called Identity Protection Products to customers);
- In Re Make-Whole Payments and Related Bidding Strategies, FERC Admin. Proceeding Nos. IN11-8-000, IN13-5-000 (July 30, 2013) (civil penalty of $285 million and disgorgement of $125 million for energy market manipulation);
- SEC v. J.P. Morgan Sec. LLC, No. 12-cv-1862 (D.D.C. Jan. 7, 2013) ($301 million in civil penalties and disgorgement for improper conduct related to offerings of mortgage-backed securities);
- In re JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., CFTC Admin. Proceeding No. 12-37 (Sept. 27, 2012) ($600,000 civil penalty for violations of the Commodities Exchange Act relating to trading in excess of position limits);
- In re JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., CFTC Admin. Proceeding No. 12-17 (Apr. 4, 2012) ($20 million civil penalty for the unlawful handling of customer segregated funds relating to the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc.);
- United States v. Bank of America, No. 12-cv-00361 (D.D.C. 2012) (for foreclosure and mortgage-loan servicing abuses during the Financial Crisis, with JP Morgan Chase paying $5.3 billion in monetary and consumer relief);
- In re JPMorgan Chase & Co., Federal Reserve Board Admin. Proceeding No. 12-009-CMP-HC (Feb. 9, 2012) ($275 million in monetary relief for unsafe and unsound practices in residential mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing);
- SEC v. J.P. Morgan Sec. LLC, No. 11-cv-03877 (D.N.J. July 7, 2011) ($51.2 million in civil penalties and disgorgement); In re JPMorgan Chase & Co., Federal Reserve Board Admin. Proceeding No. 11-081-WA/RB-HC (July 6, 2011) (compliance plan and corrective action requirements); In re JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., OCC Admin. Proceeding No. AA-EC-11-63 (July 6, 2011) ($22 million civil penalty) (all for anticompetitive practices in connection with municipal securities transactions);
- SEC v. J.P. Morgan Sec., LLC, No. 11-cv-4206 (S.D.N.Y. June 21, 2011) ($153.6 million in civil penalties and disgorgement for violations of the securities laws relating to misleading investors in connection with synthetic collateralized debt obligations);
- In re JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., OCC Admin. Proceeding No. AA-EC-11-15, #2011-050 (Apr. 13, 2011) (consent order mandating compliance plan and other corrective action resulting from unsafe and unsound mortgage servicing practices);
- In re J.P. Morgan Sec. Inc., SEC Admin. Proceeding No. 3-13673 (Nov. 4, 2009) ($25 million civil penalty for violations of the securities laws relating to the Jefferson County derivatives trading and bribery scandal);
- In re JP Morgan Chase & Co, Attorney General of the State of NY Investor Protection Bureau, Assurance of Discontinuance Pursuant to Exec. Law §63(15) (June 2, 2009) ($25 million civil penalty for misrepresenting risks associated with auction rate securities);
- In re JPMorgan Chase & Co., SEC Admin. Proceeding No. 3-13000 (Mar. 27, 2008) ($1.3 million civil disgorgement for violations of the securities laws relating to JPM’s role as asset-backed indenture trustee to certain special purpose vehicles);
- In re J.P. Morgan Sec. Inc., SEC Admin. Proceeding No. 3-11828 (Feb. 14, 2005) ($2.1 million in civil fines and penalties for violations of Securities Act record-keeping requirements); and
- SEC v. J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., 03-cv-2939 (WHP) (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 28, 2003) ($50 million in civil penalties and disgorgements as part of a global settlement for research analyst conflict of interests).
Did we mention that nobody from JPM has gone to prison, and instead as of late last week, one of the biggest JPM culprits was set to become a member of the CFTC's advisory panel before the people and not the regulators, were forced to step in? Why?
MALFEASANTS & CORRUPTION
MISINFORMATION - The Big Political Crime Against Americans Presently Being Committed
The following are five massive economic lies that the government has been telling you...
1. "The Unemployment Rate Has Been Steadily Going Down"
2. "Inflation Is Low"
3. "Quantitative Easing Is Economic Stimulus"
4. "Obamacare Is Going To Be Good For Middle Class Americans"
5. "The U.S. National Debt Is Under Control"
According to a whistleblower that has recently come forward, Census employees have been faking and manipulating U.S. employment numbers for years. In fact, it is being alleged that this manipulation was a significant reason for why the official unemployment rate dipped sharply just before the last presidential election. What you are about to read is incredibly disturbing. The numbers that the American people depend upon to make important decisions are being faked. But should we be surprised by this? After all, Barack Obama has been caught telling dozens of major lies over the past five years. At this point it is incredible that there are any Americans that still trust anything that comes out of his mouth. And of course it is not just Obama that has been lying to us.
Corruption and deception are rampant throughout the entire federal government, and this has been the case for years. Now that some light is being shed on this, hopefully the American people will respond with overwhelming outrage and disgust.
The whistleblower that I mentioned above has been speaking to John Crudele of the New York Post. In his new article entitled "Census ‘faked’ 2012 election jobs report", he says that the huge decline in the unemployment rate in September 2012 was "manipulated"...
In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.
The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.
Two years earlier, the Census had actually caught an employee "fabricating data", but according to this whistleblower the corruption at the Census Bureau goes much deeper than that...
And a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee — that it escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today.
“He’s not the only one,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous for now but is willing to talk with the Labor Department and Congress if asked.
The Census employee caught faking the results is Julius Buckmon, according to confidential Census documents obtained by The Post. Buckmon told me in an interview this past weekend that he was told to make up information by higher-ups at Census.
Well, is it really such a big deal that some of the unemployment numbers were faked?
After all, hasn't the unemployment rate been consistently going down anyway?
Unfortunately, as you will see below, that is simply not the case.
1. "The Unemployment Rate Has Been Steadily Going Down"
According to the official government numbers, the U.S. unemployment rate has fallen all the way down to 7.3 percent.
That sounds really good, and it would seem to imply that a higher percentage of the American people are now working. Sadly, that is not the truth at all. Posted below is one of my favorite charts. The employment-population ratio measures the percentage of the working age population that actually has a job. As you can see, this number fell dramatically during the last recession and since the end of 2009 it has remained remarkably flat.
In fact, it has stayed between 58 and 59 percent for 50 months in a row...
At the moment, the employment-population ratio is just one-tenth of one percent above the lowest level that it has been throughout this entire crisis. So are we in an "employment recovery"? Absolutely not, and anyone that tries to tell you that is lying to you.
So how is the government getting the unemployment rate to go down? Well, they are accomplishing this by pretending that millions upon millions of unemployed Americans have disappeared from the labor force. According to the government, the percentage of Americans that want to work is now supposedly at a 35 year low...
If the labor force participation rate was still exactly where it was at when Barack Obama was first elected in 2008, the official unemployment rate would be about 11 percent right now. People would be running around going crazy and wondering when the "economic depression" would finally end.
But when people hear "7.3 percent", that doesn't sound so bad. It makes people feel better.
Of course if you are currently unemployed and looking for a job that doesn't exactly help you. At this point there is intense competition even for minimum wage jobs in America. For example, according to Business Insider you actually have a better statistical chance of getting into Harvard than you do of being hired at a new Wal-Mart that is opening up in the Washington D.C. area...
The store is currently combing through more than 23,000 applications for 600 available positions, reports NBC Washington.
That means that Wal-Mart will be able to hire one person for every 38 applications it receives — i.e., just 2.6% of applicants will walk out with a job.
That's more difficult than getting into Harvard. The Ivy League university accepts 6.1% of applicants.
2. "Inflation Is Low"
This is another lie that government officials love to tell. In particular, the boys and girls over at the Federal Reserve love to try to convince all of us that inflation is super low because it gives them an excuse to recklessly print lots more money. But anyone that goes to the grocery store or pays bills on a regular basis knows that there is plenty of inflation in the economy. And if we were being given honest numbers, they would show that.
According to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if the U.S. inflation rate was still calculated the exact same way that it was back when Jimmy Carter was president, the official rate of inflation would be somewhere between 8 and 10 percent today.
But the Federal Reserve certainly doesn't want everyone running around talking about "Jimmy Carter" and "stagflation" because then people would really start pressuring them to end their wild money printing schemes.
And without a doubt, what the Fed is doing is absolutely insane. The chart posted below shows that the M1 money supply has nearly doubled since the beginning of 2008...
3. "Quantitative Easing Is Economic Stimulus"
How many times have you heard the mainstream media tell you something along these lines...
"The Federal Reserve decided today that the economic stimulus must continue."
There is just one thing wrong with that statement.
As I showed in a previous article, it is a total hoax.
In fact, a former Federal Reserve official that helped manage the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program during 2009 and 2010 is publicly apologizing to the rest of the country for being involved in "the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time"...
I can only say: I'm sorry, America. As a former Federal Reserve official, I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed's first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing. The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I've come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.
Yes, quantitative easing has most certainly helped Wall Street (at least temporarily).
Meanwhile, median household income in the U.S. has fallen for five years in a row.
Meanwhile, the federal government is now spending nearly a trillion dollars a year on welfare.
Meanwhile, 1.2 million students that attend public schools in America are now homeless. In fact, that number has risen by 72 percent since the start of the last recession.
4. "Obamacare Is Going To Be Good For Middle Class Americans"
There were three giant promises that were used to sell Obamacare to the American people...
#1 We would all be able to keep our current health insurance plans.
#2 Millions more Americans were going to be covered by health insurance.
#3 Most Americans would be paying lower health insurance premiums.
Well, it turns out that all of them were lies.
At this point, approximately 4 million Americans have already had their health insurance plans canceled due to Obamacare, and according to Forbes that number could ultimately reach 93 million.
And so far only about 100,000 Americans have actually signed up for Obamacare, so that means that the number of Americans with health insurance has dropped by about 3.9 million since the beginning of October.
Good job Obama.
Meanwhile, Americans all over the country are being hit with a massive case of sticker shock as they start to realize what Obamacare is going to do to their wallets.
According to one study, health insurance premiums for men are going to go up by an average of 99 percent under Obamacare and health insurance premiums for women are going to go up by an average of 62 percent under Obamacare.
And if you are a young man, you are going to get hit particularly hard. At this point, it is being projected that health insurance premiums for healthy 30-year-old men will rise by an average of 260 percent.
But you don't have to be young to pay higher premiums. As I mentioned the other day, one couple down in Texas was recently hit with a 539 percent rate increase.
5. "The U.S. National Debt Is Under Control"
The mainstream media would have us believe that the budget deficit is now under control and the U.S. national debt is not a significant problem any longer. But that is not the truth.
The truth is that we are on pace to accumulate more new debt under the 8 years of the Obama administration than we did under all of the other presidents in all of U.S. history combined.
Every single hour of every single day, our politicians are stealing about $100,000,000 from future generations of Americans. It is a crime so vast that it is hard to put into words, and it is literally destroying the economic future of this country.
Over the last 13 and a half months, the U.S. national debt has increased by more than 1.12 trillion dollars.
If you were alive when Jesus Christ was born and you had spent a million dollars every single day since then, you still would not have spent that much money by now.
And most Americans don't realize this, but the U.S. government must borrow far more than a trillion dollars each year. Trillions more in existing debt must be "rolled over" just to keep the game going.
For example, the U.S. government rolled over more than 7.5 trillion dollars of existing debt in fiscal 2013.
So what is going to happen someday when the rest of the world pulls out and stops lending us trillions of dollars at ridiculously low interest rates that are way below the real rate of inflation?
Our financial system is far more vulnerable than we are being told. We are in the terminal phase of the greatest debt bubble in the history of the planet, and when this bubble bursts it is going to be an absolutely spectacular disaster.
Please don't believe the mainstream media or the politicians when they promise you that everything is going to be okay.
CORRUPTION & MALFEASANTS
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