Distribution of wealth in the USA

The United States has a significantly unequal distribution of weallth when held in comparison with other developed countries across the globe. So much so that recent figures state reveal that in the US 75.4% of all wealth is owned by the richest 10% of the population. This means that the US has the most extreme wealth concentration of any of the top 20 developed nations in the world.[Read more]

How corporations protect the rich

There are a multitude of tax breaks and subsidies provided by federal, state and local governments which protect the financial interests of rich corporations. These include direct federal subsidies to corporations which allegedly cost taxpayers over $100 billion each year. (Image Source) In addition to federal subsidies, many corporations also receive state and local subsidies. Louise Story calculated that state and local governments provide at least $80 billion in subsidies to corporations, with over 48 major corporations receiving over $100 million each.This is mainly due to the fact that state and local governments fear these major corporations will move their jobs overseas if they do not receive subsidies from the US.… [Read more]

Criminal Charges and Civil Inquiries for JP Morgan? No surprise…

Banks behaving badly (now referred to as BBB) should be the title of an on-going saga with the nation’s largest financial institutions. It’s also the reason why harsh penalties and strict regulations are needed to keep Wall Street from running amok.

In the latest episode of ‘BBB’, J.P. Morgan Chase, the nation’s largest bank based on its asset size, is back in the news again. … [Read more]

Banks *still* behaving badly

Yesterday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) — the independent agency responsible for  assisting consumers in “obtaining reliable, efficient and sustainable energy services at a reasonable cost through appropriate regulatory and market means” — released a notice on the allegations against a J.P. Morgan Chase affiliate. JPMC has been accused by  federal energy regulators, after a investigation that began approximately one year ago, of using “eight manipulative bidding strategies” to garner what the regulators deem to be “excessive payments” from electricity markets.… [Read more]

TARP: A Not-so-done Deal. It’s Financial Reform Time

Yesterday, 10 US banks and mortgage firms agreed to pay $8.5 billion to settle complaints of wrongful foreclosures. Federal regulators undertook an extensive review process of  homeowner foreclosure files as required under an enforcement action filed during 2011. According to terms of the agreement the banks – which include several of the nation’s largest financial institutions such as Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo – will end up paying individual homeowners anywhere from several hundred dollars to $125,000 once it has been determined that those individuals were wrongly foreclosed upon.… [Read more]

Good Grief, Mitt, What Planet Are You From?

As election day draws closer, here’s something to consider. Rightfully so, we’ve pounced on Mitt Romney’s character (or lack thereof); his inability to remember the Lord of the Flies style bullying incident in which he was the ringleader; the fact that he’s incredibly phony and boring; and his Etch-A-Sketching being indicative of his unquenchable thirst for power — but what about this: What if he truly believes what he says?… [Read more]

Do As I Say

I know I’m probably a douchebag for taking pleasure in seeing Utah’s U.S. Senators make fools of themselves. No, I’m not talking about Orrin Hatch’s singer/song-writer career. I refer to the junior senator from Utah, Mike Lee. Who? Yeah…that’s what I thought.

Mike Lee ousted incumbent Bob Bennett in the 2010 Tea Party wave that washed over Utah (and much of the country).… [Read more]

DUH!! It’s Financial Reform Time, Stupid!

Jamie Dimon, CEO of megabank JP Morgan Chase, has a bit of a problem on his hands. No, his problem isn’t as monumental as deciding whether one’s fortune should be spent on adding an elevatored-garage to a beachfront home, nor is it as burdensome as determining how many lobbyists are needed to find congressional members willing to sell their souls.… [Read more]

Another Big Bank Heist

The word is out: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) settled with Citigroup for $285 million.  In yet another case of fraud by a ‘too-big-to-fail’ bank, investors lost millions as the result of being misled — this time, about mortgage bonds.  In the settlement, Citigroup doesn’t admit or deny the allegation that they behaved badly and/or did anything wrong by betting against the very mortgage securities they convinced their investors to buy.… [Read more]