Tag: Dylan Ratigan

Extractionism: Grand Larceny By The Banks

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Extractionism: taking money from others without creating anything of value; anything that produces economic growth or improves our lives.

MSNBC talk show host, Dylan Ratigan has a new book, Greedy Bastards, coming out in January and has been promoting the premise of the book, how the banks have shaken down taxpayers, in a series of on-line pod casts. He recently interviewed Yves Smith, author of ECONned and proprietress of naked capitalism, gave Dylan an education of how the banks have been extracting capital for themselves and why investors are afraid to take them to court for fear the government will retaliate.

Under an extractionist system, we find lose value at a faster rate over time, while we need to be creating it.  Instead of giving people incentives to make good deals where both sides can benefit, extractionist systems rewards those who take and take some more, and give nothing in return.  Sadly, extractionism has crept its way into every aspect of our economy – it’s everywhere, from trade to taxes to banking.

Let’s take a look at banking as an example.  As Yves Smith explains, financial firms do provide valuable services to our economy, like establishing stable and reliable methods of payment for goods and services, and selling bonds and stocks to help raise new money to fund big projects. There are more than that, of course, but those are two basic examples of valuable services that our banking and financial sector provides.

Now, let’s look at how they can also be extractive – almost always going back  the lack of transparency in the financial markets.

Yves identifies two main extractive techniques of our financial industry.  The first is charging too much for goods or services. “Even fairly sophisticated customers can’t know what the prices are of many of the products, so it’s difficult for them to do side-to-side comparisons,” says Yves.

The second method is producing products that are so complicated – like in the swaps market – that clients can’t see hidden risk in them.  “This has unfortunately become extremely common now that we have a lot more use of derivatives. Many of the formulas that are used they are disclosed by they are extremely complicated, and then on top of that, the risk models that are commonly used for evaluating the risk actually understate the risk,” says Yves.

(emphasis mine)

In the interview Yves makes suggestions how this can be fixed:

  • 1. A small tax on all financial transactions.
  • 2. Give financial institutions a bigger financial responsibility when they knowingly recommending bad products or dubious strategies.
  • 3. We need increased political pressure for an effective and robust Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • 4. More inspection of what the banks are doing in their over-the-counter businesses.
  • The full interview transcript is here.

    Yes, we do need a Constitutional amendment to get money out of politics so this can be stopped.

    h/t Yves Smith @ naked capitalism

    “Pretty Please, Can We Regulate You”

    Cenk Uygur and Dylan Ratigan discuss what it is to regulate banks

    “Pretty please, can we regulate you with someone you like?”

    The fight for Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a “fight worth waging”. Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan

    Citibank fails to prove Mortgage Ownership, in Foreclosure Suit

    Thank goodness.  It couldn’t have happen a day too soon.

    NBC Nightly News (03-09-09) Tent Cities of Homeless Springing Up In Bad Times



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_F94f_Ycsjs

    Tent City, USA



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

    Ellsberg Afraid US May Kill Wikileak’s Assange Over Iraq Leaks

    This was previously blogged this afternoon over at FDL much better than I could do it, so I’m going to direct you over to there and Jane Hamsher and Jim White:

    Transcript:  Daniel Ellsberg Says He Fears US Might Assassinate Wikileaks Founder

    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.c…

    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange released the Iraq War video “Collateral Murder” this past April, which is shot from the viewpoint of the US Apache Helicopter crew who murdered 2 Reuters journalists in 2007.   The person who leaked the video to Wikileaks, Spc Bradley Manning, was arrested May 26th 2010 in Iraq.

    My previous diary 6/7/10  “Wikileaks source arrested, hacker snitched”

    https://docudharma.com/diar…

    Diary on the video, 4/5/10,   “Wikileaks: Reuters and kids as collateral damage”

    https://docudharma.com/diar…

    For you younger folk, Daniel Ellsberg was the reason we finally began to get out of the Vietnam War, because he leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971.  

    Ellsberg wiki:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D…

    He attended Harvard University, graduating with a Ph.D. (summa cum laude) in Economics in 1962 in which he described a paradox in decision theory now known as the Ellsberg paradox. He graduated first in a class of almost 1,100 lieutenants at the Marine Corps Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, and served as an officer in the Marine Corps for two years. After his discharge, he became an analyst at the RAND Corporation.

    Ellsberg served in the Pentagon from August 1964[1] under Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (and, in fact, was on duty on the evening of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, reporting the incident to McNamara). He then served for two years in Vietnam working for General Edward Lansdale as a civilian in the State Department.

    After returning from Vietnam, Ellsberg went back to work at the RAND Corporation. In 1967, he contributed to a top-secret study of classified documents regarding the conduct of the Vietnam War that had been commissioned by Defense Secretary McNamara.[2] These documents, completed in 1968, later became known collectively as the Pentagon Papers. Because he held an extremely high-level security clearance, Ellsberg was one of very few individuals who had access to the complete set of documents.[3] They revealed that the government had knowledge all along that the war would not likely be won, and that continuing the war would lead to many times more casualties than was ever admitted publicly.[4] Further, the papers showed that high-ranking officials had a deep cynicism toward the public, as well as disregard for the loss of life and injury suffered by soldiers and civilians.[4]

    Pentagon Papers wiki


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P…

    The Pentagon Papers, officially titled United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, was a top-secret United States Department of Defense history of the United States’ political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967. Commissioned by United States Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara in 1967, the study was completed in 1968. The papers were first brought to the attention of the public on the front page of the New York Times in 1971.[1]

    Daniel Ellsberg quote, years later:



    Well, I had been consulting for the government, and this is now ’64, for about six years at that point, since ’58, in particular since ’59: Eisenhower, Kennedy, and now Johnson. And I had seen a lot of classified material by this time-I mean, tens of thousands of pages-and had been in a position to compare it with what was being said to the public. The public is lied to every day by the President, by his spokespeople, by his officers. If you can’t handle the thought that the President lies to the public for all kinds of reasons, you couldn’t stay in the government at that level, or you’re made aware of it, a week. …..   The fact is Presidents rarely say the whole truth-essentially, never say the whole truth-of what they expect and what they’re doing and what they believe and why they’re doing it and rarely refrain from lying, actually, about these matters.[26]

    Betraying America

    March 31 – MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan, and Jane Hamsher, on offshore drilling, the oil industry, political corruption, and funding terrorism.

    It’s about as Watered Down as it can get, Howard Dean warns

    also posted on dkos

    Since I record Dylan Ratigan, for viewing on the week ends, I managed to catch this shocker of an Interview with Howard Dean, a few days ago.

    I’m surprised not to have seen it covered much, so here goes …

    Full MSNBC Interview

    Howard Dean:

    “The problem is with this legislation, if one person holds up this Bill, and it passes as a ‘hodge podge of nonsense’, which is what the 4 more conservative Democrats want — basically ‘A Insurance Company Bill’ is what they want — this is a huge problem for the Obama Administration, it is a huge problem for the Democrats in 2010.”

    BTW Howard Dean knows a thing or two about winning Elections, nationwide, so Dems would be wise to listen to and think about his blunt warnings.

    Ratigan reviews Frontline’s Warning, labels Wall Street as Legalized Gambling

    If you missed Dylan Ratigan’s interview today with Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) — well you missed a lot!

    They spell out in stark relief the very REAL need for serious Wall Street Regulation — NOW!   (and still!)

    Or we risk a repeat of the same Bubble-driven collapse of Trillion Dollar Derivative Bets, that occur in the dark, beyond the reach — or even the Watch — of any Govt Regulator, or even the Public scrutinity.

    Nothing has changed, they can STILL Gamble Trillions in Derivatives, and let US the Taxpayers pick up the Tab, whenever their Bets GO Bad!

    Link to MSNBC Clip to the Ratigan Cantwell Interview

    Definitely a “Must See”, in my opinion.

    So much so, I transcribed much of it, to help peak your interest …  

    HAHA! Ratigan YELLS at Taitz,”This is NOT a monologue!”

    Crossposted at Daily Kos

        Friggin hilarious! Orly Taitz, Queen of the Birthers, fresh off of being ordered by a judge to show just cause or face a $10,000 fine for filing frivolous lawsuits, was on MSNBC with Dylan Ratigan, and Dylan showed no mercy to stoopid.

        The FAIL is strong in this video, commentary and more below the fold.  

    Elizabeth Warren: Lobbying on behalf of the American People

    We have been told that Wall Street Investment firms are “Too big to Fail” — But that does NOT Mean they are “Too Big for Accountability”!

    The Question boils down to,

    Who Does the Congress Represent anyways

    The American People, or the Global Bankers (and their Lobbyists) ?

    And Will the People bother to care about Wall Street Regulation this time around?

    Since I’m assuming we will, here’s some essential background on the Wall Street Meltdown mess:

    Credit Default Swap (CDS)

    What Does Credit Default Swap (CDS) Mean?

    A swap designed to transfer the credit exposure of fixed income products between parties.

    http://www.investopedia.com/te…

    CDS’s are an easy way to transfer Credit Risk — Check!