USuncutMN says: Tax the corporations! Tax the rich! Stop the cuts, fight for social justice for all. Standing in solidarity with http://www.usuncut.org/ and other Uncutters worldwide. FIGHT for a Foreclosure Moratorium! Foreclosure = homelessness. Resist the American Legislative Exchange Council, Grover Norquist and Citizen's United. #Austerity for the wheeler dealers, NOT the people.



We Are The 99% event

USuncutMN supports #occupyWallStreet, #occupyDC, the XL Pipeline resistance Yes, We, the People, are going to put democracy in all its forms up front and center. Open mic, diversity, nonviolent tactics .. Social media, economic democracy, repeal Citizen's United, single-payer healthcare, State Bank, Operation Feed the Homeless, anti-racism, homophobia, sexISM, war budgetting, lack of transparency, et al. Once we identify who we are and what we've lost, We can move forward.



Thursday, May 31, 2012

ACTION PAGE!! - 280+ Million Reasons for a Foreclosure Moratorium

SignOn.org - 280+ Million Reasons for a Foreclosure Moratorium - go to link


By Henry Corp (Contact)
To be delivered to: Lori Swanson, Minnesota Attorney General
 
Sitting on millions of dollars while people are being evicted is unacceptable. Be transparent with the National Mortgage Settlement and put a moratorium on foreclosures & evictions until the process is up, running, and proven to be working for a month.
There has been at least $41.5 milion available but on hold for over 3 months (update: $280 million on hold for 6 months). It's supposed to be getting used to keep people in their homes and as relief for victims of corrupt banking practices by Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank, and GMAC/Ally Financial.

Pleasse, help us get this money working and stop foreclosures & evictions until it is.

Sources:
http://www.ag.state.mn.us/Consumer/PressRelease/120209NatMtgSlt

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Engineered Euro Crash - William Engdahl on GRTV

The leaders of the EU prepare for a summit this week as the Eurozone continues to spin out of control. But how did the collapse begin, and who will profit from it? Find out more in this week's GRTV Feature Interview with F.

William Engdahl.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Intro to Participatory Economics

Maple Spring: 'Canada vs totalitarian govt crackdown'

Published on May 25, 2012 by
Nearly 700 arrests have been made overnight in Canada, during the latest protest in Quebec against a huge planned rise in student tuition fees. The rallies have been on-going for more than 100 days. Police in Montreal dispersed unsanctioned protests and arrested 518 demonstrators on Wednesday night. The arrests were also made in Quebec City, where some 170 were detained, and in Sherbrooke. There were no reports of injuries or casualties.

READ MORE: http://on.rt.com/iw1clt

Andrew Gavin Marshall talks to RT. He explains that the situation in Quebec is only part of a huge social protest.

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RT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 500 million YouTube views benchmark.




Bill Black: JPM’s “Wild, Crazy Insane Gamble” Puts Economy at Risk | The Big Picture

Bill Black: JPM’s “Wild, Crazy Insane Gamble” Puts Economy at Risk | The Big Picture

Friday, May 25, 2012

CRASH ALERT: The Stock Market is Falling like a Stone

CRASH ALERT: The Stock Market is Falling like a Stone




As you might have noticed, the stock market is falling like a stone. As of 9 AM PST, the Dow Jones has dropped 172 points while all the other indices are down sharply. German 2-year debt (bund) has dipped below 0% this morning at auction, signalling an acceleration in the bank run taking place in southern Europe. Depositors in Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal, etc would rather take a loss on their investment, then risk not their money back at all. The European Central Bank (ECB) does not guarantee deposits, so people are withdrawing their money en masse and getting out of Dodge pronto. What we're seeing is a real-time panic.
The ostensible trigger for the panic is known, but you won't read about it in the financial media where the news is dumbed down to the point of incoherence. What's really going on is that the German central bank (The Bundesbank) has indicated that it's ready to pull the plug on Greece which means that future bailouts will probably not be forthcoming. That's bad. It means that Greece will run out of money some time in June; their banking system will implode, and the "birthplace of democracy" will be reduced to 3rd world status overnight. Here's a blurb from the Bundesbank's communique:
"Current developments in Greece are extremely worrying. Greece is threatening not to implement the reform and consolidation measures that were agreed in return for the large-scale aid programmes.
This jeopardises the continued provision of assistance. Greece would have to bear the consequences of such a scenario. The challenges this would create for the euro area and Germany would be considerable, but manageable given prudent crisis management. By contrast, a significant dilution of existing agreements would damage confidence in all euro-area agreements and treaties and strongly weaken incentives for national reform and consolidation measures. In such circumstances the institutional status quo comprising liability, control and individual responsibility of member states would be fundamentally called into question.
When the Eurosystem provided Greece with large amounts of liquidity, it trusted that the programs would be implemented and thereby ultimately assumed considerable risks. In the light of the current situation, it should not significantly increase these risks. Instead, the parliaments and governments of the member states should decide on the manner in which any further financial assistance is provided and therefore whether the associated risks should be assumed."
Okay. So German central bankers don't want to wait until the June elections in Greece to decide whether to provide more money or not. They're throwing in the towel now. No more money. No more bailouts. No more Mr. Niceguy. End of story. But what does that mean? Does it mean that the whole global financial system is headed back into the shitter again like after Lehman Brothers?
No one knows for sure, but there's bound to be a few bumps in the road, don't you think? Take a look at this from Bloomberg today (Wed):
“Europe’s banks, are sitting on $1.19 trillion of debt to Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland, are facing a wave of losses if Greece abandons the euro. While lenders have increased capital buffers, written down Greek bonds and used central-bank loans to help refinance units in southern Europe, they remain vulnerable to the contagion that might follow a withdrawal, investors say. Even with more than two years of preparation, banks still are at risk of deposit flight and rising defaults in other indebted euro nations.” (Bloomberg)
Can you really slash a trillion bucks out of the rotting corpse of the EU banking system and still keep things running smoothly?
Don't bet on it. Here's more from Bloomberg:
"The ECB’s unprecedented provision of 1.02 trillion euros in three-year cash in December and February helped calm financial markets in the first quarter by removing concern that banks unwilling to lend to one another would run out of cash. Lenders in Spain and Italy also used the funds to buy sovereign debt, reducing government borrowing costs....
Lenders probably would need another 800 billion-euro liquidity lifeline from the ECB to help stem contagion from a Greek exit, Citigroup analysts estimated in a May 17 note...." (Bloomberg)
That's right, the EU banks were gifted over 1 trillion euros 3 months ago, and they're still too undercapitalized to weather the storm of a Greek default. Nice, eh? So, the whole system is just an empty gourd, right? They're broke, so the ECB will have to print up another 800 bil just to keep the house of cards from collapsing in a heap.
Getting worried yet?
US Treasuries are also rallying big today. In fact, the yield on the 10-year --which hit a record low last week--is on its way back down indicating that investors are freaking scared-out-of-their-minds. In real terms, investors are now socking money into 10-year Treasuries knowing that (inflation adjusted) they'll get LESS money back then they put in.
How do you like them apples? That's what I call a full-blown panic! And yet, you ain't hearing a blasted thing about it on the news, right? Why would that be?
Here's a little icing on the cake from Bloomberg:
"Greece may have only a 46-hour window of opportunity should it need to plot a route out of the euro.
That’s how much time the country’s leaders would probably have to enact any departure from the single currency while global markets are largely closed, from the end of trading in New York on a Friday to Monday’s market opening ....
“I am completely convinced they could not orchestrate an orderly exit,” said Erik Nielsen, chief economist at UniCredit SpA in London. “This is a country that can’t implement laws, so how in the world are they going to secretly agree to print money, control the banks, control capital flows and think this is going to be orderly? It’s completely impossible.” ...
“There is no reason to think there won’t be riots and violence,” said Lefteris Farmakis, a strategist at Nomura International Plc in London. “It would be a pretty disastrous situation. People have no understanding of the consequences of a euro exit.” ("War-Gaming Greek Euro Exit Shows Hazards in 46-Hour Weekend", Bloomberg)
Riots, street violence, skyrocketing unemployment, grinding poverty...the whole schmeer. And what's the most likely scenario for Greece after all that?
Well, probably another military coup backed by President Hopium and his band of CIA merry pranksters, right?
Okay, my bad. I don't want to polarize all the Obama fans, but, Geez Louise, things are looking mighty grim for the poor Greeks, don't you think?
Of course, it all could go smoothly "without a hitch"; no credit crunch, no bank runs, no flight to safety, no crashing stock markets, no decades of struggle and social unrest, no splitting up of the eurozone, no ethnic animosities, no uber-nationalism, no right wing fanaticism, no border skirmishes or armed hostilities, no revolutions, no depression, no rise of fascism...just a smooth transition to a new, slimmed-down version of the EZ. After all, that's what Germany is expecting. And they could be right.
But, probably not.

Mike Whitney is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Mike Whitney

ACTIVIST ALERT! Help OccupyHomesMN and the Cruz Family NOW

ACTIVIST ALERT: Earlier today, five Minnesota activists were arrested as they stood in support of the Cruz family and their right to stay in their South Minneapolis home which faces foreclosure. Yesterday we asked you to make phone calls, now we need to join with other Minnesotans in urging the Hennepin County Sheriff to stop the arrests and the eviction while the family works with the bank.

Join Occupy Homes and other community members at noon today for a press conference on the steps of Minneapolis City Hall. From the press conference, we’ll march to Sheriff Stanek’s office, demanding that he stop the eviction process and allow the bank to resolve the issue.

As a result of the phone calls and other actions in recent days, encouraging signs of a potential resolution are coming from the bank, so it's time for the Sheriff's office to step back. Indeed, it's time for negotiation, not eviction.

If you can’t make it at noon, please keep making the phone calls we sent along yesterday:

1) Randy King, Executive Vice President, PNC Bank at (412) 762-2594

Request PNC a) to renegotiate the Cruz’s mortgage AND b) to tell Freddie Mac to halt the eviction.

2) Brad German, PR executive for Freddie Mac at (703) 903-2437

Request that Freddie Mac halt the eviction of the Cruz family.

3) Richard W. Stanek, Sheriff of Hennepin County at (612) 348-3744

Request that they not evict the Cruz family from their home.

4) Inspector Lucy Gerold, Minneapolis Police Department Precinct 3 at (612) 673-5703

Request that they not support the Sheriff’s eviction efforts.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The 99% Spring - Action Center | Minneapolis! Stop the Stadium Tax Scam

The 99% Spring - Action Center | Minneapolis! Stop the Stadium Tax Scam


May 23, 2012 04:30PM to 07:00PM

Hosted by Henry Corp
Event Description
Quit Playing Games With Our Children's Future!! Our kids can't eat footballs, live in, or go to school in the stadium!

No Subsidies for Billionaire Zygi Wilf!
We Demand Our Right to Vote!

It's not a "done deal". Zygi Wilf can't get any money from Minneapolis unless the City Council votes to approve the deal. We have just days left to stop them.

RALLY:
City Hall. Meet outside on 4th St. side. Come as soon as you can. Actions likely even after 7pm.

Please take another non-violent direct action and call or visit your City Council member before Thursday 5/24.

*Kevin Reich             612-673-2201       
1018 22nd Ave NE, Mpls, MN 55418
*Meg Tuthill             612-673-2210       
2420 Bryant Ave. S, Mpls, MN 55405
*Sandra Colvin Roy             612-673-2212       
4821 30th Ave S, Mpls, MN 55417

Barbara Johnson             612-673-2204       
Diane Hofstede             612-673-2203       
Don Samuels             612-673-2205       
John Quincy             612-673-2211       

This action is endorsed by US Uncut MN and Minnesota core members of The Other 98% and MoveOn.org. It is organized and endorsed by Occupy Minneapolis with assistance from Welfare Rights Committee, MN Coalition for a People's Bailout, and Occupy Saint Paul Tactical.
Event Type Corporate Tax Dodging

Green Party Convention Minnesota 2012 - Rosanne Barr Supporters 1 of 2

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bank The Knife

Richard (RJ) Eskow: JPMorgan Chase: Break Up the Big Banks Now. Here's How.

Richard (RJ) Eskow: JPMorgan Chase: Break Up the Big Banks Now. Here's How.


JPMorgan Chase: Break Up the Big Banks Now. Here's How.

Posted: 05/21/2012 2:34 am
When Jamie Dimon revealed that JPMorgan Chase had lost billions through risky and legally questionable trading, he said the losses would be about $2 billion and maybe more. Apparently it ismore -- a lot more. People in a position to know are saying the real figure is probably in the $5-7 billion range.
The JPMorgan Chase scandal -- and yes, it is ascandal -- shows us why we need to break up the big banks as quickly as possible.
But that won't happen unless we can get our hands around the real scope of the problem, which is probably far greater than we're being told. That means cutting through the enveloping shroud of jargon, euphemisms and double talk -- "crap," if you will -- that keeps us from seeing the situation as it really is.
Here's why we need to do it, and here's how.
Talk Talk
Two images come to mind when considering too-big-to-fail banks like JPMorgan Chase: The first is of the gigantic spaceships hovering over all of the world's cities in Independence Day, leaving the citizenry in shadows and the world in fear and uncertainty.
The second image is of an old New Yorker cartoon which shows a husband and wife chatting with guests over drinks and h'ors d'oeuvres while an enormous monster scowls in the corner. The caption reads: "We deal with it by not talking about it."
Most politicians are either talking about tighter regulations for too-big-to-fail banks, or about the virtues of self-regulation and the so-called "free markets." But the real problem isn't how to manage too-big-to-fail banks, which are inherently unmanageable. The real problem is that they exist, an everpresent menace that hovers over our economy while we go about our daily lives.
They deal with that problem by not talking about it.
Monster Mash
JPMorgan Chase is either our largest or second-largest bank, depending on when and how you ask the question. News stories often point out that it has $2 trillion in assets, which sounds impressive. But they usually fail to mention that it has liabilities of more than $2 trillion, too, leaving it roughly $183 billion in the black.
That ain't bad -- but it's not much more net worth than you'll see sitting around the table when Mitt Romney's super PAC friends get together for lunch.
And we can't trust those numbers. We now know that these risky London deals weren't accurately conveyed in last year's annual report. What else don't we know about JPM's liabilities?
All of our big banks were on the hook for hundreds of trillions of dollars in the run-up to the financial crisis of 2008. And now they're bigger than ever. How big? We don't know for sure -- and that's a big part of the problem.
Our four largest banks have 95 percent of the total exposure to derivatives. Two years ago weanalyzed the raw data and found that JPM alone held 44 percent of that risk -- and JPM has grown since then.
Because they intend to keep right on growing. As Jamie Dimon promised shareholders, "I want to assure you that your company will be bigger and stronger and better a year from today."
If that doesn't frighten you, you haven't been paying attention.
Bigger ≠ Better
Here's an example of what we mean when we say it's time to "cut the crap" when we talk about big banks:
Writers should no longer be allowed to tell us, even in passing, that "I agree we need large institutions" unless they tell us why we need them.
Jamie Dimon was leading the chorus of bankers saying that their large size leads to increased efficiency and economies of scale. Okay, Mr. Dimon: Where are they? Is the cost of borrowing cheaper at JPM than it is at community banks? Are ATM fees lower? Are loans easier to get?
"Economies of scale" work well for customers -- when you're manufacturing toasters. But banks like JPM aren't in the toaster business. They're not even in the customer business anymore. Ordinary clients at the big banks are like cannon fodder in a colonial army: They're there to be used and discarded, not to be served or respected.
(John Reed's interview with Bill Moyers offers an enlightening glimpse into this shift in banking culture.)
So let's stop repeating the mantra that big institutions have anything to offer us -- anything, that is, except moral hazard. We did fine without them for centuries, and we'll be better off once they're gone.
Gaming the Numbers
Here's something else that needs to stop: When a bank deceives its investors, reporters need to stop saying only that it "changed its risk model." That makes it sound arcane. What JPM really did was mislead everyone.
The bank told investors that they had begun assessing internal risk in a new and more effective way. But reports say that the unit which made these hazardous trades reported directly to Dimon, bypassing the bank's other executive and risk management channels. And despite what they told the public -- including investors -- the bank did not use its new risk model to assess these trades. They used an old model which dramatically understated the risk involved.
Listen, I know this kind of talk confuses some people, but if there's one thing I learned after working in risk management it's this: The more jargon you hear, the less trustworthy the source.
If reports are true, then Chase was deceiving the public and it was deceiving investors. That's not "changing its risk model." It's lying. And it's very possibly fraud.
Byline Creep
And while we're in the crap-cutting business, here's something else that needs to stop:
Just because Jamie Dimon described the loss as "stupid" doesn't mean that you have to believe him, or use the same language. Listen, writers: He's the architect of this charade, not an observer.
If this disaster should tell you anything, it's to stop letting Jamie Dimon write your copy for you.
Something Stupid
Executives at Chase and the other big banks live in confidence that they'll reap the profits for risky betting and leave the losses to you. That may be many things -- venal, selfish, greedy -- but it's not stupid.
What's more, as long as nobody is indicted for Wall Street's ongoing criminality, they can keep breaking the law knowing they'll never pay the price for that either.
And if laws were broken in JPMorgan Chase's case, as Dimon himself acknowledges is possible, then these deals were only "stupid" the way any crime is stupid: It's only stupid if you get caught.
It Can Be Done. Here's How.
We've been led to believe that it's politically and economically impossible to break up these banks. That's not true. How can the political climate be changed?
The first step is to push for better financial reporting, so that we see less of the mistakes described above. If people are better-informed about big banks, sentiment against them will run even stronger than it is right now.
Which gets us to the politics of big banks.
Democracy First
The commonsense SAFE Act introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Keith Ellison would end the era of too big to fail. It's a smart first step toward ridding the world of these menaces to society.
Legislation should also be introduced to strengthen and expand antitrust laws so that they can rein in out-of-control banks like JPM.
True, the SAFE Act and antitrust banking bills are unlikely to pass under our corrupt political system. But every politician in Washington should be forced to vote "yes" or "no" on this bill before the elections and let the public know where they stand on this vital issue. That's the only way Americans can make an informed decision in November.
During the drafting of Dodd/Frank financial legislation we saw something important happen a number of times: If politicians were allowed to craft deals in private, those deals always benefited the big banks. But if they were forced to debate these issues publicly, we saw a much greater consensus against Wall Street.
Public debate: It's how democracy is supposed to work. It will help us break up the big banks.
Contraptions and Elegance
The Dodd/Frank bill's reforms, while anemic, are somewhat useful. It's madness to suggest repealing them, as Republicans are trying to do. But Dodd/Frank isn't useful at all unless agencies are staffed with regulators determined to do their jobs. The Administration's record has been lackluster (or worse) in that regard, while the Republicans have made it clear that they'll staff regulatory agencies with people determined not to do their jobs.
It doesn't help that when it comes to too-big-to-fail banks the current system of financial regulation is a rickety, complicated, Rube Goldberg-ish contraption designed to work around the massive danger that they pose to the economy.
Simple solutions are usually the best, and the simple solution to too big to fail banks is: Break them up.
That may not be politically feasible right now, but it's the job of a mobilized citizenry to change the political equation with public pressure whenever possible. That means keeping the issue on the front burner by inundating elected officials from the White House on down with emails and calls in support of the SAFE Act. (More here.)

Lead the Fed

The public needs to pres Congress about the Federal Reserve, too. The Fed is feeding the growth of the megabanks with free or very low-interest money, no strings attached. That gives megabanks the resources and the incentive to place that where it can maximize income in a stagnant, nearly consumerless economy. That tempts the banks into increasingly risky transactions and instruments like the ones that caused JPM's loss.
The Fed must also stop interfering with shareholder democracy, which cuts to the core of executive accountability. We should demand that Congress hold the Fed accountable for its actions in propping up too-big-to-fail banks.
That's not very likely to happen as long as the Federal Reserve, a creation of the United States government, is governed by boards that are dominated by bankers -- bankers like Jamie Dimon. So the public must demand that Dimon step down, and that bankers are removed from Fed boards altogether.
Shine a Light
The public has the right to know about the banks it's been coddling, spoon-feeding low interest loans to, and protecting for years. It should demand a full and complete audit of these banks by trustworthy outsiders -- if enough of them can still be found. Auditors can provide the banks with all the proprietary protections they rightfully deserve. But twe rescued them, and now we need to shine a light into their dark corners.
In addition to these general audits, we also need an immediate, extensive and transparent no-holds-barred review of the JPMorgan Chase debacle. Simon Johnson compares this event with the near-collision of two jet airliners, which would trigger an immediate investigation by the National Traffic Safety Board. It's an apt analogy, and an excellent idea.
And bank executives must be investigated, too -- for criminal activity. That, and that alone, would discourage illegal risk-taking. It would also make them take their legal responsibilities under Sarbanes-Oxley much more seriously than they apparently do today, and would discourage them from routinely deceiving the public -- which in many cases appears to cross the line into fraud. 

Declare Independence

Our national and world economies are in grave danger as long as banks like JPMorgan Chase exist in their present form. They've already left our economy in ruins once. It's only a matter of time before they do it again.
Even if we assume that JPM's current problems can be contained, we should realize that every loss of this kind has the potential to turn into a chain reaction. Each could become a cascading failure that threatens JPM or another megabank -- and which therefore threatens the entire financial system.
The megabanks pose an existential threat to our economy. They hover over our economy, our political system, and our personal lives like a fleet of giant spaceships. They serve no useful social purpose, and they only exist because we allow them to exist.
it's time to declare our independence from their domination and demand that our elected officials help us in our fight for freedom. It's time to stop living in their menacing shadow and come out into the sunlight.
It's time to dedicate ourselves to breaking up JPMorgan Chase and the other too-big-to-fail banks, and to ensuring that they never threaten the world's economy again.