Posts tagged “Goldman Sachs”

Tempus fugit!

Protect Your Education by Nick Bygon

Protect Your Education by Nick Bygon

I cannot believe this is my first post of 2010! Sorry for the prolonged absence, but my life has been undergoing some drastic changes. I accepted a full time position as an Assistant Professor of Interactive Media at Johnson County Community College just after the new year and have been rushing around trying to get ready for the start of the semester. That fateful day finally came and went last week and I’m happy to say that the students and I both found the new position suited us just fine.

I have a very crappy blog up right now at the school. Nothing to see there now, but note the address and I assure you it will improve as the semester progresses. I’m still hammering out some HR and IT bugs. It is still veeeeeery new.

That’s enough chit-chat: what the hell has happened in this country since I last wrote? Health care is falling out of vogue because democrats are too tired to keep working? Corporations had their imaginary inalienable rights reaffirmed by what can only be described as an activist decision from the Robert’s court? I’ll have more to say about that in a post to follow, but in the meantime, just go to your windows, open them and keep screaming mantra #2 at the top of your lungs. Repeat as necessary. Goldman Sachs is ONLY paying out $16 billion in bonuses, or a $498,000 average per employee. I doubt the janitor is getting 500 large. Finally, a nude model was elected to the United States Senate. I’ve got no problem with nude models in public service, but I am leery of our politics getting any closer to our friends in Italy. In short, its alot like 2009.

Yet, for some reason, I feel strangely hopeful. I don’t know if it is because I’m back in a classroom again, but I’ve got a feeling that we can get something done this year. Case in point: the poster that you see here from the talented Nick Bygon. It is a rally poster (released under a Creative Commons Attribution license) for the upcoming day of strike for the California tuition hikes on March 4, 2010. Stay tuned for more on that. It was passed on to me by my cousin and fellow educational activist Kat Williams. Thanks to Kat and Nick, this beauty now adorns the wall of my office and serves as a reminder to all of my students and co-workers of just why we are there. For 3+ weeks into the new year, that feels like an acceptable start. Now, about those goddamn, non-human corporations…

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Bernie Sanders wants to break up the banks. Let’s help!

Senator Bernie Sanders: “too big to fail” = “too big to exist”

Take a moment and read the two (2) page Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act, about to be offered by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the United States Senate (PDF) and then read and sign the petition to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Don’t forget to tweet and facebook this as well. Unlike Saturday’s legislative abomination, this is something citizens of all stripes should be able to get behind.

Petition to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

Too Big to Fail is Too Big to Exist

Financial institutions that are “too big to fail” played a major role in undermining the American economy and driving our country into a severe recession.

Financial institutions that are “too big to fail” put taxpayers on the hook for a $700 billion bailout and more than $2 trillion from the Federal Reserve in virtually zero interest loans.

Huge financial institutions have become so big that the four largest banks in America (JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup) now issue one out of every two mortgages; two out of three credit cards; and hold $4 out of every $10 in bank deposits in the country.

Just five banks in America (JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley) own a staggering 95% of the $290 trillion in derivatives held at commercial banks. Derivatives are risky side bets made by Wall Street gamblers that led to the $182 billion bailout of AIG, the $29 billion bailout that allowed JP Morgan Chase to acquire Bear Stearns, and the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

The concentration of ownership in the financial services industry has resulted in higher bank fees and interest rates that consumers are forced to pay for credit cards, mortgages and other financial products.

No single financial institution should be so large that its failure would cause catastrophic risk to millions of American jobs or to our nation’s economic well-being.

No single financial institution should have holdings so extensive that its failure could send the world economy into crisis.

We believe it is time to break up the banks and insurance companies which are too big to fail.

We believe that passage of The Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act (PDF) is essential for a strong American economy and a secure future for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren.

We urge the immediate enactment of the Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act, which directs the treasury secretary to compile a list of those financial institutions that are too big to fail in the next 90 days, and to break up these banks and insurance companies a year after the legislation is signed into law.Sign this petition!

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Please read Matt Taibbi’s latest article. It’s very important.

I cannot overestimate how important it is that all of us, from the young to the old, National Review readers to Bravo watchers, read this article. The reach of its material touches each and every one of us, no matter how engaged in the broader world we think we might (or might not) be. Ostensibly, it is about the investment bank Goldman Sachs. In reality, it highlights the task ahead if we, as human beings, are to overcome the megalithic obstacles placed in front of us. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you will definitely want to punch someone in the face.

As Taibbi says,

It’s not always easy to accept the reality of what we now routinely allow these people to get away with; there’s a kind of collective denial that kicks in when a country goes through what America has gone through lately, when a people lose as much prestige and status as we have in the past few years. You can’t really register the fact that you’re no longer a citizen of a thriving first-world democracy, that you’re no longer above getting robbed in broad daylight, because like an amputee, you can still sort of feel things that are no longer there.Matt Taibbi
Rolling Stone

You simply must read this excellent piece of Journalism. That is all.

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