…a lot of starting up is about beginning to actually communicate my “work” (on various levels in mixed media) with people- all manner of people. So a lot of the web searches and Commondreams and truthdig and all the rest of the site visits I make incessantly are to find people to contact and share what I am doing and why with. Sure, it will ultimately be to seek and collaboration with and support from- but to begin with it’s just to make contact with people who it seems might be in agreement with some of the core crap I am advocating for. So…
Nomi Prins is an economist, I believe, who I have stumbled across several times over the years. Somewhat of a “radical” economist. Meaning she questions the inevitability and wisdom of “business and politics” continuing on its unsustainable, destructive (to babys and other living things) path. Her common dreams piece http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/12/19-2 about the volcker rule’s toothelessness is vintage Nomi.
Nomi Prins, a former investment banker at Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, is a senior fellow at the public policy organization Demos and the author of “Other People’s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America.” The crux of the matter quote from Nomi’s article is as follows:
“The Big Six banks (JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley) that control the majority of domestic deposits (and nearly all of U.S. derivatives) dangle them as financial hostages before complicit regulators, legislators and presidents. Too big to fail is about power, not size. These banks that sit atop the U.S. financial hierarchy by virtue of their legacy leaders having attacked 1933 Glass-Steagall regulations since the 1950s—piece by piece—own insurance companies, asset management companies, and brokerage or trading houses. They not only have access to an increasingly higher proportion of deposits, but also of pension and other funds, and insurance policies. That’s why one of the main things that banks did to weaken the possibility of broad restriction on any of their overall trading activities was to ensure these side financial service businesses would bear no restriction on trading, proprietary or otherwise, as per their exemptions in the Volcker Rule.
“It’s true that the Volcker Rule has the ability to limit “excessive risk,” but only in the most literal sense. Even Bernanke’s choice of words indicated focus on a small portion of risk—not systemic risk and not the risk that these banks remain too powerful to fail.
A more misleading aspect of Bernanke’s statement was that he claimed it took so long to get to this point because of the need to address “public comments.” Given the comparative length of bank-supportive pages relative to public-protecting ones, “public comments” essentially means bank lobbyist demands.” (italics and bold face added by me)
but wait, there’s more:
“Something Is Not Always Better Than Nothing
For those people who think the Volcker Rule is a swipe at the banks and will reduce risk in the system, I urge you to reconsider. The Volcker Rule (and Paul Volcker, for whom it’s named) might have had good intentions, but the form it has taken, and was destined to take as I’ve written before, is a placation. It is not substantive reform, or even the right path.
Only a resurrection of Glass-Steagall will truly reduce the risk mega-banks pose to our economic lives. The multiple decades of regulation assassination, the combining of financial services from insurance policies to our pension funds, the epic leverage in the banking system as part of the high-stakes game of global profit, the enabling of the derivatives market to reach many times the world’s GDP, disproportionally controlled by the Big Six U.S. banks—are all time bombs of financial devastation.
This immense power in the hands of the Big Six banks and their leaders is dangerous to all of us, whether we believe that something like the Volcker Rule or Dodd-Frank represents true reform or not. Without curtailing that power, through a full separation of deposits and loan taking services from any other kind of trading and security creation engine or other form of financial service—the intent of the original Glass-Steagall Act—we are not safe. There will be bigger and broader crises.
Our apathy is exactly what the banks, their CEOs, their lawyers and their lobbyists count on. They depend on citizens getting bored and glassy-eyed when a financial term is mentioned and turning to stories about Miley Cyrus twerking or Kim Kardashian’s bikini bod instead. They rely on journalists not reading between the lines or even tabulating the lines. They bet that most legislators (excluding Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders) will focus anywhere else, because they can out-complicate the lingo. They are confident that the population will continue to furnish them chips on the global betting table. That is our current system. That is the system that must be abolished through the strict re-employment of Glass-Steagall. We—all of us—have too much at stake to be blindsided by anything else.© 2013 TruthDig.com