Thursday, November 3, 2011

What is OWS about, anyway?

Matt Taibbi to Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of NYC: People are not protesting for their own entertainment, you asshole. They’re protesting because millions of people were robbed, by your best friends incidentally, and they want their money back.

All of a sudden tonight, my Facebook page had outraged comments, and wall posts, all emanating from the same source: My dear old friend of 20 years, a Republican. He objected to my support of OWS. I began to argue with him. When he posted a USA today article as a rebuttal, I said it was a corporate rag. He said I was a conspiracy freak. We progressed through various points from the news this week, before we cooled off. Then he asked: "So what *is* OWS about, then?" He is the type of guy who really wants to know answers to the questions he asks, and if he wasn't smart and open minded, I wouldn't be his friend. So here on my blog I am going to craft a list of links to stories that explain the outrage. If you would like to help, you can comment below and add links to stories that you recommend. If you are reading this now, know that this entry will update as I come back and add new links to stories I've tracked down.

Let's start with the fact that the 30 biggest, most insanely profitable corporations pay no income tax at all:

(And Obama just named the head of GE to his economic advisory panel.)

Oh, and since you are so fond of "Can't have your cake and eat it, too" Let me explain something about the bad mortgage bail out. I will focus on Bank of America, but there were other big bank players with similar stories. First the big banks lobbied to have the long standing federal lending guidelines eliminated, so that they could make high risk loans. Why would they do this? First of all, the market was saturated with loans to decent borrowers, and profits must rise, so business must expand to new customers. Also, high risk borrowers generate late fees, which are much more profitable than interest. So the loans were made. When they started going bad, they dragged the whole housing market down, which caused a domino effect that put decent borrowers under water or worse. When it got really bad, the big banks petitioned for a bail out and got it, but with NO CONDITIONS. If the problem was bad mortgages, the governement could have saved the banks by paying off the bad mortgages. But here is the eat the cake bit: They got to keep all the debt from the bad mortages. The people they liked, they gave them lower payements, but they were still on the hook to pay as agreed. The people who they didn't like, they took their homes. So they got the bailout money for having so many bad loans, but they also got to either make all their borrowers keep paying or got their homes. So for making high risk loans, which you and I would be laughed out of town for doing ("Why did you loan that deadbeat $150,000??") They got paid TWICE. Once with the loans they still have, and the property that they repossessed, and again when the government handed over 100s of billions of dollars. See what OWS is about now? If not, keep reading:

"It was not Barney Frank who made it possible for Goldman, Sachs to sell the home loan of an occasionally-employed janitor in Oakland or Detroit as something just as safe as, and more profitable than, a United States Treasury Bill. This was something they cooked up entirely by themselves and developed solely with the aim of making more money."


"Fannie and Freddie had nothing to do with Merrill Lynch selling $16.5 billion worth of crap mortgage-backed securities to the Connecticut Carpenters Annuity Fund, the Mississippi Public Employees' Retirement System, the Connecticut Carpenters Pension Fund, and the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association. Citigroup and Deutsche Bank did not need to be pushed by Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi to sell hundreds of millions of dollars in crappy MBS to Allstate."

And the criminal who runs the firm in the above story:

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