20 Dec 2011

Bankers Join Billionaires to Debunk ‘Imbecile’ Attack on Top 1%

Jamie Dimon, the highest-paid chief executive officer among the heads of the six biggest U.S. banks, turned a question at an investors’ conference in New York this month into an occasion to defend wealth.
“Acting like everyone who’s been successful is bad and because you’re rich you’re bad, I don’t understand it,” the JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) CEO told an audience member who asked about hostility toward bankers. “Sometimes there’s a bad apple, yet we denigrate the whole.”
Dimon, 55, whose 2010 compensation was $23 million, joined billionaires including hedge-fund manager John Paulson and Home Depot Inc. (HD) co-founder Bernard Marcus in using speeches, open letters and television appearances to defend themselves and the richest 1 percent of the population targeted by Occupy Wall Street demonstrators.
If successful businesspeople don’t go public to share their stories and talk about their troubles, “they deserve what they’re going to get,” said Marcus, 82, a founding member of Job Creators Alliance, a Dallas-based nonprofit that develops talking points and op-ed pieces aimed at “shaping the national agenda,” according to the group’s website. He said he isn’t worried that speaking out might make him a target of protesters.
“Who gives a crap about some imbecile?” Marcus said. “Are you kidding me?”

‘Feels Lonely’

The organization assisted John A. Allison IV, a director of BB&T Corp. (BBT), the ninth-largest U.S. bank, and Staples Inc. co- founder Thomas Stemberg with media appearances this month.
“It still feels lonely, but the chorus is definitely increased,” Allison, 63, a former CEO of the Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based bank and now a professor at Wake Forest University’s business school, said in an interview.
At a lunch in New York, Stemberg and Allison shared their disdain for Section 953(b) of the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires public companies to disclose the ratio between the compensation of their CEOs and employee medians, according to Allison. The rule, still being fine-tuned by the Securities and Exchange Commission, is “incredibly wasteful” because it takes up time and resources, he said. Stemberg called the rule “insane” in an e-mail to Bloomberg News.
“Instead of an attack on the 1 percent, let’s call it an attack on the very productive,” Allison said. “This attack is destructive.”

Income Tripled

The top 1 percent of taxpayers in the U.S. made at least $343,927 in 2009, the last year data is available, according to the Internal Revenue Service. While average household incomeincreased 62 percent from 1979 through 2007, the top 1 percent’s more than tripled, an October Congressional Budget Office report showed. As a result, the U.S. had greater income inequalityin 2007 than China or Iran, according to the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook.
Not all affluent Americans are on the defensive. Billionaire Warren Buffett, 81, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has called for increasing taxes on the wealthy, as has Patriotic Millionaires, a group whose supporters include Ask.com co-founder Garrett Gruener and Peter Norvig, director of research at Google Inc., according to its website.
“Rich businesspeople like me don’t create jobs,” Nick Hanauer, co-founder of aQuantive Inc., an online advertising company he sold to Microsoft Corp. for about $6 billion, wrote in a Dec. 1 Bloomberg View article. “Let’s tax the rich like we once did and use that money to spur growth.”
Two out of three Americans support raising taxes on households with incomes of at least $250,000, according to a Bloomberg-Washington Post national poll conducted in October.

Schwarzman, Paulson

Asked if he were willing to pay more taxes in a Nov. 30 interview with Bloomberg Television,Blackstone Group LP (BX) CEO Stephen Schwarzman spoke about lower-income U.S. families who pay no income tax.
“You have to have skin in the game,” said Schwarzman, 64. “I’m not saying how much people should do. But we should all be part of the system.”
Some of Schwarzman’s capital gains at Blackstone, the world’s largest private-equity firm, are taxed at 15 percent, not the 35 percent top marginal income-tax rate. Attacking the banking system is a mistake because it contributes to “a healthier economy,” he said in the interview.
Paulson, the New York hedge-fund manager who became a billionaire by betting against the U.S. housing market, has also said the rich benefit society.
“The top 1 percent of New Yorkers pay over 40 percent of all income taxes,” Paulson & Co. said in an e-mailed statement on Oct. 11, the day Occupy Wall Street protesters left a mock tax-refund check at its president’s Upper East Side townhouse.

‘Going to Vomit’

Tom Golisano, billionaire founder of payroll processer Paychex Inc. (PAYX) and a former New York gubernatorial candidate, said in an interview this month that while there are examples of excess, it’s “ridiculous” to blame everyone who is rich.
“If I hear a politician use the term ‘paying your fair share’ one more time, I’m going to vomit,” said Golisano, who turned 70 last month, celebrating the birthday with girlfriend Monica Seles, the former tennis star who won nine Grand Slam singles titles.
Ken Langone, 76, another Home Depot co-founder and chairman of the NYU Langone Medical Center, said he isn’t embarrassed by his success.
“I am a fat cat, I’m not ashamed,” he said last week in a telephone interview from a dressing room in his Upper East Side home. “If you mean by fat cat that I’ve succeeded, yeah, then I’m a fat cat. I stand guilty of being a fat cat.”

Job Creators

Wilbur Ross, 74, another private-equity billionaire, said in an e-mail that entrepreneurship and capitalism didn’t cause the financial crisis.
“Tearing down the rich does not help those less well- off,” said the chairman of New York-based WL Ross & Co. LLC. “If you favor employment, you need employers whose businesses are flourishing.”
That view is shared by Robert Rosenkranz, CEO of Wilmington, Delaware-based Delphi Financial Group Inc., a seller of workers’-compensation and group-life insurance.
“It’s simply a fact that pretty much all the private- sector jobs in America are created by the decisions of ‘the 1 percent’ to hire and invest,” Rosenkranz, 69, said in an e- mail. “Since their confidence in the future more than any other factor will drive those decisions, it makes little sense to undermine their confidence by vilifying them.”

‘Persecuted Minority’

Peter Schiff, CEO of Westport, Connecticut-based broker- dealer Euro Pacific Capital Inc., is delivering the message directly. He went in October to Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, where Occupy Wall Street protesters had camped out, with a sign that said “I Am the 1%” and a video camera.
“Somebody needs to do it,” Schiff said in an interview.
Schiff, 48, disclosed assets of at least $64.7 million before losing the 2010 Republican primary for a Connecticut U.S. Senate seat, according to filings. He’s wealthier now, even though his taxes are “more than a medieval lord would have taken from a serf,” he said.
A clip from Schiff’s video was used in a Nov. 1 segment of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” in which comedian John Hodgman, wearing a cravat, called the wealthy a “persecuted minority.” He asked that the phrase “moneyed Americans” replace “the 1 percent.”
Neither term appeared in a Nov. 28 open letter to President Barack Obama from hedge-fund manager Leon Cooperman, the Omega Advisors Inc. chairman and former CEO of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)’s money-management unit. Capitalists “are not the scourge that they are too often made out to be” and the wealthy aren’t “a monolithic, selfish and unfeeling lot,” Cooperman wrote. They make products that “fill store shelves at Christmas” and provide health care to millions.
Cooperman, 68, said in an interview that he can’t walk through the dining room of St. Andrews Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida, without being thanked for speaking up. At least four people expressed their gratitude on Dec. 5 while he was eating an egg-white omelet, he said.
“You’ll get more out of me,” the billionaire said, “if you treat me with respect.” Source

Earth is not revolving around the Sun! Elliptical vorticular dynamics

Elliptical vorticular dynamics. Wonderful new theory that makes a lot of sense! Source

OWS marks 3 months, defies critics & gains momentum

Three months in and it seems no one is backing out. The Occupy Movement in the U.S. is celebrating another anniversary as it continues to defy critics and gain momentum. Source

UK Uncut chases Goldman Sachs bankster money

UK Uncut is due in the High Court this Thursday after initiating a judicial review proceedings against Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs over shady deals with Goldman Sachs that let the company off with £10 million in unpaid penalties.
UKUC aims to get HMRC to reclaim millions of pounds in unpaid tax from Goldman Sachs. Tim Street from UK Uncut Legal Action told the BBC this morning that it was in the public interest and that judicial review is the only way open to recoup the tax.
David Hartnett, Permanent Secretary for Tax from 2008, was recently targeted by UKUC as a major player in the tax scandal. Hartnett subsequently announced he will retire next summer after news emerged that he was “wined and dined” at least 107 times by companies, tax lawyers and advisers, and oversaw an unpaid tax bill to the public purse amounting to an estimated £25 billion.
The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, today said: “We have serious concerns that large companies are treated more favourably by the Department than other taxpayers.” Hodge issued a full statement that is available at http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/public-accounts-committee/news/hmrc-tax-disputes-report/.
Ironically, planned government cutbacks at HMRC won’t help the matter. Tim Street claimed the tax agency’s ability to investigate tax avoidance in future could diminish as, he said, “HMRC is going to have a decrease in the numbers of employees and money they receive.”
Timing of UKUC’s legal action is particularly interesting given Goldman Sachs has successfully placed its own people in departments of  nearly every government – particularly those in Eurozone countries reportedly unhappy with the UK vetoing the EU crisis deal. But that’s another story, yet to unfold.
Here is HMRC’s full response, issued today:
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has today responded to the report of the Public Accounts Committee into tax disputes. An HMRC spokesman said:
“HM Revenue & Customs rejects the conclusion of the Public Accounts Committee that there are systemic failures in the management of tax disputes. The report is based on partial information, inaccurate opinion and some misunderstanding of facts.
HMRC’s internal processes are robust and this was confirmed by a recent review by the National Audit Office of large business settlements. We agree that public confidence in our processes is important, and as we have already informed the Public Accounts Committee we propose to make further improvements to our governance and to increase transparency about our work with large business. We also welcome the further review that the National Audit Office is to carry out as an opportunity to confirm this and clear up the concerns about foregone millions.” Source/response

Afghan Night Raids and nearly 1 Million 'Contractors'

The night raids are designed to destroy the pride of the Afghanis.
Apart from the 100 Blackwater type companies for foreigners
There are also 400,000 Afghani contractors.
If a contractor is killed or if they kill someone else - there is no such news reported.
A recruiting arena for destabilizing countries like Libya and Syria.
Afghanis on one level are a simple people prepared to kill others to protect their land and their women.
And in come the infidels, violating every tradition and value the Afghanis have, and that is the true nature of the war, it has less to do with resources than it does the need to crush human pride.
Sayed who is talking is a Pashtun in the Tribal area of Afghanistan/Pakistan Source

Victims of Banking Terrorists - Keiser Report

The Maxinator, downgrade rampages and food fights between Sarkozy and Cameron. In the second half of the show, Max and Stacy look at the victims of banking fraud, from the Alabama poor cut off from water supplies to the small ranchers who lost it all when MF Global was run into the ground by former Goldman Sachs banker and ex-New Jersey governor, Jon Corzine. Source

Explosive! New Ron Paul Video "Bombs" + interview with cover band Golden State

Alex talks with James Grundler of the indie rock band from Los Angeles, Golden State, about the Ron Paul iTunes Bomb and their latest song and video covering Ron Paul destined to go viral. Source

DSK: No 'Firewall' Exists, Europe Has 'Only Weeks'

In his first formal public address since facing charges, later dropped, for the attempted rape of a hotel maid in New York, Dominique Strauss-Kahn offered a blunt assessment of his former peers' performance during the European debt crisisThe Financial Times reported his comments from an economics conference in China. His words seem to indicate a desire to criticize European leaders that will only fuel speculation that he intends to someday return to a public role:

"It appears today as a debt crisis. More than that, it is a growth crisis. Behind the growth crisis is a leadership crisis,” he said.
He said that European leaders had consistently underestimated the severity of the financial crisis and made repeated mistakes in focusing on cutting debt at the expense of growth.
“The problem is that they don’t have exactly the same view and I’m not quite sure that [Angela] Merkel and [Nicolas] Sarkozy clearly understand each other,” he said.
The problem is that they are still in denial,” he said.
Mr Strauss-Kahn was dismissive of the European summit in Brussels earlier this month, saying it was “another of the kind bleeding away, day by day, the remaining confidence investors may have in politicians”...
The stability pact that was agreed at the summit “may be good news for German domestic politics, but it is bad news for the European population.”
...Strauss-Kahn said the firewall to staunch the spread of the crisis “doesn’t really exist”. The €500bn European Stability Mechanism would only be operational in months when “the question is a question of weeks. The question is not a question of months.” Source

JIM WILLIE '20 Lehmans Flash Event & Libyan Gold' + +

 'Comex Shortage & the MF Global Farce'

'Operation Twist & Global Quantitative Easing'

Mish on Malfunctioning Bureaucrats, Gold's Recent Decline and Chinese Chicken

Thousands of government workers reportedly are striking against austerity in Italy today...meanwhile, the IMF announces it will release the newest installment of 3.8 billion dollars of portugal's bailout loan based on portugal's progress on budget austerity. But could debt actually be the best weapon on hand for the eurozone nations weighed down b it to fight back with? And the president of the ECB, Mario Draghi, took on the ratings agencies in a speech today advocating more scrutiny. He assigned them a "vast power." But do they really have the power to affect markets and the economy? We'll take a look at how the US has performed since its credit downgrade, and the laundry list of other's that have defied the ratings agencies' calls with blogger and investment advisor for Sitka Pacific Capital, Mike "Mish" Shedlock.And with the Libya mission over NATO is turning to a new front, providing a new revenue stream to feed the coffers of US military contractors. Meanwhile, a German corporation brings on the former US and NATO commander of the Afghan war to try and expand efforts to fill its coffers with US government contracts. We'll discuss the art of war profiteering. Source