Saturday, August 04, 2012
There were a great many fascinating moments in the now-legendary Squawk Box interview of former Citigroup chairman Sandy Weill, in which the creator of the Too-Big-To-Fail model told an astonished Andrew Ross Sorkin that it was time to break up the Too-Big-To-Fail banks. But one moment in particular flew under the radar:
SORKIN: But did this come to you in 2008, 2009, was there a conversation you had with someone, because this is a true revolution.WEILL: Change. You know I think it is something I’ve been thinking about a lot over the last year and I wanted to really get my thoughts together before I said anything. But I think good things are simple and I think what I’m saying is very simple.
For the moment we can ignore the fact that Weill throughout the interview kept patting himself on the back for his "good thing" of an idea. (Although, if close attention is paid, one does get the impression that Weill sincerely believes he came up with the "break up the banks" idea on his own, and it’s almost like he’s preparing to take credit for it if it happens; this is just one of the many layers of delicious comedy that can be peeled back through careful re-examination of this interview). We can just call all that background noise for now.
Simon Black: Bergen, Norway - I was sitting across from an impossibly blonde account executive this afternoon when I heard three words I never thought I’d hear at a foreign bank.
“Are you Greek,” she asked me with a bit of a smile…
me: “Uh, no. I have a US passport, among others…”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Let me explain.
As you may know, US citizens have long been the world’s banking pariah thanks to a piece of remarkably stupid legislation called the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
FATCA was passed a few years ago as part of a greater US government effort to create jobs. And boy was it successful– thousands of new jobs were created as a result of the legislation. Unfortunately, most of the new jobs are for tax collectors.
The Greek people have a chance to break free from the prison of debt and financial slavery by creating their own systems without a money currency and without government control. Sometimes only once one system crashes and collapses do we get an opportunity to break free from and escape it. Source
A new coalition is working to improve downtown Los Angeles after they say it was traumatized by police violence. The Creating Community Awareness Coalition is organizing town hall meetings to talk about the so-called Chalk Walk at last month's downtown Art Walk event. At the July 12th event, LAPD officers in riot gear shut down the streets, closed galleries and businesses. Police streamed officers into downtown and used less-than-lethal rubber bullets to disperse the crowd, injuring more than a dozen people. The police action came after a group of people starting drawing with washable chalk on sidewalks, streets, and buildings. Source