A People’s History of Stock Market Crashes &c 1946-2016: The View from Below

First four sections: Abstract. Introductions. Inspiration. Operationalization, and first two chapters.

Timeline of market incidents from 1928 to 2016

It is difficult to “get ahead,” as in “accumulate assets,” in today’s radically uncertain investment markets. Nevertheless, it is received opinion in the US that if one “plays by the rules” one can “succeed.” This kind of success is narrowly defined as being able to save up enough money to buy a home, raise children, send them to college, and then retire without being a “burden on society.” These rules, although strict,  included legal protections for workers and consumers. More people prospered under these regulatory regimes.

Now, the regulatory regimes have been attenuated, weakened, maligned, and captured. As a result, corporations have been allowed to legally plunder the people that they are meant to serve. Their avarice knows no bounds. These financial actors are cannibalizing their hosts, we the people and the planet we depend upon for life, without even a thank you. In the corporate jubilation that followed every deregulation and privatization, our savings and home equity were plundered without apology or punishment of the perpetrators. I aim to show the levers and gears of these financial meltdowns, their causes, the failures that follow, and the effects of those failures on the typical nuclear family. I intend to demonstrate that a paradigm shift is occurring right now about how the USA might right its financial ship and get back in touch with its inhabitants. Young people are saying we have to figure out how to reward ourselves in ways that take into consideration equity, equality and fundamental fairness. We have to figure out how to invest in ways that create happy communities and happy families. How can investors protect their assets in a world gone mad?

Table of Contents

1)     Abstract 3

2)     Introduction. 5

3)     Inspiration. 6

5)     The WWII Postwar Period 1946-1960. 7

  1. a) How war profiteering led to the Marshall Plan. 7
  2. b) Erosion of Labor Law @Taft-Harley & Demobilization of female workforce after WWII. 8
  3. c) Remobilization of armament industry (Red Scare) 8
  4. d) The Bracero Program.. 9
  5. e) Steel Industry Strikes. 9

6)     The Last Decade of Dominance 1960-1969. 10

  1. a) The Pill 10
  2. b) The Stock Market seeks growth opportunities – Equity Funding. 11
  3. c) Studebaker Pension Fund failure. 11
  4. d) The conquest of cool 14

7)     The Seventies Changed Everything 1970-1979. 17

  1. a) The fiscalization of national product 17
  2. b) Oil embargo. 18
  3. c) Wage and price controls. 19
  4. d) Interest rate climb. 19
  5. e) War on Inflation. 19

8)     The Eighties – Business is Cool 19

  1. a) Deregulation and privatization. 19
  2. b) The fiscalization of national product 20
  3. c) The Savings and Loan crisis. 20
  4. d) Early 1980s recession. 22
  5. e) Black Monday 1987. 23

9)     The Nineties. 24

  1. a) Early 1990s recession. 24

10)        The 2000s. 25

  1. a) Early 2000s recession – dot com bust 25
  2. b) The collapse of Enron 2001-2002. 26
  3. c) WorldCom accounting scandal 27
  4. d) Subprime mortgage crisis. 27
  5. e) Real estate market cratered, stock market crashed AGAIN.. 28
  6. f) The Housing Bust, the Repo scams, and Middle class hollowing out 29

11)        The – “20teens” – A decade of crises in only 6 years. 30

  1. a) Irish and Icelandic banking crises. 30
  2. b) Student debt crisis. 31
  3. c) 2014 Russian financial crisis. 31
  4. d) 2015 Chinese Stock Market Crash. 31

12)        Increasing inequality without fundamental fairness brings new dynamics. 31

  1. a) Arab Spring & Libya & Occupy. 32
  2. b) The rise of Bernie Sanders and the return of class analysis. 32

13)        Conclusion. 32

1)      Abstract

It is difficult to “get ahead,” meaning “accumulate assets.” However, it is received opinion in the US that if one “plays by the rules” one can “succeed.” This kind of success is defined narrowly as being able to save up enough money to buy a home, raise children, send them to college, and then retire without being a “burden on society.” These rules included legal protections for workers and consumers. A broader range of society prospered under these regulatory regimes.

Now, the regulatory regimes have been attenuated, weakened, maligned, and captured. As a result, corporations have been allowed to legally plunder the people that they are meant to serve. Their avarice knows no bounds. These financial actors are cannibalizing their hosts, we the people and the planet we depend upon for life, without even a thank you. In the corporate jubilation that followed every deregulation and privatization, our savings and home equity were plundered without apology or punishment of the perpetrators. I aim to show the levers and gears of these financial meltdowns, their causes, the failures that follow, and the effects of those failures on the typical nuclear family. I intend to demonstrate that a paradigm shift is occurring right now about how the USA might right its financial ship and get back in touch with its inhabitants. Young people are saying we have to figure out how to reward ourselves in ways that take into consideration equity, equality and fundamental fairness. We have to figure out how to invest in ways that create happy communities and happy families. How can investors protect their assets in a world gone mad?

2)      Introduction

In 2015, Japan’s sovereign debt offerings went into “negative” territory. This means that Japan is offering its bonds on the market and expecting investors to pay for the privilege of holding its debt rather than paying interest.

Japan can expect to sell its debt instruments, even with that premium cost to the holder, because sovereign debt of big rich nations like Japan and the USA is considered a safe and stable place to park investor funds when other markets are deemed too risky for investment. In other words, people do not want to purchase the debt of countries like Greece (an extreme example to illustrate the argument) because there is no assurance that their funds will be safe.

Why do nations have to sell bonds to finance their operations? Because their current accounts do not have enough money to fund all the services the nation provides. Why is it that nations do not have enough money to fund their services? There’s a two part answer: first, nations must invest in capital-intensive projects like maintaining roads and schools that cannot always be financed with current tax revenues and second, individuals and corporations avoid or evade their tax obligations using a combination of legal and illegal means. There’s a third reason that most students of economics are reluctant to raise: the economic system itself, prone to booms, bubbles and busts, makes it difficult to accumulate and retain capital. There are winners and losers in monopoly capitalist systems and the losers are more likely to be small investors and governments. The system has been rigged for the rich. Movements of large sums are artificially influenced by the basic view that capital has to earn income. Transnational corporations have near complete control over movements of capital in the 21st century; thus governments are starved and people are starved, enslaved, made ill, injured or killed.

The preceding views spring from a background in the Critical Law and Economics discipline. Nothing happening today in the world economy gives us cause to celebrate. Not just Japan, but many European countries have been running negative interest rates since 2015.

Complaints across the political spectrum about continually increasing amounts of regulation to control money flows and dampen capital flight may make it mandatory for us to look at ways to “take it off the top” rather than spend billions chasing the money after it has flown. The Financial Transaction Tax in its various forms, also known as a Tobin Tax, presents itself as a rational method for governments to collect enough taxes to take care of their people’s needs.

3)      Inspiration

This work springs from research conducted in support of a thesis, a risk/benefit analysis on using a Financial Transaction Tax rather than FATCA and international tax treaties to raise funds to satisfy the tax needs of nations on a global basis. The unfathomable size and scope of the colossal government and private institutional bureaucracies needed to enforce FATCA and tax treaties could make the discussion in favor of an FTT with global reach fruitful to analyze.

Holding up a new analysis of the risk/benefits of FTT alongside the ever-increasing need for global Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) laws, regulations, policies and operationalization may make the case for an FTT impossible to ignore.

  1. I bolster my argument by providing an historic excursion through a few decades worth of misguided-at-best, war-crime-bad at worst, geopolitical financial actions. For many observers, it is clear that trusting the invisible hand of the market makes cash disappear like magic into the unaccountable maw of vertical integration, offshore banking and underground economies.
  • Operationalization
    1. This paper will provide a “people’s history” rather than a close financial analysis of each of the events listed herein. There will be plenty of room for quibbling with each of my analyses but the arc of history will demonstrate that emphasizing faith in a rigged system is a ludicrous fantasy.

5)      The WWII Postwar Period 1946-1960

a)      How war profiteering led to the Marshall Plan

To remedy the unspeakable devastation wrought on Europe and Asia by WWII, American policymakers devised The Marshall Plan. The Marshall Plan aimed to provide the means for European nations to rebuild their infrastructure and economies. Our high school history books present the Marshall Plan as an altruistic outpouring of love on our devastated allies. In fact, the Plan was necessary to provide new markets for the massive production capabilities America developed during the war. Our war profiteers needed market growth to maintain and increase their earnings. Capitalism’s basis tenet is that it must grow, or die. In the infinite world we perceived before the Industrial Revolution, that fantasy could be maintained. Today, we live in a finite world shrunken by 21st century-style globalization and communicate instantly across the globe by means of the Internet. We know that our seas are the last home for incalculable amounts of land-based toxins and our water and air are the last frontiers for corporate control.

b)      Erosion of Labor Law @Taft-Harley & Demobilization of female workforce after WWII

American workers who sacrificed economic benefits of their labor during WWII were told that they were patriots. Thus, they accepted that wages were artificially held down by anti-strike provisions and wage freezes. When the war ended, workers expected to reap the fruits of their labor. The period directly after WWII saw huge increases in labor activities as rank and file members sought to make good on their deferred hopes. When we began to repatriate our veterans as the World War wound down, we had to make sure that they had jobs to return to. Thus, management pressure and government policies acted to take away jobs from women, who had constituted a high percentage of the labor force during the war. Strikes, work-to-rule, and secondary boycott actions increased dramatically. Legislators took action: the Taft-Hartley Act, passed in 1948, began the long process that has decimated the union movement in the US. Workers were “protected” from union “abuses” under the Act.[1] [2]

Next week:

     Remobilization of armament industry (Red Scare); The Bracero Program; Steel Industry Strikes

###

Timeline of market incidents from 1928 to 2016

A People’s History of Stock Market Crashes 1946-2016: The View from Below
Timeline Before Study– Notable events
1929 Market Collapse into Great Depression
1936 Wagner Act passed
1937-38 Recession within Depression

Timeline of Study
Postwar Period
1946 Repatriation of solders
1946 Women frozen out of jobs
1946 Marshall Plan
1948 Taft-Hartley Act
1948 Red Scare & Permanent War Footing of US Economy..
1950 s
Cold War (until 1988)
1955 Bracero Program
1959 Steel Industry Strikes
Space Race – Piddling away our commonwealth into orbit
1960s The Conquest of Cool
1960 “Mad” Men
1960 The Pill
1962 Kennedy Slide aka Flash Crash of 1962
1963 Studebaker Motors Pension Fund Failure
1963 Kennedy Assassination
1964 Equity Funding Mutual Funds Failure
1968 Martin Luther King Jr. Assassinated
1968 Robert F. Kennedy Assassinated

1968 Nixon President by fluke
1971 US dollar now backed by oil
1973-1974 stock market crash due to high oil prices
1973 OPEC Oil Embargo on US
1973 Inflation at 3.6%
1974 ERISA passed to cover bad private pension debts like Studebaker
1974 Inflation at 9.4%
1975 Privatization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pays for part of VietNam War.
1977 Inflation at 5.2%
1980 Inflation at 13.9%
1980 Reagan selected
1980 Business is cool
1980 Deregulation, privatization, destruction of unions
1980 Fiscalization of national product, Phillips Curve invoked
1981 Savings and Loans deregulation, speculation allowed
1981 Deep recession begins; the worst since Depression
1985 Savings and Loan Crisis; Big bailouts needed. No one went to prison but Charles Keating. The Bush’s sure didn’t and they were involved. Greatest bank collapse since the Great Depression. (Remember this phrase. It occurs all too often.)
1987 Black Monday: largest stock market drop since the 1929 crash.
1989 Rio De Janeiro stock exchange crash
1989 Friday the 13th mini-crash
1990-1991 Recession; largest since early 1980s.
1991 Japanese asset price bubble
1992 UK forced to withdraw the pound sterling from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) after the UK could no longer keep sterling above its agreed lower limit.

1997 Asian financial crisis
1997 Global stock market crash caused by Asian Financial Crisis
1998 Russian financial crisis
1999-2000 dot-com bubble
2000-2002 Recession from dot-com bubble caused loss of 8 Trillion of wealth
2001-2002 Collapse of Enron
2001 September 11 attacks caused global markets to drop sharply
2002 Uruguay banking crisis
2002 WorldCom accounting scandal; G.W. Bush promotes “ownership” society.
2003 Bush actors weaken state regulations so lender can make loans without regard
for buyer ability to pay.
2003 Myanmar banking crisis
2007 Chinese stock bubble
2007 US subprime and collateral markets collapse
2007 Collapse of Irish and Icelandic economies.
2007-2009 Bear market in US
2008 Russian stock market collapse
2008-2009 Belgian financial crisis
2008-2012 Icelandic Financial crisis
2008-2009 Ukrainian financial crisis
2008-2011 Irish banking crisis
2008-2012 Spanish Financial crisis
2008 UK Bank rescue package
2009 UK Bank rescue package
2009-2010 Venezuelan banking crisis

2009 Dubai debt standstill
2010 European sovereign debt crisis
2010 Student debt crisis
2010 Arab Spring
2011 Stock markets around the world plummet and remain volatile for rest of year
2011 Occupy
2011 Panama Free Trade Agreement
2013 Voting Rights Act destroyed by Supreme Court
2014 Russian financial crisis
2015 Chinese stock market crash
2016 US Presidential election mashup
2016 The Panama Papers

98 market adjustments to date
Creative Commons 4 BY License

References and Resources

[1] National Labor Relations Board, Taft-Harley Act, major provisions. https://www.nlrb.gov/who-we-are/our-history/1947-taft-hartley-substantive-provisions. Accessed 2-15-2016

[2] National Labor Relations Act, aka Wagner Act, was enacted in 1935 as a measure “just to labor,” whose grievances became ever more obvious during the Depression. It was imperative, to boost the economy, that people had income to spend and goods to consume. https://www.nlrb.gov/who-we-are/our-history/1935-passage-wagner-act Accessed 2/15/2016

[3] Various social problems in the US have been identified as “wars” for similar reasons. One example is the “War on Drugs,” the US’s most expensive and longest war, going on four decades now.

[4] Duncan Lyall Burns. The Steel Industry, 1939-1959: A Study in Competition and Planning. Cambridge University Press. P. 167, 132 US dominated industry Table 6.

[5] Chicago Tribune Archives, German Steel Workers Call Strike April 9. April 1, 1958. http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/04/01/page/22/article/german-steel-workers-call-strike-april-9. Accessed March 1, 2016

[6] John F. Kennedy. JFK Library. Remarks by Senator John F. Kennedy at a Democratic Party reception in Pueblo, Colorado. http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKCAMP1960-1031-004.aspx

[7] L.J. Seidler, F. Andrews, M.J. Epstein. M.J. Equity Funding Papers: The Anatomy of a Fraud. (1977) https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=57732

“The fraud at Equity Funding Corporation of America was essentially a securities fraud. While much attention has been focused on the insurance aspects, especially the manufacture of bogus policies, that activity was merely one part of a much larger stock fraud that began at or before the time Equity Funding’s first public offering in 1964. The perpetrators of the fraud, who were major holders of the company’s stock, intended to inflate and keep the market price of the company’s common stock for the purposes of personal enrichment and ego enhancement. They wanted to be known as the management force behind a company believed to phenomenally successful. The fraud was implemented principally by inflating the company’s reported earnings largely through recording nonexistent commission income. This practice appears to have begun at least as early as 1964 in anticipation of the company’s first offering of common stock…”
###

[8] American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. (1975). Report of the Special Committee on Equity Funding: The adequacy of auditing standards and procedures currently applied in the examination of financial statements. New York: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

[9] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation http://www.pbgc.gov/about/who-we-are/pg/history-of-pbgc.html Accessed March 31, 2016.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974: The First Decade. http://www.aging.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/reports/rpt884.pdf

[14] Emily Brandon, The Ten Biggest Failed Pension Funds. US News and World Report. Aug. 23, 2010.

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/planning-to-retire/2010/08/23/the-10-biggest-failed-pension-plans

[15] Roger Lowenstein, The Long Sorry Tale of Pension Promises. Wall Street Journal.  updated October 1, 2013.

[16] Mary Williams Walsh. Failed Pensions: A Painful Lesson in Assumptions. The New York Times. November 12, 2013.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/12/business/failed-pensions-a-painful-lesson-in-assumptions.html?pagewanted=all

[17] American Heritage Dictionary definition:

co-optation. (n.d.) American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (2011). Accessed March 22, 2016  http://www.thefreedictionary.com/co-optation

[18] Thomas F. Frank, (2000). “The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism.” Relevant excerpt: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/259919.html  Accessed March 3, 2016

[19] Zinn Education Project. Howard Zinn is the author of the groundbreaking book The People’s History of the United States.

Black Panther Ten-Point Platform.

  1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black and oppressed communities.
  2. We want full employment for our people.
  3. We want an end to the robbery by the capitalists of our Black and oppressed communities
  4. We want decent housing, fit for the shelter of human beings.
  5. We want decent education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society
  6. We want completely free health care for all Black and oppressed people.
  7. We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of Black people, other people of color, and all oppressed people inside the United States.
  8. We want an immediate end to all wars of aggression.
  9. We want freedom for all Black and oppressed people now held in U.S. federal, state, county, city and military prisons and jails. We want trials by a jury of peers for all persons charged with so-called crimes under the laws of this country.
  10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice, peace, and people’s community control of modern technology.

http://zinnedproject.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/blackpanthers_10pointprogram.pdf Acc. 3-22-2016

[20] Adam Liptak. June 25, 2013. Supreme Court Invalidates Key Part of Voting Rights Act. NYT Permalink http://nyti.ms/1FUpwx5 Acc. March 21, 2016

[21] Thomas F. Frank (2000). The Conquest of Cool (abstract) 03-22-2016.

[22] Frank, Ibid.

[23] Bernays, Edward L. (1928) Propaganda. http://igpub.com/propaganda/ Reissued pamphlet & full text at

https://archive.org/stream/Propaganda1928ByEdwardL.Bernays/Propaganda(1928)%20by%20Edward%20L.%20Bernays_djvu.txt Acc. 03/22/2016

[24] Bernays. Propaganda. Page 9. First paragraph in first chapter of book, titled “Organizing Chaos.”

[25] J.P. Forrester. Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Uniform Mortgage Instruments: The Forgotten Benefit to Homeowners. Missouri Law Review, Vol. 72, Iss. 4 [2007]. Art. 5

[26] J.P. Forrester.. Art. 5, Page 1

[27] Carlos Murphy. The Petrodollar System Explained. 1/26, 2012. Alternative Economics Blog.

The Petrodollar System Explained

[28] The U.S. Military and Oil. Union of Concerned Scientists. http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/smart-transportation-solutions/us-military-oil-use.html#.VvLfFKcrJkg Accessed. 3-23-2016

[29] Middlebury University http://cr.middlebury.edu/es/altenergylife/70’s.htm Accessed. 3-23-2016

[30] Historical Inflation Rates: 1914-2016. US Inflation Calculator site. Accessed. 3-23-2016 http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/historical-inflation-rates/ Acc. 3-12-2016

[31] Global Nonviolent Action Database. American air-traffic controllers strike for benefits and pay, 1981. https://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu/content/american-air-traffic-controllers-strike-benefits-and-pay-1981

[32] Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, Andrei Scleifer, Robert W. Vishny. Privatization in the United States. The Rand Journal of Economics. Vol. 28, No. 3, Autumn 1997 pp. 447-471 http://scholar.harvard.edu/shleifer/files/privatization_us.pdf

[33] Lopez-de-Silanes, Ibid.

[34] Evans, Greg (August 1989). “The Desert Fox”. Cincinnati Magazine.

[35] Miller, Judith (1979-07-03). “S.E.C. Charges American Financial” (fee required). The New York Times.

[36] The Lincoln Savings and Loan Investigation: Who Is Involved? New York Times, 11-22-1989 http://www.nytimes.com/1989/11/22/business/the-lincoln-savings-and-loan-investigation-who-is-involved.html

[37] Martin Tolchin (1990-09-27). “Legal Scholars Clash Over Neil Bush Actions”. New York Times.

[38] T. Sablik. Recession of 1981-1982. Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. http://www.federalreservehistory.org/Events/DetailView/44

[39] Sablik, Ibid.

[40] Sablik, Ibid.

[41] Phillips Curve, Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/phillipscurve.asp

[42] Sablik, Op.Cit.

[43] D. Bernhard, M. Eckblad. Black Monday, the Stock Market Crash of 1987. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. http://www.federalreservehistory.org/Events/DetailView/48

[44] Bernhard. Ibid.

[45]Savings and Loans Crisis: Causes, Cost: How Congress Created the Biggest Bank Collapse Since the Depression http://useconomy.about.com/od/grossdomesticproduct/p/89_Bank_Crisis.htm

[46] 1990-92 Early 1990s Recession. Slaying the Dragon of Debt: Fiscal Politics and Policy from the 1970s to the Present. http://vm136.lib.berkeley.edu/BANC/ROHO/projects/debt/1990srecession.html

[47] 1990-92 Early 1990s Recession, ibid.

[48] On the Issues. http://www.ontheissues.org/Celeb/Dick_Cheney_Budget_+_Economy.htm

[49] Amazon.com listing for Dow 36,000: The New Strategy for Profiting from the Coming Rise in the Stock Market.

http://www.amazon.com/Dow-36-000-Strategy-Profiting/dp/0609806998

[50] A. Beattie. Market Crashes: The Dotcom Crash. Investopedia.

http://www.investopedia.com/features/crashes/crashes8.asp

[51] Beattie. Ibid.

[52] T. DeGrace. The Dot Com Bubble Burst That Caused the 2000 Stock Market Crash.

http://www.stockpickssystem.com/2000-stock-market-crash/

[53] Money Crashers. Factors that led to the Dot-Com Bubble Burst.

History of the Dot-Com Bubble Burst and How to Avoid Another

[54] Money Crashers, ibid.

[55] Money Crashers, ibid.

[56] http://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/2003/may/18/society

[57] Called to Account. Time Magazine. A special package.

http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/0,28757,2021097,00.html

[58] B. Lyke, M. Jickling. WorldCom: The Accounting Scandal. CRS Report for Congress. University of Maryland.

[59] Lyke, ibid.

[60] Jo Becker, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Stephen Labaton. Bush drive for home ownership fueled housing bubble. New York Times. Dec. 21, 2008. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/business/worldbusiness/21iht-admin.4.18853088.html?_r=0

[61] Becker ibid.

[62] Eliot Spitzer. Predatory Lenders’ Partner in Crime. Washington Post. February 14, 2008

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/13/AR2008021302783.html

[63] Spitzer. Ibid.

[64] D. Baker. The Housing Crash Recession: How Did We Get Here? PBS. NOW. 3-21-2008

http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/412/housing-recession.html

[65] Caja Whitehouse, JPMorgan forks over $50M in ‘robo-signing’ Pact with DOJ. USA Today. March 4, 2015.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/03/03/jpmorgan-robo-signing-department-justice/24332863/

[66] G. Connor. IMF Post-Program Monitoring Report on Ireland notes the unusual risk profile of the Irish banking sector. Irisheconomy.ie. January 20, 2016.

[67] Connor. Ibid.

[68] Connor. Ibid.

[69] M. O’Brien. The miraculous story of Iceland. The Washington Post. June 17, 2005. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/06/17/the-miraculous-story-of-iceland/

[70] O’Brien. Ibid.

[71] O’Brien. Ibid.

[72] O’Brien. Ibid.

 

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Bernie Sanders wins the Interwebs! Four reasons Bernie can become our President.

Bernie Sanders calls us to account.
Bernie Sanders calls us to account.

The New York Times frets that Hillary’s campaign suffers from “a lack of enthusiasm.” Well yeah, duh! People keep saying that Hillary is “the one,” yet the public keeps demonstrating how reluctant they are to support a chameleon candidate whose views shift according to polls. This enthusiasm gap is handily demonstrated in a major social media platform. I am not a political naif. I started my education in 1969 as a political science major. During these years I shifted my alliances from the right of the Republican Party to the left of the Democratic Party based on the tractor-trailer truckloads of evidence that counters the GOP worldview I was raised on. So here are the four reasons of the day!

First, Bernie is totally electable. He has a statistically significant lead among Facebook followers.

I was just mucking around on the Internet, reading my email, when I found myself at Bernie Sanders’s Facebook page. I was pleased, as a Bernie supporter, to see that he had nearly 2,000,000 that’s TWO MILLION followers. 

by Olivia LaRosa, November 22, 2015

Then I thought I should go see how many followers the other Democratic candidates had. Hillary Clinton has FEWER Facebook followers than Bernie Sanders. That’s right. She has been in politics for 40 years, has nearly limitless money, a lock on the corporate media, and she still has fewer followers than Bernie.

Bernie Sanders for President 1,984,719

Hillary Clinton 1,811,982

So, you are thinking that 170,000 likes aren’t all much of a spread in a nation with 330,000,000 people, and you are right.

OK, let’s go on…

Let’s step back a bit and look at both candidates’ related sites to see how those numbers look:

Senator Bernie Sanders  2,473,389 members

Hillary in 2016 201,257

Hillary Clinton 2016 2,932 members — no, I did not forget to type any numbers here

Let’s figure this:                                     2,473,389

–    201,257

                                                               –        2,932

Bernie’s lead:                                         2,269,200

Going on, we see another

Bernie Sanders for President                     92,393

Unofficial Bernie Sanders for President 115,447

adds up to another 184,706 for Bernie*

Most people in the US have not been offered the opportunity to learn more about Bernie’s ideals and plans. His lead can only grow.

*math approximate. I did not count all the Bernie and Hillary FB pages, only the most prominent

2. Bernie will be able to work with Congress because he will carry Democrats into offices across the nation. 

Many people lament the gridlock in Washington and most of our state capitols. They cannot see how the President can make a difference.

My theory is that the ENTIRE US House of Representatives and a full 1/3 of the Senate is up for re-election. If Bernie’s following continues to grow at these astonishing rates, he will have long electoral coattails. In other words, people who vote for Bernie are not likely to put up with posturing triangulators and fear mongers in other offices. The Republicans and a good many DINOs will be tossed out of office.

Even if they aren’t tossed out, Bernie knows how to work across the aisle without compromising his principles.

BerniePitching018

3. Bernie’s brand of social democracy builds strong families and strong countries. 

Forget Denmark! Germany’s is a nation of more than 80,000,000. Their social democracy features a form of universal health care. Labor unions share the seats on corporate boards 50/50 with company management. This country is the economic engine of Europe.

Germany’s per capita wealth among the highest in the world, say those crazy loony libs at the CIA.

The benefits that Germans receive, such as health care, at least a month of vacation time, shorter work days and scads of other perks more than make up for the $10K difference in annual income between the USA and Germany per capita. It also allows German families family time to build those family values. Pensions are generous.

Colleges in Germany are FREE for people from all over the world.  Germans enjoy superior elementary education and well-maintained infrastructure. Germans are allergic to waging wars. The cost has been too high. Let’s get our peace dividend and let someone else police the world.

BernieVeteransWar

 

4. Bernie’s Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) Proposal can solve forever our broken taxation system. 

I think that taxes are the price I pay for civilization. Our corporations and our billionaires do not agree. They pay an army of accountants and lawyers to rig the system in their favor.

A Financial Transaction Tax on Wall Street trades would fund free public college for anyone who works hard and gets good grades.

Only the mouthpieces of billionaires like Forbes and Bloomberg see a problem with it. If we take a tiny amount off the top, like .005%, then they cannot hide it in tax “havens.” People who earn great benefits from American workers and consumers should pay it forward, not squirrel it away. If you don’t have it, you can’t hide it!

We could get rid of volumes of tax law that are littered with loopholes. All of those lawyers and accountants could be helping people instead of trying to figure out how to steal “honestly” and cheat our country.

In conclusion, it seems to me that the only obstacles standing in the way of a Sanders Presidency are those without a vision of a peaceful future. You cannot wage war to gain peace. Everybody knows THAT!

Posted in 99%, Bernie Sanders for President, Economics 101, Education, Everything We Know is Total BS, Job Creation, Labor Law and Policy, practical economics, Tax Policy, Working People's Rights | Comments Off on Bernie Sanders wins the Interwebs! Four reasons Bernie can become our President.

Well, would you look at that, now? Look who’s too busy to do his job?

One of my part-Irish grandparents would say that whenever some shocking bit of news came over the radio &c.

DT ia “too busy” to go to intelligence briefings. Presidents receive a daily intelligence briefing.  Being up to the minute on new intelligenceis one of the most important tasks of the job.Trump has the attention span of a fly.  Trump is not competent and is a danger to the wellbeing of the United States of America.

I don’t like Hillary. I was a Bernie Sanders constituent from the day he announced. Hillary is literate. That’s a good start. Have read that Hillary cannot use a keyboard. That’s nearly as scary as Trump’s illiteracy, but not quite as much.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Chicken or the Egg; or is it just chickens coming home to roost?

According to the Wall Street Journal, Some of the world’s top hedge-fund managers are worried.

They say central bank bond buying programmes that are pumping trillions of dollars into global markets will end badly. The European Central Bank said on Thursday it would extend its asset purchase programme to the end of next year, buying bonds at a reduced rate. But prominent managers have expressed doubts about the endgame for QE.

Oh really. Say what you mean, for the love of glory. “Expressing doubt about the endgame for QE,” is more correctly phrased as, “I don’t know how much longer we can print money and pour it into buying our own governments’ bonds without having devastating inflation. Because, after all, that’s how we got to a blow-out global economic crash in 2008. Thank you for giving us another chance to steal everyone blind before we take our money and run again.”

Posted in Bailouts and Tax Cuts, Evil Capitalism101, Fascism, Free Market Paradigm | Leave a comment

Richard G. Strauch: Aging in place (The Democratic leadership)

Wherein Mr. Strauch reminds us that the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives are in their mid-to-late 70s. Aging in Place, very clever.

I always thought well of Barbara Boxer. She spoke at a gathering of progressive lawyers and law students, a three-day weekend called the Grillo Retreat. I felt like she was in my corner, an inspired politician.

I found out how wrong I was when I saw the same Barbara Boxer flip off Nevada delegates who supported Bernie when they protested the breach of procedure that silenced them. Boxer performed not just a flip-off, but a double two-handed flip off with a squat. They stole our voices, then pretended nothing had happened. They think we didn’t notice. But we saw what they did. The press was paid to look away but even so the word got out.

Funny, just a few moments ago I saw a picture of Nancy Pelosi. I swear she has had cheek implants. People were starting to say she looked too old to be on the Hill.

Boxer retires at the end of this term. Maybe she had been wanting to flip us off for quite a while.

We don’t need the fossilized thinking of the corporate Democratic or Republican Parties. Neither one of them are worth a damn. Dianne Feinstein, our other Senator, is in her mid 80s; a serious millionaire, among the top 5 wealthiest Senators. Time for them to go!

It’s not like they are running an exclusive club. Wait! They are. And your vote does not count. Not at all. They can make the election look any way they want now and expect us to quietly come along.

Posted in 14 signs of fascism, Another Fake Election, Classism Racism Sexism, Corporate Crimes, Decline and Fall, Democrats: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Everything We Know is Total BS, Evil Capitalism101, Fascist America, Howard Richards | Leave a comment

Stop Trump: This is our only chance…with the Electoral College

Your State electors have choice! Don’t let anyone tell you differently. If they won’t listen to you via phone and letter, go to your Representative’s or Senator’s office and stand up or sit in.

Once he is sworn in, he will have to be impeached in the House of Representatives, and tried and convicted in the Senate  for us to stop him. With our Republicans not as ethical as in the days of Watergate, we will be stuck with all the horrors his administration will create.

He is now threatening Hillary with criminal charges if she continues to participate in the vote count in three states. What more do you want, Trump voters? Blackmailing the losing candidate? Is this enough?

The Electoral College can stop this nightmare before more damage is done.

Trump: Living Justification for the Electoral College
Trump: Living Justification for the Electoral College
(Memegenerator)

Here’s a list of a few of the offenses he has committed against American civilization already.

*Invited America-hating, murderous Philippines President Duterte to visit him in the White House. 2 Why this is important: The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees citizens Due Process. This means that if you are charged with a crime, you have the right to defend yourself under the Constitution. The government cannot just go around making up the rules as they go along. Which means they can’t go around murdering “drug dealers” with impunity.
*Appointed a general as Secretary of Defense who says, “I like shooting people,” and who presides over mass murder.

* Appointed as Secretary of State a man who thinks that birth control should be made illegal.
Why this is important: 1) Families like to control the number of children they have; and 2) We don’t want our teenagers having babies while they are still children themselves.

*Does not care how much terrible trouble he and his family cause for our largest city, New York City, by requiring that he lives in his penthouse.
Why this is important: 1) The City will end up paying for all the costs of each of Trump’s trips home; and 2) How many other expenses will DT cause the taxpayers to assume?

*Do you want to look at that stupid face for another 4 years?
Why this is important: He was triggering PTSD nightmares that were so bad I fell out of bed trying to escape and bruised myself badly. And generally, EWWWWWWWWW to seeing a sexual predator on TV and all over the Internet every day.

*I will add to this page as time permits.

 

  1. http://theweek.com/speedreads/664367/trump-allies-are-now-threatening-hillary-clinton-prosecution-over-recount. “On Monday, Trump adviser and confidante Roger Stone said on The Steve Malzberg Show that by participating in the recount, “Hillary, I think, increases her chances of prosecution by acting this way.” He alleged, without offering any proof, that Clinton or George Soros must be secretly financing Stein’s recount. Trump, during the presidential campaign, had repeatedly said he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton’s alleged “crimes,” but has suggested since the election that he is not interested in hurting the Clintons.” “Bill Schuette, the attorney general of Michigan, said that the recount, initiated by Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, put Michigan voters at risk of “paying millions and potentially losing their voice in the Electoral College in the process.”  “This court cannot allow a dilatory and frivolous request for a recount by an aggrieved party to silence all Michigan votes for president,” Mr. Schuette, a Republican, said in a court filing.”
  2. http://theweek.com/speedreads/665166/donald-trump-reportedly-just-invited-philippines-americahating-president-white-house. President-elect Donald Trump has reportedly invited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte — the man who told President Obama to “go to hell” and threatened to “break up” with America — for a meeting at the White House next year,
Posted in 14 signs of fascism, 1percent, Authoritarianism, Cities and Urban Planning, Civil Rights and Liberties, Classism Racism Sexism, Corporate Crimes, Corporate-Congressional Complex, Fascism, Frankly Political, Government is Not a Business, Let's Talk About: The Man, Patriarchy, right-wing violence | Comments Off on Stop Trump: This is our only chance…with the Electoral College

The Democrats lose because they are paid to lose

Nov. 16, 2016

I just found this in my Drafts folder; written on the night of November 8, 2016.

It is three hours since the east coast polls closed. We do not have a landslide for anyone. We have a real chance of having Trump as President.

NYT says 95% chance Donald Trump is President

Democrats went low. That was wrong.

People don’t like fakeness* When you put up a real conservative against a fake conservative the voter chooses the real conservative any time.

I hope all those Goldman Sachs checks were worth it.**

Trump is ahead in Michigan and Wisconsin. That is another world from the political landscape even in 2008.

*Cenk Uygur, The Young Turks. November 8, 2016 8:05PM PST.
**Jimmy Dore, id.

CreativeCommons BY CC License Olivia LaRosa 2016

Posted in 14 signs of fascism, 1percent, Another Fake Election, Black Swan, Democrats: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly | Comments Off on The Democrats lose because they are paid to lose

Electoral College, time to do your job!

Our teachers told us that the Electoral College was an institution mandated to protect us from tyranny. Time for you Electors to Step Up! Many states have laws that do not hold their electors to the electoral college vote. Sign here now, or see a link at the bottom of the page.

The Founding Father’s design has faltered and no one seems to be paying attention. The Powers that Be tell us that Trump’s election is a done deal. Not so fast, PTB!

There’s a lot of political theatre out there telling us that Republicans and Democrats are equally divided. That’s just not true. Look at the results of many important initiatives and bills that we voted on that fateful Nov. 8 day. minimum wage increases, cannabis legalization, and a host of others.

The House of Representatives, elected by equal numbers of population, is tilted towards the right because of gerrymandering. The Senate? Pshaw. Even when a party has a majority in the Senate, Senators made up the 60 vote rule. This means that 41 Senators can block ANYTHING the American people want. THIS is why we have gridlock. Our ruling institutions have rendered themselves ineffective. The Supreme Court is nothing more than a political rubber stamp for the Right, now that Mitch McConnell betrayed us by not permitting a vote on a standard conservative judge, Merrick Garland. The truth is that EVERYTHING is tilted towards the right except the American people, even many who voted for Trump. I hear you, brothers and sisters, but the party’s over. The Orange One is no messiah.

Now, our political fate is tied to a carnival barker whose random acts resulted in an alleged vote for the President.

Now, Electors, do your job and protect us from the tsunami of hate headed our way. A safety pin won’t protect anyone.

Here’s an article from Foxnews.com about work underway right now to get the Electors to stop this runaway Trump nightmare.

Please go here and sign the petition at change.org. The world will thank you for your work.

Electoral College, time to do your job!

Posted in 14 signs of fascism, 1percent, Elections, Elephants in the Room | Comments Off on Electoral College, time to do your job!

Elephants in the Room: The Continuing Failure of Self-Regulation

In case people were wondering how all those bad brokers are making a living nowadays, wonder no more. According to the Wall Street Journal, “[f]ormer brokers who were [b]arred from working at brokerage house now have begun new careers as investment advisors.”[1]

How could such a thing happen? Well, it’s easy when an industry regulates itself. These former brokers are being legally moved into this position because Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) found it politically feasible to give these crooks another shot at our wallets.[2]

This is a classic example of a “captive” regulatory body. In this case, one can assume that what FINRA is really regulating is who among the bad actors is being released into the wild again.

This is part of the brew, a part of the mix, that will cause our next financial meltdown. First, we fail to prosecute criminal acts by fiduciaries. Second, we only fine them for the most egregious abuses, if we get around to it. Third, we allow the bad actors to get their hands back into the client cookie jar.

This was a mistake. Cons like Keating can’t stop cheating. [3]

I am challenged to figure out how I can represent myself to the public as someone who is NOT certified by FINRA.
###

[1] See generally Michael Wursthorn. Wealth Advisor Daily Briefing: Barred Brokers, Wall Street’s Election Slog. The Wall Street Journal. Nov. 4, 2016. http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2016/11/04/wealth-adviser-daily-briefing-barred-brokers-wall-streets-election-slog/ Accessed Nov. 4, 2016.
[2] Id.
[3] Referring to Charles Keating, the serial financial criminal. His manipulation of Lincoln Savings and Loan provided a model for hundreds of other crooks, leading to the collapse of the Savings and Loan industry in the 1980s. See generally The Lincoln Savings and Loan investigation: Who is Involved?. The New York Times. Nov. 22, 1989. http://www.nytimes.com/1989/11/22/business/the-lincoln-savings-and-loan-investigation-who-is-involved.html. Accessed 11-6-2016

Deborah Lagutaris writes. Her nom de plume is Olivia X. LaRosa. Ms. LaRosa holds a B.A. cum laude from UC Santa Barbara in an interdisciplinary major, Law and Society. She went on to earn her law degree from UC Hastings in 2004. She was the oldest person in her class. In November 2016 she submitted her thesis and completed all of her coursework in an advanced law master’s program (LL.M.) with an “International Taxation and Wealth Management” concentration.

Posted in Elephants in the Room, Evil Capitalism101 | Comments Off on Elephants in the Room: The Continuing Failure of Self-Regulation

California 2016 Election Proposition Analysis

Just a note before we begin this review. Governments have to fund projects with bonds. Why? 1) Because private investors are not going to want to tie up their money in resources that have no direct measurable value to them. In contrast, bonds issued by government entities are viewed as stable investment vehicles for long-term investors who are seeking security rather than risk. The already-wealthy seek income stability rather than instruments that have a big up-or-down spread. 2) When California passed Proposition 13, we lost our main method of funding school construction and other infrastructure projects. Our tax base used to be real estate taxes, which are stable from year to year, and replaced it with sales tax, which fluctuates wildly.

We will come back to this theme. For now, keep in mind that governments and businesses have completely different aims. Therefore, the rules of business management for short term profits have no relation to the operations of government, which are fixed on long-term improvement in public infrastructure. Links here are mostly from KQED public television guide.

THE LAST DAY TO REGISTER TO VOTE IN CALIFORNIA IS OCT. 24

Prop 51 N_O
This Prop seeks approval for a bond issue of $9 Billion to build new schools and update old schools. This is usually a feel-good no-brainer YES vote. Here, the building industry and the realtors are the money behind the project. Gov. Brown and others knowledgeable in funding public projects say vote NO on Prop. 51.

Prop 52 Y_E_S

The federal government matches state spending on health care for the poor, so the more California puts up for Medi-Cal, the more federal dollars it receives. The hospital fee boosts the state’s fund for Medi-Cal and thus attracts more federal money. Those dollars are then paid back to the hospitals to reimburse them for caring for their Medi-Cal patients.

Californians pay much more to the federal government than they get back. Let’s get some of that money back here to help those who need medical care. Vote YES on Prop 52.

Prop 53 N-O

Proposition 53 would require voter approval whenever the state wants to pay for a public works project using more than $2 billion in revenue bonds.

This prop is funded by two rich people who think that our government is their toy. They don’t want any rules that stop them from stiffing their neighbors but they want to lay more on us. Vote NO on Prop. 63.

Prop 54 N-0
Here’s another rich person who thinks that American politics are some kind of wagering game. Charles Munger put up $10,000,000 and no one else put up much in support. I think there should be more transparency in lawmaking but hard-and-fast rules like this may not be the answer. Vote NO on 54.

Prop 55 Y-E-S

Proposition 55 would require the wealthiest Californians to keep paying higher income taxes through 2030. Under Brown’s earlier measure, those taxes would expire after 2018. The tax levy starts at 1 percent for individuals making $250,000 annually, increasing to 3 percent for individuals making above $500,000. If Proposition 55 passes, finance officials estimate it will raise $4 billion to $9 billion a year, depending on the economy.

The already-rich are there because we paid for the infrastructure that made them rich. They can cut back on the size of their super-yacht and give back to society. Vote YES on 55.

My analysis on the rest tomorrow. For now, here’s my recommendations. See Prop 61 at bottom.

Prop 56 N-O

Prop 57 Y-E-S

Prop 58 Y-E-S

Everyone is for this. No one funded the NO side. YES on Prop 58.

Prop 59 Y-E-S
Everyone wants to overturn the Supreme Court case “Citizens United” because corporations shouldn’t buy our government. Vote YES on 59.

Prop 60 Y-E-S

Don’t never do it without your Fez on. Vote YES on 60.

Prop 61Y-E-S
Bernie Sanders is campaigning for Proposition 61 here in California. Drug companies have put nearly $100 Million into defeating this Prop. Essentially, the Prop mandates that prescription prices for California public health providers should be no higher than what VA pays. YES on Prop 61.

We Oaklanders are sick of big sugar trying to tell us what to do. Vote YES on HH.

-30-
Deborah Lagutaris, aka Olivia LaRosa, was employed in banking and real estate for 30 years. She then went back to college to finish a BA and went straight to UC Hastings College of Law. She was the oldest in her class at 50. Since then she has drafted legislation, served as a law clerk for an attorney who practiced disability law, and worked as a law office manager for an in-house law firm. Ms. Lagutaris has submitted her LL.M. Thesis on International Banking and Wealth Management LL.M. She presently has a tax practice and is the co-director of the IHSS Project.

Posted in 99%, Cities and Urban Planning, Civil Society, Community Service, Cultural Economics, Elections | Comments Off on California 2016 Election Proposition Analysis

Woodford: The future of long-term investing does not look bright; Investors Face Short-Termist Pressures

Neil Woodford, one of the UK’s best-known fund managers, has said that the future of “long-term investing” does not look bright in an industry where fund managers are under pressure to deliver short-term outperformance.

Woodford, who has raised £14.8 billion in assets since he set up his own firm, Woodford Investment Management, in 2014, wrote in an article for Financial News in its Future of Finance supplement hat there’s been little change since Professor John Kay’s review of UK equity markets and long-term decision making.

The Kay review, which was published in 2012, made several recommendations after concluding that the UK stock market wasn’t fulfilling its socially useful function.

But Woodford said the report has “sat gathering dust for four years and not a lot has changed.”

“The future of long-term investing does not look bright in an industry that is increasingly dominated by the twin forces of valuation-insensitive investment activity and the pressure on fund managers to deliver outperformance over every conceivable time horizon, no matter how short.”

He said “genuine long-term investors” appear to be an endangered species, partly because short-term strategies “are driven, in large part, by an obsession with price not value, with asset type or sector, rather than by the analysis of the fundamentals of a business, and by vanishingly short holding periods.”

“For me, investing has always been about a long-term focus on value, an endeavour that aims to exploit the valuation anomalies that will always exist in financial markets. It isn’t easy because it involves doing something different to the crowd, having the courage to back your convictions, the humility to constantly doubt them, and the persistence to test the “what if I’m wrong?” hypothesis every single day.”

He added that short-termism is all too apparent in other walks of life, “from the woefully brief average tenure of corporate executives to a political cycle that is way too short to allow for policies that deliver the real long-term needs of the economy.”

Read Neil Woodford’s full article in Financial News.

city@wsj.com

Go to Original Summary

Posted in Economics 101, Evil Capitalism101, Free Market Paradigm | Comments Off on Woodford: The future of long-term investing does not look bright; Investors Face Short-Termist Pressures

New events on the People’s History of Stock Market Crashes timeline

September 20, 2016
“Microsoft plans to buy back up to $40 billion in stock and boost its quarterly payout to 39 cents.” This is what our corporations do with their money. This is definitely not “creating jobs.” This is not “free market” action. They just have too much money laying around and this is an easy way to get rid of it.

September 2016

Wells Fargo terminated more than 5,000 employees who perhaps cheated on the contest the bank was holding because it meant they wouldn’t lose their jobs. They lost their jobs anyway, and Wells Fargo was hoping no one would notice. Well, the 5,000 people who lost their jobs noticed.

“Where are the grownups who are supposed to be running our financial institutions?” ~ Deborah Lagutaris

Posted in A Peoples' History of Stock Market Crashes | Comments Off on New events on the People’s History of Stock Market Crashes timeline