Third Party & Independents Archives

Movement To Abolish Corporate Personhood Growing Fast

A little more tautology regarding the too close relationship between corporations and gov’t. The Washington Post provides a breakdown on businesses employees donations to Obama’s campaign and the DNC over the past 5 months.

Microsoft $316.762
Google $248,593
Chopper Trading $222,100
Comcast $214,313
Harvard Univ $202,739
Skadden Arps $188,140
Estee Lauder $169,100
Stanford Univ $165,394
DLA Piper $156,110
Milbank Tweed $136,300
Goldman Sachs Group $132,761
Citigroup $131,522
Bain Capital $119,930
Taconic Capital Advisors $114,900
Creative Artists Agency $113,400
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati $109,285
MF Global $108,650

MF Global declared bankruptcy on Monday and reports are that hundreds of millions are missing from client accounts. Jon Corzine, MF Globals chair/CEO, and ex-governor of NJ has raised at least $500k for Obama/DNC. Over 350 DNC 'bundlers' have raised at least 50k each and 40 have raised more than $500k each. Obama has raised $15.6M from the financial industry for his reelection and the DNC.

One can speculate as to why the corporations work to keep the political larders full up. Somewhat enlightening is a Washington Post report on a 3 year study on corporate taxation. We hear much about the 35% corporate tax rate. An examination of 280 corporations found that 30 paid zero taxes or used loopholes to end up with negative tax rates. The electric utility company, PEPCO, came in at a minus 58%, GE -45.3%, Paccar -30.5%, PG&E -21.2%, Computer Sciences -18.3, NiSource -16.4, CenterPoint Energy -14.7, Tenet Healthcare, -11.6, Atmos Energy -11.6, Integrys Energy Group -11.3% and another 20 companies coming in between -10% and 0%.

As a group the companies earned about $1.4T in pretax profits and claimed $223B in subsidies with Wells Fargo, AT&T and Verizon topping the list.

Recently, 70 people were arrested in drug raids uncovering large quantities of marijuana, cocaine and others. Estimates are the business brought in $2B over 5 years, importing shipments via car, plane, foot, and tunnel while trafficking guns, drugs, and people. So much money sloshing around you would just have to believe corporations are in there getting 'their fair share'. Corporations claim to be persons but they can't be sent to jail and, if people are harmed, a relatively small fine will take care of that.

Here is an article that relates how some big banks have been cashing in on the drug business by laundering blood money for the cartels. "Wachovia admitted it didn't do enough to spot illicit funds in handling $378.4 billion for Mexican-currency-exchange houses from 2004 to 2007. That's the largest violation of the Bank Secrecy Act, an anti-money-laundering law, in U.S. history -- a sum equal to one-third of Mexico's current gross domestic product." But, they are just banks, how could they know?? True, corporations are persons but we shouldn't expect them to have brains, etc.

Then there is the every day, meat and potatoes, approach to the gov't-business (corpocracy) relationship. The Washington Post reports that a Senator Currie of Maryland is in federal court for taking $245k from Shoppers Food Warehouse to represent their cause in the Maryland legislature. He intervened with state officials on the chain's behalf to secure financing to redevelop a mall; to gain a liquor license; and to install traffic lights and improve intersections near the chain's stores. And, so it goes.

Noteworthy that the Federal Reserve has sharply downgraded its projections for the US eonomy, suggesting that weak growth and high unemployment will be the norm for years. The FED met Wednesday and took no action to boost growth, leaving ultra-low interest rates unchanged. Everything seems on schedule according to the Corporcratic plan. Corporations are conglomerating up around the world, immigrants still coming in to keep pressure on the jobs market. A jobless future as the norm will, with certainty, over time achieve the goal of the Corpocracy in driving wages and expectations down.

The movement to abolish corporate personhood is growing rapidly. Here are a couple of urls that relate:

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve

Posted by Roy Ellis at November 4, 2011 6:14 PM
Comment #331514

The globalised society really just prefers US taxpayer dollars.

Excerpt from the below url: “To solve the political deadlock that threatens to bring down his government and slow down implementation of reforms, Berlusconi said he had asked the IMF to check up on the country’s progress in implementing the measures with periodic, public reports.
The most likely way the eurozone could still get additional financing is through a special account under the auspices of the IMF, into which individual countries could make payments.

Those investments in turn could then be used to boost the eurozone’s own bailout fund, the €440 billion ($606 billion) European Financial Stability Facility. That way, countries such as the United States, which think Europe should pay for its own financial problems, wouldn’t have to put any money in. And countries like Russia and Brazil, which have expressed interest in investing in the eurozone, could.
But Merkel and IMF chief Christine Lagarde both said not a single country at the two-day meeting made a firm commitment to participate.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 4, 2011 10:56 PM
Comment #331564

I saw part of a Lou Dobbs clip where he noted that we have to move to another world economic stability system rather than continue to dole out money to the IMF to give to this or that failing country(ies). Europe is going to lay down and cry out ‘help, help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up’, until we kick in to the IMF to pump some gas into the EURO, IMO.

Barry Ritholtz has an informative article in today’s Washington Post. He relates that a big lie is being pandered as to what caused the financial crisis. The lie is that over-strict regulation of financials. He quotes Bloomberg, “It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis. It was, plain and simple, Congress who forced everybody to go and give mortgages to people who were on the cusp.”

Then Pearlstein lays it out: (excerpts

Fed Chair Alan Greenspan dropped rates to 1 percent to levels not seen for half a century, and held them there for an unprecedented time. This caused a spiral in anything priced in dollars; gold, oil, housing, stocks.
Asset mgrs turned from muni’s to high yield mortgage backed securities w/o understanding the risk and they relied on credit ratings agencies who were placing AAA ratings on junk securities claiming they were as safe as US Treasurys.

Also, derivatives had become a uniquely unregulated instrument exempt from all oversight, counter-party disclosure, exchange listing requirements, state insurance supervision and, most important, reserve requirements. In 2004, the SEC changed the leverage rules for just five Wall St. banks allowing Goldman Sacs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Bear Sterns to leverage as high as 40-to-1.

Demand for higher yielding paper led to the bundling of mortgages, the highest being subprimes. This market was dominated by non-bank originators exempt from most regulations. The ‘originators’ lend-to-sell-to-securitizers model had them holding mortgages for a very short time. This allowed them to be creative, abdicating traditional lending metrics such as income, credit rating, debt-service history and loan-to-value. Innovative mortgage products were developed targeting subprime borrowers; 2/28 adjustable-rate mortgages, interest=only loans, piggy-bank mortgages and the notorious negative amortization loans (borrower’s indebtedness goes up each month). To keep up banks developed automated underwriting software which was gamed by employees paid on loan volume, not quality.

Glass-Steagall, which kept Wall St walled off from Main St was repealed in 1998. This allowed FDIC insured banks, whose deposits were guaranteed by gov’t, to engage in highly risky business.

In 2004, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency preempted state laws regulating mortgage credit and national banks. National banks began to sell increasingly risky loans in those states. Shortly thereafter, default and foreclosure rates skyrocketed.
In brief, Congress allowed Wall Street to self-regulate the financial sector and the FED turned a blind eye to bank abuses. End excerpt.

Steve Pearlstein related in a Washington Post article that SEC regulation of Mutual Funds was circumvented whereby securities lawyers came up with the idea of setting up shell companies in the Cayman Islands for the sole purpose of investing in commodity futures and swaps, thus, escaping oversight for the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. Pearlstein says little has changed in the financial services industry since the crisis of 2008. “The industry is still engaged in clever games to circumvent regulation, increase risk and find the cracks between one regulatory agency and another.” He says there is about to be a commodities bubble, one that will generate big fees for Wall St and leave a mess for the public.

The real crux of the problem comes from the money influence in politics/gov’t. There is little one congress can do that can’t be undone by the next congress. The better way to remove the money influence is through a 3rd party with the primary goal(s) of abolishing corporate personhood law and implementing REAL campaign finance reform and providing some oversight for party members elected/appointed to gov’t positions. Check out the Republic Sentry Party for details.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 6, 2011 7:58 PM
Comment #331565

“then Pearlstein lays it out” to “then Ritholtz lays it out”

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 6, 2011 8:02 PM
Comment #331654

30 companies paid NO TAXES from 2008-2010; but got MASSIVE federal subsidies

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at November 8, 2011 12:15 AM
Comment #331681

Gary, no reason to expect improvement so long as there is little accountability for elected officials. Going to take a hard core 3rd party with a diff pol attt …

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 8, 2011 9:53 PM
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