- Sot festojën ditlindjen t'nderuemt antart e forumit shqiptar . G e z u a r .
- Hillary ndjek politiken cifute , per diversikimin e klases se memse, dhe hapjen e kufive pa ndalesa
- Neoconservatsimi, lobi i saudve dhe dhurimi i miljonave dhe lufta ne yemen
- Obama pejse e sistemit neoliberal neocnsrevatist qe sot po mbron hillarin dhe kush e beri presid
- Hillary plera e zgejdhur nga lobbi cifut neoliberale/neoconservatise. Pjease e pare neoliberalizmi.
- Forcat Ajrore Shqiptare
- Rrëfimi i Magbule Novosellës: si diplomova në moshën 61-vjeçare
- FOTO-PERMBYTJA/ Kjo është qendra e Tiranës sot, Flutura Açka: Të paktën mos dilni më në TV
Posted: 08 Nov 2016 07:22 PM PST
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PERSHNDETJE I NDERUEMI LEXUES .
Posted: 08 Nov 2016 06:31 PM PST
During the final presidential debate, Donald Trump stated: "Hillary wants to give amnesty. She wants to have open borders."
In a private, paid speech to a Brazilian bank on May 16, 2013, Clinton said: "My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere."
This secret speech was released as part of the Podesta emails obtained by Wikileaks.
Furthermore, Clinton has worked tirelessly to claim otherwise in public, as Breitbart's Julia Hahn reported:
The latest WikiLeaks revelation documenting Hillary Clinton's explicit support for "open borders" may pose unique challenges to her campaign, as it means that for months, Clinton's campaign has deliberately sought to mislead the American people about her position on immigration.
Clinton's campaign website promoted material insisting that the "claim that Hillary Clinton supports open borders" is "false" even though, by Clinton's own admission, "open borders" is her "dream."
Clinton's new pushback against publicly labeling herself as for "open borders" while clearly championing open border policies is perhaps related to the fact that increasing immigration levels is not a popular policy. According to Pew, an overwhelming 83 percent of the American electorate overall would like to see immigration levels frozen or reduced.
Interestingly, these so-called "fact checks" rarely mention how many migrants would be imported into the country under a Hillary Clinton Presidency. While Bill Clinton has described our current immigration policy as one of "open borders," his wife has championed policies that would open our borders even further.
For example, the 2013 Gang of Eight bill Clinton supported would have tripled green card issuancespermanently resettling 33 million foreign nationals on green cards in the span of a single decadeand would have doubled foreign guest worker visas to compete for American jobs.
The 2006 Ted Kennedy immigration plan Clinton supported would have more than doubled legal immigration by increasing the number of family-based and employment-based visas.
Clinton's refugee program, which she outlined in 2015, calls for a 550 percent increase the number of Syrian refugees admitted. If Clinton were to continue this policy throughout her presidency, the U.S. could potentially permanently resettle nearly one million Muslim migrants during the first term of her presidency aloneand all of their children born on American soil would be automatically awarded U.S. citizenship.
The Center for Immigration Studies' Steve Camarota has projected that, based on the minimal figures Clinton has put forth thus far, Clinton could add 10 million new immigrants to the U.S. during her first term alone in addition to the 11 million illegal immigrants Clinton has said she plans to amnesty within her first 100 days in office.
Posted: 08 Nov 2016 06:17 PM PST
HE CENTER FOR American Progress hosted a sort of preview of Hillary Clinton's Middle East policy on Tuesday, with a Clinton adviser and a Gulf state diplomat agreeing that the next president should double down on support for the Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, while ramping up action against Iran.
It is a signal that a future Clinton administration would overwhelmingly favor the Gulf states in their ongoing, Middle East-wide power struggle with Iran, implicitly rebuking President Obama, who has come under fire from Gulf states for mild criticism of their foreign policy and his nuclear deal with Iran.
The founder of the Center for American Progress, John Podesta, is the campaign chair for Clinton's presidential bid; many of the candidate's closest advisors are alumni of CAP and it is widely viewed as a launching pad for policy staff for Democratic presidents. The center is currently helmed by Clinton transition co-chair Neera Tanden.
Panelists at the event, titled "Strengthening U.S. Partnerships in the Middle East," argued for what is essentially a supercharged anti-Iran, pro-Saudi posture, with little disagreement from CAP moderator Brian Katulis.
Former acting CIA Director and Clinton foreign policy advisor Mike Morell called for escalation of sanctions "that bite" on Iran in response to their "malign behavior in the region." And in what would be a dramatic escalation of U.S. power in the region, he called for intercepting Iranian vessels traveling to Yemen to supply weapons to Houthi rebels.
"I know there's issues of international law here," Morell said. "Ships leave Iran on a regular basis carrying arms to the Houthis in Yemen. I would have no problem, from a policy perspective, of having U.S. Navy board those ships and if there's weapons on them for the Houthis, turn those ships around and send those ships back to Iran. I think that's the kind of action, tough action that would get the attention of the Iranians and will get the attention of our friends in the region to say the Americans are now serious about helping us deal with this problem."
The United States objected to the Houthi capture of Yemen's governing institutions in 2014, and considers the leader they ousted, Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi, to be the legitimate leader of the country. And when Gulf countries started bombing Yemen in the Spring of 2015 in defense of Hadi's exiled government, the National Security Council said it "strongly condemns ongoing military actions taken by the Houthis against the elected government of Yemen."
But there is no state of war between the U.S. and the Houthis and the State Department does not consider the group to be terrorists.
Furthermore, the Iranian relationship to the Houthis is tenuous and has grown primarily due to the Saudi-led intervention. And the Houthis have also been known to be fierce opponents of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which our government does designate as a terrorist group and a threat to the United States.
United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef al-Otaiba began his remarks by praising a CAP report released last week that advocates for continued cooperation with Gulf states like Saudi Arabia and the UAE while urging consideration of use of force against Syria's Iran-allied government.
"Thank you for the report on the Middle East, which I happen to completely agree with," al-Otaiba said.
For al-Otaiba, the main problem with current U.S. policy is that it isn't friendly enough to the Gulf's Sunni autocracies. "At the risk of trying to solve every policy first, I think for the next administration what I'd like to see is to rebuild those relationships, to rebuild the trust."
Part of that distrust, in the ambassador's view, was built by Obama's opposition to Egypt's dictator Hosni Mubarak during the Arab Spring and his strategic silence during the Green Revolution in Iran. "If I was a Martian watching the events of the Middle East over the last few years," he joked, "and I saw the U.S. reaction to the events in Iran and then shortly after I watched the U.S. reaction to the events in Egypt, I would be a very confused Martian. I would think it was the other way around. I would think Iran is the U.S. ally, but Egypt was the adversary."
But U.S. policy towards the military regime in Egypt has hardly been uncharitable, and the government of Iran would be surprised to hear any suggestion that the U.S. is siding with it. In reality, the U.S. gave $6.5 billion in military aid to Egypt between 2011 and 2015 and has maintained a stringent set of economic sanctions targeting Iran.
Al-Otaiba named a group of "core allies" Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, and Jordan that he'd like to see the U.S. reaffirm its commitment to. "I think the first order for the new administration is try to get that band back together, operating on the same wavelength."
That wavelength is an increasingly controversial one, however, as militant movements inspired by Saudi-aligned ideology have spread throughout the region. The hacked Clinton campaign emails released by Wikileaks, for example, show that Hillary Clinton privately is troubled by Gulf state foreign policy. In a 2014 email to Podesta, she wrote of a need "to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region."
But the others panelists did not disagree with the UAE ambassador. Morell, in particular, chose to frame Gulf behavior in the region as simply a defense against an imperial Iran.
Morell said tension in the region is "often referred to as the struggle between Iran and the Sunni Gulf states, struggle for influence in the region. You often hear that. It is the wrong way to think about it," he said. "It is a desire on behalf of the Iranians to be the hegemonic power in the region, their efforts to achieve that, and it is the Sunni Gulf states pushing back against that. That is what's happening."
But there is in fact an ongoing struggle for influence between Iran and the Gulf states, as reflected in the proxy struggles around the region. Most notably, the region's most violent conflict is taking place in Syria, where an Iran-backed government is doing battle with rebels that Gulf states have flooded with arms and other resources.
Former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff James Winnefeld, Jr., another panelist, concurred with Morell. He essentially advised that the United States adopt the Saudi view of Yemen and Iran.
"Iran understands the language of power. They also understand the language of weakness," he said.
He then turned to the issue of international law and Morell's suggestion. "A very very strict interpretation of international law would say you can't interdict an Iranian ship at the high seas," he noted. But he insisted that the United States could interdict their ships if it was a matter of self defense. "My opinion and I think Michael would agree with me is that we could probably be a little bit more liberal in our interpretation of what collective self defense means when Iran is shipping arms to the Houthis to operate in Yemen which threatens the whole region."
Al-Otaiba took the opportunity to defend his own country's support for the Saudi intervention in Yemen, pointing to what he claimed was growing Iranian influence through the Houthis. "We were not going to allow for this to happen on the border of a country that produced 10 million barrels [of oil] a day, and is home to Mecca and Medina," he said.
No one at the event offered criticism of al-Otaiba's defense of the war or the more than $20 billion of U.S. arms sales to the Saudi Arabia over the past 18 months. The thousands of Yemenis who have been killed by the Gulf coalition's military intervention went unmentioned. The Gulf states' role in fostering extremism in Syria and elsewhere was also not extensively discussed. And the wisdom of adopting a more hostile posture towards Iran was never questioned.
Katulis did not respond to a request for comment.
Posted: 08 Nov 2016 04:21 PM PST
By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She now spends most of her time in India and other parts of Asia researching a book about textile artisans. She also writes regularly about legal, political economy, and regulatory topics for various consulting clients and publications, as well as writes occasional travel pieces for The National.
All right, all right. I can’t take it any more. Yesterday I read a Facebook post that blamed the current US electoral predicament on the “pointless” 22nd Amendment. For those of you without a US Constitution handy, the 22nd Amendment is the one that limits US presidents to serving two terms.
That Facebook post implies that without the 22nd Amendment we’d get to see a third term for the Obamamometer. That risible suggestion, combined with the incessant legacy-burnishing that he’s indulged in– at least until he realized that HRC might be in trouble and started to hit the campaign trail in earnest– made me realize the time for shredding aspects of that legacy is way overdue.
When the Obamamometer finally settles on what he’ll do next– whether that would be run a sports team, become a venture capitalist, found a new religion, cure cancer, or merely hob nob with the global elite and play lots of golf, I’m sure he’ll make a fine job job of it– just as he’s done with his Presidency. Over the next couple of months, I intend to post occasionally on this legacy: but rather than burnishing that record, I’ll indulge in a bit of legacy busting.
First up, the rule of law and corporate crime.
The Holder Doctrine
Federal prosecutors, and regulatory agencies, have turned into toothless tigers when it comes to prosecuting C-suite types, and pursuing corporations seriously, for economic crimes. Both financial institutions and their management got virtually a free pass for their activities that led to the Great Recession. And not only for those, but for subsequent foreclosure abuses, LIBOR and other market manipulations, money laundering, tax scams, and doing business contrary to US sanctions policy. Yet to date, not a single C-suite type has been indicted.
It’s not just financial institutions that’ve received a free pass. Big Pharma, for example, has also been lucky, as have companies that have engaged in creative tax minimization strategies (Apple, anyone?). And if looked at from the perspective of legal topics, rather than corporate actors, entire areas of law– antitrust, for example– are not really relevant anymore.
You don’t have to take my word for it. No less a source than the NY Times’ DealBook column– not a venue, incidentally, renowned for its trenchant, timely critiques of either Wall Street or other corporate behavior– in September lamented, Law Enforcement ‘Not Winning’ War on White Collar Crime. I wrote about this article in a September post and so won’t rehash all the arguments I made then here. But a few points are in order.
The lack of enforcement not only means that the guilty don’t pay. It also determines what corporate strategies get pursued, which business models are developed or rejected, what attitudes corporations take to risk, and how resources get allocated to name just a few consequences. And as I’ll discuss below, it also shapes how attorneys practice law, and the impact their advice carries in deterring certain types of corporate behavior.
I never thought I’d be nostalgic for President George W. Bush’s Department of Justice (DoJ). Now, I’m well aware of the scandal that ensued over Attorney General Alberto Gonzales imposing ideological litmus tests on assistant US attornies. Nonetheless, in the wake of the collapse of the dotcom bubble, the Bush DoJ actually enforced the law. It prosecuted cases and claimed scalps. Companies such as Adelphi, Enron and WorldCom all saw top-level management prosecuted, and malefactors sent to jail.
Change We Can’t Believe In
Those who voted for Hope and Change in 2008 certainly got the change part– at least with respect to the DoJ. But when we look at the DoJ’s enforcement priorities and the track record that followed, it’s perhaps not the change they were hoping for. The Obamamometer’s first Attorney General, Eric Holder, outlined and followed what came to be known as the Holder doctrine.
Allow me to quote from my September post:
[Under the Holder doctrine the DoJ eschewed corporate charges against companies and executives, instead opting for negotiated settlements (often imposing de minimis, slap-on-the wrist penalties that were significantly undersized compared to the magnitude of damage done, especially by TBTF banks and other financial predators, to name just a few).
The DoJ under Obama’s second AG, Loretta Lynch, originally followed the Holder doctrine, until that was superseded when Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates authored a memo outlining a new approach in September 2015. Under this approach, the DoJ intended to increase accountability for corporate wrongdoing, and this included an increased focus on pursuing criminal charges against responsible individuals. The DoJ sought to drive a legal wedge between individuals and the corporations for whom they worked by only allowing corporations to receive “cooperation credit” that would reduce their potential exposure (including penalties) if the corporation cooperates in surrendering as early as possible comprehensive detailed information concerning the individual misconduct.
There’s much more in a similar vein in that earlier post, for those with an interest. But the bottom line for purposes of this post is what has this supposed policy shift, from Holder’s doctrine to Yates’s memo, meant in practice. The short answer: bupkis. We’re still waiting for the more robust enforcement approach the Yates memo supposedly heralded to kick in. As an attorney I know who specializes in white collar defense work summed it up to me, “The DoJ’s walking a new walk, and talking a new talk, but nothing’s really changed.”
In fact, in only two areas have we seen the DoJ take a muscular approach toward enforcement during the Obamamometer’s administration, insider trading, and offenses under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
US Attorney for the southern district of New York Preet Bharara has compiled an undefeated string of convictions for insider trading (some of which may be at risk of being overturned due to some appellate decisions, which are beyond the scope of this post). But as I wrote last month in The SEC Fiddles While the System Burns: Insider Trading Enforcement As Securities Law Theater, focusing on insider trading as an enforcement priority constitutes a form of securities law theater. Scare prosecutorial resources are expended on insider trading abuses, rather than being deployed to investigate, punish, and (hopefully) deter, far more serious systemic problems.
The insider trading focus provides the illusion that the DoJ is doing something about high-level cheating. Yet it has little broader deterrent effect on stymieing the wider corporate scams that misallocate resources and erode confidence in the integrity of the system. Insider trading enforcement is usually directed at individuals, and doesn’t implicate wider considerations of corporate strategy or policy. Prosecuting insider traders maintains the myth that the greatest threats to US capitalism are individual bad corporate actors, rather than anything more sweeping or systemic. Catch the bad actors, fine them or throw them in jail, and never think about any deeper problems.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
Another area highlighted as an enforcement priority is bribery and foreign corruption, with prosecutions undertaken under authority of the FCPA. Allow me to quote from a speech made by assistant attorney general Leslie R. Caldwell last week:
The effects of foreign corruption are not just felt overseas. In today’s global economy, the negative effects of foreign corruption flow back to the United States. American companies are harmed by global corruption when they are denied the ability to compete in a fair and transparent marketplace. Instead of being rewarded for their efficiency, innovation and honest business practices, U.S. companies suffer at the hands of corrupt governments and lose out to corrupt competitors.
This is why the fight against international corruption has been, and continues to be, a core priority of the Department of Justice. It has been a core priority for the Criminal Division, and our commitment to the fight against foreign bribery is reflected in our robust enforcement record in this area, which includes charges against corporations and individuals alike from all over the world. Since 2009, the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section has convicted more than 65 individuals in [FCPA] and FCPA-related cases, and resolved criminal cases against more than 65 companies with penalties and forfeiture of approximately $4.5 billion.
Sounds reasonable, right? I mean, after all, no one would come right out in favor of more international corruption?
But when we unpack it, we butt up against a few problems. First, to quote my contact the white collar defence specialist again. The lack of an effective DoJ deterrent has enormously complicated his practice and his ability to get his clients to understand and act on prudent legal advice. “What I’ve seen happening more and more in the last couple of years is the chairs of audit committees of major companies openly mocking the DoJ’s enforcement capability.” This leads the companies to pursue courses of action that they wouldn’t dare to undertake if they worried that the DoJ would aggressively pursue securities law violations.
Where does this leave their lawyers? Well, it often means that they must either moderate their advice, or risk losing their clients. Clients who want to do something will resist their impulses and continue to listen to what they hear as their lawyers crying wolf only for so long. Eventually, the less scrupulous among them are going to ignore the contrary advice, or get another lawyer. The lack of effective enforcement at the DoJ hinders the efforts of the best, most prudent, and most ethical members of the legal profession to practice law as we would want them to.
So, what happens instead? Well, the most scrupulous of them will continue to give what they regard as sound legal advice (even if what some privately call the Department of Jokes does not enforce the law in a way that lends credence to that approach). But that means they often have to develop new areas of expertise when their clients beat a path away from their doors. “We have to act sometimes as shoe salesmen, flogging competence in FCPA violations, that occur in subsidiaries or with foreign suppliers,” says my white collar defense specialist contact. “This work leads us to countries and legal systems we don’t know well, to uncover chickenshit violations that occur far from home.” Far better, he believes, would be for the DoJ to focus on law-breaking that occurs in the United States, as that could be effectively deterred by the agency refocusing its enforcement priorities. Now that would be a legacy we could all believe in.
Posted: 08 Nov 2016 02:34 PM PST
Waking Up in Hillary Clinton’s America
Wall Street in the Saddle
By Nomi Prins
As this endless election limps toward its last days, while spiraling into a bizarre duel over vote-rigging accusations, a deep sigh is undoubtedly in order. The entire process has been an emotionally draining, frustration-inducing, rage-inflaming spectacle of repellent form over shallow substance. For many, the third debate evoked fatigue. More worrying, there was again no discussion of how to prevent another financial crisis, an ominous possibility in the next presidency, whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton enters the Oval Office -- given that nothing fundamental has been altered when it comes to Wall Street’s practices and predation.
At the heart of American political consciousness right now lies a soul-crushing reality for millions of distraught Americans: the choices for president couldn’t be feebler or more disappointing. On the one hand, we have a petulant, vocabulary-challenged man-boar of a billionaire, who hasn’t paid his taxes, has regularly left those supporting him holding the bag, and seems like a ludicrous composite of every bad trait in every bad date any woman has ever had. On the other hand, we’re offered a walking photo-op for and well-paid speechmaker to Wall-Street CEOs, a one-woman money-raising machine from the 1% of the 1%, who, despite a folksiness that couldn’t look more rehearsed, has methodically outplayed her opponent.
With less than two weeks to go before E-day -- despite the Trumptilian upheaval of the last year -- the high probability of a Clinton win means the establishment remains intact. When we awaken on November 9th, it will undoubtedly be dawn in Hillary Clinton’s America and that potentially means four years of an economic dystopia that will (as would Donald Trump’s version of the same) leave many Americans rightfully anxious about their economic futures.
None of the three presidential debates suggested that either candidate would have the ability (or desire) to confront Wall Street from the Oval Office. In the second and third debates, in case you missed them, Hillary didn’t even mention the Glass-Steagall Act, too big to fail, or Wall Street. While in the first debate, the subject of Wall Street only came up after she disparaged the tax policies of “Trumped-up, trickle down economics” (or, as I like to call it, the Trumpledown economics of giving tax and financial benefits to the rich and to corporations).
In this election, Hillary has crafted her talking points regarding the causes of the last financial crisis as weapons against Trump, but they hardly begin to tell the real story of what happened to the American economy. The meltdown of 2007-2008 was not mainly due to “tax policies that slashed taxes on the wealthy” or a “failure to invest in the middle class,” two subjects she has repeatedly highlighted to slam the Republicans and their candidate. It was a byproduct of the destruction of the regulations that opened the way for a too-big-to-fail framework to thrive. Under the presidency of Bill Clinton, Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era act that once separated people’s bank deposits and loans from any kind of risky bets or other similar actions in which banks might engage, was repealed under the Financial Modernization Act of 1999. In addition, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act was passed, which allowed Wall Street to concoct devastating unregulated side bets on what became the subprime crisis.
Given that the people involved with those choices are still around and some are still advising (or in the case of one former president living with) Hillary Clinton, it’s reasonable to imagine that, in January 2017, she’ll launch the third term of Bill Clinton when it comes to financial policy, banks, and the economy. Only now, the stakes are even higher, the banks larger, and their impunity still remarkably unchallenged.
Consider President Obama’s current treasury secretary, Jack Lew. It was Hillary who hit the Clinton Rolodex to bring him back to Washington. Lew first entered Bill Clinton’s White House in 1993 as special assistant to the president. Between his stints working for Clinton and Obama, he made his way into the private sector and eventually to Wall Street -- as so many of his predecessors had done and successors would do. He scored a leadership role with Citigroup during the time that Bill Clinton’s former Treasury Secretary (and former Goldman Sachs co-Chairman) Robert Rubin was on its board of directors. In 2009, Hillary selected him to be her deputy secretary of state.
Lew is hardly the only example of the busy revolving door to power that led from the Clinton administration to the Obama administration via Wall Street (or activities connected to it). Bill Clinton’s Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs, Timothy Geithner worked with Robert Rubin, later championed Wall Street as president and CEO of the New York Federal Reserve while Hillary was senator from New York (representing Wall Street), and then became Obama’s first treasury secretary while Hillary was secretary of state.
One possible contender for treasury secretary in a new Clinton administration would be Bill Clinton’s Under Secretary of Domestic Finance and Obama’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman, Gary Gensler (who was -- I’m sure you won’t be shocked -- a Goldman Sachs partner before entering public service). These, then, are typical inhabitants of the Clinton inner circle and of the political-financial corridors of power. Their thinking, like Hillary’s, meshes well with support for the status quo in the banking system, even if, like her, they are willing on occasion to admonish it for its “mistakes.”
This thru-line of personnel in and out of Clinton World is dangerous for most of the rest of us, because behind all the “talking heads” and genuinely amusing Saturday Night Live skits about this bizarre election lie certain crucial issues that will have to be dealt with: decisions about climate change, foreign wars, student-loan unaffordability, rising income inequality, declining social mobility, and, yes, the threat of another financial crisis. And keep in mind that such a future economic meltdown isn’t an absurdly long-shot possibility. Earlier this year, the Federal Reserve, the nation’s main bank regulator, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the government entity that insures our bank deposits, collectively noted that seven of our biggest eight banks -- Citigroup was the exception -- still have inadequate emergency plans in the event of another financial crisis.
Exploring a Two-Faced World
Politicians regularly act one way publicly and another privately, as Hillary was “outed” for doing by WikiLeaks via its document dump from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s hacked email account. Such realities should be treated as neither shockers nor smoking guns. Everybody postures. Everybody lies. Everybody’s two-faced in certain aspects of their lives. Politicians just make a career out of it.
What’s problematic about Hillary’s public and private positions in the economic sphere, at least, isn’t their two-facedness but how of a piece they are. Yes, she warned the bankers to “cut it out! Quit foreclosing on homes! Quit engaging in these kinds of speculative behaviors!” -- but that was no demonstration of strength in relation to the big banks. Her comments revealed no real understanding of their precise role in exacerbating a fixable subprime loan calamity and global financial crisis, nor did her finger-wagging mean anything to Wall Street.
Keep in mind that, during the build-up to that crisis, as banks took advantage of looser regulations, she collected more than $7 million from the securities and investment industry for her New York Senate runs ($18 million during her career). In her first Senate campaign, Citigroup was her top contributor. The four Wall-Street-based banks (JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley) all feature among her top 10 career contributors. As a senator, she didn’t introduce any bills aimed at reforming or regulating Wall Street. During the lead-up to the financial crisis of 2007-2008, she did introduce five (out of 140) bills relating to the housing crisis, but they all died before making it through a Senate committee. So did a bill she sponsored to curtail corporate executive compensation. Though she has publicly called for a reduction in hedge-fund tax breaks (known as “closing the carried interest loophole”), including at the second debate, she never signed on to the bill that would have done so (one that Obama co-sponsored in 2007). Perhaps her most important gesture of support for Wall Street was her vote in favor of the $700 billion 2008 bank bailout bill. (Bernie Sanders opposed it.)
After her secretary of state stint, she returned to the scene of banking crimes. Many times. As we know, she was also paid exceedingly well for it. Friendship with the Clintons doesn’t come cheap. As she said in October 2013, while speaking at a Goldman Sachs AIMS Alternative Investments’ Symposium, “running for office in our country takes a lot of money, and candidates have to go out and raise it. New York is probably the leading site for contributions for fundraising for candidates on both sides of the aisle.”
Between 2013 and 2015, she gave 12 speeches to Wall Street banks, private equity firms, and other financial corporations, reaping a whopping $2,935,000 for them. In her 2016 presidential run, the securities and investment sector (aka Wall Street) has contributed the most of any industry to PACs supporting Hillary: $56.4 million.
Yes, everybody needs to make a buck or a few million of them. This is America after all, but Hillary was a political figure paid by the same banks routinely getting slapped with criminal settlements by the Department of Justice. In addition, the Clinton Foundation counted as generous donors all four of the major Wall Street-based mega-banks. She was voracious when it came to such money and tone-deaf when it came to the irony of it all.
Glass-Steagall and Bernie Sanders
One of the more illuminating aspects of the Podesta emails was a series of communications that took place in the fall of 2015. That’s when Bernie Sanders was gaining traction for, among other things, his calls to break up the big banks and resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. The Clinton administration’s dismantling of that act in 1999 had freed the big banks to use their depositors’ money as collateral for risky bets in the real estate market and elsewhere, and so allowed them to become ever more engorged with questionable securities.
On December 7, 2015, with her campaign well underway and worried about the Sanders challenge, the Clinton camp debuted a key Hillary op-ed, “How I’d Rein in Wall Street,” in the New York Times. This followed two months of emails and internal debate within her campaign over whether supporting the return of Glass-Steagall was politically palatable for her and whether not supporting it would antagonize Senator Elizabeth Warren. In the end, though Glass-Steagall was mentioned in passing in her op-ed, she chose not to endorse its return.
She explained her decision not to do so this way (and her advisers and media apostles have stuck with this explanation ever since):
“Some have urged the return of a Depression-era rule called Glass-Steagall, which separated traditional banking from investment banking. But many of the firms that contributed to the crash in 2008, like A.I.G. and Lehman Brothers, weren’t traditional banks, so Glass-Steagall wouldn’t have limited their reckless behavior. Nor would restoring Glass-Steagall help contain other parts of the ‘shadow banking’ sector, including certain activities of hedge funds, investment banks, and other non-bank institutions.”
Her entire characterization of how the 2007-2008 banking crisis unfolded was -- well -- wrong. Here’s how traditional banks (like JPMorgan Chase) operated: they lent money to investment banks like Lehman Brothers so that they could buy more financial waste products stuffed with subprime mortgages that these traditional banks were, in turn, trying to sell. They then backed up those toxic financial products through insurance companies like AIG, which came close to collapse when what it was insuring became too toxically overwhelming to afford. AIG then got a $182 billion government bailout that also had the effect of bailing out those traditional banks (including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, which became “traditional” during the crisis). In this way, the whole vicious cycle started with the traditional banks that hold your deposits and at the same time could produce and sell those waste products thanks to the repeal of Glass-Steagall. So yes, the loss of that act caused the crisis and, in its wake, every big traditional bank was fined for crisis-related crimes.
Hillary won’t push to bring back Glass-Steagall. Doing so would dismantle her husband’s legacy and that of the men he and she appointed to public office. Whatever cosmetic alterations may be in store, count on that act remaining an artifact of the past, since its resurrection would dismay the bankers who, over the past three decades, made the Clintons what they are.
No wonder many diehard Sanders supporters remain disillusioned and skeptical -- not to speak of the fact that their candidate featured dead last (39th) on a list of recommended vice presidential candidates in the Podesta emails. That's unfortunately how much his agenda is likely to matter to her in the Oval Office.
Go Regulate Yourselves!
Before he resigned with his nine-figure golden parachute, Wells Fargo CEO and Chairman John Stumpf addressed Congress over disclosures that 5,300 of his employees had created two million fake accounts, scamming $2.4 million from existing customers. The bank was fined $185 million for that (out of a total $10 billion in fines for a range of other crimes committed before and during the financial crisis).
In response, Hillary wrote a letter to Wells Fargo’s customers. In it, she didn’t actually mention Stumpf by name, as she has not mentioned any Wall Street CEO by name in the context of criminal activity. Instead, she simply spoke of “he.” As she put it, “He owes all of you a clear explanation as to how this happened under his watch.” She added, “Executives should be held individually accountable when rampant illegal activity happens on their watch.”
She does have a plan to fine banks for being too big, but they’ve already been fined repeatedly for being crooked and it hasn’t made them any smaller or less threatening. As their top officials evidently view the matter, paying up for breaking the law is just another cost of doing business.
Hillary also wrote, “If any bank can’t be managed effectively, it should be broken up.” But the question is: Why doesn’t ongoing criminal activity that threatens the rest of us correlate with ineffective management -- or put another way, when was the last time you saw a major bank broken up? And don’t hold your breath for that to happen in a new Clinton administration either.
In her public letter, she added, “I’ll appoint regulators who will stand with taxpayers and consumers, not with big banks and their friends in Congress.” On the other hand, at that same Goldman Sachs symposium, while in fundraising mode, she gave bankers a pass relative to regulators and commented: “Well, I represented all of you for eight years. I had great relations and worked so close together after 9/11 to rebuild downtown, and [I have] a lot of respect for the work you do and the people who do it.”
She has steadfastly worked to craft explanations for the financial crisis and the Great Recession that don’t endanger the banks as we presently know them. In addition, she has supported the idea of appointing insider regulators, insisting that “the people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry.” (Let’s not forget that former Goldman Sachs CEO and Chairman Hank Paulson ran the Treasury Department while the crisis brewed.)
Among the emails sent to John Podesta that were posted by WikiLeaks is an article I wrote for TomDispatch on the Clintons' relationships with bankers. “She will not point fingers at her friends," I said in that piece in May 2015. She will not chastise the people who pay her hundreds of thousands of dollars a pop to speak or the ones who have long shared the social circles in which she and her husband move.” I also suggested that she wouldn't call out any CEO by name. To this day she hasn’t. I said that she would never be an advocate for Glass-Steagall. And she hasn’t been. What was true then will be no less true once she’s in the White House and no longer has to make gestures toward the platform on which Bernie ran and so can once again more openly embrace the bankers’ way of conducting business.
There’s a reason Wall Street has a crush on her and its monarchs like Goldman Sachs CEO and Chairman Lloyd Blankfein pay her such stunning sums to offer anodyne remarks to their employees and others. Blankfein has been coy about an official Clinton endorsement simply because he doesn’t want to rock her campaign boat, but make no mistake, this Wall Street kingpin’s silence is tantamount to an endorsement.
To date, $10 trillion worth of assets sits on the books of the Big Six banks. Since 2008, these same banks have copped to more than $150 billion in fines for pre-crisis behavior that ranged on the spectrum of criminality from manipulating multiple public markets to outright fraud. Hillary Clinton has arguably taken money that would not have been so available if it weren’t for the ill-gotten gains those banks secured. In her usual measured way, albeit with some light admonishments, she has told them what they want to hear: that if they behave -- something that in her dictionary of definitions involves little in the way of personalized pain or punishment -- so will she.
So let’s recap Hillary’s America, past, present, and future. It’s a land lacking in meaningful structural reform of the financial system, a place where the big banks have been, and will continue to be, coddled by the government. No CEO will be jailed, no matter how large the fines his bank is saddled with or how widespread the crimes it committed. Instead, he’s likely to be invited to the inaugural ball in January. Because its practices have not been adequately controlled or curtailed, the inherent risk that Wall Street poses for Main Street will only grow as bankers continue to use our money to make their bets. (The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act was supposed to help on this score, but has yet to make the big banks any smaller.)
And here’s an obvious corollary to all this: the next bank-instigated economic catastrophe will not be dealt with until it has once again crushed the financial stability of millions of Americans.
The banks have voted with their dollars on all of this in multiple ways. Hillary won’t do anything to upset that applecart. We should have no illusions about what her presidency would mean from a Wall Street vs. Main Street perspective. Certainly, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon doesn't. He effectively endorsed Hillary before a crowd of financial industry players, saying, "I hope the next president, she reaches across the aisle."
For Wall Street, of course, that aisle is essentially illusory, since its players operate so easily and effectively on both sides of it. In Hillary’s America, Wall Street will still own Main Street.
Posted: 08 Nov 2016 12:48 PM PST
Cili eshte kuptimi i numrit 1729 ne matematike???
Posted: 08 Nov 2016 08:10 AM PST
Pershendetje, do doja te dija a ka Akademi Aeronautike ne Shqiperi? Un per momentin jetoj dhe po vazhdoj liceun ne Itali por do me pelqente shum te beja pjes e Forcave Ajrore Shqiptare.
Duhet te vazhdoj kursin privat ne Itali dhe me von te kandidoj ne Shqiperi apo mund te futem ne Aeronautiken italiane (kam dhe nenshtetesin italiane) dhe pastaj te iki ne Shqiperi?
Nje pyetje tjeter. Neqoftese asnje nga kto opsionet nuk eshte e mundur a mund te futem me Forcat e Armatosura vetem per nje vit?
Posted: 08 Nov 2016 02:09 AM PST
Deri tri vite më parë, Magbule Novosella nuk e kishte menduar se do të bëhej me diplomë.
Por tash, si 60 vjeçare ajo është një psikologe e diplomuar.
Novosella është një rast i rrallë dhe shumë inspirues për të gjithë ata që janë në mëdyshje të marrin vendimin për t'u përcaktuar në ndërmarrjen e hapave të nevojshëm drejt realizimit të ëndrrave të tyre.
Ajo nuk pati rast të realizoj ëndrrën e saj të studimit të Psikologjisë në moshë më të hershme për arsye të ndryshme.
Fakti që në atë kohë në Kosovë nuk ekzistonte Psikologjia si degë studimi, ia kishte pamundësuar që të studionte pasi i duhej të shkonte në Beograd apo Sarajevë që të marrë një diplomë në këtë degë.
Kjo ishte e pamundur në kohën kur Novosella kishte ambicie studimi.
Mirëpo, tani që kjo degë e studimeve i është ofruar në Kolegjin AAB në Prishtinë, Novosella, nuk deshi të humbiste rastin që të realizonte ëndrrën e saj të kamotshme, raporton Insajderi.
Kësisoj, në moshën 57 vjeçare, ajo filloi ndjekjen e ligjëratave të para si studente e rregullt në AAB.
"Ishte vendim paksa i vështirë që në këtë moshë të bashkëngjitëm në një grup shumë të rinj të studentëve, mirëpo, afërsia e tyre më ka ndihmuar shumë në përkrahje të vendimeve të mija. Gjithashtu, i jam shumë mirënjohëse familjarëve dhe profesorëve për përkrahjen e pandalshme", thotë Novosella.
Duke qenë adhuruese e librit dhe shkrimit, nuk ishte dhe aq e vështirë për të që t'i kthehej studimit të rregullt.magbule-copy
"Gjatë jetës jam marrë me probleme psikologjike dhe kam dashur t'ju ndihmoj të afërmve në zgjidhjen e problemeve. Kam qenë gjithmonë e gatshme për këshillime. Dhe, më dukej se kisha një aftësi më të veçantë në këtë aspekt", thotë ajo.
Novosella nuk e fsheh lumturinë për hapin e marrë.
"Jam shumë e lumtur për hapin që kam marrë. Nuk i kam përfunduar studimet për të siguruar ndonjë vend të punës. Arsyeja e vetme është kënaqësia që kam marrë nga realizimi i ëndrrës sime. Përveç kësaj, kam krijuar shoqëri të re", thotë ajo.
Madje e diplomuara në psikologji në moshën 60 vjeçare ka edhe një mesazh:Pavarësisht nga mosha apo pengesa të tjera në jetë, asnjëherë të mos dorëzohemi apo frikohemi që të realizojmë ëndrrat.
"Me përkushtim arrihet çdo gjë!", thotë ajo. / Insajderi.com
Posted: 08 Nov 2016 01:52 AM PST
Reshjet e shiut kanë përmbytur çdo cep të Tiranës gjatë ditës së sotme. Kryebashkiaku i Tiranës pasi dha një mesazh ditën e djeshme, sot ka humbur. Edhe bashkia e Tiranës që çdo ditë njofton për arritjet e saj, sot nuk ka thënë ende asnjë fjalë.
Shkrimtarja dhe botuesja Flutura Açka ka sjellë disa pamje nga Tirana, duke i shoqëruar edhe me një mesazh.
"Kështu është kur në 25 vjet nuk bën një pusetë, por vetë beton dhe bojatisje...
Kini minimumin e moralit sot, mos dilni në televizor të na thoni se "po ju bie bretku" dhe s'po ju zë gjumi për Tiranën tonë. Prisni sa të bjerë të paktën uji", shkruan Flutura Açka në profilin e saj në Facebook.
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