Archive for the Bailout/Bribe Category

Proposition H8 And The Enduring Appeal Of Fear And Hate (February 13, 2012)

Posted in Abortion, Antitrust, Bailout/Bribe, Banks and Banking System, Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Congress, Constitution, Courts, Crime/Punishment, Gay Politics, Judges, Less Government Regulation Series, Miscegenation, Supreme Court on February 13, 2012 by

. . .

K          “In the early 1960s, a constitutional law textbook included a lengthy chapter collecting pivotal decisions challenging Jim Crow laws.  A library in this state, a grammar school in that state, a swimming pool in this state, a drinking fountain in that state.  The campaign was undertaken one institution, one jurisdiction, one decision at a time.  There were successes; there were failures; there were more successes than failures.  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (CRA) changed the ground rules.  These outdated cases are of interest to historians today; they are moot asides for lawyers.  The whole chapter was expunged and a new chapter unfolded to detail the legal dispute du jour.”

J          “The unfolding chapter is reading like the old one.  America is gasping its way through the same spasms regarding gay marriages and gay rights.  The long-run outcome is clear, but the path is rocky.  Gay marriages and gay rights will be the norm and the law in thirty years.”

K          “Gay rights are the civil rights issue of this generation.  Instead of passing laws to protect civil rights such as the CRA, however, Congress passes unconstitutional screeds such as the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (DoMA).  Perverse group, the gang that legislates congress.”

J          “In thirty years, the kids will dismiss the dispute as ‘weird’ or ‘bizarre’ or whatever the patois is at the time.  Until then, prejudice, hate and fear drives the fight.  The Ninth Circuit decision is another step in the long slog.  And now the outcome likely turns on Kennedy.  Someone observed that Kennedy observed that his gay clerks were . . . human.  He decided that they should be treated that way.”

K          “In Lawrence v. Texas.  Contrast the development of the law regarding gay rights with the development of the law involving abortion.  Last month marked thirty-nine years since the Supreme Court addressed abortion in Roe v. Wade.  Curious circumstances and decision.  The matter was decided not by the Warren Court but by the Burger Court.  Warren retired to go bass fishing or something in 1969.  The seven vote majority opinion was written by a Republican-appointed Justice (Blackmun) and was joined by three Nixon appointees (Burger, Powell, Blackmun), two Eisenhower (Stewart, Brennan), one FDR (Douglas), and one LBJ (Marshall) appointees.  Even with no Democratic-appointed justices at all, Roe would have become the law of the land solely on the votes of Republican-appointed justices.”

J          “Even with a clear precedent, challenges to abortion will still be caroming around the courts in thirty years.  Gay rights will be resolved.”

K          “We would all be better off if the government got out of the bedroom.”

. . .

[See the Ninth Circuit decision in Perry v. Brown at]

[See the “e-ssay” titled Less Government Regulation Series: Love and Marriage (May 19, 2008).]

[See the “e-ssay” titled Fire Your Attorney General (November 7, 2011) and review  The bankers murdered the body politic (and economic) with malice aforethought and all we could offer them is an overdue book fine.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

“All that Proposition 8 accomplished was to take away from same-sex couples the right to be granted marriage licenses and thus legally to use the designation of ‘marriage,’ which symbolizes state legitimization and societal recognition of their committed relationships.  Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.  The Constitution simply does not allow for ‘laws of this sort.’”

Let freedom ring; let love rule

Good to have loved and lost; better to have loved and won

Happy Valentine’s Day

Standing Up In America (December 5, 2011)

Posted in "Fiat ______", Bailout/Bribe, Banks and Banking System, Courts, Credit Unions, Crime/Punishment, Housing, Kleptocracy, Law, Locke Gary, Perjury/Dishonesty, Politics on December 5, 2011 by

. . .

L          “We now learn that while he was Secretary of Treasury, Henry Paulson tipped off some of his hedge fund buddies of the Fannie Mae bailout.  Everyone in power is quick to proclaim that his statements and actions are not illegal and declare that nothing can be done.  His statements and actions are illegal, but those in power refuse to enforce Title 18, the criminal provisions of the United States Code, because they do not want to bring charges against their compatriots in power even their competitors in the other party.”      

O         “They cop out and refuse to send the cops out.  Because otherwise someone could bring charges against them some day.  The Great Ruling Class Truce.  And no one asks any follow-up questions or demands answers.”

L          “However, a federal judge in New York, Jed S. Rakoff, took a stand from his seat on the bench and rejected a settlement between the Big Banks and the SEC that would have let the Big Banks substantially off the hook.” 

O         “I read a blurb that the state attorney general in Massachusetts, Martha Coakley, took a stand and demanded that the Big Banks follow standards.  The lawsuit may put the Big Banks on the hook.”

L          “And in developments overseas, America’s standard-bearer in China, Gary Locke, is America’s stand-up guy in China.”

. . .

[Henry Paulson:]

[Jed S. Rakoff:]

[Martha Coakley:  See the “e-ssay” titled Fire Your Attorney General (November 7, 2011)]

[Gary Locke:  See the “Category” denoted “Locke, Gary”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

America Is Exceptional / When America’s Exceptional

Take a stand

Take a few fiat dollars out of your credit union and put them in your pocket for safe keeping.

Boycott Big Banks – Vote Your Dollars (November 21, 2011)

Posted in Bailout/Bribe, Banks and Banking System, Boycott Series, Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Credit Unions, Guns, Occupy Movement on November 21, 2011 by

. . .

X          “The money you withdraw from a Big Bank and deposit in a credit union does not matter to the Big Bank.  The Big Banks get free money from the Federal Reserve.  The Federal Reserve has already given away more than 16 Trillion with no Congressional approval and no prospect of every receiving any of the money.  However, when you withdraw your money from a Big Bank, you are surrendering your serfdom and asserting your freedom.  The Big Bank can no longer fleece you.  All the little fees are little fleas that pester and annoy and destroy you.  The Big Banks are five and ten dollaring you to death.”

Y          “When I moved my money to my local credit union, I was already in the lobby when I thought about applying for a car loan.  They offered the best rate.”

X          “Never borrow money from a Big Bank; only borrow money from a credit union or community bank.  When too many Americans did not deserve credit, the Big Banks and their surrogates fooled them and forced credit on them.  Now when a few deserving Americans desire and deserve credit, the Big Banks are unwilling to lend.  A credit union is willing to loan.”

Y          “The brochure says that I may even be able to apply for a home improvement loan.”

. . .

[See Senator Bernie Sanders at]

[See the “e-ssay” titled “O’Bama Arming Industry (November 22, 2010).”  The benchmark price of .22s in November is $21.99.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

The spray seen ’round the world – UC Davis, 11/18/11

The pen is not mightier than the sword, but the video camera may be as moving

A video is worth ten thousand words

Banks got bailed out; people got sold out

Boycott Big Banks; Support Credit Unions

Lend To Credit Unions; Borrow From Credit Unions

Vote Your Dollars

An “Occupy Primer” (November 14, 2011)

Posted in Bailout/Bribe, Banks and Banking System, Economics, Kleptocracy, Law, Occupy Movement on November 14, 2011 by

. . .

?          “The Bonus Marchers sought what?”

!           “Bonuses owed to them by the government.”

?          “The civil rights advocates sought what?”

!           “Civil rights.”

?          “The women’s rights proponents sought what?”

!           “Women’s rights.”

?          “Those who sought to end the war in Vietnam sought what?”

!           “To end the war in Vietnam.”

?          “Those in the Occupy Movement seek what?”

!           “Simple.  They seek to end a game that is rigged at every step against everyone except a very small elite.  They seek to change a political and financial and legal and schooling scheme that is corrupt and decadent from top to bottom and from right to left.  They seek a build a future but suspect that there is not one.  They seek to replace the current vacuous kleptocracy with a viable democracy.  They seek to start a discussion and a dialogue among equals in an outdoor Academy to supplant the lies foisted on them from those in power.  That type of stuff.”

?!         “They want a fair chance.  I get it.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssays” titled Occupy America (October 10, 2011) and Occupy America: The “Bonus March/Chicago Police Riot/Kent State” Of 2011? (October 17, 2011)]

[See the “e-ssay” titled America Recycles Day, November 15 (November 15, 2010) and celebrate “America Recycles Day” tomorrow by doing something.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

We are the 99.9%

Occupy Jenkins Hill; Occupy Capitol Hill

Occupy [our small burg]

(Neoclassical) Economics – “The Dismal Religion”

(Neoclassical) Economics – “The Delusional Religion”

I won’t believe that a corporation is a person until Texas executes one

Is A “Strategic Default” Of A Mortgage Now A Moral Imperative? (February 28, 2011)

Posted in Bailout/Bribe, Banks and Banking System, Courts, Crime/Punishment, Economics, Housing, Kleptocracy, Law, Society, Supreme Court, TARP on February 28, 2011 by

. . .

S          “You have heard of them.  A ‘strategic default’ is a default by a person who could make the monthly payments on the mortgage yet elects to cease making the payments because the property is underwater financially.”

D          “There are a flood of them today.”

S          “A strategic default may be de rigueur today.  Look at the law.  Start with the indoctrination process in law school.  Young law students are taught the theory of ‘efficient breach’ which counsels one to breach a contract if breaching the contract is worth more than performing the contract.  That is defined as ‘efficiency.’  The students who answer obediently get on the law review, clerk for the Supreme Court and make millions representing banks, big businesses and insurance companies.”

D          “And assist in running them into the ground.”

S          “That’s the plan.  They don’t even understand ‘efficiency.’  In practice, the party breaching the contract is not spawning a more efficient use of global resources.  The breaching party simply does not want to pay or perform and usually has far more money and can overwhelm the non-breaching party in court.  The party not receiving payment or performance loses big and usually has little judicial relief.”

D          “With a few exceptions, the legal system seems to exist to protect and serve the interests of the wealthy and the well-connected. I’ll take my direction from no one other than the MBAs at the MBA (Mortgage Bankers Association) who recommend defaulting on your mortgage if it is not working for you.  The banksters decided not to pay the mortgage on the MBA office building in D.C. (Washington, D.C.), even though the group had the funds to pay.  The banksters strategically defaulted.”

S          “They are indeed an example for all.  When the government bribed and bailed out the banks and other institutions, some contended that the government could not breach the contracts providing for unwarranted and illegal bonuses.  How un-American.  The government should have disregarded every contract and required the banksters to bring suit.  How American.”

D          “Allowing the banksters to file suit would allow them to file in a sympathetic Republican Federal District Court and possibly steer the case to a receptive judge.”

S          “Always a risk in the legal game.  However, before the banksters brought suit, their legion of lawyers would remind them that they could confront defenses and counterclaims.  In court, the government could assert a dozen affirmative defenses and also counterclaim for fraud, deceit, perjury, conspiracy, embezzlement, racketeering, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, obstruction of justice, etc.  Some of the banksters would not file suit which is the least expensive and, yes, the most efficient way of reaching a just resolution.”

D          “Seems that the courts are stacked against the public.  Nonetheless, there is a small chance that an independent judge might hear some of the cases and hold that the bonuses are illegal.  An affirmative award against the banksters is improbable but not impossible.”

S          “Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats ever intended to bring criminal charges against the criminals.  We seem at times to be alone in a lawless world with millions of laws on the books.  We in America have moved from a democracy to a kleptocracy.”

D          “And no one to throw the book at them.  Except that the law and morality are clear.  Homeowners are morally obligated to default on the payment of their mortgages if the property is underwater financially.  The government is morally obligated to default on the payment of the bankster’s bonuses.  In today’s amoral America, a strategic default is both an economic necessity and a moral imperative.”

S          “Perhaps a provision should be added to Title 18 of the United States Code making it a crime not to strategically default if the property is underwater financially.  Not to strategically default is so un-American.  And inefficient.  We just can’t have that.”

D          “Strategically defaulting immanentizes the eschaton.”

S          “Indeed.”

. . .

Mortgage Bankers Association Defaults:

Home Sales Data Is Overstated:

“Three years after a horrific financial crisis caused by massive fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail, and that’s wrong.”  Charles Ferguson upon receiving the Oscar along with Audrey Marrs for the Best Documentary for the movie “Inside Job.”

“Almost everyone counted publicly each and every single day of the event known as the ‘Iran hostage crisis,’ yet no one is counting publicly the days that have passed since September 15, 2008 without a single major criminal indictment of the banksters and their ilk who caused the financial crisis that continues to plague this country today.”

[See the “e-ssay” titled “1000 AUSAs (February 9, 2009).”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Do as I do not as I say

Mortgage Bankers Association: Strategically Default Today

Free $1000 an hour legal advice:  Strategically Default On Your Mortgage Today

Efficiency uber alles

Efficiency is Inefficient

If your property is underwater, should you plant seaweed in the front yard this spring?

O’Bama Revisited (January 17, 2011)

Posted in "L" Shaped Economy, Bailout/Bribe, Economics, Federal Reserve, Military, O'Bama on January 17, 2011 by

. . .

F          “Cold day on the Mall two years ago.  Can’t say that things will be much warmer this week.”

G          “It’s still cold and is getting colder.  The day will live in infamy.  Neville Chamberlin O’Bama.”

F          “Not going to throw in Hussein for good measure.”

G          “That’s silly.  His first name was Arthur.  He gets a C-.”

F          “Arthur?”

G          “Neville C. O’Bama.  After the tax sell-out, I called the White House and the delegation and told them that I have had it.  I unsubscribed from seven political e-mail lists.  My contributions are too miniscule to matter, yet I told them that I am not making any more contributions.  No bumper stickers, no canvassing, no money, no more.”

F          “No one subscribes to my political views, so I can’t even unsubscribe from e-mail lists.  We confronted a Hobson’s choice in 2008.  O’Bama was and is a centrist.  He’s the better we could do.”

G          “He hasn’t challenged the massive continuing transfer of wealth to a small elite who do not contribute to the economy.  It is almost as if he got into office and discovered that there are certain unwritten overriding rules that cannot be undermined or even challenged by anyone in the office.  The cabal of trolls in the basement of the White House call the shots.”

F          “He hasn’t.  And you may be right.  The economic fundamentals are worse than they were in September, 2008.  The poison is still flowing in the financial system.  The banksters know that they will be bailed out by both the Republicans and the Democrats and will never need to make bail for their crimes.  The recent bailouts have been detailed and delegated to the Fed.”

G          “When is someone going to realize that the aggregation of wealth in the hands of a very small group is actually an impediment to economic growth?”

F          “When the Nobel Prize Committee signals that it will give a Nobel in Economics for the conclusion.”

G          “The expenditures employ yacht builders and polo saddle makers, but not ordinary unemployed butchers, bakers and brick makers.”

F          “Yacht builders and polo saddle makers need jobs.  Politics is about compromise.  Compromise is not pretty.”

G          “Compromise is different than capitulation.  He has capitulated.  Someone said that the country may need a war to pull us out of the economic depression.  He and we have two of them going that have not done much positive.”

F          “Is the third war a charm.”

G          “Just watch.  America can be broken.”

. . .

[President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his “Military-Industrial Complex” farewell speech/warning 50 years ago about the “unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex.”]

[MLK Day]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Hope (I hope, hopefully)

Rational Fear: Still “Unusually Uncertain” (November 8, 2010)

Posted in "L" Shaped Economy, Bailout/Bribe, Banks and Banking System, Bernanke, Depression, Federal Reserve, Greenspan, Kleptocracy, Technology, Unemployment, Volker with tags on November 8, 2010 by

. . .

K         “Think about it.  Some maintain the blind conviction that the business cycle is ordained by nature like the tides to rise after it falls.”

J          “Faith in nature.  This season is bad so that the next season will be good because that is the way it is.  Good luck.”

K         “Some desire to return to unrestrained personal consumption and unbridled economic growth.  Even if it is attainable at this time it is not sustainable over time.”

J          “Faith in unchecked consumption.  With oil peaking and a world population that has not peaked, the prospects are not promising.  America had its opportunity to consume.  Other countries, particularly China and India, now want and have earned their opportunity to consume.  If the oil holds out.  And if the coal does not kill us.”

K         “Some believe that new technology will be pulled out of the hat and pull us out of this mess.”

J          “Faith in technological salvation.  The technology sector likely will continue to grow but not enough to propel the entire economy.  The tech world is producing some sexy developments and neat gadgets.”

K         “I’ve always supported free trade when it is truly free.  Decades ago, I could see that globalization would shift massive numbers of American jobs overseas.  They said the solution is to train and retool the America workforce.  The workforce is not retrained and retooled and may not be retrainable and retoolable.  Not many commentators in academic economics or in the financial press have a clue.”

J          “It is one thing to listen to Greenspan and know that everything he says is wrong, yet who is getting it right.  Knowing which way not to go in a maze is not the same as knowing which way to go.  Volker has a clue, yet he is on the sidelines.”

K         “Bernanke* has a clue.  Now that monetary policy has effectively failed, he is enacting what is effectively fiscal policy.  Fiscal policy is the province of the legislature, the Congress.  But Congress is broken.  The Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act, an act of Congress, requires the Fed to promote full employment.  Perhaps he is actually trying to stimulate employment.”

J          “But there are no jobs, now or in the future.  Quantitative Easing II is nothing more and nothing less than TARP II implemented by the Fed rather than Congress.  The Fed’s purchase of bonds is nothing more and nothing less than a slick way to provide another bribe and bailout to Wall Street.”

K          “That is hard to dispute unless there are a few random hires here and there.  And he continues a tradition at the Fed of lying or at least deceiving the public.  He can do something.  He and the Fed regularly issue ‘Remarks’ and ‘Speeches’ on all manner of topics.  He should direct the Fed to issue a finding that a single bank with deposits and assets of more than 100 billion is a clear and present danger to the American economy and to the security and well-being of the Republic.  If a bank or other financial institution does not enter into an Enforcement Action with the Fed, close the resources of the Federal Reserve to the bank or financial institution.  In effect, require banks to downsize to manageable sizes.  They must be small enough to fail and to play well with others.”

J          “Won’t happen.  Our democracy is now a kleptocracy.”

K         “That won’t help employment, however.  But he could pull it off.  He can be bold.  He would have to play all his capital.  But for us citizens, however, the only things we have to fear are so many very real fears.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

The only things we have to fear are so many very real fears.

Don’t end the Fed, mend the Fed.

“And as things fell apart/Nobody paid much attention.”  “(Nothing But) Flowers” – Talking Heads

“This country’s hard on people, you can’t stop what’s coming.”  No Country for Old Men movie (2007)

On The Bribe/Bailout And Financial Reform (July 26, 2010)

Posted in Bailout/Bribe, Banks and Banking System, Bernanke, Federal Reserve, Journalism, Press/Media, TARP on July 26, 2010 by

. . .

K          “So many commentators contend that the bailout/bribe of 2008 saved the American economy, yet they do not provide any detailed discussion or explanation.  Few seem to be challenging the conclusion.”

J          “When you think about it, no one has offered a coherent explanation of two things.  No one has explained the exposure of the economy and the problems encountered in September, 2008; no one has traced the impacts and consequences of the bailout, good and bad.”

K          “Spewing money randomly was unwise and counterproductive.  The market was the only way to purge the excesses of the market.  Purging the economy of the poison would have been painful, yet we as a country would be much better off in the intermediate and long runs.”

J          “Not many commentators were sounding warnings in 2005 or earlier.  I recall some warnings and misgivings from a few writers with the conventional press.  I also recall scattered concerns shared in some of these things called ‘blogs.’  Yet there was not enough chatter to capture the public imagination and stir any action or pause.”

K          “Some reports suggest that the some government funds have been repaid.  There is no way to verify the claims.  The Federal Reserve in particular is exempt by statute from any effective scrutiny, oversight and regulation.”

J          “The financial reform bill may be one of those bills that has not been read carefully by its proponents or by its opponents.  However, I believe that a small group of connected individuals is making far too much money to allow any meaningful reform to pass.”

K          “Aren’t we in worse economic trouble now because things have not changed.  Yet no one is really worried.”

J          “Too few journalists, even economic journalists, understand the economy.  Just reading and digesting the public statements issued by the Federal Reserve is almost a full time job.  The popular press may summarize some of the information in the Beige Book and G.19 Consumer Credit reports, yet there is not much analysis.  Who has the background and the experience to connect the dots.  And who do you trust.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Don’t end the Fed; mend the Fed

ABCNNBCBS does not have many answers; Faux/Fox does not even ask the right questions.

“Ever since my husband began listening to NPR, he is so informed . . . and so depressed.”

On Freedom and Liberty (May 24, 2010)

Posted in Bailout/Bribe, Energy, Gas/Fossil Fuel, Government Regulation, Less Government Regulation Series, On [Traits/Characteristics] on May 24, 2010 by

. . .

F          “Freedom and liberty are easy to define and difficult to protect and balance.  Assign Mill on Liberty.  That is the run of the mill solution.  Yet freedom and liberty are much more complex in practice.”

L          “Who constrains your freedom and liberty?  If prices are controlled by the government, are you free?  If prices are controlled by a private monopoly, are you free?  Monopolies from Microsoft to Monsanto are greater threats to our freedom than the not infrequent bumbling actions and inactions of incompetent and officious government officials.”

F          “I have a beef with four beef producers controlling the price and quality of beef.  From what I read, every major industry in America is monopolized.”

L          “Which constrains our freedom and liberty.  The chance, albeit slight, of restraining the monopolies and protecting our freedom requires government involvement.  That realization is the beginning of frustration.”

F          “And a few private sector monopolies own Congress and thwart any possibly effective legislation.”

L          “A generation ago, then-Senator Philip Hart of Michigan worked to break up monopolies and confronted Texaco, the oil company, who asserted in ads:  ‘We’ve been working to keep your trust.’  They worked hard and kept their trust.  Those oil companies have their own special charm.”

F          “How do we regulate the financial institutions that are ‘too connected to fail’?  They limit our freedom and liberty.  Lehman deserved to fail and was allowed to fail in part because Paulson did not like Fuld, the President of Lehman.  Washington Mutual deserved to fail and was allowed to fail in part because a West Coast bank is not among the East Coast players.  The other institutions deserved to fail and yet were bailed out.”

L          “It is not pretty or easy.  Why not limit the size of every financial institution to 100 billion dollars?  There are no economies of scale above that limit and many benefits from more players.  Any financial institution with more than 100 billion in assets is a direct threat to our freedom and liberty.”

F          “Great, but the financial sector will veto it.  And regardless of what Congress directs, the regulatory agencies are captured by those who are intended to be regulated.  Investment banks and others realize that no investment pays a greater return on investment than purchasing a piece of a politician.  Money invested in R&D or in HR or in PR does not come close to providing such a handsome return.  Purchasing an entire government agency is cheap and tax deductible as a business expense.”

L          “It is not easy or pretty.  You are doomed if you do and doomed if you don’t.  On the other hand, when the invisible hand begins to backhand the people, the heavy hand of the government is often the only recourse.”

F          “On the other hand, it seems that the government comes around when it is not needed and is not around when it is needed.”

L          “It is not pretty or easy.  I have worked for years with some agencies that are useless.”

F          “Need I say more.”

L          “I would like to see private sector initiatives such as the Young Americans For Freedom allying with the Innocence Project to protect freedom and liberty.  The white boys are too fixated on limiting taxes on their greens fees when they should be concerned about freedom and liberty for those who are black, brown, red, yellow and ivory.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssay” dated Mar. 26, 2007 titled “Who Is Your Big Bad Bogeyman?” and dated Sept. 4, 2009 titled “The Meltdown Continues, Subtly.”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Freedom is not free so pay your taxes and shut up

Boycott Arizona

Rating The Rating Agencies And The Courts That Should Berate Them: FFF (May 3, 2010)

Posted in Bailout/Bribe, Conflicts of Interest, Courts, Crime/Punishment, Perjury, Perjury/Dishonesty, Rating Agencies on May 3, 2010 by

. . .

NNN          “The ratings agencies such as Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch knew or should have known that third parties would and did reasonably rely on their ratings.”

OOO          “Exactly.  They intended for third parties to rely on their ratings.”

NNN          “Didn’t some court reach the preposterous conclusion that the ratings agencies are protected by the First Amendment?”

OOO          “The free speech rights of the rating agencies are protected against government interference.  The government did not interfere with their right to free speech.  That ends the First Amendment inquiry.  The ratings agencies are not immune from civil and criminal prosecution.”

NNN          “But the court used the First Amendment to provide complete immunity for the rating agencies.”

OOO          “Keep in mind that there are thousands and thousands of incompetent and marginally competent judges in America.  And thousands of dishonest ones.  The judge may have seen his stock portfolio decline and decided to take action.  In the end, if the decision is patently incorrect, do not follow it.  Disregard the decision as a perverse anomaly.  Law books are littered with dishonest decisions.”

NNN          “The ratings were patently false and fraudulent.  The rating agencies intended for others to rely on the ratings.  Ordinary citizens reasonably relied on the ratings.  Ordinary citizens were damaged by the fraudulent ratings.  So the only issues for an honest judge in a civil action are the amount of damages and the amount of punitive damages.”

OOO          “Exactly.  And the heads of the ratings agencies lied under oath before Congress.  They were advised by their attorneys not to ‘tell the whole truth’ to Congress and they did not ‘tell the whole truth’ to Congress.  That is perjury.  Except in the land of perjury.  Their attorneys suborned perjury.  Combine perjury and obstruction of justice and conspiracy and RICO charges.  The sentence for four felonies is much stiffer.  A summer law clerk could handle the prosecution.”

NNN          “The biggest question is also easily answered.  There are no prosecutions because the ratings agencies and their friends on Wall Street own the government and the prosecutors.”

OOO          “Talk about systemic failure.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssay” dated Jan. 14, 2008 titled “The ‘R’ Word, The ‘D’ Word or the ‘S’ Word?” on the rating agencies and the “e-ssay” dated May 2, 2005 titled “Ohio – Not Forgettin’ Ohio; The Battleground State Battles On.”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Better to know the judge and the prosecutor than to know the law.

Spill, baby, spill.