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Finally showing some backbone and taking advice from former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, President Obama today (Jan. 21) proposed restriction on large banks' abusive practices. Obama's proposal would prohibit commercial banks from owning or investing in hedge funds or private equity funds. Most significantly, the proposal would put restrictions on proprietary trading by the big financial institutions that today can borrow from the Federal Reserve at zero percent and gamble in various markets. The president's proposal would place restrictions on banks using federally-insured deposits for gambling activities. The proposal has to pass Congress, and financial institutions will find loopholes, but initial response is positive -- that is, stocks of these big banks are tanking. At least initially, the market fears that the proposals could stick. That's good.

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 21, 2010 @ 4:59 p.m.

They need to do more than re-regulate the financial industry, they need to break up all the big banks-into several smaller bansk-at lest 30 or 40. Just like thye did to Standard Oil in 1909.

Unfortunately, with the Supreme Court today absurdly over turning a law (that had been on the books for over 100 years) by a conservative and activist judge (Roberts), allowing corporations and unions to spend unlimited money on political advertising, we will see more control over the legislative process by special interest groups.

I have a feeling the country may plunge into deeper chaos because of this ruling. The country could be taken over by big money special interest groups-similar to how the public unions have taken over CA government. And we all know how that has worked out.


PacificGatePost Jan. 21, 2010 @ 6:42 p.m.


Obama is attacking “risk taking,” that very human characteristic at the heart of America’s success.

The Presidential attacks should be very troubling to taxpayers for more profound reasons.



SurfPuppy619 Jan. 21, 2010 @ 8:36 p.m.

Obama is attacking “risk taking,” that very human characteristic at the heart of America’s success.

No he isn't. "Risk taking" is NOT "at the heart of America’s success", not when that "risk taking" is with OTHER PEOPLES MONEY.

If Wall Street banks want to engage in "risk taking"-no problem-as long as they are using THEIR OWN money in the "risk taking".

Or do you think we should continue to privatize Wall Street banker profits while socializinbg their losses????????


Don Bauder Jan. 21, 2010 @ 9:30 p.m.

Response to post #1 Agreed. Today's Supreme Court decision was horrible, and could have grave consequences, disrupting what is left of social stability. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Jan. 21, 2010 @ 9:32 p.m.

Response to post #2; When big banks borrow for zero and gamble with no fear of failing, that is NOT risk-taking. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Jan. 21, 2010 @ 9:36 p.m.

Response to post #3: Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were quintessential investment banks, taking risks. Then they were permitted to become commercial banks, as if they took in deposits. This permitted them to borrow for zero interest rates. They are two-bit crooks -- not risk-takers. Best, Don Bauder


Anon92107 Jan. 22, 2010 @ 4:45 a.m.

Response to posts #1 & 4

So the reality is that the republicans and lobbyists still control the Supreme Court.

And the bottom line as of yesterday is that the court has now given complete control of American Democracy to the lobbyists, to control elections in addition to the control over congress that they already had.

Former Justice O'Connor was most correct to warn America about the overthrow of the Rule of Law, but it was too late and we are now experiencing the consequences of a No One Really Cares/Whatever electorate with America's new Lobbyist Democracy.

Yup, sure looks like a new version of the Decline and Fall of BCE Greek Democracy, the Roman Empire and German Democracy before WWII.

And yesterdays slap on the hand (213 DJI decline) against Obama by Wall Street is just another sign of the newest level of takeover of America, until our money printing presses break down that is and Wall Street really drives us into Depression, or China forecloses on America because the Bush Administration sold out America to Chinese Communism.


Don Bauder Jan. 23, 2010 @ 3:58 p.m.

Response to post #7: The lobbyists now have more control than ever. The next step is to boycott products of those companies who take the Supreme Court cue and directly buy off politicians. Best, Don Bauder


Anon92107 Jan. 24, 2010 @ 5:32 a.m.

Response to post #8: "The next step is to boycott products of those companies who take the Supreme Court cue and directly buy off politicians."

That's going to be one hell of a boycott you are championing Don, especially since it will apply to damned near every major corporation on Wall Street.

The demonic fact of life is that millions of American jobs and manufacturing in America still depend on employment by those companies that have put us on this economic death spiral to support the new American business model that has sold out American jobs, opportunities and manufacturing to Chinese Communist Capitalism already.

Eight years of treason against American Democracy by the Republican controlled White House, Congress and Supreme Court have damned near destroyed American Capitalism and our former Land of Opportunity.

And the republicans aren't done destroying the American way of life yet, they still control Congress and the Supreme Court in spite of criminally incompetent democratic majorities in Congress.


SurfPuppy619 Jan. 24, 2010 @ 11:08 a.m.

So the reality is that the republicans and lobbyists still control the Supreme Court.

And the bottom line as of yesterday is that the court has now given complete control of American Democracy to the lobbyists, to control elections in addition to the control over congress that they already had.

Former Justice O'Connor was most correct to warn America about the overthrow of the Rule of Law,

Anon, you got it wrong, it is not republicans that control the Congress-it is special inetrest money that controls the Congress. That money flows to BOTH parties. You are wrong to focus on just republicans. You see the exact same special interest issues with democrats. You should switch over to independant like me.

I am very sad to see the Roberts Court rule the way it did on the copr media issue. Kennedy is a very good swing vote-but not in the same league as O'Conner was. I have said this on other threads-if O'Connor were still on the court-the ruling would have been 5-4 the other way-opposite of what happened. Roberts made probably the worst ruling in.....well ....who knows how long. I have said previously that Kelso v City of New London was the worst ruling, IMO, of the last 50-100 years by the SCOTUS. I think this media ruling is certainly just as bad-possibly worse and may now take the crown as the worst ruling in the last 50-100 years(wait and see).


Anon92107 Jan. 24, 2010 @ 4:19 p.m.

Response to post #10:

SurfPuppy619, I agree with you and have been an Independent because of that.

Indeed, the overthrow of the Rule of Law by SCOTUS is already a fact.


Don Bauder Jan. 24, 2010 @ 8:08 p.m.

Response to post #11: That will be the argument against a boycott: gee, look at all the jobs of innocent people that will be lost. Let the companies say that. If companies go ahead, boycott their products. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Jan. 24, 2010 @ 8:10 p.m.

Response to post #10: Both Republicans and Democrats are to blame. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Jan. 24, 2010 @ 8:15 p.m.

Response to post #11: The current SCOTUS is an affront to democracy and will be deservedly denigrated in history. Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito -- disgraces all. The idea that corporations should have the rights of humans, such as First Amendment protection, is wildly indefensible. Best, Don Bauder


chillblaine Jan. 25, 2010 @ 5:55 a.m.

PacificGate made a point and here is another. Some of the worst blow-ups occurred at firms that were not deposit-takers, such as Lehman and AIG. And much of the losses happened not because of trading but because of bad lending, such as Washington Mutual and Wachovia. Certainly Fannie, Freddie, CRA and mark-to-market accounting deserve their share of the blame for the crisis. A CDO is not an inherently evil instrument.


Anon92107 Jan. 25, 2010 @ 11:22 a.m.

Response to post #12 & 14:

I have come to believe that the republicans in Congress and SCOTUS have betrayed America, Humanity and Christ.

In fact if they and their lobbyists owners were transported back in time they would have carried out the crucifiction for Pontius Pilate, while the congressional democrats would have watched and done nothing to prevent it.

There appears to be absolutely no way to restore American Democracy that the Congress and their lobbyists have betrayed far too many times and far too much.


chillblaine Jan. 25, 2010 @ 5:57 p.m.

The recent Supreme Court ruling is also a thread here. While I believe the issue is mainly a Constitutional one ("Congress shall make no law...") ;that point is eminently debatable. One point Don makes is the power of the boycott. In my opinion, this is what makes the law self-regulating. A corporation that has a fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders will try not to offend potential customers. Witness the backlash against John Mackey's op-ed, and the systematic harassment of those who supported Prop 8.


Anon92107 Jan. 26, 2010 @ 3:23 a.m.

Response to post #12 & 17:

chillblaine, while I agree with you and Don about the righteousness of a boycott, we must be very careful what we wish for because this most certainly presents us with a double edged sword in that we really must also boycott all the failed institutions that enabled the current betrayals of We The People to occur most egregiously over the last nine years.

The reality is that all of our social, political and economic institutions have failed the basic tests of morality, starting with the failures to honor the imperatives represented by the 10 Commandments even by our religious institutions.

I’m not trying to preach because I have no right to do so, and I am not a member of any religious group because of the institutional failures in morality that have enabled far too many American companies plus politicians, judges, academics and other supposed leaders of our society to betray We The People for far too long.

So how many entities do we really need to boycott to reverse the destructive consequences of all the institutional failures in integrity that have enabled all the “abusive practices” that Don investigates and reports to us continuously?


SurfPuppy619 Jan. 26, 2010 @ 6:43 p.m.

A CDO is not an inherently evil instrument.

Comes down to underwriting standards-a CDO filled with garbage is stil a CDO filled with garbage-and it still stinks.

That is why you need regualtion of the CDO underwriting standards.


Don Bauder Jan. 26, 2010 @ 7:10 p.m.

Response to post #17: CDOs and CDSs have become inherently bad instruments. It's too late to reform them. They have to be unwound. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Jan. 26, 2010 @ 7:12 p.m.

Response to post #16: The SCOTUS majority is a deleterious influence. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Jan. 26, 2010 @ 7:15 p.m.

Response to post #17: Yes, but corporations think their only obligation is to their shareholders -- not their employees, not the community, not their vendors, and not really their customers. This mentality is embedded in Delaware law. (Delaware is the U.S. version of the Cayman Islands.) Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Jan. 26, 2010 @ 7:18 p.m.

Response to post #18: We only boycott products and services of those corporations that take advantage of the recent SCOTUS decision. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Jan. 26, 2010 @ 7:20 p.m.

Response to post #19: Garbage smells. So do those who create and sell CDOs and CDSs. Best, Don Bauider


Anon92107 Jan. 27, 2010 @ 2:28 a.m.

Response to post #23: "We only boycott products and services of those corporations that take advantage of the recent SCOTUS decision."

Actually your idea is a most excellent one Don, and the time is way overdue for all Americans to fight back against all entities that not only take advantage of the out of control SCOTUS that is overthrowing the Rule of Law as fast as they can get away with it, but also the Congress that is still overthrowing our Constitution even with democratic majorities, along with the firms that send armies of lobbyists to Washington, Sacramento and San Diego to overthrow the Will of We The People.

So it's Fight Like Hell For We The People time Don, and your boycott is a major fight back mode we must use to end the era of disenfranchisement of the voters that has destroyed the effectiveness of our elections that have been controlled by Lobbyists for far too long.

Washington has most certainly become the new Sodom and Gomorrah metaphor for immorality because of the Lobbyists that we have allowed to overthrow American Democracy.

Too fight back to restore American Democracy to the control of We The People most effectively, We must also focus on the fact of life that Morality is a paramount cultural value that has allowed humans to evolve above all other animals, and immorality shall most certainly be the root cause of our devolution if we do not heed the call of Don Bauder's Boycott with an extreme sense of urgency.

Thanks for your leadership Don.


Don Bauder Jan. 27, 2010 @ 5:40 a.m.

Response to post #25: Now we need a method for finding which companies are using the newly-legalized method for bribing politicians. Best, Don Bauder


Psycholizard Jan. 27, 2010 @ 2:14 p.m.

Weird that entities protected from full responsibilities of citizenship should assert full rights. Limited liability means limited responsibility after all. That legally mandated Inc. or LTD. is meant as warning.

I am for corporate personhood if that means these firms could be subjected to the full unlimited penalties of the law. If three felony strikes meant an end to a corporation, everyone in these firms would think first of obeying the law.

Many of these firms have long rap sheets that would make a gangster proud, but after paying fines still prowl the street.


Don Bauder Jan. 27, 2010 @ 8:03 p.m.

Response to post #27: If corporations have the same rights as humans, they should be subject to the same laws, too. Tobacco kills. The government should be able to give the death penalty to tobacco companies for premeditated murder. Best, Don Bauder


Psycholizard Jan. 29, 2010 @ 12:46 a.m.


Setting aside intent, after many million counts of negligent homicide any entity should lose their freedom to kill more. Full corporate citizenship is what I want for them. obey the the law or be taken off the street.

The SCOTUS decision though weird, is not as important as it might have been ten years ago. both parties were completely cashed up last cycle, and spending by corporations certainly won't drown them out.

Corporations have long controlled the non stop blather that is media, when people hate them now it's because they have failed to deliver, not because they lacked means of persuasion. Under the old laws corporations overpaid executives who then donated to PACs. These laws never worked well. Perhaps now we'll get to see where these hate ads really come from. Shareholders should be told.


Don Bauder Jan. 29, 2010 @ 8:45 a.m.

Response to post #29: If citizens tried to use the purported logic of the court in the recent decisions to force revelation of who is behind hate ads, there would be a quick reinterpretation of the SCOTUS decision to make sure that doesn't happen. Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Roberts aren't jurists. They are whores. Best, Don Bauder


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