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Goldman Sachs Gets Its $675,000 Worth Out of Hillary's Speeches
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The smart money wins again. From the NYT:

Goldman Mortgage Settlement Is Much Less Than Meets the Eye
By NATHANIEL POPPER APRIL 11, 2016

State and federal officials said on Monday that Goldman Sachs would pay $5.1 billion to settle accusations of wrongdoing before the financial crisis.

Goldman’s market capitalization is $64 billion, so this is just a cost of doing business. No individual executives are going to jail or will face civil liability. We’re not barbarians like back in the early 1990s when over 1,000 financial executives were convicted in the savings & loan mess.

But that is just on paper. Buried in the fine print are provisions that allow Goldman to pay hundreds of millions of dollars less — perhaps as much as $1 billion less — than that headline figure. And that is before the tax benefits of the deal are included.

The bank will be able to reduce its bill substantially through a combination of government incentives and tax credits. For example, the settlement calls for Goldman to spend $240 million on affordable housing. But a chart attached to the settlement explains that the bank will have to pay at most only 30 percent of that money to fulfill the deal. That is because it will receive a particularly large credit for each dollar it spends on affordable housing.

Goldman is the last of the major American banks to settle with the government. Past deals with other banks also contained some of these concessions, but Goldman appears to have negotiated an even sweeter deal on certain points. For all the banks, the credits suggest that the amounts that the banks will have to actually spend on consumer relief will be much lower than the numbers announced in the news releases. …

Like other banks, Goldman bought loans issued by subprime mortgage specialists like Countrywide Financial. Goldman then packaged these loans into bonds that were able to get the highest rating from credit rating agencies. The loans were sold to investors, who sustained losses when the loans went sour.

Over the course of 2006, Goldman employees took note of the decreasing quality of loans that it was buying, according to a statement of fact released along with the settlement. When an outside analyst wrote a positive report about Countrywide’s stock in April 2006, the head of due diligence at Goldman wrote in an email: “If they only knew.”

Despite the worrying signs, Goldman did not alert investors who were buying the bonds it was packaging, officials said on Monday.

How much will Obama get paid for his future speeches to Goldman Sachs? Probably less than 1/1000th of what Goldman Sachs saved today.

 
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  1. Brought to you by Carls Jr.

  2. “How much will Obama get paid for his future speeches to Goldman Sachs? Probably less than 1/1000th of what Goldman Sachs saved today.”

    Hussein Obama could become wealthier than Kanye West once he leaves office, with all of the 6 and 7 figure speeches he will be giving to Wall Street and Silicon Valley.

    • Replies: @DCThrowback
    Like Eric Cantor (and his $3M gig post-Brat defeat), the establishment takes care of you after you're done doing their bidding.

    Don't think those junior Congress-critters don't notice. There has to a pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow of cold-calling donors 40 hours a week to just win re-election every two years.
    , @Dr. X

    Hussein Obama could become wealthier than Kanye West once he leaves office
     
    He'll have plenty of money to buy dope, go golfing, and make an occasional trip to the bathhouse, that's for sure.
    , @peterike

    Hussein Obama could become wealthier than Kanye West once he leaves office, with all of the 6 and 7 figure speeches he will be giving to Wall Street and Silicon Valley.

     

    Pffft. Speeches are for punters and to get the occasional press clippings. The Obama Presidential Library is where the REAL graft will happen.
  3. Steve, why don’t you write about important social injustices instead, like how black students need safe spaces from constant white microaggressions, or how racists are not welcoming enough of immigrants?

    This Goldman whatever is a boring distraction.

    • Replies: @Maj. Kong
    We could convert to Islam and/or commit mass seppuku, and the liberals would still consider us not welcoming enough.

    At this point, the left has passed the event horizon of rationality, and should be treated as such.
    , @Anonym
    From what I see, Steve alread spills a lot of digital ink on safe spaces and microaggressions. I like this diversion into corruption through exorbitant speeches by politicians. We are between terrorist attacks and riots now, which I guess is part of the reason why we have a GCA article. Next time there is a movie that features an act of terrorism, in addition to the soft focus shots of children playing in a playground, they should casually pan past a screen with an iSteve GCA article in the background as a kind of in-joke. No doubt there will be more newsworthy events of NAMs behaving badly on the way before November, and I hope Trump milks them for all they are worth this time.

    Steve picked a business that will have increasing content for a long time to come. Because as long as there are a substantial number of countries in the Eurosphere with a substantial non-white immigrant or immigrant descended population, he will have material. Even if the immigration stopped, as long as we have wealth transfer and/or they outbreed us, it will continue to be a sore point.

    Anyway, I would love to know what the actual topics of these speeches are, and whether these speeches are even delivered, or attended. Any insider care to comment?

    , @AndrewR
    Jokes aside, it cannot be overstated how useful SJWs are to the globalist agenda. We saw it at OWS and we are seeing it with Bernie. Any time the national conversation starts to stray near the point where people might start calling for plutocrats to be held accountable, just point the left towards the "injustice" du jour like a police officer using deadly force to defend his life from a violent criminal. Then tell right-wingers that bankers are "job creators" and call it a day.
  4. @reiner Tor
    Steve, why don't you write about important social injustices instead, like how black students need safe spaces from constant white microaggressions, or how racists are not welcoming enough of immigrants?

    This Goldman whatever is a boring distraction.

    We could convert to Islam and/or commit mass seppuku, and the liberals would still consider us not welcoming enough.

    At this point, the left has passed the event horizon of rationality, and should be treated as such.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
    When was the left ever dominated by reasonable people?
  5. Obviously, appearances are all that matter.

  6. @reiner Tor
    Steve, why don't you write about important social injustices instead, like how black students need safe spaces from constant white microaggressions, or how racists are not welcoming enough of immigrants?

    This Goldman whatever is a boring distraction.

    From what I see, Steve alread spills a lot of digital ink on safe spaces and microaggressions. I like this diversion into corruption through exorbitant speeches by politicians. We are between terrorist attacks and riots now, which I guess is part of the reason why we have a GCA article. Next time there is a movie that features an act of terrorism, in addition to the soft focus shots of children playing in a playground, they should casually pan past a screen with an iSteve GCA article in the background as a kind of in-joke. No doubt there will be more newsworthy events of NAMs behaving badly on the way before November, and I hope Trump milks them for all they are worth this time.

    Steve picked a business that will have increasing content for a long time to come. Because as long as there are a substantial number of countries in the Eurosphere with a substantial non-white immigrant or immigrant descended population, he will have material. Even if the immigration stopped, as long as we have wealth transfer and/or they outbreed us, it will continue to be a sore point.

    Anyway, I would love to know what the actual topics of these speeches are, and whether these speeches are even delivered, or attended. Any insider care to comment?

    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    Apparently you didn't notice the invisible sarcasm tag in reiner Tor's comment.
    , @Connecticut Famer
    "I would love to know what the actual topics of these speeches are...".

    You can forget about the Rodham woman as a source of enlightenment, 'cause she ain't talkin'.
  7. “That’s what they offered.”

    This is the kind of negotiating skill we can expect from President Hillary.

    “The smart money wins again.”

  8. Things would be so much easier if white men would just stop complaining and let history take its natural course .

    • Replies: @Brutusale
    Yeah, well, that's the thing about white men and their "natural course"; we take a lot of crap, but only for so long. Then, when pushed to extremity, we start killing people.

    We're REALLY close now.
  9. The bank will be able to reduce its bill substantially through a combination of government incentives and tax credits. For example, the settlement calls for Goldman to spend $240 million on affordable housing.

    The $240 million should go to the public treasury, and then the legislature should vote on how to spend it.

    It’s not the prerogative of prosecutors and regulators to decide that this monetary fine should be spent on affordable housing. This is corruption.

    • Replies: @EriK
    I agree . Unfortunately, it's happening more and more. Look at NY. Actually better to shield your eyes .
  10. You’d think they could put some of this on trial; at least then we would have a public record.

    I suppose it is deemed to complicated for all the small brains that make up those not in the loop.

    This was one of the more traumatic things in the nation’s history; just going away with a wimper.

    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
    The wimpers are unlikely to go away. Instead, they will steadily amass more decision authority. Government by the morally bereft and spineless. America becomes a jellyfish.
  11. How are these fines different from the government saying: “you can cheat the public as long as you give us our cut.” How about jail time?

  12. @Jefferson
    "How much will Obama get paid for his future speeches to Goldman Sachs? Probably less than 1/1000th of what Goldman Sachs saved today."

    Hussein Obama could become wealthier than Kanye West once he leaves office, with all of the 6 and 7 figure speeches he will be giving to Wall Street and Silicon Valley.

    Like Eric Cantor (and his $3M gig post-Brat defeat), the establishment takes care of you after you’re done doing their bidding.

    Don’t think those junior Congress-critters don’t notice. There has to a pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow of cold-calling donors 40 hours a week to just win re-election every two years.

  13. @Jefferson
    "How much will Obama get paid for his future speeches to Goldman Sachs? Probably less than 1/1000th of what Goldman Sachs saved today."

    Hussein Obama could become wealthier than Kanye West once he leaves office, with all of the 6 and 7 figure speeches he will be giving to Wall Street and Silicon Valley.

    Hussein Obama could become wealthier than Kanye West once he leaves office

    He’ll have plenty of money to buy dope, go golfing, and make an occasional trip to the bathhouse, that’s for sure.

  14. This sounds like an argument to vote for Hillary Clinton.

    Let’s just stipulate for now that the Republicans aren’t going anywhere this year because of full-bore negative coverage from main-stream media, social signaling, bad timing, bad breaks, the factional divide on the Republican side, whatever. So it is down to Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders.

    Mr. Sanders may actually end up doing all the stuff he is advocating, blowing up the economy and maybe even the world in the process. Ms. Clinton is saying she would do all the same stuff but, thankfully, she is being dishonest about it and we will get through OK?

    Think about it. The current Administration has been all green this, climate-change that, renewable everything else. Has anyone looked at their gas bill lately — the price of natural gas in inflation-adjusted dollars is as low as I have ever seen it. Gasoline is way down. OK, OK, electricity remains expensive and maybe that is the cost of all of this solar and wind-powered social signaling, but you get the idea.

    There are times that good-honest insincerity is the best thing going?

    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
    Natural gas is unbelievably low. Spot prices in the $1-$2 range due to supply increase (fracking) and demand decrease (warm 2015-16 winter and energy efficient housing).
  15. Constitutional Republic: The God That Failed.

  16. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Hundreds of people arrested outside of Capitol Hill in DC protesting corporate money in government. I saw nothing about it in the media and just stumbled across it. Finance seems to have captured the government just as it did in Russia during the time of the oligarchs; probably we’ll end up getting the same results as they did.

  17. @Maj. Kong
    We could convert to Islam and/or commit mass seppuku, and the liberals would still consider us not welcoming enough.

    At this point, the left has passed the event horizon of rationality, and should be treated as such.

    When was the left ever dominated by reasonable people?

  18. @reiner Tor
    Steve, why don't you write about important social injustices instead, like how black students need safe spaces from constant white microaggressions, or how racists are not welcoming enough of immigrants?

    This Goldman whatever is a boring distraction.

    Jokes aside, it cannot be overstated how useful SJWs are to the globalist agenda. We saw it at OWS and we are seeing it with Bernie. Any time the national conversation starts to stray near the point where people might start calling for plutocrats to be held accountable, just point the left towards the “injustice” du jour like a police officer using deadly force to defend his life from a violent criminal. Then tell right-wingers that bankers are “job creators” and call it a day.

    • Replies: @CJ
    Jokes aside, it cannot be overstated how useful SJWs are to the globalist agenda.

    Totally. As I sometimes ask progressives, what is there in your cluster of social justice issues that the billionaires are not okay with? The superrich are happy for idiots to bang on about microaggressions and privilege and gay and green all the live long day.

    Speaking of issue clusters, IMO there are three that actually affect this election cycle. There is (1) foreign policy, including the endless wars, military-imperial overstretch, and the disastrous regime-change efforts in the Middle East (2) economic policy, with the Wall Street bailouts and endless low interest rates that pump up asset values and make the rich richer and (3) immigration policy, both illegal and legal, H1B indentured labor, Muslims, etc. Elites are on the side of current policies, populists are against.

    Let's rate the candidates relative to these issue clusters. Hillary is on the elite side of all three: imperial foreign policy, economic policy controlled by the financial sector, and open borders. Bernie is populist on the first two, and for a while somewhat populist on immigration until the SJWs whipped him back into line.

    Trump is on the populist side of all three issues. Cruz is an unreconstructed neo-con imperialist -- you can laugh at the Marxist boilerplate, but that's what he is -- his wife works for Goldman Sachs, and while he purports to be against open borders, it's hard to imagine him bucking business interests in any significant way. Kasich FWIW is the Republican Hillary, on the elite side of all three issues.
  19. Ed says:

    Steve has written about “White death” (the recent drop in life expectancy), but the most direct explanation was always the one that he first gave, that the US economy has been getting the same treatment that the Russian economy got in the 1990s, to some extent even directed by the same people, so you wind up with the same result in things like life expectancy and the culture.

  20. The trend throughout the Obama admin is to let the exec off the hook but the company (the shareholders in other words) pay alot. One of the constants is that the payout benefit not only the treasury but also various projects related to fair housing etc.

    How much of this forced spending is being shunted aside into lefty political activism? I suspect quite a lot.

  21. @Jefferson
    "How much will Obama get paid for his future speeches to Goldman Sachs? Probably less than 1/1000th of what Goldman Sachs saved today."

    Hussein Obama could become wealthier than Kanye West once he leaves office, with all of the 6 and 7 figure speeches he will be giving to Wall Street and Silicon Valley.

    Hussein Obama could become wealthier than Kanye West once he leaves office, with all of the 6 and 7 figure speeches he will be giving to Wall Street and Silicon Valley.

    Pffft. Speeches are for punters and to get the occasional press clippings. The Obama Presidential Library is where the REAL graft will happen.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    Don't you mean The Obama Presidential Library and Bathhouse?
  22. CJ says:
    @AndrewR
    Jokes aside, it cannot be overstated how useful SJWs are to the globalist agenda. We saw it at OWS and we are seeing it with Bernie. Any time the national conversation starts to stray near the point where people might start calling for plutocrats to be held accountable, just point the left towards the "injustice" du jour like a police officer using deadly force to defend his life from a violent criminal. Then tell right-wingers that bankers are "job creators" and call it a day.

    Jokes aside, it cannot be overstated how useful SJWs are to the globalist agenda.

    Totally. As I sometimes ask progressives, what is there in your cluster of social justice issues that the billionaires are not okay with? The superrich are happy for idiots to bang on about microaggressions and privilege and gay and green all the live long day.

    Speaking of issue clusters, IMO there are three that actually affect this election cycle. There is (1) foreign policy, including the endless wars, military-imperial overstretch, and the disastrous regime-change efforts in the Middle East (2) economic policy, with the Wall Street bailouts and endless low interest rates that pump up asset values and make the rich richer and (3) immigration policy, both illegal and legal, H1B indentured labor, Muslims, etc. Elites are on the side of current policies, populists are against.

    Let’s rate the candidates relative to these issue clusters. Hillary is on the elite side of all three: imperial foreign policy, economic policy controlled by the financial sector, and open borders. Bernie is populist on the first two, and for a while somewhat populist on immigration until the SJWs whipped him back into line.

    Trump is on the populist side of all three issues. Cruz is an unreconstructed neo-con imperialist — you can laugh at the Marxist boilerplate, but that’s what he is — his wife works for Goldman Sachs, and while he purports to be against open borders, it’s hard to imagine him bucking business interests in any significant way. Kasich FWIW is the Republican Hillary, on the elite side of all three issues.

    • Agree: AndrewR
    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "Totally. As I sometimes ask progressives, what is there in your cluster of social justice issues that the billionaires are not okay with? The superrich are happy for idiots to bang on about microaggressions and privilege and gay and green all the live long day."

    Billionaires are the ones who are donating money to these extremely PC universities that are banning free speech they disagree with.

    , @unpc downunder
    No doubt the elites would prefer Kasich, but Cruz is their compromise candidate - conservative on immigration, but liberal on free trade and financial issues. The elites are concerned about Trump's populist uprising and may be prepared to give way a bit on immigration, but they aren't prepared to give way across their board.
  23. @Mike Sylwester

    The bank will be able to reduce its bill substantially through a combination of government incentives and tax credits. For example, the settlement calls for Goldman to spend $240 million on affordable housing.
     
    The $240 million should go to the public treasury, and then the legislature should vote on how to spend it.

    It's not the prerogative of prosecutors and regulators to decide that this monetary fine should be spent on affordable housing. This is corruption.

    I agree . Unfortunately, it’s happening more and more. Look at NY. Actually better to shield your eyes .

  24. Meanwhile, in the world of OT (yet related) social research, it is demonstrated that increasing unemployment causes even moral people to change their tune and come out in favor of redistribution of income:

    “in general, both people in employment and those in full-time education believe that people should be allowed to keep most of what they earn and that it is OK for those who work harder or who are more productive to earn more”. He went on to say, “When people become unemployed, our study indicates that they let go of this belief. They put a higher value on the redistribution of money, which, in social terms, would mean higher taxes on those earning more in order to fund increased public spending.”

    Employment status affects our morals around money

    So, by building a weak economy, you alter the morals of Americans to favor wealth redistribution. Watch your back, Goldman Sachs.

    • Replies: @Olorin
    No, "income redistribution" isn't for Goldman Sachs.

    "Income redistribution" is for the average Joe and Jane who work 60 hours a week, after both securing several college degrees and ongoing advanced professional credentialing, and bring home $150,000 a year total...then manage to save a lot of it and manage their spending so they can afford nice things in their 40s and 50s. Like grandchildren.

    Those are the incomes to redistribute.
  25. @Anonym
    From what I see, Steve alread spills a lot of digital ink on safe spaces and microaggressions. I like this diversion into corruption through exorbitant speeches by politicians. We are between terrorist attacks and riots now, which I guess is part of the reason why we have a GCA article. Next time there is a movie that features an act of terrorism, in addition to the soft focus shots of children playing in a playground, they should casually pan past a screen with an iSteve GCA article in the background as a kind of in-joke. No doubt there will be more newsworthy events of NAMs behaving badly on the way before November, and I hope Trump milks them for all they are worth this time.

    Steve picked a business that will have increasing content for a long time to come. Because as long as there are a substantial number of countries in the Eurosphere with a substantial non-white immigrant or immigrant descended population, he will have material. Even if the immigration stopped, as long as we have wealth transfer and/or they outbreed us, it will continue to be a sore point.

    Anyway, I would love to know what the actual topics of these speeches are, and whether these speeches are even delivered, or attended. Any insider care to comment?

    Apparently you didn’t notice the invisible sarcasm tag in reiner Tor’s comment.

  26. @Anonym
    From what I see, Steve alread spills a lot of digital ink on safe spaces and microaggressions. I like this diversion into corruption through exorbitant speeches by politicians. We are between terrorist attacks and riots now, which I guess is part of the reason why we have a GCA article. Next time there is a movie that features an act of terrorism, in addition to the soft focus shots of children playing in a playground, they should casually pan past a screen with an iSteve GCA article in the background as a kind of in-joke. No doubt there will be more newsworthy events of NAMs behaving badly on the way before November, and I hope Trump milks them for all they are worth this time.

    Steve picked a business that will have increasing content for a long time to come. Because as long as there are a substantial number of countries in the Eurosphere with a substantial non-white immigrant or immigrant descended population, he will have material. Even if the immigration stopped, as long as we have wealth transfer and/or they outbreed us, it will continue to be a sore point.

    Anyway, I would love to know what the actual topics of these speeches are, and whether these speeches are even delivered, or attended. Any insider care to comment?

    “I would love to know what the actual topics of these speeches are…”.

    You can forget about the Rodham woman as a source of enlightenment, ’cause she ain’t talkin’.

  27. They run the world. They are too valuable to be punished.

    If they are punished, it is game set for the Western Civilization.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    Eric Holder made this crystal clear in March 2013:

    “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if we do prosecute — if we do bring a criminal charge — it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy,” Mr. Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I think that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large.”

    Mr. Holder continued, acknowledging that the size of banks “has an inhibiting influence.” He said that it affects “our ability to bring resolutions that I think would be more appropriate.”

    To put this in the proper perspective, Mr. Holder said, for the first time, that he has not pursued prosecutions of big banks out of fear that an indictment could jeopardize the financial system.
     

    Holder later walked back these comments, but what the heck, they served their purpose. This, from July 2015:

    Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's return this week to a high-level position at Covington & Burling, a corporate law firm that represents big banks, has some calling it a dramatic and troubling example of the Washington-to-Wall-Street revolving door.

    That's because Holder's six years of service under the administration of President Barack Obama were defined by his refusal to criminally prosecute any of the financial institutions that drove the 2008 financial meltdown and subsequent recession.
     

    All that radicalism about Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin provided useful cover for Mr. Holder's pursuit of his own interests. It seems you can have street cred on Martin Luther King Blvd and Wall Street at the same time.
  28. Back in 2008 I enjoyed Prof. Black rip into those smug CEO’s of Lehman and Goldmann. But I guess they used their muscle in Congress to keep Black off any panels that mattered. A rerun of Prof Black’s Savings and Loans cleanup would be a delight.

  29. @bomag
    You'd think they could put some of this on trial; at least then we would have a public record.

    I suppose it is deemed to complicated for all the small brains that make up those not in the loop.

    This was one of the more traumatic things in the nation's history; just going away with a wimper.

    The wimpers are unlikely to go away. Instead, they will steadily amass more decision authority. Government by the morally bereft and spineless. America becomes a jellyfish.

  30. @CJ
    Jokes aside, it cannot be overstated how useful SJWs are to the globalist agenda.

    Totally. As I sometimes ask progressives, what is there in your cluster of social justice issues that the billionaires are not okay with? The superrich are happy for idiots to bang on about microaggressions and privilege and gay and green all the live long day.

    Speaking of issue clusters, IMO there are three that actually affect this election cycle. There is (1) foreign policy, including the endless wars, military-imperial overstretch, and the disastrous regime-change efforts in the Middle East (2) economic policy, with the Wall Street bailouts and endless low interest rates that pump up asset values and make the rich richer and (3) immigration policy, both illegal and legal, H1B indentured labor, Muslims, etc. Elites are on the side of current policies, populists are against.

    Let's rate the candidates relative to these issue clusters. Hillary is on the elite side of all three: imperial foreign policy, economic policy controlled by the financial sector, and open borders. Bernie is populist on the first two, and for a while somewhat populist on immigration until the SJWs whipped him back into line.

    Trump is on the populist side of all three issues. Cruz is an unreconstructed neo-con imperialist -- you can laugh at the Marxist boilerplate, but that's what he is -- his wife works for Goldman Sachs, and while he purports to be against open borders, it's hard to imagine him bucking business interests in any significant way. Kasich FWIW is the Republican Hillary, on the elite side of all three issues.

    “Totally. As I sometimes ask progressives, what is there in your cluster of social justice issues that the billionaires are not okay with? The superrich are happy for idiots to bang on about microaggressions and privilege and gay and green all the live long day.”

    Billionaires are the ones who are donating money to these extremely PC universities that are banning free speech they disagree with.

  31. @Inquiring Mind
    This sounds like an argument to vote for Hillary Clinton.

    Let's just stipulate for now that the Republicans aren't going anywhere this year because of full-bore negative coverage from main-stream media, social signaling, bad timing, bad breaks, the factional divide on the Republican side, whatever. So it is down to Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders.

    Mr. Sanders may actually end up doing all the stuff he is advocating, blowing up the economy and maybe even the world in the process. Ms. Clinton is saying she would do all the same stuff but, thankfully, she is being dishonest about it and we will get through OK?

    Think about it. The current Administration has been all green this, climate-change that, renewable everything else. Has anyone looked at their gas bill lately -- the price of natural gas in inflation-adjusted dollars is as low as I have ever seen it. Gasoline is way down. OK, OK, electricity remains expensive and maybe that is the cost of all of this solar and wind-powered social signaling, but you get the idea.

    There are times that good-honest insincerity is the best thing going?

    Natural gas is unbelievably low. Spot prices in the $1-$2 range due to supply increase (fracking) and demand decrease (warm 2015-16 winter and energy efficient housing).

  32. @peterike

    Hussein Obama could become wealthier than Kanye West once he leaves office, with all of the 6 and 7 figure speeches he will be giving to Wall Street and Silicon Valley.

     

    Pffft. Speeches are for punters and to get the occasional press clippings. The Obama Presidential Library is where the REAL graft will happen.

    Don’t you mean The Obama Presidential Library and Bathhouse?

  33. @CJ
    Jokes aside, it cannot be overstated how useful SJWs are to the globalist agenda.

    Totally. As I sometimes ask progressives, what is there in your cluster of social justice issues that the billionaires are not okay with? The superrich are happy for idiots to bang on about microaggressions and privilege and gay and green all the live long day.

    Speaking of issue clusters, IMO there are three that actually affect this election cycle. There is (1) foreign policy, including the endless wars, military-imperial overstretch, and the disastrous regime-change efforts in the Middle East (2) economic policy, with the Wall Street bailouts and endless low interest rates that pump up asset values and make the rich richer and (3) immigration policy, both illegal and legal, H1B indentured labor, Muslims, etc. Elites are on the side of current policies, populists are against.

    Let's rate the candidates relative to these issue clusters. Hillary is on the elite side of all three: imperial foreign policy, economic policy controlled by the financial sector, and open borders. Bernie is populist on the first two, and for a while somewhat populist on immigration until the SJWs whipped him back into line.

    Trump is on the populist side of all three issues. Cruz is an unreconstructed neo-con imperialist -- you can laugh at the Marxist boilerplate, but that's what he is -- his wife works for Goldman Sachs, and while he purports to be against open borders, it's hard to imagine him bucking business interests in any significant way. Kasich FWIW is the Republican Hillary, on the elite side of all three issues.

    No doubt the elites would prefer Kasich, but Cruz is their compromise candidate – conservative on immigration, but liberal on free trade and financial issues. The elites are concerned about Trump’s populist uprising and may be prepared to give way a bit on immigration, but they aren’t prepared to give way across their board.

  34. @colm
    They run the world. They are too valuable to be punished.

    If they are punished, it is game set for the Western Civilization.

    Eric Holder made this crystal clear in March 2013:

    “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if we do prosecute — if we do bring a criminal charge — it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy,” Mr. Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I think that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large.”

    Mr. Holder continued, acknowledging that the size of banks “has an inhibiting influence.” He said that it affects “our ability to bring resolutions that I think would be more appropriate.”

    To put this in the proper perspective, Mr. Holder said, for the first time, that he has not pursued prosecutions of big banks out of fear that an indictment could jeopardize the financial system.

    Holder later walked back these comments, but what the heck, they served their purpose. This, from July 2015:

    Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s return this week to a high-level position at Covington & Burling, a corporate law firm that represents big banks, has some calling it a dramatic and troubling example of the Washington-to-Wall-Street revolving door.

    That’s because Holder’s six years of service under the administration of President Barack Obama were defined by his refusal to criminally prosecute any of the financial institutions that drove the 2008 financial meltdown and subsequent recession.

    All that radicalism about Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin provided useful cover for Mr. Holder’s pursuit of his own interests. It seems you can have street cred on Martin Luther King Blvd and Wall Street at the same time.

  35. @Tiny Duck
    Things would be so much easier if white men would just stop complaining and let history take its natural course .

    Yeah, well, that’s the thing about white men and their “natural course”; we take a lot of crap, but only for so long. Then, when pushed to extremity, we start killing people.

    We’re REALLY close now.

  36. @Anon7
    Meanwhile, in the world of OT (yet related) social research, it is demonstrated that increasing unemployment causes even moral people to change their tune and come out in favor of redistribution of income:

    "in general, both people in employment and those in full-time education believe that people should be allowed to keep most of what they earn and that it is OK for those who work harder or who are more productive to earn more". He went on to say, "When people become unemployed, our study indicates that they let go of this belief. They put a higher value on the redistribution of money, which, in social terms, would mean higher taxes on those earning more in order to fund increased public spending."

    Employment status affects our morals around money
     
    So, by building a weak economy, you alter the morals of Americans to favor wealth redistribution. Watch your back, Goldman Sachs.

    No, “income redistribution” isn’t for Goldman Sachs.

    “Income redistribution” is for the average Joe and Jane who work 60 hours a week, after both securing several college degrees and ongoing advanced professional credentialing, and bring home $150,000 a year total…then manage to save a lot of it and manage their spending so they can afford nice things in their 40s and 50s. Like grandchildren.

    Those are the incomes to redistribute.

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