Archive for the ‘Populism’ Category

Nationalism or Populism

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

I will concede that for years I used the wrong word to describe myself. I called myself a “nationalist.” Nationalism is really associated with a disregard for the international community, imperialism and selfish thinking. I tried to argue around that by calling myself a “progressive nationalist.”

A better term that I should have used was “populist.” I am not a believer in the supremacy of a nation, but I support the local people against their elite (“bourgeous”) rulers. However I am a different type of populist than some others, because while I support the working class, I do not support the ideologies that many working class people chose.

Working class people can chose to be Nazis, liberals, whatever. I am a populist, but I am not a Democratic populist who says “majority rules.”

I am going to stop using the word “nationalism” in the future because of the connotations associated with it.

Real American People (northeast) Revolting

Friday, October 7th, 2011

I thought it was funny that the one lady said it was happening “all over the country.” Then she said she was from Jersey city as an example, as if that’s not right next door to New York City. If people outside of traditional America who live in Chicago. San Antonio, Seattle and Los Angeles are protesting, then that is fine. But the Northeast (America) is leading the way and that is what I am most concerned about.

Watch the video and ignore the writings about it. While Mark Dankuf does go off and blames “The Jews” for Wall Street, overall this is a very sobering report on events. Blaming the Jews comes from a misguided analysis in which special interest lobbies are seen as a cause rather than a symptom of society and from failing to identify the perverted twist of the profit motive. I must side with the females but I do appreciate the fact that Mark Dankuf is supporting the American people against the elite power structure. Americans (northeast) are protesting their leadership. Mark Dankuf is from Deleware, but I consider that to be mid-Atlantic while some Southerners argue that Delaware should belong to the South.

The talking points made about the two parties being a syndicate could have came right out of free media productions. This video has content similar to what we were saying back when Obama was elected. The sobering thing about this is that free media productions was in every way an innovative website. I, for instance, did not adopt these viewpoints whisper down the lane – but “discovered” them for myself. It is good to see that other people can look at the material conditions and independently draw the same conclusion I have in that I too wanted Obama to fix things, but I knew he could not. The problem is not an individual leader. The problem is the capitalist system. From the beginning both Besoshvilli and I knew that electing Obama would not bring parity against the elites who mislead America. The question was asked “Why did it take so long for Americans to wake up?” The answer is that the two party system is like Professional Wrestling and the Americans are just discovering that the apparent opponents are actually deceiving the crowd together. The recession has prevented the exploiting class from “buying off” the working class.

The female is correct that while Israel is an oppressor, American capitalism is the Octopus and Israel is just a tentacle. This fits well with my line in that I have always ridiculed the idea that Israel and the Jews control things on their own, but I have lately (as of about 2009) been more critical of Israel from a perspective against imperialism and for national liberation and the proletarian class.

I am happy that they are speaking out about globalization and imperialism. Imperialism exists today and it existed yesterday in America.

Reading Pennsylvania and Socialism

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Cited below, by the inclusion of relevant content in picture format, is a very old book about Pennsylvania history. What is very interesting is that much of the existing infrastructure in Pennsylvania today is a result of what was set up earlier. It was good to find that the Pennsylvania of Yesterday is very much recognizable when compared to the Pennsylvania of today.

Reading Pennsylvania was founded by English but inhabited by Germans between Lancaster, Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia. When reading the section on Reading (no pun intended) Pennsylvania, I learned that this Pennsylvania Dutch town actually had what was described in the book as a Socialist administration and a history of Union activity and strikes. I also learned that during the original American revolution, the population of Reading was quite revolutionary against the British imperialists. This is interesting, because the people of Reading rejected the mainstream economy and society for revolutionary change, just like the Amish outside of Lancaster City have. However, Reading moved away from capitalism in a Socialist direction, whereas Lancaster Amish purposely insulated their own community from finance capitalism and modernism in a separatist religious direction. Still, it is interesting to be aware of the historical ability of the region to arrange society instead of simply riding the course of history passively. No one can doubt Philadelphia’s own role in bringing about the original American revolution.

While Pennsylvania may have trampled over Southern Revolutionaries, Pennsylvanians have proven themselves capable of revolutionary thought and action. Yet in my opinion what existed in Reading Pa was not true socialism, but capitalism administrated by people with socialist ideologies. The system was still capitalist, but the people who ran the system were socialists. This would most likely be comparable to Mensheviks if any parallel could be drawn to Russia, but drawing a parallel is always an oversimplification of history. Considering the material conditions of America as a whole, Pennsylvania as a state and Reading as a city, that may have been the most ideal arrangement at the time.

By my colloquial knowledge of the region, I know that Reading has a history of being an important manufacturing city with outlets (and is now being outsourced). The included content below alludes to this. Perhaps something about the economy brings about class antagonisms and something about the culture caused people to fight for populist change on behalf of those antagonisms.

Included below is the material which I referenced.

Goldman Sachs Accused of Fraud by US Government

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

The Link
One who is concerned with populist issues in the United States of America must applaud the Government for what it has done. Granted, the entire system has not realized itself to be fraudulent, but it is a step away from denial. The Government is solving a major problem here.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government on Friday accused Wall Street’s most powerful firm of fraud, saying Goldman Sachs & Co. sold mortgage investments without telling the buyers that the securities were crafted with input from a client who was betting on them to fail.

And fail they did. The securities cost investors close to $1 billion while helping Goldman client Paulson & Co., a hedge fund, capitalize on the housing bust. The Goldman executive accused of shepherding the deal allegedly boasted about the “exotic trades” he created “without necessarily understanding all of the implications of those monstrosities!!!”

The civil charges filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission are the government’s most significant legal action related to the mortgage meltdown that ignited the financial crisis and helped plunge the country into recession.

The news sent Goldman Sachs shares and the stock market reeling as the SEC said other financial deals related to the meltdown continue to be investigated. It was a blow to the reputation of a financial giant that had emerged relatively unscathed from the economic crisis.

Goldman Sachs denied the allegations. In a statement, it called the SEC’s charges “completely unfounded in law and fact” and said it will contest them.

The SEC is seeking to recoup the money lost by investors and impose unspecified civil fines against Goldman Sachs and the executive, Fabrice Tourre. The SEC could enter into settlement negotiations over the amount if Goldman changed its stance and decided not to fight the charges in a trial.

The SEC said Paulson paid Goldman roughly $15 million in 2007 to devise an investment tied to mortgage-related securities that the hedge fund viewed as likely to decline in value. Separately, Paulson took out a form of insurance that allowed it to make a huge profit when those securities’ value plunged.

The fraud allegations focus on how Goldman sold the securities. Goldman told investors that a third party, ACA Management LLC, had selected the pools of subprime mortgages it used to create the securities. The securities are known as synthetic collateralized debt obligations.

The SEC alleges that Goldman misled investors by failing to disclose that Paulson & Co. also played a role in selecting the mortgage pools and stood to profit from their decline in value. Two European banks that bought the securities lost nearly $1 billion, the SEC said.

“Goldman wrongly permitted a client that was betting against the mortgage market to heavily influence which mortgage securities to include in an investment portfolio, while telling other investors that the securities were selected by an independent, objective third party,” SEC Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami said in a statement.

But Goldman said in a statement that it never mischaracterized Paulson’s strategy in the transaction. It added that it wasn’t obliged to “disclose the identities of a buyer to a seller and vice versa.”

The charges name only Goldman Sachs and Tourre, who was a vice president in his late 20s when the alleged fraud was orchestrated in 2007. Tourre, the SEC said, boasted to a friend that he was able to put such deals together as the mortgage market was unraveling in early 2007.

In an e-mail to the friend, he described himself as “the fabulous Fab standing in the middle of all these complex, highly leveraged, exotic trades he created without necessarily understanding all of the implications of those monstrosities!!!”

Tourre, 31, has since been promoted to executive director of Goldman Sachs International in London.

Stanford University spokeswoman Elaine Ray said a student by the name of Fabrice Tourre received a master’s degree in management science and engineering from the school in 2001.

A call to a lawyer for Tourre, Pamela Chepiga at Allen & Overy LLP, wasn’t returned.

Asked why the SEC did not also pursue a case against Paulson, Khuzami said: “It was Goldman that made the representations to investors. Paulson did not.”

Paulson & Co. is run by John Paulson, who reaped billions by betting against subprime mortgage securities. He is not related to former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, a former Goldman CEO.

John Paulson was among the first on Wall Street to bet heavily against subprime mortgages. His firm earned more than $15 billion in 2007, and he pocketed $3.7 billion. He has since earned billions more, largely by betting against bank stocks and then buying them back after their shares plunged.

In a statement, Paulson & Co. said: “As the SEC said at its press conference, Paulson is not the subject of this complaint, made no misrepresentations and is not the subject of any charges.”

Goldman, founded more than 140 years ago, built a reputation as a trusted adviser to investment banking clients and for sending top executives into presidential Cabinet posts.

In recent years, it shifted toward taking more risks with its clients’ money and its own. Goldman’s trading allowed the firm to weather the financial crisis better than most other big banks. It earned a record $4.79 billion in the last quarter of 2009.

The complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan “undermines their brand,” said Simon Johnson, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Goldman critic. “It undermines their political clout. I don’t think anybody really values being connected to Goldman at this point.”

He continued: “There are many people who — until this morning — thought Goldman Sachs was well-run.”

The SEC’s enforcement chief said the agency is investigating a wide range of practices related to the crisis. The prospect of possible legal jeopardy for other major financial players roiled the stock market.

Goldman Sachs shares fell more than 12 percent Goldman and lost $14.2 billion in market capitalization. The Dow Jones industrial average finished down more than 125 points.

The SEC appears to be taking a particularly aggressive approach with Goldman. Typically, cases are resolved by firms agreeing to a settlement before the charges are made public, said John Coffee, a securities law professor at Columbia University.

“The SEC has changed its style,” Coffee said. “They wanted to tell the world what they thought Goldman had done wrong.”

The charges come as lawmakers seek to crack down on Wall Street practices that helped cause the financial crisis. Congress is considering tougher rules for complex investments like those involved in the alleged Goldman fraud.

President Barack Obama vowed Friday to veto a financial overhaul bill that doesn’t regulate mortgage-backed securities and other so-called derivatives. Legislation in Congress would for the first time regulate derivatives, whose value depends on an underlying asset, such as mortgages or stocks. Senate Republicans oppose the bill.

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, is “pleased that the SEC is departing from the lax enforcement of the Bush administration and is returning to the SEC’s proper role of protecting investors in the marketplace,” spokesman Steven Adamske said.

The biggest loser in the alleged fraud was ABN Amro, a major Dutch bank, and the Royal Bank of Scotland, which acquired major portions of it in 2007. The SEC said the Royal Bank of Scotland paid Goldman $841 million to unwind ABN transactions.

IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG, a German commercial bank, lost nearly all its $150 million investment, the agency said. Most of the money the banks lost went to Paulson in a series of transactions between Goldman and the hedge fund, the SEC said.

IKB was an early casualty of the financial crisis. It issued a profit warning in 2007 saying it had been hurt by U.S. subprime mortgage investments. IKB was sold in 2008 to Dallas-based Lone Star Funds.

Ed Trissel, a spokesman for Lone Star Funds, declined to comment on the case.

The SEC charges come after Goldman Sachs denied last week it that bet against clients by selling them mortgage-backed securities while reducing its own exposure to them.

In an annual letter to shareholders, Goldman said it began reducing its exposure to the U.S. mortgage market in late 2006.

AP Business Writers Alan Zibel in Washington, Stevenson Jacobs in New York and Ashley M. Heher in Chicago contributed to this report.

The Fed, Allen Greenspan attacked on MSNBC

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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