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Glass-Steagall Showdown Will Decide Your Future.

 
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05/20/2010 07:53 AM
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Glass-Steagall Showdown Will Decide Your Future.
People should really be following the Cantwell-McCain amendment more closely. Not much chatter here about it?

It's probably the most important legislative push going on right now.




This article appears in the May 21, 2010 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Glass-Steagall Showdown
Will Decide Your Future

by Jeffrey Steinberg and Nancy Spannaus

[A PDF version of this article is available here]

May 18—As this issue of EIR goes to publication, the U.S. Senate has yet to debate and vote on the Cantwell-McCain amendment to the Dodd financial reform bill, which would reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act's separation of commercial banking from investment banking and insurance.


Lyndon LaRouche today identified the passage of a new Glass-Steagall Act as an existential issue for the United States and for the world. Unless the Senate passes the Cantwell-McCain amendment (S.A. 3884), restoring Glass-Steagall, "the world just goes to Hell. Either we wipe out the quadrillions of dollars in illegitimate assets from the books of the banks, or the United States and the entire planet have no protection against a near-term precipitous collapse into a new dark age."

LaRouche emphasized that the passage of Glass-Steagall is a pivotal first step. Once the U.S. commercial banking system has been restored, under Constitutional standards, we can next look to Western Europe and Russia. "But, the first crucial step must take place here, in the United States," LaRouche explained. "If the United States Senate forces through the Cantwell-McCain amendment and the President is forced to sign it into law, despite his own desperate efforts to kill the amendment, then this will create the opportunity for several crucial European countries to break free from the total breakdown collapse they now face."

LaRouche singled out Germany as the first continental European nation that would key off the U.S. restoration of Glass-Steagall. France would likely follow. "This would save Europe from the already onrushing collapse. This would also provide Russia with the crucial European partners, along with the United States, to break free from the current vise-grip on the Russian economy, by a British-run Caribbean network of financier pirates." LaRouche explained that, since the times of Yuri Andropov and Mikhail Gorbachov before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia's monetary system has been run by the Rothschild-created Inter-Alpha Group, which is otherwise associated, today, with the so-called BRIC (Braziil-Russia-India-China) project of Goldman Sachs.

"If we can free Russia and the key nations of continental Europe from the present doomed financial system, through a Glass-Steagall bankruptcy reorganization, starting in the United States, then we can proceed to establish a new, global fixed-exchange-rate system. China is already prepared to enter such an agreement, and the freeing of Russia from the 'pirates of the Caribbean' is vital for China's ability to join this new global arrangement," LaRouche explained.

"With such a worldwide fixed-exchange-rate system secured," LaRouche concluded, "we can proceed with the vital infrastructure projects—high-speed transportation, nuclear energy, and water management—that are pivotal for the survival of mankind, as we reach the 7 billion population level.

"This is the existential issue for all of humanity. Passage of Glass-Steagall in the United States is the pivotal first step, without which humanity is doomed."
The Battle Lines

In the past 24 hours, the Obama White House, along with the big five Wall Street financial institutions—Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo—have embarked on a desperate drive to kill the Glass-Steagall amendment.

Following a May 17 status report from his White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, President Obama reportedly flew into a blind rage over the fact that the Cantwell-McCain amendment had not been repudiated by its sponsors. The President demanded that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) use every dirty trick in the book to kill the Cantwell-McCain initiative, and get the Dodd bill rammed through the Senate before the end of the week.

However, the President's demands do not necessarily translate into deeds, as Reid and Dodd are facing an enraged electorate, and a growing resistance to White House pressure from a number of Senators. On the night of May 17, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), the co-sponsor of the amendment to restore Glass-Steagall, threatened to join Republicans in opposing cloture, unless the amendment is debated and voted upon. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) made a similar threat, if his amendment, barring certain kinds of speculative instruments, is not allowed to reach the floor for a vote.

Key to the whole process now unfolding in the U.S. Senate is the mobilization, led by the LaRouche Political Action Committee (LPAC), which has activated thousands of local and state elected and other officials. Many of these officials had been staunch backers of LaRouche's 2007 Homeowners and Bank Protection Act (HBPA), which would have frozen home foreclosures and imposed a Glass-Steagall bankruptcy reorganization of the U.S. banking system—before the $24 trillion Wall Street bailout by the combined Bush and Obama administrations.
Senators Get the Message

The LaRouche PAC mobilization began in earnest on May 12, led by the three LPAC Congressional campaigns—Rachel Brown of Massachusetts, Kesha Rogers of Texas (who is the Democratic nominee), and Summer Shields of California. The campaigns all took to the streets of the major urban areas in their districts, demanding that citizens take up their responsibility to "ram through" the Glass-Steagall amendment.

The campaign soon escalated into a drive to get patriots to call their Senators, and demand that they join Senators Cantwell and McCain in fighting for Glass-Steagall. Buttressed by an LPAC video on the significance of the act (see below), and by the reverberations of LaRouche's May 8 webcast, the LPAC membership went into high gear in a way it hadn't done since the successful mobilization to pass resolutions endorsing LaRouche's Homeowners and Bank Protection Act in dozens of local and state jurisdictions in 2007-08.

As of May 17, the impact was being strongly felt. In Boston, Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) office is telling callers that they have been "flooded with" calls in support of Glass-Steagall. In Washington State, Sen. Patty Murray's (D) office reports the "phone ringing off the hook" with calls demanding she support Glass-Steagall. In both cases, however, the Senators had not yet committed themselves to vote for the McCain-Cantwell amendment, so LPAC is upping the pressure on them, as well as on most other Senators, most of whom have not publicly committed themselves one way or another.
Cantwell Optimistic

While Internet media coverage of the Glass-Steagall legislation has been dominated by LaRouche PAC for the last weeks, this began to change since May 12. Most importantly, Senator Cantwell herself was interviewed by Bonnie Erbe of PBS, and declared that she expected the legislation to pass. Asked by Erbe about her view of Glass-Steagall, she said:

Well, I certainly am a big supporter of Glass-Steagall, which would be to go back to what we had prior to 2000, which is the separation of commercial banking from investment banking.

If you think about it, they are two different functions. Investment banking is about taking risks. But with commercial banking, you want your deposits to be secure. But when you let your deposits—yours and mine—be used by those investment houses, which are huge risk-taking ventures, it really does put those savings and those deposits at risk.

And we should go back to separating them. I think the American people know this. They get it intuitively. They know that there was a reason in the last Depression that we got to this point.

So, what's taking you so long?! Go back to separating it. So, we'll have a vote on that.

But we also need to regulate these derivatives, these new financial tools that came into the marketplace in the late '90s, and make sure that they have the oversight of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.

Right now, hamburger in America—beef futures—has more oversight than some of these derivatives!

Cantwell's interview was picked up by U.S. News and World Report May 12, and, in the wake of the coverage, others have come forward. Most prominent, is Nouriel Roubini, a New York University economist, who is given credit for being the main prognosticator of the 2007-08 crash. (The major media are under orders to ignore LaRouche.) Roubini has given numerous interviews arguing that the Glass-Steagall separation is the only solution to problems such as derivatives speculation, and exposing as phony, half-measures such as the "Volcker Rule," which purports to limit proprietary trading, but would do nothing to eliminate the rot.

While former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who nominally heads Obama's economic team, had, at one point, proposed a separation of commercial and investment banking, he is now kowtowing to his banker friends, including his former employer, Inter-Alpha Group head Jacob Rothschild. On a trip to London May 13, the former Fed chief gave an off-the-cuff interview to BBC in which he went so far as to attack Glass-Steagall. Volcker has also written letters and campaigned personally against control of derivatives, especially the measure associated with Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D), which is in the Dodd bill. LaRouche has insisted that Volcker is intelligent enough to know better, but he is refusing to act like a patriot, and is propitiating Obama.
London vs. the Patriots

As LaRouche and various of his interlocutors pointed out during his May 8 webcast, the Glass-Steagall issue is not just one of banking. It cuts to the center of the strategic battle between the British financial empire, and the American System of economics, which is a model for all truly sovereign nation-states.

It is lawful that the center of this battle would be Wall Street. Wall Street has been a center of treason throughout the history of the United States, and functions, in fact, as an army of the British empire. The sophism that the health of "Main Street" (the physical economy on which the standard of living of the American people is based) depends upon the health of "Wall Street," as President Obama has argued, is more than ludicrous—and most of the American people know it.

In fact, the rage of the U.S. population against Wall Street's rip-offs, and the bailouts given to the international banks, is only growing. As a result of the collaboration of a network of prosecutors, such as New York State's Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Securities and Exchange Commission head Mary Shapiro, and others, Goldman Sachs's crimes were brought up before public hearings. Now, prosecutions are multiplying, with Federal criminal investigations of virtually all the big Wall Street banks, for trading against the interests of their clients—and, one might honestly say, their country.

Over just the last week, Attorney General Cuomo announced several new probes, including of U.S. branches of several major European banks. He is also looking into manipulation by the rating agencies, a criminal practice, well known from the outbreak of the current breakdown crisis in 2007. (Remember, AAA ratings for junk?)

Under Glass-Steagall regulations, the problem of these banks can be easily taken care of. Entities such as JPMorgan Chase and Citibank will have to decide whether they will be commercial banks, or investment (gambling) houses. If the latter, they will no longer have government protection—and they, and their illegitimate debts, will disappear. Legitimate banking functions, however, will be protected—and banks that practice those will be opened up to be lenders for the kinds of massive infrastructure projects we so desperately need.

This is the only pathway to recovery, and it lies within the grasp of the American people, if they listen to Lyndon LaRouche. Restoring Glass-Steagall is the first step toward realizing the prosperity, at home and abroad, which Franklin D. Roosevelt envisioned after World War II. The British sabotaged that vision then; they must not be allowed to do so again.

[link to www.larouchepub.com]
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05/20/2010 07:55 AM
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Anonymous Coward (OP)
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05/20/2010 07:57 AM
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Waves in motion.


Glass-Steagall Fight Breaks Into the Major Italian Media

May 19, 2010 (LPAC)— Corriere della Sera, Italy's largest daily newspaper, published an article by economics editor Massimo Mucchetti on Monday, May 17, endorsing the Cantwell-McCain amendment now before the U.S. Senate, which would re-establish the Glass-Steagall separation of commercial and investment banking, and calling for its emulation in Europe.

Under the headline "Banks: The Example of the U.S. Senate; A Bipartisan Proposal To Reform the Financial System," Mucchetti writes: "They insist. Arizona Senator John McCain and Senator Maria Cantwell of the state of Washington, have formalized their project, announced last December, to reintroduce the Glass-Steagall Act in an amendment to the reform of the financial sector promoted by the White House. McCain, a former military officer, is 74 years old and is a Republican. Cantwell, a 52-year- old environmentalist, is a Democrat. In their view, commercial banking must be again separated from investment banking, as the 1933 legislation (repealed in 1999) prescribed. Their amendment is bipartisan and the reform spokesman, Democratic Senator Chris Dodd, is supposed to include it in the discussion. It will be seen, then, where President Obama, who today is against it, and the Senate will stand...

"In Italy, instead, the reform of financial regulations seems to be hostage to the committee of central bankers who meet in Basel. And yet, we have a bill that in 1993 tore down the firewalls between the two kinds of banking activities, which had been erected by the 1933 Banking Act, exactly as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act did in America. But the Italian Parliament expresses no opinion on the subject... Not one meeting, among the many useless ones that are held, re-examines choices made in the '90s."

Mucchetti's article was picked up by the daily Il Giornale, whose editors, however, expressed pessimism about the outcome of the battle in the U.S. Senate. "Obama is not strong enough to challenge the banking establishment," they write, and compare Obama to someone who, faced with people driving a car at 300 kmh, with gasoline cans in the trunk, tells them to slow down to 270. "That is already something. But if you crash at 270, you die as well. And the cans explode."
[link to www.larouchepac.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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05/20/2010 08:02 AM
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PRESS RELEASE
LaRouche's EIR
Puts White House Up Against the Wall
On Glass-Steagall Legislation

May 17, 2010 (EIRNS)—White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs received a one-two punch at today's White House Briefing, over the White House's sabotage of the Glass-Steagall legislation now pending before the Senate. EIR founder Lyndon LaRouche is leading a national mobilization demanding the passage of the McCain-Cantwell amendment (calling for a return to FDR's Glass-Steagall) to the Dodd bill, which is now being debated by the Senate, as vital to the survival of the U.S. and the international economy under current conditions of global breakdown crisis.

The interchange with Gibbs, which featured EIR's Bill Jones and the Dean of the White House press corps, Helen Thomas, has already been picked up by numerous blogs.

Jones started off the exchange from the moment Gibbs entered the room. Not finding a seat in the "questions answered" section of the Press Room, Jones, from the side of the room, started in on Gibbs right when he got to the podium.

Gibbs: Good afternoon. Chuck, take us away.

Chuck Todd (ABC): Okay, thank you—

EIR: (breaking in on Todd) Robert, why is the White House pressuring Democrats to back off from the Cantwell-McCain attempt to bring back Glass-Steagall?

Gibbs: I don't have anything on that.

EIR: Why is it opposed to Glass-Steagall?

Todd: (somewhat crestfallen) Robert—

EIR: Why is the White House opposed to it?

Gibbs: I'm sorry?

EIR: Is the White House opposed to re-establishing Glass-Steagall?

Gibbs: I don't have any information on the amendment. I'm happy to look at it.

Gibbs recovered his composure somewhat from this unwanted intrusion of reality, after a few questions, until he came to Helen Thomas, the Dean of White House Press Corps, who was well aware of the fight going on over the Glass-Steagall bill. After a back-and-forth with Gibbs on how Obama's foreign policy differed from Bush's in Afghanistan, Thomas lit into him for his non-response to EIR's question.

Thomas: And one other question. Why don't you know your position on Glass-Steagall, in view of the economy?

Gibbs: I don't have any information on the amendment that might come up.

Thomas: That's to take care of all the bankers in the Treasury Department.

Gibbs: I'm sorry?

Thomas: I said, why do they have such a dominance of bankers in the Treasury?

Gibbs: Well, I think, based on what the Treasury Department is doing on financial reform and the way that banks are fighting us, I'm not sure that the two—I'm not sure that statement actually lines up with what's going on in terms of financial reform right now.

[link to www.larouchepub.com]
Anonymous Coward
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05/20/2010 08:04 AM
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I posted a few threads on this subject a few days ago OP.
The problem was most people had never heard of it and it's just starting to sink in.

Let me make it SUPER SIMPLE for GLPers.

What Germany just did in banning derivatives trading is similar to the Glass Steagall Act.

Do you want to bail out the banks again?
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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05/20/2010 08:07 AM
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Re: Glass-Steagall Showdown Will Decide Your Future.
I posted a few threads on this subject a few days ago OP.
The problem was most people had never heard of it and it's just starting to sink in.

Let me make it SUPER SIMPLE for GLPers.

What Germany just did in banning derivatives trading is similar to the Glass Steagall Act.

Do you want to bail out the banks again?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 975545



"What Germany just did in banning derivatives trading is similar to the Glass Steagall Act."

Indeed it is.
Anonymous Coward
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05/20/2010 09:10 AM
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Unbelieveble how deaf the world is to LaRouche. Probably all else want the WW3.
Anonymous Coward
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05/20/2010 09:12 AM
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Glass-Steagall Showdown Will Decide Your Future....

...Not so much. More like the 12,000,000,000 gallons of oil in our most prolific ecosystem.
Anonymous Coward
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05/20/2010 10:18 AM
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A Black Day For Obama and the British


May 20, 2010 (LPAC)-- Barack Obama and his British masters lost a key vote on cloture in the United States Senate on Wednesday afternoon, which they had hoped would allow them to quickly shut off debate on the Dodd financial reform bill, and move for its prompt passage— without the all-important Cantwell-McCain amendment, which calls for a return to the Glass-Steagall standard in U.S. banking. Much to London's chagrin, the issue therefore remains very much alive before an increasingly explosive mass strike process sweeping the country—as seen in Tuesday's primary elections—which LPAC is organizing and leading.

Also to London's horror, the Merkel government in Germany on Tuesday sovereignly banned certain categories of derivatives trading in that country, in the face of what Merkel described as "an existential threat to financial stability in Europe and even the world."

Lyndon LaRouche on Wednesday issued the following marching orders:

"Now the key thing here is: We have won a battle, in the sense of not losing it. That's exactly what happened. Now the fact that we didn't lose the battle, means that the enemy is going to do something dirty. Because you cannot separate the subject of what is going on in the Senate now, from what happened in Europe today. The two things have to be put together as one thing.

"And we take the sequence that Merkel, under pressure of the situational pressure, pushed through a ruling by the German government which put a limit on the way some of these derivatives functions could occur. What she did was actually to sabotage the whole thing, because what we saw in the runaway 1,000-point drop on the U.S. stock market last week, was the fact that the way the speculators were operating, was to put in runaway kinds of pledges in their market positions. And so this thing did, because of certain configurations, which nobody could have foreknown who didn't know all the scores of the thing, suddenly triggered something, and you had this virtual 1,000-point drop there.

"This is the case of the instability in the international markets. The way you deal with that is to cut out certain categories of derivative contract placements. So that's what you have to do, to prevent that from happening. It'll happen if you have chaos, it'll happen. So what she did, what the German government did, is to essentially put a limit on this kind of stuff, to get some margin of safety to avoid precisely that kind of runaway situation.

"This was done sovereignly by Germany in its own affairs, without consulting other governments, that is, formally. Now the irony of this thing is there has been no agreement among these governments on any of the things that have been done—there have been informal representatives meetings, and so forth—and they rammed something through without any consent of the parliaments, of the legislatures as such. Or virtually none. So therefore what happened, when Germany did this, in putting these limits on derivatives contracts, you had various governments in Europe, the British government as well as continental governments, freaked out. France freaked out; Britain freaked out; others freaked out.

"What this leads to, first of all, is it poses the fact that there was no legality to the kind of agreement which was worked out on the bail-out. This was a back-room arrangement by committee, without the real process of legal consent by governments to a horrible kind of commitment for bail-out.

"So this happens at the same time as what's going on in the United States. You cannot separate what's happening in the U.S. Senate and around the Senate from what's happening in Europe right now. The fight has broken out. The implication is, somebody is going to leave the European Union. That's the direction it's headed in. And France is going to have to decide whether it's going to create the situation where it forces Germany to leave the European Union, or something else. The British, who are not in the Union, are trying to manage it from the outside, and they are on an open policy, under the new British government, of trying to distance themselves from anything that looks like continental Europe.

"So you cannot separate these two things, because they are interactive. What is happening in the instability in Europe, and what is happening in the Senate and related things in the United States, are part of one and the same process. Because what you are looking at if Obama doesn't get his way, as the British wish, then in that case the entire British arrangement collapses.

"And that's what we have to present: that picture. The two things. You have a situation in Europe; and one in the United States. One in the Senate of the United States; one in the conflict among member states of the European coalition, which includes Britain, which is outside the European Union, but a managing controller of it; and then differences between France and Germany, for example, on putting restrictions on this gambling system.

"These two things are one and the same thing, and we should present them as such. The idea of the two things: We have a European end to this thing, which is interlocked with what's going on in the Senate. And the pattern of all these defeats of the Democratic party leadership, which are occurring in small number now. But more are coming."
[link to www.larouchepac.com]
Anonymous Coward
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05/20/2010 10:34 AM
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Re: Glass-Steagall Showdown Will Decide Your Future.
Reid?

Worthy of a lamp post. Rope provided free of charge.


Obama Loses Control of the Process; Reid Loses Senate Cloture Vote

May 20, 2010 (LPAC)—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lost a vote on cloture to proceed to an accelerated debate and vote on the Dodd Bill Wednesday — without Glass-Steagall — when Democrats Maria Cantwell of Washington and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, respectively a sponsor and a co-sponsor of the amendment to restore Roosevelt's Glass-Steagall protections, courageously voted with the Republicans against Reid's cloture motion. Once it was clear that he had lost, Reid changed his own "yes" vote to "no," in order to be able to bring the same motion up again in the future under an arcane Senate rule.

Reid called the vote on cloture at 3:35pm Wednesday by saying that efforts to reach a "consent agreement" on amendments had failed, but that Sen. Dodd had agreed to continue to try to reach such an agreement after cloture was passed. Coupled with Cantwell's and Feingold's votes, this indicates that Politico's Tuesday morning report that the Cantwell-McCaine Glass-Steagall amendment had been incorporated into a Reid-Dodd "manager's amendment," was disinformational. Cantwell has said repeatedly that she would vote against cloture if Senate leaders refused to allow the Cantwell-McCain amendment to be voted on.

Sixty votes are required for cloture, but after Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts, the Democrats only have 59 Senate seats, so they need one Republican vote, even if all Democrats remain united. In this case, Republicans Collins and Snowe of Maine crossed over to vote for cloture, while Cantwell and Feingold crossed over the other way. The just-defeated Democrat Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania never showed up to vote at all, while Reid changed his own vote to "no" in a parliamentary manuever. Hence the recorded vote of 57 "aye" and 42 "no."

[link to www.larouchepac.com]
Anonymous Coward
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05/20/2010 10:46 AM
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I love reading this stuff.


Merkel Government Announces Sovereign Ban on Certain Categories of Derivatives

May 20, 2010 (LPAC)—After the close of European markets on May 18, Germany's financial services regulator Bafin announced a ban on naked short-selling and credit default swaps, effective immediately, arguing that there was "exceptional volatility" in the markets and systemic threats. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a speech to Parliament Wednesday, elaborated that the measure was required to face "an existential threat to financial stability in Europe and even the world." Although the Bafin measure technically will last only through March 31, 2011, Merkel clarified that "all of this will stay in effect until another solution has been found at the European level."

The City of London, and their allies in continental Europe, went ballistic. In part, they are hysterical over the content of the measure: to them, any limitation at all on predatory speculation is not acceptable, and in this case they got caught totally off guard and are in a "short squeeze," which means that a bunch of banks had to run out and purchase the underlying stocks and bonds that they had speculated on — i.e, they took big losses. But even more, the British were frothing over the fact that Germany dared to act unilaterally and without advising anyone in advance — i.e., they acted like a sovereign nation.

The London Daily Telegraph prominently quoted a London-based trader who said that "nobody ever thought they'd do this in a million years," and then went on to threaten: "it raises the long-term question of who is now going to want to buy their debt." Similarly, a senior European banking source reported that when he informed his country's central bank about the German decision early this morning, before the news reports were out, he was at first accused of being drunk: Germany would never do that without telling us, he was lectured, so go sober up.

But do it they did. Which led to outraged bankers and traders sputtering on and on about how the measure was "an act of desperation"; "it's so ham-fisted its laughable"; and "it smacks of knee-jerk panic."

[link to www.larouchepac.com]
Anonymous Coward
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07/14/2012 12:06 AM
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I can't believe that this is all the attention this thread received when it was first posted.

Very telling
Anonymous Coward
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07/14/2012 12:08 AM
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I can't believe that this is all the attention this thread received when it was first posted.

Very telling
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 16540671


Yes, this was 2 years ago. I linked this one to the pinned thread - very telling indeed!





GLP