kstewart33's Journal - Archives
So investors lose $700 million on this scam and Citigroup pays a $285 million fine without admitting guilt after making an $160 million profit. And they get a huge litigation advantage thrown in the deal.
November 28, 2011
Judge Blocks Citigroup Settlement With S.E.C.
By EDWARD WYATT The New York Times
WASHINGTON — A federal judge in New York on Monday threw out a settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Citigroup over a 2007 mortgage derivatives deal, saying that the S.E.C.’s policy of settling cases by allowing a company to neither admit nor deny the agency’s allegations did not satisfy the law.
The judge, Jed S. Rakoff of United States District Court in Manhattan, ruled that the S.E.C.’s $285 million settlement, announced last month, is “neither fair, nor reasonable, nor adequate, nor in the public interest” because it does not provide the court with evidence on which to judge the settlement.
The ruling could throw the S.E.C.’s enforcement efforts into chaos, because a majority of the fraud cases and other actions that the agency brings against Wall Street firms are settled out of court, most often with a condition that the defendant does not admit that it violated the law while also promising not to deny it.
That condition gives a company or individual an advantage in subsequent civil litigation for damages, because cases in which no facts are established cannot be used in evidence in other cases, like shareholder lawsuits seeking recovery of losses or damages.
More at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/29/business...
On policy: ending the US torture regime; prevention of a second Great Depression; enacting universal healthcare; taking the first serious steps toward reining in healthcare costs; two new female Supreme Court Justices; ending the gay ban in the military; ending the Iraq war; justifying his Afghan Surge by killing bin Laden and now disentangling with face saved; firming up alliances with India, Indonesia and Japan as counter-weights to China; bailing out the banks and auto companies without massive losses (and surging GM profits); advancing (slowly) balanced debt reduction without drastic cuts during the recession; and financial re-regulation.
Yes, there have been failures. The election of Scott Brown; the 2010 mid-terms; the surrender to Netanyahu and AIPAC; the botched and ill-conceived war in Libya; the failure to embrace Bowles Simpson up-front; the collapse of cap and trade (maybe not such a bad thing anyway).
But notice what hasn't happened. Where are all the scandals promised by Michelle Malkin? Where are his Katrinas and Monicas?
Link: http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com /
Jay Newton-Small, Time magazine online:
The details of a smaller deficit reduction deal have yet to be worked out, but the collapse of the grand bargain leaves President Obama in a more favorable political position. If both parties agree to cut $2 trillion from the budget with minor tax increases, he’ll notch a bipartisan accomplishment. But he can also say he tried something more ambitious in putting cuts to Social Security and Medicare on the table without facing the political fallout of actually slashing those programs. He went big and congressional Republicans — not to mention the noticeably silent 2012 Republican presidential candidates — didn’t. It will be Republicans who will have to justify bowing to the extreme wing of their party and walking away from a deal that included some ten times more spending cuts than revenue increases. Some things just aren’t too big to fail.
Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2011/07/10/no-gr...
In an exclusive interview set to air on ABC World News and Nightline, Casey Anthony juror Jennifer Ford said she and the other jurors cried and were “sick to our stomachs” after voting to acquit Anthony of charges that she killed her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.
“I did not say she was innocent,” said Ford, who had previously only been identified as juror number 3. “I just said there was not enough evidence. If you cannot prove what the crime was, you cannot determine what the punishment should be.”
Ford described the jury as emotional and upset at their own vote, feelings that led the jurors to decide not to speak with reporters immediately after the verdict was read in court. “Everyone wonders why we didn’t speak to the media right away,” Ford said. “It was because we were sick to our stomach to get that verdict. We were crying and not just the women. It was emotional and we weren’t ready. We wanted to do it with integrity and not contribute to the sensationalism of the trial.”
Link: http://www.mediaite.com/tv/casey-anthony-j... /
The full extent of the budget deal reached late Friday did not become clear until today "after congressional aides worked all weekend and all day Monday to shape a detailed spending plan based on the framework that Obama and congressional leaders agreed to Friday," the Washington Post reports.
"In several cases, what look like large reductions are actually accounting gimmicks."
National Journal: "The specifics show that finding nearly $40 billion in cuts during the 2011 fiscal year required clever accounting and, for the White House, a willingness to concede on rhetoric to find gains on substance. For example, the final cuts in the deal are advertised as $38.5 billion less than was appropriated in 2010, but after removing rescissions, cuts to reserve funds and reductions in mandatory spending programs, discretionary spending will be reduced only by $14.7 billion."
Might this encourage Obama to stop capitulating and start fighting for all of us? Here's hoping:
November 16, 2010, 11:50 AM
Senate Leader Deals Blow to President on Arms Treaty
By PETER BAKER
President Obama’s hopes of ratifying a new arms control treaty with Russia this year appeared to unravel on Tuesday as a Senate Republican leader moved to block a vote in what could be a devastating blow to the president’s most tangible foreign policy achievement.
Mr. Obama had declared ratification of the New Start treaty his “top priority” in foreign affairs for the lame-duck session of Congress that opened this week. But the chances of winning the two-thirds vote required for passage of the treaty appeared to collapse with the announcement by Jon Kyl of Arizona, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate and the party’s point man on the issue, that the Senate should not vote on it this year.
“When Majority Leader Harry Reid asked me if I thought the treaty could be considered in the lame-duck session, I replied I did not think so given the combination of other work Congress must do and the complex and unresolved issues related to Start and modernization,” Mr. Kyl said in a statement. The senator added that he would continue to negotiate with administration officials for a possible vote next year.
A failure to approve the treaty in the departing Senate could undermine Mr. Obama’s broader campaign to curb nuclear weapons and eventually eliminate them. The treaty, which would trim American and Russian strategic arsenals and restore mutual inspections that lapsed last year, was supposed to be the first, and easiest, step in a long-term effort to bring an end to age of nuclear arms.
It could also sour Mr. Obama’s two-year effort to “reset” ties with Russia and win greater cooperation from Moscow in areas like counterterrorism, transit routes to Afghanistan and pressuring Iran to give up its nuclear program. Mr. Obama vowed to pass the treaty during a meeting with his Russian counterpart, President Dmitri A. Medvedev, in Japan on Sunday, and is scheduled to see him again later this week at a NATO summit meeting in Lisbon.
Mr. Kyl’s announcement shocked and angered the White House, which learned about it from the news media. Both parties had considered Mr. Kyl the make-or-break voice on the pact, with Republicans essentially deputizing him to work out a deal that would secure tens of billions of dollars to modernize the nation’s nuclear weapons complex in exchange for approval of the treaty. After months of negotiations and the addition of even more money in recent days, the White House thought it had given Mr. Kyl what he wanted.
An absolutely great video that shows a very effective way to get straight people to think about their view that gay is by choice:
Go to: http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com /
And scroll down to 'On Gay Stuff and Honesty, Ctd."
Nike and Tiger making bucks off his sexual escapades! Bringing Zombie dad back from the dead to help!
Why it's good ole DK!
Nate Silver, based on his statistical analysis of voting records:
But what if we don't build in an exception for the so-called "liberal no's" -- that is, simply take every vote at face value? It turns out, then, that Davis is no longer the least valuable Democrat. Instead, it is Dennis Kucinich, who voted against health care, the hate crimes bill, the budget, the cap-and-trade bill, and financial regulation -- all ostensibly from the left -- in spite of coming from from the strongly Democratic Ohio 10th district near Cleveland.
Kucinich's score of -4.22 is not only worse than that of any other Democrat: it is also worse than that of all but 22 Republicans.
Obviously, I think a reasonable case can be made to build in an exception for opposition from the left, which is why I did so in the first place. On the other hand, the fact is that Kucinich isn't taking just the occasional symbolic stand: he's voting against his party on key agenda items about half the time. Perhaps by so doing, he's moving the Overton Window to the left, or perhaps he's just being a pain in the butt. We crunch numbers, you decide!
My vote: a royal pain in the ass.
Andrew Sullivan on the Republicans:
This much is now clear. Their clear and open intent is to do all they can, however they can, to sabotage the new administration (and the economy to boot). They want failure. Even now. Even after the last eight years. Even in a recession as steeply dangerous as this one. There are legitimate debates to be had; and then there is the cynicism and surrealism of total political war. We now should have even less doubt about what kind of people they are. And the mountain of partisan vitriol Obama will have to climb every day of the next four or eight years.
I have to say even I am a little taken aback by the force of the Republican assault. Even in a downturn as swift and alarming as this one, even after an election that clearly favored one approach over another, even after the most conciliatory efforts by an incoming president in memory, these people have gone to war against the president. The president should stay cool. The rest of us should realize what motivates the GOP: the opportunism of selective ideology.
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