Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for August 19th, 2014

Paul Krugman was snookered—or snookered us

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Very interesting post by Pam Martens and Russ Martens at Wall Street on Parade:

Two weeks ago, Paul Krugman used some expensive media real estate to write a propaganda piece on the unsupportable proposition that the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation passed in 2010 is “a success story” and that its bank wind-down program known as Ordinary Liquidation Authority has put an end to “bailing out the bankers.”

Wall Street On Parade took Krugman to taskover this fanciful ode to accomplishments by the President the day after his piece ran in the New York Times’ opinion pages and suggested he do proper research on this subject before opining in the future. That was the morning of August 5.

By late in the afternoon of August 5, Krugman had a reality smack-down on his Dodd-Frank success fairy tale by two Federal regulators. Every major media outlet was running with the news that eleven of the biggest banks in the country, including the mega Wall Street banks, had just had their wind-down plans (known as living wills) rejected by the Federal Reserve and FDIC for not being credible or rational. The eleven banks are: Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, State Street and UBS.

Yesterday, Krugman’s Dodd-Frank fantasy lost further credibility when Senator Elizabeth Warren released a letter that she and eleven of her Congressional colleagues had sent to the Federal Reserve, warning that one of its Dodd-Frank proposed rules “invites the same sort of backdoor bailout we witnessed five years ago.”

To refresh any forgetful minds at the Fed over its unprecedented hubris in connecting a giant feeding tube to Wall Street during the last financial crisis, the Senators and Congressional Reps wrote:

During the financial crisis, the Board invoked its emergency lending authority for the first time in 75 years. The scope of the Board’s program was staggering. Between 2007 and 2009, the Board’s emergency lending facilities provided over $23 trillion in loans to large domestic and foreign financial institutions.

These loans were another bailout in all but name. Of the nearly $9 trillion the Board provided through its largest facility – the Primary Dealer Credit Facility – over two-thirds went to just three institutions: Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley. Those institutions and others had access to the Board’s credit facilities for an average of 22 months. And the interest rates the Board offered were typically very low – in many cases, under 1%.

Think about this for a moment. Citigroup was insolvent during the crisis – as Federal insiders have now acknowledged in books and media interviews. In an efficient market system, Citigroup would not have been able to borrow at all, much less at a rate for a AAA-borrower of less than 1 percent. The Federal Reserve is forbidden from making loans to insolvent institutions – but it did it anyway.

Contrast the Fed’s largess to serial miscreants like Citigroup against homeowners at the time whose credit was flawed but they had a job and were still paying their bills.

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 August 2014 at 5:27 pm

Excellent idea: The missing-video presumption

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From a Washington Post column by Radley Balko:

One policy that would go a long way toward achieving those three objectives is what defense attorney Scott Greenfield calls the missing video presumption. Currently, the courts generally treat important video that goes missing as a harmless mistake. They assume no ill will on the part of police. If you discover that the police were or should have been recording an encounter that would vindicate you of criminal charges or prove that the police violated your rights, and that video goes missing, you’re simply out of luck.

Under the missing video presumption, if under the policy agency’s police there should have been video and there isn’t, then the courts will assume that the video corroborates the party opposing the police, be it a criminal defendant or the plaintiff in a civil rights lawsuit. The state could still get over the presumption by presenting other evidence, such as witnesses, medical reports, and so on. But if it’s the police officer’s word against his antagonist’s, there should be video to validate one side or the other, and that video mysteriously goes missing while in police custody, the police should have to pay a penalty in court. Otherwise, there’s just too strong an incentive for vindicating video to be leaked and for incriminating video to disappear.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 August 2014 at 5:19 pm

Posted in Law, Law Enforcement

Why the lies dropped off

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Paul Krugman nails it.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 August 2014 at 12:45 pm

Posted in GOP, Government, Healthcare

Let’s see how many white people in and near Ferguson respond to the call

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This is powerful stuff. This link should go everywhere. I hope it causes a Twitter storm.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 August 2014 at 11:19 am

One example of why homicides are higher in states with “Stand your ground” laws

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Here’s the law. Here’s an example of what was totally predictable (and indeed was predicted). Is anyone surprised? Does anyone think this is good? Can anyone think of a way that it could have been prevented? (Elaborate strings of “maybe”s, “what if”s, and “suppose”s are irrelevant: look at what did happen, and is happening more now because of the law.

Note that gun right’s advocates will not face facts or take responsibility. Of course the bill will be blamed. The bill created exactly the conditions under which such things happen: drunken people, many carrying guns. Jesus.

Via this post on Daily Kos.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 August 2014 at 10:37 am

Posted in Daily life, Guns

Will the Ferguson police be arrested for violating court order?

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Take a look.

Answer: Probably not. Courts now seem to lack power over the police—cf. NYPD stop-and-frisk: they’re still doing it. The police now can ignore the courts. That’s a big step.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 August 2014 at 10:26 am

Intercept Reporter Shot With Beanbags and Arrested While Covering Ferguson Protests

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The Ferguson police obviously do not like reporters for the same reason wrong-doers generally don’t like reporters: because reporters tell the public what the police in Ferguson are doing, and the police don’t want people to know.

Here’s a report at The Intercept of two reporters arrested and mailed overnight for the crime of reporting.

Let’s face the fact that police in America will now go to great lengths to keep the public from finding out what they do. Body cameras can be helpful (in the article, it mentions that complaints of brutality dropped 88% after body cameras went into use in Rialto CA), but in San Diego what the body cameras record is kept secret—the press and public are not allowed to view what the police are doing. Note: police are paid by taxpayers, their equipment (including body cameras) is purchased by taxpayers, and their activities are (presumably) to help the public. Why the secrecy? Because the police know what they are doing is wrong—not just morally or ethically wrong, but actually against the law. Fortunately for them, they are the ones who decide on a daily basis which laws to enforce. And they are keeping secret what those body cameras record.

Conor Friedersdorf has a good article on how videos that show what police seem to do almost routinely—beat and abuse the powerless—has led increasingly to their feeling of being “misunderstood” by the public, which actually is starting to understand them well. I do grasp that only a small minority of police officers are brutal thugs, but the other police officers cover for and support the activities of the thugs.

As to the militarization of police forces: Congress loves it:

“House lawmakers overwhelmingly voted in June to block legislation by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) that would have stopped…the so-called ‘1033 program,’ launched in 1997….The effects of the program have been on full display in Ferguson….While lawmakers have decried the excessive police response in Ferguson, a number of members told The Huffington Post they don’t expect Congress to do much to rein in the Pentagon program. That’s not so much because of intense lobbying from the defense industry, they said, but more because local police forces say they benefit from the free gear.” Jennifer Bendery, Ryan Grim and Zach Carter in The Huffington Post.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 August 2014 at 9:16 am

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