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Comment: Re:Banksters (Score 1) 617

by PopeRatzo (#49770731) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

Utter nonsense. Yes, in some cases that may be the effect, but it's certainly not the design.

The "design" doesn't matter in this case. The biggest companies in the world are ignoring that design.

By design, boards of directors are intended to serve the same role that elected political representatives do for citizens of a nation; to represent the interests of the voters.

Don't we have enough evidence that when the corrupting influence of money gets enough, elected political representatives no longer represent the interest of the voters?

That just indicates that regulators are not making the fines large enough. If regulators want to use financial penalties, they have to make them large enough that bad actions are unprofitable.

That's not going to happen as long as the regulators are former bankers. There's a revolving door between regulatory agencies and the industries they regulate.

We have to evaluate the system we have, not the ideal or the system we wish we had. This is late-stage capitalism and we have to evaluate it on it's merits.

Comment: Re:To be more precise, Amazon will collect on taxe (Score 1) 238

by PopeRatzo (#49769383) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

Example 2: There are 50 auto dealers in a state. The state raises taxes on car dealers 30%. Now all dealers raise their prices 30%.

Now I ask you "Who is paying that 30% increase?"

God, can your math really be that bad? If the state raises taxes on car dealers by 30%, as you say, and the tax goes from 3% to 4%, why would that require the car dealers to raise the prices of their cars 30%?

That's the first problem with your comment.

Second is the fact that some of the car dealers may choose to let their profits fall the additional 1% (from the taxes being raised from 3% to 4%) and they'll keep their prices lower than the dealers who chose to raise prices and end up being the most successful dealer in the state.

When their competition, and when there's not market consolidation to the extent that it causes concentrated pricing power, taxes will not raise prices significantly.

Let's let Bruce Bartlett, a former economic adviser to Ronald Fucking Reagan explain why "corporations don't pay taxes" is a myth:

http://economix.blogs.nytimes....

Comment: Re:Banksters (Score 1) 617

by PopeRatzo (#49768059) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

Of course the owners of the bank take the hit when fines are levied. Who else would?

How about the individuals that committed the crimes?

Do you know how corporate boards work? They're designed to shield the management level executives from any such governance by the shareholders. And since most of the shareholders are institutional (or other corporations) it becomes one big consequence-avoidance scam.

Plus, the fines paid by the shareholders are only a tiny fraction of the money the corporation made from these illegal activities. So, if you're a shareholder and you get a letter saying, "We paid $5 billion in fines, and here's your cut of the profits from the heist" what are you gonna do?

It's like stealing a truckload of cases of beer and the penalty being you have to give back one bottle.

Comment: Re:Banksters (Score 1) 617

by PopeRatzo (#49767475) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

That trader did not make hundreds of billions. He will not be allowed near any bank ever again. He won't be keeping his bonus.

I didn't say a single trader made hundreds of billions. And he won't be getting this year's bonus. The Cartel has been operating for years. He'll keep all the previous bonuses.

And he won't be prosecuted for a crime. And his bosses won't be prosecuted for a crime. They'll spend $5 billion of the shareholders' money paying the fines and they won't be convicted of a goddamn crime.

Comment: Re:Soverign debt (Score 2) 617

by PopeRatzo (#49766217) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

"Soverign debt is not like personal debt!"

As Dick Cheney famously said on the eve of the Iraq War, "Deficits don't matter".

He said that because sovereign debt really isn't like personal debt when the sovereign debt is in a convertible fiat currency. Because the difference between you and a nation is the power to issue currency. Do you know how many countries have ever actually paid off their debt? Take a guess.

The IMF is like a loan shark. They don't want countries to pay off their debts. They want countries to service their debts until such time as they can burn it down for the insurance (CDO) money.

Comment: Banksters (Score 4, Insightful) 617

by PopeRatzo (#49766159) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

I just learned that the fines for illegal activity paid by banks since the economic collapse have totaled more than a quarter trillion dollars which is more than the entire economy of Greece. And that number is from 2014, before the $13 billion from Citi and the recent $5 billion for the banks involved in the price-fixing scandal.

Coincidence?

One of the traders for those banks, who was part of a collusion group that called itself (I'm not making this up), "The Cabal", said, in an email to the group, "If you're not cheating, you're not trying." That's $5 billion in fines for activity that made them hundreds of billions of dollars and bonuses.

And so far, not one of the members of "The Cabal" have been charged with a crime, and they'll be keeping their record bonuses. In fact, no one from those banks will be facing criminal charges of any kind.

So if you want me to be mad at Greece for letting the IMF dangle, I'm sorry. There are much bigger fish to fry.

There's so much more to this Greece story than just, "Oh those lazy Greeks with their big pensions." The IMF and the biggest banks were basically doing what those sketchy "payday loan" places in the strip mall do. They were basically doing what the home-lending institutions were doing in the 2000s. They were giving big bonuses to loan brokers for making loans - any loans - to people because they knew they could flip them on the secondary and CDO market. Investors were chasing yield so the word went out to mortgage lenders to "just get it done" and they basically defrauded as many people as possible. That's what the IMF does in countries like Greece and many South American companies. I think we're going to start seeing more of these countries deciding to just tell the IMF to go eff itself and take their monetary policy medicine and just be done with it. Then you'll start seeing the CIA-backed and German-backed and UK-backed coups start to happen.

"You're a creature of the night, Michael. Wait'll Mom hears about this." -- from the movie "The Lost Boys"

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