"Leave the ‘job creators’ alone!"
"[The worst person in the world today is] Arthur Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute, who gets his plea to stop inciting envy among the 99% published in the liberal NY Times,” writes Steven D at Booman Tribune. “Because you know, pointing out the vast majority of people in our country are working harder for less, while CEOs who commit crimes get rewarded with large bonuses is such a mean, unpleasant and unhelpful thing to do.”
Writing for New York, Kevin Roose reports on the annual gathering of the secretive Wall Street fraternity Kappa Beta Phi at New York’s St. Regis Hotel, where members indulged in an evening of eating, drinking, cross-dressing, and telling homophobic and sexist jokes.
Hosted by billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, clad in a tuxedo and purple velvet moccasins embroidered with the fraternity’s Greek letters, members were welcomed at the 2012 gathering with, “Good evening, Exalted High Council, former Grand Swipes, Grand Swipes-in-waiting, fellow Wall Street Kappas, Kappas from the Spring Street and Montgomery Street chapters, and worthless neophytes!”
The evening’s festivities included the induction of 21 new members – ‘neophytes’ – each of whom was required during the evening to dress in leotards, gold-sequined skirts, and costume wigs in order to become members of the fraternity.
Stories to Watch: 1/30/14.
The Wall Street Journal doubles down and says the outrage over a whiny, offensive, and Godwin-violating op-ed by billionaire venture capitalist Tom Perkins only proves his point that the 1% are about to get Holocausted by Occupy Wall Street Nazis.
Related: when it comes to the amount spent on people’s retirement, most of your share of the taxes paying for it goes to the already stupid-rich.
Further related: talk radio chunkhead and investment adviser Peter Schiff got into some hot water for suggesting in a Daily Show segment that maybe we should only pay people with cognitive disabilities two bucks an hour. So he tries to take the heat off by saying he was totally right, so shut up. Yup, figuring out why people hate Wall Street types is a real Scoody-Doo mystery.
California’s Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman — AKA “the mustache of justice” — says he will not seek reelection and is retiring at the end of the year. In 40 years as a house member, he’s done a lot of good. The seat is likely to remain Democratic.
Related: women’s rights activist Sandra Fluke says she’s “strongly considering" a run at Waxman’s CA-33. This is the woman who nearly sank Rush Limbaugh. And if there’s one thing wingnuts do, it’s hold a grudge. If she does run, they won’t be able to help themselves from yelling "SLUT!!" at every opportunity — while the GOP tries to deny they’ve got a thing against women. You don’t have to be clairvoyant to see how that would work out for them. Plus, she’d make a fine rep. #RunSandraRun.
Here’s a shock: an Obamascare horror story mentioned in the official GOP SOTU response was bullshit.
House GOP put out their immigration “principles,” but still no bill for immigration reform. Still, it’s more than there was yesterday. Greg Sargent has the skinny.
Finally, Democrats will target Republican secretaries of state in the 2016 elections, in order to combat GOP voter suppression efforts.
[cartoon via McClatchy Newspapers]
A hyper-wealthy billionaire venture capitalist has faced ridicule after comparing the treatment of super-rich Americans to the Holocaust. Thomas Perkins, who is thought to be worth around $8bn, made the startling comparison in a letter to The Wall Street Journal in which he wrote of ‘parallels’ between the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany and what he describes as the “progressive war on the American one percent”. The letter, which was published by the WSJ earlier this week, begins: “Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its “one percent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the “rich.
I’d be willing to accompany him to Dachau or Sachsenhausen, because he’s clearly confused about the treatment of Jews under the Nazis.
You know what Jews in nazi Germany weren’t doing? Writing letters to the Wall Street Journal from their mansions and living in the lap of luxury. We can start there.
Well first of all, for a criminal practice there has to be a gun. It’s pretty simple.
Possible arrests coming for former JPMorgan execs.
Reuters: U.S. authorities are considering arresting two former JPMorgan Chase & Co employees for their alleged role in masking $6.2 billion “London Whale” losses, according to two people familiar with the situation.
In the latest twist in a scandal that has tainted the reputation of the largest U.S. bank and led to calls for greater oversight of its chief executive, Jamie Dimon, the main target of the investigation is Javier Martin-Artajo, who worked in London as the direct supervisor of Bruno Iksil, the trader who became known as “the London Whale,” the sources said.
The United States is also looking at Julien Grout, Iksil’s junior trader, according to one of the sources. Both sources spoke on condition that they not be otherwise identified as the investigation is ongoing.
Reuters reported on Thursday that Iksil, who earned his nickname after making outsized bets in a thinly traded derivatives market, is cooperating with the government and will not face any charges. His cooperation is essential to any arrest, the same sources said.
"Honor among thieves" is a myth — at least, among this particular class of thieves.
GOP busy trying to save you from economic recovery, prosperity.
Stocks advanced modestly on Friday, leaving the S&P 500 with slight gains in a volatile week as strong economic data overshadowed growth concerns in China and Europe and let investors discount the impact of expected government spending cuts.
Stocks opened sharply lower for the session as Asian factories slowed and European output fell, but most of the losses evaporated after a report showed manufacturing activity expanded last month at its fastest clip in 20 months.
Consumer sentiment also rose in February as Americans turned more optimistic about the job market.
Asia and Europe are getting shaky, American demand is about to take an $85 billion hit, but all this bad news is not enough to offset the good news — American manufacturing on the rise in response to growing consumer confidence. That’s what Republicans are crowing about today; saving you from headlines like this. Because, you know, President Obama’s stewardship of the economy is such a nightmare of incompetence, right?
European-style austerity is what’s called for here — and never mind that this austerity is what’s responsible for the European and Asian decline. That’s the new GOP way; attack demand wherever it rears its ugly head!
AIG may sue because bailout wasn’t a cushy enough deal. Sen. Warren is displeased.
Fresh from paying back a $182 billion bailout, the American International Group has been running a nationwide advertising campaign with the tagline “Thank you America.”
Behind the scenes, the restored insurance company is weighing whether to tell the government agencies that rescued it during the financial crisis: thanks, but you cheated our shareholders.
The board of A.I.G. will meet on Wednesday to consider joining a $25 billion shareholder lawsuit against the government, court records show. The lawsuit does not argue that government help was not needed. It contends that the onerous nature of the rescue — the taking of what became a 92 percent stake in the company, the deal’s high interest rates and the funneling of billions to the insurer’s Wall Street clients — deprived shareholders of tens of billions of dollars and violated the Fifth Amendment, which prohibits the taking of private property for “public use, without just compensation.”
Maurice R. Greenberg, A.I.G.’s former chief executive, who remains a major investor in the company, filed the lawsuit in 2011 on behalf of fellow shareholders. He has since urged A.I.G. to join the case, a move that could nudge the government into settlement talks.
So basically, the saved drowning victim is suing the lifeguard because the fabric on the lifepreserver gave him a rash. Boo freakin’ hoo, you whiny little dick. No one made you accept the deal.
Newly-minted Senator Elizabeth Warren released a statement:
Beginning in 2008, the federal government poured billions of dollars into AIG to save it from bankruptcy. AIG’s reckless bets nearly crashed our entire economy. Taxpayers across this country saved AIG from ruin, and it would be outrageous for this company to turn around and sue the federal government because they think the deal wasn’t generous enough. Even today, the government provides an ongoing, stealth bailout, propping up AIG with special tax breaks — tax breaks that Congress should stop. AIG should thank American taxpayers for their help, not bite the hand that fed them for helping them out in a crisis.
In other words, if AIG thinks they got too little, they’re delusional. They’re got too much and are still getting too much. Corporate welfare beggars can’t be choosers.