Tag Archive > Matt Taibbi

Occupy Wall Street, Jesse Ventura, Rick Perry, Mike Bloomberg and Matt Taibbi

» 05 November 2011 » In Guide » 1 Comment

Occupy Wall Street, Jesse Ventura, Rick Perry, Mike Bloomberg and Matt Taibbi

I had the pleasure recently of taking a break from the nightlife of Soho and attend Occupy Wall Street.

Taibbi on Imus: Occupy Wall Street

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JESSE VENTURA ATTENDS OCCUPY PROTEST

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Rick Perry: The Best Little Whore In Texas

Early morning in a nearly filled corporate ballroom at the Cobb Energy Centre, a second-tier event stadium on the outskirts of Atlanta. It’s late September, and a local conservative think tank is hosting a get-together with Rick Perry, whose front-runner comet at the time is still just slightly visible in the bottom of the sky. I’ve put away five cups of coffee trying to stay awake through a series of monotonous speeches about Georgia highway and port reform, waiting for my chance to lay eyes on the Next Big Thing in person.

By the time Perry shows up, I’m jazzed and ready for history. You always want to remember the first time you see the possible next president in person. But as every young person knows, the first time is not always a pleasant experience. Perry lumbers onstage looking exceedingly well-groomed, but also ashen and exhausted, like a funeral director with a hangover.

In a voice so subdued and halting that I think he must be sick, he launches into his speech, which consists of the following elements: a halfhearted football joke about Texas A&M that would have embarrassed a true fan like George W. Bush, worn bromides about liberals creating a nanny state, a few lines about jobs in Texas, and a promise to repeal “as much of Obamacare as I can” on his first day in the White House.

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Bank Customers Flee to CUs

An estimated 650,000 consumers have closed their bank accounts and opted for credit union membership over the past four weeks, according to CUNA, bringing the approach to Saturday’s Bank Transfer Day to a crescendo.

In a survey of 5,000 of its credit union members CUNA estimates that at least 650,000 consumers across the nation have joined credit unions since Sept. 29, the day Bank of America unveiled its now-rescinded $5 monthly debit card fee. Also during that time, CUNA estimates that credit unions have added $4.5 billion in new savings accounts, likely from the new members and existing members shifting their funds.

Source

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Wall Street Isn’t Winning – It’s Cheating

I was at an event on the Upper East Side last Friday night when I got to talking with a salesman in the media business. The subject turned to Zuccotti Park and Occupy Wall Street, and he was chuckling about something he’d heard on the news.

“I hear [Occupy Wall Street] has a CFO,” he said. “I think that’s funny.”

“Okay, I’ll bite,” I said. “Why is that funny?”

“Well, I heard they’re trying to decide what bank to put their money in,” he said, munching on hors d’oeuvres. “It’s just kind of ironic.”

Oh, Christ, I thought. He’s saying the protesters are hypocrites because they’re using banks. I sighed.

“Listen,” I said, “where else are you going to put three hundred thousand dollars? A shopping bag?”

“Well,” he said, “it’s just, their protests are all about… You know…”

“Dude,” I said. “These people aren’t protesting money. They’re not protesting banking. They’re protesting corruption on Wall Street.”

“Whatever,” he said, shrugging.

These nutty criticisms of the protests are spreading like cancer. Earlier that same day, I’d taped a TV segment on CNN with Will Cain from the National Review, and we got into an argument on the air. Cain and I agreed about a lot of the problems on Wall Street, but when it came to the protesters, we disagreed on one big thing.

Read more:

Click Here for Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History

My Advice to the Occupy Wall Street Protesters

I’ve been down to “Occupy Wall Street” twice now, and I love it. The protests building at Liberty Square and spreading over Lower Manhattan are a great thing, the logical answer to the Tea Party and a long-overdue middle finger to the financial elite. The protesters picked the right target and, through their refusal to disband after just one day, the right tactic, showing the public at large that the movement against Wall Street has stamina, resolve and growing popular appeal.

But… there’s a but. And for me this is a deeply personal thing, because this issue of how to combat Wall Street corruption has consumed my life for years now, and it’s hard for me not to see where Occupy Wall Street could be better and more dangerous. I’m guessing, for instance, that the banks were secretly thrilled in the early going of the protests, sure they’d won round one of the messaging war.

Why? Because after a decade of unparalleled thievery and corruption, with tens of millions entering the ranks of the hungry thanks to artificially inflated commodity prices, and millions more displaced from their homes by corruption in the mortgage markets, the headline from the first week of protests against the financial-services sector was an old cop macing a quartet of college girls.

Read more:

Click Here for Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History

Mike Bloomberg’s Marie Antoinette Moment

“I hear your complaints,” Bloomberg said. “Some of them are totally unfounded. It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis. It was, plain and simple, congress who forced everybody to go and give mortgages to people who were on the cusp. Now, I’m not saying I’m sure that was terrible policy, because a lot of those people who got homes still have them and they wouldn’t have gotten them without that.”

To me, this is Michael Bloomberg’s Marie Antoinette moment, his own personal “Let Them Eat Cake” line. This one series of comments allows us to see under his would-be hip centrist Halloween mask and look closely at the corrupt, arrogant aristocrat underneath.

Occupy Wall Street has not yet inspired many true villains outside of fringe characters like Anthony Bologna. But Bloomberg, with this preposterous schlock about congress forcing banks to lend to poor people, may yet make himself the face of the 1%’s rank intellectual corruption.

This whole notion that the financial crisis was caused by government attempts to create an “ownership society” and make mortgages more available to low-income (and particularly minority) borrowers has been pushed for some time by dingbats like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, who often point to laws like the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act as signature events in the crash drama.

Well, you know what, Mike Bloomberg? FUCK YOU. People are not protesting for their own entertainment, you asshole. They’re protesting because millions of people were robbed, by your best friends incidentally, and they want their money back. And you’re not everybody’s Dad, so stop acting like you are.

Read more:

Jesse Ventura SLAMS FOX NEWS

The Inevitable Has Happened: Occupy Foreclosures

Last night Occupy Oakland’s General Assembly did something that is likely to catch on with occupations across the country.

They voted to encourage the occupation of foreclosed properties across their city. After all, the bursting of the property bubble is part of why they’re on the streets right now.

There is a movement similar to this under the overall Occupy umbrella, It’s called Occupy Vacant Properties, and it has been most visible in San Francisco, where families are even reclaiming their old homes post-foreclosures.

Read more:

The Rest is Up to You…

Michael Porfirio Mason
AKA The Peoples Champ
AKA GFK, Jr.
AKA The Sly, Slick and the Wicked
AKA The Voodoo Child
The Guide to Getting More out of Life

http://www.thegmanifesto.com

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Matt Taibbi, The Real Housewives of Wall Street, Naughty Nomad and Fidel Castro

» 19 April 2011 » In money, People » 1 Comment

Matt Taibbi, The Real Housewives of Wall Street, Naughty Nomad and Fidel Castro

Another good article by Matt Taibbi:

Click Here for Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America by Matt Taibbi

The Real Housewives of Wall Street

America has two national budgets, one official, one unofficial. The official budget is public record and hotly debated: Money comes in as taxes and goes out as jet fighters, DEA agents, wheat subsidies and Medicare, plus pensions and bennies for that great untamed socialist menace called a unionized public-sector workforce that Republicans are always complaining about. According to popular legend, we’re broke and in so much debt that 40 years from now our granddaughters will still be hooking on weekends to pay the medical bills of this year’s retirees from the IRS, the SEC and the Department of Energy.

Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?

Most Americans know about that budget. What they don’t know is that there is another budget of roughly equal heft, traditionally maintained in complete secrecy. After the financial crash of 2008, it grew to monstrous dimensions, as the government attempted to unfreeze the credit markets by handing out trillions to banks and hedge funds. And thanks to a whole galaxy of obscure, acronym-laden bailout programs, it eventually rivaled the “official” budget in size — a huge roaring river of cash flowing out of the Federal Reserve to destinations neither chosen by the president nor reviewed by Congress, but instead handed out by fiat by unelected Fed officials using a seemingly nonsensical and apparently unknowable methodology.

Click Here for Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America by Matt Taibbi

Now, following an act of Congress that has forced the Fed to open its books from the bailout era, this unofficial budget is for the first time becoming at least partially a matter of public record. Staffers in the Senate and the House, whose queries about Fed spending have been rebuffed for nearly a century, are now poring over 21,000 transactions and discovering a host of outrages and lunacies in the “other” budget. It is as though someone sat down and made a list of every individual on earth who actually did not need emergency financial assistance from the United States government, and then handed them the keys to the public treasure. The Fed sent billions in bailout aid to banks in places like Mexico, Bahrain and Bavaria, billions more to a spate of Japanese car companies, more than $2 trillion in loans each to Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, and billions more to a string of lesser millionaires and billionaires with Cayman Islands addresses. “Our jaws are literally dropping as we’re reading this,” says Warren Gunnels, an aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. “Every one of these transactions is outrageous.”

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Click Here for Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America by Matt Taibbi

Castro resigns from Cuba party leadership

Fidel Castro confirmed he had resigned from the top leadership of the Cuba Communist Party in an article published Tuesday, after the party approved a raft of economic reforms.

“Raul knew that I would not accept a formal role in the party today,” Mr Castro said in an article on the Cubadebate.cu portal, referring to his brother Raul and his own absence from the party’s new Central Committee, elected on Monday.

Mr Castro, 84, had served as first secretary in the Central Committee of the party – which underpins the country’s communist government – since the party’s creation in 1965.

He said he had handed over the functions of the party head to Raul when he ceded power to his brother because of his own declining health in 2006, though he retained the first secretary title.

Source

Click Here for Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America by Matt Taibbi

Interview with Naughty Nomad by LatinStylez. This guy is the real deal.

You’re quite the traveler! What made you want to start traveling? How many countries have you been to?
I’ve been to 58 countries now, including Antarctica and a few self-proclaimed republics. It all started on my trip to Antarctica when I was 18. It was the best experience of my life. In was then I found my vocation – to vacation. Since I was a little kid I always dreamed about being an explorer. The trip rekindled that passion. Now I refuse to accept an alternative destiny, at least in the medium term.

What was the most interesting country you’ve traveled to and why?
Ethiopia. I could talk all day about it… the women, the culture, the history, the vibe… Let’s just say it’s a very special place for me. I’ll have to dedicate a whole post to it; I couldn’t do it justice in this space. Second place would have to be the Philippines – it’s a sexual playground.

Source

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The Rest is Up to You…

Michael Porfirio Mason
AKA The Peoples Champ
AKA GFK, Jr.
AKA The Sly, Slick and the Wicked
AKA The Voodoo Child
The Guide to Getting More out of Life

http://www.thegmanifesto.com

GHOSTFACE KILLAH feat. GZA & KILLAH PRIEST – Purified Thoughts

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Jim Rogers, Custom Suits, Wynn Las Vegas, Drug Wars, Jesse Ventura, Online Gambling and Steve Wynn Again

» 15 April 2011 » In Crime, People, Travel » 2 Comments

Jim Rogers, Custom Suits, Wynn Las Vegas, Drug Wars, Jesse Ventura, Online Gambling and Steve Wynn Again

Undisclosed Location, South America -

Jim Rogers says:

Q. Given that kind of outlook, where are you investing in China?

Jim Rogers. The only thing I’m buying in China is the RMB. I can’t just pick up the phone and buy millions of RMB as you know, but when I can buy more RMB, I do so legally. I’m not buying Chinese shares. I would like to buy Chinese shares when they collapse. I don’t know when the next collapse will come, but there’s always a collapse in every country, so I would buy more. My view toward China is different from any other investment. I buy these shares, and I plan to hold onto them for my grandchildren – my children, anyway. I hope they own them for their grandchildren, because I’m convinced that China will be the great country of the 21st century.

Source

Adventure Capitalist: The Ultimate Road Trip

Jacket (Not) Required

As dining rooms fill with T-shirt- and Converse-clad social networkers, is dressing up the new way to stand out?

Over the past several years, the dress codes abided and enforced at those ceremonies of formality and occasion, at everywhere from fine-dining restaurants to evening soirées, have become mostly unspoken, unwritten or loosened like so many Hermès ties. And just as these rules—that for so many years were out of favor—disappear, a new generation of formality-loving dandies is choosing (not being told) to dress up.

Some say the casual-Friday-everyday mandate came from the top: the White House. When President Obama took office in 2009, he quickly declared the end of George W. Bush’s jacket-and-tie requirement for staffers and the policy of no jeans, sneakers, miniskirts, tank tops or flip-flops for visitors.

Now, from Manhattan to L.A., the majority of the iconic old-school restaurants that once mandated jackets and ties for men have replaced “required” with “requested.” At the iconic Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel—a second home to Hollywood’s elite since 1912—the once strictly enforced dress code is now “no tank-tops after 10 p.m.” “A few years ago, we had a ‘no-baseball-caps’ policy after 7 p.m.,” said a Polo Lounge manager, “but after Steven Spielberg was turned away for wearing one, we dropped the policy, like, the next day.” Other proper-attire outposts such as Houston’s Da Marco and Baltimore’s The Prime Rib have also recently replaced their jacket-and-tie requirements, with “business casual” encouraged. Some mainstays are simply opening their doors entirely to the sportswear-favoring public.

These establishments tip their fedoras to many of the old haunts that have now eased their rules—and to some that have not. At the 105-year-old New Orleans restaurant Galatoire’s, a weathered plaque on the edifice reads: “Proper Attire Required: Jackets after 5 p.m. and All Day Sunday; Long Pants for Lunch Tues.-Sun.” And that’s the way it will stay, according to John Georges, the principal owner of the French Creole cuisine stronghold. “New Orleans is a town of traditions, with deep respect for them,” he said. “We’re not going to change because of the needs of out-of-towners, or because of the dressing trends of the day,” Mr. Georges said. “If you stick to your principles it pays off—in whatever economy.” In other words, some things never go out of style. A point that will certainly hit home as a new generation of wing-tipped Taleses and Wolfes hit the town, showing everyone how it’s done, again.

Source via LE PARVENUE

It is no secret that I have mad love for Galatoire’s.

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Vegas Strip Revenues Fall; Wynn Fully Valued?

Revenue on the Las Vegas strip declined for the fourth straight month in February, the Gaming Control Board reported on Friday. On a year-over-year basis, revenue fell 9.6% in the month, against a 33% gain the previous year. Because the comp was so difficult, analysts didn’t think the result was awful, but they considered some numbers troubling.

The biggest culprit? Analysts are blaming baccarat, which more than doubled (in terms of revenue) last year as Chinese New Year fell in mid-February. Baccarat revenues fell 31% on the strip this February, when the Chinese New Year fell early in the month, the gaming board said. Revenue from table games excluding baccarat actually rose 2.7%.

“Today’s numbers are disappointing,” wrote Hudson Securities analyst Robert LaFleur. “During 4Q10 earnings season we heard commentary that Chinese New Year was very strong. While, drop was basically flat and the comp was tough the strong growth in baccarat that had been sustaining the Strip through much of the downturn appears to be evaporating.”

Source

Its no secret I like Melco Crown Entertainment MPEL.

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The drug war hits Central America

Organised crime is moving south from Mexico into a bunch of small countries far too weak to deal with it

FOR most of the 20th century, the small countries of Central America were a backwater, a tropical playground for dictators and adventurers. In the 1970s and 1980s they turned briefly into a violent cockpit of the cold war as Marxist-inspired guerrillas battled US-backed tyrants. Places like El Salvador and Nicaragua generated daily headlines around the world and bitter partisan battles in Washington. When the cold war ended, peace and democracy prevailed and Central America slipped back into oblivion. But its underlying problems—which include poverty, torpid economies, weak states, youth gangs, corruption and natural disasters—never went away.

Now violence is escalating once more in Central America, for a new reason. Two decades ago the United States Coast Guard shut down the Caribbean cocaine route, so the trade shifted to Mexico. Mexico has started to fight back; and its continuing offensive against the drugs mafias has pushed them down into Central America.

Whatever the weaknesses of the Mexican state, it is a Leviathan compared with the likes of Guatemala or Honduras. Large areas of Guatemala—including some of its prisons—are out of the government’s control; and, despite the efforts of its president, the government is infiltrated by the mafia. The countries of Central America’s northern triangle (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) are now among the most violent places on earth, deadlier even than most conventional war zones (see article). So weak are their judicial systems that in Guatemala, for example, only one murder in 20 is punished.

Source

Good interview with Jesse Ventura:

And News Just in:

U.S. Government Moves To Shut Down World’s Biggest Online Poker Companies

Federal prosecutors today unsealed a sweeping indictment against Isai Scheinberg and Raymond Bitar, founders of the world’s biggest online poker companies, and moved to try to shut down their businesses.

The indictment filed by Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, charges Scheinberg, the founder of PokerStars, and Bitar, the founder of Full Tilt Poker, as well as nine other individuals, accusing them of operating illegal gambling businesses. Federal prosecutors also filed a civil lawsuit seeking $3 billion in civil money laundering penalties, alleging the online poker companies disguised money they received from U.S. poker players as payments to online merchants selling jewelry and golf balls.

The U.S. Attorney in Manhattan moved to try to shut down the online poker business in America by seizing five Internet domain names, including pokerstars.com and fulltiltpoker.com, used by the three main companies facilitating online poker games in the U.S. In addition, a federal judge issued a restraining order against 76 bank accounts in 14 countries utilized by those online poker firms.

Source

From what I understand, if you had a bankroll on any of those sites, your bankroll is cooked.

Brutal.

This is really going to piss a lot of people off.

America – really cracking down on sh*t.

Get your exit strategies ready boys.

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Looks like even Steve Wynn got wacked:

Billionaire Steve Wynn Makes Big Online Poker Bet With PokerStars

In a dramatic move that will forever change the online poker landscape, billionaire Steve Wynn has announced he is joining up with PokerStars, the world’s biggest online gaming company, to establish a strategic relationship that aims to regulate online poker in the U.S.

“We are convinced that the lack of regulation of Internet gaming within the US must change,” said Wynn, chief executive of Las Vegas casino company Wynn Resorts, in a statement. “We must recognize that this activity is occurring and that law enforcement does not have the tools to stop it.”

And

How Casino Mogul Steve Wynn Went All In On Online Poker and PokerStars

Nearly two years ago billionaire Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn met Isai Scheinberg, the founder of PokerStars, the world’s biggest online gaming firm, for the first time. Scheinberg generally avoids traveling to the U.S., but the meeting took place on Wynn’s boat while it was anchored in the Mediterranean Sea. Over a three-hour lunch, Scheinberg tried to convince Wynn that the two of them should work together to regulate online poker in the U.S. with an eye toward setting up a joint venture.

It was a tough sell. Wynn had for years opposed online gaming. He was not a big user of technology. When Wynn needed information from the Internet he would just ask his secretary to find it. He also thought it would be tough to regulate online poker. “If the Internet people got in trouble it would bring the wrath of the government down on us in the live gaming community out here in Las Vegas,” Wynn recalls thinking prior to the meeting. “I didn’t see the business opportunity, I just saw problems.”

During their lunch Wynn found Scheinberg to be quiet and reserved, carefully precise with his language and paying close attention to detail. Still, Wynn didn’t take the meeting too seriously. He did, however, take up Scheinberg’s offer to learn more in the ensuing months about how PokerStars conducted business. Wynn says what he learned shocked him, especially the company’s ability to identify any abnormal activity on its web site and stop it. “I only had misconceptions, I had no idea on a number of issues,” says Wynn. “They are highly regulated [in Europe] and I found out they had 1,300 employees and the average salary is $110,000 because they are so intellectual in the design of the programs. One of my concerns was about young people playing. It turns out they have more control about young people playing than we do.”

Source

How to make $729k Buying & Selling Websites – Extreme Website Flipping

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The Rest is Up to You…

Michael Porfirio Mason
AKA The Peoples Champ
AKA GFK, Jr.
AKA The Sly, Slick and the Wicked
AKA The Voodoo Child
The Guide to Getting More out of Life

http://www.thegmanifesto.com

Elliot Spizer and Matt Taibbi “Justice Department Has No Appetite To Take ANY Cases Against Wall Street Executives”

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Griftopia by Matt Taibbi Book Review

» 28 December 2010 » In Dope, Guide, money » 8 Comments

Griftopia by Matt Taibbi Book Review

Click Here for Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America by Matt Taibbi

It’s no secret that I enjoy reading Matt Taibbi’s Rolling Stone articles so I copped his new book Griftopia and just finished reading it, which is subtitled: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America.

Taibbi’s basic view is that regular American’s are “fighting over the same 5-10 percent swatch of undecided voters, blues versus reds. Instead, the parties should be broken down into haves and have-nots – a couple of obnoxious bankers on the Upper East Side running for office against 280 million pissed-off credit card and mortgage customers.” And: “When the Republicans win elections, their voters think they’ve struck a blow against big government. And when a Democratic hero like Barack Obama wins, his supporters think they’ve won a great victory for tolerance and diversity. Even I thought that.” (Even I thought that also) And this has created a paradise for high-class thieves.

He continues: “There are really two Americas, one for the grifter class and one for everyboy else. In everybody-else land, the world of small businesses and wage-earning employees, the government is something to be avoided…In the grifter world, however, government is a lavish lapdog that the financial companies that will be the major players…use as a tool for making money.”

In the first chapter, he ginsu’s Rick Santelli, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachman and Larry Kudlow among others. He saves the greatest disses for The Tea Party (which he actually gives a balanced critique of) and explains how they are simply a pawn for the elites (“A loose definition of the Tea Party might be fifteen million pissed-ff white people sent chasing after Mexicans on Medicaid by the small handful of banks and investment companies who advertise on Fox and CNBC.”). The elites have confused the Tea Party members and Taibbi drops this gem: “The insurmountable hurdle for so-called populist movements is having the nerve to attack the rich instead of the poor. Even after the rich almost destroyed the entire golobal economy through their sheer unrestrained greed and stupidity, we can’t shake the peasant mentality that says we should go easy on them…” which is an underlying theme in The G Manifesto.

In the second chapter “The Biggest Asshole in the Universe”, Taibbi rips apart Alan Greenspan and Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (which I have never read). He then proceeds to break down the Mortgage Scam, The Commodities Bubble, an amazing chapter on Sovereign Wealth funds and the selling off of America, the Health Care reform bait-and-switch and the American Bubble Machine.

Taibbi is a little shaky on his explanation of the commodities markets, but his conclusions are always dead on.

This is a pretty amazing and humorous book that explains what has been happening in America written by one of the best writers of our generation.

Read it if you want to know what time it is.

Click Here for Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America

The Rest is Up to You…

Michael Porfirio Mason
AKA The Peoples Champ
AKA GFK, Jr.
AKA The Sly, Slick and the Wicked
AKA The Voodoo Child
The Guide to Getting More out of Life

http://www.thegmanifesto.com

Righteous Seed – Dom Pachino

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Matt Taibbi: Recent Rolling Stone Articles

» 14 November 2010 » In Dope, Guide, People » 5 Comments

Matt Taibbi: Recent Rolling Stone Articles

“When they rob from the poor and give to the rich, they call it paying taxes you living legit.

If you rob from the rich and give to the poor, you got to go to jail, because you are breaking the law.” - Papoose

Some recent articles by Matt Taibbi:

Matt Taibbi: Courts Helping Banks Screw Over Homeowners

Click Here for Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America

The foreclosure lawyers down in Jacksonville had warned me, but I was skeptical. They told me the state of Florida had created a special super-high-speed housing court with a specific mandate to rubber-stamp the legally dicey foreclosures by corporate mortgage pushers like Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan Chase. This “rocket docket,” as it is called in town, is presided over by retired judges who seem to have no clue about the insanely complex financial instruments they are ruling on — securitized mortgages and laby rinthine derivative deals of a type that didn’t even exist when most of them were active members of the bench. Their stated mission isn’t to decide right and wrong, but to clear cases and blast human beings out of their homes with ultimate velocity. They certainly have no incentive to penetrate the profound criminal mysteries of the great American mortgage bubble of the 2000s, perhaps the most complex Ponzi scheme in human history — an epic mountain range of corporate fraud in which Wall Street megabanks conspired first to collect huge numbers of subprime mortgages, then to unload them on unsuspecting third parties like pensions, trade unions and insurance companies (and, ultimately, you and me, as taxpayers) in the guise of AAA-rated investments. Selling lead as gold, shit as Chanel No. 5, was the essence of the booming international fraud scheme that created most all of these now-failing home mortgages.

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Exclusive Excerpt: America on Sale, From Matt Taibbi’s ‘Griftopia’

In the summer of 2009 I got a call from an acquaintance who worked in the Middle East. He was a young American who worked for something called a sovereign wealth fund, a giant state-owned pile of money that swims around the world in search of things to buy.

Click Here for Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America

Sovereign wealth funds, or SWFs, are huge in the Middle East. Most of the bigger oil-producing states have massive SWFs that act as cash repositories (with holdings often kept in dollars) for the revenues generated by, for instance, state-owned oil companies. Unlike the central banks of most Western countries, whose main function is to accumulate reserves in an attempt to stabilize the domestic currency, most SWFs have a mission to invest aggressively and generate huge long-term returns. Imagine the biggest and most aggressive hedge fund on Wall Street, then imagine that that same fund is fifty or sixty times bigger and outside the reach of the SEC or any other major regulatory authority, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what an SWF is.

My buddy was a young guy who’d come up working on the derivatives desk of one of the more dastardly American investment banks. After a few years of that he decided to take a step up morally and flee to the Middle East to go to work advising a bunch of sheiks on how to spend their oil billions.

Aside from the hot weather, it wasn’t such a bad gig. But on one of his trips home, we met in a restaurant and he mentioned that the work had gotten a little, well, weird.

“I was in a meeting where a bunch of American investment bankers were trying to sell us the Pennsylvania Turnpike,” he said. “They even had a slide show. They were showing these Arabs what a nice highway we had for sale, what the toll booths looked like . . .”

I dropped my fork. “The Pennsylvania Turnpike is for sale?”

He nodded. “Yeah,” he said. “We didn’t do the deal, though. But, you know, there are some other deals that have gotten done. Or didn’t you know about this?”

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Matt Taibbi on the Tea Party

It’s taken three trips to Kentucky, but I’m finally getting my Tea Party epiphany exactly where you’d expect: at a Sarah Palin rally. The red-hot mama of American exceptionalism has flown in to speak at something called the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, a gospel-music hoedown in a giant convention center filled with thousands of elderly white Southerners. Palin — who earlier this morning held a closed-door fundraiser for Rand Paul, the Tea Party champion running for the U.S. Senate — is railing against a GOP establishment that has just seen Tea Partiers oust entrenched Republican hacks in Delaware and New York. The dingbat revolution, it seems, is nigh.

Click Here for Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America

“We’re shaking up the good ol’ boys,” Palin chortles, to the best applause her aging crowd can muster. She then issues an oft-repeated warning (her speeches are usually a tired succession of half-coherent one-liners dumped on ravenous audiences like chum to sharks) to Republican insiders who underestimated the power of the Tea Party Death Star. “Buck up,” she says, “or stay in the truck.”

Stay in what truck? I wonder. What the hell does that even mean?

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Taibbi’s Takedown of ‘Vampire Squid’ Goldman Sachs

The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. In fact, the history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled dry American empire, reads like a Who’s Who of Goldman Sachs graduates.

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Click Here for Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America

The Rest is Up to You…

Michael Porfirio Mason
AKA The Peoples Champ
AKA GFK, Jr.
AKA The Sly, Slick and the Wicked
AKA The Voodoo Child
The Guide to Getting More out of Life

http://www.thegmanifesto.com

Dom Pachino – The Soil

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