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by Rayne

Special FDL Book Salon Preview: Chat with FCIC’s Byron Georgiou about FCIC’s Report

3:39 pm in Economy, FDL Book Salon, Financial Crisis, Government by Rayne

FCIC Commissioner Byron Georgiou

Join us for a special FDL Book Salon tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. ET when FDL’s Ed Walker will host a live chat with Financial Crisis Inquiry Commissioner Byron Georgiou. They’ll be discussing the FCIC’s financial crisis report and take your questions on the same.

From Mr. Georgiou’s biography at FCIC’s website:

Byron Georgiou has had a long career in the private and public sector in business, law and government service.

He currently oversees Georgiou Enterprises, with wide ranging interests including the manufacture of a broad range of lithium ion iron phosphate all electric powered vehicles. [...]

Mr. Georgiou has served since 2005 on the advisory board of the Harvard Law School Program on Corporate Governance which hosts the world’s leading blog on corporate governance and financial regulation.

Since 2000, Mr. Georgiou has been affiliated Of Counsel to the national law firm of Robbins, Geller, Rudman & Dowd, the world’s largest plaintiffs’ securities practice, and has spent much of the last decade investigating and civilly prosecuting financial fraud, with leadership roles in the historic litigations on behalf of victimized investors at Enron, WorldCom, Dynegy, AOLTimeWarner, and UnitedHealth.

Mr. Georgiou serves on the FCIC along with Phil Angelides (chairman), Bill Thomas (vice chairman), Brooksley Born, Bob Graham, Keith Hennessey, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Heather Murren, John W. Thompson, and Peter J. Wallison.

You can read a copy of the FCIC’s published conclusions at this link (pdf).

Add this event to your calendar and join us for what should be an enlightening discussion — 2:00 p.m. tomorrow ET at

by Rayne

Foreclosure Fraud: The So-Called Errors Weren’t a Bug but a Feature

8:46 am in Business, Economy, Financial Crisis by Rayne

[Ce n'est pas un bug. (photo: soltenviva via Flickr)]

We’re already hearing a lot of excuses and faulty framing in media reports about foreclosure fraud, not unlike that we’ve heard for years about mortgage fraud. Some of this stems from ignorance, some from willful misunderstanding.

But it’s important for us to understand that the record keeping outcomes found in foreclosure fraud were intentional. They weren’t errors, they weren’t accidents.  . . . Read the rest of this entry →

by Rayne

Watercooler – Why Government Can’t See Our Economic Crisis

7:30 pm in Business, Economy, Financial Crisis by Rayne

Yesterday Jim Moss wrote about increasing poverty in America. It’s a symptom of our country’s economic crisis which continues in spite of the sporadic happy talk about turning a corner and green shoots of new economic growth.

So why can’t the folks inside the Beltway do something about it? Because they don’t hear or see us. They only see and hear people who write big checks and live in neighborhoods like the one above, in Alpine, New Jersey — location of the wealthiest zip code in the country, an area with five lush golf courses within a 10-minute drive.

When you live in a neighborhood with rolling greens and verdant woods, when you can’t see the neighbors unless you try very hard, when seeing the neighbors means running into them on the golf course or as they drive by in their BMW on the way to the clubhouse, well, that’s what shapes your opinion of the world.

Life is good.

And you’ll protect that goodness by writing a check to your favorite member of Congress who’s pushing legislation which ensures you get to keep this plush environ. You’re entitled to it, right? You went to the best schools, you worked your personal network, you slave over a hot phone and a hotter board room table to make your living. Everybody can have this if they just pull up their Hugo Boss bootstraps and buy the best government they can afford.

And during the winters, well, one doesn’t have to give up a thing except a little privacy. But who really minds the view at the neighbor’s Olympic-sized swimming pool at Spring Break in Palm Beach?

How’s things in your neighborhood?

Read the rest of this entry →

by Rayne

Irish Terror Group Targeting Banksters; Will U.S. Politicians Catch a Clue?

9:19 am in Business, Economy, Executive Branch, Financial Crisis, Government, Legislature, Uncategorized by Rayne

Well into last night’s primary elections’ post thread at FDL, commenter sadlyyes left an interesting off-topic excerpt:

Exclusive: Republican terror group vows to resume mainland attacks with banks and bankers now potential targets

Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent, Tuesday 14 September 2010 21.03 BST

Banks and bankers are now potential targets for the Real IRA, leaders of the dissident republican terror group have warned in an exclusive interview with the Guardian. Despite having only 100 activists they also said that targets in England remained a high priority. In an attempt to tap into the intense hostility towards the banks on both sides of the Irish border they branded bankers as “criminals”…

In this little nugget is a message to U.S. politicians of both Democratic and Republican Parties if they choose to read these Irish tea leaves.

The anger against the banksters and the larger financial industry is global in nature, and it’s an anger that both progressives and teabaggers share in common. Impotent rage at banksters taking advantage of the people without recourse will be not be impotent long; it will bubble over and foment into real ugliness.

Ask any of the Tea Party-supported candidates how they feel about the government’s bailout of the financial industry, and you may well get a response which sounds very much like this quote from the IRA:

"Let’s not forget that the bankers are the next-door neighbours of the politicians. Most people can see the picture: the bankers grease the politicians’ palms, the politicians bail out the bankers with public funds, the bankers pay themselves fat bonuses and loan the money back to the public with interest. It’s essentially a crime spree that benefits a social elite at the expense of many millions of victims."

Almost sounds like something a progressive would have written, yes?

Unless the two major parties’ leadership catch the clue train — realizing that it’s wrong to leave citizens disenfranchised and disadvantaged while taking money from banksters and voting for banksters’ interests, ignoring their donors’ unethical and criminal behaviors — party leadership will continue to get surprises on primary and general election days here in the states, and perhaps worse abroad.

[Photo: Mural in Derry, Northern Ireland (source: Jule_Berlin via Flickr)]