When it comes to corruption, cronyism and general muppetry in Washington D.C., the only real question is 'where does one start?' Yet one has to start somewhere to conclude with a list of the ten most corrupt and despicable marionettes in D.C. Which is precisely what JudicialWatch has done in its annual compilation of the "Top 10 Most Corrupt Politicians in Washington D.C." for 2011. And confirming what everyone knows, that both the left and right are merely irrelevant names for the same general social affliction, or should we call it by its true name - wealth pillage - the split is even between democrats and republicans. In no particular order, the winners of 2011 are...
It appears the GOP candidates are dropping like flies: first that one crazy guy, then Cain, and now... Mitt Romney? According to a Boston Globe article, paraphrased by Reuters, the GOP frontrunner (or is that second after Gingrich now: nobody really knows any more), spent $100,000, not of his own money but state funds, to "replace computers in his office at the end of his term as governor of Massachusetts in 2007 as part of an unprecedented effort to keep his records secret. When Romney left the governorship of Massachusetts, 11 of his aides bought the hard drives of their state-issued computers to keep for themselves. Also before he left office, the governor's staff had emails and other electronic communications by Romney's administration wiped from state servers, state officials say. Those actions erased much of the internal documentation of Romney's four-year tenure as governor, which ended in January 2007. Precisely what information was erased is unclear." Odd: almost as if he had something to hide... Yet something tells us the other side of those emailed correspondences will still be there: alive and kicking, somewhere on the archived servers of Bain Capital, and a few prominent health insurance companies (and of course Goldman Sachs, because Goldman Sachs is everywhere). Naturally, one would need a subpoena to get those. And for that one would need a reason to assume something is illegal. Luckily, wiping your hard disks while a servant of the people is perfectly normal in a banana republic. Now just who does Ron Paul have to murder in broad daylight while having sex with Snooki before the general media finally decides he is worthy of a shot at this whole farce?
What can we say: it would be flagrantly criminal if the most incompetent and corrupt organization in the world was allowed to be unaccountable to anyone, least of all the US citizen. Our respect to Senators Leahy, Cornyn and Kaufman and Grassley for doing what is so obviously right, we are stunned only four senators ended up sponsoring legislation proposed by the Senate Judiciary Committee to strike the FOIA exemption for the SEC. Full press release below.
Just because being the most corrupt organization in the world was not enough, the SEC decided, courtesy of Donk (aka Frankendodd), that it is beyond accountability to anyone, even the constitution, after it was recently made public that the world's most incompetent and bribed regulators will continue watching kiddie porn, instead of regulatoring, only do so in complete opacity from now on, as in the future the SEC would be exempt from FOIA responses. And with retail investors saying "no more" to trading stocks in a rigged casino that shares the same level of integrity as its regulator, and is programmed to generate profits for the house and the computers on 99.9% of trades (except of course for those newsletter and subscription peddlers who catch every single inflection point ever, and can predict what the market will do not only tomorrow but a week, a month and a year from now) the market will soon be a ghost town. Recent attempts by Senator Kaufman to bring some honesty to stocks have so far been met with failure as theSisyphean task is far too great for any one individual. Which is why we are glad to learn that Ron Paul has joined those few who still hold the long-forgotten dream that the market should be fair and impartial for all (and yes, that means eliminating discount window access for the chosen few Bank Holding Company hedge funds out there) and has introduced the SEC Transparency Act of 2010 (HR 5970), a bill designed to force greater transparency in the Securities and Exchange Commission. Little by little, every single "intervention" by the world's two most corruptpoliticians is being overturned: first the rating agency accountability provision which nearly destroyed the shadow market with a complete lockup of all new ABS issuance, and now the SEC's exclusion from that simple concept known as "checks and balances." Soon FinReg will finally be exposed for the fraud it has been since its inception - the much touted Obama financial regulatory reform is nothing but a scam designed to allow Wall Street to steel what middle class wealth remains faster, bolder and in ever greater amounts, as the point where the system breaks is now months away, and the Wall Street-DC joint venture is all too aware. As a result all must be done to allow theft to be bigger than ever, all the while the "regulator" is no longer held responsible for looking the other way.
UK Treasury Relases FOIA On Gordon Brown's 1998 Gold Sale, Catches Tony Blair Lying, Questions US Treasury's Good Delivery StandardsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/01/2010 00:31 -0400
One of the bigger stories in the UK over the past several days, has been the increasing pressure on Prime Minister Gordon Brown to justify his sale of 395 tons of gold in 17 auctions in the period from 1998 through 2002, when Brown was Chancellor of the Exchequer, a role identical to the one Tim Geithner now performs in the US as Treasury Secretary. The issue is that in the abovementioned period, gold was trading at the rock bottom prices of the past two decades, and as such his rush to sell is estimated to have cost UK taxpayers £6 billion. One reason previously given to Parliament, to explain the transactions from Treasury ministers and Tony Blair was that the sale was made 'on the technical advice of the Bank of England.' Today the UK Treasury has released long-withheld FOIA documents which disprove this claim, and indicate that in fact the BOE was if not completely against selling the bullion then certainly waiting until the price improved. Furthermore, as the Daily Mail reports, "A source close to the Bank of England said last night: 'It was not our
decision. It was their decision and we simply provided technical
advice. Then it was up to them.'" Yet, in light of recent LBMA manipulation revelations by GATA, it was most likely the association itself and its member banks which pressed the then relatively new Chancellor to do something against the interest of his people, potentially with promises of further rank extension in the "public services" arena. So far, they have not disappointed.
And while the question of domestic UK politics is quite relevant, we uncover something very important as pertains to our very own US Treasury, its auctions of gold in 1979, the four-fold surge in gold prices in the 1979-1980 period, and the trampling of the London Good Delivery standard by the US Treasury.
Bloomberg Responds To Fed FOIA Appeal, Blasts Bernanke's "Hyperbolic Speculation" Of Economic CollapseSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/05/2009 18:18 -0400
"The Board’s interests in secrecy are, in fact, aligned with the banks’ interests and are contrary to the public interest. The Board wishes to continue to lend trillions of dollars of public money without oversight or accountability, and the banks wish to continue to reap the benefits of their access to public money without their depositors or shareholders – or the public at large – knowing anything about it...the public has a manifest interest in understanding and evaluating the government’s response to the recent economic crisis, in safeguarding its money, and in knowing whether its government is doling out its money to private entities imprudently." - Bloomberg L.P.
It was immensely refreshing to find an actual probing piece of investigative journalism coming out of Reuters, instead of the traditional regurgitated, opinion-based, fluff-filled, secondary source monologues (we prefer the British spelling) we have become accustomed to seeing out of the Thomson Reuters behemoth. In a rare example of how even the MSM gets it right sometimes, Matt Goldstein has done an admirable job of connecting the dots based on a FOIA request he had submitted to the FDIC, in which the insolvent (as of today) Deposit Insurer has provided Goldstein with a unique glimpse into the daily travails and activities of its boss, Sheila Bair, and how they may have a direct bearing on the future of none other, than a very troubled Chief Executive Officer.
Federal Reserve Finds No Documents at FRBNY Responsive to Bloomberg FOIA Request, Court Grants Emergency Stay ApplicationSubmitted by Res ipsa loquitur on 08/29/2009 10:15 -0400
August 24, 2009 will undoubtedly go down as a day of celebration at Zero Hedge as the thus-far bullet proof Federal Reserve was ordered to produce documents improperly withheld from Bloomberg reporters Mark Pittman and Craig Torres.
Score another one for the little guys.
Our activist friends over at Judicial Watch are just getting started. Recently, they filed a lawsuit against the US Treasury to "obtain records related to evaluation procedures used by the government to determine which financial institutions received funds from TARP. The focus of the inquiry is a potentially iniquitous $12 million cash injection provided to Boston-based OneUnited Bank, at the urging of Barney Frank.
The Treasury has provided a substantial FOIA disclosure packet to the good folks over at Judicial Watch. At this point we are awaiting a similar FOIA response from the Fed, which was requested by Zero Hedge previously and we expect to have it within 1 month.
Zero Hedge recently submitted a FOIA to the Federal Reserve regarding information prepared by Davis Polk and Morgan Stanley in their capacity as legal and financial advisors to the Fed in its negotiations on whether or not to push AIG into bankruptcy. We present their response.
After several months, the FDIC has been kind enough to provide Zero Hedge readers with the information requested on Perella Weinberg's compensation (good to know bank liquidation pays a nice $4.6 million a year), and the balance on the DIF (which is somewhat stale as the FDIC recently reported that information in its quarterly update and Zero Hedge discussed the topic). Under the umbrella of the Freedom Of Information Act, I present the information as received from the FDIC unadulterated.
Judicial Watch, which lucked out majorly on a FOIA request to the Treasury, has received several hundred pages of stunning revelations, among which are that Hank Paulson essentially used the same tactics that he used on Ken Lewis on a group of nine bankers at the October 13 meeting which apportioned government investments to the various "critical" banking institutions.