Busted: Bankers and The Global Economy

August 1, 2010

Digital Privacy Once Again in the Air

Did you know that a proposed amendment to U.S. surveillance law leaves even lawmakers guessing on privacy implications for internet users? Now why would this be? Invasion of privacy in the United States has been ongoing since Bush and 911. With this amendment, many fear the unlimited reach of the FBI where email and internet surfing are concerned. The royal question is being credited against the Obama administration over the responsibility of the lawmakers in the Senate and House. Last I heard, the Senate and House had little to do with the President. Since the Senate and House have more to say with the construction and final wording of this amendment, clearly a visit to your local lawmakers is in order if you care about such things.

Anyone that has been keeping track of digital privacy and security knows that A.T.&T. is already working in collaboration with the federal government to store and rake through all the data that comes into and leaves the States. Suddenly, fear is rampant about the FBI having free access to all that data without a court order, judge approval or oversight. Suspicion or wrongdoing doesn’t enter the picture, just being relevant to an intelligence or terrorism investigation. This amounts to a free season on personal information, as well as all that spam that you get in your email daily. In effect, little has changed in technical terms.

The FBI has already engaged in widespread and serious misuse of its privilege so far. They illegally collect data from both  Americans and foreigners, based on a report by the Justice Department’s inspector general that was concluded in 2007. FBI officials issued 192,499 national security letter requests from 2003 to 2006.

The FBI and other internal agencies like the NSA, have come to rely on free access to your personal email and the like. They have free access to information from telephone providers, banks, credit bureau and business, already holding wide powers where personal information is concerned.

The law already requires Internet service providers to produce the records. The want the power to get whatever details they need from internet sources without litigation or preview by judges. A few lawmakers like Patrick Leahy of Vermont have suddenly become concerned about privacy issues and civil liberties, as if these have not already been violated. It’s all about having the necessary tools to “keep Americans safe.”

If you are wondering why anyone should be concerned, all you to do is to examine the vagueness that “law” is written with. The interpretation is often left to the user or implementing agency to decide. Proponents of this amendment say that it is merely clarifying what Congress intended back in 1993. Oh really?

Since a 2008 justice department opinion, some providers have refused access to internet records and web surfing histories. What do you think? If you aren’t watching what you say in your emails and where you browse, you might think twice.

November 16, 2008

Big U.S. Bailout Secrets, No Supervision

bailout game show giveaway

bailout game show giveaway

The Troubled Asset Relief Program, originally a $700 billion bailout program mandated by Congress was to be conducted with transparency and oversight. That hasn’t happened and none of the oversight posts have been filled. To make matters worse, the Federal Reserve is now showing $2 trillion in additional loans, which apparently have gone to the central bankers bottom line.

Disclosure has been a joke in a solution that was declared to be sound and manageable. Instead, there has been no accountability and a desire to change plans in the middle of the bailout game by Henry Paulson and his team. Most of Congress seems unconcerned.

House Rep Barney Frank gave the thumbs up revealing, “I talked to Geithner, and he was pretty sure that they’re OK.” Who is okay? Certainly the Federal Reserve is very okay as they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Who is Barney Frank talking about? Revealing the collateral for the $2 trillion in loans would give away banking secrets, so nobody is talking.

The reality is that the Federal Reserve is taking bad debt from the banking industry and giving itself huge sums of cash, since it still holds all the loot. It’s profit taking time in New York City. Perhaps this is the money to pay for all those Ameros that the U.S. just sent to China to pay for their earthquake rebuilding project, but that’s only conspiracy talk. ~ E. Manning

November 13, 2008

Bush Continues to Drag Heals on Change

Today at the Manhattan institute in New York City, the home of Wall Street, George Bush defended the nation’s free enterprise system of business as the cure for the global financial crisis rather than the cause. “Government intervention is not a cure-all,” a hint that he is not going to sway to pressure for what he clearly sees as restrictive rules while the majority of world leaders see a new protective financial architecture that will save the world. The change is all about power.

george-bush-2008“Our aim should not be more government, it should be smarter government.” President Bush is clearly trying to straddle the fence on the financial crisis. He sees governments share the blame while advocating tougher accounting rules and updated processes. It would seem that George Bush wants the world to remain the same. At the very least, he is doing a good job pretending.

“In the wake of the financial crisis, voices from the left and right are equating the free enterprise system with greed, exploitation and failure.” George Bush has it right. The world and much of the nation’s smaller businesses see that having allowing the takeover of the nation’s and much of globe’s financial fortunes has led to the failure that he indicated. Few people are damning all business, just the kinds of businesses that ruled the economic engine and insured the future for billions.

“The crisis was not a failure of the free market system. And the answer is not to try to reinvent that system.” The real problem resides in the fear within government. Because of the fear of change and loss of control, the U.S. government has bailed out business that should have met its’ own truth without invention. Now that the Bush administration has intervened, the failure to continue to intervene becomes what might appear to be an eternal conundrum.

Europeans want a pledge for concrete changes in just 100 days. The International Monetary Fund said economies of the U.S., European Union and Japan were subject to contract in 2009 as part of the first annual decline by the advanced economies since World War II. You’d think the world was over. However, this is an opportunity for change and new control measures. It just so happens that many leaders are gung ho about a change.

No one is openly suggesting that the free-enterprise business system change. What is being suggested is that the means of oversight and structure must change regarding banking and finance. Banking and finance is not the whole of the business world. More transparency and workability are needed, yet the U.S. finds itself resistant to that. That means that government must change, which is where the real concern and fear exists. The U.S. government likes the control system just like it is. Even so, the propensity for upcoming change is part of the growing digital economy. There is an effort to force the change. ~ E. Manning

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