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According to the Collins English Dictionary 10th Edition fraud can be defined as: "deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage".[1] In the broadest sense, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation. Defrauding people or entities of money or valuables is a common purpose of fraud, but there have also been fraudulent "discoveries", e.g. in science, to gain prestige rather than immediate monetary gain
*As defined in Wikipedia

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Republican Leaders Are Receiving Greatly Increased Contributions From Wall Street Firms

For Immediate Release

July 26, 2011

Frank Responds to Reports of Campaign Contributions
to Reward Opponents of Financial Reform

WASHINGTON – Congressman Barney Frank today released the following statement in response to press reports that Republican leaders, who have strongly opposed Wall Street reform, are receiving greatly increased campaign contributions from Wall Street firms.  An article published by Bloomberg News states that campaign contributions to House Speaker John Boehner have increased six-fold over the same period in the last election cycle, and that “three of the biggest sources of Boehner’s campaign cash are employees of three Wall Street investment houses.” 

“If anyone still doubts that some on Wall Street yearn for the good old days when the financial services industry could engage in irresponsible and deeply damaging practices without regulation, here is the proof.  Those that oppose the financial reform law and were unable to block it last year are now providing substantial backing to those who are attempting to undermine it.”

“They are funding Republican opponents of financial reform who are proposing to block efforts to prevent price-inflating speculation on food and energy until late 2012 and to gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, effectively putting bank regulators, which have failed miserably in the past, back in charge of consumer protection.  Last week, they proposed to repeal a provision in the financial reform law which holds rating agencies legally liable when they make misstatements in sales prospectuses.  And they want to restrict the amount that is needed by the SEC to protect investors from fraud and abuse.”

“In short, they want to allow the financial services industry to resume its old ways, and some in the industry want to reward them for doing it.  With all the money flooding in we will have a tough battle ahead, but I will not be deterred and I’m ready to fight back.”

Wall Street Helps Boehner Boost Fundraising as House Speaker
July 25, 2011

Since January, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has raised $6.6 million for his campaign committee, six times more than the Ohio Republican received during the same period two years ago when he was the chamber’s minority leader.

Three of the five biggest sources of Boehner’s campaign cash this year are employees of three Wall Street investment houses, a shift from the 2010 election cycle when such contributors weren’t ranked among his top 10 donors.

Employees at the New York hedge fund Paulson & Co. contributed $61,050 to Boehner’s campaign account, more than any other company. New York-based Moore Capital Management LLP employees gave $53,000, while those at Cantor Fitzgerald LP donated $45,000.

No one from any of those companies donated to Boehner for his 2010 re-election campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group that tracks political money.
Republican consultant Eddie Mahe said he had “no doubt” Wall Street has been betting that the House Republican majority would lead the effort to “repeal or at least modify” the revised financial regulations enacted last year.

Armel Leslie, a spokesman for Paulson & Co., Patrick Clifford, a spokesman for Moore Capital, and Bob Hubbell, a spokesman for New York-based Cantor Fitzgerald, all declined to comment on campaign donations.
Republican Opposition
Boehner and House Republicans last year opposed passage of the revamped rules for the financial industry, which was blamed for triggering the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

President Barack Obama signed those new rules into law a year ago this month. Since taking control of the House, the Republican majority has moved to undo parts of the legislation, although the Democratic Senate has prevented major changes.
Boehner received most of the donations from Paulson & Co., Moore Capital and Cantor Fitzgerald in June, the same month the House voted along party lines to cut the budget of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is writing most of the new derivatives rules, and the House Appropriations Committee voted to limit funding for the new consumer protection bureau.

House Republicans have also opposed Democratic efforts to tax carried interest, the share of profits paid to asset managers, as ordinary income rather than at the lower capital gains rate.

Carried Interest

Some Democrats, including Representative Sander Levin of Michigan, are promoting that tax change as part of legislation to reduce the deficit and raise the U.S. debt limit.
Levin’s brother and fellow Michigan Democrat, Senator Carl Levin, endorsed the proposal in a floor speech last month.

“One example of the kind of tax breaks and tax loopholes that we Democrats seek to change is the unconscionable tax break given to hedge fund managers,” he said. “Recognizing carried interest for what it is would increase tax fairness for working Americans who pay their fair share of taxes. They have the right to expect that the wealthy do the same.”

Officials of both Paulson & Co. and Moore Capital sit on the board of directors of the hedge funds’ Washington-based trade group, the Managed Funds Association, which spent $2 million in the first six months of this year lobbying Congress on financial regulations and other issue, according to its lobbying disclosure report.
Cory Fritz, a spokesman for Boehner’s PAC, didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Securities Industry

In 2009-10, the combined giving from the securities industry made it Boehner’s biggest business-sector donor -- with $353,050 in contributions, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group.

Employees in the securities and investment industry, the biggest corporate source of campaign cash for federal candidates, have given 52 percent of their money to Republicans this year, according to the center. Hedge fund employees have given 56 percent to the Republicans.

“There’s no better fundraising strategy than having power, and Boehner obviously has a lot of it,’ said Bill Allison, editorial director for the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington- based watchdog group.
 Larry Here:  The entire system is corrupt.  Money talks, the rest of us walks. If we continue to allow Wall Street to "buy" our government, we will never see our Democratic Republic as it once was and as it was meant to be.  
Wall Street flip flops depending which party seems to benefit them the most.  The Republicans have without question been their biggest benefactor beginning with the "W" administration or shall I say the Cheney Administration with Bush 1 in the shadows.  Closed eyes by the SEC, encouraging the banks and Wall Street to defraud, the midnight Sunday bailout approvals where the money was transferred to the banks long before anyone even woke up Monday morning.  Middle of the night money transfers.  Wow!!!  Then TARP, quickly giving out billions more in an attempt to cover up the fraud and the complicity of our government.
I must agree with one thing that Obama wants to do.  Remove the tax loopholes we give these bankers who have been and still are ripping us off.  If that is a tax increase then so be it.  But also, remove these loopholes from the oil companies, automotive industry, airlines, etc.  The argument that they create jobs with the loophole money does not wash.  No new jobs just higher record profits for them all.
Banksters and gangsters all and we keep feeding them more and more.  The system is not broken as many say, it is grossly abused.  And "we" through our so called "elected" officials allow this abuse.  
Speak out America.  This is your country.  It does not belong to Wall Street nor to Oil Street or even to Auto Street.  It belongs to Main Street, the street you and I live on.

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Anonymous said...

The whole financial sector has hammered the country with impunity...see

Jefferson County Alabama Hires Bankruptcy Firm; Record Municipal Bankruptcy Coming; Death Spiral Swaps and JPMorgan Fraud Revisited

Death Spiral Swaps

This sad saga should have ended three years ago. It has been so long ago now that most have probably forgotten about the fraud involving JPMorgan that is at the center of the saga.

How many JP Morgan bankers were convicted in criminal court of fraud?

How many tens-of-millions of dollars of taxpayer money did Jefferson County waste in these last three years?

I do not have the answer to that but I can answer this pertinent question: "How many JPmorgan bankers were convicted in criminal court of fraud?"

The answer is none.

Who's that standing next to Obama?

Anonymous said...

The US economy is a broken machine, burdened by an oversized financial sector and policy failures abounding in taxation, trade, and regulation.

Unfortunately the governance failures have their roots in crony capitalism and a variety of white collar crimes, disinformation campaigns, and public ignorance, so they are going to be difficult to surmount.

Anonymous said...

Robo-Signing Banks Not Off Hook
I think investigators should be able to find evidence of fraud at the loan origination level, the securitization level and the foreclosure level. This is an outrage, and I think criminal activity is so widespread that the AG’s should be considering RICO charges, not cutting immunity deals for the bankers! The Iowa AG, Tom Miller, is spearheading negotiations for the states. He and other AG’s who signed on to the immunity deal should be ashamed and fired at the same time!! Why did Mr. Miller even bother to go to law school? I thought these guys were supposed to investigate and prosecute crimes.
The bankers want to get off with a slap on the wrist even though they caused the meltdown of 2008. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen, and pray justice is truly served on the big bank weasels.

Anonymous said...

New High: 46% Think Most in Congress Are Corrupt

Voters are more convinced than ever that most congressmen are crooks.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 46% of Likely U.S. Voters now view most members of Congress as corrupt. That’s up seven points from June and the highest finding yet recorded. Just 29% think most members are not corrupt, and another 25% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Similarly, a whopping 85% of voters think most members of Congress are more interested in helping their own careers than in helping other people.

Anonymous said...

Congressional members net worth up 3669 percent

In the information overload that has become our every day, worrisome world, it is often difficult to see the forest for the trees.

This video may explain the hubris of constant political distractions keeping us from the truth. It is the bottom line of the Truth For Our Times:

View “The List” that we speak of in “The Video Congress Does Not Want You To See”.

Many have had the sneaking suspicion that our elected “leaders” in Congress are not going to Washington D.C. to represent us but for their own personal gain. This video may just validate that assessment!

Joyce said...

Re: Congressional members wealth increases: If these Congress persons are only earning the salary provided by the Congress, how did they become so rich? Can campaign contributions count towards the wealth of the person in Congress? What is going on here?

Joyce said...

If the Congress members are earning mighty sums of money, wouldn't they vote against tax increases to maintain most of their wealth? How is that a public good when the wealth is concentrated in Congress and more than half the the members of Congress become millionaires or were millionaires when elected? The Congress no longer represents the majority of the American people. More money equals more corruption!

I wish there were a law that no one who earns more than $100k can run for Congress. Then you would see some changes, maybe. (Oh, yeah, campaign contributions would soon make some new millionaires our of our $100k Congress. No help there.)

Anonymous said...

July 27 - Who is Winning the Debt Debate?; American Plutocracy

Pizzigati joins us to talk about whether our democracy has become a plutocracy. He is the editor of the online newsletter “Too Much” and has and article at, “Plutocracy; If Corporations and the Rich Paid 1960’s-level Taxes, the Debt Would Vanish.”

Anonymous said...

Judd Gregg

Judd Gregg is an utter disgrace to Congress, the United States of America and humanity generally. In case you weren’t aware, the former Senator from the state whose motto is “Live Free of Die” has signed on to work for the squid. Yep, that’s right Goldman Sachs has rewarded Gregg for steadfast defense of the Federal Reserve and its bankster cabal by hiring him as a “international advisor” to the bank. From the mouth of the squid: "Judd Gregg's experience and insight will contribute significantly to our firm and our continuing focus on supporting economic growth," said Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman's chairman and CEO. This is how you get paid in America in 2011. Story is here:

Anonymous said...

Eric Cantor's glaring conflict of interest

He's the GOP's chief debt ceiling negotiator. He's also invested in a fund that will skyrocket if there's a default

When Eric Cantor shut down debt ceiling negotiations last week, it did more than just rekindle fears that the U.S. government might soon default on its debt obligations -- it also brought him closer to reaping a small financial windfall from his investment in a mutual fund whose performance is directly affected by debt ceiling brinkmanship.

"Cantor's involvement in the fund and negotiations is not ideal," Koppenheffer said. "I don’t think someone negotiating the debt ceiling should be invested in this kind of an ultra-short. We can only guess how much he understands what’s in his portfolio, but you’d think a politician would know better. It looks pretty bad."

Anonymous said...

But while everyone is focusing on the economic aspects, as though the number of bedrooms is paramount, what's being overlooked is that the true danger to the American middle class lies in the political realm. It's a misdirection that has to be corrected since we've long ago crossed from the purely economic into the political realm and I'm not certain that many realize that fact. The protests in Greece and Spain demonstrate that there comes a point at which the consequences of 'economic' decisions are addressed in a purely political manner as the governments in power attempt to fend off the masses to continue in power.

The economic response to the 2008 collapse of Lehman and the near collapse of the economic system was the passage of TARP, a purely political act. This unpopular act occurred despite widespread civic opposition and with the additional input from the Treasury Secretary - a financial/economic personage - that failure to pass the legislation would probably result in widespread civil unrest and the imposition of martial law, a completely political act.

Anonymous said...

They are above it all...

Wide Awake News

Larry Rubinoff said...

"...what's being overlooked is that the true danger to the American middle class lies in the political realm."

Well said.
Now this is warrants attention.

"Eric Cantor's glaring conflict of interest
"He's the GOP's chief debt ceiling negotiator. He's also invested in a fund that will skyrocket if there's a default..."

Thanks to Anonymous for the link abut Cantor.

Another good link. Congress people go from rags to riches and some from riches to ultra crazy rich. Don't think GS is not paying Judd some crazy money for his contacts and influence. Why else do they need him? From Government to Goldman Sachs and from Goldman Sachs to government.

All comments above are very relevant and I thank you all for joining in on the conversation.


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