While the world economy struggles to recover from the 2008 financial crisis, most of the bankers who caused the collapse are still collecting massive salaries and have faced few, if any, consequences.
Except in Iceland.
In one of the countries hit hardest by the collapse, 29 bankers have now been sentenced to prison for their roles in the crash. According to, Stefan Simanowitz, writing for The Huffington Post on Jan. 5, “Just before Christmas, the former CEO of Iceland’s Glitnir bank and two other senior bankers were sentenced to jail terms of up to five years for market manipulation and breach of fiduciary duties.”
Simanowitz questioned why the United States and the United Kingdom, for example, have been far more lenient on their banks.
“[N]ot a single senior banking executive in the US or the UK has been jailed for their role in the financial crisis. Whilst banks — such as the five found to be rigging the Libor rate — have been hit with substantial fines, the individual bankers behind the fraud, market rigging and irresponsible lending that led to the economic meltdown have all avoided time behind bars.”
In October, Alan Pyke, the deputy economic policy editor for ThinkProgress, outlined some of the ways Iceland’s approach differed from that of other countries:
“Like other countries with a large financial industry presence, Iceland spent a lot of money on bailouts after the crisis. But it bailed out workaday citizens instead of bankers, forgiving mortgage debts that exceeded 110 percent of the actual value of the home linked to the loan. The banks, which had swarmed to the north Atlantic island after aggressive deregulation of Icelandic finance law around the turn of the century, were allowed to fail and go bankrupt.”
(keep reading at mintpressnews.com)
Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s three sons and “about 150” militiamen have occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge HQ to protest the pending imprisonment of two Oregon ranchers accused of arson, arguing the federal government has no authority in local cases.
“We’re going to be freeing these lands up, and getting ranchers back to ranching, getting the loggers back to logging, getting the miners back to mining where they could do it under the protection of the people and not be afraid of this tyranny that’s been set upon them,” Ammon Bundy, who appears to be the leader of the group, said in a Facebook video posted by Sarah Dee Spurlock on Saturday.
Bundy appears to be standing at the scene of the takeover, surrounded by several men in military-style uniforms with rifles and hand-held radios.
The rancher points out that Harney County used to be the richest in state, and is now the poorest. His radical proposal to solve the situation is to have armed “patriots” come and live in a de-facto self-rule zone independent of the federal authorities.
The second speaker in the video, identified as Blane Cooper, equates the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to bullies at school that used to beat one up and who eventually had to be put in their place.
“Until that line is drawn and say ‘we’ve had enough of this tyranny, you are going to leave us alone’ it will not change,” the military-clad man says.
According to Cooper, they hope their occupation will spell the beginning of a US-wide movement.
“It doesn’t have to stop here. This could be a hope that spreads through the whole country, the whole United States. Everybody’s looking for this hope because the government has beat us, and oppressed us, and took everything from us; they will not stop until we tell them no,” he claims.
(keep reading at RT.com)
First, Iceland jailed its crooked bankers for their direct involvement in the financial crisis of 2008. Now, every Icelander will receive a payout for the sale of one of its three largest banks, Íslandsbanki.
If Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson has his way — and he likely will — Icelanders will be paid kr 30,000 after the government takes over ownership of the bank. Íslandsbanki would be second of the three largest banks under State proprietorship.
“I am saying that the government take some decided portion, 5%, and simply hand it over to the people of this country,” he stated.
Because Icelanders took control of their government, they effectively own the banks. Benediktsson believes this will bring foreign capital into the country and ultimately fuel the economy — which, incidentally, remains the only European nation to recover fully from the 2008 crisis. Iceland even managed to pay its outstanding debt to the IMF in full — in advance of the due date.
(keep reading at theantimedia.org)
- 3M Company
- ACE Group
- Advanced Medical Technology Association
- Aflac International
- American Apparel & Footwear Association
- American Automotive Policy Council
- American Chemistry Council
- American Council of Life Insurers
- American Farm Bureau Federation
- American Feed Industry
- Association American Forest & Paper Association
- American Insurance Association
- American Legislative Exchange Council
- American Meat Institute
- American Soybean Association
- Applied Materials
- Archer Daniels Midland Company
- American Natural Soda
- Ash Corporation
- Association of Global Automakers
- Biotechnology Industry Organization
- Business Roundtable
- BSA – The Software Alliance
- CA Technologies
- Chubb Corp.
- Citigroup Inc
- Coalition of Services Industries
- The Coca Cola Company Inc
- Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA)
- Conoco Phillips
- Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA)
- Corn Refiners Association
- Cotton Council International
- Council of the Americas
- Crop Life America
- The Walt Disney Company
- Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
- The Dow Chemical Company
- Emergency Committee for American Trade
- FedEx Express
- Express Association of America
- Exxon Mobil
- Financial Services Forum
- FMC Corporation
- Food Marketing Institute
- Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America
- Gap, Inc.
- General Electric
- General Motors
- Glanbia USA
- Goldman Sachs
- Grocery Manufacturers Association
- Honda North America
- Idaho Potato Commission
- IDS International
- Information Technology Industry Council
- Interactive Advertising Bureau
- International Dairy Foods Association
- International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA)
- J.C. Penney
- John Deere
- Johnson & Johnson
- Kraft Foods
- Levi Strauss & Co.
- Lilly Louis Dreyfus Commodities
- McGraw Hill Financial
- Mondelez International
- Morgan Stanley
- Motion Picture Association of America
- Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association
- National Association of Manufacturers
- National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
- National Center for APEC
- National Confectioners Association
- National Corn Growers Association
- National Council of Wheat Growers
- National Electrical Manufacturers Association
- National Fisheries Institute
- National Foreign Trade Council
- National Milk Producers Federation
- National Oilseed Processors Association
- National Pork Producers Council
- National Potato Council
- National Retail Federation
- National Turkey Federation
- Northwest Horticultural Council
- Outdoor Industry Association
- Pet Food Institute
- Philip Morris International
- Plastics Industry Trade Association
- PPG Industries
- Procter & Gamble
- Qualcomm Incorporated
- Retail Industry Leaders Association
- Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
- Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International
- Software & Information Industry Association
- SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association
- Sudbury International Sweeteners
- Users Association
- Target Inc.
- Telecommunications Industry Association
- The Entertainment Software Association
- The National Chicken Council
- Time Warner Inc.
- Toyota North America
- U.S. Apple Association
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- U.S. Grains Council
- U.S. New Zealand Council
- U.S. Wheat Associates
- United States Council for International Business
- United Technologies Corporation
- US-ASEAN Business Council
- Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
- Washington Council on International Trade
- World Trade Center San Diego
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Hah.” – Martin Shkreli
Vatican City, May 11 – Pope Francis said Monday that “many powerful people don’t want peace because they live off war”. The Argentine pontiff made the hard-hitting comment in response to a question from one of the 7,000 children taking part in an audience held with the Peace Factory organisation. “This is serious,” Francis told the children.
“Some powerful people make their living with the production of arms.
“It’s the industry of death”.
(keep reading at ansa.it)
The information war about marijuana may have turned a new page with the federal government’s acknowledgment of a recent study that found the plant can significantly reduce aggressive types of brain tumors when combined with radiation treatment, endorsing what medicinal marijuana advocates have long affirmed as its healing properties.
A team of researchers from St. George’s University of London recorded reductions in high-grade glioma masses — a deadly form of brain cancer — in mice. The mice’s tumors shrank after they were exposed to radiation in tandem with two marijuana compounds: THC, which creates the “high feeling,” and CBD, which has no psychoactive side effects. In their report, the researchers said that both cannabinoids made tumors more receptive to the radiation treatment, creating what lead author Dr. Wai Lui described to HuffPost as a “triple threat” approach.
“We’ve shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults,” Liu wrote in an op-ed earlier this year. “The results are promising…it could provide a way of breaking through glioma and saving more lives.”
(keep reading at thinkprogress.org)
A team at IBM recently developed what they call a High Concentration Photo Voltaic Thermal (HCPVT) system that is capable of concentrating the power of 2,000 suns, they are even claiming to be able to concentrate energy safely up to 5,000X, that’s huge.
The process of trapping the sunlight produces water that can be used to produce filtered drinkable water, or used for other things like air conditioning etc. Scientists envision that the HCPVT system could provide sustainable energy and fresh water to communities all around the world.
“Each 1cmX1cm chip can convert 200-250 watts, on average, over a typical eight-hour day in a sunny region. In the HCPVT system, instead of heating a building, the 90 degree Celsius water will pass through a porous membrane distillation system where it is then vaporized and desalinated. Such a system could provide 30-40 liters of drinkable water per square meter of receiver area per day, while still generating electricity with a more than 25 percent yield or two kilowatts hours per day. A large installation would provide enough water for a small town.”
The heat is absorbed into hundreds of tiny solar cells called photovoltaic chips. These gather the energy and are then cooled by microchannled water, which is why they are safely able to concentrate such large amounts of solar energy.
(keep reading at offgridquest.com)