Part One:

Part Two:

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15 May 2016 · Comments Off on Three-Card Monetary Monte · Categories: Masters of the Universe

We get a lot of mail inviting us the “free meals” to learn about “exciting investment opportunities” to provide “financial security.”

So does Tony Brown.

We always chuck the mail directly into the round file, but Brown decided to accept some of the invitations. He writes of them at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Here’s a snippet (emphasis added):

I get all these lovely invitations because a) I’m over the age of 60, b) I’m breathing, and c) people attending these dinners often hand over lots of money to their hosts before they get to their seasonal dessert. These alleged “financial planning” events are examples of the ways that billions of dollars from the nation’s precious retirement nest eggs are being diverted into the pockets of these very nice financial-planner people.

This issue — the financial-services business’s habit of exploiting rather then helping people who are preparing for retirement — is why the Obama administration in April enacted so-called “fiduciary” regulations for financial planners and advisers.

These rules will require the financial-services industry — for the first time — to conduct business “in the best interests of their clients.”

You thought that already was the obligation. It is not.

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09 May 2016 · Comments Off on Goldman’s Sacks · Categories: Mammon, Masters of the Universe

Jim Hightower.

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07 May 2016 · Comments Off on The Entitlement Society · Categories: Mammon, Masters of the Universe

The sucklers at the public teat aren’t who you think they are.

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29 April 2016 · Comments Off on Responsible Fiscals · Categories: Mammon, Masters of the Universe

You can’t make this stuff up. (Actually, these days, you could, but you don’t have to.)

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25 April 2016 · Comments Off on All the News that Fits · Categories: Masters of the Universe, Political Theatre

No news is no news.

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25 April 2016 · Comments Off on Vultures Circle Puerto Rico · Categories: Mammon, Masters of the Universe

Via Raw Story.

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20 April 2016 · Comments Off on The Only Game in Town · Categories: Mammon, Masters of the Universe

Play it now! Get gamed!

What is it?

It’s Robber Barons v. 2.0.

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19 April 2016 · Comments Off on Goldman’s Sackcloth · Categories: Mammon, Masters of the Universe

Image:  Convicts in orange crowded in a cell labeled

Via Job’s Anger.

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17 April 2016 · Comments Off on Coal Dustup · Categories: Mammon, Masters of the Universe

In an stunning example of “if you don’t let people talk about it then it must not be happening,” a coal waste company sued a citizens group for slander because they complained about the ever-present effects of the dust blanketing their community from the ash pit.

Just follow the link.

You can’t make this stuff up.

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13 April 2016 · Comments Off on The Old Shell Game · Categories: Mammon, Masters of the Universe

Reporter shows how easily a shell company can be created in Delaware.

Via C&L, which also provides more detail.

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12 April 2016 · Comments Off on Systematizing the Game · Categories: Mammon, Masters of the Universe

At the Bangor Daily News, Steven Barken wonders what would happen if Monopoly imitated the American economic system. For example . . .

If Monopoly were more like real life, here’s what would happen.

Let’s assume there are five players, and instead of each player receiving $1,500 at the start, the $7,500 they share to begin the game is instead allocated according to the distribution of wealth among Americans. In this scenario, the wealthiest player, Player A, would begin with about $6,668, because the top fifth of Americans hold about 89 percent of the nation’s wealth. Based on the proportion of wealth held by the next fifth of Americans, Player B would begin with $705. Meanwhile, Player C, representing the middle fifth of Americans, would begin with $195, while Player D would begin with $15. Finally, Player E, representing the bottom fifth of Americans, would begin the game $90 in debt.

Follow the link to see how the game plays out.

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12 April 2016 · Comments Off on Goldman’s Sacks · Categories: Masters of the Universe

Goldman gets out the petty cash.

Goldman Sachs will pay $5.06bn for its role in the 2008 financial crisis, the US Department of Justice said on Monday. The settlement, over the sale of mortgage-backed securities from 2005 to 2007, was first announced in January.

No one’s going to jail. The story does not indicate how much of this will burn into a tax deduction.

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11 April 2016 · Comments Off on Panama Rats, One Person’s Story. · Categories: Mammon, Masters of the Universe

Just read it.

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10 April 2016 · Comments Off on “Nobody Likes You When You Are Down and Out” · Categories: Mammon, Masters of the Universe

Sing it, Steve Wynn!

The 74-year-old billionaire then tried to break it down for investors.

“Or to put it in a more colloquial way, rich people only like being around rich people, nobody likes being around poor people — especially poor people,” he said.

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09 April 2016 · Comments Off on How Stuff Works, Panama Rats Dept. · Categories: Mammon, Masters of the Universe

Thom talks with Dr. Richard Wolff about what the “Panama Papers” say about the antics of the plutocracy.

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08 April 2016 · Comments Off on Tax Havens · Categories: Mammon, Masters of the Universe

Plutocrat standing on U. S. shore facing islands labeled

BadTux has a theory as to why so few Americans were named in the Panama Papers.

Here’s the gist; follow the link for the full discussion:

. . . the United States is already an offshore tax haven. There’s no reason for our rich people to send their money overseas — because they’ve already purchased so many tax breaks here in the United States that they’re already taxed less than they’d be in most of those so-called “tax havens”.

Image via Job’s Anger.

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07 April 2016 · Comments Off on Bad Medicine, Bad Bad Medicine . . . · Categories: Mammon, Masters of the Universe

. . . but good news.

The largest pharmaceuticals merger in history, between Pfizer and Allergan, has been abandoned after the US government took fresh steps to clamp down on tax avoidance deals.

The $160bn (£113bn) deal, announced in November, was thrown into doubt following the move by the US Treasury on Monday to make so-called tax inversion deals, by which corporations relocate their headquarters to countries with a lower tax rate, less financially appealing.

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They have money.

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