Stressed: What Are They Trying To Tell Us?
By Danny Schechter
New York, New York: Ok, I have to admit it, I feel as my faith in economic justice is being tested with these stress tests. Truth is, I am becoming more stressed than ever.
The reason: despite all the "regulations" in the Dodd Frank Financial "reform" and the Volcker Rule and The Fed's "oversight:' the banks seems to have free reign to do what they will despite the financial crisis, and the pathetic "recovery."
There have been fines and settlements but nothing is settled. None of them have or will go to jail.
Economic conditions continue to stress out millions even as the Fed announces "stress tests" that appear on the surface to be a way of insuring that big banks won't need more bailouts.
to say, it's more of the charade. Partially that's because the banks dominate
the Federal Reserve, a private, not public, institution.
partially, because when it comes to economic crises, the stories are buried in
the business pages and rarely surface as topics of concern on popular talk
shows and media that most folks watch.
Even the financial channels like CNBC prefer superficial soundbite chatter to in-depth-interviews according to "Money Honey," Maria Bartiromo who publicly criticized her old network when she took a better deal at Fox.
Many of us have seen the reports that Citibank, the biggest enchilada of finance, the bank that provided refuge to the likes of Clinton's Treasury Secretary Robert "the great deregulator" Rubin and Obama Budget director, whiz kid Peter Orzag, who has been in Court lately hiding how much he made from Citi in a divorce proceeding, is in trouble.
Citi failed the Fed's latest Stress test designed to see if it had adequate reserves to withstand the widely anticipated next financial jolt to the economy.
Washingtons Blog quotes the business news honchos at Bloomberg and then adds context:
"Citigroup Inc.'s capital plan was among five that failed Federal Reserve stress tests, while Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp. passed only after reducing their requests for buybacks and dividends.
Citigroup, as well as U.S. units of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, HSBC Holdings Plc and Banco Santander SA, failed because of qualitative concerns about their processes, the Fed said today in a statement . Zions Bancorporation was rejected as its capital fell below the minimum required. The central bank approved plans for 25 banks."
And former FDIC chief Sheila Bair said that the whole bailout thing was really focused on bringing a very dead Citi back from the grave.
Indeed, " the big banks -- including Citi -- have repeatedly gone bankrupt."