Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Money, Money, Money

Greg Palast has his first new entry on his blog in a long while. Why, my goodness, that man must be actually working, because this one tells us all kinds of under-reported corporate crime news. He writes: "On Friday, the Manhattan District Attorney's office announced it had captured a couple of Texas varmints, the Wyly Brothers, Charles and Sam. The two have 'fessed to concealing half their holdings in one of the rich boys' companies, Michaels Stores. The grand jury is still out on deciding to indict the two for the crime of fraud upon the stock market....In 2000, Sen. John McCain was wiping the electoral floor with Bush Jr. in the Republican primaries … until that March when the Wylys secretly put up two and half million dollars for a campaign to smear Bush's opponent just days before the crucial Southern primaries. They repeated the trick in 2004, putting up cash for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the vicious little snipes who tore apart the Kerry campaign. So what makes these guys so thrilled with Mr. Bush? There are more than ninety million reasons. While George W. was governor of Texas, investigative reporter Joe Conason discovered, a Wyly family private investment fund, Maverick Capital of Dallas, was awarded a state contract to invest $90 million for the University of Texas endowment. That's not all. As Governor, Bush signed into law an electricity "deregulation" bill that was little more than ill-disguised raid on consumers' wallets by Texas power companies. The bill was in part drafted by an outfit called GreenMountain.com, a power company owned by … Sam Wyly. " He makes a nice case for why the assets Bush gained from these crooks should be claimed by the public. You an read more on the Wylys (or rather, less) in the NYT

Also in cheerful business news, did you see that the U.S. trade deficit has hit a new record high? You can read more anxiety-producing commentary onHat Trick Letter where Jim Willie refers to this trade gap producing a "capital hemorrhage...uninterrupted from the USA to Asia. Even as the US Dollar has declined, the trade gap has grown worse, a severe warning of structural imbalance and imminent monetary crisis." I don't know about you guys, but when I read this website I think, hmm, 16th century Spain...what went wrong?
How many of you want to bet that there will be more stories in the press about Mike Tyson's $38 million debt than about the U.S's trade deficit? I think the man is probably a terrible misogynist, but when I hear of this debt, and that he has to fight to make up for it (after that humiliating defeat to Lennox Lewis a few years ago * and folks, I didn't think this was humiliating because of the gay baiting of Lewis, wbut he just got totally beaten in a completely humiliating way, from what I saw -but now that I read about Tyson's homophobic comments to Lewis, the humiliating defeat seems only fair.) Despite all that, I actually feel sympathy for the big spender. He must have been feeling really bad and have serious problemto go into debt like that. Of course, there was the time he bit that man's ear off in a fight in the 1990s, the rape, the wife-beating, and other examples of serious problems, so we knew he had problems. Instead of paying him to be a spectacle, some sports fan with a whole lot of money should be paying to help him recover. Wouldn't someone have done it for Terry Schiavo?

Speaking of money and insanity.. I've been listening, while doing laundry and going to the gym, to Kurt Eichenwald's Conspiracy of Fools. It's fairly entertaining, though it's hard to keep track of what the crazy financing deals mean when you're really in the midst of the intense part of the workout, panting, puffing, and sweating... "now, WHAT did Fastow think he was doing setting up that crazy partnership as a hedge??" It seems like he's just setting up a way to take a bunch of money for himself..hmm, right. that's exactly what he wound up doing.
Finally, according to the Daily News, the Corporate Welfare Pay off is now on hold. Apparently, this has little to do with a study suggesting that 65% of NY voters oppose the fucking stadium. It makes me wanna holla, throw up my hands. Unfortunately, I gotta be quiet. roomie's sleeping.

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