Archive for September, 2008

nancy pelosi voted for bank deregulation

Monday, September 29th, 2008

nancy pelosi took the time to bash george w. bush prior to the vote on the $700B wall street bailout plan that was before the u.s. house of representatives today. in the video linked to above, she rails against ‘no regulation, no supervision, no discipline,’ presumably of the u.s. banking system and not the iraq war.

but the reality is this, nancy pelosi voted to repeal the glass-steagall act in 1999, which regulated the u.s. banking system as a response to the financial fallout of the great depression. glass-steagall stood the country in good stead for over 70 years.

the move toward bank deregulation and less supervision in the 1990s is believed by many to be at the heart of this global financial crisis. pelosi’s beloved bill clinton, whom she praised in her ill-timed speech, signed the damn thing. click here to see how pelosi voted on the financial modernization act which is described in the summary of the bill as: ‘an act to enhance competition in the financial services industry by providing a prudential framework for the affiliation of banks, securities firms, and other financial service providers, and for other purposes.’ written by republican phil gramm, the bill got a lot of yeas. only a handful of democratic senators voted against it, including california’s barbara boxer and only one republican senator voted against it. while john mccain didn’t vote. joe biden voted yes. barack obama had the fortune of being in the illinois state senate at the time.


dow falls 777.7 points

Monday, September 29th, 2008

that is if you round 777.68 up. according to msnbc, it’s the largest fall ever. while the new york times argues it’s the largest drop in 2 decades. which news outlet is right?

disturbing poll result in austria

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

after the collapse of the grand coalition, austria has called an early election. according to deutsche welle, early results show that the 2 far right parties the freedom party and the alliance for austria’s future have combined captured 29% and according to bbc the number is 30% of the vote. it’s not enough to form a majority on their own, but one of these two parties could conceivably enter the government if all other options don’t pan out for the social democratic party. the center left, social democratic party, has won with 29% and the center right party has garnered 25% of the vote.

josef fritzl revisits cellar

Friday, September 26th, 2008

josef fritzl, who allegedly kidnapped and allegedly did naughty things with his daughter elisabeth fritzl, gave the austrian police a tour of his dungeon.

obama attacks bill clinton's economic legacy

Friday, September 26th, 2008

according to the financial times, during the presidential primaries, barack obama clearly laid the blame on the financial crisis that was unfolding on banking deregulation in the 1990s.

bill clinton's repeal of glass-steagall at heart banking crisis

Friday, September 26th, 2008

the glass steagall act passed during the depression era, tightly regulated the u.s. banking system. it stood the country in good stead for about 70 years –until bill clinton signed the bill in 1999 which repealed the glass steagall act.

according to an article in the new york times, from 1995, robert rubin, treasury secretary at the time, is on record as saying the clinton ‘administration continues to favor allowing banks to merge with insurance companies as well as securitites firms.’

the 1999 financial services modernization act, written by phil gramm, who had been advising john mccain up until this past july, was passed by both houses of congress and signed by bill clinton in the same year, the new law effectively repealed glass steagall and the bank holding act of 1956 which prohibited financial companies from owning banks and insurance companies.

glass steagall prohibited the merging of banks, securities firms, and insurance companies, while the financial services modernization act allowed for huge financial conglomerates.

both nancy pelosi and joe biden voted yes on repealling glass stegall on november 4, 1999 and bill clinton signed the bill into law one week later. barack obama was in the state senate at the time, so his hands are clean. and john mccain abstained from voting.

the gramm-leach-bliley act, also known as the financial services modernization act of 199, passed the senate 90-8 and the house 362-57 on november 4, 1999.

i will continue to post variations of this post every few days or at least every few weeks. it is important for people to know where the blame lies. and it is squarely on the shoulders of congressional members from the 90s and especially bill clinton.

gordon brown saves his career, for now

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

as david cameron gave the speech of his life during the tory party conference about this time last year to give the tory party a bump in the polls in the uk and indirectly insuring that boris johnson would become mayor of london, gordon brown (aka bashful smurf) gave the speech of his life tuesday during the labour party confference. somehow he achieved the unachieveable. he temporarily developed a personality. no dithering about. he was full of self-confidence and direction. although tony blair was the big personality during the the ‘cool brittania’ phase. hopefully the british remember that as chancellor of the exchequer, gordon brown steered the uk through a highly successful 10 year plus run of the economy. you can watch highlights on the bbc.

john mccain suspends campaign heads to dc

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

yesterday, john mccain announced that he was suspending his campaign and heading back to washington to help deal with the u.s. financial crisis. he neglected to add, ‘and to ensure that his multi-millionarie wife’s investments are secure.’ here is david letterman’s take on the whole thing.

philip seymour hoffman directs riflemind in west end in london

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

rilfemind, written by aussie andrew upton (aka, cate blanchett’s husband) and directed by oscar award winning actor, philip seymour hoffman is probably one of the worst plays i’ve seen since i was conceived. john hannah (4 weddings and a funeral) and ruth gemmel (fever pitch) star in this play about a once successful band (somewhere between the rolling stones and the police) who are intent on touring again.

Riflemind With John Hannah Directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman in London's West End

Riflemind With John Hannah Directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman in London's West End

the middle-aged (and post-middle-aged) foggies talk about the most mundane trash imaginable. it’s a male fantasy play about nuddling and ‘talk’ surrounding men being wrapped around womens’ private parts. oh and i should mention, the lone female in the band is relegated to the sidelines, unless it’s got something to do with sex. and all the men are dressed like alter-egos of philip seymour hoffman. converse shoes (what self-respecting brit wears converse?), washed out t-shirts and blue jeans. yet another reason film stars should stick to what they know best. the financial times was gracious enough to give the play merely a bad review.

kenneth branagh returns to the stage in ivanov

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

kenneth branagh, once known as the ken in ‘ken and emma’ while he was married to emma thompson oh so many years ago, has returned to the stage in anton chekov’s ‘ivanov.’ the reviews so far have been stellar. the london production of the tom stoppard adaptation has garnered 5 star reviews from both the guardian and the independent. the bits in the play about capital got much laughter from the crowd. i attended a performance today and wasn’t able to get much in the way of photographs. apparently branagh took off immediately after curtain call.

Kenneth Branagh Stars in Ivanov at the Donmar Theatre in London

Kenneth Branagh Stars in Ivanov at the Donmar Theatre in London