Protests Against Wall Street Spread Across US

[Occupy Wall Street–an amorphous, programmatically undefined, and politically leaderless movement expressing the anger and discontent of millions of people, continues to grow in size and, in some places, militancy–and in debate over many issues and steps forward, while political predators hover, seeking ways to pull this massive energy into the electoral fold.  This despite the fact that this movement has largely emerged from the sense that the economic and political system has shown no solutions to the ever-deepening crisis. — Frontlines ed.]

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 by Associated Press

by Chris Hawley

NEW YORK – Protests against Wall Street entered their 18th day Tuesday as demonstrators across the country show their anger over the wobbly economy and what they see as corporate greed by marching on Federal Reserve banks and camping out in parks from Los Angeles to Portland, Maine.

Rafael Franco, from Puerto Rico, holds up a sign on the corner of LaSalle and Jackson during an Occupy Chicago protest Monday, Oct. 3, 2011, in Chicago. "Occupy Chicago" protests started Monday near the Federal Reserve Bank and Chicago Board of Trade, as demonstrators speak out against corporate greed and social inequality. (Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast / AP)

Rafael Franco, from Puerto Rico, holds up a sign on the corner of LaSalle and Jackson during an Occupy Chicago protest Monday, Oct. 3, 2011, in Chicago. "Occupy Chicago" protests started Monday near the Federal Reserve Bank and Chicago Board of Trade, as demonstrators speak out against corporate greed and social inequality. (Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast / AP)

Demonstrations are expected to continue throughout the week as more groups hold organizational meetings and air their concerns on websites and through streaming video.

In Manhattan on Monday, hundreds of protesters dressed as corporate zombies in white face paint lurched past the New York Stock Exchange clutching fistfuls of fake money. In Chicago, demonstrators pounded drums in the city’s financial district. Others pitched tents or waved protest signs at passing cars in Boston, St. Louis, Kansas City, Mo., and Los Angeles.

A slice of America’s discontented, from college students worried about their job prospects to middle-age workers who have been recently laid off, were galvanized after the arrests of 700 protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge over the weekend.

Some protesters likened themselves to the tea party movement — but with a liberal bent — or to the Arab Spring demonstrators who brought down their rulers in the Middle East. Continue reading

US economics: One big Ponzi scheme

Wall Street traders represent the elite of the global financial world, but after the collapse of the economy those behind the world’s depression still seem to be doing just fine [GALLO/GETTY]

While Bernie Madoff languishes in jail, bankers continue to profit as the poor lose their homes and hope.

by Danny Schechter

Thank you, Bernie, for breaking your silence – even if you are still clinging to that cover-up mode you adopted since you took the entirety of the blame for your crimes.

What is clear is that ripping off the rich is punished far more severely than ripping off the poor. The lengthy sentence you were given spared countless other greedsters and goniffs from facing the music – what music there is.

In an interview – with a reporter from The New York Times who is writing a book to cash in on a man who has already cashed out – we learn, in the vaguest terms, that Mr M believes the banks he did his crooked business with “should have known” his figures did not figure. Keeping with the deceit that has served him well over the years, he names no names.

That said, how right he may be. There were many who should have known and done something about it. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other regulators for one. Perhaps The New York Times for another. Remember, it was Madoff’s confession to his sons that started him on his way to his new 12′ x 12′ home from home – in a federal correctional institute, where he may dream of his seized penthouse, homes and yachts – rather than any press expose.

For years, he went undetected by business journalists, who knew – or should have known – what he was up to. There are even questions about the speed with which he was sentenced, preventing him from being tried – a process which, through diligent cross-examination, would have brought us more information on the details of his dirty deals. Continue reading