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Hoenig: Wall Street Banks "Excessively Leveraged" at 22 to 1 Ratios

By Pam Martens: May 9, 2014

This past Wednesday, Thomas Hoenig, the Vice Chairman of the FDIC and former President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, gave a presentation to the Boston Economic Club warning that Dodd-Frank has not put an end to taxpayer bailouts. Hoenig explained why in plain-spoken language the average person can absorb.

Read the entire article here.

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Organized Labor, Public Banks and the Grassroots: Keys to a Worker-Owned Economy

Worker-owned cooperatives build economic democracy, but how do we build more worker-owned cooperatives? Here are three valuable allies to help us get there.

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Bank of N.D. posts $94M profit for 10th-straight record year

Bank of N.D. posts $94M profit for 10th-straight record year

"The bank financed 309 business and industrial projects last year while partnering with local financial institutions. It also expanded two loan programs to encourage the startup and expansion of childcare facilities...Established by the Legislature in 1919, the Bank of North Dakota is the nation's only state-owned bank. About 40 percent of the its lending is commercial loans, followed by student loans at 32 percent, residential loans at 18 percent and agricultural loans at 10 percent."

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Wall Street Greed: Not Too Big for a California Jury

Wall Street Greed: Not Too Big for a California Jury

By Ellen Brown, Web of Debt

This piece first appeared at Web of Debt.

United States Attorney General Eric Holder has declared that the too-big-to-fail Wall Street banks are too big to prosecute. But an outraged California jury might have different ideas. As noted in the California legal newspaper The Daily Journal:

California juries are not bashful - they have been known to render massive punitive damages awards that dwarf the award of compensatory (actual) damages. For example, in one securities fraud case jurors awarded $5.7 million in compensatory damages and $165 million in punitive damages. . . . And in a tobacco case with $5.5 million in compensatory damages, the jury awarded $3 billion in punitive damages . . . .

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For What It's Worth (book review)

Most people are used to owing money to others, but few think about what money may owe us: an equitable society, a functioning political system, a peaceful economy that can stay off the exhausting roller coaster of financial booms and crashes.

We don't usually think of money as a tool to accomplish all that, but Felix Martin, an economist and former World Bank official and author of the compulsively readable new book "Money: The Unauthorized Biography," says that money can give us all those things; it can deliver "both stability and freedom." The catch is that we must radically rethink money itself. It's not a fixed, physical thing, he argues, but a virtual "social technology" that should be used to enable a more democratic and equitable world, bring order to the banking system and foster "peace, prosperity, freedom and fairness." Sign me up.

Martin's best stories remind us of the quirky ways money existed in the past. He opens the book late in the 19th century in Yap, a Pacific island that favored as its currency enormous stone wheels the size of boulders. One especially rich family's only proof of their wealth was a boulder at the bottom of the sea. (Talk about underwater homeowners.) For centuries in England, accounts were marked on wooden tally sticks; in 1834, when Treasury officials burned the tallies in a tantrum of modernization, not only did they wipe out English financial history, they also created a conflagration that literally burned down ­Parliament.

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