Category Archives: banking
Special Counsel Robert Mueller busted Paul Manafort on Monday. The charges included money laundering, tax evasion and failure to register as a foreign agent.
But there was no mention of President Trump colluding with Russians to steal the election. Which Trump was quick to tweet. What he didn’t tweet is why he hired a swamp creature like Manafort to run his campaign in the first place.
Manafort served as Trump’s campaign manager in the summer of 2016.
Swamp Creature Comforts
Prior to that gig Manafort took in $75 million representing the pro-Russian party in Ukraine. Here’s what National Review’s Kevin Williamson has to say about the president’s swamp creature:
In 1980, he founded a lobbying firm with Roger Stone, one of the most disreputable figures in Washington — no minor distinction — a habitual liar who boasts of his dishonesty and whose entrée into politics was setting up Richard Nixon’s dirty-tricks operation.
Manafort has earned a fortune working as a lobbyist for corrupt foreign governments and thugs and kleptocrats ranging from Mobutu Sese Seko to Ferdinand Marcos.
In the indictment Manafort’s accused of stashing Ukranian money in offshore accounts and using it to buy real estate in the U.S. Then he took out loans on those properties to raise cash to fund his lavish lifestyle, without paying taxes.
The future Trump campaign manager also used some of that money to hire the Podesta Group to seek favors for his Ukranian client. Tony Podesta resigned from his firm the same day Manafort was indicted.
Tony’s brother, John Podesta, was Hillary’s campaign manager.
Uber investors forced C.E.O. Travis Kalanick out of the company he founded.
The resignation sent shockwaves through Silicon Valley and leaves Uber’s board of directors with the problem of finding a dynamic leader who also has a steady hand needed to heal Uber after a bruising six months.
Uber Founder Ejected
And here’s MIT Technology Review on Uber’s driverless car problem:
Its new CEO will inherit many problems, but a business plan based on the elusive dream of driverless cars is the largest.
President Obama had harsh words (at no extra charge) for Wall Street bankers in 2009. He called them “fat cats who don’t get it.”
Elizabeth Warren isn’t happy.
The year hasn’t been kind to the global elite.
Curiously, that made many Americans ashamed of their country. They’re resorting to violence because they don’t accept Tuesday’s election results. The same election they feared Donald Trump wouldn’t honor if the results were reversed.
To their credit, President Obama and Hillary Clinton gracefully accepted the voter mandate.
Others, however, are embarrassed because people are laughing at us. Many of whom live under the undemocratic rule of progressive experts. The European Union for example. The EU features strangling regulation, low growth, high unemployment, and negative interest rates.
The Brits had enough of that and voted to exit the E.U. – Brexit. Those voters too were laughed at by their enlightened betters who were embarrassed for their country.
The Obama agenda gave America eight years of increasing regulation, low growth, high unemployment (90 million outside the workforce), and near zero percent interest rates. Hillary Clinton promised to make us even more like France.
So American voters pulled a Brexit and elected Trump. The major media and pollsters missed both the U.K. and U.S.A. revolts entirely.
And that left the global elite shocked and dismayed.
Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf resigned on Wednesday and Elizabeth Warren finally got the scalp she wanted. Bank employees opened about two million unauthorized customer accounts on Chairman Stumpf’s watch. The scam led to bonuses for the employees and extra fees and overdraft charges for the unsuspecting customers.
Stumpf will get no severance package and he has forfeited $41 million in unvested equity. Also, the bank has fired 5,300 employees and agreed to pay a $185 million dollar fine.
Additionally the former CEO will be tied down naked in the desert over a termite hill.
I made up that last one. Stumpf’s not exactly losing the shirt off his back. He earned about $120 million during his career at Wells Fargo.
Wells Fargo Thrived After 2008 Crisis
A WSJ editorial says that, despite the scandal, Stumpf has been “one of the most successful American CEOs of recent times:”
Our colleague Dennis Berman reports that in nine years he produced some $149 billion in profits and saw an increase in market cap of $124 billion. Wells Fargo tried to turn down the government’s rescue funds during the 2008 financial panic because it didn’t need the help, only to be forced by Treasury to take the money.