CNBC: Punish BP Shareholders?

Today I discussed BP’s capping of the well and whether BP shareholders should be punished with Dan Weiss of the Center for American Progress, and CNBC hosts Larry Kudlow and Trish Regan. Here is a transcript:

Larry Kudlow:  All right, President Obama speaking out on BP’s latest attempt to stop its oil leak, adding that the problem would not be fully resolved until relief wells have been completed.  Now BP says it is encouraged by early tests that show it has stopped the flow.  Two hundred million gallons have spilled into the Gulf.  In our viewer outrage segment, Andy from Florida says, BP knew that they had problems and still drilled.  I want to see people go to jail.  People should be selling their stock, not buying.  So we ask, should BP shareholders be punished for BP’s actions?  Joining us now, is Peter Flaherty, President of National Legal and … Read More ➡

Goldman Sachs Got Off Easy

Lloyd Blankfein photoGoldman got to keep 100% of what it really wanted, namely the ability to cling to its claim that if did nothing wrong. 

It did acknowledge a “mistake” for not telling CDO buyers that hedge fund operator John Paulson helped booby-trap the security before it was sold. It is common for the SEC settle Wall Street cases without an admission of guilt, but is not typical for it to allow the accused party to do but at the same time admit to a “mistake.” That’s how it works when your political influence permeates the government. You get to deny wrongdoing at the same time you admit to wrongdoing.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ballyhoos that the $550 million settlement is the largest ever, but is likely viewed by Goldman as the cost of doing business. Goldman will pay the fine and move on.

In this case, Lloyd Blankfein and … Read More ➡

Scott Brown Sells Out

Scott Brown photoOn the evening of Scott Brown’s election, I wrote that among the reasons for his victory was resentment of “a host of actions to prop up Wall Street firms at the expense of taxpayers.”

Who would have thought that less than six months later Brown would cast the decisive vote in favor of legislation that institutionalizes Wall Street bailouts, and whose sponsors — Christopher Dodd and Barney Frank — played key roles in bringing on the meltdown, not to mention representing everything that is sleazy and corrupt about Washington. If Brown wasn’t running against Barney Frank when he railed against the “machine,” then what was he talking about?

I can only assume that even though Brown knew how to ride the wave that swept him into office, he now fails to understand it. He seems to have reverted to the traditional strategy of “moderate” Republicans in Massachusetts, which is to … Read More ➡

Meeks Defends Secret Loans, Blames NLPC for Controversy

Meeks photoOn Saturday, Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) made the following statement:

Beginning at the height of the selection process for Aqueduct Racino development investors as I fought for local participation, and for the past several months, right-wing interest groups such as the National Legal and Policy Center and sensationalist media outlets have lodged unfounded attacks against me and other respectable members of the Queens community related to my family home and my involvement with New Direction Local Development Corporation.

While speaking out against these baseless allegations, I felt it was important to confirm that I have been in full compliance with the House of Representatives’ financial disclosure requirements.

Accordingly, prior to the May 17, 2010 filing deadline, I requested a one month extension, until June 16, 2010, to file my 2009 House of Representatives financial disclosure statement so that I could undertake an extremely thorough review of my finances and previous

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Testy Meeks Disclosed Loan Only After FBI Inquiry

Meeks photoAccording to the New York Daily News today:

Queens Congressman Gregory Meeks made no payments for three years on a secret $40,000 personal loan – and repaid the cash only when the FBI started asking questions…

Meeks received a check for $40,000 from Queens businessman Ed Ahmad in January 2007 to finish paying off his new $830,000 home, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Meeks first disclosed the loan on his financial disclosure report that all members of Congress were required to file by May 17 for the preceding 2009 calendar year. Meeks filed late on June 15. Click here to download a 5-page pdf of the report. The Ahmad loan was made in 2007, meaning Meeks failed to disclose it on his 2007 and 2008 forms.

Meeks then filed two letter “amendments,” both dated June 18, but filed separately on June 21 and 23. Both state that … Read More ➡

What is Rep. Gregory Meeks Hiding?

Meeks photoRep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) is one of 31 House conferees appointed by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) on the financial regulation bill. When he was named on June 9, Meeks claimed:

As conferee I plan to make sure that by having a strong presence of financial oversight and accountability in this legislation U.S. consumers will have the necessary financial protection and be as financially informed as possible.

But now Meeks is using “oversight” in a different context. You see, when he failed to disclose $55,000 in personal loans as required, he called it an “oversight.” This excuse sounded downright familiar to us. It is the same one cited by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) when he failed to report hundreds of thousands in income and assets.

According to Greg B. Smith in the New York Daily News:

Sources familiar with the matter say the loans are related to an $830,000 home

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NLPC’s Horowitz is Featured Expert on American Greed’s ‘Mob Money’ on CNBC Tonight

Horowitz/Mob Money photoDr. Carl Horowitz, director of NLPC’s Organized Labor Accountability Project, is a featured expert on CNBC’s “Mob Money,” a special presentation of “American Greed,” narrated by Stacy Keach. The program premieres tonight at 9PM ET.

I’ve previewed an advance copy of the program and it lives up to its billing. The show performs a real public service by highlighting the relationship between corrupt labor unions and organized crime. Carl provides commentary as the publisher of our newsletter Union Corruption Update, published on line and twice monthly in print.

Carl even appears in the trailers for the program:

According to CNBC, the program:

… takes viewers inside the inner-workings of a mob family. From loan-sharking and labor racketeering to illegal gambling and murder for hire to its recent invasion into Wall Street it’s all part of the life and death business of organized crime.

The one-hour program chronicles the rise

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CNBC: Flaherty Says White House Allies Cashing in on BP

Today I discussed whether BP can ever get it right in the wake of Tony Hayward’s yacht outing with John Kilduff of Round Earth Capital and CNBC hosts Trish Regan, Melissa Francis and Larry Kudlow. Here’s a transcript:

Trish Reagan: We are asking the question here, in light of all of this, can BP ever get it right? We want to go to Peter Flaherty, President of the National Legal and Policy Center also John Kilduff, Partner at Round Earth Capital and also a CNBC Contributor. Great to see you guys, John, I mean, come on, a yachting race? Is he just very, very British and I just don’t get it? Or was this a massive, massive PR blunder? Come on.

Melissa Francis: Sometimes you just have to go yachting.

John Kilduff: You could of maybe understood the World Cup. Ok, with soccer you know there is … Read More ➡

Ex-Rep. Floyd Flake, Cronies Get More Media Scrutiny

Floyd Flake photoRev. Floyd Flake, a former member of Congress, is a political force in Queens where he is the pastor of a 23,000-member church.  His protégés include U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks and state Senator Malcolm Smith, both under a grand jury investigation apparently triggered by NLPC’s expose of a charity called New Direction Local Development Corporation, and Meeks’ sweetheart deal on a home.

According to a story by Russ Buettner in yesterday’s New York Times, Flake and his partners ended up as owners of two eight-story apartment buildings that were “built and subsidized with public money.” In addition, the 300 units were “well maintained by one of the church’s charities.”

According to the Times:

The purchase required no cash investment from the partnership, and it was not open to bidding from others. The deal, which included plans for the renovations, was financed with $21.3 million in loans and cash

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Yacht Race Is Final Straw for BP’s Tony Hayward

Tony Haywards YachtAccording to the Associated Press:

The BP CEO is attending a yacht race off the Isle of Wight in southern England today, a company spokeswoman said.

Sheila Williams says Hayward took time off his duties handling the oil spill catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico to see his boat “Bob” participate in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race on Saturday.

If this report is true, Hayward must go. Earlier in the week, I criticized the House hearings as political theater. I thought that Hayward was reluctant to answer many questions because of the criminal investigation announced by Attorney General Holder.  Even if set up for a public relations fall, Hayward was at least rational to try protect himself from criminal liability.

But going to the boat race is not rational. It’s beyond stupid. While commercial fisherman and shrimpers in the Gulf are idled as their livelihoods disappear, … Read More ➡

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