lunedì 1 marzo 2010

From Edge Funds to Handcuffs

Art Nadel pleads guilty; Another hedge fund owner takes over Venice FBO

February 26, 2010
by Daniel Hopsicker, MadCowMorningNews

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The New American Drug Lords

In a surprise court appearance last Wednesday hedge fund owner Art Nadel pled guilty in a New York Federal court.

It was a bitter disappointment to swindled investors, as well as to interested onlookers anxious for a glimpse of not only how he did it, but who he did it with.

Nadel’s guilty plea may have removed the best—maybe the only—chance to make accountants and bookkeepers and managers at feeder hedge funds, all of whom had front row seats to the scandal, face public scrutiny while testifying about what went on at Scoop Management.

Most people find it impossible to believe he acted alone.

Nadel isn't tall, rangy, and CIA-connected, like fellow Ponzi All Star Allen Stanford, or even burly, like Bernie Madoff, but meek-looking, and unprepossessing physically. He's the Woody Allen, or, for those who still remember him, the Wally Cox of Ponzi World.

There's lots of anger among jilted investors, who stand little chance of getting back anything more than a few pennies on the dollar of the $168 million they're estimated to have lost.

Why do Florida lawyers all seem like extras from "Body Heat?"

If they're counting on Tampa attorney Burton Wiand's help, they may be waiting a long time. Many actions taken by Wiand since being named the federal receiver charged with unraveling Nadel's finances last January seem open to question.

Real suspicions should also focus on what he hasn't done. Reading court transcripts can sometimes be eye-opening...

Long-time SEC lawyer Wiand dragged his feet (top snippet) on supplying Nadel's files, which he'd seized in the civil action he's involved in against Nadel, to federal prosecutors in New York charged with convicting him in criminal court, clearly higher priority.

Perhaps more importantly, his testimony in September revealed that he's not going after any money, other than his own ($750,ooo reportedly so far), with anything like the vengeance his job description promises jilted investors.

"One of the receiver's highest priorities is to locate and recover any additional funds," reads the brief he filed when he went back to court asking for more money last summer.

Yet three months later, almost nine months after he was appointed, Wiand's testimony revealed that he's aware, though somewhat vaguely, of $5 million he's owed from Christopher and Neil Moody... but he hasn't gotten around to asking them about it yet!

Wiand to investors: "The check's in the mail"

Things look bad for Nadel's hapless investors. But the outlook for the citizens of Venice, Florida, where Nadel owned the same business that earlier trained Mohamed Atta to fly, is even more bleak.

For them, Nadel’s descent from hedge fund owner to handcuffs may feel like going from the frying pan to the fire.

That's because the new owner of the former Huffman Aviation owns a hedge fund, too.

What a coincidence.

Even worse, the new owner's top henchman, who often fronts for his various financial entities as their President, was at the heart of a Wall Street scandal that looted more money from investors than Art Nadel ever dreamed of stealing, and which wasuntil the financial meltdown last yearthe biggest Wall Street had ever seen.

The name of the new owner of the former Huffman Aviation, which a Venice City Attorney told the Venice City Council they had no right to know, is Eugene Gorab.

Gorab, who claimed to be worth more than 100 million dollars in an interview with the Sarasota Herald Tribune last year, made his pile buying and selling hotels and casinos.

He worked for a hugely successful tycoon named Barry Sternlicht who at one point while Gorab was working for him, owned more casinos than anyone on the planet.

We know what you're thinking. But wait. It gets worse.

Gorab owns the majority stake in private equity fund Greenfield Partners in Norwalk Connecticut, just a few exits up the Merritt Parkway from Greenwich, where “private equity fund” Fairfield Partners helped Bernie Madoff relieve investors of unwanted capital.

More interesting by far is that Gorab owns Clayton Holdings, a company whose failures in due-diligence played a direct role in the multibillion dollar collapse of the nation's housing market.

Clayton Holdings is a due-diligence company, the nation's largest, which get hired by investment houses to make sure blocks of loans meet the seller's own standards.

Despite the fact that the underlying home loans didn't get within shouting distance of meeting those quality standards, Clayton Holdings paid off like a slot machine, signing off on the mortgage investments, the instrument of mass destruction which Wall Street has successfully used to bomb the American economy back to the Stone Age.

Gorab, who didn't own Clayton Holdings until recently, wasn't responsible. He bought the company as Clayton’s former President received immunity from New York’s Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in return for testimony about underwriting "exceptions" his firm’s project managers gave its Wall Street accounts.

Does anyone remember the words "modified limited hangout?"

Maybe we’ll learn how they did it... if Eugene Gorab—the man who now owns the former Huffman Aviation—decides to let the world take a look at Clayton's books.

The Straw Men

Definition of “straw man”: noun (CRIME) n (also man of straw): Someone, often an imaginary person, who is used to hide an illegal or secret activity.

“The fraud depended on hundreds of bank accounts being opened on behalf of straw men.” How do we know that Gorab owns Huffman Aviation, even though the three lads who say they're the owners refused to release the names of their investors?

Simple: Gorab, for one thing, also owns Volo Aviation in Sarasota, and has a hundred million dollars in other aviation investments. That's one hundred million more in aviation investments than the lads claiming to be the new owners.

More importantly, they were working for Gorab when they bought it. And he didn't fire them.

Finally, the new front man for Volo Aviation at the Sarasota Airport, who "bought" it from Gorab, is Gorab's long-time lieutenant, he former President of Volo.

Meet Thom Harrow. He's "working to keep your trust."

Thom Harrow, most recently listed as President of Volo Holdings, has been an officer of a myriad of Gorab's shell companies, which change almost daily, as the "ownership: of the Volo Sarasota just did, again.

Harrow operates at least four FBO’s (Fixed Base of Operations) already, including the one at the Sarasota Airport.

Remember the old TV commercials for The Rock? Prudential Securities? "The most important thing we earn is your trust."

Turned out, it wasn't true.

Harrow was a senior executive at Prudential Securities during the late 80’s and early 90’s while executives and brokers at the company were busily defrauding investors of $8 billion.

Back thenin those far more innocent timesreporters called it the largest fraud in US history.

No other Wall Street scandal came close to touching the debacle at Prudential Securities. Mike Milliken, at Drexel Burnham, was a piker by comparison. They settled his securities scandal (junk-bonds, remember?) for $650 million, a pittance by the $ 8 billion standard set by the Prudential scandal.

According to NEWSWEEK,

"In this topsy-turvy world due diligence was a sham, brokers were hounded — even fired — for questioning the quality of deals, and no executive displayed much interest in knowing what was really going on."

Does that sound familiar?

Kurt Eichenwald covered the story for TIME magazine, then wrote "Serpent on the Rock," a book about the scandal. According to a review of his book in the New York Times:

"Eichenwald presented an appalling indictment of managers who did dozens of deals with a convicted embezzler, spent millions of investors' dollars on lavish trips to places like Cancun and Maui, and made cozy arrangements with developers to make themselves rich no matter how their clients fared."

But wait... Harrow himself wasn't charged with a crime, and deserves the benefit of the doubt. He deserves the benefit of the doubt, as he was, after all, unindicted.

He was probably one of the good guys who stuck around to clean up the mess.

Locking-in profits for decades to come.

Discovering that Harrow was working for "The Rock" when it melted into butter was no easy task. Few of Harrow's bios make mention of it. Perhaps because leaving it out creates an almost decade-long hole in his curriculum vitae, he 'fessed up and included it here.

Then we discovered that, currently--right now--Harrow is Treasurer of a Baton Rouge Louisiana-based non-profit charity called Provident Resources Group.

Provident's own literature shows them to be (charitably, natch!) involved in providing resources (hence the company's name, it appears they are big on providing resources) in the following fields: CitiState (sic), Education, Healthcare, Housing, and Senior Living. Here's how they describe themselves:

"Based in Baton Rouge, La., Provident Resources Group is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of serving the needs of the elderly; promoting and advancing health care; assisting the poor by providing affordable housing; lessening the burdens of government; promoting and advancing education; and preserving the environment."

In the pursuit of its charitable mission, Provident has become a national non-profit organization committed to the development, ownership and operation of state-of-the-art health, education, senior living, and multi-family housing facilities and services across the country.

“Furthermore, Provident actively strives to assist state and local governments in lessening the burdens they face in providing many needed services to their citizens.”

Its all good. Right?

So it came as something of a shock to discover that what they do mostly—resource-wise, that is—build and run: private prisons: eleven Private Correctional Facilities in Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia,, and Alaska.

Apparently, it came as something of a shock to the Wall Street Journal too.

The May 1, 2002 Wall Street Journal covered Provident in their Section in Enron, under this headline: "Charities Said To Be Playing Enron-Style Partnership Game.

"At the D. Ray James Prison in south Georgia, the inmates have been kept behind bars by all types of lawmen: sheriffs, chiefs of police and more than a few wardens. But never, until now, have they been kept in jail by a charity."

What Provident offers the corrections world, in the most charitable way, of course, reported the Journal is “offering off-the-books financing for public and private prison operators."

"Provident does this by creating special subsidiaries and partnerships that take advantage of controversial accounting rules and allow its clients to keep debt off of their balance sheets."

Provident "isn't a conventional charity. It is run by a group of lawyers, investment bankers and financial consultants. Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. and other Wall Street titans do its financial work."

With that "impressive firepower, Provident is trying to carve a unique niche for itself in the corrections world, offering off-the-books financing for public and private prison operators."

It has "helped the state of North Carolina and Cornell Cos., a for-profit prison company, buff their financial profiles."

Provident "does this by creating special subsidiaries and partnerships that take advantage of controversial accounting rules and allow its clients to keep debt off of their balance sheets." In exchange for its role, Provident "arranges to receive potentially lucrative fees, some of which it calls exempt from federal income tax.

In the last nine months Provident entities, with help from Lehman, have sold more than $420 million of debt to investors."

Like Enron. Only unindicted.

We thought: maybe we're just being cynical. It can happen. Then we found this headline:


Provident got involved with a struggling community hospital in the San Fernando Valley... offering to help. Reporter Evan Pondel in the January 22, 2003 Los Angeles Daily News picks up the story:

"In an effort to rescue the hospital, Wallace struck a deal with a controversial charity for help. Soon thereafter, California's attorney general approved Baton Rouge, La.-based Provident Foundation Inc. to take control of the hospital's board."

The organization has been operating as a not-for-profit group since 1999, and analysts say Provident is by no means a conventional charity.

Matt Hull, analyst with Avondale partners in Nashville, Tenn., said in a previous interview that the company is run by a group of lawyers, investment bankers and financial consultants -- many of whom are former Lehman Brothers employees.

James Doulgeris was hired by Provident to serve as interim CEO, and his firm, Healthcare Resource Specialists, was tapped to provide crisis and turnaround management strategies for the hospital.

"We are in the center of settling our bankruptcy with creditors ... and the decline in patients we serve in the perinatal unit has been accelerating," said Doulgeris.

"There are no plans to close other departments, and emergency services for expectant mothers still will be available through the hospital's emergency room."

Uh-oh. We could already tell the hospital wasn't going to make it...

According to analyst Hull::

"Company President Stan Hicks, 53, who served as a member of the national finance committee for the Clinton-Gore campaign in 1992, appears to manage a company that, by some reports, receives lucrative fees under the guise of being a charity."

Millie Hernandez has worked at the hospital for 17 years. She understands that Provident has invested in prison facilities and has a murky business reputation.

"There's only so much you can take," Hernandez said. "The hospital can't function like this for much longer."

In case you're wondering, the company is politically-connected at the highest levels. Provident's President Stan Hicks was on the National Finance Committee for the Clinton-Gore campaign in 1992.

"Meet the new Boss. Same as the old Boss."

When the new owner of the former Huffman Aviation FBO took over operations at the Venice Airport last month, the Sarasota Herald Tribune was quick to note that the only noticeable change in operations “was a Shell fuel truck on the premises to replace the Chevron brand that former owner Art Nadel sold.”

The statement was meant to be reassuring. In reality, it was not.

It was business as usual.

The ingredients for another world-class scandal at the Venice Airport are frighteningly visible. Sleazy characters in expensive suits. Abuse of power. Cover-up.

During the special meeting of the Venice City Council called to consider the lease transfer before the federal bankruptcy judge's deadline, questions were repeatedly raised about why Tri-State would release no financial information on its owners.

Surprisingly, the supposed new owners weren’t forced to answer. Leaping to their defense was an assistant city attorney who repeatedly advised the council they had no reason to object to Wiand’s choice.

Calling the backgrounds of the new managers "blue chip," he said, "As staff we think they have passed the test probably more so than any tenant we've had at the airport."

Groundbreaking American muckraker Upton Sinclair put it best: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

Mayor Ed Martin, in a remarkable admission, indicated that he wasn’t fooled.

"We're not in a position to determine who these people are,” he said. “Whether they are U.S. nationals, or whether they have criminal ties."

Well, Ed. Now you know.

NEXT: Sovereign Wealth Funds, Private Equity, Abu Dhabi, The Carlyle Group, & the Venice Municipal Airport

domenica 28 febbraio 2010

Bernanke: The US Soon Face A Debt Crisis

Bernanke: "The US Could Soon Face A Debt Crisis Like The One In Greece"

Bernanke is now joining Rosenberg, Ferguson and Faber, Edwards, Grice and many others in warning that the debt crisis rearing its head in Greece may spread to America, causing U.S. interest rates to climb.

As the Washington Times wrote yesterday:

With uncharacteristic bluntness, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke warned Congress on Wednesday that the United States could soon face a debt crisis like the one in Greece, and declared that the central bank will not help legislators by printing money to pay for the ballooning federal debt.

Recent events in Europe, where Greece and other nations with large, unsustainable deficits like the United States are having increasing trouble selling their debt to investors, show that the U.S. is vulnerable to a sudden reversal of fortunes that would force taxpayers to pay higher interest rates on the debt, Mr. Bernanke said.

"It's not something that is 10 years away. It affects the markets currently," he told the House Financial Services Committee. "It is possible that bond markets will become worried about the sustainability [of yearly deficits over $1 trillion], and we may find ourselves facing higher interest rates even today."

Yes, massive debt overhangs do matter.

Contrary view: A very smart financial expert disagrees, telling me:

Higher interest rates do not equal a debt crisis.

Greece's situation is not comparable to the US. Greece's situation is comparable to that of California. It makes a big difference whether you control your currency or not.

Part VI: How to Fight Back and Win

Amped content )))

Part VI: How to Fight Back and Win: Common Ground Issues That Must Be Won — The Economic Elite Vs. The People of the USA

Posted on Saturday, February 27th, 2010 at 11:58 am, Filed under Activism, Economy, Hot List, News, Politics & Government, Pop Cult, War . Follow post comments through the RSS 2.0 feed. Click here to comment, or trackback.admin

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By David DeGraw, AmpedStatus Report

This is the final part of a six-part report. Click on the links below to view earlier parts. After reading this, please consider getting involved with this effort by clicking the link at the bottom of this post.

——-I: Casualties of Economic Terrorism, Surveying the Damage
——-II: The Rise of the Economic Elite
——-III: Exposing Our Enemy - Meet the Economic Elite
——-IV: The Financial Coup d’Etat
——-V: Overcoming the Divide and Conquer Strategy
——-VI: How to Fight Back and Win: Common Ground Issues That Must Be Won

VI: How to Fight Back and Win:
——Common Ground Issues That Must Be Won

Throughout this report, I have presented statistical and fact-based evidence to demonstrate that a strategic attack has been launched against 99% of Americans. Despite the efforts of the mainstream media and most current politicians, awareness of this reality is spreading throughout the United States. VI: How to Fight Back and Win: Common Ground Issues That Must Be  WonA recent Rasmussen poll found that only 21% of Americans think that the government has the consent of the governed. An Opinion Research Corp. survey revealed that 86% believe “the system of government is broken.”

An overwhelming majority of the population has come to the realization that our government doesn’t effectively represent us anymore. It is just a matter of time before people start taking it upon themselves to begin organizing on a mass scale. Our survival instinct will soon overwhelm our conditioned passivity and erupt into a powerful countervailing force. However, the longer we hesitate and delay action, the harder it will be to obtain economic and political justice.

We cannot continue to stand by and watch our nation be raped and pillaged like this. We can no longer remain idle and passive while our families’ futures are destroyed as we are sentenced to a slow death.

It’s time for 99% of Americans to mobilize and aggressively move on common sense political reforms.

We will obviously have many differences on how our country should be run, but we can all come together to dismantle the Economic Elite by making several pivotal political reforms. As long as the game is rigged in favor of the Economic Elite, we will all lose. So let’s find common ground and focus on several obvious battles that we need to win, and can win:

Election Reform

“The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which all other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery.”
– Thomas Paine, Dissertation on the First Principles of Government

* Electronic Voting: First and foremost, no private corporation should be able to tell us who has won an election without providing an auditable paper trail. Many Democrats felt that Bush stole the 2000 and 2004 elections, and many Republicans felt Obama stole the 2008 election. Of course people are going to feel that elections are stolen when you have a private corporation secretly counting the votes; it is the inevitable result when you can’t verify the election results. In the past few years companies that count the votes have been consolidating, and one company, ES&S, now secretly controls the majority of all our votes. As voting watchdog Brad Friedman stated, “With the ES&S takeover of Diebold/Premier, their nearest competitor, the privately-run election Goliath now has an un-overseeable lock on virtually every election in the United States of America.” It is common sense to say that this is way too much power to be put into one private corporation.

* Campaign Finance: The stunning ruling by the Supreme Court to allow unlimited political spending by the Economic Elite has made a bad situation even worse. We must level the playing field by enacting laws to prevent the overwhelming influence of big money interests in controlling politicians who are forced to pander to them for the ever-increasing need to raise more and more money to have any shot at winning public office. Statistics show how much the Economic Elite already dominate this process: over 90% of the time the candidate who simply spends more money on their campaign wins the election.

* The Two-Party Oligarchy: We must end the two-party system by funding and voting for alternative parties. It is absurd and completely outdated to only have two dominant political parties in a technologically advanced nation of 309 million people. The two-party paradigm is obsolete and creates a system easily manipulated, as the past decade proves with the co-option of the Democratic and Republican parties. We can give our money and support to whomever we like - Libertarians, Tea Party, Progressives, Greens, Independents and the many soon-to-be-created political groups. However, it is pivotal that we immediately cease support for both the Republican and Democratic parties. We understand that there are representatives from both parties who are fighting for our interests, but they are very few and easily marginalized by paid-off party leaders.

* Getting on the Ballot: Republicans and Democrats have created rules to make it increasingly difficult for opposing political parties to even get on the voting ballot. We must make this process easier and invite new parties onto the ticket.

* Debate Commission: The Democratic and Republican control over who is allowed to participate in the nationally televised debates gives the two parties an insurmountable advantage over any other parties. If you are not even allowed to participate in them, you have no shot at winning. Along with this, all candidates should be given a fair share of television coverage.

* Voter Registration: If you are a citizen, you should be automatically registered to vote.

Governmental Policy Formation

* Secrecy, Transparency and Accountability: Government secrecy is at the root of most of our current societal and economic problems. When decisions are made in secrecy, corruption will most often be the result. By throwing light and investigation on the government policy process, we can easily expose the Economic Elite’s agenda and limit their influence. As part of this, all legislation and conference reports must be posted online prior to Congressional debate and vote.

* Lobbying: Along with campaign finance, political lobbying is another way the Economic Elite can easily manipulate our political process financially, in what amounts to legalized bribery. In 2009, a record amount of money was spent lobbying Congress, and now with the new Supreme Court ruling, lobbyists will have even more power to manipulate the political process with what amounts to buying the laws of our nation. Lobbying activities behind closed doors must cease entirely and equal time must be given, transparently, to all the parties directly affected by the law being written.

* Shutting the Revolving Door: No politician should be allowed to profit from government laws or policies which they have written or supported. The practice of leaving a major company to become a politician who then creates and/or supports laws that directly benefit the corporation he or she used to work for, or, conversely, politicians who leave public office to take a high-paying job for a company they have benefited, is a grotesque abuse and manipulation of the democratic process. The revolving door between politics and big business is worse than it has ever been and has corrupted the government like never before.

Information Platforms

* Media Concentration: Having a few large multinational corporations dominating the overwhelming majority of our news and information system will never lead to an informed citizenry. Only ten multinational corporations dominate our mainstream media system. These companies are run by 118 individuals who actively work to propagate Economic Elite rule. The people who run these media companies also sit on other corporate boards that often represent a major conflict of interest. Having only 118 people in ten companies dominating a system that creates public opinion for 309 million people is absurd. We must break up this information cartel and support a more diverse and vibrant independent press that fosters real investigative journalism.

* Net Neutrality: The free and open architecture of the Internet is vital to our success. Without an open Internet our most powerful medium for research and communication, and key organizing tool, will be lost. The Internet must be protected from growing forces that seek to control it by limiting our access to information and our ability to communicate on a mass scale.


* Medical Costs: We have disagreements on how to best provide healthcare, but we all agree that whatever the method, the result needs to be lower costs. We have the most expensive healthcare system in the world and we now pay twice as much as other nations. Other than creating huge salaries for health industry-related executives, there isn’t any reason why we should be forced to pay such outrageous sums of money for second-rate care. No American should die due to lack of money, or have to face bankruptcy in order to get life-sustaining treatments.

* Food and Water Supply: Our food and water supply systems have become a major health hazard. The amount of harmful chemicals found in both our food and water have reached record levels and is causing alarming levels of sickness in a growing number of people.

Real Economic Competition

* Most Americans Believe in Competition: If a person works hard, is productive and good at what they do, most everyone believes that they should make more than a person who sits around looking for handouts. However, just as in sports, to maintain a competitive environment you have to have rules in place that prevent people from having an unfair advantage. For those who believe in competition, in capitalism and free markets, you have to acknowledge that what we have now is not a free market based on fair competition. It is a rigged market, where larger institutions like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have an unfair advantage. We cannot allow them to be beyond the law, manipulate the market and then receive taxpayer funds to increase profits and risk-taking while smaller companies, outside of Economic Elite circles, have to play by a much stricter set of rules.

You can’t have free market capitalism when you have government policies favoring companies that have more political clout than others. What we have is socialism for the rich and trickle down economics for the rest of us. We have a market systemically designed to funnel money into the pockets of the richest. If the past few years have proved anything, they have proved that our economy is much more like a pyramid scheme than a free market, where the more money you have, the more money you make. So whatever your economic beliefs and theories might be, let’s all come together to admit that our “free market” is an illusion. We need to make the economic playing field fair so we that can have real competition.

* Redistribution of Wealth: Due to the rigging of our economic and political system, vast sums of wealth have been hoarded by the Economic Elite over the past 40 years. This money must be redistributed to the 99% of Americans who have been robbed and exploited. There will be much heated debate over how this money should be distributed, but we all need to agree that we must first hold the Economic Elite accountable and our wealth must be seized from them.

* Investigations and Prosecutions: The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has the power to reveal the inner workings of the financial coup. We must apply intense public pressure and scrutiny to force the Commission into conducting a real investigation. Another urgent priority needs to be a much wider-ranging look at war profiteering. There has been some investigation, but not nearly enough and hardly any prosecution. These are just two of the many investigations that need to be launched. As long as we keep letting the Economic Elite get away with outright theft in broad daylight, we will never be able to restore a nation of law.

Part  V: Overcoming the Divide and Conquer Strategy -- Economic Elite Vs. The  PeopleThere are obviously other vital issues that need to be addressed, but these are the core common-ground issues that we must urgently rally around and support. Unless we organize and take decisive action on all these issues, we will all suffer the consequences of our collective inaction. Any politician who does not urgently move on these issues must be voted out of office and replaced by people who will aggressively fight on these fronts.

These are the core issues that keep the Economic Elite in power. As famed military strategist Carl von Clauswitz wrote in his study “On War,” it is pivotal to strike at this core structure, at “the hub of all power and movement, on which everything depends.”

To those Americans who feel powerless to change things, I say that your feelings are only a result of your induced delusion. You have become so propagandized that you do not even understand the significant position that you are in. We are not peasants trapped in a Third World existence. We are still a mass of people who have the power to change the course of history. The Economic Elite realize this, which is why they are attacking us with an increased intensity.

Why We Must Take Mass Organized Action Now:
The Devastation Ahead

Market Watch recently ran an article entitled, “Death of American Capitalism: The 10 final scenes.” The article references Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s long-time investment partner, stating: “Munger is warning us ‘It’s Over’ for America. Yes, ‘o-v-e-r,’ America’s in decline, at the end-of-days, coming to ‘financial ruin,’ says Munger.”

As a result of the Economic Elite’s attack on us, the inequality of wealth between the economic top one percent and the remaining 99% of the population is the highest it has ever been in our nation’s history. The Robber Barons of the Gilded Age have now been overtaken as America’s most depraved and despotic class.

As this attack continues, social safety nets and important public functions that are already reaching a breaking point will collapse under the weight of prolonged decline. With the national deficit now at an all-time high, economists are expecting major cutbacks in vital government programs and tax increases “that aren’t even imaginable.” President Obama has recently put together a “Deficit Commission” and is prepared to make “painful choices.” Many state economies are already running high deficits and preparing for deep cuts in Medicaid and retirement pensions. Major cuts in Social Security payments are also a real possibility.

On top of the 160 banks that have already failed in the past year, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has listed another 702 banks as being in danger of failing. These banks “collectively hold more than $400 billion in assets” and the FDIC is already operating at “a deficit of nearly $21 billion as of Dec. 31, or more than double the previous quarter.”

With 30 million Americans now unemployed and underemployed, over the next few months five million people will lose the unemployment benefits which they have been surviving off of. Unemployment benefits in 27 states have already gone into the red. In total 40 state programs are expected to go broke. Even the most optimistic economists believe high unemployment rates will continue for the foreseeable future.

Millions more will be added to the five million families who have already been kicked out of their homes, as the number of foreclosures is expected to reach 13 million within the next few years. Food and homeless shelters are already overwhelmed, and there will be millions more in need of these life-sustaining services. 50 million Americans are currently in need of food stamps for survival and approximately 20,000 new people are added to this total every day.

Despite all the healthcare reform talk, the bill still being discussed will do little to reduce costs and extend coverage to those who urgently need it, as insurance rates continue to rise. The number of Americans without health insurance continues to skyrocket to now well over 50 million, with 45,000 preventable US citizen deaths occurring per year. Due to economic hardship, the number of people suffering from psychological depression has hit an all-time high, as suicide rates keep rising.

With a prison population of 2.3 million people, we now have more people incarcerated than any other nation in the world. Our per capita rate of 700 people imprisoned per 100,000 citizens is higher than the darkest days of the Soviet Union. On top of this, the prison industry is expecting major growth over the next few years, as a “new prison opens every week somewhere in America” and Obama commits more tax dollars for the federal Bureau of Prisons.

All told, the death and destruction wrought by this economic crisis is equivalent to a 9/11 attack every single week! And the attacks continue unabated, with no significant measures taken to defend against them and hold those responsible accountable.

With almost 200 million Americans now living paycheck to paycheck, and over 50 million already living in poverty, people are quickly running out of options. The clock is ticking loudly for them, and time delayed is time closer to death.

At the same time, Americans are arming themselves at an alarming rate. The demand for guns and ammunition has hit a record high, and the gun industry cannot produce enough bullets to keep up with orders. In the past year, 100 new armed militia groups have been formed, as militia members have doubled in numbers. Federal authorities are gravely concerned about the “uptick in militia activities.” One federal authority recently said, “All it’s lacking is a spark. I think it’s only a matter of time before you see threats and violence.”

The recent suicide-bomber who hit the IRS building in Texas will be the first of many violent acts if we don’t demonstrate that justice and the rule of law can be restored in a non-violent manner. Suicide-bombers have already reeked havoc in many countries across the globe. As the last act of revenge and desperation, people throughout the world have increasingly resorted to this method of violence and terror.

Fate has placed us in our nation’s most pivotal moment. If we do not take it upon ourselves to lead in decisive non-violent mass action, our country will soon be torn apart by violence and destruction.

In our nation’s history, the stakes have never been higher. It is vital that we recognize the urgent gravity of the situation. What happens over the next few years will determine the fate of our very way of life, of our families’ very existence. We have been attacked, and we are now at war. This is the unfortunate reality of our current crisis.

Buy the Book: The  Economic Elite Vs. The People of the United States of AmericaOur enemy is extraordinarily powerful. However, we are 99% of the US population, and they are only 1%. If we fight, we win!

“Power concedes nothing without a demand.
It never has, and it never will.”
Frederick Douglass

“All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency is great and unendurable. And oppression and robbery are organized, I say; let us not have such a machine any longer. I think that it is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize.”
– Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

“We have no choice left…. A concealed yes drives us that is stronger than all our no’s. Our strength itself will no longer endure us in the old decaying soil. We venture away, we venture ourselves! We know of a new world.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

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One of the Biggest Wall Street Frauds Ever

This Is One of the Biggest Wall Street Frauds Ever...

By Porter Stansberry:

February 26, 2010 "
S&A Digest"- February 25, 2010-- One of the best lessons I've learned over my career as an investment analyst is the myth of excellent management or "great execution" is really just that – a myth.

When I see companies in troubled industries reporting quarter after quarter of great results, while all of their peers are getting killed, I know a fraud is going on. I remember in the early 2000s, WorldCom kept reporting profits when all of the other long-distance carriers were getting killed. I knew it couldn't last. And it didn't. WorldCom's accounting was revealed to be a fraud – the company was counting its network access costs as capital expenses. Once the real numbers came out, the company collapsed in what was the largest bankruptcy in American history at that point.

About three years ago, I saw Goldman Sachs reporting quarter after quarter of unbelievable results when all of the other investment banks were hurting. I spent a lot of time looking at its numbers – which didn't make any sense. It reminded me of Enron. It kept reporting bigger and bigger profits, but lost more money every year in cash. And its debt balances kept growing.

I wrote a lot about this in The Digest, but I never officially recommended shorting Goldman in my newsletter because I literally couldn't figure out how Goldman Sachs was doing it. I couldn't find the smoking gun... but I knew a giant fraud would be discovered there, eventually.

In October 2008, I figured out part of the big secret: Goldman had insured all of its subprime exposure via AIG. This allowed it to book huge profits on its subprime investments long before they were actually paid off because the bonds were insured. Of course, it was all a sham – AIG didn't have nearly enough money to pay off any of the insurance. (See the October issue of PSIA for more details.) A source close to the company even told me how big the exposure to AIG really was – $20 billion. That's roughly 100% of the profit Goldman claimed in 2006 and 2007, at the height of the credit bubble. Goldman completely denied my report and claimed it had zero exposure to AIG.

As was subsequently revealed in the spring of 2009, my report was right on the money. Goldman had roughly $20 billion in exposure to AIG and received roughly $14 billion of money the federal government used to bail out AIG.

But I completely missed one big part of the story... And once this fact becomes common knowledge, it will probably mean jail time for several leading Goldman executives and the end of the firm. What did I miss? The entire Goldman-AIG relationship was a complete sham. Let me explain...

Goldman eventually admitted it had insured roughly $20 billion worth of subprime CDOs with AIG and had major exposure to the firm. But the New York Federal Reserve and Goldman Sachs never revealed this critical fact: Goldman didn't merely buy insurance on a bunch of random subprime CDOs. It actually bought insurance on special CDOs it had put together and sold to its own clients. In other words, Goldman knew more about these CDOs than anyone else. Goldman bought insurance on these CDOs because it knew they'd collapse.

This is tantamount to building a house, planting a bomb in it, selling it to an unsuspecting buyer, and buying $20 billion worth of life insurance on the homeowner – who you know is going to die!

These facts all came to light because of research done by the office of Darrell Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. These new documents will certainly lead to a full investigation of the Goldman-AIG dealings and the subsequent $180 billion bailout led by the New York Federal Reserve. My bet? Heads will roll. If you own Goldman Sachs, you'd better sell.

Incauto acquisto per gli acquirenti di beni all'asta


A chi specula nella disgrazia degli altri
e per conoscenza, a tutti gli altri Nostri Amici (che sono sempre di più) di buona Volontà interessati alle nostre battaglie in Difesa dei Diritti dei più Deboli:

Nonostante che la Nostra Associazione disapprovi e biasimi dal profondo del proprio cuore, della propria etica e morale coloro che speculano nella disgrazia del prossimo per arricchirsi ulteriormente, riteniamo, per una volta, utile dare questa informativa, per evitare a chi acquista i beni della seguente procedura esecutiva, di essere chiamato in giudizio per incauto acquisto o, eventualmente, favoreggiamento.

Vi informiamo che nell'Esecuzione Immobiliare n. 59/2004, la cui vendita è stata fissata dall' Giudice Di Girolamo Agnese del Tribunale di Arezzo, per il giorno 23/04/2010, presso lo studio dell''Avvocato Michela Pellegrini, sito in Arezzo, Via Isonzo n. 57/1, i cui incaricati sono l'azienda Istituto Vendite Giudiziarie, promossa dalla Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena S.p.a con sede in Arezzo, Corso Italia, tramite l'azienda compagnetta Monte dei Paschi di Siena Merchant s.p.a., Banca per le Piccole e Medie Imprese,


nei confronti di tutti i soggetti che stanno promuovendo le vendite, dal procedente Monte dei Paschi di Siena s..p.a, a tutti gli altri presunti creditori insinuatisi nella procedura esecutiva,

1) Sono in corso Denunce Penali e Giudizi dinnanzi al G.I.P. per Usura, Usura Aggravata ed Estorsione reati puniti ex art. 629 e 644 c.p;

2) Sono in corso Denunce Penali presso la Procura Generale di Genova;

3) Sono in corso e già instaurate cause in appello presso la Corte di Appello di Firenze (dopo le vittorie ottenute in primo grado per anatocismo e illegittimi addebiti d'interessi per usi su piazza) per la restituzione degli interessi usurari ex art. 1815 II Comma Cod. Civ che annulla completamente le somme richieste dalle banche, oltre il maggior danno subito dalle vittime Denuncianti Usura;

4) Che la Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena s.p.a sta agendo in forza di un titolo Nullo o annullabile in quanto trattasi di mutuo di scopo (cfr. Cass. Civ. Sez. I, 11 Gennaio 2001, n. 317 e altre Sentenze analoghe in merito reperibili nella Fonte CED-Corte di Cassazione);

5) Che i nostri Associati andranno sino alla Corte di Cassazione o, all'occorrenza, sino alle corti Europee per i Diritti dell'Uomo, ove occorra per ottenere quanto illegittimamente preteso ed incamerato dalle Banche citate in Giudizio;

6) Che i Nostri Associati stanno predisponendo un ulteriore atto di Citazione (DOPO L'OPOSIZIONE AGLI ATTI ESECUTIVI) contro M.P.S Merchant s.p.a per annullare il titolo derivante da contratto di Mutuo Nullo per Legge ;



PER INFO: S.O.S ABUSI ONLUS, Cell: 347.8392440. Maurizio Forzoni, Presidente S.O.S Abusi Onlus.

Incontro a Padova, 1 marzo 2010, ore 20,30


Invito a incontro pubblico

all’incontro con i consumatori danneggiati dal sistema bancario
dal titolo

“Questo sistema bancario è un gigante malato?”

L’evento avrà luogo
lunedì 1 marzo 2010, alle ore 20,30
nella Sala Anziani di Palazzo Moroni.

Lo scopo del confronto con le autorità è porre a loro conoscenza le problematiche relative degli utenti bancari nel turbinoso mondo di conteggi di interessi, usura, swap, ecc.

La Sua presenza sarebbe particolarmente apprezzata.

Grazie per l’attenzione,

Vicepresidente nazionale Federcontribuenti

RSVP e informazioni
Ufficio Stampa

Via Galileo Galilei 129/A 35020 Albignasego (PD)
Tel: 049 685175 Fax: 049 2108847

Usura: valanga di cause contro le banche (2)

Rispondo alle tantissime vittime di usura, estorsione e vessazioni bancarie che ci chiedono cosa possono fare nel caso che le Banche abbiano ottenuto un decreto ingiuntivo provvisoriamente esecutivo e che, nelle more del procedimento civile di cognizione, pongono in essere attività esecutive .
Oppure, nel caso che i propri legali non abbiano saputo difendere i diritti del proprio cliente.
Leggete bene la sentenza del Tribunale di Siena che Vi ho mandato con il 2^ comunicato dell’anno .
Il Magistrato che ha nominato il CTU per eseguire i conteggi del rapporto di conto corrente, in questo caso, è un Giudice dell’Esecuzione, in quanto la nullità delle clausole che prevedono un tasso d'interesse usurario e/o la capitalizzazione trimestrale degli interessi a debito e/o il contratto uso piazza, in quanto correlati alla violazione di norme imperative, può essere rilevata d’ufficio in ogni stato e grado del giudizio, e quindi anche in appello o davanti al Giudice dell’esecuzione .

Vi indico di seguito un po’ di giurisprudenza :

Cassazione Civile, Sez. I, sent. n. 21080 del 28-10-2005:
Graniti centro sud S.r.l. c/ Cassa di Risparmio della Provincia dell'Aquila Spa;
Nel giudizio di opposizione al decreto ingiuntivo ottenuto da una banca nei confronti di un correntista, la nullità delle clausole che prevedono un tasso d'interesse usurario e la capitalizzazione trimestrale degli interessi a debito, in quanto correlata alla violazione di norme imperative, può essere rilevata in ogni stato e grado del giudizio, e quindi anche in appello, senza che ciò si traduca in una violazione dei principi della domanda e del contraddittorio, i quali escludono che, qualora la parte abbia chiesto l'accertamento dell'invalidità di un atto a sé pregiudizievole, la pronuncia del giudice possa fondarsi su ragioni d'invalidità diverse da quelle enunciate dall'interessato o tardivamente indicate, ed esigono che entrambe le parti abbiano avuto la possibilità di trattare la questione, secondo i principi del "giusto processo". In tale giudizio, infatti, assumendo l'opponente la posizione sostanziale di convenuto, la deduzione della predetta nullità, rilevabile anche d'ufficio, non integra gli estremi di un'eccezione in senso stretto, ma costituisce una mera difesa, inidonea a condizionare i poteri decisori del giudice, che può essere avanzata anche in appello, nonché formulata in comparsa conclusionale, qualora sia fondata su elementi già acquisiti al giudizio, potendo essere contrastata dalla controparte con la memoria di replica.

Cassazione Civile, Sez. I, sent. n. 19882 del 13-10-2005:
Caliumi c/ Banca Roma e altro;
La nullità della clausola anatocistica di capitalizzazione trimestrale degli interessi sui saldi passivi, inserita nel contratto di conto corrente bancario da cui deriva il credito azionato in giudizio, è rilevabile d'ufficio dal giudice anche in grado di appello, rimanendo irrilevante, a tal fine, l'assenza di una deduzione (o di una tempestiva deduzione) del profilo di invalidità ad opera dell'interessato, la quale rappresenta una mera difesa, inidonea a condizionare, in senso positivo o negativo, l'esercizio del potere di rilievo officioso della nullità del contratto (art. 1421 c.c.).

Cassazione Civile, sez. I, sent. n. 7539 del 12-04-2005:
Maini c/ Cassa Risp. Pistoia Pescia;
Nel giudizio di opposizione a decreto ingiuntivo l'opponente assume la veste sostanziale di convenuto e, quindi, l'eccezione con la quale deduce la nullità delle clausole del contratto posto a base del provvedimento monitorio non costituisce una domanda nuova e può essere proposta, per la prima volta, anche in grado di appello, in quanto con essa l'opponente prospetta l'inesistenza di un fatto costitutivo del diritto fatto valere dall'opposto, sulla scorta di un vizio che, determinando la nullità dell'atto posto a base della pretesa, è rilevabile anche d'ufficio. (Nella specie, la Corte di Cass. ha ritenuto ammissibile l'eccezione con la quale l'opponente aveva dedotto la nullità, per difetto di forma scritta, della clausola del contratto di conto corrente bancario che prevedeva la capitalizzazione trimestrale degli interessi ad un tasso superiore a quello legale).

Cassazione Civile, sez. I, sent. n. 10599 del 19-05-2005:
Pan Electric Mediterranea Spa in amm. straord. c/ Banca Ambrosiano Veneta Spa;
In tema di capitalizzazione trimestrale degli interessi sui saldi di conto corrente bancario passivi per il cliente, a seguito della sentenza della Corte Costituzionale n. 425/00, con cui è stata dichiarata costituzionalmente illegittima, per violazione dell'articolo 76 della Costituzione, la norma di salvezza della validità e degli effetti delle clausole anatocistiche stipulate in precedenza, dette clausole restano disciplinate, secondo i principi che regolano la successione delle leggi nel tempo, dalla normativa anteriormente in vigore, alla stregua della quale esse, basate su un uso negoziale, anziché su una norma consuetudinaria, sono da considerare nulle, perché stipulate in violazione dell'articolo 1283 del c.c. La nullità di dette clausole può essere rilevata d'ufficio, in considerazione del potere-dovere del giudice di verificare la sussistenza delle condizioni dell'azione.

Cassazione Sez. I, sent. N. 1222 del 20.08.2003 : “…in tema di contratti bancari, nel regime anteriore alla entrata in vigore della disciplina dettata dalla legge sulla trasparenza bancaria 17.02.1992, n. 154, poi trasfusa nel testo unico 01.09.1993, n. 385, la clausola che, per la pattuizione di interessi dovuti dalla clientela in misura superiore a quella legale, si limiti a fare riferimento alle condizioni praticate usualmente dalle aziende di credito sulla piazza, è priva del carattere della sufficiente univocità, e non può quindi giustificare la pretesa della banca in misura superiore a quella legale…” .
********* ******** **********
“… Va, perciò, dichiarata la nullità del suddetto art. 7 indipendentemente dalla ritualità o meno della domanda degli appellanti a tal fine, nuova -e, perciò, inammissibile- secondo l’appellante principale . Ed in vero –come affermato dalle Sezioni Unite della Corte di Cassazione con specifico riferimento alla nullità d’una clausola di capitalizzazione trimestrale degli interessi – “…la nullità, in tutto o in parte, del contratto posto a fondamento della domanda può essere rilevata, appunto, di ufficio, anche per la prima volta in appello” [Cassazione SEZ. UN. sentenza 04.11.2004, n. 21095] .

Per consolidata giurisprudenza, i contratti di conto corrente, anche se stipulati prima della legge 108/96, danno luogo ad un unico rapporto giuridico : “…i contratti bancari di credito con esecuzione ripetuta di prestazione sono contratti unitari, che danno luogo ad un unico rapporto giuridico, anche se articolato in una pluralità di atti esecutivi, con la conseguenza che la serie di versamenti, prelievi ed accreditamenti non dà luogo a singoli rapporti ma determina solo variazioni quantitative dell’unico originario rapporto tra banca e cliente” (cfr. Cass. Sez. 1, Sentenza n. 2262 del 09.04.1984; ex multiis Trib. Lecce Sez. II Sent. 8 gennaio 2007) per cui, ai fini dell’applicazione dell’art. 644 c.p. e dell’art. 1815 c.c. appare insussistente il “…momento in cui essi sono stati promessi o comunque convenuti…” trattandosi, come detto di rapporto di conto corrente, per sua natura continuativo, conclusosi con l’estinzione del conto.

“…la nullità delle suddette clausole può essere rilevata anche d’ufficio in considerazione del potere dovere del Giudice di verificare la sussistenza delle condizioni della domanda…” (Cass. Sez. I, 19.05.2005 n. 105899) .
Orbene, se è vero che “… il potere del Giudice di dichiarare di ufficio la nullità o la inesistenza di un contratto ex art. 1421 c.c., va coordinato con il principio della domanda con la conseguenza che la nullità può essere rilevata di ufficio, in qualsiasi stato e grado del giudizio, indipendentemente dall’attività assertiva delle parti e quindi anche per una ragione diversa da quella espressamente dedotta, nel caso in cui sia in contestazione l’applicazione e la esecuzione del contratto, la cui validità rappresenta un elemento costitutivo della domanda (Cass. Sez. UN. 04.11.2004 n. 21095), è anche vero che “… nella controversia promossa per far valere diritti che presuppongono la validità del contratto o di una clausola di esso, la nullità dell’una e dell’altra è rilevabile di ufficio se sono acquisiti al processo elementi idonei a porla in evidenza…” (Cassa. Civ. 2002/11772) laddove risultino “… acquisiti agli atti gli elementi e le circostanze che determinano la nullità… e nel rispetto con …. il principio dispositivo e con quello di corrispondenza tra chiesto e pronunciato…” (Cass. Sez. I, 17.02.2003, n. 2354).

Saluti, Emidio Orsini

Usura: valanga di cause contro le banche

Ascoli Piceno 27 Febbraio 2010

2^ COMUNICATO 8^ settimana del 2010

(clicca qui per scaricare in formato PDF)

A tutte le vittime di usura, estorsione, truffe e vessazioni bancarie. Agli amici e sostenitori. Alle Associazioni, agli organi di informazione ed ai rappresentanti politici. Agli avvocati ed ai consigli degli ordini italiani .

*** *** *** *** ***

La Famiglia Sensi ha chiesto a Unicredit Banca la restituzione degli interessi anatocistici 70/80 milioni di Euro (clicca qui) .

Nel frattempo un Imprenditore ha pignorato ad Unicredit 3 milioni di Euro (clicca qui).

"Dimmi Diego, che c___o ho fatto io come padre per i miei figli, eh? Che c___o ho fatto?". (Per saperlo clicca qui) . Per un padre che "non ha fatto un c...", poteva andare peggio. Come funzione il sistema VERDINI (Pres.te Banca di Credito Cooperativo Fiorentino) (clicca qui) .

La Cassazione conferma : la banca ha fatto usura ma nessuno è colpevole (clicca qui).

Alfredo Belluco 339.6473870 invita tutti a partecipare al dibattito dal titolo “Questo sistema bancario è un gigante malato?” che si terrà a Padova lunedì 1^ Marzo 2010 (clicca qui).

Sarà presente anche l’ON.LE DOMENICO SCILIPOTI(clicca qui) il quale, in un mese ha depositato ben 3 Interpellanze Parlamentari sollecitate dalle vittime Bancarie (CLICCA QUI) .

L’Avv. Argento va in trasferta a Trento e fa condannare la Banca locale (clicca qui). Ma anche a Chieti, nei giorni scorsi, ha fatto condannare la Carichieti (clicca qui) .

Innovativa anche la sentenza del Tribunale di Siena : Il Giudice dell’Esecuzione ha nominato un CTU ed ha condannato il Monte dei Paschi di Siena a restituire al cliente le somme non dovute ed ha bloccato l’azione esecutiva (clicca qui) .

Dal sito dell’Avv. Tanza una sentenza completa del Tribunale di Lanciano cha ha condannato la Banca Popolare di Lanciano e Sulmona (clicca qui)

Mercoledì 24 Febbraio scorso, dopo 2 anni di rinvii X errori di notifica, si è svolta presso il Tribunale di Ascoli P. la prima udienza utile davanti al GUP contro la Banca Antonveneta. Parti offese la Orsini S.r.l. . Il Giudice ha nominato un CTU che giurerà alla prossima udienza fissata per il 31 marzo p.v. .

Questa settimana segnaliamo :

Ø Da “Libero”. Processo Banche: Gravi pressioni al Procuratore Neri (clicca qui) . Il Sig. DE Masi ha scritto alle massime Autorità (clicca qui); Da “Libero Reporter”: Tutti i reati impuniti delle Banche (clicca qui);

Ø USURA : Impennata di denunce contro le Banche(clicca qui); Banca dei Colli sotto inchiesta (clicca qui) ; Pistoia : tante Banche sotto inchiesta (clicca qui) ;

Ø SWAP: quella copertura molto ristretta(clicca qui) ; Sequestro preventivo per l’Unicredit (clicca qui); Negli swap spunta l’usura(clicca qui) .

Ø Da Salvatore Russo : Il Tribunale di Brindisi ha condannato la Banca Popolare Pugliese (clicca qui) .

Ø Dall’On.le Domenico Scilipoti : Usura Bancaria, Comportamento arrogante e coercitivo di alcune Banche. Dobbiamo creare un fronte comune (clicca qui).


EMIDIO e lo staff