From Pine View Farm

Masters of the Universe category archive

Responsible Fiscals 0

Image:  Wells Fargo stagecoach being drawn by weasels.  Driver:  Have you heard?  Our bank has been caught cheating customers again.  Shotgun:  That explains the weasels.

Click for the original image.

DudeBros 0

Well, there is some good news.

A Brooklyn jury deliberated five days before finding Shkreli guilty on three of eight counts. He had been charged with securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Prosecutors had accused Shkreli of repeatedly misleading investors about what he was doing with their money. Mostly, he was blowing it with horrible stock picks, forcing him to cook up a scheme to recover millions in losses, they said.

Much more at the link. The story does not mention a sentencing date.

How Far Will Wells-Fargo? 0

Apparently, pretty damned far.

Scandal-plagued Wells Fargo is back in hot water for signing customers up for products that they didn’t need or want. This time it’s auto insurance, and the bank says it may have cost about 20,000 people their cars.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo acknowledged late Thursday that it enrolled roughly 570,000 auto loan borrowers for what’s known as collateral production insurance on their vehicles when the customers already had appropriate insurance. It will pay $80 million in refunds and account adjustments to those people.

If my father were alive today, he would be ashamed of the industry that he worked in for two decades.

The Enronning of America 0

Thom talks to Jesse Eisinger, author of The Chickenshit Club, on how justice fails to prosecute executives in this riveting two part interview.

Part One:

Part Two:

Fly the Fiendly Skies 0

Pig:  Rat's at a job placement agency today . . . They're trying to place him somewhere that's suited to his skill set.  Goat:  What did he tell them that was?  Pig:  Being hostile and treating people however he wants, particularly wnen they are helpless and trapped.  Goat:  But what industry would want that?  Final Image:  Pilot and flight attendent are saying,

Click to see the image at its original location.

Trumpling the EPA, Reprise 0

Shorter version: Science, schmience. We want money.

Consequences 0

All Up in Your Genes 0

It’s Just the Cost of Doing Giving Americans the Business 2

Conglomeration 0

White House dwarfed by sign saying

Via Job’s Anger.

The Art of the Con 0

Shorter E. J. Dionne: Let the sell-out begin.

All That Was Old Is New Again 0

Thom and Richard Eskow discusses similarities between Donald Trump’s cabinet of deplorables and Republican cabinets of the 1920s.

Jen Sorenson has more. Here’s a snippet (emphasis added):

Of course, he’s (Trump–ed.) never been a man known for doing small and humble. So his cabinet, as yet incomplete, is already the richest one ever. Estimates of how loaded it will be are almost meaningless at this point, given that we don’t even know Trump’s true wealth (and will likely never see his tax returns). Still, with more billionaires at the doorstep, estimates of the wealth of his new cabinet members and of the president-elect range from my own guesstimate of about $12 billion up to $35 billion. Though the process is as yet incomplete, this already reflects at least a quadrupling of the wealth represented by Barack Obama’s cabinet.

Trump’s version of a political and financial establishment, just forming, will be bound together by certain behavioral patterns born of relationships among those of similar status, background, social position, legacy connections, and an assumed allegiance to a dogma of self-aggrandizement that overshadows everything else. In the realm of politico-financial power and in Trump’s experience and ideology, the one with the most toys always wins. So it’s hardly a surprise that his money- and power-centric cabinet won’t be focused on public service or patriotism or civic duty, but on the consolidation of corporate and private gain at the expense of the citizenry.

Welcome to the kelptocracy.

Dr. Consigliere’s Cabinet 0


Click to see the image at its original location.

The Medicine Show 0

Have you had enough of commercials showing some old guy with a woman young enough to be his daughter white-water rafting the Colorado River in a bathtub on his way to zip-line across Bryce Canyon while hiking the Appalachian Trail in a kayak on water skis because he’s taking some dodgy prescription drug with a name created by shuffling Scrabble tiles and with more side effects than can be fitted in an intelligible disclaimer that takes up 45% of the ad?

Get ready for more.

The Galt and the Lamers 1

Return of the robber barons.

What’s next? Child labor?

How Stuff Works, Banking Today Dept. 0

Rat:  We can't make this stuff up.  The Stuff:  Banker says, Well, sir, no load for you.  We have to be very careful under all these banking regulations.  Man:  But aren't you the same bank whose employees opened two million fake accounts to charge customers fake fees?  Banker:  Yes, but we fired those bad apples.  Man:  But was there someone above those bad apples?  Banker:  Yes, sir.  She's retiring.  Man  Retiring.  Banker:  With a $124, 000,000 payout.  Man:  So you collect fake fees from customers, fire the employees you pressured, and keep all the millions for yourself?  Bankeer:  Yes, but if you feel strongly about it, you should talk to your congressman.  Man:  Where is he?  Banker:  With our CEO.  (Image:  CEO and Congressman in hot tub together throwing money about.)  Goat:  Where does it all end?  Rat:  I'm hoping for mobs and pitchforks.  Pig (dressed for battle and carrying a pitchfork):  Just tell me who to poke.

Click to see the original image.

By the by, I used to deal with the bank alluded to in the comic. As of last week, I no longer do.

Swiss Dark Chocolate Money 0

I’m not sure that I agree with his blanket condemnation of the U. S. Department of Justice, but it is certainly true that too often it is the whistleblower, not the whistleblowee, who suffers.

Teflon Titans 0

At The Roanoke Times, T. Michael Maher wonders how a three-piece suit became teflon armor. A snippet:

Get out of Jail free cardHow did bank CEO’s become seemingly untouchable for the fraudulent behavior committed under their watch anyway? Where does that free pass come from? Maybe it’s the people who actually write or influence our laws. Congressional office staff and staff attorneys usually draft the statutes with input gladly provided by lobbyists and their attorneys. Campaign contributions get some political attention, but just in case I’ll work on that bill while you continue campaigning.

Am I daft to think persons with obvious financial conflicts of interest should not be influencing and/or writing the laws designed to regulate that very activity? It seems to have an appearance of impropriety, especially with how often we see this type of behavior. You don’t want the wolf writing rules for the sheep’s pen.