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Archive for June 19th, 2009

Stanford Indicted On Criminal Charges

TPM Muckraker- By Zachary Roth – June 19, 2009, 1:12PM

The bell has finally tolled for Allen Stanford.

Federal prosecutors today filed a criminal indictment against the billionaire Texan, as well as three other Stanford Financial Group executives and the former head of the Antiguan bank regulatory agency, charging them with helping to orchestrate a $7 billion Ponzi scheme.

The cricket-loving 21st century Gatsby was arrested in Virginia last night, and is scheduled to make an initial appearance today in Richmond, according to a Justice Department press release.

DOJ adds:

According to the indictment, Stanford and his co-defendants engaged in a scheme to defraud investors who purchased approximately $7 billion in certificates of deposit administered by Stanford International Bank Ltd. (SIBL), an offshore bank controlled by Stanford and located on the island of Antigua. Stanford and his co-defendants allegedly misused and misappropriated most of those investor assets, including diverting more than $1.6 billion into undisclosed personal loans to Stanford himself, while misrepresenting to investors SIBL’s financial condition, its investment strategy and the extent of its regulatory oversight by Antiguan authorities.

The SEC had previously filed civil charges against Stanford. Not indicted is SFG number 2 Jim Davis, suggesting that his cooperation with the government, reported previously, was extensive.

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Glenn Frey- Smuggler’s Blues

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Despite Predictions, Opposition Never Materialized

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com, June 18, 2009

Despite predictions that the “emergency” war funding bill would face a battle in the Senate similar to the one it saw in the House of Representatives, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill with no new alterations, at a vote of 91-5.

Sen. Gregg with President Obama

Earlier in the week the House of Representative passed the bill 226-202, and that was only after weeks of haranguing Democratic Congressmen who opposed the bill to change their vote in the name of loyalty to President Obama. Even then, many expressed dissatisfaction with the bill.

Not so in the Senate, where there was considerable complaining that the bill contained a lot of superfluous funding for things that had nothing to do with the war but the only serious challenge came when Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) tried to strip a $1 billion provision. When that failed, what remained of the opposition seemed to dry up entirely. The five no votes included 3 Republicans, Sens. DeMint, Enzi and Coburn, Independent Sen. Sanders, and Democratic Sen. Feingold.

That $1 billion was set aside for a “cash for clunkers” program to subsidize the purchase of new cars. The measure was unsurprisingly praised by the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers. Other complaints, including the massive loan guarantee to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had been expected to be a major issue, as it was in the House of Representatives, but at the end of the day it doesn’t appear to have cost the bill any votes.

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By Jeremy Scahill, AlterNet. Posted June 17, 2009.

In a historic vote, only 30 of 256 Democrats stood against $100 billion for more war.

In a vote that should go down in recent histories as a day of shame for the Democrats, on Tuesday the House voted to approve another $106 billion dollars for the bloody wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and increasingly Pakistan). To put a fine point on the interconnection of the iron fist of U.S. militarism and the hidden hand of free market neoliberal economics, the bill included a massive initiative to give the International Monetary Fund billions more in U.S. taxpayer funds.

What once Democrats could argue was “Bush’s war,” they now officially own. In fact, only five Republicans voted for the supplemental (though overwhelmingly not on the issue of the war funding). Ron Paul, who made clear he was voting against the war, was a notable exception.

Continued >>

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