From Volume 38, Issue 30 of EIR Online, Published August 5, 2011

U.S. Economic/Financial News

Obama's Destruction of Health Care Continues

July 30 (EIRNS)—Two examples of the death of the health-care system show the intention behind Obamacare. Yesterday, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, headed by the Queen's own genocidal maniac, Sir Donald Berwick, announced that it would be cutting Medicare payments to nursing home operators by 11.1%. The rationale for the cut is that some operators took advantage of a loophole in a new billing system to overcharge the government for care they were providing to beneficiaries. Some, may have been overbilling, but yesterday's announcement is across the board, impacting the entire range of nursing homes, including not-for-profits, and this is being done against a segment of health care which is already losing large numbers of beds because of Medicaid reimbursement cuts.

The second example comes from New Hampshire, where 10 hospitals sued the state, this week, to try to prevent $250 million in cuts to Medicaid that are included in the state budget that took effect on July 1. Two hospitals announced layoffs because of the cuts, and a third made it known that it is considering terminating its Medicaid contract with the state if the suit is unsuccessful.

Of Municipal Bankruptcies, Wall Street Crimes, and Glass-Steagall

July 29 (EIRNS)—As 2011 began, at least $500 billion of the $2.8 trillion in bonded indebtedness of U.S. states and municipalities was estimated to be gambling debts: interest swaps and other derivatives pushed on the governments by Wall Street swindlers, with the collusion of rating agency hit squads. These debts would be wiped off the books in one fell swoop with the restoration of Glass-Steagall.

The announcement on July 28 by the Attorneys General of Connecticut and Pennsylvania of a "settlement" with one player in the municipal bond derivatives swindle, points to the criminality of this game, which looted cities, counties, and towns across the United States into bankruptcy. The settlement stems from the 24-state investigation into rigging of the municipal bond derivatives market, begun in April 2008 by the Justice Department, Internal Revenue Service, and Treasury.

In this latest deal, a former chief executive officer of a now-defunct New York brokerage firm admitted to having conspired with major financial institutions from 2001 to 2006, in placing intentionally fraudulent bids on municipal derivatives contracts. In recent months, Bank of America Corp., UBS AG, and JP Morgan Chase have "settled" with the investigation, admitting to having engaged in fraud, only to be let off with restitution payments to defrauded institutions, totaling, among them, a mere $250 million.

Just Who Does S&P Think It Is?

July 29 (EIRNS)—"Who Is Standard & Poor's To Tell America How Much Debt It Has To Shed in Order To Keep Its Credit Rating?" That's what Robert Reich asked in a July 26 posting on his website, which noted, among other things: "Until the eve of the collapse, it gave triple-A ratings to some of the Street's riskiest packages of mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations," and further, that if Standard & Poor's had done its job properly, taxpayers wouldn't have had to bail out Wall Street, millions of Americans would now be working instead of collecting unemployment insurance, and the Federal budget wouldn't be in a crisis.

"So why has Standard & Poor's decided now's the time to crack down on the federal budget," Reich asks, "when it gave free passes to Wall Street's risky securities and George W. Bush's giant tax cuts for the wealthy, thereby contributing to the very crisis it's now demanding be addressed?"

Lawsuits Against Mortgage Bankers Pile Up

July 28 (EIRNS)—Three new civil suits have been announced to recover billions of losses in mortgage securities fraud by international banks in the United States, adding to multiple state and local lawsuits against Deutsche Bank, multibillion-dollar settlements forced on Bank of America, and New York Attorney-General Eric Schneiderman's potential criminal investigations.

In the 1980s savings-and-loan collapse, hundreds of S&L bankers were sent to prison for looting investors and borrowers alike. Where, in this far more vast collapse, with global bank criminality exposed for all to see, the Obama Justice Department has prosecuted no one.

The latest suits disclose the same pattern of blatant mortgage fraud and securities fraud on a grand scale:

* The Federal Housing Finance Agency (regulator of the nationalized entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) sued UBS in New York District Court for at least $900 million in losses resulting from securitization fraud. In fact, the losses of Fannie and Freddie from just 16 UBS-peddled securities trusts itemized in the suit, total at least $1.8 billion, even without interest and penalties, legal fees, etc.

* The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) filed suit against the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in Alexandria, Va. Federal Court, for violations of Federal and state securities laws and thus driving the Western Corporate Federal Credit Union into bankruptcy.

* The NCUA has filed suit in the same court against JP Morgan Securities LLC, and RBS Securities, for damages of more than $800 million in the failures of other Federal credit unions. A total of five credit unions were driven into bankruptcy by mortgage-backed securities (MBS) frauds by these banks. The NCUA is the liquidator for the five credit unions.

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