World markets were down 3% or more Tuesday and Germany is poised to widen its ban on the naked short selling of stocks. "Naked" refers to the selling of bets on stocks that you don't own or have access to as opposed to normal short selling where you bet on stock you actually own and this amounts to a kind of insurance against losses. Before Reagan anything like naked short selling was called fraud on par with bank robbing, now derivatives of this type are the backbone of the financial services industry.
The DOW opened down 200 points and stayed there most of the day until having a last minute rally. I'd bet a Federal Reserve note to trillion in naked shorts that this so called rally was market manipulation by the Wall Street banks to try and ward off any talk of a crack down on their practices. You need to keep in mind that the big banks are posting billions in losses on banking operations each month but
still show a net profit in the billions from "trading" operations. If forced to operate like legitimate banks their bonuses would be right out the window for years at best. In all likelihood none of them would even be solvent if they were forced to eat their losses.
President Obama met with Senate Republicans for the first time in well over a year and one Republican described the meeting as forceful. The reason given for the visit was to try to line up support for various reform legislation before the break. Some Republicans didn't care for somebody like Obama putting them on the spot; Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) told reporters, "He needs to take a Valium before he comes in and talks to Republicans," "He's pretty thin-skinned." and Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) described the meeting as "testy," Obama is also reported to have clashed with Bob Corker over the financial reform bill and with McCain who didn't like it when Obama reminded him that Obama's approach to immigration closely resembles McCain's from three years ago.
No word if Obama raised the very real problem of Republicans still holding up hundreds of Obama's sub-cabinet appointments with most not even having had committee hearings. This keeps much of the government in the hands of embedded Bush appointees that were converted to civil service jobs in a sort of scorched earth policy as the armies of darkness retreated from Washington post election.
In fact ever since the fanatical rule of the Reaganites who greatly expanded the Federal government loading it up with revolving door corporate types and party hacks there are few people in government who aren't beholding to the Republican party or corporate interests. The only agency Clinton made any effort to reform was FEMA and Bush made short work of that by putting a heck of a horse lawyer in charge.
When conservatives say government doesn't work they mean they make sure it doesn't work, except for them. www.prairie2.com