Monday, October 14, 2013


The 1318 transnational corporations that form the core of the economy. Superconnected companies are red, very connected companies are yellow.--The size of the dot represents revenue
Last week I said I’d recommend something that could be done by every individual concerned about the political - financial direction of our country.  This involves transferring your personal banking from the five big national banks to a local bank or credit union.  It does take time and investigation.  For my wife and I, changing banks from Chase to Eastern Michigan, and dropping a Bank of America managed credit card, was a project of three months, not always easy but good for the soul.

There are many good local places to put your money, so that it is somewhat less likely to be used for irresponsible large investor/speculator leverage schemes, and more likely to do some good in our community.  This may seem like a drop in the bucket, our middle class monies, but it sends a message, is morally consistent with conservative values, and cumulatively could change some of the moral harm big money does in our nation.   It’s a national campaign, “Move your Money”—we are not alone in our discomfort, and our hope.   Explain to the Big Banks why your no longer giving them your business.

What are the risks of continuing down the same path of fiscal fireworks preferred by the Big Money movers?   Right now, our Congress, representing those guys, threatens “we the people” with one more disastrous fiscal cliff after another.

The Big Banks and their bankers, and the financial high rollers, continue to make news, as the country heads towards threatened bankruptcy.  An October 4th Wall Street Journal headline tells the story, More Than 5,000 Stockbrokers From Expelled Firms Still Selling Securities”.  Business as usual for Wall Street investment banking firms--which did terrible damage to middle class Americans’ savings, in the speculations leading to the banker’s being given government bailout in 2008.

The major financial corporations continue to thwart responsible regulation to stay in the international game of winner-take-all speculations.   They don’t want to be hobbled by the U.S. government in their pursuit of super riches.  Profit is their most important product—there is never enough.  Some digress from this path—“Enough” is good short book by John Bogle, grandfatherly founder of Vanguard funds.  Some, such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, begin to look for better ways to use some of their money.
The rich will find it hard to get into heaven riding their heavy laden camels, according to the Gospel.  The rich play by different rules that give them all the best on earth.  But the Good News says that turnabout is fair play for the rich and poor.  That turnabout is virtually guaranteed by Jesus in his story of the beggar Lazarus and Dives {Latin for “rich”}, and in the many times he says “woe” to those who hold on to too much wealth, and His description of the Last Judgment, in Matthew 25 .  The first will be last.  Death leads to eternal life.

Lazarus at the gate of the Rich Man
Apathy in the face of relievable human misery is radical evil.  -- Fr. E.C. McCarthy
Illumination by Kathy Brahney

More good sources ---

"Wall Street owns the country. It is no longer a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but a government of Wall Street, by Wall Street, and for Wall Street."   – Mary Elizabeth Lease – Populist orator of the 1890’s      Recurrent problem, prophetic vision.
The 147 Companies That Control Everything – Forbes Magazine article 10-22-11   "Each of these 147 own interlocking stakes of one another and together they control 40% of the wealth in the network [the world’s total corporately held wealth]."
The Top Fifty of these Corporate Owners - from same article - the vast majority, banks and financial holding companies.
1. Barclays plc
 2. Capital Group Companies Inc
 3. FMR Corporation
 4. AXA
 5. State Street Corporation
 6. JP Morgan Chase & Co
 7. Legal & General Group plc
 8. Vanguard Group Inc
 9. UBS AG
 10. Merrill Lynch & Co Inc
 11. Wellington Management Co LLP
 12. Deutsche Bank AG
 13. Franklin Resources Inc
 14. Credit Suisse Group
 15. Walton Enterprises LLC (holding company for Wal-Mart heirs)
 16. Bank of New York Mellon Corp
 17. Natixis
 18. Goldman Sachs Group Inc
 19. T Rowe Price Group Inc
 20. Legg Mason Inc

"An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy."

As for the private wealth holders --

"Forbes list of wealthiest Americans shows America's rich have more wealth than ever"


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