Tuesday, February 5, 2013

news with a little background

Two segments on a recent "Moyers & Company" TV program lend some background to events in the news today.

The first is an interview with Matt Taibbi about the old-boy banking network that allows financial criminality to flourish unchecked.

The second is and interview with Vicki Divoll and Vincent Warren about the implications for this democracy of drone warfare and the secrecy that shrouds its moral underpinnings.

In the drone department, the BBC reports today:
The legal basis for using drone strikes to kill US citizens has been disclosed in a leaked justice department memo.
US officials can authorise the killing of Americans abroad if they are leaders of al-Qaeda or its allies, according to the document obtained by NBC News.
In the uncorrected world of banking maneuvers, UBS reports faster-than-expected results in the overhaul of its investment bank, although fines for rigging rates did weigh on the bottom line. Taibbi, in his remarks, noted that fines paid by banks and other financial institutions for their naughty behavior that created an economic collapse are peanuts compared to income and the relief they must feel that no significant regulatory action has been taken. Those institutions are as free as they ever were before the 2008 collapse to indulge in yet another fraudulent run-up of prices ... prices the taxpayers, through their too-big-to-fail-arguing government, can be expected to pay. In a related matter, the Justice Department's civil lawsuit (not criminal, mind you) against rating agency Standard & Poors has been confirmed.

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