tv [untitled] July 5, 2012 11:00pm-11:30pm EDT
marvin in washington d.c. and here's what's coming up tonight on the big picture. is that much of mitt romney's wealth is hidden in a shady network of off shore x. shelters but is this presidential hopeful really trying to hide in the caymans and is a man who outsources his money to foreign countries really the best fit as america's president also it is now it now appears that the world's banks are doing all they can to make the global financial crisis even worse our regulators and traders manipulating key interest rates and how did these immoral if not illegal actions go unchecked for so long and ask any republican in america and they'll tell you
there's an epidemic of voter fraud sweeping the nation but in reality u.f.o. sightings in this country are more common than people voting illegally so what's all this nonsense from the hard right really. you need to know this the republican nominee for president mitt romney a guy who seems to be trying to stash cash in a bank account and every time zone around the world as vanity fair reported this week romney who has a net worth of a quarter of a billion dollars as tens of millions of dollars and perhaps much much more hidden away in numerous offshore bank accounts all over the world some of those bank accounts romney pays zero nada zilch in taxes that includes an account in bermuda the value of which was not disclosed in his tax returns also includes thirty
million dollars he has stashed away in the cayman islands where there are no income taxes then there's the three million dr. in a swiss bank account and romney also has an undisclosed amount of money sitting in bank accounts in luxembourg and ireland as well as vanity fair notes come august romney with an estimated net worth of as high as two hundred fifty million he won't reveal the exact amount will be one of the richest people ever to be nominated for president given his reticence to discuss his wealth it's only natural to wonder how he got it how we invest it and if you pays all those taxes on it the story isn't just about romney though it speaks to something much bigger it speaks to how working class people have been duped for decades into believing that the wealthy can do no wrong and that the wealthy should never be punished because after all everyone else is just waiting for their turn to be wealthy too and now i have a man running for president on essentially that message joining me now is my pap and tony attorney and co-host of ring of fire radio bobby kennedy mike welcome back
to the program. great what's the essence of these revelations vanity fair this week . but i think you drill down to it it comes out of the simple question it is of the real question if you have nothing to hide why don't you put your money right here in america the average american has a checking account right here in america they have a.t.m. here in america did they get their loans here in america they have their savings accounts are american if you don't have anything to hide why don't you do that we do know this the three primary reasons if you drill down on the three primary reasons the folks betting offshore comes down to avoid subjecting their money to tax in forced mint ok they want to call it tax avoidance it's actually tax evasion most of the time they want to create a camouflage trail tom where it's virtually impossible to tell where the money came from and then the third part is to create a shell game where they can move money from one shell to the next shell in you
really could never follow it more importantly in most of these places hush money kickbacks you're not going to find out in a way it's a third world environment and speaking of the of the larger on the side i'd like to get back to to the politics of it but for example i mean jimmy carter famously walked to his inaugural we know nixon talked about how his wife had a good republican cloth coat instead of a fur coat f.d.r. came out and that there would be no new war millionaires as a result of world war two in fact here's here's franklin roosevelt on this just kind of illustrating this point. president. and a common sense of decency make it imperative that. come into being in this nation as a result of the struggle. the american people are not really the idea
of any american citizen growing rich. in the me. and human suffering so here was a guy who was born very wealthy who was a plutocrat f.d.r. and he got it you know that americans you know they don't have a problem people being rich but when when when it's like richard any coster rich and hide in the caymans or whatever or rich as a result of war how does how does how do we go from the f.d.r. world view that america embraced to this world view that romney's trying to pitch that that well i'll just leave it at that well you know you have the horatio alger story out there and the right has done a very good job as a matter fact the numbers are startling i saw a number one time tom we're more than fifty percent of people who are on who are on social security believe that they may at some point be
a millionaire but whether it's a lotto type of millionaire or whatever they believe that they they believe that that they want to project this idea of the good life for the millionaire because somehow if they don't then they're going to have to pay estate taxes someday and it's been a it's been a very good sale this horatio alger story that's been told in america although if you look at the statistics it rarely comes true it's just a very very small percentage of stories that really work out like that but the average american still believes that they want to believe that in the right has done an extraordinary job selling that you would be amazed when you look at the numbers of people who really believe they or their children are going to be this are going to move in this billionaire status at some point yeah ironically my dad was at one point the president of the horatio alger society here in the united states which is a bunch of book collectors of his books among others but and so i'm very familiar with those stories and i can tell you. in the horatio alger stories the young man
who ends up being a rich guy never ever stashes money in the cayman's is this going to work. i think i think this is something that can overcome the horatio alger story because most of the. people people make decisions based on their life experience most of them don't know anybody that has that has four or five banks in places like luxembourg or the cayman islands or switzerland they don't know anybody like that they don't have the experience of every seeing a need to do that and if the democrats will do what they're supposed to do they can tell the story about the associated the problem here when you drill right now into it is you have to ask what are the associations where what are the associations where that money comes from and it moves with this this money that we're talking about is very important understand it moves around to different accounts but it's
bundled it's bunched up with other money they did an extraordinary study in eastern europe two years ago and they determined that most of the people in the eastern europe area most of the people that use offshore bank do it and they determined that it was either political corruption or criminal conduct there's no difference here the problem here is this is a man who wants to be president united states and he's possibly bundling money with people who are in the drug business who are in the human trafficking business who are in the army illegal armaments business and so not to answer the question who are you doing business with is just something the american public is not going to buy if if the democrats will man up and tell the story properly. that's a very big if as you well know. the old saying a week is an eternity in politics here we are you know several months out from the election is that possible
. a i mean there was there was a survey that came out a day before yesterday of over forty percent of americans didn't even know the supreme court had ruled on health care i mean a lot of people in america are not engaged in politics or what's going on in this country to know what kind of possibility they think there is that the story will blow over during the summer and by the time that the fall comes and the campaign the last few weeks of the campaign romney will simply be able to say oh that's old news we've already discussed that. this is a story that can build it builds in different parts it builds on for example what happened with barkley this week what happened with barkley this week what happens with goldman sachs and j.p. morgan what the story is this this story builds on every time another event takes place if the democrats are smart they'll build on that they'll build on the corruption of all of this the corruption comes down to this this is the way i see this if we can't trust people at the top of the food chain the barclays and u.b.s.
news and the goldman sachs if we can't trust them to be honest with their money what do we think is happening with mitt romney money in a banana republic bank where hush money and kickbacks make the determination of how the money is reported what do we know about the money who's paying taxes on that money this is a very easy story to tell tom you can take this story and you can reduce it to thirty seconds i mean she's made to thirty minute ads very easily and so it all comes down to how aggressive the democrats will be whether they methodically build every week we have one of the barclays story when we have another j.p. morgan story a diamond story when we hear these stories what do the democrats do with every time they've tried to do something you have that the side of the democratic party that says gee you know what you're being kind of harsh here that's the last thing they need to worry about they need to be harsh like having tony do you think that
they're. should be and is and should be in a political sense a linkage between all of this money and the way that romney has been laundering and hiding it and how it was first earned the story line that the democrats are talking about right now or at least the obama campaign is talking about right now about bain throwing people out of work in favor of offshoring jobs. one of the attractions of bain capital was they could go to their investors and say not only are we going to take a business and we're going to destroy virtually destroyed the business we're going to take the copper out of their malls for for example we're going to sell sell off everything they have we're going to raid the pension program now we're going to do that but your real bonus mr investor is once we get that money we're going to take it off shore and the u.s. government isn't going to know all the details about it that was actually one of the it's use that bain capital use those are the kind of talking points that everybody can understand their visceral talking points you know it doesn't take
a lot of explanation to say why did bain capital sell this idea of offshore banking will it was the hide the money of the ill gotten gains what many people would consider ill gotten gains to begin with very very well so it might happen tony and thanks so much for being with us thank you joe the romney campaign is hoping that his offshore tax havens will be just forgot about or on the campaign trail or that they can just say hey that's old news we've already covered that they hope the same thing about romney's abuse of seamus the dog too. but that dog seems to follow him around the country and his countless flip flops on pretty much every issue that you can think of from health care to global warming to abortion immigration to campaign finance reform to well you get the point but we're the big picture aren't going to let that happen stay tuned. after the break in the midst of the global economic crisis it appears the wall street and the. the world's largest banks may have been
fixing key interest rates for personal gain if this is true or these actions illegal and what does this latest financial scandal mean for you and me. download the official anti up location to go on the phone oh i pod touch from the. life on the go. video on demand on t.v.'s mine comes and r.s.s. feeds now in the palm of your. question on the t.v. dot com. more news today violence is once again flared up. these are the images the world has
in screw news we turn to the ongoing and growing lie board scandal this is what you need to understand about libel it stands for the london interbank offered rate so what does that mean it's basically the rate that banks around the world are lending money to each other and the way it's calculated is that every day the banks submit what rate they can afford to borrow money at and the average of what all the banks submit becomes the libel rate actually the average of eight out of the sixteen they're randomly chosen but what's really important to remember here is the library doesn't just apply of the rate the banks lend money to each other it also applies to the rate that we consumers pay on several different types of loans including mortgages car loans and credit card rates and in addition all things that derivatives can be constructed based upon all together there's estimated to be
around three hundred sixty trillion dollars worth of assets including those derivatives around the world that are linked to these libel rates so if those rates are manipulated by banks artificially driven higher or lower and it affects a lot of people and leads to working people paying more on their loans which is exactly what happened earlier this week the c.e.o. and c.e.o. of barclays bank resigned after it was revealed their bank was routinely manipulating libre rates between two thousand and five and two thousand and nine barclays has since been hit with a four hundred million dollar four hundred fifty million dollars fine for this criminal activity. but the bigger question is was barclays alone in this or were other banks involved as well and not only that were governments and regulators involved in the scam to disgraced barclays c.e.o.'s bob diamond is alleged is alleging just that is the washington post reported on wednesday fallen banking
title titan bob diamond on wednesday described regulators on both sides of the atlantic as partly complicit in a scandal involving the manipulation of a key interbank lending rate telling a british parliamentary committee that government watchdogs had failed to act after his bank barclays informed them of industry wide irregularities during the us financial crisis so just how deep does the scandal go and how much money did the banks there's make this time screwing all around us to us for more on this story i want to welcome back max fraud wolf to the show he's an economist and structure of the graduate program in international affairs at the new school university and a senior analyst at green cross capital max welcome back. thank you glad to have you with us we've seen our fair share of banking scandals recently from j.p. morgan chase's massive loss to robo robo signing scandal where does this libel or rate rigging scandal rank among them in your opinion. i think it's very much
a developing story it's already quite large so we did see the four hundred fifty one million dollar fine for barclays it's important for people to realize twelve banks are under investigation to bank citi bank u.b.s. j.p. morgan and several other international money center banks so we're actually in the early innings of what promises to be a long ugly game probably with the extended seventh inning stretch of litigation here so it's a bit premature to know the full size of what we do know is that twelve the largest banks in the world had genes of traders inside of them which publish numbers on live war and your old war the european overnight offer rate numbers designed to allow traders to make quick gains on various fixed income products and that the other side of those trades which will discover through a process of the geisha and the probably be drawn out and quite acrimonious will have lost money in ways that are on kosher unethical and in many cases likely illegal we're going to see b.s. and city and j.p.
morgan and others come in first scrutiny and probably make settlements of their own so far people have sort of thought it was a barclays story it very clearly is much larger than that barclays just sort of cooperated more and went first in the process so it's another reminder to the public that things were going on and continued through two thousand and ten in some cases here to go on inside the banking structure that were anything other than copacetic or helpful to the economy and involved the manipulations for again which had negative implications for national economies as well as individual borrowers from student loans to to credit cards max this on this block there are two banks as a wells fargo bank of america if in either one of those local branches a teller had just lifted one hundred out of the drawer when it was open and stuck it in her purse or his jeans and at the end of the night walked out they would probably be and anybody found out they probably be in jail right now this bank barclays paid a four hundred fifty one million dollars we're mentally fine why is it nobody's
going to jail. but we did see some careers come to an end there but nobody is going to jail yet there are criminal inquiries one has already been opened inside the united states one is about to open inside the u.k. and there are several asian financial authorities as well as national governments looking into criminal charges and the one of the united states has already been opened with some interest in information from citibank bank of america j.p. morgan except for a as well as deutsche bank and some other banks that may or may not have been involved in something here so it is possible we'll see a criminal prosecution i wouldn't hold my breath and i think the old lesson of this is that you know you steal one hundred dollars and you may go to jail you steal hundred million dollars and maybe that you know you had up in the in the house of the senate. sadly let's switch gears here france france holland a whole on just introduced a new budget there is a new french president brings back free sarkozy tax levels on millionaires and big corporations how do you see his policies working out compared to the e.u. and i.m.f.
austerity demands. well i mean i think france is beginning to attempt to articulate another path forward we've seen this sort of devastating stories in spain and ireland and greece and we've seen what austerity often brings which is generally speaking more suffering a weaker economy and quite ironically lower tax revenues because even a rising share of a shrinking pie often means less for the government what all along is doing and he is of course elected in part as the public was angry with the austerity suggestions around europe is saying there's another way to balance budgets so we know that we need spending restraint we know we need increased tax revenue but what alarmed is doing with the support of the majority of the french public and certainly the younger folks and folks of limited middle class means is to say we can balance our budget by asking more from those who are most fortunate whether that's higher income taxes on the highest incomes rolling back sarkozy's reduction in those rates or a wealth tax which is an even more kind of progressive and innovative response to
a crisis and i think we're going to see that the fiscal policy decisions on tax and spending are being increasingly politicised all over the developed world and a lot of eyes will be all on the as the effort to have a wealth tax increase high income tax rates makes its way through the french legislature this is arguably a high wire act that he's performing and and the stakes are enormously high too because if he's successful it could pop that whole bubble of the of the austerity theory and you know the dominoes fall mangling metaphors here but you get my point i mean all over europe and here in the united states we've got basically the entire republican party committed to austerity on the other hand if he tries this and even if it's not his own fault if europe starts coming unraveled in france goes down then the austerity hawks you know have have a have had him for a lodge how do you think it's going to play out. i mean i agree with you i think that all eyes will be on this i think it will be very controversial and both sides
will find whatever they need to find it to justify the preexisting positions that being said you know you can have austerity without taking the extra pound of flesh from the least able to afford it part of what he's saying is austerity means belt tightening and let's tighten the biggest belts and the most belts first not the skinniest belts first so it is still an austerity program if you take more revenue out what a long does doing that i think is perhaps most interesting here is trying to raise a wealth tax which it would be a very revolutionary shift in tax burden here in the united states as well also raise high income tax but do it so that they don't have to cut social programs and education as part of a french commitment to increasing educational spending and also hiring more public sector workers so it's more or less the hundred eighty degree different mirror image of what's being pushed on ireland and spain and greece and what's generally suggested in the united states at the federal level by the republican party and what's implemented by democrats and republicans alike in state houses from
california to maine when when thomas jefferson was president he translated desert the tracey's book on on economics as a personal favor for the marquis de lafayette and sent back a note about the whole idea that tracy had suggested of a wealth tax of saying we're going to tax you on what you own as opposed to what you earn it's the best my knowledge has never been implemented in the united states other than jefferson ruminating about it however it has been part of european tax policy for you know on and off for to clean the u.k. for centuries what's the status of a wealth tax and do you think there's any possibility in the minute we have left here max that that it'll get through push through the french legislature. i think it'll be hard for i think there's a possibility that a watered down version will go through i would mention we do have wealth taxes in the united states boats and homes cars are taxed but we don't have this financial wealth taxes and that's less progressive because about eighty percent plus of the
financial assets united states are owned by the top five percent of americans by income and wealth however unequal income is wealth is always even more and equally distributed and it would be a very seriously progressive suggestion to do and we should keep in mind that the financial asset value of all financial assets held the united states is in excess of forty trillion dollars held by us entities globally and so there certainly could be a significant revenue raise probably interestingly the united nations is pushing a global wealth tax on billionaires to find economic development today too so we're seeing people already look and be inspired by a long suggestion whether or not it becomes law it's passing into the public debate and that itself is probably interesting absolutely and arguably good well thanks so much for being with us tonight. thank you thanks to financialization which is the overtaking of our economy by the financial sector we're all far too dependent on the big banks big banks that seem just as easy eager to screw you and me with artificially high interest rates is there to help us achieve the american dream
with a new home a new car or a student loan the time to do it france is doing tax the oligarchy on wall street and reduce finances control on our economy. crazy alert no life under the sea at least for mermaids remember last month when the centers for disease control issued a statement to americans saying that there was no evidence of the coming zombie apocalypse well no no ah the national oceanic and atmospheric administration has issued an equally bizarre statement saying there's no such thing as a mermaid it's in a statement on its website now as our marriage is real no evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found why no one is sure what while no one is sure why noah felt compelled to issue this statement some are saying it's because of
a new animal planet special that use so-called evidence to show their mates might actually exist or some people still believe in an alien global warming and donald trump's real hair i'm sure this official statement will do very little to stop the mermaid fans just like most of us still think the zombie a cop apocalypse is around the corner the matter what the c.d.c. says. after the break rhode island has become the first state in america to pass a law requiring groups airing political ads in the state reveal their donors so with this new level of transparency and disclosure being thrown into politics in the ocean state are more state law across the country likely to fall.