Secret Funding Made Big Banks Bigger
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Flanked by his economic team, President Obama in January 2010 "proposed what he called 'the Volcker Rule,' named after Paul Volcker, left, who had been one of the fiercest advocates for financial reform over the past year, and particularly focused on addressing the issue of banks being 'too big to fail,' the White House said. (Credit: White House)
"The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing," Bob Ivry, Bradley Keoun and Phil Kuntz of Bloomberg Markets magazine reported on Sunday.
"The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue.
"Saved by the bailout, bankers lobbied against government regulations, a job made easier by the Fed, which never disclosed the details of the rescue to lawmakers even as Congress doled out more money and debated new rules aimed at preventing the next collapse.
"A fresh narrative of the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009 emerges from 29,000 pages of Fed documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and central bank records of more than 21,000 transactions. While Fed officials say that almost all of the loans were repaid and there have been no losses, details suggest taxpayers paid a price beyond dollars as the secret funding helped preserve a broken status quo and enabled the biggest banks to grow even bigger.
" 'When you see the dollars the banks got, it’s hard to make the case these were successful institutions,' says Sherrod Brown, a Democratic Senator from Ohio who in 2010 introduced an unsuccessful bill to limit bank size. 'This is an issue that can unite the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. There are lawmakers in both parties who would change their votes now.'
"The size of the bailout came to light after Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, won a court case against the Fed and a group of the biggest U.S. banks called Clearing House Association LLC to force lending details into the open."
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Banter between Blaine Stewart and Laila Muhammad of WTKR in Norfolk, Va., on Oct. 31 (Video) . . .
. . . led to a second video of explanation on Nov. 8. (Video).
A video of a bald, white male co-anchor disclosing that his black, female television partner was wearing a hair weave — and her surprise that he made the revelation — "blew up" on the Internet so much that the anchors made a follow-up video of explanation.
The incident took place on Oct. 31 at WTKR-TV in Norfolk, Va., as Blaine Stewart speculated to co-anchor Laila Muhammad on their 5 a.m.-to-9 a.m. show about what would happen if the sprinkler system came on. It might "ruin that beautiful weave," Stewart said. Muhammad shrieked.
In the follow-up, Muhammad reveals that her natural hair is actually longer than the weave but that the station prefers the style represented by the faux hair.
Stewart told Journal-isms by email on Monday, "I think I was surprised by the amount of response the video received.
"As for the type of reaction, it makes sense to me. Locally, our viewers all responded positively and thought it was in good fun. That's what we're known for here. Laila and I are friends. Our four hours of morning news on WTKR and WGNT are very laid back and personable. We're very relaxed and natural. The response on the national level was mixed. I attribute that to the fact that many might not expect that kind of chat from a news program. I guess it seemed out of place to someone not familiar with our broadcast and I can see how it looked like I was taking a jab at her. Laila and I were good before — and we're good now. We just can't stop laughing about the whole situation."
The "rebuttal," he added, was posted on Nov. 8, "after we realized how the first video had blown up on the internet."
Muhammad said by email, "We are still laughing at these youtube clips, and surprised at how many people have viewed the videos. As I said in the rebuttal video, Blaine and I are friends. He's my TV hubby. If no one else knows you wear a weave, your husband surely does. If I could do it all over again, I would have simply said, 'Stop putting my business out there!' But it was all in good fun. Blaine meant no harm and I promise I did not attack him after we walked off the anchor desk. What this video has done is led to more 'weave' discussions among some coworkers and even friends in the TV business. I'm okay with that.
"Blaine and I are available for weave sensitivity courses at businesses across the country. Please contact us for bookings!"
"Telemundo Media announced today that Alina Falcon has been named Senior Executive Vice President, News and Alternative Programming and will start in early December," the NBC-owned Spanish-language network announced on Monday.
"A 28-year award-winning Hispanic media veteran, Falcon has held several leadership positions at Univision Communications, most recently as President of News. In her new role, she will report to Emilio Romano, President, Telemundo Media.
"Falcon will have strategic and operational oversight of all Telemundo news properties including the long-running 'Al Rojo Vivo with Maria Celeste,' 'Noticiero Telemundo' — which is up 12% year-to-date — and the Sunday public affairs show 'Enfoque with Jose Diaz-Balart.' Additionally, she will supervise the overall news programming strategy at the local Telemundo stations. Falcon also will oversee Telemundo’s domestic and international news bureaus, as well as all on-air news talent developments."
Falcon succeeds Ramon Escobar, who had also come from Univision. While at Telemundo, Escobar declared that Telemundo had beaten its larger rival on key stories.
Escobar had been hired by Don Browne, who retired as Telemundo president in June, six months after Comcast assumed control of NBCUniversal. He announced in September he was stepping down.
"The beginning of the National Basketball Association's lockout-shortened season will be televised on Christmas Day, if Saturday's handshake agreement can finalized, the league announced," Jon Lafayette reported Sunday for Broadcasting & Cable.
" 'We've reached a tentative understanding that is subject to a variety of approvals and very complex machinations but we are optimistic that will all come to pass and the NBA season will begin December 25th, Christmas Day, with a triple-header,' said NBA Commissioner David Stern at a press conference Saturday.
"The return of the NBA will help its television partners, Disney's ESPN and ABC and Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting, which generate considerable ad revenue, especially during the league's playoffs.
". . . Also benefiting are regional cable sports networks that have local deals with NBA teams.
"The shortened season will be 66 games long, with an All Star game."
The New Haven Register has formed an investigative team and engagement team as part of its "Digital First" newsroom reorganization, the Journal Register Co. announced on Monday.
"Quality journalism and digital journalism are not mutually exclusive,” Jim Brady, editor-in-chief of Digital First Media, said in a news release. "Our audiences demand quality stories and they expect to be able to consume those stories on the device and platform of their choosing. The structure we are putting in place in New Haven is one that will allow us to react to breaking news, dedicate journalists to in-depth reporting and to deepen the relationship with our audience."
The changes to the Register’s newsroom included creation of:
- An "Investigative and In-Depth Reporting Team: Led by Michelle Tuccitto Sullo, a 14-year newsroom veteran who led coverage of FBI investigations into corruption in community government, and Mary O’Leary, who has 32 years as a reporter and editor at The Register.
- "Audience Engagement Team: Angela Carter and Ed Stannard have been named Community Engagement Editors and will lead outreach efforts to listen to and partner with readers, including local organizations and neighborhood groups — as well as growing The Register’s Community Media Lab. . . . Angel Diggs, the Register’s librarian, will also join the Engagement Team as her role shifts from archiving the newspaper’s content to opening up those archives — for the community to access and enrich and for the newsroom to bring to life on the web. Diggs has worked at the Register for 31 years." Carter and Diggs are African American.
- The Breaking News team is to be led by Cara Baruzzi, The Register’s former business editor.
Since September, Jon Paton has been the CEO of Journal Register and MediaNews newspapers. In September, he named Brady, who became the Journal Register Co.’s editor-in-chief earlier in the year, editor-in-chief of Digital First Media.
"Paton's been credited with turning around [the] ailing Journal-Register, and he's an agent of change like many of us in this business have never seen before," Marc Charisse wrote this month in the Evening Sun of Hanover, Pa., part of the Journal Register Co. "Many hope he is the savior who will shepherd us past our print legacy into our electronic future."
On NBC's "Meet the Press," Michael Eric Dyson says Republican Herman Cain reinforces "a stereotype of what a black man is." (Video)
In February 2010, while NBCUniversal's absorption by Comcast was pending, NBC declared that "from interviews with political newsmakers to our roundtable discussions, 'Meet the Press' is committed to having a more diverse group of voices on the show whose opinions and expertise reflect, not just the news of the day, but the cultural, economical and political landscape of our country."
The network has largely kept its word in adding mainstream black voices. On Sunday, Michael Eric Dyson, social critic and Georgetown University professor, raised the issue of race in the roundtable's assessment of President Obama.
"He's in a very tough position, I think, because, you know, it — people want him to get angry," Dyson said.
"You know, people call, 'Stand up.' You know, and I, of course, believe that the spine should be shown. But he's in a difficult position. If he does it, then he's the angry black guy, 'This is the guy we warned you against.' And let's not underestimate the degree to which the right wing has been able to exploit, in very impolitic fashion, some of those racist elements that are substrata there, but that the paranoia and fear of what it might mean to see Obama have a second term, that has been a galvanizing impact that people have, I think, to this..."
A few minutes later, Rich Lowry of the National Review challenged Dyson statement.
"I just want to address Michael's last point. You know, a tea party hero is Herman Cain, and there is zero racial anxiety there among tea parties — partiers supporting an African American.
"Well," Dyson replied, "that's because he reinforces a stereotype of what a black man is. I mean, Obama being from Hawaii, the politics of chill. Let's just, can't we all, it's not Martin Luther King, it's Rodney King, "Can't we all get along?" I think Herman Cain reinforces certain stereotypes about what that might mean. And I can't figure Cain out. On the one hand he says there's no longer any concern in this country about racism and racial intolerance, and then three weeks later, because of the charges against him, he's talking about being the victim of a high-tech lynching. Well, which one is it? Does race make a difference? Does it not make a difference? I don't think he's been able to make up his mind about that."
Host David Gregory said, "I think we got a whole 'nother program there to have that discussion."
Meanwhile, on CBS-TV's "Face the Nation," Condoleezza Rice, national security adviser and secretary of state in the George W. Bush administration, questioned whether "race and class, that is race and poverty, is not becoming even more of a constraint" than ever.
"Because with the failing public schools, I worry that the — the way that my grandparents got out of — poverty, the way that my parents became educated, is just not gonna be there for a whole bunch of kids. And I do think that race and poverty is still a terrible witch's brew."
People en Español was the third-ranked monthly magazine for 2011, based on the number of advertising pages gained, Min online reported on Monday.
"The Spanish-language magazine, [led] by appointed-in-May 2011 publisher Monique Manso has been in our top 5 all year," Greer Jonas wrote. "Its year-end 2011 ad-page gain is 228. 'Key categories like beauty and retail continued to be very strong for us,' says Manso. 'But we really built our momentum from the moment we started celebrating our 15th anniversary. In fact, our October celebratory issue was our biggest ever. In November, we amplified our 25 Most Influential Women editorial franchise by creating excitement with consumer online voting for the most notable women making an impact on community. For 2012, we'll be gearing up to have another outstanding year as we'll launch new franchises and see some existing advertising programs really branch out.' "
The top-ranked monthly was People StyleWatch, a fashion magazine from Time Inc., as is People en Español. Second was Source Interlink's Power & Motoryacht.
- Buffalo News sportswriter "Allen Wilson is back in Roswell Park Cancer Institute," Mark Gaughan, president of the Pro Football Writers Association, told colleagues. "He had been spiking random fevers for two days, and went back in the hospital on Tuesday. . . . tests showed his acute leukemia has returned. . . . So he is starting up a new round of chemotherapy. . . . On the positive side, Allen's sister has completed all rounds of testing and is fully cleared for the bone-marrow transplant operation." Friends held a benefit for Wilson in October.
- "A Miami congresswoman is pressuring National Public Radio stations, the cable television network CNBC and others to stop airing sponsorships and advertising by a giant German insurer that collaborated with the Nazis," Jay Weaver wrote Friday for the Miami Herald. "U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is pushing legislation that would allow Holocaust survivors to sue Allianz AG, has launched a letter-writing campaign aimed at blocking the insurer from advertising with any U.S. media until it pays off all Holocaust survivors’ life insurance claims. During World War II, Allianz insured concentration camp facilities and sent money to the Nazis instead of rightful Jewish beneficiaries."
- "Naomi Campbell is to don a new hat — as editor at large of the Russian and German editions of Interview magazine," Women's Wear Daily reported last week. "The model has penned the introduction to the December issue of the Russian version of the magazine. . . "
- "Elizabeth Zavala has recently landed a job as Web Content Editor for MultiBriefs, a division of MultiView," Veronica Villafañe wrote last week for Media Moves. "In her current role, she’s responsible for providing content for 10 association-branded e-mail publications and websites. . . . Until March of this year, Liz was Assistant Metro Editor/iPad Content Editor for The Dallas Morning News. She was previously a reporter and Deputy City Editor for the [Fort] Worth Star-Telegram and [an] Assistant Metro Editor for The Dallas Morning News."
- Robert E. Conot, who wrote "Rivers of Blood, Years of Darkness,' an exhaustive 1967 study of the unrest behind the Watts riots of 1965, died Nov. 16 in Thousand Oaks, Calif., after a brief illness, said his daughter, Gigi. He was 82, Valerie J. Nelson reported Sunday for the Los Angeles Times. Conot retired in 2009 after two decades as an editor with the now-defunct Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service.
- Jean Yoo, 36, the co-anchor of a popular Korean-language news program, was found dead in her Los Angeles apartment on Monday in what police are calling a suicide, according to news reports, the KoreAm Journal reported.
- "Southeast Asia has unfortunately earned a reputation for not being a safe place for journalists," according to Gayathry Venkiteswaran, executive director of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance, writing for Al Jazeera. "The threats? Pick a card. They range from imprisonment for crimes in outdated libel and slander laws, detention without trial, violence against media personnel, and impunity in the killing of journalists. It is no coincidence that journalists who face risks are those whose stories have exposed weaknesses in the governance structures, lopsided distribution of resources, and the absence of accountability and transparency."
- "It's a cruel irony that many who fought against South Africa's white-minority regime and its harsh apartheid laws are now accusing the black-led African National Congress government — many of whom also fought the same battle — of instituting a law that is a throwback to those oppressive days," journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault wrote Monday for theRoot.com. ". . . at least 88 editors of South African newspapers signed a petition last week protesting the bill. They and others see the bill putting a lid on any information the state deems to be a threat to national security — constituting, in essence, a gag on the media."
- "For a second year, the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) will offer the 'Bringing Home the World: International Reporting Fellowship Program for Minority Journalists,' the center announces. "Through this fellowship, journalists of color gain foreign reporting experience and an opportunity to cover important international issues that resonate with their communities. Applicants must present a project proposal in their application, detailing the reporting project they would be interested in pursuing. The deadline for submitting applications is January 6, 2012."
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