“The work continues…”


Cyrus Vance, Jr
Widline Cadet/NewYorker

On February 22nd, in an office in White Plains, two lawyers handed over a hard drive to a Manhattan Assistant District Attorney, who, along with two investigators, had driven up from New York City in a heavy snowstorm. Although the exchange didn’t look momentous, it set in motion the next phase of one of the most significant legal showdowns in American history. Hours earlier, the Supreme Court had ordered former President Donald Trump to comply with a subpoena for nearly a decade’s worth of private financial records, including his tax returns. The subpoena had been issued by Cyrus Vance, Jr., the Manhattan District Attorney, who is leading the first, and larger, of two known probes into potential criminal misconduct by Trump. The second was opened, last month, by a county prosecutor in Georgia, who is investigating Trump’s efforts to undermine that state’s election results.

Vance is a famously low-key prosecutor, but he has been waging a ferocious battle. His subpoena required Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars U.S.A., to turn over millions of pages of personal and corporate records, dating from 2011 to 2019, that Trump had withheld from prosecutors and the public. Before Trump was elected, in 2016, he promised to release his tax records, as every other modern President has done, and he repeated that promise after taking office. Instead, he went to extraordinary lengths to hide the documents. The subpoena will finally give legal authorities a clear look at the former President’s opaque business empire, helping them to determine whether he committed any financial crimes. After Vance’s victory at the Supreme Court, he released a typically buttoned-up statement: “The work continues.”

Sock it to him, Cy!

Public health, public policy in the Trump era

This report by the Lancet Commission on Public Policy and Health in the Trump Era assesses the repercussions of President Donald Trump’s health-related policies and examines the failures and social schisms that enabled his election.

Trump exploited low and middle-income white people’s anger over their deteriorating life prospects to mobilise racial animus and xenophobia and enlist their support for policies that benefit high-income people and corporations and threaten health.

His signature legislative achievement, a trillion-dollar tax cut for corporations and high-income individuals, opened a budget hole that he used to justify cutting food subsidies and health care. His appeals to racism, nativism, and religious bigotry have emboldened white nationalists and vigilantes, and encouraged police violence and, at the end of his term in office, insurrection. He chose judges for US courts who are dismissive of affirmative action and reproductive, labour, civil, and voting rights; ordered the mass detention of immigrants in hazardous conditions; and promulgated regulations that reduce access to abortion and contraception in the USA and globally…

Click through to the article. Registration is free and gives you access to the complete report.

As night follows day…

Like every political sound from the lips of Bannon – or Trump – fraud, deceit, lies are never missing. Any serious scholar of history classifies what they are trying to start as a “counter-revolution”. Fascism is not a step forward. It carries us in a stream of offal, blood and death, back into obedience to authoritarian violence. An end to democracy.

Call it what you want. It’s still Fraud!

JPMorgan Chase (JPM, -1.2%) will pay a record fine of $920M and admits wrongdoing in a settlement over market manipulation of metals futures and Treasury securities over eight years.

In the biggest penalty over the practice known as spoofing, the bank will pay a $436.4M fine, $311.7M in restitution and more than $172M in disgorgement, according to the CFTC.

Spoofing usually entails flooding derivatives markets with orders that the traders don’t intend to execute to deceive others into moving prices in a desired direction.

In the financial crash of 2008, my 5-figure money market savings account lost 54% of its value. The “expert” charged with managing that fund was fired. That wasn’t sufficient for me to continue doing business with the upper/mid-level firm I had trusted with my retirement account.

I don’t pay lots of attention to the financial industry’s movers and shakers; but, JP Morgan certainly has had a hefty enough reputation that I would have nodded assent to any friend who was thinking of sinking their savings into one of their investment products.

Now, they’re just another critter slouching in that line of trolls ready to take your hard-earned income and return a piece of the action back to you…no matter how they go about working at the increase. When crooked becomes one of the methods, we already get enough of that from Congress…who Mark Twain called “America’s only native criminal class.”