4th Media: Looting the Pension Funds: Wall Street is Grabbing Money Meant for Public Workers + Pensions Lost RECAP

03 Economy, 07 Other Atrocities, 10 Transnational Crime, Civil Society, Commerce, Corruption

4th media croppedLooting the Pension Funds: Wall Street is Grabbing Money Meant for Public Workers

Oct 21st, 2013 @ 10:13 pm › Kiyul Chung

In the final months of 2011, almost two years before the city of Detroit would shock America by declaring bankruptcy in the face of what it claimed were insurmountable pension costs, the state of Rhode Island took bold action to avert what it called its own looming pension crisis. Led by its newly elected treasurer, Gina Raimondo – an ostentatiously ambitious 42-year-old Rhodes scholar and former venture capitalist – the state declared war on public pensions, ramming through an ingenious new law slashing benefits of state employees with a speed and ferocity seldom before seen by any local government.

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Detroit’s Debt Crisis: Everything Must Go

Called the Rhode Island Retirement Security Act of 2011, her plan would later be hailed as the most comprehensive pension reform ever implemented. The rap was so convincing at first that the overwhelmed local burghers of her little petri-dish state didn’t even know how to react. “She’s Yale, Harvard, Oxford – she worked on Wall Street,” says Paul Doughty, the current president of the Providence firefighters union. “Nobody wanted to be the first to raise his hand and admit he didn’t know what the fuck she was talking about.”

Soon she was being talked about as a probable candidate for Rhode Island’s 2014 gubernatorial race. By 2013, Raimondo had raised more than $2 million, a staggering sum for a still-undeclared candidate in a thimble-size state. Donors from Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital and JPMorgan Chase showered her with money, with more than $247,000 coming from New York contributors alone. A shadowy organization called EngageRI, a public-advocacy group of the 501(c)4 type whose donors were shielded from public scrutiny by the infamous Citizens United decision, spent $740,000 promoting Raimondo’s ideas. Within Rhode Island, there began to be whispers that Raimondo had her sights on the presidency. Even former Obama right hand and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel pointed to Rhode Island as an example to be followed in curing pension woes.

What few people knew at the time was that Raimondo’s “tool kit” wasn’t just meant for local consumption. The dynamic young Rhodes scholar was allowing her state to be used as a test case for the rest of the country, at the behest of powerful out-of-state financiers with dreams of pushing pension reform down the throats of taxpayers and public workers from coast to coast. One of her key supporters was billionaire former Enron executive John Arnold – a dickishly ubiquitous young right-wing kingmaker with clear designs on becoming the next generation’s Koch brothers, and who for years had been funding a nationwide campaign to slash benefits for public workers.

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Phi Beta Iota: Screwing the state employees is a little harder.  To loot the pension funds of private sector employees is much easier now that the Supreme Court has allowed corporations to place the pension fund liabilities in shell corporations that then declare bankruptcy, thus wiping out the pension fund that was looted before hand.

See Also:

2008 Paradigms of Failure ELECTION 2008 – Lipstick on the Pig (Full Text Online for Google Translate)

Berto Jongman: Deviant Globalization + Legalized Crime Meta-RECAP

Chuck Spinney: Fed Up With Larry Summers + Immoral Economics RECAP

DefDog: Michael Thomas on Wall Street’s Big Lie

DefDog: The Chicago Way–Pension Fund Corruption

Eagle: Are We Approaching Peak Retirement?

Gold Transformer: Federal Reserve Transparency Ploy, End of the Middle Period in Predatory Central Banking — Fed Cannot Account for $9 Trillion + Meta-RECAP

Jim Clifton (CEO at Gallup): Unemployment will Get WORSE in 2014

John Steiner: Matt Taibbi with Xmas Message from the Rich

Josh Kilbourn: Obama to Use Pension Funds of Ordinary Americans to Pay for Bank Mortgage “Settlement”

Journal: Chuck Spinney Highlights Labor Day in a Kleptocracy


Michael Moore on the Class War & Looting of America

Mini-Me: 40 Million in USA Employed by Federal, State, Local Governments?

Mini-Me: European-US Banking–Tangled Web — Tell Me Again, Why Shouldn’t We Default and Let the Banks Fry? + Financial Terrorism RECAP

Mini-Me: Geithner’s Fingerprints? Tungsten Gold Bar in UK + Meta-RECAP on Financial Fraud

Mini-Me: Wall Street is Untouchable — No One Goes to Jail

Owl: VIDEO – Twelve Year Old Nails Canadian Government & Banks

Paul Craig Roberts: The Libor Scandal In Full Perspective + Meta-RECAP

Reference: The Fraud-Based US Economy

Review: How Wall Street Fleeces America – Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War

Review: Who Stole the American Dream?

SmartPlanet: Corrupt Government Allows Corporate Socialism – Privatized Profits and Externalized Losses

Yoda: The Corruption of America

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