Some investors in 401(k) retirement funds are reportedly finding that they can’t get their money — the months of turmoil in the stock market has resulted in some individuals finding their investments in certain retirement-plans frozen — and some employers are having trouble getting rid of risky investments in 401(k) plans.
One such victim is Ed Dursky who was laid off in March. He found that he couldn’t withdraw $40,000 from his 401(k) retirement account that was invested in the Principal U.S. Property Seperate Account, an account that invests directly in office buildings and other properties. Last fall, that account stopped allowing most investors to make withdrawals since many of its holdings have become harder to sell. Other victims of 401(k)’s having their money held hostage can be found in the article from the Wall Street Journal.
The inconvenient withdrawal restrictions are preventing people like Mr. Dursky who have been laid off from accessing their savings. Many 401(k) investors aren’t aware that some behind-the-scenes maneuvers are causing more problems with their retirement plans. According to the Wall Street Journal, many funds offered in 401(k) plans lend their portfolio holdings to other investors who receive collateral in exchange that gets invested in normally safe liquid holdings.
Those actions are aimed at generating a small but relatively reliable return to help offset fund expenses, but recently, many of the collateral investments have gone bad, resulting in money managers restricting retirement plans’ withdrawals from the lending funds. In cases of employer bankruptcy and other events that can cause withdrawals, funds can be locked up for months at a time.
Many investors in the Principal U.S. Property Separate Account’s 15,000 plans haven’t been able to make withdrawals or transfers since late September of last year. The fund, which had $4.3 billion in net assets at the end of April 2009 still makes distributions for death, disability, hardship and retirement at normal retirement age.
As of April 28, $1.1 billion, or almost 26% of the fund’s net assets had yet to be honored. The fund continues falling, declining 25% in the 12 months ending April 30 and many investors continue watching their investments decline. Principal is still allowing new investors who are warned of potential withdrawal delays into the fund. More information on Principal and other retirement plans can be found in the article from The Wall Street Journal.
Feds Won’t Reveal the Truth About Wall Street
401(k)’s, like other major aspects of the corrupted financial industry, are having problems due to the world banking system’s dire distress, that are a result of ‘calculated dishonesty’ on the part of corporate CEOs aided and abetted by corrupted politicians and regulators that has paved the way for the fraudulent financial meltdown we’re experiencing today.
The now-defunct IndyMac, who specialized in making fraudulent liar’s loans, sold multiple billions of dollars worth of toxic things to other companies and AIG, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, etc. knew what they were doing was fraudulent.
Not one of the criminals responsible for the financial fraud plaguing America and the rest of the world has been held accountable for their actions, nor have they been replaced at their jobs. Putting honest people in charge of those fraudulent banks that are destroying America could destroy the ongoing cover-up orchestrated by our Federal government, including the Obama administration.
Timothy F. Geithner and others in the Obama administration know fully well that Wall Street orchestrated the largest financial fraud known to man and that the large banks are insolvent due to their fraudulent activities. Instead of fixing the problem and dealing with the perpetrators of the massive fraud, Geithner and the Obama administration continue covering up the losses by lying about them and injecting taxpayer money into them. Taking effective actions and revealing the truth would be devastating to both Wall Street and the Federal government they own.
For $5.2 Billion, You Too Can Own Congress
You too can own Congress for $5.2 Billion. A large (231 pages) report (PDF) from Wall Street Watch details how over the years, the Money Industry — the financial oligarchy — sold out America to gain control over American politicians and all who live in America. It’s a lengthy report worth reading. A nice breakdown of the report can be found in this article from 321Gold. The ‘Money Industry’ bribed the U.S. Congress for $5.2 Billion over the past decade, effectively selling the general American public out.
Wall Street showered Washington with over $1.738 billion in ‘campaign contributions,’ and another $3.441 billion on 2,996 officially registered lobbyists (more than five lobbyists for each individual member of Congress) whose job entailed putting pressure on Congress for deregulation. For the paltry sum of $5.179 billion, Wall Street was able to payoff Congress and deregulate the financial industry, resulting in the mess we see today. As many of us noted a few weeks ago, the phony Congressional outrage over the AIG bonuses was nothing but political theater. Congress knew about the bonuses all along.
It took 25 years, beginning with the Reagan administration, for the U.S. to effectively deregulate Wall Street, sell out America and cause financial ruin courtesy of many forms of fraud perpetrated by Wall Street. Special accounting rules are still in place today that allow these insolvent financial firms to hide their fraudulent assets from public view. Every president since Reagan, including two Bush’s and Clinton have made sure that any efforts to regulate the fraud is blocked. Predatory lending practices were intentionally ignored. Money subverted the law and all forms of opposition while dangers from unregulated, greed-driven financial fraud and speculation ended up bankrupting many Americans.
Once the walls around Wall Street’s fraudulent activities started crumbling down, Wall Street went running to their slaves in Congress. We witnessed the power Wall Street has over Washington last September when the fraudulent $700 Billion ‘bailout’ was forced down every American taxpayer’s throat. Contrary to Speaker Pelosi’s blatant lie about the party being over on Wall Street, the party is still in full swing. Trillions have been pumped into the financial industry by the U.S. government — much of it being taxpayer debt that will last for generations to come. Money ‘loaned’ to Wall Street is being used to maintain control over Congress in the form of ‘contributions.’
As noted by 321Gold, you can go to jail for stealing a loaf of bread, but if you have paid off Washington, you can steal the life-savings, livelihoods, homes and dreams of an entire nation and be allowed to live in fancy homes, drive fancy cars, throw multi-million dollar birthday parties and more without any consequences. Obama’s key appointees to the Treasury, the SEC and other agencies are veterans of the Money Industry who remain in charge. Despite stealing trillions from Americans, Wall Street continues warning about the perils of restricting ‘financial innovation’ despite the fact that their fraudulent ‘financial innovation’ created this mess we’re in. Until America recognizes and changes that, don’t expect it to get any better. It’s time for Congress to serve the people, not the Money Industry. Other examples of Wall Street’s ownership of Congress can be found from Think Progress, Fire Dog Lake, Wall Street Watch, The Daily Kos and Mother Jones.
Repealing the Glass-Steagall Act
In late 1999 Congress repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, allowing more banks to merge with insurance companies and investment houses. Many members of the Obama administration — formerly members of the Clinton administration — were responsible for intentionally leading this country into an economic meltdown.
The Senate reportedly voted to pass Gramm-Leach-Bliley legislation by a vote of 90-8, reversing a framework for financial oversight and regulation that was in place for more than six decades that governed the functions and reach of the nation’s largest banks. Once these large banks were no longer bound by laws and regulations, commecial and investment banks were able to merge. Once passed, banks could now sell insurance and stocks.
Now that 10 years has passed, and Wall Street defrauded the U.S. with the help of the Federal government, current members of Congress — Dodd, Schumer and a plethora of others who have been in Congress entirely too long — who voted for passage of the legislation in 1999 have tried downplaying the significance of their support.
Previous members of the Clinton White House shift between defensiveness and repentance due to the fact that there wasn’t enough oversight — a problem that has plagued Congress for decades. Some argue that repealing the law was responsible for the sharp growth the market experienced, conveniently ignoring the fact that the banks intentionally and fraudulently created the housing bubble responsible for bringing this country to its knees. More information is available at The Huffington Post.
A video describing some of the criminal fraud — how a ‘by-any-means-necessary’ policy that made employees cut corners and falsify documents on bad mortgages to sell the toxic assets to Wall Street banks eager to make fast profits — that caused the financial meltdown can be found here.
Fraudulent Financial Oligarchy Still in Charge of the U.S.
An article entitled ‘The Quiet Coup‘ from The Atlantic begins with “the crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government — a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises…” and goes on to note that recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform.
America’s problem, as noted by War On You, is that instead of breaking up the financial oligarchy at the core of America’s financial meltdown to permit essential reform — instead of holding the criminals responsible — the government is allowing their Wall Street owners to continue using their influence to prevent the sorts of reform that are immediately needed to pull the economy out of its nosedive.
Instead, our corrupted politicians in Washington do nothing but succumb to the bribes given them by Wall Street, resulting in taxpayers being left holding a very expensive tab. If the behavior of our financial oligarchy is not changed, long-term consequences could be devastating.
The powerful elites of the financial oligarchy overreached in good times and took too many risks, resulting in global investors being afraid that the country wouldn’t be able to pay off its mountainous debt, stopped lending. Again, financial fraud from Wall Street CEOs aided by corrupt politics as usual in Washington is responsible for the financial crises we’re faced with today.
Even the U.S. Federal Reserve Inspector General has no idea who received the bailout money since the Treasury is being so secretive. Whenever there is that much secrecy in the government — as the past eight plus years has repeatedly proven — you can bet there are some serious problems being intentionally covered up to save someone’s butt.
The Federal government’s handling of the financial fraud on Wall Street has been done for the most part in total secrecy with U.S. citizens having no idea of where their tax dollars are going with the fraudulent bailouts of these ‘too large to fail’ financial institutions. A lot more information on the fraudulent problems caused by Washington corruption and America’s financial oligarchy can be found from The Atlantic and War On You. More on how America was conned can be found in this article from The Guardian UK.
Time to Hold the Fraudulent Perpetrators Accountable
The fact that Wall Street is looting the Federal Treasury and using taxpayer money to pay bonuses to the criminals who bankrupted this country is getting extremely old. The lies about the ‘sanctity of contracts’ is also getting extremely old. The Government breaks contracts all the time, as noted by The Huffington Post, so that excuse doesn’t cut it. It’s time to put an end to Wall Street’s ponzi-like scheme and put the criminals in jail where they belong.
U.S. and foreign banks were reportedly deliberately culpable in the financial meltdown that engulfed the United States last year. 25 ‘subprime’ mortgage companies whose risky lending was blamed for the market collapse were named by the Center for Public Integrity. More information on the fraudulent financial meltdown can be found from The Online Journal.
Part of President Obama’s budget plan plugs huge loopholes that have allowed American companies to hide assets and evade paying taxes. For that, Obama has drawn the ire of some of his wealthiest supporters. Oh well. 83 of the largest 100 publicly traded U.S. companies reportedly have subsidiaries in tax havens or ‘financial privacy’ jurisdictions, as do 63 of the largest U.S. federal contractors. These large corporations have run amok long enough and it’s time to do something about it. An investigation into the fraudulent activities, accountability and a lot more regulations would be a good place to start.
As noted by Washington’s Blog, happy talk and fake confidence building — also known as lying — will not work to fix the crises holding America’s money hostage. Instilling false confidence will inevitably backfire and make the crises worse. The supposed ‘stress tests’ for the banks were nothing more than a con game. The only way to fix the problem is to honestly address the causes of the crises, honestly address the necessary medicine needed to get out of the crises and hold those responsible for the crises accountable for their actions. America’s money has been held hostage long enough.