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Tag: deutsche bank

Two Big Banks Sever Ties With Trump Organization Over Capitol Riot

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump may not see the error of his ways but some of the United States' largest banks are making it known they strongly disagree with his actions.

According to The New York Times, Deutsche Bank is distancing itself from the president amid the aftermath of the deadly riots that erupted at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Although Trump owes the bank approximately $300 million, the paper reports that the German financial institution wants no future business dealings with the president or his companies.

In addition to Deutsche Bank, New York's Signature Bank also released a statement confirming the closure of Trump's personal bank accounts while calling for the lame-duck president to resign from his post. The bank has also vowed not to conduct any further business with any Congressional members who actively worked to overturn the outcome of the presidential election and block the electoral college certification.

"We have never before commented on any political matter and hope to never do so again," Signature Bank said in a statement. "However, as Americans we are deeply, deeply saddened by the rioting and insurrection which took place in the most sacred of American institutions, our United States Capitol."

It added, "To witness a rioter sitting in the presiding chair of the U.S. Senate and our elected representatives being told to seek cover under their seats is appalling and an insult to the Republic. We witnessed the President of the United States encouraging the rioters and refraining from calling in the National Guard to protect the Congress in its performance of duty."

The bank concluded by saying: "At this point in time, to ensure the peaceful transition of power, we believe the appropriate action would be the resignation of the President of the United States, which is in the best interests of our nation and the American people."

The banks' decisions to sever ties with Trump could lead to an additional financial threat after he leaves the White House next week. Following his departure, Trump could be subject to a number of criminal investigations for fraud, tax evasion, and even sexual misconduct.

Retired Justice Kennedy’s Son Helped Trump With Huge Deutsche Bank Loans

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

During Justice Anthony Kennedy's 31 years on the U.S. Supreme Court, liberals and progressives had a love/hate relationship with the Reagan appointee — praising him for his rulings on gay rights and abortion rights while slamming his economic rulings as beneficial to unchecked corporate power. And those who viewed Kennedy as being too quick to side with big business are likely to have similar views on his son, Justin Kennedy, who according to the New York Times, has been very close to Trumpworld and helped Donald Trump secure almost $700 million in loans for a real estate project in Chicago.

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Deutsche Bank Turned Over Trump's Financial Records To Manhattan District Attorney

Deutsche Bank, the German financial powerhouse that loaned hundreds of millions of dollars to the Trump Organization when other banks shunned that company, has turned over records of its transactions subpoenaed by the Manhattan District Attorney's office, according to the New York Times.

District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., has sought the president's personal and corporate tax records in court, without revealing much about the alleged crimes under investigation, although he is know to be looking into hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Vance's prosecutors justified the extensive demand for Trump's records before a judge in New York state Supreme Court last Monday by citing reports of "extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Truomp Organization.".

On Wednesday, the Times reported that Vance's office had subpoenaed the German bank in 2019, indicating that his probe was examining allegations far beyond the payoffs to Daniels and McDougal. The Times also noted the confirmation of the prosecutor's long-rumored interest in Trump's dealings with Deutsche Bank.

The bank responded to the subpoena by handing over documents used by Trump when he applied for loans, according to unnamed sources cited by the Times.

In June, Trump's lawyers claimed that the subpoena for his tax returns was overly broad and politically motivated. But on Monday, Vance's lawyers replied that the Trump team was operating under "the false premise" that the investigation is limited to the hush-money payments. Instead, they noted that when the subpoena was issued "there were public allegations of possible criminal activity at plaintiff's New York county-based Trump Organization dating back over a decade."

"These reports describe transactions involving individual and corporate actors based in New York county, but whose conduct at times extended beyond New York's borders," said the court filing. "This possible criminal activity occurred within the applicable statutes of limitations, particularly if the transactions involved a continuing pattern of conduct."

The Times also reported on Wednesday that the Deutsche Bank subpoena demanded documents that might prove possible fraud by Trump and his company. Its story contrasted the bank's cooperation with other efforts to obtain Trump's financial records that were stymied in court.

At least two Congressional committees, both chaired by Democrats, have subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for documents related to Trump, who sued to prevent their release. New York Attorney General Letitia James likewise subpoenaed the bank for Trump's records last year. Trump has denounced Vance's investigation as "a continuation of the witch hunt".

Son Of Federal Judge Shot Dead At Home, Husband Wounded

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Daniel Anderl, the 20-year old son of a federal judge was shot to death in his parents' New Jersey home by a gunman posing as a FedEx driver. U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas' husband was also shot. Mark Anderl, 63, is in critical condition.

The New Jersey Globe also reports Judge Salas was not physically harmed.

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Supreme Court Must Decide Whether Trump Is Above The Law

This article was produced by the Independent Media Institute.

"L'état, c'est moi" ("I am the state") —Declaration attributed to Louis XIV, King of France

Article II of the U.S. Constitution vests the executive power of the federal government in a president, not a king. Kings rule by fiat. The president is supposed to govern with the consent of the people and in coordination with Congress and the judiciary, the two other co-equal branches of government.

Donald Trump, our 45th president, has never accepted our constitutional structure of checks and balances, asserting instead, as he did in a speech last July, that under Article II, "I have the right to do whatever I want as president."

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Trump Organization Seeking Loan Deferments From Deutsche Bank

The coronavirus pandemic has forced countless businesses in the United States to suspend or slow down their brick-and-mortar operations, including some owned by the Trump Organization. And the New York Times reports that President Donald Trump's company is asking Deutsche Bank about possibly postponing payments on loans it has received.

Times journalists David Enrich, Ben Protess and Eric Lipton report, "With some of its golf courses and hotels closed amid the economic lockdown, the Trump Organization has been exploring whether it can delay payments on some of its loans and other financial obligations."

It has been widely reported that Deutsche Bank is, hands down, the Trump Organization's largest lender. And the Times journalists report that the company's representatives have recently spoken with Deutsche "about the possibility of postponing payments on at least some of its loans from the bank."

One of the many brick-and-mortar businesses operated by the Trump Organization is a golf club in Palm Beach County, Florida, where it has been making monthly payments and leasing county land. And according to the Times, the Trump Organization "sought guidance last week from Palm Beach County about whether it expected the company to continue making monthly payments" on that land.

Eric Trump, one of the president's sons, told the Times, "These days, everybody is working together. Tenants are working with landlords, landlords are working with banks. The whole world is working together as we fight through this pandemic."

In response to coronavirus, the Trump Organization has closed its Mar-a-Lago resort in South Florida. In addition, the Times notes, it "has temporarily closed its hotel overlooking the Las Vegas Strip, cut staff and services at its hotels in New York and Washington and largely shuttered its golf clubs in Florida and New Jersey."

Why Trump’s Top Three Coronavirus Strategies Will Fail

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Even as President Donald Trump continues to insist that he’s done a superb job handling the coronavirus crisis, the evidence of his extreme failures abound. In a hearing before Congress on Thursday, a top official in the administration’s response contradicted Trump about the government’s testing capabilities and acknowledged the shortfall as an important “failing.”

And the same official, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned the previous day about the outbreak: “It’s going to get worse.”

While Fauci was speaking as an expert in infectious disease, economists — and anyone glancing at the stock market — fear that the risk of financial fallout from the pandemic is equally dim.

And as Trump can’t stop from patting himself on the back over his botched response so far, he shows little indication of improving his management of the crisis going forward. It seems he has three main policy tactics on the table for addressing the crisis, but none of them is anywhere close to adequate:

1. Border control

Trump has repeatedly boasted about his decision on Jan. 31 to restrict travel to the United States by foreigners who had recently been to China, where the outbreak began. It’s not clear how much this policy really helped the U.S. — the virus came here regardless — but it may indeed have been the right call, and it may have delayed the spread of the outbreak.

But it appears the Trump administration squandered the time it bought with this measure; it didn’t prepare health care facilities around the country for the coming onslaught, and it didn’t amp up a testing regime that will be necessary to detect the growing number of coronavirus cases.

And now, Trump has launched a new travel ban against parts of Europe. Trump’s announcement Wednesday night from the Oval Office of the restrictions was incredibly sloppy, filled with inaccuracies about the important details of the policy that had to later be corrected. And European officials don’t appear to have been consulted about the change prior to the announcement, which only increases tensions with our allies. But most importantly, it’s not clear what good the ban really does. It may help reduce the spread of the infection on the margins, but the outbreak is already unfolding in the United States, and that’s where the administration’s efforts will be needed. Yet the president laid out no comprehensive plan to reduce the spread of the virus stateside.

Matt Yglesias at Vox explained:

But as my colleague Jen Kirby has written, experts are deeply skeptical that travel restrictions are a particularly high-value measure at this point. And even if Trump’s enthusiasm for them is not wrong per se, it’s clear that his obsession with the concept of an external threat has had catastrophic consequences for the United States. Due to his strong orientation in favor of travel bans, Trump was early in restricting travel from China — a measure that he said would prevent the virus from entering the United States. It obviously failed at that goal, but Trump insists at every opportunity on claiming and receiving credit for having been ahead of the coronavirus curve.

The problem is that while these measures probably were successful at helping the United States buy time, Trump didn’t do anything with the time.

It’s understandable that the president hoped the travel restrictions would work. But he knew perfectly well that he hadn’t shut off all travel to the United States (which would have been economically ruinous) and thus that it was possible border control would fail. Experts were nearly unanimous in their judgment that travel restrictions would not work, and Trump not only overruled their advice to put restrictions in place, he ignored their warnings and did nothing to create any kind of fallback plan. And since he’s stubborn and vainglorious, he continues to insist that the moral of this whole story is that the experts were wrong and he was right so we should bank on further travel restrictions to save us. It’s absurd.

2. Tax cuts

Trump is also considering another idea that is the default Republican response to, well, anything: tax cuts. Is the economy doing well? Well, we should give a tax cut so everyone can enjoy the wealth, Republicans say. Is the economy doing badly? Well, that means we need a tax cut so people have money to spend, Republicans add. Is the economy in a middling state? Well, tax cuts will help supercharge growth, Republicans insist.

Now, as fears about the coronavirus tank the stock market and the economy appears to be approaching a recession, Trump and Republicans are floating the idea of a payroll tax cut. At its core, it’s not the worst idea — getting people extra cash to forestall or mitigate a recession can work. But many argue that a payroll tax cut is the wrong way to go about it; we’d be better off just mailing everyone checks.

As MarketWatch reported:

“A one-year payroll tax cut of 2% of income would provide up to a $5,508 tax cut to a high-income couple, only $500 to a single parent getting by on $25,000 a year, and nothing for a worker placed on leave without pay,” Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors during the Obama administration, wrote on Twitter …

In 2011-12, the Obama administration cut the payroll tax to 4.2% from 6.2%. “I was a key part of the negotiation that resulted in the payroll tax cut in 2011 and 2012. I continue to think it was the best we could do at the time given the political constraints. But it was far from optimal then and would be even further from optimal now,” Furman added.

“Also, it is not accelerated enough — it just drips out with each paycheck so it is spread out over time,” he said. “Right now time is of the essence. I would much rather get people money sooner. Maybe they save it. Maybe they have flexibility to miss some work. Maybe they spend it.”

3. Bullying the Fed

The other approach Trump seems keen on taking is one of his favorite pastimes: bullying the Federal Reserve for more accommodative monetary policy. Trump has repeatedly complained when the Fed raised interest rates in the face of a strong economy, and he now seems to think it should be doing more to mitigate the coming obstacles. According to the Washington Post, he berated Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in an effort to get him to urge Fed Chair Jerome Powell to do more.

But it’s not clear how much more the Fed can really do. On Thursday, the New York Fed announced a plan to inject more than $1.5 trillion of liquidity into the flagging market, but the by end of day, the Dow Jones had nevertheless plummetted 10 percent, its worst day since 1987.

CNBC reported that experts don’t believe central banks are well-equipped to change the trajectory of the potential downturn under these circumstances:

“The idea is deeply ingrained in financial markets that, when there is a major global economic downturn, central banks quickly come to the rescue with aggressive policy rate cuts,” analysts from Japanese bank Nomura wrote in a Thursday report.

“Markets are anticipating the same policy playbook even though this COVID-19-induced economic downturn is different from others,” they added.

The analysts explained that the current economic slump is not caused by financial events such as asset prices running ahead of fundamentals. Instead, it’s triggered by a spread of a new virus, so “the best immediate response” is “first and foremost health security policies,” they said.

Danziger: I Know Nothing!

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.com.