April 2010

Apparently the U.S. Attorney has opened a criminal investigation into the Goldman Sachs matter. Now there are 3 (Justice, SEC, US Attorney) separate government inquiries into the operations of the “bank” and more information about fraudulent activities may surface – or not. As the Wall Street blog 24/7 points out, many such inquiries have simply gone away after a few lower-level, “upper” management have been thrown under the bus. Of course, the Wall Street/Banks/Mortgage Broker triage-of-corruption, which has destroyed the economy— only those who accepted mortgage loans are likely to be targeted.

“The New York City Police Department is our most important partner in law enforcement. Citizens trust that every police officer will protect and defend their safety with honesty and integrity. This conviction reinforces that no one — even a member of law enforcement — is above the law, and that inexperience is not an excuse to violate the law intentionally. ”

“Every time an innocent man is sent to prison, the real criminal is let off the hook. The exoneration of Frank Sterling is a wake up call to take action in order to prevent another wrongful conviction from happening again. Let’s not waste this opportunity to make New York’s criminal justice system more fair, reliable and just,” said Senator Eric Schneiderman.

“The first job of the District Attorney is to ensure safety in our streets,” said District Attorney Vance. “Intentionally firing a gun into a crowd was a dangerous and deplorable act, with potentially fatal consequences. Although the overall crime rate in the city remains low, any outburst of violence will be handled seriously.”

NYU now comes before the Village community with its 25-year plan promising to give full consideration to Village traditions, building appropriateness, and local concern. The University’s drive to be the absolute center of intellectual life in a city of conspicuous intellect has alerted many. Thus Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer reminds the school’s leadership, "It's showtime!” and the City and community now demand "the full story."


Comptroller Liu: “First and foremost, our audit exposed $125 million owed to the City by the [New York City Economic Development Corporation]. The EDC was charged with collecting this money for the City; they are not entitled to keep it. Anything short of the EDC repaying the amount in full to the City is unacceptable and indefensible, especially as subways, firehouses and hospitals are threatened with closures due to deep budget deficits. The EDC has accumulated enormous control over City assets and funds in recent years. There are plenty of questions and even concern about what exactly the EDC does, as it deals with substantial amounts of City funds and publicly subsidized economic development. This episode only accentuates the need to reign in the EDC."


 DJ Raul Campos of KCRW once called Zigmat’s music is “edgy, rockin’, melodic and dreamy.”  We agree. Fronted by vocalist Monica Rodriguez and bassist Stephen Yonkin, Zigmat brings together an eclectic mix of world, punk, trip-hop and rock in a unique way that has won over critics and fans alike all over the US, Brazil, Mexico and Europe.  Check out their final US show Saturday May 1st, 11:30 PM at Joe’s Pub before they head back to Barcelona, Spain for the famous Sonar Festival in June.

Whatever the ultimate legal merits of the SEC's case against GoldmanSachs, its most important contributions are being made right now. They are not judicial, but political and educational.  

Today's hearings before U.S. Senator Carl M. Levin's Permanent Investigations Subcommittee will probably come as close to fireworks as investment banking and "structured finance" ever get.  For those who'd like a little comic relief, Submerging Market's David Lighton will provide a "Live Blog" feed with snapshots and running irreverent commentary from the Dirksen Senate Office Building hearing room, beginning at 10 am ECT.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 27th is Tenant Lobby Day and GOLES has a free bus that will take you to Albany where you can show your support for stronger tenant protection laws. And they are needed! Push the State Senate pass bill S.2237-A that would repeal vacancy decontrol and put the pressure on to re-regulate decontrolled apartments. Fight for rent & eviction protections for Mitchell-Lama and Section 8 Tenants. Get the state to renew rent and coop protection laws a year early and tell harassing landlords to shove it!! 

Urgent!! Urgent!! Check out Shepard Fairey’s exhibition “Mayday” at Dietch Projects opening Satuday May 1stNot only detailing a distress signal, “Mayday” represents rebirth and also is observed in many countries as an International Worker’s Day. All of these themes are vibrant in Fairey’s collection of portraits of artists, musicians, and political activists that he most admires. 

Indeed hopes were high that international negotiators in Copenhagen last December at the 15th Annual Conference of Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) would be able to hammer out a strong agreement to once and for all take the climate beast by the horns and begin to reign in carbon emissions worldwide. But a new binding formal agreement was not to be, mostly because of conflicting priorities among participating countries.