If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you’ll be unhappy for the rest of your life.

— Abraham Maslow`


Fannie-Freddie Reform Won’t Happen Until 2018, Mnuchin Says

via Fannie-Freddie Reform Won’t Happen Until 2018, Mnuchin Says – Bloomberg


Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said plans for overhauling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac won’t be addressed until next year,

Analysts said that the shares also rose because of a recently passed resolution by the Republican National Committee, which said the claims of private Fannie and Freddie investors should be resolved “in a manner that honors and respects the rule of law governing the rights of corporate stockowners.”

Hedge Funds

Hedge funds and other investors who own Fannie and Freddie shares have fought for years to secure a portion of the companies’ profits, which now all flow to the U.S. Treasury. Firms including Fairholme Funds Inc., Paulson & Co. and Perry Capital have sued the government or funded lobbying campaigns in an attempt to change the policy.

The government took control of Fannie and Freddie in 2008, eventually injecting them with more than $187 billion during the financial crisis. The terms of the bailout originally called for a 10 percent dividend, but in 2012 the government changed them to sweep nearly all of the profits when they made one. The companies have since paid the government more than $270 billion in dividends.

The 2012 change also required Fannie and Freddie to wind down their capital buffers until they reached zero dollars next year. Shareholders sued after the change, though the courts that have ruled so far have largely dismissed their claims.

The Democratic lawmakers’ Wednesday letter focused narrowly on allowing Fannie and Freddie to retain a capital buffer. Six members of the Senate Banking Committee said that Watt, who oversees the companies as FHFA director, and Mnuchin should let them stop paying all of their profits to the Treasury in order to build capital.

Further Reforms

The lawmakers wrote that they didn’t believe Fannie and Freddie should be released from conservatorship without further reforms. Still, some shareholders see rebuilding capital as a necessary first step to the companies exiting government control.

So far, few GOP lawmakers have expressed public support for preserving Fannie and Freddie in their current state,

FHFA officials have said they wouldn’t support releasing the companies from conservatorship without legislation even if Trump wanted to do that.

— With assistance by Felice Maranz, Agnel Philip, and Saleha Mohsin

Why the U.S. government is moving to ban this Russian software company

Sept 14, 2017

author of moscow software

via Why the U.S. government is moving to ban this Russian software company – The Washington Post

On Wednesday, the U.S. government declared that federal agencies must identify a popular brand of security software on their networks and prepare a plan to remove it because of its creator’s potential ties to Russia’s cyberespionage activities. Kaspersky Lab, the software company, is used by at least a half-dozen federal civilian agencies to some degree, according to U.S. officials. There may also be other agencies in which the software is being used without the knowledge of that agency’s chief information security officer. However, officials have not publicly disclosed which agencies exactly are using Kaspersky products.

What did the U.S. government actually do?

The acting homeland security secretary, Elaine Duke, issued an order Wednesday that federal civilian agencies identify Kaspersky software on their networks. After 90 days, unless otherwise directed, they must remove the software, on the grounds that the company has connections to the Russian government and its software poses a security risk. The order does not apply to military networks. However, the Defense Department and intelligence agencies generally do not use Kaspersky software and have not for a number of years.

Nonetheless, Congress is considering legislation that would implement a government-wide ban on Kaspersky products.

In July, the General Services Administration, the agency in charge of government purchasing, removed Kaspersky from its list of approved vendors. In doing so, the GSA suggested a vulnerability exists with Kaspersky products that could give the Kremlin surreptitious access to the systems using the software.

“Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage or offensive cyber efforts, and it’s disconcerting that a private company can be considered guilty until proven innocent, due to geopolitical issues,” the company said in a statement.

DHS said in a statement Wednesday that Russian law allows Russian spy agencies to compel assistance from Kaspersky and to intercept communications transiting Russian networks.

DHS has given Kaspersky 90 days to provide proof that its products are not facilitating espionage for Russia or to offer mitigating measures. If the company fails to do so, DHS will implement the ban.

(Bear in mind that the United States has such laws as well, EVERY COUNTRY has the ability to do this to ANY COMPANY/PERSON within its borders) (tis why there is much accusations of people from the United States are actually undercover spies.)



Nestle scoops up Blue Bottle Coffee, buying a majority stake

via Nestle scoops up Blue Bottle Coffee, buying a majority stake – LA Times

Blue Bottle will continue to operate as a stand-alone entity, Nestle said, and the current management and employees will keep a minority stake and run the business. Founder James Freeman is to stay on as chief product officer, and Bryan Meehan is to keep his chief executive role.

For Nestle, the deal marks an entry into the world of “third-wave” coffee, driven by independent, specialty roasters and fueled by dedicated coffee lovers. It’s also a chance for Nestle to expand its presence in North America, building on its Nescafe and Nespresso coffee brands.

“This move underlines Nestle’s focus on investing in high-growth categories and acting on consumer trends,” Nestle CEO Mark Schneider said in a statement.

nestle logo

After massive Equifax breach, let’s make it free to freeze your credit – The Washington Post

Article September 14,2017

via After massive Equifax breach, let’s make it free to freeze your credit – The Washington Post

author of equfax freeze

The credit reporting agency, Equifax, announced on Sept. 7 that a hack has impacted the credit histories of up to 143 million Americans. Here’s what you should do if you believe you are affected. (Jhaan Elker/The Washington Post) (caption under video J2225)

We need Congress to pass legislation allowing consumers to temporarily freeze and unfreeze their own credit files at no charge to help thwart identity theft.

In case you missed it, the credit-reporting agency Equifax recently discovered that criminals had gained access to people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers.

A credit freeze is much more powerful than putting a fraud alert on your credit report.

With a fraud alert, a business must verify your identity before it issues credit. But alerts are often overlooked.

A freeze blocks access to your credit report and credit score. The credit bureau can’t release any information in your file without your permission. (Although companies you currently do business with will still have access to your files.) (it helps prevent NEW businesses (ones you ARE NOT dealing with, from accessing your info (opening up accounts using your identity WITHOUT your permission! J2225)

When you’re ready to get a loan or need someone like a prospective employer to view your file, you can temporarily unlock it, give the company access, and then lock down your files again. (Cool!)

However, in most states, unless you’ve been a victim of identity theft, a credit freeze will cost you. What you pay varies by state, but the typical fee is $10. (Not so cool! those who have assets hackers would LOVE to use though, NEED to pay the $10 per state AND US Territories! I would if i could, and will when i can! I’m grateful now that Identity Theft is so very profitable and popular now that my income is too small for them now (though back in the 80’s or 90’s it was different and i have credit problems from such a theft of my identification-id, social security card, etc)

There isn’t a federal credit freeze law. There needs to be one now.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced the Free Credit Freeze Act in the wake of the Equifax breach.

“Credit bureaus like Equifax make millions of dollars packaging and selling our personal information,” Wyden said. “Americans shouldn’t have to pay extra just to protect themselves from fraud.”

When it comes to the credit bureaus, “we are the commodity,” said National Consumer Law Center attorney Chi Chi Wu.

It was consumer pressure that finally resulted in a law giving consumers free access at annualcreditreport.com to their own credit reports every 12 months.

Equifax is waiving its freeze fee until Nov. 21.

Let’s all get behind this bill. “Republicans got their Social Security numbers hacked too,” Wu said.

Call your senator and House member to demand free freezes. If you aren’t sure who represents you, go to whoismyrepresentative.com.

A Maryland reader named Diane said she’s had trouble setting up a freeze on her reports since the Equifax breach. It’s not an easy process. You have to separately contact each of the three major credit bureaus and navigate their unique systems. Married? This could mean paying six fees, because each spouse has his or her own credit file.

Diane and other readers complain they can’t get through to the bureaus to get a freeze. No doubt, a lot of people are scared and have overwhelmed the systems.

The Equifax breach was so large and so compromising that we should demand that our congressional representatives help us protect ourselves by making it free and easier to lock down our credit files.