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Binghamton Killings - Layoffs & Desperation

Humanitarian Resource Institute
Stephen M. Apatow
President, Director of Research and Development, Humanitarian University Consortium Graduate Studies Center for Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Law

  Tel: (203) 668-0282


The tragedy in Binghamton represents one more reminder that it is time to reach out to those in need in our communities.  This incident adds to 39 dead in mass shootings in less than a month (, 3 April 2009)

This last week, a neighbor shared their daughter in law lost her job with IBM, See:  IBM Layoffs: 5000 US workers to go, jobs shifting to India (The Inquisitr, 25 March 2009).  Today, we read about a former IBM employee in New York who snapped (NY shooter may have lost job: USA Today, 4 April 2009).  Can someone tell me why U.S. companies are shipping jobs overseas, when our nation is in the midst of an economic crisis with widespread unemployment?

In communities across America, families are in crisis.  

Real unemployment is currently at 15.6 percent (WSJ) with 1 out of 6 now unemployed or underemployed.  Add to that 1 out of 5 mortgages that are upside down with negative equity and 40% of all mortgages eligible for a loan modification.  According to the Center for Responsible Lending, 2.4 million foreclosures are projected for 2009 and 8.1 million over the next 4 years. The New York Times ( 3 April 2009) reported Bankruptcies rose to nearly 6000 a day in March or one every 13 seconds. The size and scope of the homeless crisis and tent cities across the United States has prompted a call for FEMA and the Red Cross to activate disaster shelters in every state.

Meanwhile, states are increasing taxes and exploiting predatory hyperinflated tax valuations to meet their budgets.  The level of assistance on the grassroots level, is equivalent to our leaders saying, we will say a prayer for you, while you lose everything and their own communities spiral deeper into crisis.  Emergency disaster level assistance was needed in communities a year ago, when the nation transitioned into a recession, now a depression.

  • Families are in need of debt relief, if unemployed/underempoyed provisions to defer mortgage payments without penalty until employment is resumed.  
  • Every city in this nation needs to adjust to the bubble caused by the lack of regulations on the banking industry and the national epidemic of mortgage and appraisal fraud, with reappraisal of homes to current fair market value (See: California: Proposition 8).  This needs to be done every year until the market stabilizes in this new post leveraged finance economy.
  • Energy and utilities costs must be contained due to the damage caused by unregulated commodities futures trading.  Infrastructure critical necessities do not belong in gamer casino trading environments.  See: Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000.
The president was said to make more progress in two days with G-20 (Wall Street Journal: See unedited update below), then he could with leaders in his own country.

We must stabilize the household level.  The whole picture is nothing short of delusional....

Stephen M. Apatow

Humanitarian Resource Institute
Stephen M. Apatow
President, Director of Research and Development, Humanitarian University Consortium Graduate Studies Center for Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Law

  Tel: (203) 668-0282


Getting Through Tough Economic Times


Note: This is the orginal article. Emphaisis added for those following HRI G-20 (192) background discussions.

UPDATE:G20: Systemically Key Institutions, Mkts Need Regulation: Wall Street Journal, 2 April 2009

LONDON (Dow Jones)--The Group of 20 developed and developing nations said Thursday all systematically important institutions and markets should be regulated, and urged members to complete the implementation of the Basel II capital framework.

"We have agreed that all systemically important financial institutions, markets and instruments should be subject to an appropriate degree of regulation and oversight," the G20 said in an annex to the communique following its summit Thursday.

The group said hedge funds or their managers must be registered and will be required to disclose "appropriate information on an ongoing basis to supervisors or regulators," including on their leverage.

The group called on all G20 countries to "progressively adopt" the Basel II capital framework, which hasn't been agreed by the U.S. among others.

The G20 endorsed the Financial Stability Forum's recommendations on reducing procyclicality of accounting rules and also endorsed new principles on pay and compensation, which aim to ensure compensation structures are consistent with "long-term goals and prudent risk-taking."

These principles should be integrated into risk management guidance by the coming fall, the G20 said.

The group also called for "the standardization and resilience" of credit derivative markets, mainly through the establishment of regulated central clearing counterparties.

It called on the industry to develop an action plan on standardization by autumn 2009.

However, the group of leading economies also said international standards on capital levels shouldn't be changed until the global economy recovers.

"Until recovery is assured the international standard for the minimum level of capital should remain unchanged," it said. "Once recovery is assured, prudential regulatory standards should be strengthened."

The G20 said compensation arrangements, including bonuses, should properly reflect risk and companies should disclose such information to make sure stakeholders are adequately informed.

"Payments should not be finalized over short periods where risks are realized over long periods," it said.

The G20 also agreed that action should be taken by the end of the year to reduce the complexity of accounting standards for financial instruments and make significant progress towards a single set of global accounting norms.

The G20 said it would promote the standardization and resilience of credit derivative markets and called for fair value accounting framework to be reaffirmed.


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The Humanitarian Resource Institute Legal Resource and Assistance Center provides access to initiatives that include the Consumer's Guide to Legal Help on the Internet (American Bar Association - Free Legal Help, Self Help, Legal Aid), Pro Bono Legal Assistance (United States and International), and online tools for legal research.

Dialogue on Freedom: American Bar Association: The terrorist attacks on September 11 underscore the necessity for serious and constant discussions about American civic values and their compatibility with other cultures.

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