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Financial Meltdown 101

Getting a grip on the economic catastrophe that rocked the country during the fall of 2008 is no easy feat, what with so many players, back-room deals, bills, upswings and meltdowns to consider. To that end, Truthdig, once again in collaboration with Capzles.com, has put together a comprehensive multimedia timeline that explains how we got into this mess and how we might avoid repeating history in the near future.

This is a work in progress, and we’ll be adding updates and pointers in coming weeks, so check it out and leave your feedback in the comment section below. We’ll also be including some audio commentary to highlight key turning points along the story line to make this complicated narrative easier to understand, even for those of us who fell asleep during Econ 101 (or avoided that whole scene altogether).

Update: As of 10/19/2011, this Capzle is updated with several new articles and book excerpts.

 

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Dig last updated on Nov. 24, 2008


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By Bertil, January 25, 2009 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

George Will said on this Sunday’s “This Week w/o David Brinkley” that McDonald’s growth in sales in this economy shows that the market does right itself.  In other words, the free market system works.
Reminds me of the biologist who discovered he could shout, “Jump!” and frogs in the lab would jump.  As an experiment, he took one and cut off its leg and yelled the command. The frog jumped half as far.  He cut off the other leg yelled, “Jump!” and frog didn’t jump.  He concluded that when you cut off the legs off a frog, the frog loses its hearing.
Will is the guy who all liberal intellectuals admit to disagreeing with everything he says but love the way he says them, sort of a twist on Thomas Paine’s quote.  But Will also said in 2004 that we should be afraid, very afraid.
What this recovery package seems to be boiling down to is the realization that this Congress thinks that the population of the U.S. is about 2 or 3 million, counting members of the congress, the administration, lobbyist and the upper echelons of management of those companies and banks.  The rest of us are simply numbers in government spun statistics and cannon fodder.
I noticed how the Bush administration, no matter how much they destroyed the Constitution, they held on to the part that defines the President as the Commander-in-Chief.  Now, the Obama administration wants to continue.  First to screw around with China and its access to African oil, hoping to force China into seeking energy sources in eastern Russia, hopefully by force.  The business of the economy is to produce a willing and able youth movement, to don the uniforms and take up the weapons of war.  I think the manipulation of facts presented via the news/entertainment media might take a few years.
Obama’s a fraud.  For all his education in Law at Harvard and foreign policy at Columbia, he might have been just as well off if he studied communication at some community college.

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By Bertil, January 22, 2009 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

From “Bad Money”,
“Financing a new house or borrowing against the value of one already owned, became the decision into which Washington policymakers aimed to tempt John and Jane Doe, especially as the Federal Reserve dropped interest rates to 1 percent, a low inseen since the early sixties.  It was a strategy that, superficially at least, succeeded beyond all expections.”

In the previous paragraph, Phillips cites a quote by George H.W. Bush that was reported in “Marching in Place” by Michael Duffy and Dan Goodgame. ” ordinary Americans, who are not a creative force in the economy and who anyway have no choice but to work and scrimp.”
Parahrasing Phillips, they poured $11 trillion into the economy, $5 trillion into mortgage debt and $6 trillion into the financial sector.  The collateral abuses of the mortagage financing returned like a boomerang by 2007.
I suspect the outcome for the American debtors was overly determined—they never had a chance.  Cable tv programs like “Flip This House” and infomercials of get rich through real estate not to mention the chance to live in grand home with some bank-provided walking-around money locked in this country’s path to where we are today. 
I fear the derivatives will take this country the rest of the way to bankruptcy.  And behind that curtain, lies who knows what.  Let’s ask the policy makers.

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By TAO Walker, January 20, 2009 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

There seems to be a sense among many of theamericanpeople, and others of the domesticated breeds around the world, that this could well be the last chance they have to “turn things around.”  The media-generated public perception seems to be that Barack Obama is the best possible “designated driver” to get a world drunk on consumption “home safe” somehow.

Most everyone has also been thrilled by the “miracle on the Hudson,” which may well prove to be the most apt metaphor for the best that the new U.S. president might actually be able to accomplish….that is, if a lot of very iffy things don’t fall on the “wrong” side of the scales.  The “engines” of the high-flying, high-on-the-hog, high-rollers high-jacked “global” econonomic system have in-fact flamed-out, having run-afowl (pardon the awful pun) of their complete incompatibility-with, disrespect-for, and ignorance-of the “fundamentals” of our Natural Living Arrangement.

Nothing in his remarks today gave any indication that Barack Obama is aware of the true state-of-affairs he will now have to “manage” from his position as “leader of the free world.”  That may only become evident to him and his administration as they see day-after-day the “ship-of-state” fail to respond as expected to “the controls” they’ve just taken-over.  He is correct that “....the ground has shifted,” but has apparently yet to discover for himself that the shift goes far beyond the ideological and institutional and technological superficialities he mentioned.  It goes to the very roots and core of our Human Nature.

Efforts to address “the situation” predicated on the same stale homo-centric CONceits that’ve dis-informed the domesticated peoples for over ten millennia now will not suffice to get them out of the mess they’ve made….will only make things worse, in fact.  Calls for “responsibility,” as appealing and timely as they are, will fall woefully short of the need unless it is a responsibility informed by an awakening to the organic function of Humanity within the Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth.  If the domesticated peoples continue trying only to please their look-alike “gods,” their own selfs, and their own kind, they will doom all of those to disappointment….and worse.

It’s not surprising that many ordinary people are way out ahead of their “leaders” in sensing the true shape and content of the condition their “CONdition” is in.  Many are already getting together where they live-and-breathe to respond to it in beneficially effective ways….not waiting for those “in-power” to catch-on and catch-up.  It is in these still-embryonic examples of what our Lakotah Cousins call the Tiyoshpaye Way that us surviving free wild Native Peoples see the best chances for our tame Sisters and Brothers to get out of the captivity they languish and perish in today.

HokaHey!

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By Bertil, January 20, 2009 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

Jim Lehrer said last night that they were making last preparations for the inauguration.  That would be Preparation H, I presume.
Today, Obama is going to lecture us on a new era of responsibility.  Instead of looking forward, I think he wants lurch forward, fast forward, forget about the crimes of the past administration and place the blame of the U.S.‘s current predicament squarely at the feet and on the shoulders of the American people.  He says there’s a better way to solve the union vote bill without upsetting the Corporations and the Chamber of Commerce.
We are being played.  We’re being smothered in propaganda.  And from the looks of this crowd at the mall, it looks like we’re being played like a violin.
We need $1 trillion plus for infra-structure, Obama give $30 bn.
The media now features old movies about the cold war.  A lawyer and a journalist were assassinated in Russia.  I’ll bet it was done under the guidance of the CIA.  Putin realized how evil these people are when the CIA-backed terrorists killed 300 or so children in Beslan.
If we survive this adminstration, something has to be done about deinstitutionalizing the financial sector.  As Bill Clinton said to Rubin when Rubin informed him of what he had to do to get his program passed, “Do you mean to tell me that my program depends on a bunch of fucking bond traders.”
Now, along with the Preparation H, we’ll something to alleviate the pain from the kick in the groin we’re about to experience.
God bless America, we’ll need it.
Next president better be vetted.

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By Mike W, January 18, 2009 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

TAO,


Reading your Jan 15th post, I hear again your attempts to reach out and help another. I have learned over the years that many have a difficult time and even an impossible time accepting advice from others. Prejudices run many - be it race, physical appearance, level of education, gender, religious beliefs, age, rank, occupational seniority, experience etc…These prejudices cause enormous problems in our interactions with each other. These problems begin even at the level of simple conversation. Sometimes it seems that one must agree with another (to become one on the same level) before the another could accept “advice” from the one. In your case, TAO, you are an “outsider” with respect that your ideas cut against the grain. Your name and references to your personal beliefs and heritage is another huge “blocker” for many.

I hear you though. I run the risk of sounding above the pack but still I wanted to get my message back to you. Your story from eighty winters ago – where you and other members were caught up and broken down on the road, miles from your destination.  At that time…, it was the “here and now”. Times like that…,it is the “hear and now”. These are the things that are important and should be important to us. Over the many years, caught up in my trapped world, behind closed and miserable walls working for that paycheck, I would hear many moan and groan as they watched their “401” savings go up and down in the market. On the upswing, they bragged how they had moved it to better stocks and gloated in their superior knowledge over their unwilling audience. On the downswing, they blamed OTHERS in power for their downfall. Now, as it crashed and burns, many angrily blame others again while the rest simply remain silent in shame.

TOA, many will never understand your words, priorities, family experience and way of thinking. But at times, many will be in the moment. This moment usually involves death or near death experience and at this moment all seems clear. As a current and public example, we saw our peers go down in a plane in the Hudson River. Our peers then scrambled onto the wings. All of them were certainly thinking of what is truly important in their lives. All of them were certainly wrestling with instinctive emotions of survival. Hopefully and most likely, many of our peers in that plane that day will change their view on life. It will be those that will benefit and will live a much “richer” life.

Unfortunately, it takes something like a plane crash (most likely not a stock market crash) to realize the true path to happiness for many. For you, the “Tiyoshpaye Way” guides you like our morning sun.

We rise everyday and slowly creep to our final destination. The repetition of our sun’s path (where darkness follows) should prepare us for our own sunset.  I try to remember though that while the sun is “alive” (on this side of the earth and also on the other side of the earth), there is constant “light” for IT. However in OUR lives, we humans live much in the “darkness” when there ought to be “light”.

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By Eric L. Prentis, January 17, 2009 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

Mr. Joe Nocera in today’s NYT piece entitled, In Search of One Bold Stroke to Save the Banks says, “A quick reminder for readers who wonder why the banks shouldn’t be allowed to go bankrupt, like any other company that made the kinds of mistakes banks made. The answer is that the banking system is the engine of the economy; if banks stop functioning, economic activity will grind to a halt. Indeed, at least some of the pain we are going through now is the result of the banking system’s not functioning properly.”

Mr. Nocera offers a specious argument while his assumptions, premises and facts are suspect. The banking system is important but not the individual companies themselves. The US is over banked and needs to shrink this sector, recently approximately 40 percent of S&P 500 profits came from banking while the long term average is only seven percent. The financial ruling class, as represented by Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, wants to purchase all toxic bank assets to save all banks and their managements. Taxpayers have no interest in saving the managers of failed banks or their stockholders/bondholders. The banking system will operate much better without these bankrupt institutions, i.e., they are not too big to fail as long as the government nationalizes them. The Bernanke approach dooms the American economy to the Japanese disease of a lost decade of poor economic growth while the tried-and-true Swedish model allows the government to administer a controlled liquidation of bad bank assets, support the good banks and quickly return the US to strong economic growth.

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By Ed Harges, January 16, 2009 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

re: By Harold Hellickson, January 16 at 9:17 am:

Harold thinks I forgot to blame the “speculators”. Harold, did speculators suddenly appear from nowhere in the summer of 2008, when the price of oil skyrocketed - having nothing to do with the fact that the US and Israel were suddenly saber-rattling against Iran again in a very ominous way? And then did the speculators disappear a few months later, plunging oil to a five-year low, with gasoline prices not seen since 2003 or 2004?

Did speculators suddenly appear in the fall of 2006 - when Israel happened to invade Lebanon, causing fear that the war would spread to include Iran (since Israel was falsely blaming its problems on Iran) and the Persian Gulf -  driving oil up to $75 a barrel? And then did the speculators happen to disappear after that, causing oil to plunge back down by about a third?

Look, the “speculators” were “speculating” - that is, predicting a catastrophic interruption in oil supply - in both cases, because ISREAL WAS THREATENING A CATASTROPHIC BLOW TO WORLD ENERGY SUPPLIES, BY THREATENING WAR AGINST IRAN, OR BETTER YET, GETTING BUSH TO DO IT FOR THE ISRAELIS.

Oil is a commodity. Prices of commodities are based not only on present supply but on anticipated supply. Israel was the cause of these price spikes and of the speculation spikes that inevitably and rationally accompanied them. If you trade in commodities, it is your right and your job to judge the price based on present and future supply. Israel is the problem - the speculators were just responding to the problem.

The speculators have no power to create a massive price increase all by themselves - or gas would still be $4 a gallon like it was last summer.

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By Harold Hellickson, January 16, 2009 at 10:17 am Link to this comment
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By Ed Harges, January 14 at 6:55 am #

Concerning our sudden economic meltdown, here’s the elephant in the room that nobody sees: Israel.

The acute event that drove our economy into a crisis of confidence was the sudden spike in oil prices.

You quite fail to mention the role of hedge fund and other speculators.  Quoting from a recent 60 Minute segment, 27 barrels of oil were bought and sold for each barrel of oil consumed.  As long as “financial interests” are in control, we will continue to be in serious trouble up to and following the complete collapse of the value of the dollar.

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By TAO Walker, January 15, 2009 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

There must be some kind of cold “comfort” in the otherwise pointless exercises of number-crunching and sentence-parsing.  After all, virtually the entire cable “news” industry does almost nothing else.  An awful lot of it goes on here, too, among commenters and commentators alike, who are no-doubt sincerely (and more-and-more desperately?) trying to get some kind of “handle” on the deteriorating condition their “CONdition” is in.

Meantime, us surviving free wild Savages are here hoping to remind our tame Sisters and Brothers of something we realize is quite difficult for them to grasp.  The death-dealing CONtraption you call “civilization” CONsists of nothing, really, except abstractions and rhetoric.  While its “expression” in our actual Living Arrangement (as ideological and institutional and electro-mechanical CONstructs) is certainly having REAL effects on us all, including our Mother Earth, the “thing” itself exists only in the captured imaginations of domesticated Humans….just like one of its terminal-stage sub-systems, “america.”

Until people are able to recognize their “situation” for the captivity it is, and then to respond ALL TOGETHER from the “ground” of their Humanity and its natural organic function within our Living Arrangement, every attempt to ameliorate the increasingly intolerable depradations of “civilization” will be nothing but more exercises in FUtility.  People here and elswhere will continue to ramble endlessly-on about what’s “wrong” with the “horror movie” they’re cast-in, while doing nothing-at-all to free one another from the fatal delusion that the illusion is “real.”

The I Ching recommends that a Person keep their “thoughts” limited to their actual circumstances.  This old Indian will bet that if people here will do that they will begin to see the gross discrepancies between what they are constantly told about who and what and where and when the ARE, and the sensible impressions of all that they can get from simply paying their precious attention to their immediate here-and-now.

Try it, Friends.  Do you really believe you still have something to “lose” you won’t be way better-off without anyhow?

HokaHey!

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By Brenda Mallery, January 14, 2009 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This was a Union shop, which was the envy of our industry. It was exceptionally profitable, being supervised by hard-working people that understood people and the customer needs. The Accounting Department’s job was to report the numbers, not manage the Company. We were so successful that we were bought by XXX, which instantly made the former owner a $43-millionaire.

Just my 2 cents !

Brenda

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By Ed Harges, January 14, 2009 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

Concerning our sudden economic meltdown, here’s the elephant in the room that nobody sees: Israel.

The acute event that drove our economy into a crisis of confidence was the sudden spike in oil prices — just this past summer, oil prices suddenly spiked to MORE THAN TRIPLE what they are now. And that was because there was a sudden, Israel-driven stepping up of threats of war against Iran. With Bush leaving office, the Israelis feared that the next president might not be insane enough to accommodate Israel’s desire to have the US destroy Iran for them.

Doesn’t anybody remember that when an Israeli official stated publicly that war with Iran was certain and imminent, he caused the SINGLE LARGEST ONE-DAY SURGE IN OIL PRICES EVER?

Suddenly, nobody could even think of buying an SUV, or a big house in the suburbs that would require a daily commute. People suddenly couldn’t make their house payments, because they couldn’t afford the gas to get to work. Housing values and auto sales nosedived.

And why are oil prices now so much lower? Don’t say it’s simply because of the recession - we know that the economy’s been in recession for a full year. The experts say the recession started in December 2007. Last summer’s highest-ever oil prices occurred SEVEN MONTHS into this recession.

The proximate, acute cause of the rapid economic meltdown was the skyrocketing of oil and gasoline prices back in the summer — and the biggest reason they are now drastically lower is that the Bush administration is ending. There is a general perception - right or wrong - that a war against Iran is not going to happen, because (a) the Obama people are relatively sane, and (b) the acutely worsening recession itself makes such a war economically and politically infeasible.

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By Bertil, January 11, 2009 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

When Obama says, economy, he does not mean it in the sense that most Americans would take it to mean.  He’s talking about the continuation of the moribund capitalist system that feeds the US-UK financial interests.  The world has become tri-polar economically speaking, and the US-UK is losing its edge to EU and Asia.  Keep in mind that the goal is still world domination, ultimately by militarizing space, fomenting national strife, terrorism and keeping the other developing economies from developing.
When Obama says everyone will have skin in the game, what he’s really talking about is harsher austerity measures to further minimize the middle class.  I wonder if those Wall Street financiers who got such large bonuses from the first part of the TARP payout will suffer from the economic deterioration?  Probably not.

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By KDelphi, January 10, 2009 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

Eric—I assume that the post that is
“signed” just “Eric” is you also? I agree with almost all of what you say…

The “American dream” is an unachievable concept, which involves, never having enough “stuff”. It benefits multi-national corporations the most, and, both parties seesm determined to “get us back on course”.

Now that we have exported our horrible “dream” (nightmare), the “developing” countries (well, they are quickly “developing” past us!) are , temporarily ( I hope) convinced that this it the lifestyle that they want to achieve, also, even though, most Americans never achieved “it” in the first place!

That is how we “bring Democracy to the world”—-one KFC at a time…

I hope that that changes, but, we are in no position to tell them, in any case!

We are on an unsustainable course. Rather than steering into it, we need to STOP—-and go in another direction…

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By Eric L. Prentis, January 10, 2009 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

The spending of TARP funds under President-elect Obama will be no different than under President Bush. Obama’s economic team is Geithner/Summers/Bernanke, the spitting image of Bush’s team that bailed out the crooks on Wall Street. Just more of the same, the rich get richer on the taxpayer’s dime.

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By Eric L. Prentis, January 10, 2009 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

$350 billion dollars in TARP money and the Federal Reserve spending approximately $3 trillion dollars bailing out the plutocracy isn’t doing anything to help the average citizen nor is it pulling the economy out of this severe recession, trickle down doesn’t work. Spending another $350 billion TARP dollars on the financial ruling class may make the Republican neocons happy, but is shear insanity.

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By Eric, January 10, 2009 at 8:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The most fundamental question we can ask is, what kind of recovery do we want and, as a corralory, what kind of recovery will we get. How these questions are answered is a function of one’s group identity.
It seems obvious to me that the power brokers that run the world’s biggest economies want something not too different from what prevailed prior to the current recession. They well off will stay very comfortable, averages workers will get by, and the deterioration of the planet’s environment will continue apace.
Is that what we want?
I had high hopes for Obama, but I really have my doubts. His vision seems to be little different from the current corporate elite. Start the credit flowing again and the ship will right itself through “natural” economic forces. So we will recreate the very forces that sustain a world addicted to consumerism, maintain nearly universal anxiety, and keep workers and the planet exploited.
This crisis provides us with a fantastic opportunity to foster authentic change. End the massive income inequality, end the addiction to stuff, create wealth for everyone by raising the taxes on the well off, begin the process of ending the private gas guzzler, and, for once, act from wisdom, rather than greed.

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By KDelphi, January 10, 2009 at 12:53 am Link to this comment

People think taht Obama’s tax cuts and “stimulus” pkg look “not so big”, because, we “get used to it”. The rich count on it.

This country is on a totally unsustainable path, and, tax cuts are NOT going to get us out of it. Conservative of both parties sold this country down the old river a long time ago.

Polls (actual ones) show that the majority of people are NOT “for” this crap. But, they put up with it—they think that they have to, and, every four years, you have people telling them the same crap—the disaster that will befall us, and , be all their fault, IF they do not vote Democratic.

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By Shift, January 9, 2009 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment

The American economy is like going downhill on a bad road at ever increasing speeds with passengers being thrown out along the way.  The Obama plan is to defy the laws of gravity by deploying an undersized parachute made in China.

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By Bertil, January 9, 2009 at 7:17 am Link to this comment

70% of the people opposed the $700 bn bailout to buy toxic debt despite the urgings of the President, the Treasury, and the Senate Democrats that it was needed to avoid an economic catastrophe.  It had to pass and pass soon.
They’ve given away $350 bn and half of that went to dividends and bonuses.  The rest went to buying other banks and to their rainy day fund, they’re sitting on it.
This government doesn’t respond to the people.  They are lawless, maybe since as far back as 1980.  They are treating the American people like children.  The Preamble to the Constitution begins, “We the people….”.  Not, “My children….”
I could see that bailout coming in 2005 when Bush couldn’t get the privatization of Social Security through, so Wall St. started backing Democrats like Rangel of New York.  Make no mistake about it.  They want it all and they’re hell bent on getting it,  on their terms.

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By Bertil, January 8, 2009 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

Obama standing in line with Bush I and II, Carter and Clinton in today’s photo op seemed to symbolize the unbroken string of pretenders to the throne.  Obama is going to pick up where Bush II left off just as Clinton did with Bush I with respect to Nafta and the continuation of the sanctions on Iraq. 
We were all fooled. George II did a great job for the US-UK power brokers.  He actually left Obama with a lot to work with.  Obama can blame the economy for new deep austerity measures which are sure to come. The only difference will be the new direction of foreign policy.  They’re going after Russia, now through China and by means India versus Pakistan. 
Blair as DNI will redirect the covert war to the Russians and Chinese and Panetta will rid the CIA of all the left-over spooks loyal to the Bushes and the neocons.
Israeli will be sidelined, maybe that’s is why they’re making this run at Genocide.

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By Jim Eldon, January 7, 2009 at 9:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Responding to Nafeez Ahmed’s article at OpEdNews “The End of Capitalism? Not quite, but nearly….”(1) I wrote:

Mr. Ahmed is correct to identify the nature of the monetary system and the very existence of interest as a fundamental cause of the economic crash, though I would argue that these constitute THE root cause of the crash. The element of “the nature of the monetary system” that makes this so is bankers’ protected monopoly as sole legal arbiters of debt and credit. This is what gives them the power to enforce usury, the real engine of exploitation and concentration of wealth. [see ]http://www.perfecteconomy.com].

As I pointed out in a comment following Ellen Brown’s article “Borrowing from Peter to Pay Paul: The Wall Street Ponzi Scheme Called Fractional Reserve Banking”(2), the fundamental democratic principle violated by this protected monopoly is that of non-intervention, the principle which underlies the conception of civil liberties which seeks to guarantee for each individual all those freedoms which are consistent with the same guarantee for every other individual. What is needed is an economic corollary to this principle, recognized and institutionalized as a human right; namely, that “It is every prospective debtor’s right to issue their promise to pay, free of extrinsic manipulation, adulteration, or exploitation of that promise, or the natural opportunity to make good on it.” [Mike Montagne’s definition of the essence of Mathematically Perfected Economy].

Also, a note about inflation:
As per Montagne’s discussion of inflation(3), note that the term confuses increases in the money supply (monetary inflation) with a general increase in prices (price inflation) and that a monetary system subject to interest makes both necessary. “Thus a circulation subject to interest requires both:
1- perpetual, escalating inflation of the circulation relative to the remaining value of related assets, merely to maintain sufficient circulation to sustain the commerce which must service the debt; and
2- perpetual price inflation, to maintain industrial solubility against the ever escalating sums of debt that commerce must service.”
This is why a monetary system subject to interest is inherently self-destructive. The very means of fighting the inflation that the system guarantees will occur actually hastens the system’s collapse. To reduce inflation is to reduce the capacity for commerce to service an ever-accumulating debt. But to create adequate circulation to allow commerce to service the debt is to create more debt. The debt will advance regardless, until terminal debt occurs.

From this we can more easily understand Ahmed’s discussion of the causes of inflation in the section “Was ‘Structured Finance’ Structurally Sound?” The first paragraph pinpoints the nature of the monetary system (monetary inflation) as one cause while the second paragraph claims price inflation of fuels as another. Though I’m inclined to say that the price inflation of fuels far exceeded what was required by Big Oil to remain profitable. Just as the bankers’ protected monopoly guarantees whatever level of income they desire via currency and monetary policy manipulation, so it is with Big Oil. The problem isn’t so much “peak oil” as it is peak greed.

(1)http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-End-of-Capitalism-Not-by-Nafeez-Mosaddeq-Ah-090106-76.html
(2)http://www.opednews.com/articles/Borrowing-from-Peter-to-Pa-by-Ellen-Brown-081229-255.html
(3)WHY INFLATION ITSELF IS A LIE; WHY IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SOLVE THE REAL CONSEQUENCES OF A CURRENCY SUBJECT TO INTEREST at
http://perfecteconomy.com/pg-why-inflation-is-a-lie.html

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By TAO Walker, January 7, 2009 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

Wouldn’t it be a sign of intelligence if people began to at least consider the implications of the possibility (however remote most still believe it to be)that every attempt to “revive” the collapsing U.S. and “global” economies is going to fail….miserably?  That these are in-fact FALSE economies is only a part of their joint terminal weakness.

Among other fatal flaws is their rotten “foundations” upon supposedly innate selfishness.  Since Human “individuals” are theirselfs mere half-baked artifacts of an “alien” civilization, any system built on (and OF) them will necessarily embody all of their inherent inadequacies….a crippling blindness to everything but their own private narrow and shallow (and illusory) “self-interest” not least among these.

What also spells doom for this ill-conceived enterprise is its essentially adversarial and exploitative stance toward all the rest of our Mother Earth’s Living Arrangement.  Expecting anything good from such a foolhardy “ethic” is only more evidence of the rampant insanity suffered by domesticated peoples nearing THE END of their ten-thousand-year-long captivity.

Finally, though, the “global economy” is going-away because it is driven by urges and appetites that are fundamentally infantile, in a Living World who must have a MATURE HUMAN RESPONSE to Her life-threatening condition, if She is to recover Her native wholeness and health.  This “CONsumer culture” is at-best kidstuff.  It’s nearly never been anywhere near its “best,”....and even that not for many, many generations.

Domesticated peoples are in this mess because of their artificially arrested development, as Human Beings.  Every “problem” they face here in these latter days is a direct (and inevitable) CONsequence of their CONtrived and carefully cultivated immaturity.

Like reckless adolescents drunk on ignorance, racing egotistically stupified from one cheap-thrill to the next, the civilized peoples are headed for disaster.  It’s shape and content are even now visible everywhere in their virtual world-o’-hurt….war, disease, famine, habitat degradation, etc., etc.

The “sub-species” homo domesticus must either grow-up or self-destruct.  Theirs is a purely BIOLOGICAL challenge….one in which ideological and institutional and electro-mechanical contraptions are much more likely to be terminal liabilities than life-saving assets.

The popular optimistic view is that since Humans rarely change their ways except under the duress of some great crisis, this Mother-fucker-of-all-crises now overwhelming the “civilized” world will turn-out to be “just-what-the-doctor-ordered.”  Maybe it will.

Certainly any of us still around to tell the tale to our GreatGrandchildren will’ve made the necessary “transformation.”  Does anybody here truly believe that CHANGE will amount to nothing but ramping-up the same old money-grubbing machinery that ushered people into this “actual emergency”?  Would it be at all intelligent to look for anything but a “bums-rush” out of here, if that’s the best Human Beings can do?

HokaHey!

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By KDelphi, January 7, 2009 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

I fail to see how business tax cuts, and, not reversing the Bush tax cuts, is the “road to recovery”.

How much did that “middle class
” tax cut ($200,000?? That’s the upper 98th Quintile!)help last time?

Do you really need $500 more than you need univeresal health care, or rapid speed transit? I dont think the Dems need to give the GOP anything—they will fight everything they try to do no matter what.

As Krugman says, “Being a progressive calls for partisanship—at least for now”.

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By mud, January 7, 2009 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

getting the American Vehicle back on the road Mr. Obama. George and Dick are about to hand you the keys to a stolen car that has been beet to death, run out of gas, crashed on every corner and stripped of it’s tires, wheels and everything else of any value. It’s probably also booby trapped and if it doesn’t blow up on you immediately the repo man wants what’s left for scrap.

“The past eight years of imperial overstretch, hubris and domestic and international abuse of power on the part of the Bush administration has left the US materially weakened financially, economically, politically and morally,” he said. “Even the most hard-nosed, Guantanamo Bay-indifferent potential foreign investor in the US must recognise that its financial system has collapsed.”

http://tinyurl.com/8o9bbh

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By KDelphi, January 6, 2009 at 12:11 am Link to this comment

With minor diffrecnese aside—havent we “been there , done that” with “tax cuts”?

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By wagonjak, January 5, 2009 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Appearing in front on a bunch of angry Dems and as usual, forgiving Repubs is a little Bushie dipwad named David Kotz, the SEC Commission Inspector General, who apparently did little to no Inspecting of all of the investment scandals, and Stephen Harbeck, President of the Security Investment Protection Corporation, which apparently may be broke (they have about a billion and a half in their coffers) after all of Maddoff’s loses are paid off…even though the losses run in the trillions…both are earnestly assuring the committee members that they will “look into these things” as this country slides into financial ruin. The missing man was the guy who has been warning the SEC for the past ten years that the Maddoff scheme HAD to be illegal because of illness…SIGH! Carl

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By mstar57, January 5, 2009 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

What a massive disappointment Obama has been!! I know…I know…give the guy a chance after all he he has yet to be sworn in!! My apologies, but I just can’t do that. From his capitulation on FISA, immunity for the telecoms, support for the Bush/Paulson Banking Bailout…etc!! This guy is Republican through and through…right down to his so called stimulus packages AKA “trickle down Regeanomics!” Remember that? This guy is basically a lying, FRAUD whom I unfortunately supported wholeheartedly! Never again will I support this pathetic Democratic Party!! NEVER!

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By Allan Gurfinkle, January 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think it will be a good idea to investigate what happened in Iceland.  Small country, 3 banks, no long history as the banks were privatized in 2000, small GDP, no real industry, and a total financial collapse, i.e., the 3 banks collapsed, apparently taking the local economy and the financial well being of the populace with them.

I think it should be simple enough to understand smile

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By mud, January 2, 2009 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

Good thing TD is keeping this thread open.

Looks like we will need to be on this same thread for the next 15 or so years, if we are lucky.

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By SteveL, December 30, 2008 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

The news media continues to talk about U.S auto bailout.  Same media strangely silent on $10 billion/month going to Iraq, $30 billion going to Citicorp (Citicorp needed the money because their offshore deposits are not covered by the FDIC).  How stinking decent.

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By Neil Bush, December 30, 2008 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

But the question remains unanswered:  6% of what?

The original link didn’t have anything to do with the Fed.  It was about the two sets of books. Look it up, again.  Google Walter Burein in Arizona.

Apparently, the Fed is a black hole for information.  I found one reference ot the 6%, but, again it failed to mention “of what”.

I want to wax sarcastic, but I am sick of typing. 

None other that tv emcee Springer said that the American people would throw these bums out if they ever found out what was going on.  He said this in relation to his term as Mayor of Cincinnatti, OH.

PS.  This huff about “Barack, the Magic Negro” is a set up.  Saltzman did this as another ploy.  Watch where it goes on the media, but don’t react.  It’s all Bullshit.

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By Ernest Leitdke, December 29, 2008 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment
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By Malcolm Martin, December 29 at 12:47 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

From Bloomberg today:

“The American economic slump is running into the Chinese economic slump,” says Derek Scissors, a research fellow at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation. “It’s creating the conditions for a face-off between Beijing and the U.S. Congress, possibly leading to destabilization of the world’s most important bilateral economic relationship.”

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————————————-

Thank you Macolm Martin.

Here’s to the American Empire!  Here! Here!  Historically, empires last for shorter and shorter lengths of time and their downfalls take less and less time. 

If it’s any consolation, we’ll all go together when we go, whether you are on a mountain top in Paraquay or on Jupiter Island, Florida. 

These inter-bred morons don’t get get it.

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By Malcolm Martin, December 29, 2008 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From Bloomberg today:

“The American economic slump is running into the Chinese economic slump,” says Derek Scissors, a research fellow at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation. “It’s creating the conditions for a face-off between Beijing and the U.S. Congress, possibly leading to destabilization of the world’s most important bilateral economic relationship.”

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By MzScarlett, December 29, 2008 at 12:39 am Link to this comment

Usury laws state explicity that exorbinant rates have to be paid back 5 times the amount the person was charged, & this includes the have to pay interest & exorbinant bank fees as well; they have been set in place prior to the constitution itself; ALL members of Congress were well aware of this; they had full knowledge & consent of exactly what was transpiring & going on. The “personal responsiblity” they are trying to put onto the people goes DIRECTLY to them; THEY are the ROOT CAUSE of the problem. Being the “lawless” lawmakers, with their “courts” and “judges” who confer with them as to what the “verdict” will be; some for, some against: as Bush was not happy with the Supreme courts ruling; is ALL a CHARADE: or “theatricals” as one lady stated it. BOOKS have been written re what went on on Wall ST; & simply adding a nephews name perhaps to a Corps payroll with a 6 figure yearly income or more: without them ever having to show up; doesn’t show up as a “bribe” & things like Chicago’s mayor extortion of a childrens’ hospital etc do not make the “news” which is all false reports, filtered items & changed to make it seem what is not. The collapse of the dollar is for the getting up of the Amero; sad to say, the bald eagles etc are going to be destroyed as this nation’s “change” agenda is to clear cut all; destroy as much fresh water as it can from city, to county, to state: each & everyone; & completely commercialize everything; 6 homes on a 2 home lot; etc; environmental laws have not been followed for years; they are just on the books for looks; & no one will do anything cuz the “lawmakers” Congress are indeed behind it all.

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By TAO Walker, December 28, 2008 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

There’s a scene in the remake of “The Day the Earth Stood Still” echoing what Shift describes so well here.  Suddenly all the electro-machanically-generated static stops, and the voice of Nature is audible to the domesticated Peoples again.  In fact, the “theme” of the movie was saving what remains of the Natural Order from further destruction by the habitual usages of “civilization.”  That this required the elimination of the “hardware” with which tame Humans wreak their havoc (along with most of the Humans who wreak it) was, of course, the “hook” for getting the “real-life” counterparts of those same “individuals” into the theaters. 

In the movie the “alien” agent of “....a group of civilizations” was persuaded to relent somewhat, possibly giving the domesticated peoples a chance to clean-up their own act.  It seems to this old Native rather telling that the idea of some “superior civilization” showing-up here to put a stop to the planetary depradations inflicted by this “local” one is evidently more-or-less acceptable to “modern” people.  That there is already present and accounted-for, within the Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth, a remnant of free wild natural Human Beings who are among the agents of essentially similar changes, on the other hand, is generally greeted here with, at best, considerable skepticism.

People dead-set on their own destruction will not be “saved” from theirownselfs.  Neither will they get to take the rest of us with them.  If some domesticated Humans want to be freed from their captivity they will themselves have to take the painful and extremely difficult steps to get there.  Us surviving Savages are ready and able to serve as Native Guides, but we cannot do “the heavy lifting” for you.

One way or another, of course, this death-dealing contraption is coming to its pre-programmed conclusion.  The voices of all our Relations will no longer be drowned-out by the deafening din of machinery and electro-mechanically-amplified ideological and institutional propaganda.  “Cheap thrills” none of us could ever afford will no longer be on-offer to distract people from the requirements of fulfilling their organic function here.  The plain fact that Humans ARE NOT “the brains” of this outfit will once again be plain for all to see.

The protagonist in the movie warned people that even if the nanobot “swarm” could be arrested, there was no way the levels of “comfort” and “convenience” people’d been taking-for-granted would ever again be available to them.  That is a guaranteed outcome here in our Living World as well. 

Better get used to the idea, Sisters and Brothers.

HokaHey!

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By Shift, December 27, 2008 at 11:32 pm Link to this comment

Yesterday I was walking the river bluffs.  A Bald Eagle flew just below us and cheered our spirits.  Soon a Bobcat ran by us on the other side about ten yards away.  The place we walked was wild and natural mostly untouched by man.  When I stopped and just existed in this natural environment, standing quietly and just listening the beauty of the place slowly saturated me as a sense of calm enfolded me.  In this state of calm I was untouched by wars, the economy, and politics.  No such thoughts entered my mind.  Time had no meaning here.  Just living in the moment with no particular purpose enhances the heart and cleanses the spirit.  Mother Earth changes us in good ways.  She accepts our burdens and breathes good life energies into us so that we can carry them and share them with our brothers and sisters.

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By Allan Gurfinkle, December 27, 2008 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s try this again ....

It doesn’t make any difference how much interest money the Fed has received.  The Fed is owned by its member banks, and pays a fixed dividend on the order of 6%.  Any profit beyond that is given to the Treasury.

Read the last sentence ....Any profit beyond that is given to the Treasury.  This means that after the Fed pays the dividend on it shares, fixed at 6%, it returns all profit beyond that to the Treasury.  So all profits beyond a fixed amount is returned to the Treasury.  It goes to the government, not the shareholders of the Fed banks.

There is a good write up here .....

http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Embassy/1154/flaherty.html

actually I couldn’t find the one I was looking for but this should do it…. note that interest is rebated to the Treasury.

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By Harold Hellickson, December 27, 2008 at 10:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It doesn’t make any difference how much interest money the Fed has received.  The Fed is owned by its member banks, and pays a fixed dividend on the order of 6%.  Any profit beyond that is given to the Treasury.

Yes it does make a difference.

For example, beyond the Congressional $700 million Wall Street bailout, Bianco Research reports the Fed has commitments for $4.7 trillion.  At the above 6% rate, that’s $280 billion.  That’s more than one-fifth of the the treasury’s budgeted $1.25 billion 2008 individual income tax revenue. 

That’s a hell of a lot of money to pay the private banks that own the Fed. for magically creating something out nothing.

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By Gaylord Krupkowski, December 27, 2008 at 9:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“It doesn’t make any difference how much interest money the Fed has received.  The Fed is owned by its member banks, and pays a fixed dividend on the order of 6%.  Any profit beyond that is given to the Treasury.”

————————————————————-

It certainly does make a difference.  %6 of X = ???

If X is very large, ??? increases in directly. 

It sounds like a trust as described in Johnston’s Perfectly Legal.  I wouldn’t mind being subjected to 6% dividend payment each quarter based on all the money borrowed from the Federal Reserve.

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By Allan Gurfinkle, December 26, 2008 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It doesn’t make any difference how much interest money the Fed has received.  The Fed is owned by its member banks, and pays a fixed dividend on the order of 6%.  Any profit beyond that is given to the Treasury.

I watched 30 min. of Burien’s video ..... very interesting, but I think he must be making a fundamental error or oversight, I would like to learn more.

I think many of us will be on a learning curve for a bit regarding finance.  It is an interesting but not easy subject. 

We have already been scammed very big time for sure, primarily by Wall Street I believe.  It’s a little distressing to see the Ron Paul attitude ... blaming the Fed exclusively, and still championing the Reagan economics that is the basis for the chicanery.

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By Da Bronx, December 26, 2008 at 6:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Clash

“The founding fathers seem to have been in the same situation as we find politicians today subverted by the bankers who control the world.”

Subverted?

The founding fathers (many of then slave owners) were the forefront of cut-throat capitalism. They came to a populated land, took what they desired, imported “cheap labor” and outsourced what was not commercially viable to do here.

Boston’s land was stolen at least twice, once from the native people, and then from the Puritians. The Irish were imported to pave the streets, and it might be argued that the third theft of Boston was by them…. but we’d have to ask Whitey Bulger.

New York was a scam from the get-go, the Dutch paid a group of transient natives the equivelent of $24 dollars for a parcel of land they wouldn’t have had a claim to under anyone’s law. The British then stole the land from the Dutch, and burned all the Dutch reform churches so the remaining citizens wouldn’t stay. The colonials stole the land from the tory New Yorkers who denied their emesary, to the contenantial congress, a vote to affirm. (he affirmed anyway…illegally)

From the begining the USA was a ponzi scheme. We said all men had “freedoms” but blacks and natives were not considered “men” later this non-human designation was expanded to include Chinese, East Indians, and Arabs. History books tell us people immigrated to the US for “freedom” when in fact, most Colonies were created to extract wealth. We laud Lincoln for “freeing slaves, while failing to mention that he was a white supremisist who held that the Africal Americans were “like children without sufficant intelligence to care for themselves.”

You’ll pardon me if I fail to respect Jefferson’s words, or to even allow that he actually spoke them.

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By MzScarlett, December 26, 2008 at 2:24 am Link to this comment

She THEN went on to cleverly “distract” folks which is a tactic used a LOT by this trickery Gov: to state: LOOK at all the Gov Regulations you have! Why, everything you EAT, from an apple to a candy bar is ALL for your “protection”: BONG! Salt is CHEMICALLY TREATED to cause high blood pressure, & is used so excessively in processed foods (those Criminals in Congress & those Corps working together again!) it causes kidney stones in both adults & children causing excruciating pain & agony for children; must be that Don Rumsfeld mentality of brutality & cruelty again! with everyone going right along with him; cuz then they get so much $ for the pharmas! SAME with Sugar (refined they call it: CHEMICAL) same with FLOUR; same with food additives added including FORMALDEHYDE. THIS is HOW the GOV of the USA works! Of course, getting a goodly portion of every Corp they need no $ at all; just tax the people because they are abusive; & joy in cruelty & delight in torture.

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By MzScarlett, December 26, 2008 at 2:14 am Link to this comment

Watching Elizabeth Warren on the “new Congress” board of economics along with others most educating; one day she cleverly states that usury laws went away in the 70’s which was a blantant lie; the next day or so again being broadcast she states that usury laws predated the Constitution; she THEN states :amazingly that the US Supreme Court had “made an interpretation” on them; then goes on to state that some folks had decided that they could make a whole lot more $ interest wise by RAISING the rates on homes; ARMS???; then stated that Congress had WITH NO IMPUT passed something re housing; (NOTHING is done without BRIBERY folks! it’s the MOST CORRUPT Gov on the PLANET! she spoke of prepayment statements added; & folks would have to pay to refinance; then added all these hidden tricks & traps re credit cards; & how they would go to a state like S Dakota & BRIBE THEM to do business there;or SAY they were doing business there; ****I had heard that there was a “clause” that IF you prepaid off your home you would STILL have to pay all the interest. NOW: the Pres of Responsibility of loan lenders: ALL these folks QUALIFIED for BETTER LOANS: & someone was BRIBED to STEER them to THESE {riskier loan with far more interest & a bunch of bogus fees: WHICH how could HE NOT HAVE KNOWN WHAT WAS GOING ON?????????? RICO laws state that all funds homes cars etc used in CRIMES are consicatable; looks to me like the PEOPLE of the USA just got a WHOLE LOT OF $ COMING TO THEM!

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By Eric L. Prentis, December 25, 2008 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

Bush/Paulson/Bernanke’s bailout of failed insurers/banks is anti-capitalism. Bernanke/Summers/Geithner are condemning the US to a terrible economic future, claiming to save the financial system; but, in reality only saving their crony friends, the failed Wall Street owners/creditors/managers/banks. America’s future is too important to be left to bureaucrats beholden to the industries they regulate and to politicians, i.e., Schumer/Dodd/Frank, being directed by the large campaign contributions from the industries they oversee. Fascism/corporatism in America will increase, unless the people act.

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By Clash, December 24, 2008 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

While it can be said that Greenspan and Burnanke have contributed to our present dilemma the quoted statement of the man responsible for the federal reserve:

“I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world - no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”
—President Woodrow Wilson (The president whose administration passed the Federal Reserve Act)

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By Harold Hellickson, December 24, 2008 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

bilejones

And it gets worse.  Below is my letter to my local newspaper written about 3 weeks ago.

$7.6 trillion worth of trouble, hold on for the ride

  To The Editor: Here is what $7.6 trillion did for an earlier U.S.A. Bianco Research reports the following inflation adjusted costs of earlier Government spending in trillions as follow: World War II @ $3.6, NASA @ $0.9, Vietnam War @ $0.7, Iraq War @ $0.6, @ The New Deal @ $0.5, Korean War @ $0.5, S&L;Bailout @ $0.3, Race to the Moon @ $0.2, Louisiana Purchase @ $0.2, and the Marshal Plan @ $0.1; $7.6 trillion total.
  Congress authorized $700 billion for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.  Yet we are on the hook for more than 10 times that amount. Including the most recent Citigroup bailout, Bloomberg reports the current Wall Street/Financial System bailout commitments from the Federal Reserve, Treasury, FDIC, and FHA at $4.7, $1.5, $1.1 and $0.3 trillion respectively; $7.6 trillion total. By the end of next year, some experts project a commitment exceeding ten trillion dollars.
  Assuming we retain a credit worthy status sufficient to borrow what we will need, if we are successful, pumping this kind of money into the economy ultimately must result in a period of very high, if not run-away inflation.  If we are not successful a depression is inevitable.  Either way is not economic collapse likely?

What do you think the dollar might be worth in 2010?

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By bilejones, December 24, 2008 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

The core cause of the meltdown is the Federal Reserve’s vast expansion of the money supply under the sanctimonious idiot Greenspan and the moron Bernanke. This caused the stock market bubble, the housing bubble and the latest and greatest: the Treasury bubble. In the last couple of decades trillions of dollars has been carefully shepherded into the hands of a few thousand banksters. They, in their turn reward the perpetrators with millions in “speaking fees”.

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By TAO Walker, December 23, 2008 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment

Yellowbird2525 consistently calls our attention to specific areas in which our tormentor’ two-legged agents are actively continuing their rape and pillage and murder.  Calling for the War Drums in-response is seemingly sensible enough, but doesn’t maybe allow for the fact the actual battleground IS the domesticated peoples themselves….our own blood kin.

The perpetrators do all the dirty-work Yellowbird2525 describes here almost entirely by proxy, using their Human subject/citizens as throw-away implements largely ignorant of their exploitation and the utter ruthlessness with which it is carried-out.  That is exactly the fatal flaw in the infernal scheme.

Even as abused and confused as the tame peoples are, they remain Children of our Mother Earth….our own Sisters and Brothers.  Their abusers and confusers are fooling-around with dynamite here, and it’s about to blow their damned operation all to hell. 

It’s taken some time, and cost us heavily in our own flesh and blood, but we finally have the self-absorbed fools who came here looking for a free lunch ( that’d've been us) right where we need them.  Already we’re getting some to take the Medicine (yep, US again) that will cure what ails ‘em.

Cut-off now from their sponsor/owners’ direction, co-opted half-human overseers can only continue stupidly running amok as they try vainly to prop-up the pyramid scam they mistakenly believe theirownselfs near the top-of.  It should be pretty plain now how woefully incapable they are of “succeeding” at that….as they scramble frantically to pump hot-air into the cheap imitation plastic “castle” they tried to pass-off as an “improvement” on the Natural Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth.     

Meantime, those actual Humans who’re caught in the collapsing contraption called “civilization” are already, some of ‘em at-least, looking for the EXIT.  This old Man is here in-effect holding-up a sign saying “THIS WAY OUT!”  That being what our Lakotah Cousin call the Tiyoshpaye Way.

HokaHey!

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By yellowbird2525, December 23, 2008 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

Tao Walker: my fathers ancestors were here to meet my mothers on the Mayflower: since this corrupt Gov with 2 faces & lying tongue has NEVER kept one single promise to any American Indian tribe; they do not have any authority over the land at all; HERE is what they are busy & up to while playing out this charade & theatricals in front of the unsuspecting public: they are going after to destroy as much fresh water supply in this nation as they can; from city, (ours extending ski lodge over watershed); to NY going to mine watershed; Coal Mountain blow the top destroying all kinds of fresh water, streams, etc; they claim humans have a NEED for water but not a RIGHT to it; & you cannot even drink out of your own well water; they will not allow you to grow any vegetables at all; nor even have any chickens, beef, etc; they are going to destroy all the trees, all the forests, & build condos; google FEMA trailers & Haliburton concentration camps & you can see where the citizens will end up after being given fed Id #s; let the drums of war begin to speak through out the tribes; perhaps THESE folks dull of mind & thinking they are “free” when they are oppressed & abused: perhaps they will begin to hear & let the scales fall off their eyes & ears; they claim they are a nation of law but they make up laws as they go along.

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By TAO Walker, December 23, 2008 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

The up-side of people owning-up to their fair share of complicity in this mess, as Mike W does here, is getting to a place where some sort of mutual beneficially effective response becomes available.  The “victim mentality” is ALWAYS a lot more advantageous to the perpetrator, anyhow.

So at what point does it stop making any sense at all palavering about ways to keep this Titanic “global economy” (and the “civilization” of which it is merely the super-structure) afloat….or arguing over who’s most to-blame for its in-progress sinking?  When does turning to one another, where we are right now floundering, for whatever might still exist in the way of common ground, get recognized as the ONLY viable option left here for Human Beings?

One time a bunch of us Indians piled into an old car to go to a Ceremony the other side of the Rez.  This was maybe seventy-five Winters ago, about this time of year, and there was a big storm coming.  The jalopy broke-down maybe twenty-five miles from where we were headed.  Of course the contraption’s “owner” wanted to try and get it going, and we all pitched-in on that.  After awhile it was obvious that tin-god Lizzie was a goner, though.

The storm was nearly on us by then, and there was some quick debate about whether to stay with the car or make a try on-foot for some better shelter.  The one who held “title” couldn’t bring himself to abandon his prized “property,” and two others decided to stay with him.  Four of us started walking.  We all got overtaken by the blizzard, but only us Walkers got through it alive….thanks mainly to the old couple whose place we were going to for the Ceremony, who’d anticipated our difficulty and come part-way to meet and guide us to the safety of their home.

Their own tin gods have miserably failed the domesticated peoples, even as a perfect storm of ideological and institutional and technological break-down roars into their virtual world.  Many, maybe even most, will be unable to walk away from their worthless “investments.”  Those who can will be met on the road by some of us surviving free wild Natives who will help them back to Life.

You have this old Indian’s word on that.

HokaHey!

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By Clash, December 23, 2008 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

Larry;

You are correct in your observation that Jefferson while expounding his political view’s,  decided that rule by the illuminated elite would be the path he would follow, not unlike politicians of the present.

The founding fathers seem to have been in the same situation as we find politicians today subverted by the bankers who control the world.

This is not just a melt down but a further attempt at relieving this country and it’s citizenry of their sovereign rights a plan whose seeds were insidiously planted at its birth.

The argument is not that banks are good or evil, the argument is who should control who. At this point while it appears that we have nationalized the banking system, I rather fear it is the banking system that has privatized the government.

All this said it makes Jefferson’s word’s no less true.

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By Leisure Suit Larry, December 23, 2008 at 8:02 am Link to this comment
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By Clash, December 22 at 9:28 pm #

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and the corporations which grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”
—Thomas Jefferson


BUT Jefferson was friends with Alexander Hamilton (who founded the Bank of New York, and who is considered by some the devil incarnate. All our banking practices from “Intrest paid first” to fees for off-site banking were dreamed up by Hamilton, that father of cut-throat capitalism.

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By Clash, December 22, 2008 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and the corporations which grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”
—Thomas Jefferson

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By Ed Harges, December 22, 2008 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

Concerning our sudden economic meltdown, here’s the elephant in the room that nobody sees: Israel.

The acute event that drove our economy into a crisis of confidence was the sudden spike in oil prices — just this past summer, oil prices suddenly spiked to MORE THAN TRIPLE what they are now. And that was because there was a sudden, Israel-driven stepping up of threats of war against Iran. With Bush leaving office, the Israelis feared that the next president might not be insane enough to accommodate Israel’s desire to have the US destroy Iran for them.

Doesn’t anybody remember that when an Israeli official stated publicly that war with Iran was certain and imminent, he caused the SINGLE LARGEST ONE-DAY SURGE IN OIL PRICES EVER?

Suddenly, nobody could even think of buying an SUV, or a big house in the suburbs that would require a daily commute. People suddenly couldn’t make their house payments, because they couldn’t afford the gas to get to work. Housing values and auto sales nosedived.

And why are oil prices now so much lower? Don’t say it’s simply because of the recession - we know that the economy’s been in recession for a full year. The experts say the recession started in December 2007. Last summer’s highest-ever oil prices occurred SEVEN MONTHS into this recession.

The proximate, acute cause of the rapid economic meltdown was the skyrocketing of oil and gasoline prices back in the summer — and the biggest reason they are now drastically lower is that the Bush administration is ending. There is a general perception - right or wrong - that a war against Iran is not going to happen, because (a) the Obama people are relatively sane, and (b) the acutely worsening recession itself makes such a war economically and politically infeasible.

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By msgmi, December 22, 2008 at 8:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Wall Street & Beltway hubris marches on. Wall Street financial unaccountability ruled before the bubble burst and continues to rule after the federal bailout gave them cash without implementing any oversight. In reality, Hank Paulson is running a Ponzi bailout scheme and Chris Cox of the SEC is his enabler.

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By yellowbird2525, December 22, 2008 at 1:58 am Link to this comment

Lee A; don’t know where you have been living not to be aware of this: http://www.naturalnews.com; http://www.hsi.com (healthscienceinstitute); books by the reams have been written if you do know how to read; b&n;check out pharmacuticals; might also want to check out genetically modified seeds which are made by makers of Agent Orange Monsanto who is being given water rights to USA (oh unhappy day) & agressive plans to destroy & damage fresh water supply all over the USA from city, to county, to state, to Federal parks & lands; Coal mountain is scheduled to blow it’s top destroying many clean water streams & creeks. It gets better: NO ONE will be allowed to eat ANY thing that is NOT made by genetic modified seed; & they have cloned MEAT that you are probably eating & cloned MILK that you are probably drinking all complete with pesticides etc to harm YOU to the max. And in this “nation of “force of good”********which was fabricated on lies by Rumsfeld Kissinger & others; check out power of nightmares on youtube.com; might also check out Fema trailers, concentration camps, & where Obama gave his speech in Germany: correlates with HITLER: whom OUR nation brought over top Nazi’s & sat up handsomely to learn EVERYTHING that they did & HOW they did it. WHAT “good” nation or a nation that does “good” would do THIS? Oh, that’s right: just saw a huge panel of folks claiming how “good” floride was; that was what Hitler put into the water supply; google it if they haven’t removed it to find out why other nations have banned it long ago cuz of the problems; think the toothpaste containing contaminents was REALLY from China? better find out while you can!

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By SteveL, December 21, 2008 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

This financial meltdown has been going on since Regan was president.  This nasty mix of punishing right wing politics with economics was bound to lead to what we have now.  Consider it would have taken no effort at all to leave the regulations in place and not have to fix the mess we have now.

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By Walmar McAmerica, December 20, 2008 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I just finished Obama: The Postmodern Coup, and I am finishing Obama: The Unauthorized Biography by Webster Tarpley.  If you liked Bush, you’ll love Obama. 
At least with Bush, outside of a few slogans like compassionate conservative and the like, this country pretty much knew what it was in for.  Obama has fooled a lot of people.  He’s going to try to end Social Security, thanks to Goolsbee (the Milton Friedman, Skull and Bones, heartless bastard who killed the heating oil for Mainers) and get us into a war to end all wars with Russia, thanks to Z. Brzezinski.  To this end, watch for moves to force China out of Africa and away from Africa’s oil. 
Aside from all the Republican-like bills to limit the people’s rights to clean air and clean water and protection from slapdash medical treatment and unsafe drugs, Barama is going to try to mobilize a mixture of right-wing evangelicals (note Warren’s speech at the inauguration) and blind youth to force his social agenda through congress.  Look up Mussolini’s rise to power.
He’s now paying off his Republican friends.  LaHood, the Republican congressman from the 18th district of IL and the Sec of Transportation nominee was the one who went to tell Jack Ryan to drop out of the IL Senatorial race in 2004.  (Echos of the movie, Godfather, and the Barzini betrayal)
The one tragic flaw of Barama that might wind up saving us from this megalomaniac is that, ultimately, he thinks he’s smart and everyone else is stupid.  That can trip up the best of them.

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By Clash, December 20, 2008 at 2:04 am Link to this comment

Let us not forget that George Bush signed the North American Union agreement in 2005, relieving us of our sovereignty. Crisis economic or violence is the shock needed for those in power to finally push this through as the country is economically readjusted, while we are struggling to survive.

In a recent interview Kissinger was quoted as saying that the recent crises have enhanced the movement towards toward a new global order.

We are closer I think to this than many people would like to admit, the shock of crisis after crisis is wearing down the average person, they will give up anything for what appears to be stability.

Look at our elected officials they belong to organizations that promote this new order.

http://www.apfn.org/apfn/cfr-members.htm

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By badlawdog, December 19, 2008 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment

during the Bush years. Follow the money, means of production (especially refineries), raw materials, commodities and military weapons. Compare the solid “southern-identity” against the chaotic multi-culturalism elsewhere. Who has a tighter, more cohesive cultural identity that can be manipulated/exploited?  Military bases in the North/West Coast have been gutted. Look at massive shift of weapons/infrastructure at Ft Hood, Ft Benning, FT Polk, Ft Bragg…then go do your comparisons. People in the know, as far as military bases, have seen this huge wealth/military transfer to the south. The whole thing is getting clearer by the minute. The collapse of our financial system has been engineered on purpose and its going to come quick. They’ll take control of those numbers on the NYSE and make it appear there’s still value in the market, but that won’t fool anybody outside the US and lies won’t put food on the table. People aren’t going to suffer a 200 calorie/day mac-n-cheese diet, even if some of the UN trucks escape the hijackings and can manage an orderly distribution. It’s been southerners that have allowed the cities to be over-run with uneducated latin americans, who have been brought here to displace poor blacks in the inner cities (Remember, these immigrants buy weapons/ammo, while poor blacks felons remain unarmed).  This tension will explode after the collapse. African immigrants verses blacks verses Mexican nationals verses Americanized Hispanics verses crips/bloods/neo-nazis, etc…I’m sure you get the picture. The resulting chaos will give the ruling class the excuse to invoke martial law (they’ll use Obama to do it, which is why they brought this guy out of NOWHERE and put him in office), but it wont hold because military rank and file are polarized by identity politics too (thanx to israeli theorists who’ve long pushed this polarizing “white privilege” garbage). Weapons/ammo/explosives are going to disappear from armory’s everywhere. Who’s going to walk away from their families to protect nuclear silo’s, maximum security prisons, water treatment plants, power plants, etc?
Listen closely to Bush/Cheney the next few weeks. We already heard Bush say recently (w/ Israeli/CNN reporter Candy Crowley) that a president that politizes the military will “have trouble with the military”...This frame suggests that OUR military is independent of our political process, which raises the specter of a southern military coup here in the US. They will continue this line of talk over the next month or so, to acclimate the public to military rule…To duck the national debt/garbage derivatives/foreign contracts and obligations, the south will secede, create its own currency, and enter pacts with all the right-wing puppet governments they’ve empowered in latin america, israel, etc… The south is going to rise again and the rest of you are on your own. The Bush/Cheney era is just getting started…Welcome back General Robert E Lee….

Signs of imminent collapse you can see:
1-The israeli’s you live near and work with will disappear. They engineered this thing and they’ll be the first to know…”Never again”, remember. Find out who they are and keep an eye on them.
2-The four biggest sellers right now are pasta, beans, peanut butter and firearms. Watch for price increases as supplies dwindle.
3-Movement of goods will come to a crawl, which means less tractor trailers on your highway.

More suggestions???

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By mike112769, December 19, 2008 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

I like the way that the Federal Reserve’s role is largely ignored in all of this. They were given about 20 billion or so in “bailout” money. I find this strange as we already owe them everything in the first place. The Reserve is treated as a part of our government, when it is actually a privately owned institution. They are the ones who send us our Treasury Secretary. Why have a National Cabinet post for a member of a privately owned bank? They sell us our own money. When they get caught stealing from each other/themselves, we the people are FORCED to pay for it. Does anyone really believe Madoff made off with 50 Billion dollars by himself? The government is bribing us with our own money. This is EXACTLY what Jackson warned us about. Central control of banks is control of the money. Period. Our politicians can ALL be bought. What will it take to finally break the American People? The financial practices of our government have effectively failed. To even begin to start fixing this mess we need REAL money again. Backed by a REAL standard. We have made of this a credit nation. Credit is a scam, and most fell for it. The Great Depression was a warm-up for what we are about to see. Capitalism is great, until it starts getting into government. Remember the Robber Barons? Decentralize the banking system. Term limits for EVERY politician from city council on up. Lastly, we need to stick together as a people. It really is the rich against the poor, and the ranks of the poor are growing daily. Do none of you not recognize this scene? History is full of examples of what we are seeing. The worst case scenario would be Germany in the mid to late 1930s.

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By Trigger finger, December 19, 2008 at 7:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This meltdown was and is caused by the United States Congress whom each individually felt that their share or big piece of corruption would not make a difference in the grand scheme of things.  Multiple that by each member and here we are.
No unions, no borders, no leaders, no jobs, no insurance, no industry, no friends, no rights, no education, but loads and loads of corruption.  I’m afraid we have crossed the balance line and are entering a free fall that cannot be reversed.

The big Corporate CEO’s will find their wealth is worthless when we reach total warfare. They will be lying in the gutter, bleeding and begging as the masses step on them, pick their pockets and walk over them.   

Our parents warned us in the 60’s that our drugs and irresponsibility would lead to this.

Let’s all nominate our favorite “CRIMINAL OF THE YEAR” Candidate.
1. Cheney

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By Shift, December 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

Arne Duncan is a coach and jock.  Our nations’s high schools have been very successful in producing the best baseball, football, and basketball players.  They have been so successful because Principals and Assistant Principals are almost exclusively coaches, not academics.  Their focus is discipline and sports.

We shout for reform.  The main reform needed in Public Schools is the replacement of Coach/Principals with Academic Principals.  Only then will academics be elevated to a level of importance.  Only then will we see academic improvement.

Obama calls for change but again appoints someone to head the Department of Education who is a Coach/Jock, not an academic.  Change?  I don’t think so!

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By Mike W, December 17, 2008 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

“...delusional belief that the “value” of a house exists almost exclusively in its “price,” rather than in the common-sensical acknowledgement of the SHELTER it provides…of a million or more houses standing empty while at least hundreds of thousands of families are effectively “homeless.” ..‘TAO’ who probably has a lot more genuine concern for the welfare of our domesticated Sisters and Brothers than any of their chosen “leaders” ever will have, is some…You may help one another through even-more-trying days ahead.  It’s ALL up to you.” (TAO Walker)

Thanks TAO. These are nice words of yours and I believe words that hold much value. Many do get caught up in it all and when “it all” goes to hell, they still sometimes do not understand the game.
Bought a house, invested in improvements, sold for a profit, purchased a bigger and nicer house with the profit…then crash. Stuck with bigger mortgage, higher taxes and too big of a house needed anyway. Their sold house,with the new owners, which doubled in value…crashed too. Too bad for that 1st time buyer family when the economy slowed, lost their job and can not afford their overpriced home….
(just one story of the millions going on out there)

Blame the government and bankers and all others? No, TAO. I blame myself and ourselves. It must be a tricky balance that path that you follow. Many had a clear path to rid that 30 year fixed way of domesticated lifestyle of ours. But the big farmer had other plans for us instead. He simply was just fattening us up in order to get a better price at the market. Good for “him”. Seriously, good for him.
We should not have kept eating that “feed” and simply stopped when we were full.

Take care.

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By yellowbird2525, December 17, 2008 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

Interestingly enough: our “country” is unique in that IT is the only one who amongst it many other sins, has huge drawn out mortgage (meaning death pledge) “loans” that pay huge interest: I bought a home 28 years ago for $28,000; & will have paid out $100,000 by next year on 30 year loan; RIGHT THEN: folks were being put into “loans” with Gov full knowledge & consent that forced the PEOPLE to pay off INTEREST FIRST before a CENT ever put to equity. Our Gov sits down & plans long term goals: & they PRICE everything; even allowing food to ROT in fields so that the PRICE on the market is THIS; they have INFLATED the cost of homes PURPOSELY & this is also seen in CRIMINAL INTEREST & FRAUD BOGUS FEES & CHARGES in Credit cards for years; & now it is seen has been done in HOUSING: yep, all coming out now, in bankruptcys add kinds of bogus fees & charges by banks, etc, are being seen & the PEOPLE QUALIFIED for far better loans, etc: not JUST the “poor” as they try & claim & say IT IS THE PEOPLES FAULT! NO IT IS NOT ! It is the LAWLESS LEADERS sitting DOWN to “create” THIS TYPE OF BOGUS DEBT! CUZ it is ALL CRIMINAL, & BOGUS: so the QUESTION IS: WHY? WHY did they create all this “bogus” debt? Cuz if you CUT THRU the “criminal interest & bogus fees” & cut to the CHASE: I am not a bookkeeper nor an accountant; WHY are they PAYING “moderators” or whatever to STOP BANKRUPTCYS from going thru because THIS IS WHERE IT IS ALL SHOWING UP at; & WHY are our “Congressfolks” supposed lawmakers who are in reality: are you ready for this one folks: they “write” their own laws PRIOR TO any election: they “amend” laws, BACK DATE laws as when they went into place; & delete old laws; & per Judge Sonia Sotomayor in US court of appeals appearing via satelite in Arar vs Ashcroft: they even give their “interpretations” of such. Isn’t THAT sweet! Too too neat! In this “nation of law” THIS is how it WORKS!

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By Raul Pevere, December 15, 2008 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment
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I think what’s coming is a big HUD scandal followed by the further decline of U.S. Cities, followed by a dramatic increase in or introduction of a sales tax and the complete privatization of local government and highways.  All this to pay the dividends of the municipal bonds owned by Wall St. financiers.
60 Minutes says another wave of the Meltdown is coming, but right behind that we’ll wake up to a country depicted best in the Popeye movie starring Robin Williams.
The worst part is that part of their scheme robs from Charlie Manson’s Helter Skelter pitting the blacks against whites, whites agains Hispanics and so on.

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By TAO Walker, December 15, 2008 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

Pundits, politicians, pitchmen, and papered professional experts of all stripes are hard-at-it these days trying mightily to persuade theamericanpeople to spend money they don’t have on industrial-wasteproducts they don’t need.  It’ll be interesting to see how the domesticated peoples respond to the largely self-inflicted pickle they’re all in here.

Emblematic of the entire fiasco is peoples’ general acceptance of the delusional belief that the “value” of a house exists almost exclusively in its “price,” rather than in the common-sensical acknowledgement of the SHELTER it provides.  So you now have the truly insane “coincidence” of a million or more houses standing empty while at least hundreds of thousands of families are effectively “homeless.”

It is of course nothing new in america that “property” takes precedence over Persons, both in “law” and in-practice.  That such a completely fucked-up set of priorities is a primary factor in creating the already-bad-and-bound-to-get-much-worse MESS theamericanpeople are in these days doesn’t seem to’ve dawned-on most of ‘em yet.  It will, though….a rude awakening of mind-blowing magnitude, f’r sure.

So far the frantic “focus” of officialdom appears to be on a sure-to-prove-futile effort to re-inflate the collapsing “housing bubble”....not to mention all the other consumptuous make-believe “wealth” it was the model and main driving-force behind.  It may be significant that virtually none of those privileged few claiming the authority to address the thing are themselves much at-risk to suffer any of the supposed-to-be “worst” consequences.  That may help explain the urgency with which they’ve acted to prop-up their own fatuous life-styles, and also account for their evident lack of same when it comes to “bailing-out” the hapless masses who will continue to bear the brunt of (and pay the freight-for) all the institutionalized criminal idiocy perpetrated by their self-proclaimed “betters.”

This is no-doubt part of the “disaster” for which the coupling of grandiose ambitions and meager abilities is always a sure-fire prescription….as the Ancients well knew.  Yet the shuck goes on, with lots of the high-and-mighty talking tons about “straight talk,” but none of ‘em actually doing any of it.

So here, for a change, from an old Savage who probably has a lot more genuine concern for the welfare of our domesticated Sisters and Brothers than any of their chosen “leaders” ever will have, is some.  Those “leaders,” no matter how well-intentioned, cannot save you.  You cannot, contrary to “popular opinion” as dis-informed by all the propaganda of “individual”-ism, save (or even help) yourownselfs.

You might, by getting together where you actually live and breathe, help one another through even-more-trying days ahead.  It’s ALL up to you.

HokaHey!

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By Myronh, December 14, 2008 at 11:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is obvious that our financial-ruin has been caused by the takeover of all aspects of our economy (manufacturing and service) by Accountants acting as Business Managers/CEOs. I am now retired, but started working as a Quality Manager for a privarely owned steel fabricator. This was a Union shop, which was the envy of our industry. It was exceptionally profitable, being supervised by hard-working people that understood people and the customer needs. The Accounting Department’s job was to report the numbers, not manage the Company. We were so succssful that we were bought by XXX, which instantly made the former owner a $43-millionaire. We rapidly went into a profit-loss slide, as the XXX Accounting whiz-kids changed everything we did. Our Manufacturing Managers were now forced to play the $-game. Most resigned and found other more satifying work. Those of us that remained watched as the profitability and especially sales slid into the accounting black-hole.

No Company can survive when the only concern is: “This Quarter is the Most Important in Our History - We Cannot Let Down Our Share-holders”. I recognized this as a problem 30-years ago and it has grown into the Monster we now call a #8-trillion debt. The answer is obvious; return the Accountants to their little cubicle and let them record the numbers, and let the Manufacturing and Service Managers manage.

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By SteveL, December 14, 2008 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

Wonder how long it will take for people we are in the same boat.  Amazing how we can spent $10 billion a month in Iraq but can not bail out the auto companies.  Some feel putting 3 million out of a job in this economy will not effect them.  Good luck on that one.  Now that the news paper people find their pensions in deep jeopardy you have to wonder why they did not have much to say when others were loosing theirs.  Oh yeah political philosophy needs to take precedence over good economic sense.  How much longer are we going to beat ourselves up with that pile of crap?

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By Pat, December 14, 2008 at 9:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People should be asking whether the government allowed their citizens to be scammed once again, or whether, if fact, they had a part in that process of melting down America by pre-empting usury laws and allowing greater resources to the banking community to lend indiscriminately to anyone and everyone including short term businesses with impunity, knowing that Americans would have to bail out the losses.

With the amount spent on the 2008 campaign, someone should be asking the question since the banking stocks began their nosedive in November 2007 and nothing was heard from anyone until September 2008. Where were all the analysts during that time?

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By Anarcissie, December 14, 2008 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

The “Capzle” has many defects.  Another is that it will run, apparently, only under IE on a Windows machine.  I generally use a Mac, and I won’t use IE for security reasons.  So the Capzle supports Microsoft’s monopoly which still sits like a malign toad on the PC world.  As for the problems you notice, if the video is not served fast enough, it doesn’t matter how fast your link is.  On the whole, Capzle is crapzle and should be removed if it can’t be improved.  Hope the website managers read this.

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By Leisure Suit Larry, December 14, 2008 at 6:54 am Link to this comment
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By Libarchist, December 12 at 7:47 pm #


What a find.  It seems like it has been a robbery all along.  Whhether it’s with a gun or with a pen, it is still robbery.

You forgot to attribute Woody Guthrie

“Pretty Boy Floyd”

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By Mango, December 13, 2008 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

I have a DSL connection, but I can’t get these videos to run with anything near acceptable speed.  Even worse they are not “preloadable” so I can’t download them and watch them later, they have to be live streamed.  I don’t know what the differences are in methods of internet video display, but I know too well the difference from the viewer’s end.  It’s simply not worth it to try to watch Financial Meltdown 101.

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By jr., December 13, 2008 at 3:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is amusing the way congress pretends to have such a great concern over the 8 trillion dollar deficit being left to “their” children; not that their children will necessarily be having to payback any of that.  Congress has audacity talking about the financial speculators, huh!  Isn’t that a case of the pot calling the kettle black!?!  It would be justice should the future generations expected to repay that money were to tell those congressional speculators to go and fu*# themselves and their $8+ trillion debt.

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By Libarchist, December 12, 2008 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

What a find.  It seems like it has been a robbery all along.  Whhether it’s with a gun or with a pen, it is still robbery.

———————————

I agree

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By Clean Shirts, December 12, 2008 at 11:38 am Link to this comment
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By Allan Gurfinkle, December 12 at 7:02 am #
(Unregistered commenter)

What a find.  It seems like it has been a robbery all along.  Whhether it’s with a gun or with a pen, it is still robbery.

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By Allan Gurfinkle, December 12, 2008 at 8:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It gets even better ..... is the ‘credit crunch’ a scam…...limited to just a few of the big players .....  at least one analyst says so, and backs it up with data .....

http://moneynews.newsmax.com/streettalk/credit_crunch/2008/12/11/160771.html

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By Harold Hellickson, December 11, 2008 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment
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Garfunkle and Fenwick

Re Kevin Philips:  He may be easier to listen to than to read.  He was featured on Book TV’s In Depth 3 hour interval on CSPAN 2 last week.  It will be rerun at 9:00 am next Sunday.  You may want to see it then or it is available on Book TV’s archives for viewing anytime you may wish to do so.

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By GW=MCHammered, December 11, 2008 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wall Street, casinos, politicians and lobbyists all ‘play the odds’ to win. So what do you think of US citizens taking out a life insurance policy on GWB to win? Looks more and more like that’s the only way for the hammered middle class to make money in this Globalization Ponzi Scheme.

U.S. Household Net Worth Fell Most on Record in Third Quarter
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=a4kKl_rdaZw4&refer=us

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By Libarchist, December 11, 2008 at 2:02 am Link to this comment

By Random Pictures, December 10 at 4:27 am #
(Unregistered commenter)

“We are free; but the majority don’t know it”

FREEDOM? how do you define that word?  FREE is FREE.

We do NOT live in a “Free country” it is very expensive to live here!

___________________________

The mind of man is basically free —- but faulty thinking,  disturbs the mind.

The violence in that mind,  then united with other minds…lost distorted and unfree… create a collective mind (or the mind of the group)—popularly phrased as sheeple.

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By Shift, December 10, 2008 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment

I can see any number of scenarios that will continue the economic and social decline.  I do not see corrective action to help mitigate the hardship of the poor and middle class.  I do see massive assistance aimed at the wealthy.  Unfortunately this trend will probably continue under Obama based upon the selection of his economic team members. Circumstance will force the implementation of a jobs program.  Other than that I anticipate Obama supporting the status quo.  If change occurs it will not be in the economic spectrum.  I fear that years of hard times are upon us and that the American People have no heart for protest or non violent dissent.  So we suffer until an intervening variable threatens the status quo. I do not think that we will have to wait too long.

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By yellowbird2525, December 10, 2008 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

Lee A: there is books ad naseum written on how this nation is really run: but you might not be able to read. What is currently happening now in the St of Oregon: brand new banks going up, brand new condo’s being built; lands zoned for 2 homes, changed to 6 due of course to all the people who are coming; laws were changed, amended, supposedly “expired” & old laws deleted to not implicate the Gov of course; (openly stated on TV town hall meeting: this country is no longer run by citizens: but by “politicians” who as one stated Peter Buckley: we got the folks who blocked us from doing what we wanted out of the way, so we can now do whatever we want to”; this of course is the “repair & restore” going on from ST to ST; which has NOTHING to benefit the people or the planet of course; only those made rich by criminally robbing the people & planet for years. FALSE reports (gosh) are showing up to foreclose homes that are NOT behind in any payments at all; unless complete documentation & having to hire lawyers to rob you yet again the houses can be foreclosed on illegally; THIS is what they mean by “free money” or “free economy”: free money is whatever you can get from any legal citizens by whatever means you choose to employ without ever being brought to justice for it. They are all operating outside of the laws with our “lawmakers” full knowledge & consent: this extends not just to Fed Congress: but to State as well;

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By Allan Gurfinkle, December 10, 2008 at 10:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

‘Bad Money’ is a great book but, like all of the econ books, for me it is a difficult read.  Generally good for inducing a nap.  Yet, I think Phillips is knowledgeable, to the extent that I’ll probably buy the updated copy when it comes out.

Even better is Ellen Brown’s ‘The Web of Debt’, because it discussed in greater length the world situation and the IMF and economic ‘shock therapy’ which has been used to deconstruct third world countries and is now perhaps being used to deconstruct the US economy.

All of these books seem to be written by econ majors for other econ majors, so a great deal is subsumed.  Nonetheless, I think it will be necessary to absorb most of this stuff to have an inkling of what is transpiring in the US is the near future.

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By Random Pictures, December 10, 2008 at 5:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“We are free; but the majority don’t know it”

FREEDOM? how do you define that word?  FREE is FREE.

We do NOT live in a “Free country” it is very expensive to live here!

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By Walmar McAmerica, December 9, 2008 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Check this video out.  It explains the money as debt mess we’re in.
http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/135.html

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By Harold Hellickson, December 9, 2008 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fenwick

Re Philips book Bad Money: a reprint with 60 to 80 additional pages for “a current update” is scheduled to be available this spring.

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By yellowbird2525, December 9, 2008 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

Usury laws existed almost as long as banking has; to protect the people; also laws re loan sharking & above & beyond that is predatory. Those laws have been ignored by “lawmakers” Congress repeatedly for years now; seen mainly in the credit card; but also interestingly enough in the housing market as well; just after buying a home 29 years ago we were asked if we had a lawyer look the papers over; the policy at the time was beginning to be that they could write it up in such a way that all the interest had to be paid prior to equity in the homes. All done with full knowledge & consent of the most corrupt Gov & political system the world has ever seen. Pres of Responsibility to lenders stated on C span that the PEOPLE QUALIFIED for far better interest rates & loans; they were BRIBED to “steer” the people into the ones that they were put into; & all kinds of multiple bogus fees were added to them; same as with the student loans folks; all to deliberately enslave the people of the USA with of course the full knowledge & consent of the USA Government; both parties were in on it; & they have their own agenda which does not bode well the the people of the USA or the world: who already has said repeatedly : we do NOT want to be slaves to big business the way Americans are! THIS is “so called” democracy folks; When Corps & the Gov work together, writing laws, & doing what they want to do, & it is ALWAYS against the people: when NOTHING is done for social need at all; when laws are broken, & only on the books for looks: the lawmakers have no intention of enforcing them (look at the environmental laws they have never kept); when the head of Dept of defense declares the USA to be outside & above international law; they are lawless.

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By Harold Hellickson, December 9, 2008 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fenwick

Kevin Philips (see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-phillips/lies-damn-lies-and-govern_b_113277.html), as well as others, points out the Consumer Price Index as well as the Unemployment data severely understate reality.

My test of unbelief in what my Government tells me is simply “whatever it says”. 

I can believe it to be true “only following a Govermnet officials statement of denial”.

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By Libarchist, December 9, 2008 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

Random Pictures

Jefferson said the country needs a revolution every twenty-five years or so…. we’re long overdue.

___________________________

The revolution— which is the foundation of our seeking a true liberal democracy; has never stopped at all from the beginning to the present modern day; but—now—it is not televised.

Hell, they have to bribe—practically all with official government roles—to cover up this fact.

We are free; but the majority don’t know it.

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By Random Pictures, December 9, 2008 at 6:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Muscleboy, December 5 at 4:08 pm

“...set up for a situation where it will be as difficult as he can make it for the new Democratic government of the USA to implement the needed radical reforms we need from alternative energy to health care for all.”

GWB is an idiot and (IMHO) a traitor to the US citizens he is supposed to serve, BUT he isn’t alone, Biden, Clinton, Pelosi, Ried, and many others with a D next to their names helped.

without their assistance and tacit approval, he couldn’t have done what he has accomplished in his very long eight years, but his 8 years are not our only problem, Carter began the deregulation of the banks, airlines, and oil indrustries way back in the Seventies. Reagan continued along the same lines, BUT with help from Democratic house members who facilitated his dismanteling of depression era safeguards. Bush one gave China MFN trading status despite the human rights abuses and the piracy of our patents by Chinese manufactures. Now Chink-land owns trillions of our IOU’s

Oh, BTW do any of you US citizens know what backs those IOU’s?  That’s the ground beneth your feet.

Jefferson said the country needs a revolution every twenty-five years or so…. we’re long overdue.

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By Harold Hellickson, December 7, 2008 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dean Baker provides some very keen insights and continously jars the Corporate Media.  You might want to chenck out http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/beat_the_press

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, December 7, 2008 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

Another way to think of the astronomical sums bandied about by the government is to divide by 300 million, the approximate population of the United States.  A billion dollars divided by 300 million is about $3.33.  A trillion dollars is a thousand times that, or $3333.33.  The Great Bailout was $2333 a head (when it was still $700 billion).  One can also divide by number of households or number of wage-earners, in which case the number will be about twice that.  In any case, the amounts can be related to daily life to some extent.

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By Muscleboy, December 5, 2008 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment

Crisis??
Yet we have the idiots in Congress(or are they crooks for so doing?) giving 700 billion over to the super crook in the White House, G.W. Bush so he can continue his false destruction of the financial markets and set up for a situation where it will be as difficult as he can make it for the new Democratic government of the USA to implement the needed radical reforms we need from alternative energy to health care for all. 

I think much of the liquidity crisis, as 400 of the nations top economists made clear, is manufactured and could easily be handled, and promptly so, with tools of process, at the Presidents disposal, with no bail out funds wasted.  Yet he is not using these tools and the Congress is not doing anything about it.  They are acting as if we have a dictatorship with no powers when Constitutionally Congress has the purse strings and can prevent Bush from having any more of the 700 billion.  They act like they are powerless when they have all the power.  What is really going on??

  The liquidity crisis is destroying the nation as completely as Bush can manage just in time for the new administration to take power - and trying to blame Democrats for it at the same time.  A parting gift from the very worst of the worst in the Republican party, George W Bush, hoping the Democrats fail utterly at implementing the changes needed so they can fool us again into giving the Republicans back power they have lost.

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By Thepeacenik, December 4, 2008 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

By Allan Gurfinkle,

Etc., obviously I’m still guessing and would like to have a better idea of the mechanics and numbers of these ‘derivatives’, and how they are ‘leveraged’.

___________________________________________________


The media estimates around 62 trillion—the value—but,  I don’t believe anything published in the media.

I think it is more like a trillion $$$ very day,  in the OTC market,  and to this day— it is completely unregulated,  with no paper trail, as well.

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By Random Pictures, December 4, 2008 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

51.2 Trillion NOT 512 Trillion.

Here’s how to judge a “trillion” dollars.

Stack 1 dollar bills in neet four foot bundles, and these would cover the island of manhattan. T hat’s one dollar bills, four feet deep four miles wide and 13 miles long.

creating 1 Trillion dollars on a high speed government press would take 1.3 years.

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By Allan Gurfinkle, December 4, 2008 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Would anyone like to take a stab at how the 512 T figure was or could be arrived at?

We start with the total outstanding mortgage debt that was securitized, call it X.

Also, the consumer debt that was securitized, call it Y.

And the commercial debt that was securitized, call it Z?

Then, how to get from X, Y, and Z, which I assume are small relative to 512 T to the total of 512 T.

I’ll guess .... I don’t know X, Y, and Z, however ...

Starting with X securitized mortgages, this puts X dollars on the asset sheets of the financial institutions, but removes the mortgages themselves, so nothing is added overall to the amount of the original mortgages.

Insurance on the mortgages was created, and called Credit Derivative Swaps (CDSs).  The total face value of of these insurance policies is X1, but then, what is the asset value?  What is the asset value of an insurance policy? I don’t know.  It would be sold for a monthly/yearly? premium so its value could be inferred from that?  So, we have the total asset value of the CDSs, call that X2, and add it to the balance sheets.

Then the CDSs are bundled and securitized…...etc.

Etc., obviously I’m still guessing and would like to have a better idea of the mechanics and numbers of these ‘derivatives’, and how they are ‘leveraged’.

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By MICHAEL ROLOFF, December 4, 2008 at 10:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

here the link to above michael lewis article at portfolio.com

http://www.portfolio.com/news-markets/national-news/portfolio/2008/11/11/The-End-of-Wall-Streets-Boom

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By michael roloff, December 4, 2008 at 10:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes, of course the big bladders on top will get re-filled first so that we can catch the trickle down! How the same people who are the problem are going to fix it is beyond me, perhaps they all ought to take a vow of poverty and live it first! But here is a wonderful piece by Michael Lewis which is copyrighted by Condenast and came to me from someone who works for Citicorps: Since posts need to be confined to 4000 characters I can only provide the opening..

The End
by Michael Lewis Nov 11 2008
The era that defined Wall Street is finally, officially over. Michael Lewis, who chronicled its
excess in Liar’s Poker, returns to his old haunt to figure out what went wrong.
To this day, the willingness of a Wall Street investment bank to pay me hundreds of thousands of
dollars to dispense investment advice to grownups remains a mystery to me. I was 24 years old, with no
experience of, or particular interest in, guessing which stocks and bonds would rise and which would fall.
The essential function of Wall Street is to allocate capital—to decide who should get it and who should not.
Believe me when I tell you that I hadn’t the first clue.
I’d never taken an accounting course, never run a business, never even had savings of my own to manage.
I stumbled into a job at Salomon Brothers in 1985 and stumbled out much richer three years later, and
even though I wrote a book about the experience, the whole thing still strikes me as preposterous—which
is one of the reasons the money was so easy to walk away from. I figured the situation was unsustainable.
Sooner rather than later, someone was going to identify me, along with a lot of people more or less like me,
as a fraud. Sooner rather than later, there would come a Great Reckoning when Wall Street would wake up
and hundreds if not thousands of young people like me, who had no business making huge bets with other
people’s money, would be expelled from finance.
When I sat down to write my account of the experience in 1989—Liar’s Poker, it was called—it was in the
spirit of a young man who thought he was getting out while the getting was good. I was merely scribbling
down a message on my way out and stuffing it into a bottle for those who would pass through these parts in
the far distant future.
Unless some insider got all of this down on paper, I figured, no future human would believe that it
happened….”

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By Anarcissie, December 4, 2008 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

The main agent of the present set of difficulties (mostly deflation) was the preceding inflation of large bubbles in the equities and real estate markets driven by the Federal Reserve Bank’s absurdly low interest rates.  The person in charge of this business was Greenspan.  Why he did it is something of a mystery to me.  One theory is that the American economy had become so severely out of kilter by 2000 that only a constant infusion of funny money could keep it going.  But I don’t know the answer to that.

What the government is trying to do now is reinflate the bubbles, but I don’t think it’s going to work.

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By Allan Gurfinkle, December 4, 2008 at 7:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Galbraith ... “the system is referred to by economists as ‘the Fed’,and this affectionate, if repellent, contraction carries no connotation of disrespect.”  LOL

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