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Geithner and Goldman, Thick as Thieves

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Posted on May 31, 2011
AP / Charles Dharapak

Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner listens as then-President-elect Barack Obama speaks at a Chicago news conference in November 2008.

By Robert Scheer

What was Timothy Geithner thinking back in 2008 when, as president of the New York Fed, he decided to give Goldman Sachs a $30 billion interest-free loan as part of an $80 billion secret float to favored banks? The sordid details of that program were finally made public this week in response to a court order for a Freedom of Information Act release, thanks to a Bloomberg News lawsuit. Sorry, my bad: It wasn’t an interest-free loan; make that .01 percent that Goldman paid to borrow taxpayer money when ordinary folks who missed a few credit card payments in order to finance their mortgages were being slapped with interest rates of more than 25 percent.

One wonders if Barack Obama was fully aware of Geithner’s deceitful performance at the New York Fed when he appointed him treasury secretary in the incoming administration. The president was probably ignorant of this particular giveaway, as were key members of Congress. “I wasn’t aware of this program until now,” Barney Frank, D-Mass., who at the time chaired the House Financial Services Committee, admitted in referring to Geithner’s “single-tranche open-market operations” program. And there was no language in the Dodd-Frank law supposedly reining in the banks that compelled the Fed to reveal the existence of this program.

It was merely one small part of that reckless policy of throwing mad money at the banks while ignoring the plight of homeowners whom the banks had swindled, a plan pursued by both the Bush and the Obama administrations that set the stage for the current slide into a double-dip recession. On Tuesday it was reported that home values have continued an eight-month decline back to their lowest point since the recession began. With housing in deep trouble there can be no rebound of consumer confidence or job creation, and the first-quarter growth rate was an anemic 1.8 percent even as Wall Street profits and bonuses flourished. Wages are stagnant, unemployment claims have recently risen and, as The Wall Street Journal headlined on Tuesday, “Economists Downgrade Prospects for Growth.” That same edition of the Journal reported that 44.6 million Americans now survive on food stamps, an 11 percent increase in that misery index over the past year, while Geithner’s friends at Goldman are doing quite well.

Actually, Goldman wasn’t even a bank and was therefore ineligible for those massive government handouts until Geithner helped gain approval for the instant conversion of Goldman from an investment house to a commercial bank. Goldman was granted that status, and with it access to the Fed’s lending, soon after the privilege had been denied to the fellow investment bank Lehman Brothers (the $30 billion mentioned above was in addition to the $43.5 billion Goldman borrowed from other Fed programs).  Although Lehman was allowed to go belly up, Geithner engineered the massive bailout of AIG, a move that turned out to be a cover for passing money to AIG’s clients, including the aforementioned Goldman Sachs. The man’s intentions were clear, even if all the secret details were not, when Obama picked him to be his point man in salvaging an economy that Geithner had done much to wreck.

Geithner’s priorities were all too obvious from his days in the Clinton administration’s Treasury Department when he worked first under former Goldman honcho Robert Rubin and then Lawrence Summers, who took six-figure speaking fees from Goldman and other banks while he was an adviser to candidate Obama. It was the recommendation of Rubin and Summers that landed Geithner the job as president of the New York Fed, where he faithfully followed the policy lead of Goldman-CEO-turned-Treasury-Secretary Henry Paulson.

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It was back then and is now accurate to speak, as a New York Times headline once put it, of U.S. politics dominated by “The Guys From ‘Government Sachs’ ”—but on an international scale. From the crisis in Greece, where Goldman manufactured toxic tax-based derivatives with abandon, to its betting against the success of the mortgage-based derivatives that Goldman designed and sold to others, the company was nothing short of a massive wrecking ball in the international economy. 

Oh yes, what did Goldman do with that taxpayer money it borrowed back in 2008? It needed the money to cover the lousy bets of its Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities trading unit, which had lost $320 million. Typical of the Goldman dealings in that arena was the $1.3 billion solicited from Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s Libya sovereign wealth fund, which according to a report in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal lost 98 percent of its value and almost cost some Goldman executives doing business in Tripoli their lives.

But they survived, as the guys from Goldman always do. With the general “no banker left behind” program pursued by Geithner under both George W. Bush and Obama, the theory was that saving the banks would save the country. The first part worked out brilliantly, but the second act never occurred.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s new book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.

 

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By Cliff Carson, June 5, 2011 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

BR549

You identified it correctly. 

To have a moral and ethical Government we must somehow be able to elect moral and ethical people.

The Party means nothing if it doesn’t demand compassion and integrity which begats Moral and ethical conduct.

Party Loyalty is anathema to good government.

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By BR549, June 5, 2011 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

TAD,
Just as we could use a good Democrat, we could also use a good Republican; one who knew the value of socially oriented corporations, but helped to instill in them the value of the social responsibility.

Having a responsible Democrat in office is only as good as his ability to not be assassinated by the very people who “allowed” him to be elected. America’s problem has been one of Godlessness. The very leaders who have claimed during their campaign to be able to solve our problems, were actually less able to do anything about them than the average business owner. They are very good at telling you about how they will fix things, but it remains that if they were able to perform as they pontificate, they would be in the private sector actually doing it. Instead, they do what they do best, become social parasites and feed off the people who actually do work for a living.

I’ll stand by my former statements that it doesn’t make any difference whether we have a dictatorship, a monarchy, or a republic; the true success markers of any of these forms of government would be compassion and integrity, none of which these clowns possess.

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By truedigger3, June 5, 2011 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

Re: By Traditional American Democrat, June 4 at 4:07 pm

TADemocrat,
This is an excellent post and I agree with it 100%.
Thank you for taking the time and sharing your thoughts with us.

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By Cliff Carson, June 5, 2011 at 7:02 am Link to this comment

Traditional American Democrat

You have summed it up as perfectly, in plain understandable English, and as accurately as I have read in a long time if not ever.

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By Leefeller, June 4, 2011 at 11:44 pm Link to this comment

For now I will still maintain we are evolving into a fascist state,... Poster ‘Traditional American Democrat’ seems to describe the symptoms but not the problem, though I unfortunately have no remedy, except to be aware.

I recommend checking out ghostofwatergate link to ‘zombie politics’.

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By BR549, June 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

ghostofwatergate, June 4 at 4:00 pm
“A close reading of the history of the Wiemar Republic’s liberal apologists shows remarkable parallels with our present stage of acquiescence to the reigning in of liberty vis a vis the problems of the over-abundance of consumerist “freedom to choose” which the radical reinterpretation of government’s role gave us, Reagan and forward.”

Was it the “reigning in of .... the over-abundance of consumerist freedom to choose” or couldn’t we also say that along with that social “luxury” of freedom to choose, we must also be shown working examples of restraint and moderation, none of which our leaders over the last hundred or more years have made any attempt to instill in us. They keep lying, stealing, and cheating, not only the citizens they took an oath to serve, but the citizens of countless helpless countries whose only crime was to possess resources that we so selfishly thought should be ours.

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By Traditional American Democrat, June 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A description of a Southern goody-goody goes something like this: “He
wouldn’t say pooh, if he had a mouthful.”

How about a President wouldn’t tell the truth if he was drowning in it….

Un-utterable by Obama, the truth is:

1 Corporations are the most profitable in their history;

2 Corporations main problem today is not ‘uncertainty’, but what to do with the
piles of cash they have – read the business journals to find discussions of
corporations biggest problem: what to do with their hordes of cash;

3 Corporations pay (actually pay, not the published tax rates, but actually pay)
very very low taxes - many, like GE, have recently paid none;

4 The wealthiest top 10 and top 3 pay the lowest taxes in recent history;

5 Wealth is centralizing and continuing to accumulate in the top 3% and to be
drained from the middle class as service -e.g. education - continue to remain
underfunded and remain on a path to be corporate controlled thru loan
programs or out right buy-outs of educational institutions;

6 Health care ‘reform’ did little other than pad the profit margins of insurance
companies with ‘mandated’ (read “guaranteed”) premium payers;

7 Afghanistan and Iraq and other escapades are ruining America’s credibility
around the world and draining resources that could be used at home;

8 With no end in site for the unemployed and under-employed, Obama does
nothing but repeat Republican ideological maxims about cutting government
and keeping low taxes for corporations or the wealthy;

9 “Free Trade” has sent manufacturing overseas; so, “bringing back the
consumer” wont put middle class Americans back to work, but will put plenty of
people in third world countries back to work – supplying Americans with more
future garage sale fodder;
10 Declining home prices and pensions and stagnant wages are dooming
America’s middle class to continued decline, while the government continues to
favor low to no taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

Obama cannot win with a strategy built on ignoring the obvious.

Like the Southern goody-goody who wouldn’t say pooh when he or she had
mouth full, the President is gagging now and will choke before 2012.

It’s time for a real Democrat – no more pretenders.

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By ghostofwatergate, June 4, 2011 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

@Leefeller: Well, Hedges has turned into a bitter old man and something of a shouter, but there aren’t many ex-establishment folks around doing the Emperor’s Clothes thing (Hedges is ex-NY Times) so he’s always good for a hoot.

Reality is not a “spectrum” - it’s more an holistic Venn diagram with lots of overlap at every point. Fascism is a fascinating and very complex subject, all too easily ascribed to the other side of the “spectrum” wherever one might find oneself relatively speaking, but at bottom can be just as much a full-out application of Wilsonian/ neo-Platonic elitism as reactionary Whig-ism. Among other things, it’s paternalistic, post-modern, nationalistic, and racialistic but ultimately totalitarian (White Man’s Burden, End of History, “futuristic man”, American Exceptionalism, etc), whoever practices it and Hedges’ hated liberal establishment are gatekeepers for it.

A close reading of the history of the Wiemar Republic’s liberal apologists shows remarkable parallels with our present stage of acquiescence to the reigning in of liberty vis a vis the problems of the over-abundance of consumerist “freedom to choose” which the radical reinterpretation of government’s role gave us, Reagan and forward.

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By traditional american Democrat, June 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gates and Geithner represent the American Right Wings deathly hallows - war
and the financial industry.

Why has Obama embraced them both?

Dont waste time trying to rationalize it; just move to a third party.

Yes, we’ll lose, but we’re going to lose with Obama or without Obama.
With Obama, we get warmed over Republican policies. Without Obama,
we get fresh fried Republican policies.

We need to move beyond luke warm left over Republican policies and
newly packaged Republican ideology, to a third party that will represent
the American people.

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By Leefeller, June 4, 2011 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

ghostofwatergate, evidently I was lectured on Lafayette’s personal definitions; of connotative and detonative,  also Lafayette stated Fascists cannot come from the left his rebuttal to my replies, turned out to be a field of crickets.

Ghosty, I want to say I really found the ‘Zombie Politics, Democracy, and the Threat of Authoritarianism - Part I,’ very suspicious,... by the simple fact I find anything I agree with suspicious and almost consoler any agreement as a PSYCHOSOCIAL conspiracy of the self. Sadly, what appears as truth seems more scary then fiction and Zombies are real.

Very enlightening read,... as for the left dropping the ball, I happen to agree, but I do not need Hedges to tell me about it. Hedges does the gloom and doom prison warden routine with consistency,... which seemingly places me in the strange sentimental mood of reminiscing about me ex wife and those long gone honey dews!

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By blogdog, June 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Palin may be brainless, and so much the better, she’ll serve as well if not a better
as a Wall Street puppet than Obomber - and of course, she too will rubber-stamp
the militarist faction’s mission to bomb wherever, whenever the shadow masters
instruct them to do - that this all happens on the stage of the so-called ‘most
freedom-loving democratic republic of all time’ renders it a farcical black comedy

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By DaveZx3, June 4, 2011 at 2:16 am Link to this comment

ElkoJohn, (June 1 at 7:06 am) says, “Lafayette is correct. We won’t have much fun until we, the people, take to the streets. Just blogging about it = nothing happens.”
———————————————————————————
Taking to the streets is what the power elite want you to do, because then it becomes easy to justify extreme measures of control, which they are well prepared to do.  Don’t fall into that trap.
———————————————————————————

culheath, (June 1 at 1:02) asks, “Will it require an out and out mutiny and scuttling of the entire machinery? Who’s got the balls for that?”
———————————————————————————
The solution may possibly result in significant pain and suffering for many individuals and families, and so you may be right, culheath, “who’s got the balls for that?”  On the other hand, hasn’t freedom and liberty always required significant pain and suffering, if not the ultimate sacrifice.

I have always thought of the US as the great experiment in individual liberty, and a reading of many of the founders shows that they were skeptical of the country’s ability (balls) to maintain the freedoms that were outlined in the constitution. 

Honestly, who can disagree with the point that Americans have taken it all for granted, and have traded much of their freedom for “things” of much lesser value.

If the people could become united, it would be useful for minimizing the pain and suffering which would ensue during any struggle to establish or reestablish the concept of “of the people, by the people, for the people”. 

But we are divided (artificially) by every conceivable thing we can be divided by, which also plays into the hands of the power elite, who obviously manipulate everything to ensure this division continues.

The people need to unite first.  They need to unite over an issue which is simple and straightforward, yet has the potential to immobilize the efforts of the ultra powerful, who are the source of virtually all of the problems the people face.

This uniting issue, in my humble opinion, is the Federal Reserve.  Eliminate the Fed, and you virtually eliminate the means by which the power elite control and abuse you, as well as steal all your resources. 

The fiat money system manipulated by the Fed, in collusion with the worlds largest financial institutions, is the major tool by which the power elite suck the wealth from the citizens of the world for the purpose of maintaining their own wealth and their power over these people.

Your paper money is virtually without value, and it only continues to circulate through the illusion of value created by the Fed through the manipulation of otherwise free markets.

And make no mistake, every time a bubble bursts, such as the housing bubble, massive amounts of money flow up to the powerful.  The Fed creates bubbles, and the Fed bursts the bubbles, as they see fit. 

I don’t think it would be overstated to say that the main purpose of the Fed is to hide the process by which the powerful and rich steal every possible shred of wealth that they can from the common people.

Big government, big corporations, and big anything, are not the friends of the people.  Eliminate the Fed, and you shrink these big things up to where they become less abusive and more controllable. 

We do not need an armed revolution or rioting in the streets.  We just need to elect someone who understands the situation.  We need to elect someone who will eliminate the Fed.  This is the one issue to unite over. 

If the system is the Beast, the Fed is it’s fangs.  Rip out the fangs and the Beast can no longer brutalize you. 

Getting rid of the Fed and restoring real money would severely restrict the capacity of the powerful to manipulate your wealth away from you.  It would spread the wealth more evenly amongst the population
and empower communities to solve their problems locally.

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By BR549, June 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

RedwoodGuy, June 3 at 9:37 am Link to this comment
“Politics doesn’t attract ethics, it rebuffs it.”

Yes, but somehow, we’ve managed to come up with guys like Jefferson, Madison, Coolidge, Truman, and after his transformation, JFK, who realized that higher sense of social purpose. Save for a small handful of truly conscious members currently serving in office, our legislature is a freakin’ joke and the endless list of narcissistic miscreants warming chairs in congress is flat out dangerous to any democracy.

If Perot and Paul could be as vociferous as Jefferson and Madison, what is it that is so damn difficult for the rest of these dipshits to remember that minor inconvenience called a sworn OATH? Mussolini was so impressed with himself and his performance, he evidently forgot that there were actually people living under his harsh rule. I don’t think he would have approved of the hair style he was photographed with after he was hung upside down, shot, and pissed and spit on. That’s what happens when political idiots forget what their job was.

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By ghostofwatergate, June 3, 2011 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

Verbatim from Lafayette’s (sic) previous post:

We need not one but many candidates, with a Progressive Agenda, to change this country form (sic) one of Obsessive Capitalism to one of Progressive Captialism.(sic)

I find no mention of liberalism, progressive or otherwise in the post this quote is pulled from. Read as it stands, Lafayette (sic)  would have us continue on a path of capitalism, in this case “progressive;” a statement that the “establishment” doesn’t equal money, and that democracy (one assumes American democracy in particular) is well-served by the voting process. Well, under the capitalist system that we presently have, capitalism is already progressing very nicely, to the point where it has managed to bankrupt most of its supporters below the rank of executive officer, but that’s not my argument. In addition, I’m sure that this readership doesn’t fall for his money=/= ruling elite gag, or has somehow missed the history of rigged elections both local and national for the last thirty years, which includes hacked voting machines, partisan election commissioners blocking recounts, all the way up to dodgy Supreme Court decisions.

Lafayette’s (sic) attempt at lecturing me on definitions is the very definition of strawman argumentation and misdirection. As for me being naive or ignorant about what progressive means, a peek at my avatar will reveal that I have been a subscriber (and avid reader) of this zine since it’s founding. Someone more astute than he might infer that I have an interest in politics, and might even guess that I bring to the table some knowledge of what I am talking about. But that’s OK; we know what he is, we just don’t know who he is, sitting in his own basement making his tiresome pronouncements day after day.

But I directed that post at him only obliquely. I couldn’t care less about him in particular, although I do find his backtracking obfuscations tiresome. I am concerned that he is at best, a naive gatekeeper for the neo-liberal status quo, or at worst, an establishment plant. Therefore my post was a warning to the general readership concerning his honesty, and an invitation to take anything he might utter with a grain (or two) of salt. On a happier note, I see that a couple of readers here have already recognized Lafayette’s (sic) agenda and called him out for his establishment water-carrying.

As for local elections and candidates, this subject has been covered extensively elsewhere, and is effective as far as it goes, witness the recent elections leading to the Tea Party occupiers of the House of Representatives. My previous post was addressing the issue of national, presidential elections, which are at present locked up by the power elites, and can only be freed by mass action. (Voting to liberate voting is a nonsequiter, if you get my drift.)

For the rest of the commentators here, I would remind you all of Chris Hedges’ writings in this very zine on the subject of how much liberal gatekeepers have failed this republic. I’m with Mr Hedges who thinks that liberalism has been a plague on this country, and a traitor to the cause of liberty. He said as much in this very webzine just recently: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/democracy_in_america_is_a_useful_fiction_20100124/?ln

Additionally, you would be well served to peruse this recent article on Truthout: http://www.truthout.org/zombie-politics-democracy-and-threat-authoritarianism-part-i/1306932037, in which the author reviews ‘inverted totalitarianism.’

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By RedwoodGuy, June 3, 2011 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

@BR549
“Economically, they may be energetically looking to what they believe is their view of the next millennia, but spiritually, their boat is still tied to the dock with a blown engine.”

Nice phrase.

The perks of big jobs or big power are immediately seductive. As you suggest, these people are unconscious, and simply sopping up the benefits - as most of us would fall into doing if not awfully mindful.

Politics doesn’t attract ethics, it rebuffs it. Politics - as 21st century people practice it - is nothing like having a “chief of the tribe.” Yet, it is mistaken as such. Presidents and Treasury Secretaries and FED chairs, and such are not in the role to advance society, build civilizations, or protect citizens. These are just jobs with perks that become intoxicating.

Look at Clinton. You have an obscure southern governor who becomes a president and then a global rock star able to stick his nose into literally any and every crack (sorry) he so chooses in the world. He jets around collecting money for himself, for others, for whatever he wants. When Bubba comes to town, world leaders fall to their knees. (Some of them literally).

This “Bubba Brand” is nearly boundless, and he is riding it for all it’s worth. Try to imagine that’s you. You can’t deny the effect on the ego, right? This is what politics has become. A kind of massive celebrity branding cluster-f*ck of economic power. Look at Palin, she is smarter even than Clinton, she’s raking it all in without even suffering the hassle of becoming President! She is like the model of politics-gone-wild, the ultimate extension of the pretense.

I think Geithner is a small potato guy. A functionary, and convenient tool. There are no end of these guys available as tools.

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By BR549, June 3, 2011 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

Lafayette,
On Geittner, he may not be stupid on the short term, ....... but he certainly is stupid on the long term.

The older we get, and if we have been paying any attention at all, the more we see the unity in all things, no longer assuming that the world revolves around us, and the futility in trying play God or that we are somehow invincible. Our global and national leaders, however, haven’t managed to get past that stage of cocky adolescence, where responsibility is cast to the wind because it gets in the way of whatever whim happens to excite them at the moment. Economically, they may be energetically looking to what they believe is their view of the next millennia, but spiritually, their boat is still tied to the dock with a blown engine.

Whatever wisdom these people might have had is being throttled by their own fears and darkness. This isn’t anything that will be solved by forced injections to reduce the population or by criminalizing backyard gardens in order to force the citizens into eating the “government approved” aberrant DNA slop. They think the only way to handle the world’s problems is to depopulate the planet ....... and fast.

We are left with the analogy of two factory owners noticing their sales starting to decline. Owner A reads only those forecasts that keep him motivated toward that new model Mercedes he’s been eyeing and wondering if his application to that fancy country club had been approved. Watching the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) or other larger scale economic indicators are meaningless to him and he keeps on producing goods. He myopically figures that sales are down because his sales staff isn’t working hard enough, while the truth is that he has failed to evolve with the world around him.

Owner B had long ago seen that trouble was on the economic horizon. Because this man had a social conscience, rather than downsize his staff, he chose instead to communicate the status with his employees and share in the financial hardship. Rather than have an employee base kept in the dark and constantly wanting more, like baby birds always saying “feed me, feed me”, as in the case of Owner A, Owner B’s employees felt respected, empowered, and did two things. They tried to contribute back to the company in their time and their motivation. Sick time was down, the company became more diversified and more of a benefit to the local population as employee ideas were then taken to heart and the employees themselves became the walking salesmen of the company’s new, more consumer usable, products.

My first chance at doing that was in the late ‘70s and it changed so many people’s lives. And all it takes is a little vision. Why our leaders only see themselves in their vision is so self-destructive, because in denying all those around them, they doom themselves. They just don’t know it yet.

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By Lafayette, June 3, 2011 at 2:01 am Link to this comment

DECEITFUL PERFORMANCE

One wonders if Barack Obama was fully aware of Geithner’s deceitful performance at the New York Fed when he appointed him treasury secretary in the incoming administration.

Geithner was president of the Fed in NYC long before BO & Co arrived. Was he deceitful all those years executing orders from Bernanke in Washington.

Was it while he was Treasury Secretary. Then the above statement shows that nothing was understood about what was happening to an economy in free-fall at the time which needed desperately some stimulus spending.

Let’s not make any excuses for Timothy. But, in his place, would you have sucked up to Wall Street Investment Bankers? Really?

You’re looking for a job after the Treasury stint and so you charm the Banksters? I don’t think Tim is that stupid.

That is what Rubin did when Treas. Secy. to Billy-boy. His convincing Clinton to put down the Glass-Steagall Act brought him fairly universal opprobrium. Of course, the mean person will say, “Yeah, so what? With all his money now, why should he care?”

Maybe, he doesn’t. If so, Sarah Palin is sure looking like an equally good presidential hopeful ...

She’s not deceitful. Just brainless.

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By Lafayette, June 2, 2011 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment

SOCIAL JUSTICE

gow: Despite Lafayette’s (sic) propaganda about getting out the vote, voting for the president is rigged, and you need to be aware of that fact.

Kudos for distorted argumentation.

You presume that a Controlled Debate determines the outcome of presidential elections? You presume that candidates shut-out of these “canned debate forums” are therefore automatic election losers?

You presume that in this day and age that TV is the THE ONLY means for electors to get informed?

Then you are the naive one.

BACKGROUND

Since you missed the point first time around, I’ll repeat it: There is no one election that is a Quick Fix in America. The problems/challenges our country faces are myriad and complex. Our Political Class is second-rate, not entirely but for a good part of it.

First of all, what people want to see in a candidate is “experience”. Most probably in local elections, where public forums are not manipulated as on the national level.

Any effort to create a tsunami of Progressive Liberalism must be seeded at the grassroots level. We cannot believe that a Barack Obama is going to get into power and “Change Everything”. But we did and we are now grossly disappointed.

But it was childish in the first place to think that he could work miracles. The challenge is enormous. A PotUS may be “executive” but unlike a corporation, their policy-making ability is NOT unilateral. Particularly as regards budget expenditures.

The governance of this nation is tripartite in nature (Executive, Legislative, Judicial) - which is the key attribute of its hereditary strength and thus tenure. (We should have patented the idea - because it was the first of its kind.)

ABOUT PROGRESSIVE LIBERALISM

And just in case you don’t know what the phrase Progressive Liberalism means:
* progressive = favoring or advocating progress,  change, improvement, or reform, as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are, especially in political matters
* liberalism = a political or social philosophy advocating the freedom of the individual, parliamentary systems of government, nonviolent modification of political, social, or economic institutions to assure unrestricted development in all spheres of human endeavor, and governmental guarantees of individual rights and civil liberties.

The above does not even mention capitalism. Why? Because capitalism is an economic means that can be managed to a great variety of outcomes. We have, in America, poorly managed it. (94% of the wealth generated economically is garnered by only 20% of the population.)

In Europe, however, capitalism thrives but is moderated - that is, made less extreme, intense, or violent by means of control.. Even the most socialist in mentality, the French, would not throw Capitalism in the dustbin.Europeans believe that its excessive tendencies must be curtailed/bridled and its produce put to enhancing Social Justice.(See definition below.)

Where’s the Social Justice in America?

In America we’ve adopted the Insane Notion that “freedom of the individual” means unrestricted use of economic means to earn unlimited amounts of money individually. Thus, ours is a version of Unbridled Capitalism.

MY POINT

From Unbridled Capitalism to Social Justice is just a hop, skip and jump ... through higher marginal taxation of income as well as capital gains. The revenues of which are used to fund Social Investments in humans, infrastructure and economic development.

Ie., Milking the Cash Cow and redistributing the product fairly. At the moment, all the rich cream is going to just 20% of the American population.

POST SCRIPTUM 1

Social Justice refers to the idea of creating a society that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity that understands and values human rights and recognizes the dignity of every human being

POST SCRIPTUM 2

Nice exchange and a welcome diversion from this overly polemicized forum. Thanx.

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By ghostofwatergate, June 2, 2011 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment

The redress of grievance in any Democracy is via the ballot-box.

Politicians may need BigMoney to get to the Oval Office, but they don’t need that money as much to stay there a second term.

The “establishment” does not decide. The political process of any candidate is a painfully long and lonely road. But it is we, the sheeple, who decide - not the Establishment.

We need not one but many candidates, with a Progressive Agenda, to change this country form one of Obsessive Capitalism to one of Progressive Captialism.

LaFayette (sic) has revealed himself to be a gatekeeper of some finesse.

First, whether Obsessive or Progressive, capitalism is not political and cannot form democratic governments by its very definition. Capitalism (money) is a form of financial control, a zero-sum game, authoritarian by nature, monopolistic in practice and destructive in effect, with its main end being the ownership of everything, as Marx patiently explained and recent history has shown over and over again.

A Social Democratic or Democratic Socialist form of governement might be more appropriate for America.

Secondly, the “establishment” and money are one and the same in this country,  and fully decide and control the form and outcomes of elections at the national level in this country.

As proof, I note that formerly the League of Women Voters used to run the presidential debate series, for Republican, Democratic and independent (third) parties. In 1988, however, they withdrew from the debate series under protest (http://www.lwv.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home&template;=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=7777) and the series was taken over by a “non-profit”  corporation, the Commission on Presidential Debates. The commission is funded by such stalwart democratic institutions as Anheuser-Bush, the International Bottled Water Association, The Kovler Fund, The Kaiser Family Foundation, AARP, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, JetBlue Airways, The Kovler Fund, The Century Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Ford Motor Company and so on. I think it can safely be said that none of these sponsors represents the American people at large.

Further, “A Zogby International poll released on August 15, 2008 indicated that more than 50% of Democratic and Republican voters would like to see Libertarian Party nominee Bob Barr included in the presidential debates. Almost 70% of independent voters would also like to see him included. 46% of all voters polled and 59% of independents would also like to see independent candidate Ralph Nader included.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election_debates,_2008)

Regardless, none of these candidates was ever allowed into the series. In fact, when Ralph Nader attempted to enter the audience of the 2004 debate, and despite the fact that he was holding a ticket issued by the Commission, he was thrown off the property by private hired security personnel (not the Secret Service or any federally affiliated security personnel).

Despite Lafayette’s (sic) propaganda about getting out the vote, voting for the president is rigged, and you need to be aware of that fact.

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By Lew Ciefer, June 2, 2011 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

“One wonders if Barack Obama was fully aware of Geithner’s deceitful performance at the New York Fed when he appointed him treasury secretary in the incoming administration.”

Yeah! Bwaaaaaaaa! Bwaaaaaaaa!

Of course the Mocha Savior didn’t know! He’s from one of the Left’s most sacred cows … an oppressed minority. That’s means he’s much too virtuous an individual to have known. Why he probably still doesn’t realize it because he’s too virtuous to recognize criminality when it kicks him in his virtuous arse all day long. Probably thinks it’s hemorrhoidal pain and itch.  Bwaaaaaaa!

A self-absorbed, arrogant, and ignorant-as-the-day is long politician who could dupe the Left into believing he was their answer to the Right’s Dubya? Nawwwwwww. Couldn’t happen! Bwaaaaaaaaa! smile

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By Fran, June 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“One wonders if Barack Obama was fully aware of Geithner’s deceitful performance at the New York Fed when he appointed him treasury secretary in the incoming administration.”

If Obama wasn’t fully aware, he should resign because of incompetence.  The fact that so much Wall Street money was poured into Obama’s campaign fund and that the president seems perfectly content with retaining Geithner tells me that the president is, as West has stated, a mascot of Wall Street.

Wow,Eric… where to begin?  Have you read nothing of the fraudulent practices of the banks?  Nothing about how banks used churches to reel in customers to whom they “sold” (and that’s the right term) risky mortgages?  Not a word about how many people fully intended to keep paying their mortgages but little things like having their jobs sent to other countries and severe illnesses got in the way of their intentions?  Do you even know what robo-signing is and how that resulted in erroneous foreclosures?  Do you know that bank employees were given bonuses for steering customers into high rate mortgages, even when the customers qualified for lower rate loans?  Do you know that James K. Galbraith stated, “You had fraud in the origination of the mortgages, fraud in the underwriting, fraud in the ratings agencies”?  I suggest a little more reading - perhaps at nakedcapitalism.com.

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By BR549, June 2, 2011 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

@ Cliff Carson, June 1 at 10:15 pm
“There are many on this thread that claim that the “Conspiracy Theory” of International Banking Cartels are nothing but the ravings of Idiots.”

While I may refer to them as idiots from time to time, it is merely from trying to decide on which of many epithets is appropriate at the moment of my disgust. As you state, these people are not stupid; they are, however, misanthropes, dysfunctional members of our species who have done absolutely nothing to garner the respect they believe they are due.

While the facade of family bloodlines seems to be some self imposed reason to be exhalted, this smaller group has become so inbred that they’ve lost any sense of managerial efficiency other than what it takes to kill their competition. Rather than work to embetter mankind, these people would rationalize stealing lifejackets from babies as the ship goes down from their own reckless mismanagement. In their eyes, it is the passengers and crew that should be held accountable for the ship going down since they can do no wrong, and while they may indeed have an intellect, ....... so did Al Capone.

The rest of this dysfunctional entourage are just formerly regular people who have twisted into thinking that they are somehow “special”, when all they actually have going for them is a series of what appears to them to be good fortune.

But no, you are correct, they aren’t idiots.

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By Leefeller, June 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

Laws456, This article is not even about Dr. West? As for apologies, it would seem they should only be forthcoming if one said something they realized was wrong, so what did Mellisa Harris Perry say that was wrong?  Disagreement, the concept of not agreeing with someone does not require apologies? Maybe I missed something, which in my case would not be anything new.

Eric P. using the OH-Bo- Hoo offense of support to ones fellows sounds most Republican of you, what was your main point? People should not buy SUV’s or homes? I know some people who lost their homes, who did not happen to have RV’s, SUV’s or Humvees though they did have TV’s!  So it is okay to bail out Wall Street, but not main street, because then that would be socialism supporting SUV’s? Sounds like you are kicking someone while their are down, don’t your think? ... I suppose the unemployed may be in the Boo Hoo offensive sights also, especially if they lost their home and now happen to be living in their SUV!

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By Eric P, June 2, 2011 at 10:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh boo-hoo, the poor people were swindled. Yes, they were sucker-punched when they decided to sign the paper that leveraged their homes out the wazhoo, and then take that equity but a $40k SUV that they would trade in two years later for a $43k SUV.

The banks certainly bear much of the blame. But dont tell me the average Joe was innocent. BS. People forgot that equity means sacrifice. Our parents generation understood it. Tell me why our generation did not.

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By Laws456, June 2, 2011 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

And these so called liberals have the nerve to attack Cornel West. Melissa Harris-Perry should be ashamed of herself and should appear on Tavis Smiley’s show and be made to apologize to the man. One of West’s main criticisms is the selection of getihner as Sec of Treasury. But according to her and Al Ahrpton, West and Smiley’s problem with Obama is purely personal. So narrow-minded.

Going forward though. What are average citizens going to do about this?

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By RedwoodGuy, June 2, 2011 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

@Leefeller

Ha ha - - yeah, that’s cool. I’ve been a political junkie so I know the attraction. Long as you can see through it, it can be amusing.

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By mackTN, June 2, 2011 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

@ BR549


I understand the dialectic of not voting.  I’m 60, and I’ve always voted.  But in
presidential politics, where money and deals govern, I’m just not sure we have
choice anymore. 

Ironically, I believe if Nader had run in this kind of climate in 2000 he would
have won.  The wheels had come off the Democratic go-cart thanks to Clinton
and Gore didn’t have much going for him except affiliation.  We missed our
moment.

Then, of course, there were so many people, including myself (although I had
disturbing second thoughts) that electing Obama would cast a transformative
aura on democracy.  That lasted a few minutes, until he selected an
administration that Bush would have been proud of and then bailed out crooks
and let their victims pay for these misdeeds by dying a thousand deaths. 

Every worker, every middle class person needs to hop on a bus, car pool, walk
to DC and protest the crap that’s taking place in this govt that’s become a
corporate-run tumor that’s gobbling up citizens.  I’ll vote for the protest sit-in.

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By Leefeller, June 2, 2011 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

Redwood Guy

Liberal TV seems only liberal in a bastardized sort of weak sense, I do not feel Mathews is liberal,... he seems so establishment to me, maybe even more right leaning establishment though he could be center which keeps moving to the right?

Bernie Sanders has been calling attention to abuses by the oil speculators for the jacked up high prices of fuel. Sanders has appealed to OM with what makes much sense to prosecute according to law the abuses preformed by Wall Street speculations.  Sanders seems to be ignored by others in Congress as well as OM.

They are all Republicans now!

No!... I still hang onto that weak thin veneerer you mention a ridiculous veneerer of hope, why not, what the hell! Like you stated awhile back, ‘do what you do best and forget the rest’ or something like that. I prefer not to forget and prefer to be aware when the that great big buggering is coming and by whom, ...guess all I can say is I am just a political junkie or even a political masochist?

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By Lafayette, June 2, 2011 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

NO HOPE

RWG: Candidates like that are simply “not allowed” by the establishment to have any real chance.

Goodness, have you not understood? Stop victimizing yourself!

The “establishment” does not decide. The political process of any candidate is a painfully long and lonely road. But it is we, the sheeple, who decide - not the Establishment.

If you don’t believe that, go hang yourself - because, indeed, even in a democracy, there is No Hope.

We need not one but many candidates, with a Progressive Agenda, to change this country form one of Obsessive Capitalism to one of Progressive Captialism

That job is NOT Mission Impossible. Yes, we can.

Dammit!

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By RedwoodGuy, June 2, 2011 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

@ Leefeller

Regarding Gravel

Exactly! You are right. Candidates like that are simply “not allowed” by the establishment to have any real chance. A great example is Ralph Nader’s run in 2004.

He was dragged onto to Cable TV and mocked, harranged, made to look the fool…and I am talking about the LIBERAL Cable TV, like Chris Matthews! He was considered absolute poison by the establishment. Here is one of the most respected citizens in our entire history - an uncorruptable man if there is one - and he was denigrated like some crazy man. Publicly whipped and flailed.

That’s why 3rd party is a joke. It’s more pablum for discontents. “Sure” they say, “Go get someone to run for a 3rd party.” But they will make the guy/gal out to be a terrorist, criminal, communist, or some other enemy of the people. This process is so transparent it is ridiculous.

To be an “acceptably vetted” candidate for either party, you will be required to make your bones with Wall Street and the NY-DC establishment. They don’t really care which guy or which party wins, as long as they have vetted them and extracted obedience of a certain nature. Just spend some time studying the elections and you will quickly understand how this works. Clinton’s come-to-Jesus meeting with Wall Street is one of the best documented in this process. Once he was “on board” the money flowed like water.

We are simply never going to see a Kucinich, or Nader, or Gravel. Nor is the other side going to see a Paul or Palin. Anyone who isn’t on board with status quo is OUT. And the media is the enforcer. This effect has been increasing over the past 30 years or so as Cable TV really took off.

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By Leefeller, June 2, 2011 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

Redwoodguy

Damn your last comment emulates me opinions with dead eye accuracies.

I remember when the first Democrat so called debate was happening during the presidential primaries and Mike Gravel stood up and caught all the other candidates with their paints down. When Gravel fired the Industrial Complex across the stage, the other Democrats all looked like deer staring into a headlights.  Gravel may have had some other baggage as a candidate, but on this point he was right on.  Obviously Gravel was not part of the Kabuki theater actors guild, I noticed Gravels difference right away and I found a refreshing change, compared to the usual cloned politicians,.... they dumped Gravel from debates asap.

Far as I can tell Gravel may be the closest thing we will ever see as example of a third party. (I will not count the corporate Tea Bags)  Gravel having called attention to an unscripted major issue on national television would never have been allowed if those in charge only known. So a third party calling attention to any unscripted real issues and subjects is not allowed. The MSM and the two parties do their best to make sure third party candidate do not get the time of day.

One thing, ...I see the Republicans in their outrageousness and their ruthless actions towards programs and rights, seems to make those percentage points of minor difference between the parties you mention, seem to keep moving further to the right, I do not see any moment to the left.

At least for time being Obama did not concede Medicare to the Paul program, not yet anyway!

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By RedwoodGuy, June 2, 2011 at 6:35 am Link to this comment

@sks711
Third Party.

Not realistically going to happen. The current two parties have locked up ballot access in each state. They have choked off debate rules. They have in fact created so many legal barriers of entry as to ensure they have no serious competition. Research how painful it was for past 3rd party candidates to get on ballots.

For this reason, the two parties effectively become one. Which is to say, they have such narrow and common interests that the differences between them become measured as percentage points. This one wants to raise defense by 3%, that one by 5%, is an example.

Lafayette believes in the ballot box. I don’t for the reasons outlined above. The ballot box was purchased, and whatever you do there is of little to no consequence. Let’s make a practical case though, using Obama.

Candidate Obama (“CO”) was nominally the most liberal candidate seen since George McGovern. CO fulfilled the aspirations of nearly all liberals, and all underdogs, and all under-classes in the US. CO would have been a radical shift in domestic and foreign policy. And so, CO got the ballot box votes of all these liberal groups from labor to minorities to quasi-socialists and so on. And, he got a good sweep of legislators to back him. It was as close to a public mandate as any election could be classified.

But then Candidate Obama becomes President Obama (“PO”), and it was literally - specifically - exactly a night and day change of costume. PO simply continues every important policy of the previous administration. PO hires more Wall Street continuity over the economy, and PO continues and expands the GWOT, and the security apparatus.

You can’t name a bigger sucker punch at the polls than that. The electorate got ZERO of its expectation fuilfilled, aside from being able to say, “Well, he’s not Bush.” So what?

I might add that a similar thing happened with Bill Clinton, the so-called Democrat who brought you the NAFTA and the China Deal and the Securities Modernization Act and really turned the Wall Street Bull loose on the people.

Fantasies about Constitution papers, and voting, and democracy and republics and all this claptrap are pablum for the masses no different than religion. The same kind of people who put stock in the Resurrection and Virgin Birth believe in “paper rights” and fantasy processes taught in grade school. These people can never get “real” enough to see beneath the thin veneer to judge how things really work. Party operators are just priests of a different kind, filling people’s heads with rubbish, while they go about raping the innocent under everyone’s nose.

If you are still caught up in believing in party politics and voting, you are about 6 levels down from understanding the world around you. Keep digging.

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By ardee, June 2, 2011 at 3:02 am Link to this comment

UreKismet, June 2 at 1:45 am

I see that you are a fan of Tom Wolfe.

While your “stream of consciousness” post makes little sense and fewer points I wonder why you stopped short of advocacy for whatever you think replaces the ballot box for those who seek change.

truedigger3, June 1 at 2:50 pm

Yeah, he seemingly contradicts himself with impunity quite often, but I stop short of the troll designation as it implies such vast resources to read and respond to every little liberal forum on line.

Some post because they wish to demonstrate their superiority, ironic ain’t it? Does he remind you of someone? Change the name but the ‘style’ remains the same.

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By tedmurphy41, June 2, 2011 at 2:06 am Link to this comment

Why did it take a court order to get a freedom of information release when such deals involving such enormous sums of money were hidden from public view; in any true democracy, such transactions should be made in a verifiably transparent manner.
Following on from this exposure, it’s no wonder the balloon went up over banking and the financial sector in general if this specific incident was to be taken as standard practice, for which no amount of regulation could ever hope to manage and control.

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By UreKismet, June 2, 2011 at 1:45 am Link to this comment

One man’s conspiracy by the banks is another man’s “invisible hand” of capitalism, it doesn’t matter in the slightest whether banks pull their scams as a result of a mob of zurich n manhatten gnomes plotting some arcane strategy, or whether they pull them because greed has serendipitously driven them all to arrive at the same solution independently.

What does matter is that people take action to prevent the banks from continuing these scams.
I was unsure whether the poster who piously told amerikans to ‘fix the problems by voting, that is what democracy is all about’ is a sockpuppet earning his wages courtesy of some bankers lobby PAC, or a cynic rubbing salt in the wounds of citizens wise to the capture of the political process by the corporate interests including banks who have turned the only two political parties allowed to run for election in amerika, into one tweedledee/dum party. Perhaps he is a derp whose brain is so thoroughly washed with amerikan exceptionalism he can’t see the tyrannical forests for the corporatised trees.

Its karmic - amerikans harped on at other nations for decades.  Gibbering on the evils of one party systems, yet the problems with attempting change from within a one party system pale into insignificance against what anyone addressing the entrenched self interest that controls both amerikan political parties, confronts.

Sisyphus and his rock would have nothing on the saga of trying to reform both parties simultaneously.
Yet if only one party were singled out, the greedheads whose hands are on the controls of both, would do as always & eat up the players in the reformed party like canapes.

Pouring vast resources into the status quo tweedledee/dum and playing the loyalty card for the huge chunk of ‘fanbois’.  Voters for whom politics is little different to football.  Their team for ever!

The only alternative, creating a new party, was shown to be impossible.
State legislatures passed bills up and down amerika which made a third political party winning federally impossible.

Then the dems destroyed/bought off the leadership of the greens in a cynically antidemocratic piece of jobbery.  What was left of the green movement had been destroyed by the dems who, time and time again (deepwater anyone), have shown themselves to be just as environmentally hooliganist as the rethugs.

Honest appraisal revealss the amerikan political system as a refelction of the citizens’ will to be smashed beyond repair.  The only way out of this is revolutionary change; change that needs to be forced upon the current political class by extra legal means if it is to have a hope of success.
Thus far there are insufficient malnourished citizens for that to occur.  Amerika will have a lengthy period of declining quality of life and increasing poverty for some years yet.
The length of time is determined by the readiness of the ruling elite to forget the inevitable result of poverty and oppression working in combination on the bulk of the population. 

People don’t riot the day their welfare payments stop. Not even where structural unemployment is catastrophic.

It takes a little while for normal humans to recognise the cesspit the have been tipped into, plus a bit more for them to finally admit there truly is no way out.

Even us normal non-sociopaths who make up the masses, have a part of us that believes ‘this can’t happen to me’.

The sociopathic greedheads who inevitably game their way to the controls of all societies eventually, start off telling themselves “musn’t go too far, hungry masses become angry masses”.

Hubris along with their complete inability to empathise with those masses makes the eventual decision that ‘it won’t happen this time’ as inevitable as their takeover was.

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By Lafayette, June 2, 2011 at 12:28 am Link to this comment

RUTHLESS

rti: I believe he quite willingly joined the “Goldman Sachs governing team”, if you will.

Ok, then just wait to see when the fit-hits-the-shan at GS.

We’ll see if BO & Co “saves” their collective asses. I would not count on it.

Obama is not only intelligent; he can be, if pressed, politically ruthless.

He’s a successful politician - and you don’t get into the White House without charming the moneyed-people (including bankers). Those are the rules of the game and if you were running for any elected office, you’d know them.

Politicians may need BigMoney to get to the Oval Office, but they don’t need that money as much to stay there a second term. That is one of the incumbent’s advantages and why most American presidents have been elected to second terms. Including Lead-head ...

Don’t believe that last statement? Well, we have only to wait and see ...

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By Lafayette, June 1, 2011 at 11:40 pm Link to this comment

OUR OWN PERIL

mm: But like all articles of this sort—and all mainstream media for that matter—they all fall short of what’s needed. Action.

All your propositions are dangerously illegal and can have huge consequences not towards provoking change but directly to the public at large. You cannot imagine how fragile our general life-support system is and are consequently playing with fire.

You propose Civil Disobedience, which will tie-up and constrain government services that are weak enough already.

MY POINT

The redress of grievance in any Democracy is via the ballot-box. It is by this peaceful and fully legal means that we change first political and thus economic systems. Yes, it is unlike the typical Hollywood Action Film, but Hollywood is entertainment and Real Life is what we live.

Yes, democratic means that bring change are more difficult and even tedious. It takes a lot of convincing at the grassroots level, which is hard work. But at least it demonstrates the collective will of the nation and preserves the very essence of our Liberty.

Let’s not confuse Hollywood and Real Life ... we do so at our own peril.

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By racetoinfinity, June 1, 2011 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment

I don’t believe for one moment that Obama was naive when he appointed Geithner.  He had been a Chicago pol, a Senator, and was one of the most informed and intelligent candidates we’d had in some time.  No one doubts his intelligence.  I believe he quite willingly joined the “Goldman Sachs governing team”, if you will.

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By Cliff Carson, June 1, 2011 at 10:15 pm Link to this comment

There are many on this thread that claim that the “Conspiracy Theory” of International Banking Cartels are nothing but the ravings of Idiots.  Those people are wrong.  Whether they know they are wrong or not makes no difference.  The Cartels exist.

Below is a Quote by Napoleon that was made after the International Bank Cartel came to collect after they financed his wars.  They also financed his opponents.  And yes they were the House of Rothschild at the time located in England.

The Rothschild s got advanced notice of Napoleons defeat and started a great sell off of British war bonds as if he knew Napoleon had won.  The rest of the Stock players followed suit and when the War Instruments started trading for pennies on the the pound, he had his secret buyers make a run and bought almost every last bond.  When the news arrived that Napoleon had lost the bonds bounced back to about quadruple their original value, whereupon Rothschild cashed in and just about bankrupted both England and France.

It prompted Napoleon to state:

“When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.” 

And the head of the House of Rothschild also made a statement:  “The time to make money is when the streets are filled with blood”.

One of the biggest means of gaining wealth for this Leadership of the International Banks over the last 250 years has been to finance both sides of wars.  War is profitable for the few.  The rich and powerful. 

These people run the Fed in America.  Some estimates place the Wealth of the Rothschild Family at around $500 Trillion.  That is about 36 times the value of the American Debt.

As long as there are corrupt Governments this bunch will be able to hire governments as a Mercenary Army to suppress the people.

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By sks711, June 1, 2011 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment

I don’t understand why you and your colleagues are not calling for a strong,
progressive third party. We all know Mr. Obama is going to continue to ignore us,
and continue to give in to all the conservative/right wing/tea party demands until
there is nothing left. What are all of you so afraid of? Palin? Romney? How much
worse can it get? How many more Wall Street millionaire/billionaires will it take?
We need to start now. Cornel West was right. Chris Hedges was right. Let’s go.
Nobody will say what has to be said, what has to be done. Our environment.
Health care. Women’s health. Abortion rights. Children. Poor. Middle class.
Students. Education. What are you waiting for? The next October end of the world
date?

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By anonkid, June 1, 2011 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lots of wisdom here. Clearly this is one of the most informed communities on
the web.

The real issue here is now far deeper than the FED and economic corruption.
That was the issue back from 1913-1963

Since then a new cabal has begun exerting massive influence over the entire
nation. 9 11 was the culmination of their coup and now they are so confident
as to express it openly. I cannot blame them as they have been successful with
their plans. Plans which they published long ago and continue to publish out in
the open, so confident are they of their mass mind control machine.

America is under the control of a foreign nation. They own our entire congress,
every single member of Obamas cabinet is one of them and the rabbit hole
goes far deeper than any of us can imagine.

As informed as the people on this board are we are still intellectual beggars
and cowards compared to the truth that we must swallow to fully comprehend
the extent of the contagion and thus the solution.

Thus far the only people on earth to have shown the courage to fight back and
put their bodies on the gears of the machine are the brave Egyptians. The only
Americans that have shown even a slight modicum of their acumen are the
people in Madison.

The mass mind control machine has managed to convince the rest of us that
the Egyptian awakening was due to .... Facebook. Perhaps if I spend all day
“liking” things the people shall awaken….

We welcome slavery, nay I don’t think we could live without it.

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By mc.murphy, June 1, 2011 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment

“It occurs to me that there are simply too many stupid people in the US to
mount any serious challenge to Wall Street corruption”

“A hungry man, is an angry man”, and since we are heading straight for another
Great Depression, there will be a lot of ‘angry men’, who will correctly identify
the source of their condition. It’s happening in MENA, Greece, Spain, and so on.
Spreading like wild fire, and come winter we too shall be protesting in the
streets together against the whole government and their masters on Wall
Streets and in corporate boardrooms.

No you can’t, but yes we can! Post partisanship will be the defining
characteristic as witnessed in the EU.

http://mosquitocloud.net/

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By lasmog, June 1, 2011 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

It occurs to me that there are simply too many stupid people in the US to mount any serious challenge to Wall Street corruption.  For every informed reader of Truthdig there are 1,000 ditto-heads listening to Rush.  I have no idea how to change this situation.

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By smdahl, June 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama’s mother worked under Geithner’s father in Indonesia around the time of
the 1965 coup, in which Barrack Obama’s stepfather, mr. Soetero. was a Colonel
in the Indonesian military.  Why doesn’t Truthdig investigate Obama’s past
intelligence connections?  Does the author still hold out hope for our newest
corporate spokesmodel?  If he seriously investigates BO’s past he will have a
change of mind, I suspect.

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By Maani, June 1, 2011 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

Felicity (Part 2):

We have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks, hereinafter called the FED. They are not government institutions. They are private monopolies which prey upon the people of these United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers.
-Louis McFadden

The Federal Reserve (Banks) are one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever seen. There is not a man within the sound of my voice who does not know that this Nation is run by the International Bankers.-Louis McFadden

Some people think the Federal Reserve Banks are US government institutions. They are not… they are private credit monopolies which prey upon the people of the US for the benefit of themselves and their foreign and domestic swindlers, and rich and predatory money lenders. The sack of the United States by the Fed is the greatest crime in history. Every effort has been made by the Fed to conceal its powers, but the truth is the Fed has usurped the government. It controls everything here and it controls all our foreign relations. It makes and breaks governments at will.-Louis McFadden

(The Great Depression resulting from the Stock Market crash) was not accidental. It was a carefully contrived occurrence….The international bankers sought to bring about a condition of despair here so they might emerge as rulers of us all.-Louis McFadden

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.
-Woodrow Wilson

A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men who, even if their action be honest and intended for the public interest, are necessarily concentrated upon the great undertakings in which their own money is involved and who necessarily, by very reason of their own limitations, chill and check and destroy genuine economic freedom.-Woodrow Wilson

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By Maani, June 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

Felicity (Part 1):

“Some even believe we (Rockefeller family) are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure - One World, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.” - David Rockefeller

We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the work is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a World Government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.” - David Rockefeller

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.-Thomas Jefferson

The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation. At the head is a small group of banking houses… This little coterie…run our government for their own selfish ends. It operates under cover of a self-created screen…seizes…our executive officers…legislative bodies…schools…
courts…newspapers and every agency created for the public protection.” -N.Y. Mayor, John Hylan

Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create deposits, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of Bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create deposits.-Sir Josiah Stamp

Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes the laws.-Mayer Amschel Rothschild

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By Maani, June 1, 2011 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

Dave L.:

I did not get that from it.  To me, it came across as a handful of men wheeling and dealing in an almost offhand manner with the lives of every person in the U.S.

Peace.

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By BR549, June 1, 2011 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

@ RedwoodGuy,
“I am suggesting that we are being suffocated in blankets of bullshit created expressly to pimp consumerism of every kind and at every level, and that has infected everything from the NYT to the evening news.”

What Iserbyt was referring to were deliberate attempts by those in government, all the way up the ladder, to deny the population enough information to fully understand their history and their place in it. Most high school graduates today have little idea about the evolution of our Constitution over the 100 years prior to 1776; nor do they know any of the Amendments past the 5th Amendment, which bore comedic mention during some Three Stooges episode. It wasn’t by the students’ choice nor through their parents’ negligence; it happened because people, who should have known better, people who were getting paid to know better, put far too little emphasis on educating our children to become responsible citizens. While teachers might have been insisting on more time with civics, officials and politicians were too busy with population logistics on the short term to safeguard our population on the long term. Each small deviation from that crucial history plan wound up taking another chink out of our armor.

But in the end, it is always the politicians who are to blame, since they were the ones who had sworn an oath to change things for the better. Rather than give it their best shot, bring the shortfalls to light, and be willing to turn over the office to someone better qualified, they sneak around, lying about their support for a measure, try to hide their voting record, and resent the fact that people have the audacity to pull them away from the gravy train. They took an oath to uphold the Constitution. I doesn’t get more serious than that, because when they decide to break that oath, they have lost any integrity they had and any oath they take is meaningless.

Our founding fathers, as nondenominational as they were, still saw the swearing in ceremony as a commitment to the almighty for the responsibility of taking care of those less fortunate below them. In essence, it was a pact with God and that was the binding thread that kept the whole system working. When people break their pledge while still agreeing to function within it, they not only break the law of their homeland; they break the laws of God.

People we have sworn into office, those who have paraded themselves of being worthy of those offices, have allowed the information necessary to maintain an educated citizenry to be contaminated and throttle to support their own ends. When this is done and the people who who vote for these cowards are kept in the dark, like mushrooms, the politicians are solely at fault. When a president breaks his oath, the legislature needs to bring him to his knees. When the legislature is at fault, the judiciary and the presidency need to communicate that to the population. When all three branches are complicit in the treachery, the oaths mean nothing, integrity falls by the wayside, and we become a godless nation.

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By AmishEcsasty, June 1, 2011 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh and let’s not forget Timmy Geitner had to pay his back taxes before
being confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury and thus the head of the
IRS.Never forget there there are rules for “them” and rules for"us”. And
none of us will ever be confused with any of “them”!

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By Walter J Smith, June 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Poor ‘Chuckthebanker.’

If he only knew how lopsided he makes his whole being with his lopsided faith in banking and lopsided cynicism about decency in social criticism, he would have called himself ‘upchucktheformerbanker.’

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By HowardBeale, June 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

World peace, a billion dollars, or Geithner’s head on
a stick? I’ll take the latter.

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By underwun, June 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So consumed by emotion that you fail to face the facts, to get out of this
requires inside knowledge of the way the bad guys function…let’s for example
say that Obama got rid of all the bankers, because they are all tainted, then who
runs the place…it is up to the President to run the place and understand the
crooks. The way out of this isn’t anarchy, the way out is appreciating the issues,
the personalities, the vested interests and how to harness selfish objectives to
drive in a common direction. The same people that condemn every participant
are the same people that suggest we shouldn’t engage enemies of war, if you
want to deal with Iran find Iranians that want the same as you. Of course you
will find selfish objectives, the challenge is to work with the back stabbing
bastards to get the job done, something any president will have to do. So
swallow it, focus on your business and your family and support whoever is in
power because they have a prick of a job. Whether its Obama or whoever is
next, they have to cohort with the snakes of Washington, Wall Street and
dictators because that’s what they signed up to manage…wake up fools and
stop bitching…

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By RedwoodGuy, June 1, 2011 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

Dumbing Down

This is hard to define exactly. When used, it should have some explanation attached. I doubt if people’s IQs are lower, for example. I doubt if their average years of schooling is down. We need to put flesh on these bones to understand what is meant here.

What I think it means is that the “culture” appears dumber. We are inundated by dumber movies, dumber TV shows, much, much dumber news broadcasts, dumber sounding anchors, dumber sounding pundits and certainly dumber newspapers like USA Today. If you record all the the network versions of the evening news, and take notes on all the coverage, you can’t help noticing how idiotic news has become compared to 40 years ago.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean the viewer is more “stupid.” The change in what is considered “news” is a business decision driven by business interests. What is advantageous to broadcast for news corporations? Well, anything that increase fear and uncertainty. Anything that increases an interest in new drugs or treatments. Anything that promotes the Establishment status quo (like wars), and of course anything that promotes other media, like Hollywood, or publishing, or web sites. News is a product about products. Why do you suppose nearly every single “medical study” manages to get on the news? Because getting the consumers interested in new drugs is a prime directive to help their advertisers who are almost exclusively drug companies.

It was discovered that kids drive the family entertainment budget. So, of course, all entertainment companies want to drive kids through advertising. The best and cheapest way to do that is through news. New movies, who won the weekend box office, new TV shows, who got kicked off the island, who won idol and on and on endless with cross-promotions for other media products. News about theme parks, news about vacation adventures, anything to get to the kids. Now, kids stuff is always stupid, whether it was “Dumbo” in 1960, or “Dipsquats Go to Camp” in 2010. But “Dumbo” probably wasn’t being pimped by Walter Cronkite, the way the new stuff is pimped by Katie, and Brian and the others.

So, I am suggesting that we are being suffocated in blankets of bullshit created expressly to pimp consumerism of every kind and at every level, and that has infected everything from the NYT to the evening news. And when you just absorb it all - it feels like we are “dumbed down” as people. I am skeptical about that. Subtract the over emphasis on sports and entertainment, and subtract TV and radio, and I think the people are actually ok.

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By truedigger3, June 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

Is Robert Scheer REALLY attacking Geithner and Godlman Sacks or defending his beloved “innocent” Obama.
Yeah Right! Obama knows nothing about nothing and it is all the fault of these damn advisors??
We heard that krap before.!!!

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By truedigger3, June 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

Re: By ardee, June 1 at 4:47 am

adree,

Lafayette is a TROLL for wall St and the Finance/Corporate elites. He is a liar and bullshit artist.
Few weeks ago, here in truthdig, he published a “pie chart”, claiming that Social Security is consuming 20% of the Federal Budget which is a damn lie. Currently Social Security is providing income to the Federal Budget until the 2018.!

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By chuckthebanker, June 1, 2011 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

cute article. bit paranoid though.

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By BR549, June 1, 2011 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette, June 1 at 12:16 pm

Nice response, and a lot of good points.
“I call it the dumbing down of America”, ...... as did Charlotte Iserbyt when she unfortunately discovered all this during her position within the Reagan Administration; hence the name of her book.

You referred to the pendulum hopefully having swung more left. I would suggest that it is more like a weather vane than a pendulum; that is reading one direction on one side of the storm and the opposite direction on the other. It’s the same weather issue, but giving different results to different observers in different places, only this was no freak of nature; it was orchestrated.

You stated, “The captains of industry are ripping us off by the hundred of millions of dollars and most Americans are more concerned by being robbed on the street or in their homes.”
Think about that; a whole movie industry feeding off and reinforcing people’s fears of just that with alarm and security companies fast on its heels. Then there is my favorite issue, the firearm industry. FBI figures for 2009 are now showing a 5% decrease in crime (6% when you factor in the rise in population over the previous year) and gun sales are off the charts. 400,000 civilian AR15s were sold in 2009 alone, a figure expected to be exceeded in 2010, and that’s just ARs. Shotguns and pistols are right behind them and those figures were estimated to be on top of the 300,000,000 pieces already out their among the civilian population. Obviously, all hell is not breaking loose because of the presence of firearms, contrary to those anti-Constitutional Brady idiots. Gradually, people are running out of jobs, homes, and food and yet we haven’t seen anywhere near the level of violence that might be predicted when the system starts to fall apart. I say that with caution because you can bet there will some catalytic stooges who will have been put out there to force the issue just as soon as I put my computer to sleep.

“So, to whom do we point the finger of blame?”
Ans: Exactly where it should be; on the legislature, judiciary, executive office, and constabulary; whose members ALL took an oath to serve the public trust and who chose instead to serve themselves. (I intentionally left the military out of this discussion although it still applies.) Anyone in these groups who has continued to support the Constitution knows they are not part of the problem. Any one of them who sees the Constitution as a problem IS the problem. Watch how this 4th Amendment issue gets played out. We are already seeing politicians lining up in droves to support penalties for anyone badmouthing their performance, the Brady whackos still haven’t figured why we can’t all seem to get along, and the Feds have been continually escalating its challenging of the 9th and 10th Amendments with their raids in states where they have completely exceeded their authority, Texas being the more recent. Why have half the states in the Union found it necessary to pass resolutions to reinforce their position about their individual sovereignty? Resolutions, many say, are toothless. I say that they are words of warning that were meant to keep everything stable, while it is the feds who are constantly flicking chips off states’ shoulders.

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By TinyMaggie, June 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

The jerkS, rapists, liars, con-artists, back stabbers
etc…
need to be rounded up, arrested, and tried for their
crimes against the people of the United States!

We have only seen what a few of them can do.
GET RID OF THESE CON-ARTISTS FROM THE UNITED STATES
AND THE WORLD.

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By mc.murphy, June 1, 2011 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps we should have a bit more perspective on reality than this piece which is
but a pale ghost of Matt Taibbi’s journalism.

“We Are on the Verge of a Great, Great Depression”

http://mosquitocloud.net/we-are-on-the-verge/

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By RedwoodGuy, June 1, 2011 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment

@Lafayette

A full stomach is the easiest way to discourage revolution. The USA has some of the cheapest calories on the planet.

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By zaladonis, June 1, 2011 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Even Robert Sheer makes excuses for Obama in this piece.

We said Bush was dumb but was responsible for his administration, yet somehow
super smart Obama is a victim of his.

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By minutemenmedia, June 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

It’s fascinating to me that the real “pulse” and true journalistic “ideals” are found more often in the comments, rather than the content.

Not that I don’t give Mr. Sheer credit—this is a fine, accurate and timely article. But like all articles of this sort—and all mainstream media for that matter—they all fall short of what’s needed. 

Action.

What are we to do?  Are third parties the answer?  Maybe.

Is nationalizing or suspending the Federal Reserve the answer?  Probably.

But what hat can or should we do in the meantime? 

How about a Federal Income Tax holiday? 
Go ahead an pay your state taxes, but since most (if not all) our Federal Income Taxes go to pay down interest to the Federal Reserve ... I say we quit giving it to them.

It is a rigged money system, so why not cut off the source?

If you struggle with this option, consider the following: “Treason” is defined as “aiding or helping enemies of the United States.”  The Federal Reserve, through it’s hidden policies and complicit ties with our Treasury and Defense Departments—has overtly funded several wars that have not been approved by congress, and in Libya, we have directly “aided” the rebels, which reportedly included elements of Al Qaeda.

So, it’s easy to make the case that the Federal Reserve has—at a minimum—funded rebels or groups that are, in fact, enemies of the United States.

Truth be told, we may find out that the CIA has been in control of these “terrorist” groups all along. 

But for now, let’s just put the Federal Reserve on a “Holiday” until we really know what’s going on.

Yes, it is clearly “taboo” to say that “I’m not going to pay my income taxes ...” but I am afraid this sentiment and action can no longer be considered as “Un-American” ... in fact, it may be the only truly effective, and patriotic action we can left.

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By Lafayette, June 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

THE F-D-C SYNDROME

BR: And the bottom line, however you wish to categorize all this as conspiratorial, is that no matter which party gets into power, US voters always seem to wind up buying yet another train ticket to the same destination they were trying to avoid. Why is that?

I call it the dumbing down of America. I submit that we’ve become fat, dumb and complacent after a farily continuous long-term economic expansion during the 60 years since WW2. (Till recently, which should make us think harder about what is happening.)

Others might call it historical: We do not have the same historical perspective towards monolithic control from the center, as had Europe. Which means that Europe, having become democratic, has far more central control in the Executive Body (usually, the Prime Minister) than the US. When control is centralized political change is easier to undertake.

Others might call it socio-cultural: Europe was deeply affected psychically by socialism and had to crawl back to notions of capitalism - which it regards still with undue suspicion. But it is more Left-of-Center and the US more Right-of-Center.

America shifted heavily Right with the Reagan election and Billy-boy did not do much to arrest that trend towards swinging it back. I like to think the pendulum has swung finally Leftwards - but how far?

Still others think there are sociological overtones: Americans have become intensely materialist and competitive. Meaning there’s only room for winners and the “level playing field” has sloped greatly to benefit business more than consumers. Besides, we adulate the rich as our Role Models.

It took real excess to bring about the French and Russian revolutions. We are no where near that extremeness that ripens into revolution. The captains of industry are ripping us off by the hundred of millions of dollars and most Americans are more concerned by being robbed on the street or in their homes.

In fact, if they are being robbed personally, it is because we have mismanaged the socioeconomic sharing of the Wealth generated by our economy that thus provokes such crime and delinquency. But that simple fact seems not to have sunk in anywhere.

So, it will go on ... and on ... and on.

And the pillaging of our economy continues. Ad nauseam.

POST SCRIPTUM

So, to whom do we point the finger of blame? The Fat Cats and their supposed Conspiratorial Plans (of which we are supposedly the victims) to keep the status quo as it is.

Which is nonsense. The Elite Class has very little fear of anything changing. So, why conspire?

We’ve become, as a nation, Fat, Dumb and Complacent. Which is hardly a recipe for cataclysmal change.

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By rollzone, June 1, 2011 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

hello. agreed money fears rule. life is only for those
with money enough not to fear. fashionably spending
alike there is no tomorrow, is childish and wasteful.
let’s try to find an adult not beholding to global
interests, to replace this socialist wet dream.

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By rbrooks, June 1, 2011 at 11:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Make that Geithner and Goldman… and Obama. And they ARE thieves.

Time for a second party.

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By felicity, June 1, 2011 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

No wonder, way-back-when, Thomas Jefferson said that he
feared banks far more than he feared standing armies. 
And, like Rothschild said while ‘introducing’ banking
methods to the US, “...the majority of people are
mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous
advantage that Capital derives from this (proposed)
banking system and will bear its burden without
complaint, and, perhaps, without even suspecting that
the system is inimical to their interests.”

Wow, were they right on.

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By RedwoodGuy, June 1, 2011 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

@mackTN
“My not voting in 2012 simply means that I’ve lost faith in the entire process.  It’s
all bought and paid for. “

Good for you. You woke up! Voting is absurd at best and at worst life-damaging. Go out and take a walk around the neighborhood and discover how great real life is. If you see any bankers or Taliban, or Al Qaeda, let me know, will ya? I haven’t seen any in these parts for years.

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By BR549, June 1, 2011 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

mackTN, June 1 at 9:23 am
“My not voting in 2012 simply means that I’ve lost faith in the entire process.  It’s all bought and paid for.”

That’s true, BUT ...... as I had suggested in the 2010 election (no one seemed to understand this), even if the Dems had won the popular election with 20% of the total vote and the Reps had pulled in 15%, ....... and all the splinter parties had garnered a total of 65%, for example, it would have shown that even the combined totals of the two-party monopoly were not reflecting the public vision. Using this example, every vote does count, although the two parties would still be hard at work to tamper with the votes of anyone not still wearing their official American flag lapel pin.

Not voting is not an answer. When everyone else votes and the numbers show how many people still believe in the process AND that the vast majority of them agree with you (even though the thugs are still lying their way into office) at least we can know that everyone else is just as pissed off as we are. What measures the power elite would have to take to massage those numbers into “a win” for them would be too obvious. It’s why so many of our fighting age youth have been sucked out of this country to be fighting in these needless occupations around the globe while the UN has all too conveniently allowed for a huge number of its troops to be stationed here to quell any resistance. Think about it; just when Afghanistan is winding down, miraculously Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia and Syria have become problematic. What happened; all of a sudden our foreign policy completely failed? I doubt it.

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By frecklefever, June 1, 2011 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

NATIONALIZING THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANKS IS A MUST…THAT IS WHERE
THE THIEVES DEN RESIDES…HAVING A PRIVATE COMPANY CONTROLLING A
NATIONS WEALTH IS LUNACY…AND SINCE HEDGE FUNDS GO OFF SHORE
TO SHIRK FINANCIAL LAWS COMPILE THE LIST AND CHARGE THESE
THIEVES WITH FRAUD AND THEIR ENABLERS…AMERICA NEEDS A STALIN TO
DEAL WITH THESE TWISTED BITCHES….

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By SarcastiCanuck, June 1, 2011 at 9:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Greed Rules…Stupidity Abounds and the liars and cheats hold the reins of power.Doesn’t seem like anybody is doing anything about it though..

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By mackTN, June 1, 2011 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

I just can’t be deceived again.  Even though I believe the Republicans are
deplorable, I’ve concluded that the Democrats aren’t much better.  The Obama
administration mishandled this economic disaster by rewarding the crooks and
letting their victims drown.  Why Obama would appoint people like Geithner and
Summers and Daly anyway….

My not voting in 2012 simply means that I’ve lost faith in the entire process.  It’s
all bought and paid for.

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By Dave L., June 1, 2011 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

“Too Big To Fail” is nothing more than an attempt to make the criminals look like heroes.

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By prisnersdilema, June 1, 2011 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

Correction, Geithner, Goldman, and Obama thick as thieves.

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By balkas, June 1, 2011 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

personal supremacism is the root of all evil. and only supremacists
ruled america for the last 4c’s.
they have written all ‘laws’. they and only they interpret all ‘laws’ [read
diktats, please]

and all churches in u.s fiercely support division of people into,
broadly, a supremacistic [nazi, if u like] class: such as geithner,
obama, bush, jefferson, washington, clinton, palin, and the
subservient class of people.

why expect that anything good will come of such enormous evil??
i don’t. i expect even worsenings for servant class!

time has come to vote for a party which wld stand for paring dwn on
these huge differences between people or even elimination of it. tnx

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By Maani, June 1, 2011 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

While I have no love for “Wall Street,” Paulson, Geithner, et al [BTW, if you have not seen the HBO movie “Too Big To Fail,” you must: superbly done, and truly angrifying!], it would be wrong to blame the ENTIRE economic meltdown - and particularly the way it affected most average Joes and Janes - on them without also looking at the two ways that those average Joes and Janes contributed: maxing out multiple credit cards because of easy-to-obtain credit, and using their homes like ATMs.

There is plenty of blame to go around (even if most of it is squarely with Wall Street et al).

Peace.

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By TAO Walker, June 1, 2011 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

So li’l Timmy Geitner, along with other named and unnamed members of the Goldman Sachs “gang,” again get to be Robert Scheer’s scapegoats du jour….his designated hittees….his easy-targets of run-amok opportunism….his low-hanging poison fruit.  If this site really was about “dig"ging for and into “truth,” instead of just barely scratching its surface, Scheer and all his fellah ‘n’ gal scratchers-wannabe-diggers would right-now be holding their noses and exposing the fatal flaws at the rotten core of the allamericanCONceit (and its counterparts throughout the “global” gulag) which CONsistently vomits-up the likes of those Geitners and Goldman Sachs who happen presently to be plaguing his and their otherwise no-doubt perfect let’s-pretend world.

What, exactly, is the vested interest of Robert Sheer’s very own too-precious “self,” for example, in perpetuating the myth that it is merely the malfeasance of a relatively few badly bent “operators,” and not the very nature and purpose of the entire homo domesticus-made eCONoTRAPtion, as such, which is generating all these lethal effects on our Whole Living Arrangement!  All those “self”-serving “retirements accounts” be-damned!

Easier to face and obsess “individual”-ly over “the heartbreak of psoriasis,” evidently, than it is to admit “one”‘s own Kind’s collectively compulsive part in spreading cancer over the Face and into the Body of The Earth….and much easier than it will be to bring the sickening “self” to-heel.

HokaHey!

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By Jim Yell, June 1, 2011 at 8:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The bigger question is why Obama keeps Geithner in charge? My modest optimism for Obama the candidate began to slip away with his appointments of Clinton/Bush retreads. It began to fall on its face when it was revealed that our government had given money to the very people who had shown themselves to be liars, cheats and criminals without even a guiding word as to how they would use the money. No oversight, no rules, no nothing. The only way this project could be excused would have been with tight controls and rigid rules, instead the money was prempted by the very people who stole the economy in the first place. No genius but even I could tell that was stupid.

Regulation isn’t really the problem, it is having regulation without enforcement that is the problem.

Without Obama, Geithner would just be a shabby fotenote to history.

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By DavidByron, June 1, 2011 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

“Rich people steel money ; liberal is confused.”

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By BR549, June 1, 2011 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

Lafayette,
I honestly didn’t think you were that naive. At the very least, this is gross managerial incompetence on a magnitude unseen in human history; at the very worst, it’s terrifying to think how such a sociopathic group could get in charge of the world’s populations. And the bottom line, however you wish to categorize all this as conspiratorial, is that no matter which party gets into power, US voters always seem to wind up buying yet another train ticket to the same destination they were trying to avoid. Why is that?

Look into former Texas Rep. Jack Brooks’ questioning of Ollie North during the Iran-Contra hearings and watch how Dan Inouye clips him short on the topic of Continuity of Government. Just the very mention of the topic was verboten. Now, as US citizens, we were all sold on that idea, and many of us understandably approved of such a system because it seemed logical that if a tornado hit Washington (the Cold War was pretty flat then), we would be able able to maintain a functioning government. What we weren’t told was that COG was a Trojan Horse that would allow the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex, (as Eisenhower had “originally” written his speech), to virtually eliminate every aspect of this country being a true republic and that under that scheme, states would be forced to gradually turn over their sovereignties and bow to the very federal monster that Jefferson and Madison had railed about.

I suppose you have no knowledge of all the preparation and resource allocation that has gone into the Feds having a Martial Law plan that includes eliminating the 50 states’ governors and replacing them with ten “hand picked” regional governors. Now, if we had honest, civic-minded authorities at the helm, wouldn’t the average person be thinking that we should be putting all our efforts into pursuing the dream of our forefathers? Why instead are we doing exactly the opposite. The worst part is .... why is there even a plan for this? If people are still receiving their daily pablum from NBC and CNN, it’s no wonder they are in the dark, and every once in a while even Fox is able to start beating the right drum, but in today’s world there is a lot of news, not all of it credible, and people actually have to work to sieve through the grains of truth. Most people are too exhausted after work (if they still have any) to put those pieces together, but whether they are conscious of it or not, this governmental “mission creep” just keeps on coming.

Maybe sticking their head in the sand works for some people, but so far it hasn’t been working all that well for all those co-denialists who have lost their jobs and their homes. Initially, before the dots get connected, the material seems to be too unrelated and too far fetched, and that is why many people dismiss much of those patches of data as conspiratorial gibberish. When someone else takes those same patches of data and shows you a quilt, that’s when people wake up the next day wondering what fantasy world they’d living in all this time. It was the whole premise behind the Red Pill-Blue Pill argument that students have been writing about ever since The Matrix appeared.

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By RedwoodGuy, June 1, 2011 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

@madisolation
“Lafayette, you wrote:
“If Wall Street had not been saved from itself, employment rates could have been double what they were at its peak in 2009.”
You can’t support that statement with facts. That’s just conjecture. I could write: “If the banks had been allowed to fail, everyone would have a good-paying job right now.” You can’t prove or disprove that statement. “

Madisolation +1

The dire pronouncements about what would have happened without TARP have no substance. There are all kinds of possible fallouts. It’s such easy propaganda to always insist “unemployment would rise to astronomical levels.” Maybe on Wall Street, which might not have been a bad result.

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By Walter Jesse Smith, June 1, 2011 at 7:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One need only wonder about Obama is one pays too little
attention to his actions and too much to his speech.

To be clear, I have no warm feelings for any of the bi-partisan hacks in the US.

Yes, it is more proper in polite society to say this: “One wonders if Barack Obama was fully aware of Geithner’s deceitful performance at the New York Fed when he appointed him treasury secretary in the incoming administration.”

But I prefer to point out that Obama’s approval of
everything Geithner has done and still does with a rigorous attention to detail keeps the entire economic machinery pumping indecent profits into the mega-financial “legal persons” accounts, and keeps the rest of the economy from recovering.

For my money, Obama keeps Geithner precisely because he is aware that Geithner is true to character now as he was then.

So is Obama.  Obama covers Geithner in public, while Geithner covers Obama with the money bags “legal people.”

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By bpawk, June 1, 2011 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

In response to:
“One wonders if Barack Obama was fully aware of Geithner’s deceitful performance at the New York Fed when he appointed him treasury secretary in the incoming administration…”

Stop making excuses for Obama - he is so over. The only problem for Americans is that - and Obama knows it - you have nowhere else to go. By not having a third party i.e. Ralph Nader you painted yourselves into a corner and now the middle/lower classes are suffering. You asked for it by not identifying with your own class but identifying with the rich and you only have yourselves to blame.

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By oregonstu, June 1, 2011 at 7:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Robert Scheer makes that very common error of mistaking the Federal Reserve Bank as a governmental organ, revealed by this quote “...make that .01 percent that Goldman paid to borrow taxpayer money”
  In fact the Fed is a privately held corporation, the shares of which are held by the regional reserve banks, 53 percent owned by the New York Fed. The regional reserve banks in turn are owned by memeber banks within their respective regions. This is not a conspiracy theory, it is a verifiable fact.
  It is also a verifiable fact that most of these banks are partly owned by foreign banking interests - though some of the ownership trails to particular banks, especially Goldman Sachs are very cleverly hidden by a labyrinth of dummy corporations and holding companies.
  As long as people continue to be deceived about this very crucial point they will continue to misunderstand the motive forces at play in this issue.
  Not only did the Fed not use taxpayer money for these bailouts, but the money was created out of thin air, as is all of the “money” that the Fed loans to the US treasury and commercial banks. Once again, this is a verifiable fact, incredible as it may seem - you can find it in any economics textbook. To bad the journalists who take it upon themselves to write about this subject don’t bother to research and understand some of the fundamentals. Aside from this rather egregious mistake, it was a pretty good article.

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By culheath, June 1, 2011 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

What?!! There’s no Gnome of Zurich…no Illuminati…no Geithner et al, are mere incompetents

I refuse to live in such a world where appropriate vengeance cannot be taken for the morass and shattered economic landscapes surrounding their thrones.

Can I at least still paint targets on their backs with ink visible only to the secret ninja avengers?

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By ElkoJohn, June 1, 2011 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

Lafayette is correct.
We won’t have much fun
until we, the people, take to the streets.
Just blogging about it = nothing happens.

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By Lafayette, June 1, 2011 at 6:19 am Link to this comment

WHEN PIGS SPROUT WINGS

Know this:  The Fed is a Privately owned Corporation run and owned by the World International Financial Cabal which is Headquartered in Europe.

Bollocks to this notion.

Yet another simpleton who’s seen one too many Hollywood conspiracy movies.

This sort of conspiracy-theory nonsense has been going on for hundreds of years. A long time ago, I waz told that the world was run by “The 400” that met regularly in London - without any reference substantiating this notion.

Of course, it was all “super secret”, even Masonic, so nobody else should really know.

Yeah, right ... when pigs sprout wings.

NOTA BENE

If you don’t have the facts of the matter, then kindly refrain from posting unsubstantiated and unsubstantiatable claims. Any charge of conspiracy must have some foundational basis.

And not just hearsay passed over the ether.

(Hearsay = information which cannot be adequately substantiated; rumour)

FYI

The Four Hundred Richest Americans

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By surfnow, June 1, 2011 at 5:40 am Link to this comment

How much more do we need to learn to finally admit what a phony Obama is. He’s just a better speaking version of Bush. I think we should all vote for Sarah Palin and get the misery over with. Obama will just be the slower death of us.

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By JJW, June 1, 2011 at 5:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is hard to fathom anyone using the Obama might just be ignorant excuse.  The same thing Condi Rice tries to pull.

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By ardee, June 1, 2011 at 4:47 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, June 1 at 2:19 am Link to this comment


If Obama sells out Medicare under his phony label of compromise, then I will vote for Alfred E Newman again!

When patience and tolerance are not exactly virtues…..


Angel Gabriel, June 1 at 4:29 am Link to this comment


Culheath -

In Aussie they have
these big fkng Birds called Ostriches that when alarmed or firghtened stick their
heads in the sand -

Err, myth not fact.

Lafayette, June 1 at 2:49 am

I do sympathize with this apologist for the status quo. This post of his seems a garbled and awkward attempt at defending the indefensible. But then I have no doubt that any such defense would be the same.

Perhaps the author of this post, in his pell mell rush to defend the crooks, liars and scoundrels that run our nations business, might offer why it was necessary to make the loan a secret, even from our President, or why a change os status from investment firm to “bank” was necessary. Or even, if he feels creative, why Goldman was eligible for such largesse while Lehman was not.

Inquiring minds want to know.

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By madisolation, June 1, 2011 at 4:46 am Link to this comment

Lafayette, you wrote:
“If Wall Street had not been saved from itself, employment rates could have been double what they were at its peak in 2009.”
You can’t support that statement with facts. That’s just conjecture. I could write: “If the banks had been allowed to fail, everyone would have a good-paying job right now.” You can’t prove or disprove that statement.
What is provable is this: After the passage of TARP, banks made fewer loans and unemployment continued to soar. TARP was the biggest theft of our Treasury ever. The American people didn’t want Congress to give our money to these banks, yet our so-called citizen-legislators ignored us. It was then that we ceased having representative government. They slapped our faces and kissed the bankers’ asses, and it’s been downhill ever since.

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By CitizenWhy, June 1, 2011 at 4:46 am Link to this comment

I agree on the whole with Lafayette. But he needed to make it clearer that
Geithner, when appointed, had four missions: 1… Save the big banks. ... 2.
Lead the reform of the banking system that would prevent or minimize another
near-Depression crash. ... 3. Stimulate business lending. and ... 4. Strengthen
the stick market, and thereby strengthen retirement and investment portfolios.

1. SAVE THE BIG BANKS. They have been saved, but not from themselves and
their fatal trading practices. They continue to create deceptive and risky
derivatives. They continue to depend on risky trading for the majority of their
profits.  They are saved only in so far as they have a guarantee from
government that it will subsidize their losses and let them keep their huge
profits and immediately extract those profits from their companies in the form
of bonuses. This guarantee guarantees that the top “bankers” (really traders)
will grow rich even if they crash the economy again. Did Geithner think he
could do better than this? Yes, but he came to realize that the banks, through
lobbying and the buying of Congressional members, would thwart any effort at
substantial reform, so he just congratulated himself on saving the banks.

2. LEAD THE BANK REFORM. See Number 1. On the whole a failure, the reforms
passed not designed to prevent he abuses that led to this crash. But Geithner
can, and does, congratulate himself on getting a reform bill passed.

3. STIMULATE BUSINESS LENDING. Mixed. On the whole a failure, with the
exception of JP Morgan Chase. The biggest travesty was rechartering Goldman
Sachs from an investment bank to a commercial bank, even though Goldman
Sachs does not make commercial loans. It trades.  But the recharter allows it to
“borrow” endless cash, at 0-1% interest, from the Fed, cash it uses as it
pleases, but not to make commercial loans. This borrowing from the Fed
involves continuing sums that add up to far more than the TARP program. The
repayment of TARP is simply a device to hide the continuous “borrowing.” The
banks can easily make money by buying foreign bonds at 3-10% interest. To be
fair to Geithner, he has required the banks to leave some of that borrowed
money on depoist at the Fed as a way to build up their capital reserves, But
even this is a sign of failure - they refuse to build up their capital reserves on
their own, which they could do. Instead, they let the Fed do it for them.

4. STRENGTHEN THE STOCK MARKET. By printing more money (Quantitative
Easing, the quantity being the money supply) this has worked. And it has
worked better than the “austerity” programs of Europe. “Austerity” means
cutting social benefits, increasing income inequality, and making the rich
richer. The rise in the stick market is directly related to how much money the
Fed prints. Note that printing money is the only function that Geithner had
complete control over, without the bank having the power to thwart his efforts.
Also note that this policy has increased the retirement portfolios of a huge
number of American workers, the only way “Main Street” has benefitted from
this regime.  Of course, he Republicans want to force through austerity
programs similar to Europe’s just when Europe is beginning to realize that they
have failed and have harmed their economies.

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By Lafayette, June 1, 2011 at 4:36 am Link to this comment

MILITATE FOR CHANGE

cul: No one seriously believes that any sort of change to the financial system is going to come from the congressional sell outs

Yes, so let’s stop bitching about it in a blog.

Our sole recourse is to change our political class such that we elect those who want Reformational Change in the ways elections are financed. That could even mean keeping many presently elected but to timid to confront the “system”. If not, let’s retire them to a green pasture.

That movement, however, can only originate at the grassroots, because that place is the alpha and the omega of all democratic action.

MY POINT

Let’s get our duffs out from behind a computer and Militate for Change. The time is ripe to save this country from a rapacious elite that has ensconced itself in LaLaLand on the Potomac

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By Angel Gabriel, June 1, 2011 at 4:29 am Link to this comment

Culheath -

“Who’s got the balls for that? -” Wow, that’s a classic Americanism! “It’s too hard”
“I’m only one person, what can I do?”
The US and Australia have more in common than I realized! In Aussie they have
these big fkng Birds called Ostriches that when alarmed or firghtened stick their
heads in the sand -
I wonder what the statistic might be for American’s doing the same thing??

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By Cliff Carson, June 1, 2011 at 4:25 am Link to this comment

The International Financial business run by the 50 or so of the World’s most Rich and Powerful families continue to be able to stay behind the curtain while they rape the world.

The Fed.

Now this Fed that sets our monetary policy and controls our currency - just what is the Fed?

Know this:  The Fed is a Privately owned Corporation run and owned by the World International Financial Cabal which is Headquartered in Europe.

They do this in just about every country of the World, and they own the “Feds” in every Country in which they control the flow of money, etc.

Who do they serve:  Themselves or you and me?

Start with BIS, World Bank, and IMF.  Spend a few months in research and see what you come up with.

America like all the rest of the World’s Nations have been conquered by an invisible entity, and our Government is nothing but a willing participant in the charade.

We need real change.

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By Lafayette, June 1, 2011 at 2:49 am Link to this comment

FORGOTTEN FACTUAL HISTORY

RS:  It was merely one small part of that reckless policy of throwing mad money at the banks while ignoring the plight of homeowners whom the banks had swindled

This comment is specious in that it does not consider all the facts in play in 2008. RS has a short memory and a quick pen.

In November of 2008, a significant event occurred - the Credit Mechanism had seized. Banks were not lending overnight to other banks to close their accounting books – which they must do by law. The TARP bill has been passed in emergency by Congress and signed into law.

The loan described was not illegal nor was injudicious or, even, an example of favoritism. It was Business As Usual in a key industry during a time of dangerous turmoil.

If Wall Street had not been saved from itself, employment rates could have been double what they were at its peak in 2009. Would that have been better for the American public?

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

Over past three decades, right through Billy-boy’s administration (which had abrogated the Glass-Steagal Act (upon the suggestion of then Treasury Director Robert Rubin – who had joined Goldman Sachs in 1967 and inevitably became part of the Goldman Sachs Top Management in 1987) , the US finance industry had embarked upon a Massive Integration of the banking System – which continues to this day.

See the Top 50 financial institutions (by value of assets) here. Now imagine the throw-weight of the top ten in Congress. That is a crying shame.

One must suppose that the adage “Bigger is better” prevails. Of course, bigness – as American Industry has shown – is not necessarily better. Because it leads to oligopolistic markets where a limited number of Suppliers dominate and control the price of the Demand-mechanism. Our lopsided Industrial Infrastructure must be corrected, by means of legislation, in order to make competition a Real Attribute of Free Markets – not the sham it is today.

MY POINT: About this article

This article takes out of context a situation that was critical for the US. We were staring in the face the sort of cataclysmic event that happened in 1929. Something had to be done to shore up the many banks who found themselves, for various reasons, unable to close their books. That means Bank Failure, which had to be avoided at all costs.

I am making no excuses for Geitner. He was wholly a member of The Wall Street “Clan” (just as Paulson and Rubin were before him) but his selection was the best possible at the time – after all who new better Wall Street and how it functioned? Repairing the grave damage there was essential. We are a nation whose economy strongly dependent upon Credit to function - our National Credit Structure was about to come tumbling down like a house of cards.

And “reckless policy of throwing mad money at the banks” is inflammatory and unbalanced journalism. The truth of what was happening is a much larger story that we should get right - so as to prevent its recurrence.

NOTA BENE

Still, I must agree with RS as regards the SubPrime Mess - the rich were served on a platter of gold and the poor were treated like road-kill on the Highway of High Finance. We could have done better and we didn’t - for instance, allowing defaulters to pay “market rents” and remain in their homes till they could recover.

POST SCRIPTUM

As for Geithner, not to worry. He’ll be back on Wall Street in the Top Management of some Investment Bank in due time. What else should he do with his life? Teach Finance at some university at one tenth the salary?

No way, José.

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By Leefeller, June 1, 2011 at 2:19 am Link to this comment

If Obama sells out Medicare under his phony label of compromise, then I will vote for Alfred E Newman again!

This kind of devious crap conducted with Gold man slacks reinforces whats going on right now with the commodities markets and especially higher fuel prices for all Americans with no supply and demand problem or reason other than greedy speculation, people making huge amounts of money for doing nothing.  So much for jobs. ...real jobs and I suppose this clearly includes our bail out friends at Gold man slacks.

Wonder why the Republicans are keeping there mouths shut on this, ...they wouldn’t be in cahoots would they?

Anyway you look at it the real people do not count for much but to be dolts used as cannon fodder and consumers marching to the music of bagpipes playing manipulations and deceptions.  Brought to the unwashed masses, sponsored by a core of the wealthy few who pay less or no taxes than the people they seem to be so successfully buggering?

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By Robespierre115, June 1, 2011 at 1:49 am Link to this comment

The sad part is that Obama’s loyal disciples will convince themselves that all this was done behind his back and that he’s just an innocent retard who apparently doesn’t know what his own staff is up to.

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By culheath, June 1, 2011 at 1:02 am Link to this comment

Everybody knows by now that Goldman Sachs is a den of thieves and that people like Geithner, Summers and Paulson are enablers of that ongoing thievery. But really, what can be done about any of it? We’re not about to jail or kill them outright to save the country. No one seriously believes that any sort of change to the financial system is going to come from the congressional sell outs…so how do we begin to extricate ourselves from the debacle that is the capitalist financial rigging that has so fucked up the sails of the ship of state? Will it require an out and out mutiny and scuttling of the entire machinery? Who’s got the balls for that?

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