POLITICS - posted on March 21, 2009 by

The Big Takeover, you really NEED to read this!

On the heels of my post about “Economic Terrorism”, I see this article by Matt Taibbi, (who I hold in high regard for his temperament, intelligence, and willingness to call assholes “ASSHOLES” to their face), describing the same thing, but from different angles, and in MUCH better depth and articulation. If you don’t understand what’s happening with the “Bailout”, you will after reading his article….maybe after you read it twice, it’s DEEP…..

Here’s a brief bit of it to give you the taste of what he’s onto…

People are pissed off about this financial crisis, and about this bailout, but they’re not pissed off enough. The reality is that the worldwide economic meltdown and the bailout that followed were together a kind of revolution, a coup d’état. They cemented and formalized a political trend that has been snowballing for decades: the gradual takeover of the government by a small class of connected insiders, who used money to control elections, buy influence and systematically weaken financial regulations.

The crisis was the coup de grâce: Given virtually free rein over the economy, these same insiders first wrecked the financial world, then cunningly granted themselves nearly unlimited emergency powers to clean up their own mess. And so the gambling-addict leaders of companies like AIG end up not penniless and in jail, but with an Alien-style death grip on the Treasury and the Federal Reserve — “our partners in the government,” as Liddy put it with a shockingly casual matter-of-factness after the most recent bailout.


…..”They basically asked them to spend a day and check to see if they could raise the money privately.” The laughably short time span to complete the mammoth task made the answer a foregone conclusion. At the end of the day, the bankers came back and told the government officials, gee, we checked, but we can’t raise that much. And the bailout was on.


The state is now being asked not just to call off its regulators or give tax breaks or funnel a few contracts to connected companies; it is intervening directly in the economy, for the sole purpose of preserving the influence of the megafirms. In essence, Paulson used the bailout to transform the government into a giant bureaucracy of entitled assholedom, one that would socialize “toxic” risks but keep both the profits and the management of the bailed-out firms in private hands. Moreover, this whole process would be done in secret, away from the prying eyes of NASCAR dads, broke-ass liberals who read translations of French novels, subprime mortgage holders and other such financial losers.


None other than disgraced senator Ted Stevens was the poor sap who made the unpleasant discovery that if Congress didn’t like the Fed handing trillions of dollars to banks without any oversight, Congress could apparently go fuck itself — or so said the law. When Stevens asked the GAO about what authority Congress has to monitor the Fed, he got back a letter citing an obscure statute that nobody had ever heard of before: the Accounting and Auditing Act of 1950. The relevant section, 31 USC 714(b), dictated that congressional audits of the Federal Reserve may not include “deliberations, decisions and actions on monetary policy matters.” The exemption, as Foss notes, “basically includes everything.” According to the law, in other words, the Fed simply cannot be audited by Congress. Or by anyone else, for that matter.


Another member of Congress, who asked not to be named, offers his own theory about the TARP process. “I think basically if you knew Hank Paulson, you got the money,” he says.

I urge you to read this….because no matter how pissed off you are, it’s not enough. If people were angry in the amount that this crime requires, there would be no physical place these criminals could hide that would stop the crowds from finding and punishing them.

Yes, I mean that.

And by the way, Obama is NO Liberal, he’s helping these guys as we speak – read this for more info. I still like him and he’s GOT to be better than what we had, but a lot of people are making a mistake about who he is, and they need to look a little closer. HE never said he was anything other than what he’s turning out to be, it’s everyone else that’s putting that on him.

The public record shows Dodd authored an amendment that would have prevented “any bonus” being paid to top executives of firms getting bailout money. It was the White House and the Treasury Department that insisted Dodd’s amendment be watered down to apply only to bonuses paid under agreements signed in the past five weeks. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has taken public responsibility for that.

You HAVE to read the article.

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POLITICS - posted on March 20, 2009 by

Economic Terrorism

So what’s more “terroristic”, flying planes into buildings, or bankrupting and ripping off an entire country of it’s economic health and foreseeable future well being?

Yeh I know, by a strict definition, it’s always related to violence or the threat of violence……here’s Merriam-Webster’s entry on it –

Main Entry: ter·ror·ism
Pronunciation: \ˈter-ər-ˌi-zəm\
Function: noun
Date: 1795

: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion
— ter·ror·ist Listen to the pronunciation of terrorist \-ər-ist\ adjective or noun
— ter·ror·is·tic Listen to the pronunciation of terroristic \ˌter-ər-ˈis-tik\ adjective

But what about “Societal Violence”, or psychological violence against an entire country or culture?

It was argued that the attacks of 9-11 were attacks against our culture or our ideals, but in fact they were largely unsuccessful in changing or threatening those things to any great extent. They were more successful in undermining (with the Bush administration’s full complicity) the civil rights and Constitutional underpinnings of our country, but largely they didn’t and couldn’t really change our basic day to day life.

On the other hand, the recent economic attack against the common citizen of this country has been profoundly successful, both in terms of effective results as well as the terrorist effects of the attack. With the full complicity of the past and current administrations, this attack has been the most successful looting of the future hopes and dreams of the citizens of the Western World that has ever been perpetrated in modern times, and perhaps ever.

It sounds like hyperbole, but the numbers make hyperbole seem understated…..TRILLIONS of dollars, not millions, not billions…..TRILLIONS!

I dunno, maybe I’m just wildly cynical or negative, but when this level of incompetency is displayed by some of the smartest people on the planet, I have a hard time believing them when they basically say it’s not their fault and the system let us down……that’s just not credible.

What’s much more credible to me is that they knew EXACTLY what they were doing, and they also knew how the government would respond (or perhaps even decided how the government would respond, see my post here for more info on that, look for the bit about Paulson and his history), and figured out a way to not only dodge the entire bullet, but also how to make a run on the largest source of money on the planet, the U.S. Treasury, AND keep all the bonuses, not tell anyone where the money is going, NOT lend the money back out as intended, essentially they’ve just TAKEN all our money – REALLY!!

It wasn’t enough to game the “system” in the favor of large institutional investors, it wasn’t enough to game the tax system in favor of the very rich, it wasn’t enough that the top 1 percent of Americans have more money per capita than they had had since just before the Great Depression, no – they needed MORE!

And to the detriment of who?


If you’re not one of those top 1 percent of the country, then you are getting hit, hard.

Maybe you’re homeless now –

As many as 3.4 million Americans are likely to experience homelessness this year – a 35 percent increase since the recession started in December 2007 – and a majority will be families with children, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. The predictions are based on rising levels of unemployment and poverty, plus a severe shortage of affordable housing created, in part, by the mortgage industry collapse.

Maybe you’re unemployed –

According to yet another depressing data release out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics this week, every state and the District of Columbia recorded both month-over-month and year-over-year unemployment rate increases in December.

(or maybe you’re homeless because you’re unemployed…..)

Maybe your financial future has been ransacked –

The net worth of American households fell 9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, the largest amount in more than a half century of record keeping, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. The decline was the sixth straight quarterly drop in net worth, which represents total assets, such as homes and checking accounts, minus liabilities, such as mortgages and credit card debt. [1] The Federal Reserve said Thursday that household net worth dropped by a record 9 per cent from the level in the third quarter. The decline was the sixth straight quarterly drop in net worth and underscored the battering that U.S. families are undergoing in the midst of a steep recession with unemployment surging and the value of their homes and investments plunging. Net worth represents total assets such as homes and checking accounts minus liabilities like mortgages and credit card debt.[2]

Maybe you’re “upside-down” on the major investment of your life, your home –

An increasing number of U.S. homeowners are underwater in their homes — meaning they owe more than the property is worth.

In 2008, U.S. residential property shed $2.4 trillion in value, which left 8.3 million mortgages in what experts describe as “a negative equity position.” That’s 20 percent of all mortgages in the country, according to First American CoreLogic.

And all this before the “other shoe” drops –

U.S. credit card defaults rose in February to their highest level in at least 20 years, with losses particularly severe at American Express Co (AXP.N) and Citigroup (C.N) amid a deepening recession.

Look, we all know all the problems we’re facing as a result of this attack, but of all the problems we have, maybe the biggest is that we’re not looking at this thing as what it is……AN ATTACK, and unless we do, we will be subject to it again and again (assuming the country as it stands even survives this one, which is in doubt).

You watch, these people, having been successful in making the country swallow this giant financial rape, will be back with their hands out on this credit card thing, mark my words. And yet those at the top will keep their bonuses, keep their homes and jobs and private schools and mansions etc………and none of them will pay for their exemplary incompetence, because it wasn’t incompetence, it was greed and has been all along.

And yes, you may have guessed that I think this was planned, and that it wasn’t a mistake.

There is a type of person in the world that is driven by acquisitiveness, and that drive to acquire cannot be satiated by successful acquisition, in fact it cannot ever be satiated as long as there is something out there in the world that they don’t own……maybe it’s like a game to them, I don’t know. But I do know they aren’t going to stop just because people are getting hurt, that’s not important to them……what’s important is taking what they see as being “on the table”. So if someone else has something, it’s on the table….and therefore a target. Collateral damage is looked at as being unfortunate but unavoidable, as in “It’s a Dog eat Dog world son, didn’t you know that?“.

Here’s some fun stuff – Hedge funds could reap billions from AIG

$160 million in bonuses to AIG executives? Try billions in dollars slated to be paid by AIG to hedge funds.

The massive now mostly-government owned insurer American International Group is slated to shell out billions of dollars to hedge funds that bet against the US housing market, according to documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal.

As to government complicity (this obviously isn’t a whole list, these links are simply examples) – Senate quietly stripped measure restricting bonuses from bailout legislation

A new revelation in the scandal surrounding AIG’s decision to pay multi-million dollar bonuses to executives — a provision that would have restricted companies receiving federal government bailout aid from paying bonuses was quietly stripped from a bill last month.

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