Tuesday, November 25, 2008

One mo' time....

I've decided that (the term) "transpersonal or 'trans-personal' as I'm wont to write]) deserves a big come back after Wilber more-or-less banished it from the leading edge for "integral". "Integral" is fine, but we need the specificity of "trans-personal" in a world of egos gone mad these days with all the doom and gloom and fear.

Obama's Treasury Pick Has All the Wrong Ideas - William Greider

Obama's Treasury Pick Has All the Wrong Ideas
By William Greider, TheNation.com
Posted on November 25, 2008, Printed on November 25, 2008

A year ago, when Barack Obama said it was time to turn the page, his campaign declaration seemed to promise a fresh start for Washington. I, for one, failed to foresee Obama would turn the page backward. The president-elect's lineup for key governing positions has opted for continuity, not change. Virtually all of his leading appointments are restoring the Clinton presidency, only without Mr. Bill. In some important ways, Obama's selections seem designed to sustain the failing policies of George W. Bush.

This is not the last word and things are changing rapidly. But Obama's choices have begun to define him. His victory, it appears, was a triumph for the cautious center-right politics that has described the Democratic party for several decades. Those of us who expected more were duped, not so much by Obama but by our own wishful thinking.

Let us stipulate that these are all honorable people, smart and experienced veterans of Washington combat. But they represent the Democratic party that mainly sees itself as managerial -- making government work better. The long era of conservative dominance has taught them to keep their distance from big reform ideas that promise fundamental change of the system. Their operating style is incremental and cautiously practical. They conscientiously avoid (or actively block) propositions that sound too liberal or radical. Alas, Obama is coming to power at a critical moment when incrementalism is irrelevant. The system is in collapse. Financial chaos won't wait for patient deliberations.

Events have confronted Obama with a fearful symmetry between past and present, illustrated by his choice of economic advisers. On Friday, we learned that Timothy Geithner, president of the New York Federal Reserve, would become his new treasury secretary and Larry Summers, who held the same position in the Clinton administration, would be the White House overseer of economic policy. On Monday, Geithner was busy executing the government's massive rescue of Citicorp -- the very banking behemoth that Geithner and Summers helped to create back in the Clinton years, along with Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin, Clinton's economics guru. Now Rubin is himself a Citicorp executive and his bank is now being saved by his old protege (Geithner) with the taxpayers' money.

The connections go way beyond irony. They raise very serious questions about where the new president intends to lead and whether he has the nerve to break from the weak and haphazard strategy of the Bush administration. It has dumped piles of public money on the largest financial institutions and demanded little or nothing in return, hoping for the best. Geithner has been a central player in the deal-making, from Bear Stearns to AIG to Citi. The strategy has not only failed, it has arguably made things worse as savvy market players saw through the contradictions and rushed out to dump more bank stocks.

On Wall Street, Geithner is known as a highly competent technocrat, well versed in the financial complexities. But he has also been seen as a weak and compliant regulator of Wall Street firms, someone who did not see the storm coming. Occasionally, Geithner would anguish publicly about the accumulating time bombs like credit derivatives and urge bankers to do something, but he did not use his supervisory powers to compel action. In bailout negotiations with Wall Street titans, Geithner and the Federal Reserve were spun around like a top more than once.

No wonder the stock markets rallied explosively when they heard Geithner would be their new boss in Washington. They think he is their guy. Summers may be a brilliant economist -- everyone says so -- but he, too, is a club member in good standing and now manages a huge hedge fund while he advises Obama. The president-elect needs to get a "second opinion" -- someone from outside the financial club who can explain the flaws in the rescue strategy preached by Bush's treasury secretary Henry Paulson and Tim Geithner at the New York Fed.

Their approach has clearly been designed to preserve what's left of the Wall Street establishment and maintain the supremacy of the largest financial firms while the taxpayers pick up their losses. That model has failed and too many smart people know why. The bailouts have been too little too late and aimed at an impossible objective -- persuading private capital investors to believe in the phony assurances proffered by the bankers. AIG, the insurance giant taken over by the feds, has turned into a bloody hemorrhage. Citigroup will be another and may soon be joined by other major banks demanding the same favorable terms. Wasting more public money on insolvent mastodons is the least of it. The real scandal is it doesn't work. It can't work because the black hole is too large even for Washington to fill. Government should take over the failing institutions or force them into bankruptcy, break them up and sell them off or mercifully relieve everyone, including the taxpayers.

Stock markets rallied again with the salvage of Citigroup. But not everyone in Wall Street was cheering. Christopher Whalen of Institutional Risk Analytics, the bank monitoring firm that has repeatedly been right about the banks when the government officials were wrong, had harsh words for the deal. "Pretending that Citi is going to be a going concern I think is silly," Whalen said. "We should be thinking about breaking this company up and redistributing the assets into stronger hands."

Will Timothy Geithner or Larry Summers advise the next president to face reality and throw in the towel? One hopes so, because Whalen warns: "By embracing Geithner, President-elect Obama is endorsing the ill-advised scheme to support AIG directed by Hank Paulson et al at Goldman Sachs and executed by Tim Geithner…. This scheme to stay AIG's resolution cannot possibly work and, when it does collapse, Barack Obama and his administration will wear the blame."

Barack Obama is too smart and perceptive to let this happen to his yet-unborn presidency. Maybe he should find out what Whalen knows.

William Greider is the author of, most recently, "The Soul of Capitalism" (Simon & Schuster).
© 2008 TheNation.com All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/108539/

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Dirty Secret of the Financial Crisis: Our Banking System's Broken By William Greider, The Nation

The Dirty Secret of the Financial Crisis: Our Banking System's Broken

By William Greider, The Nation. Posted November 22, 2008.

No more free money from Washington. No more masters of the universe. No more business as usual. Time for a banking holiday.

Henry Paulson's $700 billion plan to save the world is dead or dying, but the bailout was not killed by his arrogance or his grossly misleading claims about what the public's money would buy. The plan collapsed because it didn't work. The Treasury secretary has launched a PR offensive to revive his falling influence. Too late. The Democrats should be equally embarrassed. In September their leaders in Congress rushed to embrace the Paulson solution, no hard questions asked. They now claim they were duped.

Paulson's squad at Treasury pumped $250 billion into the largest banks, buying their stock at inflated prices on the assumption it would persuade investors to step forward with their capital too. Instead, savvy financial players realized Paulson was spitting into a high wind, trying to save a system with stout talk.

Here is the ugly, unofficial truth that neither Wall Street nor the government will acknowledge: the pinnacle of the US financial system is broke -- with perhaps $2 trillion in rotten financial assets on the books. Nobody knows, exactly. The bankers won't say, and regulators won't ask, or at least don't dare tell the public. Official silence naturally feeds the conviction that banking's problems are far worse than we've been told. The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College puts it plainly: "It is probable that many and perhaps most financial institutions are insolvent today -- with a black hole of negative net worth that would swallow Paulson's entire $700 billion in one gulp."

The scale of this disaster explains why the Treasury secretary had to abandon his original plan to buy up failed mortgages and other bad assets from the banks. If government paid the true value for these nearly worthless assets, the banks would have to write down huge losses or, as Levy economists put it, "announce to the world that they are insolvent." On the other hand, if Paulson pumps the purchase price high enough to protect the banks from losses, $700 billion "will buy only a tiny fraction of the 'troubled' assets."

Paulson was trapped by these circumstances (and his own mendacity). Each time he tried to change the script, market insiders became even more alarmed. Congress is trapped too. So is President-elect Obama. From the outset of the crisis, the essential fallacy shared by governing influentials has been a wishful assumption that quick interventions with tons of public money would somehow restore the system to "normal" without disturbing free-market principles. Replenished banks would start lending again and lead us to recovery. "Normal" is not going to happen. If the new president does not break free of the denial and act decisively, his administration will be dangerously compromised from the start.

Obama can begin by declaring a "bank holiday" like FDR's in 1933 -- an opportunity to put the hard facts on the table and assume temporary control of the entire financial system. Nationalizing the banks sounds more radical than it is, since banking law already empowers regulators to impose extraordinary controls and close supervision over troubled institutions. Facing facts will be painful, but it's better than continuing a costly charade. Paulson's approach, endorsed by many Democrats, was designed to preserve oversized Wall Street titans. In fact, Paulson and the Federal Reserve are making things worse by creating new members of the privileged club of "too big to fail." Public money is being used to finance bank takeovers that will become new behemoths.

A genuine solution means closing down the hopeless institutions and creating a more democratic system based on small to medium-sized banks, financial intermediaries that are less imperious and closer to the real economy of producers and consumers. The Levy institute suggests that some banks are "too big to save." If the president-elect seeks an opinion quite different from his circle of orthodox advisers, he could start with the institute's tartly incisive analysis "Time to Bail Out: Alternatives to the Bush-Paulson Plan," by Dimitri Papadimitriou and Randall Wray. Their perspective is Keynesian, not market worship. They argue (as The Nation and others have) that the bailout is proceeding backward. Instead of saving Wall Street first, government should devote its heavy firepower to reviving jobs, incomes and business enterprises. The banks will not get well or begin normal lending until there is overall economic recovery.

The financial system, meanwhile, can be managed much as it was during the Depression, with regulators weeding out doomed banks and closing them, putting troubled banks under conservatorship and supervising healthy ones closely to prevent excesses. "If we are going to leave insolvent institutions open, it is critically important to replace or at least control management," the Levy paper explains. "Business as usual would be a disaster."

Under these conditions, the government can grant forbearance and prescribe business plans for a slower recovery of bank balance sheets. Instead of buying ruined assets from banks, the government can allow them to sit, possibly for several years, until the economy revives and mortgages or other debt paper regains value. This would amount to an "imposed purgatory" for major banks, keeping them from growing too fast with unsound ventures. Taxpayers will not get off the hook either; government will need to spend hundreds of billions to bail out bankrupt pension funds and pay off insured deposits at failed banks.

Economic stimulus requires preservative measures to stop the bleeding, like a moratorium on home foreclosures and federal lending to the auto industry, as well as force-feeding innovation. Like the financial sector, the reform imperatives must accompany any aid for troubled industries. Do not subsidize more bad behavior by corporate titans or assist companies shipping US jobs and production overseas. In Detroit's case, Washington better get it in writing -- an enforceable contract to recover our money if the auto industry doesn't deliver.

President-elect Obama, of course, cannot act directly on any of these matters before January 20. But the Democratic Congress can, since the Treasury cannot spend any of the next $350 billion in the bailout fund without Congressional approval. Congress's first task is to cut off Paulson's water. Representative Dennis Kucinich, as usual, is out front demanding that Congress reject Paulson's request in advance. You can see why Wall Street hates these propositions. No more free money from Washington. No more "masters of the universe." You can also see why the people might be delighted.


See more stories tagged with: stimulus, housing crisis, financial crisis

William Greider is the author of, most recently, "The Soul of Capitalism" (Simon & Schuster).

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Indeed We Need FDR's Bank Holiday to Get To the Fcats ...
[Report this comment]
Posted by: mmckinl on Nov 22, 2008 12:12 AM
Current rating: 5 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
Thank you, William Greider. What has been apparent from the start of the debacle is the coddling, by former Goldman Sachs Chairman Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke of the Federal Reserve, of Wall Street banks and investment banks to the the tune of now over $4 trillion in bailout largesse. The tactics used to threaten Congress and the American people to underwrite these massive bank losses can only be described as the "Shock Doctrine."

Indeed we need FDR's bank holiday plan to get to the facts of the most important sector in the American economy, the financial sector. Taxpayers and indeed the financial industry itself need transparency to quantify the losses and identify the insolvent institutions. Until trust is restored to the system the rot will spread.

We also need to nationalize the Federal Reserve. What has become clear is that this hybrid central bank has been and is being wrought by favoritism to the banks and special interests, and not being operated in the public interest. The current crisis and previous crises can be laid right at the feet of the Federal Reserve, through its operations, management and advisory malfeasance. What is needed is the reclamation of the sovereignty for the creation of currency and credit. We need a truly public central bank, as Canada has.

Why the left has not seized upon this tested and true remedy is beyond me. Congress, I know, is in the grasp of Wall Street, but I have read nothing by the leading lights of the left on FDR's bank holiday.

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» RE: We need to nationalize the Federal Reserve. Posted by: Lauren
» Would the Congress back the need to nationalize the Federal Reserve? Posted by: Artra
» RE: Bank Holiday? Posted by: oregoncharles
» RE: Indeed We Need FDR's Bank Holiday to Get To the Fcats ... Posted by: FeralCat
The whole system is cracked
[Report this comment]
Posted by: Tom Degan on Nov 22, 2008 1:25 AM
Current rating: 5 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
Isn't it telling that, for almost sixty years after FDR put in place the regulations which forced Wall Street to temper it's excesses, the market avoided any major (or even minor) financial meltdown. Then a funny thing happened....

In 1980 - for reasons I'm still trying to figure out - the American people thought that sending a feeble-minded, failed "B" movie actor to the White House would be a really neat idea.

Ronald Reagan and his minions immediately began to dismantle the regulations put into place by Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. In 1987, we had the first stock market crash since before my parents were born. We've had several since then. What occurred on Wall Street on September 15 was the big daddy that anyone paying attention knew was just 'round the corner.

(Go to my blog, click on the archives to June, Scroll down to a piece called "Gentlemen, Start Your Rhetoric". I predicted it. Go to the last piece I wrote in 2007. I predicted it. You want to hear the tragic thing? I never completed the eleventh grade.)

One thing is certain: I sure as hell don't envy president Obama.

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

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» SUGGESTED READING: Posted by: Tom Degan
» RE: More..SUGGESTED READING: Posted by: Inlander
» RE: The whole system is cracked Posted by: Ray Duray
» RE: The whole system is cracked Posted by: Tom Degan
» RE: The whole system is cracked Posted by: Inlander
» RE: The whole system is cracked -- Say, Tom... Posted by: photon's feather
» Tom, By design, many predicted "it". Ergo Conspiracy Posted by: common intelligence
Why to worry? Geithner has all the Greider ideas
[Report this comment]
Posted by: Artra on Nov 22, 2008 2:31 AM
Current rating: 3 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
President-elect Obama has taken all that into account, that's why he will be taking
Timothy F. Geithner, a man like Dennis John Kucinich, but on the Treasure Secretary, so two powers lifting the big economical redressing. President-elect Obama is a man who fiercelly will keep his compromise with society before surrendering to the big financiers and a very thoughtful person too. To implement the foreign consecuences to his economical brakes there is no more no less than Hillary. The world will be so glad that even people like Irakis will forget to ask for any repair for the little damages.

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» RE: Why to worry? Geithner has all the Greider ideas - this is satire, no? Posted by: DCostello2
» RE: Why to worry? Geithner has all the Greider ideas - this is satire, no? Posted by: Artra
The System is ROTTEN to the Core!
[Report this comment]
Posted by: Ottomatic on Nov 22, 2008 4:04 AM
Current rating: 5 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
Start over.
Kick out the Federal Reserve along with their phony DOLLAR!
All the interest is going to
Emperor Ratschild.
The biggest con game going.
Buy a house and buy two for him.
Such a Deal!

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» RE: The System is ROTTEN to the Core! Posted by: dogster
[Report this comment]
Posted by: Sparks56 on Nov 22, 2008 4:21 AM
Current rating: 3 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
CitiCorp is next. I doubt the remaining $350 billion left in the bailout fund would save it. The house of cards is crumbling. I believe Mr Greider is correct; the entire system is insolvent. There's no "there' there. The "invisible hand" is working; stocks, bonds, real estate, etc. are all settling at their real value.
The author is also correct in asserting that this bubble began with the Reagan dismantling of financial regulations. The sub-prime loans "detonated" this much bigger bubble. Read George Soros in a recent NY Review of Books for the best description I've seen of the melt down.

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The Secret Rulers of the World
[Report this comment]
Posted by: caru on Nov 22, 2008 4:41 AM
Current rating: 5 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
Series: The Secret Rulers of the World
Added: November 03, 2007. RT: 290 minutes

The source of most if not all our woes, revealed (from the present to the past): Connecting the dots through ~3000 years of revisionist human history, spanning from the time of the pharaohs, all the way up to the present dynasties creating the New World Order, in a quest to perfect the enslavement of mankind. From pirates to banksters, to the ruling elite, who run the world's finances, the media and cover both side of nearly every conflict or war: the world may make more sense after watching this.

About the Producer:
As a child, she had many arguments between her parents over her father's ring, inscribed with "G", a compass and square. At a later age, years of intensive research led her to the identity , history and plans of a power "so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocking, so complete, so pervasive" that even the known 'leaders' of the world are careful not to speak in "condemnation" of it.
Series: The Secret Rulers of the World

01. That Morning of September

02. Only the Start

03. Profiting from 9/11

04. Hidden Empire

05. Vatican Hoarding

06. Amen & the Pharaohs

07. Abraham, a Pharaoh? [7/29]

08. Oceans of Blood

09. The Queen

10. King of Kings

continued in next post ...

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This comment has been removed from the site due to non-compliance with AlterNet's community policies.
» RE: The Secret Rulers of the World 2 Posted by: EncinoM
The Secret Rulers of the World - Present/Past [part 1 of 29]
[Report this comment]
Posted by: caru on Nov 22, 2008 4:47 AM
Current rating: 5 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
The Secret Rulers of the World - Present/Past [part 1 of 29]

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» RE: The Secret Rulers of the World - Present/Past [part 1 of 29] Posted by: Ray Duray
» RE: The Secret Rulers of the World - Present/Past [part 1 of 29] Posted by: caru
» Take your f*ckin meds. Posted by: yellow
» RE: Take your f*ckin meds. Posted by: weathered
Pick a side
[Report this comment]
Posted by: US Citizen 07 on Nov 22, 2008 5:13 AM
Current rating: 4 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
Let's see.

80% of the people in the world need to learn to live within their means to survive.

20% of the people in the world need us to spend beyond our means to survive. A tactic that put the world into the situation to begin with.

From what I see, loosening lending regulations and extending credit to people who can not afford the financial burden hasn't worked. It just prolongs the inevitible and makes the coming fall, harder.

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» RE: Pick a side Posted by: Passacaglia
» RE: Pick a side Posted by: hilaryuk
Meet the System
[Report this comment]
Posted by: Rhondamarie on Nov 22, 2008 5:37 AM
Current rating: 5 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
Readers are referred to this easy to read explanation of the world banking system. Kennedy tried to get us out of the mess. Please read this and pass it on to others.


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» RE: Meet the System Posted by: countingdaisies
Obama-In Bed with Federal Reserve Bank
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Posted by: 911FalseFlag on Nov 22, 2008 6:04 AM
Current rating: 4 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
Based upon the individuals who he is considering to appoint to head the Treasury Department, Obama will continue a policy of allowing the Federal Reserve Bank to dictate economic policy and continue to scam people in this country out of trillions of dollars.

The following is a short excerpt from an article posted on my website:
All of the leading candidates for the position of Treasury Secretary under president elect Barack Obama directly represent the old guard of the corporate elite system that has used the American economy as it’s engine to drive their march toward a global empire for decades.

Under the banner of “change” whichever of [2] these candidates is appointed to the Treasury will continue to rapidly expand the empowerment of the Federal Reserve monetary system and institute the very policies that have led us to the brink of financial ruin to move the economies of the world toward a centralized global banking system.

The Leading candidate for Obama’s Treasury Secretary is current Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York [3] Tim Geithner.

go to www.911insidejob.net

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» RE: Obama-In Bed with Federal Reserve Bank Posted by: remoran
[Report this comment]
Posted by: CLusterAble on Nov 22, 2008 6:36 AM
Current rating: 5 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
I think it all goes back to GREED. Greed of the bankers, the loan brokers and real estate agents during the sub prime lending boom that only cared about precious commission checks and caring less about the borrowers ability to pay back the loans. Greed is what got us to where we are today.

Privacy Center

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» RE: Greed Posted by: countingdaisies
[Report this comment]
Posted by: blkantola@comcast.net on Nov 22, 2008 6:46 AM
Current rating: 5 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
It goes back to the Republicans' in charge of all 3 branches of Government prior to 2 years ago & they took away all the regulations on the banking industry, also on the energy industry (that is why your utility bills are so much higher and there are some strange extra charges on them). Greed then took over for all these companies, just because it could.

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» RE: Barbara Posted by: left_libertarian
Terrytom Duped my ass
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Posted by: terryton on Nov 22, 2008 7:12 AM
Current rating: 5 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
I love it the “Dimocraps say they were duped.” HORSE SHIT!!! They are in on it. This is the greatest theft in the history of the planet.
When the first bail-out plan was brought forth in such a panic I screamed “you must be nuts.”
After 8 years of the Bush cabal fucking up the country on every level only a fool or a person in on it would accept any plan from that criminal organization. I should have been dead on arrival. Then to let the fox running not guarding the chicken coup had to be nuts. How could we ever expect a fair shake? The plan they finally approved was loaded w/ pork just to get the assholes w/o real values to vote for it. No kind of controls were part of it no real oversight just let the secretary of the treasury hand it out to his entitled rich pals. Duped? Hell no they are in on it. Words cannot describe my out rage. The thieving bastards need to dragged into the street from their ivory towers and shot. If the majority of Americans who have been getting screwed royally for thirty years wake up it may come to that. People arm yourselves. A new revolution is in order. Thomas Jefferson said one might be needed on occasion and he was very wise. The plan described in the article might work w/o a revolution but I promise you “it ain’t gonna happen.”
I shuddered way back when that dolt Ronnie Reagan was elected and they once again started the road to acceptance of bigotry and kept saying greed was good. When so many greedy church leaders jumped on the train it all got exponentially worse. We seem to be a nation of delusional fools. For a time we need a confiscatory 90% tax of the rich because they don’t understand the giveback or gratitude theory of justice. In my view a revolution would not be an overthrow of the government is would be a restoration. And just to strengthen my point about how many fools have been duped never forget that over 50 million voted for McSame and that mindless Sarah.

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» RE: Dragged into the street and shot Posted by: Sushi
I wouldn't count on Obama to do the innovative thing
[Report this comment]
Posted by: susanhathaway on Nov 22, 2008 8:49 AM
Current rating: Not yet rated [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
Greider hopes that the worst possible effects of the financial crisis might yet be averted "If the president-elect seeks an opinion quite different from his circle of orthodox advisers." Sadly, I have to say, fat chance. With every Clintonite cabinet appointment, Obama looks more and more like a Blue Dog in sheep's clothing.

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» RE: I wouldn't count on Obama to do the innovative thing Posted by: left_libertarian
NOT BROKE as long as there is a middle class
[Report this comment]
Posted by: billwald on Nov 22, 2008 9:36 AM
Current rating: Not yet rated [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
The purpose of the mess is to destroy the middle class. The country will be broke when we all admit to being "working poor" and the rich people own 90% of the real assets, not just the paper profits.

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[Report this comment]
Posted by: rigross on Nov 22, 2008 9:56 AM
Current rating: 2 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
This comment and the appended "...dragged into the street and shot," along with the fascinating but mildly disturbing exchange about the "secret rulers" is illustrative of the dilemma we face.
On the one hand, whether you call it military-industrial complex, global dominance group (as Project Censored does) or Bilderberger/Masons/Space Aliens/whoever, the Conspiracy is real but also includes people like the National Association of Manufacturers and nearly the entire U.S. Congress (albeit many unawares). On the other hand, hotheads and naysayers of all sorts who talk about armed insurrection, "...watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants," etc, and how some particular generic "they" are the problem only encourage the deviciveness and fear that keep us stuck. Let's all try to take a deep breath, respect the humanity of even psychotic criminals like Bush/Chaney, and above all, try to return to the rule of law. It may not be perfect, but it is better than any theory/ideology/"noble idea" that boils down to the arbitrary rule of men (or women).

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» RE: rigross Posted by: terryton
» EVEN WORSE THAN THAT Posted by: rigross
the grand theft continues
[Report this comment]
Posted by: sharonsylvie on Nov 22, 2008 11:21 AM
Current rating: 5 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
How could Paulson not understand why everything is tanking? Makes you wonder about conspiracy theories.... Throwing money at the banks could never solve the underlying problems of lack of trust and excessive leverage. The lack of trust is because the ratings companies, banks, and investment houses colluded and lied to create, rate, and sell instruments that were very shaky. As for leverage, these companies already were allowed to sell 20 times their actual assets, and the the SEC, which is supposed to be a watchdog but apparently colluded with them too, allowed the companies to leverage up to 40 times. It's turning out that they all lied about their stocks and bonds, so when the housing bubble burst, they didn't have the money to pay up. It's not because some 10% of home buyers defaulted, it because the banks got greedy. So the entire system does need overhauling, but the bottom line is that most of us want to see them do the perp walk.

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We need "deciders" who will listen.
[Report this comment]
Posted by: Sojourner on Nov 22, 2008 11:22 AM
Current rating: 5 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
The unfolding analyses about how we have made the USA insolvent illustrate the large, large number of critics who were crying "Foul."

Trouble is no one was listening.

The comments that look for some evil influence bear the marks of too much entertainment. The drama of good versus evil happens only on stage.

In the real world, the choices are government that functions or government that is ruined from the inside out. So long as the American electorate give us politicians who do not believe in government as a positive force, we will continue ruined.

We have no alternative when officialdom refuses to listen except rebellion or collapse. We have chosen collapse.

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This is exactly what one man has been saying for atleast 3 years and certainly since last year.
[Report this comment]
Posted by: avatar_singh on Nov 22, 2008 12:29 PM
Current rating: 1 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
But his voice is shunned because he identified the real villain of hedge funds-the british who harbour most of thse spurious hedge funds in thier c=occupied cayman islands. and itis the british who have always insited on forcing the british way of ecnomoics ont eh europe and rest of the world.
therefore this person has been villified in angloamerican propaganda machinary while in fact all his analysis and predictions have become true. By the way I came to read his artilces only since last year but he seemd so much to the right target-bullyes to he real villain-the english race.
here is one of his latest articles.

LaRouche: From Fear To Panic As Derivatives Crash Hits
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November 21, 2008 (LPAC)--Lyndon LaRouche today declared that leading bankers and government officials have gone "from fear to panic,'' as the next phase of the total disintegration of the global financial system hits. "We are now seeing the blowout of the multi-trillion dollar derivatives bubble,'' and this is what is driving the panic, LaRouche explained.

As of the end of June 2008, official figures, compiled by the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, showed a total derivatives exposure of the three largest U.S. bank holding companies--JP Morgan Chase, Citicorp and Bank of America--stood at more than $179 trillion. And the Bank for International Settlements put the amount of documented outstanding derivatives contracts worldwide at the end of 2007 at $675 trillion--still a fraction of the actual exposure.

During November, investors in hedge funds had the opportunity to withdraw their cash, without penalty, and this factor, on top of the already onrushing unraveling of the derivatives bubble, is playing out. LaRouche noted that every major financial institution of the United States, Europe and Asia is tied up in the derivatives collapse, but no one has a clear picture of the exposure of the other financial institutions.

"This is the big explosion, detonating right now,'' LaRouche warned. "And so far, I am offering the only coherent solution--bankruptcy reorganization of the entire global financial system--starting with the cancellation of all derivatives obligations. My solution poses an existential threat to the entire Anglo-Dutch financial system of globalization. I know it, many leading bankers and government officials around the world know it, and, of course, the British know it. This is why the fear has turned to outright panic. We are nearing the showdown moment."

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» RE: This is exactly what one man has been saying for atleast 3 years and certainly since last year. Posted by: EncinoM
still furious
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Posted by: cbishopp on Nov 22, 2008 2:13 PM
Current rating: 5 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
I have written my representative Dianne Feinstein about the bailout and the impeachment of Bush (so that he may not pardon his criminal cronies) and both times she responded with an email that pretty much told me (and everyone else) to shut up.
Actually the first email about the bailout she congratulated herself and the Senate for coming together on an issue that MOST OF HER CONSTITUENTS DID NOT SUPPORT. But she voted for it, anyway.
As for the Bush impeachment, she stated that we have had enough divisive politics and it's time to work together! Work together for what? On the project of impoverishing the nation?
I have had it.
I hope you have, too.
It's time to clean house. There are villians and hero's in both paties and we need to efectively discern between the two and dump the old guard altogether, not hire a new face of change that appoints the same old hags that put us here.
I am actually a supporter of O'bama as I desperately crave the change he so eloquently promised. He was also the best choice offered to us. Because that is what it is, a person who is pre-chosen by the wealthy elite to carry on existing polocies at the expense of the general population. That is why the popular vote is really just for show, to make sure that we do not have a hand in the decision making process.
Feinstein has proven to me that she will do whatever she wants no matter what we say. To claim that they were ignorant of all the bill's problems makes me even more angry.
What IS their job? To approve legislation for christ sake!!
Even I knew that the bailout was a con and I am sitting in my jammies in my living room watching it on TV.
Please be vocal. Scream and yell, march, go to jail in protest, tell your friends, educate one another because they will do this until we stop them.

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» Too big to fail, too divisive to be impeached Posted by: badkitty
This is NO Suprise to a Famil History Researcher!
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Posted by: joeocho88 on Nov 22, 2008 3:18 PM
Current rating: 5 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
I am a family history researcher.
My ethics forbid me to say exactly who has consulted me and what families I have researched.
Suffice it to say that most of what I am tracing goes back the the British Empire which is where I fear The New World Order (IF the "conspiracy theorists" are right!) has a very strong power base in the banking and finance systems -- and NO, IT IS NOT ALL JEWISH!
It tends to be the same families intermarrying with the same families! Certain surnames keep repeating over and over and over again.

These people tend to believe in the DIVINE RIGHT of KINGS to rule over the rest of us --and by extension, keeping all the wealth in their class.

These people do NOT see the consequences of what they are doing. Nor do they care! THEY ARE SO OUT OF TOUCH WITH WHAT YOU AND I CALL REALITY THAT THEY HAVE NO BUSINESS DICTATING IT FOR THE REST OF US! But they do, to the elected officials who are bought and sold with their enormous wealth!

To them, this bailout that will cost billions upon billions of dollars and put ordinary people like us out of work is CHUMP CHANGE to these folks...It is just a gentlemanly agreement like a handshake over a golf game or a debt of honor at a game of cards.RICH PEOPLE LOVE TO GAMBLE --THEY CAN AFFORD TO. THE REST OF US CANNOT!

WHY SHOULD WE THE ORDINARY PEOPLE HAVE TO SUBSIDIZE THE UPPER CLASS --make that UPPER CASTE because that is what our society is trying to become?


We are nothing more than pawns in a chess game, and a course of amusement and an occasional source of money for them to squander ( they don't have much liquidity as their wealth has been carefully stored in trust sometimes for centuries -- ironically so they can't GAMBLE it away!). So they have to engage in various enterprises that generate income above and beyond the trusts like SELLING WAR MATERIALS,THE ILLICIT DRUG TRADE and other enterprises that will yield the most profit. Only the ordinary people are harmed by this and we are just flies on their walls anyway.

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» RE: This is NO Suprise to a Famil History Researcher! Posted by: countingdaisies
Greider is Right
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Posted by: skinny cat on Nov 22, 2008 4:24 PM
Current rating: 5 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
A banking holiday is overdue. If we had a prime minister system (or a constitutional amendment) the new President and Congress would already be on the job. Can Congress and the state legislatures do a constitutional amendment as quickly as Congress bailed out the banks? It’s only a matter of changing two dates. These are the times when politicians wish they had stayed in Podunk.

Does John Acton’s dictum “power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely” apply more to finance capitalists than to politicians? Apparently so. Pork barrel politics never put us in do-do this deep. Mere regulation of unchecked or absolute economic power is not enough. Presidents or Committee Chairmen can stop regulation in its tracks, as we have reason to know.

The root of the problem is a lack of democratic government. If the Voters ratified treaties and trade agreements (as do some EU voters, and the people who are Panama) NAFTA, the WTO, PNTR for China would not have happened. Without those trade agreements and deficits, the bankers could not have done what they did.
This Aristotelian class system cannot stay off the shoals of disaster if the most numerous class is locked out of the system.

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Audit and terminate the FED, and please nationalize failing banks
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Posted by: JPHickey on Nov 23, 2008 6:53 AM
Current rating: Not yet rated [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
The mainstream media has really pulled the wool over the eyes of the vast majority of our citizens. I know professional lawyers who don't believe the Fed is a private business. Others seem to think it is somehow necessary. Of course I have no credibility with them anyway, and since I'm not being paid to make this case, I just let the matter drop.

However, I have been wondering why we the people have not at least insisted that the Fed be audited. When the results were in, these astonishing statistics could be featured news items on CNN, CNBC, etc, for at least a few days. Maybe the truth could be also reported on "Meet the Press" and/or "60 Minutes".

Without transparency, the ruling elite retain their upper hand. I believe this understanding was part of the Constitution of the U.S. in regards to "checks and balances" as well as freedom of the press. "May the truth set man free!" At least ignorance is hardly bliss.

So then close the Fed and start the banking holidays, ASAP! And of course the U.S. will be forced to give up the military empire sooner rather than later. This matter is too far outside the box for the established status-quo president-elect and congress to focus on. It will just fall off a cliff like everything else that will no longer work.

The U.S. needs to hang up the empire and walk away. Some sort of a "bottom-up" rebuilding of the U.S. economy will take all the resources we can conjure up and then some!

Okay, I'll give the new president and congress something of a honeymoon. However, I believe that drastic challenges may call for drastic actions! I'm ready!

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This is why we need a 'Zero Out' Day....
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Posted by: jeffrey7 on Nov 23, 2008 8:24 AM
Current rating: 4 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
The most basic of human weaknesses has created this bank failure and that is...GREED.
That's the reason you have so many fees attached to your accounts. Don't have enough in savings...you get a fee. No enough in checking ...a fee. Write a check another fee.
Take a piss while you're waiting for service
another fee. Call them on the phone to bitch..yep another fee.

All this money for doing nothing and their hurting for cash??!!?! For 10 cents I'd piss in their vacuumtubes and fill the carrier with change!!

The variable interest rates they charge a down right criminal!! Cheap interest rates should go to the poor working class,just to pay off the debt faster, not rich assholes that didn't need a loan in the first place.

This is why we,as a Nation, need to push hard for a 'National Debt Forgivness Day'.
All debt,with the flick of a switch,becomes assets. Yes we'd have to include the richies but what the hell at least the rest of us would breathe a lot easier.

Then an even bigger part of human nature would take over. The part that tells us,'I want to buy that!'. The economic hurricane that would result from everyone's budget being set to the positive would create a 'recovery' that would drive us well into the next century.
Where we would no doubt have to do it again.

By then maybe we'll have figured out that humans are naturally prone to greed and excess.
Living in that condition creates a seperation of the people along strictly monetary lines.
Thusly seperated society devolves into the Controllers and the Controlled. Wars,Riots and Civil Uprisings result and hatred exists where there should be compassionate understanding.

As a result of this awakening,Societies decide to make 'Debt Forgivness Day' a
Bi- century event that's honored all over the world. This won't by itself generate a whole society of shiftless layablouts,they happen naturally, but it may quite well inspire better money managenment and spending practices
so when DFD Day comes around,you could be someone who has no debt to forgive,making
that the new 'gold standard'.

Wouldn't that be better than sweating over a citizen paid for bailout of the people that just suck us dry anyway?

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» Only immature "humans are...prone to greed and excess" Posted by: Sojourner
Trickle Down Never Works
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Posted by: NoPCZone on Nov 23, 2008 8:45 AM
Current rating: 4 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
All The Bush Handout to the Financial Services Industry is essentially is more of the same- trickle down.
Didn't work before- won't this time.

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Yeah Yeah. We all know that. And here comes another "bailout" !!
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Posted by: maxpayne on Nov 23, 2008 9:51 AM
Current rating: Not yet rated [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
And then Washington will say "SUCK ON THAT MAIN STREET !" and give us all the MIDDLE FINGER !!

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A House of Cards Built on a House of Cards
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Posted by: Carol Burns on Nov 23, 2008 10:24 AM
Current rating: 5 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
Our economy, even in good times, is built on leverage. The Fed charges banks a given rate on a given day to borrow Fed funds and requires them to maintain a certain ratio of loans to deposits. When deregulation allowed banks to speculate in the stock market and for some stock market trades, derivatives and hedge funds, to fall outside the regulatory guidelines, the already shaky bottom level of cards fell under the weight of the upper level. Thank Bush and Cheney for diverting funds from our economy to finance wars and line their pockets with the spoils of war. Thank Phil Gramm for his last-minute deregulation of the markets. This "bailout" will do nothing, because the secondary level of the house of cards has already weighed down the bottom level, even though it consists mainly of air. The only real stimulus to the economy must come from the bottom up. The multiplier effect of the dollar at the local level is the only way to get the economy growing again. Bush/Cheney and their Wall Street gang of thugs are just trying to grab up everything they can before they leave office. We don't need "superbanks" or "supermergers", which is where they are headed with this "bailout". We need money in the pockets of every citizen. And we need to call, once again, for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney for their criminal activities.

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» RE: A House of Cards Built on a House of Cards ZYes But Posted by: left_libertarian
We Need to Impeach
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Posted by: Carol Burns on Nov 23, 2008 10:31 AM
Current rating: 5 [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]

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The DumboCrats DUH Sniff Sniff We were Duped!! Sniff
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Posted by: left_libertarian on Nov 23, 2008 11:30 AM
Current rating: Not yet rated [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]
hear them whine like a little baby.
Bush did that he fooled us about WMD, etc

the scary part? these morons will take over from the criminals bush and cheney.

be afraid.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008


Typical idiot-establishment MSM muffle-play: Pat Buchanan (I'm of course NO fan, except for a few fair-trade policies he advocates) was talking about how his fellow debater on the economy works for the Heritage Foundation, and was interestingly pointing out how the foundation is largely and generously funded by a few huge multi-national corporations. Tweet cut Buchanan off, like an adolescent or a preppy club grown up, with a shallow "Ahh, we're not gonna bash anyone's employment, now, Pat - we'll be back after this commercial.

Here we have the self-censorship of the mainstream corporatist media.
Tweet, tweet, tweetly, twetley dum(b)!

Monday, November 10, 2008

We Hope the neo-Dark ages

(the last 8 years) are over now. We won the election (the biggest, most inclusive "we" with Obama. I hope the years progressing in/to The Light follow in this my lifetime. Of course I must acknoweldge the paradox that we're all already in the Infiinte Eternal Light Love indeed are none other than that and the emptiness it arises in.

But the serious cosmic joke game of evolution is to progress up a spiral which includes novelty and innovation and creativity and struggle on this planet to real-ization.