Category Archives: Financial Terrorism

The Real Reason To Damn Obama

“They’ve got a set of Republican waiters on one side and a set of Democratic waiters on the other side, but no matter which set of waiters brings you the dish, the legislative grub is all prepared in the same Wall Street kitchen.”

-Huey P. Long

The only reason that I ever bothered with the so-called librul [sic] New York Times, a paper that mind you pushed as many falsehoods as others in selling the Iraq invasion was to read the regular Sunday column of Frank Rich. Rich was a prince among toads like the street pimp for globalization Thomas Friedman, the country club Jew snob David Brooks, the occasionally brilliant Paul Krugman, the bizarre Maureen Dowd and a cast of lesser bloviators. When Rich, after decades with the Times left this spring to become a regular at the less prominent New York Magazine I had little use for the NYT. The Times by the way despite the ongoing standard bitching and moaning from the fascist right-wing that has seized control of the media precisely because of the Hitlerian big lie of the liberal media is anything but liberal. The Times is just another propaganda organ of the status quo and like all newspapers are headed for the tar pits, shuffling off like the doomed dinosaurs that they all are. The dismal state of the media in this country is largely to blame for our collective march into the history books as an example of the latest empire to self-immolate, when news began to be managed so as to present “both sides” even when one side was obviously bullshit it ceased to be credible. The ongoing dismantling of investigative reporting, the closing of overseas bureaus and the necessity to dumb down reportage to appeal to a public (few of whom even bother to read anything) that continues to regress intellectually and the profit motive have all combined to push the newspaper industry toward it’s inevitable extinction. That however is a story for another time.

I haven’t read much from Rich until this week, just prior to the orgy of flag-sucking and raw gluttony that is the Fourth of July when he launched his own barrage of fireworks that is the dead-on piece that is entitled Obama’s Original Sin. Rich writing with his standard brilliance lays out the exact reason why Obama, despite the collection of brainless ass clowns who will spend the better part of the next year trying to out-Nazi each other to run against The Pope of Hope will likely be a one term president. Despite all of the moronic spew vomited up by the Koch Brothers funded band of costumed imbeciles that is the ridiculous Tea Party, the racist nonsense, the Israeli fifth column black propaganda about the secret Muslim horseshit and the even more absurd labeling Wall Street’s savior as some sort of Socialist or Commie the real reason why Obama is likely doomed is for his administration’s ongoing bailout and manipulating of the markets with Ben Bernanke’s funny money. Obama, from the beginning has been nothing more than a corporate media creation, a triumph of deceptive marketing right up there with the canonization of the old dunce that was Ronald Reagan and a foot stool for Wall Street’s avaricious gambling casinos. He had a historical opportunity to regulate these monstrous institutions of looter capitalist greed and failed utterly and abysmally, in the true Democratic party fashion.

Rich’s piece is about this very failure and I excerpt the following:

What haunts the Obama administration is what still haunts the country: the stunning lack of accountability for the greed and misdeeds that brought America to its gravest financial crisis since the Great Depression. There has been no legal, moral, or financial reckoning for the most powerful wrongdoers. Nor have there been meaningful reforms that might prevent a repeat catastrophe. Time may heal most wounds, but not these. Chronic unemployment remains a constant, painful reminder of the havoc inflicted on the bust’s innocent victims. As the ghost of Hamlet’s father might have it, America will be stalked by its foul and unresolved crimes until they “are burnt and purged away.”

After the 1929 crash, and thanks in part to the legendary Ferdinand Pecora’s fierce thirties Senate hearings, America gained a Securities and Exchange Commission, the Public Utility Holding Company Act, and the Glass-Steagall Act to forestall a rerun. After the savings-and-loan debacle of the eighties, some 800 miscreants went to jail. But those who ran the central financial institutions of our fiasco escaped culpability (as did most of the institutions). As the indefatigable Matt Taibbi has tabulated, law enforcement on Obama’s watch rounded up 393,000 illegal immigrants last year and zero bankers. The Justice Department’s bally­hooed Operation Broken Trust has broken still more trust by chasing mainly low-echelon, one-off Madoff wannabes. You almost have to feel sorry for the era’s designated Goldman scapegoat, 32-year-old flunky “Fabulous Fab” Fabrice Tourre, who may yet take the fall for everyone else. It’s as if the Watergate investigation were halted after the cops nabbed the nudniks who did the break-in.

Even now, on the heels of Bank of America’s reluctant $8.5 billion settlement with investors who held its mortgage-backed securities, the Obama administration may be handing it and its peers new get-out-of-jail-free cards. With the Department of Justice’s blessing, the Iowa attorney general, Tom Miller, is pushing the 49 other states to sign on to a national financial settlement ending their investigations of the biggest mortgage lenders. What some call a settlement others may find a cover-up. Time reported in April that the lawyer negotiating with Miller for Moynihan’s Bank of America just happened to be a contributor to his 2010 Iowa reelection campaign. If the deal is struck, any truly aggressive state attorneys general, like Eric Schneiderman of New York, will be shut down before they can dig into the full and still mostly uninvestigated daisy chain of get-rich-quick rackets practiced by banks as they repackaged junk mortgages into junk securities.

Those in executive suites at the top of that chain have long since fled the scene with the proceeds, while bleeding shareholders, investors, homeowners, and ­cashiered employees were left with the bills. The weak Dodd-Frank financial-reform law that rose from the ruins remains largely inoperative, since the actual rule-writing was delegated to understaffed agencies now under siege by banking lobbyists and their well-greased congressional overlords. The administration’s much-hyped Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is being sabotaged by Washington Republicans intent on blocking any White House nominee, whether Elizabeth Warren or some malleable hack, to lead it. “We can’t let special interests win this fight,” said Obama when he proposed the agency in October 2009. Well, he missed his moment to fight for both it and Warren, and the special interests won without breaking a sweat.

Rather than purge the crash’s crimes, Wall Street’s leaders are sticking to their alibi: Everyone was guilty of fomenting this “perfect storm,” and so no one is. Too-big-to-fail banks are bigger than ever, and ­Masters of the Universe swagger is back. Even Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, about the only bank chief not to be caught with a suspect balance sheet or a $1,400 office trash can, has taken to channeling Schwarzman. In June, he publicly challenged Ben Bernanke about the intolerable burdens of potential regulation—this despite a 67 percent surge in JPMorgan’s first-quarter profits and a 1,500 percent raise in his own compensation from 2009 to 2010. As good times roar back for corporate America, it’s bad enough that CEOs are collectively sitting on some $1.9 trillion in cash—much of it parked out of the IRS’s reach overseas—instead of hiring. (How many jobs can you buy for $1.9 trillion? America’s total expenditure on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars over a decade has been $1.3 trillion.) But what’s most galling is how many of these executives are sore winners, crying all the way to Palm Beach while raking in record profits and paying some of the lowest tax rates over the past 50 years.

The fallout has left Obama in the worst imaginable political bind. No good deed he’s done for Wall Street has gone unpunished. He is vilified as an anti-capitalist zealot not just by Republican foes but even by some former backers. What has he done to deserve it? All anyone can point to is his December 2009 60 Minutes swipe at “fat-cat bankers on Wall Street”—an inept and anomalous Ed Schultz seizure that he retracted just weeks later by praising Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein as “very savvy businessmen.”

 AND –

personal Zelig, the former Clinton Treasury secretary and Harvard Corporation stalwart Robert Rubin. In The Audacity of Hope, published in late 2006, Obama called Rubin, then busily cheerleading the excessive risk at Citigroup, “one of the more thoughtful and unassuming people I know.” Two years later, when Citi cratered and threatened to take the economy with it, Rubin demonstrated his unassuming thoughtfulness by denying that he had anything to do with the toxic investments that cost taxpayers a $45 billion bailout and 52,000 Citi employees their jobs.

In his unseemly revolving-door career, Rubin not once but twice sped the Citi apocalypse—first in government, where he and his eventual successor as Treasury secretary, Larry Summers, championed the deregulatory policies that facilitated the consolidation of too-big-to-fail banks, and then in his $15 million-a-year role as Citi’s “guru,” where, by his own later account, he had no idea what was in the worthless paper the bank peddled to greedy dupes. You’d think Obama would have dumped him faster than he did the Reverend Wright, but that’s misreading him. Obama is preternaturally secure on thorny matters of race—as his magnificent speech on the subject made clear—and could distance himself from his preacher with no ambivalence. It’s “unassuming” braininess that’s his blind spot.

And so a parade of Rubin acolytes entered the White House, led by Geithner, a nearly lifelong civil servant so identified with the financial Establishment that even Mayor Bloomberg mistakenly introduced him as a Goldman alumnus at a public event in New York last year. It’s Geithner’s influence on policy, however, not his persona, that proved fateful. Not until March 2010 did the White House get its first explicit, modest jobs bill through Congress.

Obama had taken office at a true populist moment that demanded more than this. People were gagging over their looted 401(k)s and underwater homes, the AIG bonuses, and the bailouts. Howard Dean rage has never been Obama’s style—hope-and-change was an elegant oratorical substitute—and had he given full voice to the public mood, he would have been pilloried as an “angry black man.” But Obama didn’t have to play Huey Long. He could have pursued a sober but determined execution of justice and an explicit, major jobs initiative—of which there have been exactly none, the too-small stimulus included, to the present day.

By failing to address that populist anger, Obama gave his enemies the opening to co-opt it and turn it against him. Which the tea party did, dishonestly but brilliantly, misrepresenting Obama’s health-care-reform crusade as yet another attempt by the elites to screw the taxpayer. (The Democrats haplessly reinforced the charge with marathon behind-the-scenes negotiations with insurance and pharmaceutical-­industry operatives.) Once the health-care law was signed, the president still slighted the unemployment crisis. A once-hoped-for WPA-style public-works program, unloved by Geithner, had been downsized in the original stimulus, and now a tardy, halfhearted stab at a $50 billion transportation-infrastructure jobs bill produced a dandy Obama speech but nothing else.

Obama soon retreated into the tea-party mantra of fiscal austerity. Short-term spending cuts when spending is needed to create jobs make no sense economically. But they also make no sense politically. The deficit has never been a top voter priority, no matter how loudly the right claims it is. At Obama’s inaugural, Gallup found that 11 percent of voters ranked unemployment as their top priority while only 2 percent did the deficit. Unemployment has remained a stable public priority over the deficit ever since, usually by at least a 2-to-1 ratio. In a CBS poll immediately after the Democrats’ “shellacking” of last November—a debacle supposedly precipitated by the tea party’s debt jihad—the question “What should Congress concentrate on in January?” yielded 56 percent for “economy/jobs” and 4 percent for “deficit reduction.”

AND –

There’s not much Obama can do to alter the economy by 2012, given the debt-ceiling fight, the long campaign, and nihilistic Capitol Hill antagonists opposed to any government spending that might create jobs and, by extension, help Obama keep his own. But the central question before the nation couldn’t be clearer: Who pays? The taxpayers bailed out the elite; now it’s the elite’s turn to return the favor. Massive cuts to the safety net combined with scant sacrifice from those at the top is wrong ethically and politically. It is, in the truest sense, un-American. Obama knows this, and he hit a welcome note last week when he urged some higher corporate taxes for hedge funds and the like. But his forays in this direction are tentative and sporadic. You have to wonder why he isn’t seizing the moment to articulate and fight for the big picture instead of playing a lose-lose game of rope-a-dope with the Republicans on their budgetary turf.

Some Obama fans think it’s tactical genius that’s holding him back—his fabled long ball. Americans are no longer as angry as they were in January 2009 so much as they are defeated, depressed, and jaded by the slow recovery and by four decades of raging inequality that tells them the deck is stacked no matter who’s in Washington. Better, then, not to ruffle these still waters—or those easily rattled independents fetishized by political consultants—and instead scare seniors about imminent Medicare cutbacks and plot deep-think policy initiatives that (like health-care reform) might fix America over time. But the voters’ placidity hardly augurs well for Democratic turnout in 2012. And it may not last. All that’s required is one more economic panic to shatter the phony peace and whip the rage back to center stage, once again to the right’s advantage.

“A nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous,” Obama declared at his inauguration. What he said on that bright January morning is no less true or stirring now. For all his failings since, he is the only one who can make this case. There’s nothing but his own passivity to stop him from doing so—and from shaking up the administration team that, well beyond the halfway-out-the-door Geithner and his Treasury Department, has showered too many favors on the prosperous. This will mean turning on his own cadre of the liberal elite. But it’s essential if he is to call the bluff of a fake man-of-the-people like Romney. To differentiate himself from the discredited Establishment, he will have to mount the fight he has ducked for the past three years.

The alternative is a failure of historic proportions. Those who gamed the economy to near devastation—so much so that the nation turned to an untried young leader in desperation and in hope—would once again inherit the Earth. Unless and until there’s a purging of the crimes that brought our president to his unlikely Inauguration Day, much more in America than the second term of his administration will be at stake.

The Obama presidency has been one endless series of failures, cave-ins, half-measures, broken campaign promises, capitulations and pissed away opportunities for change. The only good moment for the man who failed to close Gitmo or even better yet send Lloyd Blankfein and the rest of the Wall Street criminals there was the hit on the bad assed bogeyman of the past decade Osama bin Laden, days after a blistering dressing down of the pompous ass that is Donald Trump. Even that was a failure in that Obama failed to use the bully pulpit once again to wave our Emanuel Goldstein’s bloody scalp, perhaps it had something to do with the missing body but you get the point. That the fascist GOP is actually looking like an alternative to Obama in the form of Mitt Romney prancing about I his magic red, white and blue underwear is a stunning example of how badly that Obama has been up to this point. I really loved Rich’s line about the O-Bots, those who are the same type of apologists for Barry O. that drove the left so batshit during the Bush years. Rich wrote “ Some Obama fans think it’s tactical genius that’s holding him back—his fabled long ball.” To this I quote myself from a previous post entitled Money Doesn’t Talk: It Swears:

There will be no help for anybody but the pigs at Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase coming from the Obama administration, face it people, the only change that the Pope of Hope really ever stood for was to provlde left cover for the gargantuan upwards redistribution of wealth. Obama is quite obviously even worse than Bush as the wars continue and mount in number (under the malarkey guise of humanitarian interventions), the torture never stops, the constitution continues to be disemboweled and the airports are filled with dooling thugs in TSA uniforms with the full blessing of the U.S. government to feel up pre-pubescent little boys and girls. Hell, Bush never could have gotten away with that one and when it comes to economic relief, Le Enfant Terrible did actually send people checks for $600. I always got a sardonic little kick out of the silly liberals who only made excuses for Obama (and still do) in that he was the chess master, or Michael Jordan just studying the opposing team’s defense and ready to explode at any moment into a whirling dervish of athletic daredeviltry as he broke down the formidable defense of the Bad Boys for the championship hardware. The truth, and it is as dark as the proverbial black steer’s tookus on a moonless prairie night is that Obama is the chessmaster, it’s checkmate for the working class and he is just like Michael Jordan, a greedy, amoral, selfish millionaire prick who once commented that “Republicans buy sneakers too” rather than doing the right thing in using his global celebrity to promote progressive social change.For some reason Jordan’s famous quote conjures up one of Obama’s, the one where he proclaimed that if Americans were being denied their right to collectively bargain that he would put on his own pair of comfortable shoes and join them on the picket lines. This alas like so many other things (wars,closing Gitmo, renegotiating trade pacts etc) was just more of the same bullshit about hope and change marketed by Wall Street’s soon to be new bagman at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Granted that Obama inherited a disaster from his predecessor but his leadership skills quite frankly suck, and I am being diplomatic here, he is a spineless weasel and just another Ivy League educated elitist who couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the little people. The image makers really hit it big with Obama, it was like the Huxtable family goes to Washington and it was lapped up by schmucks across America including this blogger who held his nose and voted for Obama instead of Nader or Cynthia McKinney. It was more the image that I saw of Hitler standing next to German Chancellor Paul Von Hindenburg that was juxtaposed with one of John McCain and Sarah Palin that sealed the deal for me personally. I wasn’t expecting much but what I didn’t expect was an escalation of the worst abuses of the Bushreich including the domestic spying, government sanctioned sexual abusers feeling up children in airports, more wars, attacks on whistleblowers and the obviously disgusting green light given to the capitalist predators on Wall Street to continue to suck the marrow from the bones of the dessicated remains of the middle class with their revolving door between government and their New York casinos.

Obama is going to have to be slicker than a greased hamster at Bohemian Grove to beat back the Romney challenge, fuck the teabaggers, do you honestly think that the real overlords of this lemming colony would EVER let Michele Bachmann anywhere near the nuclear launch codes? Romney is perfect and despite the cries of heresy that this may elicit from my progressive and liberal friends he, a Mormon if elected president on the Republican ticket could do more damage to the culture warriors than Pat Buchanan did during his infamous call to arms at the 1992 GOP convention in Houston. A strident diatribe that was so over the top that the great departed Texas gadfly Molly Ivins once pegged dead on as “it probably sounded better in the original German”. Romney would do a good job of giving the Republicans a badly needed mange dip, spanking the ferociously superstitious Christian Right base that soaked up the former libertarian Tea Party like a mop dragged through a pool of vomit.

I have zero faith in Obama ever doing the right thing, the lack of alternatives is a damning indictment of just how badly that the American political system has failed.

 

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Money Doesn’t Talk, It Swears

Greed is a fat demon with a small mouth and whatever you feed it is never enough.

– Janwillem van de Wetering

Money doesn’t talk, it swears


-Bob Dylan

As the cancer that is looter capitalism continues to devour America in order to perpetuate it’s necessity to show continuous growth as we now enter the final monopoly stages it would be wise to realize that none of this were to have happened had our society not glorified the rich, condemned the poor and become damned by greed and lack of compassion. The zero sum game that is big time American capitalism (which is not to be confused with free enterprise) the decades of pillage and conquer abroad not nearly enough to feed the insatiable rapacious monster which is fueled by pure greed has come home to roost. I am often reminded of that old Stephen King story Survivor Type where the dude is marooned on a barren and deserted island with nothing but a gargantuan amount of heroin and has to amputate parts of his body to eat in order to survive. This is the late stage of capitalism, the one that those foul devils Karl Marx and Vlad Lenin as well as every influential thinker with any common sense warned about. This is the continuation of the vaunted ownership society….they own your ass!

Forget the mass hallucination that was George W. Bush’s ownership society, the miraculous run up in home prices where the average shmoe could dream of becoming a real live real estate kingpin like the noxious Donald Trump by flipping houses just like the big boys. With the glorious magic of ever increasing property values Americans could just take out huge home equity lines of credit and live beyond their wildest means, filling their McMansions with shit that they couldn’t afford using money that they didn’t have, all of which debt was then being packaged off into derivitives, what the exalted high priest of the temple of American mammon Warren Buffett aka the Oracle of Omaha once himself called financial weapons of mass destruction. The big banks couldn’t lend money fast enough, with shoddier standards or any foresight of what might happen were the party to stop, largely because the loans were being pureed and repackaged into mortgage backed paper (more like toilet paper) that was immediately sold to investors while the con artists who created it were also using credit default swaps to bet against it. The pigs were gorging themselves in an unprecedented orgy of greed, corporations were getting fat while using the relatively new practice of offshoring to divest themselves of jobs for Americans in favor of lower paid workers in India and other locales and manufacturing was being systematically dismantled in favor of using plants in China. All of it was great until the waning days of the Bush administration when the shit hit the fan and the whole thing blew up.

While phony conservative pundits foist off the blame for the economic collapse on the usual bogeyman black people for taking out loans that they couldn’t afford to pay back, a fake narrative that the racist white trash teabaggers gobbled up like frosted bullshit biscuits it was just another big lie. It would be far more accurate to point the finger at the pasty white social climbers who turned into wheeler dealers as they churned housing, taking out risky loans (which the Wall Street temples of avarice pumped out with full knowledge of their toxicity) to plunk down on skyrocketing properties which they briefly held before selling to the next schmuck. It was only a matter of time until the music stopped and a good many of the greedy bitches and bastards were left without chairs, any sane person could see that it wasn’t real. Then there were the TV addled dopes, the Boobus Americanus who actually bought their dream homes, mini-mansions in exurbia with polished marble countertops, more rooms that they needed and had to be furnished by maxing out the plastic and the two and three car garages in which they could park their SUVs. It was of course a massive disaster waiting to happen and when it all came crashing down former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson (also former CEO of Goldman Sachs) went on bended knee to Congress to get a one of those nice taxpayer funded bailouts for all of his criminal buddies on Wall Street. Then came TARP (interesting acronym for something used to cover up a massive swindle) which both Bush and Obama signed off on and in layman’s terms dry-fucked millions of Americans in the ass so that the banksters could continue to get their bonuses and the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street could keep spinning. Matt Taibbi has done a great job of muckraking journalism on the gross plunder and pillage that Wall Street, especially Goldman Sachs (or as I refer to them, the Great Satan) engaged in for Rolling Stone magazine. Taibbi’s work is must reading for those seeking to understand how viciously the anal rape of America by the big banks has been, see The Great American Bubble Machine or the book Griftopia for his writing on the crime of the century.

For awhile though it actually looked like there could be systemic change, had Obama had any balls he would have ordered the nationalization of the big banks, the liquidation of all derivatives and appointed a Wall Street crime czar with endless resources, subpoena power and a mandate to thoroughly cleanse the system. Back in early 2009 the financial racketeers were on the ropes, AIG executives were besieged by protesters at their homes, CNBC con-artist Jim “Mad Money” Cramer was being publicly pilloried and left-gatekeeper Bill Maher went on HBO and suggested that hanging two randomly picked bankers by the big board at the New York Stock Exchange with their balls in their mouth would set a good example. Then something happened, the tide turned in favor of the big banking racketeers who had bamboozled Americans by the millions to buy their yachts, only in America could something this obscene happen, a land where cunning hatchetman CEO’s are treated as gods and decades of incessant propaganda have effectively brainwashed a population that while incapable of understanding the most basic concepts of incremental losing into actually thinking that one day they too can be rich!

The bankster pushback actually started with CNBC’s greasy little pimp Rick Santelli went off on camera in the much hyped rant on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange that effectively co-opted the former libertarian tea party movement and brought it under Republican/Koch Brothers control. That would have serious implications later on with the mass counterattack by big business as they had in the blink of an eye with a big assist from FOX an army of angry, ignorant, racist fatties to mobilize as brownshirts against any sort of serious reform efforts. It has always amazed me (but not really) how so many could be so easily duped into action against their own economic self-interests, in a historical sense the Tea Party (just a rebranding of the die hard haters of the GOP base post-Bush) is on the side of the British Monarchy although rich in irony it is far beyond their comprehension. The next step of the bankster’s Battle of the Bulge was the ‘leaked’ internal memo by Citi’s Vikram ‘the bandit’ Pandit that things really aren’t that bad after all which put a floor on the stock market plunge. Then came the 60 Minutes appearance of Ben Bernanke, Obama’s re-appointed Bush holdover Fed Chairman that there were marvelous “GREEN SHOOTS” of an economic recovery already popping up, Bernanke’s jacking off of the public was followed by Tim Geithner’s obviously rigged stress tests of the banks. Lost in all of the hype and propaganda was another critical part of the effort to deceive the sheep into lining up for another shearing at the Wall Street casino tables, the Financial Standards Accounting Board (FASB) quietly changed the mark-to-market rules so that the worthless toilet paper mortgage backed securities could now be valued at whatever the pit bosses desired. The hustle had been pulled off, soon the media was focusing on the staged Tea Party bund rallies against Obamacare (really a massive giveaway to the insurance parasites) and Bernanke was crowned as Time’s Man of the Year (now changed to person of the year thanks to the political correctness Nazis).The greedheads got bailed out, the taxpayers got the shaft and the looting spree was back on. To borrow a great analogy from gadfly Webster Tarpley (which I paraphrase) in reference to the bailout – when Dracula is sucking the blood out of a victim the thing to do is to pull him off and drive a stake through his heart but the Obama administration is trying to save the victim by giving Dracula a blood transfusion and hoping that it would flow back into the victim or something along those lines, I don’t have the exact wording.

Now two years after the Santelli dog and pony show, the Citi memo and GREEN SHOOTS the economy is still a disaster, the dollar is in freefall, Bernanke has the printing presses set on ramming speed and there are widespread flareups of unrest largely thanks to food prices sent into the stratosphere by pigs who speculate in commodities. Look for matters to only get worse too, it’s now obvious that the Japanese government has been lying about the massive humanitarian catastrophe thanks to TEPCO’s Fukashima radioactive meltdown which I strongly suspect is motivated by the need to keep the global derivatives casino open for business and there is austerity coming to America along with a failed political system that has neither the will nor the desire to treat the rapidly metastasizing capitalist cancer. Food prices are about to explode her in Der Heimat thanks to gas prices well on the way to 4 bucks a gallon and yet another ruinous and expensive war. As Hunter S. Thompson once wrote: In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: Not necessarily to Win, but mainly to keep from Losing Completely”.

Advertising signs they con
You into thinking you’re the one
That can do what’s never been done
That can win what’s never been won
Meantime life outside goes on
All around you

-Bob Dylan
A good while back at my local grocery store I noticed that there was a big sign with red letters taped to the front of the service desk that emphatically stated: WE NO LONGER ACCEPT ROLLED CHANGE. It was more than a bit sad to think that things were so bad with rising costs and declining incomes that people were having to pay for food using scavenged rolls of pennies but some enterprising genius was going around down here in the diseased penis of America formally known as Florida putting in these machines that converted such coinage to an easy to use debit card – for a fee of course. When I first saw this new phenomenon the big economic collapse of 2008 was still in the future, there was still much hot air in the housing bubble, the cruel practice of ruthless real estate developers buying up trailer parks and then kicking retirees off of them was in full swing as was the conversion of shitbox apartments to 120,000 + per unit condos. The retirees, a good many of the likely stunned at the sucker punch given that they had played by the rules all of their lives but now found themselves homeless and today quite possibly without their pensions as the looting spree escalates were early victims in the enormous fleecing of the past five years. Now, wherever these old folks may be and that is presuming that they are still alive the coming threats to Medicare and Social Security are just over the horizon. The politically connected criminals on Wall Street need the money to gamble with, the new wave of Koch Brothers backed fascist governors such as Scott Walker, Rick Scott, Rick Snyder and John Kasich have taken the class war to the next level and there are more wars coming, you can count on that.

There will be no help for anybody but the pigs at Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase coming from the Obama administration, face it people, the only change that the Pope of Hope really ever stood for was left cover for the gargantuan redistribution of wealth upwards. Obama is quite obviously even worse than Bush as the wars continue and mount in number (under the malarkey guise of humanitarian interventions), the torture never stops, the constitution continues to be disemboweled and the airports are filled with dooling thugs in TSA uniforms with the full blessing of the U.S. government to feel up prepubescent little boys and girls. Hell, Bush never could have gotten away with that one and when it comes to economic relief, Le Enfant Terrible did actually send people checks for $600. I always got a sardonic little kick out of the silly liberals who only made excuses for Obama (and still do) in that he was the chess master, or Michael Jordan just studying the opposing team’s defense and ready to explode at any moment into a whirling dervish of athletic daredeviltry as he broke down the formidable defense of the Bad Boys for the championship hardware. The truth, and it is as dark as the proverbial black steer’s tookus on a moonless prairie night is that Obama is the chess master, it’s checkmate for the working class and he is just like Michael Jordan, a greedy, amoral, selfish multimillionaire prick who once commented “Republicans buy sneakers too” rather than doing the right thing in using his global celebrity to promote progressive social change.For some reason Jordan’s famous quote conjures up one of Obama’s, the one where he proclaimed that if Americans were being denied their right to collectively bargain that he would put on his own pair of comfortable shoes and join them on the picket lines. This alas like so many other things (wars,closing Gitmo, renegotiating trade pacts etc) was just more of the same bullshit about hope and change marketed by Wall Street’s soon to be new bagman at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

People,at least those with jobs, are having to dig deeper these days, much deeper now that oil prices are setting records, food prices are spiking although the masses of asses don’t really get it yet because of the latest bit of trickery in hiding food costs in smaller containers and overinflated bags and the dollar is dropping like a bag of shit dropped from a tall building. Of course the official government line is that inflation is not a problem but most lies are of course comprised of half-truths mixed with outright lies and and one of the great lies is that core inflation doesn’t include either food or energy costs, it’s right up there with capitalism and democracy being interchangable.There is no real argument that can be made that financial sector hasn’t been gamed to the point of collapse by the economic chicanery of the same sort of scoundrels who George Washington once referred to as a “squadron of corrupt paper dealers” and Frankin D. Roosevelt called out the same unscrupulous bandits as “economic royalists”. There are of course other more profane things we can call them the pack of greed-headed traitors who sold out America for chump change like unscrupulous slumlords bleeding a depressed property before dumping it to find more suckers to leech off of but it was America’s delusional worship of such rapacious, monstrous psychopaths that allowed the grand fucking to occur.
For every fucker there must be at least one fuckee and in a country in which the idolization of money and wealth for the sake of the worship of false gods as Donald Trump, J.R. Ewing Jack Welch there is no shortage of either. With the rise of Reagan and the rolling out of that shining gold plated calf Americans lined up to suck it’s poisonous cock, maxing out the credit cards, being sucked into debt slavery by a sham system set up for that express purpose and by withdrawing into self-contained atmospheres of toxic greed and covetousness while ignoring those things that really and truly matter in order to pursue that cheap television electronic crack high of the pursuit of the mythical American dream. The greatest bait and switch in American history was that period after the Powell Memorandum laid out the game plan for the Reagan juggernaut that would destroy the unions, gut the regulatory agencies for fun and profit and produce a mutant generation that now believed that the path to success and prosperity came courtesy of the lottery and grotesquely insidious scams like winning it big on Who Wants to be A Millionaire or getting the chance to lick Donald Trump’s balls for a shot at the big time in The Apprentice rather than the unspoken traditional pact of loyalty and hard work between employee and employer mapped out a path to prosperity and created a middle class that was the envy of the world and made dreams possible of a unique national destiny to change the world for the better. Then the festering nest of fascist vipers that has always existed in this country hijacked that dream and turned it into a nightmare.
We are now reaping reaping the whirlwind for a quarter century of disastrously corrupt and fundamentally flawed economic philosophy rot from the demonic little gnome Milton Friedman and the amphetamine jacked goddess of greed Ayn Rand that rode in on Reagan’s coattails, or maybe it was the opposite but make no mistake, the average American will be the one left holding the proverbial flaming bag of dogshit while the looters have finished strip-mining the land and will laugh all the way to their offshore tax shelters and foreign banks. Americans have been indoctrinated to blame themselves for their lack of wealth and to view the poor as lazy lepers and the wealthy as superior human beings.
Howard W. Campbell Jr. from Kurt Vonnegut’s classic Slaughterhouse Five:
America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American journalist Kin Hubbard “It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.” It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: “If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand glued to a lollipop stick and flying fom the cash register.

Americans, like human beings everywhere believe that many things are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and therefore those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say Napoleanic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.

When elevating the moneychangers to revered figures Americans have bought the disinformation funded by the plutocrats decades long spending spree on think tank ‘experts’, news manipulation and balls out bribery of public officials to rig the game for the rich. In a decomposing corpse of a once vibrant economy it is only natural that the biggest maggots eat the best. Donald Trump is a shining example, more visible than the rank and file crooks and robbers who don’t happen to be household names like Lloyd Blankfein, Dick Fuld, Ken Lewis and Jamie Dimon the mouthiest multi-millionaire in America is the one who is king. For all of his millions one would figure that a pathologically vain egomaniac like ‘The Donald’ could at least afford a decent rug to put on his head, so much for the beautiful rich. And now Trump is ready to make a presidential bid in 2012, he is already invoking the Birther bullshit to appeal to the peckerwoods and if he has any serious political sense soon will start dropping his g’s to appeal to the dumber than dogshit red state fascists. He will need someone with clout for V.P. though, likely the moonbat Michelle Bachman who can mobilize brigades of the fucked over by the system but too ignorant to blame it on anyone but the niggers and A-rabs of teabaggers. Sarah Palin has for the most part been kicked to the curb like yesterday’s garbage after her idiotic “blood libel” response to the Tuscon shooting where she portrayed herself as the real victim, not Congresswoman Gibson, a federal judge and a handful of others including a nine-year old girl who were murdered. Just imagine President Trump, Vice President Bachmann now that would be something for it would once and forever strip the veil of legitimacy from the gangster fascist state that is America and it’s population of fear-filled, overfed and undereducated nitwits, it would be there for the entire world to see.

I often reference the work of Chris Hedges, a man who I feel is the moral beacon of these heinous times. His latest piece, The Collapse of Globalization truly sums up the hopeless mess that is America in terminal decline and I excerpt the following below::

We are seduced by this childish happy talk. Who wants to hear that we are advancing not toward a paradise of happy consumption and personal prosperity but a disaster? Who wants to confront a future in which the rapacious and greedy appetites of our global elite, who have failed to protect the planet, threaten to produce widespread anarchy, famine, environmental catastrophe, nuclear terrorism and wars for diminishing resources? Who wants to shatter the myth that the human race is evolving morally, that it can continue its giddy plundering of non-renewable resources and its profligate levels of consumption, that capitalist expansion is eternal and will never cease?
Dying civilizations often prefer hope, even absurd hope, to truth. It makes life easier to bear. It lets them turn away from the hard choices ahead to bask in a comforting certitude that God or science or the market will be their salvation. This is why these apologists for globalism continue to find a following. And their systems of propaganda have built a vast, global Potemkin village to entertain us. The tens of millions of impoverished Americans, whose lives and struggles rarely make it onto television, are invisible. So are most of the world’s billions of poor, crowded into fetid slums. We do not see those who die from drinking contaminated water or being unable to afford medical care. We do not see those being foreclosed from their homes. We do not see the children who go to bed hungry. We busy ourselves with the absurd. We invest our emotional life in reality shows that celebrate excess, hedonism and wealth. We are tempted by the opulent life enjoyed by the American oligarchy, 1 percent of whom control more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined.
The celebrities and reality television stars whose foibles we know intimately live indolent, self-centered lives in sprawling mansions or exclusive Manhattan apartments. They parade their sculpted and surgically enhanced bodies before us in designer clothes. They devote their lives to self-promotion and personal advancement, consumption, parties and the making of money. They celebrate the cult of the self. And when they have meltdowns we watch with gruesome fascination. This empty existence is the one we are taught to admire and emulate. This is the life, we are told, we can all have. The perversion of values has created a landscape where corporate management by sleazy figures like Donald Trump is confused with leadership and where the ability to accumulate vast sums of money is confused with intelligence. And when we do glimpse the poor or working class on our screens, they are ridiculed and taunted. They are objects of contempt, whether on “The Jerry Springer Show” or “Jersey Shore.”
The incessant chasing after status, personal advancement and wealth has plunged most of the country into unmanageable debt. Families, whose real wages have dropped over the past three decades, live in oversized houses financed by mortgages they often cannot repay. They seek identity through products. They occupy their leisure time in malls buying things they do not need. Those of working age spend their weekdays in little cubicles, if they still have steady jobs, under the heels of corporations that have disempowered American workers and taken control of the state and can lay them off on a whim. It is a desperate scramble. No one wants to be left behind.
Where are the role models? Our history has been scrubbed and sanitized by the economic royalists and the fascists to eliminate any mention of true heroes of the working class and of a real democratic society. The vast majority of those compliant little consumers that have for too long been churned out by a starved for funds and battered into submission school public school system that has been turned into a nationwide network of drone factories (one of the only things that we mass produce in America anymore) have never heard of those who sacrificed for those things that came to be taken to granted to the point where they are now being taken away.
Where is there any mention given of Eugene Debs or of Joe Hill or of Saul Alinsky or of Mother Jones? What about General Smedley D . Butler who called out the blood barters with his tract War Is A Racket and his exposure of the Business Plot where wealthy traitors schemed about a coup against FDR? What is taught about Huey Long? I mean other than the widely accepted narrative of a power mad, corrupt tyrant instead of the man who scared the living shit out of the elitist establishment with his “Share Our Wealth” program that made the New Deal look like Reaganomics. Long stood up to entrenched interests and the moral rottenness of looter capitalism, he built roads, bridges, hospitals and schools as well as provided free textbooks and he even dared to take on the almighty Rockefellers and Standard Oil. Long railed against institutionalized corruption with his “every man a king” type of populism and he was making dangerous noises about running for president. The ending of the Huey Long story is all too predictable and familiar: he was of course assassinated.
And what of Hellen Keller? The little girl who overcame blindness and deafness and whose struggles with her handicaps are taught to American children as an example of how to overcome adversity as they are indoctrinated to the lies of a society that demands sacrifice and backbreaking work from the lesser classes as unquestioning slaves to the whims of the modern pharaohs on Wall Street. She has been sanitized, turned into a Horatio Alger version of the little engine that could while her later life as a social activist goes ignored. Hellen Keller would grow up to be a champion of women’s suffrage, she would join the Industrial Workers of the World and to help to found the American Civil Liberties Union. She was a socialist who dared to speak out against the power base and their exploitation and for that sin her life has been through revisionist history turned into a perverse fairy tale and yet another myth to bolster the system that would make slaves of us all. The little engine that could was very quickly uncoupled from the rest of the train once the narrative switched tracks from one of inspirational value to one of social justice.
And there are others, there are many others who risked all to end child labor, to fight for equality and the forty-hour work week and unemployment protection and workers rights, workplace safety and a right to basic human decency but they go largely unheard of. A good and easy to read book about the working class American labor movements that I recommend is Sharon Smith’s Subterranean Fire because let’s face it, it is a hell of a rock that has to be rolled up that hill and education is necessary in order for the  deprogramming to occur. Official history is always written by the victors rather than the vanquished and because most of lying is through omission the banishment of American progressives from our history is a calculated and cynical effort to distort and distract until the final goal of a massive redistribution of wealth upwards and offshore has been completed and the country has been bankrupted and beggared by the economic royalists. Then the looters will either retreat behind the walls of their gated communities, hire private security firms for protection from the unwashed masses or flee this goddamned husk of a once great economic power altogether, their loyalty has always been to green and gold rather than red, white and blue.
With the American elevation of greed to a virtue and pigs like Trump and his ilk given adulation and honor instead of the shunning that they would receive by a sane society it is evident that the situation that we currently find ourselves in is in fact a prolonged, self-inflicted suicide.

 

Wall Street to Obama: Go Fuck Yourself!

Monday’s White House meeting/public relations spectacle with the recalcitrant greedheads and other assorted banking miscreants was a mockery. As the orgy of American capitalist excess that is Christmas nears and millions of children won’t be visited by Santa Clause unless of course he is bearing a foreclosure notice on Daddy and Mommie’s overpriced, underwater shitbox the banksters are back in business big time thanks to Obama and Raht Emanuel. At some point last year when the financial services parasites were holding a gun to our collective heads and loudly threatening to ‘blow the roof’ like in Die Hard unless their bad bets were covered by taxpayer dough the overly cunning new administration, already funded by Wall Street looters made a calculated political decision to crucify the schmucks on a cross of Goldman Sachs. Hell, it’s no surprise, that is the way that it always works in an oligarchy and any O-Bots who are out there still defending this lying sack of shit administration are as clueless and morally challenged as those who swore on a stack of bibles that George W. Bush was the second coming of Jesus Fucking Christ and anyone who dared to question him was a terrorist sympathizer or traitor.

So the Pope of Hope’s vaunted White House meet with the destroyers of the country may have been good for the rubes and childish fools still drinking the Kool Aid of the Obamessiah to those of us that have been on to the big con can had our bullshit detectors going off full blast just as they have been doing often as the grifter in chief continues every fucking vile policy of the Bush junta only with a less ostentatious manner. Escalation of the war in Afghanistan to protect the energy and drug routes that are the lifeblood of the American ruling class, the continuation of torture as policy (although under Obama Jack Bauer is no longer the official spokesman), the ongoing Stasi style surveillance of law abiding citizens, shitting on gay rights, failing to pull the U.S. out of disastrous trade pacts and retaining Bush pigs like Robert Gates and Helicopter Ben Bernanke build a pretty damning case against Obama. Hell, after that speech last week in front of the Noble Prize Committee where the bastard actually had the chutzpah to get up and use the forum as a justification for neverending war it’s really only a matter of time until the neocons are back in the DemocRAT party where they came from. Oh, and about that health care reform? Face it suckers, you have just been buttfucked by the quisling Congress, the Israeli mole Joe Lieberman and the collective might of the insurance industry who are now about to strip out the only goddamned good thing – moving the Medicare age up to 55. Welcome to chumpland fools, thanks to the Obama administration and mobbed up Harry Reid the state is about to be empowered to force an impoverished citizenry to pay protection to the insurance gangsters or face the full fury of the law.

Were it not for legions of buffoons and Judas goat assclowns like Markos Moulitsas Zuniga on the so-called ‘left’ who provide cover for the gross criminality of the sitting government the Obama administration would be one and done but the cult of personality will be good enough to reelect the rotten bastard, especially since the only choice is Sarah Palin, Lou Dobbs or Glenn Beck any of whom are starting to look like better options than the Big O because shit, let’s face it, how much power would any of them be able to wield anyway? This lemming colony is owned lock stock and barrel by the Military Industrial Complex, the Wall Street cloud dwellers and Big Oil Nazis like the Koch Family and the Texas Mafia, always has been and always will be, the Prez is just a frontman and Mr. Obama is the most successful product since Ronald Reagan, another colossal phony whose acting ability was a cherished trait as he bamboozled our way into what is now the coming national bankruptcy.

So Monday’s sit down with the banking criminal elite, just like the rest of Obama’s putrid first year was just more stagecraft, especially considering that Lloyd ‘doing God’s work’ Blankfein and Shitibank’s top vulture Vikram ‘the bandit’ Pandit didn’t even bother to show up. That the entire bailout is now going up like a rancid flaming bag of dogshit parked on the front doorstep of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as the banksters aren’t lending but rather hoarding the money to fund more gambling and of course pay out those wonderful holiday bonuses is merely an ugly and slightly embarassing matter and only because the Republicans are suddenly screaming like stuck pigs about populism to rile up the rabble in the hope that they can return to running the spoils system – fat fucking chance. After Christmas has past and the teflon coated shit salesman that is Barack Hussein Obama and his fealty to Wall Street is forgotten by flea brained Americans it will be back to the business of finishing the job of implementing the new feudalism. Matt Taibbi who has been on Wall Street like a starving pitbull recently wrote about Obama’s Big Sellout and I would strongly recommend it to all.

Anyway, that’s it for now

Just my two cents over the morning cup o’ joe

EE

Greedy Pigs Launch Counter Offensive

Having brought our reality show TV prez to heel, stolen trillions from the taxpayers through their moles in the government and fat and happy from their record bonuses the evil empire that is Goldman Sachs is now fighting back. Bloomberg announced that Wall Street (aka Goldman Sachs) has enlisted two lackeys of the Frankenstein of financial chicanery Hank Paulson to take their propaganda and shove it down the throats of the American sheeple. The timing is a bit off though and so is their overestimation of the ability of the American Idiots to disengage from their electronic crackpipes, Whacko Jacko kicked the bucket yesterday so a lot of money for this sewage could be saved – but hey, it’s mostly TARP mad money anyway ain’t it. Anyway, while the corporate media vultures are picking the meat from Jacko’s still warm corpse the story that I refer to is Wall Street Sets Campaign on Populist Overreaction. Seems like the anger directed at AIG’s plundering and Jim Cramer and CNBC’s lies has the financial oligarchs a bit restive although that anger has been tamped down by the three months running Green Shoots public relations campaign.

Here is an excerpt from the Bloomberg piece:

June 25 (Bloomberg) — Wall Street’s largest trade group has started a campaign to counter the “populist” backlash against bankers, enlisting two former aides to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to spearhead the effort.

In memos of confidential meetings with top financial executives, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association said it began this month the “execution phase” of the operation, which pledges to “embrace change” and accountability. The plan targets policy makers and the media in New York, London, Washington and Brussels and calls for a “city-by-city, grass roots” approach.

The securities industry “must be perceived as part of the solution, which will allow it to better defend against populist overreaction,” the documents, prepared for a June 17 meeting of SIFMA’s board, said.

The board meeting minutes and staff-written papers, obtained by Bloomberg News, outline the program crafted by polling, lobbying and public relations companies paid at least $85,000 a month. The memos provide a glimpse, in often candid language, into how Wall Street is grappling with its pariah status.

“It is imperative that in this historic period of reform, the industry be recognized as playing a positive role in seeking change and providing solutions to the problems we face,” one of the documents said. “There is currently widespread skepticism about the industry’s commitment to this needed change.”

In other words LIES…LIES..LIES to lure the suckers back into the casinos that were propped up by the Pope of Hope rather than the serious structural problems that caused the implosion to occur be corrected. What Goldman Sachs did is best explained by Matt Taibbi in his latest piece from Alternet Suck On Our Yachts.

This isn’t really commerce, but much more like organized crime: it was a gigantic fraud perpetrated on the economy that wouldn’t have been possible without accomplices in the ratings agencies and regulators willing to turn a blind eye. Imagine a meat company that bred ten billion rats, fattened them on trash and sewage, ground their bodies into chuck, and then sold it all as grade-A ground beef to McDonald’s and Burger King, right under the noses of the USDA: this is exactly the same thing, only with debt instead of food. We’re eating it, they’re counting the money.

That is the best explanation of the swindlers’ financial alchemy that I have ever seen and one that even 200 million Michael Jackson mourners could understand. Now as I stated in a post that I did last week about the fascination over Iran’s phony ‘Green Revolution’ (Green shoots, Green Revolution…..yada fucking yada, you would think that for as much money as they are paid that the public relations shops would at least have some originality) that Americans love a good revolution as long as they don’t actually have to arise off of their sofas, put down their remotes and participate. What Goldman Sachs, the Great Satan has done to us all should have millions of pitchfork and torch bearing taxpayers marching on Wall Street demanding mass lynchings. They certainly have time on their hands now that they are fucking unemployed and homeless.

But American capacity for outrage is limited to silly wedge issues, who was it that once said that he could hire half of the working class to kill the other half. Anyway, in wrapping up I want to bring attention to this delightful little piece from the foreign press on what our vastly more sophisticated European cousins are capable of when ripped off by the greedmongers.

German pensioners ‘kidnap and torture their investment adviser’
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6565206.ece

A group of well-to-do pensioners who lost their savings in the credit crunch staged an arthritic revenge attack and held their terrified financial adviser to ransom, prosecutors said yesterday.

The alleged kidnapping is the latest example of what is being dubbed “silver crime” — the violent backlash of pensioners who feel cheated by the world.

“As I was letting myself into my front door I was assaulted from behind and hit hard,” the financial adviser James Amburn, a 56-year-old German-American, said. “Then they bound me with masking tape until I looked like a mummy. I thought I was a dead man.”

He was freed by 40 heavily armed policemen from the counter-terrorist unit last Saturday. The frightened consultant was in his underwear, his body lacerated by wounds allegedly inflicted by angry pensioners.

It appears that two couples had entrusted Mr Amburn’s investment company with €2.4 million (£2 million), which he ploughed into Florida’s boom-and-bust property market. The properties became forfeit during the sub-prime mortgage crisis but the couples wanted their money back.

After being bundled into the boot of an Audi in the west German town of Speyer, Mr Amburn was driven southwards to Chieming, close to the Austrian border, where one of the couples Roland K, and his wife, Sieglinde, 79, had a holiday home.

The financial adviser claims he was held there in a cellar for four days almost naked, fed soup twice a day and beaten. Another couple, Gerhard F, 63, and his wife, Iris, 66, both retired doctors, allegedly helped to torture the prisoner.

“I was beaten. They threatened again and again to kill me,” Mr Amburn said. At least two of his ribs were fractured.

Mr Amburn says he tried to escape once when he was permitted to smoke in the garden. He scaled the wall and ran though the rain in his underpants calling for help.

The pensioners pursued him in their car, shouting: “Stop that man! He’s a burglar!” Two locals pinned him to the pavement and he was taken back to the cellar, where he claims he received another beating.

The investment consultant’s break came when he was allowed to send a fax to a Swiss bank asking for the transfer of the funds demanded by the gang.

On the fax he pretended to refer to call options and to insurance policies (the German word for a financial policy is police). This came out as “call.pol-ice.”

They didn’t notice it but someone at the bank was bright enough to spot it,” Mr Amburn said.

The pensioners are under arrest on suspicion of deprivation of liberty, torture and inflicting grievous bodily harm. These charges carry a maximum of 15 years in prison.

“They were angry because they invested money in propertites in Florida and he lost it all,” Volker Ziegler, chief public prosecutor in Traunstein, said.

The numbers of attacks by elderly people had been rising fast even before the financial crisis hit savings. A three-man gang of pensioners is serving long jail terms for mounting 14 bank robberies across Germany to boost their retirement funds.

Rudolf Richter and brothers Wilfried and Lothar Ackermann were entitled only to modest state pensions of between €100 and €400 a month.

They became enraged by the size of bankers’ bonuses and over nine years — ending in their arrest in 2005 — netted more than €1.3 million. Police recovered only half that sum.

“It is unbelievable how easy it is to rob a bank,” Wilfried Ackermann, 73, boasted during the trial. The men held carrots in their pockets pretending that they had pistols.

On one of the raids Richter, 74, slipped on an icy pavement, dropped the loot and had to be carried to the getaway car.

I can’t happen here.