Category Archives: Wall Street Traitors
The International Olympic Committee in a stunning display on the increasing prominence of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China) delivered a massive smackdown of the now obvious (to all but Murkans) illusionary American economic might of the Ponzi Wall Street machine when Chicago was eliminated from hosting the Olympics. This despite the Pope of Hope’s pilgrimage to Copenhagen, one of those damned Eurpoeen (sic) Socialist countries to pander for the awarding of the 2016 games to the Windy City where the inconvenience would totally fuck thousands of people trying to get to work for weeks like in Atlanta in 94….not that it matters, by then at the rate we are going thanks to the three headed monster of Geithner-Summers-Bernanke nobody will have fucking jobs anyway as the monthly unemployment figures (cooked as they are) only go up and Americans are on the road to serfdom and poverty.
Rio is as natural a choice as Bejing was, these are the emerging economic powers of the new century as American Capitalism and trickle down economics will in the next decade or so be as mocked and scorned as those who believed in the Earth being flat. It’s the denial of a greed crazed system, strangling on it’s own shit and the wide scale impoverishment that it tries to hide behind the 24/7 onslaught of bread and circuses that is piped into the living rooms of the stupidest fuckers on the planet and taken as gospel. The rest of the world is moving on while the U.S. ‘leadership’ continues to only be moved to save the fraudulent scum of the oligarchy and to ensure that the vampires on Wall Street will be allowed to continue to feed on us cattle. While more civilized countries see the writing on the wall and are passing regulations against market transactions that are as on the level as internet gaming the land of sloth, obesity and stupidity and our new idiot king are only manning the airpumps (and printing presses) to inflate the next bubble that will predictably burst with disastrous consequences.
And of course it’s business as usual with the Dittoheads, the Beckers and the rest of the rotten, mean-spirited, water carrying pigfuckers of the RepubliKKKan Nazi party with three cheers being given to the lastest black eye for America and that dirty commie Muslim nigger who had the audacity to usurp centuries of white supremacist power in Der Heimat. Paul Krugman writes about these assholes in today’s damned librul New York Times column:
“Cheers erupted” at the headquarters of the conservative Weekly Standard, according to a blog post by a member of the magazine’s staff, with the headline “Obama loses! Obama loses!” Rush Limbaugh declared himself “gleeful.” “World Rejects Obama,” gloated the Drudge Report. And so on.
So what did we learn from this moment? For one thing, we learned that the modern conservative movement, which dominates the modern Republican Party, has the emotional maturity of a bratty 13-year-old.
But more important, the episode illustrated an essential truth about the state of American politics: at this point, the guiding principle of one of our nation’s two great political parties is spite pure and simple. If Republicans think something might be good for the president, they’re against it — whether or not it’s good for America.
To be sure, while celebrating America’s rebuff by the Olympic Committee was puerile, it didn’t do any real harm. But the same principle of spite has determined Republican positions on more serious matters, with potentially serious consequences — in particular, in the debate over health care reform.
But Krugman sugarcoats it too much, the RepubliKKKans are anti-American to their very core, degenerate, cynical, fascist filth who have hijacked and destroyed this country for decades, the cherry on the top of their cake of shit was the Shock Doctrine writ large during the ruinous years of the Bush-Cheney-Rove Axis of Evil. Now, behind the lunatic fringe CNP onslaught and hero to millions of deadenders Glenn Beck they are whipping up the cretins and knuckledragging just plain mean rubbish of Peckerwood Nation about all sort of evil machinations of the enemy of the humanity Obama. Things like death camps, kill granny fear campaigns, imminent communism, alien DNA in H1N1 vaccinations, the AntiChrist crap yada yada yada…it’s all bullshit and these freaks buy into it hook, line and sinker while Beck’s bank account grows exponentially.
Now this may seem sick but I have this twisted little fantasy, I wish that Obama did have a huge nefarious conspiracy to rid America once and for all of Raptureheads, Teabaggers, Deathers, fascists and dumbasses. I would love it if he had the balls to just give the order to round up and relocate these vicious swine to some sort of reeducation camps, if they could be saved great, do the necessary lobotomies and send them back into society to pick beans and clean toilets, the jobs that after all ‘Americans just won’t do’ according to the talking points. And if not just march them into an industrial sized Soylent Green style meatgrinder and puree their asses up into a fine pulp (omitting the children from their dead ender loser parents of course whose removal from their lives would free them from a lifetime of willful ignorance and bible study) mix it with soy sauce and water chestnuts and sell it to the Chinese as egg roll stuffing or something. Then Baby Trig and his football shaped head could be auctioned off on EBay to some degenarate high rolling Asian cocksuckers like the ones in Faces of Death who revel in eating fresh monkey brains directly out of the poor creature’s skull. Sadly, given the pathological nature of American corporations to trade shit and shinola back and forth it would all likely end up as 2.99 per pound sausage on a stick at your local big blue smiley Wal-Mart superstore. Christ only knows what sort of raw agricultural waste and human sewage ends up being made into coleslaw at their delis. Just don’t gas them in the camps, it may spoil the flavor of their diseased flesh that could otherwise be passed off to the Meskin’ hating Lou Dobbs/Becker bottom feeders as chorizo sausage in their frozen breakfast burritos.
Anyway fuck the Olympics. I hate the goddamned Olympics, I always found them boring as watching paint dry or old people fuck but could actually tolerate them until the USA rolled out the Dream Team of NBA pros with huge contracts (endorsements that is) to kick the living fuck out of the poor bastards who would have to face down the likes of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson in their prime. Crap, that is what the Olympics are to me, at least the winter games have hockey which is a redemptive quality.Who the fuck needs the Olympics anyway? Anymore it’s nothing more than a corporate showcase for their sweatshop manufactured shit, they might as well replace the rings in the logo with multi-colored Nike swooshes. And of course any sort of event of that scale in the USA would only be another justification for even more police state crackdowns, an LRAD in every city and more Darth Vader suited militarized ‘law enforcement’ personnel to beat down antiglobalization protesters.
So while not as particularly gleeful as the right wing scum and the Dittohead dopes I actually find it encouraging that the Pope of Hope was smacked down in Copenhagen, his magic spell that he is some sort of transformational figure doesn’t play quite as well outside of TV Nation. And let the ongoing job losses be a shot across Obama’s bow, his CHANGE is just more of the same bullshit lies that politicians are infamous for in American history. The politically savvy among us suspected that we had been had when Raht Emanueal, the most corrupt motherfucker in the Democratic party was his first announcement as the Chief of Staff aka Gatekeeper of Graft.
The Democrats are the new enemy now…..look at the Max Bacchaus bill to mandate the poor to pay insurance parasite at the threat of imprisonment, mix it in with the ongoing Wall Street love fest, Hell the CEO worship cult is back again, Newsweek is licking Jamie Dimon’s balls in their latest hagiography and of course the wars that never end. Obama is just LBJ without the social programs and in tying up this rant I must share this line from writer James Ellroy on Lyndon Baines Johnson that could describe the Pope of Hope as well….History will judge him as a tall man with big ears who needed wretched people to love him.
Just my two cents over the morning cup o’ joe
* – BOHICA acronym for Bend Over Here It Comes Again
Game…Set…Match!! The Pigs Win Again!! Listen though, it’s only the second quarter and they are going to be running up the score, it’s like Warden Rudolph Hazen in The Longest Yard, after he has bullied rebel Paul Crewe into shaving points so that the prison guards can win against the inspired cons when he hisses to Captain Knauer to “inflict as much physical punishment on the prisoners as humanly possible” once there was a 21 point lead. Well here we are in that great big prison known as Murka, Goldman Sachs, The Federal Reserve and the Wall Street Oligarchs are Warden Hazen and we are now getting our asses kicked and kicked brutally.
Isn’t that the way that it always goes in the Land of Fuck You I Got Mine?
I mean what kind of saps were we to think that we could actually change things through the existing and thoroughly corrupted system? We were played for chumps once the Democrats had decided that the nascent Obama change movement had to be brutally put down, smashed into a billion pieces before the oligarchy itself was threatened. But of course that is making the assumption that Obama wasn’t a fraud from the get go, perhaps he was well intentioned but the second that the filthy little weasel Rahm Emanuel was annoited as his gatekeeper the fix was in and the foul-mouthed ballet dancing vermin would make sure that there would be nothing but status quo with him in charge of the keys to the feeding trough. As the Clintonite Emanuel so proudly proclaimed, “Never let a good crisis go to waste” and true to his word he has used the financial cataclysm to feather his nest by building a government protection racked for cheats, scoundrels, money grubbers, schemers, TARP fund welshers, four-flushing paper dealers and the rest of the scum of the earth. Coming next is the betrayal on health care reform, pocket man Harry Reid will ensure that no meaningful change that threatens the money of the powerful is EVER seriously debated by his Senate den of iniquity.
The Republicans are coming back too, emboldened and ready to use their bread and butter play of firing up the white trash and blaming it all on the darkie in the White House but shit, what difference does it really make anymore? Both parties are thoroughly corrupted by money and as much as I hate to admit it I am actually starting to miss George W. Bush – at least then we knew who the enemy is. Anyway, to close this short morning rant I am posting this wonderful little dittie from a piece by Darryl Robert Schoon over at Dollar Collapse called Goldman Sachs: A Vampire on the Jugular of America – check out the entire thing but I found this particularly amusing:
GOLDMAN SACHS -THE KING PIMP OF WALL STREET
Goldman Sachs is today the pre-eminent paper player in today’s paper markets, the king pimp of capitalism, Wall Street’s equivalent of Harlem’s fabled players of the past who lived opulently off the considerable labors of female prostitutes.
But the pimps on Wall Street have done Harlem’s pimps one better. Goldman Sachs and their fellow pimps benefit not just from the labor of women but from the labor of men as well.
The following is dedicated to the hard-working men and women of America:
Goldman Sachs’s your pimp
Who’s put America on the street
You do the bidding of Wall Street
Paying their bonuses and their keep
The bankers get your money
No matter what you say
Then they cut your credit
And charge you more for it each day
What’s a two-bit whore to do?
Complain to the pimp who’s pimping you?
What’s a two-bit whore to do?
Complain to the pimp who’s pimping you?
The bankers print your money
And charge you while they do
But the bankers at the Federal Reserve
Are no more Federal than me ‘n you
You may not like the pay
And the streets are awfully bad
But you’re gonna keep getting worked to death
‘til you know that you’ve been had
What’s a two-bit whore to do?
Complain to the pimp who’s pimping you?
What’s a two-bit whore to do?
Complain to the pimp who’s pimping you?
When Wall Street pimps take their cut of America’s money, they’re not alone. Without the US government, the pimps of Wall Street couldn’t do you like they do. There are two hands in your pockets—and they’re not yours.
With job losses mounting and families still needing to eat keep this in mind when y’all are out there pimping off your wives and children just like they do in the third world.
God Bless Murka!!!
The battle has now been joined by the Great Satan (aka Goldman Sachs) as the brilliant Matt Taibbi piece has fortunatly gone viral thanks to bloggers. When the pigs on Wall Street, their legal armies and on call public relations propagandists turn into pirannhas as they are with this piece the fuckers are on the run. The seige on CNBC’s drooling house baboon Jim ‘Mad Money’ Cramer that was kicked off by comedian Jon Stewart was beaten back with a disinformation laden blitzkrieg and the moneychangers regained control of the temple. It’s all been the hogwash of the GREEN SHOOTS ever since. And despite the dismal news contained in yesterday’s jobs report the long weekend couldn’t come at a more fortuitous time as the gold plated cocksuckers will regroup once again and launch a saturation bombing campaign of more goddammed lies.
Give some credit where it is due to Rolling Stone magazine, after initially witholding Mr. Taibbi’s withering takedown of Goldman Sachs entitled The Great Bubble Machine from internet users it has finally seen fit to put it online. Probably sound business on their part since the absence of it on their site only fueled the fire. Now today, the agents of the ivory tower piggies are in full attack mode, there is certainly no shortage of sewage flying in Taibbi’s direction – the good ole pejorative of choice to those who dare to ask questions “conspiracy theorists” has been nailed into his skull like a crown of thorns (some might find the delicious irony in this since Taibbi was the one who punched his ticked by sliming 9/11 truthers) and he is very likely being measured for one of those wooden crosses that are erected whenever the whores in the establishment media are summoned to perform a public crucifiction on an out of line journalist or other ill mannered whistleblower. Here is just a sample of the early stages of the barrage that is directed at Taibbi for his transgression. The reputedly liberal New York Times (the former employer of Iraq war pitchwoman Judith Miller) has one entitled Goldman and Rolling Stone Writer Trade Barbs, Time has Goldman Sachs vs. Rolling Stone: A Wall Street Smackdown, BNET has one entitled Uncovering the Goldman Sachs Myths, a particularly gut wrenching piece as it is from a looter capitalist apologist organ. I could list more but why fucking bother, the common talking point is that it is all conspiracy and that Taibbi is of course, not even a real journalist to begin with. Typical rancid establishment swill from all the garbage churned out of America’s so-called journalism schools who chose corporate shillhood as a career over honest reporting.
I have to admire Taibbi’s balls, he has come out in defense of his brilliant, Pulitzer Prize worthy piece with some nice rebuttals to the Great Satan and all of it’s well paid catamites. Here are two of them:
You acknowledge that we may monitor your use of the Services for our own purposes (and not for your benefit). We may use the resulting information for internal business purposes or in accordance with the rules of any applicable regulatory or self-regulatory body and in compliance with applicable law and regulation.
via Is Goldman Legally Frontrunning Its Clients? zero hedge.
After watching its thoroughly maladroit handling of several p.r. problems this week, I’m absolutely convinced that Goldman Sachs can be hurt if enough people keep piling on with the pressure. The latest evidence of this is its abject collapse in the face of questions from Zero Hedge about the possibility that it is using the data its takes from users of its website to front-run those same people.
Front-running takes place when a bank or broker-dealer– say, Goldman, Sachs — executes a trade for its own account before filling its customer’s order. Since a large enough trade (executed by institutional investors, for instance) can actually move the price of the security in question, front-running can be a very profitable activity. It’s sort of like fast-food insider trading. It is common knowledge that front-running on Wall Street is rampant, and I interviewed more than one person for my recent Rolling Stone story who accused Goldman of front-running its big clients in all sorts of arenas, from the internet IPO years to the commodities markets.
What caught Zero Hedge’s attention was a curious disclaimer uncovered on Goldman’s website, which includes a trading platform that visitors can use to execute trades. At one point the disclaimer read:
Monitoring by GS: Your use of the products and services on this Web site may be monitored by GS, and that the resultant information may be used by GS for its internal business purposes or in accordance with the rules of any applicable regulatory or self-regulatory organization.
Subsequently readers uncovered an even more sinister disclaimer that appears on other Goldman documents (see the quote at the top of this post with the key line “and not for your benefit”). So Tyler Durden over at Zero Hedge wrote to Goldman to ask if this meant what it quite obviously seems to mean, and got this response from the bank’s Senior Vice Scoundrel, Ed Canaday. Note the way he seems to be addressing Dick Durbin, which looks like a case of wish-fulfillment to me:
Dear Mr Durbin:
This is in response to your recent blog about our web site disclaimer. It is quite usual for websites to have disclaimers that refer to the monitoring of site usage. Most web sites, including yours we noticed, track usage by their visitors. This is primarily used for marketing and to help inform decision about enhancing content.
Your suggestion that we monitor our web site to facilitate front-running is untrue and offensive.
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
In exactly the same manner that Goldman demonstrated with regard to my story, Canaday avoided any of the factual concerns that Zero Hedge presented about the curious disclaimer; in fact his letter, if anything, is such a classic non-denial denial that it really just confirms everyone’s worst suspicions. Most notably, he doesn’t specify what “internal business purposes” the company is talking about, and while he insists it is not front-running, it’s a very thin, curiously worded denial.
That a company as rich and powerful as Goldman would stoop to peering through the web version of a locker-room peephole to make a few extra pennies either front-running random trades or somehow using visitor data “not for their benefit” shows how completely and utterly morally absent this company is. There is not an ill-gotten dollar they will not chase, no matter how small or insignificant the sums might be.
Word should be spread about this and anyone who used the Goldman 360 portral for trading should seriously investigate this situation, as it is entirely possible you’ve been ripped off — legally, perhaps, although how much “legality” a disclaimer like that can confer is a serious question in my mind.
More to the point, the fact that Goldman is getting enough public pressure that it feels it has to respond to these queries shows that the company is reeling. And the fact that their public statements have been so hilariously transparent and clumsy shows that they’re rattled and don’t know how to handle this kind of heat, which they’re not used to getting. Kudos to Zero Hedge for applying the pressure; readers who want to see Tyler’s very funny response to Canaday should read here.
And in another piece…Taibbi punches back hard yet again!
After my recent piece about Goldman, Sachs hit the newsstands last week, I started to get a lot of mail. Most of it was thoughtful and respectful criticism, although there was an amusingly large number of people writing in impassioned defense of their right, under our American system, to be ripped off by large impersonal financial companies. “If my pension fund is buying [crap mortgages] from Goldman, and my pension fund loses lots of value, that’s not Goldman’s fault,” wrote one reader. “No one is forcing anyone to buy anything. The only thing Goldman is guilty of is making profits.”
I’m not even going to go there – the psychology of a human being who would take the time to actually write in a complaint like that is so bizarre that it would take more time than I have today to even begin discussing it. One other complaint that I will address quickly, though, is the notion that I didn’t tell Goldman’s side of the story. “Not exactly a balanced approach,” complained one reader. “You should take an ethics class. You have to give the other side a fair shot.”
Actually I did contact Goldman and gave the bank every opportunity to respond to the factual issues in the article. I’m bringing this up because their decision not to comment on any of those questions was actually pretty interesting.
We figured ahead of time that Goldman was probably not going to respond to many of the allegations in the article, since its MO in the past with regard to hostile journalists has usually either been to make bald denials or to simply avoid comment (that’s when they’re not using the carpet-bomb litigation technique, as in the case of GoldmanSachs666.com). So what I decided to do the first time I approached them was to send a short list of simple factual questions. If the bank decided to engage us and educate us as to its point of view on these simple questions, we would send more queries and expand the dialogue.
Given this, I tried to make that first list of questions as basic as possible. I asked if Goldman would have turned a profit in Q1 2009 if it hadn’t orphaned the month of December 2008. Then I asked if Goldman had made changes to its underwriting standards during the internet boom years; if Goldman’s position was still that the steep rise in oil prices last year was due to normal changes in supply and demand; and if it could explain its 1991 request to the CFTC to have its subsidiary J. Aron classified as a physical hedger on the commodities market. Citing various sources, I also noted that some people had complained that its move to short the mortgage market in 2006 even as it was selling those same types of instruments proved that the bank knew the weakness of its mortgage products, and asked if the bank had an answer for that. And I asked if the bank supported cap-and-trade legislation, and if it was fair to say (as we planned to in the piece) that the bank would capitalize financially if such legislation was passed.
I intentionally put a lot of yes/no questions on that list. If the underlying thinking behind any of those questions was faulty, it would have been easy enough for them to say so and to educate us as to the truth. Instead, here is the response that we got:
“Your questions are couched in such a way that presupposes the conclusions and suggests the people you spoke with have an agenda or do not fully understand the issues.”
You have to have swallowed half a lifetime of carefully-worded p.r. statements to see the message written between the lines here. That this is a non-denial denial is obvious, but what’s more notable here is that they didn’t stop with just a flat “no comment,” which they easily could have done. No, they had to go a little further than that and – and this is pure Goldman, just outstanding stuff – make it clear that both I and my sources are simply not as smart as they are and don’t understand what we’re talking about. So the rough translation here is, “No comment, but if you were as smart as us, you wouldn’t be asking these questions.”
So now word filters through that Goldman has issued yet another statement in response to the piece, this one by amusingly-named mouthpiece Lucas Van Pragg. Again, the company does not take issue with any of the facts in the piece – not one. Here’s what he says:
Taibbi’s bubble case doesn’t stand up to serious scrutiny either. To give just two examples, even with the worst will in the world, the blame for creating the internet bubble cannot credibly be laid at our door, and we could hardly be described as having been a major player in the mortgage market, unlike so many of our current and former competitors.
Taibbi’s article is a compilation of just about every conspiracy theory ever dreamed up about Goldman Sachs, but what real substance is there to support the theories?
We reject the assertion that we are inflators of bubbles and profiteers in busts, and we are painfully conscious of the importance of being a force for good.
Okay, let’s look at that bit piece by piece. Van Pragg takes issue with the bubble argument by citing two “examples” of the case not holding water, the first being:
… the blame for creating the internet bubble cannot credibly be laid at our door…
I kept waiting for the “because…” clause here, but there wasn’t one. He just says so and leaves it at that. Now there is obviously some measure of hyperbole in solely blaming Goldman Sachs for something like the internet bubble, or any of the other recent Wall Street disasters, for that matter. But you’d have to be absolutely crazy (and you wouldn’t need “the worst will in the world,” either) not to accept the notion that Goldman shouldered a significant portion of the blame for the internet mess. They were, after all, the leading underwriter of internet IPOs during the internet boom years. In 1999, at the height of the boom, they underwrote 37 internet companies, most of which had little or no history and were losing money at the time of the launch. By late 1999 Goldman was underwriting one out of every five internet IPOs. They were repeatedly caught and punished for manipulating the prices of their IPOs, either via laddering or spinning. Van Pragg doesn’t deny any of this, and just blithely says that one can’t credibly blame them for the internet bubble. I’m almost insulted by the lameness and half-assedness of that comeback, but that might be part of the point, to be insulting. He moves on:
…and we could hardly be described as having been a major player in the mortgage market, unlike so many of our current and former competitors.
Again, not to beat this into the ground, but in 2006, at the height of the housing boom, Goldman underwrote over $75 billion in mortgages, over $59 billion of which were non-prime. That represented 7% of the entire market, which seems like a pretty “major” slice to me. It is true that they did not jump so completely ass-first into the market as Lehman and Bear did (note Van Pragg’s bemused reference to “former competitors”), but if you read the piece, we noted why that doesn’t take them off the hook at all. Because while their “former competitors” (one of whom is clearly “former” in large part because a former Goldmanite, Hank Paulson, elected to save Goldman’s hide instead of Lehman’s) were dumb enough to hold their mortgage paper and be sunk by it, Goldman shorted their own crap, which means (and I know I’m repeating myself here) they knew that what they were selling was a loser. So while they maybe weren’t the biggest player, they were still a major player, and one can easily make the case that they were the most obnoxious player, given that they dove into this muck with their eyes wide open, unlike so many other idiots on Wall Street.
In the middle of this weirdly substanceless retort, Van Pragg then goes on complain about the lack of substance in the article, makes the predictable charge that the piece was a compendium of invented conspiracy theories, then moves on to “reject” the notion that the company inflates bubbles and profits in busts (about that last part: I recommend checking out Goldman’s profit/bonus numbers in 2002, 2008, and 2009 to date. I’m not sure how they can refute the notion that they have profited during the recent financial calamities). Lastly, he says that the bank is “painfully conscious” of the importance of being a force for good, which I noted with amusement is not quite the same thing as saying that that bank is a force for good, or wants to be.
So to sum up, this all translates as:
“Taibbi’s bubble case doesn’t hold water. To use just two examples, Taibbi’s internet bubble case doesn’t hold water, and we didn’t sell as many mortgages as Lehman Brothers. Taibbi’s article is a compendium of every other story about Goldman that doesn’t hold water. We reject these theories that do not hold water, and are aware of the difference between right and wrong, making us legally sane according to the law.”
I’m aware that some people feel that it’s a journalist’s responsibility to “give both sides of the story” and be “even-handed” and “objective.” A person who believes that will naturally find serious flaws with any article like the one I wrote about Goldman. I personally don’t subscribe to that point of view. My feeling is that companies like Goldman Sachs have a virtual monopoly on mainstream-news public relations; for every one reporter like me, or like far more knowledgeable critics like Tyler Durden, there are a thousand hacks out there willing to pimp Goldman’s viewpoint on things in the front pages and ledes of the major news organizations. And there are probably another thousand poor working stiffs who are nudged into pushing the Goldman party line by their editors and superiors (how many political reporters with no experience reporting on financial issues have swallowed whole the news cliché about Goldman being the “smart guys” on Wall Street? A lot, for sure).
Goldman has its alumni pushing its views from the pulpit of the U.S. Treasury, the NYSE, the World Bank, and numerous other important posts; it also has former players fronting major TV shows. They have the ear of the president if they want it. Given all of this, I personally think it’s absurd to talk about the need for “balance” in every single magazine and news article. I understand that some people feel differently, but that’s my take on things.
Such gross intransigence from a reporter in the age of the moneychangers is stunning, in fact it actually borders on outright blasphemy – shit, it brings to mind real muckrakers like the great Upton Sinclair. Talk about a David vs Goliath story for the modern era, Taibbi has put all the other so-called reporters that pollute our press, make excuses for the corrupt, milk the lurid excesses of the dumbed down cult of celebrity (currently on display with the necorphiliac corpse humping of Michael Jackson) and provide the bread and circuses that are necessary when our shiny newly minted (largely with Goldman Sachs money) reality show president come out and brags about saving the markets while millions are beggared to fucking shame and justifiably so.
Let’s hope that David has it in him to lob the killshot right into the testicles of the Goldman Sachs Goliath that has stomped on the necks of American’s for too long now.
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.
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.
The green shoots, the most wonderful propaganda onslaught since General Petraeus’s heroic, Reaganesque winning of the Iraq war through the ‘SURGE’ has failed. The stinking undead zombie that is the U.S. economy has not been resurrected through the massive infusions of taxpayer dollars, perhaps spent billions on public relations and lobbying and the changing of the mark to market rules only bought times for the financial predators. The wonderful government subsidized markets are tanking again, there are still no jobs, the housing market is not at all improving, the banks aren’t lending and by the way, bombs are going off in Baghdad again. While neocons and Repiglicans have their panties in a bunch over Barack Obama’s not getting behind their little Iranian PSYOP the real outcry should be from every taxpayer in Der Heimat beause they have just been bent over backwards and butt-fucked by Barack’s Wall Street Dream Team into funneling billions into the Ponzi schemes, getting nothing but pink slips and foreclosure notices in return and are about to have any hope of a national health care ripped away by the corrupt, on-the-take non-term limited cesspool dwellers in Congress.
And the myth of Ronald Reagan is just like the one about Santa Claus, only silliness for the credulous little children of lemming land. Horseshit, total horseshit.
So Newsweek Magazine, a month or so after a ‘change’ to move away from celebrity swill in favor of more hard-hitting and provocative ‘journalism’ has after cover stories featuring celebrities Stephen Colbert and Oprah (so much for ‘change’) rolled out an issue with a cover story – GAG – The Capitalist Manifesto. The piece in question is written by that ubiquitous little geek Fareed Zakaria and in any sane and honestly run news operation would be more honestly entitled The Bullshit Manifesto. But then we are talking about Newsweek, a sorry shitrag that is owned by the Washington Post and is the fruition of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird. The salad days of the WaPo and the crusading investigative journalism in the form of Bob Woodward (a man of questionable integrity) and Carl Bernstein have long been flushed down the memory hole and the herald for the beltway elite and well-connected is a shameful example of just how vile and corrupt that the American media has become. The WaPo last week fired its best columnist Dan Froomkin for his daring to go up against the insipid and overly influential neocon house shill Charles Krauthammer over torture. See Glenn Greenwald’s excellent pieces on the firing of Mr. Froomkin, the hiring of Paul Wolfowitz to augment the neocon Wurlitzer and the sad state of the establishment media in general. Oh, and Newsweek also offers a place for a slimy, bitter, chain smoking, fascist pigfucker Robert Bork to rail against Sonia Sotomayor as he continues to inveigh against all that was once decent or free in this rotting empire of gluttony and greed.
As for Zakaria his long essay in which he defends the scoundrels, money grubbers, chiselers, cheats, schemers, high rollers, paper dealers and four flushing TARP fund welshers and the vile cancerous economic system of capitalism had my bile rising before I was even into the second column. It starts out like this:
A specter is haunting the world—the return of capitalism. Over the past six months, politicians, businessmen and pundits have been convinced that we are in the midst of a crisis of capitalism that will require a massive transformation and years of pain to fix. Nothing will ever be the same again. “Another ideological god has failed,” the dean of financial commentators, Martin Wolf, wrote in the Financial Times. Companies will “fundamentally reset” the way they work, said the CEO of General Electric, Jeffrey Immelt. “Capitalism will be different,” said Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
No economic system ever remains unchanged, of course, and certainly not after a deep financial collapse and a broad global recession. But over the past few months, even though we’ve had an imperfect stimulus package, nationalized no banks and undergone no grand reinvention of capitalism, the sense of panic seems to be easing. Perhaps this is a mirage—or perhaps the measures taken by states around the world, chiefly the U.S. government, have restored normalcy. Every expert has a critique of specific policies, but over time we might see that faced with the decision to underreact or overreact, most governments chose the latter. That choice might produce new problems in due course—a topic for another essay—but it appears to have averted a systemic breakdown.
“but it appears to have averted a systemic breakdown”?? Whaddafuck??? Jesus Fucking Christ, we are at the gates of Hell right now as a result of capitalism. However to highly paid ideologues like Fareed and his fellow travelers like Thomas Friedman who make a good chunk of coin on the circuit serving up globaloney to the suckers and don’t have to worry about the trivial existential horrors of the maxed out, stressed out, thrown out and fucked over and fucked out American on the streets the view is of course much different from atop the ivory towers. Here is some more of this rancid tripe:
Many experts are convinced that the situation cannot improve yet because their own sweeping solutions to the problem have not been implemented. Most of us want to see more punishment inflicted, particularly on America’s bankers. Deep down we all have a Puritan belief that unless they suffer a good dose of pain, they will not truly repent. In fact, there has been much pain, especially in the financial industry, where tens of thousands of jobs, at all levels, have been lost. But fundamentally, markets are not about morality. They are large, complex systems, and if things get stable enough, they move on.
More punishment? How about ANY punishment at all. Shit, those greedy pigs are the only ones that did get bailed out and are now engaged in a feverish orgy of speculation that will have gas at $5.00 a gallon by the time the snowflakes start falling, heating oil will also massively spike and along with the accompanying rise in food prices as commodity markets are cornered one hell of a lot of people are going to have to choose between heating and eating. So Zakaria should spare us that elitist scolding, we never did get to see Bill Maher’s suggestion of two bankers hanging from the big board at the NYSE with their balls in their mouth and other than a few big tokens who are going to be given show trials and slapped on the wrist the pain is all passed on to the shmoes and peasants as it always is in Capitalist Murka. It would be just too much to ask an egghead of Zakaria’s stature why a starving father can be busted stealing a can of fucking Chef Boyardee ravioli to feed his cold and hungry family and disappear into the bowels of the vast for profit prison gulag system while the treasonous looters are not only smacked on the wrist with a wet noodle but given more of the house money to piss away gambling. Here is another piece of the essay if, that is if you can stomach it:
A few years from now, strange as it may sound, we might all find that we are hungry for more capitalism, not less. An economic crisis slows growth, and when countries need growth, they turn to markets. After the Mexican and East Asian currency crises—which were far more painful in those countries than the current downturn has been in America—we saw the pace of market-oriented reform speed up. If, in the years ahead, the American consumer remains reluctant to spend, if federal and state governments groan under their debt loads, if government-owned companies remain expensive burdens, then private-sector activity will become the only path to create jobs. The simple truth is that with all its flaws, capitalism remains the most productive economic engine we have yet invented. Like Churchill‘s line about democracy, it is the worst of all economic systems, except for the others. Its chief vindication today has come halfway across the world, in countries like China and India, which have been able to grow and pull hundreds of millions of people out of poverty by supporting markets and free trade. Last month India held elections during the worst of this crisis. Its powerful left-wing parties campaigned against liberalization and got their worst drubbing at the polls in 40 years.
Whenever a neocon or in Zakaria’s case, a neoliberal scoundrel needs to invoke a bit of legitimacy with the masses of asses it is the bread and butter to bring up good ole Winston Churchill. And the drivel about capitalism lifting hundreds of millions up out of poverty is just that, in layman’s terms it’s total bullshit. Capitalism itself, is as iconic Wall Street god and role model to the Reagan generation of shit Gordon Gekko once eloquently put it “a zero sum game, somebody wins, somebody loses. Money itself isn’t lost or made, it’s simply transferred from one perception to another”. So Zakaria can engage in as much spin as necessary to argue his case, tell it to the millions of uninsured Americans, the jobless whose employment was shipped overseas to third world shithole sweatshops that are never seen. No, no no…when the shills for the financial cartels want an example of the wonders of globalization they show the glimmering steel and glass towers of modernity in Bangalore, just another Potemkin Village that obscures the ugly truth that capitalism is destroying the planet. Showing the slums, ghettos and slave labor staffed factories would interfere with the grand vision of the Lexus and the Olive Tree. I have had just about enough of the column that I can take without vomiting on my keyboard but just want to throw in this last little piece:
More broadly, the fundamental crisis we face is of globalization itself. We have globalized the economies of nations. Trade, travel and tourism are bringing people together. Technology has created worldwide supply chains, companies and customers. But our politics remains resolutely national. This tension is at the heart of the many crashes of this era—a mismatch between interconnected economies that are producing global problems but no matching political process that can effect global solutions. Without better international coordination, there will be more crashes, and eventually there may be a retreat from globalization toward the safety—and slow growth—of protected national economies.
Now the more conspiratorial (or to avoid the pejorative tin foil hatter – aware) types this is starting to sound strangely like a case for that dreaded New World Order aka a global corporate government that is being pimped. You can read the rest of the article yourselves if you have a high tolerance for bullshit. It bears mentioning that Fareed Zakaria is a Council on Foreign Relations mouthpiece and like the rest of his ilk is out there shilling for globalist predatory capitalism in a major publication like Newsweek. We are basically fucked right now because the establishment has rigged the game, Mr. Zakaria, like Obama is there to do the soft closing for those who are actually able to fucking read. For the rest, the prison camps await along with the reeducation to be a good little capitalist slave – think of O’Brien and his pet rats in Room 101, you get the picture.
The CFR along with all of these other big time elite groups (Bilderberg,Trilateral Commission, Davos, G8 etc) are nothing other than proponents for a global corporate state where we are all reduced to chattel and indentured servants in their system. Actually railing against these elitists is one of the few things that the knuckledraggers on the far right actually do that is remotely constructive – unfortunately it is then filtered through CIA fronts like the infamous John Birch Society to meld it with anti-immigrant racism, gun grabber paranoia and in the biggest lie of all turning it into a great Communist conspiracy rather than the quite obvious one of fascist corporatism. The future of capitalism is going to be patterned after that great model that is our top creditor China and the authoritarianism, censorship, goon squad paramilitary types who will grind our bones to make their bread. And this ties back into the Iran uprising, whether it is real, partially real, fomented by spooks or over sensationalized by the pocket media is irrelevant. Until Americans are ready to lay it on the line and take to the streets rather than sitting on their asses in front of state controlled television propaganda and don’t replace Twitter with guns then we are fucked. That’s just the way that it is and our revolution won’t be televised.
It is becoming more apparent that the shits won and won easily, hell our great savior for change Backless Barrack never even gave change a chance, just turned the policies over to pigs like Summers and Geithner so that they could save their casinos and their offshore money pools. The new issue of Foreign Affairs (the CFR journal) gives some time to the concept of G2 which is the U.S. and China. China is the perfect next stage of capitalism, once it has sucked the life out of the working and middle classes it needs an authoritarian police state to function at maximum capacity. Thanks to the Bushreich we already have the police state apparatus here (spying, paramilitary police etc) and not smiling Barack the new face for all of it is ensuring that generations will be condemned to corporate bondage, their fate has already been sealed with his acquiescence to Wall Street paper pushers.
I would recommend an alternative to Fareek Zakaria’s elitst propaganda in their polemic for the rich Newspeak. Harper’s Magazine, a fine, truly American intellectually solid publication has a wonderful cover story on the failure of the Pope of Hope, check out Barack Hoover Obama, subtitled The Best and the Brightest Blow it Again by Kevin Baker. It’s better written, more historically accurate and not delivered by the sort of conniving little swine who would piss down your back and try to convince you that it is raining for an establishment that swears 2+2=5.
Fareed Zakaria is nothing other than another manure monger and god knows that there is no fucking shortage of them here in our rotting, fucked over empire.
A quick Google search brings up in the neighborhood of 28,000,000 results for the masterfully concocted propaganda term “Green Shoots”. Just when it appeared that looter capitalism was on the ropes with Jim ‘Mad Money’ Cramer being exposed as a preposterous fraud who shilled for the Wall Street casinos and angry mobs were descending on the homes of AIG bankers the oligarchy went to the mattresses to save their spoils system. Helicopter Ben came out and launched the first fusillade of this malarkey on his 60 Minutes interview of March 15th. This on the heels of the now famous leaked internal memo from Citigroup CEO Vikram ‘the Bandit’ Pandit that spoke of wonders of money falling from the sky and the healthy quarterly results of his banking colossus and the pure hit of optimism opium was picked up and run with by the corporate public relations armies and their pocket media. The crack ho economy received the kiss of the sweet, sweet spike and it’s been to the moon Alice ever since. But it’s all a big lie of Hitlerian proportions.
I don’t know just where I’m going
But I’m goin to try for the kingdom if I can
cause it makes me feel like I’m a man
When I put a spike into my vein
Then I tell you things aren’t quite the same
When I’m rushing on my run
And I feel just like Jesus son
And I guess I just don’t know
And I guess that I just don’t know
-Lou Reed (Heroin)
The Surge, Morning in America…how many times have we seen this. The suckers game is on again, just queue up in line to rub the balls of the golden bull. Even better than being duped into believing that the illegal war and occupation in Iraq could indeed be won led by the almighty warrior General David Petraeus this re-inflation of the bubble and the kick ass confidence game that has been run for the past two months would have Joseph Goebbels himself drooling in awe. The markets came roaring back accompanied by the standard bits of hyperbole that appeared in nearly every story as though pumped out of the same mighty Wurlitzer – picking up steam, robust, green shoots surged and Jesus, people bought it. Largely ignored was the relaxing of mark to market accounting rules that artificially juiced the bankster balance sheets by allowing wads of worthless ass wipe derivatives to be valued at whatever the fuck fantasyland number that the plunderers chose. The banks won big time, they took the money and told the pope of hope to go and fuck himself when it came to any serious regulation, as though they don’t own his ass lock, stock and barrel to begin with given the amount that they had funneled into his presidential media campaign. The bought and paid for whores in Congress conducted such grand public hearings that you would think they were hauling Barry Bonds or some other overpaid meathead baseball player out to berate him for using steroids. But as it always is in the land of the fucked, it was all a grand illusion, a farce, a tragicomedy.
And the oligarchs fought back, Cramer mocked Nouriel Roubini who had predicted the big collapse (although he was not the only one) by making the ludicrous claim that ‘Dr. Doom’ had caused a lot of investors to lose money by not trampling each other to get back into the casino for the latest game of pump and dump. The much ballyhooed stress tests were all based on phony premises, the best case scenarios that silly assed, reality denial stricken Americans so love as they skip down their primrose paths to perdition marveling at the plethora of white picket fenced yards and foreclosed homes though their rose colored glasses. Americans are saps, suckers, fish, rubes, marks, schmucks and all too willing victims to the looters. They exist in a rotting capitalist debt slavery gulag in which they trade their lives and souls for the glory of owning bigger and better things for the shackles of escalating credit card balances from which, thanks to a feckless and wholly owned subsidiary of the Wall Street scum that resides in Washington District of Criminals they will never be allowed to shed. The bankruptcy laws were forever altered well in advance of the coming economic doomsday machine which indicates fraud as well as collusion on the part of all involved. But who can you call when even the beat cops are crooks.
Beneath the finely groomed blissful suburban façade of America lurk desperation, denial, hypocrisy, and anger. The kids of suburbia today have an entirely different reality than the suburbs I grew up in during the 1970’s. The Ozzie & Harriet idealized version of suburbia from the 1950’s has degenerated to the Green Day nightmare vision of today. The suburbs have mansion-like homes with spotless interiors, entertainment centers, three car garages, manicured lawns, and no soul. The children of suburbia have been brought up on soda pop and Ritalin. They come home to empty mansions, as both parents must work to pay for the glorious abode. Our homes have gotten bigger and better, while our lives have gotten smaller and less satisfying. One third of all children in the United States are growing up in a single parent household. Many kids feel angry and disconnected from their families, friends and home. Fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce. The kids feel rage and hopelessness at their existence in a suburban nightmare. There are 2 million children who take Ritalin every day. Is this because they truly have ADHD, or it is the painless way out for overstressed suburban parents?
And as with the fantasyland version of a prosperous and virtuous America (there are no roads out of Pleasantville) it is all an illusion, an illusion that is rapidly becoming unsustainable for even the spinmeisters. While the little flim flam man Timothy Geithner was out lying his ass off once more in saying that the U.S. financial system was beginning to heal the retail results came in below what even the charlatans had predicted. By the way, I absolutely love the way that the economic spin goes whenever results are announced, it’s like we suck but because we suck less than we thought that we’d suck everything is getting better, well this time the numbers really do suck and people just aren’t buying shit because they have no fucking jobs. Also, the banks that the rigged stress tests said were so healthy are waiting for the next tsunami sized wave – credit card defaults, foreclosures hit record highs, GM will soon be exporting to the USA cars that are made in China and some pessimists at Standard and Poor are now predicting that the banking crisis is going to last until 2013. And here is my all time favorite, fresh off of Reuters:
Bear Warning: Stocks still face deflationary collapse – Jim Cramer meet Winston Wolf.
Somebody GASP has the audacity to piss on our nurturing little green shoots, realism you see is lost on the average corporate drone American. Optimism is for schmucks and they are once again all too happy to play their career role as fuckees, some people just aren’t going to really get it until they are standing in a fucking soup line, and even then it would be a miracle. Me, I listen to the guys who got it right from the beginning, Stiglitz, Krugman, Roubini and Gerald Celente of the Trends Research Institute, who in addition to being pretty much spot on in calling this fiasco happens to be as funny as hell. I will close with his latest Green Shoots or Greatest Depression?
The financial fields replete with sprouting “green shoots” should be viewed with suspicion, if not alarm. They are not a mirage, but they are ephemeral.
Field Marshall Ben Bernanke and his Green Shoot Brigade have fertilized the economic landscape with trillions of sweat equity dollars extorted from today’s public and the public of generations to come. Regardless of how depleted the land, heavy doses of dollars spread so thickly over the financial and government territories, will force “green shoots” to grow. But the fundamentals of the economy remain unsound. They will not be corrected by forced fertilizing barren acreage.
“Green shoots” may sprout, but they will not flower. The economy cannot be coerced back into growth with tons of money manure. As the ancient parable puts it:
“A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” – Luke 8:4–8
Now hear this: it is inconceivable that the “green shoots” are signs of sustained economic recovery.
No one could have forecast that the government would not only intervene in the markets by pouring unprecedented trillions into bailout schemes, but that they would commandeer the whole free enterprise system.
The 800-pound gorilla has ridden the elephant into the Oval Office, and they are there for all to see. But few will call a spade a spade. Benito Mussolini described Fascism as “The merger of state and corporate power.” He suggested that, more appropriately, it should be called “Corporatism.” By whatever name, Corporatism or Fascism, what it’s not is Free Market Capitalism, much less Democracy.
“Green shoots” can only be brought to harvest through real productivity. Pumping gigantic sums of money into too-big-to-fail financial institutions to jump-start the lending/borrowing cycle is to perpetuate a failed economic model. (See “The Greatest Depression.”)
We can extrapolate creatively from data, but cannot prophesize wild cards, such as acts of God, acts of nature, or acts of man that can only be described as “schemes undreamed of.” While there have been warnings since the founding of the United States, no one, but no one, could have predicted the mega-merger of Wall Street and Washington that is now a fait accompli.
With so much money being dumped into the system, there will be money to be made … and lost. The agile and the knowledgeable may be able to reap “green shoots” while they’re sprouted. But beware!
“The Greatest Depression” – that we forecast would begin to set in by the end of this year – may have been postponed, but it has not been averted. When it does set in, it will do so with enhanced intensity and at a pace accelerated by complex financial finagling … all under the guise of nation-saving action. Rather than let the failing industries fail and the failed banks go bankrupt, the government is deliberately bankrupting the nation.
The lesson to be learned from the financial crisis that began in the summer of 2007, is that nothing succeeds like failure. The greater their failure, the bolder they become. The more they lose, the more they take. The greater the chaos, the more control they exact. The bigger they fail, the harder we fall.
No act is too unthinkable or measure too draconian for the Washington–Wall Street Mob to concoct in order to maintain power, make money and cover their losses. While it is impossible to second-guess what the government will do next, it is absolutely certain that they will stop at nothing.
The “green shoots” will wither and conditions will deteriorate. Those who are prepared for the worst will not have been taken by surprise.
Words of wisdom if there ever were any if there ever were any in this sad era of stupidity, sloth and moral depravity.
-H. L. Mencken
The previously discredited CNBC ace shill Jim ‘Mad Money’ Cramer has now become the point man for the regenerated Wall Street hydra, launching into a sleazy Rovian war with a real life economist who actually got it right in predicting the collapse Nouriel Roubini. Roubini, a man who was from the outset mocked, scorned and derisively labeled ‘Dr. Doom’ by the same type of four-flushing assholes who brought us Deep Capture has been declared public enemy number one and must be taken out with extreme prejudice for the big con to succeed. The oafish court jester of looter capitalism is now back with a vengeance as he according to this piece by Frank Rich of the damned liberal New York Times states in his recent piece Awake and Sing!:
“I am pronouncing the depression over!” declared CNBC’s irrepressible Jim Cramer on April 2. The next day the unemployment rate, already at the highest level in 25 years, jumped yet again, but Cramer wasn’t thinking about the 663,000 jobs that disappeared in March. He was thinking about the market. Mad money. Fast money. Big money. The Dow, after all, has rallied in the weeks since Timothy Geithner announced his bank bailout 2.0. Par-tay! On Wednesday, Cramer rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, in celebration of the 1,000th broadcast of his nightly stock-tip jamboree.
Roubini appropriately dismissed the man who acts like a baboon on crystal meth:
But “Cramer is a buffoon”, the professor countered, on the sidelines of a conference in Canada on Tuesday night. “He was one of those who called six times in a row for this bear market rally to be a bull market rally and he got it wrong. After all this mess, and after Jon Stewart, he should just shut up because he has no shame.”
The latest rally will fail when it becomes clear the economy is not improving and that several banks will be unable to pass the “stress tests” currently being carried out by the federal government, Mr Roubini says.
“Cramer keeps insulting me personally and saying a bunch of lies,” he told an Associated Press reporter. “He is not a credible analyst.”
Which of course didn’t stop the NYT from piling on Roubini in a Wednesday Op-Ed column by that unbiased source of wisdom William D. Cohan (a contributing editor for Fortune Magazine, the rag that featured a fawning hagiography back in the Depression years about Benito Mussolini and his fine corporate fascist system) that in upholding the finest traditons of Judith Miller poo pooed the questioning of the miraculous profits of Goldman Sachs as so much conspiracy theory even though Hank Paulson obviously had at best a conflict of interest in presiding over the TARP plan to socialize the losses of the looters to keep the big casino going. Similar sliming has been done to Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman in the insipid Newsweek cover story of a few weeks back by hack Evan Thomas who openly and brazenly admits his bias: “If you are of the establishment persuasion (and I am), reading Krugman makes you uneasy.”. Stenographers for the elite like Thomas are largely responsible for this disaster to begin with in that they failed to perform their constitutional duties in ensuring that a free press would ensure that power be kept in check but he and his ilk are more interested in careerism, sucking up to the establishment and ensuring that they keep get invited to cocktail parties. No wonder that the regular corporate media is getting its ass kicked by the alternative media and the blogs, you just can’t trust the bastards on anything anymore.
But I digress…
It is asinine and childish to think that Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs did not abuse his position as the Bush regime’s Treasury Secretary to favorably rig the big bailout for the benefit of his cronies, just look at how the AIG bailout was used to further shore up the big Kahuna of the street and ensure that the revolving door between the temple of avarice and the White House remains fully operational. Seems like the blood sucking jackals at the real center of American political power, Goldman Sachs is sending it’s legal army after a Florida based blogger named Mike Morgan for daring to set up a website Info, Comments, Opinions and Facts About Goldman Sachs. The white shoe Wall Street law firm Chadbourne & Parke has been set loose upon poor Mr. Morgan for his daring to question these criminal pigs and their ongoing assault on the American economy – you know it’s bad when they don’t outsource their wetwork to India but somehow the site which as the delightful url of http://www.goldmansachs666.com/ has really but a bug up the pasty white asses of the house of Paulson and Blankfein.
I would recommend that everyone take the time to not only check out Mr. Morgan’s site but to back him in his David versus Goliath stand against the mother of all moneychangers in Goldman Sachs. Let the buffonish tea baggers take to the streets at the behest of the deranged shill Glenn Beck, Dick Armey, uber crackpot Richard Mellon Scaife and the Texas oil Nazi Koch Foundation (see Think Progress for the scoop on who is really sponsoring this phony white populist mayhem) but the real enemy of America sits in the ivory tower at 85 Broad Street in lower Manhattan and it’s toxic tentacles extend directly into the highest realms of the new Obama administration. Putting Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers in charge of economic policy along with other dubious appointments (or in the case of real progressives non appointments) are an early indicator that the only change for Obama is going to be chump change. The hedge fund hyenas and derivatives alchemists and their pushers are going to have free reigh while an exponentially growing number of Americans are being rendered jobless, homeless and exiled to tent cities…hell, at least Reagan gave people surplus cheese.
In a remarkable interview on the PBS program Bill Moyers Journal former S & L regulator William K. Black gets right to the heart of things:
BILL MOYERS: Is it possible that these complex instruments were deliberately created so swindlers could exploit them?
WILLIAM K. BLACK: Oh, absolutely. This stuff, the exotic stuff that you’re talking about was created out of things like liars’ loans, that were known to be extraordinarily bad. And now it was getting triple-A ratings. Now a triple-A rating is supposed to mean there is zero credit risk. So you take something that not only has significant, it has crushing risk. That’s why it’s toxic. And you create this fiction that it has zero risk. That itself, of course, is a fraudulent exercise. And again, there was nobody looking, during the Bush years. So finally, only a year ago, we started to have a Congressional investigation of some of these rating agencies, and it’s scandalous what came out. What we know now is that the rating agencies never looked at a single loan file. When they finally did look, after the markets had completely collapsed, they found, and I’m quoting Fitch, the smallest of the rating agencies, “the results were disconcerting, in that there was the appearance of fraud in nearly every file we examined.”
BILL MOYERS: So if your assumption is correct, your evidence is sound, the bank, the lending company, created a fraud. And the ratings agency that is supposed to test the value of these assets knowingly entered into the fraud. Both parties are committing fraud by intention.
WILLIAM K. BLACK: Right, and the investment banker that — we call it pooling — puts together these bad mortgages, these liars’ loans, and creates the toxic waste of these derivatives. All of them do that. And then they sell it to the world and the world just thinks because it has a triple-A rating it must actually be safe. Well, instead, there are 60 and 80 percent losses on these things, because of course they, in reality, are toxic waste.
BILL MOYERS: You’re describing what Bernie Madoff did to a limited number of people. But you’re saying it’s systemic, a systemic Ponzi scheme.
WILLIAM K. BLACK: Oh, Bernie was a piker. He doesn’t even get into the front ranks of a Ponzi scheme…
BILL MOYERS: But you’re saying our system became a Ponzi scheme.
WILLIAM K. BLACK: Our system…
BILL MOYERS: Our financial system…
WILLIAM K. BLACK: Became a Ponzi scheme. Everybody was buying a pig in the poke. But they were buying a pig in the poke with a pretty pink ribbon, and the pink ribbon said, “Triple-A.”
In a nutshell the system itself is rotten to the core and Geithner, Bernanke and the rest of Mr. Obama’s A Team of the best and the brightest are just more of the same dirty rotten scoundrels who have destroyed the global economy and are now being allowed to finish the job. For Christ’s sake, Obama is actually going out on television and pushing refinancing as if most people really qualify anyway for the simple reasons that (a) the banks aren’t lending (b) their existing loans are well in excess of the property value in most cases…and (c) you can no longer instantly qualify for a 400,000 loan if you have no job and about a million a month are being jettisoned as the real economy continues the freefall. I mean Jesus Fucking Christ, is this guy a president or a pimp?
Selling the Sizzle: The recent attempts to manage perception in order to reflate the bubble and save the squadrons of corrupt paper dealers is a propaganda masterpiece unseen since the bloodshed and chaos of the Iraq war was flushed down the memory hole courtesy of the great General Petraeus and THE SURGE. What is now going on is every bit as dishonest and even more monstrous in that the large scale thieves who run the system are using their media and pocket politicians to further entrap Americans in the shackles of debt slavery from which they shall never be free as long as the failure of unregulated looter capitalism is not dealt with and the cancer cut out once and for all. Don’t believe anything, it’s all a big lie of Hitlerian proportions, a public relations stew of deception that Goebbels would be proud of and you just have to love that little bumper sticker slogan Green Shoots.
Do NOT, I repeat do NOT put one nickel into the markets because in the end you will be sorry. I am advising people to take this postponement of the looming collapse as an opportunity to shore up your personal positions. Do not spend a dime you don’t have to spend, take all of your money out of your 401k once it has been reflated and put it into real assets. Pay down debt, start learning about how to garden, hey our grandparents did it didn’t they? Stockpile non-perishable food, buy a Lifestraw (provided you can find one) because they are coming to privatize your water soon, buy guns and ammo and most importantly be suspicious of anything that the assclowns who run the corporate media try to sell you with their propaganda.
Obama, tagged as the pope of hope by one blogger is just another errand boy for the big banks. Pope of dopes is more like it , it took Clinton and Bush years to cheapen the presidency but Obama has done it in record time, sliming around with the likes of Jay Leno on the electronic crackpipe, taking pot shots at cripples, escalating the war in Afghanistan, reneging on boatloads of campaign promises and in the absolute nadir shilling for the banks in imploring people to refinance their overvalued McMansions and other cheaply constructed shitboxes.
The Obamanoids eat it up too, they are legion and tripping over themselves in falling in line to shill for the most despicable of the Obama administration policies, like the failure to order the Justice Department to arrest Karl Rove for flouting subpoenas, continuing the illegal wiretapping, escalating the war in Afghanistan and most odiously as all choosing to back the banksters in the gutting of the American economy. Sure, there are the little feely good cosmetic changes like stem cell research and relaxing restrictions on Cuba (both by the way make economic sense and if there is one thing to commend Obama on it is the lack of ideology exhibited early on, which in a way is also damnable in that it only supports the status quo) and that ridiculous ‘pirates’ thing which is about as phony as Reagan’s defeat of that industrialized military juggernaut Grenada.
One thing is for certain though, no matter how well that Surge II works it is only going to make the inevitable collapse that much worse when it does come. And those vicious shitheads who worship the unholy trinity of Limbaugh, Palin and Joe the Plumber will only become meaner and more better positioned to take advantage when it becomes apparent that the only change that has occured is a new coat of paint on the whorehouse that is American capitalism.
What do you get for pretending the danger’s not real.
Meek and obedient you follow the leader
Down well trodden corridors into the valley of steel.
What a surprise!
A look of terminal shock in your eyes.
Now things are really what they seem.
No, this is no bad dream.
-Pink Floyd (sheep)
In the ongoing madness of an America in terminal decline, the great Surge II is now underway. This one has nothing to do with mass brainwashing that all is ell in Iraq and that we are indeed winning thanks to our shining medal festooned superstar quarterback otherwise known as General God (aka David Petraeus) to divert the flocks attention away from a doomed imperialist crusade. Nope, this one hits closer to home, it started last Monday with a sly piece of internal propaganda from Citigroup’s CEO Vikram Pandit having its best quarter since 2007 which triggered a sucker rally in the Wall Street casinos that dictate to the inhabitants of chumpland. The pocket media once again did their job, selling this latest call for the sheep to come and be sheared with all the effectiveness that they pimped the murderous lies of George W. Bush, Karl Rove and Dick Cheney. Things – ARE getting better you see, the gloom-gloomers, the glass is half-empty pessimists, the neurotic nervous nellies and the naysaying Eyores are all wrong, it’s a disease, in their heads, the economy is rocketing its way back to robustitude. The most incredible example of just how thoroughly corrupt that the corporatist media has become is the pernicious cover story of the latest edition of Newsweek magazine that has a picture of good ole Uncle Sam saying that he wants YOU to START SPENDING!… YOU need to INVEST in America – before it’s too late.
The Newsweek story, by Daniel Gross which inside is even more insidious in that it beats the reader over the head with STOP SAVING NOW! – in all caps and taking up the better part of page 27, page 26 is a picture of a squirrel (a cartoon representation of those greedy pigs who dare to save their own money rather than gamble in the Wall Street casinos who holding onto a backload of acorns has caused the branch of the tree to CRAK! Jesus fucking Christ, this is propaganda at its finest, even a cynic like me is astounded by the dastardly nature of this banker swill in one of the nation’s premier ‘news’ magazines.
A more sophisticated version of Mad Money Cramer, Gross goes on to say:
Saving cash and building up reserves is a necessary first step to recovery. But eventually the mountain of cash has to be put to work. Last week’s sharp market rally was certainly a sign—however fleeting it may turn out to be—that investors are putting money to work again. Retail sales in February provided another hint that purse strings may be loosening. But there’s much more work to be done. Ironically, post-bubble periods are frequently great times to start new ventures. The best time to start a dotcom wasn’t in 1999 when the IPO market was raging, it was in 2002, when the price of everything associated with the business—office space, programming talent—had plummeted. When Allied Corp. in the late 1980s didn’t want to pursue the development of consumer products based on global-positioning-satellite technology, Gary Burrell left, raised $4 million and formed Garmin, which today employs about 7,000 people.
Great solution, just trust Wall Street with that money, think long term, be patriotic even if the malefactors of great wealth do not and are more than happy to wallow in international troughs and then come back to shit on America. Gross, a highly-paid, high profile stooge is just playing his part in the ongoing relaunch project to save Wall Street looters and protect their plunder. We have seen this story already, Americans with dollar signs in their eyes and cash register bells going off in their heads like some bizarre real life Uncle Scrooge cartoon, duped into thinking that they can actually become rich and powerful themselves just like The Donald line up to be fleeced by the flim-flam men with the political juice and insider knowledge as they seek to cash out one more time. Perhaps a final time before the country impoldes inward upon itself. All aided and abetted by the media, the Wall Street cadre occupying Barack Obama’s White House, guys like Lawrence Summers and the conniving little twit Tim Geithner whose announcement as the new treasury secretary was greeted by a 6.5 % spike in the DOW, the crack-ho economy got a mainline spike into the arm and knew that the paper pusher inside the administration would ensure them that the game would go on and on. In the end of course, all has been enabled by the bewildered herd of sheeple themselves, brainwashed from birth into the bastardized capitalist system that is already drooling over being able to suck the blood from their grandchildren on account of their greed, stupidity and folly.
As a counter to the mainstream drivel that Gross and Newsweek are peddling as pearls of infinite wisdom I counter with an excerpt from a piece from his month’s Harpers. Infinite Debt by Thomas Georghegan discusses the ruinous and usurious effects of the debt based economy and its victims The same ones that Gross and his fellow pocket media hacks are now trying to swindle out of whatever little they may now have in their piggy banks having been badly burned by the existing system that has beggared them and cast them out of jobs and homes in addition to destroying their pensions and 401k retirement plans. From the Harper’s piece (which I will be addressing at length in my coming post Usurious Bastards):
Which is why the middle class is shrinking. Basically, we’re all waiters now; we’re bowing and scraping and working for the banks. Look closely at any American, and it’s even odds that he or she, directly or indirectly, is somehow employed by the “financial services sector,” which covers insurance and real estate and financial instruments of any kind. As brokers, lawyers, loan collectors, loan consolidators, secretaries at big investment firms, chauffeurs of private limousines, or even the high-tech types who exist solely to service banks — all of us, millions of us, are part of it, living off it in some way, as three generations ago we lived off manufacturers.
The game is rigged people, and the hit job done on America by the rotten fuckers on Wall Street and their institutionalized system of debt slavery is all that is left, and STILL the banksters on the street and the gangsters in D.C. are doint everything that they can to continue to bleed the silly and naive masses of asses by doing all that is possible to get the debt/consumerism bubble reinflated. In a rare piece of sanity that slipped by the censors and minders of the memory hole a Reuters story, More debt: a curious solution to a credit crisis dared to utter the heresy that:
Indeed, a huge part of the Treasury’s economic rescue plan is based on reviving securitization. This is the process by which everything from real estate and auto loans to credit cards and student debt gets repackaged into bonds and is then sold on to investors in a secondary market.
Given this history, Wray, also a senior fellow at the Levy Economics Institute, said asset-backed bonds are the problem, not the solution. “We need to kill off securitization and go back to banking — loan officers and underwriting.”
Wall Street is a con game, it depends on confidence in order for the moneychangers to book their fees and peddle their bad paper, given the Surge II it’s apparent that the entrenched elitists are determined to wage war against any sort of change that Obama may have in mind. Given the first two months of the administration and while being mindful that it’s still early, despite some initial guarded optimism I am becoming more and more certain that nothing is changing except the management of the whorehouse. I now find myself in agreement more or less with those progressives who were wary of Obama from the onset, with his government packed with recycled Clinton era swine, the usual assortment of Wall Street and Federal Reserve grifters running fiscal policy and his still stinging kick in the balls from the Israel lobby over the Freeman resignation it only looks like more of the same shit but in a different package. Helicopter Ben’s announcement that the Fed would now be buying American debt to save their fucking system, the dollar immediately took a shit and with the coming wave of hyperinflationi as a result of this latest idiocy this story should send a cold chill up the spine of all who are onto what has really been going on as America has been gutted: The US is Facing a Weimar Moment. Read it if you dare.
As Orwell once wrote in the literary classic Animal Farm:
“All animals are equal, some are just more equal than others”
Republican ‘free marketers’ are unscrupulous and pathologically greedy, they also delight in the trafficking of human misery for profit. It makes them feel empowered. They are like the S.O.B. sitting at the Monopoly table who is not content in owning Boardwalk and Park Place as well as all of the utilities and railroads but also buys Baltic and Mediterranean and loads them up with houses and hotels then squeals with childlike glee when some poor bastard lands on one of them and is driven into bankruptcy. The game of Monopoly is very relevant to life itself in laissez-faire hell, where the rich are able to accumulate property on a rapidly escalating scale and as wealth rapidly increases the less fortunate are driven into bankruptcy with the winner being the monopolists.
This is Laissez-Faire ‘free market’ Capitalism in its ultimate form, the ‘free market’ is only truly advantageous and ‘free’ to those who have the most cash and assets and they are gathered at the expense of the poor who eventually are the losers but hey, that’s what it’s all about isn’t it in the Wall Street Journal’s perfect world. Now that the rape of the system has nearly been completed how long is it going to take until there is a realization of just how thoroughly the free market fanatics have cannibalized the country in pursuit of profit? And the denial needs to stop immediately, the existing system has already failed and failed miserably.
Capitalism is eating itself. Like a python slowly trying to digest it’s own tail, the economic master plan, the Shock Doctrine has come home now and the sheep are being prepped for yet another shearing, soon they will served up with a side of mint jelly.
It is important to understand that a distinction needs to be made when it comes to capitalism between that which is regulated and the ‘free market’ aka Lassez Faire strain that the road to hell is paved with. The end result of unregulated capitalism is monopoly of the most extreme sort as well as the redistribution of wealth to those at the top of the class system, I wonder why nobody has ever dubbed this as ‘trickle up economics’ which is of course exactly what it is. One of history’s most important and enduring lessons is that hundreds of thousands must toil in the muck in order to allow one rotten, greedy son of a bitch to have his face displayed on a sphinx. The American middle class are the ones who are forced by their Wall Street pharaohs to build the bricks for the monuments to the super wealthy under increasingly hostile conditions in increasingly dangerous work environments with an increasingly smaller amount of straw.
The establishment after all has a vested interest in the existence of a huge and desperate underclass. The accompanying crime and urban rot helps to breed the necessary fear that justifies increased police powers and surveillance so as to keep the interests of the elite safe and sound while they sleep behind the walls of their gated communities each night. We were swindled by the free market pimps and deregulation pushers, all that it all did was create conditions for monopolies and trusts and consumer gouging. Take an honest look at yourself, are you truly better off today than you were yesterday? Or the day before? Or five years ago?
Well understand one thing…..today is as good as you are going to have it for the rest of your life under this existing rotten system.
We Are All Losers: The system itself is designed to make losers of us all except that extreme few with the means to purchase influence and therefore protection.
Under this system we all lose, mainly our losses are incremental.
We lose our lives through an increasing amount of time spent on a job locked in a struggle of diminishing gains to even survive.
We lose our health
We lose time with our children and families, this is the most tragic loss of all in most instances as it perpetuates the cycle of the decline in human relationships and destroys the family. Despite what the establishment propagandists and their phony religious wars with their insipid ‘pro family’ sloganeering it is not the loss of morality in through cultural changes in society that is causing the degradation of the family but the greed of an unfettered and monstrous capitalist system that demands more and more in order to slake its bloodsucking appetite for profits. It is the pursuit of these profits at the expense of our humanity that has laid waste to the family, and our values and every day that we are forced to prostitute ourselves in order for the wealthiest of the greed mongers to further entrench themselves is one more day closer to the day that we will ultimately die in vain for their sins.
And in buying into the legitimacy of this lie of a system we ultimately lose our souls.
In a system that is designed to ultimately make losers out of all but the very few who are able to parlay their inordinate influence into being able to utilize it as a weapon of exclusion I found the following from the late, great Hunter S. Thompson to be words of wisdom, this in reference to the ultimate outsiders The Hells Angels:
Let’s just hope that there are still some outlaws left out there amongst the sheeple, they are all that we have when it comes down to whatever hope there may be left in an increasingly hopeless and hostile world.
There is an important difference between a ‘loser’ and an ‘outlaw’ . One is passive and the other is active and the main reasons that the Angels are such good copy is that they are acting out the daydreams of millions of losers who don’t wear any defiant insignia and who don’t know how to be outlaws.”
The Angels don’t like being called losers but they have learned to live with it. “Yeah, I guess I am” said one “But you’re looking at one loser who’s going to make a hell of a scene on the way out”
This worked wonders during the boom of the past couple of decades, leading to rapid capital formation that underpinned a huge rise in lending. But when the music stopped, many investors were left looking for an empty chair as these products of financial “innovation” proved ruinously difficult to value.
What is history, really, but a turf war between manufacturing, labor and the banks? In the United States, we shrank manufacturing. We got rid of labor. Now it’s just the banks.
The hum of ambient noise in midtown Manhattan is several decibels lower than it was a year ago. Fewer black Town Cars idle outside the investment-bank offices on Park Avenue. The aisles of the flagship Saks Fifth Avenue are so quiet you’d think you were in a library. The restaurants and shops at Rockefeller Center are open as usual, but they seem oddly depopulated. Where are all the tourists and office workers, the hordes of junior analysts lining up in Starbucks?
Something less tangible is also absent: the spirit of caffeinated, heedless risk taking. For a generation, risk has been the adrenaline of the nation’s economy, the substance that made us all—from the denizens of midtown Manhattan to the residents of Manhattan, Kans.—run a little faster and stay up a little later. Now, with the economy in its 16th month of recession and the markets scythed in half, it seems we’ve all either switched to decaf or simply lost the taste for risk.
As consumers hibernate and investors hoard cash, the economy is withering. This new age of thrift is understandable. But for a recovery to take hold, Americans will need to start taking risks again.
In the great 1980’s Bruce Willis movie Die Hard an international group of thugs invade and take over Nakatomi Plaza, holding hostages and all under the pretense of terrorism. The real truth is that the terrorist ploy was designed to provide cover for a massive robbery and in the end all the hostages would be marched up to the roof of the building which mined with C4 explosives would be blown up, killing all of the hostages and allowing the perps to escape to their beaches of choice where they could bask in the sun collecting interest on their plundered loot.
The criminal Bush administration, Goldman Sachs stooge Hank Paulson, the feckless Pelosi Reid Hoyer Judas Congress and the every incompetent Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke are now blowing the roof with the greatest swindle of the American taxpayer in history. The mother of all bailouts which is the end result of looter capitalism taken to its logical end may have been temporarily halted by mass outrage along with a cadre of crybaby Republicans whose poor feelings were hurt by the whore Pelosi’s stinging speech and then threw a hissy fit (allegedly engineered by one neocon snake that goes by the name Newt Gingrich who already has his eye on the 2012 election) that derailed what the hated Michael Moore referred to as the rich staging a coup. The Dow then demonstrated that Newton’s law of gravity was still in effect by dropping a whopping 777 points (likely staged by the Plunge Protection Team failing to contribute their daily manipulation to send a message) sending shockwaves through the global casino of the great Ponzi scheme. Not to worry though, a bill WILL pass this week, it will be WORSE than the last one and Paulson and all of his Wall Street cronies will be given total AMNESTY for blowing up the system for their own greed. I don’t have much else to say right now but these comments by a die hard Marxist friend of mine pretty much sums it all up in this epic rant:
The Financial Crisis
He certainly has a right to have his say now that the entire fucking capitalist system is exploding before our eyes, while not a Marxist myself perhaps Marxism bears a more serious look for what to do as we are sorting through the mess left behind by the economic terrorists of Wall Street.
1. The financial crisis was not “caused” by Bush’s regime.
2. It was, however, “triggered” by the Bush regime. There’s a difference here between the word, “caused,” and the word, “triggered.”
3. The financial crisis was not “caused” by the economic philosophy of the Bush regime alone, but, rather, it was “facilitated” by the economic philosophy followed and pursued from the time of the last years of the Jimmy Carter administration through the years of the Reagan administration, the Bush One administration, the Clinton administration, and the Bush Two administration.
4. It is most certainly correct that the economic philosophy that “facilitated” the financial meltdown is the “no regulations” economic philosophy, and it is most certainly correct that the more “libertarian-minded” Republicans of the far right in economics — so-called “free market fundamentalists,” or “free market extremists” — are responsible for pushing that for the past 3 decades since the 1970s.
5. But it is also equally correct to say the Democratic Party have just as much pandered to and adapted to this economic philosophy in practice, and that they, too, have lessened government regulations of financial markets, investment banks, other banks.
6. But underlying the economic philosophy and what has happened to the financial markets are material causes. Being determines consciousness and ideas, not the other way around.
7. It’s correct to say the financial institutions of this country “lack liquidity,” which is simply another way of saying, “they’re insolvent,” or more bluntly, “they’re bankrupt.”
8. But it’s also correct to say, “their owners did that to themselves.”
9. It’s correct to say, “Bailing them out in a private and for-profit capitalistic-system-based framework equals making the masses of working people, who are also taxpayers and also consumers, pay for it,” because so long as operating in the private for-profit capitalistic-system-based framework is the framework in which one decides to operate, there’s no alternative to making the masses of working (taxpaying and consuming) people pay for this enormous financial bankruptcy.
10. The reason why continuing to operate in a private-for-profit-capitalistic-economic framework with government regulations and government intervention means, making the masses pay, is because the kind of “socialism,” to use the word the right-wing Republican “free market extremists” or right-wing Republican “free market fundamentalists” call the Republican Paulson-Republican Bernanke-Republican Bush-Democratic Senatorial/Congressional-Partially Republican Senatorial-Partially Republican House plan, is because this kind of “socialism” accepts the given and existing economic class division of existing society into capitalist employers (bosses, owners), and, on the other side, workers (employees), the basic class division of existing society.
11. This is, therefore, exactly as those both on the extreme “free market fundamentalist extremist” right, and those on the liberal “progressive” pro-Democratic Party reformist fake “left” say, “socializing the losses of the mega-rich, mega-bosses, mega-owners of the mega-banks and mega-corporations” at the expense of the masses of the people of America.
12. McCain sees this, and is — cynically, as Democrats suspect, deceitfully, again as Democrats suspect, but certainly quite masterfully, if one approaches how to win an election or profit politically from a set of circumstances from the standpoint of the suggestions made by the great Italian political philosopher, Machiavelli, in his most masterful explanation of how politics works, The Prince, and certainly masterfully in the short run if one appreciates just how vilely and corruptly, but masterfully deceitful and masterfully cynically Hitler operated — poised in his view to successfully mobilize a very large social base of quite justified hate, resentment, and opposition to this Paulson-Bernanke-Bush-Democratic-Partial Republican joint bipartisan capitalist bailout plan calling for the masses to pay for the losses incurred by risky financial decisions made by the big financial capitalists on Wall Street.
13. The fact financial 24/7 cable news channels like Bloomberg focus in on the right-wing Republicans’ opposition to this bailout plan and call McCain’s opposition to it “risky” illustrates that their constituency is most limited to a very small population — the mega-rich owners whom the bailout plan would serve. Therefore, from a purely electoralist political standpoint, they are missing the Machiavellian and, in a certain sense, Hitlerian-cynical, calculations of the McCain camp.
14. McCain is also banking on Barack Obama’s defense of some version of the bailout plan, particularly the version supported by the Senatorial and Congressional Democrats which is calling for some very tepid “protections” for what these people call “middle class” Americans. McCain, too, is having no difficulty aligning himself with notions of “protecting” what he, too, calls “middle class Americans.” But he is deliberately refraining from taking a hard and fast stance until the end of the decision-making process on the bailout plan so he can then position himself afterward for maximum political electoralist advantage, and destroy the Democrats in the upcoming election. He knows from his advisors exactly what he is doing.
15. The Democrats mistakenly think they can isolate McCain, and they also make the mistake of thinking that the general business opinion of people whose only constituency is a very numerically small constituency, the mega-rich whom the bailout plan will serve, equals the opinion of the masses of the American voters. In a sense, McCain knows this, too, and he is banking on the Democrats aligning themselves with a bailout which is, generally, enormously unpopular with the voters, to destroy the Democrats in the election and win him the presidency in the November 2008 election.
16. But, of course, the Democrats themselves helped create this situation over decades of pandering to the far extreme right-wing on economic policies in this country. Organizations like the right-wing Democratic “Democratic Leadership Council,” for instance, helped create it. The semi-de-regulation in some financial areas in the latter years of conservative Democrat Jimmy Carter’s administration in the later 1970s helped intensify and exacerbate the bipartisanly-supported right-wing free market fundamentalist extremist Republican Ronald Reagan policies of the 1981-1988 period. Ironically, the Republican presidency of George H. W. Bush the First with the bringing into existence of the Resolution Trust Corporation (a government-sponsored entity) to address the failure of savings and loans operated in a more bourgeois centrist bipartisan Demopublican-Republicrat fashion, recognizing the dangers of the savings and loans failures to the mega-rich (bourgeoisie). But, of course, it didn’t destroy the rule of the ruling class (bourgeoisie), because it was never designed to do that. Nor was the support it got from the Democrats designed to do that.
17. But there is no way out of the financial crisis and its repercussions, which will, indeed, result in the biggest economic collapse since the Great Depression of the 1930s, exactly as Bush warned, that does not result in the destruction of the incomes and economic well-being of the American working (also consuming and taxpaying) masses so long as the kind of “bailout” “plan” still accepts the continued existence of the bourgeoisie as a class — that is, the continued existence of the class division in society between capitalist employers (bosses, the bourgeoisie, the mega-rich bosses and owners who brought on this whole crisis themselves under the unregulated or semi-regulated benevolence of multiple bipartisan Demopublican-Republicrat administrations), and workers (a/k/a employees a/k/a the great mass of consumers a/k/a the great mass of taxpayers a/k/a the masses of the American people a/k/a the vast majority of the American people).
18. The only way out, in short, is the only kind of “bailout” that will work for the majority: a working class socialist revolution from below that expropriates, without compensation, the entire capitalist system, by the action of constituted, from below, by the masses, and elected, from below, by the masses, councils of delegates of the working people from every part of this country, and turns over all the wealth of the country that was originally produced by the working people to the working people. Nothing short of this kind of “bailout” will avoid the destruction of the economic and financial position of the enormous majority of the American people, and certainly neither voting for McCain nor voting for Obama nor, for that matter, voting for McKinney, Nader, Barr, or even reformist-minded “socialists” of small fake “socialist” parties, will do it, either.
19. In short, what is needed is, a socialist policy for the enormous masses and majority, not a fake “socialist” policy that continues serving the bourgeoisie (bosses, super-rich, mega-rich).
20. Some short-hand ideas for what a revolutionary socialist addressing of the financial crisis would do would include:
a. expropriate the banks and corporations and all major industry, finance, transportation, distribution, means of production, from below, and operate them all by the operation of elected councils of the working people;
b. cancel the debts owed by the enormous mass of the people to all the banks;
c. raise the minimum wage to maybe $75 dollars per hour;
d. radically shorten the work week to 30 hours at no loss in pay, thereby immediately resulting in more available work to be immediately spread to the unemployed;
e. labor, unionize all non-unionized workers 100 percent, but kick the cops, security guards, prison guards out of the labor movement–for class struggle tactics to organize all labor, not begging the bosses, not begging the Democratic and Republican Parties of the bosses, not begging the bourgeoisie, not fighting on the turf and terms of the bosses, but fighting on the turf and terms of the working class to unionize all non-union workers 100 percent–bring back such militant class struggle tactics as the labor “flying squads” of the 1930s, the mass workers’ occupations of struck plants, factories, workshops, offices, department stores, the mass workers’ picket lines in front of struck plants to defend the workers inside against the scabs, the scab-herding and strikebreaking cops, the bosses’ private militias and bosses’ private security guards, the bosses’ fascists, bosses’ neo-Nazis, bosses’ Ku Klux Klanners, and other bosses’ tools — bring back the workers’ defense guards to defend striking workers and defend those plants, factories, workshops, stores, offices occupied by striking workers, kicking out the management and owners and making the plants, workshops, factories, stores, offices where the workers and employees work controlled by the workers as a negotiating tactic in the class struggle against the bosses–no subordination of the objective needs of the workers’ class struggle and workers’ class war to the fake and fraudulent “need” to get “lesser evil” capitalist politicians, either Democrats or Republicans, elected to office–labor must rely strictly on labor’s own needs and own interests, not on the bourgeois (bosses’) needs and interests, not on the turf and terms of the bosses (bourgeoisie) and their labor-hating, racist, sexist, bigoted, violent, imperialist, colonialist, capitalist government;
f. workers need a government of workers’ councils, a government of the multiracial, multicultural, multiethnic, racially integrated working class, a government strictly of the armed workers, a dictatorship of the working class that is dictatorial against the enemies of the working class and is democratic where the interests of the working class and toiling and exploited people, workers, employees, the poor, unemployed, the mass of the old and pensioners, oppressed and exploited minorities, women, gays, immigrants, are concerned–we need a proletarian dictatorship against the violence of the old exploiting and oppressing classes that is a proletarian democracy for the working, toiling, and oppressed peoples;
g. expropriate all unused condo buildings, office buildings, the multi-roomed mansions of the mega-rich, and turn them all over to the homeless as an emergency measure to smash homelessness and give homeless people a place to live; end all mortgage debts on poor homeowners, working class homeowners, lower middle class homeowners and lower petit-bourgeois homeowners, cancel those debts, and expropriate the banks to which they owe their mortgage debts so they can own their homes outright; expropriate the multi-roomed mansions of the fat cats, super-rich, mega-rich bourgeoisie or bosses, and turn them over to the homeless;
h. radically raise the social security and retirement pension of the enormous majority of the old people to a genuinely livable wage, say a minimum wage of $75 dollars per hour, so finally the great majority of old people receiving social security have something to actually live on that can give them some kind of quality of life;
i. immediately create free quality health care accessible immediately to all and free to all;
j. immediately create free kindergarten-through-Ph.D./Doctorate education available and accessible free to all by expropriating the private colleges and universities, entirely abolishing their boards of trustees (which are entirely capitalist or pro-capitalist boards), and putting all colleges under the control of elected councils of the working people, teachers, students, and abolishing entirely all tuition payments for students; make all remedial adult education programs free and accessible and available to all; smash the non-union nature of employment and organize all workers into labor unions; implement in all workplaces ongoing remedial education and training and upgrading programs; bring into workplaces affirmative action for minorities, and women, controlled by the workers’ organizations, workers’ councils, democratic organizations of the working people;
k. workers in all unsafe workplaces, industries, factories, plants, workshops, offices, stores, construction sites, must have the immediate and unconditional right to strike and receive full wages while on strike while the unsafe working conditions are immediately addressed and repaired–no more collapsing coal mines, no more workers killed from collapsing cranes at construction sites and from workers falling from worksites due to shoddy and private-profit-based badly made “safety” equipment, no more unsafe airplanes killing crew and passengers because such planes are flying firetraps and are not made safe because of private profit greed of the owners, no more unsafe trains colliding into each other killing crew and passengers, no more collapsing bridges built on the basis of the lowest and most profitable bid, no more exploding steam pipes built on the lowest and most profitable bid, no more overthrown and overturned and destroyed levees built on the lowest and most profitable bid that let entire cities drown–expropriate all the capitalists, smash outsourcing by militant labor action to unionize 100 percent all workers and by class struggle tactics to smash outsourcing to private contractors, expropriate all sleazebag private contractors who shortchange safety conditions for profit, and jail the sleazebags who do this–rebuild everything on the basis of a series of 5-year plans based on the precept of socialist re-industrialization and socialist re-modernization of the country from below run and operated by a socialist plan administered from below democratically and controlled from below democratically by the elected workers’ councils from below, with the full right of all within the workers’ councils who as the genuine precondition to having their ability to participate defend the elected and armed workers’ councils as the core form of government of a proletarian dictatorship against the old exploiters and oppressors and a proletarian workers’ councils-based democracy for the working, exploited, oppressed, and toiling peoples, and the precept of a proletarian government-socialist planned economy as the core form of economy of society–within that context, for the full and unconditional and unfettered right of any and all workers’ factions, caucuses, parties to form in such workers’ councils to make and debate alternative policy alternatives for the furtherance and progress of the workers’ society;
l. organize the enormous majority of the workers at their workplaces into armed and racially integrated labor organizations and mobilizations to root out the nests of Ku Klux Klan filth, neo-Nazi filth, right-wing anti-abortion clinic-bombing filth, right-wing anti-abortion anthrax-sending filth, anti-gay and anti-women’s equality rifle-toating murderers of Unitarian, liberal, and other equality supporters, racist murderers of black and other nonwhite people, bigoted terrorist murderers of gay people, racist and bigoted murderers of immigrants — for the right of the racially integrated working people, black, brown, red, yellow, white, male, female, men, women, “gay,” “straight,” immigrant, native-born, mobilized by a revolutionary workers’ party, to keep and bear arms — no guns for the bosses’ (bourgeoisie’s) labor-hating, racist and anti-black, strike-breaking, civil and human rights-crushing cops, no guns for the sadistic racist and poor people-hating prison guards, no guns for the armed militias of the labor-hating and strike-breaking bosses, no guns for the armed labor-hating and union-busting private security guards of the bosses, who bust labor strikes, beat up labor strikers, shoot down black people in the inner city black ghettos without accountability, shoot down immigrants without accountability — repel and repulse the white racist bigoted anti-immigrant thugs on the Southern borders by racially integrated, ethnically integrated mass mobilizations of black, brown, yellow, red, white, immigrant, and native-born workers, level-headed, but armed — for joint campaigns of labor and unions to organize workers on both sides of the border into fighting class struggle-based labor unions and labor organizations to upgrade labor on both sides of the border in wages, working conditions, job conditions, safety conditions, democratic rights, human rights — smash every kind of fascism through mass mobilizations of labor and minorities;
m. down with the racist, class-biased death penalty–free immediately and unconditionally Mumia Abu-Jamal, an innocent man who’s rotted on death row since 1982 because of a joint and bipartisan Democratic-Republican frame-up murder machine of death — jail the persecutors and sleazebag scum who framed up Mumia Abu-Jamal, including the corrupt prosecutors, corrupt cops, corrupt judges, the entire sleazebag operation that framed him up — free Troy Anthony Davis, an innocent man — jail the entire corrupt sleazebag and scumbag operation that framed him up, including the corrupt, coercing, violent racist cops, corrupt prosecutors, corrupt judges, corrupt Georgia board of pardons and paroles — smash the prisons — rehabilitate the enormous majority capable of being rehabilitated in the prisons; those incapable of being rehabilitated, provide whatever available remedial and palliative help is possible to provide — most in prison are there because crime is caused by capitalism, an inhuman, rotting, decaying, putrefying putrescent, decadent system based on private profit-greed, racist oppression, sexist and bigoted oppression, nationalist and imperialist oppression, colonialist oppression, and the sucking of profits out of the working class by the capitalist class, and the jails and the cops are the state, the violent instrument of class violence and class terrorism against the working class by the capitalist class and its government — they were often destroyed as humans by an inhuman and bestial capitalist society; make sure the hardest of the hardcore psychopaths are kept isolated from the masses, but the principle that must operate in keeping them so is not retribution and vengeance, but simple social expediency, and so, what must operate is not the principle of vengeance and retribution, but the principle of some sort of humane isolation from the majority of society for the hardcore psychos and ongoing rehabilitative efforts in that context; for the vast majority, however, who are not hardcore psychos, there must be ongoing rehabilitative efforts and full social re-integration back into society and efforts to make that happen that are part and parcel of a humane, compassionate system that recognizes ex-cons are human beings — for the rights right now of prisoners for form labor unions, to strike for higher wages, to engage in collective bargaining with prison administrations — again, disarm the sadistic prison guards and labor, kick them the hell out of the unions — no more slave wages for prisoners, which simultaneously hurt prison labor and bring down the wages of all labor — for full union labor wages for all prisoners, and make the minimum wage throughout society in all industries, including prison industries, about $75 dollars per hour — for the immediate restoration of civil, voting, and related rights to ex-cons at the moment of their release, for remedial, job-training, skills, and similar sorts of education for ex-cons, for upgrading, and for employment for all ex-cons at wages no less than the wages of the minimum wage of a workers’ society, which should be approximately $75 dollars per hour, so they can live like human beings and become fully re-integrated back into society again — no more sadistic discrimination against ex-cons in areas like refusing them driver’s licenses, social and health care benefits, housing–smash all discrimination; labor, labor organizations: kick cops, security guards, prison guards, the hell out of your labor organizations, for they are a knife pointed at your own throats;
n. down with the war on drugs; legalize/decriminalize drugs–for massive investment in drug rehab programs and similar sorts of programs, not only in conventional physical and physiological health care programs, but mental health care programs;
o. U.S. Imperialism: get your bloody, filthy, stinking hands off the rest of the planet — U.S. out of Iraq now, out of Afghanistan now, out of the 130 countries where U.S. troops are stationed now, no “conditions,” no “compromises,” no delays, but OUT NOW, PERIOD; disarm the pentagon, CIA, FBI, Secret Service, NSA, federal cops, state cops, local cops — for the right of the racially integrated working people to keep and bear arms; U.S. hands off Iran, hands off Syria, hands off North Korea, hands off Russia — U.S. Imperialism, no support to right-wing nationalist nutjob head of country of Georgia, Saakishvili, as all that is is an ongoing provocation of Russia — Russia, hands off Georgia — for the democratic and national rights of the peoples of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to make their own decision as to whom they wish to affiliate with or not affiliate with — for a joint revolutionary internationalist egalitarian communist proletarian party of the workers of Georgia, the workers of Abkhazia, the workers of both South and North Ossetia, and the workers of Russia fighting for a Russian Socialist Federation of Fully Independent and Equal Workers’ (Proletarians’) Socialist States; U.S. Imperialism, get your bloody provocational hands out of Poland — no U.S. “anti-missile” shield in Poland, which is nothing but a provocation against Russia; for the equal national rights of both the Palestinians and the Hebrew-speaking people in the context of a Socialist Federation of the Near East–for joint mass mobilizations of Palestinian working class people and Hebrew-speaking working class people to drive the Zionist, clerical-fascist settlers out of the West Bank–all Israeli troops, tanks, soldiers, out of the West Bank, out of the Gaza Strip, out of the Golan Heights, out of all the Occupied Territories–for a joint Arab-Hebrew revolutionary internationalist, egalitarian, proletarian communist party in the Near East fighting for an Egalitarian Socialist Near Eastern Federation and the unity of all working classes throughout the Near East–for the strict separation of religion and government throughout the Near East, including the liberation of women, gays, transgender people, and the smashing of every kind of religious fundamentalist-inspired bigoted terrorism, from clerical Zionist through Muslim fundamentalist– for the freedom of conscience of all and for no government support for any religion anywhere in the Near East–for proletarian socialist revolutions against every rotting and reactionary regime in the Near East, from that of Saudi Arabia through Syria, through Lebanon, through Egypt, through Jordan, through the Zionist regime of Israel — for revolutionary proletarian Marxist secularism and egalitarian socialist internationalism — for full equality for women, gays and homosexuals in a Near Eastern Socialist Federation and for separation of religion and government;
p. for free abortion on demand–no to forced sterilization–defend Roe v. Wade–keep abortion legal–for women’s liberation through socialist revolution–for the right of abortion clinic personnel, family planning clinic personnel to arm and train in self-defense of abortion clinics and family planning clinics in self-defense against the right-wing terrorist filth seeking to shut the clinics down–for mass mobilizations of labor, minorities, women, to defend the clinics and drive the right-wing garbage away from in front of the clinics; bring back and pass the Equal Rights Amendment for women;
q. for full democratic and equal rights for gay, homosexual, lesbian, transgender people–for gay and transgender liberation through socialist revolution–for the right of gay, homosexual, lesbian, and transgender people to self-defense, up through and including the right of armed self-defense, against bigoted terrorism; defeat Amendment 2, the “marriage amendment,” in Florida on November 4, 2008 — for the equal right of gay, homosexual, lesbian, transgender people to marry, and divorce, and to secure, equally with non-same-sex and non-transgender people, all economic, social, and related security and benefits accruing therefrom;
r. for the strict and uncompromised separation of religion and government — no funding of religious schools by the federal government, state governments, local governments — no funding of “faith-based” education programs — instead, for billions of dollars in investments into the public school system and for free, quality, racially integrated public education for all — bring back and defend busing to buttress and support quality and racially integrated schools most particularly for black kids, other nonwhite kids;
s. time to finish the Civil War–for black liberation through socialist revolution — smash racial segregation by proletarian socialist revolution — for the establishment of racially integrated armed workers’ self-defense guards, drawn from responsible and level-headed labor union men and women, to defend school buses busing black kids into lily-white bourgeois neighborhood-based schools, and to bus white bourgeois kids into impoverished hellhole inner city black ghetto city schools — as the revolutionary communist, Karl Marx said, when the rich start getting sick, they start finding cures for diseases which the poor typically suffer — but to smash educational inequality, it’s necessary to smash capitalism by proletarian socialist revolution.
21. In my view, nothing short of a revolutionary socialist — an authentically Marxist communist — “bailout” plan carried out by the enormous working class majority of the people can resolve the financial crisis in a way that does not destroy the economic and financial position of the enormous majority of Americans