Go, Wall Street, Go!
mind the rise in unemployment and foreclosures. Never mind the folks
waiting to know if they will get the benefits they need before they are
cut off. Never mind the growing gap between rich and poor, and the
continuing spread of poverty.
(Did you know that inequality in the US is at the highest level of any industrialized country?)
Does any of this matter?
The idea of equality as a social goal is apparently passe.
Christmas has a special meaning on Wall Street:
It's bonus time. This brings to mind Peter Wolf singing with the J Geils Band, "First I look at the Purse."
The context was different but the meaning is the same.
five too-big-to-fail bankster companies have stashed $90 billion for
payouts to prized employees. They know that the beat on The Street is
fading, so it seems to be take the money and run time.
Incidentally, that "bonus pool" will rise with end of the year earnings.
now, the greedsters have a PR problem--how to transfer all this wealth
from the banks to themselves with the lowest possible tax rate and the
lowest degree of bad publicity.
also will try to focus the media on supporting their right to such over
the top rewards and "incentives" in the name, of course, of fostering
an economic recovery.
Yes, it is a cynical exercise but no more blatant that the successful campaign to extend the Bush tax cuts for millionaires.
The mantra is simple: to those who have, more should be given.
sayeth the faux populists of the Tea Party and their Republican
benefactors. So sayeth the Democrats in the interest of compromise and
getting some unemployment benefits to workers even at an unacceptable
will remind the American people that many of these banks are only here
to pay because the government--our government--bailed them out and, then,
the Federal Reserve Bank pumped trillions in no interest loans into
we count on the media to point this out, to make the connection clear
about the many government subsidies behind the gigantic payouts that are
on the way to companies lobbying against government programs?
Don't count on it.
Sunday 60 Minutes sat down with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
They asked him about the bonuses. The Fed head had nothing to say about
that. He just wanted to praise his own efforts to save the financial
you watched his body language, you could see that his stab at optimism
was forced. He admitted it will be at least 5 years--if that--before more
jobs come back.
seemed depressed perhaps because he didn't want to tell us we are in a
depression. His past track record as a forecaster has been flawed to a
fault. That was not noted.
is common these days on the networks, no criticisms or contrary
concerns intergrated into this world-shaking interview. There was no
comment from Bernie Sanders who challenged the Fed's admission of a
"jaw-dropping" injection of trillions into banks here and abroad. There
wasn't even a response from libertarians like Ron Paul who was also
So much for reporting.
David Degraw of Amped Status says the recent Fed disclosures were shocking.
"Just when I thought the banksters couldn't possibly shock me anymore... they did.
were finally granted the honor and privilege of finding out the
specifics, a limited one-time Federal Reserve view, of a secret taxpayer
funded "backdoor bailout" by a small group of unelected bankers. This
data release reveals "emergency lending programs" that doled out $12.3
TRILLION in taxpayer money -- $3.3 trillion in liquidity, $9 trillion in
"other financial arrangements.
what? Did you say $12.3 TRILLION tax dollars were thrown around in
secrecy by unelected bankers... and Congress didn't know any of the
Of course not!
The myth that the media continues to truck in is that somehow the Congress and the President are in charge of the economy.
Street and the corporate world are clearly running the show, with
little restraint so far, effective oversight or regulation.
"The Federal Reserve was secretly throwing around our money
in unprecedented fashion, and it wasn't just to the usual suspects like
Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Bank of America, etc.; it was to
the entire Global Banking Cartel. To central banks throughout the world:
Australia, Denmark, Japan, Mexico, Norway, South Korea, Sweden,
Switzerland, England... To the Fed's foreign primary dealers like Credit
Suisse (Switzerland), Deutsche Bank (Germany), Royal Bank of Scotland
(U.K.), Barclays (U.K.), BNP Paribas (France)... All their Ponzi players
were "gifted." All the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations
got their cut.
you still had any question as to whether or not the United States is
now the world's preeminent banana republic, the final verdict was just
delivered and the decision was unanimous. The ayes have it....
been arguing for years that the market is rigged and that the major
Wall Street firms are elaborate Ponzi schemes, as have many other people
who built their beliefs on rational thought, reasoned logic and
evidence. We already came to this conclusion by doing the research and
connecting the dots."
Where does this leave us? Is there any hope?
The critics of the Fed see little:
There are some related developments underway that could shake things up.
Bernie Madoff ponzi probers are targeting banks including HSBC that
went along with his $65 billion dollar fraud. A Swiss bank has already
admitted it was complicit. The FDIC is investigating officials from
banks that failed. Bank of America just coughed up millions for
financing an illicit bond scheme.
the same time, the "Justice Department" (sic) has mounted an
investigation into insider trading. They say there are 343 criminal
investigations underway but none against big players. (The NY Times says
they are "chasing small timers.)
ProPublica writes: "Everyone is wondering: Where are the investigations related to the financial crisis? John Hueston, a former lead Enron prosecutor, wonders: "Have they committed the resources in the right place? ...
Nobody from Lehman, Merrill Lynch or Citigroup has been charged criminally with anything."
the same time, Wikileaks is promising new revelations about financial
chicanery at a major US bank that many suspect is Bank of America. On
the housing front, many class action suits and investigations by state
officials are challenging major fraudclosures.
The crimes of Wall Street may yet do the bonus babies in.
is still a slim chance that, as the economy gets worse, the people of
this country will finally get to see through the haze and the BS and
Neither the Democrats nor the Repugnicans seem to have any fresh ideas.
up to us to break through our own illusions to fight the plunder of our
country and world. We need to call for a jailout, not a bailout. of
financial criminals -- a full investigation followed by the prosecution of
We need a campaign for economic justice.
If you are as disgusted by all this, as I am, it's time to act. Will we? Will you?
Finally, here's a questiom to puzzle in this season of joy: Who Holds The Subprime Mortgage on The Manger?