Monday, March 23, 2009

Superb, Must Read - The Big Takeover

The Big Takeover - The global economic crisis isn't about money - it's about power. How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution

A few snippets below:

The situation with the first TARP payments grew so absurd that when the Congressional Oversight Panel, charged with monitoring the bailout money, sent a query to Paulson asking how he decided whom to give money to, Treasury responded — and this isn't a joke — by directing the panel to a copy of the TARP application form on its website. Elizabeth Warren, the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, was struck nearly speechless by the response.

"Do you believe that?" she says incredulously. "That's not what we had in mind."

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

While the rest of America, and most of Congress, have been bugging out about the $700 billion bailout program called TARP, all of the newly created organisms in the Federal Reserve zoo have quietly been pumping not billions but trillions of dollars into the hands of private companies (at least $3 trillion so far in loans, with as much as $5.7 trillion more in guarantees of private investments). Although this technically isn't taxpayer money, it still affects taxpayers directly, because the activities of the Fed impact the economy as a whole. And this new, secretive activity by the Fed completely eclipses the TARP program in terms of its influence on the economy.

No one knows who's getting that money or exactly how much of it is disappearing through these new holes in the hull of America's credit rating. Moreover, no one can really be sure if these new institutions are even temporary at all — or whether they are being set up as permanent, state-aided crutches to Wall Street, designed to systematically suck bad investments off the ledgers of irresponsible lenders.

So does anyone know what the hell is going on? And on the linear spectrum of capitalism to socialism, where exactly are we now?

Paulson and his cronies have turned the federal government into one gigantic, half-opaque holding company, one whose balance sheet includes the world's most appallingly large and risky hedge fund, a controlling stake in a dying insurance giant, huge investments in a group of teetering megabanks, and shares here and there in various auto-finance companies, student loans, and other failing businesses. Like AIG, this new federal holding company is a firm that has no mechanism for auditing itself and is run by leaders who have very little grasp of the daily operations of its disparate subsidiary operations.

The real question from here is whether the Obama administration is going to move to bring the financial system back to a place where sanity is restored and the general public can have a say in things or whether the new financial bureaucracy will remain obscure, secretive and hopelessly complex.

As complex as all the finances are, the politics aren't hard to follow. By creating an urgent crisis that can only be solved by those fluent in a language too complex for ordinary people to understand, the Wall Street crowd has turned the vast majority of Americans into non-participants in their own political future. There is a reason it used to be a crime in the Confederate states to teach a slave to read: Literacy is power. In the age of the CDS and CDO, most of us are financial illiterates. By making an already too-complex economy even more complex, Wall Street has used the crisis to effect a historic, revolutionary change in our political system — transforming a democracy into a two-tiered state, one with plugged-in financial bureaucrats above and clueless customers below.


Max said...

I'm not entirly sure how much of this will be preaching to the choir, but I believe there is a larger, more sinister context for our current financial situation. There seems to be an inertia, a tempo to world events that points toward something much larger and troubling than simply a drawnout recession.

Since becoming convinced of the governments lies concerning the events of 9-11 I've become increasingly aware of a facade, a false reality being foisted upon the average citizen by means of the government and corporate media. I listen to the news in a very different way than I did a few years ago. How? With a very critical ear. An ear becoming more and more attuned to what I percieve as propaganda and outright lies (take Bernankes recent statements concerning a second quarter turn around...huh, are you kidding me!?)
We are not living the the United States of America anymore and this financial mess is only going to get worse... which is exactly what "they" want.
Prepare materially and mentally for very hard, disturbing times to come both here and around the world.
.....Oh, and remember to keep a positive attitude. ;)

beninbama said...

I couldn't agree with your comments more. Like you, I have also come to realize that the wool has been pulled over our eyes regarding the events of 9-11. The official conspiracy theory no longer has me under its spell. I pray others will catch on as well. Indeed, all of this is being orchestrated so as to bring about a super-regional or global currency. We are certainly in for dark days ahead.

Ben in Alabama