Sunday, April 26, 2009
The Connection between Torture, Wall Street Bank Profits and Our Descent into Poverty
We who are watching President Obama carefully observe that he has betrayed us. For unknown, hopefully innocent and unknowing reasons, he has chosen an economic policy based on a massive falsehood, and advisors who have enabled Wall Street Banks to earn rich profits in the short run based on that falsehood. Obama has committed $12.8 Trillion to bailing out crooked Wall Street Banks, fraudulent by the public admissions of their own CEOs, and attempting to make them whole, a ratio of 14 for Wall Street Bank crooks to 1 for our Main Street economy. Obama continues the idiotic policy through massive bailouts of Wall Street crooks by trying to restart the unregulated real estate bubble, specifically including unregulated derivatives, credit default swaps, and hedge funds.
Instead of hope and change from the policies of the Bush Administration that some of us expected, every single policy regarding the maintenance of an aggressive economic empire abroad has been retained or expanded. We are all concerned about the depression that now confronts us, our loss of jobs and our loss of our homes in foreclosure, and the loss of our old age security. We had somehow assumed that Obama would deal with that directly and effectively by taking steps to restore purchasing power. An obvious first thing we expected was that he would enlarge and lengthen unemployment benefits. This has not happened. President Obama has not clearly explained how his present bail out priorities will help us. He has announced no alternate strategy if the present strategy does not work. Our disillusion was capped off by an article in the Wall Street Journal on April 18, 2009 reporting that Obama was considering secret retention of the right of the CIA to torture. We get no explanation of this from the mainstream media, nothing from the Democratic Party and nothing from the Republican Party. Even Marxists seem unconcerned about Wall Street Banks. It is left to us citizens and voters to try to find answers to these perplexing questions from non-mainstream sources and from economists and analysts who are not beholden to Wall Street’s status quo. We thus have a massive job of self-education and education of friends and neighbors. As Professor Michael Hudson suggests, we might copy a small European nation where labor unions called a one day general strike for the purposes of educating citizens. In the United States, we may need a one week general strike, probably more than one.
Since so large a proportion of public money is devoted to crooked Wall Street Banks, and to the ;maintenance of the aggressive spread of American investment opportunities in foreign lands, it seems appropriate to examine the dynamics of the Wall Street Banking system.
THREE PRELIMINARY DEFINITIONS
By “Wall Street Banks,” we mean about 10 dominant leading international banks of the United States, Europe and Japan, the main ones being based in the United States, and the major firms that they lend money to in defense industries, manufacturing and industrial businesses, agri-business and transportation. The term includes the Federal Reserve System, the WTO and the IMF. We do not mean the local independent banks that serve us in our local communities.
By “capitalism” we mean the political-economic system in which the Wall Street Banks and the firms they finance including their control over the governments where they operate. Capitalists are thus those within the operating complex of Wall Street Banks who have access to the means of producing goods and services, and access to the Wall Street Bank loans to do so. We citizens and voters whether employed or self-employed are not “capitalists.” because we have control of and access to nothing but our own labor or brain power which we sell or rent to employers or clients, patients and customers. The car dealers, professionals and independent businesses in our local communities are not capitalists in the sense here used. We non-Wall Street citizens and voters have very different moral values, ethics and interests than Wall Street Banks.
By “the massive falsehood,” we mean the culture wide dominating falsehood promoted by Wall Street Banks and its politicians and advisors and, so far, accepted by President Obama. It is this lie:
“The economy can flourish indefinitely by increasing the supply of goods and services and loaning people money with which to buy them. It is never necessary to increase the wages and purchasing power of employees. Wages and salaries can be cut, jobs eliminated, and production transferred to low wage countries without harming our stable economy."
Current events now graphically demonstrate the falseness of this proposition as does simple logic. Imagine an economic system where all of the work is done by unpaid slaves. The slaves could buy nothing, having no earned income. So who is left to buy? Banks might loan slaves money with which to buy, but how would slaves repay the loans? That is now our plight. Wall Street Banks hate unions and hate high wages and salaries for employees. Wall Street Banks hate giving citizens more money and security. Our jobs were transferred overseas where workers earn too few pennies to buy much of anything. Too many of us are unemployed or employed only part time at a wage where we can not even buy enough food, much less support our huge, but very fragile economy.
THE PRIVATE FORTUNE BUILDING MACHINE: HOW THE FED AND PRIVATE BANKS CREATE MONEY OUT OF THIN AIR AND THEN PROFIT BY LENDING IT TO US
The Wall Street Banking System is private. It exists to make a profit for its investors and owners. Congress in the 1913 Federal Reserve Act granted a franchise to private banks to create money and to regulate interest rates. This franchise today is exclusive for all practical purposes since most money is “check book” money and not coins and dollar bills.
The Federal Reserve Board is not a public institution. Although the President selects the 12 board members for staggered terms, by law, they must be selected from a pool of private bankers. The Federal Reserve Bank and its 12 member branches are also private banks, owned by the member private banks. We have no accurate way of knowing the profits of this system because, by law, it may not be subjected to public audit.
The Federal Reserve Board creates money out of thin air, simply by writing a check, with no back up reserves or deposits and then allows a member bank to “create” 10 times more of that initial check book money. Our government backs this magic money as “legal tender” for the payment of all debts and taxes. For example, if a member bank has applications for loans, say $1000, the Fed simply writes a check for this money out of nothing and lends it to the member bank. Then a second bit of magic money making occurs: Each such loan by a member bank becomes an “asset” or a reserve so that the member bank can loan 90% of the first “asset” to a second borrower, and 90% of the second borrower to a third borrower and so on, to a maximum of $10,000 based on the initial $1000. This is called fractional reserve banking” It is a fabulous way to create a permanent and growing “critical mass” fortune due to the compounding of money loaned at interest over time. It is the hidden secret of private banking that has existed at least since Rothschild in the early 1800s. The banks charge us interest on money they create out of thin air. The private fortunes that this system generates over the decades are beyond belief. These private banking fortunes must have multiplied many times. The total private banking fortunes of Bank investors and heirs of investors must now be as large as the entire planet’s GNP. We have no way of knowing how much. This then is the operational underpinning of the private banking system. If we had known in time, we all should have started banks. Foreign banks and individuals, probably including Rothschild heirs, own stock in our private Wall Street Banks, but again we have no way of knowing how much. Because it generates so much money, it generates dominant power over our government. In fact it was this already existing private bank lobby money and power that “persuaded” congress to delegate its power to coin money and regulate the value thereof to private banks in 1913. Keep this secret, magic, profit generating system in mind as we examine how the private banks have used this power since 1913. Think also of the statement attributed to the legendary European banker Amschel Mayer Rothschild who allegedly said in 1838: "Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws."
HOW THE WALL STREET BANKS HAVE COMPOUNDED THEIR POLITICAL POWER AND PROFITS FROM 1913 TO DATE.
Wall Street Banks have persistently striven to place themselves at the center of every human transaction so as to make money, and to expand their profit making opportunities and their power.
In 1944 the Wall Street Banks met at a ski resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.Voters and citizens in the US were fighting WWII in the armed services, riveting airplanes, welding tanks and ships, and buying Victory Stamps arranged as corsages for their dates. Millions of ordinary citizens were putting out this massive effort to secure the Four Freedoms, Freedom from Fear, Freedom from Want, Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of Religion. The Wall Street Banks had a very different objective. They were meeting in Bretton Woods to plan how to maximize their profit and power following WWII. England, France, Germany and Japan were physically and financially devastated by WWII. The United States escaped WWII relatively unharmed. Wall Street Banks seized the opportunity to dominate. Wall Street Bankers hatched a plan to make the dollar backed by gold the dominant currency for the planet and to breach national barriers so as to foster dominant lending and investment opportunities throughout the world for Wall Street Banks. The dollar dominance created by Bretton Woods was backed by the US guarantee that it was “legal tender,” and the promise to pay in gold if demanded, the “gold standard.”
By 1971, The US debt and inflation due to the Viet Nam War caused Europeans to demand payment of debts in gold. This was exhausting our gold supply so President Nixon unilaterally abandoned the gold standard and adopted a “floating dollar standard” relative to other currencies. The US dollar dominance was strong enough by that time that the dollar remained the dominant currency of the planet, aided by a Treaty with Saudi Arabia that all oil it sold would be paid for with dollars.
After a time a domestic crisis occurred in the operation of this Wall Street Bank capitalism. There would be overproduction: more goods produced than earned wages could purchase, and still yield a profit. Wages stagnated. Wall Street Banks found insufficient profitable places to loan money. The Wall Street Banks quickly adapted using the IMF and the WTO which the private banks controlled. They exported their Wall Street Bank crisis to poor countries. They made large loans to foreign governments often to their Dictators, to “help them develop.” Wall Street Banks were not being charitable or benevolent. They imposed harsh conditions on these loans:
1. The borrowing country had to open its borders so that Wall Street Banks could invest in that country.
2. The country had to privatize many of its public works such as water works, abandon “socialism,” and adopt a market economy so that Wall Street Banks could purchase or invest in that country without restriction.
3. The country had to cut its social welfare programs (which had the intended effect of compelling workers to accept lower wages, or starve.)
4. Taxes had to be raised on the workers so that the IMF loans could be repaid.
This was the Wall Street Bank salvation formula that was imposed on the Soviet Union, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Indonesia, among others.
By 1980, poor nations became unable to pay and Wall Street Banks were desperate to find still other ways to make profit. Wall Street Banks adopted the policy of “Financialization.” This meant that instead of trying to loan money for the production of goods and services that human beings needed, and could pay for, Wall Street Banks would buy and sell each other’s companies, invest in hedge funds or bets that a company or commodity would go up or down. The profits for Wall Street Banks were immense, much more than Wall Street Banks had ever made before. Wall Street Banks used its new money to persuade Congress to abolish the Glass-Steagall Act and to pass a law prohibiting regulation of these “securities.”
This new absence of regulation enabled Wall Street Banks to become crooks, to engage in fraud. Wall Street Banks made “liar loans,” risky loans that Wall Street Banks knew from decades of banking experience, the borrowers were unlikely to repay. Wall Street Banks begged local mortgage brokers to sell such liar loans to unqualified buyers of houses, urging them to falsify their income. These liar loans were made sometimes to unlearned first time home buyers and sometimes to speculative individuals who thought they saw a way to make money without working from the appreciation in house values.
Wall Street Banks then bundled these loans, and issued layer upon layer of bonds “secured” by these “liar loans.” Wall Street Banks then pressured the rating agencies like Moody’s to give these very risky bonds an AAA rating. Wall Street Banks then sold these bonds to state pension funds, wealthy foreign individuals, to foreign governments, and even to a tiny town in Northern Norway, all of whom justifiably relied on the AAA rating. The profits for Wall Street Banks created many new billionaires and millionaires. These Financial Assets grew to about 425% of U.S. Gross National Product The total fortunes now accumulated by the families invested in Wall Street Banks are probably enough to control the entire developed world.
It is these crooked fraudulent Wall Street Banks, stock holders and CEOs that Obama is now bailing out with a commitment of $12.8 Trillion of public money. Further than that, President Obama has retained as his main advisors the same persons and the same crooked fraudulent practices that created our current depression and difficulties.
THE WARS AGAINST TERROR, AIDED WHERE NECESSARY BY TORTURE AND ASSASSINATION, ARE CRITICALLY NECESSARY TO THE MAINTENANCE OF THE POWER OF THE WALL STREET BANKS.
Any person or group within a foreign country who actively opposes imperialistic Wall Street Bank looting or dollar domination is labeled a radical, a communist, a socialist, or more recently a terrorist. Terrorists are often loyal to their cause and to each other and will not talk when captured, so Wall Street Banks find it necessary to torture them so as to identify and capture other terrorists. This will not seem so strange or unusual to those who know that US employers, to protect their profits, have historically resorted to hired thugs, beatings, and murder of those employees who engaged in a work stoppage and union organizing. Employers did not see this as immoral or uncivilized. Such striking employees were “terrorists,” outlaws, hooligans, and radicals, so far as employers were concerned. Wall Street Banks apparently see those who oppose their policies abroad in the same way. According to Professor Michael Hudson, Wall Street Banks say in effect: If you oppose our dollar domination, we will kill you.” William Blum in his 1995 book, Killing Hope gave us the details of 55 foreign countries in which our military or CIA had been involved in killing operations after WWII up to 1995! (The “hope” that Wall Street Banks killed was the hope of the citizens of these countries for a better life.) Since 1995, we have the additional examples of Yugoslavia-Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Pakistan.
CRIMINALS HAVE CAPTURED OUR GOVERNMENT
We can make sense out of what is happening only by seeing Wall Street Banks for what they are: Criminals with far more power and capacity for evil than the mob or the mafia. These criminal Wall Street Banks, unlike the mafia, have control of our national government, with its larger military capacity than all of the other nations put together. These criminals have at their disposal, 800 military bases in 70 countries, the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, the CIA, most academic persons, the main stream press, and the support of the major religious faiths. They have the tools of modern advertising and PR to create diversionary fears, to create “false flag disasters,” and to manipulate our thoughts and our votes.
Wall Street Banks are now exercising their power over our government to restart the crooked bubble without regulation. Michael Hirsch in an April 10, 2009 Newsweek article entitled “Wall Street Digs In” writes:
“At issue is whether trading in credit default swaps and other derivatives - and the giant, too-big-to-fail firms that traded them - will be allowed to dominate the financial landscape again once the crisis passes. As things look now, that is likely to happen. And the firms may soon be recapitalized and have a lot more sway in Washington - all of it courtesy of their supporters in the Obama administration. With its Public-Private Investment Program set to bid up and buy toxic assets, the administration is handing these companies another giant federal subsidy. But this time the money will come through the back door, bypassing Congress, mainly via FDIC loans. No one is quite sure how the program will work yet, but it's very likely going to make a lot of the same Wall Street houses much richer at taxpayer expense. Meanwhile, the big banks that still need help will almost certainly get another large infusion once the stress tests are completed by the end of the month.
The financial industry isn't leaving anything to chance, however. One sign of a newly assertive Wall Street emerged recently when a bevy of bailed-out firms, including Citigroup, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, formed a new lobby calling itself the Coalition for Business Finance Reform. Its goal: to stand against heavy regulation of "over-the-counter" derivatives, in other words customized contracts that are traded off an exchange. Companies like these kinds of contracts, which are agreed to privately between firms, because they allow them to tailor a hedge perfectly against a firm-specific risk for a certain time period. But in order to preserve its right to negotiate these cheaper private contracts, Wall Street is apparently willing to argue for the same lack of public transparency and to permit the systemic risk that led to the crash.”
EVEN THOUGH THE CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE CANNOT FIND OUT WHAT IS GOING ON, WHAT CAN WE CITIZENS DEDUCE CONCERNING OUR OWN WELL-BEING?
Elizabeth Warren, the head of the Congressional Oversight Committee, tells us that she cannot get answers from Wall Street Banks about their strategy or what they have done with the bail out money they have already received. However it is clear from the evidence that Wall Street Banks are attempting to subject us ordinary citizens to the policies that they imposed on the poor nations of the world. We ordinary US citizens are destined to become like the citizens of “underdeveloped” nations. Wall Street Banks are trying to “kill our hope.”
• We have to accept “free trade” meaning the exporting of our jobs to foreign nations where labor is cheaper, unregulated capitalism, and police wiretap power over our thoughts and records.
• We have to endure privatization of our public works such as water works, freeways and prisons, abandon “socialism,” and avoid joining unions
• We have to accept cuts in our social welfare programs (which have the intended effect of compelling us to accept lower wages, or starve.)
• We have to pay higher taxes to repay the bail out debts, while the wealthy get tax cuts.
Wall Street Banks well know of the culture wide lie that they have propagated. They know that the jig is up, that our wages and salaries have been so depleted, and our borrowing so maxed out, that the system is about to fall. Lending us more money, will no longer work.
Professor Michael Hudson says that the crooked Wall Street Banks know that the debts now being incurred by us taxpaying citizens can never be repaid. They know that this will cause China and Saudi Arabia to stop buying our Bonds, Bonds that finance our wars and bases that encircle and threaten those countries like China, Japan, and Saudi Arabia who now buy our bonds. Wall Street Banks know that their own acts and policies will inevitably bring our political economy crashing down. As bankers, they well know that creating a lot of “check book” money (fiat currency) will cause massive inflation so that each of our dollars will buy less and less.
So the only conclusion that can be drawn is that the human owners of the Wall Street Banks are grabbing all of the Trillions of dollars that they possibly can, while they can. They will quickly convert their dollars to a stable foreign currency if there is one, to land, oil, gold, diamonds, plutonium, and commodities, and live in residential castles behind guarded gates. They will buy or obtain by foreclosure all available food producing land. Those of us that survive will be reduced to feudal serfs allowed to work a parcel of land for the economic nobles who own it, and to retain a small share of food, wool and cotton for ourselves. We will become share-croppers at best, and dead at worst.
SO HOW DOES OBAMA FIT INTO ALL OF THIS?
Is Obama the hypnotized, drugged, programmed puppet of Wall Street Banks?
Is Obama afflicted with the psychological disorder of two or more personalities, one magnificently promising us hope and change, and the other delivering starvation, serfdom, and death?
Is he simply innocently ignorant of the real dynamics of our political economy and respectful of his Harvard academic advisor like Lawrence Summers, University of California advisor Christina Romer and Wall Street Banker, Secretary Geithner who themselves have built their careers on the lie?
Does he have the ambition of the top law school graduates of rising to the top of the “legal pecking order” by serving the legal “needs” of the very largest private institutions?
Is he a very bright man who does know of the lie, but also knows the political limits, within which he can operate, and, somewhat like Lincoln, is waiting for Wall Street Banks to fall even further, become even more weak and bankrupt, before he can act on our behalf? If so there are neither plans on the shelf, nor knowledgeable persons to implement it.
We have no way of knowing what motivates Obama. How do you see him? What is your strategy given the circumstances? I am “beating pots and pans” as loudly as I can, and writing articles like this in my effort to arouse others to participate in massive protest marches whose objective is to make the politicians meet our needs. I invite you to do the same. As a fall back position, I am buying a small parcel of land with my remaining retirement dollars where I can grow food and keep a goat.
Dated: April 22, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
69 Million of us voted for President Obama because he promised hope and change from the disasters of the Bush Administration. Countless millions of human beings around the planet joined us in our relief and our elation when he was elected. An unthinking uncritical “Obamamania” among most of his supporters continues to prevail so far. This is dangerous for them, for President Obama and for all of us. Without critical analysis and pressure from his millions of fans, Obama will stumble into disaster.
We have carefully watched the new President’s first 100 days and we are appalled. We find that Obama has continued Bush policies affecting the abuses of Wall Street banks, and allowing Wall Street wrongdoers to manage our economy and the “recovery.”
Forget the impeachment of Bush and Cheney, the prosecution of Eliot Spitzer for his sexual indiscretion, and Bernard Madoff’s little Ponzi-scheme. What about prosecuting those bankers who profited from the most massive fraudulent swindle in human history?
Reputable commentators such as Michael Whitney, John Paul Roberts, Professor Michael Hudson, and now Professor William K. Black have spelled out the details. The CNBC TV Documentary “House of Cards” explained in detail with surprisingly candid on camera, guilt free admissions by the wrong-doers how this swindle worked from the borrowers and mortgage salesmen in Los Angeles to the top CEOs of Wall Street and to the Fed. These sources of our information have been relatively diplomatic in tone. It is time to name names and cite the fraudulent acts of those responsible, and the specific violations of law.
As we evaluate all of this, keep in mind what William K. Black said on Bill Moyer’s April 3 program about making risky loans where the ability of the borrower to repay a loan is not vetted: “We know that will produce enormous fraud under economic theory, criminology theory, and two thousand years of life experience.” Both Democrats and Republicans, hand in hand with Wall Street Bankers, by repealing the Glass-Steagall Act, and by enacting The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 specifically to preclude regulation, caused the current extraordinary depression and crisis by ignoring and acting contrary to this accumulated human wisdom. Think of this when you evaluate whether their acts were knowing and intentional and whether they are guilty or innocent.
THE INTENTIONAL FRAUD OF THE WALL STREET BANKERS AND RATING COMPANIES AND THEIR CONGESSIONAL ENABLERS
The legal elements or requirements of the crime or wrong of fraud known to every first year law student are:
1. An intentional misrepresentation of facts or a false promise
2. Knowledge of falsity
3. Intent to deceive
4. Justifiable and actual reliance on the truth of what was represented or promised
5. Resulting Damage
President Obama is a brilliant lawyer, top of his class at Harvard Law, and a ten year professor of Constitutional Law. His roots are in Chicago politics. President Obama clearly knows the elements of fraud.
We know the factual details of the wrongdoing from CNBC’s video “House of Cards” where those involved in the fraud at each level made surprisingly candid admissions of what they had done. At each level, the CEOs involved felt no guilt or responsibility. They would not have changed their conduct in retrospect. Each said he had to do what he did to stay in business and to compete with others who were doing the same thing. This was the “justification” at every level from LA mortgage salesperson, to the bankers, the creators of layers of derivatives and credit default swaps to the raters who gave the derivatives that they knew or should have known were not worth their stated values, AAA ratings. All of this was happening in the context of congressionally granted exemptions from regulation, and NY Fed President Timothy Geithner’s failure to supervise and to regulate.
The Wall Street bankers deliberately made and palmed off to others loans that they knew were really bad. They made them because they were so profitable. Among themselves, they called them “liar’s loans” because they did not care if borrowers were unqualified and they encouraged them to lie about their incomes. They created the layers of derivatives based on these pools of liar loans, knowing that they were extremely risky. They pressured the rating companies to give them AAA ratings, and the rating companies complied “because the competition was doing it” when they knew or should have known that the “securities” were really not of AAA quality.
Foreign investors, domestic pension fund managers, and foreign governments and banks justifiably relied on the Wall Street banker’s sales pitch and the AAA ratings. The AAA rating satisfies the obligation of “due diligence” in checking the risk of an investment. These innocent but sophisticated investors had a right to assume that NY Fed President Timothy Geithner was doing his duty of supervising and regulating.
All of these investors were damaged when the house of cards collapsed. The investors have been damaged. We the citizens and voters and generations of our offspring have suffered almost incalculable damage…damage totaling many trillions of dollars that will plague us for generations.
This is the massive Wall Street fraud that President Obama inherited, and is now covering up, and possibly attempting to restart.
PRESIDENT OBAMA IS NOT FAITHFULLY EXECUTING THE LAW REGARDING UNDERCAPITALIZED BANKS IN VIOLATION OF HIS OATH
President Obama now has the sworn Presidential duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Thus he must “faithfully” prosecute financial wrongdoing, avoid conflicts of interest, and specifically, take certain prompt action against wrongdoing Wall Street banks as mandated by the Prompt Corrective Action Law that was enacted just following the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s. This law is found in Title 12 United States Code beginning at Section 1831. There is no exception in the law for “banks that are too big to fail,” and no exception for criminal enterprises even if they are large.
Instead of bailing out wrongdoing banks with Trillions of dollars of our money, President Obama is required by federal law to appoint a receiver for the bank within 90 days after it becomes critically undercapitalized. He must prosecute those bankers who were paid salaries or bonuses while their banks were undercapitalized. There is no question that they are undercapitalized because they require Trillions just to make them function, without complying with legal standards. If “they are too large to fail,” they have seized way too much private “mafia-like” power over all of us. President Obama can and must follow the law.
OBAMA’S CHOSEN FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC ADVISORS KNOWINGLY DEREGULATED SO AS TO ENABLE THE FRAUD, AND THEN PARTICIPATED IN THE FRAUD AND PROFITED FROM IT
Obama’ Chief Economic Advisor, Larry Summers one of Clinton’s Secretaries of the Treasury, and Robert Rubin along with Republican Senator Phil Gramm lead the lobbying effort to repeal the Glass Steagall Act thereby enabling Wall Street Banks to invest in derivatives, hedge funds, and credit default swaps, and permitting Wall Street insurance companies to engage in banking.
Then the same three men, Summers, Rubin, and Gramm together with Alan Greenspan lead the effort to persuade Congress to pass a law in 2000 without debate in either the House or the Senate prohibiting the regulation of these newly enabled Wall Street financial giants. It is known as The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, and is found in Title 7 USC Section 2. The exemptions from regulation are found in Sections 2 (g) and 2(h). President Clinton signed the new law on December 21, 2000.
Obama’s Chief Economic Advisor Larry Summers and his Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner both pushed for the enactment of this law which enabled the ensuing fraud involving mortgages and the layers of derivatives that were known to be risky and worthless.
Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner, President of the New York division of the Fed where all of the major Wall Street banks are located had the following duties according to its own mission statement found at http://www.newyorkfed.org/aboutthefed/introtothefed.html:
“It is responsible for
• formulating and executing monetary policy,
• supervising and regulating depository institutions,
• providing an elastic currency,
• assisting the federal government's financing operations, and
• serving as the banker for the U.S. government.”
In addition to paying his own taxes, Timothy Geithner had a public responsibility and duty to all of us. Timothy Geithner, the man chiefly responsible for avoiding what has happened, instead facilitated the fraud. He did not supervise and he did not regulate. As Professor Black said to Bill Moyers, he, along with every one else involved in the fraud, ignored the FBI’s public 2004 warning that there was “an epidemic of mortgage fraud, that if it was allowed to continue it would produce a crisis at least as large as the Savings and Loan debacle.”
PRESIDENT OBAMA IS KNOWINGLY AND INTENTIONALLY REWARDING CRIMINALS AND IS COVERING UP WALL STREET BANK CRIMES AND FRAUD
It is a felony for any person including the President of the United States to cover up a crime. 18 USC Section 4 states:
“Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”
Such a cover up is also criminal fraud as defined in 47USC 1001.
Such a cover up when done by a President, Vice President or a Secretary of Treasury is also a “high crime and misdemeanor” warranting impeachment under Article II, Section 4 of our Constitution:
“The president, vice president and all other civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of…high crimes and misdemeanors.”
President Obama has also taken the Presidential Oath that he will faithfully execute this cover up avoidance law as well, and not to violate it himself.
80% of the American people, according to a recent poll believe that Wall Street is crooked and is responsible for our current Depression.
Obama, in a recent speech to Wall Street CEOs telling them to “cool it” about justifying their contract rights to bonuses, said
“My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”
So what is he saying to the 80% of us potentially holding pitchforks who voted for him?
In effect, he is saying in his vague, charming, persuasive and hypnotic way: “I know of no crimes. I want to look to the future I will not prosecute the bankers. I will hire them as advisors. We have nothing to learn from their mistakes. We together will try to restore lending, and restart the economy as it was.”
What are President Obama’s own lawyers, Dawn Johnson Chief of the Office of Legal Counsel and Attorney General Eric Holder advising him? Are they, like John Yoo and Michael Mukasey who advised Bush that he could torture, advising Obama that he has the power to ignore the law created exactly for the purpose of dealing with failing banks because of an economic emergency? What is brilliant lawyer Obama advising himself? Where is there indication of Obama’s own integrity and inner moral compass?
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES FOR US IF OBAMA’S MUTI-TRILLION BAIL OUT OF WALL STREET “SUCCEEDS?”
The most immediate, pressing danger is that it will not work at all. Obama may not discover this until it is too late to try another solution. The reason is Obama seeks mainly to restore the lending ability of the Wall Street banks. That will work only if we are willing to fund our purchases by more borrowing. We are not. We will not borrow. We are too frightened. The great danger is of a total breakdown of civilized democratic society.
Even if it “works,” Obama’s plan will never succeed for us. The reasons are:
• Obama and his advisors see capitalism as a stable system that only got a little off track due to unfortunate lack of regulation. It is in fact in deep trouble even aside from the banking problem due to an overproduction of goods and services that can be produced at a profit. This is the underlying “systemic defect.” Failing to recognize this defect, Obama does nothing to solve it.
• Obama aims mainly toward providing more credit, restoring the Wall Street banks’ ability to lend money.
Obama fails to deal adequately with restoring the purchasing power of consumers from our earned labor. Taken together, Obama and Bernanke are committing $12.8 Trillion to bailing out Wall Street compared to only $900 Billion to stimulating the real economy, a ratio of 14 to 1.
The inevitable result for us will be a vast inflation of our dollars, so that each dollar buys less and less. We will be like frogs placed in slowly heating water. We will notice nothing at first. The “water” will heat slowly until it kills us. It may ultimately “succeed” for the wealthiest 1% in that they will own all of the land, gold, platinum, silver, and commodities and live in guarded gated castles. Those of us who survive will do so as feudal serfs who are permitted to share-crop their land. The result for Obama is that he will lose his bid for re-election in 2012 due to the massive despair and disillusionment of voters.
WHAT COULD OBAMA DO THAT WOULD WORK?
Although his window of opportunity is very short, if Obama changed course promptly before he has put us many trillions further in debt, there are sound, historically tested things he could do. They are bold. They involve a profound change in his analysis of our problem. He could:
• Cause our government to be the sole creator of our money supply, our silver coins, our dollar bills, and our “check book” money. Lincoln did this in 1860 to finance the Civil War. The state of Pennsylvania did this successfully for 50 years prior to 1789.
• Instead of borrowing from private banks and other governments, our government could create and issue money to meet government, business and individual needs, including rebuilding our infrastructure, education through college, and universal health coverage, and to pay our government’s obligations on existing bonds as they fell due.
• Prohibit “fractionalized reserve banking,” the practice of private bankers lending from 10 to 90 times the asset-reserves they hold. Allow banks only to loan on a 1 to 1 basis, from the dollars they have on deposit.
• Impose a top limit on interest that could be charged say 8%.
• Allow the Wall Street banks to go into bankruptcy, but retain enough of the needed staff employees to implement the new way of supplying money where needed.
• Repeal the Federal Reserve Act and install the needed functions of the Fed as a division of the Treasury Department.
• Enable local banks and businesses to continue to function as they now do.
Dated: April 7, 2009
WRIGHT PATMAN’S PRESCRIPTION FOR HEALING THE CANCEROUS
I am scared. We all are scared. Our Wall Street obedient leaders who claim they are struggling valiantly to “solve” the banking crisis seem to meander uncertainly and ideologically, while they spend unimaginable Trillions of Dollars of our public money. All of this is using public money that we have borrowed, and we worry how we and our children will ever repay it. We worry that the Bail Out will do nothing for us.
Forty five years ago in 1964, Wright Patman had answers and solutions for our banking problems which he left for us in his Congressional Reports, in transcripts of Congressional Hearings, and in his speeches in the Congressional Record.
Wright Patman was an extremely well qualified expert on our side. He was a lawyer, a former District Attorney, a former Representative in the Texas Legislature, and a long time Congressman. Wright Patman served as a Congressman from the North East corner of
Patman from his long experience with our banks provides evidence that Thomas Jefferson’s 1802 view of private banks was accurate:
"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."
Luckily for us, Patman summarized his long experience with Wall Street Banking in his 50 page report, “A Primer on Banking” published by the U.S. Government Printing Office in 1964. It was his gift for us, his warnings, and his suggested reforms that are very relevant today even though our banking problem has gotten many times worse.
WHO CREATES MONEY IN THE UNITED STATES?
Patman approvingly quoted Lincoln who said:
“Money is the creature of law, and the creation of the original issue of money should be maintained as the exclusive monopoly of the National Government. The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of Government, it is the Government’s greatest opportunity.”
Our Constitution provides that Congress shall have the power “To coin money and regulate the value thereof.”
Unfortunately, under heavy lobbying by private bankers, Congress delegated the power to create money to a private group of bankers with the 1913 Federal Reserve Act and its 1934-35 Amendments. About this, Patman said:
We still have two such governments today in 2009. We have
1. Our “We the People” Constitutional government of by and for the people. Our governmental powers are exercised for us by our elected representatives.
2. A government by a private oligarchy of 12 bankers which creates our money, regulates the amount in circulation, regulates the interest rate at which money shall be loaned to us, to businesses and to our government, whose sole legal obligation is to make as much profit for bankers as possible.
What is wrong with this?
It gives this tiny private bankers’ oligarchy dominant control over our government, our economy, our level of well being. The oligarchy can refuse to finance reforms and programs enacted by our constitutional government. The oligarchy can and does lobby congress extensively; it finances the re-election of those who favor it, and finances opponents of those who vote against its wishes.
Patman quotes a once famous British Chancellor of the Exchequer who said of private banks:
“They control the credit of the nation, direct the policy of the governments, and hold in their hands the destiny of the people.”
This mirrors the statement attributed to the legendary European banker Amschel Mayer Rothschild who allegedly said in 1838: "Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws."
This oligarchy in effect plans our economy, not to benefit us or our general welfare, but to earn the maximum private profit for them. Thus, for example, we can get health coverage for everyone only if it we pay 31 cents of every health care dollar for interest on loans, HMO profits and CEO salaries and bonuses. We cannot have Single Payer health coverage financed by the government by progressive income taxes.
It is undemocratic. These 12 bankers are responsible to no one. They are appointed every 12 years by the then sitting President on staggered terms. The law compels that the appointees be selected from a pool of bankers, and thus no appointees representing labor, the consumer, the voter or academic experts can be selected. The Accounting and Auditing Act of 1950 section, 31 USC 714(b), dictated that congressional audits of the Federal Reserve may not include "deliberations, decisions and actions on monetary policy matters.” According to the law, in other words, the Fed simply cannot be audited by Congress. We apparently can not find out the actual profits of the Fed.
The oligarchy by increasing the amount of money in circulation can cause inflation. By decreasing the amount it can cause a recession and leave millions jobless. It can cause “bubbles,” and it can also cause depressions, whichever will earn the maximum profit for them.
Patman summarizes it this way:
“What may appear, then, to be a simple decision to rein in the money supply and raise interest rates is, in fact, a simultaneous decision about the whole range of economic life—the prices people pay, the incomes they earn, the level of prosperity and the dynamic thrust of the economy is permitted to develop. The fallout extends even further. As interest rates rise, a transfer of income also takes place—to the large holders of liquid assets and the large financial institutions. It is no accident that rising interest rates are accompanied by a boom in the market for the stocks of banks and life insurance companies. The major owners of these institutions—certainly concentrated among a tiny minority of families in the
WHAT IS MONEY?
Patman has a very clear and accurate concept of money. Money is not real wealth; it is only a claim to wealth. While barter can be useful, it is far more convenient to have a medium of exchange that people agree has value. This need not be gold and it need not be any substance of real value. It can be shells, beads, notched sticks or printed paper greenbacks. The selected medium of exchange must be backed by the law and the courts in that it must be legally acceptable in full payment of debts and taxes. It adds to its stature to have it backed by a government guarantee and to have a tax system in place so that the government can make good on its guarantee if necessary. There are many advantages if the government is the sole creator of money. Letting private bankers create money creates a lot of problems, particularly if banks are not regulated.
HOW IS MONEY CREATED?
A government, whether a royal monarchy or a democracy, can simply print and issue greenbacks, or give recipients a government check. The government would incur no debt to anybody if this method were used, and if interest was to be charged, the government would get the interest. Our Constitution authorizes this method for us.
Under the exclusive franchise to manufacture money that we have delegated to the 12 bankers, these private bankers can simply “write a check” with absolutely nothing to back it up. They can create money out of thin air, loan it to us, to businesses, and to our government, and make a private profit from the interest charged. This private money manufacturing process is backed by our law that makes this money legal tender, and it is guaranteed by our government and hence by us taxpayers. It is magic money making scheme that makes private bankers wealthy beyond imagination. It is far better than all the casinos on the planet for making money. Patman did not use this description, but it is in fact a massive fraud on the public in that banks are loaning money that they do not have.
Bankers and their controlled mainstream media do not like to reveal their lucrative secret. As Patman says:
“…some of those who do understand the workings of our monetary system seem to feel they are in possession of secrets which cannot be safely revealed to the public…..For this reason, it has been traditional for bankers and other private managers of money to cloak the working of the money system with a mantle of secrecy…..These officials seem very partial to the turns of phrase that imply that the supply of money—and interest rates—are subject to powerful economic laws over which men have no control.”
Patman lays out the workings of this private money making franchise in a way that we all can understand.
It all began with the gold smiths of the late middle ages who held gold for wealthy persons who did not wish burden or the risk of carrying it around. The gold smiths issued receipts for the gold. People found it convenient to use these receipts as a medium of exchange rather than withdrawing gold, paying it to the creditor, with the creditor then depositing the gold with the gold smith. The gold smiths made loans based on their deposits. Then, since depositors rarely came at one time to withdraw the gold, they began to make loans of up to 10 times the amount of the actual gold on deposit. Nobody was any the wiser and the gold smiths got very rich. The gold smiths were creating money, ten times the amount of money they had on deposit. Banks now do the same thing. It is called “fractionalized reserve banking.” They loan a lot more than they have on deposit. What they have on “deposit” and call an “asset” for the purposes of the ratio will surprise you.
In 1964, there were at least 2 components of our money supply in circulation:
20 % was Coins and dollar bills minted and created by the U.S. Mint
80% was “Check book money” being money created by private commercial banks and by the private Fed simply by writing a check
"In 2005, the check book money, now generated by computer entries and not actual checks, was calculated to be 97.6% of our money supply. ("Money as Debt," Helen Hodgson Brown, 2008, Third Millenium Press,
Supposing a local bank had loan applications, but had no money. Where would it get it to loan? The local bank would borrow money from the Fed. Patman used $1,000 as a ridiculously low example simply for purposes of explanation. So the local bank borrows $1000 from the Fed. Where does the Fed get the money? It simply writes a check for it, although the Fed has no reserve deposit. “It creates money purely and simply by writing a check.”
In addition to the magic power to write a check out of thin air, there is a magic multiplier:
Each loan that a bank makes is considered a new addition to its “reserve” for the purpose of calculating the fractional reserve ratio. Thus it can loan 90% of the first $1000 loan or $900 to a second borrower, and 90% of that or $810 to a third borrower and continuing until it has loans outstanding of 10 times the $1000 created out of thin air or $10,000 drawing interest to profit the bank and its shareholders.
When we consider the Trillions of Dollars of debt now owed to private bankers, it becomes clear that Wall Street and its banks are collecting huge sums in interest. This magic process creates unimaginable hidden wealth for banks and their shareholders.
There is always a danger that frightened cash depositors will gang up on a bank and demand the withdrawal of their cash deposits. The Fed stands ready as the “banker’s bank” to make loans to the besieged bank to meet the threat. So long as the threat is local and confined, the whole magic system continues to function and to earn profit for the bankers.
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM PATMAN THAT WOULD HELP TODAY?
Since Patman wrote his Primer in 1964, the powers and activities of banks have compounded the wealth generated for the bankers and their shareholders. This is due to de-regulation, relaxed regulation, and the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act so as to permit banks to venture outside mere money lending. Banks could now invest in new ventures, invest in the stock and futures markets, in hedge funds, in various collateralized debt obligations, all with the sole legal imperative that they make profit for their shareholders. They still had no legal obligation to serve the public interest. While it lasted, this bubble made bank shareholders very wealthy. This tiny group of wealthy individuals uses its wealth to enhance its political power over elected officials. As we see from recent Bail Out events, this power over our government has become dominant. The powers of our government have been captured and used solely to benefit this tiny group, the top 1% of the wealthiest people in our nation.
Despite this vast mushrooming, Patman’s analysis of the underlying banking dynamics remains accurate and his remedies even more effective. Patman would recommend:
- That the Federal Reserve Act be repealed and the legitimate functions of the Fed be made a division of the Treasury Department.
- That the U.S. Government be the sole “coiner” of money and that it simply issue Greenbacks as needed to make the economy flourish, and to pay for public projects.
- That fractionalized reserve banking be abolished. Local banks would be permitted to loan only on a 1 to 1 ratio of what they had on deposit and then only for a low rate of interest.
- That local Banks be regulated again.
These reforms would halt the cancerous existing practice where all money rests on somebody’s debt. This would stop the endless
We could finance our recovery from this depression. We could avoid going into an even deeper depression. Our local banks and businesses would function as they now do, but in a stable sustainable way. If the money supply of the
President Reagan’s Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Republican Paul Craig Roberts seems to agree with Democrat Wright Patman. In Counterpunch on 3-26-09 in an article entitled, “Is the Bail Out Breeding a Bigger Crisis,” Roberts wrote:
“Could this huge debt issue be avoided if the government took over the banks and netted out the losses between the constituent parts? A staid socialized financial sector run by civil servants is preferable to the gambling casino of greed-driven, innovative, unregulated capitalism operated by banksters who have caused crisis throughout the world.
Perhaps the Federal Reserve should be socialized as well. The notion of an independent, privately-owned Federal Reserve system was never more than a ruse to get a national bank into place. Once the central bank is part of the state-owned banking system, the government can create money without having to accumulate a public debt that saddles taxpayers and future budgets with hundreds of billions of dollars in annual interest payments.”
There is one startling difference between what Wall Street banks wanted in Patman’s day and what they want now. Wall Street banks used to be overly concerned about inflation of their dollars. Our market economy was then fairly stable and the wealthy wanted the purchasing power of their dollars preserved. They restricted the creation of money and raised interest rates, a “tight money” policy. Now, strangely enough, Wall Street is going all out to inflate dollars beyond measure. This must mean that Wall Street has secretly given up on our market economy, and now seeks to siphon off as many dollars as it can as quickly as it can. The wealthy can then invest their dollars in land, gold, silver, platinum, oil reserves, and in gated castles for themselves. They can thus reduce those of us who survive to the level of feudal serfdom where we eke out an existence by working their land.
Wall Street’s plan to rescue itself is a covert class war by the top 1% against the rest of us. Wall Street seeks to solve the problem of the huge public debt to
Dated: March 27, 2009
 (b) Under regulations of the Comptroller General, the Comptroller
General shall audit an agency, but may carry out an onsite examination
of an open insured bank or bank holding company only if the appropriate
agency has consented in writing. Audits of the Federal Reserve Board and Federal reserve banks may not include--
(1) transactions for or with a foreign central bank, government
of a foreign country, or nonprivate international financing
(2) deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary policy
matters, including discount window operations, reserves of member
banks, securities credit, interest on deposits, and open market
(3) transactions made under the direction of the Federal Open
Market Committee; or
(4) a part of a discussion or communication among or between
members of the Board of Governors and officers and employees of the
Federal Reserve System related to clauses (1)-(3) of this