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    Occupy handbook Occupy handbook Document Transcript

    • The 99%’ers “Occupy Wall Street” Handbook They’re Arresting Our Grandmothers They’re Arresting Our Children They Are ALL Peaceful Protesters - An American RIGHT WE MUST DO SOMETHING! Jeff Prager
    • The Occupy Wall Street Handbook We are the 99% presented by Anarchy Books and Renegade Publishing The “Wake The Fuck Up! ™ ” Company and Expose The Criminals Productions© It’s All Class Warfare ... And YOU aren’t a member of the Class! They’ve Fucked Us All Even thoe of you living comfortably will experience hardship in the years ahead. I know, you don’t believe it. The pool water is clear, the Jacuzzi is warm and the Gym Membership and Country Club are places of refuge. YOU are not invulnerableto the massive financial frauds being committed by Wall Street AND the US Government today. It’s all a very sophisticated Illusion and you’ve fallen for it. We, the 99%, know better. Soon enough you’ll join us all, kicking and screaming all the way as everything you worked and toiled to accumulate is stripped away from you. You’ve been warned. (This is not an endorsement for canned food. The publisher doesn’t eat canned food and doesn’t recommend canned food, but he likes the Popeye cartoon.) Published to the internet without express permission of anyone.™ A Runaway Slaves, LLC.® The propaganda and indoctrination, as Jethro Tull said, is “Thick As A Brick” ©®™®©, yada, yada, yada... Remember Nugan Hand! And FUCK Wall Street! (NONE of this publication is a parody, a satire or Just-For-Fun. It’s ALL Deadly serious)
    • One Of These Two Girls Who Were PROVEN To Have Been Pepper Sprayed By A Psychopathic Thug With A Badge And A Gun Was Born Deaf. This Book Is For Her, Wherever She May Be. Speaking For ALL of Us, We Love Her. SHE IS US. The 99%.
    • If Not Now, WHEN? When YOU are Homeless? When YOU have NOTHING. THEN, it will be too late! If Not Now, WHEN?
    • Is This Your America? Giles Clarke © 2011 All Rights Reserved
    • Could This Be Your Mother? Your Sister? Your Wife?
    • These Are Just Some Of The Men Responsible For EVERYTHING Wrong With This Country. This IS A WAR On US. Make No Mistake. It’s called Class Warfare. Of course we can add Obama, Geithner, Bernanke, Summers, Bush 1, Bush 2, Ru- bin, Clinton and 100s of additional names from the Koch Brothers to Petraeus and Panetta. We all know the names. There are many 100s. Add our worthless, self serving criminal Congressional representatives and there are over a 1,000 key people in positions of vast power that are controlling our lives and assuring that the hired thugs with badges are arresting our sons and daughters, our parents and grandparents, our mothers and fathers and you and me if we DARE to pro- test. And it’s our Constitutional RIGHT to protest. This is ALL unacceptable. Fur- ther, it’s criminal and I intend to relentlessly pursue justice by exposing the lies, the fraud, the collusion, the crimes of vast proportions and I just won’t be silenced. These men DO NOT give a shit about any of us. They laugh at us drinking Martinis on their yachts, they muse over our stupidity while being served leg of lamb by their servants on the porches of their mansions. Heck man, they don’t even pump gas, do laundry, dust, vacuum, clean, shop for food or ANY of the mundane crap WE all have to do. We have no choice and they have ALL of the choices. WE are the 99% and they are the “less then 1%” of the global elite that screw us every day.
    • We Should Occupy EVERY MAJOR CITY IN THE USA But I Know Many Of Us Can’t. So, What Can We Do? This Book Will Tell You. And The Strategy In This Book WILL WORK!
    • Who Owns and Controls America? The Corporations, the Banks, the Pentagon NOT YOU AND ME
    • Judges of the Ontario Court of Justice Regional Judge for Toronto Order Per: G20 Arrests August 12, 2011 TORONTO — An Ontario Court judge has concluded that “zealous” police officers criminalized a peaceful political protest that led to dozens of arrests during last year’s G20 summit. In his 29-page judgment released Thursday, Justice Melvyn Green criticized police for their “kettling” tactics used to corral protesters on June 26, 2010. “The only organized or collective physical aggression at that location that evening was perpe- trated by police each time they advanced on demonstrators,” he wrote. Police tactics like those used during the G20 summit risks the “criminalization of dissent,” the judge ruled. “The zealous exercise of police arrest powers in the context of political demonstrations risks distorting the necessary if delicate balance between law enforcement concerns for public safety and order, on the one hand, and individual rights and freedoms, on the other.” Link: http://www.canada.com/news/Judge+slams+police+tactics+arrest/5249418/story. html#ixzz1ZKc63OR2 Wall Street’s Den of Thieves If you follow the trail of deceit from Enron to its natural lair, it only leads to one destination: Wall Street. Here’s why. The first thing you learn on Wall Street: Earnings don’t mean anything. Everyone assumes that earnings are financially engineered (sometimes downward!) to meet a variety of stakeholder expectations. The key expectation -- the one that stakeholders want companies to meet -- is steady growth. Earnings that spike and swoon set off alarm bells at places like Fidelity. Steady growth makes fund managers feel calm and content. That’s exactly what big companies -- such as General Electric, IBM, Wal-Mart, and, for a time, Enron -- deliver. Go back and read the quarterly reports of those companies over the past few years, and you’ll feel as if you’ve taken Valium, so steady and predictable is the metronome of their results. The Arrests While this is a Canadian ruling it has just as much to do with what’s happening in America to- day and in New York City specifically as Mom and Apple Pie, as you’ll soon see. The second thing you learn on Wall Street has to do with the length of the auditor’s letter and the number of footnotes included. Simply put, shorter and fewer is better than longer and more. If the auditor’s letter is a paragraph long, go directly to the footnotes. If the auditor’s letter is two paragraphs long, read the footnotes carefully. If the auditor’s letter is four paragraphs long, all hands on deck and hedge your position. For the record, Enron’s auditors wrote long letters that had a lot of footnotes. The third thing you learn on Wall Street is that cash flow and sales are really what matter (since earnings can be engineered). If a company is booking revenue and its cash flow is strong, then it has flexibility. And if the company is well managed -- if the people in charge know what they’re doing -- then it’s probably worth more tomorrow than it is today. That makes it a buy if it’s a stock or a bond. During the run-up years from 1996 to 2000, Enron appeared to be all that and more. The fourth thing you learn on Wall Street -- and this one is what they call a “job ender” or a “job keeper” - - is that one hand washes the other. If the firm that you work for happens to do a lot of other business with a firm that you’ve been as- signed to cover, you do not ever forget that there is no “I” in “team.” You are on the team, and you will do what’s right for the team. If you don’t, well, don’t kid your- self: No one is irreplaceable. That’s why Enron was always a strong buy with all of those firms that did business with the company. Even as the stock sank like a stone during the spring, summer, and fall of 2001, ENE was always a buy or a strong buy. There’s no one on Wall Street who doesn’t understand that one hand washes the other. After the music stopped and the stock tanked and Enron collapsed into bankruptcy, everyone on Wall Street pretended to be absolutely shocked that such a thing could happen. Happily enough, the more excitable members of the press and their allies in the Democratic Party saw Enron’s collapse as a huge opportunity to rebrand President George W. Bush and his Republi- can friends as the running dogs of dastardly corporate interests. Enron CEO Kenneth Lay, ex- CEO Jeffrey Skilling, and ex-CFO Andrew Fastow were all quickly sketched as Dr. Evils, and the games (known in Washington as congressional hearings) began. The hearings, of course, have been a joke. Andersen’s hapless David Duncan, former lead auditor for Enron, was the first sacrificial offering. Next up was Skilling, who declined to take the Fifth Amendment. Skilling’s lack of contrition discombobulated hearing members, causing them to embark on great flights of rhetoric in which they denounced the perfidy and the heinousness of the whole affair. Next came Lay, who did take the Fifth, thus enabling various senators to slap him around at will. On and on it went, each hearing dumber and more irrelevant than the next. The net result was disgust -- shared equally between Enron and the members.
    • Sensing that the Enron scandal was not playing out as they had hoped, the members directed their attention toward Wall Street, and a shower of subpoenas rained. Wall Street’s response (figuratively speaking) was, “Go ahead. Make my day.” After all, Wall Street is the mother lode of political fund-raising, and 2002 is an election year. The congressional subpoenas were fishing lines with no bait and no hook. The exercise had everything to do with headlines and nothing to do with substance. And for good reason. Because at the core of Enron’s collapse is the fact that virtually everything the company did was legal. Accounting and financial engineering obey rules -- not laws, morals, or notions of right and wrong. If Andersen, Ernst & Young, and PricewaterhouseCoopers operate within the rules of accounting as outlined by the FASB and the SEC, then it doesn’t matter if the company that they’re auditing covers up debt, misstates earnings, or misleads investors. Tough luck. The rules were obeyed. If accounting regu- lations don’t specifically say, “Do not create an offshore SPE collateralized by company stock to keep debt off the company’s balance sheet,” then all the $600-per-hour brainpower that money can buy will find a way to do it. And it will be legal. G20 rioters to hang banker effigies from lampposts as city staff are told to wear disguises City workers are being urged to stay at home or to dress down during next week’s G20 summit to avoid being targeted by anti-capitalist protest- ers. Unprecedented measures are being put in place to prepare for thousands of demonstrators targeting the City and Canary Wharf. About 3,000 anti-capitalist protesters are expected, with groups next Wednesday marching to the Bank of England, holding ‘flashcamps’ outside the European Climate Exchange in Bishopsgate, and marching on the US Embassy. Demonstrators have vowed to hang effigies of bankers from lampposts along the protest route. City workers have been warned not to wear suits, but to ‘dress down’ in chinos and loafers be- cause they would be obvious targets. Banks have been warned to take extra security precautions to protect their staff after vandals attacked former RBS chief Sir Fred Goodwin’s Edinburgh home. Security specialists at Kroll, the risk consultancy, said high profile bankers were ‘easy tar- gets’. Companies linked to the financial crisis are taking extra security measures for prominent staff. An extra 2,500 police, including riot units and intelligence officers, are being deployed at a cost of £10million to tackle any violence, while security consultants are giving firms constant up- dates on threat levels. The demonstrations, as 20 world leaders meet at the ExCeL Centre in Docklands to discuss how to end the world recession, are expected to be the biggest in London this decade. Demonstrators will target the ExCeL centre the next day. Banks, insurers, accountancy firms and brokerages have all circulated emails to staff with security instructions. One warns: ‘The front door is to be permanently locked during these two days.’ Royal Bank of Scotland Chief Executive Sir Fred Goodwin Face of the financial crisis: Sir Fred TheLondonChamberofCommercehavewarned businesses to take security precautions, includ- ing making sure staff carry ID, keep movement in and out of the offices to a minimum and can- celling all but essential meetings. Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of the LCCI, said: ‘There will be concern among businesses at the protests but the vast majority of firms will have robust security arrangements in place.’ The financial advisory group Bluefin, which employs 500 staff in London-has told employ- ees not to go to its office in Mark Lane in the City unless absolutely necessary. A spokesman for the bank UBS said: ‘We are telling people to be cautious. If you have client meetings do you need to have them here?” Chris Knight, professor of anthropology at the University of East London, is organising protests under the banner G20 Meltdown. Fred Goodwins Home • As you can see, Americans have no such designs. We’e peaceful protesters exercising not necessarily our Constitutional rights but our inalienable rights handed down by a higher power. But we don’t want to create havoc and destruction. We want Justice and liberty from a corrupt and fraudulentg system.
    • He said: ‘We are going to be hanging a lot of people like Fred the Shred from lamp- posts and I can only say let’s hope they are just effigies. If he winds us up any more I’m afraid there will be real bankers hanging from lampposts.’ Meanwhile, the group claiming responsibility for vandalising the former Royal Bank of Scotland chairman’s home has threatened further action against ‘criminal’ bank bosses. A statement claiming to be from the group responsible for damage at his £3million mansion warned of further attacks, saying: ‘This is just the beginning.’ The threat sparked fears of a terror campaign against those blamed for the collapse in the financial system. Security adviser Dai Davies, a former head of Scotland Yard’s Royalty Protection squad, said: ‘Risk assessments will have to be carried out by the police on individu- als who are concerned about their safety. If there is cause for concern then appro- priate advice will be given and pre put in place. ‘The developments at Sir Fred Goodwin’s home will almost certainly make some other high-profile bankers want to review their own private security arrange- ments.’ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1164999/City-staff-told-wear-dress-dis- guises-avoid-G20-demonstrator-threat.html#ixzz1ZLk62HHs Wall Street Scene of a multitude of real crimes
    • The Modern Day Robber Barons There are 1000s and we can’t cover them all ...
    • The Robber Barons of Wall Street It was recently revealed that John Paulson , manager of the hedge fund Paulson & Co., had a personal income of $5 billion in 2010. While millions of Americans were struggling to survive, this man was raking in $155.55 per second, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Although his hedge fund colleagues haven’t yet revealed their 2010 income, we know that the top 25 hedge fund managers made an average of $1 billion in 2009. The poor performer at the bottom of this group took home only a paltry $325 million. Through their special relationships with our elected representatives (i.e., campaign contribu- tions), these hard-working executives also get a special tax break, paying only a 15 percent tax on their income, well below that of a typical clerical worker. I have no problem with individuals making a lot of money if they provide products and services that people want be- cause that stimulates our economy and creates jobs. Even the original reviled Robber Barons of the 19th century cre- ated infrastructure (railroads), products (steel) and employ- ment on the road to accumulating their enormous wealth. On the other hand, our 21st century Robber Barons are mak- ing their fortunes by skimming and leeching off our loosely regulated financial system to the detriment of individual in- vestors and pension funds. Their methods, although assur- edly legal, push the envelope in ways that are not available to individuals or smaller banks and investment firms. They use highly leveraged speculation (a euphemism for gambling) on commodities, currencies and markets to ma- nipulate and distort the original intent of the hedging pro- cess. They have at their disposal expensive banks of high- speed computers that employ sophisticated mathematical algorithms to prey on small differences in market prices in order to realize massive profits in the blink of an eye. An- other ploy is to take successful public companies private in order to strip their assets, after which they sell off the strug- gling and heavily indebted remnants. All of these activities are designed to extract short-term profits at the expense of individuals and companies who are staying the course hoping for long-term investment growth. They will proclaim that their role is to “make the market more efficient,” but it’s hard to understand why this ef- ficiency involves siphoning off billions of dollars out of our many pockets into a few of theirs. Since hedge fund managers take 20 percent of the profits that their funds generate, the top 25 funds produced profits of at least $125 billion in 2009, and you can bet the booty will be much higher in 2010 and 2011. We are a collective bunch of saps if we allow this pillage to continue. As a people, we should be outraged at the unconscionable level of compensation delivered to financial executives across the board. Just what are they con- tributing to our society and economy that justifies these outsized rewards? In fact, as demonstrated in the recent fi- nancial meltdown, one can make the case that they are undermining our economic system rather than enabling it. Overall, I’m in favor of reducing taxes and regulations, especially on small businesses. However, I’d like us to move in the opposite direction with respect to Wall Street firms. At the very least we should be asking our sena- tors and congressmen why hedge fund mangers deserve a 15 percent tax bracket when anyone else making over $373,000 in taxable income is taxed at 35 percent. If they had paid income tax at the top rate in 2009, they would have contributed an additional $5 billion toward deficit reduction. I suspect that they could have come up with the additional money without having to sacrifice too many jets, yachts or mansions. But we need to go much further than that. We should be heavily regulating the financial sector to curb high-lever- age risk taking and high-speed algorithmic trading. We also need to introduce additional tax brackets directed at these ludicrously high incomes so that we can recoup some of their ill-gotten gains for the public good. Unfor- tunately, our elected officials are already in the pocket of the financial industry’s well-funded lobbyists; they have watered down proposed financial regulations and backed off on eliminating the hedge fund managers’tax loophole. Incredible as it may seem, our representatives are now proposing to deregulate Wall Street once more. And we know where that will lead. Reining in the financial sector should be something that appeals to people across a wide political spectrum, and yet there seems to be a collective passive response to these excesses. We need to stand up and express our outrage to our government officials in no uncertain terms and hold their feet to the fire until corrective actions are taken. It’s time to pick up our pitchforks and torches It is always good to take a look at history because it gives us insight into the present. It is important not to forget, especially since today, we are faced with a similar strug- gle. Essence Restored says, “Since the 1980’s with the election of Ronald Reagan the country has gone further and further in favor of business leaders and the wealthy and taken away more and more rights, opportunities, and wealth from the middle and lower classes. In fact, the in- come disparity now is the greatest it has been since the 1920’s. Perhaps, it is time for another age of progressive and labor movements. Those in power will listen if enough people rise up against the greed that has come to define our system. It is time to quit buying into the lies, fears, and false promises of those seeking to enrich their own wealth. Let us follow the path of history and limit the power and strength of the modern day robber barons.” But will we? What is so disturbing to me is that we have the information, yet we are allowing history to repeat itself. We will complain to each other, but we won’t do anything. I’m going to show some modern day robber barons and give the links to read more about each. My intent is to inform, educate, and hopefully open eyes in the hope that ‘we the people’ finally rise up and say “enough “! The Koch Brothers
    • The Kochs And Their Weapons Of Mass Distraction Capitol Hill - “When it comes to assault on American freedoms, few terrorists — if any — are more dangerous than Charles and David Koch — the energy magnates who use their checkbooks as weapons of mass distraction to finance threats against Democracy.” http://www.capitolhillblue.com/node/40038 Countrywide’s Many ‘Friends’ Two U.S. senators, two former Cabinet members, and a former ambassador to the United Nations received loans from Countrywide Financial through a little-known program that waived points, lender fees, and company bor- rowing rules for prominent people. Senators Christopher Dodd, Democrat from Connecticut and chairman of the Banking Committee, and Kent Conrad, Democrat from North Dakota, chairman of the Budget Committee and a member of the Finance Com- mittee, refinanced properties through Countrywide’s “V.I.P.” program in 2003 and 2004, according to company documents and emails and a former employee familiar with the loans. http://www.portfolio.com/news-markets/top-5/2008/06/12/Countrywide-Loan-Scandal/index.html Hedgie John Paulson, 21st Century Robber Baron? International Political Economy Zone - “Like the robber barons of yore, John Paulson has made an outrageous fortune – in his case by taking out credit default swaps against issuers of subprime mortgages. The $15 billion he netted has been called The Greatest Trade Ever .” http://ipezone. blogspot.com/2011/02/hedgie-john-paulson-21st-century-rob- ber.html Robber Baron Redux http://www.portfolio.com/interactive-features/2007/05/moguls The Big Oil Company Execs Oil executives – aka robber barons – at right, BPAmerica Chair- man Robert Malone; Shell Oil President John Hofmeister (not pictured); Chevron Vice Chairman Peter Robertson (not pic- tured); ConocoPhillips Executive Vice President John Lowe (not pictured); and ExxonMobile Senior Vice President J. Stephen Simon (second from left at top right), are sworn in on Capitol Hill. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24757944/ns/business-oil_and_ energy/t/oil-execs-defend-huge-profits-senate/ In Conclusion These are just a few of the modern day robber barons. They are not doing anything that hasn’t been done before. The question is, are ‘we the people’ ever going to do anything to change the plight of the average American, or just continue to whine and be victims. When do we stop taking what any politician says at face value? When do we start researching how they actually vote on important issues, rather than believe what they say in a campaign speech? When do we start asking some hard ques- tions, and demand truthful answers? When do we stop putting them in office? When do we hold them accountable? Robber barons are essentially bullies, and I was taught there is only one way to handle a bully.
    • Twice a year, the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch host secretive retreats for an exclusive list of corporate America’s rich and powerful to strategize and raise money for their right-wing political agenda. At Center Right Is One Of Charles Koch’s 7 Homes Mother Jones obtained exclusive audio recordings that shed some light on the brothers’ latest retreat, held at a resort near Vail, Colorado, in late June. In a speech that is part of these recordings, Charles Koch thanks donors who gave more than $1 million to the cause. We checked the audio against a list of partici- pants at the Kochs’2010 seminar in Aspen that was obtained by ThinkProgress.org and did additional research on these individuals. Below are the names Koch read that appeared on the previous guest list. John Childs Childs is the founder and CEO of private equity firm JW Childs Associates. In 2006, Boston Magazine placed the “notoriously media-shy” magnate—a.k.a. “the Republican ATM”—among the city’s wealthiest residents, reportedly worth $1.2 billion. Childs donated $750,000 to outside political expenditure groups in 2010. He’s also been involved in Floridawetlands conservation efforts. The Cortopassis Dean “Dino” Cortopassi and his wife, Joan, hail from Stockton, California.This ar- ticle, which identifies the pair as philanthroposts, calls Dino a “wealthy self-made agribusinessman who is Stocktonian of the Year for 2005.” He is suing the state of California for its failure to dredge streams in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Joe Craft Joseph Craft is president, CEO, and chairman of Alliance Resource Partners, a coal company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that gave $2.4 million to outside political expenditure groups in 2010. His family is reportedly worth $1.9 billion. The DeVoses Rich and Helen DeVos hail from Michigan. The cofounder of Amway and owner of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, Rich DeVos is reportedly worth in the ballpark of $4.2 billion. The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation funds conservative Christian groups such as Focus on the Family. The DeVoses are big enough political donors to have their own profile at OpenSecrets.org. The Farmers Dick Farmer is from Ohio. The founder and former CEO of the Cintas Corporation, his story is literally rags-to- riches: He turned his father’s Depression-era rag-cleaning business into a $3.5 billion enterprise. Farmer and his wife, Joyce, are longtime Republican boosters; during the 2002 election cycle the couple gave about $1 million to the party. The Friesses Foster Friess founded the investment firm Friess Associates in 1974 with his wife, Lynn; in 2001, he sold a major- ity share for $247 million. Friess is a champion of conservative Christian causes and one of Wyoming’s richest men. His son, Steve Friess, helps him run the family’s philanthropic foundation. (Steve’s wife, Polly, was also on the list of Aspen Koch participants.)
    • The Fullinwiders Jerry and Leah Fullinwider hail from Dallas. Jerry has pursued oil exploration and development in the United States, Canada, and Russia. He now serves under Ross Perot’s son as vice chairman of Hillwood International En- ergy, which has operations in Iraq and Jordan as well as the United States and Russia. He also has ties to Hilarion Alfeyev, an anti-abortion Russian Orthodox bishop. The Gilliams Richard Gilliam and wife, Leslie, are natives of southwest Virgin- ia. Richardfounded the Cumberland Resources Corporation, which was one of the nation’s largest private coal mining companies when Massey Energy bought it for nearly $1 billion in March 2010. He’s now a director with the Vancouver-based mining corporation En- durance Gold. The Griffins Ken and Anne Dias Griffin are a hedge fund power couple from Chicago whowed in 2003. Ken is the founder and CEO of Cita- del and is reportedly worth $2.3 billion. Anne founded one of the nation’s largest woman-run hedge funds, Aragon Global Manage- ment. Ken bundled money for both President Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain during the 2008 election. The Haworths Richard “Dick” Haworth is the former CEO and chairman emeritus of Haworth, an international office-interiors manufacturer based in Holland, Michigan, that he took over from his father in 1975. The company reported sales of $1.4 billion in 2005, the year he retired. He is married to Ethie Haworth and has donated more than $100,000 to Republican causes, according to OpenSecrets.org. Diane Hendricks Hendricks is the billionaire former head of the ABC Supply roofing company, which she took over from her hus- band Kenneth after he died in a construction site accident in 2007. Reportedly worth $2.2 billion, she is therichest businesswoman in Wisconsin and a big Republican Party donor. She recently gave her state’s embattled Republi- can governor, Scott Walker,$10,000 in advance of a potential recall vote next year. The Humphreys family Ethelmae Humphreys is the chair of the board of Tamko Building Products, one of the country’s largest indepen- dent roofing manufacturers. She also serves on the board of directors of the Cato Institute, a Koch-funded think tank. Her son David is Tamko’s CEO. The two have doled out hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates. That includes David’s $25,000 donation to the successful recount effort this year of conservative Wis- consin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, who came under fire recently for allegations that he choked a fellow justice. (He wasn’t charged.) The Levys Kenneth Levy of Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, cofounded the Jacobs Levy equity management firm and has donated about $85,000 to conservative causes, according to FEC records. His wife, Frayda Levin, is a nation- al director at the Koch brothers’ advocacy group Americans for Prosperity and sits on the board of the Club for Growth. She also cofounded the Motion Picture Institute, which “promotes liberty through film,” according to her AFP bio. FEC records show that she has given well over $100,000 to conservative causes. The Marshall family Elaine Marshall of Dallas is the widow of E. Pierce Marshall, a son of oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall who served on the board of Koch Industries before his death. Elaine was involved in a suc- cessful effort to prevent the late Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith, who married Howard when he was 89, from inheriting the family’s wealth. Before Smith’s death, she was investigated by the FBI but never prosecuted in a murder-for-hire plot against Pierce. In the end, Pierce inherited the bulk of his father’s wealth because he and his father had previously helped Charles and David Koch thwart a takeover of Koch Industries; Howard’s eldest son—also named Howard—sided against his father and was disinherited as a result. Meanwhile, Elaine’s son, E. Pierce Marshall Jr., is se- nior vice president and general counsel at oil exploration company MarOpCo.Another son, Preston Marshall of Houston, is the presi- dent of MarOpCo. The Popes Art Pope is a millionaire Republican booster from Raleigh, North Carolina, who inherited his retail fortune from a family business. According to this article, he’s “one of the most trusted members of the Koch’s elite circle” and a regular at the Kochs’ secret seminars, as well as a “valuable junior partner in many key Koch operations.” He’s another national director at Americans for Prosperity and is married to Kathy Pope. The Robertsons Corbin Robertson is CEO and chairman of the board of Natural Resource Partners, a Houston-based fossil fuels company. He’s also been involved with a number of other energy organizations and was listed as the richest US small-business owner in 2007 byCNNMoney. He and wife Barbara have donated to the Baylor College of Medi- cine and both Democratic and Republican politicians. Ethelmae Humphreys and Vernon Smith at the IFREE Gala Evening
    • Karen Wright Wright is the founder and CEO of the Ariel Foundation, a private philanthropy group based in Mount Vernon, Ohio. She’s also CEO of the Ariel Corporation, a natural-gas compression company, and on the American Pe- troleum Institute’s board of directors. She has donated more than $100,000 to Republican causes, according to OpenSecrets.org. Tom Rastin Rastin shares a Mount Vernon, Ohio, address with Karen Wright. He serves onthe board of directors at the Ariel Foun- dation and is vice president of marketing and engineering at the Ariel Corporation. Last year, he gave $2,400 to the failed congressional campaign of former Democratic Louisiana House Speaker Hunt Downer, who switched to the Republi- can Party after endorsing the Bush-Cheney ticket in 2000. Peter Smith The principals with the Services Group of America: SGA is a billion-dollar food services wholesaler; its CEO, Peter Smith of Scottsdale, Arizona, appears on the list of 2010 Koch at- tendees. Smith took over as CEO last year after its former head, GOP heavyweightThomas J. Stewart, died in a heli- copter crash. According to FEC records, Smith has donated $12,500 to Republican congressional candidates. SGA’s po- litical action committee donates heavily to Republicans. The Camerons Ron Cameron of Little Rock, Arkansas, runs agribusiness gi- ant Mountaire Corporation, which generated $1.22 billion in revenue in 2009. He has donated at least $175,000 to Repub- licans in recent years, including $5,000 to Sarah Palin’s PAC, according to FEC records. The company itself has given at least $125,000 to outside spending groups over the past de- cade, according to OpenSecrets.org. The Hamms Self-made magnate Harold Hamm of Oklahoma City is reportedly worth $8.2 billion. The son of sharecroppers, Hamm soared up the corporate ladder from gas station attendant to CEO of “America’s Oil Champion,” Okla- homa-based Continental Resources.According to OpenSecrets.org, he’s doled out more than $100,000 to political causes and candidates, mostly Republican. Stricken with diabetes, he and wife Sue Ann founded a centerat the Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center to help combat the disease. The Haydens Jerry and Marilyn Hayden of Barrington, Illinois, doled out $400,000 to conservative-leaning outside spending groups in 2010 and about $250,000 to Republicans in 2008. Before retirement, Jerry ran Peacock Engineering, a packaging company. As of September 2008, he served on the board of directors at the United Republican Fund of Illinois. The Haydens recently donated $2.5 million toward an alumni center at their alma matter, Bradley University. Virginia James James is an investor from New Jersey. She has donated hand- somely to right-wing causes, including a $750,000 gift to the Club for Growth in 2008 and another $350,000 last year. This year, she donated $25,000 to the successful recount of Wisconsin’s Justice Prosser. The Menards John Menard of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, is the founder of Me- nards, the country’s third-largest hardware company. He’s worth a reported $5.2 billion and has donated about $80,000 to his state’s Republican Party and federal candidates, mostly Republicans, according to FEC records. His company backed a recent anti-union program that was linked to the Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity and supported by Gov. Scott Walk- er. John Moran Hailing from Palm Springs, Florida, Moran is the former chairman of the Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corporation, an inter- national holding company based in New York City. He also chaired the Republican National Finance Committee from 1993 to 1995. Moran has given more than $900,000 to Re- publican causes since 1991, according to OpenSecrets.org, and he bundled between $250,000 and $500,000 more for McCain’s 2008 presidential bid. In 1997, he warned that the religious right was putting his party’s future “in jeopardy.” The Schwabs Charles Schwab of San Francisco is founder and chairman of the Charles Schwab Corporation, the country’s largest independent brokerage firm. He is reportedly worth $4.7 billion. Since 1989, Schwab has donated more than $1.6 million to political causes, mostly Republican, according toOpenSecrets.org. Part of that went to his company’s lobbying arm, which has given away millions more. They’re Laughing At Us Because We’re Sheep NOT ANY MORE! Washington Weeps
    • Paul Singer While Singer is not on the list of Aspen participants, the New York Times notedthat “Annie Dickerson, who also runs a foundation for Paul Singer, a hedge fund executive who like the Kochs is active in promoting libertarian causes,” showed up at that seminar. Singer founded the $17 billion hedge fund Elliott Management and recently issued an economic manifesto slamming the Federal Reserve as a “group of inbred academics.” The Templetons John “Jack” Templeton Jr. and his wife, Josephine, of Pennsyl- vania, gave $50,000 apiece to Wisconsin Justice Prosser’s re- count effort this year. Jack has donated more than $1 million to Republicans, according to state and federal records. He heads the conservative John Templeton Foundation, which aims to merge evangelical Christianity with “science” and “health.” The foundation was started by Jack’s father, Sir John the mu- tual fund billionaire, and in 2009 reportedly had $1.7 billion in assets. Exclusive: Inside the Koch Brothers’ Secret Seminar “We have Saddam Hussein,” declared billionaire industrialist Charles Koch, apparently referring to President Barack Obama as he welcomed hundreds of wealthy guests to the latest of the secret fundraising and strategy seminars he and his brother host twice a year. The 2012 elections, he warned, will be “the mother of all wars.” Charles Koch would probably not publicly compare the president of the United States to a murderous dictator. (As a general rule, he and his brother don’t do much politicking or speechifying in public at all.) But Mother Jones has obtained exclusive audio recordings from the Koch seminar, a private event that took place in June at a resort near Vail, Colorado. These unprecedented recordings provide a behind-the-scenes look at how the Koch brothers and their comrades talk when they gather. They include a pair of keynote speeches and remarks by brothers Charles and David Koch, who spell out their political aims and name some of the “great partners” who have contributed millions of dollars to their causes. (The audio was provided by a source who approached the author after the event was over and was not seeking compensation.) Security was tight at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch on opening night of the weekend conference, which drew an estimated 300 guests. (Past attendees have included prominent politicians, right-wing media luminaries, corpo- rate titans, and wealthy political donors.) Audio technicians even set up outward-pointing speakers around the pe- rimeter of the outdoor dining pavilion, according to sources, emitting static to frustrate would-be eavesdroppers. “There is anonymity that we can protect,” noted emcee “Kevin”—likely Kevin Gentry, a VP for the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation—as he gently urged guests to open their wallets in support of the brothers’ causes. Indeed, Charles Koch named 32 individuals and families who had donated more than $1 million over the previous 12 months, yet because of loopholes in federal campaign law, their donations do not exist in the public record. Charles and David Koch are co-owners of Koch Industries, an energy and chemical conglomerate inherited from their father that is currently America’s second-largest privately held company. To date, the brothers have spent more than $100 million supporting hard-right political campaigns and institutions. They are key funders of the movement to discredit climate science and sow doubt on the scientific consensus that human activities contribute to global warming. The Kochs have tried to keep everything about the seminars secret: the content, identities of attendees and speakers—even meeting locations and dates. The Kochs also bankrolled the fledgling tea party by making massive investments in right-wing political advocacy groups such as Americans for Prosperity, as detailed by Jane Mayer in The New Yorker last year. More generally, the brothers have dedicated a portion of their vast wealth—and that of their bene- factors—to influencing elections across the nation and swaying public opinion on everything from health care and fracking to labor policy and government spending. The brothers have held their twice-yearly seminars since at least 2003, endeavoring to keep almost everything about them a secret—not just the content but also the identities of attend- ees and speakers, and even the locations and dates. They’ve succeeded until recently. Last October, a leaked invite for the Kochs’ January 2011 seminar was first obtained and published by the New York Times.* In response, groups including Com- mon Cause and Greenpeace organized a massive protest out- side the gates of the resort near Palm Springs where the gather- ing was held. According to an agenda (PDF) for an earlier Koch seminar (Aspen, 2010) that accompanied the leaked invitation, previous Koch seminars have featured “such notable lead- ers” as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), and Reps. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Mike Pence (R-Ind.). Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas also have attended. Several GOP governors made it to the Vail seminar in June, among them Florida’s Rick Scott, Virginia’s Robert McDonnell, and White House hopeful Rick Perry of Texas. News of the event slipped out after McDonnell put the trip on his weekend schedule; neither Perry nor Scott initially disclosed the trip to their constituents. A Perry spokesman acknowledged his attendance only after the Austin American-Statesman tracked the tail number of a plane belonging to one of the governor’s top donors from Texas to Colorado. He described the summit as a “pri- vate gathering of business leaders.” Koch read off the million-dollar honor roll, a list of 32 donors who have made seven-figure contributions to the brothers’ efforts. During his welcoming remarks, Charles Koch warned his guests that the 2012 elections are nothing short of a battle “for the life or death of this country.” He then acknowledged the individuals and families who had given more than $1 million to the brothers’ efforts—though he misspoke, saying “more than a billion,” earning a huge
    • laugh from the crowd. “Well, I was thinking of Obama and his billion-dollar campaign,” Koch said, to more laugh- ter and cheers. “So I thought, ‘We gotta do better than that.’” (Forbes pegs the brothers’ personal net worth at around $22 billion apiece.) Koch then proceeded to read off the million-dollar honor roll, a list of 32 names that we have cross-checked against the published list of 2010 attendees, as well as additional sources. The list features many well-known GOP donors including John Childs (JW Childs Associates), Rick and Helen DeVos (Amway), Dick and Joyce Farmer (Cin- tas), and Diane Hendricks (ABC Supply). MoJo’s Gavin Aronsen breaks it all down in his post, “Exclusive: The Koch Brothers’ Million-Dollar Donor Club.” Concluding his reading of the list, Charles quipped that there were “10 more [million-dollar donors] who will re- main anonymous, including David and me... We’re very humble... The plan is the next seminar I’m only reading the names of the $10 million,” he added, to laughs from the crowd. Charles spoke again the next evening, following a key- note speech by Fox News host and retired New Jersey Superior Court Judge Andrew P. Napolitano. The judge didn’t stray far from his usual libertarian fare; he was met with hardy approval when he declared that the Sec- ondAmendment was created to ensure “the right to shoot at the government if it is taken over by tyrants.” Among Napolitano’s other revelations: that he some- times gets in “a little bit of trouble” from his employers at Fox for being tough on Republicans; that Fox hired him on the strength of his televised advice, during the contentious 2000 Florida election contest, that the Bush- Cheney campaign should take its case straight to the US Supreme Court; that he views the PATRIOT Act as the “the single most abominable, hateful, unconstitutional piece of legislation [ever] enacted”; and that he believes former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales undermined the Constitution when he threatened to prosecute the New York Times for exposing spying by the National Security Agency. Napolitano closed his address with a quote he misattrib- uted to Thomas Jefferson**: “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.” At this point, Charles Koch returned to the podium. “We’ve talked about our competitive disadvantage, how we’re overwhelmed in a number of areas,” he said. “One of those areas, of course, is the media—and we’re overwhelmed. The media is 90-plus percent against us. But we have a few bright stars, and Judge here is one of ‘em. “We are absolutely going to do our utmost to invest this money wisely and get the best possible payoff for you in the future of our country.” “Now, we’ve opined on what you should do, and you have to go execute. And I’m sure you’ll do a great job,” Koch said. “We’ve had great discussions, great arguers, I think great programs, great initiatives. And lastbutnotleast,Iwanttothankallofyouwhostepped forward so generously to support this as you’ve done in the past. And I want to give all of you a big hand for stepping forward to save our country.” The crowd applauded it- self “We’ve had a lot of tough battles,” he continued. “We’ve lost a lot over the years, and we’ve won some recently. And I pledge to all of you who’ve stepped forward and are partnering with us that we are abso- lutely going to do our utmost to invest this money wisely and get the best possible payoff for you in the future of our country.” But “it isn’t just your money we need,” Koch added. “We need your energy. We need you bringing in new partners, new people. We can’t do it alone. This group can’t do it alone. We have to multiply ourselves. Just as to change the media we just can’t have the judge. We need to clone him thousands and thousands-fold. “And so, thank you so much,” Koch said. “God bless you, and God bless America.” *Clarification: The original version of this article implied that Lee Fang of ThinkProgress.org broke the news about the Koch’s January 2011 seminar. Actually, the Times had it first, and de- scribed the leaked Aspen agenda; Fang was the first to provide a link to the document. **Correction: The original version of this story missed this fact. A sharp-eyed commenter notes that Napolitano did not close his address with a well-worn Thomas Jefferson quote, “he closed it with a well-worn John Basil Barnhill quote often misattributed to Jefferson.”
    • Labor force participation rate 1984 — 2011 Job participation in the US has reached a 27 year low
    • The US Federal Reserve injected $500 billion into the US economic system between January and March 2011 The Goals Is Simple The Strategy Even Easier • STOP PARTICIPATING • I’ll Explain
    • $14,639,239,567,874.38 The Fraud and Criminality Of Fractional Reserve Banking The US National Debt has increased an average of $2.27 billion per day since 2005 until 2008! Now, due to the bailout of the rich bankers and world elite, the US National Debt is increasing substantially faster! The US trade deficit is on track to set a record for an eighth consecutive year, running at an an- nual rate of $780 billion. During fiscal year 2010/2011 the U.S. Treasury is on-track to pay upwards of $500 billion just in interest payments to finance the already-existing debt. Annual interest payments for individuals, households, businesses, and all levels of US govern- ment are likely to reach $3 trillion — out of a $14 trillion annual GDP, an annual GDP that this year will likely decline. The debt limit was raised for the third time in less than a year with the passage of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 13, 2009 (ARRA; H.R. 1). Signed into law on February 17, 2009 (P.L. 111-5) the debt limit was increased to $12.104 trillion An end-of-session vote in December 2009 increased the debt ceiling by $290 billion set at $12.394 trillion. 12 February 2010 Obama signed a law increasing the debt limit from $12.394 trillion to $14.294 trillion. April 15, 2011 US stated debt exceeded present US law until August 1, 2011 when a stop-gap measure of four hundred billion was passed by Congress biding new ‘Super-Congress’ legisla- tion. The Debt Subject to Limit is the maximum amount of money the Government is allowed to borrow without receiving additional authority from Congress. The current statutory limit is $14.694 trillion. The estimated population of the United States 2006 is around 300,000,000 people. David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the US and head of the Government Accountability Office, in his December 17, 2007, report to the US Congress on the financial statements of the US government noted that “the federal government did not maintain effective internal control over financial reporting (including safeguarding assets) and compliance with significant laws and regulations as of September 30, 2007.” The US government cannot pass an audit. The GAO report states accrued liabilities of the federal government “totaled approximately $53 trillion as of September 30, 2007”, likely to increase to $70 trillion by the end of 2009. USA TODAY May 28, 2009, used federal data to compute all government liabilities, from Trea- sury bonds to Medicare to military pensions. Bottom line: The government took on $6.8 trillion in new obligations in 2008, pushing the total owed to a record $63.8 trillion. No funds have been set aside against the liability. The estimated net worth of all Americans including all business is about $47 trillion, reducing rapidly as property and company value reduces. The Debt Can Not And Will Not Ever Be Paid. EVER. THIS IS FRAUD By CONGRESS AND The Central Bankers of the US Federal Reserve US debt as of August 19th 2011
    • M2 has never grown this fast in a seven week period for at least the past 50 years. No matter how you look at it, this is a major event. During recessions the US Bureau of Labor Statistics model doesn’t work. The model is based on good times when new jobs always exceed lost jobs. On the ‘death’ side, if a company goes out of business due to recession and does not report its payroll, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics assumes the employees are still in place. On the ‘birth’ side, 30,000 jobs are added to the monthly numbers as an estimate of new start-ups.
    • China China’s leading credit rating agency Dagong Global Credit Rating Company last summer stripped America, Britain, Germany and France of their AAA ratings, accusing Anglo-Saxon competi- tors of ideological bias in favour of the West. And last week: Analysis shows that the crisis confronting the U.S. cannot be ultimately resolved through cur- rency depreciation. On the contrary, it is likely that an overall crisis might be triggered by the U.S. government’s policy to continuously depreciate the U.S. dollar against the will of creditors. Creation of Electronic Nonsense Is Fraud And China Knows This If we exclude the factor of virtual [a more polite term for false] economy, the U.S. actual GDP is about 5 trillion U.S. dollars. Total domestic consumption is 10.0 trillion U.S. dollars and government expenditure was 4.5 trillion U.S. dollars in 2009, now in 2011 it is anticipated with debt load to be somewhere above the moon, between U.S. 10 and 30 trillion dollars of creation of electronic nonsense.
    • Financial collapse and the Illuminati Gods But when the banks use their putrid mortgage-backed sludge in the repo markets — concealing their true condition from investors — they get high-fives from bondholders and regulators alike! ...The whole thing a scam from the get go! ‘Creative accounting’ — think Enron — is the insolvency of the system! HFT — complex derivatives — securitization — repo transactions — all preserved in their previous state!
    • Financial collapse and the Illuminati Gods Stabilization and recovery is not part of the plan. Only extension of the economy — until the right spot is reached to pull the plug on the entire system. The key to that is the bond market, which is ten times larger than the stock market.
    • Obama and the Illuminati Gods And think of all the volatility that all these events will bring to world financial markets, and the fabulous wealth accumulated by anyone having insider information on when these events will be orchestrated to occur! However, as for the those of you who have not been anointed by the New World Order, only those who own gold and silver [that means part buried in your garden, part under the floorboards] will survive! UNLESS WE OCCUPY WALL STREET AND EVERY MAJOR CITY IN THE USA New World Order Statistics The gifts of billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money provided the banks with an abundance of low cost capital that has boosted the banks’ profits, while the taxpayers who provided the capital are increasingly unemployed and homeless. JPMorgan Chase announced that it has earned $3.6 billion in the third quarter of this year. Meanwhile, New York City’s homeless shelters have reached the all time high of 39,000 - 16,000 of whom are children. OUR CHILDREN!
    • The US is bankrupt! This period — up to a future where the veil can no longer cloak — is going to see heightening dissembling within our present structures! Dissemble — to hide under a false semblance or seeming; to feign (something) not to be what it really is; to put an untrue appearance upon; to disguise; to mask. And from now — and for the next few years — we are going to see major dismembering of everything we have viewed and expected as a progression of our Earth lives! Whatever they are telling you, the time to prepare is fast coming to an end! Prepare means of food procurement and private storage and other survival mechanisms! This applies to people in all Western countries, and all other nation-states also! And Occupy Wall Street and Every Major US City Or You Will Not Survive
    • JP Morgan and the US Gold Bullion Fed dollar Empire This period — up to a future where the veil can no longer cloak — is going to see heightening dissembling within our present structures! Dissemble — to hide under a false semblance or seeming; to feign (something) not to be what it really is; to put an untrue appearance upon; to disguise; to mask. And from now — and for the next few years — we are going to see major dismembering of everything we have viewed and expected as a progression of our Earth lives! Whatever they are telling you, the time to prepare is fast coming to an end! Prepare means of food procurement and private storage and other survival mechanisms! This applies to people in all Western countries, and all other nation-states also! And Occupy Wall Street and Every Major US City Or You Will Not Survive
    • SuperCon • Obama Steps In As Crime Boss Fraud is initiated in boardrooms and CEO offices by making “really bad loans, because they pay better”. Grow them like a Ponzi scheme multiplied through leverage — it’s hugely profitable early on, then inevitably creates “disaster down the road”. One scheme was subprime Alt-A and even prime “liars’ loans” — meaning no checks are made on income, jobs, ability to repay, and the more they’re inflated the more profitable they are. The amount was enormous — for one company alone they generated as many losses as the entire Savings & Loan scandal. Toxic products willfully created to scam borrowers for big profits and rating agencies went along by apprais- ing junk as AAA instead of doing it honestly. Don’t Be Fooled!
    • The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth Stephen Lendman April 18, 2009 Obama Capone Since taking office, Obama, wittingly or otherwise, has headed the largest crimi- nal enterprise in history - the mass looting of national wealth to enrich his Wall Street benefac- tors. He assembled a rogue economic team of Clinton Robert Rubin retreads - to fix the current crisis they engineered. Since taking office, Obama, wittingly or otherwise, has headed the largest criminal enterprise in history — the mass looting of national wealth to enrich his Wall Street benefactors. He assembled a rogue economic team of Clinton/Robert Rubin retreads — to fix the current cri- sis they engineered. In a March 13 article, (author and former Republican strategist) Kevin Phillips called them: “recycled senior (Clinton administration) Democrats (responsible for the) tech mania, deregu- lation binge and (1997 — 2000) stock market bubble and crash. Obama) extend(ed) the (disastrous) mismanagement and pro-Wall Street bias of the 2008 Bush regime bailout.” He called Geithner and Bernanke “hapless,” the result of their ruinous misjudgments (and, along with Alan Greenspan, complicit) with finance-sector malfeasance.” He said Summers will be “remembered for helping to block federal regulation of financial deriv- atives and orchestrat(ing) the 1999” Glass-Steagall repeal, among his other “achievements.” He went down the list of key economic officials and trashed them all as the very types to be avoided, not appointed. He noted that Bernanke was chairman of George Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers and add- ed: “Imagine if FDR had retained Herbert Hoover’s chief economic advisor and loyal Republican Fed Chairman in 1933... To think that the pussycat Fed (would become) a saber-toothed tiger is a deception.” Worse still, ruinous economic policies “could prove fatal” if White House policies favor “Wall Street but not the national economy or American people” — the very direction they’ve now taken. In a follow-up April 7 article, Phillips highlighted: “The Disaster Stage of US Financialization....a much grander-scale disaster than anything that happened in 1929 — 1933. Worse, it dwarfs the abuses of debt, finance and financialization that brought down previous leading world economic powers like Britain and Holland.” Today’s crisis represents: “the bursting of the huge 25-year, almost $50 trillion debt bubble that helped underwrite the hijacking of the US economy by a rabid financial sector....” It’s realigning global power with America losing its economic leadership won in WW II. “The ignominy deserved by Wall Street after 1929-1933 is peanuts compared with the opprobri- um the US financial sector and its political and regulatory allies deserve this time.” Financial- ized America radically transformed the country, now “doubly staggering because of the crush- ing burden of its collapse.” Yet major media pundits and reporters barely noticed and now claim relief is just a few quarters away — ignoring a metastasizing cancer, a national disaster, while policy makers heap fuel on a raging blaze now consuming us, yet too little public rage confronts them. A Former Insider Speaks Out Economics Professor William Black is a former senior bank regulator and Savings and Loan prosecutor, currently teaching economics and law at the University of Missouri. In an April 13 Barrons interview, he referred to “failed bankers (advising) failed regulators on how to deal with failed assets” they all had a hand in creating and proliferating. His conclusion: “How can it result in anything but failure.” He called the scale of financial fraud “immense,” and said “Unless the current administration changes course pretty drastically, the scandal will destroy Barack Obama’s presidency,” besides what it’s doing to the country, global economies, and many millions of people here and abroad. He scathed Summers and Geithner, both “important architects of (today’s) problems,” and the latter as a failed and dishonest regulator, yet “numbering himself among those who convey tough medicine when he’s really pandering to the interests of a select group of banks.” No need to mention which ones. The law mandates corrective action, the kind FDR took in the 1930s. He, Bernanke and Summers flout the law, “in naked violation, in order to pursue the kind of favoritism that the law was designed to prevent.” They’ve turned taxpayers into “suckers” who’ll pay dearly for decades, maybe generations. [Not unless they are very, very, very, stupid — Kewe] His refusal to put insolvent banks into receivership, resorting to deceptive language like “leg- acy assets,” and pursuing the worst of Chicago School economics “is positively Orwellian... If cheaters prosper, (they’ll) dominate.
    • It’s like Gresham’s law: Bad money drives out the good. Well, bad behavior” does the same thing “without good enforcement.” His bailout plans are disastrous. They prop up zombie banks by: “mispricing toxic assets....The last thing we need is a further drain on our resources....by pro- moting this toxic asset market (and notions of) too-big-to-fail.” Multi-trillion dollar cover-up by publicly traded enterprises With most, perhaps all, the big banks insolvent (a polite term for bankrupt), what’s going on is “a multi-trillion dollar cover-up by publicly traded (enterprises), which amounts to felony secu- rities fraud on a massive scale.” Ultimately, these firms will be forced into receivership, their “managements and boards stripped of office, title, and compensation.” What’s needed is a 1930s-style Pecora investigation to get to the bottom of their fraud, deceit, and cover-up, along with government complicity to hide it. More on that below. Black cited billions to AIG as the single worst abuse so far — to bail out their counterparties like Switzerland’s UBS at the same time we were prosecuting it for tax fraud. As bad was following Goldman Sachs’ advice to direct a $13 billion counterparty windfall to itself. The whole process reeks of corruption It must be stopped, and a new direction instituted under a reformist economic team — one that will admit the nature and depth of the problem, cut the tie to Wall Street, and take corrective action the law mandates. That’s “precisely what isn’t happening.” Washington is “wedded to the bad idea of bigness” and power of Wall Street. In today’s America, financialization is predominant. It’s a cancer eating away at the fabric of the nation and many millions affected, the result of the grandest of grand thefts. A good start would be to break up the financial giants into more effectively managed and less powerful units — maybe the way Standard Oil was dismantled through a simple share spinoff. In addition, “a new seriousness must be put into regulation,” and a new resolve to enforce it. Today, the whole system encourages fraud, one based on results at any cost, so “fudging the numbers” becomes de rigueur and global bigness the holy grail. It sends the wrong message — play or pay with your job and future on Wall Street. “The basis for all regulation and white-collar crime is to take the competitive advantage away from the cheats, so the good guys can prevail. We need to get back to that.” It’s been decades since we’ve been there and high time we took it seriously. Job one is a thorough housecleaning and new direction, much like what’s described below. On April 3, Black appeared on Bill Moyers Journal on PBS and explained what’s briefly enumer- ated below. From his experience as a regulator and prosecutor, he said: • Fraud is initiated in boardrooms and CEO offices by making “really bad loans, because they pay better;” • Then grow them like a Ponzi scheme multiplied through leverage; it’s hugely profitable early on, then inevitably creates “disaster down the road;” • Dismantling regulation makes it possible; • One scheme was subprime, Alt-A , and even prime “liars’ loans” — meaning no checks are made on income, jobs, ability to repay, and the more they’re inflated the more profitable they are; the amount of them was enormous — for one company alone, they generated as many losses as the entire S & L scandal; • Toxic products were willfully created to scam borrowers for big profits; • Rating agencies went along by appraising junk as AAA instead of doing it honestly; • In September 2004, the FBI warned about a mortgage fraud epidemic, but nothing was done to stop it; so now we have a crisis hundreds of times greater than the S & L one and bad policy in play to address it; • As in Barrons, he accused top Bush and Obama officials of a cover-up — to conceal the insol- vency of all major banks and by so doing broke the law established after the S & L crisis, the Prompt Corrective Action Law that mandates insolvent banks be shut down and/or placed in receivership; and • This is the greatest financial scandal in history — swept under the rug by top government of- ficials of both parties; it’s legally and morally indefensible, and it’s wrecking the country. In an April 6 article, Black calls ongoing “stress tests a complete sham.... to fool people.... make us chumps” and essentially say ‘If we lie and they believe us, all will be well’” when, in fact, it’s not.
    • Greatest ever criminal fraud by bankers and complicit government officials It’s part of the giant cover-up and greatest ever criminal fraud — by bankers and complicit gov- ernment officials. On April 13, Nouriel Roubini shared Black’s view. He cited the stress test “spin machine” leaking stories to the press that all 19 banks in question will pass. None will fail. If more “exceptional assistance” is needed, Washington will provide it. However, Q 1 macro data tells another story as growth, unemployment, and falling home prices alone “are worse than those in FDIC’s baseline scenario for 2009 AND even worse than those for the more adverse stressed scenario for 2009. Make believe Thus, the stress test results are meaningless” as worsening data are outdistancing “the worst case scenario.” In other words, test results “are not worth the paper (they’ll be) written on” as their assump- tions are fraudulently based. They’re “fudge tests....blatantly rigged” to put a brave face on a very bleak economic picture. They’re in addition to other changes, including the recent Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) ruling. It’s responsible for developing “generally accepted accounting princi- ples” known as GAAP. On April 3, it changed so-called “mark-to-market” standards to “mark-to- make believe” ones. It also voted to allow banks to book smaller impaired asset losses to paint a brighter profits picture. It let Wells Fargo, for example, claim a Q 1 profit when it’s drowning in losses, ones it can hide and not take. Also likely coming is restoration of the “uptick rule” that prohibited short-selling in a down market. Established in 1938 to prevent disorderly selling, it allows shorts only when shares trade up. In June 2007, it was removed. Re-introductory proposals are now being considered to artifi- cially boost prices. Roubini calls it “a form of legalized manipulation of the stock market by regulators... to prevent short-sellers (from doing) their job, i.e. make stock prices reflect funda- mentals and prevent bubbles.” Overall, alarm bells should be warning about reckless monetary and fiscal policies, but perverse market reaction was relief. That’s wildly premature according to some like Roubini. Others see a protracted downturn, a prolonged winter, and if conditions deteriorate enough perhaps a nuclear one, unlike anything before seen, and why not: • World economies are plummeting at depression-level speed by all key measures — produc- tion, consumption, trade, profits, asset values, capital flows, and more; • Unemployment is soaring; in America close to 20% (it already has) with all excluded and un- derstated categories included; • Pensions have been lost along with benefits; • Homelessness is rising sharply, the result of over six million foreclosures; tent cities are ap- pearing across the country; • Recent data shows soaring foreclosures up 24% in Q 1 2009; in March alone, 46% higher than a year earlier — alone providing clear evidence of serious trouble we now have OVER 11 million foreclosures, and, • Desperation is fueling anger and despair as conditions keep deteriorating absent sound poli- cies to address them. From Bubble to Depression On April 6, Professor Vernon Smith (a 2002 economics Nobel laureate) and research associate Steven Gjerstad headlined a Wall Street Journal op-ed: “From Bubble to Depression?” They asked: What creates bubbles? Why does a large one, like the dot.com bubble, do no damage to the financial system while an- other (housing) caused collapse? They believe “events of the past 10 years have an eerie similarity to the period leading up to the Great Depression,” including rising mortgage debt and speculation, then asked: “Had banking system difficulties “been caused by losses on brokers loans for margin purchases in 1929, the results should have been felt in the banks immediately after the stock market crash.” But they weren’t apparent until fall 1930, a year later. Further, if money supply contraction caused bank failures, why haven’t massive infusions to- day prevented the crisis? They conclude that conventional wisdom needs reassessing and believe “excessive consumer debt — especially mortgage debt — was transmitted into the financial sector” causing the Great Depression.
    • Their Hypothesis: “Is that a financial crisis (originating) in consumer debt, concentrated at the low end of the wealth and income distribution (affecting so many households), can be transmitted quickly and forcefully into the financial system... We’re witnessing the second great consumer debt crash, the end of a massive consumption binge,” but want more study to prove it. However, much more than that is needed — real reform, a complete reversal from current poli- cy of the kind addressed below. Also, Smith and Gjerstad omitted a crucial fact — how misdirected today’s massive infusions have been. Instead of helping beleaguered households, they’ve gone mostly to bankers for purposes oth- er than economic recovery; namely, recapitalizations, for acquisitions, and big bonuses at the same time they fire thousands of lower level staff. The 1930s Pecora Commission On March 4, 1932 (one year to the day before FDR took office), a majority-Republican Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee established it to investigate the causes of the 1929 crash. It was little more than a fig leaf until Democrats took over, appointed Ferdinand Pecora as spe- cial counsel, and made a real effort for banking and regulatory reform. Straightaway, Pecora looked into Wall Street’s seamy underside by placing powerful bankers in the dock, holding them accountable for their actions, and doing through hearings what would have been impossible in open court given their ability to “buy” justice. He confronted Wall Street’s biggest names: Richard Whitney, president of the New York Stock Exchange; Noted investment bankers, including Thomas Lamont, Otto Kahn, Charles E. Mitchell, Albert Wiggin, and JP Morgan, Jr., scion of the man who dominated the Street for decades as its boss and de facto Fed chairman before the central bank was established. Market Speculators Like Arthur Cutten No income taxes paid. He got Morgan to admit that he and his 20 partners paid no income taxes in 1931 and 1932. Neither did its Philadelphia operation, Drexel and Co., in the same years and way underpaid them in previous ones. It made headlines, was stunning, and galvanized critics to demand reform. Pecora went further. He questioned Morgan and others on various matters, including sweetheart deals for political figures and insider ones for Wall Street cronies, similar shenanigans to today but not on the same scale, and under a president then who cared once Roosevelt took office. He directed “pitiless publicity” on Street corruption, what they easily got away with under Republicans. Pecora was a former New York district attorney, an Eliot Spitzer-type with a reputation for toughness and fearlessness, but one serving at the behest of the President. He established straightaway that some of Wall Street’s most powerful lied to their shareholders, manipulated stocks to their advantage, and profited hugely through malfeasance. Roosevelt encouraged him in his March 4, 1933 inaugural address saying: “There must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments. There must be an end to speculation with other people’s money. There must be provision for an adequate but sound currency... The rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure and abdicated. Prac- tices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men....” “They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish. The money changers have fled their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We must now restore that temple to the ancient truths. (Doing it requires) apply(ing) social values more noble than mere monetary profit.” Imagine Obama Saying This Imagine Obama saying this, followed by strong policies for enforcement under Roosevelt-style officials. Men like Pecora who asked tough questions and demanded answers, including on the House of Morgan’s operations, something unimaginable today under any leadership. Morgan’s counsel, John W. Davis, called Pecora’s questions outrageous, but Morgan had to answer in de- tail enough to shake the “secret government’s” foundations. Pecora’s staff examined company records that revealed financial manipulations among the Street’s powerful to reap enormous profits — enough for Morgan to gain control of most US in- dustry, buy politicians and diplomats, and effectively control the most powerful banks in the country. A Small Group Of Highly Placed Financiers Holds The Real Power Years later in his book, Wall Street Under Fire, Pecora wrote: “Undoubtedly, this small group of highly placed financiers, controlling the very springs of eco- nomic activity, holds more real power than any similar group in the United States.” Morgan called it performing a “service” and exercising no more control than through “argument and persuasion.” His managing partner, Thomas Lamont, told the committee that the firm only offered advice that clients could accept or reject. Pecora learned otherwise as he peeled away the layers of company power and influence.
    • Friends of the bank lists in two tiers He discovered “preferred clients” and friends of the bank lists in two tiers — special allies, op- eratives, and cronies and a “fishing list” from which new ones were recruited. In total, it showed Morgan was more powerful than Washington — that the firm effectively controlled a network of companies that made US financial policy for over three decades plus leading politicians and much of the federal bench. Pecora discovered what’s as true today — that a select group of giant banks run things. They set policy, rig the game to their advantage, buy politicians the way Morgan did, and pretty much run the country and the world. Again Pecora from his book: “Morgan’s power was “a stark fact. It was a great stream that was fed by many sources By its deposits By its loans By its promotions By its directorships By its pre-eminent position as investment bankers By its control of holding companies which, in turn, controlled scores of subsidiaries By its silken bonds of gratitude in which it skillfully enmeshed the chosen ranks of the ‘pre- ferred lists.’ It reached into every corner of the nation and penetrated in public, as well as business affairs. The problems raised by such an institution go far beyond banking regulation in the narrow sense. It might be a formidable rival to the government itself.” Pecora proceeded from Morgan to others, powerful bankers in their own right like Kuhn, Loeb’s Otto Kahn. Roosevelt championed the hearings and from them came legislative reforms, the kinds so desperately needed now but nowhere in sight by an administration totally subservient to money and power and thoroughly corrupted by them — after a scant three months in office. Congressional Oversight Panel (COP) Calls for Sweeping Changes Its head, Elizabeth Warren, called on the Treasury to get tough on TARP recipients, including: • Questioning the “dangers inherent” in its strategy; the idea of “open-ended subsidies (to giant institutions) without adequately weighing potential pitfalls;” • Acknowledging that it has no historical precedent and faint hope of succeeding; • Leveraging the $700 billion in TARP funds well beyond what Congress appropriated — to an amount exceeding $4 trillion and smacking of high-level corruption; • Firing top executives of failed institutions like Citigroup, Bank of America and AIG; “the very notion that anyone would infuse money into a financially troubled entity without demanding (management) changes is preposterous;” • Shareholders to be wiped out; “it is crucial (for this) to happen;” • Choosing among three alternatives for insolvent banks: “liquidation, receivership, or subsidi- zation;” Geithner’s plan is none of the above and essentially unworkable; it fails to acknowledge the decline’s depth and degree to which troubled assets low valuations accurately reflect their worth; • If the downturn gets greater than forecast, “very different actions” will be needed “to restore financial stability.” Given the extent and long-term nature of today’s crisis, it’s shocking that bad policy practically assures the worst outcome. Maybe a government/Wall Street cabal prefers it to capitalize on the wreckage at fire sale prices, at home and globally, as part of a long-term process of sucking wealth to the top while ignoring its fallout, both human and economic. Those calculations don’t enter their sophisticated models, only bottom line ones they can bank on. Other Bank Bailout Critics Willem Buiter was a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (1997 — 2000). He’s now has a Maverecon blog and is a Financial Times (FT) regular. He’s also a fierce critic of bank bailouts, a policy he says wastes good time and money and is destined to fail. “The good bank solution and slaughter of the unsecured creditors should have been pursued actively as soon as it became clear that most (US international banks were) insolvent.” Soon enough it will be apparent anyway, before year end. “At that point, (their) de facto insol- vency will be so self-evident that even the joint and several obfuscation of banks and Treasury will be unable to deny the obvious.” And they’ll be no fiscal resources to the rescue. “The likelihood of Congress voting even a nickel in additional financial support for the banks is zero.” Bailing out bankers at expense of economy Joseph Stiglitz was even blunter in an April 17, 2009, Bloomberg interview headlined: “Stiglitz Says White House Ties to Wall Street Doom Bank Rescue.” He accused the administration of bailing out bankers at the expense of the economy. “All the ingredients they have so far are weak, and there are several missing” ones. The people who created this monster are “either in the pocket of the banks or they’re incompetent.” “We don’t have enough money, they don’t want to go back to Congress, they don’t want to do it in
    • an open way, and they” won’t act responsibly and place the banks in receivership where they belong and let shareholders, not taxpayers take the pain. This policy guarantees failure. It’s “an absolute mess.” It’s a strategy to re-inflate a bubble that will do nothing to speed recovery. “It’s a recipe for Japanese-style malaise.” Government Clearly Cooking The Books Financial expert and investor safety advocate Martin Weiss is most critical of all. He calls bank stress tests “FLIM-FLAM” in accusing Washington of hiding the true condition of the nation’s 19 largest banks. Key economic indicators like GDP contraction and unemployment are far worse than stress test parameters. “Our own government is clearly cooking the books — using (false) criteria to deceive you; hop- ing you’ll trust banks that are clearly hanging by a thread.” Economy sinking, not stabilizing, let alone recovering On May 4, they’ll announce the results — jerry-rigged to present an illusion of solvency, but clearly a deceptive lie. The economy is sinking, not stabilizing, let alone recovering. The admin- istration is bailing out bankers while wrecking the economy and millions of households. Why isn’t Washington addressing the tough questions, he asks. Answers have them terrified Because the answers have them “terrified,” so they play for time while: • Home foreclosures are exploding • Factories are sitting idle • Consumption keeps falling • Food and Energy price keep rising rapidly • Unemployment sits at 25 million and there are NO jobs • 11 Million were foreclosed • 10.6 Million jobs were outsourced overseas during the past 5 years Yet they hope conditions will improve. No one asks: • What if states and cities can’t provide vital services; • Hospitals have to close down “due to disruptions in insurance payments;” • “Supermarket shelves are emptied because trucking companies can’t get short-term loans to stay in business;” • Utilities “are crippled as the crisis kills the revenues they count on from corporations;” and • “Soaring deficits drive interest rates sky-high and gut the dollar, driving the cost of living through the roof.” What if that day is today What if one day we discover America is no longer America. What if we realize that day is today? Another Day, Another Scheme — the latest one lets ordinary people participate in Geithner’s Public-Private Partnership Program (PPIP) that sounds suspiciously like “liars’ loan” fraud, ex- cept this time “investments” in worthless junk are involved that will separate fools from their money. The New York Times headlined the plan by comparing it to WW I Liberty Bonds that helped the country win the war. Now it’s “to come to the aid of their banks — with the added inducement of possibly making some money....” The idea is for “large investment companies to create the financial-crisis equivalent of war bonds: bailout funds” to sucker the unwary to “invest” and, simultaneously, quiet opposition to the handouts. According to money management firm BlackRock director Steven Baffico: “It’s giving the guy on Main Street an equal seat at the table next to the big guys.” Pimco’s Bill Gross called it a “win-win-win policy.” Absolutely for him so he loves it. Plans are still being discussed. They won’t likely be announced for several months, but already the scheme is apparent. It’s to offload toxic junk on the public, let unwary investors take losses, relieve troubled banks of more of them, and arrange for investment fund issuers (like Pimco and BlackRock) to reap healthy fees if enough suckers can be enlisted to go along. As troublesome is FDIC’s role in the scam — through its transformation from insuring depositors to a much greater one guarantee- ing over $1 trillion in junk assets, way over its charter $30 billion limit by twisting the rules to arrange it. Its charter allows extraordinary steps to be taken when an “emergency determina- tion by secretary of the Treasury” is made to mitigate “systemic risk.” However, its Section 14 Borrowing Authority states: “TheCorporationisauthorizedtoborrowfromtheTreasury....forinsurancepurposes(notspecu- lation, bailouts, or other schemes, an amount) not exceeding in the aggregate $30,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time... Any such loan shall be used by the Corporation solely in carrying out its functions with respect to such insurance (of bank deposits, then up to $5000, now temporarily at $250,000)....” “Before issuing an obligation or making a guarantee, the Corporation shall estimate the cost of such obligations (as well as market value)... The Corporation may not issue or incur any obligation, if, after (so doing) the aggregate amount
    • of obligations of the Deposit Insurance Fund (exceeds) the total of the amounts authorized ($30 billion under) section 14(a).” PPIP violates FDIC rules If it’s opened to the public, greater fraud will result with ordinary people hit hardest as usual, the best reason to avoid this and alert others to be as prudent. Do it at inflated prices and stick taxpayers with the risk It’s another dubious scheme to separate the unwary from their money and redirect it to the top — to the same fraudsters responsible for the crisis and their investment company partners going along with the scam. The Treasury extended the deadline for PPIP participants (to April 24) and loosened some of its guidelines — suggesting that investor support has been less than expected. However, on April 2, the Financial Times (FT) headlined: “Bailed-out banks eye toxic asset buys.” Giants like JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs “are considering buying (each other’s) toxic assets,” and why not when it’s a win-win way to offload each other’s junk, do it at inflated prices, and stick taxpayers with the risk. New York University’s Stern School of Business Professor Lawrence White put it this way: “I’m worried about the following scenario: You and I have troubled assets, I buy assets from you, you buy them them from me, and at the end of the day it (looks) suspiciously like you bought assets from yourself” with Treasury funds. PPIP prohibits banks from buying their own assets but lets them do it from other firms, either directly or through investment funds set up for that purpose, and according to Treasury: “It’s an open program designed to get markets going.” On April 3, Reuters reported that “US regulators may be open to letting TARP recipients partic- ipate in the new program,” and already Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley suggested they’ll do it. Others expressed interest in what some observers call a giant money laundering scheme com- pounding the colossal flimflam that in the end most likely won’t work — except to extract multi- trillions from the public to banksters with Washington acting complicitly as transfer agent. Meanwhile economic fundamentals are deteriorating at depression-level speed and depth while Obama remains in denial. On April 2 at the G 20, he cited “a very productive summit that will be, I believe, a turning point in our pursuit of global economic recovery” when, in fact, it produced nothing beyond the usual hype — plus this time the quadrupling of the IMF’s budget to inflict debt bondage on its willing partakers. We’re clearly in early stage unchartered waters of what Michel Chossudovsky calls “The Great Depression of the 21st Century” heading America for “fiscal collapse” because of policies amounting to “the most drastic curtailment in public spending in American history” — direct- ing most of it for militarism and foreign wars, Wall Street bailouts, and half a trillion for public debt service. In an April 12 commentary, longtime, well-respected Chicago financial journalist Terry Savage headlined “Social Security Myth” in reporting on some of the fallout. Someone has to pay for “fixes” and militarism, that someone is us, and target one is Social Se- curity. According to Savage: “Most likely, Social Security will become a “needs-based” payout to low income, elderly recipi- ents — not a return of the ‘investments’ you made with all those FICA deductions from your pay check every month over your working career.” In other words, Washington intends to renege on the 74-year old promise FDR announced to the nation on August 14, 1935: “Today a hope of many years’ standing is in large part fulfilled... This social security measure gives at least some protection to thirty millions of our citizens (now over 56 million, including Supplement Security Income recipients) who will reap direct benefits... This law represents a cornerstone in a structure... by no means complete. (It) will take care of human needs and at the same time provide the United States an economic structure of vastly greater soundness. (The passage of this bill marks) a historic (achievement) for all time.” It’s now in jeopardy, so here’s what Savage advises. Prepare “Save more money, (and) start from an honest assessment” of what’s coming. What FDR gave will be taken away. “And that’s The Savage Truth.” A disturbing and outrageous one as well as all the other ways we’ve been betrayed.
    • Too big to fail? We’ll see! “...The capital we thought was there is gone. A lot of it was actually translated over the years into Hamptons villas, Gulfstream jets, and other playthings that will now go up on Ebay or some equivalent as we turn into Yard Sale Nation in a general liquidation of remaining assets.... Ev- erything is for sale and nobody has any money.” — James H. Kunstler, 9/15/08 A bail-out to nowhere The tremors come faster now. Candidate McCain mimics Herbert Hoover asserting that the eco- nomic “fundamentals” are sound, even as Wall Street asset Hank Paulson announces the latest lofting of US Treasury life preservers. The fiscal flotation devices will allow Hank’s cohorts a “soft landing” in more comfortable climes than await the majority here in America the Deflat- ing. Even the corporate media, reflexively dedicated to promoting “consumer confidence” and keeping the gullible in their seats long enough for the swag-toting executive larcenists to make for the exits, murmur about a new 1929. As if the stock market mattered to ordinary people With the usual misdirection, the press reports plummeting Wall Street stock prices as if they mattered to ordinary people. In fact, as economist Dean Baker has repeatedly pointed out: “[T]he stock market is not a good barometer of the economy’s health. It can be driven up as a result of a redistribution from wages to profits, or simply as a result of irrational exuberance. “Neither is good for the economy as a whole, although anything that pushes up stock prices is obviously good news for the small minority of people who own substantial amounts of stock.” Real wages stagnant for 34 years Meanwhile, Baker’s colleague at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Mark Weisbrot informed Miami Herald (9/1/08) readers that real — inflation adjusted — wages have been vir- tually stagnant for 34 years. Since 1973, as the stock market climbed, “productivity — the amount that workers produce per hour — increased quite substantially...” But, while this “ ‘use- able productivity’ — the increased production that we can expect to be reflected in rising wages —” rose 48 percent from 1973 to 2007, paychecks didn’t. Only well-connected at top benefited The “economy” grew but only the well-connected at the top benefited. Wall Street exulted in the new profits extracted from the under-compensated toil of the same working people who were now repeatedly urged to cheer the increasing fortunes of their masters. As the downscale waged workers fell behind, they were offered EZ credit, first through deregu- lated credit card loan sharkery, and then, as the real estate bubble was ruthlessly inflated, through the infamous “home equity extraction” gambit and/or serial “house flipping.” Deferred wages converted into crap-shoot schemes Their “defined benefit” pension plans — deferred wages — were converted into crap-shoot “de- fined contribution” schemes and Enronized. Most people’s “wealth” is represented by their house and maybe their car. People were encour- aged to feel (and act) richer as the housing bubble and its heady irrational exuberance seemed to boost house values by $8 trillion nationwide. But now the music has stopped, the chickens flutter home to roost, and the piper shrieks for payment. As massive asset deflation continues, housing prices return to their long-term historic lev- els, and on average Baker notes, that vanishing $8 trillion in illusory “housing bubble wealth” translates into a $110,000 hit per homeowner. These hapless folks, “will see much of the equity in their home disappear.” Using house as an ATM machine Since so many Americans essentially re-mortgaged themselves in bubble time — using their house as an ATM machine through an equity withdrawal — and continued to consume at a level their stagnant or declining wages no longer allowed, this implacable (and unfinished) deflation- ary swoon spells real pain. Yet the media / political focus is on the Wall Street Weak and Dr. Hank’s hundred billion dollar injections. Pundits and “analysts” worry aloud about the fate of a rumored “free market economy” — a construct that exists only in the misty realm of unicorns, Easter bunnies, tooth fairies, “honest Republicans”, and “good corporate citizens.” Government securing outlandish private profits of society’s greediest people Sadly and unsurprisingly the story is an old an familiar one: Government socializing costs and risk while securing the outlandish private profits of society’s greediest people. U.S. Ten Trillion plus debt — Currency, US dollar devaluation, inevitable. Graphic chart showing the falling value of AIG shares since January. Republican White House hopeful John McCain and his Democratic rival Barack Obama warred Wednesday over who would best repair the ailing US economy after the government’s huge AIG bailout. ‘The capital we thought was there is gone.z ‘A lot of it was actually translated over the years into Hamptons villas, Gulfstream jets, and other playthings that will now go up on Ebay or some equivalent as we turn into Yard Sale Nation in a general liquidation of remaining assets.... Everything is for sale and nobody has any money.’
    • There’s nothing new here The more interesting question is whether we are at a point in our rather lamentable and bloody history when the usual tricks may no longer work. In a country that no longer manufactures much except weapons of war, or cultural weapons of mass distraction, kept afloat mainly by massive infusions of foreign capital, with a domestic/ domesticated population famously dependent on “credit” and buried in personal debt, are we approaching the End of Something? The Great Depression The U.S. Still Had As James H. Kunstler has reminded us lately, in that last great greed-induced deflationary spi- ral, called the Great Depression, the US had not yet squandered its vast oil and gas reserves, its productive industrial base, demeaned and vanquished its proud and self-conscious working class, depopulated its agricultural landscape, emptied and beggared its great cities. And outside of a few genocidal romps against the American Indian and the “pockmarked Khad- iak ladrone” Filipinos, the population had not perhaps yet acquired the taste for blood, booty, and blitzkrieg that now so exemplifies The American Way. “The Great Depression of the thirties never came to an end,” wrote John Kenneth Galbraith (American Capitalism, 1952). “It merely disappeared in the great [W.W.II] mobilization of the forties.” And — by the 1950s —in an effort to prevent another Depression, “the permanent war economy was born.” U.S. Ten Trillion Plus Debt Currency & US Dollar Devaluation Inevitable The Bank of Japan, seen here, has said it expects the world’s second largest economy to remain sluggish for now amid market turmoil as it kept interest rates at a low 0.50 percent, September 17, 2008. ‘The capital we thought was there is gone. ‘A lot of it was actually translated over the years into Hamptons villas, Gulfstream jets, and other playthings that will now go up on Ebay or some equivalent as we turn into Yard Sale Nation in a general liquidation of remaining as- sets.... Everything is for sale and nobody has any money.’ The Bank of Japan has said it expects the world’s second largest economy to remain sluggish for now amid market turmoil as it kept interest rates at a low 0.50 percent, September 17, 2008. For decades, a not-yet bankrupt America found the money for easy living, suburban sprawling, and endless war: Guns and butter. But now the butter may have to be put aside. Our foreign creditors grow weary of enabling our haughty bloodlust. European Union with its prosperous cities The European Union, with its prosperous cities, assertive worker culture, and strengthening currency has surpassed the US in economic size and power — not to mention standard-of-liv- ing. Presidential candidates flatter a distracted public that the US is “the hope of the world — the shining city on the hill.” But like much of their hucksterism, it’s a comforting lie. That hour (if ever it existed) has passed. Something less congenial this way comes. Occupy Wall Street Occupy EVERY MAJOR CITY In • THE USA • It’s Our ONLY ANSWER
    • Here’s Where It All Started And Here’s Where It Needs To Stop
    • The Strategy This is what we’re doing now. It ain’t workin’.
    • They have lost perspective in what raising money is used for in the first place. We the People must decide to stop playing their rigged game & participating in their gamed system and take our ball and go home.
    • They Hold All Of The Cards And They Don’t Play Fair. They’re Cheaters. They Can’t Help Themselves. And We Can’t Reform Them.
    • STOP Buying There Stuff. STOP Eating Their Food. STOP Participating Not Just In Your Own Slavery STOP Participating In Your Demise! In The End, If You Participate You Work You Buy You Consume And You DIE. Poor.
    • Don’t buy Pepsi and Coke. Don’t buy brand name products. Don’t buy Crest, Gleem, Ultrabright and Col- gate. Don’t buy packaged, processed foods. Don’t buy plastic products. STOP PARTICIPATING. STOP FUNDING THE SYSTEM. YOUR SPENDING HABITS FUND WAR. YOUR SPENDING HABITS ENRICH THE WALL STREET ELITE. Don’t shop at WalMart. Don’t eat at Burger King or Fastfood Establishments. In fact, stop eating in restaurants, PERIOD! The food is unhealthy! Eat Organic. Stop buying THEIR STUFF! JUST STOP!
    • DREAM Create the world you want, the world we NEED to create for the children that come after us, a world with parity, equity, liber- ty and freedom. A world WITHOUT Oligarchs, Plutocrats and Rich Fucks that don’t give a damn about the rest of us but ONLY profit. Make it Happen. VOTE with your money! Because we all know the game is rigged and your vote never counts when the two candidates are preselected and pre-approved. Do it. You Can! Do It.
    • Giles Clarke © 2011 All Rights Reserved
    • Giles Clarke © 2011 All Rights Reserved
    • Giles Clarke © 2011 All Rights Reserved
    • Giles Clarke © 2011 All Rights Reserved
    • Occupy Wall Street Occupy All Of OUR Cities STOP the MADNESS Or Just Roll Over And Die