Monday, September 22, 2008

$700B Federal Financial Patriot Act

Says MSNBC news report, quoting somebody... the bailout plan presented by the Administration includes sweeping new powers for the Treasury Dept.

What sounds right about this action? Nothing...

Everybody is not on board

Hardball features Jim Cramer... must take action within the next 5 to 7 days or ...

...hopes to tell people they can be part of this process too...

MSNBC Transcript Chris Matthews hardball


Dispossession by Decree
by William Norman Grigg

However, it's impossible to blame the electorate for the most recent act of mega-larceny, the Federal Reserve's $85 billion bailout of the American International Group. This was done by the FED – a nominally private entity that exercises immense political and economic power without constitutional standing or accountability of any kind. Congress didn't appropriate the necessary funds for that bailout. Nor was the money set aside through executive action, the entirely illegal method now commonly used to commit the United States to immensely expensive undertakings such as wars of aggression against distant, helpless countries.

The FED's action amounts to the $85 billion purchase of a private company, on behalf of the federal government, using public funds – without political accountability of any kind. Outrageous as it is, this action may have the healthy, if thoroughly unintended, consequence of illustrating just who actually runs our political system and economy.

As the immensely perceptive economic analyst Michael Rozeff points out, on this Constitution Day we have witnessed an unprecedented arrogation of power by the unelected government that actually rules us. True power in our putative republic is actually exercised by the oligarchy that created, empowered, and controls the Federal Reserve.

Oh, sure, that oligarchy will allow elected officials to play-act the role of representatives or "Deciders," and every once in a while it will countenance a very limited form of political competition. But the really serious business – such as the disposition of the lives of the subject population in wars, or the re-allocation of their wealth for the benefit of politically favored constituencies – is simply too important to be left to the vagaries of representative politics. Thus we are routinely reminded that some issues are insulated from the public by being enshrined as part of the sacred "bipartisan consensus."

The nationalization of AIG is on that list, which explains why today we hear a palpably relieved silence from Capitol Hill, when the air should be shredded by expressions of bitter outrage over the FED's action. "Until this week," notes the Financial Times, "it would have been unthinkable for the Federal Reserve to bail out an insurance company...."

Actually, this was never "unthinkable" at all. Current FED Commissar Ben Bernanke has actually gone on record touting the Central Bank's ability to exnihilate what it's pleased to call "money" in any quantity its supervisors deem necessary in order to buy up anything it desires. And as I predicted almost exactly three years ago, the collapse of the debt bubble has left the FED and its controlling oligarchy in a position to conduct the "big buy-out" – the nationalization of practically everything in the supposed effort to prevent a depression.

"There's no limit to what the Fed is prepared to do," points out investment analyst Richard Daughty, the widely quoted "Mogambo Guru." "The only tool it has is inflation – creating money out of nothing. And Bernanke has explicitly stated that the Fed has the statutory means to use the money it creates to buy anything and everything, including stocks, bonds, houses, and raw land. It's entirely possible that someday we'll see the banking cartel literally owning everything – and Americans are letting this happen."

Given that the FED claims the power to buy both investment instruments and real property, why couldn't it buy an ailing insurance conglomerate? But then again, AIG is not your typical insurance company. It has affiliates in some 130 countries (some of which are now experiencing an old-fashioned bank run) and "counter-party relationships" with nearly every major financial institution on the face of the globe. That's a somewhat florid way of saying that AIG owes everybody money, and if it can't pay its debts, the entire financial services industry may collapse.

The problem here, of course, is that AIG is going to collapse, despite the FED's willingness to custom-print the company tens of billions of "dollars." AIG has been deeply involved in insuring the secondary mortgage bond market. This is why, over the past several years, its value has collapsed like a deflated souffl├ę.

According to letter sent by former AIG CEO Hank Greenberg just yesterday, AIG has lost "over 90% of its value." That has to be considered a criminally self-serving estimate of AIG's actual worth. Greenberg, it should be remembered, was forced out as CEO about three and a half years ago in the middle of an Enron-style accounting scandal in which the company admitted to overstating earnings by $1.7 billion.

Owing to the firm's size, historic reputation, political clout, and prominent place on the Dow, an investigation never made significant headway, and we have no way of knowing the extent to which the company's accounting was corrupt. So when Greenberg admits that the company has lost something north of ninety percent of its value, we are justified in rounding its actual value down to zero and simply letting nature run its course.

That's how things would work out for an honest entrepreneur whose business simply didn't work. But that's not how such things play out for the Power Elite. Picture the world financial market as a hugely overbuilt skyscraper resting on a badly compromised foundation.

The core pillars supporting the structure are rotten and about to collapse, and the failure of any one would rapidly induce failure in all of them. The sensible approach would be to get as far as possible from the impending collapse. The Power Elite's approach is to force commoners to work in the basement shoring up the mortally stricken building while the Important People evacuate.

That won't work, of course, and the inevitable collapse will wipe out those left in the basement – but, hey, that's just the price that has to be paid to save the Important People, who are, after all, more Important than the rest of us.

Deranged financial commentator Jim Cramer didn't take refuge in metaphor to express – and endorse – the perspective presented in my illustration. "Frankly, I don't really care if my community bank is doing well," insisted Cramer. "I care about AIG and the fate of Western banks, all of which have relied on AIG at some point for a risk transfer."

Let banks fail across the length and breadth of the land; let millions be left destitute, and misery be poured without mixture on the heads of the common folk – the FED must protect the interests of super-rich criminals at AIG and kindred institutions.

The anxiety over AIG's fate reflects its role not only as a pillar of the global financial system, but the prominence of the company within the Power Elite. This has been pointed out by the Christian Science Monitor, a publication that has hardly earned a reputation as a purveyor of "conspiracy theories."

Grigg's blog post

Grigg's blog

Grigg fired from JBS New American

Alex Jones Jim Cramer goes off on everybody

what, buying up the mortgages that nobody can pay back?

Net the Truth Online

Foreign Bondholders Drove the Fannie/Freddie Bailout
by: William Patalon III posted on: September 12, 2008

William Norman Grigg

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