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US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

Monday, November 10, 2008, 4:31 PM

I am trying to maintain a very level-headed approach to the changes that we are seeing. However, from time to time the looting operation becomes just a bit too obvious, a bit too overt, and I find my level of cool slipping.

This is one of those times. 

Here are the dots that I am connecting that have me concerned, if not angry.

Remember, even prior to its passage, I called the bailout the greatest looting operation of our time. I did so because the language of the Bailout Act, as originally proposed by the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, er, I mean the Treasury Secretary, requested three things: unitary power, no review, and no limits.

Frankly, it was the most plainly-worded document of theft that I had ever seen, and probably ever will see, in my life (because it was too blatant and such mistakes are rarely made again).

After that draft was defeated in the House, the Senate immediately attached a much denser 300+ page version of the bailout bill to an existing piece of legislation and passed it. The house caved after an intense week of lobbying by both banks and the people of the land, who were diametrically opposed on the issue. Naturally, they caved to the banking interests.

But We The People won some symbolic victories in that battle, including the explicit promise of complete transparency in the use of that money.

Now it turns out that We The Payers won nothing at all, and that we are not even being afforded the most basic right of being able to view how that money is being spent.

Fed Defies Transparency Aim in Refusal to Disclose 

Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in September they would comply with congressional demands for transparency in a $700 billion bailout of the banking system. Two months later, as the Fed lends far more than that in separate rescue programs that didn't require approval by Congress, Americans have no idea where their money is going or what securities the banks are pledging in return.

This is a complete outrage. Here we have been told that we cannot see how our money is being spent, and that we cannot have insight into whether this money is being used to enrich cronies of the system.

So far, the data is not encouraging.  Failed institutions have been spared (at great expense), lies and prevarications have been our signposts along the way, and each new "program" has been an affront to common sense and decency.

The common element has always been 'telling the public the least amount possible.' 

I wish there were a second currency in operation in this country, so that I could vote on this plan by dishoarding every single Federal Reserve Note and piling into a better-run currency.

And here’s your second lesson in “why larger bills with more pages are better for looting than small bills.” It turns out that the Treasury quietly slipped in a bit of language that handed a massive, unprecedented $140 billion tax give-away to major banks.

A quiet windfall for U.S. banks

The financial world was fixated on Capitol Hill as Congress battled over the Bush administration's request for a $700 billion bailout of the banking industry. In the midst of this late-September drama, the Treasury Department issued a five-sentence notice that attracted almost no public attention.

But corporate tax lawyers quickly realized the enormous implications of the document: Administration officials had just given American banks a windfall of as much as $140 billion.

The sweeping change to two decades of tax policy escaped the notice of lawmakers for several days, as they remained consumed with the controversial bailout bill. When they found out, some legislators were furious. Some congressional staff members have privately concluded that the notice was illegal. But they have worried that saying so publicly could unravel several recent bank mergers made possible by the change and send the economy into an even deeper tailspin.

I just want you to think of this when Congress agonizes over and finally determines that the nation “cannot afford” to undo the $85 billion in middle class AMT tax hikes later this year.

I want you to also think of the amount of time that Congress agonized over $14 billion in alternative energy tax credits before grudgingly passing them. Ten times that amount was handed to big banks without, to my knowledge, even a single open-floor comment or objection from a single congressperson.

Simply outrageous. We’ve been looted.

Next, as this article in The Nation makes clear, the “deals” that the Treasury department has been making on your behalf under the mandate to “protect the taxpayer” have been running roughly 100% over fair market value. In other words, a gigantic handout to the biggest banks at the worst possible price (for taxpayers), with practically no strings attached.

Paulson's Swindle Revealed 

The swindle of American taxpayers is proceeding more or less in broad daylight, as the unwitting voters are preoccupied with the national election. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson agreed to invest $125 billion in the nine largest banks, including $10 billion for Goldman Sachs, his old firm.

But, if you look more closely at Paulson's transaction, the taxpayers were taken for a ride--a very expensive ride. They paid $125 billion for bank stock that a private investor could purchase for $62.5 billion. That means half of the public's money was a straight-out gift to Wall Street, for which taxpayers got nothing in return.

But that’s okay – there’s a big G20 meeting coming up. Perhaps the world’s leaders will come up with a sensible plan for returning some of the power back to We The People?

UK's Brown: Now is the time to build global society

LONDON (Reuters) - The international financial crisis has given world leaders a unique opportunity to create a truly global society, Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown will say in a keynote foreign policy speech on Monday.

In his annual speech at the Lord Mayor's Banquet, Brown -- who has spearheaded calls for the reform of international financial institutions -- will say Britain, the United States and Europe are key to forging a new world order.

"The alliance between Britain and the U.S. -- and more broadly between Europe and the U.S. -- can and must provide leadership, not in order to make the rules ourselves, but to lead the global effort to build a stronger and more just international order," an excerpt from the speech says.

According to a summary of the speech released by his office, Brown will set out five great challenges the world faces.

These are: terrorism and extremism and the need to reassert faith in democracy; the global economy; climate change; conflict and mechanisms for rebuilding states after conflict; and meeting goals on tackling poverty and disease.

Brown will also identify five stages for tackling the economy, starting with recapitalizing banks so they can resume lending to families and businesses, and better international co-ordination of fiscal and monetary policy.

Whoa. Hold on there! Lots of warning signals are flashing for me here. First, rather than a new world order, I think we need to understand how we can return to the old world order – you know, where international trade is balanced, and people save, and debt growth matches economic growth. .

I definitely think it's way too early to be proclaiming that now is the right time to set off on a big building project.

From my vantage point, it rather looks like our McMansion has fallen to the ground in a jumble, and now the same architect is trying to sell us on a bigger design.

Second, I am deeply uncomfortable with the language and intent expressed by “the need to reassert faith in democracy.” What in the heck does that mean?  Seriously. What exactly is he trying to imply?

I was not aware that democracy was in need of additional faith. I rather thought it ran on such things as laws, fairness, and its own merits.

This line smacks of demagoguery, and I am deeply cautious of the messenger who hails from the country with the most security cameras and intrusive domestic government spying policies of any “democracy” out there. If Gordon Brown is selling democracy, I am suddenly no longer buying.

Worse, it is the financial crisis that is being used to peddle this tripe. A crisis that has been used to advance the power and reach of the banks, using the most overt looting and legalized theft ever seen or envisaged.

Now I am more than a little concerned about what is coming next. The decisions emanating from this G20 meeting deserve more than a little scrutiny.

Oddly, Obama is not attending, only Bush (and by extension Cheney). All the more curious.

But one thing is for dead certain - if a new world order is being planned, I don't want Brown or Bush or Cheney anywhere near it.

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53 Comments

pir8don's picture
pir8don
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Democracy
[quote=cmartenson]

If Gordon Brown is selling democracy, I am suddenly no longer buying.

[/quote]

Glad to hear it Chris coming my way are you? Small groups of a hundred or so, concensus and no more leaders.

Don

__________________________________________________________

You can domesticate some animals just by feeding them, same with most humans

Store fed, store owned

davefairtex's picture
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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

As you say, it is looting, and the numbers are really astonishing.  I feel exactly the same way you do.  Spending for a better energy regime - like pulling teeth.  Spending to keep your friends in their bonuses and houses in the Hamptons - worth hundreds of billions, without any discussion or oversight.  One might almost say "priceless."  Big surprise - the Fed works for the banks, so of course the banks get the largesse.

At some point, I don't know when, the Fed will go too far, do too much, and this whole system will explode - either through hyperinflation or a debt default.  If we don't lose our form of government in the process, in the aftermath we will figure out who was to blame and we will restructure.

But that day is not yet here.  There is still too much residual faith in the central bank and the government's ability to rescue the economy and "make everything better."  Its how we are conditioned; in spite of Katrina, we still feel the government will be there to take care of us when things go poorly.

Thanks for all your work Chris. 

 

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

Americans should stop payments on ALL mortgages, car loans, credit cards.  Forthwith.

Bring the banks to their knees, and renegotiate all debts.

I'd insist on cancelation myself....

Glad I don't live in the US.  I feel for you guys.

Mike in Australia. 

Davos's picture
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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

This is NUTS!

I voted for Nader. I was very concerned that a financial "crisis" would postpome the election. Now, I really worry about the inoguration being "delayed" by a financial "crisis."

I posed this on some other thread, and I will post it here: I read ONeil's book, in it he said that this admin's guiding principle was that reality lagged perception. ONeil as you recall got sacked for opposing debt/deficits. Suskind who wrote the book got called on the carpet (presumed by many by Rove):

The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/17/magazine/17BUSH.html?_r=1&oref=slogin 

In a recent article Peter Schiff said this place will look like south America from there to Canada and that we should consider emegrating. I emailed him and asked him where? I hope he doesn't say Russia, my grandfather could have saved me a trip.

There is likely less than 1% that have a clue as to what is happening. Even we are slow here to figure this out. I doubt there is time to emegrate, recall elected officials or anything else. Now I am even more curious over the Rex84 "camps" built by a Haliburton sub sid. 

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

 

A Quiet Windfall For U.S. Banks

With Attention on Bailout Debate, Treasury Made Change to Tax Policy

 

The financial world was fixated on Capitol Hill as Congress battled over the Bush administration's request for a $700 billion bailout of the banking industry. In the midst of this late-September drama, the Treasury Department issued a five-sentence notice that attracted almost no public attention.

But corporate tax lawyers quickly realized the enormous implications of the document: Administration officials had just given American banks a windfall of as much as $140 billion.

The sweeping change to two decades of tax policy escaped the notice of lawmakers for several days, as they remained consumed with the controversial bailout bill. When they found out, some legislators were furious. Some congressional staff members have privately concluded that the notice was illegal.

  "Did the Treasury Department have the authority to do this? I think almost every tax expert would agree that the answer is no," said George K. Yin, the former chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the nonpartisan congressional authority on taxes. "They basically repealed a 22-year-old law that Congress passed as a backdoor way of providing aid to banks."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/09/AR2008110902155.html?hpid%3Dtopnews&sub=AR

switters's picture
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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

I said this elsewhere, but if ever there was a time for revolution in the US, this is that time.

Unfortunately, most Americans are stuck in a consumer trance and don't have any clue what is really happening in front of their eyes.  The media is partially to blame, of course, but I also happen to believe that citizens of democracy have an obligation to stay informed, monitor the decisions made by their elected government, and act when their interests are not being represented.

There is no doubt in my mind that if we (as Americans) simply wait around for our leaders to bring us the change we want to see, we'll never see it.  We have to get on the phone, write letters and emails and take to the streets to demand that change.  If enough of us actually woke up and exercised our rights, those in power would be forced to bend to our will or be replaced by someone who will.

Of course the power elite is well aware of this, so it has always been in their interest to encourage ignorance and apathy in the electorate.  What with Brittany Spears, TV sitcoms, MySpace, professional sports and endless opportunities to buy and consume, we're doing their work for them.

I also believe that Americans are capable of great things once they are mobilized.  But what will it take for us to wake up, break the chains of materialism and distraction and take the power into our own hands?  If recent events haevn't done it, what will? And will it happen soon enough to avet total disintegration?

 

 

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

 

 

OBs first executive order.................destroy the second amendment....then the NWO is clear for take off.

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

My daily dose of disgust was the rewriting of the AIG deal.   Apparently, the original one had the horrible flaw of being far too kind to the tax payers.

This kind of bullshit, is unfortunately going to get much worse in the next two months.  Bush and Co are going to busy making all their last minute hand outs using, abusing, and twisting to the max every last bit of power given to them.  Basically everything they've done in the last eight years but now even more extravagant that they have even less political incentive to hold back.

(Don't be in the least surprised if many of these recent deals are rewritten to make them as hard as possible to legally undo by the next president.) 

All we can do now is grit our teeth and cross our fingers.  If we are lucky the Obama administration will spend its first three months unwinding as much of the damage as is possible at that point.  Here's to hope for a better next four years, because now that's all we have.

(Oh, and did you hear?  American Express is going to be a bank holding company.  The stealth bailout gravy train -- guarenteeing of senior debt of banks/bankholding companies -- is still busy loading itself up.)

--

Steve 

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

Folks:

 

Let's step back a bit and ask is the reason for these actions...

a.)  The financial impacts are much bigger than advertized

b.)  The key decision makers are clueless/incompetent and reacting trying to plug the dam with their fingers.

c.)  The key decision makers are desperate and running around with their heads in their hands in a vain attempt to keep an even larger problem/catastrophy from happening.

d.)  All Of The Above.

 

I vote for d.    Surprised 

BTW...After 30+ working for the federal governement...that should say something.    Embarassed

 

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues
[quote=cmartenson]

Oddly, Obama is not attending, only Bush (and by extension Cheney). All the more curious.

[/quote]

 

Obviously, good cop bad cop happening.

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

Yeah right. Only the small fish are clueless. The guys at the top know exactly what they're doing. Read the Article on Washington Post about the stealthy change in tax law by the Treasury.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/09/AR2008110902155.html?hpid%3Dtopnews&sub=AR

That's what they want you to believe. 

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

Nichoman:

I've had plenty of interaction -20 years of dealing with the FAA. No doubt D.

Having said that: To fix it

a.) re-denominate (globally, i.e. everyone), do a gold standard baked currency

b.) well if really big govt screws things up, hmmm, okay a new world order really big govt.

Sorry, but "b" doesn't let me just step back.  

http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/fiore/2008/11/liberry.html 

 

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Re: conspiracy theory silliness

[quote]OBs first executive order.................destroy the second amendment....then the NWO is clear for take off.[/quote]

Ha ha ha ha ha!

If any president could just repeal the second amendment like that, it would have been dead and gone for two centuries now. 

Since the second amendment is still here, you should already know just how absurd any such claim is.  Just like anyone who voted for a Republican thinking that Roe vs Wade would somehow be overturned is equally dumb.   Liberals can't get rid of the guns, conservatives can't get rid of abortion.  Those are the facts.  Thousands and thousands of failed attempts make this abundantly clear.

As for Obama and the 'New World Order' is just pure stupidity.  If you think a president whose claim to fame and unseating of Clinton was organizing the largest group of (mostly young) people under the notion that they can bring change to America and whose first speech talks about how their work isn't done is going turn around and outright defy his own base of power is just silly.   Young people are fickle and prone to revolutionary thought, and would be quick to use their new found organizational skills to obliterate Obama's presidency if they feel particularly miffed.   

Obama doesn't strike me as that stupid.  A far more likely story would be him dithering and make half hearted ineffectual gestures while, in fact, maintaining the status quo.

--

Steve 


radiance's picture
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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

Rex 84 is for nonviolent citizens.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues
[quote=cmartenson]

Oddly, Obama is not attending, only Bush (and by extension Cheney). All the more curious.

[/quote]

If Obama isn't going, what CAN the G20 do?

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues
How about this for disgusting: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/11/10/19123/424/208/658802 AIG exec go on yet another resort junket.
Damnthematrix's picture
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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues
[quote=switters]

I said this elsewhere, but if ever there was a time for revolution in the US, this is that time.

[/quote]

YEP.

And like I keep saying, if the majority of Americans stopped servicing their debts, you'd have a bloodless revolution in less than a week.....

I'm surprised no one, absolutely no one, has even contradicted me on this.

Discuss.

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues
[quote=Damnthematrix][quote=switters]

I said this elsewhere, but if ever there was a time for revolution in the US, this is that time.

[/quote]

I'm surprised no one, absolutely no one, has even contradicted me on this.

Discuss.

[/quote]

If I had any debts to not pay, I would not pay them!

Perhaps I should make some for that purpose.

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

I agree...I just called GMAC to ask what happens to my payments when they go out of business. The reply was "we are not going out of business"...from the information released today about GM, the difference in opinion is very disturbing.

I fully support an economic tea party against the financial mafia.

 

Oh.....   to get rid of the second amendment would be very easy now with the Patriot act, and  take yer gold at the same time.

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Re: conspiracy theory silliness
srbarbour.....you obviously work for Pelosi....like any board monitor......you shall see.
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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

Dambthematrix:

Ugh, I read that and thought that would work. Then I thought about it and now think: Isn't that what got us in this mess (foreclosures bring the market and tax base and job base down and we the fools pay the bill.)

No, sorry, I think this idea would grant us only a bigger tax bill.

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

I think this bears reading...

http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/conrad/2008/1110.html 

 

1

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

dear prof barbour

i would like to have some of what it is you are smoking or drinking or shooting.

obama is not going to unwind anything bush does(paulson and bernanke)

he is going to wind even more on. if you are living in hope you

have my sympathy.

bo got 4x the dough from wall street that mac got he is in on it \

check out his speech on the floor of the senate in favor of the bailout.

none of those crooks even read the bill. it was written last year by paulson and bernanke.

you cant even type a 450 page bill in two days. does the patriot act ring a bell ?

undo the bills by the next pres? WE ARE DOOMED.HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

Get used to thinking of government as a criminal syndicate, then the things they do won't be surprising. Get used to thinking of government as your enemy, because that is what it is.

The tax system itself is a massive looting operation. The Federal Reserve is a private counterfeiting operation. The military takes your children and sends them to get killed for no good reason. They lie about practically everything they do. One in a hundred are in prison, half for non-violent drug offenses. With a few exceptions, most everything government does has parallels with private gangs and warlords.

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE4A92FM20081110?sp=true

AIG gets $150 billion government bailout; posts huge loss

Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:28pm EST
 
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The government restructured its bailout of American International Group Inc, raising the package to a record $150 billion with easier terms, after a smaller rescue plan failed to stabilize the ailing insurance giant.

The Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department announced the new plan on Monday as AIG reported a record third-quarter loss of $24.47 billion, largely from write-downs of investments.

The new package, at least $27 billion more than was previously extended, will leave the government exposed to billions of dollars of potential losses.

<MORE> 

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues
[quote=Davos]

Dambthematrix:

Ugh, I read that and thought that would work. Then I thought about it and now think: Isn't that what got us in this mess (foreclosures bring the market and tax base and job base down and we the fools pay the bill.)

No, sorry, I think this idea would grant us only a bigger tax bill.

[/quote]

I can't follow that reasoning......  afer all, they can't foreclose the whole country. 

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues
DamntheMatrix: no one's contradicted you because you're probably quite right.  The problem is that nothing approaching a majority would ever do it, at least not for now, so it's just not really useful information.  Mostly we're too busy sniping at each other and at the "greedy" people who "bought more house than they could afford" because clearly, you're only going to lose your house if you deserve to, so why should people who keep up their obligations feel sorry for you?  Seriously, it's like that.  Apparently job losses and utility hikes and medical bills and plain, innocent poor planning only happen to losers.  So maybe a few of us stop paying our debt off in a noble attempt to beat the system...congratulations to us, we're now homeless and even more powerless.  Maybe once we reach the point where everyone at least knows someone who lost their house, and realizes that "them" is "us", then...maaaaaybe...something like this could work.  God knows I feel more hopeless every day that anything less drastic will have much effect, but for the moment, frankly, I knew it was a scam when I signed the papers, and I did it anyway cuz it was the only way to get a house, and I'm keeping that house if I [email protected] well can.
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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues
[quote]

I think this bears reading...

http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/conrad/2008/1110.html 

[/quote]

Indeed, Davos.  I've said time and again, its not the expansion of the Fed's balance sheet that should concern us.  Rather, it is what the balance sheet is being expanded with.

Now, even more disturbing is apparently the quality of what the Fed has accepted is so bad they are unwilling to disclose it, even if threatened with legal measures... even after the election... 

Admittedly, they are saying that this is to prevent a potential run on some banks, which is a slightly more nobel cause, but just as much a cause for alarm in its own right.  Do these banks really need more help hiding their losses?   

(The Freedom of Information Act requires they reveal this information... if requested) 

--

Steve 

 

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

YAWN

i have posted on this site for a long time and i have said it many times(i get no joy of being right btw)

if you want to know what is happening stop thinking from the bottom up. think as if you had a vision of a new world order and you had 500 trillion  dollars . and this new world order was based on neo fuedalism.

what would you do. you would have all the knights in your service. therefore any attempt by the serfs to get any freedom could very easily crushed. the magna carta did not give george 6 pack any freedom it gave it to the aristocracy because a bunch of them were knights or controlled the knights.

at the time the king had most of the gold but the knights were getting a pretty good share via crusades. (templars)after a few hundred years a merchant class developed because hey we got all these neat things we can ripoff and trade for from the east.(oil sheik, indian weavers and chinese noodles)

so we have a currency  in coin (gold) well boy howdy we need a place to keep the gold ...voila bankers.

smart guys those bankers they knew one thing "he who has the gold makes the rules" the uh golden rule.

kings were in shock to find out they needed to borrow money and borrow they did .........from the goldsmith bankers. now this little thing called the enlightenment came along and some kings and lords and ladies lost their heads along the way and a thing called democracy kinda got a start. but hey democrats need gold too.

fast forward "some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the u.s. , characterizing my family and me as internationalists and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure- ONE WORLD if you will. if that's the charge, i stand GUILTY AND I AM PROUD OF IT"

david rockefeller 

george herbert bush said the virtual same thing. now we have brown saying it. i dont know about you folks  but i am beginning to think they are telling the truth (for the first time)

you want to know what comes next? you want to know what this is going to look like? read the shock doctrine by naomi klein.

you have a choice you can be a willing serf or an unwilling serf ...........but you will be a serf nonetheless.

you will till the bankers fields, you will mine his mines, you will write his software and provide his amusements. and in return you get a little food, a little dirty water,  a TARP over your head, and if you are a good serf the banker may turn his head once in a while so you can have one of the bankers deer.

and if you are a bad serf well....... then you get a vacation.................a gitmo vacation. and if you make it back you will be a very good serf.

so now we are regressed to stage 2 --anger. not too long ago we were in 6 --acceptance.

i think i will dip into depression for a while myself and contemplate whether i want to be a good serf or a bad serf.  (where's my soma?)         your loyal info serf from the serf info network (SIN)

om shanti

joe

 

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Damnthematrix
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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

[quote=Squrrl]DamntheMatrix: no one's contradicted you because you're probably quite right. <SNIP> God knows I feel more hopeless every day that anything less drastic will have much effect, but for the moment, frankly, I knew it was a scam when I signed the papers, and I did it anyway cuz it was the only way to get a house, and I'm keeping that house if I [email protected] well can. [/quote]

The way I see things developing in a revolution is that you would get to keep your house even if you default.  ALL debts must be forgiven.

Why pretend they can ever be repaid when it is clearly not the case? 

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

Of course things have changed somewhat Joe.

For starters we now outnumber the bastards millions to one.

We're also a bit more knowledgeable (though I agree you wouldn't know it the way some serfs' behave sometimes!).

There's one more very important thing that's changed now.  In the past TPTB promised the serfs ecer more 'stuff' in exchange for ever more slavery.

But now it's going to become very difficult, nay impossible, to deliver more stuff.

So when the people work out they've been conned (and we are already numerous on this site), I think the shit will hit the fan, but it might all blow up in the elite's face this time 'round.... 

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSN1048860120081111

Fed OKs American Express as bank holding company

Mon Nov 10, 2008

By Juan Lagorio and Patrick Rucker

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, Nov 10 (Reuters) - American Express Co (AXP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it won approval to become a bank holding company, in a step that could cut its borrowing costs and give it more access to government money.

American Express, the fourth-largest U.S. credit card issuer, offered more credit to more customers even as the housing crisis began last year, and is paying the price as delinquencies rise.

Adding to its difficulties, its main sources of funding have grown more expensive as secured and unsecured bond markets have shut down.

Investors are wondering whether financial companies that loan money but fund themselves mainly in the bond markets are a thing of the past. Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) both became banks in September.

As a bank holding company, American Express can issue bonds that are government guaranteed through the end of June 2012, and apply to receive money under the U.S. Treasury's $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program, which is making direct investments in banks, insurers, and possibly other financial companies.

The company will also find it easier to buy banks now, and take deposits from consumers and companies, which can be a cheap source of funding.

"Given the continued volatility in the financial markets, we want to be best positioned to take advantage of the various programs the federal government has introduced ... to support U.S. financial institutions," said Kenneth Chenault, chairman and chief executive officer of American Express, in a statement.

"With Federal Reserve oversight we should gain greater access to the capital on offer," he added.

But investors cautioned that being a bank does not solve all of American Express' difficulties. A growing number of financial institutions are looking to buy banks and gather deposits.

"There's a lot of competition for deposits now, and pricing for deposits is still high," said Blake Howells, director of equity research at Becker Capital Management in Portland, Oregon.

American Express' borrowing costs relative to a benchmark rate have risen dramatically this year. The company is paying about 1.65 percentage points more than one-month Libor to fund itself, compared with its average in recent years of 0.20 to 0.40 percentage point.

The funding pressure is combining with credit pressure. The default rate among its credit card clients in the United States almost doubled in the third quarter of 2008 from a year earlier.

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

AIG execs go on yet another resort junket

 http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/11/10/19123/424/208/658802

Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 04:40:04 PM PST

This morning, we learned that AIG received yet another $150 billion handout.

And this afternoon, we learn that last week -- last week, people! -- AIG sent its top executives to a "secret gathering" at a posh luxury resort in Phoenix:

Even as the company was pleading the federal government for another $40 billion dollars in loans, AIG sent top executives to a secret gathering at a luxury resort in Phoenix last week.

Reporters for abc15.com (KNXV) caught the AIG executives on hidden cameras poolside and leaving the spa at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, despite apparent efforts by the company to disguise its involvement.

"AIG made significant efforts to disguise the conference, making sure there were no AIG logos or signs anywhere on the property," KNXV reported.

The cost of the secret junket?

The AIG spokesman said the meeting in Phoenix was for independent financial advisors and "was the kind of thing we have to do to run our business."

Company officials confirmed the company spent an estimated $343,000 to sponsor the 2008 Asset Management Conference. A spokesperson said much of the cost would be recouped from product sponsors at the conference.

I'm sure that the second that $343,000 is recouped, it'll be passed right along to taxpayers, right? Put back in the government kitty for all of us?

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues
Is this being discussed much in the mainstream press?  If so, what is the tone of the analysis?
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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

[quote]This morning, we learned that AIG received yet another $150 billion handout.[/quote]

Its not another $150 billion.  Its the same money, albeit, slightly larger under new, improved, Anti-taxpayer rules!

(sarcasm)but at least its not as socialistic(/sarcasm) 

NakedCapitalism's explanation is the best. (yes, I linked to it above...)

[quote]

I'm sure that the second that $343,000 is recouped, it'll be passed right along to taxpayers, right? Put back in the government kitty for all of us?

[/quote]

I'm sorry to say, but boohoo.  I'm not going to cry over the penny they stole from me when they are busy hauling away my entire bank account.

Lets get our priorities straight, and shore up TARP first, and the $150 billion controlled by AIG next.  Then we can worrying about the stupid, but ultimately frivolous, expenditures these morons conjure up.

--

Steve 

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iRxZox4GFoIweckPDP1oRhKBlHOwD94CCDU00 

Georgia congressman warns of Obama dictatorship

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican congressman from Georgia said Monday he fears that President-elect Obama will establish a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist or fascist dictatorship.

Broun cited a July speech by Obama that has circulated on the Internet in which the then-Democratic presidential candidate called for a civilian force to take some of the national security burden off the military.

"That's exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it's exactly what the Soviet Union did," Broun said. "When he's proposing to have a national security force that's answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he's showing me signs of being Marxist."

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/11072008_warsh_financial_structure.asp 

Federal Reserve Governor Kevin Warsh said the U.S. financial sector has to be rebuilt, and banks have to adapt to new credit models for a recovery from the ongoing economic crisis to take place. 

He said in the wake of the crisis, markets have been re-assessing "virtually every asset."

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Come to Uncle Barney

Best commentary EVER, Dr. M! I know you appreciated the blurb from Massachusetts' own Barney Frank, in the Bloomberg article:

In an interview Nov. 6, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said the Fed's disclosure is sufficient and that the risk the central bank is taking on is appropriate in the current economic climate. Frank said he has discussed the program with Timothy F. Geithner, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and a possible candidate to succeed Paulson as Treasury secretary.

``I talk to Geithner and he was pretty sure that they're OK,'' said Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat. ``If the risk is that the Fed takes a little bit of a haircut, well that's regrettable.'' Such losses would be acceptable, he said, if the program helps revive the economy.

Frank said the Fed shouldn't reveal the assets it holds or how it values them because of ``delicacy with respect to pricing.'' He said such disclosure would ``give people clues to what your pricing is and what they might be able to sell us and what your estimates are.'' He wouldn't say why he thought that information would be problematic.

"Delicacy with respect to pricing."

"DELICACY with respect to PRICING."

Funny, I don't get much "DELICACY" when it comes to taxes. They send a very explicit, in-your-face bill, with an explicit deadline and explicit threats about what will happen if it ain't met.

But not to worry. Just let kind old Uncle Barney grope your money and mind your kids, or is it vice versa?

And here's another howler from the same Bloomberg article:

Ultimately, the Fed will have to remove some securities held as collateral from some programs because the central bank's rules call for instruments rated below investment grade to be taken back by the borrower and marked down in value. Losses on those assets could then be written off, partly through the capital recently injected into those banks by the Treasury.

Not gonna happen. Because as explained in the Crash Course, the monetary system is based on EXPANSION -- as in the more-than-doubling of the Fed's balance sheet since summer. Deleveraging would bring back financial crisis overnight.

So what's a dice-rolling, mad-hat bankster to do? Simple; slip in another obscure five-sentence notice in a 400-page mental health bill to make the Fed's purchases of junk securities permanent. When you've got a winning criminal modus operandi, exploit it to the max before copycats move in. In the morally-twisted world of central banking, every sharp player needs an angle, ya know?

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

Problem, reaction, solution.  Only the solution is often the next problem, but people are too emotionally distracted (over reaction) to realize it at the time.

 Problem: an economic 'crisis'.   (we all know who started this)

 Reaction:  the public demands the government 'do something'

 Solution: New accounting rules, free money to the banks, and long term?  Potentially a 'new world order'?

This is the way the game is played.  I just fear that at some point the 'solution' is the final solution; things are locked, any sort of meaningful and actually good change is impossible.

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues
[quote=Damnthematrix][quote=cmartenson]

Oddly, Obama is not attending, only Bush (and by extension Cheney). All the more curious.

[/quote]

If Obama isn't going, what CAN the G20 do?

[/quote]

I'm afraid the coming G20 will end up with NOTHING but words. At best they'll get a minor concensus with no effect.

Everyone will try to protect its own interests. As a result we'll se more protectionism, selfishness, tensions and intimidations: oil-war(?), cold-war(?). I hope not worse!

I do not expect anything from our politicians. Execpt for very few of them, their ONLY goal is to be re-elected the next time. Even if they're aware of the real problems we are facing, they do not take any real decisions to cure them, since such decisions are unpopular and take too many years before having an effect.

I'm belgian and I've seen the same story over and over again at every level of decision: European Union, Belgium...

 

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

If you want to understand why our financial and political system is not working in our best interests, watch Money Masters. It was a documentary on our financial system created in the 90's.

We live in interesting times.

Money Masters

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues
[quote=Davos]

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iRxZox4GFoIweckPDP1oRhKBlHOwD94CCDU00 

Georgia congressman warns of Obama dictatorship

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican congressman from Georgia said Monday he fears that President-elect Obama will establish a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist or fascist dictatorship.

Broun cited a July speech by Obama that has circulated on the Internet in which the then-Democratic presidential candidate called for a civilian force to take some of the national security burden off the military.

"That's exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it's exactly what the Soviet Union did," Broun said. "When he's proposing to have a national security force that's answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he's showing me signs of being Marxist."

[/quote]

Yeah, and a lot of McCain supporters didn't want to vote for Obama because he is an "Arab", a Muslim, a terrorist, or because he associated with a terrorist when he was 8 years old.

If you're going to make accusations as serious as this, try having some actual evidence to back them up first.  Some jackass in the South making a comment out of his *[email protected] doesn't constitute evidence, by the way.

I have a lot of problems with Obama and with the corporate-sponsored two-party system, but that doesn't mean I believe every piece of redneck propaganda I read about him.

BTW, we already have exactly what you're suggesting with Bush: Blackwater.  Furthermore, Bush violated the Posse Commitatus Act by deploying the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry Division on US soil.  

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

Well said Joe.

 

BTW - you don't have time to contemplate anything - get back to work!  The banker at table 3 needs more butter and another glass of fine wine!! 

Best of luck to us all,

Bob 

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues
This is just part of the verbal assault that has already started and will continue throughout Obama's administration.  The likes of idiots like Limbaugh, Hannity, Delay, Pat Robertson, Broun, et al will continue their right wing hate speech as long as they think it will work.  They have proved over the last few decades that they have no moral or ethical scruples, and are bereft of any ideas or knowledge concerning our current economic, environmental and energy situation. 
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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

the Fed has given American Express carte blanche access to the array of Fed lending programs. Like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the Fed will allow AmEx to call itself a “bank holding company” so it can gain access to both the Treasury’s TARP bailout and the Fed’s lending facilities.

The Fed fast-tracked AmEx’s application after it reported a 24% decline in third-quarter profit and said it will fire 10% of its employees.

Here it is ladies and gentlemen, the next in a long list of soon to be "re-classifications" that will allow virtually anybody to jump on this ever-expanding bandwagon of fun.  In a world of "if you can't beat-um, join-um" attitudes, then my solution is simple:  I am going to keep a given amount of money under my mattress.  Each day, I will keep a journal where I promise to one day pay me a certain amount of interest on my keeping this money.  I will also lend me money and promise to one day put the money back with some extra money someday after later.  So then this makes my mattress a bank, and I the banker, and since I sleep on this mattress, er - bank,  I am a bank holding company!

See you all in Phoenix by the pool!  (Check out AIG's executive vacation schedule!)

Bob 

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

Switters:

Personally, this election, in my opinion should have been held on October 31st. Both parties scared me.

I see what you are saying, and let me state my point of view: Stuff like a New World Order, W's Blackwater or whoevers Rex Camps should not be and neither should civilian security forces. I posted this becuase this is NOT the change I personally want to see. It, like the rest of the [email protected] has no place in this country.

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

 

Like I said before watch zeitgeist the movie at http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/

You've heard of the Euro, yes? Ever heard of the Amero? That's coming next.

The US dollar, Canadian dollar and Mexican peso? Soon to be obsolete.

The American Constitution? Same fate - soon to be obsolete.

You know about the European Union and the African Union, yes? You will soon know about the North

American Union and the Asian Union.

So what's the aim of these men behind the curtain who have been orchestrating these events for the

past 60 years?

ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT! WORLD DOMINATION! COMPLETE CONTROL OF OUR LIVES!

ONE BANK, ONE ARMY, ONE CENTER OF POWER!

It is a scientifically proven fact that if you repeat a lie over and over again it eventually becomes

hardwired in the subconscious mind as a belief.

It's time to reprogram our subconscious minds, to install new beliefs, if we are going to beat this one.

And the Crash Course is a great place to start. Thanks Chris.

 

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

My thoughts exactly.

Maenad  also in Australia.

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

I remember reading that quote back in 2004 too.  

This is called "magical thinking" in psychology and is a well  known easily observable symptom of narcissistic personality disorder. The Republican Party elite display other symptoms of NPD and much of Bush's language has betrayed him as suffering a personality disorder. Narcissists also tend to form mutual admiration societies in which they look down on others. The egotism of the quote is also narcissistic.

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Re: US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

While watching the election coverage I heard people saying that the election of Obama had been "a bloodless revolution" and a handing over of power from one regime to another. I know the US president-elect is black but seriously, isn't he just another politician and wasn't it just another election?

Since the election I realise that we (Australians) not getting enough of a picture of what is really happening in the US at the moment to fully understand the changes at grass roots level. That's possibly because it is moving so fast or moved so much further than journalists realise, but it's hard to know.

On one hand it looks to me like many people have unrealistically projected a revolutionary role onto Obama because of his status as first black president, but perhaps it's not about unrealistic hopes but desperation. When countries go into recession the population becomes more open to new ideas and trying new ways of living. If electing Obama doesn't work what will they do then? They've been good boys and girls and played by the rules and got screwed by them. They've learnt that they can act en masse and get something powerful and unprecidented done. If Obama is seen to make an effort on the behalf of the screwed over population but is prevented from doing so, if there is an assassination attempt, or a coup attempted, what then can they do? 

I think that's when they will be ready to break the law en masse.

The whole looting operation is playing with matches. Failure to bring the American people a sense of justice or standing in the way of that justice will be playing with fire, and I think they know that.

About a month before the election I came across a story on Digg about American troops brought back from Iraq to train in subduing urban discord within America. Apparently this is the first time in American history that this has ever happened. It is not routine and has made people nervous. The people on Digg were talking about perhaps the election would be indefinately postponed especially since I think it surfaced about the time that McCain "suspended" his campaign over the economy.

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