Obama only person standing between bankers and "the pitchforks"?

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SamLinder's picture
SamLinder
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 10 2008
Posts: 1499
Obama only person standing between bankers and "the pitchforks"?

Strange Days

http://jameshowardkunstler.typepad.com/

...

As I've averred more than a few times in this space before, the
standard of living in America has got to come way down. We mortgaged
our future and the future has now begun. Tough noogies for us. But the
broad public won't accept the reality of this as long as the grandees
of finance and their myrmidons appear to still enjoy the high life.
They've got to be brought down hard, perhaps even disgraced and
humiliated in the courts, and certainly parted from some of their
fortunes -- if only in lawyer's fees. Mr. Obama pretty much served
notice to this effect last week, telling a delegation of bankers in the
White House that he was the only thing standing between them and "the
pitchforks."
It's possible he understands the situation.

(emphasis added by me)

Gadfly's picture
Gadfly
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 6 2008
Posts: 127
Re: Obama only person standing between bankers and "the ...

Who will be standing between Obama and the "pitchforks" 6 months from now?  Sam, congratulations on the achievement (emphasis added by you, that is).

BSV's picture
BSV
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 26 2009
Posts: 170
Re: Obama only person standing between bankers and "the ...

Sam is right. Our standard of living must decline to what amounts to a Third World standard. This trend was set in motion many years ago when America embraced the notion of free trade. We exported much of our manufacturing capacity, which effectively hollowed out the formerly great American industrial base. In return, we imported much cheaper goods produced by lower wage countries such as China. We enjoyed temporary prosperity but now we're paying the price.

China and other producer countries accumulated dollars and now we owe them vast sums of money. This once great country of ours is now effectively bankrupt, when measured on a Generally Accepted Accounting Principles basis. The discounted present value of future obligations (e.g., Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.) is overwhelming when compared to our ability to pay.

America once had a vibrant middle class of industrial workers, who enjoyed relatively high wages Those jobs have, in large part been exported to Asia. As for the "grandees of finance" -- as Sam puts it -- it remains to be seen whether they get a complete pass or are held accountable. I fear they will get away with it, though I hope that I'm wrong. Main Street is not to blame; Wall Street is to blame.

Wall Street bankers and brokers don't deserve pitchforks. They deserve tumbrels to convey them to the guillotine. Fifteen years ago I predicted in writing that some too-clever-by-half "quant" tickling the keyboard of his computer workstation would bring down a major bank through a derivatives miscalculation. I never expected the problem to be so widespread as to bring down the entire global financial system. Those "quants" worked for the grandees of finance that Sam refers to in his post.

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