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Life in the Empire

Stealing us blind.

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You know the "working class" family unlike any working class family I have known
This is rather good.

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04032009/watch.html

BILL MOYERS: Why are they firing the president of G.M. and not firing the head of all these banks that are involved?
WILLIAM K. BLACK: There are two reasons. One, they're much closer to the bankers. These are people from the banking industry. And they have a lot more sympathy. In fact, they're outright hostile to autoworkers, as you can see. They want to bash all of their contracts. But when they get to banking, they say, ‘contracts, sacred.' But the other element of your question is we don't want to change the bankers, because if we do, if we put honest people in, who didn't cause the problem, their first job would be to find the scope of the problem. And that would destroy the cover up.
BILL MOYERS: The cover up?
WILLIAM K. BLACK: Sure. The cover up.
BILL MOYERS: That's a serious charge.
WILLIAM K. BLACK: Of course.
BILL MOYERS: Who's covering up?
WILLIAM K. BLACK: Geithner is charging, is covering up. Just like Paulson did before him. Geithner is publicly saying that it's going to take $2 trillion — a trillion is a thousand billion — $2 trillion taxpayer dollars to deal with this problem. But they're allowing all the banks to report that they're not only solvent, but fully capitalized. Both statements can't be true. It can't be that they need $2 trillion, because they have masses losses, and that they're fine.
These are all people who have failed. Paulson failed, Geithner failed. They were all promoted because they failed, not because...
BILL MOYERS: What do you mean?
WILLIAM K. BLACK: Well, Geithner has, was one of our nation's top regulators, during the entire subprime scandal, that I just described. He took absolutely no effective action. He gave no warning. He did nothing in response to the FBI warning that there was an epidemic of fraud. All this pig in the poke stuff happened under him. So, in his phrase about legacy assets. Well he's a failed legacy regulator.
BILL MOYERS: But he denies that he was a regulator. Let me show you some of his testimony before Congress. Take a look at this.
TIMOTHY GEITHNER:I've never been a regulator, for better or worse. And I think you're right to say that we have to be very skeptical that regulation can solve all of these problems. We have parts of our system that are overwhelmed by regulation.
Overwhelmed by regulation! It wasn't the absence of regulation that was the problem, it was despite the presence of regulation you've got huge risks that build up.
WILLIAM K. BLACK: Well, he may be right that he never regulated, but his job was to regulate. That was his mission statement.
BILL MOYERS: As?
WILLIAM K. BLACK: As president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which is responsible for regulating most of the largest bank holding companies in America. And he's completely wrong that we had too much regulation in some of these areas. I mean, he gives no details, obviously. But that's just plain wrong.
BILL MOYERS: How is this happening? I mean why is it happening?
WILLIAM K. BLACK: Until you get the facts, it's harder to blow all this up. And, of course, the entire strategy is to keep people from getting the facts.
BILL MOYERS: What facts?
WILLIAM K. BLACK: The facts about how bad the condition of the banks is. So, as long as I keep the old CEO who caused the problems, is he going to go vigorously around finding the problems? Finding the frauds?
BILL MOYERS: You--
WILLIAM K. BLACK: Taking away people's bonuses?
BILL MOYERS: To hear you say this is unusual because you supported Barack Obama, during the campaign. But you're seeming disillusioned now.
WILLIAM K. BLACK: Well, certainly in the financial sphere, I am. I think, first, the policies are substantively bad. Second, I think they completely lack integrity. Third, they violate the rule of law. This is being done just like Secretary Paulson did it. In violation of the law. We adopted a law after the Savings and Loan crisis, called the Prompt Corrective Action Law. And it requires them to close these institutions. And they're refusing to obey the law.
I can personally attest to laws being applied in a completely arbitrary manner in the US. Our legal system is completely corrupt and is used purely for social engineering -- not 'justice'. Laws are the foundation of civilization. When a country's 'rule of law' has been compromised as badly as ours has, you have to expect that the rest of the structure will not stand. Tis exactly what is happening now.

None of the PTB's patch jobs are going to work. You can't just tell the termites to go away. You have to exterminate them.

I just found out a huge piece of property, that borders our own property, has gone into foreclosure (the banksters were out today posting notices). 14 houses were planned to be built. Yippee! The instant slums planed for next door have been averted.

At least for now.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/07/video-g20-police-assault
Well here's what the rule of law is like in Britain today. The man who died during the G20 demonstration was violently assaulted by the police minutes before his death.

In the town where I live the police station is barely manned at all these days, and there have been three armed robberies in the last few weeks. Two of them at my local shop. Hardly ever go there myself, not much wholefood in evidence.
So that's why there was a helicopter in the sky above my garden for an hour yesterday, blasting the air.
Before that it was immensely peaceful. First day of the school holidays, young ones having time to think.

Small has gone to Italy with her Papa for a fortnight and is very worried that we might be having earthquakes here in England. She's safe in the heel of the boot (as it were) - Puglia.
Thank you Hannah, I lost the plots, so many.

Lethal bullying.
Joe Bageant writes so well! Thanks for this link Pan - helped me get some things I've been thinking about back into perspective again.
I'll second that. A great piece that pretty much sums up the whole enchilada.
i just sent it on to about 15 other people. joe bageant speaks my mind so well i forget i am not a redneck chain smoking whiskey drinking southerner.....

i remember reading him on smirking chimp
The Story of Stuff

What is the Story of Stuff?
From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

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