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I've been following the unfolding massive financial catastrophe resulting from the looting of the nation's coffers by Wall Street criminals since at least 2006, way before the 2008 banking implosion.

As just a regular guy, with no advanced degree in economics, by 2006 and 2007 I already suspected what was going on; a suspicion that was confirmed when one of the most notorious Wall Street bagmen, former Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, drafted a 3-page ransom letter, or should I say, request to Congress for $700 billion, no questions asked.  

Back then, as a small business/technology consultant, I had quite a few real estate-related companies as customers, and got a glimpse at the volume of no-doc mortgage loans.  Many a time I would be at a customer's office, I would listen to the staff talk to prospective clients about ways to make their loans applications go through: "In your application it shows that you're making $10,000 a month as a retail worker at [such and such store].  That may generate a red flag when the application is reviewed; maybe we can change your employment to [this or that]."

That was pretty shocking to see, and it seems like everybody was doing it.  In those times, I had quite a few customers in real estate, and I overheard similar conversations in every office I visited.

That got me curious, and I started reading and doing some research about derivatives, and collateralized mortgage obligations, and complex investment products in the mortgage industry.

I quickly came up to my own conclusions, and it didn't take that much effort: Wall Street, at the highest levels had devised the latest fraud (in their long sullied history), with full intent, and knowledge that what they were doing was criminal.

They hired top scientists, statisticians, mathematicians, and other top minds to devise the scam, which in the final analysis was proven to be just another version of a Ponzi scheme.

At the top of the food chain you had the complex investment products, CMOs, etc.  From there, they infected the entire mortgage industry: The goal?  Generate as many loans as possible, as fast and everybody in the chain of corruption will make money (while the fraud lasted).  The mortgage and real estate brokers made money; the banks make money by repackaging the loans and selling them off to unsuspecting investors worldwide, all approved by rating agencies on the take.

But the ones that made the most money were the top executives from Wall Street global firms, as well as brokers and others linked to the system.  It was all about the fees generated from the volume of collateralized mortgage loans.

By then, they had already infiltrated and corrupted our entire government, including the Justice Department, and the regulatory agencies, like the SEC.

So that's a little bit of the background about the wholesale criminality committed by easily-identifiable top Wall Street executives, and the truly horrific and disastrous consequences they caused on our society, and the world economy.

Throughout these ensuing years, I've been in total dismay, frustrated, angry, about the obvious cover-up of these crimes by the Obama administration.

I've tried to make sense of something that doesn't make any sense; trying to find an answer, an explanation.  This man, Obama, whom I've supported and believed in, and campaigned for, seems to be protecting these criminals.  How is that possible?  Why?

As I try to find answers, one kind of crazy idea keep popping up in my head... It goes like this: He knows what's going on; he fully understands the level of corruption, how endemic it is, and how widespread it is in the entire system.  And he came to the realization that he needed a long-term strategy to properly address the issue.

When he took over, the economy was heading towards another Great Depression, so he focused his energy on avoiding that, while at the same time, started working on reestablishing a proper regulatory infrastructure.

He quickly realized that given the political divisions in our society, and the precarious condition of the financial system, that if he went after Wall Street criminals too soon, they could, and would, with the "turn off a switch" bring about a cataclysmic and sudden collapse of the entire financial system--at once.  And that if that happened, he would be powerless to do much about it, bringing down his presidency, and any prospect of economic recovery.

You have to understand something... These folks, these top Wall Street executives are megalomaniacal psychopathic sadistic monsters.  But that's true of any tyrant in history.  Either way, as a group, they know they committed multiple crimes that could land them in prison for many years.

So my take is that they, through their web of officials on the take throughout the government, made it clear that if the government went after them, this could further destabilize the financial system and bring the whole thing down.  In other words, they inextricably linked themselves (personally) to the too-big-to-fail financial institutions they were leading.

I've been considering this theory because the other, more plausible, is too painful to consider: that Obama is in on it; that he knows he is protecting these criminals.

But I always end up discounting it because it seems too complicated; too outlandish.  Until tonight, when I watched the PBS FRONTLINE documentary THE UNTOUCHABLES: FRONTLINE investigates why Wall Street’s leaders have escaped prosecution for any fraud related to the sale of bad mortgages.

FRONTLINE: You gave a speech before the New York Bar Association. You talked about your use of nonprosecution and deferred prosecution agreements. And in that speech, you made a reference to “losing sleep at night over worrying about what a lawsuit might result in at a large financial institution.” Is that really the job of a prosecutor, to worry about anything other than simply pursuing justice?

Lanny Breuer: I think I am pursuing justice. And I think the whole entire responsibility of the department is to pursue justice. But in any given case, I think I and prosecutors around the country, being responsible, should speak to regulators, should speak to experts, because if I bring a case against institution A, and as a result of bringing that case there’s some huge economic effect, it affects the economy so that employees who had nothing to do with the wrongdoing of the company –

FRONTLINE: Or shareholders.

Lanny Breuer: Well, first let’s talk about the employees. Employees may lose their jobs. Shareholders may or may not lose, and shareholders invested. But the employees perhaps did something different.

If it creates a ripple effect so that suddenly counterparties and other financial institutions or other companies that had nothing to do with this are affected badly, it’s a factor we need to know and understand.

We have, as a government and as an administration, dug out of one of the great financial crises in the world. And at the Department of Justice, we’re being aggressive, but we should in fact take into consideration what the experts tell us.

That doesn’t mean we won’t go forward, but it has to be a factor. And if you look at deferred prosecution agreements and nonprosecution agreements, they are a tool that we use in appropriate cases. And we have to continue to use those.

I have to tell you, when I saw this man saying this, my jaw dropped to the floor!  The suspicion I've harbor for years--one that I though to be unlikely true--was fully confirmed right there in that moment.  These Wall Street criminals have taken the entire country hostage, and Obama paid the ransom.

If this is proven to be true; if history confirms this as a fact, then this would have been one of the most shameful chapters in our nation's history.

I do understand one thing: As a regular guy, there is nothing more I want now, and have wanted for the last few years, than to see these motherfucker Wall Street criminals be hauled up, hand-cuffed, doing a perp walk in front of the whole world to see, and prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to long prison terms.

But what do you do if you are the president?  What if has weighted in all the factors and came to understand that as unsavory as his decision to look the other way (and actually participate in the protection of these heinous criminals) means that millions and millions of people will be protected against a sudden and massive financial collapse?

I don't know what's in his mind... But we will come to understand the true meaning about why you should never negotiate with terrorists.  These men, these Wall Street criminals are financial terrorists, the kind of which the world has never seen before; true monsters.  They need to be punished!

Now, regardless of his true motives, the plain and clear cover-up and protection of these criminals has only made our situation worst, and it has only delayed the true day of reckoning.

There are lots of investigative reports insinuating that to this day banks are lying about their books, and continue to commit massive fraud: The Atlantic The Atlantic - What's Inside America's Banks?

Some four years after the 2008 financial crisis, public trust in banks is as low as ever. Sophisticated investors describe big banks as “black boxes” that may still be concealing enormous risks—the sort that could again take down the economy. A close investigation of a supposedly conservative bank’s financial records uncovers the reason for these fears—and points the way toward urgent reforms.
Even thought the corporate-owned American misinformation machine, the mainstream media is trying to ignore the impact of this documentary, THE UNTOUCHABLES, I think their efforts will not be successful.  This true piece of journalism is a watershed moment in our history.

During his inaugural address the president asked us to join him, to help him move the country forward.

Mr. President, we are answering your call.  People across this entire country are going to do everything they can to help you find the support you need to bring these criminals to justice.  Right now, there is no other agenda, nothing at all more important than to ratify the concept that we are a nation of laws, that there are not two separate legal systems, one for regular folks, people like Aaron Swartz, and one for rich fucks.

We need to drain this putrid swamp of corruption in our financial system.  Until we do, everything else is secondary.





Do you want to see Wall Street criminals in prison?

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  •  Tip Jar (192+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, Egalitare, RageKage, Sapere aude, chuckvw, KenBee, mookins, Floande, blueoasis, Chi, Deward Hastings, route66, Sandino, nuclear winter solstice, kharma, 3rdOption, kaliope, dkmich, dharmafarmer, 2014, ciganka, LarisaW, OutcastsAndCastoffs, Dburn, buckstop, DvCM, LynChi, howd, cotterperson, Aureas2, Notreadytobenice, Crashing Vor, Dallasdoc, Lucy Montrose, leftreborn, petesmom, NBBooks, Loudoun County Dem, Susipsych, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, kevin k, SteveLCo, hlsmlane, cama2008, angel d, OleHippieChick, semiot, think blue, citizen dan, profh, Pescadero Bill, genethefiend, gulfgal98, Justus, DarkestHour, Byron from Denver, randallt, AnnieR, UFOH1, Yellow Canary, sydneyluv, MKinTN, Raggedy Ann, RUNDOWN, Sam Hill, Oldowan, filby, tapestry, madmsf, Gustogirl, temptxan, ratzo, Lady Libertine, Words In Action, SD Goat, SeaTurtle, johanus, disrael, fisheye, TracieLynn, Tool, One Pissed Off Liberal, Turbonerd, Preston S, anodnhajo, Its a New Day, DBunn, Gowrie Gal, Urizen, molecularlevel, poliwrangler, blue aardvark, Sybil Liberty, Tom Anderson, DRo, Eddie L, No one gets out alive, splashoil, puakev, Kingsmeg, mollyd, Nulwee, TAH from SLC, zerelda, Brooke In Seattle, midwesterner, unfangus, Sun Tzu, hester, Jarrayy, zenox, ruscle, AgavePup, quill, figbash, Jim P, sea note, Brian82, Woody, kishik, albrt, wader, Wreck Smurfy, PhilJD, 2questions, fumie, countwebb, zerone, wonkydonkey, kingneil, Alexandre, psnyder, CodeTalker, hyperstation, Bisbonian, Mentatmark, dotsright, MrBigDaddy, USHomeopath, ericlewis0, fiddlingnero, Matilda, Timaeus, Vyan, rivercard, bobswern, Caddis Fly, yoduuuh do or do not, hubcap, maggiejean, GDbot, afox, artmartin, VTCC73, tobendaro, SethRightmer, roystah, berko, greycat, smoothnmellow, expatjourno, Brian B, Arahahex, WithHoney, PsychoSavannah, DeminNewJ, walkshills, poco, legendmn, prettygirlxoxoxo, splashy, old wobbly, madgranny, lucid, Mr Robert, AoT, roses, Mac in Maine, cybersaur, cynndara, claude, isabelle hayes, lostinamerica, stone clearing, Chaddiwicker, Smoh, cpresley, blackjackal, LucyandByron, DamselleFly, Robynhood too, psyched
  •  I must have missed that presidential call (13+ / 0-)

    and he didn't leave a message.

    Perpetual crisis means never having to say you're sorry.

    by chuckvw on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:21:12 PM PST

    •  Of course Bush and Obama "paid the (11+ / 0-)


      The $700-billion was Bush. Obama paid out the second half of it, but it was already passed and signed.

      Do a search on [ george anderson  florence cioffi ] to understand the corruption of New York's criminal processes.

      Wall Street CEOs own the prosecutors and the courts.

      DoJ ??? Careerist axxholes, wall to wall.

      "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

      by bontemps2012 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:33:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Finance rules the world. No leader, government, (13+ / 0-)

        or nation is remotely as powerful as the Finance "sector".

        I don't think there's much mystery here.  Obama did what he could within the constraints of the (awful) system.  .  I believe he'll continue to work in the right direction, but his power is limited.  The banks & bondholders rule.

        They have every leader in the modern world by the balls.  They can crash the economy anytime they want, making money all the way down.  They are totally shameless and control almost everything.

        Remember what happened to Clinton when he tried to reform the tax structure with a carbon tax?  They turned him into a Republican, imo, pushing NAFTA, ending welfare, passing the WTO, deregulating Wall St.

        And let's not forget what happened to Kennedy when he challenged the CIA and the Joint Chiefs.  It's DK so I won't go on about this one.

        Imo Obama is truly great, but he can't do everything.  He picks his battles and plays for the long term.  May he win a few more big ones over the next few years!  And may he complete the ongoing transition away from Reaganism, so those who follow him can continue to move us towards justice & sustainability!

        •  Is it time for a revolution yet? (11+ / 0-)

          If finance rules the world, and we have no representation, we need to stage a revolution. Not against any particular nation, but against the extra-national system that dominates our current socio-economic system. Hopefully it can be bloodless, but it must happen.

          Not to get all holier than thou, and I told you so, but I have been saying this since the nineties. It was obvious then and its gotten hundreds of times worse since.

          We need to FORCE the Obama administration to go after these criminals. Give him the excuse that he has no other option. I had hoped Occupy would lead to such an outcome, but whatever, we need to force the issue.

          Nothing else is as important as this. Not the budget, nor gay rights, nor the environment, nor gun control: nothing. This is the only issue of importance facing us right now, everything else pales in comparison.

          If there is no justice, there is no civilization, there is only the strong raping the weak.

          •  i don't know if i should hide rate this or not (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            i just mentioned pitch forks and torches  in my own comment below, but it was used as metaphor for public outcry demanding justice

            but you are calling for a literal violent revolution.  oh, not if it can be avoided, but if it can't be avoided, then you say it must be pursued.  

            you know, the last successful violent revolution ended with a man being ass raped to death with a knife.  a bad man, no doubt about it.  but that's what happens in violent revolution.  humanity is lost.

            i don't get how people who are against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and who want to ban guns could be advocating for a violent revolution.

            i don't get that.

            Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?

            by AntonBursch on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:26:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh really now? (4+ / 0-)

              Violent revolution? I said that was to be avoided.

              Our own revolution was violent, but usually, violent revolutions lead to military dictatorships. Why do you suppose ours worked, while most don't?

              I'm trying to stress how serious this is, but hide rate if you feel you must.

              Looks like our POTUS has sided with the banksters once again with his new appointment to DOJ. Mary Jo White is another Wall Street insider.

              •  revolution isn't something we need to avoid (0+ / 0-)

                it's not even on the horizons of possibilities unless people put it there.  and they shouldn't.  the world is too small for a global revolution to occur.  what we need is continued global evolution toward equality and fairness and justice.  enough god damned war.  don't even put it on the table.

                Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?

                by AntonBursch on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 12:07:56 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't want a revolution or the banksters in jail (0+ / 0-)

                  Revolutions are way too messy and jail is way too civilized for what the banksters did...

                  I want to see them locked in a room with Hannibal Lecter and a steady supply of fava beans and nice Chianti to keep him happy. Uuurp!

                  And while Hannibal dines we should quietly hack his bank account and empty it of all assets into a fund to be redistributed to people hurt by these thieving bastards.

                  We did after all breakthrough Iran's computer security to sabotage the centrifuges in their nuclear facility...

                •  If you confuse revolution with war, that's your (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:


                  Not anyone elses.

                  No one else can be responsible for you hearing what you want to hear

                  "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

                  by JesseCW on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 12:50:24 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  what is bloody revolution other than war? (0+ / 0-)

                    by the way, what country do you live in and what religion are you?  i'm curious.  i keep meaning to ask you.  

                    Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?

                    by AntonBursch on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 01:22:54 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  How the fuck are either of those bizarre (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Rick Aucoin

                      questions in any fucking way relevant to this goddamned conversation?

                      "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

                      by JesseCW on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 01:38:15 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  i said that i keep meaning to ask you (0+ / 0-)

                        that means that my questions have nothing to do with this conversation

                        anyway.  never mind.  i didn't think you'd freak out.  i thought i read you say that you were muslim and living in europe and i wanted to ask you a couple questions cause i'm learning about european history.  i thought you'd have an interesting point of view on things.  but i didn't want to presume in case you were sensitive or something.  which clearly you are.  so, don't worry about it.  

                        Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?

                        by AntonBursch on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 02:25:02 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Please limit yourself to the issues at hand, and (0+ / 0-)

                          keep your hands to yourself.

                          I'm not interested in helping you concoct some weird little database, and you and I are not and never will be in any way personally friendly.

                          When you're inappropriate in assuming familiarity, you need to own your fucking shit instead of pretending someone else is "sensitive".  That was equivalent to laying your hand on a stranger at a bus stop.

                          Don't do that shit.  It's not ok.

                          "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

                          by JesseCW on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 02:30:08 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  don't play games with me at the bus stop (0+ / 0-)

                            and i won't put my hand on you

                            you started talking to me here.  not the other way around.  if you don't want me to talk back to you, then don't pretend to talk to me.  just say what you want to say about me to everyone else.  like this.

                            anton is a fucking idiot, don't listen to him.
                            see how easy that was?  just tell it like you see it.  

                            isn't that better than playing games pretending to talk to me and having to deal with me talking back?  i think it is.  

                            whatever you do, i have no interest in talking to you anymore, so, don't talk or pretend to talk to me and i won't talk to you.  problem solved.

                            Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?

                            by AntonBursch on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:24:05 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  the world is so small (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JesseCW, Ray Pensador, hooper

                  that a global velvet revolution is possible

                  without that hope there's only the destruction of the planet for higher life forms

                  •  the planet's fucked. that story is already written (0+ / 0-)

                    anyone looking honestly at the world knows that it's fucked and there's no turning back now

                    all we can do is adapt

                    that's assuming we stop racing toward total fucking destruction

                    i do still have hope for that at least

                    Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?

                    by AntonBursch on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:35:07 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  I didn't read your comment as calling (3+ / 0-)

                for violence but refrained from reccing it out of concern for the possibility of it being interpreted that way. We have a movement dedicated to overthrowing the rule of these crooks, it is nonviolent, and it's called Occupy Wall Street. Note the treatment it received, which only proves your point.

                Stay fired up: now is the time to focus on downticket change! #Forward

                by emidesu on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 12:12:30 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Your bias is showing, imo. Mary Jo White is not (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bontemps2012, BachFan

                just another insider.  Yes, she worked as a defense atty for a few years, but most of her career has been in enforcement, as a very successful prosecutor.

                Let's check back in 2 years, & see what happened.  Otherwise we'll just trade biased predictions (including myself).

                •  What bias are you talking about? (0+ / 0-)

                  Wait a minute... are you suggesting that, if one is pro-Obama one will be for this appointment, and against it only if one is anti-Obama?

                  Oh my God. Oh my fucking God. We've lost. It's all one giant fucking sporting contest now, isn't it? Yer either for "our team" or against "our team." Fuck me with a chainsaw, this is disgusting, disheartening, nay, downright frightening. I don't even know what to say.

                  Check my comment history, I've both defended Obama, and criticized certain particular policies that I disagree with. Some of us are trying to be good, patriotic citizens, giving our best thinking possible to the cause of improving our country. But I guess some of us are just in it for the ego boost of being on the right side.

            •  I know it was just an example (4+ / 0-)

              but t he Libyan revolution only became violent after Gaddafi massacred people for protesting nonviolently...

              Stay fired up: now is the time to focus on downticket change! #Forward

              by emidesu on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 12:16:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Quite so. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                isabelle hayes, bontemps2012

                No matter the nation or the ostensible form of government, those who hold the ultimate coercive power of the State usually do so because they are willing to exercise violence to gain or maintain power.  Thus any peaceful, nonviolent movement that actually threatens the status quo will be met with varying degrees of violent suppression.

                I don't advocate violence as a method.  I don't really like it, and I'm not really good at it.  But we do have to face the fact that resistance to oppression is likely to be met with violent suppression as a first and often only alternative.  We only win if we can counter it in some way.  Violent revolution most often fails to deliver the kind of world we want to live in . . . but we still have to deal with violence from our would-be masters.  We have to be smarter, or nobler, or maybe just more stubborn . . .  

                •  we have to be what you said cynndara (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  hooper, bontemps2012

                  we could turn things around if the world's 99% acted


                  the velvet revolution worldwide

                  just because it's never been done, doesn't mean this is fantasy

                  with the net there could be cohesiveness never before possible

                  if the owners find themselves undefended by their armies they'd be glad to be allowed to retire

                  •  Yes. We need a new way for "the people" to (3+ / 0-)

                    bring about change.  I don't know what it is, but it's coming.

                    My current fantasy is millions of people outside making noise (banging post & pans?) at the same time each day, every day, until we're all out there and there's nobody left to resist.

                    Wouldn't work today, here in MA anyway.  It's way too cold.

                    Whatever we do, we have to learn from OWS and find ways to include everyone, not just activists with the time & youth to camp out.  I personally know many dozens of folks who wanted to join in with Occupy but couldn't figure how to do it.

                    •  Until we CAN figure it out (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Ray Pensador, hooper, isabelle hayes

                      one thing we should all do is continue building the public media.  No one would ever have known Occupy existed, if it weren't for the internet and the social media.  MSM would have simply not reported, and it would have fizzled because no one knew it was there.  The least we can do AND the first step, is to assure that no one is isolated, that the public has access  to news and  all honest alternative opinions.  That saints, sinners, and martyrs can't be stifled.  And that anyone who DOES have an idea, can get it out there, and the good ones can float to the top like the newest pictures of Grumpy Cat. At least 50% of the 99% is seriously disaffected at this point.  Somewhere in that 150 million potential rebels, someone will hit on the right idea, or several thousand someones will hit on pretty goods ones, as long as everyone keeps thinking and communicating.

            •  desired "revolutionary" act: (3+ / 0-)

              Join a Credit Union.  

              If there isn't one near enough to you, start your own.  I happen to live 130 miles away from my Credit Union,  and there are banks closer.  Between the internet banking and the CUAnytime ATMs,  I never go into the physical location of the office.

              Having everyone leave the banks and join CUs is a valuable first step,  as it personalizes things,  and ANY bank,  the very word "bank" itself will become associated with the services the wealthy need,  unlike us JoeSchmoes.

              It's also,  of course, the first question to ask of anyone standing up and calling for activism, not to mention "revolution": "Where do you keep your dough?".  Basic money-where-your-mouth-is concept.

              I actually think the Move Your Money movement should be continued and pushed hard, because it WILL be noticed and it will educate people.  This should actually cross partisan divides, as everybody deals with a bank,  except for the ones who have already gotten away from them,  and hardly anyone has a kind word for a bank.

              don't always believe what you think

              by claude on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 01:34:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I agree that Obama picks his battles (4+ / 0-)

          You can't solve all of the problems in this country in one (or two terms).  You can't even completely solve any problems.  All you can do is try to make more progress (or at least try to keep things from getting worse).  

          In the land of reality, that's how government works.  As opposed to the fantasy land in which some people want to live in.  It's hard enough for one person to improve their own life let alone for anyone or any group of people to try to improve the lives of 300 millions people.

          I agree with Ray that even if the President wanted to go after the people responsible for the 2008
          financial collapse, he couldn't do it.  I just slightly disagree about who the people responsible are and therefore why the President couldn't go after them.

          I think that the 2008 financial collapse was the fault of tens of millions of people in this country.  From the people who bought homes way out of their price range to the people who sold the homes to them to the people who sold the homes in pieces around the world.  Everyone of them who had even the slightest amount of common sense knew in their hearts that they were gaming the system.

          The reckless  housing bubble was a kind of pyramid scheme in which those at the top grew the richest, but everyone participating knew it was too good to be true.

          It's easy to point a finger at the top of the pyramid and demand that they be marched out in cuffs, but the people at the top didn't do anything that the people all the way down the pyramid weren't doing on a smaller scale.

          I watched the housing bubble grow and I saw the range of people exploiting it.  I saw the dollar signs in their eyes as they chased easy wealth.  I was both surprised when the collapse began in earnest and at the same time surprised that it hadn't begun sooner.

          I never participated in it and I am pissed as hell that I worked my ass off for a decade to climb up out of lower middle class into the upper middle class only to find that the waters had risen and the peak I had reached put me relatively where I had started.  

          I can't complain much considering how much worse everyone making less than me is doing now, but I am still pissed that while I was working hard to make a generation economic change for my future family, half of the fucking country was climbing over each other to chase a shortcut to wealth and their fall collapsed the economy and almost sunk us into another great depression.

          So, yeah, it's frustrating that the people at the top of the pyramid were bailed out and have largely returned to the levels of wealth that they scammed their way to during the housing bubble.  I am not going to pretend that it isn't frustrating.  But they aren't even CLOSE to be the only ones to blame.  No more than Bush is the only one to blame for the war in Iraq.  The American people fucked themselves (and the world) because of they got greedy.  Again.  

          You know, I remember early on in Obama's first term there was a report about a meeting he had with the big banks in which they started getting angry at him for bossing them around.  He told them that he's the only one standing between them and the pitch forks and torches.  That tells you everything you need to know about Obama's relationship with those bankers.  He saw himself as someone who could lead people past their conflicts so they could work together to solve problems.  History will tell whether or not he should have just stepped out of the way and let the bankers and the peasants figure it out on their own.

          Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?

          by AntonBursch on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:39:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  He did serve this purpose very well... (6+ / 0-)
            He told them that he's the only one standing between them and the pitch forks and torches.
            The other option was to do what was right for the country and begin the process of breaking up the financial capitalist pirate's nest. Probably too late now.

            Who hired Geithner, Summers, Bernanke, and Lew, I wonder... That seemed fairly proactive. Your apologia for the 1% is what it is.

            Perpetual crisis means never having to say you're sorry.

            by chuckvw on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:04:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  my apologia for the 1%? did you read my comment? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sviscusi, hooper, bontemps2012

              or is everything other than a singular condemnation of the 1% considered an apologia for the 1% for you?

              whatever.  at least you aren't calling for violent revolution like SethRightmer.  that's good.  

              Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?

              by AntonBursch on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:19:00 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If our ruling "elites" don't wake up soon (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JesseCW, claude

                who knows what might happen?

                I did read your comment. Your response doesn't incline me to change my opinion of it. The behavior of the 1% has been singularly contemptible this century. We live in a second Gilded Age with drones, endless war, lawlessness at the top, and an increasingly nonfunctioning national government.

                I think we are not likely to persuade each other.

                Perpetual crisis means never having to say you're sorry.

                by chuckvw on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:38:35 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  i doubt we disagree about elites (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  isabelle hayes, BlackClouds

                  except that i consider the peoples of the first world, especially America, to be elites.  

                  yeah, yeah, compared to the super rich, first world people are poor, but compared to the BILLIONS of truly poor in the world, first world people are fucking kings and queens

                  when the poor in America stop making excuses for why they buy blue ray players at walmart even though they know the players are made in sweat shops by virtual slaves then i focus my judgement on the 1%.  

                  i mean, what kind of fucking bullshit is it to whine and say that you have to buy the blue ray player at walmart, cause you can't afford it anywhere else?  who the fuck needs a blue ray player?  nobody.  the 99% of humans living on the planet don't have one.  but poor people in American can get one because some slave in a 3rd world made it for a quarter.

                  the 99% of Americans are still the 1% of the world.  that's just the truth.  so, listening to soap box preaching against the 1% sounds an awful lot like listening to closeted gay preachers on their soap box against gay marriage.  it sounds like hypocritical bullshit.  which is what it is.  

                  Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?

                  by AntonBursch on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 12:15:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Good luck with that (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    JesseCW, quagmiremonkey

                    Perpetual crisis means never having to say you're sorry.

                    by chuckvw on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 12:21:38 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  bread and circuses, Anton (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Ray Pensador, chuckvw, LucyandByron

                    the blue-ray player, as well as the myriad of other media devices,  are the delivery systems for the Bread and Circuses of our empire to keep the proles quiet.  The Oligarch makes damn sure all this stuff is affordable at some basic entry level,  and the proles elsewhere making the devices?  I'm sure they all want one, too.  

                    That's why the blue-ray player, as metaphor, is important to the conversation.

                    I agree with your thesis of universal guilt, or at least, complicity, regarding the Real Estate crash.

                    Gotta go change the oil in the car.

                    don't always believe what you think

                    by claude on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 01:56:37 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  People wanting stuff is universal (0+ / 0-)

                      As societies become more affluent more stuff is wanted. Cars, TVs, blue-ray players are selling like crazy in China these days. Maybe it's shameful that people want stuff. I don't know. Seems kind of a puritanical view, although not necessarily a wrong view.

                      The maldistribution of wealth in this country speaks for itself. Are the proles to blame for that, too? Are they complicit in their own mugging?

                      Perpetual crisis means never having to say you're sorry.

                      by chuckvw on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 02:19:58 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yes, but this is conditioned (brainwashed) in. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        People don't naturally feel bad enough to turn their focus to acquisition, imo.  It's been bred into us for over a century now.

                        Good read on the history of this...Land of Desire: Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture by William R. Leach.

                        We are better than they tell us.  They just want to sell us shit and get us strung out on credit, and so they define us as consumers.  It's hard not to buy in, but we can do it!

                        •  I am somewhat familiar with the history (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          of consumerism and don't disagree with you, but the diary I commented in concerned the administration's unwillingness to punish the nefarious and destructive doings of financial capital.

                          As said, the maldistribution of wealth in this country speaks for itself. Are the proles to blame for that, too? Are they complicit in their own mugging?

                          Perpetual crisis means never having to say you're sorry.

                          by chuckvw on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 02:49:38 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Complicit, probably, imo, but to blame? No. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Ray Pensador, chuckvw

                            See part 4 of Frontline's 4-part-er on the financial crisis.  The banks sent teams of slick, confident salesmen to cities all over the world, seducing them into "cutting their expenses" by buying bs "products".  Which the rubes didn't even pretend to understand, but bought, then lost everything.

                            But I do defend the administration to the extent that they came into this and had to save the world short-term, which they did.  This involved sleeping with the enemy, as usual.  

                            I expect big stuff going forward.  We (and they) are not in the same position now.  Justice, maybe not, but change, I sure hope & expect so.

                            We'll see.


                          •  Best to you (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            Perpetual crisis means never having to say you're sorry.

                            by chuckvw on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 05:45:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  slaves owned slaves, chuckvw (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        were the slaves who owned slaves still victims of slavery?  yes, of course.  but were they innocent victims?  fuck no.  they were just as guilty as they were victims.  

                        Obama won CA in 2008 by a landslide and CA still banned gay marriage.  

                        inequality can't truly be addressed until everyone is willing to be honest about how pervasive it really is.  otherwise, it's just about fighting for a bigger slice of pie for yourself.

                        Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?

                        by AntonBursch on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:31:29 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I guess I don't equate a semi-employed waiter (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          buying a media player with slaves owning slaves... I wish people were more aware and more compassionate generally, but I think you're a being a little over the top on this.

                          Indians owned slaves. Ex-slaves became "Indian fighters"... We're a fucked up species a lot of the time. But that fucked-upness is decidedly a matter of degree and not always easily parsed.

                          We just flat out disagree on the primary culpability of our ruling elites - and that's global, by the way. But, of course, disagreement makes kos world go round.


                          Perpetual crisis means never having to say you're sorry.

                          by chuckvw on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 05:59:06 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

          •  Perhaps we need (4+ / 0-)

            then to attack the flaws in our society that make us so susceptible to Greed.  Greed is NOT Good, but our society has preached for more than a century that it is so.  Perhaps we need to begin with education, and with spirituality.  Either one will show, if pursued honestly to its logical ends, that the interests of the One cannot be separated from those of the Many; that you cannot shit in the well and then drink from it.  I was taught by a REPUBLICAN family (Goldwater supporters no less) that "enlightened self-interest" of the individual must include some self-sacrifice for the good of the whole because unhindered pursuit of individual desire would eventually leave such an individual surrounded by a dangerous and impoverished commons.  We need to make that lesson part of every grade school curriculum again.

            When liars go unpunished and unshamed, then everyone lies.  When everyone lies, no one can be trusted, and all dealings must be verified, often at tremendous individual and social costs.

        •  You mean when he hired (6+ / 0-)

          Geithner, Summers, Bernanke, and Lew? When the decision was made to fine HSBC for laundering drug cartel money instead of prosecuting?

          Nobody turned Clinton into a rethug. He was what he was. No one forced Obama to set up an affirmatively pro Wall Street/financial capital administration. He's not the victim his supporters make him out to be.

          Perpetual crisis means never having to say you're sorry.

          by chuckvw on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:10:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Obama's Grand Bargain was w Wall St. in 2008 (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, midwesterner, bontemps2012

        Consigliere Lanny Breuer, Head of the DOJ Criminal Division, Leaves Without Prosecuting One Made Man on Wall Streetnot the Republicans. Whether the Banksters made Obama an offer he couldn't refuse or not we can't tell, but I suspect that was the case. The whole world's economy was teetering on a knife edge over the abyss, and an atmosphere of dread pervaded everything.

        Consigliere Lanny Breuer, Head of the DOJ Criminal Division, Leaves Without Prosecuting One Made Man on Wall Street

        Breuer's been a good consigliere – he made sure his former clients made money even when fined and kept them out of jail – but a disgrace as head of the criminal division in the Department of Justice.

        From Matt Taibbi:
        Secrets and Lies of the Bailout

        The federal rescue of Wall Street didn’t fix the economy – it created a permanent bailout state based on a Ponzi-like confidence scheme. And the worst may be yet to come

        It was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. We were told that the taxpayer was stepping in – only temporarily, mind you – to prop up the economy and save the world from financial catastrophe. What we actually ended up doing was the exact opposite: committing American taxpayers to permanent, blind support of an ungovernable, unregulatable, hyperconcentrated new financial system that exacerbates the greed and inequality that caused the crash, and forces Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to increase risk rather than reduce it. The result is one of those deals where one wrong decision early on blossoms into a lush nightmare of unintended consequences. We thought we were just letting a friend crash at the house for a few days; we ended up with a family of hillbillies who moved in forever, sleeping nine to a bed and building a meth lab on the front lawn.

        The inherent advantage of bigger banks – the permanent, ongoing bailout they are still receiving from the government – has led to a host of gruesome consequences. All the big banks have paid back their TARP loans, while more than 300 smaller firms are still struggling to repay their bailout debts. Even worse, the big banks, instead of breaking down into manageable parts and becoming more efficient, have grown even bigger and more unmanageable, making the economy far more concentrated and dangerous than it was before. America's six largest banks – Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley – now have a combined 14,420 subsidiaries, making them so big as to be effectively beyond regulation. A recent study by the Kansas City Fed found that it would take 70,000 examiners to inspect such trillion-dollar banks with the same level of attention normally given to a community bank. "The complexity is so overwhelming that no regulator can follow it well enough to regulate the way we need to," says Sen. Brown, who is drafting a bill to break up the megabanks.

        Worst of all, the Implicit Guarantee has led to a dangerous shift in banking behavior. With an apparently endless stream of free or almost-free money available to banks – coupled with a well-founded feeling among bankers that the government will back them up if anything goes wrong – banks have made a dramatic move into riskier and more speculative investments, including everything from high-risk corporate bonds to mortgage­backed securities to payday loans, the sleaziest and most disreputable end of the financial system. In 2011, banks increased their investments in junk-rated companies by 74 percent, and began systematically easing their lending standards in search of more high-yield customers to lend to.

        "The Democrats and the Republicans are equally corrupt where money is concerned. It's only in the amount where the Republicans excel." ~ Will Rogers

        by Lefty Coaster on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 12:37:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Obama talked about reforming .... schools. (6+ / 0-)

      Never once talked about reform or regulation of finance, banks, Wall St. in his Inaugural speech.

  •  They cannot see guys like Bob Rubin as criminals (31+ / 0-)

    It is not so much that Obama is "in on it," I don't think.  It's that he fundamentally see what these guys did as criminal.  Because as you saw in Frontline, Rubin was as implicated as anybody.  He got those emails warning about the systemic lack of due diligence - and says he forgot what he did about them.  If what wall street was doing with the mortgage market was criminal - then Rubin is a criminal and Obama and those around him simply cannot see him that way.  

    When they talk about not being able to prove criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt, it is because they fundamentally don't think a crime occurred.  

    We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

    by RageKage on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:22:41 PM PST

    •  I refuse to believe that. I'm sitting here at my (39+ / 0-)

      desk, home office, with a little lamp, and a nice little blanket around my shoulders... There is a nice leather comfortable chair behind me... If I imagine president Obama sitting there, visiting, saying hello, and having a brief conversation with him, hombre-a-hombre, I just can't fathom that he does not understand clearly what you and I so easily understand.

      It is impossible.  

      •  I think he's say Rubin is not a criminal, he is (7+ / 0-)

        a man who was a dedicated public servant, who along with a lot of other bankers made some big mistakes and didn't put enough stock in all the warnings they were getting.  And he's talk about how difficult it is to be an executive and responsible for such a huge organization.

        See, I imagine Robert Rubin walking into Obama's office.  And that isn't just some fantasy - it actually happens - and them have some familiar conversation, and Rubin warmly looking Obama in the eye and saying, Mr. President, do you really think I'm a criminal and deserve to go to jail?

        We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

        by RageKage on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:40:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, we'll never know who is and who is not (38+ / 0-)

          a criminal until proper investigation are conducted, no matter where they lead.  No proper investigations have been conducted thus far.  It has been a cover-up, instead.

          •  and if Rubin or anyone else had any suspicions, (3+ / 0-)

            well wasn't it their executive job to go find out? Geez, these guys have to do some work for their bonuses, don't they?

            •  Yes, it was. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              And no, they apparently don't.

              I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country. -- Thomas Jefferson

              by nilajean on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:56:13 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  This WH has aggressively prosecuted whistleblowers (53+ / 0-)

            Drake, Kriakou, Manning, Assange--the list is quite long.  I'll defer to Jesselyn Radack for the details.  I will note that I'm still disturbed by the fact that the CIC publicly commented on Manning's guilt while a court martial panel that ultimately reports to the CIC considers Manning's case.

            The president clearly has no qualms about pursuing perceived crimes in certain fields.  The failure of his DOJ to even investigate financial crimes in the wake of the worst financial crisis in 8 decades speaks louder than any words ever could.  A comparison to the much smaller S&L crisis is highly instructive.  

            In the former situation, there were 1,100 criminal referrals and 839 convictions.  Nothing remotely close to that record was compiled here.   Occam's Razor tells us that a conscious lack of interest in pursuing such crimes is the most logical explanation.

            Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

            by RFK Lives on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 06:07:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There is a big lie that Wall Street, Republicans (20+ / 0-)

              many Democrats have been promoting for at least two decades which is that "financial markets are better left to police themselves than be regulated by government".

              Clinton bought into it and I think that Obama also believes that myth - even now after the myth was proven to be completely false by the market collapse of 2008.

              Still, that's their ideological perspective on the role of government with respect to the financial markets.

              And the only explanation for the lack of government intervention is that they don't want to intervene and that they do not feel that they should change the status quo - believing that the markets will take care of themselves - even though we had to bail them out - they still believe this big lie.

              •  It's not just Obama or Clinton... (8+ / 0-)

                It's the American Public.  Americans fundamentally believe in the divine power of the 'free market'.  It is the reaction to all of those years of the 'Red Scare'.  I think if you asked the average American where criminal prosecution of the Wall Street executives ranked in their priority list, it would be pretty low.

                'Goodwill' between the GOP and the President is as abundant as unicorn farts - Me'

                by RichM on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:18:13 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I'll say one thing for the Obama administration (7+ / 0-)

                They certainly succeeded in redefining the word "Hope."

                As I try to find answers, one kind of crazy idea keep popping up in my head... It goes like this: He knows what's going on; he fully understands the level of corruption, how endemic it is, and how widespread it is in the entire system.  And he came to the realization that he needed a long-term strategy to properly address the issue....

                I've been considering this theory because the other, more plausible, is too painful to consider: that Obama is in on it; that he knows he is protecting these criminals.

                •  I think he knows exactly what's going on (5+ / 0-)

                  and that he and others have convinced themselves that the market will work it out naturally.  I will bet money that many in the inner circle believed that it would be possible to "work our way" out of the recession - as was done in the Clinton Era - but the problem is that they grossly underestimate the depth and breadth of the problem.  That "working our way out" can only happen if there are foundational adjustments made to put the financial markets on more sound footing.  None of that has happened - the tepid Dodd-Frank bill and the consumer protections are nice, but neither really addresses the fundamental issues - problematic deal structures that are still being put together even after it was proved that these deals are structurally unsound.  It is not okay.

            •  The SEC (18+ / 0-)

              and various states Attorneys-General are still jointly investigating many of the large banks connected to the mortgage-backed securities meltdown. I worked as a contract attorney doing document review for a big firm representing one of the big banks for most of last year. Discovery phase is just now wrapping up and has been going on for years. These things take time, the banks have a ton of money and resources to keep investigators bogged down.

              Will there be criminal charges? I don't know, but after reviewing literally tens of thousands of internal documents (kill me now) I would venture a guess as to why there haven't been more prosecutions: Many of the so-called Masters of the Universe didn't know what the fuck they were doing. They didn't understand the extent of the weakness in the real estate market, but more importantly, they didn't understand how exposed their own hedged positions were.

              They understood for the most part that subprime mortgages were junk, so they shorted those positions (bet against them). They then gambled on higher-rated (non-subprime) mortgages, not realizing that these mortgages were also worthless (as investments), hence the enormous losses when the entire real estate market took the plunge.

              So unlike the S&L Crisis, which was an actual ponzi scheme perpetrated intentionally, the 2008 crisis was primarily the product of various degrees incompetence. The banks themselves lost huge, enormous sums of money when everything went south. In order for there to be criminal liability, there needs to be intent, which really seems to be lacking in many of these cases, and that may be why there haven't been hundreds of bankers brought up on charges - though those charges could still be coming, as I mentioned above.

              This is just my perspective having had an inside look at the inner workings of at least one of the big players. I'm not an expert on Securities law by any stretch, so maybe others have more context they can add.

              •  Thank you, cato. (10+ / 0-)

                That confirms what I've been reading the last couple of years. Flim-flam trumps competence to the extent that sometimes, there's no there there. (I saw that firsthand with so-called "healthcare." The practice of medicine wasn't lucrative enough for the ignoramuses who took it over in the '80s.)

                Do you think the CEOs incompetence is partly driven by gamblers lust? (Don't know what else to call it, but I've seen it; even felt it briefly.)

                Just curious, at this point ;)

                "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

                by cotterperson on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:25:46 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Nice try. I don't buy that for a second. n/t (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Jim P, blueoasis
              •  Still, "liar's loans," telling investors (17+ / 0-)

                the liar's loans all packaged together were sound investments (while betting against those investments themselves), the robo-signings, ...

                ...these were endemic in the business.

                It's hard to imagine that a multitude of low-level employees in a hierarchical enterprise spontaneously took it upon themselves to say to Mr & Mrs New Mortgage Applicant "hey, let's get this done. Let's say you make ... heck, $10,000 a month." Like 200,000 times.

                When people were systematically deceived, when financial data is deliberately falsified, when titles are falsely assigned... there's laws about that.

                And we've not even touched on the drug-money laundering, the terrorist-money laundering, the rate-fixing, and myriad other things.

                "Gosh we didn't know what we were doing" is no excuse. These people weren't possessed by demons while they were sleep-working.

                Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

                by Jim P on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:36:20 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Didn't some Judge once say, (5+ / 0-)

                "Ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law"?  They can claim they didn't understand, but they are still the ones who DID IT.  No?

                •  Yes, but what crimes are you alleging? (4+ / 0-)

                  Fraud? This is the definition of fraud:

                  Wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.
                  A person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities.
                  You can't be guilty of fraud if you weren't intentionally misleading investors. Like I said above, I'm not an expert, or even very well versed in securities law. I am a lawyer, however, and I understand the requirements for criminal responsibility. Losing money, even the amounts we're talking about, is not necessarily a crime. I know everyone wants to put these creeps in jail, but you still need things like probable cause to do so, and the SEC and State AG's are reviewing the evidence as we speak.
                  •  From the Senate Sub committee on Investigations (4+ / 0-)
                    WASHINGTON – Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., issued the following statement on the Department of Justice’s announcement regarding Goldman Sachs:

                    “Our investigation of the origins of the financial crisis revealed wrongdoing and failures among mortgage lenders, banking regulators, credit rating agencies and investment banks. One of those investment banks, Goldman Sachs, created complex securities that included “junk” from its own inventory that it wanted to get rid of. It misled investors by claiming its interests in those securities were “aligned” with theirs while at the same time it was betting heavily against those same securities, and therefore against its own clients, to its own substantial profit. Its actions did immense harm to its clients, and helped create the financial crisis that nearly plunged us into a second Great Depression.

                    I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction, of the Constitution. Barbara Jordan

                    by Lcohen on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:13:01 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  I can easily believe that these greedy idiots (8+ / 0-)

                were meddling with forces--and financial instruments--they didn't understand.

                I don't much care.

                They had a responsibility--to their own shareholders if no one else--either to understand or not to play.

                When did ignorance of the law or of the market become a get-out-of-jail excuse?

                When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

                by PhilJD on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 09:03:13 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  They're Free to Use that as a Defense (6+ / 0-)

                  Prosecutors routinely charge people with writing bad checks when perhaps the defendant made an accounting error instead. Doesn't stop them from having to defend themselves at trial. Of course, you have to actually indict someone first.

                  "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

                  by Aspe4 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 09:23:04 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Ignorance of what law? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cotterperson, Mr Robert

                  Is making bad investments against the law? Is selling assets which don't perform a crime?

                  Of course if they purposefully misled investors, then they should be held criminally liable. At least in the investigation I was a part of, it wasn't clear to me that they did mislead the investors who purchased these securities. Other banks may have been intentionally pushing toxic assets at investors - I don't know.

                  My original point was that there were ongoing investigations contrary to the diarists (and many commenter's point), and that it's taking a long time because in order to prove that these banks were acting intentionally, you have to piece together millions of pieces of evidence over the span of several years.

                  It takes a lot of time, and based on my experience it would be very difficult to prove. Like I said above, it wasn't clear to me that (at least this bank in particular) misled its investors, and you need probable cause to charge someone of committing a crime. This is clearly another reason that so many of these cases have been settled without trial. The trials would take years and years, and the chances of a conviction would've been questionable at best. Like I mentioned, discovery on the investigation I was working on just wrapped up. In 2012. That's four years for one investigation of one bank.

                  I mean, this is part of what makes these banks too big to fail, too big to prosecute, and too big to exist. The failure to break up these behemoths was perhaps the biggest missed opportunity of Obama's first term.

              •  So I was a banking (4+ / 0-)

                lawyer during the S&L crisis.  Beyond the criminal, though, many of the S&L's went down due to falling property values in certain regions (eg Texas) and others bought instruments that they did not understand.

                The difference: the S&L crisis was not nearly as systemic as this one was.

                The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

                by fladem on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:02:47 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Assange is hiding from rape charges. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              In Sweden.  For waiting until a wikileaks supporter fell asleep in order to F* her in a manner she'd explicitly refused all night.  With about as much of a "paper trial" as would be physically possible in such a case.  With five courts ruled against him, two specifically on the strength of the evidence, and two of them supreme courts.

              He needs to f*ing stand trial for what he did.  Any excuse for Assange's run is an excuse for rape.

        •  Nah. (20+ / 0-)

          Rubin's one of them, and Obama's distinctly not stupid.

          Robert Edward Rubin (born August 29, 1938) served as the 70th United States Secretary of the Treasury during both the first and second Clinton administrations. Before his government service, he spent 26 years at Goldman Sachs, eventually serving as a member of the board, and co-chairman from 1990 to 1992. His most prominent post-government role was as director and senior counselor of Citigroup, where he performed ongoing advisory and representational roles for the firm.

          "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

          by cotterperson on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 05:26:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  At some point (19+ / 0-)

            in all of these discussions, someone is going to note that Barak Obama was raised by his grandmother: who was a bank Vice-President.

            Always blows me away that no one ever thinks about how this may color his perception of this crisis.

            I do think that there was a decision made that being too aggressive was dangerous, though in the book Confidence Men Obama is shown as wanting to take over Citibank - an idea Geithner killed.

            As an ex-prosecutor I understand the difficulty here, and my suspicion is that almost all of the actors in this were acting on the basis of opinion letters written by very expensive lawyers.

            At the end of the day, though, I don't get the lack of prosecutions.

            The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

            by fladem on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 06:02:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I guessed that the decision not to (16+ / 0-)

              dig too deeply into the bad deals which were in some cases estimated to be between $20 Trillion and $80 Trillion was a way of avoiding a total world market collapse - that the call was made to let those deals unravel in their own time and not hit the market all at once.  That made sense.

              What doesn't make sense, though, is the fact that there has been very little effort put into preventing more of those toxic assets from being created and sold.  THAT makes no sense, to me.  Not breaking up the banks and avoiding enacting much stricter regulation for the purposes of protecting our economy from future hits was the huge mistake.  

              And, I think the DoJ should have gone after some key players, if for no other reason than to trigger a reset in those companies business cultures that would be more mindful of playing by the rules.

              •  Winding down is SLOW, (5+ / 0-)

                but isn't as life-threatening as a CRASH. As of just yesterday, our taxpayer money no long protects the banks' investors. (Swaps as in late 2011 stood at $700 trillion.)

                Clients of the largest U.S. banks withdrew funds this month at the fastest weekly pace since the Sept. 11 attacks as a deposit-insurance program ended and customers tapped into their year-end cash hoards

                Net withdrawals at the 25 largest U.S. lenders totaled $114.1 billion in the week ended Jan. 9, pushing deposits down to $5.37 trillion, according to Federal Reserve data released last week.

                Customers may be moving money no longer insured by the U.S., drawing down year-end balances and investing in advancing equity markets. A Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. backstop, the Transaction Account Guarantee program, ended last month, prompting some analysts, investors and trade organizations to predict it could drive funds from the banking system. ....

                The transaction-account protections were introduced in the wake of the 2008 credit crisis and had guaranteed about $1.5 trillion in non-interest-bearing accounts above the FDIC’s general limit of $250,000. The program expired Dec. 31.


                Of course, I'd love to see some prosecutions, too. Big Guys in Jail. For Life.

                But I'd rather be safe.

                "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

                by cotterperson on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:39:02 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think that people could have it both ways (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cotterperson, Laconic Lib

                  if it was handled correctly.

                  There were people who knew that they were selling junk.

                  •  The thing is, as cato says elsewhere, (4+ / 0-)

                    state and federal investigations are continuing so both federal and state laws (and their statutes of limitations) can be applied. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is the one who really pushed hard for it, for two reasons:

                    1 - The banks' trusts are held in New York, so state law can be applied.
                    2 - New York has a strong anti-fraud law, the Martin Act, which was implemented after the Great Depression.

                    Those investigations may yet lead to high-level prosecutions, and they only started in this way a year ago. With Frontline exposing Lanny Breuer and with Jamie Dimon publicly going nuts, maybe they'll pick up the pace. (Dimon should be easy pickins' ;)

                    It's most unfortunate, but altogether predictable, that the corporate media wouldn't report on the biggest real-estate fraud since we stole this land from the Native Americans. What gives me a Big Sad is to see the blame placed on the president, when he repeatedly told us in his first campaign that it wouldn't be easy or quick, and we wouldn't all agree.

                    Oh, well. It's a long path, and I wish you the best. We must never give up!

                    "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

                    by cotterperson on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:43:05 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  And that is where... (5+ / 0-)

                It is easy to see that there is some sort of economic terrorism going on where nation-less executives can say, "That's a nice economy you have there, it would be a shame if something happened to it."  The sad truth is that we will probably never really know the full truth.  But I really see no prevention in this happening again.

                'Goodwill' between the GOP and the President is as abundant as unicorn farts - Me'

                by RichM on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:29:31 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Obama's grandmother lived in a different world, (10+ / 0-)

              when banks were trusted. And regulated. No doubt she colored his perceptions in many ways. However, I think we're seeing the effect of the revolving door -- laws written to protect bankers for decades by the legislators they funded.

              In addition, the corrupt US banks had bet our retirement funds on "swaps," which as of 2011 were valued at $700 trillion -- not to mention our homes, of course, and the full faith and credit of the US government. Furthermore, it was global. Goldman-Sachs, as first reported by Bloomberg, either caused or exacerbated the problem in Greece (for instance). Furthermore, he had Bill Clinton at his side -- tragic mistake, as Clinton was complicit in this.

              Now, I'd like to see these bastards fry as much as anyone else. But at what cost to regular people? If you bring down the CEO, do you also bring down the banks that hold so much of ordinary people's lifetime investments?  

              After that, what would happen? Another Great Depression was predicted often as Obama took office. Might we still face that? The many would suffer. The few would not.

              We're rid of Lanny Breuer, at least, after his Goldman-Sachs years, and his time keeping Robert Reich away from Clinton. More and better prosecutions, I agree, but at a price we can afford.

              Jamie Dimon is being publicly and personally punished, at least (see this thread w links last night). The banks lost a ton of investors this week because the FDIC no longer insures their investments.

              These are my thoughts strictly as a non-legal non-financial type who's been reading Bloomberg and Reuters regularly trying to understand this mess -- made complex on purpose by the banks. (I do know something about journalism, and those are two fine sources. I do not rely on the "commentariat" for my information, though some like Krugman and James Galbraith offer insight.)

              Strongly recommend Galbraith's 2006 column, which later became a book. The Predator State. A snip:

              In a predatory economy, the rules imagined by the law and economics crowd don’t apply. There’s no market discipline. Predators compete not by following the rules but by breaking them. They take the business-school view of law: Rules are not designed to guide behavior but laid down to define the limits of unpunished conduct. Once one gets close to the line, stepping over it is easy. A predatory economy is criminogenic: It fosters and rewards criminal behavior.
              _/long ramble

              "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

              by cotterperson on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:14:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Because it's a cover-up. n/t (0+ / 0-)
            •  There we have the problem. President Obama is (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ray Pensador, Dallasdoc

              (wait for it) The President.

              Geithner doesn't get to kill his ideas unless he lets them.

              I have no idea if President Obama thinks he's playing a long game, or if he thinks paying the Danegeld is just the only option, of if he feels that the has to avoid challenging his own expert appointees, or if he thinks this is all just funny as hell.

              We're never going to get the tapes we got from Kennedy and LBJ and Nixon.  We'll never know what he thought, or didn't, in private.

              So we're just stuck with what he did and did not do, and speculation as to why is really just the concoction of fairy tales or horror stories we want to entertain ourselves with.

              "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

              by JesseCW on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 01:07:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Occam's Razor might just apply here (41+ / 0-)

        Instead of trying to postulate inexplicable ignorance on Obama's part as the reason for the government's failure to prosecute the biggest criminal conspiracy in history, it's much simpler to start with the assumption that Obama had a pretty good idea what was going on.  There are only a few possibilities that flow from that more reasonable assumption.

        My own favored view (and I haven't seen the documentary yet), is that Obama understood what was going on full well.  But the climate of panic around the financial meltdown at the time he came into office made him listen to the arguments of the Geithners and Summerses in his circle, that achieving stability in the economy by propping up the big banks was the paramount aim at the time.  From that decision flows the policy of not pursuing Wall Street executives for obvious crimes, and not using RICO to go after them.  Once you start pouring endless Fed funds down those rabbit holes it's hard to know where to stop, and they haven't stopped yet.   And once the Wall Street titans are out of immediate danger, they seized back their unparallelled power over our government to make sure no change could take place.

        There were other voices offering different solutions, including the idea of a Federal bank to make mortgage refinancing loans at reduced rates and small business loans in the absence of private capital availability.  That would have been far cheaper, and significantly limited the economic damage off Wall Street.  But the voices offering those solutions were not in the Oval Office.  That was by Obama's choice.

        We might as well understand that we live in a deeply corrupted country, and that ultimately the government does not work for us.  The idea that it does is a charade to keep us docile and entertained, and that entertainment is conducted by a division of the oligarchy we call the government.  Obama could have seized a once-in-a-century chance to change that, but he didn't.  I will never forgive him for that.

        Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

        by Dallasdoc on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 05:48:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The corruption had always been there in fact, and (21+ / 0-)

          in theory. Now it is all fact. We have created -- and Obama has to take blame for this -- in the TBTF banks a financial version of the MIC.

          We will forever be dedicating part of our treasury dollars -- and that would be our tax dollars as in money right out of our pay checks -- to supporting these TBTF banking institutions.

          Corruption in every facet of government that results in a system that both directly drains (steals) our collective federal wealth -- and that's money that should be going to improving the country -- and that directly sways the laws in the TBTFs favor so we're paying out to them from both ends of our earnings.

          That's what government sanctioned indentured servitude looks like. Government as 'company store'.

          No wonder entitlements are on the table. The company store government sees them as too gratuitous.

          Physics is bulls**t. Don't let them fool you. Fire IS magic.

          by Pescadero Bill on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 06:43:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I mentioned above that (5+ / 0-)

          there are still open, ongoing investigations of several of the large banks being conducted jointly by the SEC and the Attorney Generals of several states. I'm not saying that there will be criminal charges, I really have no idea at this point.

          I keep seeing comments like yours stating incorrectly that there were/are no investigations into the financial collapse. This is untrue, the investigations continue apace as we speak.

          •  Let's all hold our breaths (13+ / 0-)

            The government has not prosecuted the biggest criminal conspiracy in history, and ongoing investigations have thus far not changed that fact.  So it is true.  I did not say there were no investigations, just no prosecutions.  A few slap-on-the-wrist fines for big banks amount to rounding errors in their books, and are tax writeoffs for them anyway, so government is paying some of those fines.  To pretend that is meaningful prosecution of these colossal crimes is simply laughable.

            Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

            by Dallasdoc on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:17:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cotterperson, artmartin

              this statement:

              From that decision flows the policy of not pursuing Wall Street executives for obvious crimes, and not using RICO to go after them
              claims that the 'executives' are not being pursued, and I'm pointing out the fact that there are ongoing investigations, the discovery phase of which are just now wrapping up (I'm talking specifically about the mortgage-backed securities meltdown). Also, having worked on these investigations myself, it's not 'obvious' to me that there were crimes. There was incompetence, but this doesn't necessarily imply criminal culpability, and it certainly doesn't imply the existence of the 'biggest criminal conspiracy in history.' You realize that the banks lost a shit ton of money, right? That they were on the verge of utter collapse because of their woefully stupid hedging strategy, wherein they did not appreciate the extent of their exposure? If that was the conspiracy, then it was a very poorly executed one.

              The recapitalization of the banks by the Fed is a completely different issue, one which I think in hindsight was grossly mishandled.

              •  These "investigations" (7+ / 0-)

                hardly constitute "going after" anybody.  They've had four years, with mountains of evidence, and have shown no inclination to start bringing cases against most of the miscreants.  Some negotiations have led to fines, which have been risible for the actors involved.  Costs of doing business.

                Come back when Lloyd Blankfein or Jamie Dimon are in the dock, and I'll change my mind.

                Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

                by Dallasdoc on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:04:28 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You don't (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cherryXXX69, cotterperson, artmartin

                  prosecute without first investigating, and yes, there are 'mountains of evidence' which need to be reviewed, coded, put in a chronology, and anlayzed. That shit takes time, it doesn't happen overnight, it takes years. I was going through several thousand documents a day, five days a week for 8 months, and I came in at the end of discovery. Like I said, this shit takes time. It might feel better to advocate for swift 'justice' when you're so certain you are in the right, while completely ignoring the reality of an investigation of a huge entity, spanning many years, dealing with millions of pieces of evidence.

              •  That very year (13+ / 0-)

                the big banks gave out bonuses.  

                Cry me a river.

                You realize that the banks lost a shit ton of money, right? That they were on the verge of utter collapse because of their woefully stupid hedging strategy, wherein they did not appreciate the extent of their exposure?
                The Fed is still buying their toxic assets.  And they are still dishing out huge bonuses.

                Jamie Dimon is in Davos right now telling everyone about how the banks are so good for the country and arguing that they need no more regulation.  Meanwhile, there's still no Volcker rule and Dimon's firm was caught red handed with their hidden internal hedge fund doing proprietary trading a la Fail Whale.

                And they still get bonuses.

                Yeah, things are really straightened out.  

                "Justice is a commodity"

                by joanneleon on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:09:17 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I never even suggested everything (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  was straightened out, nor am I in any way defending the banks, their practices, or their compensation structure. In fact, I did just the opposite, stating they were incompetent and lost themselves a shit-ton of money.

                  Are you claiming the banks didn't collectively lose trillions of dollars? That they still gave bonuses is a sign of their greedy, asshole-ish tendencies, but that's another matter.

              •  How do you meet with major drug-dealers (9+ / 0-)

                and representatives of Iran, try to hide your actions, and not know you are doing something illegal?

                How do you crack the whip on your employee staff to make sure unwarranted mortgages are issued in their thousands and hundreds of thousands, and not know financial truth-laws are being violated?

                How do you know your mortgages are falsely rated -- and you know this because you've made deals with ratings agencies to falsely rate them -- and then represent the packages as sound investments to investors, and not be committing conscious fraud?

                It's a highly improbable coincidence, isn't it, that through all this "mere incompetence" the people acting ended up making fortunes every step of the way, while innocents end up losing everything?

                (That the banks lost fortunes as institutions is not the same thing as banking heads and apparatchiks making fortunes.)

                Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

                by Jim P on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:54:17 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Almost all the fines paid by shareholders, (6+ / 0-)

              btw, and not the bonus-makers themselves. Even one case where an executive was fined (CountryWide?), in the end he got bonuses enough that he could afford to pay the vig to the government and not really suffer. Bottom-line? Shareholders paid it all.

              Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

              by Jim P on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:44:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  There are an awful lot of people, even here (15+ / 0-)

          who either cannot, or simply will not, entertain the idea that, whether for corrupt, pragmatic or other reasons, Obama took a dive on all this, and that the Obama we all saw on Monday was not the true and only Obama. They BELIEVE in that Obama, 100%, and really NEED to believe in that Obama, 100%, and to have that image of him complicated by all this is just too much cognitive dissonance for them to handle.

          Don't think for a moment that Obama and his people don't know that, and haven't been using it to their political advantage. Obama's a really likeable and impressive guy (and I don't just mean that in a superficial way, as he has done some impressive things), and that's made it possible for him to get away with a lot of stuff that had Bush done it (and Bush DID do it), he'd have been raked over the coals for (and was, politically, and deservedly).

          This works both ways, though. If Obama were to suddenly decide to go after the banks, or banksters, he'd have full public support. And he knows it.

          Perhaps naive of me, but I'm still hoping for an Act II here.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:10:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Money talks... (17+ / 0-)

            bullshit walks.

            We may all hope for a change in policy and a more aggressive prosecutorial stance toward Wall Street, but to use that hope to excuse the inexcusable inaction by this administration for four long years is preposterous.  I'd be the first to cheer if the administration announced indictments against Wall Street titans, but I'm not hoarding the confetti just yet.

            Obama apologists who pretend this isn't dereliction of duty are as deluded as the old Bush apologists defending him against the Iraq war lies.  They are abdicating their duty as citizens to hold their government to account.

            Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

            by Dallasdoc on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:21:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  understandable (12+ / 0-)
            Perhaps naive of me, but I'm still hoping for an Act II here.
            but... ya know, remember Occupy Wall Street?

            Of course he'd have full public support and not only does he know it, his administration (hello DHS?) actively worked to suppress it.

            I would love to feel hopeful for an Act II. Unfortunately, I'm more inclined to a Waiting For the Other Shoe to Drop stance.

            •  I'm not saying that it WILL drop (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lady Libertine, isabelle hayes

              or that there'll be an Act II, and for all we know this is IT. It's just that the only way to do this right was likely to do this on the sly, pretending to take it easy on them while actually working quietly and in secret to go after them, the way they went after the mob in the 80's and 90's, going so far as to put together a Team A (the one we've seen) that believed it was the only team and convinced the media and Wall St. it was the only team, while Team B was covertly doing its thing in secret, unbeknownst to it, since Team A was full of financial "double agents" who would have tipped Wall St. instantly.

              My gut feeling is that this is wishful thinking. But really, at this point it's the only thing we can hope for, as the public simply isn't interested in going after the banks. The only politically useful anger these days appears to be on the right. And much of that is manufactured and manipulated, of course.

              "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

              by kovie on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:49:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  they are or they are not? (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joanneleon, kovie, blueoasis

                which is it?

                as the public simply isn't interested in going after the banks.
                re your double agent theories, man, you watch too much tv, lol.
                •  If polled, most people are likely to say (3+ / 0-)

                  that they want the government to go after crooked banks, I'm guessing. But clearly, there isn't much actual, outward displays of outrage out there to light a fire under the government. Whether because the public is jaded, exhausted, cynical, apathetic, passive, and so on (none of which are mutually exclusive), the impetus from this isn't like to come from the public at large.

                  And by "double agent" I just meant that any official, publicly divulged investigation was likely to be infected with people whose primary loyalties were to Wall St., who would leak it enough details to enable it to squelch it. The only way to do this right was to have a Potemkin Team A to reassure the banks that they were being let off the hook, and a real Team B to take them down. Not saying this is what's going on, just that I think that if Obama really wanted to do this, this is the only way to do it.

                  "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                  by kovie on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:19:33 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Not to mention that (11+ / 0-)

              the Justice Dept is thoroughly pissed at Frontline now and have threatened to stop giving them interviews.

              That doesn't sound like a gang who really wanted to prosecute Wall Street execs. It sounds more like a gang who wants Frontline to help them keep the cover up going.

              "Justice is a commodity"

              by joanneleon on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:12:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Act II, (5+ / 0-)

                give green light to Keystone XL pipeline in May

                give green light to austerity

                hope not.

                ❧To thine ownself be true

                by Agathena on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:18:57 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Act II, double-dip recession (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ray Pensador, Mr Robert

                  Austerity -- yeah, many thousands of government jobs flushed down the drain, along with less govt spending on goods and services, cutbacks in infrastructure projects and support for renewable energy, reduced income supplements to those already spending every penny they have, pulling more threads out of the safety net of unemployment compensation, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security -- that austerity will bring us a recession later this year. Bringing even more unemployed and discouraged workers leaving the work force, dropping tax revenue, and all the other things the unworthy 47% need for character building.

                  Act II for the 2010 election coming right up.

                  •  Makes no sense to make that happen (0+ / 0-)

                    since it's quite avoidable, politically, and makes no sense economically. If it happens, it's because both parties wanted it to happen and are just carrying out orders that are part of a systematic long-term plan to turn us into a more successful version of Russia.

                    I.e. China, the "successful" oligopoly.

                    These people may well have given up on the social democratic capitalist model, i.e. the New Deal/Post-WWII economic and political model. But if so, it's not because they believe that it no longer works, but because they don't want it to work because it doesn't work for THEM, at least not as quickly and fully as does the model they want to replace it with, and are merely using the excuse of an allegedly unsustainable social democratic capitalist model to justify it. And they have both parties and most of the media working for them now, to one extent or another.

                    Given the lack of public action to prevent all this, it would appear that our fate rests in the hands of a relatively small number of principled Dems, continued GOP stupidity and extremism that can't take yes for an answer, and maybe, just maybe, the Obama we saw on Monday.

                    Does he REALLY want to be remembered as the guy who let the New Deal finally die, to be replaced by "benevolent oligarchy" (and not really all that benevolent)? Does he care?

                    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                    by kovie on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:15:11 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Obama Would've Crushed Romney Worse (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            than he did had his administration doggedly prosecuted the banksters. The public would love that but there's no valve to release that pent up anger at the banks because neither political party wishes to do it. Obama whooped Romney regardless so now future POTUS candidates have learned the lesson that it's OK to ignore the financial industry's malfeasance because voters won't hold it against you, especially if it's not a campaign issue the parties debate. The party that seriously prosecutes them will reap electoral benefits for years to come.

            "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

            by Aspe4 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:18:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Hope in one hand... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I'm quick no matter how long it takes. The football only has to get yoinked 20 or 30 times, and I learn.

            "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

            by JesseCW on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 01:21:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  even simpler answer (10+ / 0-)

          Obama knew what was going on, and came to the conclusion that prosecuting the banksters wouldn't be "pragmatic."

          Reforms come from below. No man with four aces howls for a new deal.
          Keystone XL will raise gas prices!

          by Turbonerd on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:25:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I totally agree with you. n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
        •  This... (4+ / 0-)
          There were other voices offering different solutions, including the idea of a Federal bank to make mortgage refinancing loans at reduced rates and small business loans in the absence of private capital availability.  That would have been far cheaper, and significantly limited the economic damage off Wall Street.  But the voices offering those solutions were not in the Oval Office.  That was by Obama's choice.
          The system was top-to-bottom corrupted and broke.  Instead of taking it over and totally overhauling it, it was propped-up.

          'Goodwill' between the GOP and the President is as abundant as unicorn farts - Me'

          by RichM on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:38:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Having a Viable Repug Party Aids the Charade (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mr Robert, Dallasdoc

          Dems need an enemy, otherwise their delusional base will eventually wise up to the fact that Democrats serve the same masters as repugs. Having an enemy to rally against every four years maintains the illusion that Democrats are fighting for ordinary Americans.

          "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

          by Aspe4 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:07:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Obama's an economic neo-liberal and truly believes (20+ / 0-)

        that government should interfere in "the market" as little as possible. I've written  this before, and I've not had information to dissuade me. In January 2008, I assessed the economic beliefs of Obama, Clinton, Edwards, and Kucinich, in Who will tell Wall Street to shove it?:

        ...this is going to be a fight to the death. Either we demolish the power of Wall Street and dismantle the structure of speculative finance and return to industrial capitalism and a Keynesian goal of full employment and wage growth, or the United States will cease to exist as a free, democratic republic in the next ten to twenty years. I honestly believe the stakes are that high.

        One final word before I turn to the candidates.

        There is NO solution to these financial and economic crises within the presently accepted economic belief structure of U.S. elites.

        ....The big problem with Obama is the same problem Hillary has: his economic advisers are Democratic versions of "neo-liberal" radical free marketeers, so it is going to be the major intellectual breakthrough of their lives to have to admit that most of what they know and believe about economics is wrong.

        Just eight months into Obama's administration, in August 2009, I bid Bonddad goodbye and good riddance, and cited Krugman on continued influence of Reaganism in economic policy thinking, noting the increasing evidence that progressives were unhappy and even disillusioned with President Obama. Again, I singled out the dominant economic paradign of no-liberalism:
        New American Foundation economist Thomas Palley attacks the reigning economic ideology head on with his latest paper, America’s Exhausted Paradigm: Macroeconomic Causes of the Financial Crisis and Great Recession:

        Most commentary has therefore focused on market failure in the housing and credit markets. But what if the house price bubble developed because the economy needed a bubble to ensure continued growth? In that case the real cause of the crisis would be the economy’s underlying macroeconomic structure. A focus on the housing and credit markets would miss that.

        I've read Dreams From My Father, and The Audacity of Hope. I forget which book this is in, but at one point Obama is reflecting on seeing hundreds of people going to work at a shoe factory in Indonesia, and idly wondering what they will do when "market forces' relocate that shoe factory to another country with yet cheaper labor to be had. I write "idly wondering" because it is clear from that passage that Obama fully accepts the ideology of neo-liberalism that market forces must be allowed to wreak their devastation without interference from the institution of the sovereign nation-state. It does not even occur to him that policies are available to protect the workers and manufacturing base of a nation. In fact, those protectionist policies are what were always used by countries that have succeeded in industrializing, as Korean economist Ha-Joon Chang has repeatedly shown.

        I've also read David Remnick's The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, and it's clear from that recounting of Obama's years at Harvard Law that Obama fully accepts conservatives as legitimate partners in political dialogue. Hopefully, after the last two years trying to deal with McConnell, Boehner, Cantor and the other thugs, Obama knows better now, and rues wasting his first two years when Democrats controlled both houses. But the point is, you have to see conservative philosophy for what it is and come to utterly hate and despise it. (Unfortunate that economists use "neo-liberalism" to describe and economic we more easily recognize as conservative or Reaganism.) Because conservative philosophy enables the rise of new oligarchies, and an oligarchy is always a mortal enemy of a republic. And the reason is always because conservative policies - economic "neo-liberalism" - allow and enable the concentration of wealth in a few hands, with the consequent purchase of dangerous political influence by these concentrations of wealth. That's why Madison warned about economic interests forming political factions - the rich can be as great a danger to the republic as a standing army (see my recent Toward a Political Economy of Oligarchy.

        Non of this - about the irrepressible conflict between republicanism and oligarchy - has Obama ever learned or contemplated, so far as I can tell. But then, neither has almost all the rest of us. And so we accepted the idea of economic neo-liberalism and political conservatism for the past four decades, and now have the results before us.

        A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

        by NBBooks on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 06:41:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's not true. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert

      In my experience, executive teams and Boards are hypersensitive to what is or isn't illegal, what is or isn't known or detectable, what the boundaries are and how much play is in those limits. They spend a lot of time assessing risk and contingency plans and legal is at the table. Besides, these guys didn't drop from heaven. They came up the line themselves. Bush may very well have gone after them as done with Enron but the clock was running out on W and once Obama personally gave "The 13 Bankers" notice that his admin would not be "looking backward" and clearly was not waving the flag of accountability they had their immunity. It was reasonable for them (including Rubin) to have expected the worst since any other person at the same level (e.g., wealth, power, accomplishments, legacy, alliances, friends) would have thunderously chewed at least one of them up without creating another Bear Sterns. A managed catastrophic event is better than an ongoing catastrophe. But Obama was too much of a rookie.

    •  Social distance + Upton Sinclair Syndrome (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador, Dallasdoc

      Most people have a hard time meting out justice to their perceived superiors or equals, or being just to their perceived inferiors, and the greater the difference, the greater the perception gap.  Congresscritters worth $13M each can't imagine what a difference chained CPI would make to the rest of us.  

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
      ― Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked

      "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold...The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity" -W.B. Yeats

      by LucyandByron on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:27:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jeez Barry (17+ / 5-)

    I'd say to Mr. President over a beer, why did you appoint a bunch of guys from Covington & Burling to DOJ instead of some experienced criminal prosecutors?

    Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

    by 6412093 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:30:14 PM PST

  •  What's happening here is also happening... (34+ / 0-)

    ...around the globe. These thugs aren't just holding us ransom. That in no way excuses our government's enabling of this swindle, but I am unsure that even now if we started to take what would otherwise seem appropriate measures to begin prosecutions we'd see enough support to sustain the effort. Too many of our fellow citizens still believe it's "their" money, no matter how explicitly the case is made.

    The "cancer" may have spread to so many parts such that we are already beyond conventional "cure." Is confiscation even possible by any single sovereign entity when the perp is a global creature with potentially dozens of "escape tunnels?"

    I just want to know what the game plan could be. I'm having a difficult time imagining how this particular "Normandy Invasion" could be planned, executed and reinforced. And maybe even that metaphor is too small for the task at hand.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 12:15:56 AM PST

    •  A figurative yet real populist coup a la Gandhi. (7+ / 0-)

      Millions of people on the ground in D.C., indefinitely, gathering on the Mall EVERY SINGLE DAY, in ever greater, not decreasing numbers.

      That not only takes solidarity, it takes planning and organization on a massive scale.

      Frankly, as with Climate Change, there is ONLY one way, and until the broad middle wakes up, yeah, we are all doomed to this Groundhog Day 2.0 in which the events repeat themselves, but the initial status is worse.

      It ain't Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe", it's Athur Brown's "Fire".

      Think of the broad middle as Ned Ryerson.

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

      by Words In Action on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:13:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's what needs to happen. I want to see that (4+ / 0-)


      •  They already know how to make that (0+ / 0-)

        ineffective and neutered. For the smart way to do protest please see my (3 months before Occupy) diary

        Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

        by Jim P on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 09:15:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mr Robert, JesseCW

          they have any plans for stopping millions of people in D.C., a city of 600,000, day-in and day-out on an open-ended basis.

          But I'll check your diary, too. Heck, I may have already read it.

          The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

          by Words In Action on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:28:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Easy. Don't report it. (See the precedent (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ray Pensador

            with the first 200k-strong anti-Iraq war protest in DC). Arrest and detain organizers. (See Occupy.) Attack with tear-gas, rubber bullets, if need be the sound and heat weapons.

            It's only kids who can get there for extended protests anyway. People are either dirt-poor, or are clinging to their jobs and/or have family to care for. You'll never get 600,000 for an extended event. Maybe, maybe, for a one-day affair. That won't bother the 1% in the least.

            Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

            by Jim P on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:39:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not 600K. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ray Pensador, Mr Robert, JesseCW

              3 MILLION.

              They can't arrest, detain or intimidate 3M people. Best they can do is attack the fringes.

              Oh, I agree it'll probably never happen.

              But it would work. And it's THE ONLY THING that would.

              The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

              by Words In Action on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:57:56 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Again, you can get them out for 1 day, max. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                isabelle hayes

                And all the proven demonstration-neutralizing methods still available to the 1%'s agents.

                My idea, you can get 10 million out seven days a week for months on end AND stymie every suppression technique.

                Everybody who walks down a street anywhere will be exposed to the idea, no middlemen media-heads interpreting for you.

                And it could easily work. No central organization, no travel hassles, no time-commitments you can't afford, no cost beyond pen and paper....

                Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

                by Jim P on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:29:02 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Why do you believe Americans are a deficient (0+ / 0-)

                  breed of humanity, without the courage or dedication of the Chinese, or of Indians, or of Egyptians?

                  This seems to me to a reverse strain of American Exceptionalism.

                  Not only can we do it, we've done it before.

                  "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

                  by JesseCW on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 01:27:38 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  If you show up on Sunday at 9 and go home (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              isabelle hayes

              when the permits expire, all you've done is have a nice day out and hopefully made some cool friends.

              The Bonus Army did more to give us the New Deal than any other single event in US history.

              And you can bet your ass it wasn't just "kids".

              "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

              by JesseCW on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 01:25:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Love your idea (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jim P, Ray Pensador

          as a conversation shifter, a la "the 99%". But I don't see it actually putting enough pressure to cause specific, substantive change.

          What we need is for millions of people to get behind a concrete set of demands to put the Class War on ice and set a national 15 year agenda to hit Climate Change hard.

          The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

          by Words In Action on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:34:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But shifting the conversation is the first (3+ / 0-)

            thing we have to do. You can only do that by by-passing entirely the mass-reach Media (even forcing them to note the topic); being too spread out to concentrate armed agents against; being too diffuse to target prominent organizers.

            They've long long ago perfected how to suppress/neutralize mass demonstrations.

            In short, you have to figure out how to force everyone in power to recognize we know they are corrupt through-and-through. The political class and media faces have to feel, wherever they appear, that people are looking at them thinking "you piece of lying shit."

            As to the message: I just put what is in the diary as a place-holder, though one with merit. But a specific demand would have to be worked out collectively, and can be.

            Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

            by Jim P on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:45:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  No, it's about right (3+ / 0-)

      D-Day was HUGE, in conception, planning and implementation, not just for its time, but for any time. And it came late in the war, after years of discussion and planning, and several smaller-scale "trial runs", some spectacular failures.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:13:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  that is exactly what I think, egalitare, (8+ / 0-)

      multinational companies, globalization; call it what you will, a supra government is emerging transcending nation states, and I don't think that there is an effin thing we can do about it.

      Its all tied up in allowing companies to go multi, allowing them all their tax dodges for outsourcing, not going after offshore accounts.  They have grown into mega monsters...

      They are looting and subduing prosperous nations with all their fancy 'banking' and repressive economic measures.  They owe no allegiance to the citizens of the countries they 'claim' to be their base, since their wealth does not depend on them.  Just research the health insurance industry and see how their overseas ventures have inured them from having to 'behave' stateside.  They can all thumb their noses at all, continue to buy the government and act like their poster boy, Romney, as the true 'vulture capitalists' that they are.  They are systematically decimating their true opposition: labor and forcing whole swaths of the population (47%) into such economic insecurity that they are willing serfs.

      Good bye the United States of America, hello the Disunited States of Exxon, etc.  (Remember the 'divide and conquer' strategy; I don't think that the astroturf 'teaparty' probably engineered by Alec is a coincidence.)

      So that's what I think.  I have no answers but believe it is important to, as much as possible, to be clear eyed about what is going on.

      We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

      by SeaTurtle on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:19:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  that is indeed the crux of the matter (8+ / 0-)
      The "cancer" may have spread to so many parts such that we are already beyond conventional "cure." Is confiscation even possible by any single sovereign entity when the perp is a global creature with potentially dozens of "escape tunnels?"
      Corporations (all of them, not just the banks) are global.  National governments (even big and powerful ones like ours) are not. Anything we do to them here, they can avoid in a heartbeat simply by pulling up stakes and moving somewhere else. The corporations own the entire chessboard and can move their pieces wherever they want--national governments only own one or two squares.

      Any meaningful control over multinational corporations simply CANNOT happen at the national-government level. The corporations are global, and control over them must be global as well.

      Currently, there is only one option available to do that---write those controls into the very same global economic structures that govern international trade and the institutions that enforce them---GATT, WTO and IMF. But in the long term, we need new international economic bodies with the authority and ability to control the corporations anywhere on the chessboard.

    •  Still, NATO manages to have meetings. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenotron, isabelle hayes

      How many divisions does Goldman-Sachs have?

      Nations are able to coordinate all manner of things. We can get divisions into Mali at the drop of a hat. So it's really a case that the banker/corporate floating state has to be shut down everywhere and close to simultaneously, within a matter of months. But it can be done. All that's lacking are politicians concerned about their populace and nations as their first priority.

      Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

      by Jim P on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 09:13:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Boy what a grand vision (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador

        If you can detail the steps necessary to do that I'm all ears cause I just can't envision that all coming together.  

        "A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism." -- Carl Sagan

        by artmartin on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:43:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It would have to start with politicians (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          seeing their nations as more valuable than their personal wealth and career (both political and the later pay-off with bank jobs). After that point it's easy-peasey.

          Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

          by Jim P on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:47:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Anyone on top who knew that false things were (34+ / 0-)

    being signed off on needs to be prosecuted.

    We, as a family, spent 9 months and paid the title search fee twice just to get a clear title on a 1980s era piece-of-crap mobile home to help our adult children out. We could have signed off on crappy paperwork too, but, no, we took the high road, to show the kids that it can, should, and must be done in the proper protocol. If we can do that with $3000 worth of real estate, I expect that people dealing with more value should be even more care, yes?

    I want the bankers to have to pay every little county deed transfer fee that they even f*cked anybody out of, just like I want them to pay a transaction fee on every little high-speed vibration they say they transacted on the stock market, although nobody stopped long enough to read the papers and sign them anywhere. MERS is FRAUD. Prosecute it. Those homeowners NEVER signed their deeds over to anyone, THE BANKS STOLE THEM!

  •  You bet. (26+ / 0-)

    I don't care what it tanks, they need to pay and pay big.   Jail time, loss of personal assets, and the whole thing nationalized until it can be broken up and reestablished.

    I have never seen such flagrant disregard for the rule of law and done so flamboyantly and with impunity.    These f@ckers need to pay.    Until they do, I will resent any cut to entitlements that any of those crooks in DC propose.   We don't all have to do our fair share....They have to pay for what they broke.

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:02:30 AM PST

  •  Just watched The Untouchables (20+ / 0-)

    and still reeling from the information.

    I think as you do...having said that, I wanted the banks nationalized back in the very least, broken up...

    I admit I have no formal legal training but I often fantasize a massive class action suite...there are over 300,000,000 of us...and the evidence would be indisputable.

    No one can convince me Rubin shouldn't be in jail. I know his history well.

    On an off note...the lone vote for Wall Street criminals not be sent to jail...please speak up. I would love to hear your reasoning.

    Year of the Weakest Tea

    by 2014 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:18:50 AM PST

    •  That's why they're working damned hard to make (13+ / 0-)

      class action suits near impossible or the payouts feeble at best. It's the other side of the corruption coin - bribe or cajole lawmakers into signing laws that protect the criminal element that is our corporate oligarchy.

      It's really, really bad. And the sad part is, some smart people like, or perhaps like, President Obama tend to see it as the best formula going forward, the corporate/government merger that is.


      Physics is bulls**t. Don't let them fool you. Fire IS magic.

      by Pescadero Bill on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 06:57:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just for one second let me imagine that (3+ / 0-)

        I am the president of the USA...would I take the option less nuclear to society or would I let the house of cards fall and start all over again? Without the inside knowledge I would need to make that call, I would probably opt for letting the cards fall and starting anew...

        My objective for a class action suite falls outside of a monetary objective would be, "we the people" sued and won, even without a penny paid would indeed tell these shysters there will be hell to pay.

        Without much legal background, my understanding is there is a time limit on criminality but none civilly.

        What Obama bore into my head and what has resonated within me since his senate term are the words, "We are the change we have been waiting for" and I don't take them lightly.

        Year of the Weakest Tea

        by 2014 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:47:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The banks are bankrupted right now. They are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert

      lying about their books, and the top financial executives continue to commit massive fraud (in my opinion).  If this is the case, then eventually there will be a day of reckoning and we may have no choice than to break up these financial criminal enterprises, and nationalize the system (at least for a while).

  •  We are in Bill Clinton's recession. (25+ / 0-)

    George W blew up the deficit with unfunded wars and tax cuts for the wealthy and pharmaceutical scams. He put shills in regulatory agencies. But he didn't cause this recession.

    Bill Clinton caused this recession.

    The Republican Presidents had been Corporatists at least since Nixon. Jimmy Carter was not a Corporatist, and the Corporatist D's despised him.

    Bill Clinton wanted a shortcut to victory, so he gladly accepted all that sweet sweet money and seduced his way into the White House.

    Two things caused, and perpetuate, this economic crisis.

    A) Deregulation of Wall Street made the collapse inevitable.
    B) Free Trade agreements gutted American manufacturing, de-balled the unions, and collapsed the earning power of the middle class. Thus we have no manufacturing base to help us grow our way out of this hole, like we did after the Great Depression.

    Now, guess which President not only signed the necessary bills and treaties to make this happen, but championed them...

    Bill Clinton was a champion of Wall Street deregulation. All these losers and scammers that we know caused this were in his administration, and Obama has repeatedly hired either exactly those people or their protégés to work in his administration.

    Bill Clinton was a champion of the Free Trade scam. Remember NAFTA? Remember Perot's warning about the "Giant Sucking Sound"? Who's laughing about that line now? That wasn't Monica in the Oval Office, it was our manufacturing base collapsing, taking the middle class with it.

    Who was one of Clinton's primary arm-twisters on NAFTA? Rahm Emanuel. Yep, that Rahm Emanuel.

    This is why Sen. Byron Dorgan went to Obama after he won in '08 and was assembling his administration and said, "You're hiring the wrong people."

    I like this theory in your diary Ray, and I've thought about it, and hoped it was true. Obama's the good guy in a country held hostage by super-wealthy Bond villains, all stroking their white cats in their mahogany offices on Wall Street.

    But why did Obama hire Clinton's guys and other known Corporatists to all the important policy positions, while dumping the Progressive thinkers in his campaign who got him elected, or banishing them to Biden's office?

    We agree Obama is brilliant and he's no fool. So why does he surround himself with the worst of the worst?

    "the tranquilizing drug of gradualism" - MLK

    by 3rdOption on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:23:52 AM PST

  •  It would have been like issuing warrants (5+ / 0-)

    to the Southern half of the country, and half of the North, in 1860.

    When the laws get so screwed up (Clinton and Bush2) that no one pays any attention to legality, lawbreaking becomes so widespread that law enforcement becomes a political problem. At that point, all you can do is to restore legality, promise to look into what happened later, and move people toward legality. Otherwise, you make a political problem even worse by declaring the majority of people felons.

    I still think that these investigations are going forward and that the worst actors and fraudsters will be brought to book. That was the importance of the re-election of Obama. Of course, as usual, we must make him do it.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:34:21 AM PST

    •  You didn't watch the program (24+ / 0-)

      I assure you there are no investigations going forward. My anger has gone for a hot rage to a cold one because I now know they have completely gotten away with it with total complicity via the executive branch at many different levels. I also believe that Obama made a focused decision not to go forward with the prosecution for reasons of political expediency.

      Look at one single point: Not one person was arrested on Wall Street over Mortgage fraud that had any stature. We didn't have to go all the way, but we had to indict that leaders and get them out of the banks. The apologists for the Obama have to convince people that these bankers were so important to the economy, that death and sickness , a more natural removal process, could never happen to these Masters of the Universe.  

      Because that's what they are saying when the defend Obama for not prosecuting. I can only think of one corporation that completely collapsed over a govt corporation of size. The was Anderson  during the Enron debacle. You can take these overpaid thieves out of the organization and at the very least make them go through the public shaming process without any negative hits on the economy. In fact it would have been seen as a positive.

      One huge loss from this violation of many oaths of office that took place was trust disappeared. It really matters what happens at the top. Trust disappeared all through the country. Keeping the status quo has left us with a economy running on one cylinder despite all the "good news" we hear. How many people have dropped off the employment rolls permanently as they finally give up a search for a job, any job. I don't know, but I am guessing millions. Enough to shove the official unemployment rate way, way up.

      The loss of jobs, the loss of paper wealth and no one ever losing a job over it much less getting convicted created a lack of trust for everyone that lost something during this extended recession we are still in. The GDP numbers are merely a reflection of inflation from currency debasement that isn't counted. Currency debasement that occurred primarily to pump trillions into the top 19 banks in the country and abroad.

      Capitalism and democracy can only sustain itself if there is a certain level of trust in the rule of law and everything that follows. That trust is gone and that's the primary reasons why this economy has gone through a bullshit recovery.

      One note: The stock market is not a reflection of the economy. It's is a reflection of people being forced into risky assets. If you are a millionaire and have a million dollars in liquidity, you get $8,500 in interest a year on a High Yield CD, from American Express.

      One Program Note: "Congress only funded the DOJ with 30 Million dollars to go after the banks. That is pennies. That was done deliberately also.

    •  There are statutes of limitations, (9+ / 0-)

      and the more time that goes by, the stronger the arguments get to not "look back".

  •  Pensador, I always enjoy the clarity of purpose (41+ / 0-)

    and sincerity of tone in your writing.

    There's more information that you can use or discard.  It may answer some of your questions.  

    The timeline of events that led to the meltdown is pretty close to what you described.  The crisis response has not been illuminated very well for the public.  Maybe this documentary will help.  I haven't seen it yet.

    SEC investigations found that multiple firms defrauded their clients in cases that were almost identical.  GoldmanSachs quickly agreed to pay its $550 million settlement in 2010.  JPMorgan Chase agreed to its settlement of $154 million a year later.  It appeared Citigroup would pay its $285 million SEC settlement too.  

    The SEC's legal settlements go to US District Court of New York's Southern District where appointed judges rubber stamp them so that they are binding.  When Judge Jed Rakoff received the Citigroup settlement he challenged it.  This is the first time in history that one of these judges demonstrated that he is doing his job.  Rakoff determined that the SEC was settling for too little.  He also objected to the boilerplate template language in the settlement which always allows the firm to settle without confirming or denying the charge.  His findings are worth a read.  He didn't hold back.  The SEC and Citigroup have filed suits to have the $285 million settlement validated.  

    This matter is still not resolved.  A few months ago, Mary Schapiro, Chairman (Chairperson?) of the SEC, resigned.  Schapiro was an Obama appointee who formerly headed FINRA, the SEC's twin regulator.  A few weeks ago Robert Khuzami, Director of SEC's Enforcement Division also resigned.   This is a continuing drama and a well known subject of gossip on the Street but it somehow manages to stay confined there.  The outcome of the case determines whether the federal justice system's oversight on the quality of SEC's enforcement is real.  I haven’t had an update on it for a couple of weeks and there could be more recent news.

    What about the individuals?  The case of Brian Stoker, Director Citigroup, CDO Structuring, illustrates.  His case went to a jury trial in New York and he was acquitted last August.  

    Around 10 years ago the financial industry was reformed after a series of scandals in corporate governance at companies like Enron, WorldComm, HealthSouth, and many others.  Problems in the way their operations intersected with finance necessitated Wall Street reforms.  Licensed and credentialed individuals would be supervised by individuals who were licensed and credentialed to do so in a chain extending up to the CEO.   When the regulators began enforcements with consequences for individuals the system of supervision backfired.  Individuals who faced severe penalties were able to demonstrate in court that the system of supervision rewarded and promoted them.  Often the firms would agree that their employees were acting in the name of the firm and not for personal interest and they provided legal council to protect individuals who faced regulatory risk.  By 2008 this system was well established.  In the cozy relationship between regulators and industry, enforcement was comfortable assigning responsibility to firms, instead of individuals, on a case by case basis.

    The SEC found that Brian Stoker (and others) acted in a way at Citigroup that warranted individual consequences. The jury acquitted him and some of its members were interviewed later because of the public’s interest.  They said that their decision was based on facts that placed responsibility with Citigroup and they took the unusual step of a verdict that recommended consequences for the firm instead of Stoker.  He was hired a few months later by another firm.  

    Why didn't he go to jail?  First, plaintiffs in this kind of case file it as a civil suit rather than criminal.  The reason for that is the desired outcome, a money settlement.  Plaintiffs want compensation for damages and it can also include expulsion from the industry.  A civil suit is easier to win because the judgment is based on preponderance of evidence, not the burden of proof beyond a doubt.  If a criminal suit can be won, there is the example of Madoff who did go to jail.   He was the Chairman of Nasdaq at one point, the ultimate insider.  Yet he wasn't protected. Why?

    There’s enough material for several diaries on the meltdown aftermath.  It’s not even over.  The settlement amounts I mentioned for Goldman, JPM, and Citigroup are for one offense only.  There are other deeds that warranted other penalties.  

    I prefer nuance and an investigative approach in my writing.  I think it can stir people to action that starts in the mind, not the emotions.  Most people however don’t want that. They’d rather read something that makes them feel rage, or anger.  Even if it doesn't accomplish anything it makes people feel like it did.

    "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

    by leftreborn on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:56:11 AM PST

  •  The economy can't recover (17+ / 0-)

    until the criminals go to jail.

      And that's where Obama failed.

    ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

    by gjohnsit on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 05:24:53 AM PST

  •  I gave up on him a long time ago on this issue. (20+ / 0-)

    Best sources: Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism, Bill Black at New Economic Perspectives for coverage over time.  Also: Matt Taibbi, Neil Barofsky, Jeff Connaughton.

    Here is Connaughton:

    Long silent and now contradictory, President Obama needs to deliver a clarifying speech about our financial markets and the rule of law. Speaking in Kansas on December 6, he said, "Too often, we've seen Wall Street firms violating major anti-fraud laws because the penalties are too weak and there's no price for being a repeat offender." Just five days later on 60 Minutes, he said, "Some of the least ethical behavior on Wall Street wasn't illegal." Which is it? Have there been no prosecutions because Wall Street acted legally (albeit unethically)? Or did Wall Street repeatedly violate major anti-fraud laws (and should thus find itself in the dock)?

    The President is confusing "legal" with "difficult to prosecute successfully."

    The Obama and Bush administrations have consistently failed to “pursu[e] any and all leads.” Let us count the ways DOJ has typically failed to pursue leads against the elite officers whose frauds drove this crisis: they have not used grand juries, they have not issued civil subpoenas, they have not used electronic surveillance, they have not used undercover investigators, they have not “wired” cooperating witnesses who they have “flipped”, they have not appealed for whistleblowers to come forward, they have not called elite witnesses before grand juries, they have not convened grand juries, they have not sent FBI agents to their homes or offices to conduct formal interviews, they have not retained expert witnesses or consultants with expertise in accounting control fraud, they have not demanded that the banking regulatory agencies produce high quality criminal referrals, they have not asked those agencies to “detail” examiners and other skilled staff to the FBI to serve as internal experts, they have not trained AUSAs, special agents, and banking regulators in how to detect, investigate and prosecute accounting control frauds, they have not prosecuted where other federal agencies, after investigation, have charged that financial elites committed fraud, and they have not flipped intermediate officers and gone up the chain of command, they have not assigned remotely adequate staff to investigate and prosecute frauds, they have not assigned any meaningful number of their staff to investigate the elite frauds, and they have not made strong, consistent demands that Congress fund adequate staff to end the ability of financial elites to commit fraud with impunity. Conversely, DOJ has assigned its inadequate staff almost exclusively to non-elite mortgage fraud, has formed a “partnership” with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) – the trade association of the “perps”, and has adopted the MBA’s absurd “definition” of mortgage fraud that implicitly defines accounting control fraud out of existence. How does Holder expect to get “leads” against elite frauds when he gets no criminal referrals from the banking regulatory agencies, “defines” the leading fraud perpetrators of mortgage fraud as the “victim” of mortgage fraud, conducts no credible investigation of elite frauds, takes no proactive steps to investigate (e.g., using undercover FBI investigations), makes no plea for whistleblowers to come forward with evidence on the elite frauds, and provides training for regulators, FBI agents, and AUSAs that implicitly denies the existence of accounting control fraud? I understand that he inherited a disaster and a disgrace from his predecessor, but he has made it worse.

    Collectively, the Bush and Obama administration have provided de facto impunity from the criminal laws for our largest financial firms and their elite officers who drove our crisis.

    Bill Black's piece is an epic smackdown of all the propaganda we have been fed about this.  I really recommend you read the whole thing.  About.
  •  Seriously? (14+ / 0-)
    Mr. President, we are answering your call.
    Just like tens of millions of other Americans, I answered that call in November 2008 and November 2012.

    It's Obama who isn't answering the calls.  

    But what do you do if you are the president?  What if has weighted in all the factors and came to understand that as unsavory as his decision to look the other way (and actually participate in the protection of these heinous criminals) means that millions and millions of people will be protected against a sudden and massive financial collapse?
    Because nothing says moving forward like ignoring the plight of the millions who lost their homes, their savings, their retirements, their children's college funds, and so on.  They had a "massive financial collapse".  

    The only ones who were protected were the ones who committed the crimes.  

    We need to drain this putrid swamp of corruption in our financial system.  Until we do, everything else is secondary.
    Finally, something we agree on.  Now how long is the statute of limitations on financial fraud because we'll have to wait for another administration.  Nothing will get done during this one.  
    •  Still (3+ / 0-)

      the massive collapse you speak of is a drop in the bucket to the actual potential of a Worldwide great depression.  The pain, death, and suffering would be unimaginable and all the components of a World War (this time with nukes) would be in place.  

      I think Obama fully looked at the possibilities and saw way too much uncertainty and potential for unimaginable danger as the diarist suggests.  

      There are many of us thankful he's the one dealing with the big picture.  Could we be wrong?  Of course but so could his critics and I hear such moral certainty in the attacks, no acknowledgment that they could be wrong or not fully informed.

      Congrats to the diarist in putting this in grey terms, not black and white.  It's the color of our world today.

      "A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism." -- Carl Sagan

      by artmartin on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:06:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In other words (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Obama looked the other way to protect people?  Interesting take.  

        Congrats to the diarist in putting this in grey terms, not black and white.  It's the color of our world today.
        The "color of our world" hasn't changed since Cain slew Abel.  The only thing that has changed is the terms and tenor of the BS, pardon me, observations over how to defend the indefensible.  

        Obama looked the other way because he wanted to and he didn't want to hurt too many on Wall Street.  YMMV.  

      •  agree about how much us plebes don't know, (0+ / 0-)

        and in such an instance, it's the most intelligent and nonprovocative of attitude to allow that this guy, whose book about his upbringing i read, and whose original career was as a "community organizer", a breed not ordinarily marked for glory

        is a mensch and will do all in his considerable power to make the place better for the 99%

        it's a shitty world he and we have inherited

  •  It's fascinating that none of the discussions (15+ / 0-)

    about the prosecution of financial crimes ever includes the ramifications of the repeal of Glass-Steagall. There is often the demand to bring it back, but no analysis of the role repealing played in removing the illegality of many of the banks' actions. During the S&L crisis, which is often held up as the model for what should have happened, Glass-Steagall was still the law of the land. Enron happened post the repeal of that law.

    Now, there were myriad crimes and some of them were undoubtedly illegal, but given the repeal of Glass-Steagall, how many fell within the boundaries of the post repeal legal landscape and were simply unethical acitivities?

    During the interview, Lanny Breuer states:

    If you look at what we and the U.S. attorney community did, I think you have to take a step back. Over the last couple of years, we have convicted Raj Rajaratnam, one of the largest hedge fund leaders. Now, you’ll say that’s an insider trading case, but it’s clearly going after Wall Street.

    Hedge Fund Founder Raj Rajaratnam Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to 11 Years in Prison for Insider Trading Crimes

    There were others:

    Former Chairman of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison and Ordered to Forfeit $38.5 Million

    Former Hedge Fund Managing Director Sentenced to 20 Years for Defrauding 900 Investors in $294 Million Scheme

    Why were those crimes prosecuted and not others?

    There has never been a full discussion of the role the repeal of Glass-Steagall played in facilitating the crisis.

  •  Frontline's "The Untouchables" (14+ / 0-)

    .. put it together and out there for all to see pretty well. "Must see TV" if anyone missed it.

    I'm really afraid that the country is still in shock and maybe too jaded for anyone "important" to see the inside of a jail cell.

    The Aggressively Ignorant Caucus is getting aggressively ignorant again.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 05:53:08 AM PST

  •  "Boomerang" by Michael Lewis wiki: (6+ / 0-)

    Book doesn't have wiki (yet). Link is to Author Michael Lewis.
    NYTimes book review:

    In “Boomerang” Mr. Lewis captures the utter folly and madness that spread across both sides of the Atlantic during the last decade, as individuals, institutions and entire nations mindlessly embraced instant gratification over long-term planning, the too good to be true over common sense.
  •  Alternate Reality?... (6+ / 0-)

    2015 right after the mid term election. President Obama announces the indictment and roundup of the country's minor nobility responsible for the 2008 economic meltdown. He reveals a secret grand jury has indicted hundreds of culpable individuals.

    In 2017 the President Obama leaves the oval office with a booming economy thanks to trillions of dollars in confiscated ill-gotten gains. He thanked the millions df Americans who said with words and actions during the last 2 years:
    "Mr. President, I got your back."

  •  enron (12+ / 0-)

    Those guys at Enron were unlucky.  If they had been able to hang on a few more years they would have had nothing to worry about.  People lost jobs.  And pensions.  And everything.  You know, there were negative consequences for criminal behavior.   This current DOJ apparently thinks that it would be wrong to prosecute them.

    "I'll hold my nose and vote but I won't hold my nose and canvass or call or donate." Some Dkos Comment

    by onemadson on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 06:32:54 AM PST

  •  I have pondered this endlessly (8+ / 0-)

    and come to a few conclusions.

    One, Obama believed that if he pumped up the market it would restore the savings regular American's lost.  What he didn't count on is that many people lost trust in the market and pulled out or were unable to recover and lost everything due to unemployment so were unable to participate in the market run-up.  

    Two, he thought the HAMP and various other programs (and there have been many that we don't really recognize) to help homeowners would fix things.  What happened was that they were structured in a way to benefit the banks by paying an incentive and so did little to help homeowners.  Or, the help that was supposed to go the homeowners was stymied because if the banks helped them, it would expose the very fraud that was being covered up.  He got through the program that allowed new buyers to get into the market and got rates down so it would generate new buying and restart the market which would inflate prices again and possibly help those underwater.  What he didn't count on was that there was so much widespread fraud, that none of these programs really worked.

    I think he knows full well what the problem is and has tried to fix it by nibbling around the edges.  What has been underestimated and what his 'advisers' maybe didn't tell him is that the distrust and widespread fraud is the problem that can't be fixed until it is cut out and exposed to the light.  If he does know this, my opinion is, he knows there is little backing he will get in Washington for going after them.  As another commenter pointed out, this cancer is not just a U.S. problem, it is worldwide and has tentacles in everything.  'Fixing' the problem is an international problem, not just an American one.

    Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

    by whoknu on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 06:34:32 AM PST

    •  It wasn't even the loans (16+ / 0-)

      that are the real problem.

      It is the securitzing of the loans, which, it turns out, is one big racketeering venture.

      It is a criminal conspiracy, complete with millions of forged documents, of unprecedented proportions.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      Who is twigg?

      by twigg on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 06:38:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even this article shows (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that when the audit was tried, and I have seen other examples of this written about, the banks lean on whoever necessary, offer up a scapegoat or point to some inconsequential issue to divert us in order to keep the massive fraud under wraps.

        Another issue is how do you prosecute fraud when so many were involved in it?  Do you go after one group which shows your hand to everyone else who then proceed to erase anything they can find.  Or, do you go after them all and create further distrust in the system.  It is in my mind a damned if you do, damned if you don't.  That sort of explains why Obama, and some of his cohorts, just nibbled around the edges hoping the ship would right itself on its own.  But it is just too big.  If you go after the banks, then you have to also go after all the other fraud that goes on in the corporate world.  Another aspect to consider, would exposing the fraud of the banks also expose a few in the Democratic (and Republican) party?  Probably.  Would prosecuting the criminals de-fund the campaign and the party apparatus?  Yes.  No one who has power is willing to give it up even if it is the right thing to do.

        Do I give Obama a pass?  No, if he had gone out and found those who were willing to take a stand on principle to surround him, there would be many (outside Washington) that would have jumped on board.  He had a brief window when he could have jammed everyone and done a lot to fix things.  He jammed the stimulus through (which was also 'safe'), he should have gone bigger and made his case for breaking up the banks and prosecuting fraud.  They all would have been caught flat footed and the country would have gotten behind him.  I just don't think anyone, including Obama, were brave enough to take on the status quo.  To them, the risk was too high.  Better to do the safe thing and hope for the best.  So now, here we sit...

        Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

        by whoknu on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 05:23:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The normal way to go after (0+ / 0-)

          a large and complex fraud is to get a few of the lower tier conspirators, threaten them and deal.

          "We know you did wrong, and we can prove it. Give us those higher up and we will consider that cooperation".

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          Who is twigg?

          by twigg on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:16:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Such well written tripe (9+ / 0-)

    Seriously, the writing just flows, he gets us to identify with him by calling himself "a regular guy" and by using "regular guy" words. But like Mark Antony's speech - I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him - there is a hidden agenda here.

    While not explicitly saying so, Mr. Pensador wants you the reader to forgive President Obama for not pursuing criminal charges against Wall Street. You're supposed to accept Mr. Pensador's explanation that Pres. Obama didn't go after Wall Street execs because, well here's the quote:

    But what do you do if you are the president?  What if has weighted in all the factors and came to understand that as unsavory as his decision to look the other way (and actually participate in the protection of these heinous criminals) means that millions and millions of people will be protected against a sudden and massive financial collapse?
    So really, what's a poor President to do?

    Nonsense. Obama was not "reluctantly protecting" millions of Americans from the wrath of Wall Street, Obama was actively pursuing Wall Street money for his election. There was a quid pro quo, either implicit or explicit, that Wall Street money would mean going soft on Wall Street criminals. By one count Wall Street provided around 20% of Obama's 2008 campaign funds. If you want to read about it, just google "Obama Wall Street Money" and add 2008 to that query if you want to get more articles about the election and less articles about the re-election.

    So the truth is that Obama made a calculated decision, take Wall Street money to ensure he'd be elected and in exchange, tell Eric Holder not to bring criminal prosecutions against any Wall Street execs or bankers for all the mortgage fraud that had occurred. Let's not ignore reality folks, despite this diary having been written by a "regular guy", its wrong and misleading.

    •  Totally agree (11+ / 0-)

      Silk tongued apologia.  That's what this is.

      It's really tiring having people who find it too personally painful to believe that their heroes are corrupt.  The election is over now.  The guy doesn't have to lie to the voters anymore and he's protected for another four years.  Time to face up to the facts and instead of protecting the most powerful man in the world, how about protecting the people whose lives have been ruined and the country that continues to be driven off a cliff?

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:22:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just to clarify, I'm not an Obama apologist. n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Notreadytobenice, cotterperson
      •  Machiavellian, (0+ / 0-)

        it's a trait of all politicians to one degree or another. Whether it is good or bad that Obama made this calculation, whether he could have won the election without making this "deal", those are matters of opinion. But let's not pretend about why this happened.

      •  Putting "apologist" aside (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There is one question I hope you'll answer. Do you really think that the thousands of Wall Street executives who are making millions of dollars every year from our financial system would have intentionally caused that system to "collapse" just to protect maybe 10 to 20 of their colleague's from prosecution? Wall Street execs ruthlessly act out of self interest. how would it have been in their self interest to destroy the money machine that was making them rich, just to protect a handful of other guys? I don't see the logic there.

        •  A cataclysmic financial collapse would benefit (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          artmartin, isabelle hayes

          the ruling class.  It would create social chaos, which will give the fascistic forces (and infrastructure) being put in place right now to take over, suppress the population (in the name of security), and cement their power.

          All the top players (ruling elite) have secured their wealth in different forms, including gold and other assets.  They are ready for any eventuality.

          That's my take this...

      •  Wow, had to rec your comment (0+ / 0-)

        because it's was an hour  and ZERO rec's!
        Please comment on Kovie's ecomment posted below at 9:56:28.
        Good Diary. Stimulates discussion.
        Get's me so pissed.

    •  no he's not. read his previous diaries. (4+ / 0-)

      ray is just figuring out how to get attention by manipulating people

      go and read ray's previous diaries.  he's been spelling out what he's trying to do openly.  

      i don't know if taking the obama apologist angle to get support of obama supports was on purpose or a happy accident, but it works!  respect!  sorta.

      Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?

      by AntonBursch on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:44:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good to see you visiting again. I do welcome your (0+ / 0-)

        self-appointed title of RP antagonist.  It's kind of fun.  

        •  i like that you are trying to figure this shit out (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          isabelle hayes

          most people follow and you are trying to lead.  i respect that.  i honestly do.  

          i used to think you were just some conspiracy nut and i argued with you out of a sense of protecting this site's reputation from conspiracy theories, but your recent diaries have changed my mind.  

          i can see now that you write because you care about people.  oh, sure, you want attention too, but we all do or we wouldn't be blogging.  :)  but you really do care.  i have great respect for that too.

          i can't help but be drawn to the writings of someone who cares about people and is really trying to figure this shit out.  cause i am the same way.

          i can see how you would take my comments as antagonism, but they never were.  i am not against you.  you just say things that stir me to think.  i don't for a second think you have figured this shit out.  nor has anyone else here.  but i love your attempts to figure it out.  my challenges are about a pursuit of understanding not about undermining you.  

          i am the kind of person who can see multiple sides of an issue and not get attached to one side or another.  that's a very useful ability for a software designer (video games), but i realize that it's confusing and frustrating for people who have picked a side and are fighting for it.  i am trying to be more sensitive to that.  

          Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?

          by AntonBursch on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:57:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'd like to compare notes with you if you don't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, Ray Pensador


      I understand about the 2008 campaign funds.  The Federal Election Commission has all the records.  When I download them the data shows that Wall Street firms gave to McCain too.  That's not an excuse.  It doesn't prove or disprove anything.  It just is.

      The quid pro quo angle is a logic fallacy the way that you explained it.  I'm not saying it's true or false.  I'm saying you didn't prove there was a quid pro quo by the absence of any prosecutions.  All sorts of accusations could be pointed at anyone based on something he didn't do.  There are an infinite number of other possible explanations for something not done.

      1) What legal basis exists to require a Federal suit.
      2) Is there any proof or evidence of it.  An opinion isn't the same thing as proof.
      3) What charges should have been filed?
      4) Who are the defendants?  
      5) If you know that anyone is guilty, what happened to our right to a trial and the presumption of innocence?

      The Justice Department begins with an investigation to determine whether federal laws were broken before filing a suit.  Wall Street is regulated by the Securities Exchange Commission which has its own enforcement division.  It conducted numerous investigations and it penalized many firms with record breaking fines to compensate victims for damages.  It also penalized individuals with fines and expulsion from the industry.  There are still matters pending.  

      The Federal District Court in New York is challenging one of the SEC's settlements which is unprecedented.   The judge says that the SEC is letting the firm off easy.  
      The firm and the SEC are countersuing.  Related to that case, an executive of the firm was tried and acquitted by a jury.  The foreman said in an interview that the firm was responsible, not the executive.  

      The Dept of Justice website has public disclosure information about the suits it filed, with all the details.  It's an ongoing effort.

      The SEC website has public disclosure information about its enforcement actions too.  

      If you think something was omitted, ignored, or overlooked, be specific.  How can you say the response hasn't been satisfactory without specifying your expectations?

      "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

      by leftreborn on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 09:28:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This whole thing is a world wide (4+ / 0-)

    Political challenge.  We can't even get meaningful gun control or filibuster reform in our country.  I agree with the diarist. We're a very primitive species and we have a long way to go!
    It's a very painful thing to watch such ignorance and corruption.  

    The 'shift' is hitting the fan.

    by sydneyluv on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 06:48:37 AM PST

  •  Just over 20 years ago I worked for a bank (11+ / 0-)

    that at the time turned out to have been involved in the biggest attempted fraud in US history. It was actually a lot simpler than these frauds, involving not complex financial instruments but certain basic securities that the firm, while licensed to purchase and then sell and trade them, was only allowed a maximum portion of. But a clever trader devised a scheme whereby through some phony front companies he'd corner the market on these securities.

    He got away with it for a while, until upper management caught on. When they did, though, instead of shutting him down to avoid the consequences of the feds finding out about his operation, let alone letting him go, they looked the other way, then winked and nodded at him something along the lines of "Attaboy, just be careful". See, he was generating serious profits for the firm, during an economic downturn, and they didn't want to end that.

    The feds did catch on, though, and after seriously considering shutting down the firm entirely, decided, after a white knight investor that EVERYONE here has heard about (think bridge, Bill Gates and all you can eat), who owned a significant chunk of the firm and didn't want to see his investment (and, I believe, lots of hard-working employees, which I liked to believe I was) go down the drain, stepped in, assuring the feds that if they punished the firm but not to the point where it would close shop, he'd clean things up, to instead impose what was then the biggest corporate fine in history (a joke by today's standards of around $350 million) and turn the firm over to him.

    He fired the CEO (a prominent character in Michel Lewis' Liar's Poker in case it isn't obvious by now) and his top lieutenants (one of whom went on to found LTCM, one of the first mega hedge funds that went down spectacularly in the late 90's), brought in people untainted by this scandal to run the firm, imposed tough internal rules, and eventually left the active management of the firm to them. The firm survived (and I got to keep my job, along with thousands of others). But not for long. Several years later, still weakened by the scandal and fine, it was acquired by a financial firm with an umbrella as its symbol, which in turn was acquired by the first big megabank, the one with the former green headquarters in NYC's east 50's with the famous diagonally slanted roof. Several years ago, it was again sold, to that other mega-bank, the one that seems to have as many branches as Starbucks.

    So, there's a way for the feds to handle this that properly punishes the people responsible for it without adversely hurting the financial markets or putting lots of people out of work. It's not the banks we want to punish let alone shut down, per se (although breaking them up seems like a good idea), so much as the people who abused them fraudulently, for profit. It's just a matter of political will, and skill. And, as per the diarist, patience.

    Incidentally, the firm I worked for invented the CDO, back in the 80's, before I worked for it (and for the record, I worked in IT, far from any of these shady activities, but some of the projects I worked on probably affected some of these people, but only in the same sense as the people who got them coffee did, only on a more sophisticated technological level).

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 06:56:28 AM PST

  •  By not exposing and convicting the criminals (9+ / 0-)

    Obama not only legitimized them, he let supply-side economics slip the noose so that it could continue to hold us all hostages in the Class War.

    No, millions and millions of people were not saved.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 06:57:52 AM PST

  •  I've seen the "Global House of Cards" (5+ / 0-)

    Argument used on this issue used ad nauseum.

    The entire basis of the "too big to fail" BS narrative.

    I think it's more like the mafia family member who "knows too much" to be touched - can't risk people finding out that Carlin was actually right.

    If not us ... who? If not here ... where? If not now ... when?

    by RUNDOWN on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:03:14 AM PST

    •  Mafia rings true to me! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RUNDOWN, Ray Pensador, sydneyluv

      But so does "Global House of Cards." The U.S. corporate media may not be putting it on teevee, but Bloomberg and Reuters have been reporting the story as it happens. Straight, hard news -- who, what, when, where, why, how. I've been reading it for about a year, because I'm retired and have time and because it is too ghastly to believe otherwise.

      "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

      by cotterperson on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 09:26:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bull Shit! (6+ / 0-)

    We prosecute murderers regardless of the impact it has on the suspect's family and friends.  Why must we prosecute Company A?  Why not Executive A?  Were these crimes devised and committed by robots at the company?

  •  Read Oligarchy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    These people have always threatened government. Nothing new there.

  •  "Too big to fail and too big to jail!" (7+ / 0-)

    Helluva gig isn't it.  

    "The world is made for people who aren't cursed with self awareness" -Annie Savoy (Bull Durham)

    by Jacoby Jonze on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:13:55 AM PST

  •  Tired of the apologia (17+ / 0-)

    Tired of people not facing up to things because it's too painful for them to believe that their hero is corrupt.

    What do you do if you are president?

    You tell the fucking country the truth, first off.  If they are trying to hold the country hostage, tell the public.  Then fully or partially nationalize the banks and straighten them out. Then hire honest people to run them and throw the ones who robbed the country and (by your theory) threatened the president into jail.

    Instead of having 200 FBI agents in place because thousands of them were transferred to jobs where they entrap Muslim men into terrorist ploys, put them back on the banking investigations.  Hire thousands of people in all the regulation and DoJ departments that you need and pull the resources from the bloated Homeland Security department who are currently surveilling and wasting all kinds of resources spying on Quakers and Occupy groups who pose no threat to this country.

    Nothing gets fixed if nobody is held accountable.

    If you are an honest man who is serving the people who put you in office, that's what you do.  If you are a corrupt man, you don't.

    Enough of the apologia.

    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:17:36 AM PST

  •  also, it's the torture memos all over again (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bisbonian, Ray Pensador, Laconic Lib

    1) concoct goals of the criminal enterprise
    2) hire competent legal counsel to provide a paper trail defining a series of steps labeled "this step is legal"
    3) claim to be relying on legal advice while overtly placing feet on the legal-labeled steps
    4) profit
    5) hope nothing in the trail is incriminating for fraud
    6) as this diary speculates, communicate threats to discourage investigations
    7) rinse and repeat

  •  The 1% has learned to stick together in a crisis, (6+ / 0-)

    in order to create the "too big to fail" body that cannot be opposed.

    If the 99% could learn to do the same thing...

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:21:09 AM PST

  •  Yes, but it's only money. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib, Ray Pensador

    Money, together with the law, provides a shield for malfeasance. HOWEVER, not only are money and the law both figments of the imagination and able to be changed by human thinking, but money is a measuring tool and lets us see the extent of the malfeasance. MOREOVER, while out official currency is effectively untraceable, the financial engineers made a significant mistake, I think, in devising altenative debit instruments (dollars are just certified IOUs), lacking government certification and presuming to substitute the banks credibility, which involved the creation of lots of documentation -- words that can be traced to their origins. So, in effect, they were too clever by half.

    While I've been referring to the banksters as nothing but middlemen for some time and pointing out that their function is mostly a matter of taking a "cut" of what other people produce, what I realized with the appearance of Lanny Breuer was that their scam doesn't work unless they have an inside man, a person within our governmental agencies to ensure that the law and money work hand in hand.

    We actually have a longer history of the law being used in the U.S. to deprive people of their rights. That was basic to the Constitution as initially adopted. Property trumped human rights. This led to the assumption that by protecting property, people would be sell served, especially after people were no longer considered property. But, of course, they still are. Children are the property of their parents. That's why the larger society can refuse to provide for them. Ownership is supposed to be such a boon that it makes people virtuous.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:25:30 AM PST

  •  so not only are they "too big to fail", but (4+ / 0-)

    they are "too big to jail".

  •  No need to beat around the bush. The Obama (4+ / 0-)

    Administration is corrupt to the bone - ie third world country corrupt. I've seen this pattern repeat itself over and over in my home country: keep your friends close, and throw the peasants in prison.

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:28:04 AM PST

  •  Given that Obama is being extorted and paying (5+ / 0-)

    and that the consequence of not paying are horrific, how do we prevent the extortion from continuing?

    1) Break up the TBTF banks so that no particular criminal controls a single entity capable of bringing down the house
    2) Go after the worst criminals one at a time and let most of them get away with it

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:41:56 AM PST

  •  very thoughtful diary. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Ray Pensador, sydneyluv

    Thank you.

  •  Extrajudicial solutions... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib, Ray Pensador

    It's good enough for our own government, after all.

    If someone steals from me, I think there has to be some consequences to them.

    Official 'Justice' is dead.

    All that's left is 'Do it Yourself'

    And that's fucking pitiful.

    The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. -

    by No one gets out alive on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:49:35 AM PST

  •  You are mild. I want their heads on pikes.... (0+ / 0-)

    ... lining the streets of the financial district, until the pigeons and seagulls have picked their disembodied skulls clean.

    You are spot on, they are sociopath's intent on murdering our wallets, because actual murder is too messy.

    Act accordingly in dealing with them.

  •  Obama had another, legal option... (9+ / 0-)

    He could have nationalized the banks and had the government take them over.  Then, the blackmail would disappear because all of the employees would be government employees.  I know that had massive political failings because of the advent of tea-party.  But I believe it would have been the best of the worst options.  The root of the problem is the American delusion that the 'free market' solves all problems.

    'Goodwill' between the GOP and the President is as abundant as unicorn farts - Me'

    by RichM on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:07:20 AM PST

    •  And they only had to be nationalized (5+ / 0-)

      long enough to straighten them out.  

      If the president exposed what was going on, giving that as the reason for a temporary nationalization, the Tea Party wouldn't have had a leg to stand on.  

      Fury at these banks is not a partisan thing -- it crosses all party lines.  If the Tea Party wants to put themselves in a position of defending Lloyd Blankfein and his shitty deals where he cheated his own customers, I say go ahead.  Knock yourselves out!

      There aren't many people in this country feeling sorry for Wall Street.  There was zero political risk in going after them.  Hell, Obama would not have needed any campaign money at all if he had done the right thing.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:29:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I thought about this a lot and came to the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      artmartin, sydneyluv

      conclusion that given the political realities and that almost half of the nation is totally brainwashed by the corporate media conglomerate, if he had attempted to nationalize the banks (something that will eventually happen anyways), he would have failed.  The forces aligned against him would have proven insurmountable.

      To me, I would not give a flying fuck.  I would have taken on these criminals head on.  But that's us, writing here on blogs, etc.

  •  Very insightful (4+ / 0-)

    The president saved the country. We don' t know half of the crap he faced when he took over from Bush. They were gearing up to finish us off, with Palin and McCain in office. We were lucky. Very lucky.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:13:23 AM PST

    •  Saved the 1% (5+ / 0-)

      more like.

      Let's ask the millions of people who were foreclosed how well the president saved this country.  Let's ask the tens of millions still out of work, perhaps permanently out of work.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:34:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yep. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenotron, artmartin

      Just like the failed White House coup against FDR foiled by Smedley Butler.

      The Business Plot was an alleged political conspiracy in 1933. Retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler claimed that wealthy businessmen were plotting to create a fascist veterans' organization and use it in a coup d'état to overthrow United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Butler as leader of that organization. In 1934, Butler testified to the Special Committee on Un-American Activities Congressional committee (the "McCormack-Dickstein Committee") on these claims.[1] In the opinion of the committee, these allegations were credible.[2] No one was prosecuted.

      "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

      by cotterperson on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 09:15:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, he hasn't saved us from Wall St, so (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      perhaps  the president doesn't know "half the crap" those of us on Main Street are still facing now. Perhaps we should let him know how bad things still are for far too many in this country.

      There is no excuse for not having criminal investigations of the Wall Streeter's criminal activity.

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

      by allenjo on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 09:32:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hmmm... (0+ / 0-)

      A whole bunch of us here are from' vision' disorder. No surprise there...

      "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

      by zenox on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:11:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  One Big Problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Is that Wall St. moles in the White House and Wall St. lobbyists to Congress spent years getting laws changed so that this con was already legal when they started in on it. So, it's hard to prosecute -- they did the legwork and made sure that their scams were legalized before they began.

    Yes, Robert Rubin, who lives for theft, Larry Summers, Geithner and the others in their clique are all to some degree culpable.

    I don't see why Barack Obama let so many of them back into the White House.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:22:12 AM PST

  •  CFTC Silver Manipuluation Investigation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Four years and counting, still waiting.  JPM manipulates silver better than my cat manipulates me to get food, but according to President Obama Jamie Dimon "is one of the smartest bankers we got"

    "The farther you enter the truth, the deeper it is" Bankei Zenji

    by treeuggerIT on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:31:13 AM PST

  •  Everything else is not secondary (4+ / 0-)

    As bad as this is, I think the ability of earth to support humanity rather takes precedent.  Indeed, given Americans refusal to take action, a world financial collapse might by a little time to reduce carbon emissions.  (Of course, Wricans won't take action in a depression, but apparently they won't during a boom either)

    Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

    by Mindful Nature on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:32:20 AM PST

  •  they tried to fake our numbers with a car loan (6+ / 0-)

    My husband and I went to our local Jeep dealer last year to trade in our Dodge pickup for a Jeep Liberty.  We brought our pay stubs and other banking info.  The finance woman said "great" and went to make copies.  When she came back and sat down, she would make comments like "we are going to say you earned X".  My husband and I just looked at each other.

    She had JUST MADE COPIES of PAY STUBS for the past couple of months.  She can SEE how much money we made.  I asked her "Why don't you just put what it says on our stubs?". She actually started to LAUGH!!  She informed us that "everybody" does it and I made a remark that is why everybody hates the bankers.  I asked her to put numbers in the correct way because I wanted to make sure our payments were based on what we made, not what she claimed we made.  We bought the car but it definitely left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

  •  Here's a simple explanation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    you loan fraudulent banks trillions of dollars

    you don't prosecute said fraudulent banks assuring you don't get repaid.

    "To recognize error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government." Historian Barbara Tuchman

    by Publius2008 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 09:35:27 AM PST

  •  They WOULD Shoot the Hostage(s) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, artmartin

    Count on it.

  •  The idea that this is long term is a joke (0+ / 0-)

    And the idea that he / they actually believe that a long term approach as opposed to a hard purge could possibly work has to assume they are either painfully stupid, delusional or both. For that strategy to work, they would have to hold at least two branches of government for many, many years, and that is just not going to happen. "The Ship" as the President has called it, unfortunately, can't be steered this slowly, when the economic damage being done and new swindles being devised in parallel render any "progress" moot.

    And give me a break with the doomsday crap. They're greedy, so they'll completely destroy the system that perpetuates their greed because they'll be regulated? What a joke. If you believe that, the President was taken to school by these assholes using a simple, easily identifiable bluff. Coincidentally, this is the same pattern we see in the President's dealings with the "crazy congress." It's a built in excuse.

    To hope that the culture will change this slowly is really just ridiculous, given without the kind of government action it requires it would take a popular uprising. People are too busy to keep up with all the machinations. It's too easy for bad actors like Wall St. to fog the mirror.

    If you really believe this is their strategy, it's an incredibly dumb one and, news flash, IT'S NOT WORKING.

    Slap happy is a platform.

    by averageyoungman on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 09:53:42 AM PST

  •  The sinking sensation came early... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, Mr Robert

    when our new President said it was more important to look forward instead of looking back.

    That those who had f**ked up so badly up through 2008 were now going to behave, promise!  See?  Dodd-Frank!(More filled with holes than your best semiconductor.  Or a slice of Alpine Lace Swiss cheese.)

    That prosecutions of the malefactors would be pointless, expensive, and mean-spirited.

    Never considering that the best deterrence of future crime is certainty that one will be punished for it.  How to instill that certainty?  Prosecute malefactors publicly.  Make no deals.  Open the criminality to the open air.

    Now the laws are toothless, the law enforcers are co-opted and/or disinterested because they are part of the Ownership class, and crimes continue, with the TBTF companies now far, far Too Big To Prosecute.

    I still do not understand why no one stood up and said, "Not in MY name, Mr. President!"  

    After all, no one listens when you and I do that (they sometimes pretend to), but there are so many layers of insulation between voters and the power wielders.  Is every member of the Inner Sanctum mute?

    Call me naive.  I just do not understand why this continues.

    Fighting every day against crippling cynicism.

    (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 12.6 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

    by argomd on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:27:06 AM PST

  •  Private Lawsuits are uncovering this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    Private Lawsuits are doing what the Government will not

    If this is true, this may be the biggest heist in the history of the world

  •   Banksters give us our daily bread. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, Ray Pensador

    The belief seems to be that putting a CEO in prison will directly cause a financial institution to collapse?  You think Obama accepted this premise?  So the elites are so critical to the functioning  of a bank, brokerage firm, mortgage loan company that putting a handful of individuals will cause them to collapse?  I dunno.  Apple didn't collapse with the death of Jobs.

    Maybe Obama is even worse than suspected.  He believes that only elites and oligarchs are the linchpins on which societies are possible??  Talk about class war.  There is no magic strategy in which we must wait for a golden day when Obama makes all things right.  He only protected the criminals for our good, dontcha know.  

    But something revealing about Obama and what he thought of the banksters and why he protected them.

    Remember when Obama praised Jamie Dimon as smart bidnessman and a paragon of suave and smartness?

    Well, a month later he publicly supported the firing of all teachers at an inner city school for well, failing.  Dimon's company I believe got about $30 billion in bailout money.

    Think about this juxtaposition and what it reveals about where Obama stands in his beliefs, and where in stands in class war that is ripping this country apart.

    Someday over the rainbow ain't cutting it.

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