Thursday, October 15, 2009

WHY THE LACK OF CONGRESSIONAL OUTRAGE IS HELPING THE DOLLAR TANK AND FOREIGN INVESTORS TO BE WARY OF SUPPORTING THE USA IN 2009-2010, even while Wall

WHY THE LACK OF CONGRESSIONAL OUTRAGE IS HELPING THE DOLLAR TANK AND FOREIGN INVESTORS TO BE WARY OF SUPPORTING THE USA IN 2009-2010, even while Wall Street Booms


By Kevin Stoda, Wiesbaden , Germany


This is the second of a series of articles on the lack of outrage in America today.

http://eslkevin.wordpress.com/2009/10/11/why-the-17500000000000-bailout-hasn%c2%b4t-helped-the-majority-of-americans-much-why-the-dollar-continues-to-crash/

William Black was on Democracy Now today. He was explaining how the stock market boom and the continued existence of many BAD & BIG BANKS in the USA were now screwing up long term investment in all parts of the more “real American economy”. He pointed out that the stock market’s current boom or growth was simply a matter of banks sitting on mountains of bad loans rather than declaring the bankruptcies properly. Black noted that the only reason to inflate one’s appraisal is for the purpose of fraud and that is what many of the BAD BANKS are up to.


http://www.democracynow.org/2009/10/15/black


William Black is the author of THE BEST WAY TO ROB A BANK IS TO OWN ONE: How Corporate Executives and Politicians Looted the S&L Industry. He is a former Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation investigator. (Remember the epidemic of Savings & Loan accounting fraud related to home and other proper loans in the 1980s. Oh, we forgot about that one that helped created the depression in USA between 1987 and 1994!!!)


Black is now a professor at the University of Missouri at Kansas City . His discussion on DN point out that the greatest frauds in America’s Financial Crises of the past 5 years have been almost entirely in the banks—these banks are still not being controlled nor investigated properly. These same banks are now giving huge bonuses to bank CEOs and their cronies this very autumn 2009—with millions having lost property due to foreclosures in the last year or so.


Black let’s it be known that USA taxpayers are still paying for this.
Juan Gonzaley of Democracy Now asked, “William Black, where is the outrage? It seems to me, at this stage, with the—as the foreclosures continue to escalate in numbers, and yet we’re seeing these enormous profits less than a year after the financial crisis. There doesn’t seem to be the kind of outrage, even in Congress, that there was six months or eight months ago.”


William Black replied, “There’s no palpable outrage, certainly not in Congress. The reform efforts on derivatives, for example, are a scandal. They exempt virtually all of the problem derivatives, and they’re designed to exempt it. And that’s the bill that’s introduced, and of course it’s likely to get worse with additional lobbying from the special interests.”



Black admonished all Americans to be concerned: “Link the things that you’ve just been talking about. You talked about foreclosures reaching record highs. But in fact, foreclosures, relative to delinquencies, are quite low compared to historical ratios. In other words, banks have tons of folks who are not paying their mortgages on time, and they’re not foreclosing. And the reason they’re not foreclosing is, once you foreclose, you have to recognize losses under the accounting rules. And the banks gimmicked the accounting rules. They put pressure on Congress, and Congress put pressure on the accounting profession to gimmick the accounting rules now about a year ago. Now, these bonuses, of course, are paid compared to alleged profits. What happens if you understate your losses dramatically? You report much higher profits and much higher bonuses. So this is a web of fraud, in which they are getting as much as they can before the place goes to hell in a hand basket again.”

SYSTEM FUNCTIONS EVEN WHEN NOT CREDIBLE?



Interestingly enough, Slavoj Žižek came on the same Democracy Now program a few minutes later and noted that it is not only the average or common man who does not get outraged or ask the right questions about the crises of the past few decades in America (and around the globe).


http://www.democracynow.org/2009/10/15/slovenian_philosopher_slavoj_zizek_on_the


Gonzalez announced, “His latest (work), just out from Verso, is called First as Tragedy, Then as Farce. It analyzes how the United States has moved from the tragedy of 9/11 to the farce of the financial meltdown. Žižek’s latest offering, also excerpted in the October issue of Harper’s Magazine, opens with the words, quote, `The only truly surprising thing about the 2008 financial meltdown is how easily the idea was accepted that its happening was unpredictable.”

He goes on to recall how the demonstrations against the IMF and the World Bank over the past decade all protested the ways in which banks were playing with money and warned of an impending crash. They were met with tear gas and mass arrests.`”


I had to confess that Mr. Žižek’s comment in the Harper´s interview hit home for me and should hit home to all major media consumers. Most of the planet was, indeed, caught by surprise by the big bank collapses and financial collapses of the past year or so. On the other hand, for thousands (or millions) of individuals and concerned parties, such as those out protesting, getting tear-gassed in Seattle, Chiapas, London, Pittsburgh, and elsewhere for over two decades, this sort of crisis was already fully underway.


The bottom line for Mr. Žižek says that “this is my whole thesis, that capitalism always was socialism for those who are on the top. This is the basic paradox of it, no?”


HOWEVER; EUROPE MAY BE WORSE THAN THE USA ?? I doubt it


Žižek says that, in contrast to many Europeans, many Americans do recognize this fact about the relationship between socialism for the rich.


However, in Europe , where Žižek is from, the Left does not get it. He says that the Left (and the Right) these days are tending to believe that the forms of choice for their socio-capitalist development are very very narrow.


Žižek summarized his thoughts, “I see more hope at this moment with you in United States than with Europe . Europe is now, I think, in great decline. I had (had)some hopes about Europe (but not any more). Why? Because, to put it very simply, it still looks that we have two models now which are in competition, if I simplify the analysis very much: (1) the Anglo-Saxon liberal market model and what we (2) poetically call capitalism with Asian values, which means authoritarian capitalism. This is what every leftist, as I repeat it, should worry about, because let’s concede to the devil what belongs to the devil. . . . ’til recently—I’m sorry to tell you again, as a strange communist, you will say—there was one good argument for capitalism? . . . . It may have been that capitalism needed dictatorship for ten, twenty years— Chile , South Korea —but when things started to move, capitalism always engendered a push toward some kind of democracy. No longer. I claim that what is now emerging in the Far East started—it started in Singapore , this kind of so-called, again, authoritarian capitalism.”



This great narrowing of choices may be true for Europe in either the near- or the far future, but in the meantime, Americans poorest and most vulnerable wander around without health care, property, nor jobs—while humongous banks with huge lobbies laugh all the way . . . to the bank.


The only plan now is to sink the US dollar´s value until American investment becomes too tantalizing to keep foreigners out of the market—despite the apparently narrowed-mindedness of USA bankers and financiers.


William Black explains socialism for the rich—i.e. paid for with USA tax dollars: “What happened then (in the Saving and Loan Scandal days) was an epidemic of what we call in criminology ´control fraud.´ And that means what happens when the fraud is led by the person who controls a seemingly legitimate corporation or government agency. In this case, they were savings and loans. And these frauds were growing at an annual rate of over 50 percent. Their weapon of choice is accounting fraud.”


Black explained, “So it’s real easy. It’s a three-part optimization. First thing you do is grow like crazy, Ponzi-like scheme. Second thing you do is deliberately make really bad loans, because they have a higher interest and higher expenses associated with them, so you report more profits. And the third thing you do is have extraordinary leverage. Leverage is simply lots of debt compared to your equity. And the point of this is, if you do those three things, you are mathematically guaranteed to report not just profits, but record profits.”


Sadly, Black points out that his Federal Savings and Loan Investigation group had approached the problem of growth and had controlled it with good regulation and oversight.


However, it was this same exemplary oversight of derivatives etc. that the Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama have refused to use with America ’s most powerful financiers in 3 full decades--or more.


This leaves Americans wide open to abuse more than ever.


Americans need to demand a completely new Congress and Senate without the banks money in 2010 or they will be enslaved to Citigroup and friends forever.


DN notes that currently Congress has already received 200 million dollars this year from banking and finance lobbies—paid with by American taxpayer largess. Black responded to this fact by pointing out, “Barney Frank has proposed legislation on financial derivatives that essentially exempts what are called over-the-counter derivatives from most regulation, and it is over-the-counter derivatives that have been a major cause of this crisis. So that’s utterly insane. There’s no conceivable justification for it. And he stacked the hearing. There were nine witnesses; eight of them were from the industry and, of course, testified that they were vital to the world. The ninth witness was the only person who was in the least bit skeptical, and he was promptly gaveled down, unlike the others, by the chair. So it’s not only a farce; they’re willing to have us see that it’s a farce. They are so little afraid of public opinion and outrage that they’re not even taking steps to cover up the cover-up.”

NOTES


Black, William, William Black is the author of THE BEST WAY TO ROB A BANK IS TO OWN ONE: How Corporate Executives and Politicians Looted the S&L Industry,

http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/books/blabes.html

Stoda, Kevin, “WHY THE $17,500,000,000,000 BAILOUT HASN?T HELPED THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANs MUCH & WHY THE DOLLAR CONTINUES TO CRASH”, http://www.opednews.com/populum/diarypage.php?did=14589

WTO PROTESTS IN SEATTLE 1999, http://www.globalissues.org/article/46/wto-protests-in-seattle-1999

Žižek, Slavoj, “To each according to his greed”, http://www.harpers.org/archive/2009/10/0082658

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