Thursday, May 27, 2010

Meanwhile, Back at the Banks....

While the entire nation is rightfully engaged in the Gulf oil spill, Congress and their pals at the banks and on Wall Street have been cooking up the much talked about financial reform bill. The one with all the new regulations and agencies we don't really need. The one that was oh so urgent just last month, but is now able to wait a few weeks for a conference committee to be formed.

If ever there was a symbol of Congress' total failure, this piece of idiocy has to be the one. If we run the clock back to 2008 and the first TARP robbery, we see the Republican and Democratic leadership preaching that without $750 billion of our money, the entire financial world will cease to exist. We were told by both parties that there was no choice, we had to save the economy and so on. This is mostly history, so no need to restate all of it.

However, keep in mind as you read, that the leadership of both parties was on board with TARP and the rest of the secret Federal Reserve bailout orchestrated by Little Timmy Geithner and his cronies.

Now the much talked about financial reform bill has passed both houses of Congress. The versions are different, mandating a conference committee to resolve the differences and create a bill acceptable to both. And this is where the real problems will start.

First off, as I have said, we probably don't need new regulations. We have plenty. What we need are effective, honest regulators. We have none. Look at the cast of characters. Geithner, who as president of the New York Fed, was the principle regulator of the banks that led us to this mess and never once lifted a finger to challenge their actions. Bernanke, who as chairman of the Fed did everything he could to secretly prop up these bad practices. Hank Paulson is thankfully no longer in government, but never forget that this one time prince of Wall Street sat idly by while his pals were gaming the system and then turned into a scared old man begging for relief for his friends. The 3 of them hatched more closed door Sunday deals than anyone ever.

Now comes news that JP Morgan and its sainted CEO Jamie Dimon squeezed billions out of Lehman Brothers just days before it failed. Billions. In fact, according to reports, Dimon and his gang of thieves took the last liquidity out of Lehman with the blessing of Bernanke and Paulson. The bankruptcy estate of Lehman is suing for this money back. Since JP Morgan was and is a New York bank, you can safely assume that Geithner was party to this. This was after Dimon was gifted an almost debt free Bear Stearns by Geithner (on a Sunday) and gifted a cleaned up Washington Mutual over a weekend. Apparently, that was not enough and the wizards running the government economic management team felt he deserved another $8 billion or so from Lehman as it was failing.

In fact, it is quite plausible to determine that this sanctioned robbery was the final straw for Lehman. All accounts reveal a secret meeting between Dimon, Bernanke and Paulson to make sure Jamie got his money and that Lehman would fail. In effect, they pretty much tipped the Lehman piggy bank over and poured it into JP Morgan's coffers.

Of course, JP Morgan strongly denies this, pledging to fight in court and prove that Lehman was simply poorly run and the billions were justified somehow, even though they would cause the failure that JP Morgan wanted the billions to protect itself from.

But wait, there's more!

While all of that was going on, it has been reported and verified that Lehman was hiding massive debt by creating new companies and then selling the debt just before the books closed for the quarter to enhance their financial health and then taking it back once the reports were filed. All evidence says that the CEO, the auditors and the government "regulators" knew about this and looked the other way. Even though this is exactly what took Enron down and sent people to jail.

Now comes news that the biggest welfare baby banks - Citi and Bank of America - were doing the same thing. And again with the blessing of Bernanke, Geithner and the rest of the already failed economic team. Apparently, not one of the regulators thought duplicating Enron's failure was a problem. Not one auditor dared complain. Yet, we gave them literally hundreds of billions to cover this stuff without any penalty or enforcement.

In the aftermath of TARP and the rest of the trillions to Wall Street and friends, these new revelations would seem to scream for harsh regulations and restrictions. The problem is, we don't need that. We have plenty of regulations and oversight. What we have is a wildly corrupt system of Wall Street firms/big banks and government regulators that effectively shuts down meaningful oversight.

Perhaps if a fresh crew had been hired by the administration or if the Republicans had possibly presented a cogent argument against any of these pre-failed people, then we might at least get a new group to look at the situation. But we had the same tired old crew in Congress as well. They are just as beholden to the big money folks as the regulators, if not more so. I did not hear the GOP raise a lot of objections to Geithner over his role in the crisis. They did point out his inability to do a proper tax form, but not his inability to perform his duties as a regulator at the Fed.

After Obama inexplicably reappointed Bernanke, the Republicans griped about secrecy and his refusal to release information he had promised, but not a lot about his abject failure in his role as principal regulator for the banks. Not a word about the endless back door deal making on Sundays.

When they had a chance to bring in a new team, both parties took the easy way out. They just moved the same players around on the field. Geithner to Treasury, Schapiro to SEC and so on.

Then the regulation fight began. Needless to say, it immediately got folded into the partisan food fight along with everything else. Here Congress - and especially the Republicans - had a chance to make a serious and thoughtful argument and they chose to go with their more comfortable and partisan game of just say no. The Democrats had an opportunity to actually pass a meaningful law that might have added enforcement power to existing agencies. They went with the predictable and easier solution of new agencies to compound the old.

In fact, the only thing in that bill worth squat is the mandated public audit of the Federal Reserve - something Bernanke objects to almost hysterically. The rest of it can be trashed tomorrow. That provision passed as an amendment in both houses with overwhelming bipartisan support.

It is almost impossible to justify new regulation and agencies when all evidence suggest that the existing laws are simply not being enforced to the fullest. That the already legislated oversight is not being performed. And to take the word of the same band of failures that got us here is just ludicrous.

Congress no longer represents us or our needs. Our best interest is just a cute catch phrase to them. It is their own selfish interests that they serve. Their endless game of power grabbing. The wasteful and always counterproductive "blame the other guy" game. The needless and pointless sniping. The cowardly attack from behind a friendly media (both sides!).

That is what our once amazing representative government has devolved to. A sandbox of kicking and screaming bullies who desperately need a time out. Well, I say, let's give them a long time out.

Come November, send the existing Congress home for a long time out. Vote against the lot of them. They are lying to us all day every day only to serve themselves and their corrupt political parties' need for power.

Come November, throw them all out.

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As a capitalist and a free market person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here:

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