You know, I got a little grief for my blog saying that so many big corporations (need we name some?) inherently seek profits over virtually all else. To wit, ‘shareholder rights’ are at least in theory encouraged and protected by law, ‘stakeholder rights’ notwithstanding—of course with variations on this theme, sometimes commendable ones. I took the abuse on the chin (I have a weak chin), and reminded myself to not be too strident. It’s still true—of course it’s true!—but don’t be too strident.

On this topic, and here referring to Big Banks, you’ve got to see the video below (and sign the petition). But before you do, tell me this: the term ‘whistleblower’? It’s got a bit of a negative connotation, doesn’t it? In fact, this was the first definition of the word I found:

(n) whistle blower, whistle-blower, whistleblower (an informant who exposes wrongdoing within an organization in the hope of stopping it) “the law gives little protection to whistleblowers who feel the public has a right to know what is going on”; “the whistleblower was fired for exposing the conditions in mental hospitals…”

Notice the sentences they used to aid the definition: “little protection” and “fired”. It about says it all. Actually, not quite. What does it say about a world—a system—where a person with immense courage, often for no gain—granted, sometimes for possible gain—but taking huge risk, “exposes wrongdoing within an organization in the hope of stopping it”—say, fraud that would cost the average citizen millions—and the description of what that person is doing, has within it, a pejorative, negative connotation?

Isn’t that weird, even sick?

It says, pathologically: “Don’t get in the way of the system”—For The God With The Invisible Hand can not do wrong. In fact, if you think He does, you will be punished. Indeed, as Alan Greenspan made clear—with immense callousness and disdain for the common person—in conversation with “citizen-hero” Brooksley Born, paraphrasing: ‘Fraud is part of the system to the benefit of profit and riches, and let the fraud market [I mean free-market, sorry] work it out.’

I’m not into conspiracy (all life is conspiracy), but this word choice is intentional, believe you me. And how about Tower 7, huh? Oops.


I’m changing the word whistle-blower and its connotation, right now, to “citizen-hero.”

“She was a real citizen-hero, wasn’t she?”

Or shortened:

“I give that CH all the credit in the world, he had courage.”


Anyway, I have friends moving to Switzerland. They need to watch this story about Bradley Birkenfeld revealing massive fraud at the Swiss Bank USB, just to roll their eyes—not that it will surprise them. But you should check this out, too.

Admittedly, I am aware that it’s one lawyer’s side, and there is definitely another side. But the story is so off-putting, and reminds me (us, perhaps) that so-called reforms to the system are cruelly and intentionally, and dangerously, manipulated, biased and one-sided on the side of the rich and the corporate (and limited in spectrum to ‘growth’ and ‘profit’—as if that usurps life). A cursory look at the world tells me that to be unemotional in this discussion, or “balanced”, so-called, when it’s utterly unbalanced, is to be morally or at least discerningly vacuous (environmentally, democratically, labour-wise etc, etc).

To paraphrase Vandana Shiva’s evaluation, mainstream economists talk about the Market Economy, but not externalities, let alone Nature’s Economy (the inconceivable work nature does for nothing, see also David Suzuki). They talk about the Market Economy but not the Sustenance Economy (the economy where people work to survive), upon which 2/3rds of the world’s sisters and brothers rely—that was around long before there ever was a Market Economy. And believe you me, I’m not romanticizing it, I’m saying it’s not discussed, mostly because it relies on the ‘commons’, not the commodified, owned, privatized and encircled ‘commons’, which kills the term, and the chance, let alone the right, of self-determination.


The following story reminds us, if we lack diligence and smart consumer choices (god help us), that the Banks will not be reformed, let alone changed. They will utterly collapse (if they do) before they are reformed. Actually, then they’d just be rebuilt. Speculative booms (busts notwithstanding), just like the War on Drugs (hypocrisy and unstoppable incarceration notwithstanding), have proved too profitable. Best friends like Noam Chomsky, William F Buckley, Carl Sagan and Milton Friedman utterly agree on this point.

Maybe truly going after the root of the systemic problem is so terrifying (or terrorizing) because so much of this wealth is a Ponzi scheme deck of cards. Who knows? Undoubtedly the human experience by now, collectively, is so insanely, exponentially complex, literally inconceivable, that who would know what healthy reform even looks like? But this video is so revealing (and if it’s widely incorrect, it’s once again revealing: about lawyers):

And Part II:

Here’s an article on it in the New York Post, by Juan Gonzalez, the guy with Amy Goodman interviewing Bradley Birkenfeld’s lawyer.

In the article, Gonzalez wrote:

Who can forget that priceless photo of the President playing golf on Aug. 24 during his Martha’s Vineyard summer vacation with Robert Wolf, president of UBS Americas?

Man, has President Obama had a tough time. So many of his contacts, his campaigner donors (Goldman Sachs, Health Insurance, UBS here), those Power folks who ‘have his ear’, have just screwed him with contempt and non-stop insanely legal or illegal actions. His attempt at bipartisanship? They screwed him, too. As anyone knows who reads what I write, I never—by definition as President—expected much, let alone extreme change, but what has he done? He has softened certain edges. His talk is less bellicose. I assume that’s good. But to the outside, he seems to have generously paid back the Powerful interests who paid his way. The bail out was a real crushing blow against the will of the people—who also paid his way in tens and twenties and fifties.

I can’t imagine what his original positions supposedly were, or must feel like now, or if it’s changed since assuming Power. May he have some underlying plan or profoundly courageous revelation; or is the more-or-less status quo just something else for the citizenry to come to grips with? And, to be sure, the citizenry is hardly all in some sort of monolithic accord (just check comments on blogs), but it would sure be intelligent and effective if the vast majority of citizens saw how much we truly have in common—virtually everything—as opposed to a distorted exaggeration of the differences.

Hope the derivative stuff was interesting.

Lots of love to you,

Pete xo



  1. philip mccormack says:
    Hi Petesy, Derivatives made easy. Easier Love dad
    This guy knows as I know without a gold standard, plus a couple of other things we are a slave planet.

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