BANKSTERS (as in bankers/gangsters): MUST, MUST, MUST READ

“Some will rob you with a six-gun, some with a fountain pen.”
—Woody Guthrie

And this:

After the oil bubble collapsed last fall, there was no new bubble to keep things humming — this time, the money seems to be really gone, like worldwide-depression gone. So the financial safari has moved elsewhere, and the big game in the hunt has become the only remaining pool of dumb, unguarded capital left to feed upon: taxpayer money. Here, in the biggest bailout in history, is where Goldman Sachs really started to flex its muscle.
—Matt Taibbi

If you re-read that paragraph a few times, you can really get a sense of the disease that is taking place—the all-pervasive cancer. At the most obvious—ignoring all the ills that got to this point—the symptom of the disease is this ongoing public (tax-payer) bailout of crap fiat money for the economies’ collapsed financial sector.

Maybe it’s not even paper money. Maybe it’s just magic, punched into a computer. Who knows? Whatever it is, it is of no inherent value, and yet devalues whatever ‘money’ means now. That actually also describes cancer cells multiplying.

This symptom (bail-out) is simultaneously the sickest form of so-called socialism (financially) and the sickest form of capitalism (outright theft—stealing rapaciously from public funds and still calling it a free-market). And from inside cancer itself comes a now even poorer, blinded citizenry, and a richer elite, which at some point defines a feudal system, or a dictatorship (even with so-called democracy, as Honduras is showing).

But enough of my clap-trap. A must read from Matt Taibbi’s Inside the Great American Bubble Machine.

And listen to the video, too, please. Of course this is a one-sided piece, but how many people list Hitler’s strong points?

To me, this may be simplified, but how else can the average person, like myself, understand any of what goes on with economic heists? For example, people got hopeless sub-prime mortgages they couldn’t pay back.

Their fault? Sure.

But the problem is caused or instituted or continued because of…

“…banks like Goldman Sachs who found ways to chop up crappy mortgages [if some Wal-Mart worker in Boise should have known they were crap, surely Goldman Sachs…] into little bits and then sell them off as securities to unwitting pensioners.

And there’s nothing ordinary people can do about that stuff. People who are in this business have trouble with a lot of this stuff. It’s enormously complicated, even for insiders….

And if you don’t understand it, if you don’t get it, there’s no way to vote on it sensibly. There’s no way to demand your congressman take action, and that insulates these people from any kind of action…”

Let’s be honest: like lawyer talk, heretofore, wherein and screw you in perpetuity, the whole thing is mystified and complicated, at least partially, with the plan to blind with bull***.

Just appalling. Democrats, Republicans (in fact Democrats big time, in case anyone was feeling smug). My old man has been describing this, through other utterly marginalized economic experts (and still marginalized), for twenty years. Meanwhile, the same perpetrators keep cycling through the system, no matter how bad or even heinous their policies.

These major bankers knew everything. But like a person caught up in, say, drugs or an affair—the rush so great, and these money grabs are an addiction—they don’t notice or literally can’t stop. They literally can’t be ethical: “It was bigger than both of us…” etc.

And President Obama, by posting these people to continued high positions, and the list would be comical if not so tragic (as Taibbi painfully points out), is simply further institutionalizing the sickness.

Seeing as Goldman Sachs ‘donated’, ha ha, more money than anyone else to his campaign, period, he likely believes them. It’s like disowning dear old dad if he paid for where you are. Difficult.

Fast-forward to today. It’s early June in Washington, D.C. Barack Obama, a popular young politician whose leading private campaign donor was an investment bank called Goldman Sachs — its employees paid some $981,000 to his campaign — sits in the White House. Having seamlessly navigated the political minefield of the bailout era, Goldman is once again back to its old business, scouting out loopholes in a new government-created market with the aid of a new set of alumni occupying key government jobs.

If Obama does have good intentions, I sure feel sorry for him.

But those insider banksters and then bankers in government and at the Fed knew and know what they are doing—that’s why and how they made the moves, deregulations, regulations, policy changes etc., they made and continue to make. It’s called uber-maximization of profit, regardless of the cost, the externalities, and it’s where the system ultimately collapses into an abyss of human aberration, greed and emptiness (but tell that to those getting this year’s bonuses).

Really, it’s just a free-for-all and a real picture of human nature, human greed, in the extreme. Why? As Clinton said about his White House indiscretions (and you can include Robert Rubin with Monica Lewinski), paraphrasing, ‘I did it for the worst possible reason: because I could.’

In the end, Monica was brushed off without a mention of her name, or the mental distress caused to her, while Clinton described Robert Rubin as the “greatest secretary of the Treasury since Alexander Hamilton.”

Many do actually question Hamilton’s competency. Thomas Jefferson supposedly considered Hamilton aristocratic and unprincipled. How Rubinesque! Thank you, Bill Clinton.

And do you think most bankers really care if the credibility of their profession is at this point more or less nil? At $700,000 bonuses for Goldman Sachs employees after record quarterly profits in the multi-billions—mere months after the public bailout—and a 1% tax rate last year (seriously), I am sure they care not a wit. After all, it’s simply a good investment on their Obama stocks (formerly Bush, formerly Clinton stocks).

I am sure the theories are not exactly correct. How could they be? But please, have a read, educate yourself and others a little more via something not utterly complicated. And from there, stand for your rights, your intelligence, your grandchildren, and yourself with every new day, as best you can. It’s not easy. We’re all human, after all,

Lots of love,



7 Responses to “BANKSTERS (as in bankers/gangsters): MUST, MUST, MUST READ”

  1. philip McCormack says:

    Hi Petesy, We need to be reminded again and again, when the government gives bail outs, when the government does anything, just replace the word government with taxpayer; government produces nothing, has no money except that which it steals, expropriates or coerces forcefully from the people. The politicians create egregious laws, upheld by corrupt judges, and enforced by the police (the Roman tax collectors), all on indexed pensions once again at the expense of the TAXPAYER. It is better not to vote at all. Love to everybody, Dad—Matt Taibbi nails it.

  2. Thanks for your comments. I’m not sure it is better not to vote at all, but the loop you speak of, the inner circle of, say, compound self-interest, appears to be expanding and expanding on that last great grab-bag opportunity for the wealthiest: tax-payer money.

    Who can say what the next big shift will look like. We’ll see. Thanks for reminding us again, of some ideas that are rarely heard. Lots of love, Pete xo

  3. Karen says:

    Hi Pete,
    Thanks for directing us to a real eye-opening report. I believe most of us had an idea how this mess happened, but Mr. Taibbi wrangled the information into a form everyone could understand. Matt Taibbi is certainly a chip off the ol’ block. Been watching his dad, Mike, since his ABC days.

    And speaking of simplifying things, thank you Mr. McCormack (Sr.) for your fantastic, simple, dare I say, elegant equation. Government=taxpayers. We all know that, but forget it. Bamboozled so easily, but all magic is redirection, no? Thanks for the slap upside the head.

    For some perspective, the amount of Goldman’s “donation” to Obama’s campaign that I found repeatedly is $994,795. Based on that amount, the University of California donated $569,695 more at $1,564, 490; Harvard slides in at third with $854,017, a mere $140,778 less than Goldman Sachs. Included in the top ten are Microsoft Corp, Google Inc., Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Time Warner, Sidley Austin LLP (a legal firm specializing in financial regulatory reform and global economic recovery resources; ouch), and finally Stanford University. (

    I’m not entirely certain how that lineup should be interpreted, but there it is.

    Please keep posting these gems from the maze of paste mass media has become.

    My son offered an update on Woody Guthrie’s quote. “Some will rob you with a glock, some with a computer.”

    Love to you and those you love,

  4. […] Here’s another explanation that is useful, on speculative bubbles, how tax-payer money was the last one, and the carbon tax may be the next one, environment be damned. […]

  5. […] sickeningly, ‘too big to fail’). These banks use your dough to lobby government (one-and-the-same) to stop changes and reform within a system that has almost eaten […]

  6. […] 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 […]

  7. […] here’s Matt Taibbi (who I’ve written about here and here) given another example of how Wall Street is Looting Main Street, and how if all was fair […]

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