Sunday, November 28, 2010
We Were Warned in 1994: ECONOMIC COLLAPSE!
The US Government KNEW in 1994 that irresponsible and illegal banking practices would steer the country towards a financial collapse and an economic disaster 15 years before it actually happened.
To make things worse, it was one of our government’s own agencies (doing its job) which blew the whistle on the matter. The government (specifically Congress, our Executive and the Federal Reserve) squashed it.
Here it is:
In 1994 over-the-counter-derivatives (OTCs) got the attention of Clinton’s Commodity Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC) chief Brooksley Born, when it was revealed that OTCs were behind the collapse of Banker’s Trust.
CFTC’s Born, began investigating over-the-counter-derivatives and quickly found out that:
1) the government did not follow OTCs
2) the government did not regulate OTCs
3) the government did not know what OTCs were
4) the trade of over-the-counter-derivatives (OTCs) was occurring between banks freely, without exchanges and secretly without any accountability (in short, it was a gigantic black market)
5) the trading market was awash with secretly traded OTCs
6) OTCs had collapse of the major banking institution of Bankers Trust)
Now it does not take a genius to see that this needed looking into, especially when you are the head of the COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION, in charge of regulating the TRADE OF COMMODITIES AND FUTURES, like Brooksley Born was.
But in this she was about to discover how wrong she was.
During the investigation, Born got an alarming impression of over-the-counter- derivative trading as she heard the recordings of OTC traders laughing at the gigantic amounts of money they were getting for junk derivatives.
These men knew they were selling junk, that they were selling it in mass quantities and that somewhere down the ladder, people were going to get screwed.
In fact, they called the act of investing in OTC derivative options “placing bets,” a term that would become more and more common in Wall Street.
It didn’t take long for the 12 largest banks in America to notice that the CFTC was about to launch an investigation into their unrecorded, under-the-table, free-for-all trading of derivatives.
They mobilized all their resources at their disposal to stop the CFTC, and its chair, Brooksley Born, from uncovering their scam.
They sent their peons, Arthur Levitt (Security and Exchange Commission – the SEC), Robert Rubin (Secretary of the Treasury), and Alan Greenspan (Chairman of the Federal Reserve) to talk to CFTC chair Brooksley Born and block her investigation.
Their message to CFTC chair Brooksley Born and to Congress:
if this type of investigative effort was pursued, economic Armageddon would occur.
But the CFTC wasn’t buying it. Quite to the contrary. In their mind, if this type of out-of-control derivative trading continued, they saw a definite economic Armageddon coming.
So the banks mobilized Levitt (SEC), Rubin (Treasury), Rubin’s deputy, Larry Summers (Rubin’s deputy) and Alan Greenspan (Federal Reserve) to testify before Congress on what a clueless amateur and destructive bureaucrat Brooksley Born was.
Unbeknown to Born, they also mobilized their trump card: the banking lobbies (the most powerful lobbies in the nation), who assailed Congress in an all-out coordinated lobby blitzkrieg.
By 1998, Congress was brought into the picture, and a whole series of Congressional hearings were scheduled to see what the CFTC was doing.
Arthrur Levitt (SEC), Robert Rubin (Treasury), Larry Summers (Rubin’s deputy), and Alan Greenspan (Federal Reserve) all testified before the Senate on how CFTC interference in the flow of derivative trading would bring the economic boom the nation was enjoying to a jarring halt.
This was strange because all the CFTC was threatening to do was investigate derivative trading.
But this seemed such a delicate issue that the cover-up quartet lobbied for immediate suspension of all such investigative activities.
You see, what the CFTC had stumbled across something very big and very dangerous.
During the Congressional hearings, one bought-and-paid for Senator after another took turns grilling and chastising CFTC chair Brooksley Born on what a presumptive, over-reaching and economically damaging thing she was doing by threatening to ‘interfere’ (actually merely investigate) derivative trading.
Senator Phil Gramm (R-Texas) made an especially big ass of himself, as did Senator Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), who could not help nodding and smiling warmly at the testimony of the cover-up quartet.
Most of these Congressional jack-asses did not even know what a derivative was, but there was Alan Greenspan, reassuring them everything was alright, but that the alright would not continue if Brooksley Born was let loose.
That was all that Congress needed.
Brooksley Born was trying to warn America that the economy was on its way to self-destructing. And it was our very own Congress who was putting her through the wringer for daring to do so.
Our very own Congress was selling America down the river!
In fact, it would later be Congress itself who would pass all the laws further de-regulating the banking industry and guaranteeing this irresponsible behavior when it came to mortgages (for the 'good of the American homeowner', of course). This would eventually lead to the bust.
But back to 1998...
Congress, and more specifically, the Congressional committee had the whole situation sewed up, with the respective committee chairs, under the guidance of the banking lobby, directing the crushing of Brooksley Born and the CFTC.
Congress proceeded to remove the authority of the CFTC from investigating any derivative trading...which was incredible in and of itself.
In effect, Congress had shut down the CFTC and crushed its director on the behest of the banking lobby.
Brooksley Born would resign soon after the thrashing.
The memorable and haunting image of Brooksley Born, a highly trained commodity specialist, simply looking down and smiling in resignation as one congressman after another figuratively breaks a chair over her head is priceless.
She knows the game is up, the congress has been bought, and that the big bosses have taken control, and that America is on course for destruction.
That same year, LTCM (Long Term Capital Management) went under by way of derivative trading.
Greenspan, Rubin, Summers and Levitt again appeared before congress, warning that economic Armageddon was here if the government did not act...to bail out LTCM.
Let me point out Greenspan’s hypocrisy here.
He had always said, and his attacks on Brooksley Born were based on the assumption that the “market regulates itself.” Well, here was a golden opportunity for the market to do so - by doing away with LTCM.
What did Greenspan do?
He went screeching to government for a bailout!
After 4 days, Mr. ‘market-regulates-itself’ Greenspan arranged for the top 14 banks to contribute $400 million each to the Fed bailout fund to rescue LTCM.
That was just the beginning.
Later, with the Bush administration, and its compliant Congress, absoute deregulation mania took hold.
With Bush, derivative trading increased exponentially, and spread to the real estate market.
By 2007, the totally unregulated over-the-counter derivative trading market had grown to $595 trillion (that’s $595 trillions worth of junk!) kept afloat by a continuous river of demand created by the banks funneling the Fed’s easy money.
So there you have the names of the men who helped cover-up the biggest, most corrupt and most destructive (it has destroyed our economy) scandal in our history:
Alan Greenspan (chair of the Federal Reserve)
Robert Rubin ( Secretary of the Treasury)
Arthur Levitt (head of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC)
…and Larry Summers (deputy secretary of the Treasury and Rubin’s stooge)
Along with the cooperative members of our Congress.
Oh, and one more thing.
Brooksley Born was replaced as head of the CFTC by Rubin’s assistant, (Gary Gensler) who now continues to hold the post under Obama.
…Larry Summers survived his role in covering up the economic destruction of America to become…
…director of the National Economic Council under Obama!
From here this man continues to make key economic decisions.
In other words, a man responsible for America’s ‘economic armageddon’ under the last administration continued to direct economic policy behind the back of our new 'change' president.
More recently, after making sure the US economy was totally trashed, Larry Summers abandoned the sinking ship of state and went back to Harvard. Who wants to be on deck when the stuff hits the fan, right?
Some ‘change,’ Obama.
What’s important here?
The Federal Reserve, The Treasury Department, the SEC, the CFTC, Congress and probably the President himself (the Treasury, the SEC and the CFTC are all agencies under his supervision) knew what was happening in 1996.
They went out of their way not to listen to the CFTC’s whistle-blowing alert on the unsound state of our economic system, but they collaborated to squash it.
Our government knew the economic basis of this country was not sound way back in 1996. They were warned, and could probably see that it was self-destructive system, bound to collapse some time in the not too distant future.
They did not care.
They said ‘we are going to continue on this road.’
In 2008, a full 12 years after our government was informed and abundantly warned that a collapse would happen. It happened.
What the CFTC warned us would happen, happened.
The shame of it all is that our own Congress (especially our congressional committee leaders) itself led the way into silencing and then disempowering the CFTC from doing what it was supposed to do: regulate the commodity and futures market.
This was an incredible instance of the Legislative branch castrating a portion of the Executive…for the worse.
But, I guess the incredible happens when the banking lobby enters the picture.
In other words, we were warned more of a decade before of the economic collapse that would follow if the irresponsible banking practices of the 1990’s were allowed to continue.
And I am sure the CFTC and Brooksley Born were not the only ones giving us warning.
We did not listen. In fact, we killed the messengers.
Do we deserve what we are now going to get or what?
I always held our Legislative branch (Congress) in high esteem. I always thought they would be the branch that would blow the whistle (not kill the whistleblower).
After analyzing this event, I cannot see Congress as more than a branch of the corporate and banking world.
These guys are not our representatives, they are their whores. They represent Wall Street directly and will do whatever Wall Street tells them to do, even if it means destroying their very own country.
Congress went out of its way to make sure we continued along the road to doom that we were following. They suddenly developed a form of solidarity and dynamic initiative when it came to shutting down the agency which tried to warn us.
See, Congress is not really a collection of ineffective fuddy duddies. They act quite cunningly and effectively when they get a direct command directly from the masters!
In this case, a direct command to let America destroy itself.
What gets me is the hypocrisy of these people.
They are the first to start pointing the fingers and screaming at Greenspan, AIG, and FreddiMac,when it is THEY, yes THEY who created the laws and deregulations which destroyed this country economically.
It was they who, after having created such laws, destroyed the careers of anyone who opposed them.
Thank you Congress, you bunch of bought and paid for whores.
The key lesson is this:
The PAC/Lobby system is completely broken and has to be done away with before it does away with us, which cannot be too far off.
The funny thing is how they keep threatening economic Armageddon every time we disagree with their policies.
What did Treasury Secretary Rubin tell Congress would happen if they began supervising derivative trading?
What did Treasury Secretary Paulson tell America would happen if we failed to bail out all the banks?
That’s right, Economic Armageddon.
Well, guess where we’re at guys.
That’s right: ECONOMIC ARMAGEDDON.
The funny thing is we got here by being stampeded by the same people who made sure we would come to this by threatening us with exactly what we would get anyway.
Let’s stop listening to these people.
Oh, but before going, let me just demonstrate to you who is really in charge with a simple list of our 'officials':
Treasury Secretary under Clinton: Robert Rubin (ex-head Goldman & Sachs)
Treasury Secretary under W. Bush: Henry Paulson (ex-head Goldman & Sachs)
Treasury Secretary under Obama: Timothy Geithner, (Rubin’s (Goldman-Sachs’) protégé and undersecretary)
Head of the President’s National Economic Council under Obama: Larry Summers, Rubin’s (Goldman-Sachs) obedient protégé and undersecretary).
See the connection?
Goldman-Sachs and peons of Goldman-Sachs are in charge of the Treasury Department, …and have been since the Clinton Administration.
They engineered the economic collapse of America which has been happening since the Clinton Administration.
Since the Treasury Department is itself in charge of the President’s security through its Secret Service, this makes the President de facto dependent on Goldman-Sachs for his own life.
How else to say it?
The President, along with the Treasury Department, and our entire economy seems to be held hostage by one of the most powerful banking house in the world.
Can you spell o-w-n-e-d, boys and girls?
How’s that for corporate government?
You can see a well documented version of the whole sickening story in the Frontline episode “The Warning” available from PBS.