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« Bill Moyers & Michael Winship: In Washington, Revolving Doors are Bad for Your Health | Main | Michael Winship: The Nobel Prize with an Asterisk »

Wall Street vs. Reform?

(Photos by Robin Holland)

This week on the JOURNAL, Bill Moyers’ guests were one of Congress’ leading progressives, Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), and former IMF chief economist Simon Johnson, who shared their perspectives on Washington’s failure to reform the financial sector since last year’s economic catastrophe.

While Kaptur and Johnson broadly agreed that Wall Street’s influence has stymied government efforts to rein in large banks and trace how several hundred billion dollars of bailout money has been spent, they differed over their interpretations of President Obama’s actions since taking office.

Rep. Kaptur suggested that Obama is making an honest effort but is being misdirected by the wrong economic team:

“Mr. Geithner came from the New York Fed, he came from Wall Street, and he becomes Secretary of the Treasury... You can go back decades and you will see that there’s this revolving door between Wall Street and Washington... I still have hope for President Obama and his wife Michelle. When Lincoln ran into trouble during the Civil War, he got new Generals. He brought in Grant. I hope that President Obama will bring in some new generals on the financial front. I don’t think any individuals who had their hands in creating this mess should be in charge of cleaning it up... I don’t think President Obama has the right people around him. The poor man inherited a total mess, globally and domestically. I think some of the people that he trusted haven’t delivered. He and his wife are extraordinarily intelligent people. I urge him to get new generals, it’s time.”

Johnson, who noted his support for Obama’s presidential campaign, was skeptical of the argument that the President isn’t fully behind his Administration’s financial policy decisions.

“President Obama campaigned on a message of change... I thought that the time for change, for the financial sector, was absolutely upon us... Rahm Emanuel, the President’s chief of staff, is widely known for saying ‘never let a good crisis go to waste.’ Well, the crisis is over. The crisis in the financial sector, not for people who own homes, but the crisis for the big banks is substantially over, and it was completely wasted. The Administration refused to break the power of the big banks when they had the opportunity earlier this year, and the regulatory reforms they are now pursuing will – in my opinion and I do follow this day to day – turn out to be essentially meaningless... Louis XIV of France was a very powerful monarch [who] was famous for having bad things happen under his rule, and people would say ‘If only Louis XIV knew, I’m sure he doesn’t know. If we could just tell him, he’d sort it out.’ I’m skeptical.”

What do you think?

  • In your view, is President Obama making a serious effort to enact substantive financial reform? Do you agree more with Kaptur or Johnson’s interpretation of his actions thus far?

  • Has the Obama Administration’s handling of financial reform affected how you view its efforts on other issues, such as health care and environmental policy? Why or why not?

  • What financial reforms do you want to see Washington pursue? Explain.

    (For more from Simon Johnson, visit his blog at baselinescenario.com)


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    Ronald Becker:
    "A" corporation is a conspiracy among monied interests to evade normal responsibilities. A corporate network (interchanging directorate) has the capability to not only defraud stockholders but to negate democratic government. It is perverse to compare government to the debasement of global merchantile corporate capitalism when they should be diametrical antitheses. Corporate capitalism is incompatible with representative government and amounts to fascism.

    I laughed when you asked when this started. It started at the first moment a corporate charter was issued. It has always been so in modern times. (When you were little and before you were born, after you die.)

    Corporate business is modeled on mining. The public will be mined of any available labor or assets until the ore is exhausted. "Mineral rights" upon humanity ultimately result in a destroyed material world and collapsed ecology. Corporate capitalism is a fiction fueled by debt. Get over it: It's a failure: Try something better and more sustainable. Got any ideas, Ronald, you sagacious trader. Get beyond the delusions and fetishism. Stop discussing "er wayo luff." (Our way of life equals death.)

    What is a corporation ? When did it stop being run for the benefit of the stockholders? When did the stock holders loose there right to vote on executive compensation? What happened to the governments right to break up monopolies before they are to big to fail. Democratically run companies are competitive and if they fail there history. They generally treat their employees better and do not have a tendency toward fraud, greed and corruption.

    Banks and credit card companies that rape their customers charging exorbitant rates and lending to people that cannot repay the loans is immoral and use to be illegal. Gone are the days when the loan sharks were put in jail for usury now it all fair let the taxpayer and public beware.

    If the government can not stop these practices then we need to elect a new government . Apparently big business has bought and paid for or politicians. The middle class can not compete with the propaganda machine and the millions spent on brain washing by lobbyists and special interest groups. Five percent of the population are among the privileged few and the gap between them and the poor grows daily. Jobs, health care dignity, and quality of life hang in the balance.

    How long can a Nation that ignores ninety five percent of the people survive ? And why would any Nation envy or try to emulate us. The truth be known we need to fix our problems at home before tell others what to do!

    Hey, did you see the finger that the Federal Reserve Board gave to the USA today?

    What do we have to lose? 10% is insulting...

    Why NOT file that case of conspiracy to destroy the infrastructure of the USA against the Federal Reserve Board?

    Full circle from "communism" in USSR to "communism" in China - they always NEED a "godless" state - whassup with dat? :-)

    We're so deep into crazy lalaland, it's just a sick joke.

    The "Oracle of Omaha" and all his merry band of capitalists are playing the card game "bridge" today at their "conference" because it sharpens, they say, their "math skills".

    I don't BELIEVE there's a MATHEMATICAL formula to rationalize:

    More misery for others = more money for ME ME ME

    but pay a "mercenary" enought money and they'll come up with one.

    here is a link to the Homeowner petition. please sign:

    http://www.petition2congress.com/2/2564

    "We the undersigned strongly advocate that the Federal Government create immediate, transparent and more equitable regulations for the banking industry" Have you not been paying attention? There are plenty of regulations already. NOBODY IS ENFORCING THEM BECAUSE THE BANK LOBBYISTS HAVE BOUGHT CONGRESS.


    I'm amassing my own "army", Jack. It's fun! One person at a time....as a matter of fact, the local "tea bag" rabble rouser (an electrician by trade) trying to enlist me to his cause jumped ship to my cause :-)) Now HOW did that happen? I told him that he could figure out whether I "believed" in HIS "god" based on how I applied "science". Abbracadabbra is pretty potent juju - lol

    Of course, first I had to give him some homework, since he waved his "theology" degree in my face after "hello, nice to meet you" by asking him to provide me with the "bible" version that warns "believers" in god against the evils of "socialism" and uses the term "working poor" as something inherent to the laws of the jungle that religion supposedly uplifts.


    Jack Martin spews without ever having met me in REAL "life", "Now it's true that Anna thinks a rich Jew is worse than a rich Pole or Russian or whatever, and that she is always nibbling at the edge of the matzo. Yet she is youthful for she claims to be "much younger" than Grady Lee Howard who is 53. And there are some mighty glamourous and virile Jewish men. (Now Matt Lauer is beginning to sag and spread like an old tailor, but Paul Newman was half Jewish and so am I.) And I think if such an animal pulled up in her driveway in his Audi with a bouquet of orchids and tickets to a Wagner opera she would be in an evening gown before you could say Mosche Dayan. What I mean to say is that even Anna could learn to play mahjong and boil bagels. I think she knows that it is not your grandparents who make you bad. And I also think she is less struck on genes than Richard Dawkins. Hairstyling may be more important."

    You are a real prick, Jack Martin. Let the readership decide, now, how SANE the "anti-semite" list is and how people like you MAKE STUFF UP about the people you slamm on to it.

    BTW, don't DARE to pull that Audi in my driveway - I ain't a whore who has EVER gotten in to one (and MANY have pulled up - heck, you're being a prick because I did not get into your audi-ology) and I never will.

    You better accept the FACT of the existence of all the Rachel Carson, Brooksley Born, Martha Stewart, the 3 ladies on the front cover of Time magazine as "whistleblowers" women of MORAL power for OUR legion is numerous and we are amassing the male equation of the army - NOT YOU.

    There are a number of dynamite posts here which I had skipped over when I wrote here yesterday morning, even enough to launch one into research re a number of items on unfamilar turf (unfamilar in my case eg re JV Hodgson's post of Oct 26th).

    Appropriate petition just below a bit Oct 29, 1:22 PM, victim! Will try to find it online and sign (or look again for your link if you gave one; my communication with PBS server is slower than believable...and at times just clicking up the page takes forever).

    Good to read ya, Jack. Thanks for sharing Pollan's words on Nature herself. I guess he uses that plants-rule-thing as sort of a provisional alternate take on earth/biosphere-karma. With corn I must say it's convincing when you think of Rome then and the U.S. today. But I don't think the plant does it (only my theory), but Nature or the morphic field or related entity(s). Do you have any data on lawns as opposed to corn/ethanol/fertilizer + oil wells re the Gulf of Mexico? Or as opposed to chicken farms re the Chesapeake Bay?

    As you may know by now Anna, what you were trying to do with the quoted Urantia material over in the labor thread...I did not grasp at all. I did think at the time, based on how you introduced it, that you bought into it! But as you dissed the source later (if that was you I was reading), I had erroneously come to the conclusion that you were perhaps often into one thing on one day and something contrary on another (at least this wasn't the case for this time interval). I had come to wonder if you were quite mixed up (but I should have asked you your meaning re the comments that followed your quoted Urantia material).

    Anna is as mature as anyone, but cryptic. She is extremely correct not to abandon the question of trillions in derivatives that makes a mockery of all purposeful and indispensible human labor, and were the primary underminer of economic stability. I still hear macoute Knuckleheads blaming Freddy and Fanny, and even home buyers. Unfortunately, we are lacking in debate judges, and the public has never been educated in the basics of rational argument, or even polite discourse.

    A second argument Anna pours in the 2009 Crazy Bowl is that insurance enterprise is the antithesis of good healthcare delivery and that the engineered national debt is being used as a counterweight against government exercise of humanitarian responsibilities.

    One must conclude from these two FACTS that the oligarchy is milking the cow for the last time and is wondering what kind of goods her hide will make. For when a nation thinks the health of the laborers is an unaffordable luxury, and that education is a defective product rubes buy to gain status: "Sumpins Uup!"

    Now it's true that Anna thinks a rich Jew is worse than a rich Pole or Russian or whatever, and that she is always nibbling at the edge of the matzo. Yet she is youthful for she claims to be "much younger" than Grady Lee Howard who is 53. And there are some mighty glamourous and virile Jewish men. (Now Matt Lauer is beginning to sag and spread like an old tailor, but Paul Newman was half Jewish and so am I.) And I think if such an animal pulled up in her driveway in his Audi with a bouquet of orchids and tickets to a Wagner opera she would be in an evening gown before you could say Mosche Dayan. What I mean to say is that even Anna could learn to play mahjong and boil bagels. I think she knows that it is not your grandparents who make you bad. And I also think she is less struck on genes than Richard Dawkins. Hairstyling may be more important. Anna is a contender for sharpest Moyers correspondent: Our Molly Ivins?

    *submission approved by Coley Whitesides

    Julian Steptoe: What is so great about Bravenet; and what do you get out of it? If you go over to my last post on Israeli War Crimes you will understand how such linking as yours is banal evil, for it is not relevant to the purpose here, and you may have selfish motives. This is not to demean your insights or reject your arguments, but I'm curious. So many people link for crumbs and abandon their dignity.

    David H,

    You and DCEddy are NOT the adutls, it's perfectly obvious you are the BRATS.

    Your 2000 idealogical machine hoping to cover up your peurile "math":

    More misery for others = more money for ME ME ME

    was BUSTED by my "disjointed mind" that shed a light on the scam from EVERY angle - which should TEACH you something about the perfection of YOUR ideology.

    In a profit-driven system we can either afford health care insurance companies or we can afford actual hands-on health care. We can't afford both. Simple.

    I do believe I have amassed the biiger "army" with my "disjointed mind".

    Go play with Greenspam in the FLAWED "reality" sand box and let the real adults take over.

    PETITION TO THE U.S. GOVERNMENT FROM AMERICAN HOMEOWNERS


    We the undersigned strongly advocate that the Federal Government create immediate, transparent and more equitable regulations for the banking industry regarding loan modifications and pending foreclosures, particularly in regards to HAMP and 2MP. Tens of thousands of homeowners across this nation have spent hundreds of hours dealing with mortgage servicers who have little incentive to actually help them/us achieve permanent loan modifications; while in the process of obtaining a modification, many homeowners have been lied to, misled, foreclosed upon or threatened with foreclosure.

    We propose an immediate halt to all foreclosures until new, mandatory guidelines are established and that these guidelines be overseen by a new Consumer Protection Agency, which was recently recommended by President Obama and endorsed by Sheila Bair, chair of the FDIC. We also demand that these guidelines include not only a simple 31% of the borrower’s gross monthly income, but that the Net Present Value (NPV) test: (a) be created and administered by the government, not the banks, (b) have its data, assumptions and formula published so that they may be verified by the public, and (c) be made available at www.makinghomeaffordable.gov in a calculator form so that people can learn immediately, with the other eligibility questions available there now, whether they're eligible for HAMP. We are also strongly advocating that additional guidelines be formulated that would open the door for modifications at an even a lower rate in significant hardship conditions and for rightdowns of principal when homes are severely underwater .

    We propose there be clear and enforceable guidelines regarding the time between the initial request for a modification and the achievement of a permanent modification, and that there be no reward to the bank for a trial modification. The rewards, if any, should be only for successful permanent modifications.

    There is documented evidence that the current system is not working, as reflected in the rising foreclosure rates across the nation and the thousands of people who attend NACA “Save the Dream” events in an attempt to get their loans modified. There is ample evidence that the current HAMP and other modification guidelines are being interpreted differently by each bank, reflected in many places including the scenarios described by the 20,000+ members of the loansafe.org community. Additional evidence can be found in hundreds if not thousands of complaints and requests for assistance sent by struggling homeowners to their Senators and Congressmen across the country, as well as the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and other agencies that have been instituted to regulate these banks.

    Mr. Bryan Bolton, SVP of CitiMortgage, has stated that “modifying within HAMP guidelines is in the best interests of our borrowers, our country and our company. With or without fees, it’s almost always in the best interests of the servicers to modify.” Unfortunately, these are empty words. Mr. Bolton, like so many other CEO’s, tells Congress one thing, while he and they continue to do quite the opposite.

    Tougher mandates need to be placed on these banks that are simply not modifying loans at the rate they could or have been perpetuating to Congress and the media.


    Homeowners are not the ones not complying with the rules. The banks are creating their own set of rules and regulations and are consistently “losing” paperwork during the application process, denying modifications for unjustifiable reasons after the trial payments have been successfully completed, and proceeding with the foreclosure process. This is often happening unbeknownst to the homeowners who are still faxing, mailing and e-mailing reams of duplicated documentation as requested by their lenders.

    The American Dream has now become the American Nightmare courtesy of the banking industry, which is taking a cavalier approach to the stress, heartache and despair caused by the current lack of oversight, transparency and enforcement of loan modifications. It is of the utmost importance that action be taken to correct this travesty in order to preserve home ownership for the thousands of Americans that are and will continue to be struggling in this economic time.

    We urge your swift and immediate action

    There are 2 petitions. Use each link below to sign:
    PETITION TO THE U.S. GOVERNMENT FROM AMERICAN HOMEOWNERS | Petition2Congress |

    TO THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT FROM AMERICAN HOMEOWNERS Petition

    Just to admit what a dope I can be: I started out this morning comparing the etymologies of "law" and "lawn", finding them strangely related through the median "land", as in "the basis of all wealth." In enthusiastic haste I excluded a gem from my essay and failed to liken American law to our lawns.
    (Something extravagant used to cover dirt?)

    May Raymond Williams spit in my hair!

    Thinking about her arterial stents my wife found it hard to rest. ("Now I'm Frankenstein," she complained.) As I dozed she replayed Michael Pollan's "Botany of Desire." I roused at 11pm to find her snoozing as Pollan explained that Capitalism is not natural, and so will be crushed by the laws of nature. (It's in there near the end of the PBS piece. I expect the censors were lazy that day.) So then I couldn't sleep. (I'm simple-minded and very impressionable.)

    The first thing that came to mind were the men who drive big pick-up trucks with a trailers full of mowers and weed-eaters in tow. They are, by triumph of technology, now able to perform the same work done by 12 year old boys with push mowers thirty years ago. In fact, lawns are America's largest crop, and while they don't produce the income of the other "grass" (marijuana) they do require fertilizer, pesticide and acreage inputs that exceed potatoes and soybeans by several magnitudes. It is lawns that produce the dead zones in the Chesapeake and the Gulf of Mexico. (What a bonus!)I submit that the oligarchy resembles a lawn.

    Only idiots and religious zealots would believe most people could live off speculative earnings and interest income (simultaneously) without doing any useful work. And yet we model after and admire the few who are able to do so. It would be the starving billions around the world who would have to pay tribute to us idle investors. (Value originates somewhere, and always as labor.)

    So capitalism is a system that is based upon extraction from the least powerful, those least able to bear the conscription, so that a few lucky ones can live in leisure. Anyone sophisticated or knowing will seek a means of evasion. (That's what the Swiss Bank UBS is all about.) And then there is the Law. Are you obedient to capitalist rules? (The Law is made by special powers in a covert factory, too wit: most of us lack the means of its production.)

    Big Operators play the Game of Money (Money itself is a convenient fiction, just for score-keeping.) as an electronic diversion. The Rule of Law gives them unlimited Resets if they stumble in reaching "the next level." President Obedient reiterates each day that the Game of Money is far more important than the health or well-being of most people. Playing the game exceeds in importance any productive activity, including the growing of wholesome food or the nurturing and education of the young. These and many other pursuits, such as science and medicine would be meaningless without the Money Game, because there would be no means of keeping score, and anyway, you can't get the prearranged losers to labor without the illusion of hierarchy.

    We have come to a place in human history where the Money Game can no longer be afforded. Who can say what is to come? For the present winners will be losers just as assuredly as the suicidal Korean farmer (sees no possible future for his land and labor). Larry Summers has a belly just like you, and a heart, and an anus. He feels cold and pain just like you. His pompousity is delusional. He should be working. It would be Natural Justice if we the People put him to work. Don't kid yourself: He will not be on the 10K zero radius mower with a cupholder of tea. He will be raking the withered brown leaves of general bad fortune.

    Every inch your lawn grows is a waste and an unaffordable abomination. You are worse than a crack addict when you buy turfbuilder or hybrid seed. You are as delusional when you pay the landscaper (Mow-boy) as when you thoughtlessly call your tormentor at work "My Boss", for in doing either you have surrendered your human volition. When you awake in the morning ask yourself: Am I really in the game? What is money and what is law? Can "everyone" live on investments, or only a few? Who pays the tribute to our undeserved leisure? How do the least able and most maligned bear our weight? And when you calm down ask; "How can I abandon my predatory employment in service to the oligarchy?" (Boss can kiss my ass!) And, "What useful labor can I perform today?" Because the oligarchy lacks the means and the creational authority to violate the Laws of Nature, and Michael Pollan already hears that gruesome reaper roaring closer across the fields. Are you a bud of sticky THC or just another blue tater?


    "Real solutions have internal consistency"- Ed Fallon by way of Rudolf Steiner, personal communication, on departing academia in May 1984. When I think of Pollan I recall Fallon. They would make good friends.

    Hope I can defend this as not a digression...good one on planning!
    http://www.ourfuture.org/

    The people who run these forums are as tolerant as the day is long. I think of the thousands and thousands of people dealing with an internet reduced to crawl-speed due to movies and smart phones, and I just wonder how many more of us are gonna wind up finding ourselves on the wrong side of "digital divide" tracks? IOW unable to post or email whenever we feel like it!

    Well, anyway the space is here...some server somewhere can handle the bandwidth on behalf of Moyers Journal, so right-on to that! Did someone say Anna's posts are disjointed? I agree. But it's a good thing she can post. People have been deprived expression all over the place, so let her go on and on...even if she indicts those who disagree with her as oversized adults. Actually, she has taught me something important. When we stray from the topic...if we digress too far...we burn out others looking for folks of like mind. So, I'm gonna try to be brief from now on. All posts are important here surely, but, of course, if one returns one keeps seeing, over the months, those who wish to find others of like mind. DC for instance, and a couple from Figgers (for what it's worth, Jack, I send up a prayer for you as you find yourself in heavy straits. A lot of us appreciate the reflections you have shared here)...and many others.

    What I essentially believe is that in places like this, it's dispiriting to side with any academic school in a doctrinaire fashion (that goes for you libertarians too)...as academe has proven itself not relevant (with exceptions like Chomsky, Zinn, McKibben, etc, etc, etc). My own infatuation is with the unknown writers who critiqued "meritocracy." Like I say, infatuations with "schools" and philosophies are liabilities on message bds, and I'm not gonna belabor mine much. Except to say meritocracy seems to be a good growth medium for "the war of all against all," a war often attributed to "mimetic rivalry." Anyway...so many "answers," so many blogs & bloggers, so many twits and tweets, etc, etc, etc. The "reasons" go round and round, and the blue dogs, amidst all the rest, certainly blabber forth their fair share and more. But don't let me go on and on about capitulation in Congress...it is a given after all. No, I hold out hope for solidarity among the Democrats on a robust public option, since it could be the beginning of a turn around (a turn around way, way overdue).

    So, not so much theory from me anymore. I'm also looking for others of like mind. Just read a bit from "The Battle for Spain" the other night, and am once again impressed re how things can get messy. As the US burns out (see Michael Klare's "Welcome to 2025"), people will demand more solutions and answers. For me, today Oct 29th 2009, I argue more "planning" for two reasons 1)survival during climate shift and 2)because it synchs with Schumacher's idea of "appropriate technology." Perhaps in the months to come I'll stress less the one chicken in every pot argument; not sure it resonates with the well-off effectively. Rather than say the bonuses are unjust...I should perhaps say that the bonuses do not allow American financial institutions to compete effectively. But then, according to Klare (despite Galbraith's hopes)...BRIC already has other ideas re how much they'll include us in yrs to come. So...I cannot really even speak as I would have spoken two years ago. Now I am reduced to speaking in terms of...how the U.S. should take care of the U.S. Suddenly we are away from the realm of philosophy. [Away from the place where everyone could have been a financial services entrepreneur...or some great guiding-light symbolic analyst preaching sleep-inducing sermons to the world in books...gushing forth merit. Nope, we on the bottom have to be careful and find exactly the speakers who will speak for us. Despite the promise, our voices will not be heard because of the internet. We must find those who have already decided to speak for us long ago.] Suddenly we are right at the issues Wendell Berry addresses in his "Inverting the Economic Order" at The Progressive's website, which probably still has to be purchased (though a good beginning portion is free).

    1)Right investment in the land (soil), and 2)Planning. Things get simpler (thank the Great Spirit!). Michael Pollan's an interesting guy, but, for me, it's not plants that rule but Nature. We gotta flow with Her, that's the deal as far as I can see now.

    Julian Steptoe wrote, in part, "At the very least, then, the bailout money should be repaid with
    interest."

    The "bailout money" has been added to the "debt" column which wonks access endlessly as an excuse to be "cheap", the twin sister of "greed".

    And the "fuzzy math" continues, the one sum I remembered is 500 trillion. Derivatives ("toxic assests") issued added up to 500 trillion.

    How much paper money was in circulation at the same time all that toxic issuing was going on? How much is EVERYTHING in the USA that someone can "own" as a "person" worth?

    See the problem...?

    So from where is "interest" going to be paid back when everything is "debt"...?

    The only "profit" equation in operation (granted it's not this simply put, some clever "engineers" invented 2,000 steps to commit the theft) is this math formula:

    More misery for others = More money for ME ME ME.

    Health care for profit will always be the best place to filch some examples of real world "problems" - for instance, there is not one company in the USA, not ONE, that manufactures sugical masks. China is taking care of it's one billion, first, and USA "needs" are on the waiting list (sure you can still hand a 20 to get the next table) but then the purchase of the masks is ALSO put in the "debt" column - so even paying for a product still is "debt"....see where I'm going with this...?

    Nuts, ain't it?

    This is interview is so on the money I posted it at http://kirkspano.com for my clients. I was one of the fortunate few who didn't get smacked by the collapse by listening to people like Black from 2004-2007.

    On the way to the bottom of this page, I skimmed a few comments, noticing D. C. Eddy, and Anne? Getting to
    the bottom, I was glad to see that the earliest posts did address the subject posed by the Moyers' team, which is
    why I came to this place. The comments did inform me of peripheral and attached issues, so I suppose I will be
    allowed to stray a bit. Okay, let me begin by straying a lot. Register and vote for me in 2012. The Great White
    Father is no longer white, and that really seems to be the only substantial change. Yes, Obama is very busy, and
    addresses the issues with a lot more humanity than did Bush. Eventually, he may "change Generals" and turn
    the tide of the bailout war. However, I am not deluded about the state of affairs. Nor have I concluded an
    outcome. My observation of the process prompts my candidacy. George W. and cronies borrowed the deficit
    into record levels, their last act to give 3/4 trillion dollars to failing financiers. Holy Mirror Image, Batman! for
    the next page of the new chapter found Obama and his cohorts giving 3/4 trillion dollars to failing business, as
    well! Our democracy needs to abandon financing campaigns altogether, and build them on the faith and activity
    of the people. I am a historically C student, like W. Bush, and look more half-black than Obama does. I was
    born in D. C., raised and fundamentally educated there, and raised myself as a patriot so sincere that I have
    resisted all temptation to leave my country, which has seemed to me to be a battlefield, since the days of the
    civil rights era in which I was born. What we, the poor and middle-class, seem to victimized by is the same as
    always, competition between those of the super-rich, be they royalty, slaveowners, industrialists, or those
    shaded so far beyond us that they seem to be beyond our gaze altogether. Indeed, the current political parties
    function as the handmaidens of the Greek versus Roman godity. I am, in essence, the best candidate because I
    have the best combination of love, knowledge, availability and readiness, to wield the power of the vote for the
    purpose for which votes are given--to make our country fillout the wardrobe of its Constitution, and fulfill the
    needs of its citizens. AIG, etc. is not a citizen. Indeed, many American companies are owned by non-
    Americans, so it is not serving the citizen need to serve them. Business in America is a privilege built on the
    rights of its citizens, and where those rights are stolen and trampled, they should be repaired and recovered by
    the collective power of the citizen governments. At the very least, then, the bailout money should be repaid with
    interest. The July 21, 2009 Washington Post article which the query of this blog referenced stated that there is
    practically no oversight on the spending, and later articles point out low expectations of repayment. Whether
    Obama is momentarily overwhelmed or intrinsically complicit, is unclear, but it is clear that the rich are getting
    richer and the poor are getting poorer. So, to avoid the demands of the rich and to respect the needs of the poor,
    I ask not for money for my campaign, but for the faith that will initiate action to learn, inform, select and vote
    for me and like minded candidates who will work for their own faith and for all the constituents of the office
    without exception. How much stock is owned by the mobs of the impoverished? What percentage of our
    alienated youth is destined for the corporate boardrooms and executive suites of corporate America? Why is B
    of A and GM more essential than the lives of youngsters hopelessly disoriented by domestic and foreign
    violence. A report in Los Angeles stated that the expenditure by society against the condition of homelessness is
    an average dollar figure of around $187,000.00 per year, per person. Giving each homeless family a $50,000
    dollar bailout could serve to be an effective bargain.

    My campaign asks only for sincerity in the exercise of democracy. I have avoided the hype, for the most part.
    Maybe I can lead you into that mountain. It seems that no one else knows the way.

    It is clear as usual in America with its lobbyists and power brokers and the dependence of government for taxation on wall street the banks insurance companies and hedge funds, that proper and appropriate regulation of the banks and finance industry that created the current global economic crisis will not be adequately or sensibly legislated, as it would require a re assessment of fundamental economics if the right laws were to be passed summarised below and actually quite simple to implement but the Lobbyists or vested interests will demand complexity so they can use the loopholes.
    1) leveraged borrowing/ lending must be capped.
    2) Go back to basics of "Trading" and minimise "Dealing". Trading = you bought it own it paid for it 100% and can sell it.
    Dealing is doing something where you have no economic interest in the outcome necessarily only money speculative gain Oil and gas market availability is finite depending on refining or pipeline and reaource stock estimates Huge movement s are speculators not traders.
    3)FX, why on earth can I or anyone else DEAL currencies with no economic purpose other than individual profit. No economic purpose no way, you can only trade currency for an economic reason.. stop all this G20 garbage of stable exchange rates it comes with economic fundamentals justifyting the TRADE, not dealing which as Soros once demonstrated (STG) can destroy a currency. He gained and Millions suffered!
    4)I have listened to Hundreds of HR guru's and all say the same, Bonus in whatever form, money or shares should not exceed 40-50% of basic salary.
    Perks have to be economically reasonable and have a payback to the company if not no way and pensions benefits paid for between employer and employee in the same ratios irrespective of position/title for all employeees executives and directors.
    Ban Joining bonuses and Top hat pension schemes and golden parachutes since the rule in the financial world is past performance is no guide to the future.
    5) Commercial or private property mortgages go back to basics no more than a 90% loan of the Surveyed value, not market driven value, and corresponding rules re Monthly income % taken especially by private mortgage repayments.
    Cap maximum variable mortgage rates to Fed ++ % otherwise the deal is illegal or usurious.
    Capping some of the credit card nonsense is underway but it is too weak!! Lobbying!!??

    And don't forget what Scott Pelley reported on 60 MINUTES:

    - Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, says that the system is unfair for smaller banks, and that's just the way it is.

    http://cikehara.blogspot.com/2009/10/bigger-they-are-harder-they-fail.html

    "The deck is stacked against smaller banks" (recent article):

    http://www.newsday.com/opinion/opinion-the-deck-is-stacked-against-smaller-banks-1.1538994


    There are so many problems to be addressed; it is hard to know where to begin. Our government in the present day is not “Of the people and by the people.” Our government is run by the oligarchy of Wall Street elites for their own greed. Whether it is bankers, car manufactures, Agri-business conglomerates or the pharmaceutical industry, each special interest has its own lobby. In total there are probably ten, or more, times as many lobbyists as legislators.

    The first problem then, before any others can be enjoined, seems to be how our Congressional leaders and Senators are elected. The money they have to amass for each election campaign is so great that they have to start fundraising from their first day in office. Corporate money demands subservience. This is a bipartisan issue. It is an issue that can bring the far left liberals and the far right conservatives together with one voice of the American People.

    The solution is public funded elections.

    Will this stop the corporations from their lobbying? No, of course, it will not. It will only slow them down. But, that is another issue to be addressed at another time. Progress in a nonviolent, democratic, society, is painfully slow. We have to start somewhere. This is the beginning. The velvet revolution is in its infancy.
    Who will join me? Any suggestions on how we can get together to raise our voices in unison?
    I have heard many people speak of the need, and several saying that they are waiting for a leader to rally them and point the way.
    We need a prominent, impassioned speaker, or speakers, to form the nucleus of a march on Washington. I suggest we start by writing to Rush Limbaugh, Keith Olberman, Glen Beck, Arinia Huffington, Katrina vanden Heuvel and Sean Hannity. I hope that speakers from both ends of the political spectrum can lay down their swords and shields down by the Potomac River side and join hands in this most important cause.
    I, for one, will start knocking on doors of some of our Congressmen and women in the next few weeks. I envision a rally in Washington on Saturday, the 10th of April, 2010.
    I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore!
    G.L. Monahan

    Sævar Ari Finnbogason wrote, in part, "So, from a humanitarian standpoint the American healthcare-system makes no sense, and even less from an economical point of view."

    It makes no sense because the 1% who own 90% of everything and everyone in USA do have the money to bend all of the medical arts and research into PERSONALIZED medicine.

    The future IDEA is not about taking care of 30,000 diabetics, for instance. It's about 30,000 people being willing to "sell" their organs and stem cells to keep the 1% alive long enough to be considered "immortal" which just takes a few generations of dumbed down to achieve. If you're the only one left alive from your high school graduating class and your great grandchildren can't access your "birth" records, voila!, you're a "god".

    Truth is ALWAYS stranger than fiction.

    Dick Cheney is the strangest life form alive today - gratis "taxpayer" money.

    D.C. Eddy, "When it comes to lightning bolts, they can be very dangerous."

    Guess it all depends on your perception.

    I'm sure lightening bolts will be harnessed soon.

    Anna D.,
    Heavens to Mergatroid...
    I am not a god. Infact, I have all I can do to remain a viable human being. All I can do is post to the best of my understanding with much help from the Center of Universal Knowledge.
    What we do is give names to things so that we can understand them and each other. Besides the attributes of physical reality There are also the complex methods of converting perceptions into concepts. We see through a glass darkly and it takes a lot of help to understand the complex mechanisms of physical reality and perceptual images. We need all the help we can get to maintain a realistic concept of reality. You might say, our lives depend on our skills of comprehension.
    When it comes to lightning bolts, they can be very dangerous. I prefer the "Love and Compassion Award".
    Electrostentialism - Existence as a dynamic experience.

    My American friends, as an Icelander I congratulate you on every step forward in your struggle for healthcare reform makes. Here in Iceland we have a Scandinavian style, government run health service, almost free of charge for our citizens, drug costs included. We consider this service to be a basic human right. All are equal when it comes to all healthcare, rich and poor alike. No-one is more important or can pay to jump the line. As you may know, we had a severe banking crises here, and the government is faced with cutting back spending severely for quite some time, as we are now in a program with the IMF to rebuild our economy. Both Icelanders and Americans know that in difficult economic times disputes about most issues are heated, but the one thing everyone is in total agreement on here, in these difficult circumstances is, that our healthcare-system remains as it is. We will not cut spending on healthcare so that it becomes inefficient or privatize health-insurance.

    We in Scandinavia know that what each of us would save in taxes if we privatized health-insurance, we would have to pay, plus the costs and profits of the business conglomerates, out of our own pockets. We are a nation of 320.000 people, our health-service is as advanced as yours, and it is still cheaper in operation per capita than than yours. So, from a humanitarian standpoint the American healthcare-system makes no sense, and even less from an economical point of view.

    Tinkering will not solve your problem. Why invent the wheel again, adopt the Kanadian, British, French, German or Scandinavian healthcare-system all of them are better for the public, cheaper and your companies will not have to carry the burden of healthcare insurance

    You are right, D.C.Eddy, in that what you wrote is all smoke and mirrors.

    You can't attach THOUGHTS and EXPERIENCE to calcium and sodium atoms and rearrange "reality" at will - thank god (and you are NOT "god", remember that!)...

    You have NO SCIENTIFIC PROOF other than "smoke and mirrors" for your idealogy by which civilization is supposed to flourish...? Yikes!

    But this wacky new age blather conversation did give me an idea for a different genre of "reality" show :-)

    Meet me on the desert plane and we'll see who is the winner of "Thor's Lightening Bolt Award".

    My electricity could very well be MORE real than yours - lol.

    Great balls of fire!

    Anna D.
    I hope this is not too alarming but what you are told is not "Real" neither is what you think. What is real is not real either.
    It is all smoke and mirrors.
    When it comes down to it all there is is energy that affects our senses that provides the illusion of reality. That is why electronics can reproduce reality.
    This is no big deal because what we experience is what is real to use and then we convert what we experience into concepts that can be applied to reality. We can also change the reality we experience to some extent.
    The whole process is in a state of flux at all times with things changing their reality like a caterpillar to a butterfly. We make choices that change our reality for the better or worse. There are good concepts and bad concepts based on the result of their application. People like Hitler and Bush are very good at corrupting the "reality" that we experience.
    Ideals are no more than concepts that are intended to improve life experience but they can also be corrupted to create hell on earth which is another concept.
    Life is a very complex process that depends on many livable conditions. It is imperative that people understand the demands of human existence and do those things which are right and good.
    Muck it up and disaster strikes.
    Moral obligation is also a concept that has to be adhered to if you want your life to be sustainable. There are laws of nature and laws of people that must be obeyed. That is the sad but true.
    Organization is an attribute of what we experience that must be because without it there would be only chaos. Chaos is the enemy of virtual reality where as organization provides all of the pleasures of life. The better we are organized; the more time we have to enjoy life.
    When it comes down to brass tacks; REALITY is the name we give what actually transpires and what transpires is an amazing phenomena
    May your days be filled with joy and may the creator of life experience be with you where ever you go. We all fall short of the glory of God and live our lives as best we can. Life is a gift and a challenge; spend it wisely.

    Sorry. Frontline is the program that presented "The Warning" by Michael Kirk.

    Mind Blowing!

    Billy Bob, Florida

    PBS' "The Warning"..WOW!Paulson, Greenspan, etc had to have had an idea The Melt Down was just around the corner, BUT, Kirk proves 'they' had experience with the LTCM major national melt down 10 yrs. prior!!!!

    Oct. 20th program showed a real Backbone-Standup-American Hero in Brooksley Born, former chairman of the CFTC.

    Ya'll have to see this!!!

    Greenspan did NOT want to prosecute FRAUD!! This is TREASON!

    Billy Bob, Florida & I thought losing my primary vote was a big deal

    D.C.Eddy wrote, in part, "Social systems require the same level of organization and planning as do manufacturing systems. Can you imagine how chaotic life would be without efficient social system? Even language is a system of social interaction that makes it possible for people to cope with reality."

    Yes, we do have a philosophical divergence beginning with the ORIGIN of "organization".

    A mechanist becomes a realist without acknowledging the evolutionary EXPERIENCE, the ORIGIN of "organization" - the dreaded idealist.

    Idealists have been "organizing" society, through culture, for a lot longer than mechanists have been building wind mills.

    Culture is the only social order that acknowledges that there is a real possibility that the human being is something more than what meets the eye.

    I stand by my observation that the "isms" established by REVOLUTION (theft, murder, "war") in the 20th century have no possible potential for maintaining "social organization".

    On PBS a LONG time ago, pre 911 and internet censorship, Chanel 12 in NYC had a weekly hour devoted to short films.

    One was so clever and so accurate of a critique of "social engineering" (engineering students being asked to take a common act, like a person toasting a bagel, and turn it into a 100 step process instead of a 5 step process) that I wish I could find it and enjoy it again as yet another gang of incompetants make a run on the rigged slot machine in D.C. and try to project the act of theft into 100 steps of language abuse instead on the same two step - theft and murder.

    But as duly noted today from the various thread conversations, it appears that "social organization" has reached the internet.

    Guess 300 million "voices" on the internet all saying the same thing about the engineered CHAOS that IS the fruit of 20th century "experience" isn't "realistic"?

    I read the protocols. No matter how many re-writes of the SOPs are done overnight, it still walks and smells like a "duck" - if you know what I mean...that phrase was a common cultural touchstone at one time...

    One would think that if "we" were still a democracy, waking up one day to realize that you are NOT the smartest person on earth (gosh, there's a blogger who is NOT one of "us") would be a relief.

    Guess not...and so another non-cultural IDEA bites the dust when it slams into the real ego of a self-proclaimed "god".

    Back to PERSONAL moral obligation...I don't have a moral obligation to let self-proclaimed "gods" tell me what is real.

    Especially when something so REAL as the wind, sun, water combo gadget outside actually WORKS perfectly.

    Anna D.
    Great Balls of Fire...
    I do not know whether I should agree with you or strip my gears trying to get out of your way.
    I am not an idealist; I am a realist. I base my theories on what is the best possible solution for the problem. While I consider myself a philosopher; my occupation is manufacturing planning.
    Social systems require the same level of organization and planning as do manufacturing systems. Can you imagine how chaotic life would be without efficient social system? Even language is a system of social interaction that makes it possible for people to cope with reality.
    Unemployment is a product of social systems failure. While it is necessary to conserve our resources it is also necessary to use all of our resources efficiently to provide quality life experience for all of our people. Even people are a human resource. They are also a product of their nature and nurture.
    I am only a lowely messenger but my source is the universal knowledge of creation.

    Focus on this:

    No more pay to play.

    Promote public funded elections. No donation from any one individual to any candidate for federal office to exceed $????. Donations to legislators, or any federal official either elected or appointed, from any source except a private individual will constitute an assumed conflict of interest. graft or bribery.

    National Strike Day April 9, 2010.
    March on Washington April 10, 2010.

    There it is folks. Start posting it to as many places as you can.

    Potential Speakers: (in no particular order, just as they came into my head)
    Michael Moore,
    Zero Hedge,- tyler durden, marla singer, cornelius, travis,
    Amy Goodman,
    Simon Johnson,
    Paul Krugman,
    Karl Denninger,
    Rep. Dennis Kucinich,
    Rep. Raúl Grijalva,
    Rep. Marcy Kaptur
    Rep. Ron Paul,
    Rep. Lynn C. Woolsey,
    Rep. Alan Greyson
    Sen. Russ Finegold,
    Sen. Al Franken,
    Ariana Huffington
    Bill Moyers,
    Katrina vanden Heuvel.
    Robert Reich,
    Bill Maher,
    Larry Flint,

    I can't think of any Republican legislators who would want to put their name on this, but there probably are. Who are they?

    And I'm sure you can think of others who would have something to say on this issue.

    I am unable to put this together by myself. My hope is that a consortium of prominent bloggers will.

    Anna D.
    "Get my knickers in a bunch"?
    I no longer wear knickers!
    When I was a child; I behaved as a child. Wherefore as an adult; I try to post those things which edify the soul and produce good results.
    While the whole economic and political sysem is trapped by a black hole; I try to post what I think is an escape mechanism.
    My reason de etre is to provide the information for a best possible social system to meet people's needs and desires. This has required a lifetime of preparation. I have written four books on the subject and have published one book and am looking for a publisher for the three additional books. The books are all about People and their Earthland.

    Posted by: D. C. Eddy

    When you look at the unemployment numbers in other countries, you have to ask why it is only 5% in Hong Kong and 10% in USA.

    How on earth can you claim that you know what can "edify the soul" and "produce good results"?! Are you "god"?!

    No, my friend, ripping into evolutionary culture (defraging it?!) and then attempting to reconstruct it into a theoretical idea is not something a grownup does.

    The simple truth in USA is that the whole "culture" is a game. The game that keeps an "elite" delusion going is simply because everyone is willing to "eat the runt" on the way to becoming an "elite". The game is rigged as we can see from how the "man behind the curtain" pulls "rabbit leaders" out of a hat.

    There's a reason it is called "blind ambition".

    My quickie "mini-mental" test of a person's reality quotient is discerning whether the person is smart enough to know that they are NOT qualified by either "artificial education", natural talents, or meritocracy to BE the Big Giant Head.

    DEMOCRACY is the tried and tested, experientially EARNED way to relate to one another in a way that does not depend on "eating a runt" because some group of "intellectuals" have decided that they CAN know about what "edifies the soul" and "produces good results" - especially is this true when people keep trying to tell each other what they have EXPERIENCED as soul edifying and the good results that followed and the "elite" acts like it never happened!

    Obviously, the CULTURE of the Orientals values work in ways that the dismantled "culture" of USA and Europe does not.

    But then the Orientals might have more grown-ups around who do not produce hoaxes such as "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, The Urantia Book, and reality show wannabe balloon boy scientists!

    Here's where we REALLY are as a "culture" - idealogues versus idealists.

    Quote - "But such an ideal society cannot be realized when either the weak or the wicked lie in wait to take unfair and unholy advantage of those who are chiefly actuated by devotion to the service of truth beauty and goodness.

    I'm definitely an "idealist", it seems, since so many times whenever blurting out ANY "truth" a child may experience for the first time and wants to share, the "adults" in the room rose up like an angry bee swarm to CENSOR the reality of the moment.

    "No soup for you" - in reverse to the "elite" -should have happened when oil was being traded at $140 a barrel....

    Are you, also, setting up a case to discredit my "credentials" in knowing what edifies a soul, produces good results and is a SANE culture (VERY different organization than "social system") simply because I'm a refugee? Who else would know best about the loss of thousands of years of "culture"? The people deconstructing culture and reconstructing "frankestein" to replace it?

    5% unemployment in an "over-populated" country with as much "computing power" as USA has to replace a "worker"....hmmm, what is "soul" according to them?

    Anna D.
    "Get my knickers in a bunch"?
    I no longer wear knickers!
    When I was a child; I behaved as a child. Wherefore as an adult; I try to post those things which edify the soul and produce good results.
    While the whole economic and political sysem is trapped by a black hole; I try to post what I think is an escape mechanism.
    My reason de etre is to provide the information for a best possible social system to meet people's needs and desires. This has required a lifetime of preparation. I have written four books on the subject and have published one book and am looking for a publisher for the three additional books. The books are all about People and their Earthland.

    D.C.E. - "We need reform without a revolution. Revolution gets a lot of people killed and the people on the bottom go to the top and nothing changes."

    AD - Aren't we living post-revolution? The trajectory of PROGRESS was definitely changed in the 20th century by rabble-rousing and arming the criminal element at the "bottom" - who now are at the top, as judged by what they DO.

    D.C.E. - "We need to pass laws to prevent corruption and change taxation to provide fair equity."

    AD - "You can't legislate morality" is what they're still spewing as a boys-will-be-boys excuse for NOT following any rules, laws, etc. all along. Change is a-comin', now hold on - a 45% TOTAL tax rate, and threats of IRS shake-down if you don't pony up to "insurance" companies is just a pen-signing away for the "middle class" (60-140K). Fees, penalties, interest - all going up along with oil prices.

    D.C.E. - We need to have compassion for each other and do what is right and good in the sight of God.

    AD - I've been peeking in on religious discussions. I can assure you that there is less agreement on who "God" is than there ever has been in the history of "thoelogy" - so you might want to get more specific about "the sight of God".

    Scheesh, getting the knickers in a bunch because in 3 days Wall Stree would run out of food without deliveries! What a bunch of spoiled brats, huh? Hunger is supposed to clear the mind for higher thinking. And also, it's preventative medicine - don't want anyonoe getting fat!

    Heck, to speak the language of the realm - c'mon you guys, think of it as a tactic to get people to spend some money stocking up on survival items such as duck tape, seran wrap, and ramen noodles (the only noodles that the cockroaches and rats don't tear into - makes you wonder what don't they like about the noodles, huh? - lol).

    Tea baggers are Trotskyites with absolutely NO PLAN whatsoever, or vision or "compassion" and yet they are putting on the theatre that they ARE the leaders of a "revolution".

    Now, truckers doing a NORMAL strike, like not trucking food to riker's island until it's "safe" - THAT's NORNAL americana - think "Gangs of New York"...and already you're squealing with fear about a MERCIFUL good-for-you enforced fasting session...?

    Grow up and get real..."no soup for you" works both ways as it SHOULD.

    Felix,
    Good poetry that rhymes with "Makes good sense".
    Let's hope there will be just recompense.
    We need a dynamic system of economics that supports quality life styles in a quality society in a quality environment. The present static pie economic theory is a lie that prevents people from living life as it was intended to be; life and that abundant.

    We need reform without a revolution. Revolution gets a lot of people killed and the people on the bottom go to the top and nothing changes.
    We need to pass laws to prevent corruption and change taxation to provide fair equity. We need to have compassion for each other and do what is right and good in the sight of God.

    FROM TIME TO TIME THE TREE OF LIBERTY
    NEEDS TO BE WATERED WITH ....a little tea.....

    Yes its time for another a Tea Party
    so lets invite the neighbors in
    and lets invite out with a great big shout
    those greedy boorish brutish louts
    whose self serving lies and acts are a great big sin.
    They just don’t get it- they have no shame
    as they devour our multiple millions with a grin.
    They claim “waste” on jobs, schools and health care are to blame
    but their Harry and Louise act is wearing thin.
    So lets stand together and seize the day
    and dump their heartless
    fat cat values in the bay-
    STAND UP TO THE KING ONCE AGAIN-
    the freedom of our children we must win
    from penury and debt slavery.
    One if by land two if by sea-
    it's time to take back our liberty
    from those whose twisted truth
    would poison us against each other-
    while they steal from the poor to give to the rich-
    doing the Reverse Robin hood Rumba.
    Its time for THE PEOPLE to unite—
    all together now - middle- left and right
    up town- down town- sister and brother
    and send them back to perdition-
    to reclaim our country from this soulless scum
    should be our sacred mission.
    THE ONLY THING TO BIG TO FAIL
    IS THE OF THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE
    FOR THE PEOPLE NATION-
    so lets stand together
    and break their chains
    and effect our liberation

    Copy Right by Felix Radixpraxis 10/12/009, free use
    granted with permission from radixpraxis2@yahoo.com

    What "we" can't AFFORD is corporate welfare - isn't that obvious?

    USA can't afford 1% of the population controlling 90% of the wealth.

    Thanks, Bill, foe exposing the big banks for what they are...the downfall of our society. We here in Malibu are aghast that Wells Fargo foreclosure executives, Cheronda Guyton, for one, are taking up improper residence in foreclosed properties, throwing loud expensive parties, inviting yachting guests, and acting completely oblivious to the ethical considerations of the neighbors. See http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-malibu-wells11-2009sep11,0,740504.story for the story. Wells Fargo is totally corrupt and I have moved my funds due to the extreme incompetence of the organization to police its own executives. Talk about robbing someone blind and then dancing on their grave. Shame.

    The reform I'd like to see is first a real Fed audit, then passage of the American Monetary Act, which will nationalize the Fed, eliminate fractional reserve banking (taking money creation power out of the hands of the banks), and spend debt-free publicly-created money into the economy via public works of all sorts, with a monetary board controlling any inflationary tendency.

    It's been done successfully before in the U.S. (see www.monetary.org for history, details etc) and now is the time to overturn this coup d'etat, as Marcy so accurately describes it.

    Posted by: Nancy Sutton


    Nancy,

    The completely turned off the trickle-down without ANY conscious.

    We HAVE to really SEE them for who they are...

    It's a hold-up. We literally have to shut off food and water to get them off the stage.

    If they stay in the sweat lodge to the point of death, so be it.

    Congresswoman Kaptur, I salute you for being one of the few congressmen and senators who have the guts to "speak truth to power," to tell it like it is, and to back up your words with deeds.

    Sadly and reluctantly, I've come to the conclusion that our government cannot reform itself. Our government cannot put the interests of the people first because our representatives are too indebted to the special interests that finance their campaigns. They cannot or will not reform the campaign finance laws to support federal funding of elections because they need the money that special interests provide. And, as long as they need this money, they will continue to put the interests of their campaign contributors first and the interests of the American people second.

    How can the American people hope for real change when their government is unwilling to reform itself? How can they hope for reform when the government derives its power from the special interests--not from the consent of the governed?

    Some might say that the solution lies in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,..."

    The reform I'd like to see is first a real Fed audit, then passage of the American Monetary Act, which will nationalize the Fed, eliminate fractional reserve banking (taking money creation power out of the hands of the banks), and spend debt-free publicly-created money into the economy via public works of all sorts, with a monetary board controlling any inflationary tendency.

    It's been done successfully before in the U.S. (see www.monetary.org for history, details etc) and now is the time to overturn this coup d'etat, as Marcy so accurately describes it.

    Good post Alan.

    The Individual Mandate will probably go down like this. The gov will not fine anyone, the gov just increase everyone's taxes and those that can prove they have med insurance on their taxes will get a deduction.

    And this is how it should be...no?

    The poor and those that cannot afford to pay the average annual healthcare premiums of $13,375.00. per year should be put out of their misery quicker rather than later. The poor should be forced to pay the government more of their meager incomes to provide a quicker death.

    The poor cannot afford to eat right and get medical care as it is. And with the Individual Mandate they will be in a much worse place to try and eat right and pay for some token medicine or medical care.

    And when I refer to the poor, I am not talking about welfare people. No, they have it made, free money, free housing, free med care and they just watch TV all day. No, I am talking about the working poor that work hard and can hardly get by.

    But all sarcasm aside, the healthcare mess can be settled pretty simply (or at lease improved up greatly) if the politicians wished to settle it.

    We already have a socialized education system. We all pay for educating the kids through taxes. And some of us use this system and others don't, but we all pay. The people that don't want to use the public education system go the private education route.

    So it should be with healthcare.

    Tax people 1% to 6% depending on income and start a gov run healthcare system that can be used by ANY citizen in need. If that tax is not enough revenue, then start charging foreigners flying into the US an arrival and departure tax. Or start charging a 1% SHC (socialized health care) sales tax.

    And tell all those new doctors in and out of med school the must work for the gov for 2 yrs with the socialized med plan. Tell them if you want to be n MD and make big bucks work in a cushy office and squeeze boobs all day you are going to have to give back to society a little before you go off to your practice.

    If some of the citizens don't like receiving socialized government run healthcare, then they can always go the private healthcare route and pay their own way. Just as they can do with private education, if public schools are not to their liking. This is the only way a socialized healthcare proposal would work in the US of A. You need duplicate healthcare systems to satisfy all comers. The rich and the poor that cannot afford the rich healthcare system.

    If the government has to limit care for the elderly, then do so. Sure give seniors good med care, but if it comes to hundreds of thousands of dollars for life support, tell them they are free to pay their way to private healthcare, but the gov and the people can't afford a half million dollars for every senior in the country just to keep them on ventilators.

    And I'm not a young guy bashing seniors either,

    I'm near 60 myself. But I realize that we can't keep printing endless money in the US of A. We must all start to think of what is best for society, as our world is fast decomposing before our very eyes.

    Most important, put this plan to a NATIONAL VOTE....Let the people decide what they want.

    Many of the people in the uninsured camp were once insured. But through some hardship they can no longer afford the average annual premiums of $13,375.00.

    You know, you may not have med insurance someday and be in the camp of the uninsured. And even if you are lucky enough to have some med pay, it may be shockingly different in benefits from what you have now.

    Here is something to consider to broaden the minds of those stuck in the tunnel vision of their own little world.

    "Kaiser forecast that the yearly family premium for health insurance could reach $30,803.00 in ten years if the 8.7% annual increase of the previous 10 years were to continue."

    http://www.kff.org/pullingittogether/091509_altman.cfm

    And lets go out a further 10 years. Now, the average premium is $70,939.00 per year at an 8.7% annual increase.

    Some of you say that is ridiculous? Well, why so? If it has happened on a continual and regular year in - year out basis for decades...what will stop it?

    Open wide! We are about to get the Baucus bill shoved down our throats!

    Futile as it may be,
    I would like to see millions of emails to the
    president similar to:

    Dear Mr. President,

    Although we mere voters have not read the hundreds of pages of the
    proposed health care reform legislation, it is clear to us that it is no reform at all,
    it gives to the insurance industry cartel everything it wants while doing nothing
    to place health care insurance squarely into the public domain.
    We are not pleased with the way the health care legislation is being
    crafted in back rooms filled with the unhealthy smoke of the
    insurance companies. (The Baucus committee is riddled with influence
    form Wellpoint). We urge you now to speak honestly about the Baucus
    travesty and to declare your intention to veto any bill that resembles
    the Baucus bill.

    William Jorgensen wrote, in part, "Obama cannot be blamed for anything in his very first year under such extraordinary circumstances. He cannot be an expert in every field of expertise required to run such an impoderable beast as is the American nation without advisors, who may, or may not, be worthy of their positions."

    I agree.

    It took a while to corrupt all three areas of government - executive, legislative and judicial. IMO, without "virtual reality", it could not have been done.

    So since this is all "virtual" and not real, we have to stop pretending that it is REAL.

    Barney Franks presided over the passage of legislation yesterday that PROTECTS the unregulation and secrecy of "derivatives" - which everyone will tell you is just pure THEFT in the final analysis.

    Look, it's happened before...this scam is an EXTREME version of the Savings and Loan fiasco.

    Back to what was suggested a year ago, "olympic labor" needs to issue their own "currency" to water the economy back to life. There's no point in hoping for a "change" - it is what it is - a government that is NOT a government. Obambi is just going to be the jesus-on-a-stick schtick...and I don't think he sees it coming....

    DEMOCRACY, especially when experienced through the management of a "beast" like USA :-) is still REALITY. Let them have their "virtual"...

    No one makes the connection between the "discovery" of "psycho-therapy" and the parade of despots, dictators and shamnas that made the 20th century hell on earth. But it's there, isn't it? The rationaliztion of the "power" of madness...

    Back to our MORAL OBLIGATION....there is absolutely no earthly reason, especially no "heavenly" reason :-), to live in a lawless state fueled by delusion.

    Not even the laws of physics matter to them...now THAT's nuts.

    Round 'em up and lock 'em up. Manhattan is an island - might as well turn it into a "riker's island"...all they want to worship is a main frame, anyway....plenty of rats and skunks on the island("mitt critters"?) to chomp on - if any one of them knows how to fire up a wok :-))

    Will Jorgenson: Can Obama be blamed? Yes he can. And we're doing so right here on this page.

    "Mistakes were made"? More likely a plan was implemented.

    Blaming Barack Obama, and calling him President Obedient, is a natural and expected part of the neo-politik. You gotta scare the monkeys pretty severely to stop them eating us chickens. Hughey Long incited editorial cartoonists to draw opponents as buzzards and weasels. Jefferson hired everyone slandered coming and going. We did not make this dirty game and are fighting for our very lives. We correspondents at Figgersinstitute try to keep the ribbing in the spirit of good fun, but the cause is serious business. It is the apt jokes that raise doubts in the consciousness of the fearful.

    Camus says that the fate of Sisyphus remains misery until he realizes how it is linked to the general struggle against unjust and illegitimate power. Sisypus was a character who chained death to a rock and escaped Hell (temporarily=20 years) until a supreme being recaptured him, a humanitarian rebel who reinvented himself as a revolutionary. When Sisyphus' rock escapes his grasp and rolls miles down the mountain there is something personal causing him to hike back down and start again. It is during this voluntary descent (No one was able to break Sisyphus will, because it is the common striving.)that the highest and purest thoughts and plans are formulated. (Annette 2009 exhibits Sisyphian traits.)

    If Jorgenson has some years on him he knows that the contemplation of mortality is a beautiful descent, and that Obama is only another rock to be rolled. (Did we "make" FDR? No!) Sisyphus punishment is not that he "must" roll a stone up a mountain, but that he is forced by the powers that be to labor alone. (There! I've rolled my rock for the day by besting Camus.) I roll my rock because of solidarity with laboring humanity. (I could tell you a funny story instead and sing Grady's song about carrying "A Rock Around a Tree." Tomorrow is another day. Can we blame the President? Yes we can! That's how we do.

    Obama cannot be blamed for anything in his very first year under such extraordinary circumstances. He cannot be an expert in every field of expertise required to run such an impoderable beast as is the American nation without advisors, who may, or may not, be worthy of their positions.

    The current economic disaster was put into play many years ago and will take years of deft manipulation and balancing to repair, if it's repairable at all.

    Mistakes made by the Federal Reserve Bank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and every other major financial institution, including hedge fund managers and ratings agencies, cannot be undone simply and certainly not without those players participation.

    The difference between looking after Main Street and Wall Street is blurred through the interconnectivity of financial arrangements and every industry that requires finance; therein lays the trap - and there's little that can be done except through regulation that must be applied very carefully, I doubt any one organisation could work out this mess let alone one political leader... but, I'm certain he's going to give it the best effort he's got.

    To Jack Martin Here is my closing thought A.B.C I have an American flag on my porch post.Its real. The flag that hangs on Wall street is so big, it hides what they are doing behind closed doors. Follow the money. I have done it for years. I will define a Corporate Dictatorship for you. Who controls the banks? There have been none elected entites in D.C. for a long time. And now through deregulation for the past 35yrs has removed the safety net of this Nation. And created a system of fraud with out any laws to stop it. How do you take over a Government. Brake the bank. Very simple. Greed. Campaign funds are not regulated. And have become bribes. And when the Supreme Court rules on that little thing about free speech and Corporations, that will make them, to be able too push, finace any candidate they want in office. Its being set up for it. But they are doing it now any way. But this ruling will give them a blank check to go after local govenment elections. This is a form of government that will be defined as a corporate dictatorship. That controls the legislative branch. But lets not kid are selves. The game of paying to play has gone on since the dawn of time. But there were rules to play by. Check and balances. We as a Nation in the 21 first Century. And 18,0000 Americans die each year with not enough insurance or no insurance at all. And we talk about 9/11. We do it to our selves every year and no one noices it. Don't for get people on fixed incomes that die too, while Wall Street bets on it all for a loss. Wall Street is a form of a dictorship.And so is Health Care. Where are the indictment aganist humanity? And there wont be any more indictments. They have the rule book of law that they created through deregulation to protect them selves. That is the simple way of telling it. People that blame Obama should pose for one moment. The Congress and the Senate are the legislative branch that has caused the problems we face to day. Direct your selves and go to the Capital and show up at night with flaming torches. And also go were they live and stand in silance and let them think. And then they received there first warning. Clean it up? But that will not happen. Why? They have everyone polarized and frighten for the chicken scraps of what they provide. And your to scared to lose that. Freedom is defined by ones action. Corporate News today has become A murder mystery, 20/20 and Date Line is a type of entertainment media news. At Least Bill Moyers Journal shows the shadows in the light of our government.

    Jack Martin wrote, in part, "Tom was left predicting between socialistic totalitarianism and corporate fascism."

    Both of those “isms” depended on force and fraud for implementation! Murder, theft, psychobabble – scheesh, Trotskyites and Fascists were not warm and fuzzy Ghandis…Obama is a “cool” sociopath in comparison! No problemo…

    I wish the republican strategists would MOVE ON from the way the game they played with the electoral college “math” back fired on them. They WON – Hillary is NOT President – but she is having a blast in Russia, clinking crystal glasses filled with chilled Absolute and eating the last of the caviar on the planet…and Obama has no trouble getting tickets to Broadway plays….and Palin is getting lost in translation in China…and Senator McCain did not get in the way of a “sweat lodge” entrepreneur down the road from him in Sedona…so everyone is happy, right?

    But if you insist on dragging in “history”, both of those “isms” formed after the Roman Empire created the first black hole for itself by spending more on wars of conquest then they were able to extract in wealth – meaning the booty stolen through war was worth less than what the cost of the war was that garnished the booty. That original “Doh!” seed was only planted in 1789 in USA “secret” cabal government…bad luck it bloomed when the math was wrong – ie. 7 billion human animals as a world population…

    Now, to follow the bouncing ball across the dark ages of European “tribes”, their “isms” and their “ists” ALWAYS, I repeat, ALWAYS showed up in any “country” where agriculturists created a civilization with some kind of sustainable “wealth”. And then they proceeded to DEMOLISH that sustainable civilization. Hmmm - I think I’ll write THAT cherry-picked “details” book.

    Fast forward to USA Today….

    Pioneers from Europe were sent out across 3000 miles of North American continent to “homestead” – live off the land as farmers and breeders (both animals and humans).

    Then a certain % of “homesteaders” were conned by banksters off the property in cahoots with the “technicians” who concocted “industrial” farming and breeding (human breeding taken up by eugenicists).

    So now CITIES housed the newly created industrial slave. And that’s a whole lot of yaddayadda with slum lording, huh?

    The comes along the MICRO-CHIP – and the reign of the “devil” with that much “detail” is made Supreme…everyone with a Personal Computer can become a home-bound “capitalist” connected to the teat of the Mother Ship – Wall Street.

    So what’s the next step, oh masters of the universe? Perpetual “war”…? Darn those Afghan fighters – “get Dorothy and her little dog you flying monkeys…”

    Okay, so now the banksters have decreed that NO ONE deserves a “home” in which to be a personal computer capitalist. But wait, the small business owner should be given a 45% tax burden AND build their green-shoots business installing solar charged outlets in the flood control tunnels under Las Vegas where the new age micro chip “class” can live rent free…let’s hope climate change does not bring more rain to Vegas!

    -cricket, cricket-

    What’s next for the human species, Masters?

    Oppenheimer’s biography, An American Prometheus, noted how Oppenheimer was so jealous of a fellow scientist that he actually DID place a poisoned apple on the dude’s desk – hoping to kill him. Mom sent her “special” son to psychotherapy where he could become an expert in rationalizing his bad character.

    Perpetual war = perpetual suspension of civil law.
    More misery for others = more money for ME ME ME

    Here are a few quotes from the most censored book on the planet – the one the SECRET crowd is using as the source of their “lists” of what NOT to do:

    “…Competition is essential to social progress, but competition, unregulated, breeds violence….In advanced civilizations co-operation is more efficient than competition…”

    NeoCon Interpretation – “…crank up unregulated competition for unearned profit…”

    “…The only sacred feature of any human government is the division of statehood into the three domains of executive, legislative, and judicial functions….”

    NeoCon Interpretation – “…grant personhood status to MONEY so that it is ABOVE any government function…”

    NEOCON idea of “mission accomplished”?

    Make “Government” the SOURCE of force and fraud against the individual.

    Oooops….the sheeple aren’t following us “ists” off the cliff…they’re TOO STUPID to follow us…! Wait, bring out the Sheep God – you know, the wolf-o-witch in Sheep’s Clothing….we’ll LEAD them off the cliff…

    Uh, excuse me, Sir, but I’m not a sheeple….

    So on to the LIST of people who know that they aren’t sheeple…now what to do with the 99% of the population after they are done devouring the 10% of the unsustainable wealth us “ists” could not suck up fast enough…? One percent can herd the sheeple with “positive thinking”!

    I think that it’s the 1% who are so delusional, that they do not see the MERCY that is being extended to them by the 99%....”…if you can’t or don’t want to work in a government FOR the people, go do something else…”

    Even Wynn is losing patience with Adelson…Wynn looks like Fonzi from Happy Days trying to say “I’m sorry” when he says the word “jobs”, but Wynn IS saying “jobs”…no comment on Adelson’s face when he hears that word…

    “….Ruthless competition based on narrow-minded self-interest is ultimately destructive of even those things which it seeks to maintain…”

    Simple math formula – 50% of 99% “unemployed” for the rest of their lives means the foreclosure of half of Lost Wages’s COMMERCIAL real estate – enter Chinese “renters”?

    Here is THE question to all you “ists” – do sheeple have ANY LEGAL RIGHTS in your “ism” world to LIVE our lives based-upon our free will, personal moral obligations?

    -cricket, cricket-

    Off to listen to the TV machine about how one thief is crying “Wah! Wah!” about the “Russians” stealing from him – indeed it can be entertainment of the ironic when thieves accuse other thieves of “theft”.

    Nahummer wrote, in part, "Bloodless and without violence. It happened in slow motion, so no one noticed and the latest crisis has cemented it."


    "Bloodless and without violence"...?!

    You are kiddin' us, right?

    TEMPLE: Coley Whitesides (spouse) wanted me to tell you about an "error" in your post. Where you say "A corporate dictatorship has replaced your government," she thinks it more accurate to say, "A corporate dealership has replaced your government." The machinery of dictatorship is superfluous when the serpentine undulating laws of Capitalism are being carefully followed. Government is a franchise being run on a meter for oligarchic uses. They take turns like nice children. She says she has the same expectations encountering government as dealing with a car dealership. Outcomes are predetermined, and you end up paying for a lemon over several years. (My 2008 Obama's making a noise and is always in the shop. I have to stand on the brake when it comes to corporate bailouts and when I turn to consumer protection and reforms it bucks and sputters. The Obama is going the way of the Saturn.)

    C'mon kids, you're running ahead of Uncle Bill. You're advocating the sort of media approach Tom Ashbrook offered Wednesday on "On Point" (WBUR). A zany business instructor and real estate entrepreneur from Yale, Bruce Judson, wrote a book "IT Could Happen Here." Judson expects a new American Revolution propelled by wealth disparity, and he offers a scenario in his first chapter.

    To counter such wild-eyed inflammatory rhetoric Ashbrook invited Duke Emeritus History Professor Larry Goodwin aboard for rebuttal. The staid elder conurred with Judson's prognosis; however, and Tom was left predicting between socialistic totalitarianism and corporate fascism.

    "It was the best of times; it was the blurst of times," typed the Chimpanzee. So we discover that Moyers' Journal is an episodic gradualist weekly in the business of education and that Ashbrook is daily entertainment. I say entertainment because it is not instructive. The revolution has occurred as a quiet coup by the oligarchy leaving us the hollow shell of Scrooge's Christmas turkey. What we should really be talking about is a non-violent counter-revolution. Please take this the "wrong way," I beg you. But will Bill Moyers entertain Michael Hudson? Hell no, and not any other full-truth-teller either.

    Maybe it is better not to stampede us sheep. Just let the bleets of the flightiest of us get louder and louder. You have to remember that Judson's publisher and Bill's underwriters enjoy a tasty "leg of lamb" at Christmas. This system works great for the oligarchy, and its seeds were always planted in the good old USA, at least from 1789.

    Participate as little as possible in the formal economy. Buy the necessities from the lowliest, most independent, far-flung outlets. Borrow no money and pay no interest. Don't stay up late waiting for success. Santa ain't coming this year. Obama the Grinch may want you to buy more "insurance." (Geithner's cell phone log reveals him on the line with Goldman=Sachs, Citi-bank and J.P. Morgan most of the day. Marchin' orders.)

    We've witnessed the most successful coup in the history of the world. Bloodless and without violence. It happened in slow motion, so no one noticed and the latest crisis has cemented it.

    In Case You Missed It

    My feeling is that a corporate dictatorship has been forming for years. Through deregulation. I have not seen President Obama do anything to help home owners. I have not seen any sweeping regulations for Wall Street. I see some very disturbing things about our government and what they are doing for none elected corporate entities. And your program shows it. Question? Why are we letting none elected entities dictate policy. I have been calling and writing to my Congressmen and Senator till I'm blue in the face for months on this matter. They will not respond to my concerns or set up an appointment. I have been brushed off. {Senator Casey, Congressmen Patrick Murphy}. They say there for a public Option. But, I do not see them pushing it on any news program at all. But these deals about health care will make you sick. I voted for Obama for change. So where is it? I just think that people are about to push back. All these gun sales should tell you that. A few Senators, Congressmen should watch them self's. Please do not take this the wrong way. I am not advocating violence. But our government is setting up the stage for people that will not have any choice. The health care bill is for the insurance companies. It is a form of a dictatorship. And to deny care by changing other rules by increasing co-pays that you will not be able to afford. Affordable health care for whom? The RICH, Elite Corporate Entities are Dictating terms that controls Senator Max Busis and other like him. And he has helped sell all our follow Americans out, for Camaign funds for this so call health care bill. I feel that Obama will fail if he doesn't through out the dead wood of greed and corruption that controls it all. Campaign funds need in be regulated and reformed by a public fund. The Corporate entities do not want any type of public options of any kind for the reason of controling profit over humamity. I have been in retail for over twenty years. I'm all for profit. But when good sound rules and regulation are deregulated. And not there to protect freedom of good markets and the rights of Americans. And then what is left with, if not. A Corporate Dictatorship that has replaced your government. And Thank you, Bill Moyer for keeping it real.

    Financial reform has been moved off the political front burner because of a choice by Obama. His administration is occupied with its broader domestic agenda, and financial reform has been left to be sorted out by Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

    If Obama pushed financial reform with half the effort he's put into health care, Wall Street would be awash in new rules and regulators, rather than just the occasion the president marked Monday: history.

    Annette2009 wrote, in part, "The bottom line objective of the banksters is to finally strip the assets of the u.s. government and privatize the public sector for its own short-term gain."

    Yes yes yes, but until you know WHY they are doing it, they'll still be able to do it because of the strength of their CULT.

    Expose the REAL reason - the MOTIVATION.

    That's why everything seems to be stuck on stupid. Unless the INSANITY driving them is made transparent, the "devil" in the "details" will THRIVE.

    The entire GLOBAL ECONOMY has moved on and NOTHING has changed here other than the FED saying today, again, "No soup for you."

    A decade's worth of wealth was sucked out - and the sucking sound is still LOUD because they want Iran.

    The total amount of taxes being paid here, there, and everywhere for "MIDDLE CLASS" (60-140K) after the health insurance ponzi scheme gets protected by the IRS will be 45% and STILL "no soup for you".

    WHY do they NOT CARE about "jobs" in USA...?

    WHAT do they care about in the short term future....?

    IRAN.

    Risk Game - shuffle the army to the east to invade from a different direction - right?

    Recommend having on the program Michael Hudson, a former Wall Street economist .. at what is now JP Morgan Chase & Co., Arthur Anderson, and the Hudson Institute. In 1990 he helped established the world’s first sovereign debt fund for Scudder Stevens & Clark. Dr. Hudson was Dennis Kucinich’s Chief Economic Advisor in the recent Democratic primary presidential campaign, and has advised the U.S., Canadian, Mexican and Latvian governments, as well as the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). He is a Distinguished Research Professor at University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC), and the author of many books, including Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (new ed., Pluto Press, 2002) He is now writing a new tax policy for the United States.

    One notable reference is an interview of Michael Hudson entitled 'Dress Rehearsal For Debt Peonage.' A transcript of this interview can be found at . In this interview Hudson explains in plain english, how the product of Wall Street and the banksters is DEBT, how DEBT has been THE business plan of the u.s.'s finance and insurance sectors for the last generation. That, indeed to manufacture debt, collect ever-rising levels of rent, fees, interest and penalties. How, to add super insult to monstrous injury the banksters congress and the administration have been utterly complicit by bailing these criminals out of bad investments, complicit by allowing the continuing outrage of the private federal reserve "lending" the government money. The bottom line objective of the banksters is to finally strip the assets of the u.s. government and privatize the public sector for its own short-term gain

    The u.s. congress must refuse to even think of turning over any regulation to the private “Federal Reserve" until there are written mandates for a Consumer Financial Products and Consumer Protection Agencies so that the massive national subprime mortgage fraud, real estate fraud, financial fraud is not continued, so the credit card ripoffs and predatory financial practices will be stopped.” [This] “has to be the first order of priority.” The mandates must assign regulatory structures and budgets sufficient to give them enough staff to bring to a creeching halt the monstrous Wall Street Ponzi scheme, of which the Bernie Madoff $50 billion rip-off represents but a single example of the massive $trillion Wall Street THEFT.

    Roy Huggins: You are correct to observe that the Journal would be a better program if it did not behave as a "party organ." Even worse, it actually operates as a "coterie organ." People around Moyers and WNET have evolved into a favor trading club. (He mentioned my last book favorably in his column.)

    But isn't this the aspect of human nature we need to overcome. I'm sure celebrity and media connected offspring need jobs too when they roll by in the credits, but doesn't every endeavor need new blood? All organizations, maybe under capitalism and maybe under most any system, tend to take on these collusive and conspiratorial characteristics. Police departments, schools, corporate management and especially government in conspiracy with business through a revolving door poison any possibility of evenhanded decision-making and fairness.

    Life isn't fair, but that does not mean it can not be made fairer by open dealing and public access and involvement. Roy Huggins might be an ideal person to combat collusiveness among the powerful but Bill Moyers refuses to tell him how. (In 1982 I first described the "Harry Reasoner Effect" which results in pubic complacency.) Should we expect Moyers to tell us how? Maybe the only way to survive in our demented nightmare these days is conspiracy and secrecy. Can Roy Huggins decipher such a paradox, apparently neither Bill Moyers nor I can. (Home is where the heart is nurtured, and there is no civilization without expanding empathy.) Moyers is constrained from telling all, just as most of us are, on pain of hurting loved ones. Life is unfair and irrational. (Posts like Huggins' are gonna drive me back to reading Camus' "The Myth of Sisyphis." I feel like Admiral Jim Stockdale, "Who are we: Where did we come from: where are we going?") Maybe the answer is not to expect much from Moyers, but to expect more from oneself.

    I never thought I'd find myself agreeing with a Bill Moyers report, but this was right on target. I'm writing my representative today to tell him to support Rep. Kaptur on this.

    Bill..Bill..Bill
    at some point you are going to have to stop having these shows where very well meaning and intelligent people list the ills which everyone is already fully aware of....as John Lennon said...'we all want to see the plan'....if you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem.....if you care as much about the situation as you say you do, then become part of the solution....start bringing on guests (like the people who run Intermountain Health Care...if you believe they have part of the answer) or anyone else you think can contribute in a positive manner and can help show the way, and stop complaining about the other side....use whatever means you have to help mobilize a grass roots movement to support those who hold your set of values....real change comes from the bottom up....

    Perhaps the difference between the President and F.D.R. is that Roosevelt, being of that class (the New York elite), new from insider, personal experience just how incorrigible the financial establishment is. Hence, he acted accordingly. There are times when there is no middle ground. One either beats back the barbarians or succumbs to their continued abusive dominance.

    We only get this opportunity once every 75 years or so--when the legislative and executive branches align in such a manner to (potentially) overcome the entrenched powers. To be sure, in the interim next 75 years, those powers will be undoing anything that might get done for everyday people now, as happened in the last 75 year interval following the progressive legislation of the 1930s. We cannot afford to squander what opportunity is left of this round.

    The times call for big moves, not marginal tinkering. But, if the banking record is any indicator of how other key issues will be handled, then this President may, alas, come to be known as Obama the Nibbler.

    Tom Crowl wrote, in part, "Democracy is risky and difficult and warrants continuous attention regarding its designs and technologies. Having a well running civilization certainly involves a bit of luck."

    "Democracy" was arrived at through EVOLUTION - trial and error, intelligence, and dare I say it, recognition of MORAL RESPONSIBILITY as an individual and as a citizen. "Democracy" is probably the ONLY form of "government" that was not concocted as an abstract "ism" by "elites" to be "sold" by tyrants via shamans. So the "designs" and the "technologies" have been shangheid by the same group of INCOMPETANTS - "elites", tyrants or despots or Big Giant Heads, take your pick, AND "shamans". Can you believe that Oprah had James Arthur Ray on her show and in 2009 people are climbing into "sweat lodges" in Sedona looking for "harmonic wealth". Scheesh, go place 10K on black or red at the casino.

    A well run civilization is NOT dependent on "luck". Visit the "revolving door" thread on this site (next one down) where David F. posted something from 1903 that might as well be from 2009.

    How does that saying go about the definition of "insanity" - making the same mistake over and over agin in hopes of getting a different result.

    If the internet was not totally taken over as a tool for PERSONAL DESTRUCTION by social engineering psychobabblists (getting lists from "sweat lodges") it COULD very easily be used to get COMPETANT people in the neighborhood to volunteer 2 years of service in local government to guide local issues with their expertise.

    THAT's what DEMOCRACY depens on - the COMPETANT in the "tribe" sheparding the PROGRESS of local OLYMPIC LABOR.

    Bottom line, NO ONE has a MORAL obligation to the 1% in USA who STOLE from 99%.

    Get real.

    "Democracy" is the ONLY "government" that owns its existence to a GROUP composed of the COMPETANT and the "moral", if you will, a GROUP that has the COURAGE to not be "ruled" by the morally insane and the intellectually limited (incompetant).

    That's why every bs "ism" of the 20th century is bankrupt - every single one was DELUSIONAL - even SCIENTIFICALLY delusional (no laws of SUSTAINABLE physics to back it up!).

    And every single one of that basket of "isms" depended on FORCE and FRAUD to be implemented.

    "Unemployment" TODAY is nothing more than a Stalin-like ploy to neutralize SMART PEOPLE - the "threats" to the "protocols" of the established "elite" via psychobabble-crap LISTS provided by Oprah-like'm-me-like'm sweat lodge SHAMANS...?!!

    Seriously?!

    There is NO LUCK involved in "civilization" - that's what the evolution of democracy PROVED.

    "The American economy is driven by consumer spending which is reliant upon disposable income. These means that increases in business profits generated via decisions to reduce worker compensation and/or relocate jobs offshore (payroll arbitrage), to the extent that this arbitrage reduces disposable income, may negatively impact the economy, particularly over the longer term if it persists. Logic appears to indicate that businesses designed to generate profits via low wages and/or wage arbitrage will at some juncture self-destruct due to a general economic decline and the reduced consumption of consumer products resulting from reduced disposable income."
    Dwight Arant

    This statement should be posted in every Government office to remind our government that they are allowing the destruction of our economic system.
    We need laws that protect our economy if we want to survive as a quality nation.
    We need to reign in rogue companies and make them accountable for undermining the stability and security of our nation.
    We need to "Buy American" as a national duty to our country. Otherwise, we will become a poverty nation unable to support its own interests.
    We need a dynamic economic system that provides the funds for quality life in a quality environment.


    The American economy is driven by consumer spending which is reliant upon disposable income. These means that increases in business profits generated via decisions to reduce worker compensation and/or relocate jobs offshore (payroll arbitrage), to the extent that this arbitrage reduces disposable income, may negatively impact the economy, particularly over the longer term if it persists. Logic appears to indicate that businesses designed to generate profits via low wages and/or wage arbitrage will at some juncture self-destruct due to a general economic decline and the reduced consumption of consumer products resulting from reduced disposable income.
    It appears that increases in business profitability due to low wages and/or wage arbitrage began in the late 1960’s as conglomerates where formed and international business activity expanded. A severe economic recession/contraction due to declines in disposable income was predictable, and was recently triggered by a collapse of the financial sector. The delay of this economic recession was probably due to economic aberrations related to replacement of disposable income with credit, which led to unsustainable high levels of debt service relative to disposable income. The problems also included; relaxation of financial regulations (to permit higher risk taking), a decline in integrity, disregard of fiduciary responsibilities and fraud.
    Presently, America’s financial system appears vulnerable to a foreign takeover, most likely by China. I am not going to fill in the fine details. There presently exists no large scale American financial institution actually in business to help its customers. Therefore, customers do not have the choice of a fair and honest financial institution, and a new player need only be fair and honest to deeply penetrate the American consumer financial market. This is a shocking realization, but I challenge anyone to name an American consumer financial institution in business to help its customers.

    I envy Rep. Kaptur's Ohio constituents. Imagine: A Congressman who cares! I cannot picture my representative daring to speak a word not sanitized by the party line.

    A transcript of this was posted at BlackRock but it was preceded by some definitions. This one about Ginnie/Fannie/Freddy:

    Most MBSs are issued by the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), a U.S. government agency, or the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), U.S. government-sponsored enterprises. Ginnie Mae, backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, guarantees that investors receive timely payments. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also provide certain guarantees and, while not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, have special authority to borrow from the U.S. Treasury. Some private institutions, such as brokerage firms, banks, and homebuilders, also securitize mortgages, known as “private-label” mortgage securities.

    How could Mr. Moyers never ask a single question that involved Fannie and Freddie when they were clearly major players in this problem?

    Wells Fargo Bank has tried to stay above the fray and fly under the radar, but that scheme has not worked.

    Visit-HurtingHomeOwners com

    Corporations and large interests have obviously taken control through their pooling of funds. This puts control in the hands of a few. A law that restricts contributions to voters to all elected officials is necessary. We even have foreign interests influencing our government to our detriment. We need to get back to distributed government and away from centralization. Centralization of powers is our enemy.

    Thank you Mr. Moyers for making clear what is happening in America in the name of greed. I forwarded your show link to 200 people and intend to close my Wells Fargo accounts immediately in favor of a local credit union. Wells Fargo has systematically raped me for over ten years and it will be a wonderful wonderful day to tell that corrupt institution to cease and desist. And I wish foreign governments would block access to the oligarchs who intend to destroy this country and hide in theirs. The "terrorists" hurting America are not wearing sheets on their backs in the mountains of Afghanistan, they are on corporate yachts in Greece and the Bahamas profiting off the misery they created in the States. Don't forget it.

    Thanks for this great analysis!

    Regarding solutions:

    I ran across a bit of useful data which for me illustrates a continuing issue in which I believe technology has a vital role…

    A quote from Lawrence Lessig in a piece the other day…
    “Each legislator voting Yes … received an average of $37,700 from the Oil & Gas, Coal Mining and Nuclear Energy industries between 2003 and 2008, more than three times as much as the $11,304 received by each legislator voting No.”

    Citizens per Congressional District in 2008 = 700,000

    So contributions on both sides of that issue total about $10,000 a year for each district's representative or about 7 cents per constituent per year.

    Regardless of one’s position on energy or foreclosure, the point being made regards a persistent imbalance in meaningful influence capability which has a real result on legislation.

    For better or worse, monetary political contribution is recognized as an element of speech.
    Issues of both scale and technology have (perhaps unintentionally) fed this imbalance in influence.

    The microtransaction is an area of intense interest in the social media world.
    But the Political MicroContribution capability is both vital and inevitable. The potentials of networked citizen lobbying will be recognized in both ad hoc and more formal associations.

    The characteristics of the platform hosting such transactions have important implications which merit discussion. (For instance if such capability were facilitated through separate partisan sites which is of obvious advantage to political parties which essentially bundle opinions… but disastrous for representative government since for the individual it inhibits granularity of opinion and encourages stagnation, group-think, and the degradation of debate.)

    It’s also likely public funding of elections will be both more acceptable and equitable were such funds distributed directly to voters for their own individual contributions to legitimate candidates whether for primary or general elections.

    Further the transaction must not be weighted with additional transaction costs and governance of the platform must be transparent and participatory under Enlightenment principals.

    Democracy is risky and difficult and warrants continuous attention regarding its designs and technologies. Having a well running civilization certainly involves a bit of luck. But to neglect conscious design in a world facing a Moore’s law of cultural change is foolhardy.
    Chagora

    My message for all congressmen and women:
    I hope you were watching this show and listening to this wonderful and compelling show. I found myself so infuriated over the way financial institutions corrupt our government. I was extremely thankful for Rep. Kaptur's discussion of the system and agree there should be a Secretary of the Treasury who is not connected with Wall Street. The Congress, President, and his advisors need to listen to Ms. Kaptur who is brazen enough to stand up for justice and give voice to what our citizens would want for our democracy and country. Hurrah! I wish there were more people in Congress voicing the same opinions. And-thank you Mr. Moyers for pointing out the lobbyist's revolving door from corporations to congress and back again, bribing our elected officials. What a crime. No wonder we can't get a decent health care reform bill. I do think President Obama is trying hard to get this passed in spite of Mr. Baucus and others especially in the Republican party. I so hopw we get a good bill passed. It's terrible to be such a rich country and not have all citzens insured. Politics can be so exasperating!

    Dennis Kucinich is another that has the same fire.

    Backbone! Rep. Kaptur is a breath of hope in the smoke & mirrors of Congressional Focused power to the few via the Seniority System!

    Rep. Connie Mack of Fla. is the only other Rep. I have detected having ANY Backbone to stand up for THE PEOPLE in spite of Congressional Leaders efforts to beat all Congress-persons into Washington form before they are heard from.

    Two POINTS of LIGHTS--there is hope yet!

    Do any Senators have backbone? Nelson of Fla. tried but seems stooped over by his committee assignment.

    Sorry Prof. Johnson, but until Congress is FIXED there will be no Accountability from Wall Street Wolves--but keep you message out front! Thanks!

    Billy Bob, Florida

    The only way to stop them is to stop paying your mortgage and credit cards take your money out of the bank and buy gold, close your retirement account put it into hard assets do not pay your taxes. If everyone does this the system will collapse and then we can rebuild .It is a bloodless war but still requires courage nothing will change unless we as americans take these steps to purge the system

    I am writing to call your attention to two crucial, but little discussed, issues relating to recent attempts to regulate the financial services industry in general, and the accounting profession in particular. This research has led us to believe that there are several areas that need to be addressed in the regulatory overhaul, which have not been adequately discussed by the popular press. My insights and recommendations are detailed in this letter.

    As regulators and the Congress work toward crafting responses to our nation’s recent financial crisis, we would like to direct your attention to two key issues. Resolving both of these issues will directly affect the ultimate success of any future proposal in preventing or mitigating future market meltdowns. Their resolution also will enhance transparency in the capital markets and contribute to more ethical behavior by companies and their accountants. The first issue deals with problems associated with the recent adoption of “fair value accounting”, while the second involves the professional responsibilities and performance of the auditing profession.

    The Value in “Fair Value”

    Global accounting standard-setters have been working toward the goal of requiring fair value accounting for more than a decade. So, in one sense, the train has left the station with respect to the ultimate adoption of fair value accounting for financial instruments. Conceptually, the arguments of those favoring fair value accounting are sound and quite appealing. Unquestionably, financial statement users will benefit significantly from information about how a company’s financial assets and liabilities change in value during a reporting period. However, there are some problems. The major problem with fair value accounting is that management has too much flexibility in how it computes and reports these amounts. The “problem values” are those based on Level 2 and Level 3 inputs as discussed in Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 157, Fair Value Measurements, which happen to account for most of the assets on financial institution balance sheets. Such guidance effectively allows management to “create” values based on their own assumptions since quoted market prices do not exist. It is particularly troubling that such subjectivity is permitted by the standard setters since their very own conceptual framework (in Concept Statement No. 2, Qualitative Characteristics of Accounting Information), cites reliability as a primary decision-specific quality and verifiability as a necessary ingredient for information to be useful in decision-making. It also is not clear who will enforce the reliability standard associated given the inherent subjectivity of Level 2 and 3 fair values.


    The standard-setters have attempted to compensate for the lack of measurement objectivity in their fair value standard by requiring extensive disclosures of how Level 2 and Level 3 asset values are derived. However, they have omitted any requirement that historical cost amounts actually expended for these recorded assets and liabilities be reported together with assumed fair value amounts.

    Consequently, we urge you to use your media resources to call attention to the need for including historical cost information for financial instruments in financial statements and accompanying footnotes alongside any fair value data. This supplementary disclosure would highlight any major disparities between cost and fair value, thus potentially mitigating any management incentives to overstate assumed fair values.

    It is likely that the investing public will look to a company’s independent auditor to provide some oversight of management’s valuation assumptions. However, we question this third party’s ability to provide effective oversight of the verifiability needed to make fair value information useful. We think it is no coincidence that the move to fair value has occurred simultaneously with attempts by the largest U.S. accounting firms to reduce their legal liabilities for poor quality audits. Unable to secure legislative relief through tort reform, these “Big Four” firms used their significant influence to make generally accepted accounting principles more subjective and judgmental. By doing so, they reduced their exposure to future lawsuits since their audits devolved into reviews of management assumptions surrounding asset and liability valuations.

    Additionally, fair values added a complexity to the reporting process beyond the scope of most corporate accounting departments. This likely yielded significant non-audit consulting opportunities for the Big Four firms. Consequently, we now have a very dangerous situation in which the incentives of both the reporting company and its auditor are aligned in favor of fair value reporting. Companies favor it because they can create their own values, and their auditors appreciate it because it is much more difficult to assess audit quality where judgments are involved.

    Clearly, the effectiveness of the independent auditor’s report has been diminished by the move to fair value reporting. Therefore, including historical cost data together with fair values is even more critical to provide a benchmark that investors can use to evaluate the reasonableness of management’s valuations.

    The Professional Responsibilities of the Auditor

    In October of 2008, the Department of the Treasury issued a final report of its Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession. Many of the report’s recommendations were similar to action calls made during the past thirty years by the Cohen Commission in 1978, the Treadway Commission in 1987, and the O’Malley Panel in 2000. However, the committee made one very important recommendation that specifically recognized problems with today’s public company audits introduced by fair value reporting, which surfaced in our most recent financial crisis. The committee urged the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) to “consider improvements to the auditor’s standard reporting model,” because of the increased complexity in financial reporting resulting from the growing use of judgments and estimates, including those related to fair value measurements. While we agree completely with this recommendation, we are concerned that this suggestion will not be given the attention it is due for several reasons.

    First, the Big Four accounting firms dominate the public company audit market. In the United States during 2006, they audited nearly 98 percent of total public company market capitalization and the same proportion of the largest public companies (those companies with over $1 billion in annual revenues). Moreover, in the same year, they garnered 94 percent of all public company and audit related fees. Clearly, these firms together with their clients have little incentive to move away from their traditional business model, and not surprisingly, will exert significant influence to sustain the “status quo.” Evidence of such pressure can be seen in the Treasury Department Advisory Committee’s unwillingness to even consider whether an “audit only” firm is a more appropriate business model for the profession, or recommend that the Big Four’s audited annual financial statements be made public. It is noteworthy that such respected public servants as Lynn E. Turner, a former Chief Accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Arthur Levitt, Jr. and Donald T. Nicolaisen, the Committee’s Co-chairs took exception to these inactions.

    A second, and more troubling, reason is the fact that public company financial statement errors continue to occur (well over 800 in 2008 alone). These errors, now called restatements, represent accounting mistakes that independent auditors fail to detect in their client companies in such basic areas as recording revenues and expenses, and cash flow reporting. While the PCAOB is supposed to see that public company auditors prepare informative audit reports, the continued high volume of restatements suggests that it has not been effective in policing the Big Four. In fact, between 2005 and 2008, during which over 5400 financial statement restatements occurred, the PCAOB took disciplinary action against auditors in only 20 cases. This relative inaction is probably due to the PCAOB’s approach that reviews the Big Four’s internal operations, rather than focusing on actual instances of auditor error.

    Equally disturbing is the PCAOB’s reluctance to release for public view their complete reviews of the Big Four’s audit practices. These reports would allow the investing public to determine the reliability of an independent auditor’s opinion given the audit practices of each of the Big Four.

    The staffing of the PCAOB’s board, and senior level division and office leaders also causes concern since the vast majority of the members are attorneys with little or no public accounting or auditing expertise. Clearly, the continued poor quality audits performed by the Big Four, and the inability of the PCAOB to provide effective oversight warrants your attention, particularly with the move to fair value reporting.

    Consequently, we urge you to initiate a public debate to encourage the PCAOB to reconsider its approach for overseeing public company auditors, to develop a new public company audit model, to release its full reports on the audit practices of the Big Four, and to require the Big Four to publicly report their audited financial statements.

    Conclusion

    Many accountants and auditors suggest that, given the complexities of global business, the role played by exotic financial instruments, there is no easy solution to the accounting, and reporting issues brought to light during the recent financial crisis. Unfortunately, given their natural preoccupation with the complexities of individual transactions, they have lost sight of the “forest,” because of the “trees.” Accounting is not a science, nor is it inherently complex. Accounting is about recording measurable assets and liabilities on a company’s books, and auditing is about verifying the existence of these same assets and liabilities. The strength of our proposals regarding fair value accounting and the auditing profession is their simplicity. Their adoption will make a meaningful and lasting contribution to improving financial reporting transparency and ethical business decision-making. Moreover, they are easy to adopt and relatively costless to the investing public and existing regulatory structure.

    We respectfully ask that you consider our recommendations, and would very much appreciate the opportunity to discuss these issues with you or your representative further at your convenience. Given the urgency of the problem, we are willing to accommodate our schedules to continue a dialogue with you to create a solution that best serves the public’s interest.

    Jack Martin wrote, in part, "Others blame a general immorality, or a lack of sensible thrift among the populace."

    You are such an idealogue, Jack. Always slaming two things together in hopes no one catches on to the schtick of "mixed message".

    I think idealogues are "immoral" because all their ideologies are based upon FORCE and FRAUD against the individual.

    Example - it's intellectually dishonest (immoral) to claim people exhibited "lack of sensible thrift" when life-maintenance products were DESIGNED with built in obsolescence.

    Everything was built to fall apart in "x" amount of time so that people would need to purchase it again. The time frame got shorter and shorter (WalMart specifications of "cheap") and less paper money was "trickled down" to even support the obsolescense curve...like duh. So when the economy went into the inevitable tilt - what was the solution? Take ALL our tax $$$ and stuff it into the banks with the "trickle down" valve SHUT OFF.

    Using the IRS to shake out every last cent a person may have to pay the pyramid scam overlords known as "health insurance corporations" is the final straw. That's a CRIMINAL act that "legislators" are about to write into "law".

    I believe we are done waiting for the lawless to have an epiphany. Ain't gonna happen...

    For those of you who are going to try, good luck trying to get your deposits out of the bank they are in...

    There is a maximum number of people that would have to somehow get together in one place - should be D.C. - to provide the "visuals" that the Gen X sociopaths need because they are too lazy to read and study and only indulge in the abstract when it is delusional "magik" like "perception is reality".

    The problem IS, we DO have at least 187,000 KNOWN mercenaries (Xe "contractors" et al) who have already taken the pre-emptive strike with the "tea bagger" crap...anyone think that they won't be around to bash your face in if you try to physically show up? They're NOT just practicing "anti-insurgency" in Iraq...

    People a gentleman in the movie sicko summed it all up saying that in FRANCE the government is still afraid of the people wear as in the UNITED STATES THE PEOPLE ARE AFRAID OF THE GOVERNMENT.Until that changes we all SCREWED period!!!!!

    400 own as much as 150,000,000. That is, the Forbes 400 have a net worth greater than the net worth of half the U.S. population. I wrote an essay about this at http://benL8.blogspot.com. I think it's necessary to point out how out of balance our system is. I hope this data becomes common knowledge. Les Leopold, author of The Looting of America and other books, makes much the same point. But 400 to 150 million is ludicrous, almost to the point of criminal. I hope someone at Moyer's Journal catches this essay, and passes it on. B. L.

    I hope that one area of financial reform that is addressed soon is the horrible mortgage servicing companies. Trying to deal with a bad mortgage servicer is a nightmare, especially when they refuse to respond in a timely manner, create scenarios that result in unwarranted fees and ultimately jeopardize a customer's credit rating.

    These bad mortgage servicing companies are another way the mortgage customer is being victimized because the customer has no choice of servicing company. Who would choose a company with a poor service record, especially when money, housing and credit ratings are at risk?

    I/we are just discovering how limited the recourse is for the individual borrower to the unethical and potentially illegal tactics that they employ in order to extort additional money from the borrower. Other than filing complaints with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (which may or may not produce results) and following the complaint process for HUD (supposedly the only government agency with any power over these companies), suing the company is the only remaining option. These predatory companies are aware that the majority of borrowers have limited resources cannot afford to sue.

    I applaud Ms. Kaptur's efforts to speak out against the injustices of the current financial policies, but would you please add this area to your fight. The problem of bad mortgage servicing companies is growing and action is needed urgently to help borrowers.

    October 11, 2009 UPDATE
    FOCUS: Hire at least 1,000 mortgage and real estate fraud investigators. Prosecute. Do NOT repeat our mistakes of our S&L, financial institutional failures and our limitation or allocation of necessary American resources, courage, and will.
    This is about our AMERICA, OUR QUALITY OF LIFE, OUR FUTURE...
    A.VRBA, 2009
    See PBS, Bill Moyers Journal, "Wall Street vs. Reform", 10-9-09, TRANSCRIPT: www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/10092009/transcript4.html and www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2009/10/wall_street_us_reform.html
    See "Obama Urges Congress Not to Scale Back Financial Reform", New York Times, By Stephen Labaton, 10-9-09, www.nytimes.com/2009/10/10/business/economy/10regulate.html
    See "A Scramble to Modify Loans", Washington Post, By Renae Merle, 10-12-09, www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/11/AR2009101102206.html
    See "Misguided Monetary Mentalities", New York Times, By Paul Krugman, 10-12-09, www.nytimes.com//2009/10/12/opinion/12krugman.html
    See "Commercial Real Estate May Be Next Victim of Recession", PBS, Transcript:Report, 10-6-09, www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/business/july-dec09/realestate_10-06.html
    ===========
    February 25, 2009
    FORECLOSURES ACROSS AMERICA AND OUR UNSTABLE HOUSING MARKET
    By Alyce Vrba
    QUESTIONS/COMMENTS:
    1) One out of five homeowners across America or approximately 60 million homeowners are stuck in properties governed, assessed, and taxed by "quasi-governmental" entities: homeowner associations aka community property developments. These include condominium complexes and single-family residences in community property developments, and appear to be particularly prevalant in high foreclosure States that allow non-judicial foreclosures through mortgages or loans and liens without court proceedings, meaningful opportunities of the homeowner to be heard, or redemption by the recorded owner(s), the homeowner to protect their equity in their home. Non-judicial foreclosures versus judicial foreclosure States guarantees a speedy process for the entity (the lending institution, the homeowners association) foreclosing against a homeowner, and presents a ready opportunity and means for dummied up "notices" to homeowner victims and a ready opportunity and means for fraud perpetrators. These high foreclosure States include California, Arizona, Nevada, Florida, et.al. These high foreclosure States and their elected or appointed officials systematically appear to have intentionally and willfully failed in regulating, governing, or implementing any meaningful oversight or auditing, investigation, or criminal prosecution of these quasi-governmental entities: homeowner associations and community property developments, and their principal parties and decision-makers, although these quasi-governmental entities through their Boardmembers and principals of unlicensed management companies are collecting and handling millions of dollars per year and affecting billions of dollars of real property assets, and allegedly are paying State and Federal taxes. These quasi-governmental entities and their principals impose and enforce taxes in the form of monthly homeowner association dues that may consist of hundreds of dollars per month and in dollar amounts that may overshadow monthly mortgage or trust deed payments for individual home!
    owners.
    These quasi-governmental entities and their principals impose and enforce taxes in the form of special assessments of hundreds or thousands of dollars per homeowner that often times appear to be implemented by homeowner association boardmembers and their unlicensed, unbonded, unaudited management companies without statutory requirements and with the perpetrators knowledge of such, and are merely implemented and executed under the quise "that they need more money". These quasi-governmental entities and their principals further execute fines and takings of property or slandering of the title to subject homes through the process of filing liens or non-judicial foreclosures against individual homes and properties, all in the pursuit of obtaining additional monies and property for the enterprise and its principals. Often times these takings of property, these liens, these non-judicial foreclosures and the accelerated attorney fees and costs are implemented without statutory notice(s) required by statutory or case law or even the homeowners asssociation's own governing documents: CC&R's (Covenants, Codes, and Restrictions), and appear to be implemented in a discriminatory or retaliatory manner. The bottomline is through whatever means to obtain additional monies for the perpetrators, the homeowner association, the community property development enterprise. The bottomline through whatever means is to get additional monies for the Boardmembers, their management companies, their contractors and vendors; the attorneys that represent the Boardmembers and their management companies and allegedly bill their time out at hundreds of dollars per hour, yet that are paid with hard-earned dollars collected from the individual homeowners or HOA owner/members. The bottomline for the enterprise is to create and perpetuate the misuse of monies and properties, fraud and abuse, and a housing market in crisis and doubt.
    2) Why would this segment of the American housing market and the housing market in general that is in a crisis and doubt be a surprise to any American citizen? Over the last twenty years in high foreclosure States i.e. California there have been numerous complaints regarding homeowner associations or community property developments, their unlicensed management companies, their unethical yet highly paid attorneys, their contractors and vendors...to law enforcement; the State Attorney General; the major fraud section of the Los Angeles County District Attorney; the City Attorney's office; the Courts; to local, state, and federal elected or appointed officials...yet there appear to date to be no meaningful consequences for perpetrators. In fact, homeowner association and community property development victims are consistently misled by elected or appointed officials, and are bounced from one dysfunctional official or governmental entity to another. And for at least twenty years in high foreclosure States i.e. California, the old standby of governmental officials to homeowner association or community property development victims is "go out and hire an attorney" for thousands of dollars, or better yet go out and organize a group of victims and "hire an attorney" for tens of thousands of dollars, and several years worth of time. After all, according to governmental officials, we have to "let the free market of homeowner associations, community property developments thrive and survive". Doesn't this remind y'all of Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve Chairman, stating "he made a mistake" in trusting that free markets could regulate themselves. See the New York Times, "Greenspan Concedes Error in Regulation", http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/14/business/economy/24panel.html. It is argued that Greenspan, who had the power, and his co-regulators, his co-governmental officials, systematically failed to rein in the explosive growth of risky and often fraudulent mortgage lending. This was and is an industry that!
    appears for all intent and purposes and operation or modus operandi totally unregulated, operating with no meaningful oversight or consequences from civil or criminal perspectives. Sound familiar?
    3) Over twenty years ago, these homeowner associations or community property developments in high foreclosure States i.e. California were sold under the guise that gated communities, private streets, and the proliferation of "quasi-governmental" entities would lower the use of taxpayer dollars from County or City governments, would maintain and increase property values in residential communities, and would give elected or appointed officials an easy point of contact or sphere of influence. In many cases the opposite appears to have occurred, at least in terms of maintaining or increasing property values in residential communites. Let's take a look at one case study: Newcastle Manor Homeowner Association, Encino (Los Angeles), California, (5414, 5400, 5403, 5349 Newcastle Avenue, Encino, California 91316) that is evident in public or distributed records.
    4) SEE public records or distributed records and documents. SEE the high level of renter-occupied units (estimated at 80%) versus owner-occupied units, absentee landlords - some holding multiple units for a "for-profit" enterprise and in which it appears that owner-occupied units owner/members to their detriment are in effect subsidizing the "for-profit" rental enterprise of absentee landlords. And in which it appears that in actuality or practical definition there is no functional operating "non-profit" corporation colletively styled as a homeowner accociation (Newcastle Manor Homeowner Association): four 70-unit buildings, a 280-unit condominium operation issued Los Angeles Building and Safety Orders to Comply that appear to indicate the complex failed to meet its tract conditions, its permits, its final inspection as a "legal condominium conversion" - but in operation for at least 2.5 years the Orders to Comply were in effect, was facilitating the transfer, the financing, the refinancing of individual units), with the full knowledge, assistance of its alleged Board of Directors, its management company(s)(Preferred Associates Management, Inc., current management company: Westcom Property Services, Inc.), its attorneys, and its agents. See City of Los Angeles, Building and Safety, Order to Comply, Case #: 111701, Order #: A-445416, Effective Date: July 22, 2004, re 5414, 5400, 5403, 5349 Newcastle Avenue, Encino, California 91316. In 2008, Newcastle Manor HOA affected a 11% increase in monthly dues, that imposed an approximate $300. per monthly unit cost or approximately $3,600. per year unit cost, and a total revenue stream for the homeowner association of at least one million dollars per year. It appears no audited financial records or documents were provided to owner/members. Shortly thereafter the Newcastle Boardmembers without a majority vote of the 280 owner/members and in excess of 5% implemented an alleged special assessment that appears to be violation of California Civil Code, sections 1365, !
    1366 et.
    seq. The Board and management company (Westcom Property Services, Inc.) refused to remove the "special assessment" that did not appear to meet the definition of an emergency situation in scope or time, refused to show any records related to such, and threatened "foreclosure and penalties" if the 280 owner/members didn't pay such. Newcastle Manor Homeowner Association for years has taken complete advantage for tax purposes and operation as a "non-profit" corporation, yet in affect and operation, reality...appears to be a for-profit rental operation for absentee owners, absentee landlords and their agents or investors.
    SUGGESTIONS:
    1) Eliminate non-judicial foreclosures through homeowner (HOA) liens.
    2) License, scrutinize management companies that are handling millions of dollars per year, and that are affecting billions of dollars of real estate and the financial security and well-being of individual owner/members.
    3) Routinely audit homeowner associations regarding the use, misuse, embezzelment of funds and resources; use of personnel, employees, contractors, vendors; and the obtainment of real property i.e. individual units, individual parking spaces, and the seizure of common-area property in the complex for a select few versus the totality of the owner/members. Auditing could be achieved through State Controller, State Attorney General, State Franchise Tax Boards, City counterparts, and/or Federal counterparts including the IRS.
    4) Routinely audit homeowner association Boardmembers and their management company regarding implementation of fines; special assessments; failure to provide meaningful access to homeowner association records/documents for review and copying by owner/members; failure to perform, repair, or to maintain safety or security within the complex; hiring of contractors and employees i.e. day laborers, unqualified, unlicensed, uninsured entities or individuals, conflicts of interest or kickback schemes; lawsuits; retaliatory or discriminatory acts and conduct; and failure to disclose liabilities or status/standing concerning lawsuits, governmental orders, projected costs.
    5) Seek to reduce homeowner (HOA) monthly dues by at least 50%. Consider eliminating involuntary HOA dues.
    6) Implement uniformity of law at the federal level to increase the functioning, the affordability, the marketability of real properties currently part of homeowner associations or community property developments.
    WE are not going to be able to address our housing costs, our housing problems, until WE adequately, WE equitably, WE fairly address our accelerating, our unaudited, our involuntary homeowner association dues and special assessments.
    This is OUR AMERICA. This is OUR OPPORTUNITY. This is OUR RESPONSIBILITY. WE Are AmeriCAN.
    A.VRBA, Copyright 2009, All rights reserved.
    SEE "Condo Tenants Fight for Their Home", DAILY BREEZE, December 14, 2008, www.dailybreeze.com, by Nick Green. This involves a $75,000 dollar special assessment levied against each of 180 owner/members for an alleged construction project led by Design Build Associates. This "construction management entity" along with Cal-Coast Repiping, Inc. was previously employed by Newcastle Boardmembers and their management company for a repiping, etc. project at the 280-unit, four building Newcastle Manor HOA complex. It appears owner/members, renters, etc. were exposed to asbestos and toxic mold contained in at least one of the four 70-unit buildings. Allegedly the California State South Coast Air Quality Management District asked the Newcastle Manor Board President for a voluntary compliance with state laws and statutes to protect victims. The Board refused such. The Air Quality investigator brought in Cal-Osha to protect the workers, shut the construction project down, and ordered a cleanup and abatement. See Occupational Safety and Health, Docket 04-R4D3-3169, 3172 re Cal-Coast Repiping, Inc.; Docket 04-R4D3-4436, 4439 re Design Build Associates, Inc. See Los Angeles County criminal case: 5CR0231 re Cal-Coast Repiping, Inc., Randal aka Randy Flowers, Alex Zamora. See Los Angeles County superior court civil cases: BC331539, LC071300, LC071016, LC069232.
    =========
    See articles re homeowner associations and community property developments, www.ahrc.com
    =========
    See "Killing (or Maiming)a Sacred Cow: Home Mortgage Deductions", New York Times, February 24, 2009, By Edward Glaeser, http:/economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/24/killing-or-maiming-a-sacred-c ow-homemortgage-deductions
    =========
    See "That Can't Do Spirit", New York Times, February 23, 2009, By Bob Herbert, www.nytimes.com/2009/02/24/opinion/24herbert.html
    =========
    See "Cities Deal With a Surge in Shantytowns", New York Times, March 25, 2009, By Jesse McKinley, www.nytimes.com/2009/03/26/us/26tents.html
    See "Geithner Calls for Major Overhaul of Financial Rules", New York Times, March 26, 2009, By Edmund L. Andrews and Louise Story, www.nytimes.com/2009/03/27/business/economy/27regulate.html
    See "I.R.S. to Offer Deal to Tax Evaders, New York Times, March 27,2009, By Lynnley Browning, "The agency has drafted a plan that significantly lowers a penalty that applies to wealthy Americans who hide money overseas in secret accounts.", www.nytimes.com
    =========
    A.VRBA, 2009
    Check out http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/features/us/july-dec09/finance_09-15.html

    Check out http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/business/july-dec09/realestate_10-06.html

    "America is the richest country in the world and everybody wants to move here!" observes one poster below. (The "Great Leader" has claimed the same about North Korea.)
    While varda rightly observes,"In order for Capitalism to thrive in the society it operates in there must be a prosperous nation. This situation is simply economic thievery."
    Conclusion: The first poster must fancy himself a clever thief (like Obama's cronies).
    The patient among us believe in campaign finance reform like a child believes in Santa. (Is he coming soon?) Others blame a general immorality, or a lack of sensible thrift among the populace.

    Put all these half-truths together to see that the "success ethic" is our primary foible. We all must emulate the worst hogs at the top to have any hope of upward mobility. We work our predatory jobs screwing others over in behalf of our employers. Acting "professional" means being hard-hearted in committing moral crimes and miseducations (promotions, advertising, scams) we might be ashamed to pursue as individuals. The type of aspirational capitalism we have has produced an oligarchy that plows deeper each season as the topsoil erodes. Our empire fell because our opinion-makers valued the wrong things, and narrowed the People's choices. Only a "madman" could claim we are the richest, or a global magnet. We do draw crooks and exploiters like dog poop draws flies.

    Throwbackers are correct that social solutions sparked and dominated by parasitism are useless, but we are not allowed any other kind. "Don't stop, thinking about tomorrow. Don't stop, It'll soon be here. It'll be, better than before. Yesterday's gone. Yesterday's gone."
    Sounds Orwellian under the current conditions, doesn't it? All we really have is the Now. Think about the Now and tell your employer ,"No!" It's our last hope.

    Does anyone know where I can get cartoon of finical crisis on show. I believe artist first name is mark. Great show. Any person who knows history should have know Obama was a joke and America would get watered down garbage from him and his cronies on wall street and clowns in congress. Globalism equals enslavement equals Obama. Is it constitutional to require 'free' citizens to purchase goods from for profit health care providers???

    This was a brilliant conversation. These issues are absolutely integral to our zeitgeist. I hope you continue digging into these issues, Mr. Moyers.

    Bill Moyers,
    I was very impressed with this journal and especially the very poignant conclusion...
    There is no way that we will fix our present corrupt system of government without eliminating the corrupting influence of lobbyists. Any advantage to having lobbyist influences in government has been lost with the advent of lobbyists Providing large sums of money to elected representatives for their election. There should be a one thousand dollar per election limit on any donation by lobbyists of institutions. The price of getting elected is a staggering waste of money that escalates with every election. There is no limit to what the cost might be. Elections should be based on qualifications not the amount of indebtedness to vested interests.
    Banks, Insurance Companies and Money Markets should be contolled by government not Banks, Insurance Companies and Money Markets controlling Government. We no longer have a government. We have a de facto corporate owned nation.

    How States Fall and Liberty Triumphs by Lew Rockwell

    http://mises.org/multimedia/mp3/PWD2003/Lew-PWD03.mp3

    "We need to stand together and tell Congress..."

    How can all of you be so naive? Congress stopped listening decades ago.

    As to recusing themselves from voting you only have to see they claim ignorance of owning investments that they are voting on.

    Like Pelosi who claimed that drilling oil off the CALIF coast would take a decade to produce anything so she blocked it.

    In reality, she owns a chunk of CLEAN HARBORS and that made her shares grow in value.

    Bottom line, there are existing wells already drilled and capped off that I know of in the Santa Barbara area. They can be producing in as little as 90 days to 6months.

    Congress now writes books to cover up their campaign gifts. How else was Hillary able to NEED to borrow $$$ from the DNC before she became a Senator, to loaning her own campaign $5Million a few years later???

    The money is the corrupting influence and if we started a new political party and took the money out of it, we have a chance to avoid the precipice facing US.

    Start with something similar to Arizona's Clean Election program.

    But, before that, change all terms to SINGLE terms so that the lobbyists have no reason to come with CA$H to fill the freezers.

    HARRUMPH

    The only way to stop them is to stop paying your mortgage and credit cards take your money out of the bank and buy gold, close your retirement account put it into hard assets do not pay your taxes. If everyone does this the system will collapse and then we can rebuild .It is a bloodless war but still requires courage nothing will change unless we as americans take these steps to purge the system

    Bill/Sen Kaptur&S.Johnson. It seems "we the people" need to take action now. We need to stand together and tell Congress and the corporations who bribe them that we want change NOW! Their greed is poisoning our country!
    Campaign reform is necessary, I agree it's one place to start. How much longer are we going to pretend that elected officials are working for us? We need to shock Congress with our collective presence in Washington. It's time we recognize our power! I'm all for moving money to the credit unions. I'll be at the bank Mon. morning.
    But we also need to go to D.C.with a massive, peaceful, organized demonstration to inform Congress that "we the people" demand CHANGE NOW!
    Grass root org.working on demonstrating in D.C. I want to be a part of it. Please let me know.

    Bill/Sen Kaptur&S.Johnson. It seems "we the people" need to take action now. We need to stand together and tell Congress and the corporations who bribe them that we want change NOW! Their greed is poisoning our country!
    Campaign reform is necessary, I agree it's one place to start. How much longer are we going to pretend that elected officials are working for us? We need to shock Congress with our collective presence in Washington. It's time we recognize our power! I'm all for moving money to the credit unions. I'll be at the bank Mon. morning.
    But we also need to go to D.C.with a massive, peaceful, organized demonstration to inform Congress that "we the people" demand CHANGE NOW!
    Grass root org.working on demonstrating in D.C. I want to be a part of it. Please let me know.

    P.S. I think it is fair to say that our first public mandate began with the words, "We the People of the United States..." And the Declaration of Independence begins with "When in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another..." it seems that now is the time to resort back to our roots and retrace our steps by practicing those Truths we hold to be self- evident. "...that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." Getting Financial reform in Washington by issuing a mandate that insures our elected officials recuse themselves when special interest and undue influence is clear and present, I think is a very positive way of getting back to our basic fundamental principals expressed in our Declaration of Independence.

    Marcy Kaptur is my hero. I am blown away by her intelligent eloquence. PLEASE tell me she plans to run for the Oval Office someday!

    When will people wake up the fact that this is a Ponzi scheme to end all schemes by the banks, wall street and government. Time to gut government and outlaw lobbyists coming from former government offices. Get rid of the Fed, get back on the Gold standard. In the words of John Lennon "Free the People now"

    Marcy mentions the lending practices of the banks. The banks with rules set forth in modern money mechanics can lend 10 times the amount they have in reserves. She claims some banks have lent 100 times their reserves.

    So the money banks lend us is created out of nothing.

    It is one of the biggest scams ever created. They create it out of thin air and we pay them loads of money in interest on what we barrow.

    WHY?

    Once the lender was able to sell its mortgages, the lender no longer bore the risk of making a bad loan. This was Wall Street's key contribution to the crisis: mortgage-backed securities. Did anyone actually consider whether the mortgages backing the securities were healthy?

    We would like more representatives like Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH). Good job, unfortunately she is not in headline news channels. !! She can maybe team up with Michael Moore ... and so. Greed is a powerful tool.

    Thank you for connecting more of the dots or bread crums....have told anyone who would listen about the on going connection between the S&L scandles, Keating 5 and what has happend now on Wall Street..who is listening. The Banks, financial institutions, are now in the process of screwing the American public in regards to credit cards, with the changes they are implementing now..before the legislation takes effect next yr. The banks are in a no lose situation, they collect going in and 'if' they lose we cover them(TARP) with no accountability and the public are in a no win.....

    Representative Marcy Kaptur and Simon Johnson seem totally oblivious to the dominate role played by democratic administrations, Congress, democratic Senators and Representatives in the housing debacle by not only protecting the semi-government agencies, Fannie, Freddie and Ginnie but requiring them to extend mortgage guarantees to riskier and riskier cuctomers and requiring banks and lending institutions to make more sub-prime loans or risk government interventions and investigations.
    If Representative Kaptur believes that those who caused the housing crash should refrain from being involved in correcting the problem then Congress Rep. Barney Frank and Senator Dodd and Congres as a whole should be barred from any further involvment.

    While Fannie Mae was established in 1938 the Fannie Mae of today is not the Fannie Mae of yesteryear. In 1968, the government converted Fannie Mae into a private shareholder-owned corporation in order to remove its activity from the annual balance sheet of the federal budget.[8] Consequently, Fannie Mae ceased to be the guarantor of government-issued mortgages, and that responsibility was transferred to the new Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae). In 1970, the government created the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC), commonly known as Freddie Mac, to compete with Fannie Mae and, thus, facilitate a more robust and efficient secondary mortgage market.

    Every effort has been made to place the blame for the mortgage/housing crisis on anyone President Bush, greedy bankers, predatory lenders, et al, and everyone except the truly guilty, the politicians behind the social engineering program, "home ownership is an entitlement" bythe federal government.
    TheTimeline to today's disaster starts here:
    1977- The Carter Administration
    The Community Reinvestment Act becomes the United States federal law designed to encourage commercial banks and savings associations to meet the needs of borrowers in all segments of their communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.
    1992-The Clinton Administration
    The New York Times published the following article outlining the further implementaion of the 1977 law.
    Fannie Mae Seeks to Ease Home Buying
    By KEITH BRADSHER, Published: March 10, 1994
    "The organization that stands behind many of the nation's mortgages is taking broad steps to make home ownership easier for lower-income Americans, particularly recent immigrants and minorities, people involved in the effort said today.
    Under the new rules, banks would have more flexibility in lending to people who already owe a considerable amount of money or who cannot afford a down payment equal to 20 percent of the price of a home".

    "President Clinton is tentatively scheduled to attend the announcement. The Administration is urging that loans be more broadly available to poor and lower-middle-income Americans."

    "In addition to changing its guidelines, Fannie Mae plans a national educational campaign that will seek to teach recent immigrants and minorities how to obtain mortgages. The campaign will be aimed particularly at immigrants in a dozen "gateway" cities where the percentage of home ownership has been declining.
    The long-term goal is to broaden the economic and ethnic diversity of homeowners. About 70 percent of white households now own their homes, compared with 40 percent of black and Hispanic households.
    "Two Million Excluded
    Mortgage experts have estimated that up to two million American households are excluded from buying homes now because of conservative mortgage lending standards. These include Americans with minor blemishes on their credit records, for such things as changing jobs repeatedly or failing to pay utility bills on time. Most mortgage experts assume that even people who fall behind on other bills will struggle to make mortgage payments lest they lose their homes."

    !999 The Clinton Administration
    IN 1999 the New York Times warned that Fannie and Freddie were taking on additional risk at the insistence of the Clinton administration and predicted the eventual meltdown and bailout in an economic downturn.:
    "This is from the New York Times September 30th, 1999.
    Headline: "'Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending' by Steven Holmes
    In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders. The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring. Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits."

    '''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. 'Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.' Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional loan market. In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's."

    The role of HUD during the Clinton administration is documented in a lengthy article in the Village Voice:
    Andrew Cuomo and Fannie and Freddie
    How the youngest Housing and Urban Development secretary in history
    gave birth to the mortgage crisis By Wayne Barrett Tuesday, August 5th 2008
    The full article is found at:
    http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-08-05/news/how-andrew-cuomo-gave-birth-to-the-crisis-at-fannie-mae-and-freddie-mac/

    2003- The Bush Admiistration
    In 2003, the Bush administration recommended significant regulatory
    overhaul of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However, the Democrats opposed
    that proposal, fearing that tighter regulation could sharply reduce
    financing for low-income hous ing, both low and high risk. Under
    immense lobbying pressure from Fannie Mae in association with
    Congressional Democrats led by Rep. Barney Frank, Congress did not
    introduce any legislation aimed at bringing this proposal into law
    until 2005.
    "In 2006, the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005
    (first put forward by Sen. Chuck Hagel) where he pointed out that
    Fannie Mae's regulator reported that profits were "illusions
    deliberately and systematically created by the company's senior
    management". However, this legislation too met with opposition from
    both Democrats and Republicans. This bill was passed by the House,
    but was never presented to the Senate for a vote.


    [14]
    " In 2003, the Bush administration recommended significant regulatory overhaul of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However, the Democrats opposed that proposal, fearing that tighter regulation could sharply reduce financing for low-income housing, both low and high risk. Under immense lobbying pressure from Fannie Mae in association with Congressional Democrats led by Rep. Barney Frank, Congress did not introduce any legislation aimed at bringing this proposal into law until 2005. [15]"
    "In 2006, the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005 (first put forward by Sen. Chuck Hagel)[16] where he pointed out that Fannie Mae's regulator reported that profits were "illusions deliberately and systematically created by the company's senior management".[17] However, this legislation too met with opposition from both Democrats and Republicans. This bill was passed by the House, but was never presented to the Senate for a vote. [18]"

    Conflict of interest
    " In June 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported that two former CEOs of Fannie Mae, James Johnson and Franklin Raines had received loans below market rate from Countrywide Financial. Fannie Mae was the biggest buyer of Countrywide's mortgages. [37]
    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have strategically given contributions to lawmakers currently sitting on committees that primarily regulate their industry: The House Financial Services Committee; the Senate Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committee; or the Senate Finance Committee. The others have seats on the powerful Appropriations or Ways & Means committees, are members of the congressional leadership or have run for president.(NB Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Barack H.Obama)
    Barney Frank has been a member of the House Financial Services Committee since 1991 (and is currently the chair). The HFSC is one of two government entities responsible for oversight over Fannie Mae. From 1991 to 1998, Barney Frank had a lover, Herb Moses, who was an executive at Fannie Mae. While at Fannie Mae, Moses helped develop many of Fannie Mae’s affordable housing and home improvement lending programs. Other lawmakers have called this a "clear conflict of interest." [38]"

    All of the above quotes are from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fannie_Mae

    After the 1968 conversion came the 1977 The Community Reinvestment Act (or CRA, Pub.L.
    95-128, title VIII, 91 Stat. 1147, 12 U.S.C. § 2901 et seq.) is a United States federal law designed to encourage commercial banks and savings associations to meet the needs of borrowers in all segments of their communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.[1][2][3] The Act was intended to reduce discriminatory credit practices against such neighborhoods, a practice known as redlining.[4] The Act requires the appropriate federal financial supervisor agencies to encourage regulated financial institutions to meet the credit needs of the local communities in which they are chartered, consistent with safe and sound operation. (See full text of Act and current regulations.[1]) To enforce the statute, federal regulatory agencies examine banking institutions for CRA compliance, and take this information into consideration when approving applications for new bank branches or for mergers or acquisitions.[5] Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_Reinvestment_ActHistory

    The following changes increased the requirement for subprime lending :

    • 2.1 Original Act
    • 2.2 Legislative changes 1989
    • 2.3 Legislative changes 1992
    • 2.4 Legislative changes 1994
    • 2.5 Regulatory changes 1995
    • 2.6 Legislative changes 1999

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_Reinvestment_Act#Legislative_changes_1989

    Except for the 1989 legislation all of those in 1938, 1968, 1977 and the above legislative changes in the 1990s were enacted under Democratic Presidents. The only legislative action proposed to rein in the Freddie and Fanny were by President Bush and the Republicans and successfully opposed by the democrats in 2005/6.


    There is sufficient blame to tarnish almost all politicians who use the power of the federal government to promote social engineering programs at the expense of hard working taxpaying citizens who are left to pay the bill but receive none of the largess, reserved for those who feed at the public money trough.

    Many thanks to Mr. Moyers and everyone at the Journal for the interview and remembrance of Charles Houston. Moving.

    Getting financial reform in Washington is like trying to perform an operation on our central nervous system. Everything is connected. It is a very, delicate and tedious process with dire consequences at every juncture. So, I am looking for a noninvasive, sure proof solution. I think the point were everything comes to a head is when the members of Congress actually cast their vote on a particular Bill.

    So, it is at this point that all undue influence must be banished. My thought is that any member of Congress that has accepted one dime from any outside source directly or indirectly connected to a Bill must recuse themselves from voting on that Bill. Any connection between the Bill being voted on and the voting member of Congress means that member of Congress must identify the source and why they are recusing themselves. The penalty for failing to recuse oneself when it is appropriate is grounds for immediate expulsion from Congress. Immediate is 5 days hence.

    Associations are easily traced through the public records. The result: the burden of determining undue influence and the who, what, where, when and how is put on the actor. In the case of our elected officials/actors they are now responsible for all their actions. The moment of truth is when they are called on to cast their vote on a Bill. If they accepted anything from any outside source, they must publicly recuse themselves at this time and identify the source. If they voted and a recusal was in order they are then fired on the spot and their vote is nullified.

    They can take all the money they want from whomever they want but in the end it will do neither party any good because under this mandate they could not vote and the consequences of failing to recuse constitutes immediate expulsion.

    I like this idea because it is so transparent and easy to implement. And it does not require endless amounts of special investigations, committee meetings and all the other insufferable delays to getting to the truth.

    Recusal could affect the definition of a quorum. Therefore, majority is defined as half plus one of the qualified voting members constitutes a quorum. So, if all that remains of 100 Senators or 435 representatives is 3 members, then all it will take to pass a Bill is 2 votes.
    Financial reform is a very simple procedure. It requires only one single cut at the end of the line.

    Congress will never introduce financial reform on its own. So, One group, the citizens of the United States of America can do it for them by sending a Mandate to the Speaker of the House. A Mandate is an order. It does not require a vote or approval. The mandate states: Any member of Congress voting on a Bill that has any connection with any group mentioned in the Bill must recuse themselves from voting. Not the same as an abstention. Members who fail to recuse themselves when it is appropriate are subject to immediate expulsion and dismissed from Congress.

    Recusal must be stated as a matter of the public record at the time of the vote by identifying the source for the recusal. That is the order and so shall it be.

    Definitions of RECUSAL, RECUSATION - Recusal is the process by which a judge or any person having taken an oath of office, voluntarily removes himself from hearing/voting on a particular case/Bill because of bias, conflict of interest, relation to a party, attorney or witness, or for any other reason.

    Recusal is a personal challenge of a voting member of Congress for cause. http://www.lectlaw.com/def2/q118.htm

    Mandate: In politics, a mandate is the authority granted by a constituency to act as its representative. Citizens are the constituency of a democracy. A public mandate by the constituency is therefore the proper and necessary course of action. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandate_%28politics%29
    Mandate
    1: an authoritative command;
    2: an authorization to act given to a representative http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mandate

    I am an average, ordinary citizen. I know the difference between right and wrong. I expect nothing more of my elected officials. A public mandate is a way of insuring that everyone understands that difference. I am sure someone could write this better. I am sure someone could say this better. All that I could hope for is that someone could say or write it better and in the same language that our Bill of Rights, Constitution and Declaration of Independence is written.

    Thank you most sincerely,

    Jeanne

    Amusing slip on my part - I meant of course that at least the banks aren't letting people die. But perhaps my slip is closer to the truth.

    I wonder if anyone in the Obama administration has the courage, or event the decency, to watch The Bill Moyers Journal. I think we can safely say that Obama, Geithner, Summers don't.

    It is time for a Debt Rebellion. It is no longer a comparatively small number of western Massachusetts residents following the lead of a Daniel Shays in 1786.

    Now it something like 300 million Americans who have been victimized by the very worst kind of money-grubbers. The Wall Street brigade of Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein, and others, may be second only to the Angela Bralys of the WellPoints and other health insurers. At least it can be maintained that the banks are letting people die to make money.

    ADDENDUM~
    I find it ironic, thought not really, that Congress went on Labor Day vacation when the economy was crashing.

    Later I learned that they KNEW that a crashed economy would ensure ousting more Republicans in the next election. So, I see it as orchestrated, starting with FRANK, DODD, PELOSI, etc, getting all those FUND$ from the perpetrators at Fannie/Freddie.

    I also find it interesting that when it comes to paying back the TARP and STIMULUS funds, the Wall St companies are issuing new shares of stock.

    They should of done that last summer when their values were higher, but I guess this way they could reap some benefits from all that campaign $$$ put into the Obama campaign at that private corporate party in Denver.
    (See Bill Ross/ABC News story on the $MILLION$ they raised)

    Personally, I wish we went to a true CITIZEN LEGISLATURE in govt and only chose those who are retired on Soc Security: ie similar to TRIBAL ELDERS!

    sigh/ Alex

    Kaptur is looking to the wrong players to solve this problem!

    It was CONGRESS that created the chaos and most Americans know it; ie their low approval rating.

    They can also fix it by simply giving homeowners recourse to amend their mortgages via an abitrator or panel.

    After all, would you willingly give someone who owes you payments the option to not pay the full price? Or lower the original purchase price?

    Instead, set up a very low interest payment on half the value, with INTEREST ONLY payments, until the original first half balance is paid off at whatever is 35% of their net income.

    I went to WAR with 3 of my 4 credit cards, when after making prompt and FULL+ monthly payments on the balance they still raised my interest rate from 11> 28%.

    They wouldnt talk to me until I was 3months behind, at which time the debt went straight to COLLECTION who only wants full balance payment plus lots of FEE$.

    So, Chapter 7 will happen next year, if I can save the one card. Cant live without plastic these days.

    Harrumph/Alex

    Mr. Moyers,
    You said, at the end of your latest program, that we need to act, but HOW? Even if we vote the incumbents out of power, the neophytes will soon learn the ropes. And how on God's green earth can we get campaign finance reform through Congress if we can't even get the public option out of committee?

    I could write my senators. They are Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss, both Republicans. As a matter of fact, I have written them on many occasions to no avail. I visited my Republican Representative's office during the summer recess on behalf of the single-payer or at least the public option, but was told to leave a message with the receptionist and leave. I am essentially not represented in Congress. I do not have the funds to buy Sen. Saxby Chambliss one of the golfing junkets of which he is so very fond. The outrage that many feel over the TARP bailouts has been funneled off into astroturf demonstrations such as the 9/12 march on Washington.

    Mr. Moyers, I would say that our collective goose is cooked. The plutocracy has us by the shorthairs. If you have any practical suggestions, I'm open to them, but I am not hopeful anymore.

    Excellent program Bill. For a deeper understanding of the corruption on Wall Street and in our government, listen to this audio by Patrick Riot. It is a 2 ½ hour story of who is pulling the strings on our leaders and how it all fits together; I promise you will be enlightened. (Fast forward through the breaks) American Underground Network

    http://www.aunetwork.tv/files/audio/114_Collective_Consciousness_8_13_09.m3u

    One year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers set off a series of federal interventions, the government is the nation’s biggest lender, insurer, automaker and guarantor against risk for investors large and small. Federal spending is a bigger share of the nation’s economy — 26 percent — than at any time since World War II.

    Simply funding the banking system without reforming it is an expensive and dangerous game. President Barack Obama and Congress could truly fix things by dividing the Wall Street mega-banks under a new Glass-Steagall Act.

    But will they?

    Roger Champanis, wrote, in part, How would we enforce this ultimatum? We all know the answer, don't we?"

    What? Pitchforks and let's see if a chicken without a head can still eat cake?

    :-))

    From the very first tribe that pooled it's resources to take down the predatory animals in the jungle that liked the occasional human snack, the ONLY role of GOVERNMENT is to protect the individual against force and fraud.

    There's our philosophical clarity against the "devil in the details" - what IS the role of government?

    Basically, where I am blogging from, a remote area, there is NO government that can reach me via the internet or via a drone or even via fighter jets in time to protect me against ANY wild-eyed, wacked-out-on-opiates, psyched-out-for-blood "holy war" horde of drug pushers thunderinig up the hill on their yaks who simply want to STEAL everything that someone else (like myself) has built through honest, hard work - ie. education, organization, COMPETANCE, community cooperation.

    What a delusional piece of CRAP it is to call civilization builders "working poor". Trickle-down my a--...without the "working poor", what wealth would THIEVES have to "trickle down"?

    My point - whatever it is that is PRETENDING to be "government" is not only not even remotely interested in protecting ANY individual against force and fraud, but the whole show was providing FACTS about a level of "corruption" that really is a "government" that is the SOURCE of force and fraud against every individual citizen! Yes, it's crazy. And we need to be CLEAR that crazy has no SELFISH interest in not being crazy.

    It's divide and conquer, force fed "poison" in the way of pollution and prevarication of needed FACTS to "survive" as a species, fer cryin' out loud, and pushing every button inside every IMPERFECT human that can trigger FEAR, lust, gluttony, envy, etc.

    Now, in a fleeting moment of clarity, what is OUR moral obligation to bend our knee in obedience to depravity and degeneracy because the "system" provided the $$$, through ELECTRONIC lalaland "ism" theft, to the degenerate and the depraved?

    What is OUR MORAL OBLIGATION?

    It's easy when it's a bunch of psychos on yaks - I have the right to protect my life.

    But aren't we up against a "system" where the motives are the SAME as the yak invadors? Don't we have the same rights to protect our LIVES?

    Man, I wish my mother were alive to read these posts!

    Antony Van der Mude, I am glad you said what you said and asked the questions you asked. I have read Lakoff and Thom Hartmann, and it could be that I have an unproductive internicene conflict gene (hope not), but I always keep thinking...this and that were belabored and this and that were not there. Re the tea partyers, for instance, I am never convinced the right analysis is there. Their problems need to be analyzed in a briefer fashion (if this is possible). Whole schools of psych & phil have to be conveyed briefly AND brought to bear where they have bearing. Spent more than half an hr today looking for a site that covers many Lakoff-like viewpoints...and that covers them well...summing things up. As crazy as it sounds, sometimes I am tempted to think it will be up to message board posters to come up with a synthesis [how many other sites are gonna mention Eric Walberg's article on the real enemy in Afghanistan besides "Counterpunch" for example, or even link it? Or how about what Rene Girard says about religion's origins...which obviates whole libraries of failed theories? It seems as though many "experts" have not come to grips with all the tools at their disposal...prior that is to deciding which will be most helpful in the big triage]. Each site (save about 20 I'd guess) just go on and on about their own little concerns...which of course hold all the keys to the universe! Finally, I came up with this below, but I guess my ancient browser version wouldn't let me finish Yahoo registration
    http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/phrase/social-psychology-theories

    Then again, it may simply only be a matter of presenting the raw facts re the shakedowns billionaires keep cook'n up seemingly for entertainment. Maybe these facts alone will do it.

    We may actually be a ways from the shibboleth that'll work, but it's amazing what a big march can do with 5000 homemade ones. Trust me, I was there at the Pentagon
    in 68.

    I'm so mad with people who says the "trickle down effect" doesn't work. It works! That's why America is the richest country in the world and every one on the planet wants to move here. Sure, some people come up with excellent inventions and products in the land of the free, and so we buy those products, out of FREE WILL. No wonder the few smart become rich. But what do they do with their money? They start new companies and spend the money on consumption, providing an income for YOU. Commies, go ahead, tax the "wealthy bastards" for doing such a good job, but be prepared to see them stop working hard to bring the best solutions and products to the market, in favor of your government-run programs. Trust me, a burger at Government-King would take three days to cook, taste like crap and cost $47, while having corrupt managers claiming that everything is done as best as possibly can.

    If you are a leftwing voter, believe me, your brain is DEAD!

    Obama is surrounded by the wrong people? Sure, they are Democrats!

    The inevitable bank crisis was triggered by Bill Clinton when he was president. He made it into law that banks must lend money to the poor working class so that they could by a home of their own. (Political garbage.)If the poor couldn't pay back, the government would, Bill Clinton promised. Well. How SURPRISING that the banks started to actually loan money to people who could not afford to pay back. Duh!!! Bush has nothing to do with our crisis. Obama will only make it worse, with more of government intervening.

    Government is bad, incompetent, always. The less of government, the better. Republicans are for lower taxes and a smaller government. They choice is easy. Vote right wing the next time. Keep in mind: politicians are stupid. The less of tax dollars and power you give them, the better for YOU.

    During the campaign Obama was packaged as a 'new politician' ushering in 'new politics.' Now that he's won election, change we can believe in turns out to be more of the same. The stimulus package was welfare for the rich, first under the Bush watch, then under Obama. Widespread corruption defines American government and nothing less than radical structural change will make a difference. As long as apathy and indifference are the default modes of political consciousness, the status quo will do just fine.

    Another great Moyers show. Courageous journalism in these times of government run media. Previous comments all got to the heart of things.
    But sending new people to Washington only insures that the rookies will succumb to the entrenched tenured leadership (of both parties).They are so well backed financially from years of corruption that they only leave when they die. We have to take the money out of the equation at the same time.

    Remembers when Pelosi used her position to turn off the lights in the house last fall, with the country in crisis, then she went on a book tour. Yet, theres no way she would ever get voted out.

    Bill:
    Thanks for having these two well-informed people on your show. I follow Simon's blog daily and agree with both of them on what needs to be done. However, I think Obama is a smart man and he knows what is happening is not right for the American people. His largest campaign donor was Goldman Sachs. What do we expect?

    He nows that he cannot invoke redaical change in this country without dramatic and vocal support of the populous. How do we do that? A massive march on Washington....not this little tea party stuff. I mean millions........Then,.....as a consequence of that, these millions get the word out to pull ALL of our money out of the big banks coffers and place it in the regional banks where we live. This would be 1-2 trillion dollars and would cripple the big boys. This has to be done fast because the fed will try and stop it, if they can.
    Next, these people that march on WDC need to contact ALL their congressman and threaten to vote them out if they don't vote for radical reform and stop listening the bank and insurance lobby.

    Then, we may start to see some things happen.

    Reinstate glass-Steagall would be one of the first. Second, no more bailouts period!

    That is change I could agree to!

    Such a disappointing interview. Bill, you need to seriously sharpen up your game. Politically, the closest any national representation has gotten to defending our interest was the House's initial defeat of TARP, which was driven mainly, but not exclusively, by the Republican party. Bill, you got busy asking about should Geithner and Summers go, but failed to mention Frank, Dodd and Pelosi. How did that happen. To Rep Kaptur I would like to point out, as a resident of her state - although not her district - that the housing calamity has intense geographic concentration. It is not in the interest of Ohio to provide a national solution to this problem, for which a big result will be that about 90% of the states will end up making serious net investments into upgrading the housing stock of California, principally, and Nevada, Arizona, Florida. As much as we might wish it otherwise, the facts argue strongly that behavior in these states was fundamentally distinct from that in the rest of the nation. Yes, a national solution would help individuals in Toledo, but it would provide strong net flows directly to the parts of the country with the absolute worst behavior....Just Say No!

    Duh! This comes as a surprise/ It has been blatant since the nineties. Corruption abounds. It was surprising how open the operation has been. Today's program indicates the only people getting into the hen houses are the foxes, smiling and sneering,filling their pockets with wealth.

    Inclosing, I would love to see legislation passed where no bank, financial instituion, and the like can make more profit than the depositors who put up the money at risk. If the return is 8% the depositor never gets less than 4.1%, and if profits are not made, the institution does not get paid.

    Yawn. In case you didn't get a decent undergraduate education, the latest Moyer's expose may have been a rude awakening. For those that partied and didn't get all their Cliff's Notes, here's your lecture: The government represents the ruling class. Capitalists rule. The ruling class makes the rules. Money walks and talks. Might makes right. Duh.

    Bill,
    You are a puppet of the Republican Party. Once again you have proven that you have no mind of your own. You talk about lobbyists yet you get paid a large amount of money to spread the Republican agenda. You are what the Indians called: A white man that speaks with fork tongue.

    Former Republican
    Now Independent

    Why would obama care to help? Barack Obama's friends in Fannie May and Freddy Mac loaned money to 5 million illegal aliens which has helped Americas economy to crash. obama and others receved money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. - Dodd, Christopher $165,400 Obama, Barack $126,349 Kerry, John $111,000 Reid, Harry $77,000
    Clinton, Hillary $76,050 Pelosi, Nancy $56,250 they paid ACORN too.






    Bill,

    Thank you for having Rep. Marcy Kaptur and Simon Johnson.

    I, too, saw Michael Moore's Capitalism movie and highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about this financial/economic crisis.

    The United States top 1% (wealthiest) has more wealth than the bottom 95% of this country. We have one party (not two) who are bought and owned by corporations. What scares the 1% is that we will wake up and vote everyone out of office and get some real change (if you see Moore's movie, he shows a document from Citigroup where this is stated).

    Our founding fathers gave us the right and duty to vote every incumbent out every two years. Let's vote all incumbents out of office for real change!

    Please continue to follow this story. I am sure there will be more to cover.

    Oh .Fri nite and Bill Moyers. crazy week fighting off the greedy.My heart sunk as you got into it. I still have not recovered. What to do with all this information. Marcy has my vote. keep up the good work

    Thank you again, Representative Kaptur and Simon Johnson!

    With a nod toward levity, let me say that I have good news and bad news.

    The good news is that we must consider Representative Kaptur as the nominee of the Democratic Party.

    The bad news is that, if we choose her, we cannot also choose Dennis Kucinich as her running mate. (Both are from the same state.)

    Mr. Moyers,
    If you've read Naomi Klein's 'Shock Doctrine' you'll know what happened to us, we are just the latest country to be vandalized/terrorized by the money boys. We were fertile ground. Maybe we still are, the banksters are still trying for more money, as your show has evidenced.
    What to do? Campaign finance reform, for starters. There is very little political will when your political survival depends on corporate contributions. That's why we thought we liked Obama so much, all those little checks we sent, he'd be OUR president. Um, not so much, apparently.
    Thank you for the best journalism around. Progressives do seem to be building a base of strong minded pols and journalists: you, Rachel Maddow, KO, Marcy Kaptur, Alan Grayson, Al Franken, Anthony Weiner...and many more. The country may be crazier but it doesn't feel anywhere as bleak as the last 6 or 8 years. Thanks again for being a cornerstone of the Left.

    The President believes that the Wall Street way is the essence of capitalism and that capitalism has proven itself as the best possible economic system for all of us. He and perhaps even Mr. Geithner see themselves as deeply insightful leaders acting in the long term best interest of the rest of us. The President's own sense of himself as being a very smart man must blind him to what is increasingly apparent to everyone--he gets to maintain the trappings of power, Wall Street gets to call the shots and the rest of America and people throughout the world get to be exploited. Perhaps Michele will wake him up while there is still some time.

    Several comments mentioned credit unions as an important - but insufficiently appreciated - financial institution.

    I urge the Journal to take a look at credit unions as part of the story of American financial options. Credit unions are not completely separate from the financial forces that are creating such havoc, but my experience is that they have been a shelter during this storm.

    I have used credit unions for a couple decades now. As a result, I have no personal experience with the mistreatment I hear others suffering from their banks.

    * My mortgage, taken out in 2006, had no hidden surprised, and I could actually talk to people if I had a question or problem.

    * I have never had to pay a fee to talk with a human being or to use a teller to deposit or withdraw money.

    * My credit card is low interest.

    * When I moved, my former credit union was extraordinarily helpful in working out payment issues across the continent - even when they knew I was moving my money to my new town.

    I have used credit unions in California, Michigan, and now Pennsylvania. All have been positive experiences.

    Please consider a show on credit unions.

    Transforming a complex dynamical system cannot happen during a crisis because too many other complex systems are also in jeopardy of collapsing. Imagine if doctors tried to change the medical system while trying to save the nation from the effects of an acute and deadly virus. I believe President Obama explained that he placed Geithner and Summers in those positions because they knew the system, which is highly complicatated. It allowed him and others the chance to understand the intricacies of a highly complicated and rotten system, which, before that, only a handful understood. Now that the bleeding has stopped, the hearts and minds of those who want to serve the whole nation, and not just the Wall Street crowd, can prevail. Criticizing and judging after a crisis has been managed is easy. However, democracy demands that all citizens ask themselves what they can to help their President change the system, and then take action and do their part ... and more! Democracy is about TOGETHER, WE CAN CHANGE ... not let's wait and see what the President will do.

    # Has the Obama Administration’s handling of financial reform affected how you view its efforts on other issues, such as health care and environmental policy? Why or why not?

    # What financial reforms do you want to see Washington pursue? Explain

    1. No, President Obama is not serious about real financial reform. He was the candidate of the Wall Street/Kennedy/Chicago political machines. He gave Wall Street every one of its first choices for crucial financial positions: Geithner at Treasury; Mary Schapiro at SEC; Gensler at CFTC; Summers from hedge fund Shaw & Co.; Volcker from the Rockefeller bank (JPMorganChase). Every move made has been COUNTERproductive so far as the middle class is concerned, just as was the case after Henry Paulson of Goldman Sachs took over at Treasury in 2006 (with Wall Street Senator Charles Schumer's passionate support). There will be no economic recovery under this team or under President Obama, I am extremely sorry to say. If Obama were to separate himself from Wall Street's policy demands, he would be cut to pieces by the mainstream media, which is the organ of Wall Street - not of liberalism or the middle class or of the Democratic Party.

    2. Obama's health care and environmental policies are cut from the same cloth as his financial policy: 100% pure elitism. The dominant elite centered on Wall Street want control and domination of the middle class, which is the only competition the world has ever produced for political power. Health care controlled by government means health care of the middle class controlled by the elite. Environmental laws are designed to channel water away from food production and to increase costs of energy essential to middle class prosperity. This is sociopathic policy at its worst, and it must be stopped before it destroys the American middle class. BTW the middle class is everyone who works for a living, including even highly paid executives and those in the financial sector who serve the interest of financial predators.

    3. What legislation is needed? Marcy Kaptur and Pete DeFazio in the House proposed the right outline in October, 2008, the day after they stopped Paulson's bailout bill in the House. The initial elements are: (a) stop fraudulent trading practices in financial markets by revoking the SEC's "discretion" to ignore Wall Street fraud, and establish a financial crimes strike force in the Justice Department with full authority and obligation to investigate and prosecute financial crimes; (b) audit all Federal Reserve operations, including off balance sheet transactions presently rumored to exceed $10 trillion, immediately impose a hard money rule on the Fed which eliminates discretion to manipulate domestic interest rates and to devalue the dollar, and require the Fed to keep the dollar's value stable relative to the price of gold; (c) prohibit enforcement of any "naked" credit default swap (owned by any party which does not own the underlying bond/debt), and recover all taxpayer money already disbursed to parties such as Goldman Sachs which had its CDS "side bets" paid at full par.

    The proposal for a stable dollar described above would eliminate the most important factor (rising prices) in President Obama's case for federal health care. The present economic team espouses devaluation of the dollar to eliminate at least half of the debt being accumulated because it will be beyond the capacity of Americans to pay it. Stabilize the dollar and much of that debt can be eliminated - without giving up personal control of health decisions.

    A final proposal: Marcy Kaptur should marshal House support to replace Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. Pelosi is purely the elitist tool. All middle class voters of either party must join to demand that their interests be represented as the majority of the House. Time is of the essence before more of the elitist agenda is placed as a yoke upon us.

    How can Obama not know what's going on? He's put his trust in the wrong people and its absolutely time for new generals. Bill Moyers ended the story saying its time for all of us to get busy. We must write our representatives, yes, but we need to go beyond that. I like the idea of putting our money in our local credit union and taking it away from the big banks (money talks). But for me, this is not enough. I'm ready to do more but need direction. Bill Moyers, please follow up with another show. We need specific ideas on how we can get busy! How can we get a peaceful revolution going? "We the people" want our country back. Please help us!

    Kelly in Kamuela

    The Journal's discussion with Rep. Marcie Kaptur and economist Simon Johnson was one of the very best ever! Their straight from the shoulder talk was inspiring.

    Indeed, as stated, the people around President Obama are not 'able' to do what needs to be done, and they should be replaced.

    As for 'what needs to be done' -- in particular for the hemorrhaging jobs problem -- may I suggest that we apply the lessons learned from FDR's WPA and CCC.

    And it is to be stressed that not all of these WPA and CCC jobs were for "brush clearing and ditch digging". A LOT of the jobs went to engineers, designers, ..., (lest we forget) writers and poets, big ticket construction projects -- you know: jobs that created a lot of WEALTH FOR THE PEOPLE that is still serving this country very well today, 70 years later!

    And, by the by, wealth NEVER trickles down (Reagan be damned!); it is ALWAYS produced by ALL of us and can only trickle UP.

    Remember the old joke about WPA construction jobs: one worker always in the toilet, two on the way there and back, one getting ready to go, and only one actually working? Well, as it turns out, the joke was not only in bad taste but GROSSLY misleading. Both CCC and WPA provided meaningful jobs and produced meaningful results that still live on with us today.

    If that was socialism, why aren't we having more of it today? Are 60 million Frenchmen and 80 million Germans wrong in their focus on benefitting their own people?

    Are the Republicans and their Democrat undicted co-conspirators antisocial? Seriously, we (and President Obama) must, as FDR did, WELCOME THE HATRED of these TRAITORS (I have chosen the word carefully!) and restore decency to the governing of this country.

    Now, there is simply too much riding on this! We must get our country back from the ones named in the discussion with Kaptur and Simon Johnson!

    The Journal's discussion with Rep. Marcie Kaptur and economist Simon Johnson was one of the very best ever! Their straight from the shoulder talk was inspiring.

    Indeed, as stated, the people around President Obama are not 'able' to do what needs to be done, and they should be replaced.

    As for 'what needs to be done' -- in particular for the hemorrhaging jobs problem -- may I suggest that we apply the lessons learned from FDR's WPA and CCC.

    And it is to be stressed that not all of these WPA and CCC jobs were for "brush clearing and ditch digging". A LOT of the jobs went to engineers, designers, ..., (lest we forget) writers and poets, big ticket construction projects -- you know: jobs that created a lot of WEALTH FOR THE PEOPLE that is still serving this country very well today, 70 years later!

    And, by the by, wealth NEVER trickles down (Reagan be damned!); it is ALWAYS produced by ALL of us and can only trickle UP.

    Remember the old joke about WPA construction jobs: one worker always in the toilet, two on the way there and back, one getting ready to go, and only one actually working? Well, as it turns out, the joke was not only in bad taste but GROSSLY misleading. Both CCC and WPA provided meaningful jobs and produced meaningful results that still live on with us today.

    If that was socialism, why aren't we having more of it today? Are 60 million Frenchmen and 80 million Germans wrong in their focus on benefitting their own people?

    Are the Republicans and their Democrat undicted co-conspirators antisocial? Seriously, we (and President Obama) must, as FDR did, WELCOME THE HATRED of these TRAITORS (I have chosen the word carefully!) and restore decency to the governing of this country.

    Now, there is simply too much riding on this! We must get our country back from the ones named in the discussion with Kaptur and Simon Johnson!

    the only breath of fresh air and honest reporting that seems to be available today in the US is bill Moyers and his weekly Journal. Thank you Bill for your committment and dedication to the truth and honesty. the true account of a truely moral human being. Last nights broadcast with Marcy Kaptur and Simon Johnson were as enlightening and inspirational as any citizen could hope for. I was especailly impressed with Congresswoman's Kaptur assesments but emore importantly her deep passion for this crisis we find ourselves in as Americans. I have followed her perspectives for some time but more than ever I was conviced that if any political leader is capable of truly leading our nation out of the social sewer that exists within the political system it would only be one of her courage and character. My only regret is that she was'nt more directly blunt and critical of Obama and his presidency. the minute I heard of the choices he made to advise him on our countries financial issues I immediately knew that I, along with millions of others had allowed ourselves to fall into the historical trap of letting political language and rhetoric blind us to actual reality. He is a master of it, and that makes him even more dangerous and destructive. Mr. Johnson was brilliant and perceptive with all of his comments but found his last comment in regards to Moyer's Obama's role in our continued downward spiral as being the most poignant. Politely he replied that he was skeptical. Any hope for a political solution to any of our serious social issues in America can and will come from people such as Congresswoman Kaptur. Let's start the campaign for her presidency in 2012 right here and now and in the mean time do our best as individual citizens to resist this corrupt system we are now captive of in every manner we posibly can.
    Kaptur's first executive order should be that all citizens be obliged to view Bill Moyer's Journal each week to retain their citizenship.

    The text for "The Treason of the Senate" can be found at: http://www.wwnorton.com/college/history/archive/resources/documents/ch24_02.htm

    The text for "The Treason of the Senate" can be found at: http://www.wwnorton.com/college/history/archive/resources/documents/ch24_02.htm

    Last nights program gave me hope for Journalism which I did not think I would have again.
    As powerful an argument Rep. Kaptur made I do not think hope (or change) can be expected from our government.

    I don't think president Obama really understands what the fundamental problems are. If he did, he would not have appointed the same people that had no clue about what was coming and did nothing to prevent it.

    I don't think borrowing and spending on more programs and creating new agencies on top of the old agencies that failed to anticipate the current crisis that were created after previous crisis is any solution at all.

    Rep. Kaptur is a co-sponsor of Rep. Paul's bill to Audit the Federal Reserve HR 1207. Bernie Sanders has also introduced a similar bill in the senate S604.
    If we could get these two bills up for a Vote they would certainly pass. Over 300 representatives and 30 senators have all ready signed on.

    I urge all to contact your reps and senators to bring these bills up for a vote to audit the fed, that is secretly distributing to trillions of your dollars.

    As many of you may suspect and Mrs Kaptur stated, we don't have a free market banking system in the US. We have a socialistic banking system created by bankers to protect them from the market. What we need is a free market in money and banking. Not a centrally planned system that only benefits the politically connected. Booms and bust are not inherent in the market economy. It is a product of easy credit provided by the federal reserve. Only the federal reserve can create money out of thin air, a.k.a. counter-fitting. What no one but the fed can bring us, with all the ills that a private counter-fitter brings. It benefits the counter fitter enormously but leaves the rest of us with a debased currency. It also concentrates power, distorts the market by manipulating interest rates, which gives false signals to market participants (all of us) The major banks collude with the fed to perpetuate this system and in fact were the architects of it.

    The politicians and the public are unaware that this goes on. The Fed after every crisis that they create poses as the savior to rescue us from the results of their previous currency debasements and blames the market, only to proceed to do it to us all over again, as Mr Johnson anticipates. Most of the evils of our present system can be directly traced to the manipulation of money and credit, through fractional reserve banking.

    As Mr Johnson noted, he hoped for change in the financial sector. What he didn't note is that the financial sector head is the FEDERAL RESERVE. Audit it. Study it. Then you will understand why it must be abolished. I recommend reading;

    "Meltdown" by Thomas Woods

    "What Has Government Done to Our Money" by Murry Rothbard.

    Campaign for Liberty
    http://www.campaignforliberty.com/

    Lecture by; Jesús Huerta de Soto on the recession

    http://blog.mises.org/archives/010800.asp

    Also by going to Mises.org you can educate yourselves on all the nuances of money and banking.

    Quit relying on all the so called experts who have been singing the "sirens" song for so long.

    Thanks for the forum.

    JP@1:30 Your comment makes a lot of sense. How can we get the word out?? You should post this on every pol.blog, possible. Of course, a lot of the right wing ones will NOT post unless you are a proven accomplice. Might I suggest Crooks and Liars, Daily Kos, and Talking Points Memo?

    I've been looking for an excuse to get out of a New Year Cruise, and this is the perfect one!!!

    I have watched plenty of programs in my life time, both on Network and Public TV, but never had I been so taken by the brilliancy, care, honesty, and ease of understanding as these two guests. This is Must-See-TV. Please everyone, pass the link to your family and friends. I want Rep. Kaptur to run for president and for her to appoint Mr. Johnson as top financial advisor. We need people who truly care, at the top. Over the years, I have been hoping and wishing for more people like these two to take root in Washington and cleanse this country from the spacial interest infestation at the highest levels of government. This segment only served to highlight this problem but it did not hold out hope. If this country does not soon start advocating policies and laws for the benefit of it's people, most of us Americans will start migrating back to Europe and Canada and leaving behind this hell hole to the banks and health insurers.

    Brad Eddins wrote, in part, "Great Journal Entry, it did leave out the black op's and trillions the Fed Bank of NY let go missing out of government accounts."

    Exactly, it's not that people don't know what happened and what needs to be done, we have to start by finding a NEW way to neutralize the "neighbor" in your 'hood that IS the "black ops"...they've already chameleon-ed into "tea baggers" and taken the pre-emptive shot.

    Unbelievable what "sermons" are being preached in the "churches" now - pure iniquity.

    4:15 - SIMON JOHNSON: Remember Wall Street convinced us that trading derivatives without any regulation, that all these kind of crazy housing loans, which are very dangerous for consumers. That all of this was sensible. All of this was a good way to sustain growth.

    My reaction: Trading derivatives would not have been a problem if the traders were allowed to fail. GOVERNMENT did not let anyone fail. That's why there was recklessness. We don't need more regulation. We need to let irresponsible people fail. The example of "crazy housing loans" is even more glaring. GOVERNMENT REQUIRED BANKS to hold a certain portion of bad loans, mostly in minority neighborhood. REQUIRED! Also, almost all loans were subsidized by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. These institution were run by government regulators - thousands of them working forty hours of week. It is government intervention that failed, not a lack of regulation.

    4:45 - BILL MOYERS: 'Does this crisis reflect something about the disproportionate influence of a few incompetent investment bankers or a deeper breakdown of capitalism?'

    This is not capitalism. It's socialism for the rich.

    6:10 - SIMON JOHNSON: . . . the Obama Administration has is leaning in a better direction.

    WTF? Obama, Bush W., McCain were all unanimous is supporting the bank bailouts. Obama is running the biggest deficit in history, he's appointing the same banksters to top jobs, and he's ignoring the most important opportunity for 'change' which is Ron Paul's bill to audit the Federal Reserve.

    7:30 - MARCY KAPTUR: [story about JP Morgan Chase]

    Instead of encouraging people to break the law, how about encouraging Congress to STOP GIVING JP MORGAN OUR MONEY.

    12:00 - MARCY KAPTUR: . . . And we know the basic rules of economics. Housing leads us to recovery. Housing was the precipitating factor in this economic downturn. Unless you dealing with the housing sector, you aren't going to have growth in this economy.

    This statement is nonsense.

    12:30 - SIMON JOHNSON: This is capitalism, Bill.

    No, it's not.

    15:00 - PRESIDENT OBAMA: . . . Those on Wall Street cannot resume taking risks without regard for consequences, and expect that next time, American taxpayers will be there to break their fall.

    You should not have given them MY money to begin with.

    16:30 - MARCY KAPTUR: . . . with the largest financial crisis in American history, in the largest transfer of wealth from the American people to the biggest banks in this country, that every committee of Congress would be involved in hearings, that this would be on the news, that people would be engaged in this. What we're seeing is-- tangential hearings on very arcane aspects of financial reform . . . rather than hearings on the fundamental new architecture of reforming the American financial system, so that we have prudent lending, capital accumulation at the local level again; that we encourage savings and limit debt by the American people. Our country needs this. Those aren't the hearings that are happening.

    I don't doubt her sincerity but I doubt her understanding. This conversation seems almost irresponsible with it's non-mention of the money printing federal reserve. If she wants to encourage savings, stop printing money (end the fed), so that the purchasing power of somebody's savings will be preserved. If she wants to limit debt, stop printing money (end the fed).

    To me this interview seems like a "tangential hearing on a very arcane aspect" of the financial crisis.

    17:15 - MARCY KAPTUR: If you want a marker at the Federal level of how serious we are to get justice out of this financial crisis, look at the F.B.I. Look at the number of people who are really prosecuting and investigation mortgage fraud and securities fraud. It is so small . . . And until those numbers increase, we will not begin to get justice.

    Much easier (and cheaper) than prosecuting people is simply letting them face the consequences of their irresponsibility. Stop subsidizing bad loan, stop bailing out corrupt banks.

    21:00 - MARCY KAPTUR: . . . When they messed up during the 1980s, they put their bill through the savings and loans crisis on the American people. $140 billion. . . . But that, you know, it opened the flood gates. They go, 'Oh, we can get away with $140 billion?' This time how many trillions have they gotten away with?

    Here the conversation swing sooooooo close to the truth. The next sentence should be "We need to stop bailing them out," or "The problem is government involvement," or, "If we only let people fail . . ." Instead, the next sentence is a call for more government.

    25:30 - MARCY KAPTUR: [discussion of cover contracts with the Federal Reserve]

    Say the words, Marcy: END THE FED. or, at least AUDIT THE FED. SAY IT!

    Jim Rogers: "We need less regulation"

    I found myself weeping at the sight of an honest politician doing what she was elected to do. We so need to take care of you and those like you.

    Thank you, Bill Moyers, for giving voice to informed and reasonable people stuck as we all are in the quicksand of special interest politics.

    Thank you Bill Moyers for having Congresswoman Kaptur and Mr. Johnson on your program. Both of these individual were brilliant, outspoken and able to communicate directly what the economic problems are and what our government is not doing about them. I would love to see the congresswoman on again. We need her in California.

    judging by the volume of comments it is a clear winner for program quality.

    Marcy Kaptur and Simon Johnson were outstanding choices for this topic as they are clearly pointing to the horrendous problems of our capitalistic nation.

    Unfortunately, individuals have lost hope of making a difference. Writing your representative will do nothing, if there is no threat to back it up.


    =========
    It's time to take back control of our government. Boycott and end the insanity of government which has stopped listening to the will of the people.

    It's time to boycott to move congress. Tell your representative you are boycotting for change. You are not supporting an economy lead by a corrupt government.

    Stop spending on all purchases such as :

    --travel,
    --cars, furniture and appliance purchases
    --trivial entertainment and jewelery
    --any electronic gizmos

    Put off those purchases until we get back control. Use cash instead of credit cards when purchases are needed.

    If 25% of the population slows down spending for the next 6 months, change will happen.

    We know the impact of a spending slowdown, it's time to put it to work in our favor.

    BOYCOTT NOW. It's easy, anonymous and effective.

    The only way to get the point across is for everyone to let our elected officials know how you feel. We were once considered the constituents that elected these representatives of the people, now the special interests are because they pay for their reelections. Let them know enough is enough and that you will not vote for them again if they don't support the interests of the people. You can write them even if are not your states representation. Write them daily! Find out who are the leaders and who sits on what committee's and tell them what you feel they need to do! It's your right and responsibility! Go to:
    http://www3.capwiz.com/c-span/home/ you can send correspondence to any and all elected officials at this website with one click! Get involved! Democracy doesn't work if the only ones involved are the government!

    Another soul-stirring program, Bill. I am still reeling from it. On the one hand, I swear I could single handedly BULL DOZE K STREET. I became so angry, and sad, at the same time, that my husband had to ask me to calm down! Rep.Kaptur, the reason you are not sitting where Lil Timmy Geithner is, is BECAUSE YOU HAVE INTEGRITY, and CARE ABOUT THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY. I would cheer if every Dark Entity between the banks, Wall St., and K Street, grew cancerous sores and just disolved right before our very eyes.

    On the other hand, I was deeply moved by the piece you did on your friend in Vermont. Your regard for this man was evident, and made me cry.

    Bill, I don't think I could admire anyone as much as I admire you. With each show you do, you stir me to become a more aware, and consciously compassionate human being. NOW......WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT THESE CROOKS?? I'd be happy to meet you all at the Lincoln Memorial, and STAY until K STREET TOPPLES. Please let me know if anyone else is interested.

    Last night's program was one of your best and I hope you will repeat it with advance notice. I have great respect for Mr.Johnson but even though I live in Ohio, I was not aware of the courage and talent of Rep. Kaptur. Thanks

    The headquarters for JPMorgan Chase is located in the New York City while their commercial banking and retail finance office is located in Chicago

    JP Morgan Chase = Chicago = Obama.

    Hows that Hope And Change Working For Ya?

    Thank you once again Bill Moyers for a great discussion with two great persons. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) deserves some kind of special thanks or award; she is articulate, speaks the truth, and has courage. We need more representatives like her, and we need to give them the power, then we could build an honest society.

    Posted by: Zorra
    "Please tell us HOW. Such stories are so discouraging, I can rarely listen. Feeling
    powerless, we resign ourselves to cynicism & inaction."

    "Amend the CONSTITUTION"! Empower the people to express
    "THEIR WILL on ALL ISSUES!"
    Rules: To "MANDATE only ONE two years term limit for all elected officials!"

    Wonderful interview last night! I am so thankful that PBS has continued to let Bill Moyers stay on the air. I realize that only a small fraction of the public watches this show, now if we could only do something about the banksters that have taken over the government. We need more reps like Mary Kapur to get things moving in the right direction!

    According to Keith Olbermann the other night, Max Baucus has received more than $39 million in campaign contributions from the health insurance industry in the past 20 years

    Dear Bill –
    Thank you again for a fine program last night. Your passion is infectious. Too bad your reputation for old styled Texas Populism is used by some to challenge your motives for what can only be seen as highly probing interviews into what ails our fragile Republic.

    As you have suggested, the leveraged buyout of American Democracy you mentioned last night has its origins in the strange and myopic world of campaign finance and the hijacking of the First Amendment. Once the Supreme Court ruled in 1976 that “money is speech” for purposes of federal regulation of campaign finance under the First Amendment, the game was up and we have had an artificial debate about this issue ever since – an artificiality shown by your September 4 interview with Floyd Abrams, who expressed shock and indignation at any suggestion that we should regulate political speech when in reality we are really only talking about political money.

    What is overlooked by the 1976 decision in Buckley v. Valeo is that it was a per curium decision, meaning that not one single Justice had the courage to claim credit for hiding behind the First Amendment to justify “disproportionate influence” (your words) on the political system by those with money. As if the valid First Amendment right to petition the government for grievance is not enough, those with lots of money use the artificially constructed “money is speech” rationale as means of ensuring that politicians act on their views or risk elimination on the fundraising circuit. Poor Fritz Hollings got hammered year after year in the Senate for daring to amend the Constitution to overturn Buckley, yet that is the ONLY way to promote honest, transparent, inclusive debate about the problems that afflict our Nation. Cure this and perhaps one day this Nation can be responsibly governed by people held accountable at the polls, not the fundraisers.

    Mr. Madison might be ashamed to see how his fellow jurists artificially invoke the First Amendment – a Bill of Right intended to promote full representation of all views -- to achieve a system of “disproportionate influence” on the political system founded on an artificial legal construct of “money is speech.” But I suppose Mr. Madison more than anyone knew of Man’s propensity to hide bad motives underneath good ones, particularly when money, power and creating and protecting the rules of the game are at stake.

    You should have Justice Stevens on the program (the lone remaining Justice from Buckley) and some of the law clerks at the time for an interview as to their thinking in 1976. What would be revealed 33 years later could make for interesting discussion.

    Keep up the good work.

    John Kinney


    While the banks hold almost all of the blame for this mess the American people need to accept some fault also.
    The myth of Horatio Algier continues to cause us to reach for the unattainable on our current wages which forces the collection of unsustainable amounts of debt to realize the "American dream," which no longer exists. That is what Michael Moore is pointing out in "Capitalism..."

    In order for real reform to take place the American people must be willing to sacrifice and suspend their belief of this myth and the practice of keeping up with the Joneses.

    I loved the Friday night, October 9th story! Its what I've been saying all along- that cronyism will continue to flourish in Washington as it has for years. If congress is responsible for changing the laws that make this corruption possible, then they are NEVER going to change those laws to hurt themselves! If anyone thinks it will change,they are blind fools! Until there is another (peaceful) revolution on Washington and we take back our government from ALL the parties currently in power, then it is never going to change. Congress is and always will be in the pockets of big business, especially insurance. And I think Obama is a blind man who means well, but just isn't experienced enough to know what to do...and all of this is coming from a staunch, ultra-conservative Republican! The people of the United States needs to file a class-action lawsuit against Congress...maybe I will do that myself!

    Great piece, but I think no one in DC has the b-lls to really tackle these issues. But, I hope there is!

    Can you please just send the video of your interview with Marcy Kaptur and Simon Johnson to President Obama? If he hasn't seen it, he should!

    Google "capitalist system definition" and you get 1,740,000 hits. None of the definitions I checked included the words ethical,fair or honest.
    They all pretty such boiled it down to a capitalist system being one in which a private citizen or corporation exchanges good or services for cash in a free market situation.
    I wonder how many Americans assume that our version of capitalism has the words ethical, fair and honest written into it ? It does not.
    These words are not part of our economic system. Those words are left to other parts of our society to interpret and apply.
    As we speak,the Supreme Court of the United States is doing just that. They are deciding if the law limiting how much money corporations can contribute to a political party should be removed from the books.
    It is being argued to the court that corporations have the same rights as individuals and are no more powerful than individuals.
    So far, the Supreme Courts agrees, and is likely to remove all roadblocks standing between corporations and the amount of money they can invest in a political party.
    Apparently, according to the Supreme Court, the amount of money you spend on something has no bearing on what you get in return.
    Those interested in the future of our country best be looking up the phrase,
    "Caveat emptor".

    1. I don't believe the president is trying to develop any substantive reform to the current financial system at the federal level. Given its direct effect on so many current domestic and foreign policy decisions, real reform of the banking sector and their lobby has to be given highest priority for legislative time and resources. The disparity between the attention this task warrants and the attention it receives appears imposed rather than inherent, indicating that the extent of corrupt influence on the legislative process require truly fundamental change of both people and policy if we want different results from legislative policy. Medicine has objectively, and extensively studied this scenario in the form of malignant cancer. An entity with purse self interest and control of resources will nourish itself and proliferate to the point of killing its own host. Every time. Unless it is cut or burned out. I share Mr Johnson's skepticism of any naiveté in the leadership. Looking at actions as indicators of character, there is a predominance of very overt self interest and divisiveness from the leadership down. I think the current legislative body lacks altogether the capacity to reform.

    2. Pres Obama and his administration have already demonstrated, through enacted legislation aimed at financial reform, that decisions on policy and action are heavily influenced by the interests of the few rather than the many. I expect policy regarding healthcare and environment to be handled the same way. A fairly dynamic, strong, and selfless personality might be able to facilitate a change in the priorities guiding new policy, but I haven't seen evidence of anyone like that in the administration or legislature.

    3. I don't know exactly what financial reform is needed, but if it has to separate, unequivocally, those lobbying for priority (in the form of money, or legislation, etc.) from those who determine priority. Additionally we should be pooling EVERY RESOURCE related to campaigning and lobbyists. No limit on amount of donations, but they are all pooled a split equally between parties involved. Lobbyists compensation can be funded by interest groups, but only as an entity of the process. How ever many lobbyist spots are funded will be split evenly. Interested parties should be donating to the process, not the outcome. We could take the politics out of the supreme court as well if we had a group of pre-qualified candidates (say 50) from which one could be randomly selected when the time came.

    1. I don't believe the president is trying to develop any substantive reform to the current financial system at the federal level. Given its direct effect on so many current domestic and foreign policy decisions, real reform of the banking sector and their lobby has to be given highest priority for legislative time and resources. The disparity between the attention this task warrants and the attention it receives appears imposed rather than inherent, indicating that the extent of corrupt influence on the legislative process require truly fundamental change of both people and policy if we want different results from legislative policy. Medicine has objectively, and extensively studied this scenario in the form of malignant cancer. An entity with purse self interest and control of resources will nourish itself and proliferate to the point of killing its own host. Every time. Unless it is cut or burned out. I share Mr Johnson's skepticism of any naiveté in the leadership. Looking at actions as indicators of character, there is a predominance of very overt self interest and divisiveness from the leadership down. I think the current legislative body lacks altogether the capacity to reform.

    2. Pres Obama and his administration have already demonstrated, through enacted legislation aimed at financial reform, that decisions on policy and action are heavily influenced by the interests of the few rather than the many. I expect policy regarding healthcare and environment to be handled the same way. A fairly dynamic, strong, and selfless personality might be able to facilitate a change in the priorities guiding new policy, but I haven't seen evidence of anyone like that in the administration or legislature.

    3. I don't know exactly what financial reform is needed, but if it has to separate, unequivocally, those lobbying for priority (in the form of money, or legislation, etc.) from those who determine priority. Additionally we should be pooling EVERY RESOURCE related to campaigning and lobbyists. No limit on amount of donations, but they are all pooled a split equally between parties involved. Lobbyists compensation can be funded by interest groups, but only as an entity of the process. How ever many lobbyist spots are funded will be split evenly. Interested parties should be donating to the process, not the outcome. We could take the politics out of the supreme court as well if we had a group of pre-qualified candidates (say 50) from which one could be randomly selected when the time came.

    Thank you Bill Moyers for bringing on guests who will say what must be said. The corruption will bring the country down. Is that really what Wall Street wants? Some of the tycoons of American must care enough to put their money on the line to challenge the system. I sure wish Obama had more courage. He talks the talk and Larry and Tim call the shots with the Wall Street playbook.

    This show is always good. But, I do not think enough of America sees this information. The airwaves are full of negative talk shows, why not something like this? Get your message out there.

    A phrase slipped from your lips tonight that hasn't been heard for a long time. "..none dare call it treason..". Do your recall Barry Goldwater's book of that title? Not a whole lot new under the sun.

    Thanks for this very informative program. The question that has not been asked is: Why Capitalism? This is a system that is based on competition, inevitably resulting in domination by a minority, that contradicts the natural world's timeless system of cooperation.

    Capitalism is the nexus of destruction in our time, destroying individuals and communities even as it destroys the very planet we rely upon for survival. Why do we blindly pursue this ideology that ensures our own destruction? Why do we see as inevitable an ideology that is less that a thousand years old when communities have existed for thousands of years that were self sufficient and self renewing?

    What does Capitalism offer us that is so much better than cooperation? Some would say that men cannot cooperate, but uncounted years of prehistory and the accounts of native american and african communities (to name but two examples) absolutely refute this idea. More likely, Capitalism is a means for those in power to maintain the status quo.

    Regulation of self destruction is not the answer. Until we question a system that cannot sustain itself and is in fact a self defeating system, we will never be able to pursue more humane alternatives.

    I agree with "Justice for All". Nothing will change until we care enough about ourselves to stop talking and start doing, Something! We need a revolution. We need to get out in the streets and protest. We need to keep screaming until we are heard. We need to keep moving until we are seen and taken seriously. Up until now we all write and call but that is easy to ignore. We have got to take control of our own destiny or with Marxists will kill us all. They really do not care about us. They believe in eugenics.
    It is time for a revolution in America! Let's hope its a peaceful one.

    One interesting twist to support the remarks from SIMON JOHNSON about Morgan Stanley and GM and from MARCY KAPTUR ("We're flyover country for them. And they're just out to make money") - just today there was a press about GM selling HAMMER to the Chinese (which is kind of symbolic by itself).

    And just to broaden this theme, I wonder why Obama is sweating for the Health Reform so much at all? With US dollar weakening and our debt growing every year, China is going to buy this country outright within the next 10-15 years... so everyone will have government-run insurance!

    According to the mainstream media Jamie Dimon "Saved Wall Street" but Rep. Kaptur claims that Dimon couldn't even save a few Toledo residents from foreclosures. Who to believe? Read this and you will see how JPM engineered the failure of Washington Mutual:

    http://www.kccllc.net/documents/0812229/0812229090501000000000002.pdf
    (starting on PDF Pg. 28)

    Bankruptcy Court OKs Probe Of JPMorgan's Role In WaMu Collapse
    By PEG BRICKLEY Of DOW JONES DAILY BANKRUPTCY REVIEW WILMINGTON, Del. --
    A U.S. bankruptcy judge has authorized the former parent of failed savings and loan Washington Mutual Bank, or WaMu, to quiz JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) over suspicions that JPMorgan Chase engineered the biggest banking collapse in U.S. history. Judge Mary F. Walrath gave the green light to a special bankruptcy probe into JPMorgan's role in the events leading to WaMu's seizure by regulators in September 2008. The probe will track claims made in a Texas lawsuit in which investors allege JPMorgan, "which had long coveted [WaMu's] depositor base and branch network, drove down [WaMu's] value so it could purchase [WaMu's] assets at a fire-sale price," Walrath said in an opinion filed Wednesday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. A spokeswoman for JPMorgan couldn't immediately be reached for comment on the ruling. Institutional investors who own stock and debt issued by Washington Mutual Inc. (WAMUQ), the parent company, claim JPMorgan spread rumors that fueled a run on WaMu that stripped it of $16.7 billion worth of deposits over a 10-day period, Walrath noted. WaMu's former parent, Washington Mutual Inc., is looking for grounds to sue JPMorgan, which paid only $1.9 billion for WaMu after it was seized by regulators. Months earlier, JPMorgan had unsuccessfully attempted to buy the hefty savings and loan, which was saddled with bad mortgage loans. Seizure of its prized asset forced WaMu's parent company, Washington Mutual Inc., to seek Chapter 11 protection. Creditors are out billions of dollars due to the deal. Walrath on Wednesday rebuffed JPMorgan's efforts to block the probe, finding that WaMu's parent raised questions separate from those already being litigating. JPMorgan has filed or been targeted in lawsuits involving ownership of $4.4 billion in cash that was in the parent company's bank accounts at WaMu when the thrift was seized. Lawyers for JPMorgan argued that the parent company shouldn't be allowed to make an end-run around the rules of lawsuit discovery by invoking special bankruptcy investigative powers. Walrath said the proposed Rule-2004 investigation could break new ground. Rule 2004 is a special bankruptcy tool that allows companies and creditors to gather information that may or may not lead to lawsuits. WaMu's parent said allegations of business wrongs that contributed to the thrift's seizure, if true, would give rise to "highly valuable" claims against JPMorgan. ---By Peg Brickley, Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review; 302-521-2266

    Excellent program today.
    Marcy Kaptur should be Speaker, not Nancy.
    Baucus' committee staff is
    perfused with Wellpoint corruption.

    Democratic activists should
    mobilize strongly now to
    let the corrupt Dems and the
    President know that they
    will be rejected and opposed if they fail to
    act resolutely in the interests of the public at
    large.

    Perhaps Marcy Kaptur should
    run against Obama in the
    2012 primaries.

    The promised "loan modification" plans are bogus and full of fraud. I discovered today that my lender, a nameless West Coast financial services co, after dragging the process on and on, rejecting me, and requiring me to re-submit my budget over and over, has doctored my records with their own numbers so I a show an unworkable "deficit." A car payment that isn't mine. A "dependent" I never claimed. Now there is a sale date to auction my house. This is a common situation. My loan is Freddie Mac and I qualify. There is absolutely NO incentive for them to do a "workout" plan. They want my house back.

    "Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends [i.e., securing inherent and inalienable rights, with powers derived from the consent of the governed], it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." --Thomas Jefferson: Declaration of Independence, 1776. ME 1:29, Papers 1:315 PEACE BE WITH YOU.

    I took out a no-interest loan to get dental care. The loan was no-interest as long as I made payments on time.
    I did not receive an initial invoice from them and time slipped by. I began to wonder if my first "interest-free" payment was due. I called them. It had passed, but they'd give me a pass, and let me make a payment.
    I opened a online account to make my payments. The next month I again did not receive an invoice, but thought it was about time I make my payment. When I tried to log on to my account, I was blocked. I could not make the payment.

    I called them again, and the person on the line said my account was blocked because my invoice was returned. Huh? But, she'd accept my payment, which I made.

    The next month, I received a statement with a whopping 25% interest rate.

    I just refused to pay it. Eventually I realized that I did owe them the principal, which I paid. My account was turned over to a collection agency that still methodically calls me. I wonder if the original holder ever passed my principal check over to the collection agency. One time I did talk to the collection agency, I asked the kid trying to convince me that I should pay his company if he didn't think the interest was high. Considering he probably makes $8 an hour, he tried to evade my question, but admitted it was. I told him then it is time for Americans to unite against these rapacious banks. When I heard of the woman on YouTube refusing to pay her credit card, I cheered her silently.

    Just remember folks, we are their customers. Our debt is their asset. It's how they make their money. What if we all stopped borrowing? What would happen to them?

    It's right to pay our principal, and a reasonable interest maybe a point or two above inflation, but I doubt the Mafia has ever made such good money loan sharking as these greedy, rapacious, bankers.
    I might add, that I no longer care about my credit. I have a very small condo that I own. I've saved a good portion of my paycheck by shopping at thrift stores for most everything except food. I can afford to confront my lender because I don't need him or his ilk. The only way the rest of Americans can do the same is if you wall join hands.

    There is a plan to create an online service that will enable the American people to counter special-interest lobbyists by using social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, to unite and form a massive political lobby of the people. You can see the plan online at
    http://TheElectors.org

    Your interview with Charles Houston concluded with some of his words about climbing having been the greatest thing of his life. This sounded romantically heroic, I guess, and some other admirable things, although oddly juxtaposed to his having loved a family and practice of medicine.

    How would you feel if I told you, in the same terms, with the same exaltation of adventure, that I had deliberately set about exploring the use of methamphetamine for the same reasons, with a similar spirit, and with similar "spiritual" results? Would you respect and admire me? I could write a fascinating, and suspenseful, book about it, describing the stages by which one progressed from demanding challenges to frank addiction. I could talk about fellow explorers who barely survived, or sacrificed themselves. I could talk about the deliberate decision to give it up, even as I always looked back upon it as the greatest thing in my life (set along some other fascinating and worthwhile, but less dramatic things).

    What would you think of that? Would you be a little annoyed with me, or alarmed? Would you think I had cooked up an elaborate rationalization for a pathological activity? I could talk about the conditioning and carefulness and good sense one needed to scrupulously practice use of the drug and negotiation of its social settings. I could talk about the challenges to endurance and ability of hanging on in the face of near-overwhelming conditions.

    Maybe I'll tell you about that, or maybe I won't, but I will tell you that I am always alarmed and annoyed by these adventure tales of lethal daring-do on unforgiving rock faces. These climbers are practicing the equivalent of a particularly well disciplined anorexia, more often located in masculine personalities than feminine ones. They have something wrong with them. They fail to recognize the reality of mortal danger (or to like it too much), sometimes because of brain systems which drive excessive sensation-seeking (akin to sociopathy), sometimes because of psychosocial circumstances which confine them too much in everyday life, preventing a genuine experience of risk and competence and mastery.

    The earlier parts of the show had your familiar quality and socially redeeming value, Bill. I am sure something about Charles Houston, or your relationship with him, is deeply meaningful to you, but I don't understand why it was here. He was no Joseph Campbell. Did you vicariously experience risk through him or something? I didn't. I prefer my own course of adventure.

    Noam Chomsky wasn't the only one who predicted Pres. Obama would follow in Bush's footsteps--so did Ralph Nader.
    Why does everyone continue to label the actions of the financial sectors as "mistakes" and "bad decisions?" They knew exactly what they were doing--it was out and out deliberate criminal behavior for which they should be prosecuted. Obama showed his true colors when he expressed his continuing confidence in Geitner, Bernanke, and Summers. We should have all closed out our bank accounts when they bailed out the big banks. My money is in a credit union.

    Thank you! Again, another great program. You said we have work to do, but so many people don't know how or what to do. How about a program on the power of our voices. When we call or write (e-mail) our representatives, they have to listen. If more and more of us do this, we can make the needs changes in Congress. We our voices and votes... if only we would!

    I have very little patience for people in high places getting a pass on not knowing what is really going on. I read the New York Times on Sunday, listen to BBC and NPR radio on weekdays, Google news pickings at other times, Bill Moyer's Journal when I can stay up and, yes, Tom Tomorrow in the comics. I never believed for a second that Bush was ignorant of his administration's misdeeds; and likewise, I do not believe Obama is ignorant. I remember, long before Obama got elected, that Goldman Sachs was his major corporate donor. This, of course was before the collapse. "What harm there?" I naively thought. Especially when Goldman's contributions paled in comparison to the public's billions in small donations. Boy was I wrong. I trend with both your guests. Simon is right. Obama knows what is going on, at some point he just accepted that it is "the way of the world". Kaptur is right in pointing out the way to change the way of the world -- change generals. Obama thinks governing is like campaigning....find the middle. Unless Obama can be convinced that the reasonable middle was obliterated long ago, and that he is actually selecting the middle between undisciplined capitalists and outright fascism, Obama is destined to be known as the velvet glove inside a velvet glove.

    On Open Salon, some people are discussing their decision to withhold payment, their credit ratings be damned.

    I'm also very concerned about employers' right to check prospective employees' credit rating as a condition of being hired.

    People have lost jobs, lost homes, lost virtually everything, and now it's going to be even tougher to find work through no fault of our own because of this worldwide mess. In California, almost 50% of employers run credit checks on applicants. The Attorney General is working on rescinding that right. Credit rating has NO BEARING on job performance whatsoever.

    No doubt there is a revolving door and unconscionable campaign contributions, but I think correcting the problem has to start with more basic things, like economic theory and America's liberal psychology.

    We must end the manufacture of bank credit, period. This doesn't happen once a decade or whenever, but every day, and I do not think that Wall St could leverage very much without it. Because of it the banks, etc, have been borrowing at near zero and buying Treasuries at 3+ percent, which is simply printing money to fund the govt, fueling an unrealistic rise in financial stocks, pushing up the rest of the mkt, and with it no doubt the feeling among consumers that they can again borrow and spend on it, exactly the cycle the president said several times he wanted to break. It, and the Fed's buying up of those Treasuries, is, however, also lowering the interest rate for refinancing mortgages, and the value of the dollar, which, in turn is lowering the price of our goods overseas, thus increasing production here, reversing some of our trade imbalance, and it is forcing debt holders to accept cheaper money, hence bearing some of the cost of the crisis. But it is also raising the cost of imports, many of which are necessary commodities, fueling speculation in them, as well as, financial instruments, reducing the incentive to save, and laying the groundwork for another boom and bust cycle.

    This notion, called inflationist before Keynes and Friedman came on the scene, reflects the fundamental idea that an economy creates something from nothing, and, as such, does not involve learning to live in or with nature. There is therefore no idea of benefits and costs, or value, and no sense of doubt or guilt. It is essentially conscienceless and lawless. To those who hold it creating more credit will always work, and those who do not see that must be suffering from, as Krugman once wrote, some childhood abnormality or caveman's mentality. We've seen plenty of this in the political correctness and permissiveness of the culture wars. Technically it is called primitivism, and it is what animates liberalism today, and a direct descendant of Christianity. But they have it all backwards; the religious attitude is the result of the deprivation they presume of others, which like the consciousness of shame, they never seem to dispel, get hysterical and obsess over.

    Since JP MOrgan took over Washington Mutual they have sent us little pamphlets on how our fees will be raised. I am changing to a smaller bank I've worked with for many years. Maybe it won't hurt the big banks too much, but it'll save me from the new fees and they won't get more of my money.

    To take our money out of the big banks and put it in the small banks is really at best a temporary solution and at worst no solution at all for the following reasons:

    Bankers are bankers and if you put your money into the small banks they may become big banks and behave the same way City Bank, Chase, etc., behave now, or if they fail at becoming big and are thought of as a threat by the big banks, these big banks will buy out the small banks.

    Remember that every bank, corporation, etc., is always for sale at a price in our capitalist system.

    The only solution I see at present are organized mass demonstrations and marches on the White House to demand from President Obama the removal of Geithner, Summers and cohorts as well as replacing Bernanke with somebody coming out of the Federal Reserve System other than New York and Washington. Let us be specific and force him to listen to the people instead of the banking interests and lobbyists.

    We don't want to take it anymore and speeches by the President are not enough. As it stands now he has failed us, the people. If he is as great a man as we his supporters believe he is, he will admit his mistakes in his appointments in the financial sector and find suitable replacements.

    yet another GREAT program, Bill. the American situation regarding the BANKS and other large institutions and their LOBBYISTS in Washington is simply awful. I also had hoped that the system there would be RE-regulated to prevent what is really CRIMINAL activity by those in very high places. What a disappointment. I think the same situation exists here in CANADA. Our Government has a deficit THIS year of about $60 BILLION, and this situation will carry on until at least 2013 or 2014. We the Taxpayers have also BAILED OUT those in places of HIGH POWER and influence, and now there are some stories on the difficulties of COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE in both the USA and Canada. We could indeed still be headed straight for DISASTER.... another GREAT DEPRESSION .. The story on the Mountain Climber was also very interesting. What a great man he was .... Thanks to you for your good work, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada ..... Greg

    I don't know how you do it, but every once in a while, the Journal comes up with a show that bests what you thought couldn't be bested. This was one of those shows. Both Kaptur and Johnson make a number of points worth considering, some of them jump-up-and-call-your-rep compelling. Pres. Obama had better come up with some substantive reform and regulation of the U.S. financial system. I have yet to learn of reasons to believe that Messrs Geithner and Summers (or A.G. Holter) will work to keep disaster from overtaking us again. So, yes, there's a need to get someone in therT

    Thank you also for identifying the woman who has Max Baucus's back. Where the hell is the "mainstream news media" on this? Have they been bought off too?

    Keep up the great work.

    Dear Journal,

    I agree, with the blog at the beginning of these pages. I think Mr. Obama should get a new staff in a the Pentagon.
    These guys he has now came from Mr. Bush's ways are not Obama's ways so we voted for Obama's thinking so lets get them in there. And fire these other guys.
    Mary Ann Crumley

    Rep Kaptur's story of her experience with Jamie Diamond parallels the response I received from Bank of America trying to get my son's home loan thru Fannie Mae redone.. They are not interested.. I called Ken Lewis's office; Senators Kohl & Feinstein as well as Congressman Kind.. NO ONE. Yes NO ONE offered any help. Kaptur is right.. they don't care about the home owner. Bank Of America has 45 BILLION taxpayer dollars but they can not or will not help us with our money. They acquired country wide mortgage which went unregulated for years.. their Pres cut sweet deals with the right congressman like Chris Dodd etc so as to be left alone..He should be serving time for all the subprime loans they made. Congress is supposed to have oversight of the financial industry but for campaign money they end up in bed with people they over see..Obama has surrounded himself with unqualified & special interests type people who are more interested in power for themselves & their party.. People.. the voters.. don;t count

    What I enjoy most about Bill Moyers is his ability to unveil the truly evil deeds done by unscrupulous men, then in the end segment focus on a story of true humanity that has nothing to do with bottom lines, but the need to seek out and rise to great challenges. Normally, I am not a believer in capital punishment, but lets have some violent anarchy towards these powers that be. Let's drag them from their golden gated mansions and hold public executions as grand national celebrations. Then they might realize our lives are not their game.

    Marcy Kaptur for President

    Obama must watch, Wall Street vs Reform.

    BILL MOYERS JOURNAL may not be available to him.

    Marcy Kaptur for President

    Obama must watch, Wall Street vs Reform.

    BILL MOYERS JOURNAL may not be available to him.

    Thank you for everyone of your shows. They are always stimulating and thought provoking. No less this one on financial reform. I've long wondered how an economy based on the profit motive could be the best system for the world. The actions of financial, health care, and defense industry corporations in the past two years are clear evidence that this system is inherently unjust and that we need to mandate social responsibility principles that businesses must also meet. I'd like to see Congress draw up a social responsibility code that businesses must adhere to with a system of social audit reports that were required just as firmly as financial reports. Please keep exposing this stuff. I only wish that I knew that President Obama regularly watched your program.

    When it comes to substantive financial reform in the way of reigning in the big banks, my revision of, "The Bigger They Are, The Harder They Fail?", may be of interest:

    - Aren't many of the economic problems of our times due to the fact that the stakes have never been higher because things (e.g., banks, corporations) have never been bigger?

    http://cikehara.blogspot.com/2009/10/bigger-they-are-harder-they-fail.html

    The next step I see is general strikes.The oligarchs that own this country buy elected officials and laugh at protesters.

    Everyone is asking what can we do?

    Did you see Capitalism: A Love Story?

    I think the target is clear.

    Banks.

    What do we do?

    It's time to fight fire with fire.

    We focus on how we can use our MONEY against them.

    Essentially take it away from them.

    Pull your money out of the big banks: Bank of America, Citi, Chase and Wells Fargo. Do it today. Tell your bank manager they lose because the LOBBYISTS are using their money to break our backs. They'll understand. Put it in a smaller bank or credit union. Now get as many people as you can to do the same thing.

    Power concedes nothing without a demand. Start by demanding your money back.

    "Get busy." Please tell us HOW. Such stories are so discouraging, I can rarely listen. Feeling powerless, we resign ourselves to cynicism & inaction. We got busy in 2008, & thought electing Obama would bring at least some hope of change.

    What would we do without this type of Journalism? How do we citizens "get busy?" Our politicians are prostituting themselves to the banks and big business while we wilt in the heat of their passion for eachother. Kudos to Kaptur and Johnson for their love of country!

    TThank you so much for your very informative program. March Kaptur is a hero! The Motley Fools have been called to a meeting at the White House on Tuesday to discuss a "Consumer Financial Protection Agency" the President wants to form. Will this help or come to nothing? The President's statement is on the White House site - sounds good.

    There is zero hope but revolution to reclaim America from treasonous wall street gangster bankers and wall street prostituting politicians.

    ”With adequate profit, capital is very bold. A certain 10 percent will ensure its employment anywhere; 20 percent will produce eagerness, 50 percent positive audacity; 100 percent will make it ready to trample on all human laws; 300 percent, and there is not a crime which it will not scruple, nor a risk it will not run, even to the chance of its owner being hanged.” -Karl Marx 1814

    My blood pressure has spiked and I am seeing red! Tonite's show (Oct. 9) is a BLOCKBUSTER of clarity across a broad spectrum of politics and finance and it should be required watching for every student in every high school and college in America.

    Regarding your leading questions on the Blog page:
    * Yes,I still believe Obama is serious about reform, but after tonite I better understand what he's up against; formidable, deeply institutionalized corruption of our democratic process. To correct that will require nothing less than a serious education campaign designed to equip American citizens to revolt and demand change -or "throw the bastards out". Come to think of it, that's what you're doing... but we've got to propagate it!
    Both Kaptur and Johnson provide powerful testimony and I don't see much contradiction between them.
    * I think it far too early in the term to judge performance. I can say that nothing seen so far causes great concern -except the for Republican tactics. That's going to hurt them going forward. (I was a Republican for 50+ yrs -until last year)
    * What financial reforms? The first reform should be in our electoral system, which, as Kaptur points out is actually the Root Cause of most of our financial problems. (symptoms) The current 'system' is a grotesque distortion of what our founders intended, creating needless polarity and antagonism that prevents productive democratic process at every level. Get the moneyed corporations out of it and it becomes possible to effectively control the secondary effects.

    Sorry Bill I did get angry tonite and it feels like I'll be angry for a long time... and even at my age I am definitely going to get busy!
    From one concerned citizen to another,
    Thank you.
    Seabury Lyon
    Bethel, Maine

    Rep. Kaptur Please look into and introduce legislation to stop the corrupt handouts by Larry Summers and the Obama administration to criminal wind developers and their investors.

    The Dept' of Energy (DOE)last month doled out 12 so-called clean-energy grants to wind developers totaling $500 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds

    The grants are NOT meant to pay for new construction, but to support the continued use of the existing turbines, federal officials said.

    One of the companies,First Wind (formerly UPC Wind) received a $115 million grant.
    Iberdrola a Spanish conglomerate, that purchased Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. last year was given $295 million.

    First Wind has ties to the administration of President Barack Obama. A New York City hedge fund, D.E. Shaw & Co., is a major investor in First Wind, according to statements issued in recent years by First Wind. D.E. Shaw is the firm at which Mr. Obama's chief of the National Economic Council, Lawrence Summers, held a $5.2 million a year, one-day-a-week job as a compensated managing director at D.E. Shaw before leaving late last year.

    The firm's founder, David E. Shaw, is a member of Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

    Treasury Assistant Secretary of Management Dan Tangherlini said in response that "the awards are based strictly on a facilities' qualification for an existing tax credit program and will be made on a rolling basis."

    read more:
    http://www.futureofcapitalism.com/2009/09/clean-energy

    http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/200909...

    We have fought all these same battles before. I was there. Probably so were you. Same story, same battles just different war. What hasn't changed is that the men in the $5000 suits eating beluga caviar and tap dancing a soft shoe just have different names but their game remains essentially the same.

    That's not to say that our efforts aren't to be applauded. It's just that it's not enough. The enemy has us pegged. They know exactly how far they can push our buttons and how far we will push theirs.

    Those like myself know how serious they are to stay one step ahead of you at all times.

    They mean to win. Again not to say our efforts are all for naught.

    My only real point of discussion is that things have gotten recklessly and radically serious and they have ratcheted up their rhetoric as well as their ability to suppress real change in this country. That means something far more sinister than probably you or I have the ability to prepare for.

    Change in circumstances is what people voted for in November to deconstruct the class structure and double standard in the application of social and economic justice. Yet we must end our dependence on blind faith which has given us an excuse to ignore our own responsibility to create a fair and just organism that secures a more equitable world for all not for a privileged few.

    Power concedes nothing without a demand. Start by demanding your money back.

    See my post at 10:04pm for details and then contact me at civilsociety@bellsouth.net. Let's get this thing going.

    I appreciated the comments both guests made with respect to financial sector reform. Has Congresswoman Kaptur set up an internet forum where interested parties can lend support and donations to lobby the President to consider her proposals for action? I viewed her Congressional website which will only take comments from constituents. I live in Missouri. I'm certain people would respond to a grass roots movement to bolster her proposals in Washington.

    I also appreciated the Congresswoman's statistical analysis of foreclosures in her district and her insight revealing the largest financial institution that has been moving foward with these foreclosures, J. P. Morgan Chase. Her personal story regarding her scornful treatment by Mr. J. D. Diamond and other Chase executives was moving.

    We need a rallying point that middle class Americans can use to feel that we are taking affirmative steps to create a better economic reality for ourselves and our families. No better place to begin than with protection of our rights as homeowners.

    Looking foward to learning what we can do next to assist.

    Is there any way we can tie each elected Capitol Hill official to his or her Congressional seat, then play and replay your interview with Kaptur and Johnson? The only thing which disturbed me more was the fact that my European-born wife has been reciting the same litany to me for some time. What foolish pawns we Americans can be.

    What is it that speaks the loudest to these congressional critters?

    What symbol do they pay the most attention to?

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Take it away from them one entity at a time. Trust me, they'll take notice.

    Please read my post Oct 9 at 10:04pm for details and contact me at civilsociety@bellsouth.net for organizing action in your area.

    I agree w. Rep.Kaptor. Obama needs better people around him. I am disappointed with the those who are protecting and coddling the big bankers. They are the ones who are at fault in this mess!
    I will close the accounts I have with big banks. My local credidt union is my banker. I will encourage everyone I know to do the same.
    Wouldn't it be a grand move if ALL of us who listened to this program did the same?
    Sara

    I would agree with Mr. Johnson: I'm skeptical, although I voted for Mr. Obama as well. Noam Chomsky predicted that we would find President Obama to be more of the same generally speaking. In fact, I don't really see how anyone could think otherwise based upon his cabinet selections. Professor Chomsky also addressed the issues at hand long ago. In 1994 he quoted the business press as stating that they were creating "a new imperial age" with a "de facto world government."

    I agree with Mr. Moyers that we (the people) need to get busy to eliminate the revolving door that allows people who work for big corporations become lobbyists and then get hired by our Senators and Congressional representatives where they have an inside track. But as others have already written, how can we break the cycle? Maybe part of the answer can be found in Mr. Moyers interview of Charlie Houston who said "Boldness has power, magic and genious in it". He was of course referring to climbing mountains, but perhaps this is the metaphor we need to take hold of in order to fix what is wrong with our system of governance. It is a very high mountain indeed, but mountains can be conquered if we try.

    I love Indie's idea of closing accounts at the big 4 banks and moving to smaller banks. What about putting some of our money in US Savings Bonds -- would that help "show" the banks that we don't want to do business with them? Or are the bonds held by big banks??

    You want CHANGE in DC? Speak their language. Pull your money out of the big banks. Then ask them if they are ready to listen.

    Please read my post Oct 9 at 10:04pm.

    You want to coordinate an action based on what we are going to organize down here in Florida through the PDA chapters? Contact me at civilsociety@bellsouth.net

    This is not capitalism as we might think of it. Capitalism is a system that operates within a society that consists of regulations. In order for Capitalism to thrive in the society it operates in there must be a prosperous nation. This situation is simply economic theft. No, what we have here is a form of economic terrorism that is much more dangerous and destructive to us then any terrorist threat overseas. We have lost our congress and many of the representatives we vote for no longer work for us they are owned by special interests. I think we should vote carefully and make sure that the people we choose next round, will be those who represent us. Like Rep Kaptur, Bernie Sanders and other progressive representatives. Progressives are those who care about the people. Bernie Sanders has only accepted $1,300 in special interest money. This is a time to take action, speak out and March. So ask yourself what is stopping you? It no longer matters what party they represent, it matters what their values are and who they will work for. I am waiting to go to Washington. So where are the organizers?

    You encouraged your listeners to do something, but what can I DO? I'm discouraged because, as an ordinary citizen, I can't fight the lobbyists.
    Your comments about their influence was informative, but disheartening.

    What do we ordinary citizens do to stop the corporations from owning our country lock stock and barrel? My idea is to go to Washington en masse with brooms and sweep the Capital steps clean day after day none-stop. Perhaps the media would give us the attention they give Limbaugh and Beck and we could light a fire under our totally asleep citizenry!

    We hard is ti to understand we are being chumped. Chumped by the lobbyists who are hired by corporations and special interests to hijack the making of our laws. Congress has become a proxy for the big money and as long as we continue to allow lobbyists to feed Congress money to write legislation there will be no real change. Opportunities for we the people will continue to shrink as the big money defends their privilege of luxury and legacy. It always has been and still is “follow the money”.

    Capitalism and the free market is driven by profit and profit has become the driving engine of increasing costs for everything from food, fuel, homes, and yes, even health care. The free market has had its way for decades and look at the costs and what it has delivered. For American businesses and many individuals this free market reality is becoming a nightmare and those with the big money are making laws that benefit their bottom line not our opportunity to do better.

    So what can we do? We rob the banks. The BIG banks. Legally. We need you to CLOSE YOUR ACCOUNT and/or credit cards linked to the four major banks. BofA, Citi, Chase or Wells Fargo and take it to a smaller bank or credit union. When you close it make sure to tell the bank manager that you are linking their particular "reversal in fortune" to the BIG MONEY being used in DC by LOBBYISTS to break our backs. We starve them of their favorite weapon in the biggest display of we the people power. We need to fight back by taking our money AWAY from them. We need to stop feeding the beast.

    Because when our government acts on behalf of wall street, banks, ceo's, agri-business, private defense contractors and corporations to the detriment of we the people what they are really saying is: socialism is for private wealth and power, but for you and I-- the free-market-- where if you fail, it is your own fault-- tough luck and tough love.

    It’s time to smash the cartelz. Special interests and lobbyists have studied the system minutely. It knows that the people won't revolt if it keeps them in debt to its corporations, banks and IRS. Think about it, they have no power if the big boys money spigot is dry. Take it away, one account at a time.

    It is time to level the playing field. Pass the word………do something.


    Bill Moyers is asking us to listen and then take action. He can only start the ball rolling.

    Marcy Kaptur and Simon Johnson just made it as plain as the nose on our face what is happening and it ALL has to do with lobbyists, money and banks.

    The answer lies in our own power. It lies right in front of us.

    Take our money AWAY from them and make sure many others do the same.

    Thank you for your story on Remembering Charles Houston, MD ... I am a retired Pastor ... perhaps we should all consider ourselves in the USA as part of a "fellowship of the rope" ... if we did then it would not be so difficult to provide universal healthcare !!!

    Rep Marcy Kaptur should be seriously considered for the next "Profiles in Courage Award." As for the President's economic team, the only person with serious credibility is former Fed Chairman Paul Volker, who, at 82, is hardly in a position to execute needed changes.

    Thank you for this episode. I am more interested in your short presentation after this interview. The 6 to 1 ratio of the big business lobbyists is alarming. What can we do as simple citizens? I would like to know. There must be some way to confront this disturbing power. It is destroying health care reform and economic reform. There must be some way that we, the individual voter, can overcome the power of the lobbyists. But maybe if each one of us can interest a couple of others, we can really make a difference. But what should we say? What can we do? I do not know. We need some strategy, some shibboleth, some inspirational strategy, that will help us to overcome the power of the lobbyists. I have not found it yet. I am reminded of the work of Lakoff, who talks about metaphors as an organizing principle of thought. Maybe we need a metaphor to organize around. But we need a conclave of the smartest people to create this metaphor. Maybe this will become the organizing principle that will lead to something that will counteract the power of the lobbyists. Perhaps you could organize such a meeting.

    Thank you for this episode. I am more interested in your short presentation after this interview. The 6 to 1 ratio of the big business lobbyists is alarming. What can we do as simple citizens? I would like to know. There must be some way to confront this disturbing power. It is destroying health care reform and economic reform. There must be some way that we, the individual voter, can overcome the power of the lobbyists. But maybe if each one of us can interest a couple of others, we can really make a difference. But what should we say? What can we do? I do not know. We need some strategy, some shibboleth, some inspirational strategy, that will help us to overcome the power of the lobbyists. I have not found it yet. I am reminded of the work of Lakoff, who talks about metaphors as an organizing principle of thought. Maybe we need a metaphor to organize around. But we need a conclave of the smartest people to create this metaphor. Maybe this will become the organizing principle that will lead to something that will counteract the power of the lobbyists. Perhaps you could organize such a meeting.

    This is not capitalism as we might think of it. Capitalism is a system that operates within a society that consists of regulations. In order for Capitalism to thrive in the society it operates in there must be a prosperous nation. This situation is simply economic theft. No, what we have here is a form of economic terrorism that is much more dangerous and destructive to us then any terrorist threat overseas. We have lost our congress and many of the representative we vote for no longer work for us they are owned by special interests. I think we should vote carefully and make sure that the people we choose next round, will be those who represent us. Like Rep Kaptur, Bernie Sanders and other progress representatives. Progressives are those who care about the people. Bernie Sanders has only accepted $1,300 in special interest money. This is a time to take action, speak out and March. So ask yourself what is stopping you? It no longer matters what party they represent, it matters what their values are and who they will work for. I am waiting to go to Washington. So where are the organizers?

    President Obama's handling of the financial crisis is poor at best. To be fair, he's got health care and Afghanistan on his plate right now, with global warming looming in the background. I think he's busier than a one-legged fighter in a butt-kicking contest. I think he left financial problems to Geithner and Bernanke. Since they are thick as thieves with the banking industry, they have no appetite for change. THAT is a problem. THAT needs to change.

    Great Journal Entry, it did leave out the black op's and trillions the Fed Bank of NY let go missing out of government accounts.

    Real solutions abound locally.

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