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Financial Regulation & Regulatory Capture

(Photos by Robin Holland)

This week on the JOURNAL, Bill Moyers spoke with financial experts Simon Johnson and James Kwak about Wall Street's influence in Washington and their support for new financial regulation that might reduce the banks' power.

James Kwak explained why he and Johnson advocate for more financial regulation, including breaking up America's largest banks:

"It used to be maybe eight or nine banks. But what's happened over the last two years is that these banks have gotten bigger, because they've bought each other. They've become more powerful. And they have an even stronger market position in some key markets like credit cards, mortgages, equity underwriting, and derivatives. And when we talk about the problem, when we talk about the need to break up these banks, we're really just talking about six banks, which are pretty undebatably too big to fail and therefore have an enormous amount of leverage over the government... What we learned in 2008 were certain institutions are so big and so interconnected that if they were to fail, they would cause systemic shocks throughout the economy. That's essentially what happened in September 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed... Almost two years later, nothing has changed. Or the only change is that these banks have gotten larger, more powerful, both economically and politically. And they've been flexing their muscles in Washington for the last year and a half."

Bill Moyers asked why new financial regulations would work when past efforts at reform have ultimately failed:

"Over the course of my lifetime, and my working career as a journalist, I've seen one regulatory agency after another taken over by the very industries they were supposed to regulate. Regulation requires a President who is committed to tough regulation. If you get a free market President like George W. Bush, you get regulation serving the industry... If you get a Democratic Party that's been compromised by its concessions and capitulations and contributions from Wall Street, you get a regulatory system that is a joke, and that's what we have. What's to ensure that the next regulatory system won't be a joke?"

Simon Johnson replied:

"The person who nailed this intellectually a long time ago was from the University of Chicago. George Stigler, not a man of the left, got a Nobel Prize [for concluding that] all industries end up with the industry capturing the regulators. What's happened to us is exactly what Stigler warned against, on a massive scale. The Administration still argues that we should delegate responsibility, going forward, for lots of things around finance - like how much capital you should have - delegate that to the regulators... Now that's crazy. That's not acceptable. That's not what they should do, particularly because any Democrat should say 'well, wait a minute, the next free market president who doesn't believe in regulation [that] comes in will gut the system.' And any person from the right who's read Stigler should say 'well, those regulators are just gonna get captured.' You've got to put it in legislation. You've got to design the legislation. You've got to go after the things that can be legislated. Congress must not abdicate this responsibility."

What do you think?

  • Can the government set up a regulatory system that won't end up controlled by Wall Street? Why or why not?

  • How can ordinary citizens take action to retake our democracy from the clutches of Big Finance?


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    Comments

    Davis H opined, in part, about "darwinism", "Power to the quants!"

    They are SADISTIC THIEVES. Hence the lying and murdering and "religion"...

    We are LIVING at the "mercy" of a single, SIMPLE MATH FORMULA:

    More misery for others =
    More money for ME ME ME

    Every time in the past 30 years that the SADISTS evacuated D.C.

    after THEIR mission was accomplished,

    (well except for Cheney, he's so delusional about POWER that he is still there)

    some HUGE

    SIMPLE

    MASSIVE THEFT is uncovered - savings and loan, enron, "health insurance" and on and on and on....this last one was their downfall - too RIDICULOUS to be believed...basically a declaration of WAR against the entire population of the USA, imo...

    I think everyone is going to jump into the gene pool game now about WHO are the "fittest"...

    The spammers squirting this site are QUANTS, right?

    No where in the entire history of human struggle for SIMPLE health and a basic standard of living

    is there PROOF that humanity was heading all along to a MATH FORMULA ruling as the Big Giant Head...

    Life is not a game...

    Shakespeare noted, "we pass through nature..."

    The fact that there is NO FEAR of the MILLIONS of the "middle class"

    noted among the "quants"

    well, "socially", that needs to be addressed...

    Well Anna, I have limited time for the net tonight at this venue, so I'll have to be really too quick.

    Some of what you wrote doesn't come across clearly with a quick read, but you brought up sadism which I will consider here briefly. There may be no difference between general sadism and finding/needing/naming scapegoats, but on another level there would seem to be some difference between default scapegoating prevalent in our society (it's all big guv's fault) and clinical sadists waltzing hither and thither. I go back to those two Ellul quotes I put up May 9th...they're pretty good encapsulizations of his whole huge commentary on technique IMO. But, to me, Ellul is best brought to bear with a little help from that other scholar hailing from France (I think)...Rene Girard who goes into the scapegoat thing. You can look at this problem with the V.A. and wonder if that's an area where we create scapegoats, but it doesn't seem to be. It seems that there's a lack of empathy with respect to our vets. However, from the Wall St frame...it does seem the cats up there take some kind of social Darwinism POV with respect to people unfortunate enough to invest in their products...I mean the dog products. Those folks lose their savings and go down, while the quants rise. Power to the quants!

    Hearing Ron Paul's son is pretty discouraging. Those TPers will simply not deal intellectually with triage. His solutions will not get it and it's so obvious. He just roles off these old platitudes about states taking care of the handicapped, etc, etc, etc. That whole picture is wrong. It's simply not that simple. It's all huge and all germane to the triage we're in. If he can't deal with it...well, that's why the TP hacks deserve to get beat at the poles in the future. Not squat to say did he have re guv regulating offshore oil drilling. Not pertinent enough I guess. But this disaster gives the lie to the whole TP approach.

    So, what is it. You gotta have a model...a sociological model like Ellul's. Ellul dealt with electronic media too, which brings him up to speed beyond Marx. Plus he saw how the tragedy came (to the Aquitane coast eg) long before the paradise of production.

    I'm just rambling on and on, and will be lucky if I get to answer Chris tonight. I still have to check out the Sierra Club site and the Greenpeace site.

    Chris, I'm afrain those'll come first. But I will say that I think I remember that the last of Glass-Steegle (sp?) got ditched in the Clinton years, didn't it? I don't remember Clinton apologizing for this on the first "Need to Know" (the only one I've seen).

    Dave H,
    I did check the link http://baselinescenario.com/
    In part it states,
    "Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Agencies (NRSROs), which are blamed for being a factor in the financial crisis of 2008."
    A person will be very naive to believe that the (NRSROs), was the "factor in the financial crisis of 2008!" "The financial crises of 2008" were as a result of deregulation - "when you deregulate or never regulate; Mortgage bankers were never regulated, you effectively have decriminalized that
    industry... only the regulators can serve as the sherpas."
    Did the "FBI and the prosecutors understand and prosecuted these kind of complex frauds?"
    Were "the regulators the problem?"
    Did "they became a self-fulfilled prophecy of failure?"
    Did the dysfunctional government serve the people?
    After the deregulations, the institution, corporations, banks etc. with the help of the Bankruptcy Act Chapter 11, the Local Government Unit Debt Act (LGU Debt Act), there was an open season on Fraud - BANKRUPTCY. If you check the Bankruptcy courts in the nation you will find thousands of
    institution in Bankruptcy proceedings. The deregulations has legalized fraud under chapter 11 and the LGU debt Act was and still is the way to go. Nothing has change so far.
    There is a video in circulation, the title is I.O.U.S.A. if you have not seen by now
    you may want to watch it, one part of it is on "youtube.com"

    The link is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_TjBNjc9Bo

    Though the former controller general comments are good, he does not address the
    main real problem - "The deregulations!"
    As it goes "If you build it, they will come," so goes "if you run it...
    to ground you will be awarded," catch 22 "too big to fail!"

    David H wrote, in part, "Anna, I've read that some outfit in Norway owned the most recently infamous
    disease-ridden cruise ship (but have not seen this in any source but one). Also we possibly launder a lot less terrorist dough right now than does Europe.

    The whole oil guzzling world is wrong."

    Who is scummy in the business of "cleaning" are the MANAGERS. Every penny cut that they make in the cost of SUPPLIES and WAGES, they get to pocket. And that's true across the board in ALL BUSINESS, right? The "managers" KNOW that there is never enough "currency" to go around to LABOR when LABOR is DEBT.

    So the MANAGERS only have to deliver a bottom line cost and if you tell the cleaning people to use ONE UNSANITIZED rag to dust one room then the next then the next, etc. - well that's biology 101.

    I don't believe that anyone with an IQ over 50 is "un-educatable" to the VISUALS provided by a microscope :-)

    And we are also back to EDUCATION when it comes to winning the war against drug lords...

    the total PSYCHObabble domination (ie "reality" TV shows, "political correctness")

    of ALL social interaction in today's world CREATES "addicts" - human beings in various stages of "arrested development" that is PAINFUL - imagine being able to stop just ONE bone from growing while the rest of the bones keep growing in the body. Would not that one perverted bone always be front and center with NO CURE...? It's PURE sadism - this "dumbing down"....

    As a political ploy, I think it is LUDICROUS at this point in TIME

    to point at USA-created jobs that were sent oversees

    and then point out how "moral" Europe might be in doing those jobs now for "the system" of drug lords.

    If billions-a-month war planners and executers acknowledge "Arrested Development" as a CAUSE

    we should be FREE to adopt the same EXPENSIVE "thinking" to OUR problems of LIFE-maintenance.

    The plutoRATS are SADISTS.

    They burn down your house, snap a picture of your face frozen in horror and rage and present that as EVIDENCE that you are depraved.

    If that is NOT a sadistic PSYCHObabble technique,

    then all professional profilers of criminals (FBI et al) will have to be re-educated, right?

    And what are the new rules of the nanosecond GAME?

    Who is a "criminal"?

    A simple reminder about CAUSES of "fraud":

    "The climate for fraud is one in which unreasonable expectations are set and minor errors are not tolerated. Although high standards and goals are of great value and must be shared, pursuit of these goals should never be considered more important than the truth."

    If the ULTIMATE "good" is unreasonable PROFIT $$$

    well, you do the "math"...

    MORE MISERY FOR OTHERS =
    MORE MONEY FOR ME ME ME

    FBI profilers should get a TV show and start de-programing "stupid" USA citizens from the hedonistic masochism they MUST live in so as to benefit the SADISTIC mental entertainment of self-proclaimed chosen-one plutoRATS's PROFIT margins...

    Say, what it is and I might go there...naaa, I don't think so.

    Anna, I've read that some outfit in Norway owned the most recently infamous
    disease-ridden cruise ship (but have not seen this in any source but one). Also we possibly launder a lot less terrorist dough right now than does Europe.

    The whole oil guzzling world is wrong.

    Got this from moveon.org...community forums on taking back power from the corporations (120 across U.S.)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/moveon/sets/72157623909762237

    David H, "Looks like a good article, Anna. NPR quoting a guy that sez Gulf of Mex has worst blow out record in world."

    Well, this isn't turning out into an Apollo 13 moment, is it?

    And all the "fuzzy math", eh? And even better, the "biology" factoids about bacteria that eat oil...

    How about what piece of QUARTERLY "profit" would have been eaten up by a $500,000
    PROVEN back up plan that is mandated in Norway...?

    As usual, the LOSS is SOCIALIZED...unlike in Norway...

    That Hudson article I mentioned below was from '08, not '07.

    “Here is how they did it. A.I.G. wrote insurance policies of all sorts of that people and businesses need: home and property insurance, livestock insurance, even aircraft leasing. These highly profitable businesses were not the problem. (They therefore will probably be sold off to pay the company’s bad gambles.) A.I.G.’s downfall came from the $450 billion – almost half a trillion – dollars it was on the hook for as a result of guaranteeing hedge-fund counterparty insurance.” Michael Hudson
    http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2008/09/20/financial-bailout-americas-own-kleptocracy-by-michael-hudson/

    There's nothing anywhere that spells everything out. I'm gonna have to start putting everything in a Word file so I can search terms. Be nice to have an index on the material linked in prev post. When Hudson sez 'counterparty insurance' it seems as though he could be talking about those who "bet" whatever hedgefund would tank...or who "went short" on the hedgefund (probably a ton of the folks who had dough in it), but I didn't know anyone could go short on something that huge.

    Phrases are interchanged constantly; guess we're supposed to learn matters as slow as possible. There are a lot of simple explanations of matters in the novel "Union Atlantic," but other breakdowns in the same tale still remain opaque for moi. Nevertheless, all the blurbs on the back cover seem true.

    Chris, thanks for the post full of no doubt paydirt phrases. No genius here, gonna have to look'em up.

    I got a weird notion to go back to hedgefund lit. The clearest thing I could find was back in 2007 by Michael Hudson; and I discovered they're integral.

    When I return here I'll need to hit the main guys' site of course (featured above), so I'm posting it again for convenience
    http://baselinescenario.com/

    Other pic hits

    Baseline Scenario’s piece for beginners
    http://baselinescenario.com/financial-crisis-for-beginners/


    http://www.alternet.org/economy/102672/financial_meltdown_101/

    Looks like a good article, Anna. NPR quoting a guy that sez Gulf of Mex has worst blow out record in world
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/11/science/11blowout.html

    Chris,

    The Declaration of Independence is what the Constitution was how they were going to go forth with a government of their own. The situation today is the same as it was back then - "government" has become the source of force and fraud against the individual.

    The "Constitution" in their hands has become the "rule of law" without the "spirit of the law"...

    We're the GOOD GUYS because we are stating the reasons WHY

    Justice is not justice anymore...read between the lines for why Souter "resigned" his "life-long" position...

    Chris wrote, in part, "The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of the United States." The supreme law is in the hands of a corrupt justice system!
    "The Constitution outlines the individual rights within the BILL of RIGHTS."
    What is outline and what takes place in real life is far fetch from the truth."

    osted in part by: David H
    "we're stuck in the groove of only "manufacturing" financial vehicles there will be no profits to share."
    Many people will be shocked just to read that "profits" and "the debtors in possession" rights come first, over and above the "liberty and the individual rights" of a citizens. Individual -inalienable rights have been violated. Seizures of property- papers for the benefits of profit for "debtor in possessions" have been ongoing and protected by the justice system. Freedom, liberty and individual rights to property of citizens have been abridge.
    Losses-confiscation trough bankruptcy proceedings have been into trillions of dollars.
    "Confiscation of property" by the power of the court for the benefits of "debtors in possession" violates the individual rights. Constitutional rights, Rights that should have been protected by the justice system are gone.
    "The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of the United States." The supreme law is in the hands of a corrupt justice system!
    "The Constitution outlines the individual rights within the BILL of RIGHTS."
    What is outline and what takes place in real life is far fetch from the truth.


    David,

    A heat sleeve - how do they deal with the cold in Alaska? I GET the pressure and dark and cold a mile down in the sea - all the "details" they glossed over with "pray it never happens"

    need to be revisited, right?

    Bassackward to develop back up Plans B-Z

    AFTER Plan A went kaboom

    but that's REALITY of the situation because we are Not "perfect", right? :-)

    Need we also revisit the stupidity of no longer acknowledging that Plans B-Z are necessary because we are not "perfect (ie. "regulations")?

    Anna, what kind of heat are you thinking of a mile under water? Apparently the box was getting floated this way and that by natural gas (they won't describe things simply). It occurred to me yesterday that the cement sealing is done between pipe and bore hole wall to stop gas flow up (and I guess I was slow on the uptake re that).

    AFAICS, Chris, if we started conserving our soil, exporting organic produce, schooling future nurses and GPs (go to single payer allowing employers to breathe a little), and manufacturing solar technology...guv could sell bonds to its citizens and the success of a viable economy would allow it to pay higher interest on said bonds. We did this during the war (without as much promise of better interest) when we were in crisis...just like we are today. But if we're stuck in the groove of only "manufacturing" financial vehicles there will be no profits to share. I was just reading a blog the contributions to which paint our crises pretty lucidly...here
    http://www.dollarsandsense.org/blog/2009_04_01_archive.html

    Last of the 4 days of vacation is half over. Talk to yall probably no sooner than next weekend.

    Posted in part by: David H
    "gov is not gonna try to sell treasury bonds to its own citizens...!"
    Why would the "gov want to sell treasury bonds to its own citizen?" It has been operating on a "printing press economy!" It prints funds, gives the funds for free to banks, with no consideration, [for the banks are too big to fail] and then the banks land its funds to the public for a high prevailing prime interest, as the FED freezes the interest paid on the citizens accounts to a minimum. The nationalizations of the banking system has been in practice for centuries. It is a very convenient -"confiscation method!"
    There have been over 238 banks foreclose since 2007 by FED. The last method is the best. Have institution sell worthless securities at a high prices, file bankruptcy under chapter 11, seek court protection and then inform the public of a "glitch in the system!"

    Bill just sticks to facts. Grilled Vigurie (sp?) and P. Peterson pretty well IIRC.

    Forgot to give "Need to Know" credit for one thing...I appreciated the tone of that woman in the video speaking out on behalf of safer birth control back in the 60s. And...in what's written below yesterday...guess I gave a bit of short shrift to the UK. They know what to do in terms of healthcare, and I shouldn't have left out their pursuit of "proportional representation."
    http://www.fairvote.org/fair-representation

    I'd just like to get to the marrow of what we're dealing with. Why Republicans can't see what makes sense in terms of whether they had a nurturant father or an authoritarian father (Lakoff, a linguist) I'm not even sure I have the time to read about [made what I thought was a firm resolve to do so, but it didn't stick] I desire to read plain language.

    "Every politician must first deal with dossiers prepared by groups of technical experts, and these dossiers contain a decision ultimately suggested by technical experts. This is the decision that the politician will always make. Once the decision is made, it has to be applied by other technical experts, the administrators. The politician now has a tiny role, especially since the administrators--without even saying anything--can block this decision, so that nothing will happen." "Perspectives on Our Age" Jacques Ellul, Seabury, 1981

    "Through two centuries of European history, great individuals forged all history. Today this is no longer true. History is made by the heavy mechanisms of the state machinery and by the social forces that combine with or contradict one another--hence, things that totally escape the power of the subject." Ibid

    Whatever our Congressional staffers do, we know they warn when idealism is not copisetic with reigning economic interests. Whatever studies or dossiers are presented we know, as with global warming, the right facts and the right science are for sale. We know violent crime is "down" for instance. We know inflation is not too severe (discounting food and energy). And on and on. So, Ellul seems right.

    Not only do we have the "heavy mechanisms of the state machinery," but we also have the heavy mechanisms of the state/corporate interface that make way for shock doctrine...shock doctrine that is getting shockier at a geometric rate of increase ever since LTC. Shock doctrine is corporate, and it must do a very strict and meticulous dance with the state AFAICS (as for instance in the procedure utilized to come up with the political sausage known as the "healthcare overhaul"). This dance AFAIC is not ok with adequate and sane regulation. The same goes AFAICS for the movement of capital via program trading and hedgefunds. The huge amounts of money flowing rapidly hither and thither (like the aforementioned vectors of power) also constitute a majestic and elaborate ritual...so awe inspiring that no one is going to question the movement despite what it could do. Perturbations could creep in and cause God knows what, but so much is in motion, and the great machine is so fragile and tempermental...that nothing will be said.

    Actually, the Liberal Democrats' embrace of proportional representation is probably one of the only conceivable ways around the inertia of the machinery in motion...Ellul spoke of.

    But regarding Greece it gets more complicated
    http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0510epitropoulos.html

    I need to know why they didn't put a heat sleeve around the pipe that was to suck out the oil from the containment box...?!!?

    Define "best minds on the planet" for us, BP propagandists...

    Forgot Bill said we could check out "Need to Know" Monday, but, not having cable, and only goin online one day this week out at a venue with Y-Fi...I checked the Barry Lopez comments, and then had the revelation that there might be some Ani Difranco YouTubes...then time was up. If you liked all those One Loves I guess it's conceivable you might dig Difranco (recommend "Millenium Theater," but for sheer musicality the tune "Half Assed"). BTW, I also checked David F's link to Keith Olbermann's spot on the Halliburton problem with sealing the space around the pipes through which the petroleum rises...extremely worthwhile. [Though Halliburton has apparently screwed this up before down in Austraila, I still don't understand how oil coming up around the edges causes whole rigs to blow up...which are a mile above the seabed] Thanks, David F! I ended up seeing most of "Need to Know" in its first over-air broadcast last night. This world is more of a triage now than it was in the 60s, but to do something about it I need to know the kind of things Moyers, Brancaccio, and Hinajosa were covering.

    The powers that be probably wanted a Democrat in the White House to save America's image and to take all the heat for unjustified Republican spending. Now that they've got one they've switched back to the can't stand'em modality. (Don't they realize they do this?) The powers now have all the big spigots on for complete mindless distraction. They seem to be ready for a thing like the Berlusconi model over here (a little farther west). All that hipness I used to think was in Europe. Maybe it still exists somewhere over there, as per artists like Hansard & Irglova outta Dublin, or Coldplay or whomever. Or as per the site and comment threads at places like Open Democracy dot net. But that's about it. Loretta Napoleoni plus the BBC are givin me the real skinny [Yes, there is talk of scaling back BBC's web presence]. At least the Patriot Act cut our money laundering down almost to insignificance [terrorist loot eg]; now all that biz goes to Europe. Ireland sliding back again. Something wrong there. Ireland should be allowed to go forward. Back to Keynes we need to go, and away from program trading and hedgefunds...as they're part of a religion that does not turn-on the common people. Therein lay a great mystery that needed to be solved, and Bill's guests solved it (for the record at least). More room now for bigger ones.

    It can rack ones mind (and probably psychosomatically ones body), but already I miss squaring up to citizen responsibility: accepting relevant knowledge. Yeah, what happened to those ole intractables last night?

    I'll relate how, in sum, they sort of strike me at the moment going on the eighth day post last Moyers Journal (I will write in a manner that I imagine might challenge Tea Partiers and the folks who view Bill Moyers enthusiasts as the "extreme left"): As one reads Napoleoni's "Rogue Economics" certain old sociological verities come back into focus. War and chaos in a locale make way for more airstrips that cannot be policed (drugs, one thinks back to El Salvador). One could say the MIC is hand in glove with the cartels, but it is more complicated than that (at least AFAICS, I certainly am not one that sees all). Most in America's MIC probably don't relish allowing these interests free reign in given areas. Many most likely wince. It does seem as though heavy sentences for drug offenses in the US are doing nothing to deter crime. [Don't quote me rosy violent crime stats; I've lived in the US where they don't apply] The old view of organized crime is that areas where big trans-shipments go down are not allowed to degenerate to the typical street violence where, for instance, the actual endpoint offloading takes place. But we know that in Juarez the controlling interests are allowing the blood-from-turnup zeitgeist presently in play on Wall Street (and in all other neo-liberally dictated spheres) right in their shipping area...there is no effort to maintain a facade of normalcy in Juarez. At any rate, the endpoint offloading areas are bad enough. First folks immigrated within Mexico and Central America to the malquiladora locales. When a ton of those jobs went to China apparently many of these in-country immigrants resorted to selling dope (so you have that on top of the larger problem of turf rivalry). It's the same deal over the border right here, which is not to say all immigrants are into dope-selling....far, far, far from it. But when immigrants are clock'n in ones community and you're seeing it with your own eyes...you can either try to figure it out and post here like I'm doing, or you can fantasize that the rest of the economy is ok and the only thing lacking is profiling.

    The problem is "sustainability" as many have tried to tell us. Everyone can understand that China wouldn't lose confidence in our treasury bonds if America were really going somewhere, if we had something to trade ourselves [they'd keep buyin'em...which is the money they loan us]. Of course, one can find a more lucid account of all this in professor Michael Hudson's "De-Dollarization: Dismantling America's Financial-Military Empire: The Yekaterinburg Turning Point." Yeah, as far as I can determine, even our military technology is not something China desires to acquire so badly...such that it will continue to loan us loot in hopes at least someday of collecting som'a that. What a billion people need (in our case hundreds of millions) is really sizable and something different.

    Regarding the 14 trillion bucksworth banks-bailout...what I'm wonderin is just how much of that was represented right away by buyable t-notes...and if the number of commensurate notes are even available at this date.

    So (I know you think I've drifted off point), when the banks loan dough...it got here first from China. The dough actually represents something...it represents how we are going to pay back the principal and interest. When gov perceives there is no means in sight for payback gov is not gonna try to sell treasury bonds to its own citizens as in days of olde. No, though populations and problems are mushrooming...with the tighten-it-up, we-keep-the-bailout philosophy gov is constrained to give up hope of expanding commensurate borrowing, and then it says: "We overspent prior." No duh, but we always overspent prior. Seems to me areas will suffer due to no borrowing-on-the-future for two reasons

    1)They do not have the clout to rebuff imposed restructuring (our own is ebbing as IIRC Michael Hudson has pointed out)

    2)They have a low temperature threshold for igniting at least into quasi-anarchy, which (as noted above) is conducive to shadow economy elements...which further will not necessarily contract said elements' operations (or disallow expansions) out of esprit de corps with contracting gov outlays. Seems to be a sort of give and take; gov gives and shadow economy takes, while on the surface everything is portrayed as the nicey nice balancing of books. Did Naomi Klein say something about this? It seems the average media consumer must focus on the shadow economy in one instance, but focus on terrorist threats and ideology in separate ones...for if the average media viewer were to keep both in mind at the same time...then it seems likely said viewer would go out and activate for real security, as Richard J. Barnet called it.

    What's written above in this post is how I see things. Given everything that's been written, what I write here are just simple rehashings, written simply. Others are welcome to correct and/or shape'em up better (are you out there Steven Lesh?). Anyone can see I'm not a full-time scholar. I'm only average. Right now I work one part time job. Don't wanna brow beat any of my fellow or sister citizens...all of us are stuck in what Jacques Ellul called technique AFAICS. I want our nation to return to sustainability (I say this but throughout my whole life I actually witnessed no agriculture not utilizing petro-fertilizers).

    Hudson's article
    http://www.michael-hudson.com/articles/globalism/090614De-DollarizationDismantlingEmpire.html

    Okay, then it's settled...

    Audit the Federal Researve Board. If they refuse, ask them to take their "private" business to wherever in the world that they can do "god's work".

    Next, we'll put a value on the whole USA - infrastructure, fertile land for sustainable living, water, etc.

    And issue currency,

    NOT money

    to keep things from going back to stuffing the chickens in the banker's office so that he can count them :-)

    BILL PARKS gets my vote for melting the witch of "debt" with a REAL banking system

    We can not afford a long convoluted court case payed for by tax payers money - we already lost a city of 5 million, a huge body of water providing lots of food,

    and MILLIONS of "jobs"

    The last thing we should be doing is giving a bunch of sociopathic lawyers job security in dragging out a case until everyone is dead who got ripped off - like with the Exxon Valdez legal saga...

    I think it is starting to dawn on people that there is no one SANE at the top

    And there never was - the learn from history moment of the 20th century is one of delusional "isms" and psychotic leadership.

    Oh, and instead of sitting in the pews in church being talked AT,

    let's all go "Quaker" and get up to speak what the "spirit" is moving us to speak...

    It's not "populism" - we're just not insane.

    Seriously...

    we're all flawed and that's why democracy works best...

    we all WANT to make this planet "paradise"

    using a different math formula than:

    More misery for others =
    More money for me.

    No one is allowed in a Quaker church

    to JUDGE

    whether what you stood up to say was "spirit" inspired...

    Greenspam won't be around to tell you to shut up because you are too stupid to know how he would FAIL

    (he did say that, too, remember)

    before he knew that he would fail...

    I think we need to take a break and stop with the grandiose posturing about who the "bad guys" are in Arizona.

    "Outraged" NYTimes reporters

    HAVE NO CLUE

    about 8 heads in a bag being dumped on the floor of a nightclub as a warning to NOT get in the way of DRUG DEALORS...?

    Better figure out who the "bad guys" are before indulging in

    MISGUIDED "rights" protests.

    Do we or do we not have the RIGHT to be drug-free?

    PROFOUND consequences of the "military" needing to sell an opium crop to pay for a "war"...

    Ruth wrote, as an "opinion" and not with documents ready to go to trial :-),

    "The Taliban had entirely wiped out the poppy crops prior to 2001. After 9/11 we arrived looking for Osama...remember him? Well, the poppies were re-seeded and crops have produced bumper yields ever since. Do you really think the US military is unable to stop poppy crop production? C'mon. We are there to keep those pretty poppies blooming up a storm."

    Something I haven't heard an answer to: Where in the world did the billions/trillions of dollars that were lost by the "World Economy" move to?

    I have heard little comment anywhere of who pocketed the world's monetary losses.

    Short Answer:

    "Can the government set up a regulatory system that won't end up controlled by Wall Street? Why or why not?"

    The national government serves finance; national regulation will continue to support oligarchic control of the USA through the privately-controlled Federal Reserve.


    "How can ordinary citizens take action to retake our democracy from the clutches of Big Finance?"

    Support public servants at the state level who understand nullification and can faithfully uphold constitutional principles through its effective use.

    Good show. Good points.

    A few might quibble around the edges. Some (speaking most prominently from Palo Alto, California) question the consensus view about the consequences of Lehman Brothers' failure. Lawrence Summers was on the NEWSHOUR the other night making the point that small, undiversified S&Ls didn't prevent a banking crisis in the 80s; limiting bank size may not be a magic answer (though it may help).

    There are a number of regulatory agencies and other bodies that may have failed, including schools. Harvard Business School came under some questioning after Enron, and one could ask similar questions about colleges and K-12 systems that were turning out mortgage brokers, real estate agents, appraisers, etc. The idea that average bankers represent the "best and the brightest" and were better students than McGeorge Bundy is questionable. Clinging to Gaussian financial models (which assume everyone has an equal, independent chance), exogneous economic shocks (which assume some things are beyond the control of anyone), and Wall Street having "the brightest minds" (which would meet most normative definitions of competence) may be more of a legal defense strategy than a view of reality.

    Most people hold the drug dealer more responsible than drug users, but many home buyers were resistant to reason; just as (perhaps) some people shouldn't graduate from school, not necessarily everyone should be entitled to own a home. While they may be a last line of defense, voters have to exercise some sense as well.

    When the kind of freak human beings

    that LOVE only money

    get togther on a "mission"

    with the freaks who will do anything for money

    welcome to hell on earth.

    Carefully culled from the hoi poloi have been the freaks

    suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder

    definition from cyclopedic medical dictionary (Taber's 2001),in part,

    "Four or more of the following criteria must be present: preoccupation with details, rules, lists, order, organization or schedules to the extent that the major point of the activity is lost;"

    The "fraud" LEGAL case is not going to do anything other than to entertain - well, I guess other obsessive-compulsives - who have NO CLUE what JUSTICE

    IS.

    Whether or not

    "someone"

    actually said, "let's bring down the infrastructure of the USA"

    with KLEPTOCRACY

    doesn't matter, does it? That's what they ACTUALLY DID.

    So the PROOF keeps rolling in that there there is NO MORAL FOUNDATION

    to "legislation" anymore if you can

    BOLDLY claim that no law was broken in HOW

    the love of money WILL do anything for the money.

    The question I have had for as long as I remember

    is to find out WHY

    the IDEA to build factories to incinerate people

    was acted upon by thousands of "intellectuals" dabbling in social engineering.

    What could "they" have done that p-ssed people off SO MUCH.

    Got my answer.

    It's the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, stupid.

    Gather up all the SHELL-SHOCKED destitute "middle class" who will keep running through their heads

    past events to figure out

    what they did "wrong" to get on the "list"

    add to that the REAL sicko abuse of religion, spiritual relief like THIS

    "god doen't give a person more than they can handle"

    and well, there's your new customer base

    for the drug lords to pay off the war lords.

    Incoming rent for slum lords and herded up miserable people living in squalor seeking relief in a "substance" since church and "god" just seem to offer psychobabble MISERY...

    So thanks to all for the CLARITY of where we are...

    At least now we'll be able to read between the lines, yet again, as to WHY the "troops" aren't being allowed to come home all at once...

    As noted in this thread, "The banking system lends only the principal of those loans, and yet requires the repayment of the principal plus interest, meaning the banks are always owed more money than exists in the economy."

    THAT is PROOF of the conspiracy

    that IS

    the "private" Federal Reserve Board.

    Looking at Greece,

    it seems that with obsessive compulsives being packed into SCOTUS

    it just might have to be an INTERNATIONAL case.

    Impressive data from the satellite up and running around the sun...talk about sustainable "energy"! Well, okay, not "eternal" as it's operating now but still good enough for another couple million years, or so :-)

    What do "they" KNOW about "God"...?

    OCD symptom:

    "...overconscientiousness, scrupulousness, and inflexibility about matters of morality, ethics or values (not accounted for by cultural or religious identification)..."

    Declaration of Independence is what WE have the last time WE had that

    PERSONAL HONEST MOMENT

    of DIGNITY.

    This is my boundry.

    It's been crossed.

    "We" WON the "religious and "psychobabble" skirmishes of the past decade of depraved dance

    Dancing with the depraved - "lovers of money" cha-chaing with "do anything for the money"

    Can they still IMAGINE what the legacy in the HONEST history books is going to say about their FINITE existence in time and space...?

    Can the government set up a regulatory system that won't end up controlled by Wall Street? Why or why not?

    If a government designed regulatory system is to withstand the corrupting influence which can, and will be exercised by monied interests, our oligarchical Plutocracy, then that framework has to be structured in such a manner that would allow it to foresee the actions of such a Plutocracy. Since the main weapon in the arsenal of such a Plutocracy is money, “the mother’s milk of politics”, being prepared for their attempt to increase their political influence through outright contributions, and excessive lobbying would forestall any hostile takeover of the regulatory process.

    As a rule, the Plutocracy’s money is used to facilitate transactions, and in this instance the ends usually sought are the votes within the legislative body, power of authority over the structure of the piece of legislative regulation, or corruption of the individuals entrusted with enforcing the regulation. In other words, they desire to employ their wealth to either kill, craft, or ignore the regulation.

    How can ordinary citizens take action to retake our democracy from the clutches of Big Finance?

    If the people are to negate the pressure of the Plutocracy’s monetary influence, then that external monetary pressure must be negated by an equal amount of internal monetary pressure generated by the people. For instance, the use of the internet to solicit small donations from hundreds of millions of concerned citizens will generate hundreds of millions of dollars which can be employed to hire lobbyists for the people, buy television time, and finance the campaigns of those legislators willing to represent the people’s interests instead of those of an oligarchical Plutocracy.

    Ruth,

    187,000 mercenaries from just the Iraq war have to live somewhere. That's no "illusion".

    The post below hints at one of PROFOUND implications - you should have no trouble connecting the dots...

    bottom line is that certain individual USA states have already ripped away the "united" part...ironic how the two Senators representing the rogue state get on TV just about every day as Republican "leaders"....

    Oh, and to boot, PCism

    (how DARE you be intolerant of kleptocracy!)

    is part of the psych ops OF THE OPIUM dealors...I guess on the bright side

    (there really isn't a bright side, though, in all seriousness)

    inside the designer handbag is the "protector" of my uterus...don't need SCOTUS...

    Posted from another thread:

    "Dear Mr. Moyers: I have been watching you for a long time. But you have been remiss on information on the gun lobby and what happens to states that are controlled by the gun lobby.
    I live in Arizona. They just passed a law last week, making it OK to carry concealed weapons, without a permit, and without training. Also they recently passed a law that exempts guns made and kept in Arizona from federal regulation including background checks. We still have the gun shows where unlicensed gun dealers can sell a gun to anyone without any kind of background check. We have serious drug/smuggling problems with Mexico. It has been written many times that the druggies and smugglers get most of their guns from Arizona. Yet the media says nothing.

    The media rants about the proposed illegal immigration law in Arizona but says nothing about the guns and the new laws, and the gun shows in Arizona.
    This is hypocrisy.

    Who is behind the T-party anyway? The media? For ratings?

    Since the liberals refuse to cover the drugs and the smuggling on the Arizona border and no one cares if they seal the border, there is no coverage. All the liberals are afraid to upset their political friends who they hope will vote for them and corporate America is saving money by employing illegals. You are part of that group.

    Do some research and learn how guns purchased in Arizona are fueling the border war. But then, why should a good liberal care? You don't live near the border and you just overlook the recently passed gun law. It doesn't affect you. Good liberals live in NY; they never mention illegal immigration and the border wars and if they would, their sympathies are always with the illegals.

    Such is the media and the weak conformist NRA loving liberals.


    Posted by: Anne Snow

    For Anna D-
    Yes,I hear you. Unfortunately I can't disclose other supportive details regarding these issues on a public blog. I've already said too much as it is. Yes, the implications are far-reaching and profound. Think of them as my 'opinion', or, if you prefer, think of them as some cockamamie illusions imagined by an aging woman. The bottom line is that it is all illusion.

    Hi Ruth, me again :-)

    You wrote, in part, "We (the US military) are there to ensure the drug culture flourishes and makes lots of $$$ to help pay back our international debt. Again...don't believe me?...just Google and see for yourselves. The Taliban had entirely wiped out the poppy crops prior to 2001.

    (AD here - I believe the Ruskies took a shot at them, also)

    "After 9/11 we arrived looking for Osama...remember him? Well, the poppies were re-seeded and crops have produced bumper yields ever since. Do you really think the US military is unable to stop poppy crop production? C'mon. We are there to keep those pretty poppies blooming up a storm. Just like we are in Iraq to keep the oil ( that prior to 2001 was contracted to Japan and France and Russia and other countries by Saddam (remember him?))...but someone (?) didn't like that arrangement, so we are there to make sure the oil is secured for that "someone"."

    THIS

    THIS

    has profound implications.

    No one will be able to control the "unintended consequences" of this kind of "war".

    "We" better stop and think about how sane we are to breezily discuss such a fact about the "military" and the "uber-rich".

    I'm truly serious about the PROFOUND implications.

    ? to Mr. BILL PARKS - You're starting to set up such banks in North Dakota, did I understand that correctly...?

    Watch the timing of "profit" taking - laws of physics re: this planet's "current" (hence OUR "currency")

    is one year - from crop harvest to crop harvest.

    Nothing else is SUSTAINABLE.

    Nanosecond is a THEORETICAL unit of time and serviceable for measuring gamma rays, but not flowers :-)

    Why regulate private banks, when we can establish a public banking option?

    The government can give each citizen of the US a share of bank stock, making every citizen an owner of the public bank, their selling the stock for a penny a share, the total cost amounting to a mere $300,000. Depositing all federal tax revenues in the bank would provide the bank fractional reserves, following the 9:1 reserve ratios required by the Federal Reserve Board regulations, the bank could immediately start lending significant amounts of money to the public. Interest payment on loans and mortgages would be paid indirectly into the US treasury, paying for government services, programs, reducing the national debt and lowering taxes.

    The public would have the option of converting mortgages held by privately owned banks to the public bank, paying their interest, which now goes to profit the bankers, indirectly into the treasury.

    A further benefit of a public bank is self-financing the national debt. The government can lend money to itself at the same 9:1 ratio that it uses to lend to the public, paying the interest on the national debt to itself.

    Found a nice spreadsheet via Google that shows 2009 USA debt and who we owe and who holds what. Just Google 'US T Bonds owned by Foreign Countries'.
    Re:
    We, the US consumers created the debt...I think not.
    But I can tell you that 10 years ago when all that crap from China started to appear EVERYWHERE...it was dirt cheap. My friends and family were so excited! "Look at this great blouse I bought at Macy's for only $15!" Yes, well, chances are the blouse has since self-destructed and now that same blouse will run around $90...and still self-destruct. So, yes, some people bought into it: hook, line and sinker. The same people, no doubt, who are buying into universal health care. Wait to see what happens to the cost of a visit to your local PCP in 10 years. If you can even find a primary care doctor and if she is accepting new patients.
    There are two viable alternatives to the current national economic crisis: raise taxes or curb government spending. Neither will be a comfortable or pleasant solution.
    Especially in light of the Baby Boomer generation dying off. They have been the historic 'work horse' with a work ethic and drive that keeps the economy well-oiled. Those gears will soon begin to rust and grind to a halt. Many Boomers have already chosen to become expatriates. Their exodus in early 2000 was recorded as the highest in the history of our nation. In 2001, when Bush realized there was an economic blood-letting going on right under his nose, he enacted many barriers (all under the guise of Homeland Security initiatives) to prohibit expatriation and made leaving the country difficult, if not impossible, especially for citizens of retirement age.
    I was at a cocktail party about 8 years ago and these wealthy business owners were salivating at the thought of relocating their companies to China. $$$ I asked if they understood the Asian culture...that replication and reproduction of the original is actually coveted more than the original...whatever the original might be. I mentioned that in no time at all, China will figure out how to make all of this crap by themselves, without us. It is indeed happening...so we will not only owe China trillions of dollars, but these greedy US corporations will have no where to go and make more crap after China kicks them out.
    I leave you all with two thoughts...
    Be careful what you wish for...and buy American ( if you can still find anything that is made in America).

    Abolish the privately controlled Federal Reserve; back the dollar with a stable commodity; bankrupt on the fraudulent national debt; and remove government support of an import-driven, debt-financed economy.

    Posted by: lgharmon


    Sorry to keep picking on you, "lgharmon", but you and BILL PARKS

    are part of the "leadership" here as far as I am concerned.

    I'm just putting this out here for consideration -

    instead of attempting to "abolish the privately controlled Federal Reserve"

    maybe we should ask them when they intend to leave.

    They accomplished what they set out to do and today have announced

    that China and India are "it" - the new "economic powers" as far as they are concerned.

    As "Ruth" noted, it's a repeating refrain with the uber-rich

    they don't know when to stop calling the people that they ruined

    stupid.

    Hence the mounting pressure of anger from the insult of the 24/7 PRIVATE media psychobabble assault here in USA.

    How stupid do you have to be to stick around and call the people you just ruined with the math formula:

    more misery for others =
    more money for ME ME ME

    stupid....

    the CLASSIC Vicious cycle..."we" need to throw a stick in the spoke of that wheel...who wants WWIII? There's not even anything remotely resembling a CIVILIZED "ism" that is worth going to "war" over that they can offer as a

    weapon of MASS DIS-TRACTION....

    So when are they going to leave to go "manage" the new economic powers over on that side of the world...?

    Khabul, according to gossip, seems to be offering stuff even Las Vegas hasn't thought of - well, at least publically..."Thunder Down Under" is for girls :-)

    When they (FRB) leave, the fraudulent national debt and the "government" support will go with them packed neatly away in their virtual reality gadgets...

    And even though I was tongue-in-cheek after inspired by the hilarity of "The Men Who Stare at Goats" movie I just finished watching

    regarding what CAN be the "stable" commodity we could use to back the USA dollar (worked for the ruble)

    it CAN be all our metal and we can all be happy being a "micro-economy" while we beat SOME of the swords back into ploughshares...

    The uber-rich are unable to comprehend what makes NORMAL people happy - and your basic STABLE and HONESTLY achieved "middle class" lifestyle sure is fun...

    solar and e-CARS and organic gardening (thanks to the Amish for keeping it "real") - "micro" style...

    everything I ever bought that was "cheaply" made in China just added to the industrial waste pile because it ended up being thrown away even FASTER than "built in obsolescence" at its greediest calculated for...meaning not even a year went by - thrown out before another harvest could be traded for a new thing-y...that's NOT sustainable and that is NOT DEBT - we PAID for that crap, didn't borrow it, Ruth.

    So many wonderful
    "alternate realities", if you will, have bubbled up from other posters on this blog.
    Posted by Anna D.

    Posted by David C.
    "So much depends on a red wheelbarrow Glazed with rain..."
    Reality is an essential element of human existence. Reality depends on continuity, organization, function and design. We depend on an accurate assessment of reality to survive. Reality is very prolific and can produce infinite numbers of variables. It can also create hell on earth if people ignore its implications. Every choice we make has an effect on reality. This earth may be a speck in the universe but it is an essential reality that determines the fate of people kind.
    We need to curb our "Boil and bubble" here comes trouble and do what is necessary to protect our vested interests in this earth and our lives.

    Posted by: Mike in part,
    "The two guests, 13 banks, are right on. But Wall Street has put together such an infrastructure, politically, and Oligarchy is the proper term, it can only be dismantled by Politicians...the problem will continue."
    Yes, "the problem will continue" for the legislator had legalized fraud.
    The Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy ACT is a legalized license to commit fraud.
    Fraud protected by Chapter 11, a corrupt justice system.
    A judge writes a statement on behave of the corporation stating, "the corporation is
    sorry for the losses of the the stock holders!"
    The problem will continue until people are empower to express their
    "WILL on ALL LAWS!"

    Hi Ruth,

    Thanks for the explanation for "we".

    There was a certain "out of the mouth of babes" quality to it

    that needs to be acknowledged.

    The adults in the room now realize that the profound implications of what that "truth" actually means

    have not been grasped by the "babe" who spoke it.

    Indeed, psychotic depravity has deep roots in the stream of history.

    Also true is the fact that people do get around to pulling up those weeds by the roots.

    Hmmm, the fraud case will be most interesting if the corp is treated as a person just like the Supreme Court has judged that it is...

    So many wonderful "alternate realities", if you will, have bubbled up from other posters on this blog.

    igharmon suggested among other to-do IMMEDIATELY things to "back the dollar with a stable commodity."

    That's a tough one.

    Considering that the entire newly-minted infrastructure of USA's industrial revolution was given over to beating ploughshares into swords for the WWII "end times"

    (sarcastic quip from a Buffer the Vampire episode - "wha'?! Armaggedon AGAIN?!")

    it's hard to fathom what could possibly be a "stable commodity"?

    Seems like pollution tonnage could qualify - "...the solution to pollution is dilution...".

    Think about it. If you BUY into

    from BILL PARKS - "We have a debt-based monetary system that creates all of the money in the economy, with the exception of coins, as loans. The banking system lends only the principal of those loans, and yet requires the repayment of the principal plus interest, meaning the banks are always owed more money than exists in the economy."

    then the fruit of all debt is indeed INDUSTRIAL waste-as-profit.

    Or put another way, you could not provide the profit if you don't create the pollution...everything has to be done the wrong way - UN-sustainably.

    Sarcasm, unfortuately, cannot cleanse the air of gossipy cynicism (small letter "c")....

    Really? Scientists, artists, olympic labor, peace officers, military personnel, teachers, medical practicioners, researchers, etc etc etc

    ALL of us "we"

    have conceded to bend our knee in worshipful homage to Ruth's "someone"...?

    Really?

    David H, I missed your post with this link: http://baselinescenario.com/

    Thanks

    The USA can no longer use the GNP index because we have none. A new index GDP was created to have it appear as if the USA is still financially viable. We're not. We (the Federal government) has been borrowing money from other nations for many years. Just Google 'USA borrows money from China' and see what results appear. Seriously, this is not rocket science folks. We OWE LOTS OF MONEY to lots of foreign interests. Have you read anything about Kahbul? I used to envision it as this bombed out desert town in the mountains...poverty stricken...destroyed. hahaha...it is booming with 5 star hotels and high-end shopping malls ( think Mall at Short Hills or King of Prussia).Mansions(Poppy palaces) line the streets. It is a hub for the drug industry. Poppies to opium. We (the US military) are there to ensure the drug culture flourishes and makes lots of $$$ to help pay back our international debt. Again...don't believe me?...just Google and see for yourselves. The Taliban had entirely wiped out the poppy crops prior to 2001. After 9/11 we arrived looking for Osama...remember him? Well, the poppies were re-seeded and crops have produced bumper yields ever since. Do you really think the US military is unable to stop poppy crop production? C'mon. We are there to keep those pretty poppies blooming up a storm. Just like we are in Iraq to keep the oil ( that prior to 2001 was contracted to Japan and France and Russia and other countries by Saddam (remember him?))...but someone (?) didn't like that arrangement, so we are there to make sure the oil is secured for that "someone". Needless to say the other countries who had paid millions of dollars in contract negotiations to Saddam were pretty upset. They were the countries that refused to join in the initial war effort, like France. Remember Freedom Fries? The uber-rich have had their hands down in the dirt of the workings of the world for a very long time. Rockefellers, Rothschilds...the list goes on and on, reflect on the Bilderberg Group...the uber-rich have the most to lose, and they expect to win, no matter what it takes to win. There is no mystery. These global antics depict how the business of financial investments work. We ( leaders, feds, pick a name) have sold our country. It belongs to the nations and private investors to whom we owe trillions of dollars. You can disbelieve or laugh, but it is the truth.

    Has anyone noticed that more and more people are collecting bottles and cans, and then cashing them in at our local grocery stores? It wouldn’t bother me if they were doing this to clean up our neighborhoods, but they are doing this just to make ends meet. To see this really bums me out :o(, but I guess I should look at the bright side; at least they have a job.

    Since Congress spent most of last year compromising between a shitty and a shittier health care bill, and it looks like finance reform is next, then maybe next year they can work on bringing jobs back from China -- that is as long as we don’t make the Chinese government mad at us; we wouldn’t want to do that. I wonder why this makes me think of over-bribed and spineless.

    I think that we should pull back are troops from the war in Afganistan.

    Oh yeah, I sure did appreciate last week’s Frontline. Ok, enough gloating.

    Great interview! The guests covered what had happened and what needed to be fixed, but I think they were both holding back when it came to the cause. With the timeline of events, I was surprised to hear Mr. Johnson say he didn’t think this was a conspiracy, and Mr. Kwak seem to be quick to defend/protect the CEOs from culpability while he expected to see the prosecution of the mortgage grunts (even though, legally, falsifying loan docs is probably the only concrete evidence).

    I’d love to see a list of all the insurance companies who sold these CDSs pertaining to MBSs, and a list of all the entities who purchased them, along with how much they had spent and how much they had earned/stole. Since Obama has Geithner hiding information from us and has Congress (Reid and Baucus; Dodd and Frank; …) writing loophole laden bills, I have come to one conclusion. We’re screwed!

    Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right. Here I am, stuck in the middle with you. ~ Stealers Wheel

    And finally, I finally saw an interview – via a Ratigan report -- with Clinton talking about his involvement with deregulating derivatives.

    In this portion of the interview, it sounds like he is rationalizing. Because if commercial and investment banks were already merging, then this tells me that the people who he had appointed to the SEC were not doing their jobs. I’d like to know the real reason(s).

    Well, I think on the derivatives – before the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed, it had been breached. There was already a total merger practically of commercial and investment banking, and really the main thing that the Glass-Steagall Act did was to give us some power to regulate it – the repeal. http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2010/04/clinton-rubin-and-summers-gave-me-wrong-advice-on-derivatives-and-i-was-wrong-to-take-it.html

    Ruth wrote, in part, "We owe trillions of dollars to multiple foreign entities."

    Whoa, who is this "we", Batman?

    You then go on to say that it's the Federal Reserve Board....they be your "we", Ruth.

    American People have NOT "borrowed" money from "foreign entities".

    Get it?

    The fraudsters will have to duke it out amongst themselves...no egg-laying chicken left among the "middle class"to pay off THEIR deal with the devil, so to speak...

    I'll make the popcorn...should be quite a show.

    In the meantime, the REAL case to be brought against the Federal Reserve Board is conspiracy to bring down the INFRASTRUCTURE of the USA.

    We have the PROOF that's what they KNEW that they were doing - get it? We have the paperwork, the emails, the religious forum posts used to communicate in code - we've got it ALL.

    Agreed that they will never be satiated. Psychotics and sociopaths never are...and that vomit of psychobabble they unleashed via TV and all other communication channels while they were stuffing the loot in their pockets

    is MOTIVE-PROOF of pre-meditated destruction - AKA "conspiracy".

    Declaration of Independence STILL holds true today - you should read it before you implicate "we the people" into the fraud.

    Looks like I might have to file that court case myself, huh? :-)

    Easiest way to rig the case for "I win" would be to run for President.

    I can do that :-)

    So can 1000 other people in USA, at least, who get-it and will take them on for as long as it takes...that's the POWER of "democracy"...

    My favority ditty about the working class...

    "But cultural society is no great beneficent club of inherited privilege into which all men are born with free membeship and entire equality. Rather is it an exalted and ever-advancing guild of earth workers, admitting to its ranks only the nobility of those toilers who strive to make the world a better place in which their children and their children's children may live and advance in subsequent ages..."

    No one who polluted the planet SO WANTONLY in order to build weapons of mass destruction to force delusional "ISMS" on to SANE SOULS (POWER over others)

    can possibly be admitted into the ranks of CULTURAL SOCIETY. Ever.

    Reminder - they truly are NUTS. Always were and always will be...

    I can tell you exactly why it's not easy, David F.

    I want to see the transaction in a YouTube. A dude taking out a bet via AIG that a CDO will tank no portion of which he owns...no share of which he has title to [but you wouldn't be able to film this with AIG now I don't imagine...they'd be too careful I'd guess]. Then there is the "shorting," which folks say is the same activity. A broker supposedly "borrows" bonds to sell, but then buys'em all back in some crazy scheme...I can't remember completely. The way I seem to remember it...the main brokerage house is not hawking'em fast enough, so they get these little guys to do it. Guys come along that are allowed to "borrow" the bonds & these guys I think find the chumps & sell'em to them when they're overpriced. Later they buy'em back when prices are more reflective of reality. But I can't visualize all this. And this is just the peanut gallery level of the shenanigans!

    Man oh man, Bill Moyers was right to mention
    http://baselinescenario.com/

    One article by Johnson put up today has 271 comments already, and one by Kwak put up today...92. IIRC.

    MoveOn has no form letters that I can see. In the previews of this post I've tried two stabs at 2020 Vision's url neither of which worked (don't have time to get out of this and Google it tonight).

    and Nero played as Rome burned.....and beat goes on. Mr. Kwaw's use of the definition of insanity is true. That is why we are yet again in the same old place we were centuries ago, only on a grander scale. Our technology gives the Banks and Wall St more power but the premise is the same. Greed

    Abolish the privately controlled Federal Reserve; back the dollar with a stable commodity; bankrupt on the fraudulent national debt; and remove government support of an import-driven, debt-financed economy.

    Posted by: lgharmon


    I'm in.

    We could start by modernizing the language in the Declaration of Independence

    since MOST of the reasons they were p-ssed in 1776

    are again the same ol' same ol' against "foreign" interests...

    talk about non-progressive "cultures"

    war lords, slave lords and drug lords...

    Funny how there are no more "christians" left in Iraq...slaughtered or ran away from the squads sent to get them...

    "...we fight them over there instead of at here on home ground..."

    Uh, we might have misinterpreted that one, huh?

    To whom it may concern,
    We need international super funds that can be used to accomplish necessary support systems for the world environment and improve the quality of Human life.

    For Ruth-
    How do you mean we were told to go to Iraq and Afghanistan and why do you think the world bank controls the fed?

    For Ruth-
    How do you mean we were told to go to Iraq and Afghanistan and why do you think the world bank controls the fed?

    Interestingly, Simon Johnson modelled his proposed break up of the big banks to the historical precendents of the Standard Oil and AT&T. Both companies split into smaller units, still controlled by the Rockefeller and Morgan (Rothschild) interests respectively. Within a generation, both Standard Oil and AT&T merged again and the effects of oligopoly remain: high prices, deregulation, corporate-written legislation that allow new finance schemes to go unchecked, the support of a military interventionist economy. Breaking up the big 6 banks is a shell game. Abolish the privately controlled Federal Reserve; back the dollar with a stable commodity; bankrupt on the fraudulent national debt; and remove government support of an import-driven, debt-financed economy.

    Interestingly, Simon Johnson modelled his proposed break up of the big banks to the historical precendents of the Standard Oil and AT&T. Both companies split into smaller units, still controlled by the Rockefeller and Morgan (Rothschild) interests respectively. Within a generation, both Standard Oil and AT&T merged again and the effects of oligopoly remain: high prices, deregulation, corporate-written legislation that allow new finance schemes to go unchecked, the support of a military interventionist economy. Breaking up the big 6 banks is a shell game. Abolish the privately controlled Federal Reserve; back the dollar with a stable commodity; bankrupt on the fraudulent national debt; and remove government support of an import-driven, debt-financed economy.

    How do Johnson and Kwak define 'conspiracy'? Okay, perhaps conspiracy is a bit harsh. Perhaps 'coup d'état' is a more accurate term?
    The USA has no GNP. Our government is bankrupt. The 13 bankers are not calling the shots, Obama is not calling the shots, the Congress is not calling the shots, and the citizens are most certainly not calling the shots.
    I suggest foreign interests have been and will be calling the shots in this country for a very long time to come.
    We owe trillions of dollars to multiple foreign entities. They want to get paid. It is really quite simple.
    We go where we are told to go and do what we are told to do. The Federal Reserve is a non-federal corporation over seen by international financiers( think World Bank,Committee on the International Financial System, and others, who the public probably knows nothing about) all of whom want to make a ton of money. They will never have enough money. Never.
    So we are in Iraq and Afghanistan and we are there because we were told to go and our presence affords some type of 'pay-back'.
    I admire the Mayor of Binghamton, NY. A lone voice of dissent is better than no voice.
    It is a cute theory of Kwaks and Johnson, that the banks just kind of got out of hand because of expectations on Wall Street and all of a sudden became mega-sizedand could not be regulated because of imminent financial disaster, but really, this monopolizing has been choreographed for several decades (many years before derivative investments). Until we pay our debts ( which will not be be for a very, very, long time)expect continued loss of control and no local oversight. Our money is no longer 'ours' to control.

    I figured out that Goldman Sachs, the bailout, Zero Per Cent interest money from the FED TARP to buy out the competition, like Wells Fargo did with Wachovia, Citibank did with Chase, and the rise of "Super Banks" that fail to disclose and take advantage of Consumers with lies and deceit. Finally, the SEC is doing their job. But, with the case of Goldman Sachs, risk takers with other people's money and no accountability, makes lots of money for themselves with tax payers as a backup, FED Zero per cent money, this is outrageous. Years of Goldman Sachs employees in the charge of the US Treasury is what led to this, along with de-regulation. The problem, as exhibited by Senator Mitchell like Orrin Hatch, these are bought and paid for by Corporations and Wall Street. Really scary as 8 out of the 9 Supreme Court justices was chosen by Orrin Hatch, former Corporate Attorney. On and on, the problem started 30 years ago, and it will not go away in a short time. Corporations and Wall Street if taken to Court, know they have an edge, so even though Goldman Sachs if found guilty of Fraud, will receive a fine of one-tenth of what they were able to steal. Just the cost of doing business. White collar crime, this is criminal and not white collar, sends the thieves to jail, but then fines them a small amount of what they stole. Why? Bought and pad for judges perhaps? In the meantime, the majority of society in the USA is working, trying to save, and being ripped off by these Wall Street types.
    The two guests, 13 banks, are right on. But Wall Street has put together such an infrastructure, politically, and Oligarchy is the proper term, it can only be dismantled by Politicians. Until we get the right people in Congress and throw out Mitchell and Hatch, the problem will continue. The election this fall will be crucial. Thanks Bill, as was said on Star Wars "You are our only Hope" and you are retiring. Darn, find someone to do the program in your place. We need something to counteract Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck funded by Rupert Murdock and FOX and the Rich Guys.
    I can recognize the frustration of the issues that face us, especially since the folks like the Tea Party are really an example of how people are manipulated by repetitive propaganda, like the Germans were after the Nazi's came in power in the 30's. We need to bring back the Fairness Doctrine that Reagan removed shortly after he left office. Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck shake in their boots when the Fairness Doctrine is mentioned, they know their party will be over, Limbaugh's $40 million a year and Beck's $28 Million a year they are paid by the Rich, Elite, and Corporations.

    "Freddie Mac will launch 25 initiatives to eliminate homeownership barriers." ~ George W. Bush, 2002

    I hate it whenever I read a neocon teabagger’s comments about how the Democrats were responsible for the subprime loan crisis. Even though the Democrats deserve half the blame, they were not alone. So, whenever I feel like kicking a teabagger in the teabags, I usually post this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNqQx7sjoS8 (I wish someone on tv would play all, or part, of this everyday -- yes, literally everyday).

    I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t understand how an insurance policy could be considered as a bet. I felt the same way at first, but then the way I figured it out was by thinking about my own car insurance, and then I got it. This is really easy to understand.

    Ok, look at your annual premium as the amount that you have to put down on the bet. Now you have just bet that you are going to have an accident – yes, that’s right, you have just bet that you are going to have an accident. Because if you don’t have an accident, you don’t get any money back from your insurance company, but if you do, you win the bet and your insurance company should pay you (notice I said “should”).

    This is what AIG had done with these mortgage-backed (subprime loans) credit-default swap (insurance bets). They allowed people and other entities to bet that these subprime loans were going to fail, and when they did, AIG had to pay off these bets to whoever these people were and then the tax payers had to bailout AIG. It is a little more complicated then this, but this is basically what happened, plus, we still don't know who the people or entities are, except for Paulson.

    Now wasn't this easy? But this was just one of two crimes (three if you count Congress' deregulation bills), so next week we'll talk about how these high-risk mortgage-backed securities were created by Goldman Sachs and then stamped as low-risk by our credit rating agencies, and then how they were sold to unsuspecting investors.

    Great intelligent comments; except for the shoe commercial; NOW I know what shoes NOT to buy.

    I would like to share the story I read about George Washington, the first President of United States of America. It must have happened during his term as President; otherwise, why would anyone write about that?

    Years ago, when I was in school I read a story about our First President of United States of America, George Washington. There were several stories mentioned about him but this one was very noteworthy
    and is applicable even to this day. If we follow what George Washington did in his office, our country will be prosperous and we would not see any more financial failures.

    George Washington , as we all know, was the first President, the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, who won the American War of Independence. The essence of American War of Independence was Taxation without representation. Sadly many American school students do not know this fact. We all know this and our scriptures and other historical information say a lot of about what Washington did to this country.

    President Washington, after work, used to go out on a horse ride in a different costume without identifying that he was the President. He would talk to regular people and get their views on the Government and how American public think about their elected officials, etc.

    Onetime, there was an opening in the White House for a Government position and Washington invited applications from all the prospective and qualified candidates. Washington had lot of friends and also had a few, who were not enemies but did not like his ideas on certain reforms. There was one person who strongly criticized Washington. I call him Danny to make it easier for writing. Danny did not like Washington's ideas and voted against certain measures taken by Washington.
    But this man had some unquestionable integrity, knowledge, skills, and abilities.
    His suggestion was that, if we put things together as described in his proposal, that would produce the desired results and the country would prosper.

    Hearing about the Government vacancy, Washington's friends applied for the position.
    This Danny also applied for the same post. His friends criticized him. They all thought that Danny was Washington's enemy and he voted against Washington on several of his Reforms and he was foolish enough to apply for this job. But Danny did not worry.

    President George Washington arranged for a State Dinner and invited some of his friends. He also invited the candidates who applied for this Government job. All of Washington's friends attended and our Danny also showed up and participated in the State Dinner.
    Washington's friends giggled at Danny and thought that he would not get this job due to his difference of opinion and he even showed up for the dinner thinking that he would be hired. Again Danny was calm as usual and did not worry about any of the comments made by others.

    The function came to an end. A few days later, George Washington was to announce the candidate who got this job offer. Washington's friends were hopeful that he would choose one of his closest friends. The moment came for George Washington's announcement.
    Washington talked about the job description and discussed the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to do the job well
    He said he found one such person who can function without any fear or favor. And that was Danny.

    Washington's friends were shocked and disappointed and told Washington that he was unfair towards his friends when he made the selection.

    What was Washington's reply?

    I know my friend more than anybody else. I know he is my well-wisher and he is a good man but he is not a man of business. This job requires someone who can work diligently and without any fear or favor. That is why I chose Danny and gave him that job.
    His friends shut up.
    That is a good lesson.

    But that is not what we see today in US Government Offices. Jobs are given to friends who work in the White House as Secretary of State, Secretary of Labor, Attorney General, etc…

    Favoritism should not be encouraged in Public Office especially when we have duties and responsibilities towards the public.

    How can ordinary citizens take action to retake our democracy from the clutches of Big Finance?

    We have a debt-based monetary system that creates all of the money in the economy, with the exception of coins, as loans. The banking system lends only the principal of those loans, and yet requires the repayment of the principal plus interest, meaning the banks are always owed more money than exists in the economy. This systemic shortage of money, resulting in loan contracts that are impossible to fulfill, is an important reason for so many mortgage default and foreclosures. As a nation we must restore our sovereign authority to issue our nation’s money, but until that happens we can use the banking system for the benefit of the people.

    One state, North Dakota, is not having financial problems because it has a state-owned bank, the State Bank of North Dakota. The government deposits all state revenue in the bank and operates it as a normal bank, lending money to individuals, businesses, corporations and financing government debt. The interest on their loans is paid into the state treasury providing revenue to run the government. Several other states are considering following North Dakota’s lead establishing their own banks. The model may even scale down to local government establishing community banks in the name of the citizens with profits going to fund local government.

    I really enjoyed the show this week. The interview with Simon Johnson and James Kwak really highlighted my favorite issue, as many of your shows do. What gets me going is Privatized-Profit, Commonized-Cost. Benefits concentrate in the hands of the few at the expense of the many.

    We humans naturally organize ourselves into pyramids of power based on this simple principle. I’m sure you can see the “beauty” of this game. The powerful have a powerful incentive to keep the game alive, the mass of victims are too busy earning a living, and each victim has too small a stake to be strongly motivated to resist. Pretty neat!

    The problem is that this is a Tragedy of the Commons and is well recognized as a game that collapses as the resources to sustain it run out. The end game to this situation is usually pretty ugly.

    I have a notion of technological salvation as Moore’s law begins to have a larger impact on every aspect of our lives. Alas, it will take a few decades to really kick in.

    Recommendation: Google: Privatized-Profit, Commonized-Cost

    Didn't Mr. Johnson say that big companies need to be capped, i.e., that they should not be allowed to grow beyond a certain size? That should have been done a long time ago:

    - Big business is not dangerous because it is big, but because its bigness is an unwholesome inflation created by privileges and exemptions which it ought not to enjoy. (Woodrow Wilson)

    Concerning the question, "How can ordinary citizens take action to retake our democracy from the clutches of Big Finance?, haven't things gone too far in the U.S.?:

    - In a country economically backward, the proletariat can take power earlier than in countries where capitalism is advanced. (Trotsky)

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

    Can even the President do anything about retaking "...our democracy from the clutches of Big Finance?":

    - The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the [capitalists]. ("Communist Manifesto";1848,Marx)

    http://cikehara.blogspot.com/2010/04/communist-manifesto1848marx-more.html

    @ Frank Soriano,

    That makes sense to me. And the answers to the problems could be so simple, like reinstating the Glass-Stiegel regulations, that seemed to work just fine since the first Great Depression; until of course, they were abolished by 'the bankers'.

    Simple answers are too boring for the politicians and their sugar-daddys. No, it has to be complex. The more complex the better, the easier to confuse the frazzled crowds, and screw em again.

    When James Kwak notes that nothing has changed, he could not summarize the entire state of American economics and politics more succinctly.

    Obama and the current Congress have changed nothing -- in any arena of American activity. He is about to nominate someone for the Supreme Court who will be significantly more conservative than John Paul Stevens. (Only two of the names the prospective nominees list are liberal in the sense of Stevens, and they are both long shots.)

    All of the conservative Clinton-Bush foreign and military policies (which are substantively one and the same in the case of the US) continue, with a token nod to the issues of Guantanamo.

    Copenhagen was a failure and predictably so given that the US government refuses to make any demands of consumers or corporations.

    The Big Picture is utterly bleak. Economy, environment, education, infrastructure, and on and on -- all in dismal shape.

    James Kwak's comment that the big banks bet against the American dream reminds me of a comment Paul Krugman made in an interview with Bill Maher: "The American dream isn't dead, but it's dying pretty fast." The sad fact is that Kwak and Krugman are probably speaking too optimistically. The big banks are arguably betting against humanity on the assumption that somehow, in their brave new world, the rich will be entirely immune to consequences visited upon Other 99.9% of humanity.

    The US now has the lowest degree of social mobility in the industrialized world, with the possible exception of Britain (which, thanks to Thatcher and Blair, has been even more American than the Americans, taking many Reaganite policies even further than Reagan).

    The American Dream is dead. Much more is also. If (big if) we are lucky, Homo sapiens may survive. Interview some biologists. You may be surprised by how widespread this view is.

    I have not read the proposed financial regulation legislation. Given that our crisis began with subprime loan, shouldn't a basic part of it be that a mortgage remains with the bank/institution that accepted it and not repackaged and sold to another institution. This rule should apply to all loans

    I have not read the proposed financial regulation legislation. Given that our crisis began with subprime loan, shouldn't a basic part of it be that a mortgage remains with the bank/institution that accepted it and not repackaged and sold to another institution. This rule should apply to all loans

    I am very sad to see our government change from "For the People, by the People", into "For the banks/lobbyists/corporations, by the banks/lobbyists/corporations". I am outraged at the games that are allowed to be played.
    In 2008, I lost my small healing center because my clientele dried up...too many layoffs, job losses and 401Ks being devalued. I closed my business, and was unemployed in the crashed economy for over a year; obviously, to survive, whatever cash I found went towards my personal survival. I, an educated upper-middle class female, found myself on government assistance, which is a joke in itself.
    Bank of America has now served me with papers, suing me for less than $13K. I feel like I HAVE PAID three times over...first, with my business and income loss, next with my tax dollars, and now again with being sued. Had the banks not played their games of derivatives, credit card interest hikes and sub-prime mortgages, had THEY not crashed the economy, I would still have my healing center and would be paying them dutifully. WHY IS THIS BEING ALLOWED?
    Bill, you are a voice of sanity in the darkness. Can we put together a group of citizens who are willing to stand up to the big boys and take our country back? Or is it just too late for us?

    There's GOLD! In them there, Capitol Hill!!!

    Says the Ivory League professor to the budding ?.

    I agree Dave. Making a 'business' of supplying 'the people' a stable currency for the simple privilege of doing commerce is turning out to be a big crock. Yet so many would rather exchange ideological and political jabs which serves as a smokescreen to the real problems that threaten to crumble the foundation of our society. These bankers are smart, they don't just buy Republicans or Democrats, they BUY politicians; ALL OF THEM. Lawyers and Bankers. Bankers and lawyers. .. should be a song.

    They're joined at the hip. It's going to take some surgeon to fix all that. (pardon the 'health care' pun)

    Right. En Ra Ha!

    Here's a partial answer to my question below:

    Common Cause dot org has a sample letter for Reps and Senators. The letter urges them to get the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) to inquire as to "whether [Street] campaign cash led to the lax regulatory environment that allowed Wall Street to run amuck over our economy." Pretty distant. But other issues they have germane are regarding Recovery Act funds and Street money's leverage over elections. The site sends the letters.

    I got something from "Prosperity Agenda" on the 12th, who mention "A New Way Forward."

    Still haven't checked out those sites Bill Moyers named Friday night (Kwak & Johnsons's?)

    I agree Dave. Making a 'business' of supplying 'the people' a stable currency for the simple privilege of doing commerce is turning out to be a big crock. Yet so many would rather exchange ideological and political jabs which serves as a smokescreen to the real problems that threaten to crumble the foundation of our society. These bankers are smart, they don't just buy Republicans or Democrats, they politicians; ALL OF THEM. Lawyers and Bankers. Bankers and lawyers. .. should be a song.

    Yellowbird opined, in part, "I think the nation is going to collapse completely and the markets will go down the toilet with the rest of us. Nobody cares about preserving the nation. Everyone is looking to preserve themselves these days."

    And then DCE opines that pathological SELFISHNESS acting upon the world of "people" with perfidy and malice

    means that "we the people" are UNEDUCATED.

    You either have the capacity to know right from wrong or you don't.

    If you don't, ALL CIVILIZATIONS across the CENTURIES

    CONTAINS and ELIMINATES

    the psychos.


    The LONGER this yaddayadda about BOLD FACE THEFT

    goes on

    the more clear it is why

    NONE of the rationalizations

    even remotely acknowledges

    the WORD

    "CIVILIZATION".

    We MUST bring them to court for CONSPIRACY to destroy the infrastructure of the United States of America.

    I am not going back to swinging through the trees because PSYCHOS have FREEDOM.

    People complain about being imprisoned and having "religion" given them at the barrel of a gun

    well what about the kind of PRISON we are all in now because PSYCHOS have FREEDOM to RULE the "streets" through THEFT OF CIVILIZATION?

    What part don't you PAID RATIONALIZERS understand about

    CIVILIZATION?

    The only reason you never use that WORD

    as a FOUNDATION

    for all your inane and insane "isms"

    can ONLY be

    because you NEVER were involved in the building of one.

    You are locust-like CONSUMERS.

    Indeed, when the REAL USA troops come home to find what the MERCENARIES have done to USA, it's gonna be a "party", that's for sure...


    I agree with much of what you say Dave. Us finding the common ground we can agree on like banking reform and not inject our ideology will help. Common ground can actually be the catalyst to getting people with different outlooks on ideology to agree. That common ground that main street can agree upon threatens the ideologic extremists and special interests on both sides. They will continue to try to distract us from real reform with ideological rhetoric. We must resist it.

    The issue is what needs to be done now. I was taught the value of responsibility and that there are consequences to how we act. Names should named and prices paid. Many new regulations and laws must be enacted without question, that is first and foremost. But Summers and Geithner should leave. Bernanke was asleep at the switch, too. Also, we need to follow the money and shed light on who has received the 365 million in bank lobby money and they need to go. Next, ALL the top CEO's need to go along with many other bank employees and board members. There should be claw backs from these guys. I would like to see dozens not only loose their jobs, but go to jail for fraud. There must be justice. There needs to be nothing short of a peaceful, democratic revolution; "a dramatic and wide-reaching change in the way something works or is organized or in people's ideas about it". This is the American way and the only way to our salvation.

    (No I am not a member of the TP) out of the important message of our banking crisis. The banking issue is way more important than the opportunity to take political jabs at other ideologies than your own.
    Posted by: Ed

    Posted By: Dave
    That is true. We have to deal with the systemic system problems first then the Ideologies...
    The problem with the system is that it is corrupted in favor of the supply side of economics and available funding is woofully inadequite to maintain a quality society because of the unbalance of available funds for the demand side of economics.
    The reason the supply side of economics is failing is because the congress is supported by the supply side financiers and lobbyists rather than the demand side "We the people".
    The problem is also as Bud noted; we have both a despotism and an oligarcy that has the power to override the government of the people.

    Posted By: Dave
    That is true. We have to deal with the systemic system problems first then the Ideologies...
    The problem with the system is that it is corrupted in favor of the supply side of economics and available funding is woefully inadequate to maintain a quality society because of the unbalance of available funds for the demand side of economics.
    The reason the demand side of economics is failing is because the congress is supporting the supply side financiers and lobbyists rather than the demand side "We the people".
    The problem is also as Bud noted; we have both Despotism (abuse of power) and an Oligarchy (rule by the few) that has the power to override the government of the people.
    We also need to but our finances to work providing a quality society rather than wasting our resources on foolishness.



    This is a famous dialogue from the film 'Pretty Woman'
    between Richard Gere and Jason Alexander.
    I use R for Richard and J for Jason

    R: Putting empty glass cups upside-down, one above the other, saying
    Building blocks.

    J: What is your point?

    R: 'We don't build anything; we don't make anything'.

    J: We make money Edward.

    Here is my comment.

    The theme was "Nobody goes into business except to make money."

    Bill Moyer's programs are great. I watch all his programs from Economy to Philosophy and Religion. His discussions are always very noteworthy. Bill Moyers does not waste time on unnecessary matters unlike network stations such as ABC, CBS, and NBC.

    It is obvious "mafia rules" again. Financial Godfathers have ruled and ruined and brought this country's economy to where we are now. That is sad.

    It takes time for white-collar crime to develop. There is built-in systemic corruption
    The financial systems have been designed over time to be complex; so that they can be manipulated even laymen cannot understand that. There is no doubt about that.

    I don't understand why they limited their discussion to 'Wa Mu' only and how it failed miserably. What about Countrywide, Citigroup, and other unknown banks? They knew very well that they would fail. Even then many banks including Citigroup failed miserably due to their own bad lending practices.

    They took the taxpayers' money as bailout without any collateral. It is a shame. If the banks were really straightforward and honest in their dealings, they should not touch or take a penny from other people's money and should return to the taxpayers promptly.

    We need a really strong regulation to clean up the entire financial institutions in this country.


    But why should we go through these things? It is clear that many Americans are not well educated, as they seem to be. It is lack of education that leads to ignorance. As a result, the incompetent people rise to the top and make wrong decisions. And Americans believe in what they see on television or hear from politicians. It is really unfortunate that people are manipulated and fed by corrupt organizations

    They readily believe in lies and slogans by public relations firms, lobbyists and the media. It is obvious when we see the public embracing Tiger Woods, Sarah Palin or John Edwards.

    Sarah Palin's visit to one of the universities in Southern California created some controversy. The State has no money and still struggling to balance the budget but they said Sarah Palin gets paid for showing up at the university.
    Where do they get such a large amount of $100,000?.

    In the name of contribution,
    Corrupt organizations have the means to get themselves or their clones into public office. Organizations also have the money to hire lobbyists to corrupt any elected official by means of contribution. American Taxpayers should think.

    Check out "McGowan's Retreat" by Rob Smith! It is a novel about this particular subject, definitely a cautionary tale about what has gone on and continues to go on with the CEOs, etc.

    The interview with the authors of 13 Bankers was enlightening. The cheap shot opportunity taken by Bill to marginalize the Tea Party was misdirected and muttled the overal banking discussion. Stay focused "on subject" Bill, don't reach just to get your personal political ideology injected. Bill should keep his politics regarding the Tea Party (No I am not a member of the TP) out of the important message of our banking crisis. The banking issue is way more important than the opportunity to take political jabs at other ideologies than your own.

    These fellas are defining this 'systemic fraud' as an Oligarchy, but I think that is an understatement, it is actually manifesting into a Plutocracy. That's the reality; if things don't get 'so bad', that the angry masses don't get so big and turn to vigilantism to settle the score with the 'financial community'.

    These fellas are defining this 'systemic fraud' as an Oligarchy, but I think that is an understatement, it is actually manifesting into a Plutocracy. That's the reality; if things don't get 'so bad', that the angry masses don't get so big and turn to vigilantism to settle the score with the 'financial community'.

    Can the government set up a regulatory system that won't end up controlled by Wall Street? Why or why not?

    The problem with "Wall Street" is that that "Government Street" does not have the courage to maintain Equity and Justice.
    Instead of financing the demand side of economics it financed the supply side of economics which had caused the demand side of economics to fail. It is government's responsibility to regulate finances so that necessary social needs are provided sufficient funds to operate.
    It is a systemic problem that congress can correct by taxing the supply side of economics and financing the demand side of economics to regain a balanced economic system.
    People's values also have to be changed to support a just and equitable society.

    Thank you thank you thank you. These guys are the only 'Woodward & Bernsteins' out there these days doing the real investigative reporting (real work) that I can see.

    Some of this stuff seems SO obvious to me after putting the little bits and pieces that I can put together from the internet chatter and extremely dumbed-down 'legitimate press'. Finally some real unbiased logic. I can't thank these guys enough. And I'm not much of a book reader, but I'm going to read this one!

    I once read that the difference in corruption between first and third world nations is that in third world countries the powerful use their power to gain riches and in the first world, the rich use their money to gain power and influence.

    Thank you Bill, you are leaving in style.
    I don't see any choice but to break up these giants.
    By their nature they will always have the power to circumvent any rules and regulations. I find it funny that some feel Fed policies are responsible for the crisis...
    The janitors at these banks probably earn more than a fed bank examiner!
    I would like to think that the Fed and regulators are independent, but I don't think these folks leave anything to chance.

    I think the nation is going to collapse completely and the markets will go down the toilet with the rest of us. Nobody cares about preserving the nation. Everyone is looking to preserve themselves these days.

    Similar link to this story:

    http://thefourteenthbanker.wordpress.com/

    The Moyers program was excellent and I support your crusade to break up the big banks. What disturbs me is the misuse of terms. . . remembering that ‘the most important thing about communication is calling things by the right name.’ Mercantilism is closer to the current conditions than Capitalism or Free Markets. “Deregualtion” would better be called “Contrived for the Oligarchy Regulation”. One can’t have the (captured) convoluted Regulatory System that favors the Oligarchy and call it Capitalism or Free Markets. It’s disturbing to see the debate confused by trying to have it both ways. Perhaps your ideology gets in your way too.

    Don't we really have "legislative capture" more so than "regulatory capture".

    Arizona House Bill 2701 (HB 2701) is the PERFECT example of how

    LEGISLATION

    is being used to PREVENT the activities of science and labor to

    ADAPT, SURVIVE and THRIVE

    on a planet with 7 BILLION people.

    There is NO NEED

    for anyone to buy into the idea that with 10 years of incessant "therapy"

    the criminally greedy will "change"!

    They don't WANT to change.

    Power over others

    vs

    Power to meet challenges and adventures head on.

    In essence, there are your "division bell" political parties...

    Obama's Mama spent time promoting "micro economies". He might want to consider staying out of the way of people having no other options left after his boyz club's (Timmy et al)

    plunder and rape of the fruits of centuries of labor

    AKA CIVILIZATION

    of his Mama's generation, once again,

    having to bring back

    SUSTAINABLE REALITY

    ala a "micro economy".

    It's about time that the TRUTH was acknowledged about how the IRS is going to keep getting $$$ for the war machine via "penalties" levied against people who do NOT buy FOR PROFIT HEALTH INSURANCE.

    That deceptive pie chart about the % of the $$$ that goes to "social security" does NOT actually mean that people are getting that whole sliver, does it? As noted in the show, oddly enough, that big piece of the social security pie is the amount that is NOW in PRIVATE HANDS.

    The only GLOBAL free market is the same ol' same ol' from Declaration of Independence days - war lords, slave lords and drug lords - they have ONE TRILLION in cash to keep them "bailed out".

    When you visit the website of the politician who "sponsored" the "Renewable Energy Standard" bill - HB 2701 - in Arizona, you can't help but ask yourself, "...And what exactly makes her COMPETANT to sponsor such a DETAILED bill about the SCIENCE of "energy"...?

    There's your "oprah" educated generation - "...I saw the Wizard of Oz do brain surgery on "Oprah" with the help of an "apps" on the iPad, so I can do it now, too..."

    Nuclear energy has it's place in the scheme of things once it gets the waste issue right.

    But it is NOT a "Micro Economy" sustainable product.

    I, for one, am DONe with the inane word games of the Tea Baggers..."renewable" is not the same as "sustainable". Stop with the Pharisaism supporting the OILgarchy!

    Yes, they DID know exactly what they were doing on Wall Street.

    They were going to be as "rich" as their neighbors - the Saudis - one way or another.

    Unless there is a Qui Tam lawsuit brought against them for the CONSPIRACY to bring down the infrastructure of the USA, you won't get them to admit it.

    Nor will you get to the TRUTH about the unemployment numbers. Follow the history of the Taleo database creation and you'll have PROOF about how they crunched the numbers about foreclosures WAY back...

    Very stalinesque, that Taleo database....

    "How can ordinary citizens take action to retake our democracy from the clutches of Big Finance?"

    Elizabeth Warren suggested in Sojourners we all write Congress. So, just to get things going at the moment...who's got the form letters, Common Cause, 2020 Vision? Who?[Don't worry, I'll customize mine.]

    Forgive me for going on and on, but the privatizers in this neck'o the woods have got me down a tad.

    Oh yeah, the details in that 14 trillion (no preclusions of a repeat event) http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/01/real-size-bailout-treasury-fed

    Amidst and between these dark universes we have created there are many and varied wormhole/loopholes enabling symbiotic relationships among all of'em. A progressive administration must take them on one at a time...meanwhile more and more water sloshes over the coastal faults with each change in tide. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens must write a hundred pages re why corporations should not have inordinate amounts of "free speech"; few read it, and there are a hundred more loophole-protections for the plunderers awaiting official ratification/justification/legaleze. [Let's get an amendment going that would mandate the appointment of two more justices to said court.]

    I will feel a little lost after April 30th, but trenchant as Moyers is (astute as you are, Bill)...where is the source in media that keeps honing a simple description of credit default swaps? Get that across to common people and IMO you might steal a little Tea Party thunder. There's where the ship went aground. Ok, Bill and his guests say the high rollers put together the turkey CDOs (intentionally as financial IEDs or not), and then bet against them. What does that mean? Talk about a description or information that's taboo! You are going to have describe this process in minute detail, perhaps somewhat like this attempt by NPR
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124491608
    re what a toxic CDO actually amounts to. I must emphasize that the notion of a credit default swap remains foreign and alien to the layman. You are going to have to drum in from whom and how AIG projected it would get the dough to pay off the bet placers under "normal" circumstances with X percentage of CDOs losing all value (from the little guy premium payers). And how across this great land none of the little grandma "sucker" investors knew about this kind of insurance via betting such that the investors' investments could not tank (it wasn't an option to the small time suckers)...how on Wall Street and elsewhere those who took out such "insurance" comprised an exclusive predatory scam club. Guys like me'll write Congress; that's a given. But if folks in media think more of us out here should write...folks in media need to use the medium so that common people have an accurate description of what happened to protest...so as to retake the democracy into their own hands. Lots'a bits the net uses to convey graphics, but only on MoJo has the appropriate usage dawned. Likewise, graphics are needed with respect to hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds, foreign currency speculation, and the theoretical circular flow of the economy itself. Even The Big Short will not get it, the people need...graphics. They have the machines to handle'em. Oh man, the heresy I am espousing. If you believe it too, back me up.

    "Beyond conspiracy," that's heavy IMO. Of course, it's beyond conspiracy in the sense that few Americans want a Road Warrior scenario. Or Theroux's Ozone scenario, or a House of Sand and Foam scenario for everyone making under six figures. No, Americans don't consciously desire an end to the most promising democracy around, but that is where the big charade system is taking us. Another aspect of this entire asset-stripping meltdown zeitgeist that's beyond conspiracy is, like Johnson said, its complexity. All together it is more complex than any particular hedge fund formula, and thus hard to unravel. It's complex and elegant and legalistic and ritualistic, taking on a life of its own. It's actually like some religio-politico....theocracy! [beware, rant time] Like ancient Egypt. It could last 3000 years. By then the ten feet of loam wouldn't even be a layer of loam-dust one mote deep. Oh yeah, it's a system all right. "Beast" is just one of many analogies. Ellul's technique is also a descriptive label. And on and on. It's the water in which at some level we all are swimming the existence of which most have not pondered seriously at all. Some of it confined to particular reservoirs might as well be chock full of snakehead carp or spent Uranium, and Obama is not the guy who wants to open the sluice. Obama is the guy try'n to stick his whole arm in the dike as the hole gets bigger and bigger. No, he could not predict the banks wouldn't loan the bailout money [yes, he should have been briefed by Michael Hudson]; but we on the outside were not savy enough ourselves...and failed to demand a solution that wouldn't strengthen and offialize the oligarchy. Speaking of theocracy, it is true that aspects of "religion" fleshed out by the Tea Partiers rub me the wrong way just as they rub many others the wrong way. But I think this god of unfettered financial vehicles needs deconstructing first.

    [Determinists and Bellowian minimalists, skip this paragraph full of unverifiable stuff: If you thought I was an opinion stater who would refrain from The Street's naturalistic, if elaborate, metaphysics and all other metaphysics to boot, sorry (only the former). IMO maya is in flux. Something as vague as "a nation" (vs an individual) reaches no "peak." Something represented by the ephemeral phrase "International commerce" reaches no acme. IMO if we persuade ourselves whatever temporary bubble is a particularly unobstructed out-working of some eternal principle upon which nature is founded (vs the principle of helping those who need help), then we have entered into an illusion for which we will pay. I know, you're objecting that the abstractable principles are readily at hand and nicely wrapped. But (like I say, IMO...) if you settle for one of these nicely wrapped items...seems to moi in the final analysis it is only a specific, discrete item of illusion...that will only accelerate karmic consequences, which otherwise would have come slower if you had acted unconsciously without the glib, puffed-up, principled rationalization.]

    If by chance you end up reading this, Bill Moyers...and if I don't get back to these boards before the 30th (or for some time after), thank you so much for the right words throughout these years and for hope throughout these years. It seems for a time my memory deemed the "Town Meetings Of the Air" the best events television ever delivered, but now I realize The Journal and NOW have surpassed them. There may be few principles societies have grasped with concepts (vs with the heart)...that have helped humans act so as to burn karma...that have helped, in given waves, whole rafts of humanity do this more than what was going down prior...to such waves. But I'd wager all the principles we grasp with mind that do help...have had fair representation in the messages of your guests.

    ps RIGHT ON to the admin re advance directives.

    First, the problem is not wealth.

    The problem is greed.

    This is a problem of integrity that permeates every level of society.

    This is a problem of individuals who come together in various political and/or
    socioeconomic arrangements to get everything for themselves at the detriment of others.

    Subscribing to the idea “we are too big to fail” serves as cover for those who conduct “wickedness in high places”. Subscribing to the idea that a company should not be allowed to get “too big” relegates society to mediocrity.

    It’s not about limiting individuals or entities. It’s about getting both to recognize that to be “your neighbor’s keeper” is to truly love yourself and prosper.

    Never before have I felt so deeply connected to a program. You are my hero and will be missed terribly. Thank you for this.

    Never before have I felt so deeply connected to a program. You are my hero and will be missed terribly. Thank you for this.

    The two speakers didn't convince me of anything. They talked so fast they shoud be selling used cars. I agree with the commenters who say the policies of the Federal Reserve are the root cause of our problems. Certain members of Congress and Woodrow Wilson in 1913 sold out this whole country to debt slavery when they handed over their constitutional power to originate and control the money supply to th rich elitests who created The Federal Reserve System(which is NOT federal and the reserves aren't REAL). Our money system, capitalism, is their created system. It's a CON(confidence) game. Their CONfidence is that eventually they will OWN everything on this earth, all the land and all resources because that's how they designed the the system to function. Phony money is their tool of false valuation that they are using to buy up and own everything. Money issued as debt plus interest has enslaved us to them. END THE FED. NOW. Congress has the power. We the people have the power to make Congress do it.

    Can the government set up a regulatory system that won't end up controlled by Wall Street? Yes, if you can separate the influence of money on political campaigns. No, because that just ain't going to happen.
    How can ordinary citizens take action to retake our democracy from the clutches of Big Finance?
    Educate themselves, organize, and support candidates who truly represent the people and the good of the country, separate the influence of money on politics. Sadly, that too, ain't gonna happen.
    By the way, best show I've seen you do in a while Mr. Moyers.
    Greed drove the Wall Street big shots and congress and still does. They have congress in their pockets and there is no sign that will change.
    Our system is flawed. Although it is the most successful in the history of man it is doomed by greed. America will be destroyed from within.

    A Simple Solution

    If congress were to set the interest rates paid to banks on all existing home morgages to a fixed rate of 1%, the housing issue would be solved, the ecconomy would rebound, and the banks would be justly regulated and equally given their just dues.
    Simple as that!

    =
    MJA

    Business leaders will ultimately attempt to game the government regulators, as they did in this disaster. However, there is a creative solution, one which shows how to handle this conflict: the perpetual war between parasites and pathogens with the human immune system. The parasites and pathogens are those executives (and other interests) who form a parasitic load on corporations, who have virtually no internal immune sytems and to whom we've foolishly given eternal legal lives. Nature reduces average parasitic loads by programming in term limits on individuals; term limit corporate lives to about 70 years with an apoptosis process in the last decade.

    There is a similar perpetual war between parasites and pathogens in the human body with our modern medical system, a system largely designed to assist our immune systems. Drugs which work for a while fail to work because the parasites adapt. New, or adapted drugs must constantly be developed. That is the role of government and regulators. I write about this in my blog.... economics, business and government needs to add the thinking of biology to its classic Newtonian thinking.

    "Individual enterprise/freedom" as an ideology along with polititions (not "Goverment") allowing Wall Street banks to run unregulated is cleary what went wrong.

    dear mr moyers thankyou for the vision voice and effort happy trails to you denise

    People love to say vote the crooks out of office. The problem with this is that the old crooks will simply be replaced with new crooks. The top 1% will continue to rip off the other 99%. The US as we know it is done, finished, over.

    Simon is spot on but Kawk seems a little in awe of the big guys.

    While emailing senators & congressman about Rubin before congress this week & the video of him at the same table 10 yrs. ago while Brooksley Born warned congress of the great risk CDSs exposed citizens' wealth to this morning an added line came to mind:

    Wall Street seems to believe that while alone in a room with a pie with a finger hole in it and pie filling on a finger that unless the finger was actually observed in the pie, guilt could not be assigned. Wall Street has been giving 'the finger' to Mainstreet far too long!

    Jail for the Rubins of our world!

    Check out "The Big Short", by Michael Lewis!

    Mad as hell!

    Billy Bob Florida

    I appreciated the content very much ,but to present such grave and outrageous matters in such a humorous manner is baffling and counterproductive .

    Changes will happen.

    We will not be able to return to "THE GOOD OLD DAYS". Nor should we.

    It will be an Organized or Chaotic RESET of our social and economic structures.

    When can we tell granma that the middlemen have stolen all her savings?

    jal

    SUSTAINABILITY is the key word/term here! We can't keep on with the status quo. Wake up and smell the toxic landfill full of all the toxic plastic crap and yesterday's alloy based gadgets we bought at Walmart just a few months ago. Ipods, Iphones, Ipads? Can you say poisoned underground aquifers (limited drinking water)? Tell you representatives in congress to allow the growing of THC free Hemp to save the world! Hemp grows like weeds and was once a normal crop here in America and elsewhere because it made rope and strong longer lasting paper products. Let's bring it back full scale as a solution to create bio fuels (no more need for dirty fossil fuels) and supply an endless cyclic amount of energy and paper products to keep our book and newspaper industries alive and cranking! I'd rather read an organic based hemp book in my hands then add to the problem of toxic pollution with a Kindle, Nook or Ipad! Millions and millions built with planned obsolescence (watch 'stuff' video on youtube) and will end up polluting our landfills. The 10% that is recycled end up over seas with little children tearing apart little circuit boards and boiling the alloys in the same pots they use for cooking eating. They will all develop cancers and give birth to deformed children in the future. Bad Karma! Bring back hemp (THC free)! The Republicans and play it safe Democrats have kept this solution down for too long! Without the THC nobody get's stoned so why won't they legalize this great potential solution to many of the major problems we are facing a s a nation? Special interests and evil lobbyists working for all the companies that would be adversely affected by this organic Hemp revolution. F**k them!

    Let's do this!


    Meesto

    I hated to go out on Friday nights because I so enjoy your program. You deserve retirement but did you not mentor someone to carry on? Please have PBS consider Amy Goodman who also does investigative journalism...there must be someone. You have continually suggested that "the people" have the power to change things. I am surprised that "the people" don't do this. Perhaps you need to illustrate this clearly before you leave.

    A Simple Solution

    If congress were to set the interest rates paid to banks on all existing home morgages to a fixed rate of !%, the housing issue would be solved, the ecconomy would rebound, and the banks would be justly regulated and equally given their just dues.
    Simple as that!

    -
    MJA

    Dear Mr. Moyers,

    You are a good Man, a rare breed on the Mass Media where most are corporate puppets with no integrity. You will leave a great void in honest TV journalism.

    As for regulation - it's absolutely necessary for Humans who have proven over and over again throughout history they are greedy animals who need to be watched like out of control little children. I say tear down the economic system of Wall Street. I am a well educated intelligent person and no one, including economic professors can explain to me how the Wall Street system really works. Because it does not and never will. It simply rapes the world of money that has never been earned through the selling of a real product to a real customer. It's all speculation and leveraging of money that does not exist! Who pays for this world wide casino for the rich? We all do and are right now because they have been plundering and exploiting the working classes for centuries. Ask the folks including children in 2nd & 3rd world countries like China and India who work 12 hours a day for a dollar under horrible working conditions. All so the Walmart family make billions and a handful of Wall Street Executives get their multi-million dollar bonuses for raping the system after being bailed out by we the people(suckers) of America. There are 1000 billionaires in the world who control all the wealth and half of them live right here in America. The average CEO now makes 350 times that of the lowest paid employee. We the People have let this greed horror story not only happen but we cheer on the richest like they are rock stars. Ironically and sadly they are the greedy bastards that are screwing us! I say we scrap the whole Wall Street system and replace it with a solid Main Street System where if you own a business you keep it amongst the family and friends and you sell a real tangible product for a reasonable real price where you can make a decent profit and that's it. A real tangible easy to understand exchange between two entities. I buy so many of the real product and I pay the agreed amount for the sale. No more over valued Wall Street companies like google that is one of many decent search engines available with advertising tools. Banks should be only for storing money and giving credit and or loans to start a business, buy a house, car etc. No more monkey business with a bunch of morons merely moving fake money and shuffling paper/computer info around everyday and always devising new schemes to cover their evil money making tracks. When the mafia does this it's called racketeering. And only a small handful of them are barely millionaires. These corporate Bankers and Wall Street Executives are billionaires! They are crooks and should go to jail now! Let the system fail and break down. The Earth can no longer sustain the growth this greedy toxic system demands. If we do not have breathable clean air and drinkable water we are done for. Game over.

    We need a REVOLUTION for a better equitable utilitarian economic system of buying, selling and or exchanging/bartering goods and services!

    God Bless this Mess!

    Meesto

    Break em up! These banks are too big to fail and the taxpayers wallets are getting to small to win. The oligarchy will become stronger in the future as the current groundswell of deregulatory activists will again cycle as it has in the past. We must end the political and economical manic depression.

    Is there a middle way to all of this? Inspired by PBS The Buddha, and always inspired by Bill Moyers who has helped keep me centered throughout the years. I hope to keep my balance in the future and will miss you dearly.

    My heart skipped a beat when you signed off last night noting you will not be on the air after April 30th.

    Please don't go.

    1. I just sent an email to the white house and to my 2 state senators as well: I quoted the content on this web page and hope someone listens.

    2. If you have taken the time to post on this page, take a few extra minutes and communicate these thoughts to you elected legislators. We are a republic and have voted these people in to be our proxys in Washington. Make you vote count.

    3. I worked at Merrill Lynch for many years (in compliance not in sales) and left in 1996 because I saw this coming. I was a small pea in the pod and could still see the writing on the wall. So don't believe anything you hear from the CEO and VP's at these frims, if I could see this coming making 22,000 a year, they knew.

    Don't waste your vote!

    James and Simon speak truth to power and they should be commended in their efforts to wake up the public. The powers that be have sent all our industries over seas with the exception of the financial industry. An industry based not on a gold standard but on confidence. Confidence is the glue that keeps the financial house of cards standing thus providing a home for greed, incompetence and corruption. Nothing has changed in our corrupt greed based financial system since the financial collapse. The tax payer bailouts rescued the wealth of a few and maintained well established class divisions while doing nothing for the millions of people who paid their taxes and who lost there retirement and/or lost their homes to foreclosure. Our sole industry, the industry we are basing our children’s future on, has and is an industry based on scams, lies, deception, collusion and greed. The financial industries complete control over government through lobbying ensures that no substantial regulations will ever be passed to hinder their innovative financially engineered vehicles of wealth generation. After all if they screw up again there are always the tax payers. The financial industry truly is all about the suck.

    Well, if you're trying for a short burst of truth re: the above; to paraphrase Norman Mailer, with Big "banking", We the People need, "NO More BU££$HIT"!

    I really liked what Simon Johnson and James Kwak said last night. I think they are both very intelligent rapid-thinking individuals and I liked their message. Break up the size of our biggest banks and limit their size so that none of them get to be "Too Big To Fail". The Obama administration needs to get behind this effort and also limit the size and scope of lobyists.

    I'm going to miss Bill Moyers Journal. My wife & I tuned in regularly for inciteful analysis and commentary. Thank you. DWPalmer

    “WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT…?”
    Mitch McConnell


    In the simplest of terms, we are dealing with an addict/enabler relationship. The top money makers of the finance/debt industry are displaying classic addict delusions; valuing their drugs (false status, false power and greed), being ‘high’ on their drugs and mainlining them in public and declaring they are not high, this is just business (classic addict denial), the arrogant elevation of their belief system as superior and RIGHT (profiteering under the guise of ‘The Free Market’) and the self-absorbed demonstrations of entitlement that are easily observed in any addict.

    Just as you cannot PREVENT the fall of heroine junkies who are unwilling to quit, you cannot prevent the fall of greedicts who not only are unwilling to quit, they see absolutely no problem with their habits and behaviors. Be sure, their arrogance will not prevent their fall, that’s part of the delusion we all need to wake up from. The fall is inevitable.

    It won’t be long now ‘til the 300 million of us US citizens realize that there’s only roughly 3 mil. of them ( we outnumber them 100 to 1) and we have much more collective will, word and purchasing power than this motley crew of greedicts. Then we’ll see very quickly that it’s our dollars that are supporting these addicts and we are enabling their addiction thru servicing debt. It won’t be long after the next “crash” (probably around election time) that the majority of ‘us’ stop paying our debts and our personal income tax and in so doing, stop enabling. There will be floods of tears and fears all over the media about economic depressions and catastrophe but, all that’s really happening is an addict is not getting his ‘drug money’. We will find out that, even though the mega-giant philosophy of profiteering has overdosed and killed itself, the sun will still shine, the wind will still blow, seeds will still grow, electricity will still be a functioning principle and we will still have ample oxygen, imagination and free will.

    Our challenge is not only in saying no to the addicts, our challenge is to reassess our priorities (sans profiteering) as a majority collective and plan for our own navigation of this fall so that we can peacefully transist to what is the fall for the greedicts but, is the beginning of freedom from debt for all the rest of us.

    The 250BOYCOTT provides just such a plan, please click on the link below and view the entire “Max Trinity Trickle UP Global Economics” series. There is something we can do and we can wake up from this nightmare that has been perpetuating thru our enabling for millennia now. “It’s time to take our lives into our own hands and redirect our course.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYbbu-9oYZk


    I've seen the problem and the problem is US. Last time I looked we were called a democracy. To be democratic demands action by its citizens. As the guest said (The American democracy was not given to us on a platter. It is not ours for all time, irrespective of our efforts. Either people organize and they find political leadership to take this on, or we are going to be in big trouble, okay.) We can transfer the blame to the rich, bankers, corporations, congress, or the president.
    We need to decide what we want. For example do we want all derivatives traded on open market exchanges -with regulations like the other exchanges. Do we want to halt the corporate practice of giving large sums of money to our politicians. The list would go on. Then we need to protest in very large numbers and demand what we want. We continue to flex our democratic muscles until we get what we want, change their behavior, and the Americian is again feared and respected.
    Sadly the American citizen has abdicated his power to the politician. We are the engine of democracy not our politicians- they are our representatives. The progress of freedom has been led by labor unions, woman's movement, civil rights movement, peace movement, tax revolts -when people came together to stop the madness and demanded what was right and best for this country.

    Democracy depends on our action. There is no other way!

    I feel such a sense of loss to hear that you'll be off the air in 2 weeks! I've loved all your shows, and admire you as an extremely talented, intelligent, gracious, compassionate, journalist. Your set design, graphics, & all the other visuals & editing that go into a TV show are OUTSTANDING. I really hope you're leaving by choice. PLEASE tell us if it's otherwise, so we can vigorously complain to those responsible. I'll never understand why programs like yours, World Focus, and NOW aren't among the most popular on TV.

    Bill,
    Thank you for having Simon Johnson and James Kwak on your program so that they could give their insights into the financial/economic crisis. I am currently reading their book and find it very informative.

    Also, thank you for providing all of us with the most insightful and investigative journalism around. Your program will be tremendously missed. I wish you a wonderful retirement to enjoy your friends and family. You have a long and distinguished journalism career, which you have every reason to be proud of. Thank you, again, Bill. Best wishes.

    I've just seen the ending portion of your broadcast-all along I have considered the college deals(diplma's)the beginning of the end for a better economy..I don't see "BIG" as the problem as much as I see..the college educated "buffoon".."they are forming a line to rob the American landscape.

    I would really like to believe that there is going to be some kind of change.
    However there is not.

    Wall street, big pharma, the health insurance corporations rule the day. In the case of Wall street banks and investment firms, well they will get slap on the wrist and go on as business as usual.

    The corporate interest rules in this country, period.

    Bill Moyers and company can complain as much as they want to, bless their hearts.
    But the bottom line is the crooks and BS will prevail.

    Look at the health care bill, it was written for the most part by the insurance lobby. They got everything they wanted and we the people will go on suffering and being gouged by these vampires.

    So, "mafia rules" again... I was pretty sure about this by looking at the establishments in Italy, former Soviet and African countries. Now it seems that our domestic "mafia" is leading the way of robbing it's own people. Sad, but old as a world.

    Thank you Mr Moyers for your Friday night Journal you and your informative guests have been the mainstay of Friday nights for me and I will miss you all. However, do have a great and well deserved retirement and perhaps from time to time you will appear again on PBS to enlighten us once in a while.
    Judith Crosbie

    I so appreciate the "real" truth Bill Moyers has ALWAYS provided, and will sadly miss the Bill Moyers Journal!!! As a 50 something person, I'm not all that into the Internet, but set up the Journal Blog to my FaceBook in order to stay in touch. I only hope FaceBook doesn't start charging a monthly fee, too!!! Wall Street regulation is one thing, but the bigger issue seem to be what the guests had to say about Americans beliefs and values. We've had decades of politicization of the "benefits" of greed, selfishness and exploitation; and no "real" development of the "benefits" of thrift, community-consciousness and responsibility. The question is, where to WE, as American citizens, stand? Are we still, individually, defending greed, selfishness and exploitation; or do we "really" KNOW we are all in this, together?

    I watched tonight's program of Bill Moyer's journal where Bill Moyers was talking with financial experts Simon Johnson and James Kwak about Wall Street's influence in Washington and their support for new financial regulation that might reduce the banks' power.

    It was a very useful discussion. But they talked about only Wa Mu and how it failed, etc
    What about Countrywide, Citigroup, and other banks?

    Many banks including Citigroup failed miserably due to their own bad lending practices.

    Banks took the taxpayers' money as bailout without any shame. If the banks were realy straight-forward and honest, they should not touch other people's money and should return to the taxpayers.

    We need a really strong regulation to clean up these banks.

    I know this forum is intended for discussion on tonight's program, which was thought provoking as usual, however I feel compelled to express my heartfelt gratitude to you. I am in shock you are going off the air. I wish you would not, but since you are I have to say thank you for making a Republican like me think hard about critical issues. I am an old school Republican - a progressive Republican of the Eisenhower kind - who is disgusted with the decline of the party and the extremism and hatred it promotes. Your programs make so much sense to me. Thank you.

    It feels odd to hear some expert describe what some people lived through and actually saw as the events evolve when they were in the workplace where it began and continued. It didn't happen over night, it began when it was more profitable to concentrate on raising the price of stock rather than building produce. We who were present every day when a Big Airplane Company changed to 'shareholder value focus' lived what those books and authors are writing about. It began to be perceptable in 1994 when it became easier to make money by giving out news that increased the price of stock, i.e. downsizing. The CEO's were given incentives based on increasing the price of stock. There were increasing thresholds. That's still going on. Investors responded to 'good news that reduced costs, i.e employees were laid off, for while then more 'good news' had to be released: outsourcing work to countries with no rules, and very low wages. Our supervisors bragged about how much money was wasted on union wages, excess benefits and get this: city taxes levied on inventory. That was given as one reason for outsourcing, city inventory taxes were 8%then we were told. That led to Just in Time, JIT, nothing stored to tax. The result was a shipment every day rather than once a month and that created traffic problems which clogged the roads, and added waste almost unbelievable to behold. When a Big Airplane Company peddled its presence to a city that would grant benefits, I'm sure that's what led Bragojovich to believe it was ok to get money from his position.
    It was the normal thing to do. There's been a continuum of activities from the advent of technologies that are so complicated that only a few people really understand them although there were co-workers who learned enough to begin to LLC themselves, to be a complete corporation themselves. But we observed the use of the ultra sophisticated new mathematical algorithyms, puts, calls, short and long selling, utilize offshore banking, all of that was just part of the continuum. There were motivational speakers, some of whom told us we shouldn't expect rewards for producing high quality work, it was reward enough in itself. Yet in contradiction The Goal by Goldratt was the Bible. Buzz words from that book have been integrated into common language! The theme was "Nobody goes into business except to make money." Bill Moyer's programs are great.

    Bill... I have been sadly anticipating your (second) retirement... but I wanted to post before the end... as we know it anyway... and say I have treasured your reporting over the past many years.

    Your series Healing and the Mind lo those many years ago was a huge turning point in opening me and millions of Americans up to alternative ways of healing... that's my first memory of your journalism. It was truly wonderful and life-changing.

    Shows like the one tonight are really the only thing like it on television... where you can focus your laser on one or two subjects in a one-hour show.

    KO and Rachel are good... but they dance around the issues and don't do the focused type of journalism you do. NPR and the New Hour are lost causes having been hijacked by the right long ago.

    Amy Goodman is great... but she is not on TV and I don't listen to much radio.

    Anyway... all that to say... you will be sorely missed.

    But I was heartened to hear tonight that your website will continue... with hopefully insightful stories from you and Michael Winship as well as podcasts.

    Anyway, it is a sad time for me... but I wish you much relaxation and rest on sunny beaches or sunny fields somewhere.

    Best to you.

    To Sue From Ft. Lee, NJ. With all due respect, these people have stolen the bank and we (you included) suffered as a result, and you are applauding them. Amazing really.

    Not one mention of the Federal Reserve Board. Not
    one mention of Alan Greenspan. It was all the fault of the BIG BANKS...
    No understanding of the flaws in their economic thought.....No mention of who provided the liquor(money) for the party. Not one person who understands Free Market Austrian Economics and the on going hazards of fractional reserve banking and fiat money finance....
    You can't regulate what you don't understand. The emperor has not clothes folks. Its your theory that's flawed.

    Your guests were fascinating and insightful as is usual in your journal.

    But they missed one important point, actually it's crucial.

    There's really little point to finding and attempting to fund candidates that are not beholden to the oligarchy because the campaigns are far too expensive for us to sustain.

    What we must do is change our whole system of electing presidents senators representatives, state governors and on down the line.

    The campaigns are too long, the TV ads too expensive and in fact the whole campaigning event is outrageously and prohibitively expensive for any but the trillionaires to fund.

    Every candidate is bought by the banks, the energy companies, and the pharmaceutical and insurance companies before they ever take office, and if they hope to run again they must satisfy their financiers.

    I think we should limit the time a campaign is allowed to run. Two to four months seems reasonable to me. And no radio or TV ads should be allowed unless they are free. Only individuals should be allowed to contribute to a campaign and only in very limited amounts.

    Yeah, I know it's unlikely to happen and I don't know how to even begin to make any reforms, particularly in light of the recent obscene Supreme Court ruling granting civil liberty rights of free speech to humungous corporations.

    And by the way, Mr. Moyers,


    You're one of the only reasons I turn on my television. I dropped cable satellite and all that nonsense years ago. Okay, so what's left? McNeil Leherer, Frontline, Independent Lens...I used to like Washington Week, but it seems more and more out of touch with what concerns most of us these days - too DC-insular I suspect.

    But you? You’ve never backed away from even the rottenest truths, you're honest logical thorough going yet warm and human too. I really can hardly bear losing you.

    Are you sure you'll enjoy retirement? Aren't you bound to get abysmally bored?

    Whatever it is you do from now on, I hope you love it and get as much from it as you gave all of us all these years.

    The analysis provided by Simon Johnson and James Kwak is an important part of the story, but there are even deeper causes of our economic and financial crises. We begin with an inherently dysfunctional property market, made so because of long-standing tax polities that reward speculative investment over the production of goods and services. Continued reregulation of the financial services industry beginning in the early 1970s with creation of the first money market funds has continuously added monetary and credit fuels to the speculation fires.

    This story is complex. If you have time to view and listen to a somewhat different analysis of the problem, go to www.authorstream.com and search on my name.

    Dear Bill,
    I was fascinated by tonight's program and its details about the workings of the mega banks. But I was also discouraged. Like your excellent program on 4-2 with Stevenson and Alexander, your guests end up noting that the public needs to get more involved regarding reforms of our economic system. But again there is no discussion of how. They want O'Bama to take on the big banks without more focus of the public's diffuse anger to build support. I think this is premature. Both these programs are a great lead in to an interview with David Korten whose book " Agenda for a New Economy" lays out both vision and process for public involvement.

    Bill:

    I was horrified to learn that you are going off the air on April 30! NOOOOO!! We can't afford to lose your voice, your forum. I'm happy that your website will continue, but it's not enough! Is there any way you could reconsider? Needless to say, I am a great fan and admirer.

    Dear Bill,

    It is too bad the Journal is ending. It was enlightening to listen to Simon Johnson and James Kwak talk about financial institutions and their destructive compensation and get rich quick schemes. The financial systems have been designed over time to be complex so that they can be manipulated. There is built-in systemic corruption. Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of it. The system allows these Executives to take immense salaries during periods when the markets rise, and to get bailed out by the public when the markets fall. The public does have the power to change this obscene situation.

    This is a quote from John Lennon:
    “The people have the power but we must try and make them aware of this, anybody knows the people have the power all we have to do, is awaken the power within the people”. “The people are unaware, it’s like they’re not educated to realize that they have POWER“.

    I think the root cause is one of public education. The people are not being educated in the schools and universities. They are fed short bursts of lies and bumper sticker slogans by public relations firms, lobbyists and the media. Studies are funded by unscrupulous organizations to twist the truth. When you see the public embracing Tiger Woods, Sarah Palin or John Edwards, you know the public can be fooled by manipulation of the message. Corrupt organizations have the means to get themselves or their clones into public office. Organizations also have the money to hire lobbyists to corrupt any elected official with under the table “donations”.

    Mr. Johnson and Mr. Kwak have convinced me that Michael Moore’s movie, Capitalism – A Love Story is in fact a true indictment of an evil and corrupt market system. The idea of delegating regulation to the industry being regulated is crazy. Rules and Regulations are essential. Even those conservatives who believe in God must admit that God wrote 10 regulations. Bank organizations can and must be simplified and regulated.

    It is true that you could break up the banks, or you could put a $44 Million dollar maximum on the Taxable Income of CEOs. I think the solution, however, is for the public to take the POWER. Elect good politicians on their merit, pay them a descent salary, and kick out any of them who accept campaign donations from organizations or lobbyists.

    Thank you, Mr. Moyers, for having these two insightful guests.

    The most important point that Mr. Kwak and Mr. Johnson made--quite clearly--was that this corruption of the economic well-being of the US (and world) is SYSTEMIC. It is systemic in that this corruption is supported by both political parties and by a powerful (and deceptively attractive) political/economic ideology. An ideology that is premised on freedom of action for both institutions and individuals (who can be against freedom?) and on the idea that there is no limit on growth (shouldn't we all be allowed to be richer?). Of course, this ideology then manifests itself in freedom from regulation for corporations) and the idea that bigger is automatically better.

    I thought the guests did well in elucidating this ideology. They also did a good job pointing out those in America's history who promoted a counter-ideology that restored, somewhat, a balance of power between large financial institutions and the common citizen--Jackson, TR, FDR. I would have liked that the guests delve further into this counter-ideology that these three employed.

    The only way for the citizenry to successfully counter our current system is to frame it not as resistance to the current system (let's just regulate the system's excesses), but as an alternative system. And that alternate system must be based on an ideology that has humanistic values at its core. We can create a capitalist system that serves the interest of our country's people. A simple, but fundamentally truthful, political/economic ideology--based on time-tested American ideals (fairness, community, common good)--must be articulated in order for any other system to take hold.

    St. Vincent's hospital NYC closed its doors with $700 million in debt, who is bailing it out? Where are the Politicians now to save 3,500 jobs and a community hospital well needed in Downtown NY. This another crime - Health and jobs and not enough media coverage to help save this tragedy. Where are the Bail outs?
    7 billion bail out for AIG and the CEO's walked away with how much on retirement something like 70 million per person this year.
    You get my meaning - A sad day for 3500 workers not to mention how many sick people that walked through the doors of St. Vincents on a day-to-day basis.

    Hello,

    I want to thank both Simon Johnson and James Kwak for
    their work.
    You both make a lot of sense to me.

    Thank you for your work.

    Be well,

    Kathi

    As a former member of the mortgage and investment banking industry, my instincts and background lead me to reject the solutions of Simon Johnson and James Kwak regarding the large 13 banks. Regulating size does nothing to cure corruption at all levels of our society. Look at the Ma Bell split and rebuild of AT&T. This is a shell game of fraud. Moyers is as guilty of generating the need for money machines, e.g the feeding of the Lyndon Johnson era beast of Vietnam, The Great Society, Medicare and the Educational Industrial Complex.

    I did not hear anything about Ron Paul and his solutions. Kwak and Johnson want to feed the elite bankers at the Federal Reserve, a crime against banking since the dark days of Woodrow Wilson. Many including “Oath Keepers” pray for relief from the legal authority expressed in the constitution to our local sheriffs and Lt. Colonels ( on down in rank). They could prosecute justice by military coup and mass arrest. The model recently displayed this month in Kyrgyzstan against the mass corruption of Prime Minister Daniar Usenov makes the TEA Party movement look like cream puffs. They started by ceasing the television stations. Isn’t that why PBS was started?

    I'm watching the program right now and James Kwak just said that bankers can write financial instruments that pass legal scrutiny but still manage to deceive potential investors in their bank. This sounds like the classic explanation of how the Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) works. A seller's failure to provide information that a buyer would use in order to make a prudent decision in the market is against the DTPA. Successful prosecution of such cases automatically provides for treble damages. Why doesn't this apply to the Wall Street banks?

    As both speakers noted the events of the last two years have antecedents in U. S. history. This is the age of the New Robber Barons. Freedom in America has too often been the freedom to believe we are independent and self-sufficient and that if we work hard all will be well. Everything half century we need to be reminded that capitalism is about greed and power. Most of us do not have the power. So go back and look at Jay Gould and Daniel Drew, two bankers who started a recession with one very bad deal. They set off in 1873 a chain of events that led finally to the Progressives and reform in 1900. We may have a long road ahead of us.

    These gentlemen are entirely two-faced. They are Keynesians as much as the monetarists - a breed which includes most of Wall St - but they wish to get rid of the free market aspect it is joined to. The monetarist mistake is in presuming the market will regulate itself in in an environment of unregulated credit. They should rather get rid of Keynes and keep the free market ideology. It was Keynes who rang the death knell for the gold standard and resurrected the free-wheeling mercantilism that it had supplanted. Keynesians are not only opposed to sound money, they are FOR government control of credit, which is precisely the position being taken by the administration. They say that they are all for regulation, but what they want to regulate is not the cause of the problem, i.e., the credit, but the use of it. This makes as much sense as saying we want to rein in debt, but not until after we "stimulate" the economy. This has been the position of those desiring a central banking system since Hamilton. However, it isn't the derivatives, collusion like Goldman Sachs's, the revolving door, etc., that is the problem, it is the fact that banks are allowed to create money virtually at will. The Constitution says only the Federal govt is allowed "To coin Money, regulate the value thereof,..." Only the Congress may "borrow money on the credit of the United States" creating of "bills of credit," not the states, nor may the latter use anything other than gold or silver as legal tender. But we use only such bills of credit as money today. The power to create money in this way ensures the development of a "Ponzi" or more properly, a pyramid scheme, which when it gets out of hand deflates and collapses. Indeed financial institutions should be allowed to fail, but they would rarely, if ever, be able to get into that position were it not for a banking system that allows lending of money it doesn't have in the first place. The other issue that impacts on this situation is that the trade imbalances we have with so much of the developing world. These must have a a deflationary effect, but that effect is rendered potentially catastrophic only because we create credit, private and public, to take advantage of the cheaper costs there.

    How can we take back our democracy from the clutches of Big Finance?

    Easy. Move your money. Take it out of the big banks and move it into a credit union.

    Stop feeding the beast.


    Our government has participated in the largest heist in American history. It has stolen from the common wealth by giving the corporate elite a competitive advantage by selling their seats in Congress to the highest bidder. Congress has abdicated its responsibility to legislate these United States as a democracy. It has now become a tin pot banana republic. The notion that the few who benefit from the so called free market, capitalism and the argument that the most industrious who deserve their successes is really just a charade. Essentially they have taken over our government and are holding the rest of this country hostage by being so corrupt that their takings have bankrupted the rest of us. Yeah, right…….God Bless America and pass the hat.

    Yes. We are headed for oligarchy.

    Isn't it ironic? People moved to America to escape the tyranny of the aristocrats, in the hope that they too, can become one. This is the goal of the typical Republican. And this is what the conservatives want to conserve. Such fools! They cannot see their own demise. They still hope to become as powerful as these giants!

    They have, and don't want to redistribute the wealth. Only the redistribution can save them. But they cannot see. They don't want to see. All they can see is hatred, fear, and loathing.

    Mr. Kwok & Mr. Johnson,
    You two are absolutely right, we are headed towards "OLIGARCHY" but unlike the way you described it, it is NOT the power given to a few corporations BUT the power of the GOVERNMENT led by a few. You two are so angry with the wealth of these firms who just managed to be smart enough to do what the market enabled them to do, it is not their FAULT that they were able to get away with it BECAUSE THE SEC was asleep behind the wheel and frankly not smart enough to catch them. Prove fraud. It's just the opportunity for them to make more money by the government providing the equity - subprime mortgages of Fannie & Freddie run ineptly by the government. And do you know why there are only a handful of very powerful financial corporations owning the majority of resources? Because YOUR government closed down their competitors.

    My whole objection is simple and I don't care about the money that so and so made or lost. What is at stake is the Obama administration manipulating the anger against the corporate titans beginning with insurance industry and now the financial industry to take away the basis of our republic: a democratic free market economy where INDIVIDUAL production and productivity will be rewarded because individual effort supercedes the collective whole of the society. A society or government's role is to enforce the rules of law and uphold its rules. NOT to prohibit or restrict individual enterprise or freedom to succeed! Get off your high progressive socialist way of thinking!!!

    Everyone make sure they read deepcapture.com It is one more expose that shows how short selling of companies has been taking place with the cooperation of Wall St, the financial media and the mob.

    This corruption by the moneyed elite is far more serious and insidious than we have the ability to comprehend.

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