The Big Takeover - Looting Continued, Part CXLIVXX

On Wednesday of last week, I wrote these words in an Alert:

Given the recent revelations that Goldman Sachs and other well-connected players in the AIG scandal got billions of dollars directly from the US taxpayers for their side-bets with AIG, I will not be at all surprised to find out in a few weeks or months that Goldman Sachs, JPM, and others were magically positioned to make a killing off of this move.

That’s just raw speculation, but it fits with the general pattern of conflicted enrichment that has stalked every move in this grand looting operation so far.

In fact, the constant drip-drip-drip of news about self-dealing by insiders with zero legal consequences for the perpetrators leaves me with the queasy feeling that every attempt at finding a legitimate resolution to this crisis will be thwarted by a crowd of Wall Street insiders who simply cannot resist an opportunity to redirect money into their own pockets. But that’s another story.

Yesterday that story got published in Rolling Stone Magazine.

Matt Taibbi, the author, deserves a standing ovation for the most outstanding explanation of how truly corrupt the situation is, and capturing the hubris and entitlement that infuse our entire power structure.

It is the best I've yet read on the subject. You must read it. The whole thing.

Here's the link to it.

It is maddening, infuriating, accurate, well researched and incisive.

Here's the link again. Read it. Please.

It points out why anybody with any hope had better abandon it fast and get busy preparing at their own community level - due to rampant conflicted self-dealing by insiders, there's practically no chance at all that any useful solutions will come out of the Washington DC/Wall Street axis of weevil.

The most likely outcome is the complete destruction of the dollar.

Here are a few snippets:

There are plenty of people who have noticed, in recent years, that when they lost their homes to foreclosure or were forced into bankruptcy because of crippling credit-card debt, no one in the government was there to rescue them. But when Goldman Sachs — a company whose average employee still made more than $350,000 last year, even in the midst of a depression — was suddenly faced with the possibility of losing money on the unregulated insurance deals it bought for its insane housing bets, the government was there in an instant to patch the hole. That's the essence of the bailout: rich bankers bailing out rich bankers, using the taxpayers' credit card.

The people who have spent their lives cloistered in this Wall Street community aren't much for sharing information with the great unwashed. Because all of this [stuff] is complicated, because most of us mortals don't know what the hell LIBOR is or how a REIT works or how to use the word "zero coupon bond" in a sentence without sounding stupid — well, then, the people who do speak this idiotic language cannot under any circumstances be bothered to explain it to us and instead spend a lot of time rolling their eyes and asking us to trust them.

In essence, the game is to make the system just slightly too complicated to understand and then rake in the dough while the good times last knowing that you can stick the bill to the taxpayer later on. Absolutely nothing done by the past or current administration has indicated even the slightest departure from this model.

This tells me that our entire system is now entirely too intertwined, too full of conflicts of interest to self regulate the outcome. Like the AIG bonuses (which were 1/1000th the size of the AIG bailout), any notion of "needing better government regulation" is a red herring designed to distract attention away from the fact that the government has never displayed any interest at all in regulating the same people that give massive campaign donations. Or the fact that nearly every position of regulatory power is filled by someone who came out of a long career in the same industries they are supposed to regulate.

It is just not possible for people to effectively regulate the very same people with whom they worked for the past 20 years. In theory it is, I suppose, but in practice it never quite works out that way.

When one considers the comparatively extensive system of congressional checks and balances that goes into the spending of every dollar in the budget via the normal appropriations process, what's happening in the Fed amounts to something truly revolutionary — a kind of shadow government with a budget many times the size of the normal federal outlay, administered dictatorially by one man, Fed chairman Ben Bernanke. "We spend hours and hours and hours arguing over $10 million amendments on the floor of the Senate, but there has been no discussion about who has been receiving this $3 trillion," says Sen. Bernie Sanders. "It is beyond comprehension."

Count Sanders among those who don't buy the argument that Wall Street firms shouldn't have to face being outed as recipients of public funds, that making this information public might cause investors to panic and dump their holdings in these firms. "I guess if we made that public, they'd go on strike or something," he muses.

And the Fed isn't the only arm of the bailout that has closed ranks. The Treasury, too, has maintained incredible secrecy surrounding its implementation even of the TARP program, which was mandated by Congress. To this date, no one knows exactly what criteria the Treasury Department used to determine which banks received bailout funds and which didn't — particularly the first $350 billion given out under Bush appointee Hank Paulson.

The situation with the first TARP payments grew so absurd that when the Congressional Oversight Panel, charged with monitoring the bailout money, sent a query to Paulson asking how he decided whom to give money to, Treasury responded — and this isn't a joke — by directing the panel to a copy of the TARP application form on its website. Elizabeth Warren, the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, was struck nearly speechless by the response.

"Do you believe that?" she says incredulously.

This is your "must read" article of the weekend.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

The Big TakeoverGreat article!! Did you see the Roling Stone illustration in the original (vs print preview) version of the article at ? It’s the BEST! The banker eating Uncle Sam eating the banker sums up the corrupt relationship between the US Gov’t and banks about as succinctly as any words ever could!!

Thanks for the article.
Another question: Why Madoff’s trial end up with absolutly no questions on who were the initial recipients?
My guess: it could be too much "problems" for the same persons…

Is anyone else amazed that no one is doing anything about this?

Are our representitives really that incompetant, or are they just "in pocket" of these Banksters?

The French Revolution comes to mind, and I can’t get the knot out of my stomach.
Very well written, and extremely poignent. I’m not sure if I could be any more disappointed in the cesspool our nation has become.

How can this be made right?
Even if someone were to step in, take charge, and cast down the parasites infecting our legislative and financial systems, they’d only inherit a corpse that the international interests want to pick at to get something out of the sour deal.

Maybe we deserve a "dark ages".



i have a years supply of food, i have a garden i have some junk silver and some gold. rumor has it there is natural gas under my land but i will get nothing but a dead garden. i have some friends who are doing some of the same stuff. oh yeah guns.

nothing will change

the people on this site will wring their hands wail and scream while the banksters get as much out of us as they can to invest in real things like commodities and pm’s. they are on their way out the door to whatever safe haven they are buying.

and somebody criticised me for suggesting a bullet to the head of the perps hahahahahahahaha

keep your powder dry

Great article!!!

I liked this paragraph as well:

Thank you for posting this, Chris!

Its nice to finally see what caused this mess without adding Illuminati or NWO etc. Just proof of how greedy and arrogant people can be when you let them run free. Glad I’m not american right now but I don’t see canadians fairing much better.


Just wonering is AIG has less than a trillions worth of derivatives where are the other 699 trillion dollarsthat ive heard exist?


lol … what perps were they joe?

Aaron, I am both totally amazed and yet not really surprised (gut feeling) as to what is really going on. As I read the article I was hoping that what is becoming increasingly obvious would still turn out to be only "a dream". Well guess what America, as we slowly wake the F*%$ up, you ain’t dreamin’.

Still, the scope of the greed and deception is difficult for me to truly comprehend.

Joe2, I appreciate your sarcasm but as I read the article I was pissed! I have been counting on you to be a backer of the militia rather than a consciencious objector!

Chris, Thanks for the excellent link. Looking forward to meeting you in Lowesville and moving forward.

Now I am going to go out and do some garden prep work. The almond tree is in screaming full bloom as are the daffodils. I may try to do some Bonsai work on the Cherry tree and create a giant "finger" in honor of TPTB …but then again, I wouldn’t want to foul up a perfectly good tree!


This is a great article that takes the discussion to another level:

People are pissed off about this financial crisis, and about
this bailout, but they’re not pissed off enough. The reality is
that the worldwide economic meltdown and the bailout that followed
were together a kind of revolution, a coup d’état. They
cemented and formalized a political trend that has been snowballing
for decades: the gradual takeover of the government by a small
class of connected insiders, who used money to control elections,
buy influence and systematically weaken financial regulations.

These are very strong words

Wikipedia - A coup d’État is the sudden, unconstitutional deposition of a legitimate government, by a small group of the State Establishment — usually the military — to replace the deposed government, with another government, either civil or military. A coup d’État succeeds when the usurpers establish their legitimacy
if the attacked government fail to thwart them, by allowing their
(strategic, tactical, political) consolidation and then receiving the
deposed government’s surrender; or the acquiescence of the populace and
the non-participant military forces.

The ongoing lies and corruption are pieces that fit together to bring us a clear picture. I think the writer is absolutely accurate in the strong words used - we are witnessing a coup.

Our nation has subjugated the control and creation of our money to private banks thus relinquishing our national sovereignty; effectively we have become a client state. Neither a Democracy nor a Republic may exist when the greatest power of the nation is held in the hands of private banks.

The cancer started in 1913 with the Federal Reserve Act and has been rotting away at our fiber and sovereignty ever since.


tom will you marry me?

but i must correct myself. i decided a bullet to the head was too kind. i suggested what our gov. does to people at abu ghraib and guantanamo. it is called kubark ATT: MODERATOR it is non violent. it is simply the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. i suggest it for the "head" perp who you so gloriously have depicted. then he could take jim carrey’s place and star in the sequel.

now i am back to march madness hahahahahahahahahaha

if you are pissed coop DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

just remember when you do …i will be right BEHIND you

the sad truth is no one will do anything.

Brilliant article. My only problem with it is that apparent conclusion is that what’s needed is more, and more effective, regulation. Far too little attention is given to the fact that we should have no reason to believe that regulation can ever be effective - given it’s record. Furthermore, if the government would simply stay out of it, follow the constitution, and not bail out these pricks, we wouldn’t need regulation because they’d all go out of business.


I think that waging a war would be a waste of lives. We’re better off letting the beast collapse, die, and rot - and use the lessons learned to educate our communities and children.

It’s a natural cycle, and I’d rather use arms defensively to keep out the desperate than hunt the greedy.

They’ll get theirs, in this world or the next.



I already had a knot in my stomach. This only made it worse. I am hoping that by hunkering down and focusing on community that we can ride this out. My fear is that "the beast" won’t stay out there.

Keep your powder dry, indeed.


We know how long it took to separate church and state, if we ever did. How long for bank and state? Perhaps separation is not possible as they seem now to be one and the same.


still …
here …
still here
still here?

Funny story. About two nights ago I had to take the bus home (I usually drive). As I’m sitting there with nothing to do, I gaze over at the reading material of the man next to me. I cannot see the name of the magazine, but I read a few paragraphs over his shoulder, and I think, "Damn, that’s some good writing!" I thought it was probably the Atlantic or Vanity Fair . . . now I see it was this article.

"if you are pissed coop DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT."

You know, there’s an EASY way to put an end to all this crap… STOP SERVICING YOUR DEBTS!!

With so many of you owning guns stateside, boy am I glad I’m not a corporate CEO… it’s gonna get ugly. I hope you’re all forwarding this to all and sundry, it’s a doozy areticle, thank you Chris.


Here is something to consider when the pols tell us how concerned they are with the loss of jobs, unemployment and getting the economy going again. Take the 150B (actually more I think) that has already been forked over to AIG. Think of what that 150B equals; let’s put it in perspective, 3 million x 50k. Instead of bailing out an insolvent company in order to prevent all the sordid dealings from coming to light the pols could, instead, have given 50k to 3 million people. That sheds a whole different light on 1.5 trillion doesn’t it. If you want to spend 1.5 trillion to correct the economy how about 50k for 30 million people.

But, instead we shake our collective heads and wonder where all this money is going?

Well said, Don!