US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues

I am trying to maintain a very level-headed approach to the changes that we are seeing. However, from time to time the looting operation becomes just a bit too obvious, a bit too overt, and I find my level of cool slipping.

This is one of those times.

Here are the dots that I am connecting that have me concerned, if not angry.

Remember, even prior to its passage, I called the bailout the greatest looting operation of our time. I did so because the language of the Bailout Act, as originally proposed by the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, er, I mean the Treasury Secretary, requested three things: unitary power, no review, and no limits.

Frankly, it was the most plainly-worded document of theft that I had ever seen, and probably ever will see, in my life (because it was too blatant and such mistakes are rarely made again).

After that draft was defeated in the House, the Senate immediately attached a much denser 300+ page version of the bailout bill to an existing piece of legislation and passed it. The house caved after an intense week of lobbying by both banks and the people of the land, who were diametrically opposed on the issue. Naturally, they caved to the banking interests.

But We The People won some symbolic victories in that battle, including the explicit promise of complete transparency in the use of that money.

Now it turns out that We The Payers won nothing at all, and that we are not even being afforded the most basic right of being able to view how that money is being spent.

Fed Defies Transparency Aim in Refusal to Disclose

Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in September they would comply with congressional demands for transparency in a $700 billion bailout of the banking system. Two months later, as the Fed lends far more than that in separate rescue programs that didn't require approval by Congress, Americans have no idea where their money is going or what securities the banks are pledging in return.

This is a complete outrage. Here we have been told that we cannot see how our money is being spent, and that we cannot have insight into whether this money is being used to enrich cronies of the system.

So far, the data is not encouraging. Failed institutions have been spared (at great expense), lies and prevarications have been our signposts along the way, and each new "program" has been an affront to common sense and decency.

The common element has always been 'telling the public the least amount possible.'

I wish there were a second currency in operation in this country, so that I could vote on this plan by dishoarding every single Federal Reserve Note and piling into a better-run currency.

And here’s your second lesson in “why larger bills with more pages are better for looting than small bills.” It turns out that the Treasury quietly slipped in a bit of language that handed a massive, unprecedented $140 billion tax give-away to major banks.

A quiet windfall for U.S. banks

The financial world was fixated on Capitol Hill as Congress battled over the Bush administration's request for a $700 billion bailout of the banking industry. In the midst of this late-September drama, the Treasury Department issued a five-sentence notice that attracted almost no public attention.

But corporate tax lawyers quickly realized the enormous implications of the document: Administration officials had just given American banks a windfall of as much as $140 billion.

The sweeping change to two decades of tax policy escaped the notice of lawmakers for several days, as they remained consumed with the controversial bailout bill. When they found out, some legislators were furious. Some congressional staff members have privately concluded that the notice was illegal. But they have worried that saying so publicly could unravel several recent bank mergers made possible by the change and send the economy into an even deeper tailspin.

I just want you to think of this when Congress agonizes over and finally determines that the nation “cannot afford” to undo the $85 billion in middle class AMT tax hikes later this year.

I want you to also think of the amount of time that Congress agonized over $14 billion in alternative energy tax credits before grudgingly passing them. Ten times that amount was handed to big banks without, to my knowledge, even a single open-floor comment or objection from a single congressperson.

Simply outrageous. We’ve been looted.

Next, as this article in The Nation makes clear, the “deals” that the Treasury department has been making on your behalf under the mandate to “protect the taxpayer” have been running roughly 100% over fair market value. In other words, a gigantic handout to the biggest banks at the worst possible price (for taxpayers), with practically no strings attached.

Paulson's Swindle Revealed

The swindle of American taxpayers is proceeding more or less in broad daylight, as the unwitting voters are preoccupied with the national election. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson agreed to invest $125 billion in the nine largest banks, including $10 billion for Goldman Sachs, his old firm.

But, if you look more closely at Paulson's transaction, the taxpayers were taken for a ride--a very expensive ride. They paid $125 billion for bank stock that a private investor could purchase for $62.5 billion. That means half of the public's money was a straight-out gift to Wall Street, for which taxpayers got nothing in return.

But that’s okay – there’s a big G20 meeting coming up. Perhaps the world’s leaders will come up with a sensible plan for returning some of the power back to We The People?

UK's Brown: Now is the time to build global society

LONDON (Reuters) - The international financial crisis has given world leaders a unique opportunity to create a truly global society, Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown will say in a keynote foreign policy speech on Monday.

In his annual speech at the Lord Mayor's Banquet, Brown -- who has spearheaded calls for the reform of international financial institutions -- will say Britain, the United States and Europe are key to forging a new world order.

"The alliance between Britain and the U.S. -- and more broadly between Europe and the U.S. -- can and must provide leadership, not in order to make the rules ourselves, but to lead the global effort to build a stronger and more just international order," an excerpt from the speech says.

According to a summary of the speech released by his office, Brown will set out five great challenges the world faces.

These are: terrorism and extremism and the need to reassert faith in democracy; the global economy; climate change; conflict and mechanisms for rebuilding states after conflict; and meeting goals on tackling poverty and disease.

Brown will also identify five stages for tackling the economy, starting with recapitalizing banks so they can resume lending to families and businesses, and better international co-ordination of fiscal and monetary policy.

Whoa. Hold on there! Lots of warning signals are flashing for me here. First, rather than a new world order, I think we need to understand how we can return to the old world order – you know, where international trade is balanced, and people save, and debt growth matches economic growth. .

I definitely think it's way too early to be proclaiming that now is the right time to set off on a big building project.

From my vantage point, it rather looks like our McMansion has fallen to the ground in a jumble, and now the same architect is trying to sell us on a bigger design.

Second, I am deeply uncomfortable with the language and intent expressed by “the need to reassert faith in democracy.” What in the heck does that mean? Seriously. What exactly is he trying to imply?

I was not aware that democracy was in need of additional faith. I rather thought it ran on such things as laws, fairness, and its own merits.

This line smacks of demagoguery, and I am deeply cautious of the messenger who hails from the country with the most security cameras and intrusive domestic government spying policies of any “democracy” out there. If Gordon Brown is selling democracy, I am suddenly no longer buying.

Worse, it is the financial crisis that is being used to peddle this tripe. A crisis that has been used to advance the power and reach of the banks, using the most overt looting and legalized theft ever seen or envisaged.

Now I am more than a little concerned about what is coming next. The decisions emanating from this G20 meeting deserve more than a little scrutiny.

Oddly, Obama is not attending, only Bush (and by extension Cheney). All the more curious.

But one thing is for dead certain - if a new world order is being planned, I don't want Brown or Bush or Cheney anywhere near it.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Glad to hear it Chris coming my way are you? Small groups of a hundred or so, concensus and no more leaders.


You can domesticate some animals just by feeding them, same with most humans

Store fed, store owned

As you say, it is looting, and the numbers are really astonishing. I feel exactly the same way you do. Spending for a better energy regime - like pulling teeth. Spending to keep your friends in their bonuses and houses in the Hamptons - worth hundreds of billions, without any discussion or oversight. One might almost say "priceless." Big surprise - the Fed works for the banks, so of course the banks get the largesse.
At some point, I don’t know when, the Fed will go too far, do too much, and this whole system will explode - either through hyperinflation or a debt default. If we don’t lose our form of government in the process, in the aftermath we will figure out who was to blame and we will restructure.
But that day is not yet here. There is still too much residual faith in the central bank and the government’s ability to rescue the economy and "make everything better." Its how we are conditioned; in spite of Katrina, we still feel the government will be there to take care of us when things go poorly.
Thanks for all your work Chris.

Americans should stop payments on ALL mortgages, car loans, credit cards. Forthwith.

Bring the banks to their knees, and renegotiate all debts.

I’d insist on cancelation myself…

Glad I don’t live in the US. I feel for you guys.

Mike in Australia.

This is NUTS!
I voted for Nader. I was very concerned that a financial "crisis" would postpome the election. Now, I really worry about the inoguration being "delayed" by a financial "crisis."
I posed this on some other thread, and I will post it here: I read ONeil’s book, in it he said that this admin’s guiding principle was that reality lagged perception. ONeil as you recall got sacked for opposing debt/deficits. Suskind who wrote the book got called on the carpet (presumed by many by Rove):
The aide said that guys like me were ‘‘in what we call the reality-based community,’’ which he defined as people who ‘‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’’ I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’’ he continued. ‘‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’’
In a recent article Peter Schiff said this place will look like south America from there to Canada and that we should consider emegrating. I emailed him and asked him where? I hope he doesn’t say Russia, my grandfather could have saved me a trip.
There is likely less than 1% that have a clue as to what is happening. Even we are slow here to figure this out. I doubt there is time to emegrate, recall elected officials or anything else. Now I am even more curious over the Rex84 "camps" built by a Haliburton sub sid.



OBs first executive order…destroy the second amendment…then the NWO is clear for take off.

I said this elsewhere, but if ever there was a time for revolution in the US, this is that time.

Unfortunately, most Americans are stuck in a consumer trance and don’t have any clue what is really happening in front of their eyes. The media is partially to blame, of course, but I also happen to believe that citizens of democracy have an obligation to stay informed, monitor the decisions made by their elected government, and act when their interests are not being represented.

There is no doubt in my mind that if we (as Americans) simply wait around for our leaders to bring us the change we want to see, we’ll never see it. We have to get on the phone, write letters and emails and take to the streets to demand that change. If enough of us actually woke up and exercised our rights, those in power would be forced to bend to our will or be replaced by someone who will.

Of course the power elite is well aware of this, so it has always been in their interest to encourage ignorance and apathy in the electorate. What with Brittany Spears, TV sitcoms, MySpace, professional sports and endless opportunities to buy and consume, we’re doing their work for them.

I also believe that Americans are capable of great things once they are mobilized. But what will it take for us to wake up, break the chains of materialism and distraction and take the power into our own hands? If recent events haevn’t done it, what will? And will it happen soon enough to avet total disintegration?




A Quiet Windfall For U.S. Banks

With Attention on Bailout Debate, Treasury Made Change to Tax Policy


The financial world was fixated on Capitol Hill
as Congress battled over the Bush administration’s request for a $700
billion bailout of the banking industry. In the midst of this
late-September drama, the Treasury Department issued a five-sentence notice that attracted almost no public attention.

But corporate tax lawyers quickly realized the enormous implications of
the document: Administration officials had just given American banks a
windfall of as much as $140 billion.

The sweeping change to two decades of tax policy escaped the notice
of lawmakers for several days, as they remained consumed with the
controversial bailout bill. When they found out, some legislators were
furious. Some congressional staff members have privately concluded that
the notice was illegal.

"Did the Treasury Department have the authority to do this? I think almost every tax expert would agree that the answer is no," said George K. Yin, the former chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the nonpartisan congressional authority on taxes. "They basically repealed a 22-year-old law that Congress passed as a backdoor way of providing aid to banks."

My daily dose of disgust was the rewriting of the AIG deal. Apparently, the original one had the horrible flaw of being far too kind to the tax payers.

This kind of bullshit, is unfortunately going to get much worse in the next two months. Bush and Co are going to busy making all their last minute hand outs using, abusing, and twisting to the max every last bit of power given to them. Basically everything they’ve done in the last eight years but now even more extravagant that they have even less political incentive to hold back.

(Don’t be in the least surprised if many of these recent deals are rewritten to make them as hard as possible to legally undo by the next president.)

All we can do now is grit our teeth and cross our fingers. If we are lucky the Obama administration will spend its first three months unwinding as much of the damage as is possible at that point. Here’s to hope for a better next four years, because now that’s all we have.

(Oh, and did you hear? American Express is going to be a bank holding company. The stealth bailout gravy train – guarenteeing of senior debt of banks/bankholding companies – is still busy loading itself up.)




Let’s step back a bit and ask is the reason for these actions…

a.) The financial impacts are much bigger than advertized

b.) The key decision makers are clueless/incompetent and reacting trying to plug the dam with their fingers.

c.) The key decision makers are desperate and running around with their heads in their hands in a vain attempt to keep an even larger problem/catastrophy from happening.

d.) All Of The Above.


I vote for d. Surprised

BTW…After 30+ working for the federal governement…that should say something. Embarassed



Obviously, good cop bad cop happening.

Yeah right. Only the small fish are clueless. The guys at the top know exactly what they’re doing. Read the Article on Washington Post about the stealthy change in tax law by the Treasury.

That’s what they want you to believe.

Ha ha ha ha ha!

If any president could just repeal the second amendment like that, it would have been dead and gone for two centuries now.

Since the second amendment is still here, you should already know just how absurd any such claim is. Just like anyone who voted for a Republican thinking that Roe vs Wade would somehow be overturned is equally dumb. Liberals can’t get rid of the guns, conservatives can’t get rid of abortion. Those are the facts. Thousands and thousands of failed attempts make this abundantly clear.

As for Obama and the ‘New World Order’ is just pure stupidity. If you think a president whose claim to fame and unseating of Clinton was organizing the largest group of (mostly young) people under the notion that they can bring change to America and whose first speech talks about how their work isn’t done is going turn around and outright defy his own base of power is just silly. Young people are fickle and prone to revolutionary thought, and would be quick to use their new found organizational skills to obliterate Obama’s presidency if they feel particularly miffed.

Obama doesn’t strike me as that stupid. A far more likely story would be him dithering and make half hearted ineffectual gestures while, in fact, maintaining the status quo.


I’ve had plenty of interaction -20 years of dealing with the FAA. No doubt D.
Having said that: To fix it
a.) re-denominate (globally, i.e. everyone), do a gold standard baked currency
b.) well if really big govt screws things up, hmmm, okay a new world order really big govt.
Sorry, but "b" doesn’t let me just step back.

Rex 84 is for nonviolent citizens.

If Obama isn’t going, what CAN the G20 do?

How about this for disgusting: AIG exec go on yet another resort junket.


And like I keep saying, if the majority of Americans stopped servicing their debts, you’d have a bloodless revolution in less than a week…

I’m surprised no one, absolutely no one, has even contradicted me on this.


I said this elsewhere, but if ever there was a time for revolution in the US, this is that time.


I’m surprised no one, absolutely no one, has even contradicted me on this.



If I had any debts to not pay, I would not pay them!

Perhaps I should make some for that purpose.

I agree…I just called GMAC to ask what happens to my payments when they go out of business. The reply was "we are not going out of business"…from the information released today about GM, the difference in opinion is very disturbing.

I fully support an economic tea party against the financial mafia.


Oh… to get rid of the second amendment would be very easy now with the Patriot act, and take yer gold at the same time.