Financial, Wall Street, Banking, Housing, Credit, Trust, Crisis, Meltdown, Crash

 

Financial, Housing, Banking, Credit, Crisis, meltdown, crunch:

"There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need -- but not for man's greed." - M. Ghandi
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"People are [expletive deleted] about this financial crisis, and about this bailout, but they're not [expletive deleted] 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. The crisis was the coup de grâce: Given virtually free rein over the economy, these same insiders first wrecked the financial world, then cunningly granted themselves nearly unlimited emergency powers to clean up their own mess." Taibbi
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Speaking of the bailout money, an unnamed Congressman said: "I think basically if you knew [Bush Treasury Secretary] Hank Paulson, you got the money."
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"I do not think we are facing any kind of a crisis" -- Rep. Barney Frank (D) 9/10/2003 The more people, in my judgment, exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness, the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury, which I do not see. I think we see entities that are fundamentally sound financially and withstand some of the disaster scenarios. -- Rep. Barney Frank (D) 9/10/2003
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"This proposal is stunning and unprecedented in its scope and lack of detail, I might add. It would allow the secretary of the Treasury to intervene in our economy by purchasing at least $700 billion of toxic assets. It would allow the secretary to hold onto those assets for years and to pay millions of dollars to hand-picked firms to manage those assets. It would do nothing, in my view, to help a single family save a home, at least not up front." -- Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn.
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"The essence of the proposition that the administration is presenting to us today is that the taxpayers will assume the risk of disastrous investment decisions made by very highly compensated individuals and institutions on Wall Street. I think the custom on Wall Street is when you assume the risk, it's because you get paid to do that. I believe it's essential that the taxpayers of this country are compensated for their assistance." -- Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I.
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"The Paulson proposal is an attempt to do what we so often do in Washington, D.C., throw money at a problem. We cannot make bad mortgages go away. We cannot make the losses that our financial institutions are facing go away. Someone must take those losses. We can either let the people who made the bad decisions bear the consequences of their actions, or we can spread that pain to others." -- Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky.
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If the government is going to get into the bailout business, shouldn't we also be focusing our resources on average Americans, the taxpayers, rather than sophisticated and well-compensated Wall Street bankers? The Treasury's plan has little for those outside of the financial industry. It is aimed at rescuing the same financial institutions that created this crisis with the sloppy underwriting and reckless disregard for the risk they were creating, taking or passing on to others." -- Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.
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"But these various policies -- lightweight regulation, cheap money, the unwritten Chinese-American economic alliance, the promotion of homeownership -- had something in common. Even though some are traditionally associated with Democrats and some with Republicans, they all benefited the financial sector." Johnson in his "Atlantic."
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Taibbi writes: "And all this happened at the end of eight straight years that America devoted to frantically chasing the shadow of a terrorist threat to no avail, eight years spent stopping every citizen at every airport to search every purse, bag, crotch and briefcase for juice boxes and explosive tubes of toothpaste. Yet in the end, our government had no mechanism for searching the balance sheets of companies that held life-or-death power over our society."
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"War is Good for Business": The powerful financial groups which routinely manipulate stock markets, currency and commodity markets, are also promoting the continuation and escalation of the Middle East war. The financial crisis is related to the structure of US public investment in the war economy versus the funding, through tax dollars, of civilian social programs. "More broadly, this also raises the issue of the role of the US Treasury and the US monetary system, in relentlessly financing the military industrial complex and the Middle East war at the expense of most sectors of civilian economic activity." (See Michel Chossudovsky, The Democrats endorse the "Global War on Terrorism": Obama "goes after" Osama, Global Research, August 29, 2008)
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Didn't anyone of importance say, "These kinds of mortgages are wrong."? "These appraisals are inflated."? Didn't any executive observe that the leverage requirements were so far out of line with banking and securities reserve requirements that they were in effect dangerous and fraudulent? Didn't any brokerage firm or executive crack down on naked short-selling? So far as I can tell, none, or very few, did. Instead, they followed the "business model" of "the highest level of short-term profit possible by any means allowable under the law."
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The war is profit driven, financed through the massive Worldwide expansion of dollar denominated debt. War and Globalization go hand in hand. Wall Street, the oil companies and the defense contractors have concurrent and overlapping interests. The oil companies are behind the speculative surge in crude oil prices on the London energy market.

In turn,  resulting from the military agenda, the US civilian economy is in crisis as the nation's resources including tax dollars are diverted into funding a multibillion Middle East war.
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What is of utmost significance is that this plunge in stock market values occurs at the crossroads of a major military adventure. The global financial crisis is intimately related to the war.

A spiraling defense budget backlashes on the civilian sectors of economic activity. The war economy has a direct bearing on fiscal and monetary policy. Defense expenditure is in excess of $500 billion. A separate $70 billion is earmarked "to cover war costs into the early months of a new administration.  Those amounts combined would represent the highest level of military spending since the end of World War II (adjusted for inflation)." (Csmonitor.com  February 06, 2008).

"War is Good for Business": The powerful financial groups which routinely manipulate stock markets, currency and commodity markets, are also promoting the continuation and escalation of the Middle East war. The financial crisis is related to the structure of US public investment in the war economy versus the funding, through tax dollars, of civilian social programs. "More broadly, this also raises the issue of the role of the US Treasury and the US monetary system, in relentlessly financing the military industrial complex and the Middle East war at the expense of most sectors of civilian economic activity." (See Michel Chossudovsky, The Democrats endorse the "Global War on Terrorism": Obama "goes after" Osama, Global Research, August 29, 2008)

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Corporations and connected individuals systematically loot the nation-state of financial assets and natural resources through a series of insider/no cost deals. These deals are made to "save" the nation's economy or financial system from collapse.

It's instructive to view the US Treasury's plans for a bail-out of the global financial system through the lens of the hollow state. By this measure, the bailout as it stands today, is a form of financial looting of the US Treasury (it isn't socialism, since the government isn't nationalizing the financial system). Trillions of dollars in government monies ($700 billion to begin with) will be infused directly into the coffers of corporations and wealthy individuals (via hedge funds). [...] The national debt will likely grow 20-30% in a single year, with obligations extended to many trillions more in guarantees.

There's apparently a chinese curse: "may you live in interesting times". Well, we do live in interesting times. John Robb
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What we know about the global financial crisis is that we don't know very much.” Paul A. Samuelson
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The Federal Reserve was not founded to bail out Bear Stearns or a few hedge funds. It was founded to keep a stable currency and maintain its value. - Jim Rogers, Rogers Commodity Fund
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The US financial system is teetering. Its USDollar currency is losing global support, with some outright revolts in crucial territories. The chief private sector export from the US financial sector has been fraud-ridden asset-backed bonds and their toxic credit derivatives. What should anyone expect? For years an institutional dishonesty within all things financial in the United States has been engrained, spreading, and become integrated with high levels of the USGovt. The Wall Street hucksters exported fraud. The backlash might be more severe than the soft soap gurus anticipate. Look for an international boycott. The shock waves in the US financial markets are preliminary symptoms of bigger events soon to come. Stability identified is nothing but quiet between tremors. - Jim Willie, Hat Trick Letter
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Why is it possible to rescue S&L buccaneers in the early '90s and provide guidance to levered Wall Street investment bankers during the 1998 long-term capital management crisis, yet throw 2 million homeowners to the wolves in 2007? - Bill Gross, Pimco
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As calamitous as the sub-prime blowup seems, it is only the beginning. The credit bubble spawned abuses throughout the system. Sub-prime lending just happened to be the most egregious of the lot, and thus the first to have the cockroaches scurrying out in plain view. The housing market will collapse. New-home construction will collapse. Consumer pocketbooks will be pinched. The consumer spending binge will be over. The U.S. economy will enter a recession." - Eric Sprott, Sprott Asset Management
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During the last few years, politics has worked perversely: taxes on the wealthy have been cut, and so have programs directed at the poor. The reason isn't difficult to explain. Many Americans-- especially those who have been losing ground have given up on politics. As their incomes have shrunk, they've lost confidence that the "system" will work in their interest. That cynicism has generated a self-fulfilling prophesy. Politicians stop paying attention to people who don't vote, who don't work the phone banks or walk the precincts, who have opted out. And the political inattention seems to justify the cynicism. Meanwhile, the top tier has experienced precisely the opposite--a virtuous cycle in which campaign contributions have attracted the rapt attention of politicians, the attention has elicited even more money, which in turn has given the top tier even greater influence.: Robert Reich - Former Secretary of Labor
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This great and powerful force-the accumulated wealth of the United States-has taken over all the functions of Government, Congress, the issue of money, and banking and the army and navy in order to have a band of mercenaries to do their bidding and protect their stolen property. Senator Richard Pettigrew - Triumphant Plutocracy - Published, January 1, 1922.

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"Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce." - -- James A. Garfield - (1831-1881) 20th President of the United States (1881)
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"The soul of our country needs to be awakened . . .When leaders act contrary to conscience, we must act contrary to leaders": Veterans Fast for Life
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"Nations have recently been led to borrow billions for war; no nation has ever borrowed largely for education. Probably, no nation is rich enough to pay for both war and civilization. We must make our choice; we cannot have both." ~Abraham Flexner
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"The current moguls understand that true media power lies not in firing up our outrage, as Hearst did, but in befuddling it or tranquilizing it with new toys. The idea is to render us passive so that they can exercise their power to sell us a bunch of stuff we mostly don't need and mostly don't want." : Richard Schickel - Brill's Content, July/August 2000, p. 122
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"The vested interests - if we explain the situation by their influence - can only get the public to act as they wish by manipulating public opinion, by playing either upon the public's indifference, confusions, prejudices, pugnacities or fears. And the only way in which the power of the interests can be undermined and their maneuvers defeated is by bringing home to the public the danger of its indifference, the absurdity of its prejudices, or the hollowness of its fears; by showing that it is indifferent to danger where real danger exists; frightened by dangers which are nonexistent." Sir Norman Angell 1872 - 1967
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"The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and these are ignorance, superstition and incompetence." : Elbert Hubbard (American editor, publisher and writer, 1856-1915)
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