Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Big Surpise: The Bank-sters Are (STILL) Playing Us For Chumps

I know, I know: what's news about that? It's been common practice for 100 years or more. They've upped the ante, raised the stakes, they're STILL trying to stack and mark the deck, and yet they're pretending everything's perfectly transparent. It's ALL bullshit, of course. The FIX is IN!

But somebody is saying so, now, finally, albeit WAAAAAY too late. A certain William K. Black, former fed banking regulator writing on HuffPost today, in a iece aptly titled "The AUdacity of Dopes," regales us:
We are being played for chumps. The Bush and Obama plans could only have been designed by failed bankers -- for their principal beneficiaries are failed bankers. We already know enough to confirm that the Bush administration made us the "fool" in the market by massively overpaying for assets. The Obama administration is about to compound that scandal with a "guarantee" program. The bankers that caused the crisis designed both programs. The senior officers at big bank aren't very good lenders, but they are expert in maximizing their compensation.

Worse, Mr. Geithner, the senior public official who, with former Treasury Secretary Paulson, designed the failed Bush plan is the architect of the disastrous Obama plan. Indeed, as the New York Times has just revealed, it should be called the Geithner plan. He overcame intense opposition within the Obama administration and designed a plan that is even worse than the failed Bush program. Geithner's gifts to the bankers that caused the crisis include: a unnecessary taxpayer bailout of "risk capital," a massive coverup of their banks' insolvency, gutting the proposed limits on executive compensation, and devising a "guarantee" mechanism designed to hide the expenses of the unprincipled bailouts from the American public. Remember, executive compensation is not "merely" a fairness issue. Executive compensation and the compensation systems used for appraisers, accountants, and rating agencies were designed, and served, to create the perverse incentives and ethical rot that caused the ongoing financial crises by producing a "Gresham's dynamic" in which fraudulent and abusive lending and accounting practices drove good practices out of the marketplace.

Here's the amazing part -- the bankers are so arrogant that they bragged to a sympathetic CNBC commentator they are playing us:
"What a delicious irony this is--last week, just as President Obama was publicly bashing the stupidity of the banks ... his economic team [was] privately begging for input from Wall Street. The administration was conducting around-the-clock discussions and interviews with senior Wall Street executives, including many from the same firms he was theoretically appalled with, about how to fix the lingering financial crisis. "
I always wondered why reasonable people would think that the owners of the country--oligarchs, plutocrats, aristos-- would turn management of THEIR "property," or the system of its administration, over to anybody who wasn't completely trustworthy, or who posed even the tiniest, remotest, slightest, slimmest CHANCE of undoing the immensely profitable status quo.

Obama's ineffectiveness--call it 'schooled toothlessness'--is testified to the very fact of his being where he is. I think he's probably a combination of a caretaker and a scapegoat, a placeholder until the next overt fascist coup which will use his (inevitable, inescapable) "failures" to destroy both the electoral possibilities of any future "marginal" candidate, and the populist/progressive wing of the Dims...

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