Friday, June 12

Banksters Bribe Congress with $Billions$ for Banishing Federal Oversight, for Bailout

We closer we look at the $5 billion money trail left on Capitol Hill from 1998 to 2008, the more last autumn's "Banskters' Bailout" resembles patiently planned looting.

On 9 March 2009, MSNBC Countdown's Keith Olberman cites chapter and verse in chronicling how banksters bought and paid for Congress to remove all financial safety nets to leave consumers--but especially homebuyers--protectionless against illegal financial scams.

As the biggest financial heist in American history become patently obvious to so many, we wonder what draconian containment strategies our Ruling Elite will deploy to save themselves from an eventual public backlash.

Here's an excerpt of a 4 March press release by Robert Weissman and Harvey Rosenfeld of Wall Street Watch--the group publishing a 231-page report (pdf; executive summary here) Olberman references in the first minute of his 9 March report--that characterizes the backroom machinations and resultant snake-oil deal made by Wall Street.

Steps to Financial Cataclysm Paved with Industry Dollars

March 4 - The financial sector invested more than $5 billion in political influence purchasing in Washington over the past decade, with as many as 3,000 lobbyists winning deregulation and other policy decisions that led directly to the current financial collapse, according to a 231-page report issued today by Essential Information and the Consumer Education Foundation.

The report, "Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed America," shows that, from 1998-2008, Wall Street investment firms, commercial banks, hedge funds, real estate companies and insurance conglomerates made $1.725 billion in political contributions and spent another $3.4 billion on lobbyists, a financial juggernaut aimed at undercutting federal regulation. Nearly 3,000 officially registered federal lobbyists worked for the industry in 2007 alone. The report documents a dozen distinct deregulatory moves that, together, led to the financial meltdown. These include prohibitions on regulating financial derivatives; the repeal of regulatory barriers between commercial banks and investment banks; a voluntary regulation scheme for big investment banks; and federal refusal to act to stop predatory subprime lending.

"The report details, step-by-step, how Washington systematically sold out to Wall Street," says Harvey Rosenfield, president of the Consumer Education Foundation, a California-based non-profit organization. "Depression-era programs that would have prevented the financial meltdown that began last year were dismantled, and the warnings of those who foresaw disaster were drowned in an ocean of political money. Americans were betrayed, and we are paying a high price -- trillions of dollars -- for that betrayal."... read more

Do you think the 111th Democrat-controlled U.S. House Committee on Financial Services (Rep. Barney Frank, D-MA,chair) will exercise its prerogative to subpoena witnesses to investigate these allegations by MSNBC and Wall Street Watch?

Apart from a few self-promoting C-SPAN sound bites of feigned outrage enacted in hearings that legislators steered clear of in droves, Frank et al. have initiated no oversight or investigative measures into the wholesale looting.

That inertia remains the status quo even after Frank's committee in February uncovered Citibank's sweetheart bailout deal by which the bank, rather than pay back taxpayer bailout loans as originally planned by Congress in its 2008 legislation, allows it to stiff the U.S. Treasury--that's you and me, folks--with over $230 billion in toxic debt.

Can there remain any reasonable doubt that all this looting intends to kill democracy's best and final chance to counteract wealthy U.S. fascists' quest for more global wealth and total domination?

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