I And Many Others Beg To Differ (Updated)

(Author’s Note: See OT Update at end of post about Goldman Sachs “profit”.)

The Dame Truth’s BTR program this past evening with G. Edward Griffin was a thorough success, but after Mr. Griffin ended his interview with The Dame, we were chatting about The Federal Reserve and in passing I said that I could not believe the director of the Ayn Rand Center really thought the Fed was a government agency.  This statement was a shocker; so without further ado, here is the clip of Yaron Brook on Glenn Beck from June 18, 2008. (1:40)

Yaron, question for ya? What government agency prints our money and then loans it back to us with some $150 Billion in interest this  year alone?

Sounds like a banking cartel to me.

For the newbies among us who still do not know that the Fed is all about the profit on fiat money, go here.

Tuesday’s interview on Constitutional Radio: An American Bastille Day, 9pm est., go here.  The best way to describe the contents of this show is going to be showing the True Redistribution of Wealth In America.

********

OT Update: We now know that Goldman Sachs just posted a $3.44 Billion (with a B) profit.  None of us is surprised about that because we know who and what GS really is.

Since I am down a different rabbit hole right now, I would like to send you over to an excellent article by Glenn Greenwald with a time line and characters, and perhaps more people will start to see what we see about GS being in the background of everything…Here is a just a taste…

The events preceding Goldman Sachs’ new “blowout profits”

Remember all of this — the $700 billion bank bailout, the AIG scandal, dark and scary threats of imminent global meltdown if there wasn’t full-scale capitulation by the citizenry to the immense transfer of public wealth to the private investment banking sector?  Such distant, hazy memories:  so many exciting celebrity deaths and riveting celebrity resignations ago.  If sequences of events like these don’t cause mass citizen outrage, then it’s hard to imagine what will:

The New York Times, September 19, 2008:

WASHINGTON — It was a room full of people who rarely hold their tongues. But as the Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, laid out the potentially devastating ramifications of the financial crisis before congressional leaders on Thursday night, there was a stunned silence at first.

Mr. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. had made an urgent and unusual evening visit to Capitol Hill, and they were gathered around a conference table in the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Rolling Stone Covers Goldman Sachs? “The Great American Bubble Machine”

Matt Taibbi has part of the puzzle, but not all of the pieces.  Make sure to follow the link and watch the video Rolling Stone has of Matt Taibbi, and then go over to GoldmanSachs666.  Mike Morgan has been covering this tentacle of the Pilgrims Society, and just won his court case against Goldman Sachs over copyright infringement.  One has to cheer David on when he beats Goliath.

From Rolling Stone:

The Great American Bubble Machine

Matt Taibbi on how Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression

In Rolling Stone Issue 1082-83, Matt Taibbi takes on “the Wall Street Bubble Mafia” — investment bank Goldman Sachs. The piece has generated controversy, with Goldman Sachs firing back that Taibbi’s piece is “an hysterical compilation of conspiracy theories” and a spokesman adding, “We reject the assertion that we are inflators of bubbles and profiteers in busts, and we are painfully conscious of the importance in being a force for good.” Taibbi shot back: “Goldman has its alumni pushing its views from the pulpit of the U.S. Treasury, the NYSE, the World Bank, and numerous other important posts; it also has former players fronting major TV shows. They have the ear of the president if they want it.” Here, now, are excerpts from Matt Taibbi’s piece and video of Taibbi exploring the key issues.

The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.

Any attempt to construct a narrative around all the former Goldmanites in influential positions quickly becomes an absurd and pointless exercise, like trying to make a list of everything. What you need to know is the big picture: If America is circling the drain, Goldman Sachs has found a way to be that drain — an extremely unfortunate loophole in the system of Western democratic capitalism, which never foresaw that in a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy.

They achieve this using the same playbook over and over again. The formula is relatively simple: Goldman positions itself in the middle of a speculative bubble, selling investments they know are crap. Then they hoover up vast sums from the middle and lower floors of society with the aid of a crippled and corrupt state that allows it to rewrite the rules in exchange for the relative pennies the bank throws at political patronage. Finally, when it all goes bust, leaving millions of ordinary citizens broke and starving, they begin the entire process over again, riding in to rescue us all by lending us back our own money at interest, selling themselves as men above greed, just a bunch of really smart guys keeping the wheels greased. They’ve been pulling this same stunt over and over since the 1920s — and now they’re preparing to do it again, creating what may be the biggest and most audacious bubble yet.

See Taibbi discuss Goldman Sachs’ big scam.

(Matt, if you by chance land on The Monster, drop me an email and I will help fill in the blank spots.)

Want To Know Why Obama Loves Iran? Follow The Money!

Want To Know Why Obama Loves Iran? Follow The Money!

(h/t to Atlas Shrugs – again!!!)

Wow! Look what they are doing with our hard earned taxpayer money now!

Tehran – US Banks To Set up Iran Branch

Tehran – Four American banks, including Citibank and Goldman Sachs, have applied for opening a branch in Iran, an Iranian daily has reported.

The banks made a formal request to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) about 20 days ago to establish a branch in the country, the Jaam-e-Jam newspaper quoted an informed source as saying.

“If the CBI approves their request, these four banks will set up a temporary branch in an Iranian free trade zone,” the source told Jaam-e-Jam, without revealing the names of the other two banks.

“If they can work according to Iran’s banking law, they will be allowed to open branches in Tehran and other cities.”

The report comes as Tehran and Washington are to enter direct negotiations to resolve a standoff over Iran’s nuclear program.

Earlier this month, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the US, Russia, China, France and Britain – plus Germany (P5+1) invited Iran for negotiations on the country’s uranium enrichment program.

The upcoming meeting will mark the first time the US will sit at the negotiating table with Iran without setting preconditions — such as demanding Iran give up its uranium enrichment activities.

The two Wall Street giants — Goldman Sachs and Citibank — have been hard hit by the economic recession in the US.

Goldman Sachs reported first-quarter earnings of $1.66 billion on Monday, which easily surpassed Wall Street’s estimates.

The investment bank also launched a $5 billion common stock offering in the hopes of using the proceeds to help it pay back $10 billion in government aid it received last year.

Citibank is the consumer banking arm of Citigroup, which has received $45 billion in bailout funds from the US government.

And Atlas’ response to this is classic:

If you bank at Citibank – move it out. Seriously. Do you want to fund a jihad nuke? Do you want to underwrite genocide? Do you want to fund the fourth Reich? Do you want to expedite the “12 Mahdi” insanity? Do you support publicly hanging gays, stoning women, and imprisoning bloggers – to name a few of their recent contributions to humanity?

Don’t do business with jihadis and killers. Do you have money in the market? Tell your broker NO SHARIAH FINANCE. Do it!

Want to take a gander at all of Goldman Sachs on one map?

MucketyMap

Make sure to visit Mike Morgan’s site; GoldmanSachs666 for an interesting map that is a bit less crowded.

Because We All Need A Good Laugh!

I am shamelessly swiping this because I hope it makes you laugh as hard as it did me.  Thanks James, whoever and whereever you are….

From Facts About Goldman Sachs:

A Goldman Sachs Story. Some Fiction – Some Truth – Something to Think About

NOTE: Here is one from James as he posted on another blog on October 1, 2008.

What’s Good for GS Is Good for the Country

THE WAY IT WOULD HAVE ENDED:
(if Bush, Cheney or Paulson had an ounce of brains)

Josh Bolton (outside the Oval Office):
Mr President, Hank Paulson is here, he says he’s got to see you right away.

Ok tell him, in a few minutes. I got the DAR in here.

Mr. President, you better get out here & talk to him, he’s in bad shape.

What? Just send him in.

You don’t want anybody to see him like this, besides he’ll scare the holy shit out of them.
I’m serious, you gotta get out here right now.

Y’all excuse me a minute, ladies, I’ll be right back.

Hank, what’s goin’ on?

Mr. President, I broke the buck, the sky is falling. I’m so sorry, I broke the buck, the sky is falling.

What in the hell is he talking about?

Mr. President, I have no idea.

Ok, ok, throw a blanket over him, stick him in a closet, get those old ladies out of my office now. Then get him in my office. And call Cheney.

2 minutes later, Bush, Cheney, Paulson in the Oval Office

Mr. President, I broke the buck, the sky is falling. I’m so sorry, I broke the buck and the sky is falling.

Dick, what’s he talking about?

I’ll explain later. And get him away from that window.
Hank, now tell us, what happened?

I just got in from NY. I was with my partners at Goldman Sachs.

You mean your ex-partners.

Huh? Oh yeah.

Ok go on.

Anyway, I broke the buck, they can’t roll over their commercial paper and the sky is falling and I killed the U.S. economy. Now I’m Herbert Hoover. waaaahhhhhhhhh

Hank, it can’t be that bad. You can’t kill the U.S. economy.

Oh I did, Mr. President and I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry. Blankfein’s ordered all the partners to max out their credit cards and they’re converting to a bank holding company as we speak.

Cheney:
Holy mother of g-d. A bank holding company? Goldman Sachs? You got to be kidding.

Call Bernanke, just ask him.

Holy Jeezus.They must be scared out of their shorts.

It’s not just them. The sky is falling, the sky is falling.

Bush:
I’m not following all of this. What’s bad about a bank holding company?

Cheney:
It’s like breast reduction surgery. It’s worse. It’s like a voluntary penis reduction surgery.

Ouch. Jeez, maybe the sky really is falling.

Well at least at 85 Broad.
Hank, quick question. Why’d you bail out the Bear Sterns paper & not the Lehman paper?

We, I mean Goldman Sachs wasn’t holding any Lehman paper.

Sorry, dumb question.

Bush
What are we going to do?

Cheney:
We gotta contain this panic before it spreads. We need to quarantine off the Goldman Sachs headquarters. Surround it with barbed wire. Nobody gets in, nobody gets out. Cut the power & jam the cellphones.

Paulson:
Mr President, I can fix it if you let me, please let me fix it, I don’t want to be Herbert Hoover. Look, I’ve written up a bill, I’ll go up to Capitol Hill, I’m going to tell ’em I need $700 billion. The sky is falling, the sky is falling.

Bush:
Ah hah hah hah hah. $700 billion, ah hah hah hah, Hank I didn’t know you had a sense of humor. What is this? it’s 3 pages. You’re going up to the Hill with this, to ask for $700 billion. Hank, you’re out of your gourd, stop, please stop, I’m going to piss on myself.

And, Mr President, you can get on TV & tell the country the sky is falling.

Hah hah hah hah hah Hank stop hah hah you’re killing me hah hah Screw $700 billion, ask them for some real money, make it an even trillion ah hah hah hah no no no 2 trillion tell them you want 2 trillion aaaahhh haha hahaahahaa tell ’em $4 trillion & on the 7th day, you’ll fix Social Security too haahaahaahaa

I’M SERIOUS. I MEAN IT. THE SKY IS FALLING, THE SKY IS FALLING.

Cheney:
Ok, ok, we believe you, the sky is falling, here sit down.
George, get up off the floor & don’t laugh at him anymore.

Ok, Hank, I promise not to laugh.
Dick, this is serious, what are we going to do? We can’t let anybody see him like this, he’s the Treasury Secretary of the United States, for crying out loud. We can’t let him out in public like this & how are we going to keep this quiet? If anybody sees him like this, the market will drop 800 points in a heartbeat.

Ok let’s all just try to relax a little. Let’s just think this through.
Everybody take a deep breath. Ooooooooh hoooooo. Ooooooooh hoooooo. Ok.
Hank, what do you drink, scotch or bourbon?

The sky is falling, the sky is falling.

Ok. Josh, get a bottle of Macallan 18 year old for Hank & get a bottle of Wild Turkey for George & me.

Bush:
Get the 101, the 80’s for pussies. & see if you can find a straitjacket, just in case.

Bolton:
Bernanke’s on the phone.

Cheney:
Ben, what the hell is going on?

They are freaking out here in NY. I went in to get a bagel & the guy behind the counter told me the banking system is about to collapse. I figured you’d want to know so I called right away.

What about the rest of the country, are they freaking out too?

I haven’t a clue, I haven’t been anywhere but NY or DC for 2 months. You need me to pick up some bagels for you?

Screw the bagels. How the hell can the KBW bank stock index be up 50% in 2 months if the banking system is about to collapse?

What’s that?

Jeezus, why am I not surprised? Didn’t Greenspan leave a training manual or something? Look, here’s what you’re going to do, call up the Fed district presidents & you tell each of them I want them to personally call 25 banks in their districts, no make it 50 each, & to talk to the president of each damn bank & find out how many of them are still lending money & how many think the sky is falling. Call ’em at home, wake ’em up & whoever doesn’t get 50 presidents on the phone before breakfast tomorrow can just turn in their resignation. You got it?

Yessir.

Goodbye.

Cheney:
Who the hell appointed that guy?

Bush:
Who’s Bernanke?
Here you go, Hank. Neat, right?

Cheney:
Come on, Hank. Just sip a little bit.

I broke the buck, the sky is falling, I broke the buck, the sky is falling.

Ok, here, just a little more … a little more.

Bush:
What are we gonna do with him? He looks terrible. He needs some sleep.

Cheney:
A night’s sleep is not going to be near enough. He’s waay waay beyond that. He needs some serious deep delta sleep. It looks like an acid trip gone real bad.

Dick, you surprise me, are you channeling Hunter Thompson?
So, what do you & Hunter recommend?

Well, I figure we could shoot him up with thorazine for a few days & let him sleep it off or we could try electroshock to reboot his brain.

Give me some other options.

How about a long weekend of booze & broads? He can get a reboot and some deep sleep.

Well, that sounds better. We can probably round up some interns. That used to be popular around here.

No, no. This isn’t kids’ stuff, this is a job for professionals.

What? Where are we going to get pros? & don’t look at me, I don’t know who to call.

Call Clinton.

Hillary? She’s a little long in the tooth, don’t you think?

Bill, you idiot.

Dick, calm down, I was just kidding you. Here, you need another drink.

I think you’re right, that’s good, thanks.
Josh, get Clinton, Bill Clinton on the phone right now.
George, you talk to him.

Bill, ol’ buddy, how you doing?

I’m ok, you?

Background:
The sky is falling, the sky is falling.

Well, we got a little problem here. I got somebody here really wound up tight & he needs some serious R&R & I’m counting on you to help.

It’s Hank, right?

Jezuz, has this leaked already?

Relax, your secret’s not out, at least not yet. Nah, Rubin showed up on my doorstep about an hour ago, I haven’t understood a word he’s saying other than the sky is falling. What’s going on?

Man, those Goldman guys got a real in-breeding problem. I thought Skull & Bones was bad.

You have no idea.

I bet Hank’s telling you the banking system is about to freeze up, am I right?
Hell, this is not the first or even second time Bob’s pulled this shit. The first time was Mexico. I still can’t believe I let him destroy an entire economy just to pull his buddies’ cojones out of the fire.

Then Indonesia, Russia, hell I can’t even remember all the people we screwed.
Georgie, when it comes to blowing up countries, I’m way ahead of you.
Next time you want to blow up some country, forget the Pentagon, you just dial 1-800-GOLDMAN.

And the best part, they don’t leave fingerprints. I don’t think they have fingerprints, I know Bob doesn’t. I think it’s part of the initiation. Go ahead, check out Hank’s fingertips.

lemme see, holymotherofg-d, how do they do that?

They get a choice, acid or a hotplate.

What I can’t figure out is are they morons or do they keep doing this shit on purpose?

This is scary.

All I can tell you is, whenever some Goldman Sachs boy wonder starts telling you he’s got it all figured out, you just get one of your Secret Service guys to Tazer him a few times and then lock him up for a couple of months.

I’d have Tazer’d Bob by now just for old times’ sake, but I’m afraid to keep one of those things around here in case Hillary gets her hands on it again. Those bastards hurt, has Laura ever Tazer’d you?

No, but I appreciate the warning.

So where do I fit in?

Oh yeah, well, Dick thinks we need to hide him away somewhere & put him in a coma for a few days.

So where do I fit in?

We’re leaning toward a case of booze & a house full of hookers.

I’m listening.

That’s it; that’s the plan. We don’t do nuance around here.

Can you take care of this for us, you can have Camp David as long as you want, we’ll seal it off & put it under absolute radio silence.

Hot damn. Wait a minute, why don’t you take care of it yourself?

Bill, I’m the president of the United States. I can’t do that.

I don’t follow.

Just take my word for it, so, will you do this for us?

Shit yeah, anything for my country.

Ok we gotta move fast. We’re going to put Hank in a straitjacket & roll up him up in a rug, stick him in a helicopter. Air Force One is on its way to pick you up.

About the girls …

Ok, I get it, that’s why you’re calling me. Not a problem, no problema at all.
Look have you got any Secret Service guys still around from 8 years ago?

I think so.

Just find any one of them, tell him “little Billy wants to go out & play” & tell him “the magic number is” … hmm, these GS guys are kind of wimpy, you think 2 or 3 girls will be enough for Hank for a few days?

I’d say so, it’s not like he’s from Salomon Bros.

Ok tell the SS guy, the number is 10, wait, make it 12, uh, 13, no, that’s an unlucky number, 14, you’re paying, right? & don’t forget a nice tip.

Bill, you kill me.

You just wait, buddy boy, til Jan 20, my treat, Burkle & I are going to pick you up & that’s allll you need to know. We’ll take care of the rest.

Bill, I can’t wait. You’re not bringing Daddy along, are you?

No, he said he’s had enough. Look, you gotta cover for me when Hillary starts looking for me.

No problem. I’ll tell her you’re doing this for the good of the country.

She’s heard that one before.

Ok, I’ll tell Dick to come up with something better.

How’s Hank doing?

A lot better, the whiskey’s kicking in. He’s curled up on the floor, sucking his thumb.

Perfect. A few days in the comfort of a good woman’s bosom & he’ll be just fine.

Yeah, that’s what Dick said. Ok, gotta go.

Wait, what should I do with Rubin?

You better ditch him at a hospital on your way to the airport. You get in a room with him & Hank & you’ll be suicidal. & remove his wallet, just leave him some cash.

Got it. Bye.

(Bush & Cheney, together, finishing their drinks)
Boy I owe you, Dick, that was a close one. We thought the Harriet Miers mess was bad, imagine me on TV telling the country the sky is falling.

Besides, I hate sweaters & I can’t pronounce malaise to save my life. That sure as hell’d shred what’s left of my legacy.

No one would be comparing me to Harry Truman anymore. I’d just be Jimmy Carter Jr.
Although it would get Iraq off the front pages.

Let’s just consider us even now. You don’t bring up Iraq anymore & I won’t mention “$700B bailout”.

Remember Our Friend Goldman Sachs?

Remember Our Friend Goldman Sachs?

Oh my lovelies, you are going to enjoy this; I am sure. It’s like finding your car keys after a 15 minute search, a treasure, or a tall glass of lemonade on a really hot day. How many times have we said to ourselves and each other; “follow the money”?  What have we been doing for the last year except following the money?

I want to tip my hat to  Rescottish for emailing this information to me so that I may pass it on to you, and thank him for bringing a more indepth view of another piece of the puzzle to our attention.  Please give Mr. Morgan your time, visit his site, read the information that he has discovered, and see what nuggets of brain candy pop when put together with what we know about the Pilgrims.  Also of note is that Goldman Sachs is probably living on his site like any number of the international laws firms that live on mine; (see below, and of course this item is not from an American news agency.)

Telegraph.co.uk:

Goldman Sachs hires law firm to shut blogger’s site

Goldman Sachs is attempting to shut down a dissident blogger who is extremely critical of the investment bank, its board members and its practices.

The bank has instructed Wall Street law firm Chadbourne & Parke to pursue blogger Mike Morgan, warning him in a recent cease-and-desist letter that he may face legal action if he does not close down his website.

Florida-based Mr Morgan began a blog entitled “Facts about Goldman Sachs” – the web address for which is goldmansachs666.com – just a few weeks ago.

In that time Mr Morgan, a registered investment adviser, has added a number of posts to the site, including one entitled “Does Goldman Sachs run the world?”. However, many of the posts relate to other Wall Street firms and issues.

According to Chadbourne & Parke’s letter, dated April 8, the bank is rattled because the site “violates several of Goldman Sachs’ intellectual property rights” and also “implies a relationship” with the bank itself.

Unsurprisingly for a man who has conjoined the bank’s name with the Number of the Beast – although he jokingly points out that 666 was also the S&P500’s bear-market bottom – Mr Morgan is unlikely to go down without a fight.

He claims he has followed all legal requirements to own and operate the website – and that the header of the site clearly states that the content has not been approved by the bank.

On a special section of his blog entitled “Goldman Sachs vs Mike Morgan” he predicts that the fight will probably end up in court.

“It’s just another example of how a bully like Goldman Sachs tries to throw their weight around,” he writes.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Mr Morgan explained how he went through a similar battle with US homebuilder Lennar a few years ago after he set up a website to collect information on what he alleged was shoddy workmanship in its homes. The pair eventually settled out of court.

“Since I went through this with Lennar, I’ve had advice from some of the best intellectual property lawyers, and I know exactly what I can and can’t do. We’re not going to back down from this,” he promises.

Mr Morgan adds that if Goldman manages to shut down his site, he has a number of other domain names registered.

Allow me to introduce Mr. Morgan’s site…

Facts About Goldman Sachs (tagline)

This website has NOT been approved by Goldman Sachs, nor does this website have any affiliation with Goldman Sachs. This website was designed to provide information about Goldman Sachs direct from the public, and NOT from Goldman Sachs’s marketing and public relations departments. You may find the Goldman Sachs website at www.goldmansachs.com

Mr. Morgan’s most recent post:

AIG and Goldman Sachs – Scandal, Scheme, Fraud, RICO or ALL

NOTE: When I read this piece on Market Watch, I asked myself why the SEC, FDIC, FBI, CIA, MI6, DGSE and Secret Service haven’t done a thing to uncover the stinky-stink at Goldman Sachs and how it has placed their stinky-stink in just about every country on the planet. It’s like a science fiction movie with the Evil Genius planting a timed virus throughout the world.

Government Sachs Is In Control
Commentary: Investment bank has strengthened its position through bailout by David Weidner on Market Watch

Lloyd Blankfein must be the luckiest guy on Wall Street. He leads one of the Street’s biggest bailed-out firms, but unlike other companies propped up by taxpayers . . .

. . .

Since the fall of Bear Stearns Cos. a little more than a year ago, Goldman has taken more than $20 billion in taxpayer cash through loans, payments and backstops. Goldman’s latest bailout coup was a $12.5 billion paid out of AIG’s $180 billion government cash infusion.

Until it was fully extricated, Goldman always characterized its exposure to AIG as “immaterial,” and that its $20 billion notional exposure to AIG was hedged. Turns out that it was — through government bailouts that didn’t exist when Goldman entered the contracts.

. . .

Even former New York Luv Guv Eliot Spitzer told journalist Fareed Zakaria on Sunday that he thinks something smells.

“The web between AIG and Goldman Sachs is something that should be pursued,” Spitzer said. “Why did [those payments] happen, what questions were asked, why did we need to pay 100 cents on the dollar for those transactions if we had to pay anything, what would have happened to the financial system had it not been paid?”

Read the full article – Click Here

Here is the post and letter stating cease and desist:

Goldman Sachs v. Mike Morgan

It looks like Goldman Sachs is not happy with this website I created to post information about Goldman Sachs. I received the letter below from their attorney today, and my Intellectual will publish the truth. Feel free to visit the blog and leave your comments. You may also submit posts through the blog or our blog email address Mike@MikeMorgan.us Property attorney will be responding accordingly. It’s only been up about a week, and there is not much on there yet, but I invite everyone to submit articles and posts to the website relevant to Goldman Sachs. All posts will be reviewed, but unless they are clearly false or malicious, we

Needless to say, we will most likely fight this one in court with Goldman Sachs and now we will expedite adding relevant content to this website. We have followed all of the legal requirements to own and maintain the website under the address we have selected. If you have any media contact you want to forward this to, be my guest. It’s just another example of how a bully like Goldman Sachs tries to throw their weight around and this is a clear violation of our Constitutional Rights.

gs_image

On a completely different note; who was studying INSCAP?  Please get back to me on that one.

The Back Story Of The CEO Meeting With Barack Obama

The Back Story Of The CEO Meeting With Barack Obama

I have so found someone after my own heart, and readers, you are going to love this writer, but we need to cover something else first.  Bambi and the Bankers.

On March 27th, a group of bank CEOs met with the usurper-in-charge at the White House and now the back story to that meeting is starting to leak out.  I was wondering what the newspapers were going to print about this meeting, knowing full well that we probably could not believe a word of it because at this point it is all smoke and mirrors with AIG as the front piece and funnel for American taxpayer dollars to every other bank, and the American aristocracy milling in the shadows.  Lovely touch; the comment about pitchforks – intended to get your blood racing and make you feel like Bambi is actually on the side of the American public.

From Politico:

Inside Obama’s Bank CEOs Meeting

The bankers struggled to make themselves clear to the president of the United States.

Arrayed around a long mahogany table in the White House state dining room last week, the CEOs of the most powerful financial institutions in the world offered several explanations for paying high salaries to their employees – and, by extension, to themselves.

“These are complicated companies,” one CEO said. Offered another: “We’re competing for talent on an international market.”

But President Barack Obama wasn’t in a mood to hear them out. He stopped the conversation, and offered a blunt reminder of the public’s reaction to such explanations. “Be careful how you make those statements, gentlemen. The public isn’t buying that.”

“My administration,” the president added, “is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

The fresh details of the meeting – some never before revealed – come from an account provided to POLITICO by one of the participants. A second source inside the meeting confirmed the details, and two other sources familiar with the meeting offered additional information.

The accounts demonstrate that despite the public comments on both sides that the meeting was cordial, the tone in the room was in fact one of mutual wariness. The titans of finance – men used to being the most powerful man in almost any room – sized up a new president who made clear in ways big and small that he expected them to change their ways.

There were signs from the outset that this was a business event, not a social gathering. At each place around the table sat a single glass of water. No ice. For those who finished their glass, no refills were offered. There was no group photograph taken of the CEOs with the president, which typically happens at ceremonial White House gatherings, but not at serious strategy sessions.

“The only way they could have sent a more Spartan message is if they had served bread along with the water,” says a person who attended the meeting. “The signal from Obama’s body language and demeanor was, ‘I’m the president, and you’re not.’”

Just for your information, here are the names of the CEOs in the meeting.  Please note that the House of Morgan and the House of Mellon among others was in attendance.

Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan Chase
Ken Chenault, American Express
John Koskinen, Freddie Mac
Ronald Logue, State Street
Robert Kelly, BONY-Mellon
Rick Waddell, Northern Trust
James Rohr, PNC
Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman
John Mack, Morgan Stanley
Vikram Pandit, Citi
John Stumpf, Wells Fargo
Cam Fine, Independent Community Bankers
Edward Yingling, ABA
Richard Davis, US Bank
Ken Lewis, Bank of America

Now let’s get to what I really wanted to share.  A few weeks ago I had a choice to start digging on AIG or go find the “spider” (Pilgrim Society).  I am going to finish what I started with AIG, their board, their owners, yada, yada, yada…but wanted to introduce you to Justice Litle, Editorial Director, Taipan Publishing Group.

The AIG Connection – Far Worse Than You Think

The Real Story Behind AIG

Back in my student days, I had the privilege of living abroad in three countries. (I would say studying abroad, but there wasn’t a whole lot of studying taking place.)

For one of those semesters I was based in a little town called Olomouc, on the Morava River in the Czech Republic. This was in the mid-nineties, when Eastern Europe was still amazingly cheap. You could get a seven-course meal in Prague, complete with drinks and dessert, for under 10 dollars. The best beer in the world was less than 50 cents a pint. A number of Americans working for U.S. corporations in Prague were earning $30K a year in after-tax income, saving $20,000 of that, and using the other ten grand to live like kings.

One of the interesting things we quickly discovered about Olomouc – a fairly provincial town at the time, and a far cry from Prague – was the surprising number of bars, jewelry stores and restaurants. The locals had very little money for the most part. Besides students and backpackers, who was frequenting these places? The setup just didn’t make sense.

A local Czech we befriended quickly clued us in. These were real businesses – as we knew from firsthand acquaintance with the bars and restaurants, though not the jewelry stores – but the real “business” wasn’t taking place up front. It was happening in the back.

Most of the high-end joints in Olomouc were little more than mafia fronts.

The whole town had a very strong organized crime presence. (Again, this was well over a decade ago. I don’t know if it’s the same way now.) Once we knew what to look for, the clues were easy to spot. On the battered San-Francisco-style trams that ran down the cobblestone streets of Olomouc, for example, you would notice that all the locals wore basically the same clothing… drab, post-communist-era type stuff… and then you would spot the bald guy with the black gloves and full-length Armani trenchcoat, talking on his new-model cell phone.

Or if you watched the cars go by on the main thoroughfare, 19 out of 20 would be durable little Skodas – and then a shiny new Mercedes Benz would hulk along. That kind of thing.

So what does this have to do with our Wall Street detective story?

Well, as it turns out, the Washington guys seem to have taken a page from the Czech mafia guys. AIG has been made into a “false front,” like all those Olomouc joints – the real business of which is to hand out taxpayer dollars under the table.

Flashback, September 2008

The plot stretches back to that fateful weekend in September 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed. (I’ll never forget it – I was in Paris at the time, wondering what the hell just happened and how soon I could get home.)

Immediately after letting Lehman go bust, the Fed and Treasury realized the magnitude of their error and announced a massive bailout of AIG. The amount was crazy – if I recall correctly, something like $80 billion right off the bat. (That number has since grown much bigger.)

So here’s a picture of what AIG did with that money, and how they got into the “false front” business of spreading cash around to other players.

As soon as the bigwigs at AIG realized they were hosed, they called up the Treasury and the Fed (Hank Paulson at the time, and Ben Bernanke still) and probably said something like the following:

Listen, we’ve got payout exposure to credit default swaps and other exotic derivatives out the yin-yang here – hundreds of billions’ worth – and if you let AIG go the way of Lehman, it’s going to be full-on financial armageddon. You had better bail us out right now if you don’t want to see the global economy vaporized.

Of course, Paulson and Bernanke gave in, authorizing an insanely massive lump sum of funds to go to AIG.

So what do you think AIG did with the money? They gave it to the counterparties on the other side of their trades.

As soon as the government stepped in to bail out AIG lock, stock and barrel, the AIG execs stopped caring about profitability. The game of being a viable business was toast, and the taxpayer was on the hook for everything. So it looks like AIG’s traders were ordered to unwind many of their mind-bendingly complex deals at fire-sale prices that were massively favorable to the parties on the other side of the trades.

Highly Efficient

Now, if you’re a muckety-muck high up in the Treasury Department, think how efficient this setup is.

What you really want to do is write big fat taxpayer-funded checks for all your buddies. Billions for Goldman, billions for Morgan Stanley, heck, billions for those European guys who are always so nice when you hop across the pond… billions for everyone.

The trouble is, writing all those checks would be a public relations disaster. People would be furious. Congress would go crazy. More than likely they’d give you major grief and try to block your efforts, just like they did with the multiple tries it took to pass the original TARP plan.

So writing many checks is a political no-go… but what if you could just focus your bailout efforts on ONE player? What if you could shovel hundreds of billions into one overly complex black hole… and then let all that money trickle out to your friends via the back door?

AIG offered the perfect set-up for this.

  • As a huge global insurance firm, people intuitively accepted the notion that an AIG failure would be devastating to the financial world.
  • As a firm with notoriously complex and impossible-to-read accounting records, AIG also acted as the perfect sinkhole in terms of being able to plausibly pour hundreds of billions in.
  • As a scapegoat, AIG was almost perfect too. Instead of blaming all of Wall Street for this whole toxic mess, AIG allowed the powers that be to mop up all the public outrage and focus it on just one player.
  • Last but not least, the whole $165 million bonus flap was icing on the cake. Congress got so lathered up over the bonuses, they forgot to notice that AIG itself had become a massive “false front” conveniently used to funnel billions of dollars to every major counterparty on Wall Street that had connections to AIG. (And that counts as most all of them.)

Sleight of hand, folks, sleight of hand. Kind of beautiful in a sick way, no? They figured out how to concentrate all the outrage into one convenient spot, deflect it onto a trivial issue, and set up a powerful funnel that would let the real handouts (from AIG to various counterparties) go virtually undetected.

Bravo, sirs. Bravo.

Make sure to go over and read the whole post and check out the included links.  I definitely have a grin on my face.

Here is a little bit of information about AIG to get your started, and just pick one name and click on the relationships (i.e. Richard Holbrooke), and look at all the people and companies owned by the aristocracy in the background.

INSIDERS ON BOARD OF DIRECTORS AT American International Group, Inc. (AIG)

Name (Connections)Board RelationshipsTitleAge
Edward Liddy 202 RelationshipsChairman and Chief Executive Officer60
Edmund Tse 39 RelationshipsSenior Vice Chairman, Senior Vice Chairman of Life Insurance, Head of AIGs Worldwide Life Insurance Operations, Director, Chairman of American International Assurance Company Ltd and Chief Executive Officer of American International Assurance Company Ltd69
Paula Reynolds 95 RelationshipsVice Chairman and Chief Restructuring Officer51
Win Neuger CFA46 RelationshipsChairman of AIG Investments and Chief Executive of AIG Investments58
Louis Iglesias 16 RelationshipsChairman of AIG Risk Management Group and Chief Executive Officer of AIG Risk Management Group
Joseph Boren 16 RelationshipsChairman of AIG Environmental and Chief Executive Officer of AIG Environmental
Anastasia Kelly 76 RelationshipsVice Chairman of Human Resources, Vice Chairman of Corporate Communications & Corporate Affairs, Vice Chairman of Legal, Vice Chairman of Corporate Affairs, Executive Vice President, Senior Regulatory & Compliance Officer, General Counsel and Director58

Other Board Members on Board of Directors*

Name (Connections)Board RelationshipsPrimary CompanyAge
Morris Offit 65 RelationshipsAmerican International Group, Inc.71
George Miles Jr.167 RelationshipsEQT Corporation65
Michael Sutton 46 RelationshipsAllegheny Energy Inc.67
Richard Holbrooke 499 RelationshipsPerseus, L.L.C.
James Orr III62 RelationshipsGevity HR Inc.65
Martin Feldstein Ph.D.140 RelationshipsEli Lilly & Co.68
Virginia Rometty 16 RelationshipsInternational Business Machines Corp.50
Stephen Bollenbach 209 RelationshipsAlba Caracas65
Suzanne Johnson 227 RelationshipsGoldman, Sachs & Co.50
Dennis Dammerman 68 RelationshipsGEFS (Suisse) AG62
*Data is at least as current as the most recent Definitive Proxy.
And one more note, this particular chart was published about an hour before I went looking for it….timing and karma.

Quick Note About Conspiracies

Is the conspiracy theory that the Federal Reserve crashing the economy so that the Council on Foreign Relations can get us involved in either the North American Union or one global government really a conspiracy when The Federal Reserve and now Goldman Sachs are on this site reading “The Fed”?

What do you think about the Federal Reserve printing $1 TRILLION to buy long-term treasuries two days ago?

My opinion?  No conspiracy theory here; I’ve read the facts and done the research and now I am watching a 100 year plan unfolding.

Ladies and Gentlemen:  We need to start faxing and emailing our Congress and tell them they can either step down or wait around for Bastille Day; I feel it coming….

Thomas Paine

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