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.
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.
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.
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.
Senior 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 Ltd
Vice 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 Director
The very same people enslaving our forefathers are now enslaving us. A few thousand “noblemen” from the American Aristocracy and the English Aristocracy and we are blindly PAYING THEM TO DO IT! Time to SUSPEND YOUR DISBELIEF. There is no conspiracy, there just is what there is. WE ARE THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS of the Congress! The day is rapidly approaching when we will become a force that has nothing left to lose. Contact your Tax Day Tea Party coordinators and start talking about Washington DC. What good is a Tax Day Tea Party if you continue to pay Congress with your tax dollars?
Over the course of the 2008 Election cycle I have become aware that a great many Americans misunderstand, or misinterpret the Constitution of the United States, specifically the Bill of Rights. People tend to see the first ten amendments as consisting of rights granted to us by the Constitution. This is essentially what we are taught in public school from a young age. I myself labored under this misguided notion for many years until I realized that this is wholly and totally false. The Bill of Rights does not guarantee us any rights whatsoever. It defines the rights that the government cannot attempt to abrogate, and grants us any and all powers not given to the federal government, or the states.
The Declaration of Independence states that we are “endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” The Bill of Rights elucidates more of you’re unalienable rights, and makes it plain the government may not infringe upon them.
This is a vital distinction of the utmost importance. It is failure of Americans to understand this that allows the government to impinge upon that which is yours. As I have mentioned numerous times, all three branches of government are in violation of the Constitution.
Your right to peacefully assemble, to worship the religion of your choice, to free speech, to petition the government for a redress of grievances, to habeas corpus, to be free from warrantless invasions of your privacy, to not have soldiers quartered in your home, to possess and bear arms…these are your inherent rights. Governments do not have the power to grant these rights, or take them from you. You are born with them. They are your birthright, and it is your obligation as an American citizen to stand up and oppose any body that attempts to infringe upon your rights.
You have the unalienable right as a human being, not simply as an American, to peaceably assemble. The Constitution clearly states that this right cannot be abridged. Exercise that right. We have the indefeasible right to speak freely. No longer refer to our elected officials as Senator this or Congressman that or Representative the other. These men and women are criminals. They are in violation of the Constitution of the United States. We are not obligated to observe or abide by any law that this Congress issues, or this President signs. Any one of them that fails to stand up to the Executive is a criminal; period.
Now is not the time for fear. Now is the time for courage. Before the delegates of the Continental Congress voted for independency they sent a peace offering to the king of England, a petition for a redress of grievances, and an attempt at reconciliation that became known as the Olive Branch Petition. The king never set eyes on it. He declared the colonies to be in a state of rebellion, and that the leaders of the revolt, and anyone else participating in it could either swear fealty to the Crown, or be executed as a traitor. These same delegates signed the Declaration of Independence; it was their death warrant. Had the revolution failed, all the names that have become icons of history: Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Hancock, on and on…would have hung by the neck until dead. They staked their very lives upon the independency of this nation, to the good, and ill that it has committed over the last two centuries, so that there might be one place where the rule of law existed to one cause and purpose: defending human liberty.
Look within yourselves and draw on whatever strength you possess, whatever well of inspiration is within you. Your life, your children, their future posterity, their thriving or subjugation is entirely in your hands. Gather in your homes. Talk to your families. Talk to your neighbors. Whatever they might have thought of the man in the White House before, there is more than enough evidence to show that he is a liar and that he, and the people behind him, and the Congress that marches along without question, mean to do us and this republic irreparable harm. The time to dose your friends with the kool-aid antidote is now.
Time is short my friends. Gather. Speak out. Do not stop. Do not be silent. Now is the time for courage. Now is the time, regardless of where we came from, or how light or heavy our purse, to stand up and say, “No more!”
Phone calls are not enough. Letters are not enough. Your elected officials have offices in your state. Go there. Take your children. Put faces to the one thing they need almost as much as their money and power: your vote. You are a human being. Go to their offices. Show your faces. Make them see you. Email them photos of your families. If you can make the journey, go to Washington to see them. Go to their offices. Make their staff see you. Tell them you are not just a vote. You have needs, desires, dreams. They are not your masters unless you allow it to be so. Make it clear to them that if they do not oppose the man in the White House then their services are no longer required. Put them on notice that they do not rule by your consent. Fire the lot of them. They are nothing but criminals.
You are endowed with the unalienable right to live free from the rule of oligarchs and criminals. You have the indefeasible right to alter or abolish any government that does not effect your Safety and Happiness. Do not be afraid. They are flesh and blood, not gods. If they detain one of us, another takes their place. If they silence one, another will speak. And as the Mahatma said, if they kill us they will have our dead bodies, not our allegiance. If we come in non-violence and they arrest us; we win. If we come in peace and they kill us; we win. The only way we lose is by doing nothing.
Doing nothing is no longer an option. This is not simply a struggle to preserve our republic. This is a fight for human rights; your human rights. No government is endowed with the power to violate them, regardless of the words of dictators, or the policies of oligarchs. This is not about Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals. Human rights knows no party, knows no ideology save one: Freedom.
We are human. It is our natural state to live free. We live free, or we die.
(Author’s Note: The law firms and world governments are checking in from time to time to see what’s new here at the Monster….surprise…is not the Internet a wonderful thang?)
The more I dig, the more I find. My readers already know the cast of characters, or as I like to call them; America’s Aristocracy, and I am sure we will be running across more as we start to investigate the power elite.
Remember when I said that the Bilderberg Group was a red herring?
The Pilgrims Society, founded in 1902, is a British-American society established, in the words of American past-president Joseph Choate, ‘to promote good-will, good-fellowship, and everlasting peace between the United States and Great Britain’. Over the years it has boasted an elite membership of politicians, diplomats, businessmen, and writers. It is notable for holding dinners to welcome into office each successive U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom and each new British Ambassador to the United States. The patron of the society is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Office holders, as of 2006, were:
President – Lord Inge
Chairman – Sir Robert Worcester KBE DL
Honorary Secretary – Mrs Tessa Wells
Honorary Treasurer – Ian E Barlow FCA
Seems pretty innocuous, right? Then why do so few people know about a society that is so old and has so many wealthy, powerful, influential people in it? And this society is not the only one. You are not going to have to dig to see the correlations between then and now.
Most people have at least vaguely heard of the “Eastern Establishment”. This is a reference to a group of people in the Northeast of the United States which to many appears to wield a disproportionate amount of influence over the nation’s politics. This influence, which goes back even further than the days of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. and J. P. Morgan, Sr. has been illustrated by the fact that a great number of individuals working in the senior positions of government have come from a number of New York-based banks, insurance companies and law firms, only to return to this group of banks and businesses after their public term came to an end. Often these individuals served in more than one administration, and together with a number of other peculiarities – think of controversial policies, suspected cover ups, ignored conflicts of interest, lack of media attention, etc. – some people have become suspicious of what at times appears to be almost like a permanent government. A 1962 newspaper column voiced these suspicions best:
“There is an establishment in the United States. The word “establishment” is a general term for the power elite in international finance, business, the professions largely from the Northeast, who wield most of the power regardless of who is in the White House.
“Most people are unaware of the existence of this “legitimate Mafia.” Yet the power of the establishment makes itself felt from the professor who seeks a foundation grant, to the candidate for a cabinet post or State Department job. It affects the nation’s policies in almost every area.
“For example, the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, subsidized by Rockefeller interests since 1927 boasts a membership of at least 90 per cent establishment figures.” It is a social elite centered around a number of universities, a group of banks, insurance companies and law firms, and a group of influential, privately-funded foundations and think tanks.
It is a social elite centered around a number of universities, a group of banks, insurance companies and law firms, and a group of influential, privately-funded foundations and think tanks.
It is centered in and around New York, even though at any moment a large portion of this group is active within the government and non-government institutions in Washington.
There is a close relationship with the British aristocracy and the British royal family via diplomatic officials, individual contacts, and private clubs.
The dominant religion is Protestant, in particular the Episcopal (Anglican) and Presbyterian churches.British branches of Freemasonry and Templar orders are popular.
This is the group behind the globalization process and members are generally great supporters of the United Nations and the sustainable development movement.
Catholic and especially Zionist interests are not very much appreciated.
You probably heard of some of these points before and you may or may not agree with them. So how can we prove to you that this list is true? To do that we need to begin our discussion on the Pilgrims Society.
Pilgrims history At the turn of 20th century a number of influential persons were interested in bringing the establishments of the United States and Great Britain closer together. The St. George’s
Official Pilgrims logo. “Hic et Ubique” means “here and everywhere”, apparently a reference to the idea that the United States and Great Britain should stand together side by side everywhere. The eagle represents the United States; the lion Great Britain.
Society in New York, the American Society in London, and the growing network of Anglo-American League branches in England (founded by a good number of later Pilgrims Society members), were seen as inadequate, so the idea arose to form a new, elitist society with branches in both London and New York. This became the Pilgrims Society, which organized regular meetings in such prestigious hotels as the Victoria, the Waldorf Astoria, the Carlton Ritz, and the Savoy.The idea of setting up what ultimately became the Pilgrims Society was first discussed by a number of Americans working in London. One of them was Lindsay Russell, a well-connected lawyer from New York, who regularly visited London in these days to set up his law firm Alexander and Colby. It was Russell who got together with General Joseph Wheeler (on a visit in London), General Lord Roberts, and Sir Harry Brittain. Together they organized the original meeting of the Pilgrims of Great
Britain at the Carlton Hotel on July 11, 1902. The meeting was a success and two weeks later Lord Roberts was elected president of the Pilgrims; Lord Grenfell and Admiral Hedworth Lambton became vice presidents. Two other vice presidents were Americans: Senator Chauncey M. Depew (Yale Skull & Bones 1856; lawyer to Cornelius Vanderbilt; member of J.P. Morgan’s elite Corsair Club, together with William Rockefeller) and General Joseph Wheeler. Sir Harry Brittain became secretary and the Archdeacon of London, William MacDonald Sinclair, was elected chairman of the executive committee .
At the July 11 meeting the attendants also discussed their plans of setting up a branch in New York. Lindsay Russell and Chauncey Depew went back to the United States and approached such men as Bishop of New York Henry Codman Potter, J. P. Morgan, Sr., and former U.S. President Grover Cleveland (a good friend of the Morgan family and employed by them since at least the 1880s). Under the leadership of Bishop Potter, the Pilgrims of the United States organized their first formal diner on February 4, 1903. The two societies have been organizing meetings ever since .
The Pilgrims network Over the years more and more influential persons joined the Pilgrims Society, including virtually all the well known bankers, robber barons and their associates. Going through membership lists of the Pilgrims of the United States you’ll find the following families:
(Copeland) Du Pont
Within the ranks of the British Pilgrims one comes across a great many Barons, Viscounts, Earls, Marquisses, and Dukes. Members of the British royal family have been patrons of the Pilgrims Society since its inception and regularly attend meetings. Here also well known banking families as Baring, Hambro, Harcourt, Keswick, Rothschild, Kleinwort, Loeb, and Warburg can be found, just as the heads of Barclays and the British managers of U.S. banks as Chase Manhattan and J. P. Morgan.
At the moment of this writing the membership list compiled by PEHI contains 1496 names, the vast majority of them from the United States (rough estimate: about 82% or 1227). Analyzing the biographies of these members doesn’t just show that the Pilgrims are part of the WASP elite – they are the WASP elite. The following banks, law firms, and insurance companies have been headed by Pilgrims Society members – usually for generations:
American Securities Corp.
Kidder, Peabody and Co.
Morgan Joseph & Co. Inc.
Fidelity International Trust
New York Savings Bank
Bank of England
Fifth Avenue Bank
Kuhn, Loeb & Co.
N.M. Rothschild & Sons
First Boston Corporation
Oppenheimer & Co.
First National Bank
Blackstone Group US/UK
Fourth Nat. Bank of N.Y.
Loeb, Rhoades & Co.
Rockefeller Center, Inc.
Bowery Savings Bank
Rockefeller Family & Ass.
Brown Brothers Harriman
Gotham National Bank
Chase National Bank
Harriman National Bank
J. P. Morgan & Co.
Shearson Loeb Rhoades
Chase Manhattan US/UK
International Banking Corp.
J. P. Morgan Chase
U.S. Trust Corp. of N.Y.
Morgan Grenfell (UK)
J. G. White & Co.
Morgan Guaranty Trust
Drexel & Co.
J. Henry Schroder & Co.
How many of these banks have we bailed out? How many of these law firm names do you recognize as being visitors to this site? What about AIG and all it’s backers in Congress?
Law firms and insurance companies
Breed, Abbott & Morgan
Carter, Ledyard & Milburn
Cravath, Swaine & Moore
Davis, Polk & Wardwell
Debevoise & Plimpton
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy
Herbert Oppenheimer Nathan & Vandyk
Shearman & Sterling
Sullivan & Cromwell
Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts
Equitable Life Assurance Society
Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.
Mutual Life Insurance Life Insurance Co.
Lloyds of London
Royal Globe Insurance Group
Corning Glass Works
Int. Nickel Co. of Canada
De Beers (Anglo-Am Corp)
W.R. Grace & Co.
* other media companies not mentioned here
Looking at these tables, it is clear that the major banks of New York and London have been very prominent in the Pilgrims Society, closely followed by a group of influential law firms and insurance companies. A number of corporations have also had a considerable presence in the Pilgrims, comparable to some of the law firms and smaller banks. The most prominent of these might well be IBM, of the Watson family – but the founders and owners of Chrysler, Dodge, Jardine Matheson, W.R. Grace & Co., Reynolds, Corning Glass, and Forbes have all been Pilgrims. A vast range of other corporations have been represented by Pilgrims, but do not appear to have been part of the core of the Anglo-American establishment.
Tomorrow we will get into the media end of the web and you will see all the usual suspects. If you cannot wait, go to the link to the Institute and read on.
For those of you looking for another source, see Charles Savoie below. One can toggle the full screen on the upper right hand corner.