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Class War For Idiots / April 28, 2010

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This article first appeared in The New York Press.

There was a strange moment last week during President Obama’s speech at Cooper Union. There he was, groveling before a cast of Wall Street villains including Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein, begging them to “Look into your heart!” like John Turturro’s character in Miller’s Crossing…when out of the blue, the POTUS dropped this bombshell: “The only people who ought to fear the kind of oversight and transparency that we’re proposing are those whose conduct will fail this scrutiny.”

The Big Secret, of course, is that every living creature within a 100-mile radius of Cooper Union would fail “this scrutiny”—or that scrutiny, or any scrutiny, period. Not just in a 100-mile radius, but wherever there are still signs of economic life beating in these 50 United States, the mere whiff of scrutiny would work like nerve gas on what’s left of the economy. Because in the 21st century, fraud is as American as baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet Volts—fraud’s all we got left, Doc. Scare off the fraud with Obama’s “scrutiny,” and the entire pyramid scheme collapses in a heap of smoldering savings accounts.

That’s how an acquaintance of mine, a partner in a private equity firm, put it: “Whoever pops this fraud bubble is going to have to escape on the next flight out, faster than the Bin Laden Bunch fled Kentucky in their chartered jets after 9/11.”

And that’s why this SEC suit accusing Goldman Sachs of fraud is really just a negotiating bluff to give Obama’s people some leverage—or it’s supposed to be, anyway—according to the PE guy. He dismissed all the speculation that the fraud investigations would turn on other obvious villains like Deutsche, Merrill, Paulson & Co., the Rahm Emmanuel-linked Magnetar and so on.

“You don’t get it, Ames. Even Khuzami, the SEC guy in charge of the Goldman case, is a fraud; the fucker was Deutsche’s general counsel when they pulled the same CDO scam as Goldman. You have no idea how deep this goes.”

And it’s clear that a lot more people here are aware of how fundamentally rotten things are but they’re not willing to face the big fraudonomics bummer yet, preferring instead to stick with specific accusations.

My position on this was, “Good, throw the book at those crooks too, I don’t see what the problem is here.”

This was exactly what I argued a week ago, during a verbal slapfight with that acquaintance of mine. We were making a scene in a Midtown yuppie restaurant, arguing over just how much damage Wall Street had caused, and what to do about it.

His position was indefensible, and he knew it, so he switched tactics:

“OK Ames, which bankers would you throw the book at? Because you’re arguing that they’re all guilty. So which ones do you go after? Two of them? Three? Half of them?”

“Every last one of them. Lock ’em up in one of their private prisons.”

“Not gonna happen, Che.”

Che? Me? Listen, Scarface, I’m about law and order. Don’t any of you PE degenerates believe in that anymore?”

“OK, here’s the deal, Che. I’m going to walk you through this nice and slow so that even an agave-sweetened hippie like you can understand this. Stick with me, this is gonna be a little complicated. Ready?”

And so he began:

“Let’s say the government decides one day, ‘You know, we oughta listen to Che here, let’s throw the book at every firm and every executive that our people can make a case against. Because you know, gosh, it’s all about rule of law and blind justice, just like Che says.’ OK, so now this means indicting just about every serious player in finance, so they take down Goldman Sachs, they take down Citigroup, JP Morgan, BofA… and they also serve all the big funds who are at least as guilty, if not more. So they shut down Pimco, Blackrock, Citadel… maybe they indict Geithner and Summers, haul in some of Bush’s crooks… right?”

“Too bad they don’t serve popcorn here, this is getting good.”

“OK, now guess what you’ve just done? You’ve just caused the markets to completely tank. Remember what happened after the Lehman collapse? Remember how popular that made every politician in Washington? Still wondering why they coughed up a trillion bucks? They were scared for their lives; that’s why they voted for that bailout. You’d have done the same goddamn thing. But if we go after everyone guilty of fraud and theft, the market crash this country would see would make 2008 look like Sesame Street. Open that can of worms labeled ‘Fraud’ and the whole fucking economy collapses. You may as well prosecute people for masturbating. No one will know where the fraud investigation stops and who will be charged next—everyone will try to cash out, and the markets will tank to zero. And guess what happens when the markets tank to zero? Every fucking American with a retirement plan, or an investment portfolio, or a 401k—every state pension plan in the country, every teacher’s pension fund, every fireman’s pension—every last one of them will be wiped out. That’s what the Lehman collapse taught us.”

“Us? It didn’t teach us anything but that this country is run by maniacs.”

banker asshole exiledonline.com

“Jesus H. Christ, Ames– you’re even more clueless than the idiots who managed the Lehman collapse. I mean, didn’t everyone get it how badly those idiots screwed up with Lehman? It was the biggest screw-up this hemisphere has ever seen. You had Secretary Paulson and Fed Chief Bernanke scratching their asses not knowing what to do, so then they go, ‘OK, we’re supposed to be a free market economy, and we’re supposed to be the Republicans—let’s try something different for a change since nothing else is working. Let’s go out on a limb and actually give this “free market” thing a whirl. Who knows? Maybe the “free market” really works the way we always say it does. Nothing else seems to work, let’s let the free market decide Lehman’s fate. Maybe corporate-socialism isn’t the answer.’ So they hung Lehman out in the free-market, and BAM! The. Shit. Hit. The. Fan. No shit, dudes—the free market is for suckers, didn’t your daddy teach you idiots that? Not only did Lehman collapse—everything collapsed; confidence in the entire system collapsed. And here’s what I’m trying to explain to simpletons like you: Our economy is just a confidence game. Don’t ask me how it got this way, don’t care.”

I tried saying something insulting to him, but he just talked right over me, lurching forward baring his laser-whitened teeth.

“I’m sure you have the answer, you and Ron Paul and all the other pot-smoking libertarian do-gooders have it all figured out. But what I’m saying is, no confidence means end of the confidence game. That’s what Lehman showed. Every single player in finance suddenly had to face the fundamental problem—this whole fucking economy is built on fraud and lies and garbage. So when Lehman collapsed, every single player panicked, going, ‘If Lehman was nothing but a Ponzi scheme—and I know what I’m running is a Ponzi scheme—holy shit, that means everyone else is running a Ponzi scheme too! Run for the exits!’ No one trusted anyone else, everyone pulled out, and the entire global economy collapsed just like that. And that meant your parents, my parents, every teacher, every fireman, every person in the country going into retirement, every price on every asset—wiped out.

“And here’s what I’m trying to get you to understand: In the grown-up world, when an entire country’s savings accounts are wiped out because of some do-gooder and his law books and his Thomas Jefferson ‘What about free and fair markets?’ crap, that is a big problem—people don’t give a fuck about Jefferson and ‘free and fair markets,’ they just want their savings to be worth something. And people are right: Jefferson was an imbecile. He should have been a folk singer, not a Founding fucking Father. But that’s another issue that’s over your head—the point is, the guy who destroys this economy because it’s ‘the right thing to do’ will have to flee for his life, and whatever president or political party was in power when that decision was made will be out of power for the next 200 years. That’s why Washington panicked and passed ‘the bailout,’ they didn’t want to be the fools whom all the Ponzi victims blame for tanking the Ponzi scheme, so they broke the glass and pumped up a newer, bigger Ponzi scheme. It was an expensive 14 trillion dollar lesson in, ‘Stay the fuck away from free-market experiments, assholes!’ How naive are you people to actually believe that ‘free market’ crap? The problem is when people in power are stupid enough to listen to guys like you: all the do-gooder libertarians and the do-gooder free-market Republicans who forgot that they’re supposed to lie. Hello!”

“Libertarian, me? Since when was I ever a libertarian?”

“That’s my point: Fools like you don’t even know who you are anymore. They forgot that they’re supposed to lie about all that libertarian free-market shit, keep it far the fuck out of policy. But instead of just lying about free-markets while secretly propping up Lehman, the idiots actually tried pulling off a ‘free-market’ miracle, and we had to pay $14 trillion just to find out what I could have told them for no fee at all, which is: ‘Hey, assholes, you’re supposed to be hypocrites, OK? You’re supposed to be two-faced free-market liars, not libertarian Quakers! You’re not supposed to believe in anything—your job is to get up in front of the public and lie about free markets and the rest. Period.’

“That’s it, how fucking hard is it? Look, watch my face: Say one thing out of one side… and do the other out of the other side. Got that? Let everyone else whine and cry about, ‘Ooh, that’s not fair, ooh, that’s a bailout, that’s socialism, that’s corruption.’ That’s what losers do—they whine. You, for example, Che—you whine all the time, and look at you… Can you pay the bill for this meal? Is there a libertarian on earth who can afford to buy a decent meal in Manhattan? And now, look at me: I’m a hypocrite. Hell yes I am! I lie every day of my life, I lie to myself in my sleep. Hell, I’m lying to you right now, in fact I don’t even know what the fuck I’m saying anymore because I’m so used to lying. And yet—who’s the guy with the black card? Who’s the one who’s going to pick up the check tonight? Guys with power, guys like me, we lie. You got that? ‘Lie’ as in ‘My Lai’ the massacre—as in, ‘My Lai you long time, me so free-markety.’ You distract the dumbshits with free-market B.S. because hey, for whatever reason, that’s what the public likes to hear, it doesn’t really matter what lie you feed them so long as it’s the lie that puts them in a trance. And then behind the scenes, you do the very opposite: You fix the game, you cover up this problem here with those funds there, you move shit around, you skim budgets and you subsidize the system, you cover up the bad shit and once in a while throw a has-been to the wolves to keep the public entertained—that’s the way the system works, and anyone who’s an adult understands that. And everyone who doesn’t understand that can go form an online libertarian chat group and complain with all their little libertarian friends about free markets and Jekyll Island and ‘Wahhh! It’s not not fair, waahhhh!’”

“What’s with the libertarian accusation?”

“It’s just that you all sound the same to me. Libertarians, hippies—is there really a difference? You all whine alike: ‘It’s not fair, man! Ooh! You can’t do that, it’s fraud, it’s corruption, ooh no!’ Or: ‘It’s the income inequality, man; Goldman Sachs controls us all man; it’s socialism for the rich; it’s all too scary for my retarded 5-year-old libertarian brain!’ Seriously, anytime I meet libertarians like you—”

“Listen—I’m not a fucking libertarian, OK? I want free handouts. How clear do I have to make this? Me—handouts. Me—Big Government. I want to collectivize your productive cash, because I am a resentful parasite. Are you capable of processing a single word of what I’m saying to you, Spaz?”

“Uh-huh, sure, whatever. Here’s the thing: I think it’s great that you and your friends memorized Road to Serfdom in between Star Trek episodes—no really, I’m happy for you. Yeah, we’re all so proud. But here’s the thing: We grown-ups are really, really busy now trying to sort out the free-market mess you made with that Lehman move of yours. Yeah, so why don’t you run along to your libertarian chat rooms and have your little debates about Jekyll Island and the gold standard, because it really means a lot to us. And report back to me as soon as you have it all figured out, m’kay? Just get the fuck out of my face and leave the adults alone.”

It got a lot more vicious and personal than this, but when our verbal slap-fight ended—and he paid the bill—I thought about what he said, and it made a lot more sense. Fraud has become so endemic in this country that it’s woven its way into America’s DNA, forming a symbiotic relationship that can’t be undone without killing off the host. [See below: Fraudonomics: 10 Fun Fraud Facts] If they push it just a little too hard, the entire American economy could crash, asset values could tank, and that means tens of millions of extremely pissed off retirees and Baby Boomers. As the Wall Streeter put it: “Whoever is responsible for bursting this latest bubble by exposing all the fraud—and tanking all the markets—will not only be out of power for at least a generation, but they’ll all have to get radical reconstructive surgery on their faces and seek political asylum somewhere remote. No one wants to be that guy, and that’s why it’s not going to happen.”

That may be true, but all bubbles do eventually burst, all Ponzi schemes do collapse for good at some point. The only question is when. For those of us not on the verge of retiring, the sooner we have this day of reckoning and get it over with, the better.

*      *     *

Fraudonomics: 10 Fun Fraud Facts

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Ever since I got kicked out of Russia and forced back home, I’ve been collecting all kinds of news articles about fraud, in a document file titled “America Is Russia.” Here’s a little taste of the wonderful world of American Fraud:

1). Accounting Fraud: Last year, America’s leading banks were insolvent. They had tens or hundreds of billions in losses on their books, and the only way to wipe those losses out would be to either a) own up to the mess, raise enormous amounts of money on top of all the bailout money; or b) get out a big fat eraser, and wipe those losses off the books as if they never existed. The first option was nice and all, but a real hassle. So Geithner and Larry Summers chose Door Number Two: Accounting Fraud. They forced the FASB to accept a rule-change in the accounting methodology called “mark-to-model” which let banks decide how much their assets were worth, rather than letting the markets decide. So if for example a BofA owned a complex security called “Orion Butt Fungus” that was worth 5 pesos on the open market, but BofA was too broke to go out and raise 5 pesos to cover that loss, under the new accounting rules, the government told BofA that rather than pricing “Orion Butt Fungus” at what the market will actually pay for it, why not first ask, “How much would BofA like ‘Orion Butt Fungus’ to be worth, in a perfect world?’” If BofA answers, “Doyee, gee I dunno, how about $500 million?” then under the “mark-to-model” accounting rules, BofA could now value “Orion Butt Fungus” at $500 million, and voila! Their problems are over. That wasn’t so hard, was it? Suddenly, BofA looks like it knows how to pick winners! And no one’s going to second-guess them, because everyone else is mark-to-modeling their “Orion Butt Fungi” too! The end result: under the old rules, BofA would have had to raise money just to cover its debts, sort of like you and me have to do, and that’s just a lot of money going to waste. But now that its portfolio is so profitable, BofA has a much easier time raising money, which it uses to pay ginormous bonuses to its executives.

2). Big Pharma Fraud. Remember that scene early in Fight Club, when Edward Norton explained his job, when it was more profitable to let a car defect go and pay whatever lawsuit settlements come from the deaths, and when it’s better to recall the cars because the number of deaths will result in too many lawsuits? This is humanitarian do-gooder stuff compared to the savage real-world fraud-for-profit model that drives America’s drug companies. It’s really simple and it goes like this: the more fraud a drug company commits, so long as it’s off-the-scale fraud with the most horrible consequences for the victims, the drug company’s profits always outdo the criminal fines and lawsuits by factors of 20, 30, 100… It’s as simple as that. Because the billion in penalties here or the two billion in class action lawsuit settlements there are always far less than the tens of billions you earn from pushing harmful drugs on unsuspecting idiots. To wit: Between May 2004 and March 2010, a handful of top drug companies like Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Bristol-Myers paid over $7 billion in criminal penalties for bribing doctors to prescribe drugs for unapproved uses, with sometimes deadly consequences. However, as a Bloomberg report noted, the fines are always a fraction of the profits—Pfizer alone paid almost $3 billion in criminal fines since 2004, yet that was just one percent of their total revenues; Eli Lilly got busted bribing doctors to prescribe a schizophrenia drug, Zyprexa, to elderly patients suffering from dementia, even though company-run clinical trials showed an alarming death rate of 31 people out of 1,184 participants (double the placebo rate). Whatever—the market for elderly dementia patients meant billions in extra revenues. So Eli Lilly continued pushing Zyprexa on the elderly for another four years until it the Feds busted them. Eli Lilly got hit with $1.42 billion fine, but that was peanuts compared to the $36 billion it earned on Zyprexa sales from 2000-2008. To make it happen, the drug companies buy off all the checks and balances: lawsuits revealed the enormous bribes they pay to doctors, and even America’s medical journals are so corrupted by drug company influence that they’re no longer reliable as much more than hidden advertisements, according to a recent UCSF study. Medical journals are 5 times more likely to publish “positive” drug reviews than negative reviews, and one-quarter of all clinical trials are never published at all, leading doctors to prescribe drugs assuming they have all the information. The result: prescription drugs kill one American every five minutes …while Americans pay more for drugs than anyone in the world, spending a total of $12 billion on drugs in 1980 to spending $291 billion in 2008—a 1,700% increase. America is ranked only 17th in the world in life expectancy.

3). Alan Greenspan: Fraudonomics Maestro. America’s central banker from 1987-2006 once told a do-gooder regulator not to fuck with the bankers’ fraud schemes, because in Greenspan’s mind, fraud was not a crime and didn’t need to be regulated. Then Greenspan forced the regulator, Brooksley Born, to resign. Just in time for his next and final act as Central Bank chief: from 2001-2004, Greenspan pumped up the biggest housing bubble in human history by holding rates down to nothing, while touring the country promoting the glories of subprime and Alt-A mortgages. Then in late 2005, when the bubble was ready to burst, Greenspan tendered his resignation and switched over to the other side, signing lucrative contracts with three investment firms all of which bet big against gullible American homeowners, and reaped billions. First, Greenspan signed up to work for Deutsche Bank, which is being sued for securities fraud for selling an Abacus-like CDO to a Warren Buffett-owned bank, M&T; Greenspan also worked for Pimco, which earned $2 billion in a single day in September 2008, when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were nationalized with Greenspan’s lobbying help; and lastly, Greenspan went to work for Paulson & Co., the hedge fund that raked in $1 billion off the same Abacus CDO deal that brought the SEC fraud suit against Goldman Sachs. It’s an unusually perfect record for Greenspan, given his atrocious forecasting record at the Fed. It recalls the old Greenspan circa 1984-5, when he worked as a lobbyist for Charles Keating trying to push regulators off his back and vouching on the record for Keating’s character…Keating was eventually jailed for fraud in the worst savings and loan collapse of all.

4). Municipal Debt Fraud. America’s $2.8 trillion municipal bond market is rife with fraud of the sort you’d expect in an emerging tinpot economy: opacity rather than transparency, plenty of corruption and kickbacks, resulting in decimated budgets and services cutbacks in communities across the country. The problem all stems from way the bonds are issued these days: instead of holding open tenders, nearly all are the result of backroom deals. Back in 1970, only 15 percent of municipal bond contracts were awarded through no-bid contracts; last year, 85% of muni bond deals were assigned in no-bid, non-transparent agreements of the sort that made Halliburton rich in Iraq. Studies show that no-bid bonds invariably cost municipalities more than bonds resulting from open tenders. So far, fraud and corruption charges have been leveled against state employees and city councilors in Florida, New York, New Mexico, Alabama and California, to name a few. Muni bond defaults soared from just $348 million in 2007 to $7.4 billion in 2008—that’s an increase of 20 times– with growing numbers of cities, counties and states on the verge of bankruptcy. And here’s the real kicker: the biggest bailed-out banks and funds stand to make huge profits again if California’s state and city bonds fail–meaning they make big fees selling the bonds in corrupt deals, then they bet against the bonds buying CDS derivatives. Right now Wall Street has a $27 billion bet against the California bonds they helped to sell–and you better believe Wall Street will use every trick in the book to push California into bankruptcy and make those CDS bets pay off big. In fact just last year, the big banks made $1 billion in fees by selling off Obama-stimulus-backed Build America Bonds which were basically a way of massively overpaying bankrupt banks to lined up bankrupt cities and states with skittish investors to fund corrupt projects–like the San Francisco Bay Bridge modernization, which went from $1.8 billion to $13.6 billion, $8 billion just in interest. Good news is that Wall Street is making tons of money, which is always something to cheer–and of course, the bill is all being charged to regular car-driving suckers, who pay a $5 toll today to cross the bridge, up from $2 in 2003.

5). Journalism fraud. The Washington Post got caught whoring out their venerable editorial staff to corporate lobbyists for anywhere from $25,000 to $250,000 a date, depending on the access. The Atlantic Monthly admitted to TalkingPointsMemo that it routinely sold access to its editorial staff for cash. As for business journalism, all sorts of articles and studies have asked the obvious question: “How did every mainstream business outlet miss the financial collapse of 2008?” Among all the self-flagellating mea-kinda-culpas, you won’t find the word “fraud” in their answer. Speaking of business journalism and fraud, The Business Insider, one of the top business news blogs, published a pair of articles defending Goldman Sachs against the SEC fraud charges. The author of the articles defending Goldman Sachs is Business Insider’s co-founder and editor, Henry Blodget. In 2003, Blodget himself was charged with securities fraud by the SEC for repeatedly misleading clients into buying stocks of companies that in private emails Blodget referred to as “piece of shit.” Under the terms of Blodget’s settlement with the SEC, he agreed to a lifetime ban from the securities industry, and he paid $4 million in fines and disgorgements. Since he is not barred from the world of business journalism, Blodget was able to post an article last Friday headlined: “HOLD EVERYTHING: The SEC’s Fraud Case Against Goldman Seems VERY Weak.”

6). Fraudonomics K-12. If you want your kid to grow up to succeed in a fraud-based economy, you need to teach him the ABC’s of cheating starting at a young age. This is one area where America’s schools aren’t failing their students. Cheating is so rampant in schools that nowadays if the student doesn’t cheat on his exam, chances are his teacher or administrator will cheat on his test for him. One in five elementary schools in Georgia are currently being investigated for tampering with the students’ standardized test scores—although suspicious patterns of erasing and remarking answers showed up in half of the state’s elementary schools. In California, as many as two-thirds of its public schools admitted to fudging its students’ standardized test scores. A survey of graduate school students found that 53 percent of business school grad students admitted to cheating, more than any other grad school discipline. Overall, up to 98 percent of college students today admit to cheating, compared to just 20 percent who cheated in 1940.

7). Boardroom Fraud. Corporate America’s boardrooms are stacked up these days in tight, intertwined relationships that turn public companies into crime scenes, plundering money from unsuspecting shareholders and divvying up the loot among the directors and top executives. In 2008, Chesapeake Energy’s stock price collapsed from $74 per share to $9.84, wiping out $33 billion in shareholder value. The CEO, Aubrey McClendon, gambled and lost 94% of his stock in the company on a margin call, personally losing about $2 billion. So what did the board of directors do? They voted to award McClendon $112 million for 2008, the highest of any CEO in America. Shareholders were outraged, calling it a “bailout,” and several pension funds tried suing Chesapeake, but the courts in Oklahoma blocked the lawsuits. That’s because Aubrey McClendon is sort of the George Bush of Oklahoma—a spoiled fuck-up with a rich and powerful granddaddy—Robert Kerr, former governor and senator, and founder of Kerr-McGee—meaning plenty of VIP connections for the loser grandkid. So on Chesapeake’s board, you had Aubrey’s cousin, Breene Kerr; Frank Keating, Republican ex-governor of Oklahoma whose son Chip (and Chip’s wife) works for Chesapeake; Don Nickles, Republican ex-Senator of Oklahoma who co-funded with Aubrey the Republican anti-gay marriage campaign in 2004; Richard Davidson, the former head of Union Pacific, whose corrupt board of directors (which included the head of the US Chamber of Commerce) lavished Davidson with tens of millions in bonuses and a $2.7 million per year pension when he retired… Now multiply a board of directors like this by the sum total of “Corporate America” and you get…a corrupt, tin-pot corporate culture masquerading as a civilized First World corporate culture. That’s us. (You can read about this problem in an excellent new book Money For Nothing: How The Failure of Corporate Boards is Ruining American Business and Costing Us Trillions.)

8). Corrupt credit rating agencies. The only way big institutional investors like pension funds could justify buying a piece of the Orion Butt Fungus CDO pie was if ratings agencies like S&P or Moody’s gave it a top-notch seal of approval: AAA rated, with a little star on the forehead for good behavior. And in the world of fraudonomics, good behavior looks like this email from a Standard & Poor ratings analyst in December 2006:

“Rating agencies continue to create an even bigger monster _ the CDO market. Let’s hope we are all wealthy and retired by the time this house of cards falters.”

The happy ending to this story is that a huge percentage of thieving scum like this emailer saw their hopes become reality: they got wealthy and retired before the CDO market crashed in a trillion-plus dollar heap of shit. And if they didn’t retire, even better—because bonuses in 2009 were soaring, thanks to the always-gullible American taxpayer.

9). Regulatory Fraud: In the OTS, OCC, Fed, pension benefit guaranty agency and of course the SEC, where whistleblowers were routinely ignored because the regulators were too busy painting their monitors while surfing sites like www.fuck-my-wife.com.

  • 10). Judicial Fraud: Juvenile court judges in Pennsylvania took millions of dollars in kickbacks from privately run prisons in exchange for sentencing thousands of innocent kids to juvenile prison terms. Chronic on-the-bench masturbation is running rampant: an Oklahoma judge was accused of using a penis pump on the bench, while nearby in Texas, a Harris County judge masturbated and ejaculated on a defendant’s hand. Speaking of Texas, the entire juvenile prison system there was turned into a sex abuse racket involving Texas state officials–over 750 official complaints about prison administrators molesting or raping underaged inmates in all 13 juvenile facilities had been officially logged between 2000 and 2007.

  • The list goes on and on. Hell, even our literature was corrupted with fraud: James Frey’s addiction “memoir” A Million Little Pieces turned out to be A Million Pieces of Bullshit, the biggest literary fraud of our time. Fooled readers sued, Oprah chewed him out and Frey is now a bestelling “fiction” author. Frey was just one literary con-artist among many, recounting fake tales of street prostitution, being raised by wolves, even fake Holocaust memoirs (read John Dolan’s article about literary frauds).

This is just scratching the surface, but you get the point. We’re way past the point of redemption. No wonder everyone’s dreaming of a violent apocalypse to wipe the slate clean, and take us away to another plane where everything would be better. Anything but this.

Mark Ames is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine.

Click the cover & buy the book!

112 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. tom  |  April 28th, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    I have nothing so let everything go to shit, like that’s a threat to me lol

  • 2. Fissile  |  April 28th, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Your Wall Street friend really is a liar. For example, blaming the current mess on libertarian, do-gooders, as if libertarians had any power. Name me a single One-Stop-Sign-Ville run by libertarians.

    Our current mess was nothing more than a bloodless — so far — coup d’état orchestrated by Goldman Sachs.

    In 2008, Goldman pointed it’s financial death ray at Lehman, and pressed the vaporize button. With this, Goldman accomplished two things: 1)Elimination of a long hated rival. 2) A demonstration to any doubters, either on Wall Street or Pennsylvania Avenue, that they were now the ultimate power in the universe.

    So yeah, your buddy can’t tell the truth. He’s the kind of guy who see a corpse with a dozen gunshot wounds to the head and calls it suicide. He’s right about one thing, it’s an eat or be eaten world.

  • 3. wellclosed  |  April 28th, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    OK Mark you have truly out done yourself.That was really as good or better than anything I ever read by H.S. Thompson. Yes, bring back the guillotine, only wait until we can unload our condo for 20% less than we paid.

  • 4. Max Bell  |  April 28th, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Loved it.

    I’m still for letting it burn, though.

  • 5. NotMe  |  April 28th, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Maybe the problem is too much stupid bureaucracy (redundant, I know). Communism only survived as long as it did through massive “fraud”.

  • 6. FrankMcG  |  April 28th, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Buddy, it’s not a question of enough. It’s a zero sum game, sport. Somebody wins and somebody loses.

    Money itself isn’t lost or made,
    it’s simply transferred from one
    perception to another. Like magic.
    That painting cost $60,000 10 years
    ago. I could sell it today for
    $600,000. The illusion has become
    real. And the more real it becomes,
    the more desperately they want it.
    Capitalism at its finest.

    The richest one percent of this
    country owns half the country’s
    wealth: 5 trillion dollars. One
    third of that comes from hard work,
    two thirds of it comes from
    inheritance, interest on interest
    accumulation to widows and idiot
    sons and what I do — stock and
    real estate speculation. It’s
    bullshit. Ninety percent of the
    American people have little or no
    net worth. I create nothing; I own.
    We make the rules, Buddy, the news,
    war, peace, famine, upheaval; the
    cost of a paper clip.

    We pull the rabbit out of the hat
    while everybody else sits around
    their whole life wondering how we
    did it.

    -Gordan Gekko

  • 7. Dammerung  |  April 28th, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Man the sad thing is that dude is totally right. Me, I’m the crazy libertarian idealist. I’d vote for the Joker just to watch the world burn. We need an economic Rorschach to smite not only every Wall St. banker fuck but every senile grandmother who agreed to put her money in the banks buying their shitty products. Suffer, heretics!

  • 8. Cal  |  April 28th, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    As someone who has worked in capital markets for 20 years, I agree with the PE guy. There has always been an element of con in the U.S. economic game, but it really took off after the late sixties with a concious deindustrialization policy. There is a simple test of how “conned” an economy is – the amount and rate of growth of current account and budget deficits over time.On both accounts, the U.S. has been living large and consuming more than it produces for years. Only the status of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency coupled with some political peculiarities of our surplus partners has allowed the game to continue,but eventually the fat lady sings.

  • 9. Eddie Van Helsing  |  April 28th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Ayn Rand was right. Nobody wants to admit it, but the crazy old bitch was right. The aristocracy of pull is real. The looters run the country. And Tim Geithner is Wesley fucking Mouch.

  • 10. Patriot  |  April 28th, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Mark,
    Regarding the debt/deficit situation– check out Randall Wray and Modern Monetary Theory.

  • 11. Marx Dog  |  April 28th, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Hahaha you libertarians don’t have a clue. “Hmmm, the problem here seems to be too much bureaucracy.”

    Guess what! State-collusion with private interests happens after a dismantling of regulatory bodies and state power! e.g. the Gilded Age; or Europe’s laissez-faire experiment, after a bunch of faggy Austrian aristocrats created an incestuous academic circle which twisted Adam Smith’s idea for capitalism, where everyone could work hard in the early and middle lives and retire and enjoy the fruits of their labor (the idea of a billionaire would be unthinkable), where the state could seize a company’s assets if they weren’t using theirs for the “good of the people” (literally from Wealth of Nations).

    So yes, you libertarians are chumps. Complete chumps. Prime examples of what happens when a middle class turns leech. Videogame making retards and IT dorks who sign away real opportunities for a company that lets you ride your bike in the office or whatever zany crap hooks you morons. Blind to your own white nerd privileges, Randian self-made ubermensch, talentless white collar pussies who think they’d be laissez faire barons if it wasn’t for “society holding them back.” Please.

    Anyway Ames, you need to take a look at the Latin American people power movements again. I remember you referred to them once as “Castro loving fags” but if you get past Chavez’s buffoon antics and the obvious attraction an ignorant Berkeley retard would have for Morales as Indian NeoGandhi, they’re strong movements that produce real results, with poor people actually somewhat organized and an actually exploited middle class in solidarity.

    You and Yasha do amazing work but your average low-info American neocolonialist parasite knows all this stuff in the back of his/her lil lizard brain. Shit they’ve already internalized it! American outrage is basically the frustration that system gaming isn’t working for them. Erich Fromm once wrote a bunch of stuff about how superficial personalities are almost exclusive to capitalist empires, because, well, anywhere else and you’d fucking die.

  • 12. esmerelds  |  April 28th, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    To me it’s simpler–the US started as a resource extraction economy, and we’re running low on resources (slaves, arable land, oil, coal, forests, precious metals). Resource extractors don’t have to do much in terms of governance but throw money around and take credit for simply standing atop a bunch of shit other people want. Nor do they have to be nice to large swaths of the population, witness Russia. Revolving wars/paranoid spasms keep most of the population occupied anyway.

    In terms of being in decline from some previous golden age, I’d say that depends on your perspective. It’s good actually to lose the resource curse. There’s just this prolonged period of running on fumes and trying to destroy the world before the new reality can finally take hold.

  • 13. LordLeckie  |  April 28th, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    That friend sounds like he needs his teeth rearranged, i look foward to the next US economic implosion from the safety of not the US.

  • 14. platitudes  |  April 28th, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    There was an Economist story last year about the decline of newspapers quoting Gavin Newsom on the SF Chronicle: “If it disappeared tomorrow, no one under 30 would even notice.”

    Same with this fraud. In 2004, there was a late-night march on the N.C. Republican Party headquarters where a two-headed Bush/Kerry was burned in effigy. Well, we all learned real quick how the FBI and a Joint Terrorism Task Force deals with reports of “anarchy.”

    They gave us a scare, and all us rich white kids learned a valuable lesson: stop giving a shit. If I showed this article to my peers, would any of them even care?

  • 15. senorpogo  |  April 28th, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Wow. I love how these people can’t even distinguish between a Rand-style libertarian and Mark-fucking-Ames. Which shows how rigged the game is. Any change, one way or the other, in terms regulation will screw them.

    It’s a perfect melding of economic greed and political cowardice. It’s the extreme middle.

    Here come the Beige Shirts — only in America.

  • 16. senorpogo  |  April 28th, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Don’t misquote-

    “acquaintance of mine”
    not
    friend

    though he did get a free meal/drinks

  • 17. Madman  |  April 29th, 2010 at 1:37 am

    Your equity firm partner acquaintance not only understands that the ship is sinking but he has also concluded that trying to fix the ship by dumping the heaviest furniture overboard might not be a winning strategy.
    He knows full well that the seas are very large the lifeboats small and flimsy and the chances of making it by swimming are exactly zero. Let’s not also forget that the lights on the ship are still burning he is still in first class and there is plenty of champagne to go around.

  • 18. aleke  |  April 29th, 2010 at 1:58 am

    It’s sweet of you to take every bit of their propaganda about the economy with a block of seasalt, but when they decide to target history, why do they immediately transform into ‘sensible?’ Do you really need to go back to Dolan’s Mao review to check your premises on Stalin and the Bolsheviks? Can’t you figure out that this scum is not just lying to you about their own history, but even that of other peoples’? Really how much research does it take to immediately start uncovering all that flimsy structural propaganda that make up socialism’s ‘crimes’? Or is it really that easy to hold steadfast to the ‘centre’, denounce both sides, and drift ever further to the right on Fantasy Island?

  • 19. Allen  |  April 29th, 2010 at 3:38 am

    A lot of people have an attitude like the “market” is eternal and the status quo is promised to them forever and ever. In actuality the sophisticated global/local “markets” that have emerged are relatively young, and what will result from them is not certain.

    In any case, the free-market ideal has always been a fairy tale used to destroy government regulation; that’s all it’s there for. The structure that defines American economic life is not the “market”, free or otherwise, but rather the “stock”-market. And it’s logic is pump and dump. The less over-site the greater and more wilder the game can be.

    All any layman has to do is look at one case study, not even a financial entity, such as Enron, to realize that the same logic of outright nihilistic fraud and hucksterism probably has spread to an alarming degree all throughout corporate America. (But especially to non-productive entities like financial institutions, which mainly trade assets).

    When the foundations are rotten, the structure will eventually collapse. No politician will dare cause it intentionally, sure, but it will still happen. And when it does those found to be responsible may be lucky to end up in their own “private prisons”; more likely they will end up before a firing squad, La Cabaña style.

  • 20. Lavrentij Lemko  |  April 29th, 2010 at 4:00 am

    Let’s string these Patrick Batemans up the tree-lined cul-de-sacs of New Canaan?

  • 21. Lavrentij Lemko  |  April 29th, 2010 at 4:26 am

    Let’s string these Patrick Batemans up the tree-lined cul-de-sacs of New Canaan!

  • 22. Plamen petkov  |  April 29th, 2010 at 4:42 am

    if ALL Ponzi schemes eventually collapse then WHY is Capitalism STILL going on after it was first introduced, oh about 300 years ago? When is Capitalism itself gonna collapse if it’s a Ponzi scheme?
    For example, the first recorded capitalism ponzi scheme was the tulip mania that happened during the 1630s. The trick Capitalims has done is to itself change and mutate unlike the silly Communists in Russia and all the other countries in Europe. China is still calling itself Communist when they obviously aren’t one anymore.
    Capitalism also has the trick to create and start up wars every few years and as we all know war is pure profit.
    So even if the current ponzi scheme ends, another one will take place: world currency and world bank are right around the corner where us every day people will be given “carbon credits” we will need to buy in order to conduct our every day to day activities.
    But yes you ARE correct: only the losers who werent smart enough to benefit from the current ponzi scheme bitch and complain. The others just laugh.

  • 23. Lavrentij Lemko  |  April 29th, 2010 at 5:14 am

    Kevin Phillips:

    “How does one compete with sleaze? Get sleazier!”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5dihKOAnIM&feature=related

  • 24. Realist  |  April 29th, 2010 at 5:17 am

    Welcome to the gulag economy.

  • 25. BlottoBonVismarck  |  April 29th, 2010 at 5:51 am

    THAT’S NOT WHAT MICHAEL LEWIS SAID …

    You make a convincing case. But you are very good at making a convincing case. But here’s the thing.

    It all depends on who you believe. If you believe Jim Rogers and Marc Farber Wall Street is an ongoing crime scene and the Geithner, Bernanks, Summers and Rubin, et al, should all be in jail for a thousand years.

    If you believe Jim Rogers and Marc Farber the Cheney junta Neocon Motherfuckers and the Wall Street Psychos have made an eventual collapse inevitable. See the size of the US deficit for details.

    Michael Lewis is ‘the nice boy.’ He likes to be polite and he doesn’t use bad language _and_ he leaves out the bits that would worry the folks too much. In case they might fear a collapse, or god-forbid actually take action if they knew it was coming. Never mind that they might panic? Which sane person wouldn’t panic???

    What is it with @$$holes who want to sugarcoat the events of 2008 and the Neocon Nazi-engineered collapse of the US financial system, and deny the mass of the people any chance to react sanely and take defensive action?

    But are all the arguments — about which sources to believe, and which Neocon crooks are responsible for the financial Armageddon — _and_ are still driving US – We the people – into the ground — a distraction — telling US that everything is peachy and we should remain calm — while our betters on Wall Street relocate post-haste to the Caribbean. With what’s left of our money?

    ‘They’ say ‘We came within a hair’s breadth of complete financial collapse of the world’s financial system. But if Britain _is_ bankrupt, as Jim Rogers says, how do we know that that collapse is being papered over while the smart money gets out of the game. Leaving the rubes — that’s US, all of US — standing there with a comical look on our faces, and our insides kicked out. And the banks closed and our savings inflated to nothing.

    Jim Rogers and Marc Faber both foresee more financial disasters. Marc Faber suggests that we probably have three to ten years before a final financial collapse when the elite will try hyperinflation and then go to (a major) war when it fails.

    Would careful sorts have completed their preparations within six months, tops???

    Taking the Big Iron Bird somewhere sane being the quickest and most immediate cure. To anywhere that is a progressive land of milk and honey, where the crazy right wing is ‘Norwegian conservative guy.’ — @ 1.20. From Michael Moore’s Sicko. –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svSUCbClg8E

    Lots of other videos on youtube. Jim Rogers and Marc Faber on the economic crisis – Dutch TV – February 6th 2010 –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVf7usE1vtY

    Marc Faber on US Bubble – RT – Russia TV – February 5th 2010 –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAJeZaFdbJA

    MICHAEL LEWIS VERSION

    Michael Lewis addressed the Republican Congressional Book Club. Who knew that they had the time to read between raping the country and taking backhanders??? –

    “Actually you expect them to be rabid, but to get elected they have to be people pleasers. They are actually very sweet … very nice. When I finished talking, when they understood what had happened on Wall Street — what AIG and Goldman Sachs had done — there was steam coming out of their ears. I thought that they were going to go kill someone when they left the room.” Paraphrased.

    “And I think the more things are explained, the more outraged people will get and it will find a natural political home.”

    Michael Lewis – Short version – Vanity Fair article and video –

    http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2010/04/michael-lewis-tk.html

    Direct to long version – one hour video –

    http://www.vanityfair.com/video?videoID=76009970001&lineupID=27333652001

  • 26. BlottoBonVismarck  |  April 29th, 2010 at 6:01 am

    JIM ROGERS / MARC FABER / DAVID ROCHE / NASSIM TALEB

    Did the Neocons try to turn the US economy into the ‘Gimli Glider’ — a jet over Canada with both engines out? – TV program –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lBsqEtKTGU

    Why trust Jim Rogers and Marc Faber? Because they have been telling the truth for their entire careers while everybody else has been lying their heads off. David Roche and Nassim Taleb are similarly darkly cynical — brutally cynical if you like. All four are funny with it.

    “The regulators should be in jail.” – Jim Rogers – September 17, 2009 –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02Wq20TYtyw

    “Geithner has been wrong for fifteen years. The dollar is a very flawed currency.” Zombie banks, AIG – Jim Rogers Blasts Fox News – March 26, 2009 –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tD3kjItTnA

    Marc Faber – ‘Now you need a machine gun’. Ben Bernanke is like a ship’s captain who ignores the storm warnings; 1000 passengers drown (US) and Bernanke gets a medal for saving 5 of the crew (Wall Street). Harsh but very funny! – September 05, 2009 –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgWsnVDlWcU

    Marc Faber – Gloom, Boom, Doom – September 22nd, 2009 –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfuiNjvH9_c

    Marc Faber and Nouriel Roubini – August 12, 2009 –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJ8i8FKAwec

    David Roche – On Asia –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuoBDaZzGJI

    David Roche – BlackRock 2009 Predictions – Bloomberg-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOVbtYhyy70

    David Roche – http://www.instrategy.com/

    Nasim Taleb – Nassim Taleb Angry –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABXPICWjFIo

    Where are the parachutes for the US people??? HA! Have you got a lot to learn.

  • 27. tom  |  April 29th, 2010 at 6:13 am

    It is time to stop being polite to bankers, stock traders, and suits.

  • 28. An Agorist  |  April 29th, 2010 at 6:30 am

    “State-collusion with private interests happens after a dismantling of regulatory bodies and state power!”

    State collusion with private interests happens most often _in the form of_ regulatory bodies, dumbass. Regulations generally serve only two purposes in a state capitalist economy: shielding larger and more connected interests from competitors, and shielding the regulated from torts. And how exactly does a state collude with private interests if its power has been dismantled? Magic?

  • 29. Bob  |  April 29th, 2010 at 7:04 am

    First of all, this is some quality writing.

    OK, so you don’t do a Night Of The Long Knifes, as tempting a prospect as that is. Instead *gradually* increase regulatory pressure so only the top 1% most outrageous fraudsters get arrested each year. That way everyone has time to adjust to the new, slightly-less-criminal-than-before reality and the economy doesn’t collapse. Stop when you reach a sustainable level of fraud.

    Of course the problem with this is that the regulators / state department are staffed by industry crooks too, but the situation isn’t _completely_ hopeless. You’re just screwed for the next few decades.

  • 30. Spud  |  April 29th, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Mr. Ames,

    Great stuff. Ever since I saw some of your personal involvement articles on Exiled Online, I have followed your work.

    This one is in that spirit.

    The great journalist is the one who reports the truth – however distasteful and disorienting.

    And while I disagree with the desire to preserve the Ponzi, I can understand the moral cowardice associated with trying to perpetuate it.

  • 31. Kamron  |  April 29th, 2010 at 7:28 am

    I love how these people can’t even distinguish between a Rand-style libertarian and Mark-fucking-Ames.

    Well, that’s his only possible defense, reduce it to a choice between liars and idiots. Actual governance by people 1)willing to and 2)capable of governing, totally unacceptable to the thieving classes.
    You can also see the implicit threat in The Idiot’s speech- if you try to regulate our scam, if you put adults in charge and let them loose, we’ll just blow everything up that we can reach and retire to Aspen.

    It’s a hostage situation. And we do not negotiate with hostage takers.

  • 32. Onan Zagreus  |  April 29th, 2010 at 8:09 am

    I suspect Ames made this shit up, but awesome in any case.

  • 33. Dan  |  April 29th, 2010 at 8:11 am

    So American Free-Markets caused the economic crash? Does he mean the free-markets that haven’t existed in the U.S. for over a hundred years? Those free-markets?

  • 34. vv111y  |  April 29th, 2010 at 8:26 am

    PE guy is pulling a con. Liar.

    2nd bank of US, headed by N. Biddle created artificial market crisis to scare off president Jackson. Smoke and mirrors.
    Get all the bums, they are easily replaced.

  • 35. Clarity  |  April 29th, 2010 at 9:00 am

    The lying thing is spot-on, but that picture
    is way off. I let an investment banker fuck
    me last summer, and, trust me, there’s no
    one in the I-banks who looks that good.
    Men go into that profession precisely
    because they are fantastically ugly, short,
    impotent losers for whom making a lot of
    money is the only way they will ever get
    laid. If I learned anything, it’s that the
    emptiest and most superficial people in
    the world work in investment banking.
    You don’t need a college degree to make
    250K, or even any intellect or knowledge
    about anything at all. They hate women
    and minorities and really are addicted to
    porn and Viagra, with absolutely no love
    -making skills whatsoever. They need their
    watches and their cars like the rest of us
    need air and water. There is not one
    ounce of substance in the entire
    investment banking culture. It is 100%
    pure image. It is cars, watches, cigars and
    those hideous veneers. They are not male
    models. They are boring nerds who were
    rejected by the jocks and preppies in high
    school. They do nothing, create nothing
    and contribute nothing, because they have
    nothing to contribute. They are empty.

  • 36. LIExpressway  |  April 29th, 2010 at 9:34 am

    None of this is bullshit unfortunately. This whole thing is people scamming on each other . A giant tower of scam.

    I’ve worked at a number of smaller firms were fucking COMPLIANCE was playing golf with the management and getting sucked off on a daily basis on the company till, while on the floor much illegal shit was done on there watch. I’ll write about this shit one day and blow peoples minds. In one NY financial firm that I worked for the SEC busted the father (who was a local fucking pol)and he handed the reigns over to much more virile and eviler son to rape peoples savings. The firm rose to new heights! I’ll write about this as well, when I no longer value my life.
    I sold and financed shit to people who couldn’t afford it and basically runined many poor folks lives much sooner than would have been otherwise possible. I was a top salesmen and was admired for being able to target and sell people with high FICO scores(this is somewhat difficult because people who tend to pay there bills also tend to be little more smarter,but not by much, cause I could always get them in the end). I was also being scammed by my employers in the pay dept. I made them hundreds of thousands to millions while I only got tens of thousands. Top guys getting sucked off by high priced hookers while about 20 or so lower echelon flunkies had to take bathroom turns with one ugly prosti at $100 a pop. Plundering dying rich old lady’s savings thousands of miles away. Ive watched many men build entire businesses on a simple fraud. It’s all a scam and it all radiates from NY outward. Now it’s getting worse because were all fighting over the scraps.

  • 37. Domestic Terrorist  |  April 29th, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Kill them all. We should be bombing banks, assassinating politicians, and burning cities down. We need to stop being a bunch of fucking cowards. It’s coming.

  • 38. Harry Ballsach  |  April 29th, 2010 at 11:38 am

    I’m so lonely, so sad and lonely. Why won’t someone bash my fucking brains in.

  • 39. Jeanne  |  April 29th, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    As long as it means the spoiled boomer and so-called greatest generation dicks who ruined the world suffer, I say let it come down.

  • 40. Allen  |  April 29th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    The “free”-market is an abstraction. It doesn’t exist at all, and it never will.

  • 41. FrankMcG  |  April 29th, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I wish New York and Texas would collide and annihilate each other in a beautiful anti-matter/matter explosion.

  • 42. Recall  |  April 29th, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Next time you talk to him you should bring up the prospect of bringing back 1950′s style tax rates. 93% top tax brackets tend to put the suits in their place.

  • 43. drunkle  |  April 29th, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    i am a mere turd in the presence of gods and am ashamed of my skidmark-thoughts. regardless…

    the prick is right. it’s all a ponzi, it will always be a ponzi. ponzi’s end and new ones begin.

    but it’s a lifestyle choice. one that only exists through the tolerance of the disdained “children”. these “grown ups” who know it’s a ponzi hide the fact from the “children” for their personal gain at the expense of the children. well, the kids are waking up. they’re not well mannered, they’re unruly and mischievious. smart grown ups know not to wake the children.

  • 44. ABC123  |  April 29th, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    What a great scam, first you commit fraud using fraction reserve banking, then when you’re caught and the economy is collapsing you blame the free market system, libertarianism, the greed of people and right wing politics, then everyone turns to socialism and after a while they realize socialism doesn’t work and they are once again open to be scammed.

    Lets hang the bankers before it’s too late, it worked in the dark ages and they never had any financial collapses.

  • 45. prystupnik  |  April 29th, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    If all this is really true, then how come is this site still up ? Is this one of those “honeypots” ? Is this real ? Am I dreaming ?

  • 46. RecoverylessRecovery  |  April 29th, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    F ucking
    R etards
    A re
    U ndermining
    D emocracy,
    U sing
    L ewd
    E conomic
    N aughtiness
    T o

    A mass
    M ost
    E every
    R esource
    I ncluding
    C ocksucking
    A mericans themselves.

  • 47. Wenjo  |  April 29th, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    My financial career depends upon fraud therefor fraud is essential to the financial industry, economy. That’s what this sounds like.

    If we can’t defraud the American people, then the terrorists will win!

  • 48. Joe Stack's Financial Advisor  |  April 29th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    This type of shit happens right before the empire kicks the bucket, and shit gets rough and plateaus for a while. Rome, Egypt, those nice Moorish fellas, etc.

    Good old Joe Stack decided to fly his plane into an IRS building. That sure fixed a lot of problems. You think he would have figured out that flying planes into buildings only creates new problems, not solve any. Even the people on the end of the rapist’s shlong don’t know what to do given the opportunity.

    Are things going to implode? Probably. Could we have some sort of paradigm shift suddenly, and have everyone become Gallant and hold hands? Maybe, but probably isn’t going to happen.

  • 49. perdita  |  April 30th, 2010 at 1:12 am

    trust me, there’s no
    one in the I-banks who looks that good.
    Men go into that profession precisely
    because they are fantastically ugly, short,
    impotent losers for whom making a lot of
    money is the only way they will ever get
    laid.

    this made me laugh, I think it’s true…

    Fabulous article, Mr Ames, thank you.

  • 50. Bingo  |  April 30th, 2010 at 2:20 am

    Your instincts are right, of course. Your friend doesn’t know the what’s going on behind to scenes:

    http://worldreports.org/news/287_achtung_kommt_bald_dei_weimarrepubik_amerikas

    But now you do.

  • 51. brian  |  April 30th, 2010 at 7:22 am

    “You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won’t have it! Is that clear? You think you’ve merely stopped a business deal. That is not the case! The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity! It is ecological balance! You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU… WILL… ATONE!
    Arthur Jensen: [calmly] Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale? You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those *are* the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state, Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that… perfect world… in which there’s no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock. All necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.
    Howard Beale: Why me?
    Arthur Jensen: Because you’re on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.
    Howard Beale: I have seen the face of God.
    Arthur Jensen: You just might be right, Mr. Beale.”

  • 52. Rickr  |  April 30th, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Mr. Ames is merely serving the American public Brzezinski’s propaganda in the same frame of his book, “Our Choice, Global Leadership or Global Domination”.

    In short, the American people are now supposed to choose between a fraudulent financial system, obviating law & order, versus no financial system and no wealth, while hoping to maintain law & order. The choices are bleak, and it is designed to be that way, with both options sending us into lawlessness and chaos.

    What Ames does not do is tell you that this is the technique of a Bully, attempting to push around the American people and force them into acquiescing into these two horrible choices. IMHO, the system will NOT collapse if we put the criminals on trial, and we will not fall into lawlessness, no matter how much they try to convince us otherwise.

    From where I stand, it’s time for the public to use its power and send the bullies packing. We didn’t work for 200+ years to create the strongest economy and the greatest country in the world so a bunch of sociopaths can take it away from us.

  • 53. Scratchy  |  April 30th, 2010 at 9:23 am

    The courtiers in L’Ancien Régime were above the crowd, in an absolute system of power that shook the globe. Nothing would change for them and their privileges, ever.

    But Madame Guillotine was waiting after all.

  • 54. Buckaroo Banzai  |  April 30th, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I love the way this guy defines “adult” behavior as lying, backstabbing, lying, fraud, hypocrisy, lying, two-facedness, treachery, deceit, and did I mention lying.

    Huh.

    IIRC, Dante said the bottom circle of hell was reserved for people like this.

  • 55. Rubicon  |  April 30th, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Best article yet, Ames. Your unlikeable acquaintance is correct. We live in a nice little kleptocracy, but enough folks are getting paid off (for the moment) so that they too have an interest in keeping the party going. It is rather a hostage situation: Banksters holding a group of pensioners, asset holders, etc. We (the Exiled-allied) are pointing a gun at the banksters demanding they tell truth. We graze them with a metaphorical bullet, they put a bullet in the back of heads of those relying on Lehman. Now the banksters give a gun to the hostages and say, look those Exilers are the real danger. If they shoot us, it will spell your doom, because we banksters are the ones who are providing you income in your old age. Those rotten Exilers would rather cut us both off. Total Stockholm syndrome.

    Indeed, let us no longer try to go for labels like libertarian, randian, etc. Let us simply say we are Exiled, because we are.

  • 56. Charles  |  April 30th, 2010 at 10:37 am

    The beginning of the city state at the end of the Paleolithic started when clever sociopaths like the “acquaintance” narrator learned they could manipulate the system and make the less clever members of society their slaves and dupes and thus funnel wealth and power to themselves. This has been going on now for about 10,000 years, and the paradigm has about run its course; the house of cards is about ready to come tumbling down. It’s time for the next step in human evolution–unless, of course, we have already passed the tipping point of anthropogenic global destruction.

  • 57. Chris  |  April 30th, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Your PE friends’ tirade summarized:

    1.Your don’t know anything ames.

    2. Ad hominem attack (x3-4)

    3. a. The market(me) justifies our behavior because we have money.

    b. We wouldnt have money if we didnt play the game as we, ourselves, rigged it.

    That the money is gotten from unethically and illegally stealing it from people who are dumber than us, doesn’t matter.

    Essentially because they don’t know the game is rigged and wouldn’t have the power to sop it if they did know, they are poor(including yourself) and we are not.

    c. Therefore, because I have money, I am an adult; and everyone who believes in the rule of law is a child, because they will not accept the twisted ethics that cause them to recieve the ass fucking that wall sreet levies them, despite being poor.

    d. Fucking with this system, that no one understands but the ones who operate illegally and subsequently win from it, will cause everyone to be hurt worse then they already are.

    e. So, isn’t getting gently fucked in the ass over a long period of time better than getting your ass hardcore pulverized in the short term?

    **Your friend is a deluded narcissist and sociopath whos tirade must be dissected to decipher its actual content, as is summarized above.

    This type of sociopathic perspective is almost always rolled up in some type of double-talk, as his is.

    His reasoning and logic is consistent with the sociopaths desperate attempt to get his victims to keep responding to the sociopaths fucked up behavior, rather than solid logic.

    Its funny, as I know a lot of ivy league guys. A LOT of them exhibit this type of behavior. Ad hominem attacks and faulty / decieving logic are common. These guys are the ones that are successful on Wall Street.

  • 58. FrankMcG  |  April 30th, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    That comment about finance bankers being empty is completely true.

    Think about it. I’m sure most people would pull some ethically questionable deed in order to get rich, but once you already have enough money for a six figure income on interest ALONE? Think about what kind of person it takes to continue screwing others over at that point rather than cashing about and retiring young.

  • 59. CCG  |  April 30th, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    54 and 57 nailed it. OTOH, your acquaintance Mr. Bateman admitted that everything he says is a lie, and I’m skeptical that he actually swallows his own rant, but maybe he needs to.

  • 60. Zhu Bajie  |  April 30th, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    “It didn’t teach us anything but that this country is run by maniacs.”

    All countries are run by maniacs.

  • 61. Zhu Bajie  |  April 30th, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    “the Cheney junta Neocon Motherfuckers and the Wall Street Psychos”

    Don’t forget the Fighting Fundies. 100, 000, 000 Americans sorta expect the Rapture to solve their problems. When they finally give up hope, they will need scapegoats to punish!

  • 62. Zhu Bajie  |  April 30th, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    You know, Ames, someone has to produce. Some people actually are walking out to the field to raise the potatoes and onions.

  • 63. Ken  |  May 1st, 2010 at 4:18 am

    They should make a dramatic movie based on this article! I absolutely loved this piece!!!

  • 64. bowater  |  May 1st, 2010 at 5:09 am

    Most people here are blaming Wall Street and the big boys for srewing everyone over. that’s fine. However, who would there be to screw over if the public knew that there was little or no protection for their money and investments. The public now thinks they are protected from getting screwed because the SEC, FINRA, FDIC, Justice Dept, Attorney Generals, The Courts, Federal and State Agencies are watching over them. People are greedy they want the Good Life. They will take risks to get it. It cannot be stopped. There should be laws, but not alot of them. The more laws there are and the more complicated those laws are, the easier it is to bend those laws to the “big boys” interests. One law each person can have is their own law about money. you only need one. Law # 1)In your mind, pretend there is no recourse if you get screwed or lose your money. That’s it. You don’t need anymore advice. Not much to blog about with that # 1 rule. Nobody to blame but yourself. How many people could Wall Street screw if people had the # 1 rule?

  • 65. Ric  |  May 1st, 2010 at 7:14 am

    CA Fitts called this the Red Button problem–who would press a red button to eliminate fraud if it also eliminates all savings and pensions? This is a variant of the too-big-too-fail argument. If I press the button and all economic and commercial activity stops, the next day, people wake up and look for something to eat and commerce begins again, this time at a smaller scale. His only-game-in-town-everybody-is-doing-it line concerns only his game. Commerce between trusting parties has existed for 10,000 yearsand will continue for another 10,000 years, but requires staying small scale where you know your clients and are responsible for your actions. After such a conversation, I’d want to take a shower.

  • 66. CCG  |  May 1st, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Spot on bowater. You can cheat an honest man, but it’s a hell of a lot harder. One reason I have no sympathy for all the underwater homedebtors screeching about how they were “screwed” by the banks, after they spent more time researching their fucking vacations than their mortgages. Quite a different story than when their crapbox was appreciating 20% every year and those of us who didn’t fall for the scam were all “stupid fucking retards”. Fuck the lot of them.

  • 67. RecoverylessRecovery  |  May 1st, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    I have to admit all this dour news about rampant corruption in the United States is making feel sort of …ECSTATIC.

    That’s because I, along with 567 million OTHER human beings who inhabit this planet want to see the U.S. PUNISHED for its extensive war crimes, crimes against humanity and massive international financial swindles. We want to see you fuckers CRUSHED, BEATEN and ANNIHILATED.

    Fortunately for us the U.S. federal government has now clearly turned the full attention of its evil eyes towards abusing ITS OWN people & society, gradually implementing against them the same sort of outright douchebagginess once reserved almost exclusively for OTHER nations & societies.

    So forgive us if we break out the popcorn and sit back to relax while we watch you asswipes lose your homes, your liberties and your nation.

    HASTA LA VICTORIA, SIEMPRE!

  • 68. General Foods  |  May 1st, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Men go into that profession precisely
    because they are fantastically ugly, short,
    impotent losers for whom making a lot of
    money is the only way they will ever get
    laid.

    If only some of you cheerleaders had serviced enough of those losers back in high school when it could have made a difference, rather than wait until they they acquired the only currency that gets your attention, we might not be in this mess now.

    Sex surrogacy in high school – the only true reform.

  • 69. az  |  May 1st, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    It would be better if these banker/investor guys were rappers or something more romantic than a bunch of white dudes who don’t do anything except act as priests of capital. They’d at least talk about bandanas on car antennas or something.

  • 70. zippythepinhead  |  May 2nd, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Of course it’s fraud. Who the fuck doesn’t know that? This MLM joke of an economy destroyed by bankers, elitists the two party system will eventually crater and burn to the ground. It’ll be great. It will be wonderful. It’ll be cathartic. 100 yrs of cronycorporatism destroyed relatively quickly. I look forward to the day as Lord Acton puts it “the war which will have to be fought between the banks and the people.” Enough already. Lets get this party started!

  • 71. asp  |  May 2nd, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Unregulated shadow banking is what he is talking about. Just as unregulated regular banks crashed causing the great depression, this time hedge funds acting like banks blew up, because they are unregulated. They slipped through the cracks.

    We don’t have pull the plug by exposing the fraud, not quite yet. First we put in place the safety valves, then worry about exposing the crooks.

  • 72. Bob  |  May 2nd, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    The world is cyclical. Empires, generations, societies all evolve that way.
    Having lived many years in USSR pre Gorbachev years I am pleasantly surprised The Exile biweekly was tolerated so long in Russian post-communism society. Ironically publication of this sort would be shut down no time in present USA. Good experiment Mr. Ames.

    Years back Canadian Intelligence Service asked me what I think of USSR. My description was short ” Organized Crime in Power”. This is where current USA is heading in to. It is not difficult to predict future of this country since on the basis of society evolution it is universal. Like every winter is followed by spring and summer countries and societies residing there go from golden age to destruction, from freedom for all to freedom for none.

    Most US Politian are on take, you have to replace entire House. Election process itself is in favor of crooks. No honest candidate stands a chance to amass amount of money necessary to be elected. To make even playing field election process itself needs to changed.

  • 73. retardo  |  May 2nd, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Acknowledging that its all fraud wont stop the collapse or help you survive. The super-rich have a strategy to survive – do you? Try: A Pocketbook of Gold; A Survival Manual for Monetary Mayhem … from the world’s largest gold trader, Jim Sinclair

  • 74. RecoverylessRecovery  |  May 2nd, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    “Of course it’s fraud. Who the fuck doesn’t know that?”

    Allow me to present a short list of possible suspects:

    - People who still belive this country has a competent and credible judiciary system

    - People who continue to buy RE at grossly overinflated & government-subsidized prices that are COMPLETELY out of whack with REAL earnings and wages.

    - People who still naively believe that the Republican & Democratic parties are SEPARATE entities.

    - People who continue to take financial advice from the NY Times, WSJ and Wshington Post.

    - People who still believe this country has a viable economic system.

    - People that watch American Idol.

    - People that worry about gay rights, oil spills and ecology even as their country is completely collapsing all around them. In other words; people who worry about remodeling the kitchen while the rest of the house is burning.

    - People who can still hear Mobamba’s promises of ‘change we can believe in’ WITHOUT crapping their pants in LAUGHTER.

  • 75. Goin'Fawr  |  May 2nd, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Sometimes you gotta break a few eggs if you wanna make an omelet.

    So I say we ‘etch a sketch’ this whole lie, che.

    Sure, some might lose their 401k’s (eggs in the wrong basket?) but no matter how belligerent our ‘all grown up now’ terroritst fraudsters get, ground zero is easier place to build up from, no? Deffo easier than constantly feeding the arrogant corporate socialist fucks like the example portrayed in this piece, eh?

    Regards,
    Fidel

  • 76. Gavin  |  May 2nd, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    At least the veil is being drawn back all be it slowly. The next phase in the game is to create chaos and fear. This makes people forget about their pension or work problems and makes them focus on preserving their mortality. Don’t get hooked into this game. They want you to be mad, angry, violent and vengeful. All they have to do then is hand out uniforms, and then they, and not you are back to the races. Don’t play their game. Don’t do their war, don’t do their tax, and don’t do their Banking. They will be finished in a day. Without your cooperation they are finished. No aggression needed, just adjust your modality to exclude them. The sun will come up even if it comes up in the West. Rain will fall. Crops will grow. Humanity will endure. We have done so for tens of thousands of years. This is all just a minor blip on the radar. We have been through much worse than this and come out better. Their tools are serial deceit, depravation of key knowledge, creation of fear in the individual, outright perversion of the truth, coercion by bribery, flattery or brute force if they have enough people coopted. Think of Lennon, Gandhi and Martin Luther king. No violence needed. Let them rot like old grapes. They have made their own beds to lie in. Pull back the covers for them and put them to bed slowly. All in good time. Don’t allow yourself to play at their game. Let the party begin. Peace on Earth Brothers and sisters. Just live it. Spread the message.

  • 77. Atlas  |  May 2nd, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    We are just about done the blowing bubble routine. Lie, cheat, steal whatever, we are now on the slippery slope down. The confidence factor is now being destroyed with a little country like Greece. The flames will spread quickly as the paper bailouts created from nothing erode the meaning of money and show fiat currency for what it is, a fraud and a ponzi by the Federal Reserve and all central banks. No backing for our currency means no middle ground for anything other than a complete and total collapse. Try to enjoy the ride.

  • 78. john  |  May 3rd, 2010 at 1:19 am

    I can’t believe what I have heard !!! This supreme asshole and his totally depraved mentality is the problem. To assume we need to keep this totally flawed and corrupt system intact because if we do not continue to indulge these scumbags they will tank the whole thing. Well I have a retirement tied up in a financial vehicle,… and I say screw it all,… if the system needs to burn to the ground to reset it to something just then so be it. My kids and my grandkids we’ll veritable slaves if this is not reigned in, in the most extreme kind of way. It’s absolute freaking asshole like him that need to be taken out behind the building and invest a single shot to the back of the head. And purge the planet of these arrogant, self indulgent, narcissistic aberrations of humanity that somehow think they are genetically superior to others. Time for them to go.

  • 79. wildfire  |  May 3rd, 2010 at 3:50 am

    I had the great pleasure of attending a Q&A session with Rob Nichols, president of the Financial Services Forum, and learned that the reason our financial system crashed in 2008 was because some homeowners bit off more than they could chew. As for why Wall Street’s mega profits haven’t translated to an all-around improvement in our economy, it’s because the folks stopped spending. This guy represents AIG, Bank of America, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and UBS, among other international heavyweights, and yet he can’t help but lie pathologically to college students. These assholes on Wall Street define scum.

  • 80. postmodernprimate  |  May 3rd, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. Push the fucking reset button.

    - The Bottom 80% have a mere 7% of financial wealth.
    - The Bottom 80% have a mere 8.9% of stock ownership.
    - Only 31.6% of the population has more than $10,000 in stocks.

  • 81. RecoverylessRecovery  |  May 3rd, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    “The only people who ought to fear the kind of oversight and transparency that we’re proposing are those whose conduct will fail this scrutiny.”

    Well said!

    So how about allowing the American people to form an investigate committee with the authority and mandate to look into YOUR administration’s ties to GOLDMAN SACHS?

    Oh, and we STILL want to see that fucking birth certificate too while you’re at it.

  • 82. TheJoker  |  May 3rd, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    “F ucking
    R etards
    A re
    U ndermining
    D emocracy,
    U sing
    L ewd
    E conomic
    N aughtiness
    T o

    A mass
    M ost
    E every
    R esource
    I ncluding
    C ocksucking
    A mericans themselves.”

    Haaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for the laughs….to the author and you cocksucking American bloggers! Goddamn cocksuckers everywhere you look these days!!!!!!!!!!

    And, yeah, I’ll vote for The Joker just to watch the world burn, too.

    A friend passed me this link. Just wanted to thank you yapping mother fuckers and patriotic cocksuckers for being among the most intelligent and interesting to read bloggers and commenters I’ve seen in a long time. Totally unlike the YouTube and other environment where some jackoff at the keyboard can’t even spell. I even get the sense most of you do-gooder, Libertine fudgepackers are edumocated some!

    Well, all the best to you in the gulags. Try not to suck each other’s cocks in there — lest the other dick smokers run off with your loaf of rotten bread while you’re slobbering on the Jocker’s Libertine schlong. Holy Cow, Bat Man, I always wondered how his face got so white. Now I know it was from a Libertarian!

  • 83. RecoverylessRecovery  |  May 4th, 2010 at 1:02 am

    “.. thank you ..to the author..”

    Y eah
    O pen-minded,
    U naccounted-for

    R eal
    E xiles

    W e
    E xpress that
    L ies
    C orruption &
    O ppression
    M ust
    E nd
    !

  • 84. wengler  |  May 4th, 2010 at 1:41 am

    This is what happens when a population lacks common sense and a shared conception of history.

    Our government actually pushed a lot of really good ideas early in this country’s history that made the economy grow exponentially. For American libertarians, practicing their version of corporate Calvinism, the Federal Government actually owned nearly all the land in this country. And not only did they organize it into townships, it ended up giving it away- for free. One of the biggest handouts of all time as long as someone was willing to make a go at it.

    It’s really kind of sad but the economy of today looks a lot one of the economies that developed in America in the early years- the antebellum South. That economy was geared to serve the very few at the expense of the great many, and emphasized a NAFTA-like trade policy to push its raw goods into the world market.

  • 85. Chris  |  May 4th, 2010 at 6:48 am

    RecoverylessRecovery:

    Hating the American people is akin to hating the poor uneducated slaves on a plantation, because you hate the slave owner.

    A slave owner that knows no national boundaries, but uses america as his top producing farm.

    You and your family are no different from the common american, only by random chance were you not born here. Thats the only difference between you and us.

    Think about directing your anger more precisely and intelligently. Otherwise, you run the risk of justifiably coming off as uninformed.

  • 86. RecoverylessRecovery  |  May 4th, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    “Hating the American people is akin to hating the poor uneducated slaves on a plantation, because you hate the slave owner.”

    Sorry Chris, but WRONG analogy. We’re NOT talking about ‘slaves’ here, for that would imply FORCED servitude.

    Americans OTOH are mostly VOLUNTARILY backing the evil designs of their rulers in exchange for college loans, mortgage bailouts, pension plans and health coverage.
    They submissively & unquestioningly comply with ANY demands from their government leaders no matter how egregiously abusive those demands may result upon others.
    In fact, all of the aforementioned constitute the very SAME reasoning used by the U.S. in order to justify MASSIVE bombings of civilian targets during WWII.

    Also for the record, I DON’T ‘hate’ Americans. I DESPISE them, which is MUCH healthier for my own psychological well-being. And even that contempt I feel only applies exclusively towards those dipshit Americans that CONTINUE to comply & cooperate with the evil actions of their leaders.

    A fact which I suspect leaves 99.9% of The Exiled’s readership OFF THE HOOK.

    Peace.

  • 87. democrat-werker Sachs trial lawner  |  May 4th, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    This article is retarded. Everything is fine. Our economy will recover if only people had faith and prayer to the all mighty god like market. Here, watch this educational video on why we should always trust govt. and govt. is always looking out for us and out money.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0POyBZ9JwkY

    Those UFO’s is just swamp gas and Lee Harvey Oswald was the only gunman.

  • 88. democrat-werker Sachs trial lawyer  |  May 4th, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    And also what we need is a convention of top bureaucrats to investigate into this supposed fraud. Only an team of inquiring bureaucrats can bring down those dang corporations, who cares if millions of people loose their savings, they gotta be brought down. Its the only liberal leftist solution.

  • 89. RecoverylessRecovery  |  May 4th, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Signs You May Be Living in a Third World Shithole:

    You see a picture of a well-dressed pig living it up while smoking a big fat cigar next to a huge bag of loot ..
    and you AUTOMATICALLY know IT’S A WALL ST. BANKSTER!

  • 90. Hank Roberts  |  May 5th, 2010 at 7:39 am

    hoocoodanode?

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/03/bubble-denial-3/

    “… back in 2004 …. Greenspan wanted no hint of the discussion made public:

    ‘We run the risk, by laying out the pros and cons of a particular argument, of inducing people to join in on the debate, and in this regard it is possible to lose control of a process that only we fully understand.’

    Can’t have outsiders joining in on the debate, can we? Hoo boy.”

  • 91. Some Guy  |  May 5th, 2010 at 9:47 am

    IF this guy is real and not a delusion of the author I would be surprised. If he IS real, the writer did the world a disservice by not stabbing him at the table.

  • 92. CapitalistHOG  |  May 5th, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    bla bla bla I’m a suck-up bla bla bla I’m a south park republican i see through the b.s. i’m neither right nor left bla bla bla aren’t i interesting?

  • 93. G simmons  |  May 5th, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    4fuCksake! i wish i had written this! though i sorta have = go to www/scopelabs.net 4 more of same from another empirical view of the inside!

    -G

  • 94. FrankMcG  |  May 6th, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Dear Recoverylessrecovery,

    No one is going to take your act seriously if you tell everyone you’re a birther. Too much. Trolling’s gotta come natural, man.

    To #63, I think you missed the several quotes from movies based on exactly this topic in the comments!

  • 95. RecoverylessRecovery  |  May 6th, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    “No one is going to take your act seriously if you tell everyone you’re a birther. Too much.”

    No one’s going to take me seriously REGARDLESS, but for the record I’m NOT a birther at all Frank. I just mentioned it for its comic relief potential.
    Just trollin’ for the ol’ easy cheap laugh there. You know, kinda like Bush’s response to Katrina.

    I myself actually believe quite firmly that there are MANY other, more SOUND reasons for impeaching the corrupt cocksucker from Kenya. Not the least of which are his shadowy ties & obvious subjugation to Wall St interests.

  • 96. MOHS_01  |  May 9th, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Mark,

    You are a better man than I… as I believe I would have helped his dentist’s private economy about halfway through the exchange. If one is going to make a “might makes right” argument he should be equally ready to deal with the consequences of that decision.

  • 97. Unabonger  |  May 9th, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    The big fraud blob is growing more dangerous everyday, fed by deceit, injustice, bribes, unchecked legislation written in back rooms benefiting only those writing them, and the political whores signing them. If the FBI, CIA, and other law enforcemeant groups cannot, or will not, due to their own inside corruption defend justice, and our Constitutional Laws, then it is our duty as American Citizens as directed by our Constitution to rise up and defend them. God help these cunts if the Supreme Court upholds the socialist obamacare fraud, because from what many are saying about obamacare being the catalyst towards Hitler’s Socialism, Mao’s Communism, or the pedofile Bush Senior’s NWOism the shooting will soon follow. So to all you foul-mouth bastards on this blog who are not all talk, and are willing to step forward as those did at Valley Forge, Normandy, Korea, and Vietnam prepare yourselves for the day with plenty of guns, and tons of ammo. For we as a free people, with our current form of Government eventually will right the wrong, so hang in there! Fuck Che, Obama, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, the NWO Socialists, and their Masters! FUCK THEM ALL!!! Signed; The Smokin, and Token Unabonger

  • 98. RecoverylessRecovery  |  May 9th, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    “Fuck Che…”

    No querido, VIVA el Che. El ya estaba combatiendo y denunciando las malignas intenciones de estos corruptos bastardos yanquis mientras VOS todavia andabas saltando de un huevo al otro.

    Hasta la victoria, SIEMPRE!

  • 99. Clara  |  May 10th, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    This is the tip of the iceberg, and we ALL need to know why. You can start here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxNEWGl2rUI
    This entire cover-up has been for one purpose only: to keep the status quo of those in charge of finance rich, and the rest of us down. Over a dozen other countries, including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France and the UK have come forward. Why not the USA, which has profited MOST from these technologies? This press-conference-nobody-watched happened ten years ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vyVe-6YdUk See it now to understand why we are all still floundering.

  • 100. John D.  |  May 12th, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Great point overall — but PLEASE consult the style manual of your choice and stop running through a zillion thoughts in a single paragraph. Thank you.

  • 101. mike p  |  May 12th, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Look,if this article if only 50% semi TRUTHFUL,should somewhat scare the S–T out of every American (still alive )! Somehow the Idiots we’ve elected in the passed 50 yrs. Have screwed up everything that was Good and Great about this God Givin’ Country,plus all the Blood that has been givin to keep it’s Ideals Alive… Tell the Mother’s and Father’s, and Aunt’s and Uncle’s,and Sons/Daughter’s of all those that have died for this country! THAT THEY DIED FOR NOTHING..!!! We ( still alive ) Americans have to get off our asses and take a Stand for all the has gone before us…Vote! Vote! Vote! them all out of office…Follow your Local Elections, investagate these new canidates,vote your best choice for change! The belief in America,The old Ideals, of Good and Bad. Good begats Good, Bad gets what it deserves!

  • 102. Kevin  |  May 17th, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Thank you Colonel House et al.. for nothing

  • 103. Summerian  |  August 29th, 2010 at 7:57 am

    I’m a real deal philosopher. I don’t care about how you feel about anything. I do logic. You must understand this.

    Gold does not have more than selfvalue – just a metal.
    So the idea that it does is flawed.
    To then have this idea as a fundation for a society is more than corrupt. It is so deficient and inadequate you will end up without a society.

  • 104. Rocketman  |  September 16th, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I AM a Libertarian and the more that I read this the angrier that I got! Let me ask the POS that you were talking to one important question. What’s going to happen when all of this collapses in on its self? When his greed and arrogance is responsible for millions of Americans not being able to feed themselves and their children, no money to buy medicine or put a roof over themselves? Disgust does even come close to what I feel towards him. And there something else that he might want to consider. History has a way of repeating itself and right now I suggest that you start reading up on what happened to people like you back in 1789 France.

  • 105. Adam  |  October 7th, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    The end of the article reminds me of the song aenema by tool.

  • 106. mudangel  |  October 22nd, 2010 at 8:35 am

    sounds to me like your banker buddy is scared shitless, no matter how much they keep proping up this bubble, its going to burst sometime, whether that markets crash and people eff the Wall street jokers up because of the “loss of their savings”, or the markets continue to be propped to the point that they literally squeeze every last bit of sanity from the populace to pay for it until the thread snaps and the people eff the Wall street jokers up because of that. Either way at this point they are going to take everyone they can with them. They are going to be royally screwed in the end and they are just trying to make it out alive. The head haunchos will probably head for the hills when they see it coming and all that will be left will be the little worms like that guy you had lunch with, who will lash out just like a wild animal that’s been backed into a corner.

    The doom is inevitable, if that guy survives maybe you can repay him for lunch with an “I told you so” and an MRE.

  • 107. fissionfusion  |  November 4th, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Brilliant.

    All these fucking retards sitting here whining about “hang them!!!!!” are exactly the type your acquaintance was talking about. These are the amoral fucktards who think they can fix the economy and run the nation but can’t even afford to pay their bills on time.

    Fuck them.

    Simple fact is we are living a lie, and in doing so we are living the truth. The lie is that this is a global train that can’t stop, and won’t stop no matter what you political heathens think. Contrary to popular belief amongst a majority of you fucks, the economy does not revolve around you and your checking account – you are worth less than a TJ gutter whore on a Tuesday night during the World Cup.

    You either bask in it with full knowledge the shit is going down, or you bask in it willfully ignorant of your own value as a piece of shit.

    In short. Dude has it spot on. Anyone who disagrees, fuck you pay me.

  • 108. Christina Marlowe  |  July 4th, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    http://corporatewhoredomsandtheamericankleptocracy.wordpress.com/video-filthy-criminals-in-the-u-s-kleptocracy/

  • 109. Sarah Jackson  |  August 25th, 2012 at 12:49 am

    for me this is True story :D

  • 110. Crazyzrg  |  January 11th, 2013 at 6:29 am

    The problem that I have with this is, okay, our entire system is based on corruption and fraud and to do anything would destroy it. Well okay, destroy the system, destroy every system based on fraud and lies. You think all this isn’t about to fall apart anyways, you think that more than half of Americans aren’t already living at the poverty line barely scraping by, you don’t think more than half of the world is already starving and poor. What we need is to dismantle our economic and political systems, throw away the pieces and start from scratch.

  • 111. RockyRacoon  |  March 25th, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Guess what all those pensions are gone anyway Holmes may as well crash the system and get honest. Time to come to Jesus baby!
    At least then with a half decent project for renewal infrastructure clean energy tax all the mother freaking wealth they pulled out of the ponzi scheme because they stole it in the first place Holmes hey you wanna make an omelet holmes u gotta break a few legs.

  • 112. John Durham  |  April 21st, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    David Stockman is correct, the 2008 financial tragedy “…occured only in the canyons of Wall Street, Main street not being affected.”

    We don’t have a true financial system at the moment. But we, more or less, haven’t had one since the demise of Bretton-Woods (Nov 1971). Wall Street Banker’s rule became absolute, between the later years of Eisenhower and early years of Nixon. An actual large national financial system gradually went away over a period 1971-July 2007. It changed into a sort of predatory casino, affecting everyone who decided to play there. But, only them. Except where government, in their ignorance, chose not to protect The People from what big banks were doing, ie, the banking foreclosure thefts.

    Outside of this ring of fraud, that was described as a financial system, there was and still is, banking and life in this nation. Since the bailout there has been no large bank action that helps or hurts the nation. The $29Trillion given by the Fed in FED NOTES, to the big banks to play with is not anymore related to the real economy than BitCoins are. Wall Street may not be occupied, but they are isolated, playing with themselves…having forgotten how to reproduce…

    If the President were to decide tomorrow, like Kennedy sort of in ’63, to print US NOTES, then put them out through Treasury loans to 50 State Public Banks he could Constitutionally do it. Ignoring Wall Street, State Banks would hold their own deposits and bond all state, county & city activities. Ignoring also, the Fed they would be the clearing house for community banks in each state. Of course Wall Street and the Fed would simply wither away from lack of available money created by The People’s creation of real wealth…

    A National bank, fully owned by the government, using double entry accounting, would issue US Notes, US Bonds, etc. showing on its books, all these creations of Credits and Debits. For instance one form of Credit would be payments for Congressional Bills, each one a Debit against the bank’s books, after all. Right? Holders of US Bonds would, of course, be more obviously Debits on the books. Money held would actually be a Debit, owed to The People, while money flowing into State Banks would be a Credit, ie, a Credit on the National Bank books, a Debit on the State Bank books and, etc.

    Accounting has to do with keeping track of things, it is not economics. What is Economics?

    The word Economics is a sacred term and means only one thing. It is a Republic art of materializing Faith in Human Beings and all Life, by Creating money for the use of The People (those creating all the real wealth in a financial system, remember?) so that they, The People, can (and will of course) operate at their HIGHEST HUMAN POTENTIAL.

    Those who define it otherwise are not yet economists, not having gained the understanding of the Spiritual Nature & Dynamics of that mysterious and grand human activity.


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