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MSNBC: Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
Class War For Idiots / August 1, 2009
By Yasha Levine

Finance pundits have been heralding Hall not as a scamster but as a valuable asset to Citigroup. They’ve also been back to their tactic of scarying people into believing that if Wall Street’s top dogs didn’t get their multi-million bonuses, the very fabric of our society will disintegrate. Like after the collapse of the Soviet Union, America will experience a braindrain. The best talent will flee for companies in Nigeria, Russia, China—maybe even North Korea if we keep abusing them—leaving the bailouted banks unable to pay back what they owe to us taxpayers. So if we want to see at least some that $750 billion we handed out, we got to play by the rules.

Some in the finance world are even arguing that if it wasn’t Andrew Hall’s widely successful manipulation of oil prices on behalf of Citigroup, taxpayers might have had to fork over not just $45 billion, but $49 billion to keep Citigroup afloat. He saved us $4 billion, and the least we can do is give him a suitcase filled with 100,000 crisp Benjamin notes.

One hundred million—100,000,000—dollars worth of bonus for ONE person for ONE year of work for a company that went bankrupt. Think about that. People were outraged at AIG bonuses back in March. Well those added up to a meager total of $165 million, with the top bonus payout of $6.4 million.

Andrew Hall was laughing at the underpaid AIG-losers when protestors showed up at their homes. “As it happens, one can see some of those homes from Mr. Hall’s front lawn in Southport, not far from his office,” says the New York Times.

Andrew Hall's Vampire LairThe Bailout Vampire’s Lair: Andrew Hall retreats to his castle, sucking taxpayer money for strength

And that’s what these Citi commercials are all about: funneling as much cash from you into Citi’s gambling operations, while making you think they’re doing you a favor. So while you bike to work in the rain, map out cheap gas stations to save a few pennies a gallon, steal shampoo from hotels and all the while pay 30% interest on your cash back Citi credit card, Wall St. society gambling goons like Andrew Hall will be buying up more castles and expanding their collections of modern art.

Two years ago, Mr. Hall waged a legal fight with the Historic District Commission of Fairfield over an 82-foot concrete sculpture that he had placed on the front lawn of his 7,300-square-foot Greek Revival mansion, where he lives with his wife, Christine . . . A few years ago, he bought a medieval castle in Germany from the neo-expressionist painter Georg Baselitz, and he and his wife have turned the property, said to contain roughly 150 rooms, into a private museum for their collection.

“He has about 4,000 pieces in what could easily be described as one of the world’s finest collections of contemporary art,” said a New York dealer, Mary Boone. It includes pieces by Andy Warhol, David Salle, Bruce Nauman and Julian Schnabel.

The New York Times

If Americans can’t stand up for themselves, maybe it is time to write an open letter to Bin Laden, asking for al Qaeda’s assistance is carpet-bombing Wall Street with 747s. After all, we do have a lot of parked airplanes to spare.

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Add your own

  • 1. T. Hallman  |  August 1st, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    What kind of interest rate can I get from Citi for purchase of a few hundred kilos of Vaseline?

  • 2. Paul Yarbles  |  August 1st, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Why are fucking welfare queens getting bonuses?

  • 3. Realist  |  August 1st, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Having witnessed the public sentiment in Germany and France, I am astonished by the reaction (or lack thereof) of the american plebs. Biggest heist in history, bankers marauding in the debris of a once great nation. And the only reaction being angry YouTube videos…

    I do not believe in the inherent bravery of the old continent, but at least the French are crying for blood. And if this continues, they will get it.

  • 4.  |  August 1st, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Yeah, this is the same deal as the alleged “sanctity” of GS’s contract with AIG. Too bad motherfucker. Your counter-party went BROKE, so what should have happened was rich dude gets in line with the all the other creditors at bankruptcy court, and his actual payday is pennies on the dollar after the cubicles are auctioned off. The only reason this asshole still has an employer to sue is cuz of nobody knowing what degree of Road Warrior scenario happens if Citi goes broke. His “fair’s fair” claim is totally invalidated by the nationalization in lieu of bankruptcy that happened. If he was a moral or thoughtful being he’d forgo the claim, cuz the only reason it’s even an issue is the WELFARE that was given by the taxpayers. But obviously what we’re dealing with here is no man but a vampire in want of a stake through the heart.

  • 5. אברהם  |  August 1st, 2009 at 6:51 pm


    I can’t help but think there’s a silver lining to American cowardice. When European bosses threaten to lay off workers, or cut benefits or pensions, or increase hours, the plebes riot a few days and some kind of deal gets worked out. Back to capitalism as usual, albeit less parasitic than the American species. Definitely prettier than the misdirected rage (workplace shootings and racism) you see in the US. But that same lack of spine has allowed American political culture to sink to the point it’s at now. And it’s only going to get worse in the next decade — just look at the health care “reform” coming down the pipe.

    Surely there’s a point where Americans will fight back (and if not, they deserve what they get). The oligarchy has already racked up a historically unprecedented score; it’ll take a revolution to settle it. I’m not so sure that’d a bad thing, either — do any of you honestly believe that American democracy is still functional?

  • 6. Gaucho  |  August 1st, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    I have to grant that his castle is surprisingly well built, not at all the kind of tacky architecture a parvenu usually buys into. I didn’t think you could find this kind appropriate taste outside of Europe. It is because of talent like this that these evil fuckers end up ruling us.

  • 7. Realist  |  August 2nd, 2009 at 9:51 am

    @ אברהם

    The hope for a more benign order after a political collapse, the hope for a quick collapse itself, may not lead to instant gratification. The US government seems to be very much aware that the current model of ripping off the productive class is not sustainable for much longer. And, from my perspective, it is obvious they are preparing for domestic unrest. The “homeland brigades” under NORTHCOM, the growing police state (+DHS), the contingency drills, the threats of martial law…
    It seems probable that the scenario “collapse” would leave Joe Blow in the midst of economic devestation, facing a ruthless security apparatus similar to the 2005 Katrina preview. This will get very ugly.

    But even assuming the ruling oligarchy would be displaced: Alternatives? Who would take their place? And would such people and institutions prove to be any more legitimate than the current crop of kleptocrats?

    I am not an American and I dont live there. I have no stake in how this turns out. But without a clear conception of viable alternatives, a revolution is nothing but a rebellion. And rebellions always fail.

  • 8. Mike Gogulski  |  August 2nd, 2009 at 9:58 am

    It’s at times like these that I take delight in no longer being a US tax slave.

  • 9. אברהם  |  August 3rd, 2009 at 6:40 am

    Well, Realist, I have this fantasy. As existing institutions lose all legitimacy (and I think this is already happening; that nobody cares about Goldman et al’s shenanigans indicates they don’t expect any better) and the global supply chains that feed our consumption dissolve (peak oil, economic collapse, et cetera whatever) Americans would spontaneously form anarchist communes and live happily ever after.

    I’m cynical enough to recognize that as delusional. At this point I’d settle for authoritarian government that’s more equitable to the bottom 90% than our current oligarchy. That probably won’t happen either.

    The best I can see happening is a mass social movement forming as conditions further deteriorate. That’s the only way even marginally significant change has occurred in the US. Judging by the history of the civil rights and labor movements, though, your image of post-Katrina New Orleans writ large is scarily accurate.

    Sometimes I wonder whose wife I fucked in a past life to deserve being born into such interesting times.

  • 10. RT Carpenter  |  August 3rd, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    The axis of evil runs from the FED and Treasury to Wall Street. Goldman Sachs is a triple dipper! $10 billion TARP, $13 billion AIG conduit, $29 billion FDIC backing. Ben Stein commented on GS about two years ago in the NYT. He called Paulson’s Treasury appointment improper since his firm GS was shorting the same derivatives it was selling the suckers. But the Bush and Obama pay-offs are more than unethical. This is the greatest fraudulent transfer of all time.

  • 11. Tommy Jefferson  |  August 4th, 2009 at 10:55 am

    The American people deserve the butt-raping they are receiving from their fascist government. They voted it into existence based on promises of being able to use government violence to live at someone else’s expense.

    Using violence to appropriate other peoples’ resources is immoral. They deserve to suffer.

  • 12. aleke  |  August 7th, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    If Thomas Jefferson were still alive he would’ve sent you to gulag. He’s a rational man after all. Just like Adam Smith.

  • 13. aleke  |  August 7th, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    [in response to Tommy]

  • 14. Realist  |  August 8th, 2009 at 9:24 am

    I acutally contemplate buying some former middle class american slaves. You can get the suckers with worthless BA degrees for 25 grand or less. The sole purpose of their 90hr week will be to to come up with odes to my visionary greatness and to formulate new rationalisations for my sadistic abuse of them.

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