Archive for January 23rd, 2011
In response to the immediately preceding article posted below:
Hard to top this for straight talk and right to the heart of the matter from someone who knows the financial markets, and especially derivatives, better than most.
From this afternoon’s mailbag:
“Loved your commentary: ‘The American government is acting as if it is involved in a massive cover-up of a control fraud and corruption that could perhaps be the worst in its history.’
There’s no need to qualify. The government is involved in a massive cover-up of control fraud and corruption, and it is the worst in U.S. history.
We let the servants quietly steal from the wine cellar and larder (for more than a century), and after discovering that no one would check their behavior—in fact, we handed the keys to our consumables to all the servants and let them bribe the overseers—they have watered down all the wine, and they backed up the truck to the larder and replaced most of the food with jars of peanut butter.
The bad guys have won, it’s almost too late to find our food and wine (5 year statute of limitations for securities fraud). As you rightly point out, those who speak up like William K. Black are marginalized.
Perhaps the most positive thing one can do at this point is try to stay on top of the anomalies created by this mess and try to preserve and increase wealth for the few that will listen.”
The American government is acting as if it is involved in a massive coverup of a control fraud and corruption that could perhaps be the worst in its history. I think many people who are looking at this know in their hearts that all is not well, that there is something not quite right in the current situation. How else can we explain such massive and widespread financial fraud, with so few meaningful indictments, or even ongoing investigations with credible disclosures? And the worst perpetrators appear to be dictating the remedies and reforms to the system for this government sponsored recovery.
Hank, Tim, and Ben alluded to the consequences of the discovery and uncontrolled disclosure of this fraud, and it frightened the Congress so badly that they immediately gave up and signed over 700 billion dollars, and many billions more, to facilitate the coverup of this under the guise of recovery and stabilization. I would like to imagine that those in charge are attempting to prevent a panic while they put out the fires, but I see little serious remedies designed to save the public, much less than to perpetuate the firetrap. And so the corruption continues to fester, and debilitate the nation.
More than an American scandal, this fraud reaches deep into the halls of power in Europe, some of whose national governments are already failing. What had been the Keating Five is now the Global Finance 500.
People say they understand this, but they really do not understand the implications of it. They intellectualize and theorize around it, try to deal with it by smashing it down into something they can get their mind around and accept, and even turn to their short term personal advantage. But they are not dealing with it and certainly not facing up to it.
And there are many whose goal is to distract and to change the subject away from it, and a great deal of money to be made by serving their desires to turn people’s attention away from the problem to find someone else to blame, some other problem to focus upon, and some new victim class to absorb the public anger. It is an old story, often repeated in tragedy.
But unfortunately, confronting the truth and fixing the situation is key to any sort of sustainable recovery. And this is the trap of crony capitalism and control fraud, when it has nearly exhausted its victims, and is having difficulty finding new ones to maintain its growth and facade.
Until that time there will be a procession of scapegoats, defaults, bailouts, and property seizures, both implicit and explicit, and a growing toll of innocent victims and systemic destruction, ending finally in the collapse of the US national currency and international trade.
If it had not been that the US is so large, and for the time being controls the bulk of the world’s reserve currency, it is likely this would have already come to some conclusion before spreading so widely and pervasively. But the situation remains highly unstable and threatening, despite assurances to the contrary.
William K. Black is telling us something very important, as Harry Markopolos had been trying to tell some simple but important things to the investors in Bernie Madoff’s investment scheme. The Madoff investors preferred to vilify and ignore him. It appears that the same thing is happening to William Black. And the final outcomes may be similar.
What can one person do besides to spread the word, and demand the truth in their own place and their own way? Support those who stand and tell the truth, sometimes at great cost. Insulate and remove yourself from the fraud as best you can to preserve your wealth and your integrity.
Above all resist the disinformation, propaganda, and distractions, and all the insidious rationalization and convenient skepticism to complicit apathy, making it clear that you will be neither a willing victim nor a silent bystander to the intoxicant of blame and hatred, and the victimization of others designed to turn the people on one another, be they Gypsy, Muslim, Jew or Christian, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, disabled, old, poor, ill or weak, or any other variety of outsider and convenient target.
For once the madness starts, it can never be controlled, and will eventually come for all, and consume all.
The Great American Bank Robbery
Video – Lecture
By William K. Black
1. Why do we have repeated, intensifying economic crises?
2. What can white collar criminology add to our understanding of what’s going wrong?
Note: The William K. Black video was first served at this Cafe in August of 2009 in a post titled The Great American Bank Robbery. It was not so widely received at that time as it seems to be now. I view this as a promising development. The events of the past few years are opening people’s minds to the possibility that things are not as they appear, and that the financial crisis and reform did not happen for reasons which they had not yet seriously considered.