Financial Crisis Was Avoidable, Inquiry Finds


Oh we’ve got a gem of an article this morning, in of all places, The New York Times

The commission’s report finds fault with two Fed chairmen: Alan Greenspan, right, a skeptic of regulation who led the central bank as the housing bubble expanded, and his successor, Ben S. Bernanke, who did not foresee the crisis but then played a crucial role in the response to it.

The commission that investigated the crisis casts a wide net of blame, faulting two administrations, the Federal Reserve and other regulators for permitting a calamitous concoction: shoddy mortgage lending, the excessive packaging and sale of loans to investors and risky bets on securities backed by the loans.

Well, that’s certainly a statement of the obvious….but it gets better.

The majority report finds fault with two Fed chairmen: Alan Greenspan, who led the central bank as the housing bubble expanded, and his successor, Ben S. Bernanke, who did not foresee the crisis but played a crucial role in the response. It criticizes Mr. Greenspan for advocating deregulation and cites a “pivotal failure to stem the flow of toxic mortgages” under his leadership as a “prime example” of negligence.

While I don’t necessarily disagree with the premise, the idea that this was merely a result of deregulation is ridiculous.  It was a failure to apply existing laws to blatant criminality…..you know, like FRAUD.  There have been laws on our books regarding fraud and criminal behavior (like stealing) since this country was founded, yet not a single law has been applied during this crisis but to one individual, Bernie Madoff.  Bet he’s wondering, ‘Why me?’ about now.

Like Mr. Bernanke, Mr. Bush’s Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., predicted in 2007 — wrongly, it turned out — that the subprime collapse would be contained, the report notes.

Democrats also come under fire. The decision in 2000 to shield the exotic financial instruments known as over-the-counter derivatives from regulation, made during the last year of President Bill Clinton’s term, is called “a key turning point in the march toward the financial crisis.”

Timothy F. Geithner, who was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York during the crisis and is now the Treasury secretary, was not unscathed; the report finds that the New York Fed missed signs of trouble at Citigroup and Lehman, though it did not have the main responsibility for overseeing them.

Former and current officials named in the report, as well as financial institutions, declined Tuesday to comment before the report was released.

The report could reignite debate over the influence of Wall Street; it says regulators “lacked the political will” to scrutinize and hold accountable the institutions they were supposed to oversee. The financial industry spent $2.7 billion on lobbying from 1999 to 2008, while individuals and committees affiliated with it made more than $1 billion in campaign contributions.

Color me surprised that they all declined to comment…..not.   I don’t think it is likely that Henry Paulson ‘got it wrong’ – not when he was at the helm of Goldman Sachs when these little ‘financial weapons of mass destruction’ were developed.  He was also there when Goldman Sachs (the only firm to do so), bet against the very clients they sold these ‘investments’ to!   No chance in hell he didn’t understand what was going on.   To argue he and Ben Bernanke were ‘mistaken’ would be to argue that they didn’t understand what the banks and lenders were doing.  Pull the other one.  No, this was a case of blatant and willful lying to the American people.   Matter of fact, I would argue it was absolutely essential that Henry Paulson be appointed Treasury Secretary in order for the massive cover-up to occur and to work the way it did.  The myriad of the lies told by Paulson, Bernanke, Geithner and others have been documented meticulously here on FedUpUSA and can still be found linked in the right-hand column.

In summation, the NYT article does convey one thing quite clearly:  Our government is comprised of those that run the banking industry and Wall Street, have spent years in the banking industry and/or those who are being directly paid by Wall Street and the banking industry.  Those that control the quantity of money have entirely captured our government.  We have no independent government.  None.  Zip.  Nada.  I believe there is a word for this:  fascism.

When will you wake up America?  Apparently not when you’ve lost your job.  Apparently  not when you’ve gone broke, and apparently not when you’ve lost your home (fraudulently, I might add).  Here it is in black and white:  You have been robbed in broad daylight and you continue to re-elect those directly responsible for doing so.   As long as Americans continue to elect Congressional Representatives with a ‘D’ or an ‘R’ behind their names; those that are ‘professional politicians,’  YOU are contributing to your own demise.  As long as you continue to elect people who are paid by Wall Street, you are not going to change anything.  Just try to find a Representative not owned by Wall Street banks OpenSecrets.  Yes, even now with the 112th Congress.

Are you going to leave this criminal, captured government to your children?  It’s past time to wake up America.  What will it take?

‘Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing, when all other possibilities have been exhausted.’ — Winston Churchill

Could we work on not making this man a liar?