Wall Street’s Great Heist of 2008

Original article, a perspective from Barry Grey, via World Socialist Web Site:

The Wall Street Journal published a front-page article Friday reporting that the nine biggest US banks, which have received a combined $125 billion in taxpayer funds as part of the $700 billion bailout authored by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and passed by the Democratic Congress, owed their executives more than $40 billion for recent years’ compensation and pensions as of the end of 2000.

What did we expect? Did we actually expect the financial parasites to spend the bailout money for the betterment of their companies, much less for the betterment of society? Those who did must now know what it feels like to have egg on their faces.

This means that nearly a third of the public funds given to these banks will ultimately be used to increase the private fortunes of a handful of multimillionaire Wall Street executives.

That laughter you hear is coming from our friends, the banksters (half bankers, half gangsters). As our treasury is drained dry by these leeches, understand that the money going to the bosses is not going to be available for progressive legislation. Know that they won’t be able to find any money for you and me (ie society in general). They will be able to find lots of cash for their blood sucking friends.

After explaining how this has happened, the article also points out that Henry Paulson is happy that it is happening. Imagine Paulson in an Obama administration. Imagine Paulson even being consulted by an Obama administration.

It then goes on to look at Chris Dodd’s reaction to what’s going on:

Christopher Dodd, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, blustered, “The intent here certainly wasn’t for healthy banks to buy healthy banks-it’s infuriating.”

Dodd, it would seem, is shocked to learn that the bailout plan he adamantly supported is being used to serve the narrow self-interest of the bankers. Even if one makes the implausible assumption that this veteran of Washington politics and favorite of Wall Street is not being disingenuous, that does not alter the fact of his utter prostration before the real power brokers in America.

C’mon, Chris! How can we be surpised by the banksters looking after themselves when we give them a $700 billion windfall? If the intent wasn’t there, why wasn’t it written into the bill?

Nothing is permissible that impinges on the basic prerogatives of the financial oligarchy, no matter the cost to the American people. On critical matters regarding the class interests of the ruling elite, the people have no say.

There is a ruling class in America. The administration, Congress, the courts-all of the agencies of the state-are, behind the trappings of democracy, instruments of its domination.

If you haven’t done so, read Milovan Djilas’ The New Class.  While it was written with the Yugoslav party under Tito, it fits well with what we see in our ruling class.  Until we realize just how under the thumbs of our ruling class we are there is no ‘hope’ for ‘change.’


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  1. I personally am planning to read the Russian classics.

    Not a bad idea, imho.

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