(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
It’s still not too late to take our economy back, but we can’t depend on Obama to do it, we’re going to have to take it back ourselves. Starting on March 19th.
Credit derivatives are breaking and will continue to break the world’s financial system and cause an unending crisis of liquidity and gummed-up credit. Warren Buffett branded derivatives “financial weapons of mass destruction.” Felix Rohatyn, the investment banker who organized the bailout of New York a generation ago, called them “financial hydrogen bombs.”
Corporate elites have been waging class warfare against us for decades. They’ve riddled us with Bankruptcy Bill bullets, napalmed us with NAFTA, massacred our labor unions, turned our healthcare system into the Bataan Death March, and now they’re dropping financial hydrogen bombs on us.
According to The Village Voice, one of their deadliest and most lethal weapons has been the AIG Financial Products office in London, where a large proportion of those radioactive credit derivatives were written.
AIG had placed this unit outside American borders, which meant that it would not have to abide by American insurance reserve requirements. The president of AIGFP, a tyrannical super-salesman named Joseph Cassano, was an executive at Drexel Burnham Lambert, the now-defunct brokerage that became the pivot of the junk-bond scandal that led to the jailing of Michael Milken, David Levine, and Ivan Boesky.
During the peak years of derivatives trading, the 400 or so employees of the London unit reportedly averaged earnings in excess of a million dollars a year. They sold “protection”-this Runyonesque term was favored-worth more than three times the value of parent company AIG.
Those talented people are demanding the bonuses they’ve earned for that bang up job they’ve done hydrogen bombing everything in sight into radioactive rubble. As Emptywheel warns, if we don’t give them their bonuses, they’ve threatened to trigger a default event that will cost the US government hundreds of billions of dollars.
Our friend Tim at the Treasury Department has an explanation . . .
I’d ask you to watch him in action, but if you’ve seen one Geithner Gone Wild video, you’ve seen them all.
As The Village Voice notes, this was bad enough . . .
Investment banks gathered bundled mortgage loans into batches and turned them into securities called collateralized debt obligations (CDOs). Many included high-risk loans. These securities were then rated by Standard & Poor’s, Fitch Ratings, or Moody’s Investors Services, who were paid at premium rates and gave investment grades. This was like putting lipstick on pigs with the plague.
American taxpayers have been forced to buy those pigs. For a trillion dollars. We are the proud owners of a trillion dollars worth of pigs with the plague. As we’re discovering, Tim’s Blue Light Special on pigs with the plague was only the first of many exciting bargain shopping opportunities being planned for us by Tim and his friends at 401K-Mart’s newest store . . .
CNBC, FOX, and the guy who mows Tim’s lawn have all assured us that even though those big bank bastards have committed fraud and theft on a massive scale, there’s nothing we can do but pay everyone off or they’ll use their knowledge to steal even more money. So all we can do is keep writing checks, pay off the blackmailers, and hope that if we let them continue to get rich, they won’t hydrogen bomb us all into oblivion.
Some Americans have decided that it’s time for all of this hydrogen bombing to come to a screeching halt, and are planning Nationwide Protests. Unions like the Service Employees International Union and political advocacy groups like MoveOn.org are calling for a day of nationwide protests.
On March 19th, Americans are being asked to demonstrate in front of major banks.
Take Back the Economy has a list of the protests being planned so far in 104 cities in 32 states, along with sign up info and related material.
Stand up and fight back on March 19th.