A Terrible Resolve

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There is increasing anxiety throughout the imploding banking industry that the Obama Administration might insist upon management changes if the stress tests of the 19 biggest banks, which are due to be completed within three weeks, indicate that they are still fucked up beyond all recognition, despite being handed God only knows how many trillions of dollars through the Fed and TARP.  

Aware that this FUBAR Factor and the gory details of their financial fuckery to the Nth degree will be exposed for all the world to see, and intent upon keeping their jobs, bonuses, private jets and all of their Superstar of Wall Street perks, many bankers want out of the TARP program, are criticizing the conditions the Obama Administration set for paying back the TARP money, and are calling them unfair.  

Digby summarizes this latest development quite well and observes that these bankers . . .

are such short sighted, greedy, self centered jackasses that they refuse to be saved unless they get to fuck things up all over again.  (Oh, and make a killing doing it.)  I’m not against these banks paying back the TARP money but they have to live up to the agreements they made when they took the money — just like I do when I have to pay a penalty for early withdrawal. After all, they have a rather nice alternative. They could just loan the money to someone, which was the intent of the program.  But then they’d have to live under the threat that the big bad gummint is coming to take their bonuses and that’s just unacceptable to these pampered princes.

When they finally finish handing each other bonuses for it, the perpetrators of this economic Pearl Harbor we’ve had inflicted on us might want to think about what Admiral Yamamoto said in the aftermath of his treacherous attack on America, “I fear that all we’ve done is to awaken a sleeping giant, and fill it with a terrible resolve.”  What Isoroku saw as a terrible resolve may have been terrible in his eyes, but to the victims of his treachery, it was righteous resolve.

The American middle class has been a sleeping giant, but it’s finally beginning to awaken, it’s rubbing decades of sleep from it’s eyes, it’s seeing the treachery of Wall Street, the destruction all around us, it knows Wall Street attacked us and is still attacking us.  Those Wall Street bombs are going to keep exploding all around us unless we summon the righteous resolve to finally fight back.  The financial and economic elites may consider that a terrible development, but I don’t give a flying fuck what they think, and it’s time for the President to stop giving a flying fuck what they think.

It’s time for Obama to tell them, “See ya later, assholes!  Pack up your shit, head out the door, and don’t let it hit your pampered asses on the way out.”    

President Obama Pictures, Images and Photos

We can help make that happen . . .

Gregg Levine at FDL reports that there are citizen-organized protests going on all over America on April 11.  In contrast to “the greedy, gimmicky garbage being pushed by News Corp & Friends, these protests are calling for transparency in the federal government’s financial relief programs, and real, systemic reform.”  Dozens of protests are taking place across America in locations such as Lafayette Park in Washington, DC, Union Square in NYC, the US Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco, and Steinbruek Park in Seattle.

These protesters understand that . . .

Any bank that’s “too big to fail” means that it’s too big for a free market to function. The financial corporations that caused this mess must be broken up and sold back to the private market with strong, new regulatory and antitrust rules in place — new banks, managed by new people.  An independent regulatory body must protect consumers from predatory practices.

Average Americans are going to have to attend protests such as this, and will have to keep organizing them and taking part in them in ever increasing numbers.  If they don’t, nothing meaningful is ever going to be done about Wall Street’s crime rampages, BushCo crimes, corporate fascism, NSA wiretapping, torture investigations, or anything else.

It’s up to us, it always has been.  But too many Americans are still waiting for the politicians they elected to office to stand up for them, to listen to them and respect them.  But power is the only thing politicians respect.  Obama is a politician just like the rest of them, he talks a good game, he dazzles the crowd with a good move now and then, but that TARP shot he took from center court is the brick of all bricks.

It’s early in the 1st quarter yet, but Wall Street is already ahead 1,000,000,000,000 to 2.  Obama sank a couple of free throws on Inauguration Day, but since then we’ve been getting our asses handed to us by that Wall Street Dream Team from Hell.      

As Digby notes . . .

Nobody wants to take on the ruling class, particularly once they’ve become (or were born into) the ruling class themselves.  But there are times when it’s very dangerous for politicians not to do it and this is one of those times.  If the bankers insist upon preserving their prerogatives in spite of all they’ve done and continue to carry on like a bunch of French aristocrats, they have to be taken on or risk something much more politically destabilizing.

Like this, for example . . .

Storming of the Bastille Pictures, Images and Photos

Digby . . .

Obama is playing with fire by trying to appease these guys, even if he’s convinced that the best thing to do is simply restore the system to what it was.  It is too far gone.  If he doesn’t decide to take on systemic reform we’re going to find ourselves in a worse mess not too far down the road.

Further on up the road,

Where the way is dark, and the night is cold.

But one sunny morning we’ll rise, I know,

And I’ll meet you further on up the road . . .

22 comments

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  1. but they’re still throwing tantrums . . .

    baby tantrum Pictures, Images and Photos

    It’s time for some adult supervision, Obama.

    It’s time for those Pampered Princes to be put down for a long nap.

    • Viet71 on April 12, 2009 at 1:32 am

    You are writing to 1969 college students.

    People who would take to the streets and revolt.

    I was 24 in 1969.  A law student.  I argued Vietnam in college bars.  Then went over.

    Today, you have reason.  I read it and see it and hear it.

    But I know we’re all fucked.

    Nonetheless, please keep up your message.

    • Edger on April 12, 2009 at 1:40 am

    This Week in Scandals: Bailout Moves Threaten to Backfire

    by Alexandra Andrews, ProPublica – April 10, 2009

    Also this week, the congressional panel that oversees the bailout suggested some “potential policy alternatives,” including liquidating problem banks and ousting some bank execs. “The very notion that anyone would infuse money into a financially troubled entity without demanding changes in management is preposterous,” the panel’s head, Elizabeth Warren, told The Observer. Meanwhile, Bloomberg News columnist Jonathan Weil asks why the administration hasn’t forced financial institutions to “come clean about their losses .”

    And finally, get ready to add life insurers to the list of bailout recipients , although no one yet knows “how hard a bargain the government will drive” with these companies.

    2. AIG

    AIG has forked over $50 billion in taxpayer funds [16] to its counterparties since its first bailout, leaving many wondering why the government felt the need to pay those contracts in full. Well, as we reported this week, it turns out the Treasury did have some other options, although none of them were entirely risk-free. Meanwhile, those payouts will be getting scrutiny from Neil Barofsky, the bailout’s inspector general, who said this week that he had begun an audit.

    And to all those optimists out there patiently awaiting the day when AIG repays the government its $180 billion: Don’t hold your breath. Analysts are questioning whether AIG’s plan to sell off its assets will actually reap enough dough to get it out of debt.

    I guess it would have been too much to ask of Obama that he give Geithner’s job to Elizabeth Warren. His bosses on Wall Street would probably have found a way to fire him, though…

  2. Frankly, nothing is ever going to change until we get some “leverage” over the criminality in our government.  Now how might that be done?  Hummmmm?    

    • ANKOSS on April 12, 2009 at 4:02 am

    Lies are the building blocks of modern American society. Until economic conditions become far worse, Americans will expect Obama to lie his way out of the crisis. Lying has always worked before, so they expect it to work again.

    This is why there is a curtain of secrecy around all of the government work to rescue the Wall Street executives. Telling the truth about these fools would shut them down. We will not see the cleansing fire of real reform until hungry people are marching in America’s streets.

  3. Around 500 souls signed up for the SF action at the Fed Reserve Bank here.  Illness kept me from going, but I waited to see the coverage on the eve TV news…

    And I waited.  I saw nothing.  Perhaps I was on the wrong channels at the wrong times, but but but…

    tree falls in forest

    noone covers

    noone knows…

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