Tag: looting

The plutocrats could use a good knee-capping

Charles Blow of the New York Times has noticed that our decadent empire is in decline, and “It’s time for us to stop lying to ourselves about this country,” because among industrialized countries “we are among the worst of the worst.”  

How dare you notice, sir?  And since when is the NYT making such embarrassing revelations publicly?  To paraphrase Colbert, Americans don’t want to know how vile and corrupt our plutocratic overlords are, and the media used to have the courtesy not to tell us.

It’s all about inequality

State of Working America has some interactive graphs showing average incomes of the top 10% (in red hues) and bottom 90% (in blue) of wage earners between 1917 and 2008.  Moving the vertical bars in their graphs allows the user to select and summarize intervals of interest.  Data were compiled by economist Emmanuel Saez at UC Berkeley.

From 1917 to 1970 the bottom 90% of wage earners took home 72% of income growth, whereas the top 10% earners took home 28%.  The top 1% (light pink) took the smallest proportion of growth, whereas the next two largest income earners (rose and maroon)took the largest shares of the 28% cut.


Over the past forty years or so, income inequality has ballooned.  Specifically, from 1970 to 2008, the top 10% wage earners took home all the growth in incomes.  The top 1% took the majority of that growth.  The bottom 90% got nothing.  For the past 40 years, the vast majority and poorest Americans have gotten nothing.  Bupkis.  Goose eggs. Zilch.  All the money has gone to the very top, the worst of the worst, for forty fucking years.


This trend of the uber-wealthy getting uber-wealthier while the rest of us “suck on it” is only accelerating.  From 2000 to 2007 the top 1% took 75% of all income growth.

The Yawn.

The internetine blogosphere evinced a collective yawn as the toobzual chattering classes learned that, as head of the New York Federal Reserve, tax cheat Timothy Geithner advised AIG to withhold critical information from its SEC filing, information taxpayers deserve to know, because they were the ones Geithner was looting, and that by law shareholders have a right know, because, well, they’re the fucking shareholders.  None of the relevant disclosures were made until after the deal was done and Geithner was confirmed as Treasury Secretary.

Because yawning occurs on both the upward and downward limbs of motivational excitement, i.e., both when waking up and when going to sleep, it was unclear whether the collective yawn was due to the irrational exuberance, excitement, liveliness, energy, high spirits and cheerfulness related to President Obama’s promises of an era of unprecedented transparency in   government, or whether having been rapidly conditioned and  habituated to the new President’s lies and the general lack of accountability for law-breaking by the ruling elites, the yawning response rather reflected the quickly-formed hard-boiled, apathetic, blind to, careless, case-hardened, cold, cold-blooded, deaf to, hard, hard-bitten, hard-boiled, hardened, hardhearted, heartless, impassive, impenitent, indifferent, indurated, inflexible, insensate, insensible, insensitive, insentient, inured, obdurate, soulless, spiritless, stiff, stony, stubborn, thick-skinned, torpid, tough, toughened, unaffected, unbending, uncaring, uncompassionate, unconcerned, unfeeling, unimpressionable, unresponsive, unsusceptible, unsympathetic attitudes required to survive the next decade from fucking Hell.

Early indicators are that Las Vegas and Wall Street bookmakers are aggressively shorting “optimism.”

Looting of the US Treasury continues

The looting operation commonly known as the US Government’s financial rescue plan will accelerate now that we know the next move in this cynical game. Up to now, the hundreds of billions of dollars supplied by taxpayers to dishonest and incompetent financial institutions have been LOANS. In theory, at least, the recipients pledged to repay the taxpayers once their businesses recovered. Now we learn that Geithner and Summers, the embedded agents of Wall Street intend to convert these loans to STOCK. What’s wrong with that? Here’s what is wrong:

1. Common stock holders, unlike bond holders or secured lenders, have no assurance of any return on their investment. All they are entitled to are stock certificates and an invitation to the shareholders’ meeting. Bankruptcy of the company in which they own stock usually results in a TOTAL LOSS.

2. The voting rights of stock can be engineered to deprive certain classes of stockholders of representation. This can be done by subtle, incremental degrees, so that the public slowly loses the control that would properly be associated with a large equity position. All a crooked bank has to do is get the government to agree to convert its equity into a class of stock that has restricted voting rights. Since Geithner and Summers are Wall Street puppets, their complicity in this matter is assured. Anything that restores investor “confidence” in the markets is OK with them.

3. A large equity position usually translates into representation on the board of directors, another important means of control that should be available to taxpayers owning substantial amounts of stock in a company. However, the appointment of “zombie directors,” removes this threat to management. The government-appointed directors of AIG have already demonstrated their completely ineffectual presence and thus provided an impressive example of how not to represent the interests of taxpayers.

Conversion of US Treasury loans to stock without securing the rights of stockholders for the taxpayers is the perfect form of “nationalization” for Wall Street. The gangsters at Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, and B of A will receive vast infusions of taxpayer cash, while continuing to operate irresponsibly and paying themselves lavish bonuses. The taxpayer “stockholders” will either lose everything in massive bankruptcies and reorganizations or receive nothing in return for their huge investment as their equity is rendered meaningless by cunning management maneuvering.

This is legalized looting of the Treasury, and Obama’s administration is directly responsible for it.