Tag: Ben Bernanke

Senate takes another hit off Greenspan’s bong.

Seventy-seven members of the U.S. Senate broke into the neighbor’s house while the neighbors were on vacation in Disneyland.  They didn’t intend to thrash the place.  They just wanted a warm, comfortable place to party on.

According to Orrin Hatch, “We were just looking for a place to get baked.”  

Said John Kerry, “We didn’t mean to drink all the booze, but I’ve never been so trashed in my life.  We were drinking triples ’til we were seeing double and feeling single.”  

Seeking to moderate the tone of his colleagues, Chris Dodd added that, “Greenspan turned us on to some righteous Tokyo Bokyo and started giving rising supers in the kitchen after everyone hyperventilated.  Then Bernanke would come up behind us when our lungs were still full of smoke and squeeze us real tight until we passed out on the floor.  What a fucking rush.  I woke up doing the Australian crawl on the linoleum.  Totally.  Spaced.  Out!”

The extent of the damages has yet to be determined, as fires continue to spread, engulfing the entire subdivision.  The Justice Department has not indicated what, if any charges will be pursued.  

In related news, President Barack Obama spent the entire previous evening huffing glue made from unicorn hooves.

Tom Friedman: Home alone.

Tom Friedman’s latest op-ed, entitled “Adults Only, Please,” surprisingly featured Tom Friedman.  Wandering from room to empty room of political discourse on the economic meltdown, Tom pauses:

Sometimes you wonder: Are we home alone?

Now I get it: Tommy finds it unnerving to be left home alone in his 11,400-foot mansion while the bad guys from Wall Street are trying to break in.  I actually sympathize with his sentiments, and suggest he begins booby-trapping the place.  

But no, Tom: Do not invite Bernanke in, no matter what he promises to do for General Growth Properties.  Hoping Bernanke will re-inflate your bubble is what you call “situational” ethics, as opposed to “sustainable” ethics, the latter of which suggests we’re all better off if you ice the steps and clock Bernanke with a can of paint.  Have fun with the bad guys!

Should Wall Street Speculators, have to pay their Fair Share? w Poll

H.R. 1068
, the Let Wall Street Pay for Wall Street’s Bailout Act.

Wall Street Transaction Tax Proposed by Democrats

Ryan J. Donmoyer

Dec. 3, 2009 (Bloomberg) — A group of congressional Democrats proposed taxing large transactions in stocks and derivatives, an idea that has received a cool reception from the Obama administration. […]

.25 Percent for Stocks

The measure would be based on legislation DeFazio proposed in the House that would apply a tax of 0.25 percent or 25 basis points to stock transactions in excess of $100,000, and a levy of 0.02 percent or 2 basis points on derivatives including futures, options, swaps and credit default swaps.

Harkin and DeFazio said the proposed new levy is backed by more than 200 economists, the AFL-CIO labor union federation and business leaders including Warren Buffett and Vanguard Group Inc. founder John C. Bogle, now president of Bogle Financial Markets Research.


Tell Bernie Sanders, “thanks for looking out!”


Bernie Sanders has used a bit of Senate finesse to block the renomination of Ben Bernanke to head the Federal Reserve.  Chris Bowers over at Closed Left explains what’s happening, but what it all boils down to is that Sanders has managed to hold up the renomination of one of Bush’s creatures to a hugely important office.  Obama and Wall Street want Bernanke to stay and keep fucking up the economy.  Sanders is looking like one of the only senators willing to go on record and try to stop this from happening.

So please click the link above and thank Bernie for looking out for us.  And while you’re at it, use the Senate phone directory to call your own senator and demand a filibuster of Bernanke’s renomination.  We need someone in there who will actually represent the public interest.


The President of the United States, 2009

Every man is guilty of all the good he didn’t do. — Voltaire

Grayson on: Secret Bailouts, Fed Audit, and Rewarding Failure

If you DON’T Study, DON’T play by the Rules, and DON’T CARE who is hurt by your careless actions — would you expect an “all expenses paid” Scholarship?  … or record Bonuses?  … or more free Mad Money than you know what to do with?


Yet that is exactly what the reckless Wall Street Bankers got — HUGE Rewards — FOR BEHAVING BADLY!

In some circles, this is call Co-dependency and “Enabling” …

In America we call it “Too Big to Fail”.

Well Alan Grayson and Ron Paul, are about expose this Trillion Dollar “reward for failure” system, for what it is …

Rep. Alan Grayson on the Fed Bailing Out Big Banks:

“You Don’t Give Scholarships to Kids Who Fail”


The Point Grayson was trying to make about The Fed

The only thing Alan Grayson should Apologize for …

was not having the Fed’s Price List

for their services!


Perhaps Grayson can be excused, since “The Fed” does favors for its clients, far from the scrutiny of prying eyes … giving away Billions to their good ole Buddies, both Foreign and Domestic, without so much as a Receipt or and IOU exchanging hands …

It’s easy to see how this shady activity just might get “mis-construed”:

Alan Grayson: Which Foreigners got the Fed’s 500 Billion?


Ben Bernanke Saved Whose World? Pt 2: Racketeering 101

On the Edge with Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert – – – August 28,2009

Ben Bernanke Saved Whose World?

Secrets Of The Federal Reserve

President Obama has re-nominated Ben Bernanke to sit as Chairman of the Federal Reserve for another four-year term, following glowing praises of Bernanke’s supposed financial genius in most of the media for his handling of the current economic crisis, while Obama himself has suggested that Bernanke helped save the US from another Great Depression.

Paul Amery commented the other day at Seeking Alpha that:

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech to the Jackson Hole symposium, delivered on Friday, has already been dubbed a “we saved the world” declaration by some commentators.    

In fairness to Bernanke, nowhere in his remarks does he make such a grandiloquent claim, unlike British Prime Minister Brown, who did just that last December in the U.K. parliament.

However, underlying Bernanke’s narrative of events is the U.S. central bank’s conviction that the panic that hit global markets last fall was a kind of act of God, a phenomenon that was “collectively irrational”, and which the Fed contained by its policy of “lending freely against sound collateral.”

Is this fair, or does Bernanke’s speech signify that U.S. policymakers have understood nothing and learned nothing?


Bernanke asserts in the final paragraph of his speech that “we have avoided the worst”. He may be right, but I wouldn’t bet on it. I’m more inclined to agree with Willem Buiter, who wrote recently in the Financial Times that “[t]he US Treasury, the Congress, the Fed and the other financial regulators have, through their behaviour since August 2007, confirmed and re-inforced the incentives for excessive risk taking by crossborder banks and any other financial institution deemed too systemically important to fail. The groundwork for the next financial boom and bust cycle, worse than what we are just emerging from, has been put in place.

So exactly whose world has Bernanke “saved”, if anyones?

Secrets of the Temple

Digby observes that the American economy is essentially in the hands of the High Priests of the Federal Reserve, who do not answer to anyone, least of all to the great unwashed masses who allegedly aren’t equipped to handle something so important as money.

Considering the fact that America’s banking system has become the Clusterfuck of All Time, it seems to me that the High Priests of the Temple of Bernanke are the ones who can’t handle money.  Or keep track of it.  Or reveal how many trillions of dollars they’ve printed and who they’re handing all those trillions of dollars to.

Congressman Grayson:

The Federal Reserve has refused multiple inquiries from both the House and the Senate to disclose who is receiving trillions of dollars from the central banking system.  The Federal Reserve has redacted the central terms of the no-bid contracts it has issued to Wall Street firms like Blackrock and PIMCO, without disclosure required of the Treasury, and is participating in new and exotic programs like the trillion-dollar TALF to leverage the Treasury’s balance sheet.  With discussions of allocating even more power to the Federal Reserve as the ‘systemic risk regulator’ of the credit markets, more oversight over the central bank’s operations is clearly necessary.

Even more oversight than there already is???

Wow.  I didn’t know it was possible to have even more oversight over that Temple of Secrets and its Branch Temples on Wall Street than we already have.  But I know this much. . .

The High Priests will be very offended.  They’d already ordained themselves as Supreme High Pontiff Systemic Risk Regulators and now some heathen asshole in Congress is suggesting that they should be subject to even more blasphemous oversight.  

Where the Executioner’s Face Is Always Well Hidden

Geithner’s in the basement,

Mixing up the medicine,

I’m on the pavement,

Thinking about the government.

Bankers in trench coats,

Every one’s a Madoff,

Say they got toxic debts,

Wanna get ’em paid off . . .

The banking system is rubble.  The economy’s imploding.  How did it come to this?   Why didn’t our “representatives” in Washington D.C. see this crisis coming?  Because they were too busy kissing Wall Street’s ass and K Street’s ass and Bush’s ass and the ass of every CEO in sight, that’s why they didn’t see this coming.      

We saw it coming.  We’re progressives.  We don’t need a fucking weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

We told America a hard rain’s gonna fall.  But America wouldn’t listen.

We saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it

We saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it,

We saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin,

We saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin,

We saw a white ladder all covered with water,

We saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken,

We saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children.

Corporate Media, Intellectual Property Law, and the Suppression of Public Discourse

I just finished answering someone on YouTube (in a private exchange, not a comment section free-for-all) who seems to think that any use of copyrighted material in a political commentary or other context is de facto a violation of YouTube’s ToS.  That may or may not be true, and I’m sure as a private entity there would be dozens of reasons YouTube’s management could give to take down or mute videos, or suspend an account on the basis that the video maker had used copyrighted material without express permission and licensing fees.  That’s really not central to my interest in these musings, though perhaps it should be.

What is central is the net impact of something like the DMCA, and the muting of dissent that can spin off of its exercise, which more or less compels a site like YouTube to take down a video if an allegation of infringement is made by a copyright holder contending (possibly just by pattern matching software rather than any use of human judgement) that a particular piece of video is infringing.

I well understand at least the broad dimensions of the conflict of laws issues that are implicit here.  Though not being an IP lawyer, my interpretations may be sketchy.  But I’m really more interested in how this may be a contributing factor to the increasing irrelevancy of and difficulty in calling to task, those media conglomerates who may have played a huge role in the levels of distraction that led to the present shambles we seem (at least most Americans) to be awakening to in recent months.  Yes, I could have made a video that spelled out in detail my response to Cramer’s statements and obfuscations in my own voice-over narration, and perhaps have presented Cramer and Stewart’s words as on screen quotes.  But by my estimate, it would probably have been 60 minutes long or longer, had I chosen that course, at least to “say” what I think I’ve said by juxtaposing audio-only excerpts against images meant to elicit a critical response.  That part may be a failure in editing or in concept… I don’t really know how anyone else will interpret my juxtaposings (if that is even a word) — in fact I’m kind of curious just how many disparate interpretations might come of it, if it’s even mildly of interest to any viewer.  Please forgive my pretensions… put it down to my seeing too many Kenneth Anger and Luis Buñuel films in my misspent youth.

If you find the time, please tell me in your comments if you think the following video is or is not an example of “fair use” in a political commentary.  I’ll grant you in advance that it may be overly subtle and the irony may fly over some heads and strike others as trite or annoying.  But try to push away your personal views on this for long enough to tell me, is it or is it not a form of political speech?  Also feel free to dismantle the “fair use” rationale offered below the fold, and if this is political speech, suggest anyone who might want to take the case, should Viacom issue a DMCA takedown demand based on the edited audio excerpts.  

No need to have scruples about YouTube, the vimeo version is below.

The Game (Commentary) from B Unis on Vimeo.

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