Department of Double Standards: Rep. Maxine Waters Maligned for Helping Black Banks

maxineby BAR executive editor Glen Ford

With the bankster class methodically looting the national treasure in collusion with purchased politicians, questions of conflict of interest have become a dead letter. Lawless banksters are “empowered to dictate the terms of their own deliverance from insolvency.”  Republican and Democratic administrations seem ruled by one master, by the name of Goldman Sachs. “But let a progressive Black congresswoman arrange a meeting in which Black bankers beseech the government for some miniscule piece of the bailout pie – and it is the stuff of scandal.”

Department of Double Standards:  Rep. Maxine Waters Maligned for Helping Black Banks

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“The New York Times tries to find impropriety in the mere arranging of a meeting.”

Every sentient being on the planet is aware of the tawdry money-lust affair between Wall Street banksters and the Bush-Obama bailout regimes. Goldman Sachs didn’t miss a beat as January 20th saw one administration morph into the other, with Sachs still in the finance policy catbird seat. Rescuing the zombie bankers from catastrophe of their own making has become the national project, an open-ended transfer of vast wealth to the finance capitalist class, courtesy of purchased politicians. Conflict of interest is a dead letter, with lawless banksters empowered to dictate the terms of their own deliverance from insolvency. The biggest beneficiaries are those institutions already deemed “too big to fail” – and whose executives are far too politically wired to go to jail.

But let a progressive Black congresswoman arrange a meeting in which Black bankers beseech the government for some miniscule piece of the bailout pie – and it is the stuff of scandal.

Los Angeles Rep. Maxine Waters, a consistent crusader for peace and social justice, has long personally patronized Black banks, as has her husband, Sidney Williams. It is a matter of principle, and community self-interest. When the local Family Savings bank was going out of business seven years ago, Rep. Waters was instrumental in ensuring that it remained in Black hands. Black-owned OneUnited bank, based in Boston, took over. Congresswoman Waters’ husband was invited to sit on the board. He received no compensation, but was required to own stock.

OneUnited became, according to its web site, “the first Black internet bank and the largest Black-owned bank in the country, with offices in Los Angeles, Boston and Miami.” The bank boasts: “In the past five years, we have finances $600 million in loans, including churches, affordable housing, office buildings and retail stores – most in low to moderate income communities such as South Central, Compton [Los Angeles], Liberty City [Miami] and Roxbury [Boston].”

“Rescuing the zombie bankers from catastrophe of their own making has become the national project.”

Government action, rather than the perils of lending in minority neighborhoods, brought crisis to the ambitious little bank. When the feds took over Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac last fall, the two institutions’ stocks became worthless – costing OneUnited $50 million. Other Black banks, perpetually perched in precarious fiscal positions, were also pushed to the brink.

Most of Washington wouldn’t bat an eye if every Black bank in the country suddenly went bust. All their assets put together wouldn’t qualify as “too big to fail.” Rep. Waters stepped up in September, arranging a meeting between the National Bankers Association, a Black trade group, and representatives of George Bush’s Treasury Department. Waters didn’t attend. OneUnited CEO Kevin Cohee requested $50 million to offset the bank’s losses in the Fannie Mae/Freddy Mac nationalization. He didn’t get it, but in December OneUnited received $12 million dollars in TARP bailout funds (Troubled Asset Relief Program).

To hear the New York Times tell it, Rep. Waters was a flagrant flaunter of law, custom and everything holy. In a March 12 article titled “Congresswoman, Tied to Bank, Helped Seek Funds,” the Times interviewed Jeb Mason, a former Bush Treasury Department official who helped set up the meeting. Mason claims it was “upsetting” to find that Rep. Waters had “family ties” to one of the banks. “This is something that was potentially politically explosive and embarrassing to the administration,” he said. “They should have at least let us know.”

Imagine: the Bush administration, afraid of an “explosive and embarrassing” scandal centered on one of the most progressive Democrats in the Congress. That’s a bad joke. How could Maxine Waters possibly embarrass Bush? More to the point, can Bush be embarrassed by anything?  Is the New York Times capable of anything like embarrassment?



“OneUnited CEO Kevin Cohee requested $50 million to offset the bank’s losses in the Fannie Mae/Freddy Mac nationalization.”

Another former Republican Treasury operative, Stephen Lineberry, told the Times of his great surprise when “a tiny community bank comes in and… they were asking for help for themselves.” Lineberry claims he doesn’t “remember that ever happening before.”

When and where, one wonders, do the big banks make their requests/demands for billions of bailout dollars? Apparently, Mr. Lineberry was astounded that OneUnited CEO Cohee had the temerity to come straight to the monetary point, rather than sit meekly while Lineberry and Mason recited their boilerplate nonsense, offering nothing but advice and good wishes and wasting everyone’s time. Cohee asked for the money.

Rep. Waters dismisses the very idea that she had clout with the Bush crowd. "Although both my supporters and detractors often refer to me as influential, the truth is that I had no influence on what Bush administration officials in the Treasury Department or other departments did,” Waters said in a prepared statement.

It is laughable – and reason for tears, too – that, in this age of naked banker-government collusion in the fleecing of future generations, the New York Times tries to find impropriety in the mere arranging of a meeting for beleaguered (and “tiny”) Black banks. The Times’ sense of proportion and scale is way out of whack.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].



Phony Outrage is a Smokescreen for greater thievery

For the record, take a close look at the Obama photo touting his fake outrage, that's not anger on his face or in his eyes, he's smirking at how stupid the American public is.  The media has the public whipped up in a frenzy regarding "AIG Bonuses" but the real scandal is the billions AIG paid out to the "counter-parties" the usual suspects:  Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Deutsch and so on. The media is engaged in a BLACK OUT over this travesty.  In typical fashion they "personalize" the bonuses, a measly $185 M, instead of reporting on the BILLIONS AIG paid out to the Wall St. wolves.  The public is being "baited and switched" by the media, foaming at the mouth and flailing about $185 M and forgetting about the 100s of BILLIOINS paid to the counter-parties, most of whom RECEIVED THEIR OWN BAILOUT $$! 
Eliot Spitzer, yes, the former NY A.G. (who likes a little "strange" now and then), wrote a fine article at  In it he illumines the larger scandal the MSM is happy to ignore.  We need answers to Spitzer's questions:
"The appearance that this was all an inside job is overwhelming. AIG was nothing more than a conduit for huge capital flows to the same old suspects, with no reason or explanation.  So here are several questions that should be answered, in public, under oath, to clear the air:

What was the precise conversation among Bernanke, Geithner, Paulson, and Blankfein that preceded the initial $80 billion grant?
Was it already known who the counterparties were and what the exposure was for each of the counterparties?
What did Goldman, and all the other counterparties, know about AIG's financial condition at the time they executed the swaps or other contracts? Had they done adequate due diligence to see whether they were buying real protection? And why shouldn't they bear a percentage of the risk of failure of their own counterparty?
What is the deeper relationship between Goldman and AIG? Didn't they almost merge a few years ago but did not because Goldman couldn't get its arms around the black box that is AIG? If that is true, why should Goldman get bailed out? After all, they should have known as well as anybody that a big part of AIG's business model was not to pay on insurance it had issued.
Why weren't the counterparties immediately and fully disclosed?
I'll add one more question to the mix, more telling evidence of insiders lining each other's pockets.  Why did Henry Paulson let Lehman crash and burn but not (his former firm) Goldman Sachs?
This "Bailout" "Stimulus" bullshit will go down in history as one of the greatest scams of all time.  My coworker just told me he got 4 calls in one day because he was $100 short on his car note.  Credit Card companies/banks are increasing interest rates for people with stellar payment histories who are 1 day late or $10 short.  The phony Obama, Democrat, Republican outrage and the MSM focus on bonuses and not counter party payments is all a big propaganda push to soften up the ignorant masses for another $750 Billion to the banksters.  I'm sure by the time they float that one, the public will be distracted by 1 or 2 bankster or Wall St. crooks getting indicted, instead of several hundred, and/or some white female will get murdered or kidnapped while vacationing overseas.  Think for second people, how do you say Enron and Ken Lay, we saw the "mass prosecutions" for that debacle too, right?  Right?

The Obama Administration and the media will throw you all a "bone" a couple of perp walks, a couple of sacraficial lambs to keep your pitchforks dull.  These bastards could have written any conditions into the TARP or other bailout legislation they wanted to.  The fact that THEY CHOSE NOT TO will undoubtedly make all this bullshit about "prosecution" another exercise in gesticulation. Or, there will be "investigations" and we all know how Congressional "investigations" work, after the grandstanding and posturing, no damn where.  Obama is about to face a long, hot summer; I bet you the top CEOs of Wall St. and the top Banksters are drawing straws now to see who takes one for the team.  HA

4.4.09 - NYC March: End Obama's War/Wall St. spending NOW!

4/4 SAT, 11 am - March: End Obama's Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan & Pakistan
NOW! National mobilization on anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King's
historic speech against the war in Vietnam at NYC's Riverside Church.
Address the economic crisis by cutting military spending. Meet at Leonard,
Franklin & White St, btw B'way & Lafayette St (6 to Canal St-Lafayette St,
J to Canal St-Centre St, N/Q/R to Canal St-B'way); march to Stock Exchange
on Wall St. Sponsor: United For Peace
& Justice (UFPJ). Info:

Thanks Lou...

for the previous article you referenced me too. As for this post - on point as usual. What kind of mass manipulation is going on that folk are continuing to lose their homes, renters who had been paying their rent find themselves on the streets -as many as 40% percent here in NYC while the mortagage companies/banks get welfare but show no human compassion. On top of this insurance companies such as All State are dropping folks homeowners' policies using Hurricane Katrina as an excuse, even for folk in Park Slope, Brooklyn! So those with mortgages are up shits creek, having to get insurance elsewhere to preserve their mortgages. Is some sort of "shock doctrine" going on that folk are not relating their very personal problems to what this administration is not willing to do FOR THE PEOPLE? I heard Gary Null suggesting that all the banks that got fat welfare checks should be required to reduce credit card rates to 3% max. That would have at least been a start on Obama's part to remotely show he was willing to do "something" directly for citizens.

It's like "Animal Farm" yell rebellion then turn on the t.v.

I correct my figure of $185M in bonuses, turns out it was only $135 M.  It is absolutely frightening that in a so-called democracy with a so-called 4th Estate (the "free" press) the American Public is feed such bullshit, of course the citizenry have only themselves to blame given their idolatry of all things fatuous, vacuous, and material.
Deb, why can't the government give direct loans to students? Why "guarantee" the banksters profits?  Why not waive FICA for people making less than $250K? Why not directly subsidize the states in terms of the decreased tax revenues?  Why are credit card rates at double digits instead of 3 or 4%? Are there any measures within reach, that make sense, that would directly help the average American citizen that Obama and his "Team" is implementing? Anyone with half a brain should know that "shovel ready" projects of a large scale only benefit wealthy, white, established contractors? You know, the ones reponsible for litigating "reverse discrimination" claims like Richmond v. Croson.  Why can't Fannie and Freddie create a real program for First Time Home Buyers, is it better to watch those assets waste away into vacant and dilapidated structures, especially when people are increasingly homeless? Why can't EVERYBODY get a 4% mortage, whether in or out of default? Why not write down the phony real estate values to make units affordable to renters? WTF are we going to do with $1200 or $600 rebates? Obama is about to catch hell and he deserves every bit of it. I'm beginning to wonder if he fricken plaigarized himself through Harvard or maybe it's just what Chris Hedges wrote about, "The (non-critical thinking) Elites are Driving America off a Cliff? It's getting to be almost laughingly sad to see him try to spin the public with his so-called silver tongue.  I'm really beginning to believe that this guy is truly a Blank Slate, and being a Blank Slate is how he has navigated to his present perch.  Excuse me, but he better start acting "Black" or like he's got some goddamn sense, like he's got some balls or he's going to be a 1 term joke.  You think the shit is bad now, how bad will it get this summer when billions are funneled to the Afghan and Iraq Wars and not only is there no end in sight, but the situations actually worsen? Maybe shit will finally hit the fan when they need to bring back the draft. China is already repositioning it's assets, buying short term treasury notes instead of long term ones.  Here's an provcative article on that:
AND, regarding the phony AIG outrage?  Here's what Prof. Michael Hudson wrote at Global Research

It may seem odd, but the public outrage against $135 million in AIG bonuses is a godsend to Wall Street, AID scoundrels included. How can the media be so preoccupied with the discovery that there is self-serving greed to be found in the financial sector? Every TV channel and every newspaper in the country, from right to left, have made these bonuses the lead story over the past two days.
What is wrong with this picture? Is there not something over-inflated about the outrage led most vociferously by Senator Charles Schumer and Rep. Barney Frank, the two leading shills for the bank giveaways over the past year? And does Pres. Obama perhaps find it convenient that finally, at long last, he has been able to criticize something that he believes Wall Street has done wrong? Even the Wall Street Journal has gotten into the act. The government’s takeover of AIG, it pointed out, "uses the firm as a conduit to bail out other institutions." So much more greed is involved than just that of AIG employees. The firm owed much more to other players – abroad as well as on Wall Street – than the assets it had. That is what drove it to insolvency. And popular opposition has been rising to how Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain could have banded together to support the bailout that, in retrospect, amounts to trillions and trillions of dollars thrown "down the drain." Not really down the drain at all, of course – but given to financial speculators on the winning "smart" side of AIG’s bad financial gambles. "The Washington crowd wants to focus on bonuses because it aims public anger on private actors," it accused in a March 17 editorial. But instead of explaining that the shift is away from Wall Street grabbers of a thousand times the amount of bonuses being contested, it blames its usual all-purpose bete noire: Congress. Where the right and left differ is just whom the public should be directing its anger at! Here’s the problem with all the hoopla over the $135 million in AIG bonuses: This sum is only less than 0.1% – one thousandth – of the $183 BILLION that the U.S. Treasury gave to AIG as a "pass-through" to its counterparties. This sum, over a thousand times the magnitude of the bonuses on which public attention is conveniently being focused by Wall Street promoters, did not stay with AIG. For over six months, the public media and Congressmen have been trying to find out just where this money DID go. Bloomberg brought a lawsuit to find out. Only to be met with a wall of silence. Until finally, on Sunday night, March 15, the government finally released the details. They were indeed highly embarrassing. The largest recipient turned out to be just what earlier financial reporters had said was rumored: Mr. Paulson’s own firm, Goldman Sachs, headed the list. It was owed $13 billion in counterparty claims. So here’s the picture that’s emerging. Last September, Treasury Secretary Paulson, from Goldman Sachs, drew up a terse 3-page memo outlining his bailout proposal. The plan specified that whatever he and other Treasury officials did (thus including his subordinates, also from Goldman Sachs), could not be challenged legally or undone, much less prosecuted. This condition enraged Congress, which rejected the bailout in its first incarnation. It now looks as if Mr. Paulson had good reason to put in a fatal legal clause blocking any clawback of funds given by the Treasury to AIG’s counterparties. This is where public outrage should be focused. Instead, the leading Congressional shepherds of the bailout legislation – along with Mr. Obama, who came out in his final, Friday night presidential debate with Sen. McCain strongly in favor of the bailout in Mr. Paulson’s awful "short" version – have been posing as conspicuously as possible for the media to cover a deflected target – the AIG executives receiving bonuses, not the company’s counterparties. There are two questions that one always must ask when a political operation is being launched. First, qui bono? Who benefits? And second, why now? In my experience, timing almost always is the key to figuring out the dynamics at work. Regarding qui bono, what does Sen. Schumer, Rep. Frank, Pres. Obama and other Wall Street sponsors gain from this public outcry? For starters, it depicts them as hard taskmasters of the banking and financial sector, not its lobbyists carrying water for one giveaway after another. So the AIG kafuffle has muddied the water about where their political loyalties really lie. It enables them to strike a misleading pose – and hence to pose as "honest brokers" next time they dishonestly give away the next few trillion dollars to their major sponsors and campaign contributors. Regarding the timing, I think I have answered that above. Talking about AIG bonuses has effectively distracted attention from the AIG counterparties who received the $183 billion in Treasury giveaways. The "final" sum to be given to its counterparties has been rumored to be $250 billion, do Sen. Schumer, Rep. Frank and Pres. Obama still have a lot more work to do for Wall Street in the coming year or so. To succeed in this work – while mitigating the public outrage already rising against the bad bailouts – they need to strike precisely the pose that they’re striking now. It is an exercise in deception. The moral should be: The wetter the crocodile tears shed over giving bonuses to AIG individuals (who seem to be largely on the healthy, bona fide insurance side of AIG’s business, not its hedge-fund Ponzi-scheme racket), the more they will distract public attention from the $180 billion giveaway, and the better they can position themselves to give away yet more government money (Treasury bonds and Federal Reserve deposits) to their favorite financial charities.

Great idea making credit cards charge only 3%

Also if AIG keeps getting bailed out instead of failing, what happens to all the smaller insurance companies?  Are we making sure  that AIG stays a big old monopoly?  Busting the trusts is what Teddy Roosevelt did.  Time we busted up all these monopolies from Exxon to Viacom to Cargill to Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.

Getting too big?

The real question here is whetehr there is such a thing as too big? This issue really needs to be dealt with. The effective bailing out of these companies needs to be stopped. Ultimately, it's better to let these enterprises to go udner rrather than invest hudnreds of millions of dollars to keep them afloat.
Poker rakeback

Maxine Waters is one of the few....

Maxine Waters is one of the few, and repeat few good people, left in the U.S. Congress.
I remember when she campaigned in CT for Ned Lamont over Joe Lieberman. Mr. Lieberman called Rep. Waters an "extremist." Yes, to Mr. Joe Lieberman, Ned Lamont was asking for support from "extremist Democrats" like Maxine Waters.
Unlike the other spineless Democrats, Maxine Waters stood with the anti-Iraq War candidate over the pro-war, anti-Arab-Muslim racist---U.S. Senator, Joe Lieberman.
I cannot believe ever that Maxine Waters was in cahoots with the Bushites. I have always admired Maxine Waters as well as Barbara Lee. And then of course is my favorite---Cynthia McKinney.
Hang in there Maxine....Thanks for being one of the few Democrats still battling for the little people out here.

The Geithner-Summers-Bernake-Obama Ponzi Scheme

I found this article at from George Washington Blogspot, dated March 19, 2009.  It explains in succinct detail why the bankster/Wall St. bailout is doomed to failure.  Anyone who says, "I don't understand it all," or "they know much more than we do," should read this and stfu.  Just because you went to Harvard doesn't make you an effective liar.  It's a ponzi scheme, they ain't that complicated when there's full discloure:

Paul Krugman wrote a couple of weeks ago:

Top officials in the Obama administration and at the Federal Reserve have convinced themselves that troubled assets, often referred to these days as “toxic waste,” are really worth much more than anyone is actually willing to pay for them — and that if these assets were properly priced, all our troubles would go away.

Thus, in a recent interview Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, tried to make a distinction between the “basic inherent economic value” of troubled assets and the “artificially depressed value” that those assets command right now. In recent transactions, even AAA-rated mortgage-backed securities have sold for less than 40 cents on the dollar, but Mr. Geithner seems to think they’re worth much, much more.
And the government’s job, he declared, is to “provide the financing to help get those markets working,” pushing the price of toxic waste up to where it ought to be.
What’s more, officials seem to believe that getting toxic waste properly priced would cure the ills of all our major financial institutions....
The truth is that the Bernanke-Geithner plan — the plan the administration keeps floating, in slightly different versions — isn’t going to fly ....

Today, Edward Harrison's must-read post explains why the Geithner-Summers-Bernanke plan to prop up asset prices cannot succeed (if you don't read the whole post, at least read the following excerpts):

The U.S. government's efforts point in four directions:

  1. Increase asset prices. If the assets on the balance sheets of banks are falling, then why not buy them at higher prices and stop the bloodletting? This is the purpose of the TALF, Obama's mortgage relief program and the original purpose of the TARP.
  2. Increase asset prices. If assets on the balance sheet are falling, why not eliminate the accounting rules that are making them fall? Get rid of marking-to-market. This is the purpose of the newly prosed FASB accounting rule change.
  3. Increase asset prices. If asset prices on the balance sheet are falling, why not reduce interest rates so that the debt payments which are crushing debtors ability to finance those assets are reduced? This is why short-term interest rates are near zero.
  4. Increase asset prices. If asset prices on the balance sheet are falling, why not create Public-Private partnerships to buy up those assets at prices which reflect their longer-term value? This is what Geithner's Capital Assistance Program is designed to do.

So I lied, there is only one direction the government is headed: increase asset prices (or, at least keep them from falling). Read White House Economic Advisor Larry Summers' recent prepared remarks to see what I mean. (Summers on How to Deal With a ‘Rarer Kind of Recession’ - WSJ) ....

These plans are not going to work
As aggressive as this campaign by the U.S. government is, it will have limited effectiveness because the extent of the writedowns of assets already on the books is going to be too massive. ...

The U.S. banking system is effectively insolvent
So, it should be pretty clear that we have some serious losses still left to work through in the financial sector. I reckon the U.S. banking system is effectively insolvent. This is what Nouriel Roubini means when he says there will be $3.6 trillion in writedowns before this is all over. This means that banks do not have adequate capital to absorb the likely losses facing them later this year.

To date we have addressed this problem by throwing more money at it -- bailing out the banks and attempting to prevent asset prices from falling. I predict this solution will lead to another panic if continued indefinitely. (Remember, between now and the summer or fall, the unemployment rate could reach 9-10%, while home prices would still be falling and default rates rising.) American citizens would realize the system is insolvent and would cease to trust that a reasonable solution was in the offing.

Confidence in America's banking system is already lacking, especially in the large banks and large regional banks. This confidence can only be restored if banks are adequately capitalized now and in the future. Were we to suffer another round of major writedowns and capital injections into major institutions, I expect all confidence would be lost and bank runs would begin in earnest. This must be avoided at all costs.

Given the lack of capital the banking system now has and the likely level of writedowns, many institutions are fundamentally insolvent. They must, therefore, be liquidated or nationalized BEFORE confidence in the system is lost and bank runs occur.

Buying up assets at inflated prices, halting mark-to-market, and reducing interest rates to zero will not reduce the problem assets on bank balance sheets enough to avoid further massive writedowns.

In sum, most available evidence suggests bank writedowns will be massive -- perhaps larger than the present capital base of the U.S. banking system. While, present measures of recapitalizing and bailing out faltering institutions and buying up toxic assets may prove adequate to prevent further writedowns and capital erosion, I would rather err on the side of caution.

Caution dictates an aggressive response -- one which should include nationalization or liquidation of a significant number of banking institutions. Anything less is wishful thinking, the consequences of which could be very dire indeed.

Of course, whether or not the banks should be liquidated (the free market solution) or nationalized (the government intervention approach) is subject to debate. But regardless, it should now be obvious that the Geithner-Summers-Bernanke plan to prop up asset prices is not only crazily expensive, but it is a failed approach.


Is the recession ending in 2009 like Bernanke says? Or...?

Uncle Ben says the recession "probably" ends in 2009 if "the government bolsters the banking system."
Thanks to the Bernanke-Geithner-Bush-Obama "Bank Welfare" Program, the recession has "probably" ended for a lot of the bankster/corporate elite parasites.
Or, perhaps..?
The Crisis will be Profound and Prolonged, Joao Pedro Stedile
It's been several months since the crisis of capitalism was unleashed on the international level, with its epicenter in financial capital and the U.S. economy. Now we have more evidence that this crisis will be profound and prolonged, affecting all the peripheral economies -- including Brazil.
Many analyses of the crisis have been published in academia and the media. There are all sorts of positions and ideological currents. But they all converge on this diagnosis: it is a profound crisis, worse than the crisis of 1929. It will affect the entire world economy, which has been increasingly internationalized and controlled by fewer than 500 companies. It will be worse, because it combines an economic crisis, a financial crisis (of the credibility of currencies), an environmental crisis, an ideological crisis due to the failure of neoliberalism, and a political crisis due to the lack of alternatives on the part of the dominant class at the center of capitalism or the governments of the periphery.
In the history of crises of capitalism, the dominant classes, owners of capital, and their governments have adopted the same prescription to exit them.
First, they need to destroy a part of (over-accumulated) capital (lacking demand) to make room for another process of accumulation. In recent months, over 4-trillion dollars in paper money have gone up in smoke.
Second, they call for wars. War is a way of destroying goods (weapons, munitions, materials, facilities) and getting rid of the social tension of workers. And it does so in such a way as to also eliminate the industrial reserve army. Thence the First and Second World Wars, and then the Cold War. Now, given the fear of atomic bombs, they stir up regional conflicts instead. The attacks on the Palestinian people by Israel, the provocations in India, and the threats against Iran all fit in this strategy as well. The strategy is to increase military spending and destroy goods.
Third, magnify the exploitation of workers. That is to say, in crises, lower the average wages, and bring down the living standards and thus the costs of the reproduction of the labour force, in order to restore the rates of surplus value and restart accumulation. Hence also the expansion of unemployment, which keeps multitudes surviving only on the basic baskets of goods, etc.
Fourth, a greater transfer of capital from the periphery to the center of the system. This is accomplished by the direct transfer from enterprises in the periphery to their headquarters, as well as through the manipulation of the dollar exchange rate, the payment of interests, and the manipulation of prices of goods sold and bought in the periphery.
Fifth, capital goes back to using the state as the manager of the savings of the population to shift these funds for the benefit of capital. For this purpose, capitalists again valorize the state, not as the caretaker of the interests of society, but as the steward of their interests, to use its compulsory powers and thus collect money from everyone, through taxes as well as savings deposited in the banks, in order to finance their way out of the crisis.
We are witnessing the application of these classic measures, reported in the press every day -- here in Brazil, in the center of capitalism, and in the rest of the world.
But, as with everything in life, there are always contradictions. For each action of capital, the government, etc., there will be its contradiction, which society and workers can recognize and exploit to change the situation.
The historic periods of crises are also periods of change. For better or worse, there will be changes! Crises create openings and rearrange the positioning of classes in society. In Brazil, we are still apathetic, amorphous, listless, watching the description of symptoms of the approaching crisis on television. There was hardly any reaction or feedback from nearly 800,000 workers who lost their jobs just in December 2008. Nor are there comments on the IPEA research showing that, of the 17-million poor families in Brazil in the general register of beneficiaries of government programs, 79% of them are unemployed! For they received some benefits, they are not seeking more jobs, and they are left out of even the statistics of unemployment.
It is vital for the organized sectors of society -- in all existing forms, whether in churches, trade unions, schools, colleges, universities, the press, social movements, or parties -- to do something about the crisis. The first thing to do is to debate the nature of the crisis and find ways out of the crisis, from the point of view of workers and the majority of society. It is urgent to encourage all manner of discussions in all arenas. Paraná Educational TV's initiative to promote this kind of public debate is welcome. But it is still insufficient. The crisis will be long and deep. We need to involve the largest possible number of militants, politically conscious men and women, to discuss the situation, so we can collectively build popular alternatives. Without mobilization and social struggles, there will be no way out for the people -- except for capital. •

Paul Krugman breaks down the scheme er.. Plan
..."But the Obama administration, like the Bush administration, apparently wants an easier way out. The common element to the Paulson and Geithner plans is the insistence that the bad assets on banks’ books are really worth much, much more than anyone is currently willing to pay for them. In fact, their true value is so high that if they were properly priced, banks wouldn’t be in trouble.
And so the plan is to use taxpayer funds to drive the prices of bad assets up to “fair” levels. Mr. Paulson proposed having the government buy the assets directly. Mr. Geithner instead proposes a complicated scheme in which the government lends money to private investors, who then use the money to buy the stuff. The idea, says Mr. Obama’s top economic adviser, is to use “the expertise of the market” to set the value of toxic assets.
But the Geithner scheme would offer a one-way bet: if asset values go up, the investors profit, but if they go down, the investors can walk away from their debt. So this isn’t really about letting markets work. It’s just an indirect, disguised way to subsidize purchases of bad assets.
The likely cost to taxpayers aside, there’s something strange going on here. By my count, this is the third time Obama administration officials have floated a scheme that is essentially a rehash of the Paulson plan, each time adding a new set of bells and whistles and claiming that they’re doing something completely different. This is starting to look obsessive.
But the real problem with this plan is that it won’t work. Yes, troubled assets may be somewhat undervalued. But the fact is that financial executives literally bet their banks on the belief that there was no housing bubble, and the related belief that unprecedented levels of household debt were no problem. They lost that bet. And no amount of financial hocus-pocus — for that is what the Geithner plan amounts to — will change that fact."

Isn't it just wonderful?  The banksters are holding worthless assets, "toxic" ones, but get paid damn near 100% on the dollar for them; this is the story lost last week in the AIG bonus b.s. and lost today in the "Dow Rebounds" bullshit.  But let your credit score drop by 30 points and see what kinds of "credit extensions" you get?   I'm curious as hell as to how individuals whose credit scores have tanked due to their mortgage delinquencies (and/or other late revolving credit payments) will have credit scores that qualify them for relief?  Here's the other interesting part:  "When Obama has to roll out ANOTHER plan to help the average American and we are in the midst of dollar devaluation and hyperinflation, what type of "perfect storm" awaits us, what's going to happen when China, Europe and Latin American decide to pitch the dollar, and foreign capital is flowing outward instead of inward?  In short, what's left for "US" when we are down and dirty bankrupted?
Chinese central banker says US dollar should be replaced as global reserve currency
By Andre Damon
24 March 2009
Zhou Xiaochuan, head of the Chinese central bank, yesterday called for the replacement of the US dollar as the global reserve currency.
Zhou's comments, published Monday in both Chinese and English on the central banks' website, represent a stepping-up of economic tensions between the two countries as the global financial and economic crisis deepens.
"The price [of maintaining the current regime] is becoming increasingly high, not only for the users, but also for the issuers of the reserve currencies," Zhou said.
He continued, "The frequency and increasing intensity of financial crises following the collapse of the Bretton Woods system suggests the costs of such a system [the dollar reserve regime] to the world may have exceeded its benefits."
The sharpness of Zhou's speech is startling. The impact of the statements will be to raise further questions as to the stability of the US dollar. The Chinese authorities hold some $2 trillion in foreign reserves, two thirds of which is placed in US assets. Any crisis of confidence in the US dollar threatens the value of Chinese holdings."

You do the math, dumbass....

"Geithner's Public Private Partnership Puts Public Most at Risk," Matthew Rothschild, Common Dreams,  :
Tim Geithner’s at it again, doing somersaults, with hundreds of billions of federal money flying out of his pockets in the process, all to distract us from the more sensible course of action, which is to nationalize the insolvent banks.
Instead, he wants to scrub their assets clean by having the government and some private speculators buy up their bad bets.
Geithner calls it the Public Private Partnership Investment Program, and if he were playing scrabble, he’d be all out of Ps.
But don’t be confused. The public is taking the biggest risk, whereas the private speculators, for a tiny investment, can gain quite a lot.
Here’s the deal. Say a bank has a bad mortgage loan that it is holding for $100,000.
The government will set up an auction to determine what the mortgage really is worth.
Say the highest private bid for the mortgage is $84,000.
The government will provide $72,000 in a loan guarantee, and then the private investor would put up only $6,000, which the government would match with its own $6,000 stake.
So the government, you and I, are on the hook for $78,000 whereas the private investor has only $6,000 of skin in the game.
But get this: The private speculator gets to control the management of the asset, and not the government, even though we’re on the hook for about 93% of the risk.
“The Treasury intends to provide 50 percent of the equity capital,” Geithner’s fact sheet says, “but private managers will retain control of asset management subject to rigorous oversight from the FDIC.”
Geithner infamously said, just a few days after he became Treasury Secretary, that “we have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we’d like to do our best to preserve that system.”
And he is doing his best at that, which is all the worse for us."
If only these crooked bastards would cut a deal like that for the average citizen.  Why don't they buy out the privately-held student loans they are already guaranteeing?  Or write off a percentage of every cardholder's credit card debt? How about total forgiveness for mortgage delinquencies not to exceed 90 days?  Go out and get credit, a student loan, refi your home, buy a boat, or add a patio with a weak Credit Score.  I'm waiting with baited breath to see Mad Money Cramer and Empty-Headed Brunette Erin Burnett tell you about all the persons with 540 credit scores buying up a storm on the "Today Show."  Or how the Check Cashing places have all but disappeared under the Bank Welfare These sorry f****ks on NPR are talking right now about, "Is Obama communicating effectively?"  I mean, wtf?  Is he communicating what, effectively?  Posturing about the AIG bonuses or scamming us on the Bank Welfare Plan?  Tell me where the f***k my tax dollars are going and if I can refi my home with my "racially biased" credit score?   This guy Obama is a f****king corporate con man if there ever was one.  And for the next few days the media will dissect how effectively he lied to and conned us.  Remember when Grover Norquist talked about "starving the beast," about essentially bankrupting the US Treaury as a mechanism for cutting New Deal/Great Society legislation?
Who would have thought in 100 years that it would rest on the Dems shoulder to "starve the beast" for the next 50 years?
I haven't heard any Obama apologists on this blog for weeks.  Maybe you're technologically challenged and had problems logging on like me, or maybe you just don't have shit to say,-- no more excuse or rationalizations?  I'm betting on the latter, just like Wall St., the Mergers and Acquisitions crowd, and the banksters are betting on your continued stupidity.

More Math for dumbasses

The Geithner Plan: Billions More for Failed Banks

The last-ditch effort to save Wall Street will hurt taxpayers and still require another big bailout down the line
by Dean Baker
"It is hard to understand this plan as anything other than a last-ditch effort to save the Wall Street banks. Unfortunately, Obama seems prepared to risk his presidency on their behalf."


Leno & "Today Show" for the Dumbasses

Private "off the record" "Conferences" at $5K a head for the Wall St. fatcats.
Mr. "Face of the Nation" for the Obama Administration's Bank/Corporate Welfare Program is doing a kiss and tell with the banksters and Wall St. loan sharks.  Wonder what he tells them that he won't tell the dumbasses? I guess we'll get it second or third hand from Cramer or Erin Burnett, I'm sure they'll translate the tea leaves for the dumbasses. I wonder what Obama tells the dumbasses tonight on the tee vee and how the pundits will dissect it, and how it fits with what Summers tells the fatcats "off the record"  in meetings "closed to the press." 
If people don't f****king get it by now, you are a Prince of a Dumbass.
Summers to Brief Guests at $5000-a-head Conference
National Economic Adviser Larry Summers is conducting a private briefing at the White House Tuesday afternoon for about 100 financial industry executives attending a $5000-a-head conference sponsored by the Wall Street Journal.
Organizers said the Summers session is off-the-record, though some from the Journal and its parent company, Dow Jones, are expected to be present.
The White House said the event is considered "closed press" and one in a series of briefings administration officials have been giving to financial market participants in recent days as they try to sell their plan for a public-private partnership to buy banks' toxic assets.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner spoke to the two-day Future of Finance Initiative conference on Monday night, but that session, like others held at a Washington hotel, was open to press coverage. Reporters from various news organizations were also allowed in Tuesday as attendees heard from Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and former Federal Reserve chairman and current Presidential Economic Recovery Advisory Board chairman, Paul Volcker.

Screw double standards

Waters and Barney Frank in their actions helping a Black Bank are as much about self interest as when rethugicians do it.  Screw this double standards and progressive black woman BS!!!  Wrong it wrong is wrong as far as helping out the businesses and politician self interest ties!!!  Regardless if rethugician or democrap!!!
Spare me your defense of Maxine Waters please!!!!  I overall have major respect for what Waters does and her standing up for the underdog when it comes to people of color!!  But please be more objective in your viewpoint of Waters and others who are black politicians and let's look at this matter for what it is!!!  Don't be on the bandwagon of supporting black because it's black!!!  If we can criticize Obama on these blogs and things we don't like on his policies we should also criticize and look with the sideways crooked eye Water's self interest ties!!!


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Maxine Waters

Waters does a lot of positives for minoritys. But when it comes to obvious self interest you should speak out as to the obvious. When are we gonna get it, leave the bias out?

doyles room rakeback

the Bush-Obama bailout

the Bush-Obama bailout regimes. Goldman Sachs didn’t miss a beat as January 20th saw one administration morph into the other, with Sachs still in the finance policy catbird seat. Rescuing the zombie bankers from catastrophe of their own making has become the national project, an open-ended transfer of vast wealth to the finance capitalist class, courtesy of purchased politicians. Conflict of interest is a dead letter, with lawless banksters empowered to dictate the terms of their own deliverance from insolvency. The biggest beneficiaries are those institutions already deemed “too big to fail” – and whose executives are far too politically wired to go to jail. Dental Marketing