4 Sale: America – please call Ben or Tim / serious inquiries only

For Sale:  AMERICA – please call Ben or Tim / serious inquiries only

Now that the movie Inside Job has hit the theaters and picked up a Oscar in the process, one would think that Americans would have no excuse for not knowing the thieves of the century.  The cast of characters in Inside Job should all be given an Oscar for the “Best Impersonations of a Moral Person.”  They were all stars of the greatest swindle since the oil shortage in the seventies.

The phrase “I didn’t know” as a precursor or afterthought to anything doesn’t cut it.  People that are appointed to positions such as Secretary of the Treasury or Head of the Federal Reserve are supposed to know.  Taking a SWAG (scientific wild ass guess) is something that any average American can do.  People put into these positions are put there because they have a better understanding of how to handle the matters of their given office better than anyone else.  When the trust of office is violated the guilty person should be fired from such a position and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

The FBI is the lead federal agency for investigating color of law abuses, which include acts carried out by government officials operating both within and beyond the limits of their lawful authority. Off-duty conduct may be covered if the perpetrator asserted his or her official status in some way.  Convincing the majority of the public that powerful men such as Ben Bernanke and Timothy Geithner did not know that their professional cohorts and friends would do the unscrupulous banking practices that they did will never happen.  However, these two were able to convince Congress!  That ladies and gentlemen is the sad situation pertaining to our government.  Speaking of congress:  March 2, 2011 Ben Bernanke actually sat in front of Ron Paul while being asked questions with a look of sheer indolence on his face.  He actually sat there with one hand holding his head/face up and looked to all paying attention as if he were the most bored man on the planet.  Absolutely no respect at all and acted as if he could not believe that someone would bother to question him on any subject.  Try pulling that off when you are in a meeting with your boss and see how long you continue to collect a paycheck.  If Ron Paul could fire him and doesn’t then shame on Mr. Paul.

The players in the financial meltdown are so numerous that to list them all would risk alienating the reader due to the sheer unbelievability factor.  There exist many a article or blog that can expose these men.  The greatest advantage that the perps have is that no one wants to take the time to round them up and prosecute them.  Most that would be arrested would die old and very rich before a jury would ever convict them.  Trying to put all the evidence in front of a knowledgeable jury would be impossible due to the fact that you can’t keep someone on jury duty for that amount of time.   Without 8×10 glossies or better yet video of the actual crimes/lies being perpetrated, the defendants simply get away with it by stating “Didn’t do it.”  Try proving what was said and when without video with sound.  Therefore the most logical starting place is with the top government officials that should have known better and probably did.  We will never be able to prove with a certainty that Bernanke and Geithners actions were the results of favors being passed to their friends.  Its just like pornography in that you know it when you see it but you can’t define it.

Here’s the biggest kick in the head:  Its a Bipartisan Job!  These two can be accused of being of a certain party but it doesn’t matter.  They could care less who the congressional majority is or who sits in the White House.  As long as they’re in power themselves, they call the shots. There is a revolving door between the banks and the higher reaches of government, and to some extent the groves of academe. Bank CEOs become government officials, creating laws convenient for their once and future employers.  Back in August of 2010, John Boehner while licking his chops at hopefully becoming Speaker of the House, called for the resignations of Geithner and his whole economics team.  I can only surmise that even he could not present enough evidence to have him fired.  Now Boehner is Speaker of the House but no one is doing anything towards the removal or calling for the removal of Obamas failing economics team.  Maybe Congressman Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will actually give chase to the chicanery of our nations financial leaders.

Timothy Geithner is the 75th and current United States Secretary of the Treasury, serving under President Barack Obama. He was previously the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  In March 2008, he arranged the rescue and sale of Bear Stearns.  In the same year, he played a supporting role to Henry Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, in the decision to bail out AIG just two days after deciding not to rescue Lehman Brothers from bankruptcy. Some Wall Street CEOs subsequently expressed the opinion that decisions in which Geithner participated, especially the failure to rescue Lehman, contributed to worsening the global financial crisis.

Geithner weathered criticism early in the Obama presidency, when Republican Rep. Connie Mack of Florida suggested he should resign over the AIG bonus scandal and Alabama Senator Richard Shelby said that Geithner was “out of the loop”. Democrats largely joined Obama in supporting Geithner, and there was no serious talk of him losing his job

In November 2009, Neil Barofsky, the Treasury Department Inspector General responsible for oversight of TARP funds, issued a report critical of the use of $62.1 billion of government funds to redeem derivative contracts held by several large banks which AIG had insured against losses. The banks received face value for the contracts although their market value at the time was much lower. In the report, Barofsky said the payments “provided [the banks] with tens of billions of dollars they likely would have not otherwise received”. Terms for use of the funds had been negotiated with the New York Federal Reserve Bank while Geithner was president.

In January 2010, Rep. Darrell Issa released a series of e-mails between AIG and the New York Fed. In these e-mails, the Fed urged AIG not to disclose the full details of the payments publicly or in its SEC filings. Issa pushed for an investigation of the matter, and for records and e-mails from the Fed to be subpoenaed. Rep. Edolphus Towns, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, issued subpoenas for the records and scheduled hearings for late January 2011.  Geithner and his predecessor, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, both appeared before the Committee on January 27.  Geithner defended the bailout of AIG and the payments to the banks, while reiterating previous denials of any involvement in efforts to withhold details of the transactions. His testimony was met with skepticism and angry disagreement by House members of both parties. He still has his job.

Financial disclosure forms revealed  that some of U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner’s closest aides earned millions of dollars a year working for top Wall Street firms. That finding alone would not likely be enough to cast doubt over Geithner’s ability to take the lead in reforming the financial system. But this isn’t the first time the Treasury Secretary has come under fire for maintaining close ties with Wall Street, while failing to look out for the interest of the average American. Indeed, disclosure of Geithner’s phone records showed that the Treasury Secretary has had Wall Street firms on speed dial for the duration of the crisis, and a government watchdog group recently blamed him more than any other government official for the oversized bonuses that were paid out to financial firms that received taxpayer bailouts. Together, these revelations have undermined confidence in Geithner’s ability to be a dynamic force in pushing for the financial regulatory reform he’s promised.

The advisors who came under scrutiny included Lewis Alexander, a former chief economist at Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), Mark Patterson, a former lobbyist for Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), and Matthew Kabaker, who earnings millions of dollars at private equity firm Blackstone Group LP.  Alexander, who in March left Citigroup to join up with Geithner, was paid $2.4 million in 2008 and the first few months of 2009, Bloomberg News reported. Kabaker, who had a hand in crafting the plan to spur banks to sell their toxic assets, earned $5.8 million working on private equity deals at Blackstone in 2008 and 2009 before joining the Treasury in January. A large portion of that payout was in stock that Kabaker received when Blackstone went public in 2007.  Goldman Sachs Group Inc. paid another advisor to Geithner, Gene Sperling, $887,727 for advice on its charitable giving and fulltime lobbyist Mark Patterson $637,492, according to Bloomberg.  Lee Sachs reported more than $3 million in salary and partnership income from New York hedge fund Mariner Investment Group.  Because these advisors work as so-called counselors, they don’t require Senate confirmation, yet they still help oversee the $700 billion banking bailout and influence financial regulatory reform, including limits on executive pay.

During Ben Bernanke’s first term as Chairman, the Federal Reserve experienced its largest increase of power since its creation in 1913.  Congressman Ron Paul has said, referring to Bernanke: “There is something fishy about the head of the world’s most powerful government bureaucracy, one that is involved in a full-time counterfeiting operation to sustain monopolistic financial cartels, and the world’s most powerful central planner, who sets the price of money worldwide, proclaiming the glories of capitalism.”

According to John Tamny, editor or realclearmarkets.com:  Perhaps to give us a laugh, Ben Bernanke notes that the Fed labors under a dual mandate imposed by Congress “to promote a high level of employment and low, stable inflation.” Funnily enough, on Bernanke’s watch the rate of unemployment has doubled, and while he would correctly point out that the dollar’s exchange value is a Treasury thing, gold has nearly tripled versus the dollar during his tenure. It’s as though he’s begging to be relieved of his duties by noting his failures, but his peers and overseers in Washington are as clueless as he is.  As a result, Americans and the world will continue to suffer a Fed head that, with every utterance shows how very unequal he is to his job. A self-proclaimed expert on the 1930s, Bernanke continues to intervene in the economy despite clear lessons from that decade showing that government intervention then turned what should have been a brief downturn into a Great Depression.

In a letter to Congress from New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo dated April 23, 2009, Bernanke was mentioned along with former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in allegations of fraud concerning the acquisition of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America. The letter alleged that the extent of the losses at Merrill Lynch were not disclosed to Bank of America by Bernanke and Paulson. When Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis informed Paulson that Bank of America was exiting the merger by invoking the “Materially Adverse Change” clause Paulson immediately called Lewis to a meeting in Washington. At the meeting, which allegedly took place on December 21, 2008, Paulson told Lewis that he and the board would be replaced if they invoked the MAC clause and additionally not to reveal the extent of the losses to shareholders. Paulson stated to Cuomo’s office that he was directed by Bernanke to threaten Lewis in this manner.  Congressional hearings into these allegations were conducted on June 25, 2009, with Bernanke testifying that he did not bully Ken Lewis. Under intense questioning by members of Congress, Bernanke said, “I never said anything about firing the board and the management [of Bank of America].” In further testimony, Bernanke said the Fed did nothing illegal or unethical in its efforts to convince Bank of America not to end the merger. Lewis told the panel that authorities expressed “strong views” but said he would not characterize their stance as improper.

According to a January 26, 2010, column in The Huffington Post, a whistleblower has disclosed documents providing “‘troubling details’ of Bernanke’s role in the AIG bailout”. Republican Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky said on CNBC that he had seen documents which show Bernanke overruled recommendations from his staff in bailing out AIG. The columnist says this raises questions as to whether or not the decision to bail out AIG was necessary. Senators from both parties who support Bernanke say his actions averted worse problems and outweigh whatever responsibility he may have for the financial crisis.

At the time Bernanke was re-appointed by Barack Obama as Chairman, the Federal Reserve had fallen by 30%.  Its hard to believe that the Federal Reserve was less popular than the IRS at this time and yet Obama re-ups the republican holdover.  Was Obama complicit in this appointment or just naive?  Perhaps it could be argued that he was just inexperienced in the ways of the private sector and economically. ROFLMAO!  But that was 2 years ago!  At the present time, we are witnessing the leaders of this nation sit back and approve Big Bens plan to print a Trillion dollars and devalue our currency further. To Late – its already happened.  People talk about the dumbing down of America but it looks as if we got dumbed up as well.

The Federal Reserve continues to be the monopoly over our financial system and will continue to hold everyone a hostage.  We have seen the bailout of all of the major institutions based on recommendations from the Federal Reserve and carried out by the Treasury Department.

Through understanding the history of the banking, we can now begin to see the impact of these two men on the global economy.  These individuals have a direct impact on countries decisions regarding war, as well as their overall economies. A private centralized bank, no matter if it is within the United States or any country of the world, has done nothing but enable these select few to become wealthier, while the remaining population continues to suffer. The current financial crisis that the world is experiencing can be directly related to the centralized banking institutions. Perhaps we need to go back to the formula where currency had value, and had collateral to back it up. Until then, we can look forward to continued recessions.

Brian Gray

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