Wall Street, redux

January 11, 2010 | By | 2 Replies More

Chris Hedges pulls no punches at Truthdig when he discusses what’s wrong with Wall Street banks:

These deeply stunted and maladjusted individuals, from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to Robert Rubin to Lawrence Summers to the heads of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America, hold the fate of the nation in their hands. They have access to trillions of taxpayer dollars and are looting the U.S. Treasury to sustain reckless speculation. The financial and corporate system alone validates them. It defines them. It must be served. This is why  e-mails from the New York Fed to AIG, telling the bailed-out insurer not to make public the overpaying of Wall Street firms with taxpayer money, were sent when Geithner was in charge of the government agency. These criminals sold the public investments they knew to be trash. They used campaign contributions and lobbyists to turn elected officials into stooges and gut oversight and regulation. They took over retirement savings and pensions and wiped them out. And then they seized some $13 trillion in taxpayer money so they could lend it to us with interest. It is circular theft. This is why we will endure another catastrophic financial collapse. This is why firms like Goldman Sachs are more dangerous to the nation than al-Qaida.

These corporations don’t make anything. They don’t produce anything. They gamble and bet and speculate. And when they lose vast sums they raid the U.S. Treasury so they can go back and do it again. . . . The foundation has not changed. The regulations are bullshit. The old assets are still crap.

Why does any of this matter?  Because dollars are fungible, and so are tax dollars.  They are not pre-marked for specific uses such as paying someone tens of millions of dollars in a “bonus” that is unwittingly financed by taxpayers.  Those dollars that are being wasted on Wall Street banks could be going to critically important purposes, such as developing new methods of producing energy, researching new medicines, retraining workers.  Or they could be providing better nutrition to people in need, including children.  Of course, those dollars would be better used than they are currently being used even if they merely remained in the possession of the workers who earned them, rather than taxing those workers and then handing those dollars to too-big-to-fail banks.


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Category: Corruption, Economy

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. Tim Hogan says:

    There must be a Thousand man Perpwalk on Wall Street before I'll believe anyone is doing anything to prevent the next world-wide economic meltdown which will thow us back to the Middle Ages as serfs to our financial feudal masters.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Matt Tabbi:

    "We have at least some way of dealing with the average guy who doesn’t pay his debts — in fact our government has shown remarkable efficiency in passing laws like the bankruptcy bill that attack that particular problem, and of course certain banks always have the option of not lending that money (and I won’t even get into the many different ways that the banks themselves bear responsibility for all the easy credit that was handed out in recent years).

    But the kinds of things that went on at Goldman and other investment banks, in many cases there are not even laws on the books to deal with these things. In some cases what we’re talking about is the highly complicated merger of crime and policy, of stealing and government, which is both fascinating from a journalistic point of view and ought to be terrifying from the point of view of any citizen, rich or poor."


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