5.0 out of 5 stars The great American Stickup
September 8, 2010
Here in easy to understand language, Robert Scheer has pealed back the layers that cover up the whole stinking mess that has become “stripped-down vulnerable deregulated America.” The method of robbery is basically a five-step political process: (1) “demagog” FDR and all existing regulations relentlessly as the enemy of free enterprise; (2) use paid lobbyist to help justify, tear-down and then rewrite new regulations; (3) use lobbyists' contributions to buy off the votes of key politicians in both parties to open up the laws for the impending thievery; (4) once legislation is passed, oversee the Wall Street financial casino with watchdogs that do not watch; and then (5) appoint members of the plutocracy who stand to gain the most, as facilitators and the palace guards of policy.
The present system of “high-level state sanctioned grand larceny” was designed and implemented, not by Ronald Reagan, or GW Bush, but by William Jefferson Clinton with the help of none other than the gang of four — Timothy Geitner, Robert Rubin, Alan Greenspan, and Lawrence Summers. However, the unsung hero of the grand heist, was Windy Lee Gramm, senator Phil Gramm's paramour and then wife, (who as a grad student was first his lover and then very quickly his wife). It was this “devious duo” that engineered the plans for the ultimate robbery of the American economic system.
It was Windy's computer models, of exotic financial instruments that unleashed the derivatives market (of “securitized (packaged subprime bundles) loans, “credit default swaps,” etc.) on an unsuspecting American public. She of course then was immediately promoted to an oversight position to oversee the very OTC commodities markets she had help prepare for raiding. Then before the flax hit the fan, she was out of “Dodge” and off to Enron, where there she helped with, among other things, some now infamous creative accounting.
However, the skids for raiding the U.S. financial markets had been well-greased before Mrs. Gramm rode into town on her husband's white horse. Roosevelt's New Deal Reforms, which had put a check on the Robber Baron's of the 1920s had been under attack since Ronald Reagan's administration. But Reagan got no further than “attack rhetoric.” It took the “faux liberal,” Bill Clinton, and his gang of four (Rubin, Geithner, Greenspan, and Summers) to put Reagan's ideas into practice and to then pull off the ultimate economic heist. Once their buddies had their billions, and all the illicit bonuses were paid, only then did we realized that the U.S. treasury had been sacked in broad daylight.
But now Obama appears to be even “slicker” than “slick” Willie himself. While campaigning against the Clinton's during the democratic primary, Obama had used the “no financial tricks” economic guru, Warren Buffet as his chief economic advisor. Buffet had described the financial “dirty tricks” designed by Wendy Gramm and later fully implemented by “the gang of four as “Rubinomics,” as “weapons of financial mass destruction.”
During the run up to the election, Obama had essentially agreed with Buffet, that the Clinton/Bush/Gramm approach was headed straight to disaster. Yet, once in office, he not only changed his tune, but it seems he also had no place on his financial team for the renown Buffet. Instead, he retained as his chief advisors (and to preside over recovery from the “Gramm/Cheney/Bush/Clinton mess), the same “economic hit team” that underwrote the mess in the first place. So under Obama, the “the gang of four” got in on the ground floor to set up a new “kinder and gentler” version of America's casino capitalism, although one more carefully covered over with a thinly veiled limp-wristed set of regulations that are being sold to us by Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank as “real” financial regulations.
With Scheer's book, I guarantee that the next heist, which is already well into the making, will not be as quite as easy to pull over on the American people as the last one. Five Stars.