Twitching, rumpled and passionate, Max Keiser explains the deeper significance of Edward Snowden’s recent intelligence leaks. It’s not about national security. Keiser implies that Snowden has revealed evidence of a fascist market-rigging operation that’s ultimately funding America’s secret government–a corporate plutocracy.
This article is a compilation of a number of pieces I’ve written about Ed Snowden and the NSA. It doesn’t replace them, but it hits the high points…
For years ATS [substitute NSA] had been using its technological superiority to conduct massive insider trading. Since the early 1980s, the company had spied on anyone and everyone in the financial world. They listened in on phone calls, intercepted faxes, and evolved right along with the technology, hacking internal computer networks and e-mail accounts. They created mountains of ‘black dollars’ for themselves, which they washed through various programs they were running under secret contract, far from the prying eyes of financial regulators.
Those black dollars were invested into hard assets around the world, as well as in the stock market, through sham, offshore corporations. They also funneled the money into reams of promising R&D projects, which eventually would be turned around and sold to the Pentagon or the CIA.
The government is out of control as well as local prosecutors trying to make a name for themselves.
Phi Beta Iota: At the federal level, “illegal everything” is directly tied to incentivizing special interests that get 6-20 return on investment for campaign contributions. At local levels it seems to represent a fragmentation of society and an end of generic citizenship.
Buddy Roemer is a candidate for the Republican nomination for president. He served in Congress from 1981-88 as one of the last truly conservative Democrats who crossed the aisle to back the Reagan agenda. He later was governor of Louisiana and switched party affiliation to the GOP. A longtime business executive, Mr. Roemer founded and was CEO of Business First Bank, a small community lender with $650 million is assets.
Memorable Line: “I’m a Methodist boy, and I believe in miracles.”
Memorable Line: “I want Washington DC to stop being the capital for corruption.”
Will Germany Kill the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg?
Since the middle of the 19th Century, the central questions in European politics have been been have been the closely connected questions of nationalism and the rise of German power. As my good friend and eminent historian Gabriel Kolko shows in the brilliant essay attached below, the post war solutions of NATO and the European Union, together with the exigencies of the Cold War, put these questions on hold, but their fundamentals remained, sleeping beneath the surface, and today, the conflicting questions of nationalism and German power are again coming to the fore to create ominous problems for Europe and the world.
There can be no question that, until 2007 or so, the European Union — particularly the opening of borders, the free flow of labour and capital, the disappearance of tariffs, and diminution of non-tariff trade restrictions, etc. combined to make life better for the mass of average Europeans. Standards of living rose steeply and social services improved in parallel. This was particularly evident in the poorer EU countries on the southern rim. I saw and experienced this astounding improvement in the quality of life on a very personal level, living on a sailboat in southern Europe since the summer of 2005. I will never forget the comment made to me by an Italian psychologist in Calabria in 2006, which is the heart of the provincial south of Italy, “It is a great time to be a European.” To be sure, he was an educated member of the upper middle class, and not representative of the average Calabrian, but it struck me that this Calabrian saw himself as a European. It was not very long ago, that such a person would only loosely consider himself to be an Italian, not to mention a European.
When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this infallible sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
It is clear to anyone who has studied the financial crisis of 2008 that the private sector’s drive for short-term profit was behind it. More than 84 percent of the sub-prime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending. These private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year. Out of the top 25 subprime lenders in 2006, only one was subject to the usual mortgage laws and regulations. The nonbank underwriters made more than 12 million subprime mortgages with a value of nearly $2 trillion. The lenders who made these were exempt from federal regulations.
It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis. It was, plain and simple, Congress who forced everybody to go and give mortgages to people who were on the cusp. Now, I’m not saying I’m sure that was terrible policy, because a lot of those people who got homes still have them and they wouldn’t have gotten them without that. But they were the ones who pushed Fannie and Freddie to make a bunch of loans that were imprudent, if you will. They were the ones that pushed the banks to loan to everybody. And now we want to go vilify the banks because it’s one target, it’s easy to blame them and Congress certainly isn’t going to blame themselves.”
Barry Ritholtz in the Washington Post calls the notion that the US Congress was behind the financial crisis of 2008 “the Big Lie”. As we have seen in other contexts, if a lie is big enough, people begin to believe it.
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