Disinformation About The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

By Simon Johnson

In Washington, before lobbyists try hard to destroy something, they first spread a great deal of disinformation about it.  Thus the “End Users’ Coalition” (a front for the derivatives dealers) promotes its lobbying points as fake research.  And “fiscal conservatives” attempt to distract from the fact that our largest banks brought us to the brink of budget disaster – this is their preparation for demolishing all vestiges of financial reform.

On a closely related front, there is now a concerted effort to undermine the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), mostly by spreading disinformation about its supposed lack of accountability.

This disinformation approach contains the standard elements of exaggeration, misdirection, and distraction (all quotes are via Fred Barnes):

  1. Slogans: “If you like TSA at the airport, you’ll love these guys” (Congressman Spencer Bachus).
  2. This is a major step towards dictatorship.  “Its powers are very, very vast….  Who in the world would consider it appropriate to have one person appointed—one person!—to set the rules for the entire financial industry. It’s a tremendous overreach. It’s incredible to think about” (Senator Bob Corker)
  3. And it would be a one-person dictatorship.  “”It would be dangerous to the American economy if Elizabeth Warren were put in that job by a recess appointment, thwarting the will of Congress….  [She would be] accountable to no one” (Senator Richard Shelby)

Naturally, none of this is remotely close to the facts – an important principle of disinformation is that it should create an alternative reality which, through repetition by apparently disparate and supposedly credible people, becomes regarded as containing an element of truth.

Elizabeth Warren, the interim head of the new agency, has in fact consulted widely with members of Congress (from both sides), as well as with the industry.   There is a great deal of accountability, down to the level of explaining exactly how the agency will be structured and the principles that will guide its operation.

She has also shared with members of Congress the details of key personnel appointments, as well as the responsibilities that various people will have.  Legislators have every right to ask tough questions about the details – and this is exactly what they have been doing. 

The oversight mechanisms at work here are exactly the same as for existing regulators – the CFPB is largely a consolidation and streamlining of their powers.  Of course, we might worry that legislative oversight of regulators in the past helped bring us to the brink of financial and fiscal disaster, but that is another matter (e.g., see Inside Job, which just won the Oscar for Best Documentary.)

A particular bone of contention is the role of Elizabeth Warren herself.  She is currently Assistant to the President (i.e., a White House role), as well as a Special Advisor to the Secretary of the CFPB.  She is not Director of the CFPB – nor is she currently the nominee for that position.

Some members of Congress are clearly positioning themselves for a bruising confirmation hearing – and sending signals that they will fight hard against any potential appointment of Professor Warren, presumably mostly on procedural grounds.

But everything about her current role, the timing of when and how the agency is established, and the confirmation hearings is exactly as laid down by the Dodd-Frank Act.

And remember that Ms. Warren was, until recently, head of the Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP – in other words, she had a prominent role overseeing part of the executive branch.  She understands the need to be scrupulous and careful about process in the current situation.  Her appointment calendar is posted on-line.  By my count, she has met with more than 50 members of Congress in one-on-one meetings since September.

Elizabeth Warren stands for transparency.  After decades of abuse, consumers of financial products deserve prices that are clearly stated up front, risks that are plainly visible, and absolutely nothing buried in the fine print.  This kind of transparency allows people to comparison shop in an effective way; it will also spur market competition and encourage the kind of innovation that really benefits consumers.  It’s time to end the deception that comes packaged with complicated agreements wrapped around hidden fees and all kinds of nasty surprises.

And please remind all members of Congress, regarding their oversight role during 2000-08, that despite everything Countrywide did, including the horrible way it treated consumers and the many apparent deceptions in its practices, Angelo Mozilo walked away a rich man.   According to the research of Professors Sanjai Bhagat and Brian Bolton, as CEO between 2000 and 2008, Mr. Mozilo received over $90 million in salary and bonus and sold Countrywide stock worth over $500 million.  (You must read the Bhagat and Bolton paper.)

Let’s have the substantive discussion, in the open — before Congress and elsewhere.  Which way do we go next: Elizabeth Warren’s way, with transparency for all; or Angelo Mozilo’s way, with vast fortunes for a very few people and great misery for many?

This is not about being pro- or anti-market.  This is about what kind of market you want: transparent or opaque; honest or based on deceit.

But rather than discussing the merits of the debate – and the real issues at stake – instead we are treating to phony procedural complaints and fake claims regarding how the Constitution is supposedly being undermined.

“No smoke without fire” is the principle that reasonable people often apply to stories they hear.  If enough people are talking about an issue in a particular way, there must be some legitimate grounds for concern.

But, as any former official can tell you, while this presumption may be reliable in everyday life, it plays into the hands of politicians who wish to mislead you.

All the smoke around the CFPB is designed purely for mirrors; there is no merit to any of the accusations.  This is the first stage in a careful and orchestrated campaign to undermine and eventually destroy the agency, with the ultimate goal of allowing some irresponsible elements in the financial industry to go back to the disgusting ways of 2000-08.

103 responses to “Disinformation About The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

  1. Maybe I was slow to get it, but it wasn’t until the Reagan administration that I learned that when a Republican told you he was for something it meant that he was exactly against it — and vice versa. In one example that sticks in my mind Reagan said he wanted to get the government off the backs of the people, but then threatened to take away all federal highway funding for VT if we didn’t raise our interstate speed limits to 65 mph.

    It’s only gotten worse over the last 30 years.

    So today if Republicans say they want more transparency, it’s time to look around for what they want to hide.

  2. What is Warren’s position on granting congress the ability to perform (or request) full and on-going audits of Federal Reserve banks?

    Are FED audits part of the transparency that Warren supports or does her transparency end at non-FED banks?

  3. I think her transparency ends at the power of her agency which has no power over the Fed. I’m sure she has personal feelings one way or another but this is an odd forum to ask for those, unless you were just trying to make a point about the Fed. The problem the politicians have with Warren, vis-a-vis misinformation is that she is so very, very good at explaining herself. She is exceptional at explaining complicated and detailed situations in ways even idiots can understand. I’m sure that came in handy with the trust fund babies that make up half of Harvard Law.

  4. Simon,
    I like this blog. It’s very informative, it links to other good stuff, I read your book along with others, and I’ve learned a lot in the last couple of years. But, between you and watching Michael Scheuer talk last night on C-SPAN about his latest book on US foreign policy failures, I feel like buying two one-way tickets to Costa Rica.
    What a dysfunctional mess this country has become. I get more demoralized every day.
    Thanks.

  5. The CFPB is housed within the Federal Reserve System, so I’m not sure why this is an odd forum for my question.

    This article claims that Ms. Warren’s way is “transparency for all”. I also agree with your statement that she’s very good at clearly explaining herself. Therefor, it’s appropriate to look for an explanation of her views on her parent organization’s affect on consumer finance.

  6. @Rich S.: “I feel like buying two one-way tickets to Costa Rica. What a dysfunctional mess this country has become. I get more demoralized every day.”

    I know what you mean, me too. Costa Rica is a lovely place. If only I spoke Spanish.

  7. Bruce E. Woych

    Simon: This is the best and most instructive article since the initial expose on Oligarchy and the Coup d’Etat of the American Political Economy. it runs to the heart of not only the big Corporate deceptions to the public in Finance and Market America, but to the very mechanics of political machinations and manipulations of power stealth and wealth politics. If this information became routine, we might be able to expect more truth as norm and not expect spin, slant, bias, tautology and outright lies or deception as intrinsic to our political (and economic) culture.

    Lets DEMAND substantive and substantial intelligent discussion not only transparent, but minus the dirty tricks and sabotage that distorts purpose and intentions. Let’s also begin to demand “definition of terms” instead of vague wanderings into appeals to emotion and conditioned reactionary self-righteousness and zealot diplomacy as sincere negotiations.

    This article should be published and passed around extensively as a model template for truth in public services.

  8. If Corker, Bachus and Shelby and the Republican party in general is so comfortable telling such enormous lies, it kinda makes you wonder what else they’d be willing to lie about.

    Anything really.

  9. Here is a bit of a Swiftian take on Banker language – a parody of testimony before the Senate Committee on “Financial Innovation”…

    http://manurelagoon.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/reining-in-the-national-association-of-bank-robbers-testimony-before-the-senate-committee-on-financial-innovation/

  10. Lavrenti Beria

    If I recall, Johnson just couldn’t say enough last year about the legislation that created CFPB. Not unlike others caught up in the Elizabeth Warren ga-ga at the time, he simply gushed imbecile enthusiasms about it, embracing as he always has the imagined reformability of the system. Others, less sanguine, knew in advance that Warren would be eviscerated even before getting out of the starting block and saw the whole construct as a sham. But now we have Johnson fretting over misinformation. Where’s all that confidence now, Simon?

    I have news. No reform of our financial system will be worked short of Egyptian style demonstrations and strikes. It is then that the people will address our Mubaraks.

  11. You are probably preaching to the choir here, Professor Johnson. We’re inundated daily with examples of lies and distortions perpetrated by conservative politicians and business people, but we seen no examples of counter-punches. We read about it in on liberal/progressive blogs and the echos of it in the MSM. So every time I read something like this I want to shout: SHOW ME WHERE I can find the truth in print or in the MSM? Who is countering the misinformation in the mainstream media? Which politicians are pushing back and trying to get the truth out there? Reading things like this time and time again is very depressing and discouraging, especially when we know who will win in the end and it ain’t the good guys.

  12. Bruce E. Woych

    deathbyacronym: Blistering Tailwinds Batman…, this is great stuff! You can’t make this stuff up:

    This would be hilarious if it wasn’t dead serious and scary…this is real !!

    “Introduction
    Chairman Bacchus, Ranking Member Barker, and members of the Committee, my name is Clyde Dillinger. I am the Chief Communications Officer for the American Bankers Association. I am grateful for this opportunity to appear before you to discuss our proposed legislation, “Reining in the National Association of Bank Robbers: Securing America’s Financial Stability..”

    http://manurelagoon.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/reining-in-the-national-association-of-bank-robbers-testimony-before-the-senate-committee-on-financial-innovation/

    “The first proposal is that we now make a clear distinction between illegitimate wealth transfer, i.e. the direct robbing of banks, and the legitimate sophisticated and indirect wealth transfer methods engaged in by bank…”

    “The second proposal is to allow the banks to increase their leveraging. By forcing banks to have actual assets on reserve, the government is effectively expanding NABRs market. The simplest articulation of this philosophy is that if banks don’t have to have actual money on hand, there will be nothing for the NABR operatives to steal. We understand that there are risks involved in expanding leverage, which is why we believe the government should enhance its protection of banks to insure that in the very rare cases where the non-existence of assets becomes a problem, the US government would be there to provide liquidity.”

    “The third proposal is to establish a new security framework,
    Our proposal is that the federal government redeploy private military contractors who are currently in Iraq and Afghanistan. America’s banks could use the protection of well-paid, highly skilled, and effectively equipped professional security forces.”

    SO THAT’S what they mean by “FINANCIAL INNOVATION” !!!!!

    Best laugh I had all day: they are going after robin hood by giving themselves the Kings men and hiding all the assets!

  13. I spent some time there — the people were lovely and hospitable and with no standing army they are able to afford medical care for the people, and offer the same care to their guests. But something is wrong at the top. There are too many large bank buildings in the capital, and the police are over-vigilant. I would guess Geneva is like that. — Just gut feelings, and it’s been a while since I was there, but if there is a fascist/corporate takeover in America’s future, I feel Costa Rica would be part of it.

  14. It is pretty safe to predict that with the CFPB coming on the scene, there will be a major expansion in store-front lenders, car title lenders, etc. An interesting article last week (I think in the WSJ) on the store front lending operations setting up on native American reservations — the “treaty” territories are not subject to usury laws, CFPB, etc. So credit becomes that much more expensive for the “unbanked”.
    “I’m from Washington and I’m here to help you!”

  15. CBS from the West

    Well, it seems to me, Del, that all you’re pointing out, Del, is that the CFPB doesn’t go far enough. It should have encompassed _all_ lenders, no exceptions.

  16. Bruce E. Woych

    Lavrenti Beria: (Hungarian?)…with all due respect, (especially for your frustrated call to arms and direct action against the self-serving power market monopoly…), I don’t see anyone spelling out this methodology of misinformation in the country (risking the conspiratorial crown of thorns…) and I would encourage you to look at the “on the ground action” happening right now. This is politics and you are in it if you help to spread the word and not the dispair and frustration. get in the game!

    “In Washington, before lobbyists try hard to destroy something, they first spread a great deal of disinformation about it. Thus the “End Users’ Coalition” (a front for the derivatives dealers) promotes its lobbying points as fake research. And “fiscal conservatives” attempt to distract from the fact that our largest banks brought us to the brink of budget disaster – this is their preparation for demolishing all vestiges of financial reform.

    On a closely related front, there is now a concerted effort to undermine the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), mostly by spreading disinformation about its supposed lack of accountability.

    This disinformation approach contains the standard elements of exaggeration, misdirection, and distraction”

  17. Anybody notice how Assange faded from view, and Wikileaks too? Heard anybody say it was Wikileaks that triggered the democratic movements in the Middle East by nakedly exposing the relationship of their leaders with the USA? I don’t watch TV but I sure haven’t seen much in print media and net newspapers. Only in Al Jazeera.

  18. Lavrenti Beria

    It is hardly new that lobbies persistently will seek to limit attempts at wringing moral behavior out of their clients. What is new is that so many intelligent, well intentioned people have so little interest in grasping the truth of the peonage in which the ruling class that at once is and fronts for these lobbies has so insidiously ensnared them. Their very credulity, their infantile insistencies that, somehow, if only we are to write enough congressmen, or hold enough elections that we’ll prove conclusively that democracy is still functional in the United States are now the principal obstacles to the restoration of that democracy. There was a time that such naivete was given the name, “social fascism”, and not a bad description it was. For then, as now, such participation in a corrupt system only imparted to it a kind of insidious life. Better at this point to look for a “peoples’ moment”, one which will entail not only authentic change but justice as well.

  19. Simon, you say that disinformation creates an alternative reality through repetition. I agree.

    I find it funny (and troubling) that you go on to practice similar repetition right from the CFPB’s website.

    In paragraph 13, you say: “…consumers of financial products deserve prices that are clearly stated up front, risks that are plainly visible, and absolutely nothing buried in the fine print. ”

    The CFPB’s website says: “ensuring that consumers get the information they need […] — that prices are clear up front, that risks are visible, and that nothing is buried in fine print.” (see http://www.consumerfinance.gov/the-bureau/ )

  20. everybody should just STOP paying their bills and take to the streets…if everybody does it, not even the private army of mercenaries can get everyone…

    when small business people with great credit ratings saw they were going to get into trouble

    they called the credit card companies to get advice and cut deals

    there is NO PUBLIC RECORD at the credit card companies that people contacted the company first

    but the credit card companies kept those people’s names for their psychological profiling

    and are now going after those GOOD people with warrants to arrest them

    worst is Discover Card thugs operating out of Utah

    maybe Liz can start there

  21. Cynthia Lichtenstein

    Dear Lavrenti Beria, as I remember my Russian history, you were the head of what was the predecessor of the NKVD. Interesting your posts given who your parents chose to name you after. Best, Cynthia

    PS: Simon, a absolutely terrific blog. C.

  22. Bruce E. Woych

    for the record, Cynthia Lichtenstein is quite right about your namesake of Lavrenti Beria; It is quite a thick plot:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavrentiy_Beria

  23. This is getting scary now; as such tactics are used in real wars- both cold wars and warm wars!

    Does this mean we are already in a “virtual civil war”- where the public is confused, frustrated, and then gives up and ready to be disarmed by one side or the other side? If these apparently well financed mercenaries succeed, who needs logic, reasoning, theories, and models?

  24. me too., but, I opt for France or Germany.

  25. I stopped wondering in the sixties when the party nominated an actor for Governor of CA and he won! Then, I almost moved to Canada in the 80’s after we elected an actor to the Presidency – science fiction!

    I agree with both Franks – Tom and Bob: Something’s wrong with Kansas and we don’t know why.

  26. Kim Kaufman

    I hear Panama is the new Costa Rica.

  27. Bayard Waterbury

    Carol, in this case your statement: “We’re inundated daily with examples of lies and distortions perpetrated by conservative politicians and business people” is accurate, obviously. But, considering the Geithner-Bernanke connection, and the mere fact that these guys still have a say in our destruction? Well, then, it would appear that there are no limitations on disinformation when it comes to parties. Don’t draw any narrow lines, as you will be continuously disappointed.

    These guys are all members of the Plutocratic Party, only don’t like the agnomens that accompany that identity.

  28. Bayard Waterbury

    We will have our own Tahrir Square, sooner or later. Upon that you may rely. The amount of manure being fed to the American public in the name of truth has grown to biblical proportions. The level of ignorance that the average American is willing to tolerate is truly mind-boggling. How does free speech as a right matter at all when the media is intent on controlling almost everything the average person reads or sees?

  29. Bruce E. Woych

    Bayard Waterbury: The Media is clearly compromised and proportioned to the new ownership society and market politics. Truth is scrubbed and dubbed! Wikileaks at minimum gave us some clue as to the scale and scope of what we are exposed to in terms of facts and reality. All the “rest” is news & media (market). Here’s an interesting sideshow for you:

    http://whowhatwhy.com/2011/02/23/pulitzer-prize-winner-seymour-hersh-and-the-men-who-want-him-committed/

    Pulitzer Prize Winner Seymour Hersh And The Men Who Want Him Committed
    By Matthew Phelan on February 23, 2011

  30. Bruce E. Woych

    …And who disguised as …fights a never ending battle for
    Truth / Justice / and the neo-American Way:

    http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2008/2008_08_22

    The Federalist Society was formed in 1982 to promote conservative legal ideas and conservative lawyers, while inside Reagan’s Justice Department, a cadre of young ideologues worked to bend the system as far to the right as possible. Two of those young lawyers, John Roberts and Samuel Alito, now sit on the Supreme Court, where they have delivered an unending line of business-friendly decisions and overturned one law after another that impedes the privileges of power.

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/03/clarence_thomass_wife_teams_with_federalist

    _societ.php

    As the Los Angeles Times reported …, Virginia Thomas recently created Liberty Central, a new lobbying group that seeks to tap into the grassroots energy unleashed by the Tea Party movement.

    But Thomas will have help from some Republican players with a rather more inside-the-Beltway profile. Leonard Leo, a top official with the Federalist Society, is a director of the new group, according to business records kept by the state of Virginia, and reviewed by TPMmuckraker.

    In a 1995 speech to the Federalist Society, Clarence Thomas, a member of the society, described Leo as “my good friend.” A prominent conservative legal scholar and activist, Leo played a key role in successfully shepherding the Supreme Court nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito through the Senate confirmation process.

    http://www.accuracy.org/release/2218-supreme-court-pick-kagan-loves-the-federalist-society/

    …Kagan explicitly endorsed the Bush administration’s bogus category of ‘enemy combatant,’ whose implementation has been a war crime in its own right.
    Obama administration is as bad or worse than the Bush administration when it comes to issues like state secrets and wiretapping.

    “Kagan has said ‘I love the Federalist Society.’ This is a right-wing group; almost all of the Bush administration lawyers responsible for its war and torture memos are members of the Federalist Society.

    “Five currently on the U.S. Supreme Court were or are members of the Federalist Society: Harvard Law graduate Roberts; Harvard Law graduate Scalia; Harvard Law graduate Kennedy; Yale Law graduate Thomas; and Yale Law graduate Alito. A narrow elite is imposing itself through the legal system, and ordinary Americans need to start asserting themselves.”

    Now, selected by Obama, Elena Kagan Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving since
    August 7, 2010

  31. Where did you study Russian history, Professor?

  32. Bruce E. Woych

    Hay mondo: here’s what I located 4U…

    http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2011/02/28/julian-assange-at-the-forefront-of-21st- Julian Assange: At the Forefront of 21st Century Journalism :How WikiLeaks is democratizing journalism,
    redistributing power and increasing transparency. February 28th, 2011: By Kevin Zeese

    http://search.independent.co.uk/topic/assange (full page of articles: UK)
    Video: Assange slams warrant system
    Julian Assange has criticised European arrest warrant system after judge rules he should be extradited to Sweden to face sex charges.

    Judge rules Assange must be extradited
    He said he was satisfied that Mr Assange was wanted for prosecution, not merely questioning as the defence claimed. A European arrest warrant was issued in December and Mr Assange has fought extradition since handing himself


    “If law fails, CIA will assassinate Assange”

    http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlla/former-assistant-secretary-under-reagan-says-cia-will-take-out-assange_b23353

    http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2011/02/28/julian-assange-at-the-forefront-of-21st- Julian Assange: At the Forefront of 21st Century Journalism :How WikiLeaks is democratizing journalism,
    redistributing power and increasing transparency. February 28th, 2011: By Kevin Zeese

    compliments: Bruce

  33. Let’s rehash a bit:

    We still don’t know exactly what Warren’s involvement was with the NextWave cellular frequency scam. Would appreciate it if the proprietors here put that little blip to bed.

    Transparency. Again, to best understand the way Simon and Prof. Warren mean transparency, it’s best to the refer to the movie Gomorrah. These people want the illusion of transparency, nothing more.

    Side note: Finally a clue about Simon’s origins — The Brookings/CFR fellow who made Inside Job mentioned recently that Simon was born in Australia. It would still be fascinating though to know where in Australia, and if anyone in his family had ties to government, academia, or industry. (To the uninitiated, this is important because due to his role in Russia during the privatisations, some suspect him of being either an economic hit man, a propagandist, or both). Still wonder what he does all day long, most days. How much of a time commitment is that entrepreneurial program. Last we looked into it, it didn’t seem like more than a week or two per year. What is your full time job?

    Also, we haven’t heard much lately about or from the eminent grease behind this blog — Pete “Petros” Peterson. He’s been way to quiet. What’s he up to?

    Finally, we never heard from Simon if his “Silent Coup” was inspired by Noreena Hertz’s The Silent Takeover. The one with the big fat endorsement from George Soros just a few pages in. (Another aside… Hertz’s great grandfather was the Chief Rabbi of England (probably hung out with Felix Salmon’s dad!) He was Hungarian. Hertz got her endorsement from George Soros (remember Soros is a play on words.. it’s yiddish for “tsooris,” meaning “trouble.”). Soros is Hungarian too! Are we looking at the remnants of the Austro-Hungarian empire here somehow?

  34. Bruce E. Woych

    reactionary dribble; wipe your face…your drooling innuendo.

  35. I see where you’re coming from:

    This is an essential resource for anyone who is serious about a comprehensive and multilateral perspective in establishing the rudiments and fundamentals of objective research into global prospects for a global infrastructure. Much as Roman Law and Univerality owed its genius to lex gentium, this approach follows a contemporary revival of respect for localized structure in diversity. Any approach to global perspectives must begin with these insights or will fail to encompass a truthful foundational respect for cross cultural realities and traditional priorities that can enhance or impede true coordinated development on the greater encompassing levels.

    You’re buying this globalism crap schnook, line, and shtinker?

    You should have a good chat with James if you haven’t already — he’ll be working on the legal infrastructure.

  36. Also, this was interesting to read after having come from learning all about Alger Hiss, Frankfurter’s protege:

    http://www.prwatch.org/node/8995

    Either you see clearly what’s going on in the world and just pretend you don’t, or you’re staring right at it and don’t see it at all. Your refusal to understand that this blog is major propaganda could indicate either.

  37. I´ve read some pieces by Elizabeth Warren and seen some videos and I like what I hear… but I have not been able to hear from her something that would lead me to believe that if she and the agency had been in charge this crisis would not have happened.

    Also, I might be misinformed but I never hear her speaking about credit scores… and if there is something really shady in the financing of consumers that is the whole topic on credit scoring and which to me seems more designed to extract profits from consumer financing than to assure that the consumers are financed at the rates they deserve.

  38. markets.aurelius

    All good points, Simon. The smoke being dropped by the GOP and their fellow travelers is an obvious distortion. And it needs to be pointed out.

    But for the plutocrats to really be effective, the funding for effective regulation has to be cut. See, e.g.,

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/49783.html

    This is all about the banks protecting their TBTF/TBTS guarantees, because without them, they’d surely risk immediate devaluation — i.e., their equity would race to zero (i.e., $0.00/share). Why: The Top 5 banks have 98% of the total derivatives exposure on the planet — the smallest threat to any one of their TBTF/TBTS guarantees dooms the system and destroys their equity. See, e.g.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704150604576166623494617598.html

    Oh, and fwiw: the awareness of the plutocracy’s methods and means is well understood on both sides of the intellectual divide among folks who at least make an attempt at intellectual honesty. See, e.g.,

    http://www.the-american-interest.com/article-bd.cfm?piece=906

    No one would accuse Dr. Fukuyama of being overly liberal, given his neocon bona fides. (His discussion of efficient markets vis-a-vis sociology and political economy can be disputed, tho.)

    On the other side of the intellectual divide, supporting Dr. Fukuyama’s analysis is this juicy little tidbit from Mother Jones:

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph#

    So, it would appear the fellow travelers aligned with the Chamber and the Bachus-Corker-Shelby axis find intellectual opponents among conservatives and liberals, just as they find allies among the appointees of a Democrat in the White House. However, at the end of the day the new B-C-S axis will prevail — they have the money and the banks need them.

    A truly sad state when the State and its machinery is so completely co-opted. Too much has been written of how badly such take-overs end, but it is worthwhile revisiting Ruggiero’s “The History of European Liberalism” (Oxford, 1927) and Shirer’s “The Collapse of the Third Republic: An Inquiry into the Fall of France in 1940.” One gets the overwhelming impression we are traveling those very same paths.

  39. markets.aurelius

    Too bad Shelia Bair’s gone in a few months. A parting shot that’ll amount to nothing:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/28/us-finance-summit-bair-idUSTRE71R7G720110228?pageNumber=1

  40. Lavrenti Beria

    And these, the scandalous lies of wreckers and saboteurs, my dear Frau Lichtenstein. :-)

  41. Obama tipped his hand on CFPB by not moving forward with a nominee. He speech at the Chamber of Commerce was a telltale. As with Egypt, etc., the O-man is completely incompetent when it comes to managing process or anticipating events, even obvious events. The WH did not really anticipate CFPB as finally cast and now is killing it via indifference having seen the anger from the banks. The fact is that the Obama political tank is empty on the Hill and around the US, so spending nonexistent political capital on this fight is unlikely. EW will eventually go back to school and with my thanks for a good try. Chris

  42. Thanks, Bruce.

  43. Herbert Wetherby

    Your biggest problem is all the layers of corruption within the legal infrastructure and, manageing that. And why do you need to know what an individual does with their time? Some peoples time is there own, until the big bad law steps in, in the name of involvement, to force its beliefs on all whom roam its territory.

  44. Herbert Wetherby

    You are entirely correct. Even today this administration claims such things as freezeing foriegn peoples bank accounts or whatever, and then the person says they haven’t any outstanding moneys to be frozen. The folks adviseing the administration use figures that do not include the gigantic underground ecomony making themselves and others confused. The orchistrator of this one is so twisted that no amount of time will cure his ills or change his views. So yes, I see a an intellectual civil war that is so confusing you can’t tell the enemy from your comrads.

  45. DakotabornKansan

    “This life of ours…human life is like a flower gloriously blooming in a meadow: along comes a goat, eats it up—no more flower.” – Anton Chekhov

  46. Hello from a Kansasborn Canadian —

    But something eats the goat too. And there are always more flowers. The big, BIG picture helps us ride the changes.

  47. Hey Charles B, I did move to Canada — in the ’70s.

    And being born and raised in Kansas I have a pretty good idea “why.” Read their history. Unlike any other state, Kansas was a farm-to-farm, town-to-town guerilla battleground during the civil war. John Brown’s raiders etc. In grade school we studied that time, and when I asked my grandmother about it — that was in the early ’50s — she would not speak of it. She had been taught as a child never, never to talk about it. That is how a post-civil war community heals itself and moves on. Like Ireland, like Bosnia. That neighbor-to-neighbor strife leaves its mark on the culture and political process for many decades, creating a kind of over-sensitivity, and in some ways makes people try harder to get along. Kansans are generally very decent people who are quick to help one another — much as they are here in Canada, where we work to bridge our English/French division — but for some reason Canadians have a much greater sense of humor — most likely because we are in bed with an elephant.

    Anyhow . . what is wrong with Kansas ain’t at all what’s wrong with Wall Street.

  48. “Just gut feelings, and it’s been a while since I was there, but if there is a fascist/corporate takeover in America’s future, I feel Costa Rica would be part of it.”

    Gee, I would just flip that one: if there is a fascist/corporate takeover in Costa Rica’s future, I believe America would lead it.

    It has already happened here. Done deal.

  49. “we know who will win in the end and it ain’t the good guys.”

    Carol, here’s the really discouraging part: there ain’t no good guys.

    Everybody’s “captured” by the corporate thugs, and nobody stands up to them, or not for long.

    It’s going to take a huge, broad-based people’s movement, and it will bubble up from the bottom, or at least the ranks of the middle class.

    Yes, like Cairo.

  50. Hear! Hear! Bruce E. Woych and Cynthia Lichtenstein.

  51. Bruce E. Woych

    Yes Uncle Billy, whoever you are. That is my review of a serious cross cultural review of legal systems outside of anthropology and meant for serious legal students and scholars that want to understand a greater spectrum of possibilities. You don’t see anything and just that you say so, doesn’t mean squat. You haven’t substantiated anything your say against the currents.

    Everyone here can click your name and it will lead to a blog that died in mid-stream. At the top of the page it will also lead to an investment blog called econforecast. A certain Stanley webber shows up as an administrating tag at the Goliath file, but no actual identification is made to support any mission statement concerning outing big names. Where were you when the Koch Brothers were so clandestine in building their blatant social and political reactionary machine? It appears that goliath was fully asleep.

    My name is on the board. Simon’s name is on the board. If your idea of constructive scandal is to discredit victims than you, my friend, are the interloper who is not transparent in your actions.

    As far as I am concerned this is an indivisible defense system and I like to think it is initiating an open air University without borders for free thinkers in an open market of free speech in the defense of democracy…real democracy not market democracy. As far as I am concerned the work of Simon Johnson is clear and evident in all aspects of its reach and its limitations. But this blog. This following. This threaded stream has beconme something more important and sustained than the fundamental articles themselves that initiate discussions. It has become an operational conduit to information and knowledge…people share ideas and lend themselves to furthering the learning tree of life in this country and maybe the world that is watching. What have YOU added? You can’t even define propaganda let alone use it critically against Simon Johnson’s work in creating open dialogue and sharing the opportunity to provide links to even greater perspectives.

    Are you on corporate? Are you on an agenda? Are you on a payroll? If you can substantiate your talk …do so! Otherwise you appear to be impropaganda!

  52. @Bayard:
    Wonder if you’re familiar with Tim Wu’s book “The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires.”

    He says: “The story of Daniel Lord and the Legion of Decency goes to a central contention of this book: in the United States, it is industrial structure that determines the limits of free speech.” p. 121

    (Daniel Lord was a Catholic priest who founded the Legion of Decency, which developed the Production Code that censored Hollywood films from 1934 until the mid-1960s.)

  53. Stephen A. Boyko

    Agreed! “… demand “definition of terms” instead of vague wanderings into appeals to emotion.” I would begin with defining risk and uncertainty with bright line differentiators. http://readingthemarkets.blogspot.com/2009/10/boyko-were-all-screwed.html As we have discussed, I believe that Too-random-to-regulate (TRTR) is a more robust form of governance than TBTF.

  54. We’re ruled by so much disinformation, it’s a miracle we still can still even write a simple declarative sentence.

    With much of it, the pervasive fear card is shown, as Simon’s initial flurry points out. I am growing older, and more skeptical of every pronouncement from the corridors of corrupt power.

    I have gone to the virtual well, for a brief treatise on disinformation. There are so many cool people writing on this blog, I thought I would share.

    http://www.whale.to/m/disin.html

  55. Woop, welcome, and thanks for the link.

    I think one could make a case that the world itself, as perceived within the collective human mind and our individual egos, is disinformation. Kinda like the Matrix. That is what the great teachers tell us, and lately what the physicists say too. We all get rare glimpses of reality when that veil slips a bit, and we need to hold on to those insights and build on them. And find our solidarity there.

  56. Thanks, Bruce. Glad you enjoyed it. It was written in a white heat of rage shortly after reading 13 Bankers, and a post here by Mr. Kwak in which he referenced Adam Levitin’s testimony about the mortgage debacle. All of their work has really opened my eyes to what is going on and for that I am eternally grateful. Thanks for your insights throughout this comment chain.

  57. Bruce E. Woych

    I second that WOOP! That is a very useful expose on the basic routine dirty tricks of misdirection, evasions and other devices used for disinformation and deception. Here is some items and issues you might find interesting to review:


    Mothers Finest – Truth will Set you Free


    James Hand – The Truth Will Set You Free


    Torture Memos: Waterboarding


    The Truth Will Set You Free – Dion DiMucci[WATCH IN 480P]

    http://rightwingnuthouse.com/archives/2009/04/17/the-truth-will-set-you-free/ ( blog)

    Stay with us! This is a great group.

  58. Like to add note to that . . I am not trying to be airy-philosophical here. As long as we are centered in our superficially linked “ordinary” consciousness, they can manipulate, divide and control us. If we abandon that mentality, and go deep within ourselves and build on our truths there, brick by brick, and communicate with each other that way– with kindness, forgiveness and willingness to sacrifice — then they cannot control us.

  59. Bruce E. Woych

    Dave: Repeating the facts is not disinformation. You seem to be misinterpreting “repetition” as a method in itself. Repeating facts is called truth. Utilizing the wording of the CFPB website does not create an alternative reality, it states an agreement on a factual policy principle based on an authoritative assessment of needed reform. How is this repetitive disinformation. The lie told often enough becomes a more convincing lie. A truth told often enough is just the truth. Which one is an alternative reality? Give up?

    check out:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Lie

  60. Bruce E. Woych

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/post_1496_b_803900.html

    Robert Reich

    Former Secretary of Labor; Professor at Berkeley;

    Author, Aftershock:
    ‘The Next Economy and America’s Future’

    Posted: January 3, 2011 05:39 PM

    The Big Lie

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/post_1496_b_803900.html

    This article says it all!

  61. seriously Lavrenti you could lighten up

    Bruce E. Woych am I imagining or would this classic be one of your favorites?

  62. seriously, Lavrenti you could lighten up

    Bruce E. Woych would this classic be one of your favorites?

  63. meant to post this above

  64. Bruce E. Woych

    …and a beautiful version at that !!!! Thanks 2U Tippigolden

  65. Bruce, a fact can be backed up with proof, right? Please show me analytic proof that the only thing required to provide financial protection is “clear prices, visible risks, and no fine print”.

    That’s not fact. Those are just regulatory measures that this new bureaucracy CAN do. Just because Simon repeats them, doesn’t mean those measures are the only thing that needs to happen to ensure protection. People like you end up believing those trivial regulatory measure are fact and prevent any real reform from happening.

    The CFPB is housed within the Federal Reserve System. The FED removes inherent market risk from banks by providing them with capital at below market interest rates. The FED also bails out banks when they mess up. As a consumer, I’d feel more protected if my bank was exposed to the these market risks and were prosecuted for fraud if they couldn’t fulfill deposit receipts — even if my contract had fine print.

    But of course the CFPB won’t get into any of that because of their parent organization. The CFPB’s funding will come if they can regulate banks’ fine print so that’s what the CFPB’s website says is the only thing needed…. but that doesn’t make it fact.

  66. They don’t get it, but I do…and I appreciate the reminder about “predators gone wild”…

    NOT nice people, from Trotsky to Beria – gee, how did they become the “elite”, eh?

    “Revolution”.

    And it’s hard core in their genetic memory – already the Lord of Humor has been looking down his nose on the cheese heads…

    It’s the hooligan factor that makes USA different – everyone wants to work for YOU, Beria…”the POWER of the dark side”

  67. I totally agree – there ain’t no good guys.

    It’s a PREDATORY system…AND a religion. Yes a RELIGION.

    Lie on the internet about everything that is personal, and for god’s sake, stop watching teevee…get connected mano et mano….

    Look at all the things we could be doing that does not involve bloodshed, but that would flush the predators out of the “virtual” – hold the empty real estate hostage, take your cash out of the bank, stop paying bills – ECONOMIC DISOBEDIENCE.

    THEY ARE BROKE, not us.

  68. Dave,

    I think I love you. Where have you been all my life?

    (Kidding aside, you’re nailing it.)

  69. I noticed a category error right after you mention Liz Warren. She couldn’t possibly consult with two(2)sides when there is, in reality, one(1) corrupted side serving one-tenth(1/10) of one(1) percent(%) of the population. When you perpetuate the myth that we have a two(2) party system you undermine your whole premise.

  70. Per, thank you for bringing up this whole nefarious business of credit scores.

    Do you know that corporations (and maybe govt agencies for all I know) use credit scores to eliminate applicants from consideration for jobs?

    They do this routinely and we never hear a peep about it. It seems to be O.K. with everybody.

    Last week there was a tiny little flap in the press about how companies are advertising that “unemployed” need not apply for open positions. “Only seek a job with us if you already have a job.” After one day, it wasn’t news anymore.

  71. @par4: BINGO!

  72. Bruce E. Woych

    This is current and more to the practical point, tippygolden…but my sentiment was greatly founded in the heartfelt disposition of OHIO and TEACH (your children…)/ and “OUR HOUSE” from CSN&Y days of the original break out. But the full generational spectrum will never be expressed closely to the experience that unfolded before the corruption and the fall (marketing “counter-culture)…of those truthful moments offered from the non-conformist soul- search and searching for soul…share in the collective spirit that whispered love and life and light to the universe…and to each other …until the media exploitation reproduced it for markets and stylized it for membership identity and the new norm…

    here’s a relatively unknown tune you might appreciate from the Woodstock generation: “NOT MUCH TIME”

    Ernie Hendrickson: Not Much Time / Music Video & MP3 Song
    ‘Not Much Time’ by pop artist Ernie Hendrickson?

    NOT MUCH TIME” The page for that song selection “by song” is:

    http://musicremedy.com/e/ernie-hendrickson/videos/not-much-time-45454.html

    http://www.myspace.com/music/5359839/songs/44221162

  73. @ Mondo, thanks your posts: outstanding all the way.

    @ Bruce E Woych, thanks for the vids, really terrific. Mr. Hand has lived up to the Confucian ideal of “rectification of names and things”.

    We need more people unafraid of the truth.

  74. Bruce E. Woych

    I think it becomes self evident that the twisted associations you presume to present as argument is not only false but also totally disconnected.

    The original contention had to do with repeated “facts” as in factors in communication points or facts presented as truth statements. It is interesting that you do not request “analytic proof” for disinformation, but suddenly make an appeal to complexity for a mere observable statement of factual intentions. The proposals of clear pricing; clearly visible risk disclosure and clearly written terms of agreement are simply the abc’s of a fair market transaction. If you practice the reverse, the preponderant evidence (proof>>>DAVID…PROOF) is that you are a part of an aggressive practice of CHEATS who have hurt people in real life (proof…David>>>proof) by deception and deliberately misleading tactics (ones that are actually used on the markets by cheats, liars and scoundrels?

    Now do we have to go over those definitions too???

  75. It’s really not that complicated.

    1) I didn’t request proof of neocon disinformation because Simon presents it and links to it. I agree with that.

    2) Just because I can agree with Simon on the disinformation campaign doesn’t mean that I agree with Simon on the CFPB’s campaign and message for a fix. Simon did not present anything to prove that the CFPB’s proposed fix (which he repeats almost verbatim) would have prevented the meltdown.

    3) Simon’s presentation of disinformation is fact. That doesn’t mean that Simon’s repetition of the CFPB’s message is also “fact”.

    We may agree that some bankers are (in your words) “cheats, liars, and scoundrels”. That doesn’t mean we agree that the ONLY cure-all — the only fix the CFPB proposes — is less fine print. These banks get their capital and backing from the CFPB’s parent organization. You may believe the financial meltdown was caused by too much fine print. Others believe it was caused because banks that got free money from the FED and removed all risk.

  76. Tony Foresta

    And these are the fairytales pimped and bruted by redneck Amerika. Up is down, black is white, fact is fiction day is night, lies are truth, truth is the work of antiamerican unpatriotic socialists, – and the den of vipers and thieves on Wall Street are doing godzwerk, Irag was involved in 9/11, biggovernment is bad, unless it involves shredding that goddamn piece of paper called the constitution, wherein we need big giant massive government to lockup mexicans, and spy on Americans without due process, and prosecute and fund warsofchoice in farofflands to fight evildoers and wanton profiteering by the bushcrimefamilycabals is good for Amerika. The fascists in the gop and the ignorant idiots in redneck Amerika speak with forked tongues, and have no ears and no eyes!!! These monsters, and theives are the bane of America and promote and advance all that is evil and twisted, and sick in our society.

    Decent citizens must stand up and stomp these evil wicked bloodthirty, greedy pathological liars into the dust from whence they came.

    America’s enemies walk amongst us, and they wear the redwhiteandblue, and pimp thebabyjesus, – but they are LIARS, and THIEVES, and MURDERERS!

    The truth truly will set you free, – Americans might want to look into it!!!

  77. There was too much marijuana and then cocaine in them days, killed the revolution aborning. Stoned it out.

  78. @ Tony, you don’t know how happy I am to see your return to posting on this blog. And thanks for that link, to a beautiful song!

    And you “done told” the story of the rednecks, too, as much as I can tell.

  79. Bruce E. Woych

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=6348

    The Doha Debates: Wikileaks…the Diplomacy of truth

    also: a quest for conscience:

    http://rightwingnuthouse.com/archives/2009/04/17/the-truth-will-set-you-free/ (American quest for clarity)

  80. Bruce E. Woych

    I have to place this above your reply; (Dave “It’s really not that complicated…”):

    Many of your statements are literally illogical and the appearance of some disjointed conviction to your statements gives it an air of certainty in a mixed confusion of cause and consequences that sound like reasoned conclusion. It is fast talk. Your problem is that it doesn’t work if you write it down. You are, I assume, deliberately attempting to confuse the issue?

    Formally there are logical fallacies galore here but essentially it is fallacious extensions of scope resting upon fallacies of composition. There is an appeal to “all or nothing” (hasty) generalizations and even a non-sequitar or two! A brilliant cluster of quibbling paralogisms!

    ARE You in Sales by any chance Dave?

  81. @Bruce – …and you must be in purchasing, because you’ve bought the CFPB’s solution (which this article repeats verbatim) as the only way to protect consumers.

    Enough of the ad hominem attacks. Enough of the Wikipedea and HuffPo links that have nothing to do with my argument. If you want to offer a some backing that the only way to protect consumers is with less fine print, clear prices, and visible risks, then go for it. If you think consumers are fully protected WITHOUT looking at the government and quasi-government agencies that support big banks then I’d love to hear your agrument.

  82. Bruce E. Woych

    The University without Borders brings you:

    http://democracyisforpeople.org/

    Democracy in play…

    A movement against totalitarian oligarchy.

    http://democracyisforpeople.org/

  83. I woke up today, made myself a buttermilk-blueberry pancake, showered, and got out the door. It started early today. Big, fat, juicy chemtrails, set in motion before dawn, I suspect.

    Meteorologists have to be aware of the incessant spraying here in the Boston area, but can’t talk about this on air, without getting a pink slip. But they should, before too much longer.

    So we talk about disinformation, but not talking about something is disinformation, too. This is especially true when something as apparent as chemtrails is staring back at us, driving to the train station, then home again.

    I am not sure if we are all being drugged, but it’s a distinct possibility, given the ruthlessness and criminal depravity of the permanent powers that be, that ugly flatulence of greed, insanity, and impotence that sits above and behind the constituted government.

    If the revolution is coming, it can’t come soon enough, because as former FBI SAC Ted Gunderson makes clear, these sprays are nothing short of “death dumps”.

  84. When “regulators” don’t care about human beings:

    “The Tuskegee syphilis experiment[1] (also known as the Tuskegee syphilis study or Public Health Service syphilis study) was an infamous clinical study conducted between 1932 and 1972 in Tuskegee, Alabama by the U.S. Public Health Service to study the natural progression of untreated syphilis in poor, rural black men who thought they were receiving free health care from the U.S. government.[1]
    The Public Health Service, working with the Tuskegee Institute, began the study in 1932. Investigators enrolled in the study a total of 399 impoverished, African-American sharecroppers from Macon County, Alabama who had previously contracted syphilis before the study began. For participating in the study, the men were given free medical exams, free meals and free burial insurance. They were never told they had syphilis, nor were they ever treated for it. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the men were told they were being treated for “bad blood,” a local term used to describe several illnesses, including syphilis, anemia and fatigue.
    The 40-year study was controversial for reasons related to ethical standards; primarily because researchers knowingly failed to treat patients appropriately after the 1940s validation of penicillin as an effective cure for the disease they were studying. Revelation of study failures by a whistle-blower led to major changes in U.S. law and regulation on the protection of participants in clinical studies. Now studies require informed consent (with exceptions possible for U.S. Federal agencies which can be kept secret by Executive Order[2]), communication of diagnosis, and accurate reporting of test results.[3]
    By 1947, penicillin had become the standard treatment for syphilis. Choices available to the doctors involved in the study might have included treating all syphilitic subjects and closing the study, or splitting off a control group for testing with penicillin. Instead, the Tuskegee scientists continued the study without treating any participants and withholding penicillin and information about it from the patients. In addition, scientists prevented participants from accessing syphilis treatment programs available to others in the area.[citation needed] The study continued, under numerous US Public Health Service supervisors, until 1972, when a leak to the press eventually resulted in its termination. The victims of the study included numerous men who died of syphilis, wives who contracted the disease, and children born with congenital syphilis.[4]
    The Tuskegee Syphilis Study, cited as “arguably the most infamous biomedical research study in U.S. history,”[5] led to the 1979 Belmont Report and the establishment of the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP).[6] It also led to federal laws and regulations requiring Institutional Review Boards for the protection of human subjects in studies involving human subjects. The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) manages this responsibility within the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).[7]”

  85. Tony Foresta

    Intriguing posts woop and Annie.

    “As a precautionary measure, CDC and public health officials are recommending that anyone who visited areas around the National Mall between 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 and 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 25 should see a health care provider if they experience symptoms related to Tularemia, which include:” Our esteemed commentarians can continue reading here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/11/05/162512/-4th-Episode-of-TularemiaThis-time-its-San-Jose

    The September 24 and 25 the CDC warns about happened to be the antiIraqwar protest days in DC, where tens of thousands of people were exposed to Tularemia, – and the story was swept off the radar.

    There is no limit to the treachery and ruthlessness of the predatorclass. One need only peruse human history for a grim picture of the twisted and savage
    practices of predatorclass tyrants.

    Amerika, tragically – is a lost and wayward nation. Until new leadership changes policies and laws to advance and defend the peoples rights, freedoms, and protections, – we are doomed to a future of continued government and leadership advancing, and defending and shielding the predatorclass and predatorclass oligarchs.

    “Ashes, ashes, all fall down.”

  86. Tony, “There is no limit to the treachery and ruthlessness of the predatorclass. One need only peruse human history for a grim picture of the twisted and savage practices of predatorclass tyrants.”

    And let’s not forget how “religon” has traditionally been the Predator’s strongest ally in enforcing YOUR BELIEF in their own made up crap.

    This is all a head game, in the final analysis – a sick psychotic ME ME ME! *philosophy*…ick.

    Monkey brain + imagination = Belief in your own made up crap

    and their SECRET knowledge is this math formula:

    More misery for others = More $$$$ for ME ME ME

    and to make it even MORE criminally psychotic, the $$$$ in USA is *FIAT*

  87. Bruce E. Woych

    Central controls on information (consolidated) and some history on institutional disinformation:

    (1) On campus & in social groups:

    http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/church/reports/book3/pdf/ChurchB3_9_CHAOS.pdf

    http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/church/reports/book3/pdf/ChurchB3_9_CHAOS.pdf

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Church_Committee

    http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=United%20States.%20Congress.%20Senate.

    %20Select%20Committee%20to%20Study%20Governmental%20Operations
    %20with%20Respect%20to%20Intelligence%20Activities

    (3)US Government:
    Church Committee (Author)

    Editorial Reviews (Publisher)
    “When it was first revealed that the Bush Administration had implemented a secret program of warrantless wiretaps and domestic spying on US citizens, few Americans knew that all of this had happened before. In the early 1970’s, it was revealed that US government agencies,…, were being used as part of a deliberate plan to infiltrate and disrupt political opponents, and this plan had continued for 20 years under four different Presidents, both Democratic and Republican. (see full editorial review)
    (4)

    http://bss.sfsu.edu/fischer/IR%20360/Readings/pike.htm

    The Pike Committee Investigations and the CIA Gerald K. Haines
    related:
    http://www.namebase.org/news17.html (the media and centralized (consolidated) information controls

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389×2990965

    http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com

    additional LINKS:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Committee (complete summary review)

    http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-thinktank.htm (conservative think tanks & the political agenda)

  88. Bruce E. Woych

    Tony: Here is a uniquely coherent summary of more details to what you are sensing:

    http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-overclass.html

  89. Who would not want a transparent and an honest market? We should all be vigilant regarding this issue and the time has come to stop their deceptive acts.

  90. Bruce E. Woych

    An Advocate Who Scares Republicans
    By JOE NOCERA
    Published: March 18, 2011

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/19/business/economy/19nocera.html?_r=1

  91. Stephen A. Boyko

    @ Bruce E. Woych

    If the system is not broken, why would the oligarchs (aka “Banksters” and Ms. Warren) change? If the system is broken, what does Ms. Warren offer that is different? Incremental attempts of trying to wring greater efficiencies from the legacy OSFA system is the equivalent to a governance no-fly zone.

    Unless and until, there is a different regime, i.e., a 3D differentiation of “randomness” (see Baseline, What Jamie Dimon Won’t Tell You: His Big Bank Would Be Dangerously Leveraged
    http://baselinescenario.com/2010/12/04/what-jamie-dimon-won%e2%80%99t-tell-you-his-big-bank-would-be-dangerously-leveraged/ for reference to Regulatory Rubik’s Cube PS__ please note earle, florida’s astute comment) you are arguing for failure to equal fraud where you have to establish scienter in uncertainty. This is at the heart of Matt Taibbi’s complaint.

    What Taleb argues in the “Black Swan” when he says that “correlation is charlatanism” is equivalent to what I argue in “We’re All Screwed (page 82) from a governance perspective that “protection is a racket.” If Citigroup’s one-size-fits-all financial supermarket could not cross-sell, then Elizabeth Warren’s OSFA metrics cannot cross-regulate. Why? Conflated, non-correlative information. You see, adding more non-best practice rules is “toxic” to the capital formation process.

  92. Bruce E. Woych

    http://action.workingfamiliesparty.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=3694

    click on and sign the petition against these abuses:

    http://action.workingfamiliesparty.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=3694

    The 5 Worst Plans for Financial Un-Reform

    1. Prevent special oversight of under-capitalized and highly leveraged institutions such as AIG that maintain major swaps positions and threaten U.S. financial stability. (“Major Swap Participant” oversight)

    2. Hayworth authored an amendment to repeal the requirement in Dodd-Frank that companies disclose internal pay comparisons between their median workers and their CEOs, allowing CEO salary to remain secret.

    3. Create a special registration exemption for private equity advisers, which would remove accountability for leverage buyout funds.

    4. Create SEC exemptions for public offerings up to $50 million, opening up a wide opportunity for fraud.

    click on and sign the petition:

    http://action.workingfamiliesparty.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=3694

  93. Stephen A. Boyko

    Mr. Woych, you are once again making comments-on-comments trying to band-aid the legacy OSFA regime. Unless and until risk (probabilistic expected values that are measurable) is differentiated from uncertainty (unknown-unknown, instruments having negative cash flow that are marked-to-model) errors of conflation will continue to result in noncorrelative information that produces larger and more frequent boom-bust bubbles.

    We need to try something different. What I argue in “We’re All Screwed (page 82) from a governance perspective that “protection is a racket, Taleb argues in the “Black Swan” when he says that “correlation is charlatanism.” If Citigroup’s one-size-fits-all financial supermarket could not cross-sell, then Elizabeth Warren’s one-size-fits-all deterministic metrics cannot cross-regulate at the CFPB. Why to all of the above? Conflated, non-correlative information!

    You call me a “royalist’s apologia,” but where I am trying to offer something that is different, you propose derivatives of the same-old, same-old with the promise to do it better. You are enabling the vvery oligopolies (a.k.a “Banksters”) about which you complain.

  94. Re: @ Stephen A. Boyko

    I just picked this off the “Princeton Educational” webpage: “From Wind Power to Electric Cars”

    Note: What makes it germane to your thesis is that a strong definitive correlation can be abstracted, thusly applicable to your argument. Here are some *random* excerpts:

    “applicable ‘Stochastic Optimization’ focuses on the developing algorithms that help organizations make decisions where uncertainty in the form of gas prices, wind conditions or other variables,…
    (eg. complex problems using a strategy known as “Appropriate Dynamic Programming” which involves taking sequential steps to make decisions and incorporate random new information and then learn from each step to make better informed decisions for the next round)

    PS. Hope it helps, and also that link works?

    http://www.princetonedu/research/news/archives/?id=4774

  95. @ earle,florida

    Thank you for the references. I have read the wind paper and printed the APD paper. Would welcome the opportunity to discuss in detail at your convenience.

    Financial prices are reflexively linked to the randomness of product availability. That is why OSFA deterministic governance approaches are like the Maginot Line. Unfortunately Soros has had as much difficulty in explaining his “reflexivity pricing” concept as I have in explaining “unless and until risk (probabilistic expected values that are measurable) is differentiated from uncertainty (unknown-unknown, instruments having negative cash flow that are marked-to-model) errors of conflation will continue to result in noncorrelative information that produces larger and more frequent boom-bust bubbles.” We have taken different approaches to get nowhere.

    Consider:

    •Predictable product (US Treasury bid) with price determination for discrete yield.

    •Risky product (US Treasury average bid) with iterative stochastic pricing.

    •Uncertain product (ticket scalper) with random pricing.

    What was absent from the discussion re products such as wind and co-gen, is that they are rate scalper businesses with the same risk and uncertainty as the guy with 4 tickets on game day. More on that at a later time.

  96. Stephen A. Boyko

    @ earle,florida

    Thank you for the references. I have read the wind paper and printed the APD paper. Would welcome the opportunity to discuss in detail at your convenience.

    Financial prices are reflexively linked to the randomness of product availability. That is why OSFA deterministic governance approaches are like the Maginot Line. Unfortunately Soros has had as much difficulty in explaining his “reflexivity pricing” concept as I have in explaining “unless and until risk (probabilistic expected values that are measurable) is differentiated from uncertainty (unknown-unknown, instruments having negative cash flow that are marked-to-model) errors of conflation will continue to result in noncorrelative information that produces larger and more frequent boom-bust bubbles.” We have taken different approaches to get nowhere.

    Consider:

    •Predictable product (US Treasury bid) with price determination for discrete yield.

    •Risky product (US Treasury average bid) with iterative stochastic pricing.

    •Uncertain product (ticket scalper) with random pricing.

    What was absent from the discussion re products such as wind and co-gen, is that they are rate scalper businesses with the same risk and uncertainty as the guy with 4 tickets on game day. More on that at a later time.

  97. Stephen A. Boyko

    Unless and until, there is a different regime, i.e., a 3D differentiation of “randomness” for reference to Regulatory Rubik’s Cube, you are arguing for failure to equal fraud where you have to establish scienter in uncertainty.

    Mr. Woych: This is at the heart of Matt Taibbi’s complaint.

    Instead of nth attempt to prove Einstein wrong, let’s try something different.

  98. Stephen A. Boyko

    @ Elizabeth

    Unless and until, there is a different regime, i.e., a 3D differentiation of “randomness” for reference to Regulatory Rubik’s Cube, you are arguing for failure to equal fraud where you have to establish scienter in uncertainty.

    Mr. Woych: This is at the heart of Matt Taibbi’s complaint.

    Instead of nth attempt to prove Einstein wrong, let’s try something different.

  99. Stephen A. Boyko

    Thanx — Markov chains and Bellman’s equation are useful to my concepts. The paper is forcing me to revisit math that long ago slipped into the fog.

  100. @ Stephen A. Boyko

    Ref: Professor Warren Powell – Advanced Applied Mathematic’s @ Princeton University Education :-)