Why Not Break-Up Citigroup?

By Simon Johnson

Earlier this week, Richard Fisher – President of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank – captured the growing political mood with regard to very large banks:  “I believe that too-big-to-fail banks are too-dangerous-to-permit.” Market-forces don’t work with the biggest banks at their current sizes; they have great political power and receive almost unlimited implicit subsidies in the form of protection against downside risks – particularly in situations like now, with the European financial situation looking precarious.

“Downsizing the behemoths over time into institutions that can be prudently managed and regulated across borders is the appropriate policy response. Then, creative destruction can work its wonders in the financial sector, just as it does elsewhere in our economy.”

Mr. Fisher is an experienced public official – and also someone with a great deal of experience in financial markets, including running his own funds-management firm.  I increasingly meet leading figures in the financial sector who share Mr. Fisher’s views, at least in private.

What then is the case in favor of keeping mega-banks at their current scale?  Vague claims are sometimes made, but there is very little hard evidence and often a lack of candor on that side of the argument.  So it is refreshing to see Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup, go on the record with The Banker magazine to at least explain how his bank will generate shareholder value.  (The interview is behind a paywall, unfortunately).

Citi is one of the world’s largest banks.  According to The Banker database, which uses data from the end of 2010, it had total assets of just under $2 trillion – putting it in the top ten worldwide.  Overall, The Banker ranks it as number four in its “Top 1000 World Ranking”.  Citi is also #39 on the Forbes top 500 global companies list, with total employment of 260,000.

Is there indication in Mr. Pandit’s vision that mega-banking will be good for the rest of us in the future?  Don’t look for Citi to drive any kind of rethinking for the US consumer market – Mr. Pandit wants out: “We made a similar decision that we were too large in the US consumer finance business and to downsize.”

The engines of growth, according to Mr. Pandit, will be “the global transactions services business” and “emerging markets.”

Transaction services are important but they do not require a very large balance sheet – these can equally well be performed by a network of small, nimble financial firms.  Global commerce existed for centuries before banks built up risks that are large relative to their home economies.

And emerging markets are risky – Mr. Pandit is essentially betting that Citi can ride the cycle in those countries.  Probably there will be relatively good profits for a number of years and this will justify high compensation levels.  But when the cycle turns against emerging markets – as it did in 1982 – what happens?

In 1982, Citi had a large loan exposure to the emerging markets of the day, Latin America, communist Poland and communist Romania; it was saved from insolvency by “regulatory forbearance,” meaning that the Federal Reserve and other regulators did not force them to recognize their losses.  Citi was a relatively big bank at that time – but it was much smaller than it is today.

And its complex global operations are exactly what would make it very hard to “resolve” or put through orderly liquidation under Dodd-Frank.  I argued here in March that there is no meaningful resolution authority for global banks; before and after that column I’ve taken this point up in private with senior officials in the US and Europe responsible for handling the potential failure of such entities.  No one disagrees with my main point – we cannot handle the collapse of a bank like Citigroup in “orderly” fashion.

Jon Huntsman put megabanks on the agenda for the Republican primaries, with a blistering op ed in the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago: Too Big to Fail is Simply Too Big.

Other contenders for the Republican nomination have followed his lead, including most recently Newt Gingrich.  Whoever ends up going head-to-head with Mitt Romney is likely to make good use of this very theme – because Mr. Romney already has so much financial support from the top of Wall Street, it will be very hard for him to respond effectively.

Breaking-up the biggest banks is not a fringe idea to be brushed off; Mr. Fisher is speaking for many people who work in financial services – the big banks are not good for the rest of us.  Mr. Pandit’s interview just reinforces this point.

Any Republican candidate who claims to be fiscally responsible must eventually confront the issue – what was the role of big banks in the enormous recession and consequent massive loss of tax revenue since 2008?  Which sector poses clear and immediate danger to our fiscal accounts, looking forward – and in a way that is not yet scored properly in any budget assessment?  As Mr. Fisher put it, rather graphically,

“Perhaps the financial equivalent of irreversible lap-band or gastric bypass surgery is the only way to treat the pathology of financial obesity, contain the relentless expansion of these banks and downsize them to manageable proportions.”

I suggest that Mr. Fisher could reasonably begin with Citigroup.

An edited version of this post appeared on the NYT.com’s Economix blog this morning; it is used here with permission.  If you would like to reproduce the entire post, please contact the New York Times.

75 responses to “Why Not Break-Up Citigroup?

  1. The big banks don’t really care for the rest of us. Profit is the only motive and emerging markets are their fertile ground. With only 16,000 miles of paved roads, Brazil is the perfect example of where money will flow to build infrastructure, slowly now, but more so in the future.

  2. @ Simon,

    Now you’ve discovered this concept of breaking up the big banks? We investors have been saying this since 2008 — note Jim Rogers. In fact, it was to allow them to fail. You know, market economics?

    We missed our chance in ’08 with your pal Bernanke essentially allowing them to become bigger. And where was Hoenig during this missed opportunity?

  3. Why not break up Goldman Sachs ?

  4. A fiscally responsible Republican? No such thing. Cut (social services to the poor) and Spend (on our rich benefactors), is their motto.

    As for Pandit, he’s nothing but a well-educated globalist thief.

  5. ReturnFreeRisk

    Ask Bernanke why he and Timmy torpedoed any plans to let banks be dismantled? Why did they let banks move away from mark to market (another way of regulatory forebearance). These are the wrong people in the wrong jobs at the wrong time. They were key players in creating the problems. Now they are not going to solve them. Any solutions have to start with TImmy and Bernanke getting fired.

  6. Frederick Bloggs

    The formation of citigroup was a key moment in the formation of the crisis we are in. I remember it well as I had just left Salomon. All of a sudden the investment banks were being told they needed to leverage in order to compete with citi and its cheap deposit funding. And Clinton waived through the repeal of the Glass-Steagal. The end of this crisis can only begin with a reversal of this fateful decision.

  7. There must be reasons that money-center or primary-dealer banks grow to be so big. I doubt this pattern of growth is driven by greed or ego or evil intentions, particularly since the pattern is widespread, even global. Scale to underwrite increasingly sizable issues of securities is one example I have seen; there may be others. My point is, if there are good and sufficient practical reasons for institutions to have metastasized in this way, what are the unintended consequences of dismantling said institutions ? Has anyone calling for TBTF banks to be broken up even asked that question, let alone have offered a confident analysis of the costs of the suggested policy ?

    Lest these questions be construed as rhetorical.. I will check back with this blog later. TIA.

  8. good for the pain

    How about removal of the entire stomach?

    Why would these guys break up their racket into smaller sub-divisions? When times are good, the big bonuses are there, and when times are bad, bailouts of some form or another happen, and the big bonuses are there, for key personnel.

    Pandit the Bandit, don’t you love it?

    “regulatory forbearance”……Ponzi scheme CENTRAL saying to one of its’ branches…….OK to CHEAT on your financial statements.

    Look what happens to places like LIBYA, when the CENTRAL CARTEL is rejected.

    These criminal are ruthless, and karma is building across the universe.

  9. Thanks to Simon and James for having pounded on this for a few years now. They made the case for rationally sized financial institutions in their book when it was published. It’s unfortunate that the realization of the importance of breaking up the gambling houses is only now dawning on those who might actually have a say. It can’t happen soon enough at this point given the complete turmoil in Europe.

  10. “Too big to fail” is another way of saying “we can’t afford to rescue it”.

    Break them all up. Capital surcharges are a step in the right direction, but won’t do the job.

  11. Title52, a commenter above, once again shows his immense backlog of ignorance, as it was not Bernanke who did the heavy lifting for banks in 2008. It was the Bush’s Republican Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson who got on his knees to convince Democrat Pelosi to get the funds to save the banks. Yes, Henry Paulson who was on his Republican knees to ask the Democrat congresswoman for money to save the large banks. A fact that for some reason is never currently discussed by Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Dickwad Shelby and friends. Why??

    I know that Republicans have blamed many things on Freddie Mac. So it’s interesting to note Newt Gingrich was happy to accept money from Freddie Mac. He tried to tell people at the Republican debate he was doing work as a “historian”. Gingrich has not since given any added explanation of what mysterious “work” it was that he did for more than $1.6 million from Freddie

    Maybe it was historical info on a man who belonged to “the party of family values”, had 3 different wives, and then decided it was time to become a Catholic. Something quite unusual in the annals of history could be instructive to Freddie Mac’s Douchebag Resources Department.

  12. More bumbling from the man who is now very proud to be the “government insider”. And he is the Master.

  13. The real issue for me is not whether, for the global markets, that there is any real value having banks of this size, the issue is, does this bank size have any real positive effect for the US or world economies. I would argue that their effect is either neutral (so long as they are able to be maintained) or vastly negative, since they squander their vast resources on investing in places that do not benefit anyone but them. In other words, inlike companies that create real value in what they produce, Citi and its TBTF brethren actually deter the potential contained in the resources that they control. With the European Union on the cusp of massive implosion, the risk posed by all of the world’s megabanks is massive considering the likelihood that a failure of that economic experiment will essentially guarantee the massive destruction of the megabanks and their completely irresponsible creature, the untenable, essentially uncollateralized and unlisted $500 to $600 trillion derivative shorts on the world economic structures. What goes on now, is death by a thousand bee stings, what happens then is death by economic nuclear destruction. It may actually be too late to do anything as this column is written, but, I will assure anyone willing to listen that nothing will happen regardless of the logic. Not only is Washington owned by the megabanks, but essentially every large economy in the world, even China’s.

  14. @Waterbury, “I would argue that their effect is either neutral (so long as they are able to be maintained) or vastly negative, since they squander their vast resources on investing in places that do not benefit anyone but them. In other words, inlike companies that create real value in what they produce, Citi and its TBTF brethren actually deter the potential contained in the resources that they control.”

    Almost a tweet and spot on…”deter the potential contained in resources that they control” – that would be other people, too, correct? Humans are a *natural resource* if we’re getting into their heady math theory…

    Really? 500 to 600 trillion in *derivatives*?! It was 75 last I paid attention, must have been just one bank with 75

    So a loaf of bread,

    IF you are allowed to locally grow the grain and distribute it to cut back on transport costs (which is not going to benefit *them*)

    will be costing – what? – 10,000 stainless steel coins?

  15. My nomination for awesomest pic/visual of 2011 (at least thus far). It is of the Verizon building, but I don’t know which city. My first guess is New York or San Fran. Could also be LA. Anyone who knows please inform in comments below. It is real, projected somehow by a light, or laser??
    https://twitter.com/?photo_id=1#!/macfathom/status/137315848762294272/photo/1/large

    The photo is not mine, it was put up by an account on twitter. I would put the account name but I don’t want to cause him any unwanted hassle.

  16. In the early 1990s there was debate in economic and academic circles that from a governance point of view the global world of finance and other multinational corporations would not present nation states with agendas placing nations in jeopardy of losing sovereignty and ability to govern independently. In Canada we have one province (Alberta) that is driving the federal and provincial government on the corporate oil agenda even though a previous premier of Alberta believes that the the corporate agenda is going lead to a boom-bust economy as previously experienced in that province.

  17. It is practically impossible to get rid of organised crime. Maybe our esteemed elected officials can reach an $understanding$ with the banksters? LOL

  18. @What goes on now, is death by a thousand bee stings, what happens then is death by economic nuclear destruction.

    I will attempt to reframe your argument, possibly to be less confusing to even you, and most certainly me. Sure, another financial crisis created by anyone (even Chinese) would be an end of your world situtation for some. But the nuclear destruction type thing may already be in the cards. This will be the first winter Japan has gone through without all their nuclear power, this loss of generated heat will be made up in the form of diesel to run the electrical generators needed to provide energy for heat. Secondly, the Chinese coal machine has run out of easily reachable coal reserves and though they buy ours, it is wofully short of previous years amounts. This will lead the Chinese to purchase more oil to substitute for the loss of coal to heat their city buildings and homes. That in turn can only raise the price of oil for everyone, unless of course they have no money to buy oil in the first place and those forces drive the cost down. So Europes worst nitemare is the cost of oil rises quickly and then they have no money to buy the expensive oil because the 17 nations can’t agree diplomatically. So yea, it could be fun to watch or your own personal nuclear holocost, and that’s all the logic there is too it.

  19. Bayard writes: “Not only is Washington owned by the megabanks, but essentially every large economy in the world, even China’s.”

    True, that, Bayard.

    Look at Italy, and the installation of ex-Goldman alum “three-card Monti”…..who better to delete for good the evidence trail?

    Same deal, Greece.

  20. Jones the Reprobate

    @mutant_dog

    Those are good questions. I am not the global banking strategist to answer them, and anyway I don’t have the time or space. But lest you remain without some response, here goes.

    “if there are good and sufficient practical reasons for institutions to have metastasized in this way, what are the unintended consequences of dismantling said institutions ?”

    That’s really 2 questions disguised as one. First, there are good reasons why institutions have “metastasized” in this way and I think they have to do with the increasing growth of governments. For example, as the article points out, the banking crisis of the early 80s was brought on by bank loans to developing countries. These loans were often loans nominally for development projects, but really amounting to general purpose sovereign debt that did not have a practical source of revenue to secure their repayment. As for developed countries, their growing money markets – and particularly large amounts of government-issued bonds – required specialists with financial heft to manage the volumes. Add in government sponsored special banks like Fannie and Freddie and you’ve got a powerful impetus for scaling up.

    What are the unintended consequences? I don’t know, but be sure there will be some. I personally think that, in the case of TBTF, the devil we don’t know won’t be worse than the one we’ve met.

    “Has anyone calling for TBTF banks to be broken up even asked that question, let alone have offered a confident analysis of the costs of the suggested policy ?”

    That’s really a question for Simon, I guess, rather than a retired practitioner like me. I suspect that the answer to the first question is yes, it has been thought about. I suspect the answer to the second is no, but that somebody out there who hardly anybody knows is well on the way to figuring out both the costs that you ask about, but also the benefits.

  21. to moses herzog:
    I believe that the projection on the Verizon building is in New York. Amy Goodman, on Democracy Now! this morning, interviewed two people who control this technology. She showed other projections as well. Very cool. She also interviewed a former derivatives trader who abandoned his job and is now assisting the Occupy movement with streaming video through a site called globalrevolution. Check it out for on the spot coverage of various Occupy gatherings.

  22. this comment for Roy Davis
    I appreciate the response. I’ll be looking for that “Dem Now” show on i-Tunes. Must be fascinating. They also had something on Rachel Maddow about it, they called it the “Bat signal”. Of course that was what came to mind when I first saw it.

  23. in this enlightened age, we wrote a law against hanging horse thieves. But we didn’t realize how many horse thieves there were!
    They all voted themselves into congress and repealed the law against stealing horses.
    Now, they steal our horses but we can’t hang ‘em!
    Not fair.

  24. Bruce E. Woych

    BOTTOM LINE SCENARIO:
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/MH25Df02.html

    George W Obama?
    By David Bromwich
    AUGUST 25, 2011

    “7. Peter Orszag: Director of the Office of Management and Budget from January 2009 to August 2010, Orszag was charged with bringing in the big health insurers to lay out what it would take for them to support the president’s health-care law. In this way, Orszag – along with the companies – exerted a decisive influence on the final shape of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.

    In January 2011, he left the administration to become vice chairman of global banking at Citigroup. A few days out of the White House, he published an op-ed in the New York Times advising the president to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the top 2% of Americans – adding that Obama should indicate that the cuts would continue in force only through 2012. Obama took the advice.”

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/MH25Df02.html
    George W Obama?
    By David Bromwich
    AUGUST 25, 2011

  25. Bruce E. Woych

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/09/democracy
    DIRECT QUOTE FROM Peter (not the czar…) Orszag:

    “I wish it were not necessary to devise processes to circumvent legislative gridlock, but polarization isn’t going away. John Adams may have been exaggerating when he pessimistically noted that democracies tend to commit suicide, yet, as we are seeing, certain aspects of representative government can end up posing serious problems. And so, we might be a healthier democracy if we were a slightly less democratic one.”

    source:
    THE ECONOMIST
    Peter Orszag’s useless advice
    Sep 26th 2011, 20:13 by W.W. | IOWA CITY

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/09/democracy

    ————————————————————————————————————
    “Trans-derivational search page on the :
    http://search.aol.com/aol/search?s_it=webmail-hawaii1-standardaol&q=Peter%20Orszag

    ———————————————————————————————————–
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_R._Orszag
    “Peter Richard Orszag (pronounced /ˈɔrzæɡ/; born December 16, 1968) is an American economist who is a Vice Chairman of Global Banking at Citigroup.[1] He is also a columnist at Bloomberg View[2] and an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Before joining Citigroup, he was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a contributing columnist for the New York Times Op-Ed page.[3] Prior to that, he was the 37th Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Barack Obama.”
    ————————————————————————————————————
    Why Not Break-Up Citigroup?

    Hummmm? Perhaps we should start at the beginning…

  26. @blue – howdy, Cowboy :-)

    Not very neighborly of them, it is? Making up laws to say horse-thieving ain’t thieving…

    Guess we best get busy putting together the evidence to prove they stole the horse so that they can’t sell it at auction :-) Basic commerce 101

  27. Bruce E. Woych

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/finally-a-judge-stands-up-to-wall-street-20111110
    Matt Taibbi
    Finally, a Judge Stands up to Wall Street

    POSTED: November 10, 10:07 AM ET
    “Federal judge Jed Rakoff, a former prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s office here in New York, is fast becoming a sort of legal hero of our time. He showed that again yesterday when he shat all over the SEC’s latest dirty settlement with serial fraud offender Citigroup, refusing to let the captured regulatory agency sweep yet another case of high-level criminal malfeasance under the rug.”

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/finally-a-judge-stands-up-to-wall-street-20111110

  28. Personally, I would like to “break up” HP (Hewlett Packard) Computers. They are now selling computer equipment to a tyrannical Syrian government which mass murders its own people on a daily basis. Remember folks, the current leader of HP Computers is Meg Whitman, the woman who spent millions of her own dollars to become Governor of California and fell flat on her ugly face. But after her complete political failure, Meg Whitman as CEO of HP Computers now wants to show people how the “private sector” can help assist in the surveillance and mass murder of innocent citizens.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-18/hewlett-packard-computers-underpin-syria-electonic-surveillance-project.html

    Miss Whitman, are you going to comment on your company’s assist to mass murder?? Or shall we imagine your answer as “Who cares if 3,500+ people are murdered with the assistance of our HP surveillance equipment, after all ‘they are only Arabs’ “???

  29. Bruce E. Woych

    http://rwer.wordpress.com/2011/06/20/from-november-2010-citigroup-attempts-to-disappear-its-plutonomy-report-2/
    from November 2010: Citigroup attempts to disappear its Plutonomy Report #2
    ………………………………June 20, 2011 Editor
    (original)
    Citigroup attempts to disappear its Plutonomy Report #2
    November 11, 2010
    from Edward Fullbrook

    “In 2005 and 2006 Citigroup issued two now notorious but highly significant reports for the exclusive use of its richest clients. The first, from October 16, 2005, was “Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalance”. This 35 page report begins:

    The World is dividing into two blocs – the Plutonomy and the rest. The U.S., UK, and Canada are the key Plutonomies – economies powered by the wealthy. Continental Europe (ex-Italy) and Japan are in the egalitarian bloc.

    Equity risk premium embedded in “global imbalances” are unwarranted. In plutonomies the rich absorb a disproportionate chunk of the economy and have a massive impact on reported aggregate numbers like savings rates, current account deficits, consumption levels, etc. This imbalance in inequality expresses itself in the standard scary “global imbalances”. We worry less.

    There is no “average consumer” in a Plutonomy. Consensus analyses focusing on the “average” consumer are flawed from the start.

    And it continued:

    We project that the plutonomies (the U.S., UK, and Canada) will likely see even more income inequality, disproportionately feeding off a further rise in the profit share in their economies, capitalist-friendly governments, more technology-driven productivity, and globalization.”

    full article:
    http://rwer.wordpress.com/2011/06/20/from-november-2010-citigroup-attempts-to-disappear-its-plutonomy-report-2/

  30. Bruce E. Woych

    @Simon Johnson: “So it is refreshing to see Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup, go on the record with The Banker magazine to at least explain how his bank will generate shareholder value.”
    a little history:
    http://rwer.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/take-down-letter-from-citigroup/
    Take down letter from Citigroup
    November 8, 2011
    from John Schmitt

    I’ve just received my second Digital Millenium Copyright Act take-down letter. As before, the letter is from the Kilpatrick Townsend, Attorneys At Law, and, as before, the letter is on behalf of their client, Citigroup.
    [and...]
    This time, Kilpatrick Townsend has asked me to remove a copy of a Citigroup research report on “plutonomy” that was featured in Michael Moore’s documentary “Capitalism: A Love Story.”
    [and...]
    “I will also point out how absurd this whole process is. To start with, a quick Google search will show that the file remains widely available on the internet. Citigroup is trying to empty the sea with a bucket….”
    http://rwer.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/take-down-letter-from-citigroup/

  31. Bruce E. Woych

    REAL-WORLD ECONOMICS REVIEW BLOG: Editor
    “The Plutonomy Symposium “, Citigroup
    http://rwer.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/the-plutonomy-symposium-citigroup/
    [from the cover of a Citigroup Symposium]:

    The Plutonomy Symposium — Rising Tides Lifting Yachts

    ➤ Plutonomy and the Great Conundrums of our age.

    We think the balance sheets of the rich are in great shape, and are likely to continue to improve. Don’t be shocked if the savings rate worsens as equities do well.

    ➤ What could go wrong?

    Beyond war, inflation, the end of the technology/productivity wave, and financial collapse, we think the most potent and short-term threat would be societies demanding a more ‘equitable’ share of wealth.

    Global — The Plutonomy Symposium — Rising Tides Lifting Yachts ……..7

    U.S. — Calibrating 2007 Targets …………………………… 21

    Europe — Avoiding the Mega-traps…………………………………….. 27

    Japan — Birth of the Abe Administration ………………………. 31

    Asia-Pacific — If It’s Due to Speculation=Bullish;

    If Due to Weaker Growth=Bearish………………………………………… 37

    Latin America — Think Small………………………………………43

    Citigroup Global Markets

    Equity Strategy

    September 29, 2006

  32. Bruce E. Woych

    Debtocracy | Watch Free Documentary Online
    Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. …
    topdocumentaryfilms.com/debtocracy/

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/debtocracy/
    2011 Economics
    DebtocracyFor the first time in Greece a documentary produced by the audience. Debtocracy seeks the causes of the debt crisis and proposes solutions, hidden by the government and the dominant media.

    Debtocracy is a 2011 documentary film by Katerina Kitidi and Aris Hatzistefanou. The documentary mainly focuses on two points: the causes of the Greek debt crisis in 2010 and possible future solutions that could be given to the problem that are not currently being considered by the government of the country.
    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/debtocracy/

  33. Bruce E. Woych

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/capitalism-love-story/

    Capitalism: A Love Story | Watch Free Documentary Online
    Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story comes home to the issue he’s been examining throughout his career: the disastrous impact of corporate dominance …
    topdocumentaryfilms.com/capitalism-love-story/

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/capitalism-love-story/

  34. Brruuce, the most recent report of peoples retirement intentions was the $350,000 they had planned to have for retirement has been reduced to an actual amount of $25,000. I wonder what happened to that money. White lip stick comes to mind, and can you imagine the chatter among politicians as to keeping the economy going on 1/14th the monies they orignally thought middle class had. When black friday comes, there won’t be anything to collect.

  35. Simon posits: “Why not break up CITIGROUP”?

    How does a fascist organization of big business and the modern state cope with demonstrably harmful effects to citizens, to institutions, to rule of law, to the concept of trust, etc ?

    Is the business entity shuttered, constrained, immobilized, or splintered into a thousand pieces, as JFK said he wished to do of Central Intelligence, shortly before a lesson was made of defying *corporate* power and influence?

    Nope.

    As all perspicacious commenters on Baseline have gleaned, places like CITIGROUP are buttressed, protected, and molly-coddled: tough-sounding Congressional inquiries are hot air and blather.

    A fundamental restructuring and divorcing of the corporation and modern state are required. Tinkering on the periphery means the crisis is attenuated in time and harmful influence.

    We face now whether such a transition is possible with incremental changes, or whether such change is only provided by way of profoundly revolutionary methods.

    I personally doubt that a series of successive approximations will do anything but further cement change in favor of banks like Citigroup, and for corrupt businesses like now defunct MF Global, which just BOLDLY STOLE the accounts of 33,000 investors-depositors in the futures market.

    To Mr. Holder, and Mr. Mueller: what are you all doing to bring these robbers to justice?

  36. @owens, “….and can you imagine the chatter among politicians as to keeping the economy going on 1/14th the monies they orignally thought middle class had….”

    So let’s do the math one step further, Nimrod. That means that the 100 to 1 leverage never had the 100, and can’t even put up the 1 to 1 anymore. And how did that happen? Fractional reserve banking – they never put enough $$$ into the system to pay back the debt issued fiat $$$…it’s the anti-gravity book keeping version of double entry book keeping – they’re freekin’ DELUSIONAL…

    1.1 BILLION of Obama’s measly stimulus package of 700 billion (or whatever- 800?) went to a THINK TANK.

    If you’re not making it, you’re taking it.

    How about every THINK TANK “non-profit organization” who received stimulus money pay a higher % of tax on it if they don’t get it out as *shovel ready* jobs within the year? Unemployment gets taxed – and banks swipe fees off that unemployment $$$. Those unemployment numbers are calculated DIRECTLY on what $$$ needs to stay in OUR INTERNAL USA trade and commerce budget.

    Woop is right – the confrontation is already set up and no one is negotiating from the side of the horse thieves – what a surprise….hey, all we need is for them to acknowledge that this is the stage of their game where they need to go monkey-brain psycho and piss on the building as their *legal* marker because that is the only proof that they have that it belongs to them.

    On the positive side, globally, no one has proven themselves to be a morally superior race.

    And that’s where I keep ending up – fascism takes away PERMISSION to be HUMAN. All *isms* are men pretending they have some special mental power thanks to their selfishness and greed and because of that they can rule OTHER humans with – THEORETICAL – absolute power of the *ism*. My *ism* makes me a *god*. It’s so LAUGHABLE if they weren’t murdering people as proof of absolute power….

    Yeah, organized crime has kept pace with the mercenaries this past decade in USA in getting cash-richer. Middle class raped raw from all sides…gee, place your bets which one will come out on top when psychos go psycho on each other – strategy-wise I can see who’s already way ahead – what was the list someone else gave…?

    Russians, Ukranians, Mexican and Moussad….

    That’s it, Woop. Middle class raped raw from all sides in this building of Psycho Nation….that’s the confrontation.

    If anyone bet on it NOT mattering what people did to get into the 1% this past 30 years, that it’s all business – well, they bet wrong and need to take the loss coming…

    Basically, with an 8% favorable rating for the *congress* – we’re saying, “….either you’re with us or you’re OUT…”

    What NO ONE wants to acknowledge is that the economic *danger* was envisioned and writ into our SOPs.

    When we find ourselves here – exactly where we are – utter thieving LAWLESSNESS – WE the People become the government – OFFICIALLY SPEAKING.

    We have the right to make our lives less miserable through HONEST WORK. THAT can’t happen when OUR GOVERNMENT has bent their *MORAL* knee to the $$$ power of ignorant savage psychotic war lords and drug lords….you can’t *protect* me then get OUT of the way of me protecting myself….

    Any tax dollars being ripped out of the middle class from here on in is going to end up DIRECTLY in global criminal hands – that’s the MATH they are using…

  37. You don’t have to be a formally educated economist to realize three things:

    1. The financial sector has scaled up beyond the political/regulatory/public sector’s ability to scale up to deal with it. Too big to fail, too much market concentration, etc. Makes no difference what your favorite term is there is no applicable concept that creates any intrinsic economic value for their customers or the economies they operate in.

    2. The formally trained economists of the world have failed in their mission almost every day since Arthur Burns and Nixon started printing money wantonly and used price controls. The fact that a Nobel Prize is awarded for economics is not a travesty, but the fact that one has been awarded every year since it’s inception is. The fact that a patently obtuse concept such as the Laffer curve continues to be discussed by any sentient being is a testimony to that profound, continuous failure. It’s no less a crime of the profession than the failures of the accounting/auditing profession and the ratings agencies.

    So much professional and leadership failure over such an extended period of time is a serious cause for ongoing concern.

    The only thing this era has going for it is that, so far we’ve avoided the 50 million deaths it took the world to sort out its problems in the first half of the 20th century.

  38. 3. The only thing this era has going for it is that, so far we’ve avoided the 50 million deaths it took the world to sort out its problems in the first half of the 20th century.

  39. Bruce E. Woych

    @Woop: massive amounts of money has been periodically gone missing with all of these nested systems of international finance. Are you aware that 2.3 “Trillion” went missing from the Pentagon and was announced by Rumsfeld one day prior to 9/11? Were you aware of other such lost trillions since then?
    How about Parmalot? Here’s a model of TBTF interactivities on an international level that went public in a big way:
    http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2004/3102parmalat_invest.html
    (excerpted):
    “…A senior European financial source, for example, told EIR that Parmalat’s collapse throws a spotlight on the huge volume of dirty deals that are being run by top international banks through offshore centers such as the Cayman Islands. These deals are often used to finance political, illegal, or high-risk speculative efforts, he said, and the Parmalat scandal could expose this entire dirty sub-structure of the global financial system, with unforeseeable financial as well as political consequences.”
    [and...]
    “It is now being discovered that over the years, Parmalat had become a tool of the banks, which had invented, built up, and managed the speculative scheme. Which banks? The list currently investigated by prosecutors in Parma and Milan reads like the Burke’s Peerage of the international financial system: Bank of America, Citicorp, J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Banco Santander, ABN; it goes on with all the largest Italian banks: Capitalia (Rome), S. Paolo-IMI (Turin), Intesa-BCI (Milan), Unicredito (Genoa-Milan), Monte dei Paschi (Siena), to name just a few.”
    …read the whole story:
    http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2004/3102parmalat_invest.html
    This article appears in the January 16, 2004 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
    The Story Behind
    Parmalat’s Bankruptcy
    by Claudio Celani
    —————————–
    or just google Parmalat bankruptcy scandal for extensive coverage from different sources. The question is whether or not this is the very same network that is eventually bringing down the European Union itself?

    The question is …why do we even have to ask about breaking up the big banks? It is not a matter of size, its a matter of understanding these histories. There is an amoral imperative to survival at these levels and a see no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil policy of regulatory scrutiny…clearly facilitated by offshore conduits of financial misadventure capital transgressions.

  40. Bruce E. Woych

    owen owens: Aloha!

    There is a term that comes from WWII experiences of “useless mouths” http://search.aol.com/aol/search?s_it=webmail-hawaii1-standardaol&q=Useless%20mouths

    http://richardbrenneman.wordpress.com/author/richardbrenneman/

    The neo-con membership continues to “mine” such justification of inhumanity to fellow human beings for self-serving heightened amoral ground that sounds righteous and sells on the political market of competitive exclusion. Here is Newt Gingrich using this basic platform to attack Occupy Wall Street and dismiss concerns about economic inequality and corporate power in America. Of course it is only a matter of degree, not kind, to bring this up to the level of “let them eat dirt” ideology in regards to social security or any future concern for quality of life for “the market labor force” of America. Here’s the devil himself speaking:(video @ link)

    “Gingrich said that the Occupy Wall Street movement proves “how much the left has collapsed as a moral system in this country, ” telling demonstrators: ”go get a job right after you take a bath.”

    http://richardbrenneman.wordpress.com/author/richardbrenneman/

  41. Bruce E. Woych

    Owen / Woop / Annie / Moses / Bayard / Anonymous…et al…(I am guessing that Simon knows this?)

    Just for the sheer curiosity explore this simple search engine:

    http://search.aol.com/aol/search?s_it=webmail-hawaii1-standardaol&q=trillions%20missing%20from

  42. @ Bruce, your links, observations, understanding and your insights reinforce this: the world TODAY, is one massive criminal enterprise, controlled by psychotics….. who should jettisoned from this rock, and marooned on another light years away.

    Humanity is at a crossroads; an awakening is happening that can’t be blunted by pepper-spraying young people, or by Newt the Hypocrite casting specious aspersions.

    The outcome of this consciousness determines whether we live as free men and women, or whether the jackboot-enforcers of this global criminal enterprises strangles thousands of years of human achievement (civilization) right out from under our eyes.

  43. Bruce E. Woych

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-ostertag/uc-davis-protest_b_1103039.html
    Bob Ostertag

    Professor of Technocultural Studies and Music at UC Davis

    Militarization Of Campus Police
    Posted: 11/19/11 07:00 PM ET

    “Two days ago an 84-year-old woman was sprayed with a chemical assault agent in Seattle in the same manner our students at Davis were maced. A Hispanic New York City Councilman was brutally thrown to the ground, arrested, and held cuffed in a police van for two hours for no reason at all, and was never even told why he was arrested. And I am sure you all know about former Marine Lance Cpl. Scott Olsen, who suffered a fractured skull after police hit him with a tear gas canister, then rolled a flash bomb into the group of citizens trying to give him emergency medical care.

    Last week, former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper published an essay arguing that the current epidemic of police brutality is a reflection of the militarization (his word, not mine) of our urban police forces, the result of years of the “war on drugs” and the “war on terror. Stamper was chief of police during the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle in 1999, and is not a voice that can be easily dismissed.

    Yesterday, the militarization of policing in the U.S. arrived on my own campus.

    These issues go to the core of what democracy means. We have a major economic crisis in this country that was brought on by the greedy and irresponsible behavior of big banks. No banker has been arrested, and certainly none have been pepper sprayed. Arrests and chemical assault is for those trying to defend their homes, their jobs, and their schools.
    These are not trivial matters. This is a moment to stand up and be counted…”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-ostertag/uc-davis-protest_b_1103039.html

    @ WOOP: A HARD RAIN IS GONNA FALL!

  44. Bruce E. Woych

    The Rolling Stones – Street Fighting Man (Original Mono Singles Collection Mix)
    TheJacklenut

  45. Bruce E. Woych

    @WOOP: You might like to view my two comments here,
    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/13#comment-1985530
    to:
    The New Progressive Movement
    by Jeffrey D. Sachs

  46. @ Bruce, you have written some of the absolute BEST analysis about the control fraud and what needs to be DONE to get moving in a positive growth direction, that I have seen ANYWHERE at ANYTIME.

    Congrats, on really outstanding work.

    I was happy to see you ripped Mr. Sachs a new one, too, for what he did in Russia, etc. : )

  47. Bruce E. Woych

    Thank You sincerely Woop; it is an extremely encouraging comment in an otherwise ocean with no markers for navigation. I appreciate it greatly. We are all in this together Brother!
    Deepest regards,
    Bruce

  48. Bruce E. Woych

    Teach Your Children – David Crosby & Graham Nash
    kramtv63

  49. Ahh yes Annie, the immature name calling mind is fully functioning and racing at break neck speed. You just talk yourself in circles and put the morning pains out of your head. It must feel awful in that carcus of yours to know we have 5 year olds that could put you to shame. And Woop, America is nothing more than a human experiment. If you end up on the wrong side for any reason, medication is the answer and human guinna pigs are the end result. Under normal conditions this would have been swept away and humans would be given another chance to prove they are not worthy to even walk Gods green Earth, that they are meant to suffer in pain and work themselves to insanity. If the masses are not ruled by Gods, they will most certainly be ruled by tyrants, thats where we are in time right now. The Gods just want you to suffer a bit longer before meeting your reward this time. Look at Annie, that turtle beat her up pretty bad this last round, but she’ll be back for more pain amd suffering, its the Annie way.

  50. All that really needs to be done is to let the tax cuts expire, thats where the rubber hits the road and the sky is the limit for the debt ceiling. It won’t happen again until after the next election or if the debt ceiling is bumped up against early.

  51. @owen – *God* is closing in on YOU, psycho boy….you are one of the pre-emptive strikers – PUBLICALLY threatened me on this blog just for the sadistic joy of using your $$$ power…

    but SO CLUELESS about EVERYTHING – no one understands half the crap you blather out…or cares, obviously….

  52. Bruce E. Woych

    http://steadystate.org/
    article:
    http://steadystate.org/ten-turkeys-for-thanksgiving/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DalyNews+%28The+Daly+News%29
    Ten Turkeys for Thanksgiving
    by Brent Blackwelder
    This Thanksgiving is a good time to spot the Golden Fleece Turkey, a bird that epitomizes economic irrationality and environmental destruction. This remarkable breed pollutes air and water and wastes tax dollars, while scamming the public in the process. Although known for its camouflage, especially its ability to hide wrongdoing, the Golden Fleece Turkey regularly treats birdwatchers to astonishing displays of stupidity. Such birds could not exist in a sustainable economy, but the present economic climate provides an ideal habitat, and they’re spreading like many other invasive species. Below are 10 recent sightings of the Golden Fleece Turkey.

    (Note: Wisconsin Senator William Proxmire presented Golden Fleece Awards in the 1970s and 1980s for taxpayer boondoggles. This Daly News entry is dedicated to his memory.)
    Read the top 10 here:
    http://steadystate.org/ten-turkeys-for-thanksgiving/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DalyNews+%28The+Daly+News%29

  53. Can we take a minute to check the *math*? :-)

    I understand that the money was never there to begin with, not that it is *missing*…with fractional reserve banking issuing $$$ as debt, the currency to pay the interest was not put in circulation, correct?

    Which is why it’s a GLOBAL psycho head game now…

  54. You are the only psycho game left in town, and even if someone explained it all to you today, you would find a way to return tomorrow having forgoten it all. Then simply rinse and repete until satisified, bless mother Earth, and then you are Jack Kerouac, back on the road again. Roam if you want to, roam around the world, without wings, without wheels.

  55. Bruce E. Woych

    http://www.truth-out.org/california-refuses-accept-obamas-banking-sellout/1320935116
    California Refuses to Accept Obama’s Banking Sellout
    Thursday 10 November 2011
    by: Robert Scheer, Truthdig | News Analysis

    There is no three-strikes law for crooked bankers, not even a law for a fifth strike, as The New York Times reported in the case of Citigroup, cited last month in a $1 billion fraud case. Unlike the California third-striker I once wrote about whom a district attorney wanted banished forever to state prison for stealing a piece of pizza from the plate of a person dining outdoors, Citigroup executives get off with a fine and by offering a promise not to do it again, and again and again.

    full coverage:

    http://www.truth-out.org/california-refuses-accept-obamas-banking-sellout/1320935116

  56. @ Moses Herzog,

    It sounds like your commenter moniker is a roman a clef for your own confusion.

    Certainly Paulson got down on “bended knee” for a bank bailout, but I doubt his manly charms were what swayed Nancy Pelosi to save the banks.

    Maybe it was to save her own portfolio as this “60 Minutes” piece reveals: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57325148-503544/new-details-on-visas-attempt-to-influence-pelosi/?tag=mncol;lst;6

    Personally, I’m tired of knee jerk partisanship and hopefully the likes of you will face political extinction.

  57. @owens – you have ZILCH moral acumen. Ziltch.

    @woych – from Parmalot to Pharmalot – the CRIMINAL DRUG lords carefully nurtured since the Iran Contra case (and maybe before but all I got is public propaganda, not the *secret* facts) are firmly embedded in Big Pharma – does anyone have any idea how beyond creepy that is…? Can you say *health care bill*…?

    Guess pepper-spraying kids with no health insurance was somehow cheaper for the budget deficit (make ‘em SICK and let them die – slavery 101) than finding minimum wage pay to do some HONEST WORK that needs to be done to maintain local infrastructure – it’s not as if the cities with the FEW participating mayors pulling a *stalin* are world class beacons of modern housing and energy efficiency….

    No one has the right to take away our ability to make our lives less miserable through honest work.

    All *isms* blow away for the DELUSION that they are when confronted with that FACT.

    Other point is to stop acting as IF the *congress* is still the government of We The People. It absolutely is not – paid schills for war lords and drug lords and all CEOs of Global Crime Inc.

    Plus this moment in time was SEEN based on experience with these cults who pull the same schtick for 10,000 years of Western Civilization – when we get HERE, where we are today – We the People are self-governing through the calamity they brought on – that’s how we always put the ship back on course. Might help the propaganda situation if our language started to reflect this REALITY of self-governance when we talk eyeball to eyeball with each other. WE are in charge of ourselves – we’ve got the paperwork to prove that *tax policy* and the *courts* is the *government* NOT letting us protect ourselves.

    Just the facts, Ma’am.

  58. Well that’s good, at least I have a moral sense, thats more than I can say for you right now.. Keep on Clearing House of those wounded dogs though.

  59. Breaking up the system would be a blessing in disguise, some of the spinners might say. We in Europe have a thinktank, brackets, a lobby called CEPS, Centre for European Policy Studies, a lobby for all the big banks in Brussels.

    They perfromed a study (brackets) the other day on CRA’s; Don’t Shoot The Messinger, it red half way the report.

    http://www.ceps.be/system/files/article/2011/10/Forum.pdf

    I wonder why American firms, being wrong during the dot.com bubble and being dead wrong during the real estate bubble and what evolved from that somehow are able to play this game over and over again. Now that would be naive, wouldn’t it! For I know exactly why they can do this, and have to do this. Not only because the judges gave them free reign but, well, the US is in deeper shit now, isn’t it.

    The 13 banksters for instance needed more & new hot money to play with after so much pokermoney got lost. This money they found in Greece, along with all their rich nephews-by-treaty. The Big Short needed a sequel, the Bigger Short, that’s it & that’s all. Government Sachs here is key, being over $100 billion on the short side here. Nice profit, no?

    Let us not overlook the fact the US has two battlefields to handle. No, no, not Iraq and Afganistan, the EU and China! Why not ruin them both at the same time? If and when ex-GS mister Draghi keeps on draghi his feet by doing nothing to help the Euro this Euro is bound to fall and fail at the same time.

    China looses trillions, and Europe even more: all that is good for American business, one way or another, be it in the long run. Since this deleveraging is all about the long run, why not: let’s play!

  60. From what I understand,(financial channel) the Arabs and the Chinese are the only ones who would remain financially solvent should the euro dive hard, they have very little exposure to Europe and are not in a hurry to need much more. Not good for American business because we export to Europe and need their money.

  61. all options on the table – time to sit back and enjoy the psychos versus psychos show…if you have the stomach for it – so few people have a clue how evil they really really are….

    I was invited to local gatherings sponsored by Goldman Saks in early 1990s – my objection to them then, and proven right now, was the way they consistently speculated on the wrong development in another country’s financial situation. What they chose to stifle and control and steal was progress – and I’m talking about human species evolutionary RIGHT to progress based on hard earned experience the countries had gained as civilized people (AKA *labor*).

    Nuts then. Nuts now. Nuts into the future.

    As free men in USA, we have a convergence of circumstances coming together – thanksgiving for a harvest and football. Who in the family is a *useless mouth* and you know that as they chop on a turkey leg, they’ll be thinking about shower stalls for football players….will they eye up the one they KNOW is a pervert in their midst and put some pressure on starving that mouth,

    or will they whip themselves into a political frenzy over that Warren ____ (fill in your own misogynist favorite)….

    Hey, all of us can stage afternoon sit ins, which is probably all the 60 something year old original hippies would consider mustering. A flash mob with pencil and paper in hand to do some macro-math :-) Maybe real-live thinking among real live people needs to be promoted visually for a while – with close-ups on the more expressive faces when they find a possible solution to the math problem…?

    A “Think In”! – yup, MANY ways to show solidarity among *We the People* now that we actually really and truly are in charge of USA…try it – perception is reality – SEE the vision that the bankster’s politicians are out of the picture….breathe in whatever is available in the way of fresh air and then breathe out the *fear*

    It’s a drug-like high RELIEF to be the *government* ourselves – I can’t IMAGINE it works any other way :-))

    Man solving his problems as man…not as a god….

  62. Why not ask for CITIGROUP’s OFF BALANCE SHEET liabilities, move them to over to the balance sheet for greater transparency, and if this shows the bank is INSOLVENT, then perform on it what the law required of insolvent banks…….closure, and liquidation?

  63. This is stage 4 cancer, inoperable: since the rest of us can’t be comfortably sedated, our collective inner strength is what will see us through this time.

    http://dailybail.com/home/jim-grant-central-banks-are-insolvent.html

    Also: MF Global……robbing thousands of account holders, for billions $$$……who’s been picked up?

    If you can’t get it up for something as conspicuous as this theft, then THROW the ENTIRE USA criminal code in the dumpster, and declare the bankers can steal from all of us…..AT WILL.

    It’s freaking outrageous.

  64. Singing Around The Campfire

    I plucked this from Annie’s latest post, because it is actually a profound idea:

    “A “Think In”! – yup, MANY ways to show solidarity among *We the People* now that we actually really and truly are in charge of USA…try it – perception is reality – SEE the vision that the bankster’s politicians are out of the picture….breathe in whatever is available in the way of fresh air and then breathe out the *fear*”

    Human consciousness raising is quite capable of miracles, here on this planet, and I am certain we can do it again, if we all try hard enough.

  65. Bruce E. Woych

    http://www.truth-out.org/occupy-colleges-now-students-new-public-intellectuals/1321891418
    Published on Truthout (http://www.truth-out.org)

    Occupy Colleges Now: Students as the New Public Intellectuals
    Monday 21 November 2011
    by: Henry A. Giroux, Truthout | News Analysis

    The police violence that has taken place at the University of California campuses at Berkeley and Davis does more than border on pure thuggery; it also reveals a display of force that is as unnecessary as it is brutal, and it is impossible to justify. These young people are being beaten on their campuses for simply displaying the courage to protest a system that has robbed them of both a quality education and a viable future.

    Finding our way to a more humane future demands a new politics, a new set of values, and a renewed sense of the fragile nature of democracy. In part, this means educating a new generation of intellectuals who not only defend higher education as a democratic public sphere, but also frame their own agency as intellectuals willing to connect their research, teaching, knowledge, and service with broader democratic concerns over equality, justice, and an alternative vision of what the university might be and what society could become.
    (Read it ALL)
    http://www.truth-out.org/occupy-colleges-now-students-new-public-intellectuals/1321891418
    Published on Truthout (http://www.truth-out.org)

  66. @waterbury

    Just wanted to clear up an “issue” in your post

    The total size of the Global OTC Derivatives market as of 2010 was just north of $600 trillion. This includes all products – not sure why you made up a figure of $500-$600 trillion of derivative SHORTS. Do you have any idea what you are talking about?

    Btw, the $600T is the notional value – not even the real value. The real value is a fraction (approx. 5%) of that. If you don’t know the difference, maybe you shouldn’t comment on it.

    On top of that, the majority are interest rate swaps. You know those crazy super secret financial instruments that are used mainly by companies to simply control currency fluctuations for their products. LOL, love your scare mongering on a subject you know nothing about. Well done, keep it up.

    I also appreciate how you do more scare mongering as it relates to TBTF banks globally (clearly another topic you are lacking in). There is so much wrong with this that I don’t even know where to start (and I quote), “…risk posed by all of the world’s megabanks is massive considering the likelihood that a failure of that economic experiment will essentially guarantee the massive destruction of the megabanks and their completely irresponsible creature, the untenable, essentially uncollateralized and unlisted $500 to $600 trillion derivative shorts on the world economic structures. What goes on now, is death by a thousand bee stings, what happens then is death by economic nuclear destruction. It may actually be too late to do anything as this column is written, but, I will assure anyone willing to listen that nothing will happen regardless of the logic. Not only is Washington owned by the megabanks, but essentially every large economy in the world, even China’s.”

    To that, I simply say “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” Do yourself a favor… please stop commenting as though you are an expert in areas you know very little about.

  67. Singing Around The Campfire

    cmk, why don’t you get off your high horse?

    your chit is boring to the nth degree.

  68. @Woop – regarding the MF Global case – the reason no one was *picked up* is because no one LOST $$$ and/or committed a crime according to their playbook – MF investors CONTROL tax collections from those “poor who can afford to pay more” – they’re going to refill their coffers with TAX RECEIPTS which is what was put up in the leverage to begin with – IRS tax receipts – and more to come with FINES if you don’t buy for-profit health insurance….scheesh, the only game in town has always been YOUR TAX DOLLARS – FRB to Treasury and back again – they are incrementally cutting out any flow to PEOPLE…

    The *failure* of the super committee was pre-ordained – automatic tax increases on the BOTTOM 99% when the Bush tax plan expires in 2012, but all yacht deductions and corporate welfare and 501C shenanigans will live on and then some since they’ve had a decade to come up with stuff you would NOT believe….I would like to find the person who signed off on the 250K *faith based* money sent to Prophet Jeffs who built a prison in Mohave County AZ with faith $$$ and filled it with under-aged girls to *educate* – Jeffs as a god educator, of course…

    Honest, generous, brilliant, empire building and deserving of the empire they built USA labor – through tax policies – has been slammed to the ground and international mafias are streaming in filling the commerce void with their “franchises” – mercenaries, human organs, benzene ring based killer-high drugs, weapons, SLAVES, etc. – of course they want *austerity* measures for EVERYTHING OTHER THAN THEIR GLOBAL BUSINESS…death death death

    That’s why We the People are back in control of *government* – AKA *taxes*. No one has been given the *power* in the USA to slam us BELOW international mafia cash flows – NO ONE. ANd we’re going to the mats, as they say…

    Whatever THAT was (*super committee*) that was posing as *government* is what the Declaration of Independence listed as war-provoking by banksters back then, and periodically since then – goes back to the very BEGINNING OF TIME :-))

    Why the completely disproportionate response to OWS crowds….?!

    Just War criteria – AGAIN:

    four strict conditions for “legitimate defense by military force”:

    1. the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
    2. all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
    3. there must be serious prospects of success;
    4. the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power as well as the precision of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

    Can’t be the salary of the police – so it must be the love of hurting people…

    @singing – really – why should Think Tanks be the only ones allowed to openly admit to *thinking* :-))

    Let’s give them think tanks a run for their thinking $$$ – OWS should become a GLOBAL non-profit (can you say NGO) and file a grant for FAITH BASED $$$…..

  69. Annie, you are certifiably CRAZY. Can anyone linear her up so she can see the light? sheeeesh. Remove all doubt of sanity, and then its pedal to the metal mental midget mentality.

  70. Don’t let the sound of your own wheels, drive ya crazy.

  71. @ Annie, Mr. Corzine has effectively destroyed the commodity futures trading market for investors who prior had been willing to invest, both domestic clients and foreigners.

    All the criminals have really accomplished is placing an end to their self-aggrandizing schemes, at some point in the not distant future.

    Corzine bet the wrong way on European sovereign debt, and when the payoffs needed to happen, his firm didn’t have the dough $$$ in sufficient quantities, so the segregated accounts of investors were robbed, looted, pillaged, and destroyed.

    Many of these people, as I understand it from Gerald Celente, were smaller investors like farmers and self-employed individuals: the big fish, like the Koch heads, were warned in advance of the meltdown, and escaped, reportedly, unscathed.

    I read today the DOJ is trying to determine whether any federal criminal laws were broken…..LOL.

    I know blind people who follow a trail better than these folks, literally.

    Anyway, keep on keepin’ on, young lady. :)

    I remain optimistic someone is going to jail in this MF Global crime, but will it be Corzine, or some other jerk selected for the role?

  72. @singing

    Sorry, let’s not have facts or perspective get in the way ;)

    Worst part is, all of the items are knowable facts – people just don’t take the time to know them. Shame on them.

  73. @woop – “Many of these people, as I understand it from Gerald Celente, were smaller investors like farmers and self-employed individuals: the big fish, like the Koch heads, were warned in advance of the meltdown, and escaped, reportedly, unscathed.”

    Which leads to something you are all dancing around – the part that feels *rigged*, if you will…

    As governor, the dude traveled all around NJ and met with all kinds of people he would have NEVER associated with as a businessman. And he did this after the Patriot Act was passed. He lobbied himself, personally in the role of gov’ner, for that investor $$$ and he also calculated in the total savings, assets, and the $$$ intake and out-take of ***COMMERCE*** that is the world of the farmer and the small businessman because that was why the Patriot Act was passed – so they could all pull the ponzi to pay for a DECADE of setting up an outpost in MESSUPOTAMIA….? And I’m nutz?

    Are you expecting us to believe that the war booty was NOT carefully constructed over 30 years? Their participation in the economic life of USA goes back to Charlestown, South Carolina as the port of entry for slaves from Africa. There is no quicker way to amass assets than to have *slaves*. Until now.

    Now we have the Patriot Act and computers to pay for decisions made based on *prophecy*….and existential threats.

    Slammed down – economically – below the *franchises* of Global Crime, Inc. That’s an *existential threat* in my book. There’s a *religion* somewhere in the righteousness of NOT letting that THEFT go by as “americans are just stupid”….

    Slavery is how they have always lived – with no love in the house. And it is their belief that only a *god* could live like they live – surrounded by beings without free will to labor for them….

    Unfortunately, I have not arrived at the same conclusion about their god-ness.

    Just War.

  74. Back to the article and the unanswered question of to risk take or not to risk take. I can promise you that soon as the new year arrives, a new batch of risk takers will try to leverage the risk of Italy and now Germany to unpresidented levels. If successul, price inflation shall abound, if not, a deflationary [good time to spend it if you have it] period will arrive. If inflation is too much money chasing to few goods, we are just the opposite. Too little money, chasing too many chinese goods.