Ron Paul And The Banks

By Simon Johnson

We should take Ron Paul seriously. The Texas Congressman had an impressive showing in the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday and his poll numbers elsewhere are resilient – he is running a strong third nationally, but looks like to come in second in New Hampshire.  He may well become the Republican politician with populist momentum and energy in the weeks ahead.

Mr. Paul also has a clearly articulated view on the American banking system, laid out forcefully in his 2009 book, End the Fed.  This book and its bottom line recommendation that we should return to the gold standard – and abolish the Federal Reserve system – tends to be dismissed out of hand by many.  That’s a mistake, because Mr. Paul makes many sensible and well-informed points.

But there is a curious disconnect between his diagnosis and his proposed cure.  This disconnect tells us a great deal about why this version of populism from the right is unlikely to make much progress in its current form.

There is much that is thoughtful in Mr. Paul’s book, including statements like this (p. 18):

“Just so that we are clear: the modern system of money and banking is not a free-market system.  It is a system that is half socialized – propped up by the government – and one that could never be sustained as it is in a clean market environment.”

Mr. Paul is also broadly correct that the Federal Reserve has become, in part, a key mechanism through which large banks are rescued from their own folly – so that their management gets the upside when things go well and the realization of any downside risks gets shoved onto other people.

If you don’t like this characterization of the American system, turn your attention to Europe and the eurozone – where the European Central Bank is busy propping up banks with “liquidity” (in the form of three year loans), in part hoping these financial institutions can in turn support the government bond market.

There are no Ron Paul-type populists in Europe – at least I have never come across a mainstream politician there wanting to abolish any central bank.  But I would predict that related views will pick up European adherents in the months ahead, for example as people in Germany increasingly worry about the actions of the European Central Bank – and want to go back to some version of their own Bundesbank, which was very careful about not creating inflation.

Mr. Paul represents an important strand of American libertarian thinking, seeing the root of all financial evil in the role of the government – and tracing this back to what he sees as deviations from the U.S. Constitution, made possible by the Supreme Court (beginning with McCulloch v. Maryland in 1819; I recommend Aggressive Nationalism: McCulloch v. Maryland and the Foundation of Federal Authority in the Young Republic, by Richard E. Ellis, if you’d like to read more on that key episode).

Mr. Paul’s argument goes too far in this direction, however, including with statements like “The Supreme Court has never been a friend of sound money and has rarely been a protector of the Constitution,” (p.168).  His book would also be more convincing if it relied a little less exclusively on sources produced by a single publisher, the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

The gold standard to Mr. Paul is a panacea, because it would restrict the role of the government and what a central bank could do.  In fact, in his version of the gold standard – which is not the one that generally prevailed – there is no role for a central bank whatsoever.

But Mr. Paul’s own book also acknowledges the imbalance of power within the financial system that prevailed at the end of the nineteenth century – Wall Street financiers, such as the original J. P. Morgan, were among the most powerful Americans of their day.  In the crisis of 1907, it was Morgan who essentially decided which financial institution would be saved and who must go the wolves.

Would abolishing the Fed really create a paradise for entrepreneurial banking start-ups – enabling them to challenge and overthrow the megabanks?

Or would it just concentrate even more power in the hands of the largest financial players?  It is hard to find a moment of greater inequality of power than that of the gilded age of the late 1800s – with the gold standard and the associated credit system firmly working to the advantage of J. P. Morgan and his colleagues.

Mr. Paul insists that “In a competitive and free system, deposits would not be unsafe; any that were not paid back that were promised would fall under the laws of protection against fraud,” (p. 27).

Again, this seems to mistake the true nature of power in both modern American society – and in a world without any limit on the scale and nature of banks.  Laws and rules do not drop from the sky; they are shaped in minute detail by an intense and very expensive lobbying process.  (For a prominent and credible example, Jeff Connaughton’s latest piece on how slow the SEC has been to deal with concerns about high frequency trading.)

There is nothing on Mr. Paul’s campaign website about breaking the size and power of the big banks that now predominate (  End the Fed is also frustratingly evasive on this issue.

Mr. Paul should address this issue head-on, for example by confronting the very specific and credible proposals made by Jon Huntsman – who would force the biggest banks to break themselves up.  The only way to restore the market is to compel the most powerful players to become smaller.

Ending the Fed – even if that were possible or desirable – would not end the problem of Too Big To Fail banks.  There are still many ways in which they could be saved.

The only way to credibly threaten not to bail them out is to insist that even the largest bank is not big enough to bring down the financial system.

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

205 thoughts on “Ron Paul And The Banks

  1. “Ending the Fed – even if that were possible or desirable – would not end the problem of Too Big To Fail banks. There are still many ways in which they could be saved.”

    Name some ways they could be saved and who would do the saving.

    “The only way to credibly threaten not to bail them out is to insist that even the largest bank is not big enough to bring down the financial system.”

    Bad logic. Will not work. You and others have already demonstrated on this blog that the problems are systemic.

  2. Wow Simon, nice post. Greatly appreciate your added points of view on Ron Paul’s theories.

    but, can you reply to Windmill’s questions? You give Mr Paul a hard time about not providing enough detail “about breaking the size and power of the big banks that now predominate” but do not provide much detail yourself.

  3. The regulatory environment has played too big a role in the banking system. TARP program imposed billions of dollars which increased the liquidity of most banks, but the underlying loan portfolios continue to eat away at capital when real estate loans were written down or seized. While I agree with attempting to keep interest rates low while the economy recovers. This is not healthy for the banking system because the price of loans is not compensating banks for the risk they taking lending to small business. So, the money sits on the sidelines. Now Frank-Dodd has additional regulatory costs that cut in to bank profits further. Government should regulate but not interfere with the banking system.

  4. I don’t know, Simon. I was under the impression that although a gold standard would put an anchor to monetary policy, that the growth of a developed economy is inefficient to be tied to pulling gold out of the ground, wouldn’t work unless every country in the world adopted it, and could cause severe deflationary pressures (like the 1890s).

    Additionally, as poor as monetary policy has been used in the past (ex: Greenspan Put), it did stabilize the economy under Bernanke channeling the spirit of Milton Friedman.

    I’m with your previous point, cap bank size so smaller banks would never be too big to fail (save), and have a creative monetary authority in charge to be there, armed and ready to stabilize nominal GDP shocks and financial crises.

  5. First of all, you didn’t even address the fact that The Fed is a mysterious monster that owes no real allegiance to the federal government. Greenspan actually admitted that The Fed is beyond the control of our government. It is in fact a banking cartel.
    Paul is correct when he says that we have a planned economy and not a free market economy.
    Paul has a long list of ills that the Fed causes, the worst of which is the fact that essentially the Fed is the enabler of the military industrial complex. The Fed makes it easy to go to war; they just print more money! If the people had to be taxed to pay for war, there probably wouldn’t BE any war at all. In other words, the Fed plasters over the true cost of war by simply inflating the money supply.
    I won’t even get into the bailouts and thievery and moral hazard.
    Ellen Brown mentions that both Lincoln and Hitler issued currencies outside a central bank and the respective economies prospered.
    I say to hell with the Fed.

  6. Some libertarians would abolish public corporations and corporate personhood reasoning that government should not be empowered to limit liability. That might take care of the size problem. Not sure what Ron Paul thinks of that strand of libertarianism.

  7. The internet is really lacking in quality posts like this. Thanks for making the effort to take Ron Paul seriously (no, really!).

    But, Ron Paul:
    ““Just so that we are clear: the modern system of money and banking is not a free-market system. It is a system that is half socialized…”

    “Half socialized”? Not quite an honest term, and thus this doesn’t seem like a “thoughtful” quote to me. I find this to be a good example of how he is too caught up in defiance and dogmatic-speak to engage in a discussion that is about ideas – it has raped him of his ability to be an intellectual. And perhaps that’s why there are so few posts like yours where he is taken “seriously,” unfortunately — such dialogue just doesn’t exist, especially amongst economists.

  8. John J., I think gold could replace the Fed safely in a steady state economy, and in the fact of growing energy shortage inflationary currencies strike me as an incredibly bad idea. Inflationary currency exists in order to create an incentive for growth, but without plentiful, cheap energy a modern economy can’t grow.

    With the current energy situation slowly looking worse and worse, gold might be doable IF we could convince people that constant growth is not the best idea right now. Good luck selling people on that idea though. As a whole, mankind grows like bacteria in a jar: no regard for the limited resources until it physically kills them off.

  9. 3-D, interesting ideas, but you’re right; people wouldn’t buy the idea of a steady state economy. We’d have to rely on downward income distribution to raise the living standards of the lower and middle classes. And boom, there goes capitalism. Perhaps we should look into the alternative forms of market economies that have been proposed for steady state environments…

  10. Well, honestly I have mixed feelings about Ron Paul. But I don’t think associating one’s self with the Mises Institute is the wisest choice for anyone, especially those running for political office. ZeroHedge blog is always singing Mises Institute’s praise (probably as a ruse to sell gold investments to illiterates). Mises recently offered a Mises Institute publication for free called “The Tragedy of The Euro”. Written by a joke of an economist named Phillip Bagus. Going on classical economists thoughts on “free lunches”, one can guess what the value of the analysis of this freely offered text by Bagus is worth. Here is one “gem” taken from the Conclusion of Bagus’ book “The Tragedy of The Euro”:

    “The Euro has succeeded in serving as a vehicle for centralization in Europe and for the French government’s goal of establishing a European Empire under its control—curbing the influence of the German state.”

    There you have it folks, from a Mises Institute publication. The French are going for a European Empire under the French government’s control via the Euro currency—you heard it from Phillip Bagus and the Mises Institute first. Don’t forget Bagus and the boys told you first, ok??? Are you having a hard time controlling your laughter now and feel this must be a joke?? Only a total and complete JACKA.S.S. would write that, yes??? Read the Conclusion of the book yourself:

    All that being said, Ron Paul beats a corrupt fraud of a politician who does dirty work for the GSEs (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) and tries to tell people he was working as a “historian”. Then Lies and says Freddie won’t let him discuss it. IT IS ANOTHER OF MANY GINGRICH LIES From Lorraine Woellert and Clea Benson of Bloomberg News:

    Gingrich told Bloomberg News in a Dec. 30 interview that he couldn’t release the documents because Freddie Mac wouldn’t waive a confidentiality agreement. Gingrich’s consulting firm was paid at least $1.6 million over eight years for his services.
    “I don’t particularly want them to sue us,” he said.
    Gingrich said his campaign had asked the company to lift the confidentiality clause.
    “They wouldn’t do it,” he said.
    Freddie Mac Vice President Sharon McHale gave a different account in an interview today.
    “We are not opposed to Mr. Gingrich discussing the broad terms of his consulting agreement with Freddie Mac,” she said. “He is welcome to release the contract.”
    At a Tea Party town hall meeting tonight in Meredith, New Hampshire, Gingrich was asked if he would do so, and his questioner was told to “talk to R.C.,” meaning his campaign spokesman, R.C. Hammond. Hammond refused to say whether the campaign will release the contact.

    The Bloomberg article goes on to say….
    In the Dec. 30 interview with Bloomberg, Gingrich said he personally received only about $35,000 a year. The rest of the money ( greater than $1.6 million) went to his firm, he said.
    According to three people familiar with Gingrich’s contract with Freddie Mac, the company was paying Gingrich’s firm only for the services of Gingrich himself, not for work by any of his staff.

    Read the entire article (terrific journalism by Miss Woellert and Miss Benson) here:

    Where are the journalists to stick a microphone in Gingrich’s face and ask the scumbag directly when he is going to release his Freddie Mac contract to the public????

  11. I think what is missing (ironically, because all the data about it has disappeared also) are the effects of the 1700’s Jay laws by lawmakers. The law basicly said, that in order to prove a law wrong, you had to break it first, giving law makers the upper hand when choosing a course of action. We have actually seen many laws broken in the past 30 years only to lead to great fortunes for some and ills for many others, as recently as the 08 multi-bailouts. And the silly part is that the entire thing is just one groups interpretation of a situation, there are many other interpretations that are far more logical, once an efficiency factor and resource availability are introduced. So far the war machine has won the game. And the politicians have won the blissful party of the American citizens, which starts off fast, but hardens and boggs down @30 and there after.

    @Windmill: One example is Warren Buffett, he propped up BOA with some $5 billion to prevent a fire sale, and then placed his stock ahead of the regular stakeholders should a catastrophy occur.

  12. Would someone please address the argument that, even if the biggest banks are broken up, the system will be threatened if most banks make similar but dumb investments, such as in sub-prime mortgages?

  13. We knew years ago that sub-prime was so under water and being propped up by the big banks that inflating [housing prices] was their last and only chance before a hard default. So the question that needs asked is, when do dumb investments that lead to ultimate default, lead to actual default? And the answer is never, when there is no leverage to prevent the destructive behavior from occurring
    in the first place.. As is the case today.

  14. I agree with Prof. Johnson here, in his line about the disconnect between Paul’s diagnosis and cure. Many of the things that are wrong with the way our economy operates, and the way the US operates around the world creating the quazi-empire we now run, are absolutely correct. The Fed plays favorites, we are too involved in the affairs of the rest of the world, or econmic system is basically crony capitalism enabled by the Federal Government more often than not, etc. But why he believes the gold standard, or liability laws, basically going back to the late 1800’s would make things better is beyond me. Forget the gold standard, let’s look at the banking perscription. Under Paul’s view bank savings would be safe because the account holders would be able to sue the bank if they lose the money. Where do you start with the problems with this perscription? Let’s say you have your checking and savings with a bank and okay they are more careful than they have been as late because we’ve gotten rid of the Fed backstop – but banks still go out of business even banks with no government support or access. So your bank goes belly-up, but you can sue them! Now in the meantime you have no money, except perhaps what you have in cash at home. Now in Ron Paul’s world everyone will have gold in a safe in the house and only use the bank to transfer funds across states or for vacations like it’s 1600 – but is that realistic? Forget the massive increase in theft – imagine if pretty much everyone had a safe with gold in it at their house – even if you sue the bank, if they have no funds they have no funds. And the poor would of course be the hardest hit, imagine living paycheck to paycheck and your bank goes belly up over the week end after making your Firday deposit. There are countless other specifics about Paul’s proposals that just don’t fit with modern life. With that said, I’m happy he’s getting more airtime because he raises issues that others don’t talk about, most notably the Military Industrial Complex. The Obama administration is latching on to many of the popular and workable parts of Paul’s mantra – just look at the Pentagon cuts they proposed yesterday – while the rest of the GOP cannot, since they are a party of pre-emptive war and “projecting American Power” first, and a party of cutting taxes and regulations second. If somebody could meld Paul’s foreign policy with Bruce Bartlett’s budget and tax proscriptions we’d really have a hell of a candidate.

  15. “Half socialized” is not an honest term?!!!!!!!!!!
    Then what do you call a system where profits are private and losses are socialized?
    He was dead accurate! Crony capitalism allows the greedy one percent to own and maintain houses all over the globe, luxury cars, wealth beyond the imagination, while the 99% deal with unemployment, foreclosures, and a declining living standard in a multicultural police state.
    I noticed that nobody addressed Ron Paul’s brilliant insight that the Fed directly or indirectly promotes war for the simple reason that it can print the money necessary to wage war. It also follows that the Fed causes the misuse of resources and capital.

  16. By refusing to give Paul the respect he deserves, pundits and news peddlers have revealed their own enslavement to the PowersThatBe. THANK YOU Simon for your excellent (and brave) comments here.

    Why is it that only an extreme libertarian like Paul can speak simple truths which people recognize as common sense ? Simple truths: we cannot afford our military empire all across the globe, our bully ways are making us hated, our financial system is a crooked game rigged against us, and our supreme court has historically failed to protect us from the predations of Wall Street and the Fed.

    What does it say about all the other candidates, that they never speak these truths?

    Good on you Simon.

  17. No one.. Simon, James, Ron Paul, Keynes, Hayek, Mises, Menger, Rothbard, Friedman gets it entirely correct all the time. Only in retrospect and in the clear light of informed scrutiny is history able to make a tentative judgement about past actions that is always subject to revision in the future as more data becomes available.

    That being said…

    For those who read “13 Bankers” one of the “take-away” underlying themes was that economic schools of thought (Keynes, Austrian, Monetarist) mean very little because the “political” forces that shape government policy render the schools’ positions impotent.

    For this reason, anyone who espouses a particular school of economic thought as the most reasoned one to address our current woes is not entirely in touch with reality. And as much as I like many of Ron Paul’s positions, his insistence on the “Austrian” approach is misguided.

    It simply does not matter what school of economic thought is considered more valid when none of the schools have any impact upon the policy decisions. Simon and James are right on this!!!

    When decisions are made by the plutocrats for the plutocrats and rent-seeking rules the day, we are not dealing with capitalism… both Simon and Ron Paul and many others recognize this.

    Today we are dealing with what Ron Paul calls “soft corporate fascism” or Ralph Nader calls “corporate dominance” or what Romney hilariously tells his NH flock, “Obama engages in crony capitalism.”. But it is not capitalism.

    And until we begin to educate others that it is not capitalism, capitalism will continue to receive a bad name it does not deserve. Corruption has perverted capitalism and from my reading and conversations conservatives, moderates and liberals all commonly recognize this.

    Curiously, I have heard Austrian School advocates state that the Keynesian Schools are funded by the corporate elite and that is why they are predominant… but they are ignorant of their own history of industrialist backing of the Austrians and to hear this self-righteous indignation spew forth from them is laughable. Read the Kim Phillips-Fein book James recommends for more details.

    Lastly, if memory serves me correctly, hundreds of years ago England suffered liquidity crises for many years when their banks were required to hold 100% reserve deposits to cover their loans. Because of these crises, a fractional reserve banking system backed up a central bank makes sense and can provide ample liquidity (sometimes too much) to avert such crises.

    But I do not want to leave anyone with the wrong impression – Ron Paul and Tom Woods at the Mises Institute are correct – the Federal Reserve is supposed to be apolitical… but they clearly are political and this is wrong.

    So Ron Paul has some great ideas and some of his ideas are dogs… just like everyone else.

  18. This is the standard problem with libertarian plans for free-market utopia (to paraphrase Samuel Johnson): the parts that are grounded in reality are not particularly rosy, and the parts that are rosy are not grounded in reality. They also tend to sweep the historical results of actually implementing their policies under the rug – see also the “going off the gold standard caused the Great Depression” claims…

  19. not sure why any one thinks the gold standard is a solution to economic problems. inflation didn’t just happen with fiat money,it happened with the gold standard too. and back when we had a ‘gold’ standard. the exchange rate between gold in dollars was fixed by the government. and going back to carrying gold to make purchases will demonstrate why it was replaced (as far back as the Roman empire and before that). because the buyer and seller would have to agree on quality and quantity of gold in the exchange. good luck making that quick or easy or efficient. and it wont stabilize the economy, depressions and recessions and collapses happened like clock work before we got off the gold standard.
    and if you read some of the libertarian ‘ideas’ you find out that what they mean by freedom, is that the elite and powerful are free to do what ever they want to.
    every thing else? doesn’t matter much
    they also seem to think that replacing the government with what are today insurance companies would work better too.
    and the point about suing a bank (or others) to right a wrong? only works if you have money (lawyers aren’t cheap). and who ever you are suing has to still be in business.

  20. You’re right…we don’t have capitalism. We have “socialism for the rich.” We have an out of touch oligarchy, “doing God’s work,” outsourcing, dealing in fraud and market manipulations and speculation, destroying the middle class, raping the Treasury, cashing bonus checks, and laughing all the way to the bank. This is intolerable.
    The Fed is an independent agency that doesn’t have to answer to anybody. How can you even HAVE a government under these circumstances? How can we have a sovereign nation under these circumstances?
    People are finding out about this nonsense.
    Something must be done about the unchecked power of the Fed.
    Ron Paul might not have all of the answers, but he’s asking the right questions.

  21. The problem with basing a national currency on gold — or any commodity — is that then the substance can and will be hoarded by — guess who? The folks who created the new monetary system, and it won’t be the 99%.

    The Fed IS a private banking cartel; our own federal government (Congress) turned over its responsibility to create money to that cartel in 1913. But we do have the ability to take back the power of money creation, and to make OUR public servants accountable for the amount of money the government creates.

    It’s insane for the U.S. government (taxpayers) to pay INTEREST to the private banking system, foreign governments and individuals when money is needed to fund social and physical infrastructure.

    This is a scheme devised by bankers for their benefit. It doesn’t have to be this way!

  22. I was guilty for a while, being a progressive (somewhat libertarian) at heart, of taking Ron Paul somewhat less seriously than I should have. I agree with many of his views, but see, as your article seems to point out, that they are somewhat imbalanced and reactionary, but important, nonetheless, to the overall discussion which must be had regarding the shaping of America’s financial sector in the future. After decades of first Vollker, then Greenspan and mini-Greenspan (Bernanke), I am at my wit’s end with the FED. That having been said, I do not believe that it should be abolished, but rather reformed in some meaningful ways. It is important to understand that its autonomy is a two-edged sword. It need to have some independence, but, perhaps only a little more than the Treasury Department. It definitely needs to be essentially transparent and accountable. We are now learning a great deal more about its massive role in the bailouts of both American and European banks, which is ongoing, and less than satisfactory without actions to require restructuring of those behemoths being given virtually unlimited support. Otherwise it simply becomes a massive grifting partner to casino financiers who are gradually completely eroding our economic future.

    So, now my bottom line on Ron Paul and the bank conversation is that he needs to be a part of the conversation when considering the future of international and national banking. He can’t simply be swept aside and ignored as some kind of ranting political geezer. And, as Simon knows, this conversation is prime time in our world, perhaps far more important than things like Iranian nukes and Chinese military power.

  23. @logic Thanks for what you wrote. I am of the same opinion, and that is any rigid orthodoxy rarely can have full sway in any economic conversation. These espoused systems are formulaic in a world not generally, except in “real” science (which economics is definitely not), which can be accounted for by such strictures. The latest economic theoretical craze, Behavioral Economics, is moving in the right direction, but it still suffers from what all other economic thinking suffers from, and that is the inablility to construct sufficiently complex models to truly describe the real world. Just like your railing against American capitalism as not being true capitalism, with which I whol heartedly agree, it will be impossible to make meaningful change in our system to allow full participation, until we can find a way to eliminate the vast imbalances in the field of play, politically (get the money out of politics, or control it completely). Once again, logic, nice response.

  24. As a Ron Paul supporter I read your opinions, which I value,with great interest. The important thing is the debate, as this is a topic that goes over the heads of many Americans. Therein lies the problem. When the pendulum swings to far one way the perceived solution goes too far the other way. I will still support Congressman Paul, if only to break the backs of the lobbyists that control our financial system. House cleaning seems more important at this point. Out of that maybe we can start to rebuild our economy as well as our democracy. As scary as this may sound, the status quo is untenable.

  25. As time goes on, the moments when I feel deep pride in my country become more rare. I still like to think America is “a city set on a hill”. In the little pretend world of my mind. That is, we have moments when we show the world what is the “right way” to do things, the moral way, the ethical way, and caring for all men. Moments like this are when I feel deep pride to be an American:,0,7311400.story

    Is this going to help America’s relationship with the Government of Iran? NO. Is it going to cause many people to rethink America’s meddling in other countries’ affairs? NO. Is it going to help America’s trade deficit?? NO Does it matter if only 13 Iranian fisherman appreciate an American military vessel coming to their aid and rescuing them?? YES. That’s 13 people that don’t think of us as “the Great Satan”. That counts for something. And our Navy did something positive in the world we can be proud of, and not look at the ground (circa 2000–2008) when some non-American asks what we think of our nation’s President.

  26. @BayardWaterbury

    Someone actually read what I wrote? And agreed? I guess Annie has not laid eyes on it yet and found something about it to dispute – just kidding. I like a lot of what Annie contributes!!! Her heart seems to be in the right place and her sentiments are on time, too.

    IT is late and I am tired but I will try to be coherent.

    I think you nailed it when it comes to the inability of any econometric model to correctly assess or even appropriately weigh the myriad of measurable parameters and non-measurable factors (e.g. politics, weather, etc.)) that impact the study of economics. The sheer number of influences are too large and too variable to be accurately considered.

    This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to understand this subject… rather, we should temper our bravado when it comes to endorsing a particular school of thought or concept (e.g. the efficient market theory or the quantification of the velocity of money) by adopting a more true scientific posture… a theory is valid until it is dis-proven or a superior theory displaces it.

    As an example, I think the Laffer curve is “intuitively” correct. But its shape cannot be determined with any precision for the reasons stated above. And to use this curve as a basis for further supporting supply-side theory is – a bad pun intended – laff-able. Just revisiting the high tax rates of the Eisenhower – Korean War era (when the USA raised taxes to pay for wars, not borrow from future generations) provides enough empirical data to show that the supply-siders got something wrong in their theory… but Kudlow and Co still act as if it is valid. What a joke. Doesn’t Larry ever read any of David Stockman’s comments?

    And when we accept imperfect models for practical reasons, as engineers often do (again for practical reasons), we often bump up against the “exceptions” problem. This problem is more acute in economics because the number of variables is tremendously large and, as such, the number of exceptions are greater.

    When we are forced to rely upon suspect data such as the CPI or the core rate or PCE deflator or U6 or the output gap, etc. as entirely reliable, or we convince ourselves that we are not in a recession because of an definition stating that GDP has been positive for several quarters, we delude ourselves to a degree and discount the 800lb gorilla that is right in front of our eyes – one only has to drive by the blighted neighborhoods and look at the empty storefronts and depleted food banks to know that there is an imprecise “real world” translation between this data and the reality/suffering it is trying to quantitate. Our GDP numbers may not meet the “definition” of a recession but it sure looks like a bad one if one was not apprised of the numbers.

    And as much as I admire the absolutely brilliant work of Behavioral Economists like Dan Aierly (sp?) and the commentators on risk such as N. Taleb and many others, I find my exposure to this field frustrating for its overall lack of numerical quantification – and that is my fault given my initial training as a physicist and my desire for numerical precision. But I agree – this is an illuminating field that deserves more recognition.

    @dw – re: the gold standard appeal.

    My well-educated and reasonable Austrian friend informs me that inflation is the main enemy of the dollar and that the removal of the gold standard is the main reason a dollar today is only worth about 17 cents or so based upon a 190X level… (Just listen to Ron Paul on the stump). Inflation is the main reason they desire a gold standard. But a history of why we abandoned Breton Woods should illustrate the perils of trying to maintain a workable international gold standard. IF we still had a gold standard and China continued to peg its currency, Fort Knox would be turned into a hotel with a vacancy sign out front.

    The Wiemar Republic and Carter era aside, we all fear inflation. But the Austrian Hayek even recommended that some individual businesses maintain their own currencies and a Florida Libertarian Party contingent wants to issue a Florida specific currency… talk about a black market for counterfeit currency and an easily exploited currency exchange rate scheme… Again, I agree with Bayard. Ideologues – some of them anyway – Ron Paul is an exception in my book – make terrible politicians because they become too invested in their ideology and closed-minded about it… even when the idea is losing currency in the face of reality.

  27. @dw – re: freedom

    I forgot. Austrians (especially Ludwig Von Mises) are not the only ones who embrace this strange concept of freedom and capitalism you astutely commented upon. Check out Milton Friedman’s “Capitalism and Freedom”. A different take but one that seeks to link the two together.

    Two distinct econo-centric viewpoints – with blinders on.

  28. The fundamental problem this country has and any country we export to our products to, is that they are designed to break and cost more money when they should be continuing to provide a service. It has spread thru every industry and a product can even be delayed hitting the market, to ensure that it has such a design accomplished in the company’s favor. The only way to reverse this situation is to begin anew and you yourself create the/a product that is so far superior to his items that the advertizing alone will shut his doors. We are a long long way from that day, and 99% of you all will never even see that day. But keep trying to find your answers and spending your money for the latest and greatest product he can come up with, to make your life more pleasent, and his more lucrative, even if he really is only thinking of himself and that billion dollar military contract he lookin to get signed.

    And suzie, you are not feeling right in the head are ya?, plan to make some money there do ya. Ha ha ha,ho ho ho, ha ha ha. Thanks for the amusing laugh.

  29. The problem with Simon’s point is that Ron Paul couldn’t do all he says even if he was elected President. He wouldn’t have the power, or the allies, to make all the sweeping changes he proposes. And he doesn’t have enough time left on the planet to consolidate his power. Really, all he would have to do would be to use our current laws to begin investigating the Fed and their co-horts. I mean, what if he appointed Harry Markowitz as head of SEC and Bill Black as the head of Justice? The election of Ron Paul would signal a new era financial responsibility, and the rats would start abandoning the ship. The idea that he would suddenly impose Austrian finances on the entire country is ludicrous. Our system works best when opposing ideas force a split in the power structure. The similarities between Obama and Romney are as apparent as are their differences with Paul.

  30. @Logic: I have become distinctly prejudiced against Milton Friedman. Many of his arguments sound persuasive at first, but in the end I look at his reaction to Pinochet in Chile. He loved free markets so much that he was satisfied to have them imposed by death squads and dictatorship.

  31. @Logic, “….And when we accept imperfect models for practical reasons, as engineers often do (again for practical reasons), we often bump up against the “exceptions” problem. This problem is more acute in economics because the number of variables is tremendously large and, as such, the number of exceptions are greater….”

    Nothing wrong with being practical :-))

    I just want to add something for consideration from observing the *real* world – albeit with creative imagination for how to access it for ME ME ME and my peeps – the “exception” you speak of is usually an indication of a different eco-system, so to speak, that intersects what’s been engineered only at that one point in time/space, but then has a life of its own with its own system – visualize the Mandelbrot fractal and the different patterns it generates….so you have to see the whole forest to know when to let go of one *ideology* for another which gives birth to the next design in the continuum…kinda hard to explain, isn’t it, to minds that are NOT ideo-log-free….?

    The point is that we can solve all our LIFE-maintenance problems, and then some, if we really want to. Plenty of proof in human history that we DO succeed….

    The Federal Reserve Board seems to have no role in the *real* forest other than to chop it down and hoard it and then kill all the workers who did manual labor for them. It’s definitely eugenics on a global scale – the devil, so to speak, stays on top through sadism, hatred and war being abundantly funded (fractional reserve banking) and only “x” amount of devil ass-kissing nihilists succeed in being kept around for entertainment – back to Roman gladiator games instead of sterile gas chambers…

    Which takes us back to Dan P’s proper bookkeeping discussion in the most recent *above the law* thread…and the eugenics head games (ie. IRS tax codes)…which slammed down the experientially-earned quality of life of Western Civilization’s Middle Class of highly civilized and law-abiding producers of LESS MISERY for themselves, and, through that practical process, for others who were equally as socially advanced…

    slammed us down BELOW the economic *power* of Fed-backed GLOBAL drug lords and slave lords (the teacher’s pets)….but the War Lords are still in play – go figure :-))

    Just War.

  32. I just had to add, referencing a book written in 2009 does not make your arguments correct. Principles and ideas evolve and even Ron says today that you can’t get rid of the Fed overnight. It will take years. His new take is competing currencies, along the lines of JFK’s silver certificates. I mean, what good is a monetary system that makes you a slave to it and it’s whims of inflation and deflation?

    Consider this, the Fed was created in 1913 to keep the value of the dollar at a dollar. In less than 100 years, the value of the dollar is now about 2 cents. Inflation, the hidden tax – all this time. But suppose the intent of the Federal Reserve is to take the value of the dollar to zero? And thereby destroy our National Sovereignty and Democracy. It’s happening now.


    BTW, I love all your other work.

  33. The simple and easy answer is to actually let the ancient Bush tax cuts finally expire as they were meant to do under law. Without that, its an endless stream of money to those that created the problem initially, and between that and the debt ceiling, there is no stopping them. And watch how they defend them too, same as always, its an economy destroyer. Go Ron Paul.

  34. If these are your feelings, I certainly endorse that way of thinking. The Friedmaniacs are fully “credited” with their global destruction in Naomi Klein’s irrefutable tome: The Shock Doctrine. You want to know the truth about the goals, aspirations and methods of the neo-conservative (Friedman/Hayak) movement, just read. It is a scholarly work with more than a hundred pages of footnotes, and will reveal the shaping of the world according to Friedman since the 1950’s. Very scary, and why America is where it is today, along with some other things, but mainly that.

  35. And then, after posting the above, saw Bayardwaterbury’s mention of the Naomi Klein book. I’m about 50% through it and can agree entirely with the view that it is a very, very scary book.

  36. @TedWa”But suppose the intent of the Federal Reserve is to take the value of the dollar to zero? And thereby destroy our National Sovereignty and Democracy. It’s happening now.”


    But how would you change this? By pegging the dollar to gold? The “value” of gold fluctuates wildly. The dollar could be pegged to oil, another scarce commodity that does not feature a constant value. But as it stands, our currency is fiat, and that may be a very good thing.

    After all, is money not simply a function of law?

    Right now, it appears to many of us that the law is all on the side of the private banking cartel that includes the Federal Reserve. Laws have been changed to make this so. Laws can be changed in another direction, that could better for a much greater number of people.

    What about our foreign creditors? Hhhmmm….Well, as somebody on one of these blogs said “If I owe the bank 1,000 pounds, I’m in trouble. If I owe the bank 1 million pounds, the bank’s in trouble.”

  37. If I remember correctly…Ron Paul’s idea is not to specifically peg the dollar to gold, but to a basket of precious metals, which would level out the fluctuation that seems so worrisome. And it’s very astute to recognize the fact that he wouldn’t/couldn’t do all the things he wants to do, since he would be limited by the Congress and the Senate, etc.
    I think they will screw him out of the nomination. If my choices are Romney and Obama, both are wholly owned subsidiaries of the major banks, so why bother to vote?

  38. Robin – you’re correct and as far as if he doesn’t get the nomination – I’m writing him in. This tells how to do it state by state : . And if you want to get more involved go to blue republicans dot org.

    Getting rid of the Fed would stop the accumulating interest payments we owe them to make our money. The Fed’s private stockholders are the too big to fail’s – so we lose. They are evil, the ago-old enemies of peace, as FDR said.
    We are basically free or slaves depending on the value of our money, because we are trapped into having just 1 legal tender. If it were pegged to a basket of precious metals, our dollar would not be losing value and the Fed created bubbles and busts would not be nearly as great. As Ron said (paraphrasing here):

    “It’s no coincidence that the century of total war coincides with the creation of the Federal Reserve.”

  39. @TedWa: “We are basically free or slaves depending on the value of our money, because we are trapped into having just 1 legal tender. If it were pegged to a basket of precious metals, our dollar would not be losing value and the Fed created bubbles and busts would not be nearly as great.”

    …but there WERE constant booms, bubbles, and busts before the Fed was created. The history of the United States is the history of boom-and-bust.

    What is the magic of a basket of precious metals?

    Is it possible that Bill Still gets to the crux of the matter in his book “No More National Debt” when he says:

    “…it’s not what backs our money that is important; it’s who controls its quantity.” (page 25)

    and then he points out:

    “History has shown time and time again that when gold is money, it hasn’t fixed this debt problem.
    – We were on a gold-backed system just before the American Revolution, during the Stamp Act depression.
    – We were on a gold-backed system during the deepest depression in American history, the 30-year-long, post-Civil-War depression.
    – We were on a gold-backed system during the crash of 1929.

    In a gold money system, bankers own most of hte fold and they can manipulate the amount of gold they loan out, thereby controlling the quantity of money and the politics of the nation as well.

    Remember, gold is concentrated wealth.” (page 26)

    Why would a basket of precious metals be better than a basket of gold?

    Still goes on to say “…Dr. Paul and the supporters of gold-backed money have correctly identified this as the problem–that the QUANTITY of money is being manipulated for the benefit of bankers, not for the benefit of we, the people.

    Where we differ is how to fix it.” (page 27)

  40. I think we all want a government that is not corrupt.

    Anyone with a brain can follow the money today and see that we have a terribly corrupt banana republic at the present. We want a politician who is not corruptible and Ron Paul meets this criteria among Republicans and conservatives more than most with the exception of Buddy Roemer (Ralph Nader and Rocky Anderson would be in that “honest” set, too) and I think this is part of his appeal!.

    My late father-in-law was a small town mayor for just one term. He said that every single week of his term he encountered people wanting him to break the law or behave unethically in order to enrich themselves. He did not run for re-election because he was sick of the slime and was quoted, “If you were not corrupt when you entered politics, you had to become corrupt to remain in it!”

    As for the banks, the fingerprints of the investment banks are all over this financial crisis – both here and abroad – yet they are untouchable.

    Goldman worked with Greece to make them appear credible and gain intro into the European Currency. It was grossly unethical and dishonest but they made fees so it was justified by them.

    Geithner traveled to Greece a couple of months back to force their former PM to abandon the national referendum on bankruptcy because a first domino falling in Greece will bankrupt France (who lent Greece a lot of money) and then Italy or Spain, and so on… all because the Wall St boys are betting on the Euro not crashing quite yet. Geithner, again, doing the bidding of the big boy US banks.

    Dick Durbin was correct – “we (congress) are owned by the banks”.

    As for how we arrived at this cesspool of leadership, I submit one data point – in the earliest days of the CIA, the Wall St. banks and some Wall St. law firms pretty much funded and helped along the nascent agency. They formed a symbiotic relationship. For example, together they were able to secretly send funds to the Vatican and help elect an anti-communist Italian leader (this is all on the record – read “Legacy of Ashes” by Weiner). Getting in the ground floor has proven to be too advantageous for the banks.

    Later, the CIA conspires with GB in ’53 to overthrow Mossadegh in Iran to allow the Anglo-Iranian oil company (better known as BP) to re-seize control of the Iranian oil.

    A year later in ’54 the CIA coordinates the re-seizing of repatriated farm land in Guatemala for the United Fruit Company.

    Poppy Bush, an oil man, later becomes the head of CIA and his son – along with “slam dunked” manufactured consent from the CIA – justify an invasion of Iraq for oil. Former Tresury sec. Paul O’Neil told Ron Suskind that Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush 43 had the Iraqi oil maps out on the table at the 1st cabinet meeting in 2001 – before 911!

    About a year ago we hear former British Intelligence agent and brilliant writer John LeCare tell Amy Goodman that the drug cartels launder money through the complicit large banks (i.e. Barclays) and to make it a good show, the British government extracts its share by fining the banks a large sum of money… but it is a small % of the actual take – and no one at the top goes to prison (sound familiar? We fine GS or Citi several million but they made much more!).

    And last month Obama sends a small contingency of American troops to Uganda… where the Lake Albert field looks promising for oil extraction.

    When is the average American going to wake up and recognize that the US is not the Fox News flag waving shining beacon on the hill – rather, we are the biggest bully in the school yard and afflicted with a bad pituitary disorder (i.e. insatiable appetite).

    I do not have a crystal ball but I think I see the “end game” and it was presaged by John Perkins in his book “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” – bankrupt the 3rd world nations with loans they cannot repay and then have the US and European corporations seize these countries’ assets which they put up as collateral and exploit the people as serfs/slaves.

    Then bankrupt the lesser industrialized nations with loans they cannot repay and seize their assets in a similar manner (Greece will sell off its public assets to pay its debts).

    Then when the US goes bankrupt and the big corporations are located off shore, these corporate creditors will seize American assets and our republican experiment will be over. Either neo-fuedalism will reign or a Robespierre-like figure will ignite a class war. Either way, it will be ugly.

    I hope I am wrong and this does not come to pass but the present trajectory does not look promising.

  41. @Logic nice post. Have you read the Bank Manifesto of 1892? That is what’s going on.
    “Revealed by US Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh, SR in 1932.”

    @Carla. Have you seen The Secret of Oz? Winner best documentary of 2010. The last 40 minutes or so, give or take, tells us how to get rid of the Federal Reserve. The whole movie is an excellent watch.

  42. @logic: You are correct as to what, and how it happened, or is currently happening. But the conclusion is hazy. What is occurring is the same as the 1920’s, where people with money convinced others with less money to invest in their/a company (a seemingly general average risk investment). Then once the time was right, the money men removed all their shares, forcing the price of the stock downward and therefore the loss of other investor money. Done on a great enough scale, it lead to the run on banks and the great depression. The difference this time, is that it is the Chinese who are the big players, and who will make the call as to when to pull their money out and crash the stock of a company. One good example is the German solar cell industry, delivering far less power than advertized, unknowingly the Chinese bought the cells and made panels that were defective to this day. When the problem came to light, who was holding the bag? The American taxpayer in the form of bankrupt company’s like solindra. Fannie and Freddy are no different, get a few more on board or an oil crisis and the whole ponzi collapses on itself after as barfing dollars around world. The only advantage to a gold based system is when the golden rule actually takes effect, and that is, the person with the most gold, make the most rules, then you flush out the Fed and bolster the treasury with honest and respectful integrity, rather than this hostage to money system we have right now.

  43. “dw: not sure why any one thinks the gold standard is a solution to economic problems. inflation didn’t just happen with fiat money,it happened with the gold standard too. and back when we had a ‘gold’ standard. the exchange rate between gold in dollars was fixed by the government. and going back to carrying gold to make purchases will demonstrate why it was replaced (as far back as the Roman empire and before that). because the buyer and seller would have to agree on quality and quantity of gold in the exchange. good luck making that quick or easy or efficient. ”

    Not sure why anyone criticizing the the monetary system our Founders set up to protect us from predatory paper pushers (Central bankers, aka Nest of Vipers) thinks we used to “carry gold to make purchases”…..seriously ignorant.

    We carried Gold certificates, dw. Silver certificates too. They looked just like the paper in your wallet, except they stated gold and silver certificates, and if you wished, you could trade at bank for the set amount of silver and gold the constitution set.

    So “good luck” dissing our founders with your ignorance.

    Simon Johnson, I have one thing to say: Have any of the pre-1964 JFK silver half dollars lying around? Because, if so, I’d be more than willing to take them off your hands for the 50 cents they are worth…that is the case, right? RIGHT???? See, REAL LIFE makes your article as worthless as fiat paper issued by the private “Federal Reserve”: that 50 cent piece is now worth $13-$14 bucks.

    THAT’S FACT “Professor”…did you also warn people to stay away from us “gold bugs” in 2001 when gold could be had for under $200? GREAT ADVISE TOO….RIGHT? Oops….it’s up 11% last year…and up for ten years in a row…..while silver increased 400% over the same period. 400%. 400%.

    REAL LIFE…makes all the “theories” of the “economic elite” as increasingly worthless as the fiat paper.

    You give phoney excuses why a gold standard didn’t work: fraud and coercion by Morgan…exactly, precisely WHAT does THAT have to do with an HONEST gold standard being implemented? NOTHING, that’s what…nice try though, fooled many rubes here.

    Moses Herzog: thanks for the belly laughs…at you.

  44. I just noticed the GOP “frontrunners” and RP is not even listed. The MSM still pretends that he does not exist. I think we’re screwed.

    And the silly refrain that “we had booms and busts before the Fed” doesn’t deal with the multitude of OTHER problems regarding the Fed, including the mysterious and fascist nature of the institution itself.

  45. From an article in the Economist : In the pre-Fed era, banks were free-marke­t institutio­ns that printed their own bank notes. Far from “counterfe­iting,” these notes were simply receipts for the underlying gold/ silver the bank held in its vaults. A customer could take 100 silver dollars to a JP Morgan bank and exchange them for twenty $5 JP Morgan bills. He could then use these paper bills, which would fit more neatly in his wallet, to make transactio­ns. Eventually­, someone with the bills might want to turn them in for silver coins, which he could do by taking them to a JP Morgan branch or some other bank with which JP Morgan had an agreement. This was an ideal banking system. But soon, bankers got greedy and realized that they had a lot of gold and silver sitting in their vaults that was doing nothing. Why not issue more paper notes, in the form of loans, than they had coins and make some extra interest income? All would be well so long as everyone didn’t try to redeem their paper dollars for coins at once. Surely, the banks could get away with issuing 10% more notes than they had coins, right? Well, they did. And then they issued 50% more notes. And then double the notes. And then five or ten or twenty times the notes that they had coins for. Bankers who wanted to be honest could not compete in this environment and were put out of business. But eventually, a customer would come in and demand a redemption of his paper dollars for which the bank had no coinage. As soon as the word got out, all of the bank’s customers would try to withdraw their coins, and the customers of other banks would, too. This was known as a “bank run” and it exposed the bankers’ deception. Now, under a free market, the bankers should have been held accountable for their crimes. They were engaging in counterfeiting, for which the punishment, under the Constitution, is death. But these were men of influence, so far from being held liable, they were able to get governors and presidents to issue “bank holidays” forgiving them of the responsibility of redeeming their notes. This was not a problem of the “free market,” but instead, a problem of government intervention into the free market. The Federal Reserve Act virtually nationalized all of the nation’s banks and essentially made them agencies of government. Now the banking industry was cartelized, and “fractional reserve banking” the process of counterfeiting that had gotten bankers into trouble—was made legal. What’s more, the U.S. dollar was unconstitutionally made legal tender, which meant that people could no longer refuse it or opt for other currencies. Enter the Fed. Between 1913 and 1929, the U.S. dollar lost 42% of its purchase power. In the sixteen years prior to the Fed Act, the dollar had strengthened. This 42% loss of value was due to the Federal Reserve’s monetary expansion, which also led to the stock-market bubble. Similar policies were pursued under Alan Greenspan, which led to a variety of bubbles and busts. This is the distilled Austrian theory of the business cycle: Central bank-created inflation causes a misallocation of investments during the boom phase, which inevitably leads to the liquidation of those investments and a bust. The Fed’s ultra-low interest rates led to the housing boom, and now that those mortgages (bad investments) aren’t panning out, we’ve entered a serious recession. This is not the fault of the free market, for none of this would be possible under a truly free market in banking, in which inflationary money creation—the cause of booms and busts—would be illegal. The government gives banks permission to inflate, and thus, it is the government­—not the free market—that is to blame for booms and busts.

  46. Dear Mr. Johnson,

    You have nicely “bolted the bran” with Ron Paul, clarifying what is good in his proposals and what is not so good. I wish you would do the same with John Huntsman, whose proposals for breaking up the big banks you praise again in this article. Beside breaking up the banks, how do you assess the whole of Huntsman’s proposed economics policies? I would like to see what you have to say about Huntsman’s ideas about government spending, market regulation and entitlements.

    I appreciate your brisk and well-informed comments.

    -Mike Raugh

  47. “The gold standard to Mr. Paul is a panacea, because it would restrict the role of the government and what a central bank could do. In fact, in his version of the gold standard – which is not the one that generally prevailed – there is no role for a central bank whatsoever.”

    It’s difficult to sensibly parse “not the one that generally prevailed” since the specie gold standard existed (with little inflation/deflation) for a century before the FED was promoted by the big bankster’s allies in congress. The gold standard was in no way dependent on the presence of a central bank (twice hotly opposed by Jefferson and Jackson, who, repectively, put the first and second government chartered “banks of the united states” out of business), but only a US Treasury department authorized to create demand notes representing the number of physical units of monetary metal held in its vaults. Nothing complicated about that.

    The so-called “gold exchange” standard is not a gold standard; it’s only a ploy by the usual suspects to convert to a fiat standard by degrees. When ordinary people may not own gold or may not exchange it freely as the monetary unit of account, it is a mockery to pretend there is a “gold standard” monetary regime. QED

    Absent fractional reserve banking — government approved counterfeiting — the duty of any bank toward deposit assets under the gold standard becomes one of custodianship of other people’s property under well defined bailment laws, which offers banks no legal authority whatever to lend long using funds on short-term deposit without consent of the owner — that is, the depositor. Deposits would not, therefore, ever appear on the bank’s balance sheet as owned assets. A banker violating its bailment duty to depositors is guilty of fraud, easily proven. Nothing complicated about that, either.

    As to insuring against that kind of fraud, almost anything can be insured at a premium. It is nonsense to believe the FDIC can magically provide that kind of insurance (in reality also funded only by fractional reserves) but private insurers cannot. Private vaults today are privately insured by private companies, so it isn’t as if this is a radical new idea. Regulation of behavior by insurance companies a duty of government to protect and defend property rights of the people, just as it has a similar duty respecting banks.

    Regulation of the private economy by government would then be limited to constitutionally correct enforcement of laws to assure market transparency (which does not remotely exist now) and prosecution (rather than bailout) of any financial institutions who willfully screw their customers by way of government sanctioned deceit (which does factually exist now, and in spades).

    Because it is largely self-regulating (the government cannot print gold or silver), a metals monetary standard directly inhibits expansion of the welfare-warfare state, while a paper-money fiat “standard” virtually assures far greater pain and suffering will be inflicted on the nation and its people.

  48. There will never be the political will to break up TBTF. There is too much power and wealth at stake for both the bankers and politicians. You know, it is funny, but there was a time when the term “bankers” was NOT synonymous with Wall Street. I’ve notice more and more people (myself included) now use it to refer to Wall Street.

    Wall Street was most efficient and posed less systemic risk when banks served a utilitarian function and were tightly regulated. In that day, which was not that long ago, a Wall Street Bank was an “investment bank” which took companies public and speculated in markets using their own money. When Glass-Steagall was repealed we effectively said, “you are free to gamble with public funds.” As a result, banks no longer serve a utilitarian function and investment banking decisions (and their concomitant losses) are no longer insulated from the economy at large.

    That is not to say that investment banks never posed systemic risk. The Panic of 1872 was caused (in the US) by excessive credit and debt from railroad construction. The bonds underwritten by Investment Banks (Jay Cooke and Henry Clews) posed serious risks to commercial banks because of loans they could not pay back. The same thing occurred in 1907 although it was unrelated to railroads. In the former it ended when the bad debt defaulted and worked its way through the system.

    These “crises” were followed by reforms designed to prevent these excesses from causing such widespread hardship, but the most potent reforms came following the crash of 1929 and the subsequent depression. These reforms worked well although they never prevented the normal ups and downs of capitalism – and well they should not have because a healthy economy (notice I did not say “free”) will always stumble. Those stumbles help to purge the excesses from the system so that it can restart itself.

    What we have now is a system which through monetary and fiscal policy is not allowed to stumble. We also have a system which rather than purging itself of excesses extracts wealth from the middle class in order to save the elite. Whether that is intentional thievery or simply a by-product of the will to survive I do not know. All I know is that we no longer allow failures on any large scale both because the system is designed so as to make such a failure fatal, but also because we believe that micro-economics can save us from hardship.

  49. @Peyre: and how long do the elite forecast the middle class will last?

    @TedWa: yes, I have seen “The Secret of Oz.” I think Still’s book “No More National Debt” is even better. But it puzzles me that you recommend “The Secret of Oz” and yet advocate a return to the gold standard or any variation, thereof.

    I have also seen and highly recommend the film that won the 2011 Oscar for Best Documentary “Inside Job.” And BTW, except in the religious sense, there is no such thing as a “free market.”

  50. @Robin Thomas, “…If I remember correctly…Ron Paul’s idea is not to specifically peg the dollar to gold, but to a basket of precious metals, which would level out the fluctuation that seems so worrisome…”

    That *basket of precious metals* will include all the military hardware, right? Beating the swords back into ploughshares…?

    Okay. So all the hardware that blows up the whole planet once is worth how many USA $$$? Can whatever that number is be used to set up a bank of currency to water the maintenance, innovation, and life-sustaining functions of our national infrastructure…which is the foundation of COMMERCE (small business OWNERS)?

    So how many *baskets of precious metals* do we have if we define one basket as = hardware that blows up the entire planet once…? Where does the 1.5 quadrillion in derivatives come from….everything that everybody ever made, their organs and blood at variable open market prices (ie. 20K to borrow a uterus), and all the hours of working for the *government* – ie. labor works for the government THIEVES for 4 months (TAX POLICY)…from 7 Billion people across the whole planet who BELIEVE that the whole planet can be blown up more than once….is there a way NOT to be crazy considering where the facts intersect beliefs…? Caesar always LOSES when he tries to BE *god*….

    But, let me guess, no one has the data for how many *baskets of precious metals* we have :-)) Can we blow up the entire planet more than once, twice, thrice….?

    Yes there is a connection between the creation of the Federal Reserve Board and the blood bath that was the 20th century – it began with robbing all the agricultural wealth (MF global-like) of Tsarist Russia via a *revolution* (DELUSIONAL *ism* idea – ideologies have NO credibility left – get over it already) and now the same SECRET cabal of money-lenders is robbing the *basket of precious metals* produced by the industrial *revolution* via their head-games made possible by the e-matrix of the *information age* revolution…

    It’s a mess.

    If the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion was a hoax – then eventually we will discover that the Federal Reserve Board is also a cruel hoax – nothing *real* about it….100 to 1 leverage is a dog pissing on a tree to make it HIS HIS HIS…

    Agree with Carla – the service that $$$ provides to sustain LIFE is, in the final analysis, *LAW*.

  51. This is a great thread and I want to thank our host as well as everybody who participated. I’m printing this out because there is so much food for thought.

  52. Actually, my view and that of Mr. Johnson, perhaps, is that really it is unnecessary to break up the big banks, even if they serve as an incredible impediment to the growth of the real economy. The ideal solution is to revamp reform in three ways: First, make much larger and clearer capital requirements (as to both ratios, and quality), reinvoke Glass-Steagall so that commercial banks can only be banks and not insurance companies, and lastly, require the public listing of all derivatives and the holding of reserves on credit default swaps specifically. If we did these three things, the biggest banks would shrink by attrition. Of course these measures would have to be done under international agreement, otherwise arbitrage could cause major disruption in all financial markets everywhere.

  53. Those measures would be a great start, but don’t hold your breath. Look what they did to Brooksley Borne.
    They think that they are above the law, which is essentially true. A post above claims that the government runs the Fed, and the opposite is true. The Congress and Senate are scared shitless of these people, so how on earth is any remedy to be made? Maybe they will move on to greener pastures (China, India) once they’ve totally bled us dry and the pitchforks come out.
    It’s stunning that only RP and Bernie Sanders and Dennis Kucinich have the balls to say anything regarding these matters. Most of the government is totally bought off and happy to cooperate with tyranny.
    But I agree that bringing back the post Depression regulations would be a great start, and some perp walks and jail time would be great too!

  54. I would not overlook the U.S. Senate’s role in helping big business. Starting just after the completion of the cross country RR in 1869, land grants and right of ways ensured that lobbyists would always skim a percentage of profits from a senate decision, (and could stop citizens movements in the House wanting to go in the other direction) as simple as restoring order with the military at national parks, to who could use federal land to raise livestock or crops. That barrier never left the Senate and it never completely engulfed the House, which is why one separation power is really 2 one half’s of each other adding to one disfunctional separate power, vollying against another separate power.

  55. Conaughton emphasizes the tough slog we’ll have in order to get to any sort of regulation for high-frequency trading. That’s despite the concerns of many people. Here’s a year-old post from Felix Salmon’s blog where I chimed in about the dynamics of automated markets. Included are links to Salmon’s story in Wired magazine and his interview on NPR’s Fresh Air, and a detailed analysis of the risks from Michael Kearns:

    I’ve got a friend who’s a lifelong Libertarian’s and a very well-spoken one. The fellow is probably the best economist I know. I asked him once about the problem of latency – a company that can do it’s dirty-work and go bankrupt before the stuff starts bleeding to the surface – think Love canal here. Libertarian’s posit natural feedback into a system to insure that bad actions will be punished economically. That doesn’t work in the example I just gave. He had no answer.

    Moreover, once the company evaporates, the cleanup costs fall to the public. Case in point: the superfund is running out of money and the public will have to shell out if they want to continue cleanup on what is still a very large collection of polluted sites.

    High-speed trading has the same sort of problem but on the other end of the response curve. It’s very difficult if not impossible to plan a coordinated economic response that can punish at micro-second intervals given the million-fold trading volumes and the thousands of actors involved in manipulating these markets. That’s a (hash) pipe dream.

    In that sense, the libertarian philosophy is kin to Marxism. It deals in absolutes in what is a constantly hedged world. We either figure out a way to regulate and/or restrict this activity or it will kill us, either because we didn’t know it was happening, or because we didn’t have time to respond.

  56. ‘I noticed that nobody addressed Ron Paul’s brilliant insight that the Fed directly or indirectly promotes war for the simple reason that it can print the money necessary to wage war. It also follows that the Fed causes the misuse of resources and capital.’

    In logic, there’s a fallacy where a necessary cause is mistaken for a sufficient cause. In this case, you/Paul have committed that fallacy. You also need bread and water to wage war — should we consider them culprits of war?

  57. Could you be any more disingenuous?
    Read “The Israel Lobby”, by Mearsheimer and Walt.

    Like I said before, if the government had to go to the people and raise taxes to wage war,
    chances are very great that THERE WOULD BE NO WAR.

    The idiocy of the Bush administration cutting taxes while waging war has no historical precedent that I know of, and would not have been possible without the Federal Reserve.
    Saddam Hussein was not a threat to the U.S., but he was a perceived threat to Israel. Many years prior to 9/11, Richard Perle wrote about wanting regime change in Iraq in “Clean Break,” the Israeli think tank paper.
    So….clearly these events were mapped out well in advance. The neocons owned Bush and they own Obama too. Our foreign policy hasn’t changed a bit, and in fact, BO has expanded our involvement in the ME.
    Now, we hear the steady drumbeat to invade Iran…a country that is not a threat to the USA.
    Over and over, we are asked to engage ourselves in proxy wars for Israel, wars that are not in our national interest, wars that increase the likelihood of terrorism both here and in Israel.
    The obvious problem is one of unchecked power. Nobody is allowed to mention the elephant in the room without being labeled for life an “antisemite” and ostracized and ruined.
    Iraq was a HUGE mistake! Our economy is in shambles…our military is worn out….our population is fed up…

  58. High speed trading is a part of a system that’s already failed. To continue to allow or support such a failed zombie system is a recipe for disaster. Just because they know how to build and use an atom bomb, we should allow them to use it unfettered? In a free market, corporations should never, ever be a burden on society and high speed trading can be. As we’ve witnessed with the so-called “fat finger” drops. The high speed trades are just there to create an illusion for suckers – like there’s a lot of action when there isn’t. It’s deception at the speed of light. Any corporation that’s a burden on society should never exist. And yet, that’s what we have. Glass-Stegal was 17 pages long and served this country well for over 50 years. Dodd/Frank is over 2,000 pages long and enshrines too big to fail and keeps the taxpayer on the hook for the banks bad gambles.

    @dictateur – Bread and water and…. war profiteers. What’s not so funny about Afghanistan besides innocents dying at our hands? Before we invaded the Taliban and the UN had an agreement to slow poppy production. The Taliban had opium production down to less than 10% of the world’s supply. After we invaded, that grew exponentially to where they now supply over 90% of the worlds opium. Why did we invade? Money laundering? Already proven. Al-Queda never had a base in Iraq, until after we invaded. Look up “inverted totalitarianism” – because that’s where we are. A slippery slope…. and the world fears what we are becoming. NDAA guts the 4th amendment. Payroll tax cuts defund Social Security and will now get it’s payments for the shortfalls from the general fund – meaning, it can be cut. Ron Paul = It takes a village. The GOP candidates and Obama = It takes a pillage. My choice is clear.

    BTW, GREAT THREAD !!!! I’m glad I could contribute in some small way.

  59. Oh and Well said Robin ! The Federal Reserve is the cause of all our woes, because there is never enough money for them and their too big to fail shareholders. As Ron Paul said : “War is never economical­ly beneficial except for those in position to profit from war expenditur­es.” and “It’s no coincidence that the century of total war coincided with the creation of central banking.”

  60. Google Douglas Feith and “The Office of Special Plans,”
    This will lead you to the how and why of the Iraq War, and the bogus intel that
    got us into the war.
    Feith worked with Perle on “Clean Break,” and they had already decided that Saddam had to go. Richard Clark protested that Osama was in Afghanistan, to no avail.
    You couldn’t manufacture a story this crazy.

    Having said the above, it might surprise you to learn that I believe in Israel’s right to exist and would side with Israel if the country were actually seriously threatened. However, I agree with the assessments of Mearsheimer and Walt that unchecked power is dangerous and does more harm than good.

    People should not be afraid to engage in these conversations, as the search for the truth never hurt anybody.

  61. Meh. The FED centrally plans nothing. They are overseers. Period. The Paulites on this thread can’t seem to understand this.

    I guess they supported the bankers against Lincoln in 1862. Who who owns the gold makes the rules. Centralization of credit was controlled by wall street in the latter 1800’s that way. Doesn’t matter who prints it up.

    Who cares if the FED is gone our not. If it goes, we deflate and maybe capitalism doesn’t survive. Americans don’t get it. They will.

  62. @TedWa: You say “The Fed is cause of all our woes.”

    Of course, there is no ONE source of ALL our woes–unless it be our very selves ;-).

    Also, since no one else will do it, it seems to fall to me to point out to you again, TedWa, that there is no such thing as the “free market” (except perhaps as a religious experience).

  63. Admiring Paul’s detestation of the Fed and tyranny in general, – alas his policies would deny support for our fellow Americans who are old, of color, poor, and those opposed to the fascism that now defines Amerika. Libertarians are like the gop nazi’s only with pathological affiliation with the 2nd Amendent and hatred for centralized government. On every other issue – they are the same – and so enemies of the people – bruting policies that benefit the predatorclass and undermine the best interests of the people. I like Paul as an an alternative to the racist, biggoted, predatorclass nazi’s masked as leaders of the gop currently, – but Paul is not the agent of change we seek, and NOT a representative of the people’s best interest.

  64. I smell some hypocrisy there tone, not the agent we seek, but you are always drunk on the predator class thing, and there is no other person even talking about turning around that except Paul. And that is what the gvt feels they have become, trapping people in a lie so they can be owned by the courts and told how best to live their life. Its like a 5 foot 5 inch 300 pound probation officer tellin someone else they need to lose weight. No, we need enough resources to get rid of you.

  65. @Carla. Since you think it falls on you to “enlighten” me, I’ll say this – While there is no such thing as a free market between the players, markets have existed without taxpayer support and without being a burden on society. I’m not saying a free market from the players in the markets perspective, but a free market from the taxpayers perspective where the taxpayer and society are unburdened by a company’s existance.
    There is no competition for the too big to fails – we’ve set them up as demi-gods above reproach with the guarantee of future bailouts for their gambles through Dodd/Frank. The TBTF’s are all GSE’s at this point.
    Everything the government gets involved it becomes more expensive and creates bubbles. Medical care, education and the housing market for example. They take away competition by their involvement which forces prices to rise.

    @cummings. The Fed are overseers only? You seem to know nothing of the Fed or their conflicting dual mandates. If they’re so inocuous, why aren’t they able to be fully audited? What were they doing bailing out billionaires wives with taxpayer dollars so they could continue shopping on Rodeo Drive? Why are they using taxpayer money to bail out foreign banks? Did you vote for your money to be used liked that? Again, you don’t seem to understand inverted totalitarianism where the cost-effective overrules the individuals rights. And you don’t seem to understand that the too big to fails were bailed out because they are the shareholders of the private federal reserve. The Federal reserve creates booms and busts through loose monetary policies. The banks are getting our money at 0% interest and collecting about 3% interest – that we are unwillingly paying them to take. The banks got as big as they did only through fraud and corruption and it’s going to take more fraud and corruption to keep them as big as they are and growing bigger. They’re laundering drug money! Who knows what other evil they have their hands in around the world. You know they’re war profiteering too! And, what are we doing letting a private banking cartel make our money and then paying them 6% interest on making that money – and tax free? Now the banks are sitting with about $2 trillion in reserves for the next time they get in trouble. It’s OUR money they are holding in reserve and we are actually paying them interest to not spend it. What happens the next time there’s a meltdown? The banks will be spending that reserve and we will be experiencing hyper-inflation from the trillions they would unload on the system. Think Zimbabwe and Argentina. It’s dangerously naive to think of the Fed as overseers only. And despite what the government says, the banks still owe us taxpayers trillions.

    @tony – I guess NDAA and the gutting of the 4th amendment is more your style? Laying down the groundwork for a future dictatorship sounds fun? Also, the payroll tax cuts defund Social Security. They “say” the difference will be made up through the general fund – BUT, moving SS payments to the general fund could allow them to be cut out entirely in the future. Only a Democratic President could get away with that, a Republican President couldn’t.
    Media blinded hype – he said he’d end the wars and use that money to shore up SS, Medicare and Medicaid so they wouldn’t have to be touched for years to come. Quite unlike this current administration that has offered them up time and again. You compare Paul’s ideals to fascism but are totally ignoring the totalitarian society we are quickly becoming. The world isn’t ignoring it, but you wouldn’t know it because the media is in on it. Why are there no pictures of war casualties? Why do these casualties only get back page mention? It’s because they are slowly desensitizing us to war so that continual war will be considered “normal”? Obama is taking us to Orwell’s nightmare vision called “1984” complete with NewsSpeak and War is Peace.
    I refuse to let the main street media pick my candidates and Presidents for me. There is no real difference between Romney and Obama – both are Wall St shills. Ralph Nader called Obama a conman and said that he has no use for him. I agree 100%. Hope and Change is a conmans game when that hope and change is never exactly defined but rather left up to peoples imaginations to fill in the blanks. While no one is perfect, I trust Paul to deliver on his promises and agree with 80% of his stances, whereas with Obama and his signing of the NDAA, I agree with him 0%. Obama to me is the only clear and present danger and will not vote for him again. In case you’re wondering, I’ve been a Democrat my whole life. Ron Paul and a Democratic Congress sounds like the perfect fit to me.

  66. TedWa said “I’m not saying a free market from the players in the markets perspective, but a free market from the taxpayers perspective where the taxpayer and society are unburdened by a company’s existance”

    Thank you for that very important distinction. I misunderstood you.

    We agree on Obama. Do you think there’s a realistic chance of a “Democratic” congress?

  67. Carla: The way the Republicans have been acting around this country? I’d say yes. What they’ve been doing in curtailing union bargaining, the voter registration laws to try to control elections, Maine governor wanting to bring back child labor, Florida governor wanting drug tests for food stamps and much more. They have been awful and everyone knows it.

  68. One more thing : Race isn’t going to matter when the Federal Reserve bankrupts this country and we’re all slave labor in a 3rd world. For that to happen, all that has to happen is that no country will buy our debt. That’s all. We have a common enemy and Dr. Paul has been trying to illuminate us all to it for 30 years. Are we finally catching on or not? Our national sovereignt­y and democracy are at stake.

  69. @Robin Thomas, “….The obvious problem is one of unchecked power. Nobody is allowed to mention the elephant in the room without being labeled for life an “antisemite” and ostracized and ruined….”

    And that’s not legally practicing *eugenics*, Stalin style – totally making things up…? The FACT that everyone is completely trained to cower in fear after witnessing the *ruin* imposed is NOT proof that people doing the ruin are social monsters?

    Let’s just sell Israel to the Chinese – great synergy there on all levels. Israelis are the smartest inventors on the planet and Chinese are the cheapest labor…USA *middle class* is sucked dry – move on….especially since there are no anti-Semites in China – or India….

    Ron Paul, Ross Perot
    By Brent Budowsky – 12/14/11 06:16 PM ET

    The great issue in 2012 pits patriotic capitalism, which offers integrity and fairness to the 99 percent, against crony capitalism, which offers special power and privilege to the 1 percent.

    Whether the 2012 champion of patriotic capitalism against crony capitalism is Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, …,

    …..or someone else, that candidate will win a standing ovation from a grateful nation rebelling against corruption, whether that leader is Democratic, Republican or Independent.

    I propose that Occupy Wall Street, supporters of Ron Paul, admirers of Ross Perot and all Americans concerned about our country join millions of people in Washington this spring in a historic march to make patriotic capitalism, not crony capitalism, the law of our land once again.”
    (Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog…)

  71. Mr. Johnson I usually read and listen to your comments and generally agree. But I have to say this is the most misguided assessment I have read in a very long time. And I have read some crazy assessments.

    Take Ron Paul seriously? Seriously!?!

    90% of what Paul spews out is total nonsense. But you latch onto the 10% that happens, in some tangential way, to make sense and call him someone that we should consider.

    You reference Paul wanting to end the fed but his reasoning is so flawed it is laughable. Basically he wants to end every government agency that exists. In other words, if we were having a food epidemic he would be screaming to end the FDA. It just happens we are in an economic crisis and so he is being opportunistic trying to can gain some traction with the end the fed rhetoric.

    If you were seriously interested in talking about alternatives to ending the fed as a it currently exists there is plenty of thoughtful relevant analysis on the subject. But now all you have done is degraded yourself and your blog to the vast wasteland of marginal thinkers.

  72. @Danf – it’s pretty obvious you get all your marginal insights from Faux news. Good luck with that.

  73. Amen, TedWa, we totally agree. In fact, anyone who watches FoxNews or any network news is getting, as you describe it, faux news. And, it isn’t that they don’t get it, the real issue is that it is intended to provide entertainment and misdirection, kind of a special form of reality TV. After all, if the plutocrats are to continue the bilking and subjugation of our culture, the media is a crucial element. In fact, even in our politics, we have almost no valid choices at all, only voices which the plutocrats will hire to do their bidding. Anyone who thinks that we actually have a government of, by and for the people is living in blissful ignorance. Oh, we do have a couple of politicians, here and there who are fairly genuine, like Bernie Sanders and Ron Paul, but most are simply hired guns. Ron, of course, doesn’t stand a chance. The MIC will see to that (he’s saying cut the military drastically, and they won’t stand for that). And, of course there’s the FED, which is just a major branch of the uberrentseeking plutocracy dedicated to keeping the banksters in the chips so they can continue to go about their endless rent seeking to destroy whatever is left of the economy.

    No, it is definitely time for folks to wake up. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but who needs a conspiracy when the majority of our publics thought processes have been captured. Time to rip the curtain from in front of OZ!!

  74. Bruce, i’ll meet ya there, gonna be in DC the 2nd week of April, business naturally. And Dan, the Fed was supposed to be able too raise rates at their discretion, they failed every time, and now we have negative real rates because what they promised and what they delivered were two different things. Inflating their way out was their last choice to keep the ponzi a goin. Pitiful, just pitiful.

  75. How does FoxNews relate to anything that I said? Everything I have heard about FN is that they support Paul and his delusions of returning to the gold standard and randomly eliminating government agencies.

    “Fed was supposed to be able too raise rates at their discretion”. I am not sure what you are talking about. The Fed currently sets short term interest rates by voice vote. If you are talking about quantitative easing or other types of monetary policies, they are all failures. The only thing QE did was to remove interest income from the economy and it had a sort term market effect that evaporated.

    I am an advocate of combining the fed and treasury functions. But unlike Paul I have actual reasons why I think the current structure is not working and how to make improvements.

    Also, just so you know I don’t watch any news on television. I actually have a brain.

  76. @ owens owens

    I like Ron Paul a lot and agree with him a lot and, at the present, would vote for him over Obama and Romney for precisely the reasons you stated. The mainstream Dems and Republicans are owned by their corporate puppet masters – just follow the $.

    But this is largely an economics blog and I tend more towards the Keynesian side than the Austrian side while recognizing that neither side has a lock on such an incredibly multifaceted discipline. (FWIW, even Milton Friedman admitted that Keynes was basically correct on his economics.).

    My neighbor and friend is a long-time small “l” libertarian – Ron Paul supporter and long time Austrian Economist who has attended many of the Von Mises conferences in Auburn, Alabama. He is a very smart and well-educated guy and we have a lot of great discussions. We agree on most things and disagree on the margins… and that is where I stand with most RP supporters. Agree on most issues but disagree on the margins.

    Both my neighbor and I agree with Ron Paul’s assessment of corporate fascism (you may already be acquainted with Mussolini’s definition and the scary parallels that exist). But Ron Paul is not the only voice on this subject.

    Ralph Nader has been alerting folks to this peril for many decades and has spawned a slew of other organizations with similar goals – to roll back “corporate dominance” .

    Buddy Roemer – presently a Republican presidential candidate – also is against these large corporations!

    Rocky Anderson – former Salt Lake City major and presidential candidate – is in this camp, too.

    Go back and check out the “3rd party debate from 4 years ago” with Nader, Barr and Baldwin – it was on C-Span. There was a great deal of unanimity on that stage with what seemed like Nader being the wise old sage waxing elegantly about the problems and the others sitting around in awe with their heads largely nodding in agreement with his assessment. It was amazing to behold.

    But unfortunately, none of them had a chance because of their exclusion from the TV debates that are controlled by both Republican and Democratic private interests! These private entities get to choose who is seen on TV, not the people.

    Ron Paul almost did not get to debate this time around and Fox News excluded him last time around. Fox News marginalizes Ron Paul and distorts his message all the time and it pisses me off. Roger Aisles is a sick guy.

    So Dr. Paul’s diagnosis of the country’s fiscal ailments are not limited to the Fed and the gold standard. But because his stances on these issues are so at odds with everyone else they stand out and stimulate discussion.

    He is a fiscal conservative, too (I am, too – but there are different types of fiscal conservatives and he is not my type – a bit too Austrian for me) and this is a plus in my book.

    His desire to roll back the military is also a good thing – Eisenhower’s farewell address warning of the Military-Industrial-Complex is lost to memory in the US of Amnesia.

    But a while back Ron Paul cast his lot with Murray Rothbard and Lew Rockwell – the Ludwig Von Mises Institute founder.

    Rothbard, especially, is on record for trying to widen the appeal of his brand of Libertarianism by engaging in mildly bigoted speech to attract “rednecks” and it worked in the South – this is where RP’s appeal is strongest… and this accounts for the re-surfacing of those bigoted newsletters. Reason Magazine exposed this and it dampens my overall enthusiasm for RP. There are some lines that men of integrity should not cross.

    But when it comes down to it – it is a simple matter. Who to vote for since there is not going to be a viable liberal/progressive challenger to Obama?

    I’d take my chances with Ron Paul’s economic initiatives if it would correct this corporatocracy we now have.

    Paul > Obama >>> Romney.

    There is no way I’d vote for any of the other Republicans.

    BTW – I suggest all conservatives read John Dean’s revealing, “Conservatives without Conscience” to get a handle on the largely settled science regarding the authoritarian tendencies of so many social conservatives. I am from the South originally and what I still see scares me sometimes.

  77. I would be careful to put too much on your plate, without the proper laws, supply side economics falls apart and is born again at an even more speedy pace. I am familiar with Buddys views and especially of his congressional acumen. But again, I caution you of your full plate, and stamina to go the real distance here. All that glitters is not gold.

  78. I think that you are mistaken about both the article referenced and about Simon. You obviously are fairly far behind on your reading and must not follow this blog or have read Simon’s book, The 13 Bankers. Simon is an advocate of returning to Glass-Steagall, and sees, as most of us do the monstrous size of the big banks, combined with their ridiculous capital ratios and rent seeking to be sucking the life blood out of our economic system. These massive financial preditors must be broken up, but reimposing Glass-Steagall and requiring substantially higher capital and higher quality capital, would automatically result in meaningful resizing with further action essentially unnecessary.

  79. Too big to fail is too big to exist. Break up the big banks. This is not excessive regulation… it is sound regulation.

    We do not allow 100-wheeler vehicles on the road because their weight would damage the road, they would clog traffic in cities and a single accident would cause great harm in many instances. Their large size would demand preferential treatment. The same principle should apply to banking. A big bank failure is systemically toxic as we have witnessed.

    Bring back Glass-Steagall and end proprietary trading on the government dole.

    There is a difference between excessive and necessary regulation… and also, enforce the existing laws. What good is a law or regulation if it isn’t enforced?

    FYI owen owens – I am not a supply-sider. SS economics has failed and has been discarded into the wastebasket of tried and failed economic theories. I thought David Stockman finally nailed the final nails into that coffin with his more recent commentaries. Only those stooges Kudlow and Laffer and possibly Stephen Moore are still trying to sell that rancid Kool-aid.

    And forgive my ignorance – I do not follow your metaphors… they seem a bit cryptic. Perhaps I am too old to get youthful references… I am just an old moldy fig.

  80. As you can tell, I completely agree with you. The monster banks simply destroy the economy. It’s like the Republicans say you can tax the wealthy because they are the job creators. Bullhockey. They are the ones who buy regulators, send jobs overseas, inflate the cost of basic necessities by bidding up the cost in the futures markets, and create toxic derivatives and hundreds of trillions in credit default swaps. Nothing has changed in the new world since the “reregulation” of the financial markets because the derivatives are still traded in the dark, and the banks are free to continue having the FED provide the stake and guarantees while they gamble away our economy.

  81. Again logic, you need the proper laws first, before ANY economic model will work. Being forced in the future to use a market to market rather than a market to model accounting method will bring down a whole host evils. Perhaps including old moldy figs by rich young looking clever college kids.

  82. Actually I got my terminology mixed up abit there, its been nearly 3 years since we last fought that battle. Its mark to market and mark to model accounting, and it would sting many of those hedge funds who are currently juggling, and skimming a profit from many derivative trades, knee-jerk happy go luck types that don’t mind a career of back stabbing anyone who’s not in front of them.

  83. Our beloved treasury security is over in China trying to convince the Chinese to stop buying Iran’s oil. [the never ending conquest of oil rich nations] But in retrospect what will occur is the filling of China’s strategic oil reserves at a discount rate, as other country’s balk at buying Iran’s oil. In addition ours is being depleted and will not be filled until the cost undoubtedly rises. More future US taxpayer burden complements of politicians and sleepy citizen’s.


    — Mitt Romney on Monday dismissed intensifying attacks by his Republican rivals on his role at a corporate buyout firm,…
    “Mr. Gingrich said Bain Capital “apparently looted the companies, left people unemployed and walked off with millions of dollars.”

  85. We need people with integrity in government as a ‘condition precedent’. Everything else is irrelevant unless that conditon is met. Therefore, Ron Paul is the ONLY viable option in 2012.

  86. @ Owen Owens – FASB 158 I think is the correct reference and we agree that the FASB was politically forced by both parties to change the accounting rules and reverse the mark-to-market valuation for which the banks previously and successfully lobbied. I think they also allowed different valuation methods for different tiers of capital – any knowledgeable accountants out there who can explain this further? I understood many of the changes a few years back but never learned all of them.

    Of course, this is par for the course – the banks clamor for things until they get them and then get whacked by them. They lobbied for less regulation, finishing off the already weakened Glass-Stegall and demanded an opaque derivatives market (CFM Act pushed by Gramm, Rubin and Summers and signed by Clinton) all citing the advancement of capitalism. Then when they were staring down the barrels of failure they abandon capitalism and embrace socialism… but still have the nerve to call themselves capitalists. It is not bad enough that they rip off the public but insult our intelligence by calling themselves capitalists? Please.

    Accounting rules changes also provided political cover for Geithner to allow for easy passage of the “bank stress incontinence tests” by giving them all the banking equivalent of “Depends” – further perverting honest accounting methods. It was analogous to having a fat guy step on a scale that only goes up to 110lbs… the Pittsburgh Steelers front line are all underweight for the kiddie amusement park ride on that scale!

    There is a law prof at UCSD (Frank Partnoy) who has commented extensively about this issue. (

    Your mentioning of this is not anachronistic – it is quite relevant and insightful. Why? Because it “partly” explains why the rules and laws that were in place were never enforced. Let me explain –

    Never mind the policy of “less aggressiveness towards the banks” that the Bush DOJ adopted and NY Times Liz Story revealed – allowing the banks to police themselves, admit “we’re sorry – it will never happen again. we promise…”, pay a small fine and then return to business as usual.

    I am pretty certain the other reason for lack of prosecution is plain and simple intellectual intimidation.

    Talk with most lawyers and they will tell you that “Tax Law” was the least enjoyable subject in law school. Now consider that the CPA exam (at least it used to be) is considered tougher than many state bar exams. These two subjects scare the heck out of under-educated and/or lazy prosecutors. I have heard several Yale Law grads tell me they hated “Tax Law” – perhaps James Kwak can chime in on this?

    Now ask a politically appointed or financially-backed elected prosecutor – a political hack who is not the brightest bulb on the marquee – to tangle with the brightest and best paid corporate attorneys in the world who are defending the banks…never mind the paper mill they would encounter, it would be Pee Wee Herman vs. Joe Frazier.

    I have followed Scott Horton’s coverage of the Karl Rove politicization of the US and State DOJs – fill the attorney ranks with political operatives and go after political adversaries to achieve political ends. In light of this, the reasons for not prosecuting the banksters seem pretty obvious. As Simon and James said in their book – its about politics.

    I submit the brain trust Monica Goodling from Pat Robertson’s indoctrination factory of dubious learning as exhibit 1. Such purposeful appointments of people with questionable qualifications gives the puppet masters the protective cloak of “PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY” when settlements are unfair or prosecutions of the powerful fail to develop.

    Eric Holder was a corporate gun for hire before his appointment.

    Both parties seem complicit in this charade to protect the banks.

    So you bring up an important facet of this financial crisis – accounting – and your assertions resonate with me.

    And your statement about having the proper laws in place is vitally important. But even the correct laws serve no one unless they are effectively enforced. Glass-Stegall served us well for many decades and has a proven track record of effectiveness. That looks like a good place to start!

  87. Excellent article by Glenn Greenwald called Progressives and the Ron Paul fallacies. It compares Obama and Ron Paul on basic levels and on who’s being progressive. While he says he doesn’t actually pick or support Ron Paul, he does layout the facts about both impartially and helps you arrive at your own conclusions. I see my choice clearly. An earlier article by David Bromwich also lays out the facts listed in this article very well. It’s called the Bush/Obama Legacy. This link is to the Greenwald article. It’s very well written IMHO.

  88. I don’t want to hurt you, Logic, by slapping your back too hard congratulating you for making some brilliant comments. The single point you made that I somewhat disagree with is when you talked about intellectual capture. I thought that this was true at one time, but have become far more cynical. I now believe that the banksters really rely entirely upon the power of their control of government through the use of endless funds given to appropriate people at appropriate times. The truly sad thing is that they have become entirely numb to the destructive nature of their adventures, and so powerful that they are completely unstoppable. I have come to believe that they will destroy this country before they can be stopped, and, even if they realized what they were doing, it wouldn’t matter to most of them, since they are nearly fully ensconced in their own little fantasy of power and money. I sincerely hope that I am wrong. I doubt it.

  89. “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.”


    This guy, from the Federal Reserve Board, is an idiot. The reason his face did not detach itself from his head and land on the camera lens during the interview is because there is a *government* involved which is mostly referred to as the *laws of physics*. Taking a word – like *government* – and making a fetish out of it is a monkey brain on imagination clawing and grasping for a way to hold on to head-games *power*….it’s delusional, puerile, self-serving and IMPOSSIBLE to achieve as *perfection* exists all around us proving that everything is *governed*…so if this guy is the spokesperson for what they all *believe* at the Federal Reserve Board, then that’s all we need to know about them to LAUGH them off the stage….


    The fact that there are no other Democratic Party representatives challenging Obama for the Prez job is also proof that 2012 is not an election year in the tradition of *competition* that We the People expect – especially considering the enormous problems that we have which are IMPOSSIBLE to ignore except by MSM – no one else has the talent to IGNORE what *IS*.

    Being more of an *operations* person, what I see is the need to keep the Congresspeople (both houses – congress and senate) from returning back to D.C. because they made it clear to us that they are unable to do anything for the FUTURE of USA because they are hostages to *special interests* who would be killed (reputation or physically – and/or family and loved ones) if they do not do what they are told to do. SO why send *hostages* back to *govern*?

    Which means we have 500+ people to be elected to serve in the Federal Government, not just a President.

    Attend the most *local* government meetings in your ‘hood and ask for volunteers for emergency elections to be conducted in tandem with the Prez elections….send no one to D.C. who has no history of making their lives better through HONEST WORK and who have now been robbed of the fruits of all their labor through fraud. Work IN the system because it is not the system that is the problem, its the PEOPLE.

    The only *due diligence* that has been exhibited by *economists* since 2007 has been to CREATE poverty among the producer class (Middle Class) faster and faster. Unacceptable eugenics program. You got people screeching on the blogs on Huff and Post to seize the art assets of the Vatican, sell it to the newly minted global quadrillionnaire merchants of death and use that auction $$$ to buy HIV/AIDS medications to distribute *for free*….not even a hint of the concept among such social geniuses that they can create their own art work and sell that and even learn how to make the drugs in their own communities – creating an *ECONOMY*…but no surprise, eh? Everyone knows how Mr. BAIN made his $$$ and theft certainly is an *easy* copycat way to do it themselves…

    The thieving has to be stopped by any and all *options* of force on the table – its the basic laws of physics at this point in time that need to be re-established….

  91. I like it bayard – good read, and blog. In case no one has heard yet – we Americans, since the last quarter, have finally accumulated more national debt than our total GDP. US National Debt = $15,215,65­9,000,000 trillion; US GDP = $15,111,65­4,756,000 trillion. We are living on credit cards.

  92. Okay Logic, we are on an even par, until she enters the room. Having more than a 50% share, I found myself on the defencive, as well as the offence, once and a while. After doing each other wrong, we agreed to taking turns, when guiding the offspring.

    My turn, or day, has yet to arrive, but one can never prepare enough when one can not be wrong, or the consequences don’t balance the benefits, and we both know where that leads. Getting the right team together at the right time is more important than trying to fix everything all at once. So I have become more a watcher, than a maker of news, knowing our day will arrive to make the difference it takes for others to see the light.

    The weak grow strong, and the strong carry on.

  93. The US elections are of course meaningless formalities (just window dressing) that create noise and interfere with sitcoms every 4 years–Obama proved that to even the mentally challenged. The PTB will have their puppet in office, no matter what. Ron Paul never stood a chance because the establishment HATES him. Write in Daffy Duck, but don’t be surprised if Huckleberry Hound wins. If push comes to shove, the SCOTUS tools can always weigh-in.

  94. The establishment hates him? Really. I think they hate alot of people. More than Paul even. Your posts represents ignorance Anon.

  95. @TonyForesta – here’s a link to the Paper from which I am supplying the cut and paste quote from Jesus of Nazareth – it’s from The Urantia Book – and if anyone still wants to argue about whether or not there is religious persecution going on, ask yourselves why the censorship and *ruin* is so complete and replete if you make the mistake of going public as a reader of the book….

    I find this uplifting in spirit fro Section 6 – “…The youth was almost overcome, but he managed to stammer out, “But — I did not ask you for anything — ” And Jesus, laying a gentle hand on his shoulder, said: “No, son, not with words but with longing looks did you appeal to my heart. My boy, to one who loves his fellows there is an eloquent appeal for help in your countenance of discouragement and despair. Sit down with me while I tell you of the service trails and happiness highways which lead from the sorrows of self to the joys of loving activities in the brotherhood of men and in the service of the God of heaven.”
    (1437.3) 130:6.3 By this time the young man very much desired to talk with Jesus, and he knelt at his feet imploring Jesus to help him, to show him the way of escape from his world of personal sorrow and defeat. Said Jesus: “My friend, arise! Stand up like a man! You may be surrounded with small enemies and be retarded by many obstacles, but the big things and the real things of this world and the universe are on your side. The sun rises every morning to salute you just as it does the most powerful and prosperous man on earth. Look — you have a strong body and powerful muscles — your physical equipment is better than the average. Of course, it is just about useless while you sit out here on the mountainside and grieve over your misfortunes, real and fancied. But you could do great things with your body if you would hasten off to where great things are waiting to be done. You are trying to run away from your unhappy self, but it cannot be done. You and your problems of living are real; you cannot escape them as long as you live….”

    “….The sun rises every morning to salute you just as it does the most powerful and prosperous man on earth….”

    Just the facts, Ma’am. :-))

    Get off the street and attend your Town Hall meetings – lots of good and sound solutions to the problems to discuss with each other to launch – PEACEFULLY. Plus, when the 99% at the meetings are sincere and face to face, it’s easy to smoke out the 1% who are the psychos looking to keep everything in ruin…

    USA is the oldest, continuously functioning democracy on earth that keeps getting BETTER when people participate, not worse….

  96. @ TedWa – Excellent article. A must read for this forum topic for sure!

    Glenn has been a valued and reasoned voice on the left for those who have taken the time to read his work and hear his discussions. Because the progressives share many common interests with the Libertarians and libertarians (both the party and those who are not fully affiliated), it is not surprising to witness such unanimity. Again, I reference the 2008 3rd party debate on C-Span with Barr (Libertarian), Nader and Baldwin (Constitution party). These guys would find common ground with Paul, too.

    Glenn makes a nod to the insidious desire of political operatives to create wedges between those folks like Paul, Kucinich, Greyson, Sanders, Feingold, Flake (on occasion), Brad Miller, etc… As a result, we the people – those who oppose this locked-in ostensible 2-party state (really one party disguised as two) – suffer as a result. Political progress becomes a casualty of political expediency.

    The two negative features of the article are ones likely born out of necessity for brevity or lack of expertise and involves what it does not discussed:

    (1) Ron Paul’s economic posture (perhaps because Glenn is not an economist – he is a constitutional lawyer).

    (2) The 2nd amendment and the fight against gun control; an “affection” that RP has nurtured among some Southern Libertarians. From the rhetoric I have seen some of these gun aficionados seem to think the 2nd amendment is the most important amendment… perhaps the only one that matters.

    [ASIDE: These particular folks give me pause when they express their extreme affection and valence for their locked and loaded “constitutional companions”. Witness the tea party folks who took loaded guns to a political rally… it may be a protected action (no argument from me on this) but why put yourself or others at risk in the event it is wrestled away from you and turned against yourself or others. Plus it makes others uncomfortable. And then consider that most gun-mediated murders are not premeditated crimes but are crimes of passion (emotional outbursts are transient events and often regretted). Why take a firearm to a political event that is often laced with demagoguery… these are emotionally-charged events by their nature. It seems unwise to me. – stepping off the soap-box]

    But these are not huge negatives and do not detract from the article. I agree with you – the article is fantastic.

    BTW – TedWa, you obviously like Ron Paul. Have you read any Chalmers Johnson, John Perkins, Russ Baker or Noam Chomsky? I have seen where RP recommends Chalmers “Nemesis” (may he rest in peace!).

    @ Bayard – you may be correct on this. Cynics, in my experience, are usually correct so I concede this without objection!!!

    I should have referenced Thomas Frank’s “The Wrecking Crew” where he notes that a goal of the corporate-minded Republicans has been to place incompetent people in places where they will fail and create a public demand for privatization… when they cannot achieve this goal through legislation.

    Think of it as one of multiple weapons in the arsenal of the players in Naomi Klein’s “Disaster Capitalism” (both are good reads).

    It just kills me that so few have seen how Wall Street and large corporations have made unabashed plays for public sector funds aside from the usual rent-seeking subsidies paid to energy cos and agribusinesses. Education on both the secondary and post-secondary levels, Social Security and the US Postal Service immediately come to mind.

    I see the appointment of figures like Goodling, Dr. David Hager (anti-abortionist placed on FDA reproductive drugs panel) et al. as, not only demagogic token appointments designed to fool the evangelical Republican base, but a furtherance of this stated goal of placing unqualified people in certain positions. And it gives the true players the cloak of “plausible deniabilty” I mentioned previously.

    FWIW, I have dined and been friends with many a lawyer – many are really sharp & well-meaning good folks and most of these work in large prestigious firms or teach, some are a little scary, neurotic & ambitious (the one I am now thinking about is a so-called “progressive” sitting US senator) and I have encountered many stupid ones. But I have only met one who actually liked tax law and he was also a CPA!

  97. @ Cummings

    Are you in the third grade?

    The establishment hates a lot of people? I think most people understand that the MSM has it in for Ron Paul (everybody’s crazy uncle). My comments don’t need your stamp of approval, clown.

  98. Diamond Dave is pro-Union??? That’s enough excuse for me to put this up. GO 99% !!!!!!!

  99. “Think not that I come to send peace on earth: I come not to send peace, but a sword.”

    Matt: 10, 34

    Real change is never won through peace or non-violence. In a perfect world wise and honorable compassionate people would resolve our many issues and differences peacefully. This ain’t a perfect world!

    Obama betrayed all those (including me) who supported him. Promises made campaigning were swiftly dispatched to advance the tyranny and ruthless control of the predatorclass.

    Greatly enjoyed Glen’s essay. Every American should read it. The political system is toxic. The financial system. Niether are repairable or fixable – the entire fascist structure that is Amerka must be demolished and something new born from the ashes and ruin of our current system.

    The predatorclass owns and controls the entire system and the people are voiceless powerless slaves to predatorclass abuses and depravations.

    Tear it all down. Reset! Get stocked, locked, cocked, and ready to rock Americans – because we will be forced to fight for our freedom and our children’s future either way – or we bow to tyranny and we go like sheep to the slaughter.

  100. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

    Thomas Jefferson

    “…. Now gentlemen may cry peace, peace, but there is no peace. Our brethren are already in the field. The next gale that sweeps in from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms. What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so sweet or peace dear as to be purchaced at price of chains and slavery. Forbid it almighty god. I know not what course others may take, but as for myself – give me liberty, or give me death!”

    Patrick Henry

  101. 6:30 PM – Today
    Huntsman Speaks To Supporters

    Huntsman spoke with supporters after placing third in the New Hampshire primary.

    “I’d say third place is a ticket to ride, ladies and gentleman,” Huntsman said. “Hello, South Carolina!”

    “We are here tonight because of you,” Huntsman told his supporters. “We got it done.”

    “You know what else we got done during this great 70 months where we’ve had at least 170 events in this great state? We had conversations abut the importance of putting this country first,” Huntsman said before the crowd launched into a chant of “country first.”

    “I want to stand up and I want to square with the American people about this. Afghanistan is not our nation’s future, and Iraq is not this nation’s future,” Huntsman said.

    He later added that “it is time to bring the troops home from Afghanistan.”

    Huntsman also touched on Congress during the speech.

    “We’re going to get out there and we’re going to address the trust deficit,” Huntsman said, before adding that he would address the American people’s “cynicism” of Congress if elected.

    Huntsman ended his speech by looking ahead to the next big event in the Republican race.

    “Here we go to South Carolina!” he said.

  102. @Tony: Politicians make promises, if they didn’t, the people would not elect them. Once elected president, the winning person is made aware of privy information they did not have as a candidate, mostly from the military. Invariably the information contained results in the candidate not being able to keep many promises, and we will say for purposes of national security. This happens at each and every election cycle and our brilliant citizens get fooled by these promises each and every time, almost as if they get a bad case of amnesia and do a complete rerun of the past 2 or 4 years, without considering the past 2 or 4 years. Once you reconize the problem, you relize there is no democratic solution to reducing the military’s power.

  103. @TonyForesta, “Greatly enjoyed Glen’s essay. Every American should read it. The political system is toxic. The financial system. Niether are repairable or fixable – the entire fascist structure that is Amerka must be demolished and something new born from the ashes and ruin of our current system.”

    All I’m saying is that what will be rebuilt from the ashes is what we already had and did not defend because of the greed rabies that infected too many people for too long.

    People stopped participating in the system.That’s why the system got corrupted. If you stop and analyze it, there is nothing better to evolve than the balance of power to be maintained between the legislative, judicial and executive branches of the Federal Government. It’s the PEOPLE in the system, not the system.

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

    That’s Gen X’s contribution to history.

    Are we at the beat-in-heads stage…? Considering how much time and effort has been lavished on depressing the natural impulse to help one another that good people exhibited on 911, 912, and 913, of course a decade of brutal censorship and pre-emptive strikes channeled 24/7 by MSM have turned the public square into an incoherent noise of repetitive *fetish* words – basically an illiterate conversation, imo.

    Who and what wants to extinguish the people who have the normal and natural ability to solve their problems of living through HONEST WORK….?

  104. It’s going to be a Romney and Paul race. Huntsman didn’t qualify in a few states and the rest should probably be dropping out before long. I mean, namless “Others” got more votes than Perry lol. Paul will probably be getting most of the Huntsman votes for their shared anti-war stance.

    @owen – did you see the look on Obama’s face after he met with Bush privately for the traditional transfer of power meeting? He looked shook and almost looked scared. Then he did his 180 appointing the architects of the meltdown and their crony friends as head of his economic council. I knew we were in trouble then and that nothing was going to change.

    To get the MIC in their place, IMO you first have to hit the banks. FDR’s Pecoro Commission did that job nicely:

    “Few today remember that a half-centu­ry ago a number of New York and Chicago’s top bankers were sentenced into penitentia­ries-the New Yorkers into Sing Sing-the senior partner of J.P. Morgan and Company, the president of the National City Bank, the president of Chase Bank. Every one of them had been found to be doing reprehensi­ble financial tricks. They were selling their own friends short. They were opening their friend’s mail and manipulati­ng the stock market. They were manipulati­ng everybody. They were way oversteppi­ng the moral limits of the privileges ethically existent for officers in the banking game, so a great houseclean­ing was done by the New Deal.”

    Buckminste­r Fuller “Critical Path”

  105. @Logic, “…I should have referenced Thomas Frank’s “The Wrecking Crew” where he notes that a goal of the corporate-minded Republicans has been to place incompetent people in places where they will fail and create a public demand for privatization… when they cannot achieve this goal through legislation….”

    Worked like a charm in *health care*, didn’t it…?

  106. @Ted – “…@owen – did you see the look on Obama’s face after he met with Bush privately for the traditional transfer of power meeting? He looked shook and almost looked scared. Then he did his 180 appointing the architects of the meltdown and their crony friends as head of his economic council. I knew we were in trouble then and that nothing was going to change….”

    Right – they took him HOSTAGE. What part don’t you people get…?

  107. Yeah, TedWa, the Pecora Commission, great idea, but not happening. Our bought plutocrats in Washington are not about to slay the golden goose. I am in the middle of a great read: Matt Taibbi’s: Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America. I highly recommend it. It is nearly as scary as Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, and more entertaining. Taibbi’s writing has a nice edge to it that make’s scary terrifying. I didn’t realize just how much of our infrastructure was being sold, but was sure of what happened in the run up on commodity prices (with major social ripple effects, i.e. The Arab Spring, etc.). The idea of reform in America without a hardedged revolution is dieing quickly. About the time Dodd-Frank was concluded while accomplishing almost nothing, in the wake of understanding just how much neocon blood is flowing in Obama’s veins, made me realize that progressives are sinking fast. The only possible hope is to find a uniter to run against the DemReps for America Votes, who can get lots of money and change everything. Otherwise, it’s go fish for us. The real value of Ron Paul at the moment is that he is dramatically shifting the center of the conversation in a libertarian/progressive direction, that, if it gains real traction, could make lots of room for a third party success. We know that he won’t be their man because it would screw up his son’s future, but, there may be someone else. You never know, we could get lucky!!!

  108. No Ted, I missed that, but I did see the position he was left with and wondered since he had already admitted he probably would never talk to the perpetrators (the ones he was scared of) again. Would he want to one day extract revenge on those same perpetrators, and if he did, would I then allow it.
    After all, a trusted source on meltdown economics could go along way to the family’s well being.
    Well, the more i thought about it, it might just be easier to remove a few trees, plow the problem over to prevent anyone from hurting themselves, and me having to pick up the bill. I mean, why would a mule want to lift silver, when he can lift gold? Anyhow, with another term, we will have another 5 years to sort it out, if not, roll the dice at the casino.

  109. @bayard – “….The idea of reform in America without a hardedged revolution is dieing quickly….”

    Like it or not, the MAJORITY is USA comes from a Euro-Russian-Greek, etc. Western Civilization background. I didn’t find that *Just War* history on the internet as a link from Murdoch et al, now did I?

    We’re not going to burn down our own neighborhoods. We all have a sense of history about *velvet revolutions*. To promote VIOLENCE instead of getting everyone to go to Town Meetings, instead, to make OUR UNIFIED CASE is sinister. Typical CIA/Moussad bullshit…OBVIOUS you want us all to kill ourselves.

    Ain’t gonna happen….

    and *owen owens* has totally lost it – channeling who, I wonder…?

  110. It’s not lost on women – even GenXers stoned nightly on their Merlot and Prozac – that no one is bothering to woo women voters in all these primaries….well to answer the Freud question, “what do women want?” we have this ANSWER YOU PRETEND NOT TO HEAR from Ms. Warren, “There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. You built a factory out there – good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory… Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea – God bless! Keep a hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

    You DON’T call us stupid 24/7, engage in INSANE pre-emptive wars in messupotamia, and ROB THE WORKERS BLIND via TAX CODES.

    GenXers contribution to history was to write the software that would funnel all the numbers generated from a century of *industrial revolution* into some Ponzi scheme. Congrats. Now what?

  111. The next kid who comes along wants to take your ride, or disable it with a small amount of free time. One missed lock of the car, a sudden loose wheel on the road, a nip of sugar in the gas tank. You give kids too much credit, next thing, they will be living off it.

  112. I think honesty is needed now more than ever…people are afraid of it, which is troubling in itself..This video of Paul on the floor of Congress in 2002 goes a long way to pointing out that although he may not be right on all fronts. Who is? He has been right on many! He gives me hope…that in itself puts a smile on my face and warms my soul like sunlight on a mountain top…

    I find this article where he defends Romney no matter its his opponent refreshing..the comments below are a good gauge of what many hope…Honesty…

  113. Been reading about the American revolution, and even then there was the contest between the rich and poor in framing the Constitution (and you are right Anne, it is as fair and noble a document ever penned by the hand of man). – the main difference between then and now (and I could go on for hours) is twofold: One – our founding fathers were brilliant men of conscience and honor. Even Hamilton who referred to the masses as “…a beast” and whose aristocratic leanings and advance the moneyedclass policies I find aberant – was focused on the nation first. Fortunately, Jefferson, Monroe, et al, and moderates of intrepid integrity like Washington and Adams recognized the wisdom of protecting and advancing the nation and the people’s best interests first and foremost.

    We are sorely lacking this kind of wise and honorable leaders today. All our politicians with terrifyingly few exceptions Kucinich and maybe Paul are boughtandpaidfor spaniels of the predatorclass and one or another predatorclass oligarch.

    Obama is a puppet who betrayed every promise he made during the campaign. I’m cynical and cannot trust anyone in American politics. They brute one thing on TV to win votes, and once in office betray those promises and pursue the fascist policies of the predatorclass the second they assume the office.

    I like Paul’s radicalism and hope he runs as s 3rd party candidate, but I fear the Amerikan political system is so foul and toxic that it is beyond repair and the entire elections process is nothing more than macabre kabuki theater.

    We are owned and controlled by the predatorclass. I pray for real change through peaceful political means, but fear in my heartofhearts that real horrorshow revolution is the only option left for the 99%.

  114. Forgive the double post, but the second thing is the pathological ruthlessness and fascist policies and ideologies that are entrenched now in our political system and the socalled government.

    There is no more debate on social issues or sound economic, foreign, or environmental policies. We are forced to hazard and endure the fascist policies of the predatorclass or slimed as evildoers aiding and abetting unknown unknown enemies.

    Our founding fathers would be appalled and the people to standup, revolt, defeat the supremist forces of tyranny and oppression.

    Let freedom ring!

  115. @Annie Believe me, I am not at all interested in anything but non-violent protests, period. I would never advocate violence in any form. I was simply stating my fear, not my desire. Even Zbigniew Brzezinski has said that he is afraid of an internal revolution, and he said that publicly, a couple of months ago, citing the reason for his fear being the vast income disparities that have developed. This is why I am so interested in the Paul military reforms, and a more balance approach to our fiscal problems. Read my blog, read everything I have written, violence is not in my interest spectrum. We are rational adults, and violence is not a way to solve the kinds of problems which are holding back America from progress.

    Read my blog:


    The most fatal of all ailments that afflicts society is a large gap between rich and poor. (or something like that)

    – Plutarch

    But Plato wrote about this problem before Plutarch.

    The really rich and powerful already have Blackwater-like (or what ever their name is this month) protection (read about Roger Aisles). It is coming sooner or later unless the trajectory of this country changes. I hate violence – when elephants dance or fight the small animals get trampled.

    Here homo sapiens sit in 2012 and look at all the crap in the world that is needless! The most successful species that exhibit societies that we recognize are the ants. They are totally given to the advancement of their society by working and sharing. And we are so smart? Consider the ant.

  117. “I think it’s about envy. I think it’s about class warfare,” Romney said. “I think when you have a president encouraging the idea of dividing America based on 99 percent versus one percent… you’ve opened up a whole new wave of approach in this country which is entirely inconsistent with the concept of ‘one nation under God.'”

    This is the face of the Amerikan nazi party… I mean gop.

    One nation under god implies inclusiveness.
    It’s not about envy you nazi biiiiaaaatch! – it’s about tyranny. ItI think it’s about envy. I think it’s about class warfare,” Romney said. “I think when you have a president encouraging the idea of dividing America based on 99 percent versus one percent… you’ve opened up a whole new wave of approach in this country which is entirely inconsistent with the concept of ‘one nation under God.'”

    This is the face of the Amerikan nazi party… I mean the gop.

    It’s not about envy you nazi biiiiiaaatch! – It’s about tyranny!!! It’s about equanimity, lawlessness, and the right of free people to compete in a fair, just, and legal system. Romney and his nazi hordes blame and slime the victims for the wanton abuses of criminal abusers.

    In a world where there are no laws – there are no laws for anyone predatorclass nazi biiiiaaatches!

  118. The Occupy Wall Street crowd needs to hone its game and bring it to Washington. If a few thousand laid siege to the Capitol and White House, that would probably scare our idiot leadership into doing something constructive. As long as they can sit in their ivory towers and muse while being fed milk and honey by the oligarchy, they’ll just go on playing an obfiscatory kibuki theatre of the absurd while the 99% go to hell in a handbasket. Time for an American Spring of massive peaceful protests. We need to emulate the ants. and colonize the capital.

  119. @Anonymousy, “The next kid who comes along wants to take your ride, or disable it with a small amount of free time. One missed lock of the car, a sudden loose wheel on the road, a nip of sugar in the gas tank. You give kids too much credit, next thing, they will be living off it.”

    YOUR fault for not raising the kids with some understanding of needing to participate in a common good, not just good-for-me: More misery for others = More $$$$ for ME ME ME

    Yeah, the kids are NOT alright….raised on the *honorable work* (and pundits are calling it that, even Ron Paul is defending it) of corporate raiding which then got really ambitious as a *process* and moved on to raiding countries, and of course, now with the software running at full speed – stripping EVERYTHING from everybody – globally – the ultimate techno-orgasm for the raiders.

    Agreed, Tony, their *psychology* is not very complex and there is NO CURE for their greed rabies.

    I better start seeing OWS New Yorkers going to City Hall Meetings :-))

    As for the global mercenaries, there is an equal force opposing them – USA military.

    Speculation on who is holding Obama hostage….? Anyone….? Yet another reason to transfer USA’s *real* government away from D.elusional C.ity

    Moushariff (sp?) has been arrested for his role in the murder of Madame Bhutto…god, the CIA is so freekin’ out of control with their drug lord business….and now they’re in charge of $$$$ flows inside Big Pharma creating TARGETED policy – donut holes – to strip the WWII immigrants of EVERYTHING they ever managed to *save* while they slowly age and die spending $$$ on stuff that is NOT A CURE….EUGENICS is so alive and well – and the BEST are targeted for elimination…

    One million people showed up to watch Obama take the oath of office, Bayard. It did not register then, it won’t register now.

    Go to City Hall meetings. PARTICIPATE! Don’t send HOSTAGES to the *devil* back to represent YOU.

  120. @ Tony – Nader likes to remind people that the last words of the pledge of allegiance states, “liberty and justice for ALL”… not a few rich people with political power. Romney and many others (including the scary 4 on the big bench) would include corporations under the umbrella of “all”.

    You make some great points but I would add this –

    Laws are “intended” to protect and provide structure. When they do not serve these functions it is because either the laws were perverted and/or the enforcers of the laws were derelict in their duties. This is the discussion of “rent-seeking” and “regulatory capture” distilled down to its barest essence. I feel – in a nutshell – this is at the heart of what has allowed greedy interests to seize the reigns of our government.

    Re: Iran – Sadly, if the Republicans (except R Paul) win, we will attack Iran… Neo Con 2.0 are Romney’s foreign policy team. But this may be a moot point. If Obama sinks in the polls and the specter of losing a 2nd term seems imminent, he will almost certainly acquiesce to both Israel and the Congressional-Military-Industrial Complex and attack Iran (FUN FACT – this was the original name Eisenhower gave to it… he removed the Congressional part before speech time out of respect to the congress!).

    @ Bayard – my turn to return the compliments. I agree with your sentiments enormously.

    For quite a while now I have wondered why the incredibly creative Occupy folks do not register as lobbyists, crash the numerous dinner parties in DC to feed themselves, use the Capital baths and bathrooms to clean themselves, and then make their presence known in Alexandria where those who fear the people of color in DC can begin to fear the mostly white Occupy folks… I do not want them disrupting congress per se, that would be destructive, but rather make their presence known to a degree that is undeniable. This would serve an additional function by reinforcing the truth that this is a socioeconomic class struggle and not a race issue!

    Whadya think?

  121. Logic, let’s face it, you and I belong to the same choir. I agree that Obama will take military action against Iran if he is looking bad against Romney (or whomever), and, if Romney wins (entirely possible, but who cares, really?) it will happen then. This is what makes it so imperitive that OWS take its act inside the Beltway, and becomes Occupy The Pentagon, Occupy the Capitol, and, maybe more importantly to be disruptive, Occupy K Street, the real seat of power in this country. K Street is like a super rich Congressional Annex, where the laws and obfiscations are really written. The sad truth, and I’ve been there, so believe me, is that not one of the 525 legislators WE employ reads more than 10% of any bill, and writes almost nothing of what he or she proposes. Our legislature is nothing but a pro forma rubber stamp for the oligarchs. They are hired by moneyed interests because they have proven willing and able to prostitute themselves for the highest bidder and they’re good actors.

  122. Bayard: I guess you haven’t heard me sing… or vice versa (LOL).

    > Elizabeth Warren several years ago told Bill Moyers in an interview a great and revealing story:

    When Bill Clinton was president, Hillary was listening to a lecture by Ms Warren at Harvard concerning a very bad banking bill that was making its way through congress. This bill, if it became law, would be detrimental to the bank customers and their families but advantageous to the banks.

    After Ms Warren’s lecture, Hillary met her back stage to get more details. Ms Warren was effusive in praise of Hillary’s intellect because she quickly grasped the concepts and the potential damage of this legislation if enacted.

    Hillary lobbies Bill not to sign it – and Pres Clinton vetoed it.

    Moyers asks her to tell the rest of the story.

    Fast forward a few years and Ms. Clinton, the junior Senator from NY, SPONSORS the “exact same bill – word for word”.

    When asked how she could sponsor the exact same bill that she previously deemed “bad for American families” she responded, “The banks are my constituents now.”

    > In March of 1996 there was a tiny story that appeared in a Twin Cities newspaper that tells us a lot about how things roll in DC.

    The Clinton administration quietly gave the executives at the newly-merged entity of Martin Marietta-Lockheed 30 million dollars. 5 Million, of which, went to the CEO.

    This money did not go into the company coffers. It was designated for the executives only. The board of directors were pissed (or at least that was the face they put on it) and demanded answers for the shareholders (curiously, not the US taxpayers).

    The Clinton Administration responded, “We rewarded them for this merger because it will save taxpayers money in the future” (Seriously – this was the response!).

    I cannot help but think it was a tax-payer supported down payment on Hillary’s future support from the Defense industry.

    > Chuck Lewis, former 60 Minutes producer and founder of The Center for Public Integrity told Moyers that he quit 60 Minutes because the Corporate Brass nixed stories that inflicted too much damage on the really big boys (I paraphrase). So is the MSM a filter??? – darn straight. And in the era of media consolidation, it will certainly worsen.

    Did you see the last “American Idol?” OMG!!! (my tongue is stuck to the side of my cheek after that one)

  123. @bayard – looks like we all need to get busy :-)) Protesting the invasion of Iran could work…especially now that it’s clear that that is why “….banks got bailed out, we got sold out…”

    What about occupying *media* – the same talking heads since 2000 that NEVER broadcast all the anti-war demonstrations that HAPPENED in the past decade – who is still listening to them? Throwing millions into *private* EMFs isn’t working anymore – and it certainly won’t work to rah-rah the country into supporting a *corporate* take over of Iran….

    Genocide of the SANE gene pool of Western Civilization – great plan….is everyone so damn sure that they’re interpreting the *prophecy* correctly…?

    A completely INSANE move (Iran), considering the global unrest – heck, if not everyone deserves to *own* a home in USA, then maybe there IS also some sub-group of people that don’t deserve to *own* a country…just sayin’…

    We need a Nuremberg Trial – throw psycho War Lords in as a *sacrifice* for a change of pace…

  124. I guess there is always a weak link somewhere. If it a keeps on a rainin, …………..

  125. This is a great thread, but I still think we’re screwed. While I would not personally advocate violence,
    I do not believe that anything is going to change without some serious bloodshed. The guys running the show are just a bigger version of the Mexican drug cartels…if you play ball they give you money….if you don’t they destroy you.

  126. @Robin, when it comes down to, everyone knows that in America “crime pays”, and it does, that is a systemic shift from “work hard and be fair and honest and you’ll succeed”. How many new people are coming up that want to be working with “too big to fail” whose talents would be better applied to the sciences and medicine? We the people are being drained dry.
    Live by the sword and die by the sword, if “crime pays” what can logically be the outcome? Totalitarianism and many other “isms” but certainly not Democracy. Ron Paul can reverse most the damage and he’s the only one to step up and say he will. Electing our fearful incumbent or Romney will only take us further down that slippery slope of no return IMHO. Orwellian, or worse. At that point, divine intervention may be the only thing that will save us, like Jesus chasing out the moneychangers.
    I like bayards view, emulate the ants and colonize the capital this summer.
    @Annie – who has Obama hostage? Who else, the central banks. Bank Manifesto of 1892. I don’t know what Bush said to him, but I wouldn’t put anything past that guy.

  127. @Robin and TedWa I love America. I am 65 years old and have spent my entire life living in the “middle class.” I had may own small business for nearly 30 years, and paid lots of payroll taxes, with about 50 employees and six offices serving law firms with courthouse services. It was a delightful positive business. What I see now in my approaching senescence makes me so sad. I have grandchildren with brains and dreams, and what is happening in this country is destroying any vestage of a prosperous, satisfying future for them. The stealing of the American Dream is so real, it’s tangible. It began a couple of decades ago when Reagans trickle down economics with lower taxes and less regulation enabled the wealthy classes to begin their greedy, rent-seeking practices. As their massive wealth grew, more was allocated to getting what they wanted from our elected officials. Sure, money has always been “in” politics, but now it is an order of magnitude greater than at any time in our history, with the exception to the run up to the Great Depression. To address Robin, as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars wind down, and we can no longer afford our military as it is now, many thousands of veterans will be let out, and many of the “non-combat” security members (para military) will lose their jobs as contracts are pared down. This will create a huge, quasi-violent underclass who won’t be able to find employment. You get the picture. Many of those are high school educated or drop outs, and are, essentially, by today’s standards, unemployable. I am not saying they will take to violence to vent their frustrations. But, as the country continues to deteriorate, a spark will happen, at some point. Many of these ex-fighters will belong to casual militias, naturally. Extrapolate from there. Only time will tell, and I certainly hope that the peaceful demonstrations and protests will achieve what they need to. Somehow I just doubt it. Say your prayers and keep your fingers crossed. This is the year that America gets tired of watching reality TV and decides to become it. There are only so many ways to distract tired, hungry, destitute people.

  128. I’ve been reading Griffin, Sutton, Engdahl, Macdonald, Gottfried, Mearsheimer/Walt, Quigley, Rense, Keiser, Taibbi, etc., and it’s very disturbing information.
    The elites are thugs. They have no love for this country, no love for our people. They get us into wars that we have no business getting into. They promote policies to reduce our population, while flooding the country with third world immigrants. They ruin our economy with fraud and speculation.
    I could go on and on regarding their despicable activities.
    However, I can make a positive spin on your thoughts about former soldiers and militias….yes, they are dangerous people, but they’re OUR dangerous people, they’re on our side, the side of the 99%.
    I think special forces guys would just as soon piss on a banker’s corpse.
    The awareness of all of those guns out there in the heartland must give the globalists something to think about.

  129. @Anonymous I couldn’t agree more regarding the apathy of the 1% which you appropriately refer to as “globalists” and as to those weaponry specialists. I think that there’s no question that they are the ones who will hurt people in charge. Look at Syria. It’s no mistake that the former military are the ones really hurting Assad and his thugs. Look for the super rich to be assembling their own massive personal security forces. This year. They will need them. As to the rest of us, time to gather at the hot spots I identified early. Wall Street is sybolic. The real action is the White House, The Capitol, The Pentagon, and K Street. This is where the agents of our personal destruction formulate our downfall. And, oh, don’t forget the FED.

  130. @Bayard, – It’s a mixed bag how well the Vietnam Vets did, probably because there was a draft and that helped end the war…

    I can’t see it any other way – it’s GENOCIDE. Self-proclaimed elite thugs full of hatred will KILL who to stay ahead…?

  131. @Bruce – I’m watching that video now – it’s really good. Thanks. If America is a corporation and should be run like a business, he will bankrupt it more than it is now. He’s nothing but another Wall St financial terrorist.

    This is a powerful Ron Paul video ad. Put yourself in the place of the people in the ME, whose cities, towns and governments we occupy :

    Gingrich, Perry and Huntsman didn’t qualify for the Va. primary. Only Paul and Romney did.

  132. Bruce and TedWa, did you all know that the broadcast contining this wonderfully important information is coming from Russian Television in Washington, DC? I find it fascinating that this Russian network, which is amazingly informative, is giving us the “straight skinny” in these matters that the American mainstream media rarely allows to be seen or heard. Gee, I wonder why? Could it have something to do with the American media being nearly wholly controlled by the American Oligarchy’s “good ol’ boys club.” Of course it is. The last thing they want the majority of the populace to know is the truth. God save them if the majority were ever to be pried away from the distractions of the Great American Reality TV Show to be educated and arise from its vast fog of ignorance. In fact, God couldn’t save them. It’s like the wonderful lie they love to tell about American Exceptionalism. The sad fact is that we are most exceptional in negative categories, and rarely in the ones that are personally or culturally enhancing. Now that I have this channel, I will begin relying upon it as a major souce of news. I have spent time in Russia, and those folks are not famous for being bullshitters.

  133. @bayard – people need to get their noses out of the 2000+ year old, bazillion times re-written buybubble, er bible. I cannot believe how much time so many people have spent reading it for clues about *end times* – truly bizarre.

    Final Chapter, last page – “Love one another”


    Maybe Jesus should have added to that, “so what part of love one another don’t you understand…?’

    piss on, piss off

  134. @Annie What you wrote, makes you a woman after my heart. I am a Christian. But, not because I believe in the mumbo jumbo of the organized Church. After all, there have been far more people killed in the name of Jesus Christ than ever saved in his name. I am only a Christian because I believe in what Jesus had to say. But that would also make me a fan of Buddha, since the Gautama said essentially the same thing, and didn’t rely on having to convince anyone of a divine connection. By the way, organized religion is essentially politics about a supreme spirit. Many times, many forms. I actually believe in God, but not the God in the Bible, or Koran, or any other religious text. I just happen to believe that our Universe is the result of something other than just pure chance. It’s time for people to understand that the best essential message in all of religion is love. Sadly, those who espouse it rarely practice it. As to the end of times predictions, we got a major one coming on December 21st under the Mayan calendar. The way things are going, it is looking fairlly strong. I personally wouldn’t be wasting a lot of time worrying about who wins in November, since there’s nothing to chose between the parties. My prediction is that the only way the world goes on is if we have a third party candidate win.

  135. A third party win is a possibility, Should Paul not win and run as an independent, his 24% could easily go to 30 or 33 and cause a lot of havick when it comes down to the House of Representatives voting for the president.

  136. Bayardwaterbury:
    …on “truth” in Media information vs. marketing the public mindscape:

    “Expose” is a tool of “position politics” and the historic truth is that time frames of tolerance define when the innocent get a chance to speak and be heard, but the “herded” are only receptive when they have been personally hurt into clarity. The real living fabric of the earth are the common “salt” of the earth people. The media that you are speaking about, I believe, is true competitive market coming through against a monopoly of power politics and a veil of corporate collusion that hides the iron hand. Truth has a certain value but it doesn’t sell in a controlled media market…hence it it impossible to truly say that “capitalism” is actually driving our media (competitively and differentially diversifying into variation …aka…variation and selection is the truthful order. In America ironically we see consolidation and TBTF falsely held up as the ideal. If ethnic Russians are employing our “baseline” system of cooperative competition to enter a market
    for truth and justice; then we must not blind ourselves to the fact that this is actually the American Way and these people know suppression first hand. On the other hand, we must be on guard from every quarter from those organized elements that might well exploit this current passion for a new occupy truth movement. This against a background from which the advantage capital of monetary monopolists has financed an extended succession of political power capture and is about to place a veiled corporate model of leveraged buyout systemic (renamed in an inverted false frame to mislead and misinform as Private Equity…hiding sovereign wealth); whose sole intention is to “Encolonize” the American domestic aggregate resources and demographic economy…pretty much on par with what Milken did to the investment world that inflamed the era of hostile takeover and predator / pirate wealth profiteering.

    In the meantime we get truth where truth stands its ground. The University without Borders is knowledge shared and sifted by all of us to make sure it is authentic. We put it through the mill and thank God for anyone who actuially comes through with a successful piece of the puzzle. If you would have told me a month ago that I would be placing a link that circulated a documentary intended by SuperPac’s to advance the interests of Newt Gingrich…I would have denied you as surely as Peter denied Christ’s advance notice that before the cock crowed he would do something contradictory to his elected nature. Yet take a look above! A documentary that goes well beyond the model of Romney and shows a blatant disclosure of truth about what rogue monopolism, (for lack of a clean authentic word that still has raw meaning),… has been doing to the entire world economy …region by region…as it expanded globally and intensified its methodology and tactical/tecnical/legislated stealth one month at a time for close to 40 years now. But when we spoke about Carlyle (ouch…a real name with kings and Queens and everyone rich in between) and all the other “flagships” gone wild…we are either too intimidated as Americans to speak up against this power elite or too complacent to even complain that they are totally unaccountable to the American People and (despite the veil of secrecy behind corporate interests involved) …we are too timid to even demand to know shy we allow them (for example) to operate out of Dubai?

    So the Vanilla Truth syndrome of labeling is all part of a deceit that has been going on right under our noses for decades the quest to dominate and capture every bloodline that can be controlled by advantage monetary capture of an intelligence community network that puts the KGB into primitive perspective. If the experienced victims from outside experiences can open our markets to the discussion of true daylight truth…than it’s because the “market” is actually still in existence and is stumbling along against the odds and propagated / propagandized vanilla versions that accommodate the decay under the names of growth.

    In the meantime we should pay careful attention to the precise definition of loosely thrown terms. Romney (with “Rome” inscribed in his name…) wants to be Caesar. Perry sees himself as Marc Anthony…and perhaps we can cast Gingrich as Brutus? Ron Paul, is of a different cloth and perhaps we would have to enter him somewhere up with Calvin’s or Lutherins against the corruption of a papacy captured by Madici and the money preachers of that time…we could go on with this…but the “narrative” is clear. We are living a new fiction of an old idea at a greater scale than ever before possible. My inclination is that it is so deeply corrupted at the power grab level that we wouldn’t believe the whole truth if we really did have it revealed suddenly. Grand civilization and humanity is still a Pareto law of 80/20 hindsight.

    So let’s continue with an internet without borders as universal information marketing and let’s agree that the window of opportunity is very limited for free exchanges of real truth. Let’s accept the accumulated damages that already exist by suppression to censure and to distort, misdirect, misinform and disinform us with psych ops style tactics employed by business as politics, and politics as a business. (It is a fact that Halliburton openly advised their people to treat fracking opposition as an insurgency and to tactically employ the army manual for counter-insurgency to strategically position their interests…and we all should know this is child’s play for moneyballing).

    A University in Exile 2012 is an abstract hyper-geopolitical potential based upon a systemic learning system that self organizes itself with a methodological system of evidence based truth. The systems and small group work done from MIT and elsewhere in the USA is the finest work ever done by humanity. The aggregated will to direct this force is at the disadvantage of the moneyballing collective that has captured the information flow and systemic dependency grids of our economy by translating everything into a “relatively” defined paper grid…we are an industrial system made of paper and controled by the ownership monopoly defined by that paper. Same as the days of Milkken…(you extrapolate from there…). There are many people out there who understand exactly and precisely what I am taliking about…but …like the Republican consensus that now attacks Gingrich for exposing their own survival program…many are hostile to truth itself. Truth is what THEY make it. (and history is made to support it…but only the victims do not lie…if they survived!)

    If you read this far you are either angry or interested …but if you are interested…here is an American source that is seeking truth; explore it…and share it…and become the University without Borders by sharing the wealth of your personal committment to this universal search for truth…and perhaps…

  137. To all the “Ron Paul” disciples and advocates…one reminder please…(please…sincerely…) We can not have true “Liberty” without authentic and true “JUSTICE”…it is simply impossible. The concerted interest is truth and justice as the American Way (no joking cliche meant here)…and “liberty” for “ALL”

  138. Who’s afraid of the big bad truth?
    Published on Saturday, January 7, 2012 by

    DOJ Continues Crusade for Wikileaks’ Twitter Trove

    “The US Department of Justice has continued its efforts to obtain Twitter account information from associates of the whistleblower website Wikileaks.

    The Guardian reports:

    A member of parliament in Iceland who is also a former WikiLeaks volunteer says the US justice department has ordered Twitter to hand over her private messages.

    Birgitta Jonsdottir, an MP for the Movement in Iceland, said last night on Twitter that the “USA government wants to know about all my tweets and more since november 1st 2009. Do they realize I am a member of parliament in Iceland?…””

    “In a related story, Jillian York and Trevor Tim at the Electronic Frontiers Foundation, explored yesterday the troubling pattern of initiated or requested moves by the US Government to censor, curtail or otherwise monitor social networks by individuals or organizations.

    “ (Read all with comments)


    January 12, 2012
    Capitalism Debate Hits the Mainstream
    by Michael Winship

    “Interesting how from very different directions the Occupy movement and now the debate raging among the Republican presidential candidates around Mitt Romney’s work at the private equity firm Bain Capital each have opened a public debate in the mainstream media over income inequality and the very nature of capitalism itself.”

  140. TedWa:
    Thanks for the link …it is a staggering truth and rallying cry that seems to continually fall through the cracks of our acceptable standards…adjusted by rule of war rather than rule of law. It is also true that the Native Peoples of our Continent have been directly victimized by these realities, and the dirty fact of history had it being repeated in Hawaii more than 100 years ago in the expansion of our now clean and proper Nation and that great State of our Union. It is difficult to digest in total rational perspective, and the rationalizations are more a part of our political and cultural narrative than the reasoning behind what might otherwise be called the “civilization” process. The ugly truth is that what used to be a global appeal to American idealism after the WWII good will years of preaching democracy…is now openly abused and denied when we outright destroy existing democratic processes because “American(???) Interests” are not served. We are becoming comfortable with a blind one size fits all “soldier” model of the ideal citizen even while we privatize warfare as a business. Business is war; Politics is Big Business. But watch out…Drones are now being set up over the border of Texas…and they don’t necessarily follow the Demarcation line of no return! It would be nice to see Ron Paul directly address the class system as a process of encroachment on Public Wealth and stop preaching the idea that justice and liberty is best served by the wild west market (?) delusion of transactional counterbalances.

    I posted this on an earlier baseline, but I think you might possibly like to see it (and frankly it fits in the current traffic of ideas):
    Excerpt: From Chapter 11…Tactical Totalitarianism
    “The Cold War provided the international framework and ideological rationale for the new U. S. role. Counterinsurgency doctrine would provide a substitute for the Europeans’ imperial policies and an alternative to repetition of the United States’ own neocolonial experience in the Philippines and Latin America before World War II. U. S. doctrine presumed that in a world of limitless menace, internal disorder reflected external aggression, and so legitimized an unlimited response. The unilateralism of colonialism would yield to joint action on the invitation of “host” governments, thereby relieving the United States of responsibility for actions taken. The ease with which intervention and illegal action could be plausibly denied, or hived off on the indigenous “host,” encouraged its proliferation.”

    So when you bring this up to date you get the “crazies” in D.C. writing up the planning blueprint for the “Great Game” by usurping the opportunities of lawless capital petro-stroika. The instrument of looting and monetarization can hide money better than cumbersome offshore machination, while the driving ideology of market base fosters the controlling interest in the global enterprise of political-military domination. All this in the name of global financial security and domestic assurances that this pain will be rewarded; all the while insuring capture and control fraud by its secret operations community under National Security and Intelligence doctrines that manipulate the meaning of stability and instability. In terms utilized by Edward G. Lansdale..a .”demotic strategy” that entraps entire peoples to work directly for the interests that bound them…under the great lie of a more compassionate rule of order…as we deregulate the LAWS that restrict them from acting out the endgame plan they like to call realism and the end of history..

  141. Now we have Drones over Texas!

    I woke up to Drones over Texas
    Of course they were not after me…
    Johnny Cash might have made up some Lyrics…
    for the Drones in the Home of the Free…
    Let’s just hope there’s no “collateral damage”
    They are programed by hacks don’t you see,
    but those Mexicans don’t have no savy
    when it comes down to technology…,
    so let the Drones drop their ass at the Border,
    to protect our secured Texas Tea;
    and to hell with who gives the orders…
    cause our liberty’s armed to the teeth!

    Bruce E. Woych

  142. Its gonna take a lifetime to process all that information, in addition to the information prior to this information, but thanks for the information, for without it, we would be uninformed and unhappy. :>)

  143. *The Young Turks with …: Military torture tactics are creeping into US police enforcement

  144. We’ve been ripped off by the current system, so how do we start a revolution

    Simon Johnson – on Starting a Revolution
    Uploaded by RenegadeEconomist on Jul 4, 2011

    We’ve been ripped off by the current system, so how do we start a revolution

  145. Go to:

    January 13, 2012 merijnknibbe

    from Merijn Knibbe
    “I stumbled upon what for me is the best analysis of the crisis I’ve read up to know: an article from Michael Hudson. An excerpt:
    “In this new financialized warfare, governments are being directed to act as enforcement agents on behalf of the financial conquerors against their own domestic populations.”

  146. Vulture capitalists shall be held accountable, first by word of mouth. And secondly, by new physical accounting methods within the public domain, which is also backed by the law and court system.
    Or you could just take the train, and watch it all from above.

    The Plunder of Russia in the 1990s

    March 24, 2011 by paul likoudis

    selected excerpts: The article is loaded with bombshell synopsis:
    “In an ordinary election year, Anne Williamson’s Contagion would be
    political dynamite, a bombshell, a block-buster, a regime breaker.”

    “When Russian members of the Supreme Soviet openly criticized the looting of
    the national patrimony by these new gangsters early in the U.S.-driven
    “reform” program, in 1993, before all Soviet institutions were destroyed,
    Yeltsin bombed Parliament.

    Ironically, when Harvard’s Sachs and Hay started identifying Russians they
    could work with, they ignored — or shunned — the most capable talent at hand:
    those numerous Russian economists who for 20 years had been studying the
    Swiss economist Wilhelm von Roepke and his disciple, Ludwig Erhard, father of
    Germany’s “economic miracle” in anticipation of the day when Communism would

    Somewhat sardonically, Williamson notes that one, probably unintended,
    benefit of Gorbachev’s perestroika was the recruitment of these Russian
    economists by top U.S. universities.”

    On another level, Contagion is about the workings of international finance,
    the consolidation of capital into fewer and fewer hands, and the ruthless,
    death-dealing policies it inflicts on its target countries through currency
    manipulation, inflation, depression, taxation and war — with emphasis on
    Russia but with attention also given to Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, the
    Balkans, and other countries, and how it uses its control over money to
    produce social chaos.

    Those who read Williamson’s book will find particularly interesting her
    treatment of the Federal Reserve, and how this “bank” was designed to plunder
    the wealth of America through war, debt, and taxation, in order to maintain
    what is nothing more nor less than a giant pyramid scheme that depends on
    domination of the earth and its resources.

    DHS monitoring of social media concerns civil liberties advocates
    By Ellen Nakashima, The Washington Post,
    January 13, 2012

    Civil liberties advocates are raising concerns that the Department of Homeland Security’s three-year-old practice of monitoring social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter could extend to tracking public reaction to news events and reports that “reflect adversely” on the U.S. government.

    The activists, who obtained DHS documents through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, say one document in particular, a February 2010 analyst handbook, touts as a good example of “capturing public reaction” the monitoring of Facebook and other sites for public sentiment about the possible transfer of Guantanamo detainees to a Michigan prison.

  149. @ june bug:
    “…Its gonna take a lifetime to process all that information,…”
    (ah! but we have only one life to give for our country…?)

    all joking aside: the material is all in one place for you and I have tried to provide the access links for crossing borders to other blogs…all in good time…but God’s speed to you !


  150. Bruce, man I love the stuff you give me. Real News network looks like a winner. However, in the interest of my keeping my head clear and straight, I would never rely entirely on any source. I simply say the the “major media” in America is so corrupt (an oligrarchic fourth estate) that I refuse to even listen or watch or read what it has to say. The closest I come is Dylan Ratigan and Chris Hayes on MSNBC, and a few American publications such as Salon, the Nation, and Huffington. At least at these places we can find shreds of truth and interesting interview and opinions worth listening to. Of course I am deeply concerned about the NBC/GE nexis as a part of the MSNBC sponsorship, but they seem to be willing to at least sponsor some truth, albeit not a great deal (they love to walk us to the edge of bald truth only to step back because of editorial “sensitivity”). I appreciate your remarks on the Open University and University in Exile, which I assume has much to do with the American educational icon, the New School for Social Research, renowned for producing truth tellers in all fields), an institution which I have always loved. Sadly they aren’t on my resume, but I certainly follow their spirit of an uncompromising attitude of truth seeking. Insofar as Russian Television online, I like it as a source. The program you pointed me towards discusses their weakness due to being owned by the Russian government. That certainly doesn’t bother me, since I am probably more critical of my native land than any Russian ever.

    Also, not to be critical, except in the positive sense, your writing style tends to be a bit murky and rambling. Don’t get me wrong, I find it interesting trying to decypher you points, but it also can be very frustrating sometimes. But, overall, we are definitely kindred souls.

  151. Bayardwaterbury: Good tidings!

    Yeah …no offense taken; I have a tendency to just punch things out there and let the reader work it through; (the old adage is you get what you pay for doesn’t apply here). I agree with your entire comment, but the idea is to get the research out there and let the information flow.
    I was GF/New School and yes it did have a great background history that started as the University in Exile. I do not have any direct connection with them since the early 90s.

    There’s an open window right now. It won’t last. We need to connect. (“sometimes” my ramblings and murky language is deliberate…read into it…)

    Highest Regards:

  152. Indeed Bruce, I save some of my time to sit and read under the big oak trees limbs in my back yard. Yes, all in good time, and best wishes to you and yours.

  153. If Obama could say this and mean it, I’d vote for him again. But of course, as we’ve all sadly witnessed, he never will. Well, he might, that but that would be just more proof that he’s a Dr. Jekyl upfront and Mr. Hyde behind the scenes.

    Ron Paul is the only one that would say this and mean it :

    In 1936, Franklin Delano Roosevelt took the podium at Madison Square Garden to deliver a message to his critics. “We [have] had to struggle with the old enemies of peace,” he said. “Business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred.”

    @owen owens – thanks for that song -cool

    Huntsman dropped out tonight. Paul will get all his anti-war and anti-Too big to fail votes. The Va. primary should be very interesting. So should SC now

  154. Some of your concerns are addressed in Annie’s Urantia book, its a lengthy story of Jesus and the universe in past days. But, on page 2014 we separate the men from the boys, or what I prefer to call the book smart people-vs- the booker-T’s of the world. The booker-T’s have worked themselves hard but also half silly, and I have it on good word from my Aunt that they arn’t going to make it. But none the less they feel entitled and want control of their retirement, as the book smart ones already have [too some extent], yet have to pay their dues in that arena. By then the complete timer is gone and the Urantia’s fall in line under the familys direction, if not sooner for other reasons. Glad you enjoyed the music. I’ll keep it comin.

  155. @TedWa
    While evil genius/cov­ert actions appear to have restructur­ed the globe under Obama, we still harp on a fallacy of “Trumped up” paperwork to endorse his “proven” foundation­s when his personal history is still clouded in very awkward realities. Obama spent four formative years living very closely connected to Suharto’s regime in Indonesia; a most brutal tyrant and apparently linked to the same CIA policies which may well have killed JFK. The real question might be why RFK Jr. “can not” challenge Obama for the Democratic candidacy position himself.

    Meanwhile, Huntsman is surrendering position too early. Once you factor out candidates who are unlikely to garner a broad spectrum appeal beyond what they already hold, it comes down to three: Romney, Paul and Huntsman. Of these, I believe that despite his consistent leading polls, Romney will end up discredite­d by his own background that parallels all too much of what most Americans believe is scavenging our economy under divisive pirate equity and profiteeri­ng on real assets (where are the private equity firms to deconstruc­t the TBTF dinosaurs that should be taken over and restructur­ed ?). No…Romne­y is not the man to save our economy but to gut it !

    When that is taken into consideration­ it comes down to Paul and Huntsman and I believe that the broader innovation­s of Huntsman’s adaptabili­ty would win out overall. I believe we just lost our best candidate for President of our Country.

  156. @Bayard, “…The first work dedicated specifically to it was De bellis justis of Stanisław of Skarbimierz, who justified war of the Kingdom of Poland with Teutonic Knights….”

    The last time organized religionists of authority (those who listen to the voices in their head from the self-proclaimed *god of urantia* – Caligastia)

    had enough political and economic power to create a big enough myth – such as today’s 2012 end times prophecy – was during the Teutonic Knights era….

    What is a bigger LIE to take away the basic God-given human right to make our lives less miserable through honest work than a PROPHECY…?

    Prophecy is the biggest LIE that can be launched to take away real *LIBERTY*.

    Paper 54 – The Urantia Book – “…No being in all the universe has the rightful liberty to deprive any other being of true liberty, the right to love and be loved, the privilege of worshiping God and of serving his fellows.”

  157. The passion of Friendship, is of so loyal and enduring a nature, THAT it will last a lifetime; if not asked to lend money or water.

  158. “America has one last chance, and it is a very slim one. Americans can elect Ron Paul President, or they can descend into tyranny. Why is Ron Paul America’s last chance?”

    “Never in human history has a people been so easily and willingly controlled by a hostile government as Americans, who are the least free people on earth.”

    Captain America?
    January 18, 2012
    from Peter Radford

    “The Economist’s astonishingly tone deaf editorial on Mitt Romney – “America’s next CEO?” – is partisan, wong-headed, and naive. The very title gives away the fundamental error: America does not need a CEO. The popular notion that business experience somehow makes for a more productive president is horribly misguided and displays a misunderstanding of politics that, frankly, the Economist ought to know how to avoid.”
    (entire article):
    The above article is a critique of this article:
    Mitt Romney
    America’s next CEO?
    Mitt Romney looks like winning the Republican nomination. The party could do worse
    Jan 14th 2012 | from the print edition

  160. Ron Paul appears to be the only candidate that answers questions with near honesty and sense. I’m politically ignorant, but feel that if Ron Paul were to educate himself with “The Secret of Oz” and reference it in his campaigning he would help educate the American public, gain supporters, become the best educated candidate, gain the support of the Occupy movements and thus, win the nomination and election.

    Regarding Ron Paul, I cannot handle the crap of the debates. I’ve read and watch some of the pros and cons, but have found that most of the cons are out of text, spin. Example: He’s for decreasing the “military spending” which includes the 900 US bases overseas. But approves of “defense spending” on replacing them with more bases in the US. I google “ron paul highlights” gop debate jan xx, selecting past 24 hours or past week.

    If you disagree, please advise me of a better candidate.

    How can the general public be made aware of “The Secret of Oz”?

    What are other excellent and possibly shorter films revealing the corruption, lies and secrecy of the Federal Reserve and of the financial systems in America and around the world?

    My limited observation is that the average American believes the Federal Reserve is a US Government Department.

    Latest edition?, of “The Secret of Oz”, 110 minutes at
    I tell people, for a quick 5 minute synopsis watch 0:02:50 to 0:08:16

    all comments appreciated

  161. @John a swimmer: I would definitely agree that Ron Paul is the best of the Republican field, by a light year/order of magnitude. He has flaws, and sadly, if he isn’t the Republican nominee, he probably won’t run for a “third party” because of the situation with his son, Rand. My first choice at the moment is Rocky Anderson, former mayor of Salt Lake City, and the nominee for the Justice Party. I also like Buddy Roemer quite a bit, although it is doubtful that he will end up anywhere, because he is a sensible, down to earth Republican, and these types have been banned from the Party so far as I am able to tell. Gary Johnson is also interesting, and rational. All of these guys, other than Ron, are for getting money out of American politics by Constitutional Amendment, and that is going to have to happen before we stop getting to elect only people who are sponsored (i.e. owned) by their supporters in the elite. We live in a plutocracy. As such, Ron is the only full blooded plutocrat willing to speak against everything near and dear to the 1%. I will probably vote for Rocky Anderson.

    European Central Bank: “our money growth target is obsolete”
    January 20, 2012 merijnknibbe Leave a comment Go to comments
    The ECB has published an important study about ‘money’ . It investigates how recent and not so recent institutional changes have changed the ‘nature’ of the M-3 definition of money which the ECB uses to set its rigid 4,5% money growth target. Warning: it’s a boring read. (full article at link above).

  163. @bayard – Rocky Anderson has a set of “instincts” that call out to a MAJORITY of normal minded USA citizens, I agree.

    Plus, you can trust he’ll want to collect the right *data* on which to make important decisions.

    This simple FACT of LIFE blows all the *isms* out of the water:

    Every human being has the right to make their lives less miserable through HONEST WORK.

    Coordinating sane efforts of human beings to end misery is *government*. Labor can be mental – problem solving for the basics of food, shelter, clothing and the occasional need for medical arts. And labor is physical – you have to interact with the reality a lot more than *virtual* reality :-)

  164. @John a swimmer…very nice link:
    I suppose you have browsed through these as well but I thought it would be worth adding to the list/

    This documentary explains the nature of capitalist crisis, visits the protests against austerity measures, and recommends revolutionary paths for the future. Special attention is devoted to the crisis in Greece, the 2010 G20 Summit protest in Toronto, Canada, and the remarkable surge of solidarity in Madison, Wisconsin. It may be their crisis, but it’s our problem.

    other interesting reviews:

  165. One thing is for sure, Ron Paul gets people talking.

    He’s got to win, things are looking rather bleak for our future, we’re following in Japans footsteps almost exactly, and their lost decade that lasted longer than a decade. I’m writing him in – I can’t, with a clear conscience, vote for anyone else.

  166. @TedWa: Sadly, I agree with you, that is unless Rocky Anderson begins to really attract support. Who knows, with Gingrich and Romney being who they are, essential pols with no agenda other than continuing the rapage of the Plutocracy, along with Obama (these three represent the two major branches of the Plutocratic Party USA), only Ron Paul, Rocky Anderson (maybe) and perhaps Buddy Roemer, look like rational choices. Ron I love, but I simply don’t think he’ll run in a third party, and it’s a 99% chance that he won’t get the Republican nomination, although having seen the way things are early, it appears that anything is possible, like tornados in Alabama in mid-January!!!

  167. @Woych – this is the bottom line – one has to argue with the bankers that SLAVERY is not *sustainable*.

    It irritates me to no end how all of a sudden it’s some GENIUS discovery to do farming the way it’s been done for thousands of years – read Egyptian hieroglyphics :-))


    “…We wouldn’t have today’s robber barons – bankers – if we had an honest money system that didn’t allow them to create ALL our money as interest-bearing debt owed to themselves.

    We can’t help but be debt-slaves in this fraudulent system….”

  168. @Woych

    Continuing to get creepier and creepier – Ignatius pretends that there were no SALT Talks, no START Treaty, no long consideration of MAD (mutually assured destruction):

    Listen to what is planned to happen BEFORE the elections regarding Iran!!!

    8 minutes in….

    SKINNING US ALIVE….do we have the right to defend against such stupidity and aggression or not…?!

  169. Got it, Mouse, no one has the right to defend themselves – ECONOMICALLY – against the people who want to conduct perpetual STUPID WARS in messupotamia.

    Concocting STUPID peace treaties based on recognition of MAD is STUPID.

    Thanks for increasing my IQ.

  170. Good article Anonyomousy, slightly dated but still pertinent – and basically supports what I’ve been saying all along, trying to drill it into peoples heads lol. Some people are so dense when it comes to seeing a candidate with an “R” before their name and way too open when they see a “D” before a proven DINO’s name. A Democrat Congress and a Paul Presidency would be our most progressive choice for real change.

    “Look at the latitude,” Nader says, referring to the potential for cooperation between libertarians and the left. “Military budget, foreign wars, empire, Patriot Act, corporate welfare—for starters. When you add those all up, that’s a foundational convergence. Progressives should do so good.”

    And : Nader had caught me off guard when he identified an emergent left-libertarian alliance as “today’s most exciting new political dynamic.” It was easy to foresee objections that the left might raise: if progressives are in favor of expanding the welfare state, how well can they really get along with folks who go around quoting the likes of Hayek and Rothbard?

    “That’s strategic sabotage,” Nader responds, sharply. “It’s an intellectual indulgence. … If they’re on your side, and you don’t compromise your positions, what do you care who they quote? Franklin Delano Roosevelt sided with Stalin against Hitler. Not to draw that analogy, I’m just saying—why did he side with Stalin? Because Stalin went along with everything FDR wanted.”

    There may be an insurmountable impasse between the camps on social-safety-net spending. “But,” Nader says, “you could get together on corporate entitlements, subsidies, handouts, giveaways, bailouts. Ron Paul is dead set against all that. So are a lot of libertarian-conservatives. In fact, it’s almost a mark of being a libertarian-conservative—in contrast to being a corporatist-conservative.”

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