Tue Jan 8, 2013, 02:52 AM
Lasher (23,573 posts)
Secrets and Lies of the Bailout
The federal rescue of Wall Street didnt fix the economy it created a permanent bailout state based on a Ponzi-like confidence scheme. And the worst may be yet to come.
It has been four long winters since the federal government, in the hulking, shaven-skulled, Alien Nation-esque form of then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, committed $700 billion in taxpayer money to rescue Wall Street from its own chicanery and greed. To listen to the bankers and their allies in Washington tell it, you'd think the bailout was the best thing to hit the American economy since the invention of the assembly line. Not only did it prevent another Great Depression, we've been told, but the money has all been paid back, and the government even made a profit. No harm, no foul right?
It was all a lie one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. We were told that the taxpayer was stepping in only temporarily, mind you to prop up the economy and save the world from financial catastrophe. What we actually ended up doing was the exact opposite: committing American taxpayers to permanent, blind support of an ungovernable, unregulatable, hyperconcentrated new financial system that exacerbates the greed and inequality that caused the crash, and forces Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to increase risk rather than reduce it. The result is one of those deals where one wrong decision early on blossoms into a lush nightmare of unintended consequences. We thought we were just letting a friend crash at the house for a few days; we ended up with a family of hillbillies who moved in forever, sleeping nine to a bed and building a meth lab on the front lawn.
But the most appalling part is the lying. The public has been lied to so shamelessly and so often in the course of the past four years that the failure to tell the truth to the general populace has become a kind of baked-in, official feature of the financial rescue. Money wasn't the only thing the government gave Wall Street it also conferred the right to hide the truth from the rest of us. And it was all done in the name of helping regular people and creating jobs. "It is," says former bailout Inspector General Neil Barofsky, "the ultimate bait-and-switch."
The bailout deceptions came early, late and in between. There were lies told in the first moments of their inception, and others still being told four years later. The lies, in fact, were the most important mechanisms of the bailout. The only reason investors haven't run screaming from an obviously corrupt financial marketplace is because the government has gone to such extraordinary lengths to sell the narrative that the problems of 2008 have been fixed. Investors may not actually believe the lie, but they are impressed by how totally committed the government has been, from the very beginning, to selling it.
4 replies, 810 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Secrets and Lies of the Bailout (Original post)
Response to Lasher (Original post)
Tue Jan 8, 2013, 01:01 PM
BridgeTheGap (3,612 posts)
4. All the more reason for the Federal Security apparatus to surveil
those exercising their rights to peacably assemble to protest this state of affairs. The financial services sector is sure getting their money's worth for all those campaign contributions!