Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Pitchfork Moment"

The Bush Administration's proposed emergency loan package for the financial industry disenfranchises the American people, who are putting up the loan.

It's not just that Bush's Wall Street cronies Bernanke and Paulson are presenting the current crisis their policies--along with Alan Greenspan's--hatched, as a do or die moment for western civilization.

The worst feature is the "shock-doctrinesque" Treasury coup by Paulson, aided and abetted by Congress. Glen Greenwald refers to it as a "pitchfork moment--an episode that understandably would send people into the streets in mass outrage ..."


He explains,

What is more intrinsically corrupt than allowing people to engage in high-reward/no-risk capitalism -- where they reap tens of millions of dollars and more every year while their reckless gambles are paying off only to then have the Government shift their losses to the citizenry at large once their schemes collapse? We've retroactively created a win-only system where the wealthiest corporations and their shareholders are free to gamble for as long as they win and then force others who have no upside to pay for their losses. Watching Wall St. erupt with an orgy of celebration on Friday after it became clear the Government (i.e., you) would pay for their disaster was literally nauseating, as the very people who wreaked this havoc are now being rewarded.

It's elegantly simple. The three key provisions: (1) The Treasury Secretary is authorized to buy up to $700 billion of any mortgage-related assets (so he can just transfer that amount to any corporations in exchange for their worthless or severely crippled "assets") [Sec. 6]; (2) The ceiling on the national debt is raised to $11.3 trillion to accommodate this scheme [Sec. 10]; and (3) best of all: "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency" [Sec. 8].

Put another way, this authorizes Hank Paulson to transfer $700 billion of taxpayer money to private industry in his sole discretion, and nobody has the right or ability to review or challenge any decision he makes.

The one problem is, you'll never hear or read anything about those points in the commercial media.

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