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The Moon is Waning Crescent (47% of Full)


Re: SC86

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February 18, 2009 10:32PM

Trouble at Treasury: Geithner gets the keys to the henhouse

The Obama Team has a big problem on their hands; Timothy Geithner. Geithner was picked as Treasury Secretary because he is a trusted ally of the big banks and has a good grasp of the intricacies of the financial system. The problem is that Geithner can't handle the public relations part of his job. His big debut in prime-time last Tuesday turned out to be a complete dud. He was thoroughly unconvincing and looked like a nervous teenager at a speech contest. He fizzled on stage for 25 minutes while the little red box in the corner of the TV screen--which shows the current Dow Jones Industrials--plummeted nearly 400 points. It was a total disaster and one that is sure to be repeated over and over as long as Geithner is at Treasury. Not everyone can be a charismatic orator like Obama and nothing short of a personality transplant will fix Geithner. He lacks gravitas and doesn't inspire confidence. That's a problem since, the administration's main objective is to restore public confidence and get people spending again. They're just shooting themselves in the foot by using him as their pitchman. Eventually, Geithner will either have to be tossed overboard or strapped to Obama like a papoose so he can share in the president's popularity. Otherwise he will continue to be a millstone.

In truth, Geithner did us all a big favor on Tuesday by exposing himself as a stooge of the banking industry. Now everyone can see that the banks are working the deal from the inside. Geithner has assembled a phalanx of Wall Street flim-flam men to fill out the roster at Treasury. "His chief-of-staff is lobbyist from Goldman Sachs. The new deputy secretary of state is a former CEO of Citigroup. Another CFO from Citigroup is now assistant to the president, and deputy national security adviser for International Economic Affairs. And one of his deputies also came from Citigroup. One new member of the president's Economic Recovery Advisory Board comes from UBS, which is currently being investigated for helping rich clients evade taxes." The Obama White House is a beehive of big money guys and Wall Street speculators whose only goal is to nuzzle up to the public trough while strengthening their grip on political power.

The banking lobby has already set the agenda. All the hooplah about "financial rescue" is just a smokescreen to hide the fact that the same scofflaws who ripped off investors for zillions of dollars are back for their next big sting; a quick vacuuming of the public till to save themselves from bankruptcy. It's a joke. Obama floated into office on a wave of Wall Street campaign contributions and now it's payback time. Prepare to get fleeced. Geithner is fine-tuning a "public-private" partnership for his scotch-swilling buddies so they can keep their fiefdom in tack while shifting trillions of dollars of toxic assets onto the people's balance sheet. They've affixed themselves to Treasury like scabs on a leper and are now zeroing in for the kill. Geithner is "their guy", a Trojan Horse for the banking oligarchs. He's already admitted that his main goal is to, "keep the banks in private hands". That says it all, doesn't it?

Of course, the administration is not alone in their support for the banks and Wall Street. Congress has its fair share of bank-loyalists, too. That was evident last week at the hearings of the House Financial Services Committee. 8 CEOs of the nations biggest banks were marched off Capital Hill (ostensibly) for public rebuke. For a minute, it looked like Congress might do its job and actually grill the bastards who blew up the financial system. But, no, that's not what happened. The 7 hours of testimony produced few fireworks and no mention of accountability. For the most part, the bankers were treated like honored guests instead of the chiselers they are. That's because nearly every member of the committee rakes in contributions from the same banks that are being investigated. As Bill Moyers points out on Friday's Bill Moyers Journal, "Last year, the securities and investment industry made $146 million in campaign contributions. Commercial banks, another $34 million." The banks own congress just like they own the White House and anything else of value in the USA. They left the hearings unscathed..............

................ The TARP funds should not be used to exhume the corpse of a dysfunctional financial system. The money should be used to create more jobs, extend unemployment benefits, provide food stamps, public works projects or cram downs for struggling homeowners trying to avoid foreclosure. People don't need more credit; they need debt relief. That means higher wages and better jobs. Obama should realize this, even if Geithner and Co. don't. The Geithner-Paulson policy of limitless credit expansion is the path to ruin. That's why Geithner is the wrong man for the job. His fundamental worldview leads to economic calamity.

Geithner's resume alone should have precluded him from consideration as Treasury Secretary. He started his career at Kissinger and Associates, which speaks for itself. From there, he went to International Affairs division of the Treasury Dept. where he served under Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers both of who were major proponents of deregulation. He's presently a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and served as director of Policy Development and Review Department at the IMF. In 2003, he became president of the New York Fed and was Vice Chairman of the FOMC. He's also a member of the G-30, an international body of financiers and powerbrokers, and the former chairman of the Bank for International Settlements. If there's an internationalist organization Geithner doesn't belong to, we haven't found it yet. He's been thoroughly marinated in a globalist culture that wreaks of banking conspiracies and clandestine junkets to Jeckyll Island. Is it really that hard to find a good economist who just wants to serve his country?

There was a revealing incident in the Senate Finance Committee last week when Senator Bernie Sanders challenged Geithner. Here's the transcript:

SENATOR BERNARD SANDERS: "In 2006 and 2007, Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, was the highest paid executive on Wall Street, making over $125 million in total compensation. Due to its risky investments, Goldman Sachs now has over $168 billion in total outstanding debt. It's laid off over 10 percent of its workforce. Late last year, the financial situation at Goldman was so dire that the taxpayers of this country provided Goldman Sachs with a $10 billion bailout.
Very simple question that I think the American people want to know. Yes or no, should Mr. Blankfein be fired from his job and new leadership be brought in?"

SECRETARY GEITHNER: "Senator, that's a judgment his board of directors have to make.
I want to say one thing which is very important. Everything we do going forward has to be judged against the impact we're going to have on the American people and the prospects for recovery. And every dollar we spend will have to be measured against the benefits we bring in terms of---"

SENATOR SANDERS: "Mr. Secretary, you're not answering my question. You have a person who made hundreds of millions for himself as he led his institution that helped cause a great financial crisis. We have put, as taxpayers, $10 billion to bail him out and we have no say about whether or not he should stay on the job?"

SECRETARY GEITHNER: "No, I didn't say that. I think there will be circumstances, as there have been already, where the government intervention will have to come with very tough conditions, including changes in management and leadership of institutions. And where we believe that makes sense, we will do that."

Predictably evasive, Geithner refused to say whether or not Blanfein should be fired. That's because Geithner believes that the function of government is to serve the interests of the big banks not the public. The lip-service to democracy is just rhetorical claptrap. It's meaningless. The government's role is to facilitate the exploitation of its people to fatten the bottom line of the top-hat capitalists. This is why Geithner never made any reference to regulations during Tuesday's speech. There was no mention of Glass Steagal, or reducing the amount of leverage financial institutions can use, or forcing all derivatives contracts onto a regulated exchange, or suspending off-balances sheets operations, or reclassifying all Level 3 assets so shareholders know how much garbage the banks have on their books, or even rethinking the whole securitization model which collapsed the financial system and thrust the world towards a 1930s-type slump. He stayed away from regulation entirely, just as he defiantly withheld details about the impending multi-billion dollar bank bailout.

But don't think that the slippery Mr. Geithner doesn't have a solution for our present economic malaise. He does! He would like to see Congress appoint an Uber-regulator that has the authority to monitor market activity and decide whether individual players pose a threat to the overall system.

Sounds great. And to whom should these sweeping new powers be entrusted?

You guessed it; the Federal Reserve, the wealth-shifting, price-fixing, social-engineering scamsters who preside over the bankers cartel which just blew up the financial system. Is there any doubt where Geithner's loyalties really lie?


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