This page has been archived and commenting is disabled.

Guest Post: The Age of Mammon

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform

The Age of Mammon

“Financiers – like bank robbers – do
not create wealth. They merely distribute it. While the mob may idolize
holdup men in good times, in the bad times it lynches them. What they
will do to the new money men when their blood is up, we wait eagerly to
find out.”  - 
Mobs, Messiahs and Markets


As our economy hurtles towards its meeting with destiny, the
political class seeks to assign blame on their enemies for this Greater
Depression. The Republicans would like you to believe that Bill Clinton,
Robert Rubin, Chris Dodd, and Barney Frank and their Community Reinvest
Act caused the collapse of our financial system. Democrats want you to
believe that George Bush and his band of unregulated free market
capitalists created a financial disaster of epic proportions. The
truth is that America has been captured by a financial class that makes
no distinction between parties. These barbarians have sucked the life
out of a once productive nation by raping and pillaging with
impunity while enriching only them. They live in 20,000 square foot $10
million mansions in Greenwich, CT and in $3 million dollar penthouses on
Central Park West.

These are the robber barons that represent the Age of Mammon.
The greed, avarice, gluttony and acute materialism of these American
traitors has not been seen in this country since the 1920′s. The hedge
fund managers and Wall Street bank executives that occupy the mansions
and penthouses evidently don’t find much time to read the bible in their
downtime from raping and pillaging the wealth of the middle class.
There are cocktail parties and $5,000 a plate political “fundraisers” to
attend. You can’t be cheap when buying off your protection in
Washington DC.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures
upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break
through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where
neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break
through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be
also. No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and
love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and Mammon.
Matthew 6:19-21,24

It seems that Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, may have
been overstating the case in saying his firm doing God’s work. With his
$67.9 million compensation in 2007 and payment of $20.2 billion to his
co-conspirators, Blankfein appears to be a proverbial camel trying to
pass through the eye of a needle. This compensation was paid in the year
before the financial collapse brought on by the criminal actions of
Lloyd and his fellow henchmen. After having his firm bailed out by the
American middle class taxpayer at the behest of his fellow Goldman
alumni Hank Paulson, Lloyd practiced his version of austerity by cutting
compensation for his flock to only $16.2 billion ($500,000 per
employee) in 2009. I’m all for people making as much money as they can
for doing a good job. But, I ask you – What benefits have Goldman Sachs,
the other Wall Street banks, and hedge funds provided for America?

Never have so few, done so little, and made so much, while screwing so many.

In 2005, the top 25 hedge fund managers “earned” $9 billion, or an
average of $360 million. One year after a financial collapse caused by
the financial innovations peddled by Wall Street, the top 25 hedge fund
managers paid themselves $25 billion, or an average of $1 billion a
piece. For some perspective, there were 7 million unemployed Americans
in 2006. Today there are 14.6 million unemployed Americans. While the
country plunges deeper into Depression, the barbarians pick up the pace
of their plundering and looting of the remaining wealth of the nation.
Bill Bonner and Lila Rajiva pointed out a basic truth in 2007, before
the financial collapse.

“On the Forbes list of rich people, you will find hedge fund
managers in droves, but no one who made his money as a hedge fund
client.” - 
Mobs, Messiahs and Markets

Ask the clients of Bernie Madoff how they are doing.

1920′s Redux

The parallels between the period leading up to the Great Depression
and our current situation leading to a Greater Depression are revealing.
When you examine the facts without looking through the prism of party
politics it becomes clear that when the wealth and power of the country
are overly concentrated in the clutches of the top 1% wealthiest
Americans, financial collapse and depression follow. This concentration
of income and wealth did not cause the Stock Market Crash of 1929 or the
financial system implosion in 2008, but they were a symptom of a sick
system of warped incentives. The top 1% of income earners were raking in
24% of all the income in America in 1928. After World War II until
1980, the top 1% of income earners consistently took home between 9% and
11% of all income in the country. During the 1950′s and 1960′s when
Americans made tremendous strides in their standard of living, the top
1% were earning 10% of all income. A hard working high school graduate
could rise into the middle class, owning a home and a car.

From 1980 onward, the top 1% wealthiest Americans have progressively
taken home a greater and greater percentage of all income. It peaked at
22% in 1999 at the height of the internet scam. Wall Street peddled IPOs
of worthless companies to delusional investors and siphoned off
billions in fees and profits. The rich cut back on their embezzling of
our national wealth for a year and then resumed despoiling our economic
system by taking advantage of the Federal Reserve created housing boom.
By 2007, the top 1% again was taking home 24% of the national income,
just as they did in 1928. When the wealth of the country is captured by a
small group of ruling elite through fraudulent means, collapse and
crisis becomes imminent. We have experienced the collapse, while the
crisis deepens.

It’s Good To Be the King

The Wall Street oligarchs  were able to accumulate an ever increasing
portion of corporate profits by inventing securitization, interest-rate
swaps, and credit-default swaps which swelled the volume of
transactions that bankers could make money on. These products were
originally introduced as a means for corporations to hedge their risks.
Wall Street shysters chose to use their “creative” financial products to
build the biggest gambling casino in the history of the world. They
functioned as the house, siphoning off billions in profits, but then got
caught up in the hysteria and placed billions of bets themselves. This
resulted in the financial industry generating 41% of all business
profits in 2007. From World War II through 1980, financial industry
profits ranged between 10% and 15%. Simon Johnson explains the despicable hijacking that has taken place since then.

From 1973 to 1985, the financial
sector never earned more than 16 percent of domestic corporate profits.
In 1986, that figure reached 19 percent. In the 1990s, it oscillated
between 21 percent and 30 percent, higher than it had ever been in the
postwar period. This decade, it reached 41 percent. Pay rose just as
dramatically. From 1948 to 1982, average compensation in the financial
sector ranged between 99 percent and 108 percent of the average for all
domestic private industries. From 1983, it shot upward, reaching 181
percent in 2007. 

The original robber barons amassed huge personal fortunes,
typically through the use of anti-competitive business practices. These
well known titans of industry included Henry Ford, Andrew Carnage, John
D. Rockefeller, and JP Morgan. They may have practiced questionable
business ethics, but they did create wealth while benefitting the
country as a whole. They introduced the automobile, provided the nation
with steel, produced the oil that powered our economy, and brought order
to industrial chaos of the day. It seems their fortunes were built by
creating rather than destroying.

The disgustingly rich Wall Street wheeler dealers who live in
Greenwich CT and NYC and summer in the Hamptons have created nothing.
Their immense wealth has been created through draining the economic
system of its lifeblood. Their financial innovations have created no
lasting benefit for our society. Wall Street knowingly created no
documentation (liar loans) mortgage loans, Option ARM loans, and
subprime loans. You do not create products that beg for fraud unless you
want fraud. The packaging of these fraudulent mortgages into CDOs and
CDSs by Wall Street’s crime machine benefitted Wall Street only. Those
who got the loans defaulted, lost the homes, and had their credit
ruined. Wall Street financiers have lured the American public into debt
with easy credit and a marketing machine geared to convince the average
Joe that he could live just like the rich. Simon Johnson explained the phenomena in a recent article.  

“Excessive consumer debt is an
outcome of prolonged inequality – in trying to remain middle class, too
many people borrowed too much, while unscrupulous lenders were only too
willing to take advantage of such people.” 

You Call This Capitalism?

Capitalism is supposed to be an economic system in which the means of
production and distribution are privately owned and operated for
profit; decisions regarding supply, demand, price, distribution, and
investments are not made by the government; Profit is distributed to
owners who invest in businesses, and wages are paid to workers employed
by businesses. The American economy is in no way a free market
capitalistic system. It has become a oligarchic consumer capitalist
society that is manipulated, in a deliberate and coordinated way, on a
very large scale, through mass-marketing techniques, to the advantage of
Wall Street and mega-corporations.

When you hear the Wall Street class on CNBC argue against tax
increases for the rich, they hark to the fact that small businesses
would be hurt most by the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. There are 6
million small businesses in the US, with 90% of them employing less than
20 employees. These are not the rich. The vast majority of these
businesses earn less than $1 million per year. There are only about
134,000 people in America who make on average $2.5 million per year.
There are another 600,000 people who make on average $760,000 per year.
Out of a workforce of 150 million, less than 1 million rake in over
$750,000 per year. These are not small businesses. They are the Wall
Street elite, corporate CEOs and the privileged classes that control the
power in NYC and Washington DC.

The following charts clearly show that  perverse incentives in the US
financial system have allowed corporate executives to reap ungodly pay
packages, while the middle class workers who do the day after day heavy
lifting in corporations have been treated like dogs. Considering the
S&P 500, which measures the stock returns of the 500 largest
companies in the U.S., has returned 0% for the last 12 years, the CEOs
of these companies would slightly embarrassed paying themselves 300
times as much as their average workers. Not in the age of mammon. Big
time CEOs are rock stars. Outrageous pay packages are a medal of honor
in a world where humility and honor don’t exist.

The Depression that currently is engulfing the nation was 30 years in
the making. The criminal Wall Street financiers are the modern day John
Dilingers. They have mastered the art of stealing from the masses while
convincing these same people that they should admire them because they
are rich. This is the oddity about Americans as pointed out by Bill
Bonner and Lila Rajiva.

“The poor genuinely believe the rich
are better than they are. They are smarter and better educated. The poor
even support low tax rates for the rich, as long as they have a lurking
chance of joining them.” -   
Mobs, Messiahs and Markets

The truth is that the poor have no chance of joining the the rich.
The game is rigged. The poor have admired the rich for decades. But,
hard times have arrived. And they are about to get harder. The rich have
armed guards to keep the poor at bay. They will need an army of guards
before this crisis subsides.

Leonard Cohen sums it up perfectly in his song Everybody Knows:

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died


- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Mon, 08/30/2010 - 00:33 | 552299 tom a taxpayer
tom a taxpayer's picture


We need Shock and Awe RICO prosecutions of the robber barons...mass trials in style of the Maxiprocesso (Maxi Trial) of the Mafia in Sicily during the mid-1980s that resulted in hundreds of defendants convicted.  

Rampant criminal activity of the robber barons must be attacked head on. We need coast-to-coast arrests from California Countrywide to Greenwich, CT to New York Goldman Sachs and every other part of the overlapping criminal enterprises, including the mortgage industry, the appraisers, Freddie and Fannie, Citi and the big banksters, the ratings agencies, the Wall Street investment banks, AIG, the federal co-conspirators at U.S. Treasury, SEC, OTS, and the Federal Reserve, especially FRBNY, and the members of Congress who aided and abetted the greatest financial crimes in U.S. history.

These overlapping criminal enterprises raped and pillaged the mortgage industry, ruined the housing market, destroyed the credit system, endangered federal/state/municipal financing, pension funds, and the banking system, caused massive unemployment, sent the economy into a downward spiral, endangered the world financial system, extorted the U.S. and the world to pay them billions in ransom or face the destruction of the world financial system and economy, and now are costing taxpayers hundreds of billions, even trillions of $.

The only thing that has any hope of stopping the continual rape and pillage of investors, pensioners, city and state funds, and taxpayers is to see the entire Wall Street RICO crime syndicate along with co-conspirators in the mortgage industry, the Fed, Treasury, SEC, and Congress arrested and perp walked in handcuffs to federal and state jails. Now. Not 2 years from now. 

We need RICO confiscations of the hundreds of billions in illegal "profits" from the criminal enterprises of the banks, mortgage industry, and Wall Street Mafia. We need  20 years-to-life hard time prison sentences. 

It takes only one prosecutor to investigate just one crime, and follow the money and the connected crimes, and bring down the overlapping criminal enterprises using Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) prosecutions.

The prosecutor who leads the charge against the robber barons will become a national hero. 

For a recap of the rampant criminality that begs for prosecution, see William Black's "Great American Bank Robbery":

William Black is author of "The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One".

Bill Black’s Top Ten Ways to Crack Down on Corporate Financial Crime

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 00:34 | 552316 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Orange jump suits, pink boxers, boloney sandwiches and a big tent.

Bitches, bitchez.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 07:43 | 552561 IBelieveInMagic
IBelieveInMagic's picture

Now that the game is breaking down, honor among thieves is breaking out! As long as the global financial system with the USD as reserve currency was enabling the US economy scarf down the world's commodities, goods and services at throw away price and enabled folks at all strata to over consume thanks to phony jobs and easy credit, no one complained. But, the societal costs are now manifesting itself in the form of lost middle and low cost jobs while the creamy layers are continuing to benefit from keeping this financial game going.

Let us accept the fact that these distortions are a result of the reserve currency status of the USD -- as long as we have the reserve status, our economy will continue to bleed jobs.


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 10:42 | 552797 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

Just like the mobsters, the banksters have bought and paid for politicians, judges, police (SEC) to continue their criminal acts without fear of prosecution. 

"When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes... Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain."
- Napoleon Bonaparte, 1815

The rape and plunder will continue until the victims band together to stop it.  This will be the decade of "Project Mayhem".

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 11:33 | 552900 grunion
grunion's picture

The elitists have only their own interests at heart. They will not rush to the rescue of their bretheren, weakened and falling under the force of angry "sheeple" (your moniker). They will scheme to abscond with everything they can during the collapse. They will not protect each other, just the status quo.

We can and will have a "come to Jesus" event with these guys and they will be humbled (if they are lucky).

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 14:09 | 553301 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

Let the French Revolution be our guide.  I am looking forward to see some heads roll down Wall St.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 13:31 | 553203 knukles
knukles's picture

Bubba Loves Me
This I Know
'Cause the Warden
Told Me So

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 14:14 | 553313 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Junked? Seriously? Don't get incarcerated in Maricopa County, AZ.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 00:42 | 552331 Cistercian
Cistercian's picture

That would be great, but the prosecutor who begins will find photos of himself having sex with a 15 year old on the front page of the New York Daily news.It does not matter if the official is clean or not...they will invent a story to destroy him.Which is why things are as bad as they are.They either install stooges or destroy the ethical in a relentless, vicious way.

  Once things really crater and the mobs begin to form the lackeys will betray their current masters to save themselves.This of course entails things really getting bad and does nothing to stop the robbery continuing right now.The criminals we have now are the most well connected powerful maniacs the world has ever seen.They own the government, and the government has means of coercion up to nuclear weapons.

 Underestimating how far these sociopaths will go to maintain their stranglehold is unwise.

 It is going to get ugly...very fast.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:36 | 552379 Homeland Security
Homeland Security's picture

"... the prosecutor who begins will find photos of himself having sex with a 15 year old on the front page of the New York Daily news"   You mean like Elliott Sptizer? He went after the banks and the banks used the NSA/CIA/FBI financial tracking software to see where his money went. It prolly took some intern one microsecond to see that Spitz was bundeling his payments to Ms. Hotpants. The bundeling of payments to stay below the $10K reporting level is a crime. In fact, with "bundeling" there is no reporting threshold, they look at the series of transactions.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:59 | 552396 drwells
drwells's picture

Great, isn't it? Doing X is a crime. Not doing X is also a crime.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 10:11 | 552754 fiftybagger
fiftybagger's picture

Or like Blago?  Everything was fine until he threatened BOA.  Next morning, Arrested.  Didn't see the media connect those dots did ya?

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 02:18 | 552403 Alexandre Stavisky
Alexandre Stavisky's picture

Season of Sorrow   Sire of Sorrow

Since life was breathed into the form of man, he has had to contend against the thorns and noxious weeds of Uneden.  And thereby, provide for his daily and future physical needs.  Organized and clever beings have cobbled the coordinated efforts of sons of men into a kind of form, an imperfect monetary system.  They have come to make material representation of the virtue/vice productions of any man and every man.  Gold, paper money, sovereign bonds, equities, pay stubs, scrips, oral IOUs--all are claims upon the virtues made manifest of men who toil by the sweat of their brow to make exchange with their fellow laborers of the fruits of this garden.

That this system of simple exchange of Virtue has been seized by evildoers and conspiratorial thieves is a tragedy.  But virtue and vice must coexist to know the gap which exists between them.  Never will the sweet be so sweet except by draining the bitterest of dregs from the bitterest of cups.

The present economic tumult finds the subtlest, wilest, connivingest on top, while the real benefactor has been tossed to the very bottom in the eternal wrestling.  Truly the tall trees have fallen.  But all the energy of this new "bottom" is to obtain.  To obtain whatever condensation of virtue can be had.  The present "innovators" and all those who discretely plunder through every human institution, the same as the gutter thief, attempt to procure that which they cannot obtain by blessing of heaven or exertion of muscle and mind.  This is why the nation's pulse (gov't) and purse (treasury) are the complete aim of malefactors.

To possess the robe, wand, library, and august gestures of the sorceror does not elevate the apprentice to the same station.

Having contravened the eternal laws, the punishment must be suffered.  Keynes or his counterparts are the merest of men. They seek to obtain all the fruits of wickedness without having to bear the equivalent punishment. Balance sheet accountant embezzling liars!  These worst of men (that deserve not to be even called men) wish to concentrate societal virtue into a bowl from which only they may drink while leaving the onerous burdens of bitter labour to their "lessors".  Love of money is the root of all evil.  See the money throughout the world...and money which thieves cannot break in to deprive.  Beauty, inheritance, abundance, personal virtue, decorum, peaceableness, contentment, charity, perfect proportion. "What man by taking thought may add a cubit to his stature?"  And then there is money (especially USD) which has so many doors by which depredation, chicanery, duplicity, artifice may enter.

Better is the man who at his greatest feasts, places a platter of unleaven bread and bitter herbs, to remind him of his unworthiness, his remind him of the great gap he must traverse to be numbered in the wisest of stars of heaven.

Better yet, when building his paltry domicile upon this poor, poor bit of dust in a wide universe; Man should do so with a foundation of the Seven Sorrows upon which should form Seven Pillars to then contain a screening framework to make some escape from the rain, dews, bitter cold of arbitrary nature.

Tell all the truth,

But tell it slant,

Success in circuit lies,

To great for our infirm conceit,

The truth's superb surprise,

As light'ning to children eased,

By explanation kind,

So truth must dazzle gradually,

Lest everyman go blind.

 The greatest of all is servant unto the least.  Real wealth is not ostentatious. He with the greatest true vbounty to bestow and who condescends in his journey from a high place will be greeted with ceremonial washing of feat (feet)...but he must also suffer the insufferable, with a crown of thorns to pierce him through.  To forego an inheritance so great, that the angels would guard against his dashing his foot, but to still allow to be born in a common animal stall.  To be pierced again, and scourged between two malefactors, suffering derision while above him heralds, "the king of the jews". Spewn out in disgust by just those seeking and marking the coming of a Messiah.  The Ultimate Betrayal.  Such it is to wear a Crown of thorns, shew beautiful feet.

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!"

To offer water to those who thirst, that they be forever quenched from a living well.  To lay the groundwork whereby heaven may supplant hell upon earth...conditioned upon obedience and repentence.

What, in all this, is greater than money.  Or is this money?  What man, for one sweet grape (or a short lifetime of stolen plenitude) would (the eternal) vine destroy?

Or what fond beggar (non-believer), but to touch the crown, would be with the sceptre strait, be strucken down?

But this is an irrelevant, shining artifact of the past.

And like just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 06:09 | 552522 breezer1
breezer1's picture


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 10:44 | 552800 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

Am I the only one who refuses to read overly long posts? I'm sure you had something important to say, but with 137 left to get through I simply skimmed through yours. If you can't make your point in 2-3 paragraphs your post is like the proverbial "tree that falls in the forest when no one is around".

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 11:05 | 552839 Gromit
Gromit's picture


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 11:50 | 552935 grunion
grunion's picture

It points out (beautifully, I might add) that being rich is no sin, money is bot sinful and corrupt.

It's the greedy bastards with the bankrupt spiritual bank account that try to fill it with money.

That a reckoning is at hand.

Perhaps a speed reading course would help to avail you of all the info you are missing as a result of your deliberate reading style.

Tue, 08/31/2010 - 13:58 | 555673 Geoff-UK
Geoff-UK's picture

Well said--brevity is the soul of wit.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:09 | 552355 Dburn
Dburn's picture

Here's my personal experience with law enforcement on white collar crime

" IPD"

"Do you have a white collar crime division"

"Yes we do, let me transfer you"


"Yes, I believe I have a case of embezzlement"

"sorry the police are not accountants"

"Pardon me?"

"We don't do accounting"

"Is this the white collar crime division?"


"Is that for like Waiters and Dishwashers?"

"No, but we don't do accounting"

"Uh isn't that like the heart of white collar crime?"

"Maybe so but we don't do accounting we are law enforcement. If you are able to hire forensic accountants and tie all up in a neat little bow with proof that goes beyond reasonable doubt, we may have probable cause to issue a search and seizure warrant"

"Did you work for the SEC when the guy handed the same in on Madoff and the SEC blew him off?"


"Glad my property tax dollars are so well spent"

Personal experiences may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction state to state and Fed district to Fed District but I can be reasonably confident in saying, it will never happen. Not in 20 of our lifetimes.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 03:25 | 552438 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

as through this life you travel, you meet some funny men.  some rob you with a six gun and some with a fountain pen.  (pretty boy floyd, woody guthrie)

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 02:14 | 552401 UGrev
UGrev's picture

  1. One 10 story building
  2. a mob of pissed off people
  3. and an open window
*GUILTY ....thud*
(rinse repeat)

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 07:21 | 552548 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

defenestration became in vogue when Paris buildings reached 3 stories tall. - Ned

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 08:24 | 552598 VWbug
VWbug's picture

you really get turned on by your dreams of mass murder don't you?

you should get some help, seriously.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 05:55 | 552519 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

The prosecutor who leads the charge against the robber barons will become a national hero. 

Judges are in on the take.

Voting machines are owned.


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 09:15 | 552671 B9K9
B9K9's picture

Denninger, glad to see you on board @ ZH. Too bad you brought your myopic and painfully naive viewpoints here as well. Here's a simple heads-up that will hopefully serve to clarify the situation: The state is the criminal.

What you don't seem to realize, and continually kick people off your boards for saying, is that the chief enabler, organizer & beneficiary is the US government itself. They are the ringleader, the mastermind.

To paraphrase Voltaire, if banksters didn't exist, governments would have to invent them. They are simply a means to an end. The end is all encompassing government control, fueled by a global reserve currency backed by the muscle of the US military.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 10:48 | 552801 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Bingo.  Everyone thinks campaign contributions are to get favorable laws passed and to buy regulators, but why would you need to buy them when they would be forthcoming anyway?  They're really just tribute payments to mobsters more or less and/or direct tax (rather than tax that goes first into the general piggybank).

Further, they operate under the control and jurisdiction of the government, not the other way around.  Literally, instantly, the whole thing would turn around if the government desired.  Mass prosecutions...  etc.  Maybe even some treason charges.  But make no mistake about it, when the government decides to crack the whip, banksters cower and cringe.  Not the other way around.

Tue, 08/31/2010 - 14:02 | 555678 Geoff-UK
Geoff-UK's picture

That's an academic exercise, since Barney Frank ALWAYS prefers being paid off, as opposed to becoming a national hero for sticking it to the banks.


Unfortunately, there are a lot more Barney Franks than Ron Pauls.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 11:09 | 552850 Commander Cody
Commander Cody's picture

Agreed.  Government enables, banksters implement.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 13:41 | 553232 VWbug
VWbug's picture


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 18:22 | 553844 Bartanist
Bartanist's picture

I suppose I might have agreed with that if it was not for looking at US political assassinations over the years and finding that a common thread was opposition to the central banks of the US and Europe.

Also, maybe it is not so odd that the Euopean central banks prompted England to attempt to subvert, attack and overthrow the US three times: The Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and then the Civil War. They had no reason to tray again after 1913 because they had already won.

And what was that Meyer Amschal Rothschild quote about if he and his sons did not want wars, there would be none.

No, if that is the correct interpreatation of Voltaire then I think Voltaire got it wrong. "The hand that gives IS always above the hand that receives." Maybe there is an essential symbiosis, but the bankers control the governments because people are fragile. 

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 09:16 | 552672 B9K9
B9K9's picture


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 10:56 | 552823 aint no fortuna...
aint no fortunate son's picture

You nailed it tom... nice comment.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 00:21 | 552302 Bearster
Bearster's picture

This article is a confused mishmash.



P.S.  Faith has no place in discussions of markets, law, economics, or finance.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 00:37 | 552319 TimmyM
TimmyM's picture

To really understand how out of control the financial services industry is, sometimes it is good to step back and look at the big picture. While the free market profit motive is the only system that works, many of us individually are caught up in an irrational materialism. Perhaps you do not recognize this in yourself, and this blinds you to the author's point.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 00:40 | 552323 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Faith has no place in discussions of markets, law, economics, or finance

Uuuhhhhh - fiat. Hello...

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 03:26 | 552440 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

well played.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 11:02 | 552836 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

You have rendered the author of that drivel a beautiful shiner.

That would be a black eye to the younger folks.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 00:41 | 552329 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

when the world is on fire, religion can sometimes be the only store of value

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:37 | 552380 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Put your religion in one hand, and your gold in another.

Religion isn't any more a store of value than gold is Billy Dee Williams.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 08:44 | 552617 Oquities
Oquities's picture

religion is an attempt to codify morality, from a specific point of view.  it is not faith.  religion is like trying to carve a sculpture from  a morning fog.  faith is knowing the fog is there even after the sun has caused it to dissipate.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 09:03 | 552650 ATTILA THE WIMP

The Truth About Religion

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 00:48 | 552339 Homeland Security
Homeland Security's picture

"Faith has no place in discussions of markets, law, economics, or finance."

Agreed - leave faith out.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:34 | 552378 merehuman
merehuman's picture

the dollar is keeps it going. I giggle every time a shopkeeper takes my green papers and gives me real valuable shit.

Infuckencredible   yahoo, more green papers, roll another one

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 03:00 | 552419 Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

you don't get it Homeland.

Religions are ancient stores of human social WISDOM.

What do WE have now in this country top to bottom?

the ethos of Mammon.

i've considered the theme of this post myself many times in recent years

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 03:37 | 552445 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture


"Religions are ancient stores of human social WISDOM."


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 10:47 | 552803 Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

it's obvious from your, uh, demonic laughter that you've never even cracked a Bible (for example).

I've read everything from Kierkegaard to Kerouac and the Bible is my "desert island" choice.

It has everything in it. Poetry, Mystery, Insanity AND Wisdom... and it NAILS man's nature...and that's just the stuff that the early church left IN.

We haven't changed over the millennia....and yes, the sins of Wall Street are in there as well, as are all the other foolish (self-defeating) practices of Man AND their correctives.

besides what kind of asshole types 22 characters of HA?

an unBibled asshole.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 13:59 | 553275 Andy_Jackson_Jihad
Andy_Jackson_Jihad's picture

Proverbs 26:12

Thou shalt limit ridicule or taunting over the internet to no more than 3 repetitions of any series of letters no more than 4 letters in length or though shalt be a newb or a f4g and the lord doth hates f4gs and newbs

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 04:39 | 552462 cossack55
cossack55's picture

I particularly like the social wisdom of destroying other cultures/religions in the name of your own selected G*d. More like ancient stores of hate and revenge.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 05:04 | 552473 drheywood
drheywood's picture

If religion is an ancient store of human social wisdom, then I'd say it's fair to say the current financial system is a body of human economic wisdom.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:18 | 552361 strannick
strannick's picture


'P.S.  Faith has no place in discussions of markets, law, economics, or finance.'

If you mean we should have no faith in modern markets, law, economics or fianance, I heartily concur.

Otherwise, as Nietzche said, 'if there is not God, everything is permitted'. If thats what you meant, then quit bitchin and take it like a mouse.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:44 | 552387 Homeland Security
Homeland Security's picture

" as Nietzche said, 'if there is not God, everything is permitted"  If we are to develop into a sophisticated society that lives in peace and harmony then we need to learn to respect each other as fellow human beings with out religion or with the acceptance of many religions. Population is increasing exponentially and its getting crowded and with out mature, rationale thought and actions I can see tough times ahead.

Was it not the great Rodney King that said "Can't we all just get along?"

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:43 | 552386 arnoldsimage
arnoldsimage's picture

cmon now. let's not be stupid.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 02:47 | 552414 TraderTimm
TraderTimm's picture

And you Bearster, are a douche-lord.

Have a tablespoon of reality fed down your gullet, you are obviously in need of it.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 03:23 | 552437 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Do you need some rope or were you trying to say something?

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 07:14 | 552540 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

I agree completely, leave religion 'the hell' out of this


"Otherwise, as Nietzche said, 'if there is not God, everything is permitted'"


Yes everything is permitted or have you arguments to the contrary and since everything is permited ergo there is no god(s), if there where gods and if they enforced their rules, we'd be seeing 'mirracles' on a daily basis

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 11:55 | 552939 grunion
grunion's picture

Boy, are you stupid!

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 00:29 | 552307 Fast Twitch
Fast Twitch's picture

How bout loathing Reaganomics & deregulation... Watch the future trickle down the drain...

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 00:29 | 552308 Cistercian
Cistercian's picture

 Epic Article!

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 00:35 | 552317 tyler
tyler's picture

The neocons defend this crap. 

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 00:35 | 552318 Always Positive
Always Positive's picture

So when are you limp-wristed Americans going to do something about being totally screwed? Answer: Never. Not in a million years. You'll just go down. The (new) American Way.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 12:01 | 552952 grunion
grunion's picture

And when the new american way is in force, blowhards such as youself would be well advised to stay far away.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 17:55 | 553809 Quonk
Quonk's picture

Always Positive?  Check your handle...check your handle.  Those words you call yourself...I do not think they mean what you think they mean.


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 00:37 | 552320 pitz
pitz's picture

Why do producers and creators (the people who make all the real wealth) continue to work under such a regime? 

Why does a young engineer accept a starting salary of $60k/year, to generate millions of dollars worth of output to the economy every year, and doesn't rebel?

Have we become a nation of pussies?  The finance men aren't exactly holding guns at our heads (yet), forcing our labour.  Why don't people just start doing the minimum required to keep themselves alive, and not anything more until this nonsense ends?

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 00:46 | 552333 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

Real producers are rapidly opting out, as you say.  It's about the only realistic option left.

BTW, I know some young engineers and most would have been thrilled to be offered $60k.  Whatever schools may claim, $40-45k is a more realistic starting salary, IF you can even get a job offer in this economy.  And a lot of that is because many US businesses are crying crocodile tears when they claim there's a shortage of engineers - they really just want the foreign engineers on H1-B visas who they will pay $20-25k for a couple years and then tell to go pound sand, to be replaced with the next guy off the plane from Mumbai.  Both the US and Indian engineers get exploited this way, although the Indian engineer briefly gets a good job relative to what's available in India.  There would be plenty of $60k jobs for US engineers, and enough US engineering grads to fill them, if it weren't for the racket of foreign visa workers that major US companies hiring engineers (and computer scientists, etc.) have developed.  This is not based on theory - this is based on talking to people in the industry.  I know someone who emigrated to the US from India at age 7, got his Ph.D. in computer science from one of the best US universities for that field, and then complained that he might have to move back to India to get a job.  Irony.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:18 | 552365 pitz
pitz's picture

Yup, I know engineering and computer science grads from 2001, 2002, 2003, who still aren't employed and have never been employed, graduating from some of the top universities up here in Canada.

Why are they unemployed?  Because they won't lower their standards to the levels that the H1-B slave traders want in terms of salary, or in terms of professional behaviour and conduct.

Many have decided that having no job is better than being in a job that is completely exploitive. 

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:59 | 552394 AssFire
AssFire's picture

I hope they rot. There are plenty of high paying engineering jobs. They are malingering pussies. Jobs don't meet their self-worth?? I wouldn't hire anyone who did nothing for 6 months aftering graduating- fricken flakes, it is not gonna get easier.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 02:21 | 552404 pitz
pitz's picture

There most certainly are not lots of 'high paying engineering jobs'.  Not by a long shot, and certainly not at the entry level.  Are you just trolling tonight, or what?  No point in ruining one's health for a job that, after paying for expenses associated with working, doesn't leave any money left over for savings. 

Malingering, hardly.  Get a clue.  Most would beat your ass to a bloody pulp if you dared spew such bullshit ("malingering") to their faces.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 02:31 | 552406 AssFire
AssFire's picture

Look, Ethopians don't fare well in the desert. Go to where the jobs are- Texas. Engineering jobs are plentiful and the cost of living is less. But come sans the self pity manchild.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 02:36 | 552411 pitz
pitz's picture

Certain kinds of engineering perhaps, but not typially Electrical and/or Computer.  And employers are very reluctant to hire Electricals and put them into PM roles, unfortunately, believing that the tech industry will sweep them up when it recovers.


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 03:21 | 552413 AssFire
AssFire's picture

Bullshit, Austin is filled with those jobs. If you are trying to convince yourself that things are going to get better; you had better think again. Hell, the commercial mortgage problem won't even be shit here because of the new arrivals. I'm just saying for the forseeable future, Texas looks good and just about everywhere else is in the crapper. Want to increase your luck? Go where the odds are good.

If you need to get into a job- forget PM (what makes you entitled to that position?), take what you can get and do something where you can learn another field.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 03:30 | 552442 pitz
pitz's picture

Austin filled with those jobs?  Lol.  The big companies in Austin have been slowly packing up and shipping as much as they can overseas, not hiring engineers.  I'm talking Dell, TI, Freescale, etc.  And it was like that even pre-2008 downturn. 

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 08:37 | 552608 Dingleberry Jones
Dingleberry Jones's picture

And while those jobs are going overseas, the city, full of energetic, enterprising engineers, has increased employment via small businesses.  Instead of whining about there being no jobs, create your own.

The mentality of the entitled is digusting. 

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 12:10 | 552988 AssFire
AssFire's picture

A nation of defeatists. It is clear they are still on their 99 week vacations.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 03:07 | 552428 Jewelsnorth
Jewelsnorth's picture

PMs? Don't even get me started. That's part of the problem. More and more employees these days want to be a PM to attend meetings all day but not actually do productive work. 

It's about time that a large segment of the Western population wisens up that they're aren't too important to do manual labor. You can't complain about illegal immigration taking jobs but not be willing to work in fields or slaughterhouses, even with that expensive degree in Art History.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 03:34 | 552444 pitz
pitz's picture

Well, an Electrical/Computer Engineer who can't find a job because the H1-B's have taken them all (in software and in hardware engineering) can't exactly easily swing over to civil or mechanical design work.  So the PM roles, if they can get them, are often good fits.

We're not talking about random construction day labour here, we're talking about engineering professionals who have spend hundreds of thousands on their education. 

As for manual labour, there's a lot of progress we can make towards minimizing the amount of it required, but your average man on the street freaks out at the prospect of using a Wal-Mart self-checkout line, or buying stuff from vending machines. 

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 06:46 | 552531 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

I don't freak out. What I see is 50 Cashier Lines and maybe 6 express lines. 5 of the 50 cashier line and one special line with tobacco products are open. 4 express lines are open filled with people shoving cartfuls beyond the 20 item limits.

What I see is a Store filled with employees unable to sit for any length of time. The break room is empty. Yes there is a coffee pot there, but no one may touch or drink out of it.

And the whole box is a rotting monument to buy buy buy!

They do one thing well. Grocery and Perishables. Local Grocery Stores die when a Wal Pox shows up locally.


I have to sit down, think for a minute and reach back 45 years or more and hit a Delicessian where everything is there for you a few blocks from home with 7 employees working day and night. Sweepers come up the street and Arrabers (Baltimore Produce brought up by horse from downtown) come up with grocerys and produce on carts. Milk is hand delivered each morning to your door. Your empty containers are taken away.

All the powerful have to concern themselves with at that time is making sure that the entire factory is running on all 8 clynders with no misfire or problems anywhere.

Now the factory sits silent. The workers gone elsewhere or dead. The Materials made over seas and imported while handled by a few people with phones and shipping papers constantly seeking a 3rd world nation to make the stuff cheap, cheaper and even without things that are considered an expense.

The whole area round the factory has been empty for decades now and nothing moves on the street except brass shell casings and police cars. Anything anyone sees worth doing dont live in the city anymore. They live away, out of sight so that they may still raise children in safety... possibly even entirely off the grid itself. The Children grow up unaware of the sexual, materalistic and vices of society itself until they come out of the woods seeking a life.

Thier innocents is signed away for college and they come out of there stripped of any humanity left. It is all about money or nothing. Jobs? You dont have a job unless said job involves making decisions that impact other people's lives. And you are expendible.


Want some humor? Watch a old movie called the "Hudsucker Proxy" which refers to business in a funny light. We have much to learn. Watch Wall Street from the late 80's where we learned greed is good.

Many times I have heard of powerful people owning very large mansions requiring utilitiy billing large enough to heat and cool a small southern town each month. With square footage so large it must be a millstone on thier necks.

I say that the Rich and Powerful are lost to the everlasting and enternal grasping of the next big pot, the next big thrill and the eye is never filled.


If this walmart proceeds down the path of automatic machines for everything, no one will have a job anywhere unless said machine breaks down and a tech support call comes in. That is ok, a few broken down out of order machines waiting a visit from Calcutta India tech out of a line of 50 or so still functioning is not too big of a loss.

Yea I think one day we will have to settle accounts and make things right, but not by looting, pillaging or killing off those who will die anyway of excessive gluttony, excessive exertions in the bedroom and excessive greed that will choke them in the vault anyway.

What we do need to do is remember who we are and take care of those who we can while making ready for when the rich finally run out of the very waters that keep them hydrated and come for you and yours.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 09:32 | 552696 Almost Solvent
Almost Solvent's picture

Perishables are not done right by Walmart.

The "fresh" produce from Chili and China look like $hit compared to what's down the street at Wegmans.

Wilted greens, soft onions, etc.

I would not buy produce from Walmart under any conditions.


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 09:40 | 552694 economicmorphine
economicmorphine's picture

Assfire, the absolute last thing we need in Texas is more unemployed Yankee malcontents looking for work.  The unemployment rate in Texas is creeping up.  We have an $18B budget shortfall.  We get to choose between the Houston Mafia and Mr. Aggie Goodhair for governor.  Things (as we say here) is a fixin to get a whole lot worse.  Stay away, Yankee malcontents.   If the threats don't work, consider this.......the place you wanna live in Texas is Monterrey.  Don't let that little tollbooth on the bridge in Laredo discourage you.  Wanna come south?  Welcome.  Just keep goin til the sign says Bienvenidos!

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 02:58 | 552423 defender
defender's picture

What he says is actually very true.  Take Rockstar Games for an example.  They expect their employees to work more than 60 hours per week.  Of course, they don't say this, they just hint that "Jim wasn't a team player so we had to let him go.  Make sure you get all of those objectives done by Monday."  Imagine doing calculus homework for 60 hours a week, every week, and you will get the picture.  Some further info for you:

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 04:07 | 552448 pitz
pitz's picture

Yup.  The H1-B's do extremely well in this environment because a) being fired = deportation, b) usually single Indian men, c) very limited access to the US legal system because of a).

Probably the most problematic thing with the guys I know is that they are top-notch talent, but, because of H1-B's, they simply get lost in the noise.  Google, Microsoft, Oracle, etc., only consider less than 1% of applicants for their job openings.  So even if you're Linus Torvalds himself, your chances aren't very good of even getting an interview with those firms simply because only a very small percentage of applications are even subjected to human review.  That's why its not that uncommon to see people with 5 year resume gaps, or sometimes even longer out there.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 04:35 | 552458 The Rock
The Rock's picture


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 07:24 | 552550 Ricky Bobby
Ricky Bobby's picture

+1 This is the flat out fucking truth have seen it all first hand. H1's are indentured servants. Corporate Hierarchy is no different then the court of some feudal king, designed to make those at the top Masters of all. Screw the serfs and slaves its all about being a celebrity.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 06:50 | 552533 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

We had a job running concrete that required about 30 of us to sleep in the plant and pull a 80 hour workweek to get things done that week. Of all the working I have seen, done and accomplished, I will never forget that week while everyone slept stacked like cordwood waiting for the hot summer heat to go down and run concrete in the night to satisfy those who bought, paid for and hired us to get it done before sunrise.

We got it done that week. Never in my wildest dreams would I see half the places we poured rot in foreclosure today. And that was about 14 years ago.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 08:42 | 552614 VWbug
VWbug's picture

I hope they rot. There are plenty of high paying engineering jobs. They are malingering pussies. Jobs don't meet their self-worth?? I wouldn't hire anyone who did nothing for 6 months aftering graduating- fricken flakes, it is not gonna get easier.

couldn't agree more.

I have 2 engineers in my immediate family, and 3 or 4 more friends in every field including electrical, mechanical, civil, computer etc.

All well employed (in canada).

It's no wonder pitz is unemployed if you ask me. No one wants a depressed, whiny complainer on board.

If anyone does ever hire you, I am sure they'll regret it fast. You'll poison the atmosphere with your depressing marxist drivel.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 17:46 | 553798 pitz
pitz's picture

I point out the truth, and you somehow extrapolate that to some belief of yours that I'm lazy, have a bad attitude, etc.? 

Bizarre.  No wonder you got junked so bad. 


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 10:52 | 552813 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

I think the 14 junks are unfair, because AssFire does have a point in that workers in the U.S. need to lower their expectations. I know that in the Golden Age of 1980-2008, that workers in the U.S. could expect to make 2-3 times what people made in other countries for doing the same work, but in this age of Globalization and the Internet that situation will no longer be true. You may not like it, it may be disappointing, but there is no avoiding that reality.

Tue, 08/31/2010 - 01:16 | 554549 Homeland Security
Homeland Security's picture

Atta boy assfire - I had plenty of shitty jobs in high school and kollege and I got laid off once early on and I had to dig a giant hole 30'wx60'lx30'd inside some building, and the dirt was contaminated - I thought I was digging my grave. These pussy kids today do not know what work is.

Tue, 08/31/2010 - 01:17 | 554551 Homeland Security
Homeland Security's picture

Atta boy assfire - I had plenty of shitty jobs in high school and kollege and I got laid off once early on and I had to dig a giant hole 30'wx60'lx30'd inside some building, and the dirt was contaminated - I thought I was digging my grave. These pussy kids today do not know what work is.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 03:27 | 552439 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 08:37 | 552606 ChopChop
ChopChop's picture

Agreed. H1B are a good thing but companies don't use them in the right way. There should be a restriction where you are obligated to pay the guy a minimum wage of the average salary for that field in that specific city/region. 

Then there won't be any advantage to take a foreigner unless if he is more talented than an American... or there are no Americans for that job that could fit.

Tue, 08/31/2010 - 14:07 | 555699 Geoff-UK
Geoff-UK's picture

Young college graduates who are hurt by H-1B visas don't vote much, and donate to politicians hardly ever.

Businesses who hire Apu Nahasapeemapetalam for $25K a year?  They donate.  A lot.

And that's how we get to where we are.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 08:54 | 552628 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Why do producers and creators (the people who make all the real wealth) continue to work under such a regime? 

Why does a young engineer accept a starting salary of $60k/year, to generate millions of dollars worth of output to the economy every year, and doesn't rebel?

I did, and for exactly that reason.  I made changes to projects under my responsibility that saved /made the company millions, and was rewarded with...more of the same.  That is why I am now self-employed, and much much happier.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 00:39 | 552324 Always Positive
Always Positive's picture

Yes Pitz. Half of you are a Nation of pussies. More than half

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 00:47 | 552335 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 02:35 | 552409 AssFire
AssFire's picture

+155 million

Yes, Holder had it wrong; he should have said:

   "America is a nation of cowardly pussies"

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:08 | 552332 CONners
CONners's picture

Thy quote from Matthew remindeth me of my Ithaca 37 that is ordained as the True Messiah.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 00:44 | 552334 Mammon
Mammon's picture

Not a very well written post . . .

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 00:46 | 552336 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

In the 30 years leading up to the great crash of 2008, American values reached an all time low. Cynicism, apathy and greed were worshiped at the altar of "the new man/woman". But along with the moral compass, we also lost the American ethic that taught generations not to always take the easy way out, cut corners and sacrifice quality for quantity. 


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 04:48 | 552464 cossack55
cossack55's picture

What the hell is wrong with cynicism?  A number of great cynics have become famous and maybe wealthy throwing in a little gallows humour...i.e. Mark Twain and Ambrose Bierce come to mind immediately.  Will Rogers?  Add your own favs.  I enjoy being both a cynic and iconoclast and if you twist in some humor people will generally laugh while still getting the point.  Try it, its fun.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 04:52 | 552465 The Rock
The Rock's picture

This breakdown of this moral compass is brought to you in part by the PTB (Rockefellers, Murdoch, et al.).  It's all by design. 

Btw, I think I read somewhere that in the year 2000, there were 18 million manufacturing jobs in the U.S.  Now, ten years later, there is less than 11 million manufacturing jobs left... nice.

Speaking of mammon, here's a nice little bit of info regarding the media:


Here's one terrific example. John Swinton, the former Chief of Staff for the New York Times, was one of New York's best loved newspapermen. Called by his peers "The Dean of his Profession", John was asked in 1953 to give a toast before the New York Press Club, and in so doing, made a monumentally important and revealing statement. He is quoted as follows:

"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar weekly salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities, and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."

1953, 2010.  SSDD (same shit, different decade...).

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 06:00 | 552509 drheywood
drheywood's picture

Good morning!

I think this is closer to the root of the problem, than the article's idea that people are too greedy and that we need to read the bible more. (Although the author never says that latter part explicitly, you can sense it, can't you?)

This crisis isn't about finance, or banks, or taxes or the government. We've seen all this before. And we made the same false claims then as we do know; it's all because of greed, or because of too little regulation, or too much. Nonsense. It's about one thing, and one thing only. The one thing that all sociopolitical battles has ever been about, the one thing that has decided the form of all societies through all times: the production, distribution and control of information.

We wouldn't have democracy if it wasn't for the printing press, and we wouldn't have the feudal system and organised religion if it wasn't for papyrus. And in a sense, the current financial system is a beautiful manifestation of the flow of information in the US for the last 100 years. A small group of people create the information, and the masses consume it.

One thing that's different with this crisis is that we have a new medium. A new way of distributing information. For the first time in human history, we have medium that allows anyone to reach everyone. A medium that works both ways, so to speak. This is why websites like ZH is so exciting. *All tingly*


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 08:09 | 552586 ExistentialSkeptic
ExistentialSkeptic's picture

we wouldn't have the feudal system and organised religion if it wasn't for papyrus

That's just silly and prima facie untrue, while if I remember right the Athenians did pretty darn well inventing democracy close to two thousand years before the invention of the printing press.

Pull the other one, its' got bells on. ;-)

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:02 | 552346 Always Positive
Always Positive's picture

In a way, I admire the elites, the movers & shakers, the oligarchs, the rapers & pillagers, the robber barons, the shysters - I mean THEY'RE JUST GOING FOR IT!!! No restraint, no morals, no compassion, no regrets!! Just full-on, full throttle, totally & completely selfish with only ME! as a reference point!

Isn't that just a reflection of much, even most, of society in general, even YOUR little corner of the world, writ small?

We get what we deserve and don't have long to wait. Maybe Blankfein is doing God's work, showing us ourselves.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:44 | 552388 merehuman
merehuman's picture

not me, i share and always have. But never deal with crooks and never took advantage of anyone.  I take a small pride in remaining a good guy in honor of my honor. I am an honest soul. And there is many another like I.


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 02:02 | 552397 Always Positive
Always Positive's picture

I respect you merehuman; sadly, you're in a diminishing minority. But would you take a serious offer (say, 6 billion for your honour)? Most sell out for much, much  less.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 06:58 | 552536 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

No need to sell out. When one is free of debt and house, family and everything is in good order along with needful things ready for a time then.. the rest are sent on thier way. It is far better to feed someone who is hungry in secret than to wear golden robes and broadcast in the tall towers what millions they have fed.


You wont believe how much we were able to do these last few years on so little. If memory serves we cut trees and kept people warm during the winter. We did not take any money and we did keep some wood for ourselves. There is more for next winter that is coming and two households will come to get it when it cools off sufficently for the labor to make it done.

These "Poor" have very good memories, and loyal are they to those who help them without requiring anything of it. We are poor yes, but we have no need of anything at the moment. So we do share a little bit.


If you picked up a rich person worth millions per month and hold him upside down, the loose change from his pockets will make 10,000 people in our area be able to stay warm and cool for at least the next 10 years with warrantry and service to maintain these machines.

But no, the rich will not share. They never do. And when they do give, they have the other hand out with either a knife for your pound of flesh or ready to choke you on something else.


So. Let the Rich rage. But yet thier anger only lasts a hour or life time. We have as a Human Race on this Planet been here for millions of years with or without instructions or need of money and riches made do with what little we were able to earn by our daily bread and the sweat and labors.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 08:32 | 552600 Blankman
Blankman's picture

You may be free of debt and house, but you are never free of taxes.  When the taxman comes to collect you better have you cash or off to the place where yes you are relatively free - 3 squares and a cot.  Good luck in your commune.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 03:28 | 552441 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Live by the sword - die by the sword.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 00:58 | 552347 frosty zoom
frosty zoom's picture

communism becomes (de facto) capitalism...

capitalism becomes (de facto) communism...


and both in their worst forms.


it's not new york, 1932; it's moscow 1989.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:17 | 552363 laughing_swordfish
laughing_swordfish's picture


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:03 | 552351 guidoamm
guidoamm's picture

A good rant as far as it goes. However, as is often the case, blame is laid at the feet of proximate causes like hedge fund managers.

Upstream of fund managers and bankers there is the monetary system. In the particular case of a fiat monetary system, the logical evolution of the system leads inevitably to concentration of profits in the finance industry simply because banks and the corollary of financial institutions that operate around them are first in line to make use of newly printed money.

As fiat money conforms to the law of diminishing returns, each unit of currency is progressively devalued from the instant it is created as it is handed down to the treasury, then to the primary dealers, then to other banks till it finally reaches the pockets of the great unwashed - this is the point at which the currency has been devalued most (i.e. the point at which it has least purchasing power).

As the fiat monetary logic progresses over time, eventually the ripples of devaluation spread in ever wider circles. Thus from personal bankruptcies you move to commercial, then municipal, then state and, finally, sovereign bankruptcy becomes probable if not inevitable.



Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:09 | 552356 TwoShortPlanks
TwoShortPlanks's picture

Madoff is in the safest place...for now.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:14 | 552359 laughing_swordfish
laughing_swordfish's picture

Nuremberg Tribunals for Politicians, Banksters, Lobbyists, and Multinational CEO's...

Confessions of "Crimes Against The State" carried on live TV...

After that, we take a page from "Uncle Joe" Stalin's playbook and let the purges begin..

Remember, it's ONE Politician per Lamppost...

ONE Bankster or Lobbyist per Treelimb...

ONE CEO or Hedgie per Impalement stake..

4 meter stakes for the CEO's...5 meter for the Hedgies (they complain about the smell)

And the lackeys or fellow travelers who don't repent and switch sides?

500 lb. Trapezoidal knife on the neck...


Paging Madame DeFarge...


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:16 | 552362 Hang The Fed
Hang The Fed's picture

It just goes to show that capitalism, communism, or whatever-ism will always be exposed to usury by some pile of jackasses who believe that they're somehow better, whether they paint that portrait in the strokes of religion, finance, or any other social vehicle.  Further, the only thing that makes it work, every time, is the complicity of those on the receiving end of the great shafting.  Never mind that the skins in which the "elite" wander about are no better or more valuable than any others.

Sadly enough, we've taken such joy in manipulating everything, from finance to the world that surrounds us, all in the name of "getting ahead," that we've forgotten that it wasn't a tremendously long time ago that we were still just monkeys hurling shit at each other in the trees.  Hahaha, if you don't believe me, watch the bloviating fucktards on CSPAN for a bit...maybe the face is different, but the paradigm still stands.

The only difference between then and now, really, is that we've propped up this useless existence for so long that the damage to other systems is becoming "inconvenient" to our way of life, or, if you're looking at it from my end, completely fucking much for our comfy belief in manifest destiny, or some deus ex machina moment to bail us out.  If cats have nine lives, I wonder how many of ours we've used up already?

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:19 | 552367 Hang The Fed
Hang The Fed's picture

On that note...I'm going to try to avoid throwing up in the next five minutes.  Anyone want to take out a CDS against that event?

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:20 | 552368 count_zero
count_zero's picture

While there's certainly truth in this article, it's too light on the other offenders. What has happened has been a FAILURE AT EVERY LEVEL. The Fed's loose money, gov housing mandates and interference, bankers obscuring bad loans into CDO's, rating companys' rubber stamps, investors who bought the crap, loan officers fudging numbers, and finally, people buying homes with loans they couldn't afford.

Everyone assumed someone else was making sure things were ok. Oops!

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:30 | 552376 Hang The Fed
Hang The Fed's picture

Manipulation+complicity=OH, SHIT!!

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 06:15 | 552524 guidoamm
guidoamm's picture

That's right. But the lack of monitoring is not an omission; it is deliberate.

Fiat money has an inbuilt reset mechanism. If left alone, a fiat monetary system would bring about regular periods of slow growth and/or recession. The desire of the authorities to short circuit the system so as to keep it on a perpetual expansionary trajectory, can only be achieved by intentionally masking the imbalances that result from this policy.

As fiat money conforms to the law of diminishing returns, the imbalances that are brought about and that manifest themselves in diminished purchasing power of the currency (declining intrinsic value), can only be masked by expanding credit. Hence the vital need to keep credit markets on an expansionry trajectory that must neccessarily be faster than the expansion of the underlying economy by any means such as Off Balance Sheet Investments, or Special Purpose Vehicles, or CDSs, or MBSs or special accounting treatment for select entities like Fannie Mae or Citibank for example. Hence the reason that, for example, since 1980 GDP has expanded by 100% (it has doubled) but Federal debt has expanded by 1200%. Hence the reason that as the fiat monetary logic pushes its own mathematical limits (as in 1929 or in 1970), nominal profits concentrate in the financial industry.

As the logical conclusion of fiat money approaches, the authorities will prevent regulation and apply special provisions to select entities, mostly represented by banks but also by other political groups such as unions, in a gambit to both keep government alive (raison d'etat) and keep profits flowing to the banks.

It's all a logical necessity of this type of monetary system as was suggested to politicians it should be imposed by a select number of banks in 1913.


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 11:00 | 552829 Hang The Fed
Hang The Fed's picture

The Creature from Jekyll Island will certainly swallow us whole.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:30 | 552375 Segestan
Segestan's picture

Reads like some socialist rant. The top of the food chain is just as fucked as the bottom once the game implodes. Perhaps they will build Ack-ack towers?

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 08:52 | 552626 VWbug
VWbug's picture

Reads like some socialist rant.

it's is a good example of how in reality religion and socialism are simply variants on the same theme (you are your brother's keeper, money is the root of all evil, reason is bad, faith is good, etc etc)

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 01:41 | 552383 yabs
yabs's picture

I think this article misses the point in some respects. The CDO's etc, credit deafult swaps

are a symptom of the problem not the cause.

The cause is a monetary system that needs perpetual growth. When a  mature economy like the US no longer actually needs to grow anymore

I mean it has most of the roads it needs, the shops it needs and every perosn who can get a mortgage has then there is only one option for growth

create s synthetic economy and thats whgat happened. the banksters are scum for not having the morals but they are really only playing the system which is the route of the problem.

It makes me laugh when I see Rothchild going around the world in a boat to promote global warming and the environemnet when its his families money system which has caused all the problmes in the first place

growth for growths sake is a cancer and now

the cancer has overpowered the victim

death is near

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 04:53 | 552466 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Got to agree, Yabs.  I don't get why folks think growth is constant.  I can't think of one thing in nature that grows forever.  They say even the universe, though, still expanding, will reach a point and then contract.  Illogical

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 02:53 | 552390 AssFire
AssFire's picture

There are lots of jobs down here in Texas- especially for mechanical engineers & fabricators. The land rig business is booming and businesses are moving in from all over (running from their former state's taxes).

We surpassed California several years ago as the nation's largest exporting state. Manufactured goods like electronics, chemicals, and machinery account for a bigger chunk of Texas' exports than petroleum does. In the first two months of 2010, exports of stuff made in Texas rose 24.3 percent, to $29 billion, from 2009. That's about 10 percent of the nation's total exports. There are more than 700,000 Texan jobs geared to manufacturing goods for export.

While the nation continues to lose jobs, Texas has added 181,500 jobs this year through July, including 30,700 in the D-FW area.  D-FW gained 2,300 construction jobs in that time, but the 158,000 total was 6.5 percent less than a year ago.

Texas accounts for more than half of the 10 largest upcoming construction projects in the South, valued at about $15 billion. That includes the $2 billion second phase of the Dallas Logistics Hub in southern Dallas County and the $1.2 billion DFW Airport terminal redevelopment.

Texas has supplied over 55% of the jobs in the US and responsible For 111.5% Of All Private Job Creation In Last 12 Months

Bottom line if you want to work, you might need to do it here; or just wait for your state to cut back (if you can wait forever).

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 07:08 | 552539 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

Yes, I agree with the Texas Solution. Go big or stay out of Texas. Imagine for a moment if every state in the union was properly run as Texas was run. We would have such a embarrasment of riches with untold prosperity and able to carry the world to such heights of wonder and awe at the wonderful things they can only dream of watching American Movies in thier theaters.


The States with the most crushing taxes have managed to groan and stagger under the constant and unfettered hunger that gnaws upon them as the riches move out and everyone who can afford to flee. Taking the revenue and production with them to free states that have no need of such taxes to stay properly functioning.

Indeed the exodus that we think we have seen these last 10 years now will become a pernament change in the future as the Union breaks up into a loose collection of regions with very different laws, some of which will be against everything that America has ever been good for.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 18:11 | 553831 Quonk
Quonk's picture

" the Union breaks up into a loose collection of regions with very different laws, some of which will be against everything that America has ever been good for."

I hope you are wrong, because blood would likely define the regional boundaries.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 02:35 | 552410 dondonsurvelo
dondonsurvelo's picture


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 02:51 | 552415 three chord sloth
three chord sloth's picture

Nice. Quite a good rant.

The trouble is this: Where are you gonna turn to fix it? The government? Hah! The financial robber barons are one wing of the pincer movement crushing America... unfortunately for us, our government (who is supposed to rein them in) is the other half. We have nowhere to turn.

The coup by the financial industry began 3 decades ago; the master/servant inversion by the government began 5. The die was cast in the early 60's, when government workers were permitted to unionize. Once the bureaucracies were allowed to become their own special interest the citizens lost control of their government. We are working for them, they aren't working for us any longer. We don't set the agenda anymore, DC and Wall Street pull the strings and the elected puppets dance.

You see, bureaucracies do a few things quite naturally; they expand, they grow inefficient, and they forget their original mission and focus primarily on their own internal needs. Under the best of circumstances it's difficult to keep the government contained and focused; add in civil service protections and it becomes damn near impossible. Throw on another layer of armor from union contracts and forget about it... the servants have taken over the manor. Government will do what is best for the government... their motivations are strictly internal now.

And here we are today... trapped between a predatory financial sector who is allied with a predatory government. A classic pincer movement. The feds pretend to regulate and reform the banks, the banks pretend to be contrite and reformed, the "watchdog" media praises the charade and gives awards to itself for "bringing the issues to light" and "forcing needed changes", and the looting continues.

So where are we supposed to turn?

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 02:57 | 552421 AssFire
AssFire's picture

Texas. But hurry- when we secede, we will seal the Northern border.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 03:02 | 552425 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

Ahhh, god's country...and he can have it along with all those mega churches.

A lot of good seceding will do when you will need all good agrarian states to feed your people...or you can live off fish from the GOM I guess.  Not everyone can be an oil baron.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 07:12 | 552542 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

Don't forget the Bull, Cattle and great resources. Parts of Texas and the greater part of that western region keeps the rest of the United States in Beef. Throw in the Grain from the Dakotas who have lived carefully and within thier means suffering none of the collapse that others have suffered. Then look to Nebraska with such water and land that one can only dream of when standing on a grimy and choked city street that has been sinking each year since Manhattan was bought from the Indians 200 years ago. Look further into the Mountains where you must work to live or die.


Once a time long ago common people endured 6 to 9 months walk to get to these great western lands. The ones of good stock that survived the trip are able to make do with what they have and they have done well.


The problem I see now is the great danger of those who have nothing but money and tender hands that have not seen labor going to these places and trying to buy it all.

Aint gonna happen.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 06:17 | 552525 guidoamm
guidoamm's picture

The coup began in 1913

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 04:53 | 552467 Coldfire
Coldfire's picture

How will we be able to tell the difference?

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 05:02 | 552472 The Rock
The Rock's picture


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 07:58 | 552575 docj
docj's picture


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 09:20 | 552678 ATTILA THE WIMP
Mon, 08/30/2010 - 05:03 | 552475 Djirk
Djirk's picture

If we had a government with balls (or guts for da ladies) there is an easy fix.

Raise the tax rates to 50-60% for the top 1%, while closing the loopholes.


Given that rock stars, CEOs and bankers make money from the sales, labor and pensions from the other 99% it is in there interest to make sure there is a market for thier "services"

Especially the later group of "investment" bankers who siphon funds from the retirement funds of others. 


A non political solution for the last group is for the buy side pension and mutual funds to grow a pair and not rely on sell side, funds of funds, hedge funds and private equity who siphon returns.

When you go to the super market, do you ask the snot nosed check out clerk which vegtables to buy?

Do your homework, look for longer macro trends in industries with real economic growth (or at least throwing off cash) and buy from an electronic exchange. Fjuck the sell side traders and funds of fund of funds of funds of funds and their filthy carry.

Jesus can't help you now! 



Mon, 08/30/2010 - 05:54 | 552517 hugolp
hugolp's picture

What about eliminating all the subsudies for business?

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 08:56 | 552633 VWbug
VWbug's picture

excellent idea. they should eliminate all subsidies, to farmers, fishermen, etc.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 06:21 | 552526 guidoamm
guidoamm's picture

Raising taxes on the top 1% will not solve the underlying problem which is the monetary system. Besides, the top 1% can very easily shift wealth and/or domiciles and residence across borders. Taxes are not an efficient solution to this crisis.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 07:47 | 552565 Djirk
Djirk's picture

Agreed, over leverage and leveraged market speculation (especially in commodities and FX) cause major problems. Not to mention the financial illiteracy of the US public are both different problems. But there could be a better tax structure where the % of income earned is closer to % taxes paid in the country where income is derived. There would be of course gaming of the rules, but now it is ridiculous.


Now the wealthy individuals, especially financial services employees are destrying thier own source of income by this wealth allocation structure.


Not to mention investment bankers are WAY overpaid for the service they provide to society. Sorry to burst your bubble lord Blakenscheck, but GODmansachs employees are not just more productive.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 08:59 | 552641 VWbug
VWbug's picture

Not to mention investment bankers are WAY overpaid for the service they provide to society. Sorry to burst your bubble lord Blakenscheck, but GODmansachs employees are not just more productive.

How do you know?

Mr Market says otherwise.

I'm betting mr market is right.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 08:03 | 552578 docj
docj's picture

Well, that's of course true. And personally I'm all for letting people keep everything they earn minus a small piece off the bottom (say, 3-5%, total) for fed/state/local gov'ts to provide basic, and charter (Constutionally) mandated services.

But so long as we're going to bail-out the so-called "Too Big To Fail" on a regular basis then I say fuck-em - 99% taxation above some threshold (say, $10M).

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 05:40 | 552510 Boltok
Boltok's picture

Share to top 1%=GDP*e^(-1*(M*A))

M=-(1+usa math skill percentile)

L=-(1+usa english skill percentile)


This is what lazy and stupid gets you.

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 05:53 | 552515 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

Judges are in on the take.

Voting machines are owned.


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 06:29 | 552528 Roi
Roi's picture

John Galt Bitchez!

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 06:54 | 552534 Remington IV
Remington IV's picture

Barry Ritholtz write this drivel ????????

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 07:07 | 552538 MiningJunkie
MiningJunkie's picture

"So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Anconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?"

Francisco D'Anconia (Atlas Shrugged) 

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 09:54 | 552726 Blankman
Blankman's picture


Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!