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Guest Post: The Banality Of (Financial) Evil

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

The Banality Of (Financial) Evil

The financialized American economy and Central State are now totally dependent on a steady flow of lies and propaganda for their very survival. Were the truth told, the status quo would collapse in a foul, rotten heap.

Google's famous "don't be evil" is reversed in the American Central State and financial "industry": be evil, because everyone else is evil, too. In other words, lying, fraud, embezzlement, mispresentation of risk, material misrepresentation of facts, the cloaking of truth with half-truths, the replacement of statements of fact with propaganda and spin: these are not the work of a scattered handful of sociopaths: they represent the very essence and heart of the entire status quo.

Hannah Arendt coined the phrase the banality of evil to capture the essence of the Nazi regime in Germany: doing evil wasn't abnormal, it was normal. Doing evil wasn't an outlier of sociopaths, it was the everyday "job" of millions of people, Nazi Party members or not.

Not naming evil is the key to normalizing evil. Evil must first and foremost be derealized (a key concept in the Survival+ critique), detached from our realization and awareness by naming it something innocuous.

Here is a telling excerpt from the book Triumph of the Market:

Normalization of the unthinkable comes easily when money, status, power, and jobs are at stake.... Intellectuals will be dredged up to justify their (actions). The rationalizations are hoary with age: government knows best, ours is a strictly defensive effort, or, if it wasn't me somebody else would do it. There is also the retreat to ignorance, real, cultivated, or feigned.

Can any of the tens of thousands of people working on Wall Street or in the bowels of the Federal Reserve, Treasury, Pentagon, etc. truthfully claim they "didn't know it was wrong" to mislead the citizenry, the soldiers, the investors and the buyers of their fraud? On the contrary, every one of those tens of thousands of worker bees and managers knows full well the institution they toil for is doing evil simply by hiding the truth of its operations.

The entire status quo of the American Empire is built on lies.
Now the dependence on lies, fraud and misrepresentaion is complete; Wall Street and the Empire itself would fall if the truth were finally revealed and properly identified as evil.

Lying has been derealized; it is now the expected norm.
To tell the truth--on your resume, on your loan application, on your tax form, and about your own actions-- is now tainted and suspicious; the truth-teller is reviled as "putting on airs" of moral superiority, and they will be shunned and cut off by the liars around them.

Cheating on tests no longer carries any stain of ethical corruption; "everyone" cheats lest they fail to get into the university of their choice, the one that represents "the short cut" to a "good job" with excellent pay: yes, a job doing evil every day. But we no longer care about doing evil; we avoid it as a moral slaughterhouse we prefer not to see. Let the butchering of the moral heart of the nation be hidden from our delicate eyes and quivering guilty consciences.

The idea that we might not be able to buy the McMansion/auto/tattoo/toy we "deserve" enabled our killing of truth on the application.
Deprivation is a greater evil than the loss of personal integrity, and so hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Americans went along with the lie and sacrificed their integrity to support it, feed it, breathe life into it and then pass it on to the next liar.

So the mortgage applicant lied, and the mortgage broker lied by accepting a document he/she knew was false. And so the lie grew heavier as it passed from hand to hand, and the truth became lighter than air and floated away long before the falsified mortgage was originated, packaged, tranched and sold as a AAA "safe" investment.

We now say and vouch for whatever it necessary to "win," whatever "winning" is in a universe with no moral compass. When the entire system depends on the steady relentless flow of lies--from the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, the Pentagon, the banks and Wall Street, the ratings agencies, the accounting depeartments, every nook and cranny of the American economy and empire--then no one is willing to sacrifice their own livelihood because they know it wouldn't stop anything. The machine would continue on, processing lies, fraud and propaganda, without them. but they would be outside the lucrative heart of darkness, and no longer able to buy their coveted McMansion/auto/tattoo/toy that defined who they are.

Integrity has become as light as the truth itself, and both have floated away, unnoticed and unmourned. Hannah Arendt wrote about the Great Evil, Nazi Germany, and "The Final Solution" of death camps. But the Nazi machine spewed plentiful opportunities to practice the banality of evil, and the death camps were simply one division of the daily grind of pressing one's palms on evil and passing it on to the next "good German."

Here is a memorial outside the village where my brother lives in France. It is a typical village, quite small, perhaps a few hundred residents. The memorial commemorates three young French civilians who were taken out and shot by Nazi soldiers, either for suspected "crimes" or as a "lesson" to the civilian populace.

The routine killing of civilians went on day after day; it was the "day job" of the occupying troops.

Americans toiling away in their various departments of evil excuse their complicity by telling themselves, "nobody died because I lied" (except in Afghanistan and Iraq, and who am I to stop what goes on there?). Hiding the truth carries no penalties or remorse because it is SOP now, standard operating procedure.

The moral slaughterhouse is filled with corpses.
We don't really know what our Central State is doing in the world, in the Mideast or Afghanistan. We also don't know what the Central State/Wall Street partnership is doing, either. Those inside know, of course, but very few are telling, because the see-saw is just so imbalanced in a system which depends on lies and the distortion of truth to continue its domination.

The truth-teller will lose their prestigious position, their generous salary and the acceptance of their peers. In exchange for this sacrifice, the truth-teller receives only the glowing, ephemeral shards of his/her integrity: in the American culture and economy, that literally has no value. The machine will grind on without them, impervious to the tiny pricks of truth; the machinery of propaganda, artifice, misdirection and misrepresentation is well-oiled and masterful in the reach and scope of its operation.

Lest you think this an exaggeration, please watch The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. Daniel Ellsberg was only one of thousands of "good Americans" doing their job in a war machine built entirely on lies and propaganda. Only one citizen out of those thousands, or tens of thousands, was willing to trade his career for his integrity and conscience.

That's how the banality of evil works. Maybe someday someone will break free of the culture of lies and propaganda in the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, Wall Street and the "too big to fail banks" and tell the truth. They will be hounded, discredited, scorned and reviled for telling the truth, and the truth will quickly be covered up or shredded.

That's how the banality of evil works. Truth has become too dangerous to the status quo, so it must be strangled every day, by tens of thousands of people, and its limp corpse hidden away.



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Tue, 11/09/2010 - 11:42 | 711793 JLee2027
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As soon as I see "American Empire" I turn off. 

That is a complete misrepresentation of what America is.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:22 | 711935 snowball777
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Your ignorance is abhorrent to thinking people everywhere.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:25 | 711950 Popo
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America is the most powerful empire in history.  

You should stop turning off.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 13:05 | 712092 Buzz Fuzzel
Buzz Fuzzel's picture

Feeling trapped? 

Remember it was the representative of the emperor who asked the famous question "What is truth".  It was his prisoner who said "the Truth shall set you free"

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:37 | 711987 Cognitive Dissonance
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As soon as I see "American Empire" I turn off. 

A closed mind is a wonderful thing to waste.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 16:29 | 713164 RECISION
RECISION's picture

And, makes wonderful cannon-fodder.


Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:49 | 712035 Pants McPants
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US arrogance notwithstanding your comments are usually worth the time taken to read them. 

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:53 | 712058 traderjoe
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Tue, 11/09/2010 - 14:00 | 712327 hbjork1
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Living conditions here are better than they have ever been and this country has been a place people want to get into instead of get out of.  The iron age Europeans overwhelmed the late stone age indigineous population but as a nation relating to other nations, there was no attempt at empire. 

IMO, the dollar HAS been the worlds currency because, in the past, we paid our bills.  We will see how long that lasts.  If we stop paying our bills our "empire" will go away.  

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 11:47 | 711801 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Pure Evil Empire, bitchez.

Its time for people to start talking, show where the corpses are buried, who did the shootin, where all the loot is buried....because next up its 3 piece suits dangling on piano wire from lamp posts you can bet your ASS on that!

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 11:52 | 711821 SheepDog-One
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AW some delusion-bot didnt like that post and junked it? Gee thats a shame.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:06 | 711872 assumptionblindness
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Some bitchez just can't handle the truth.  With my last breath, I spit at thee...

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:12 | 711899 goldmiddelfinger
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into the wind no less

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:24 | 711946 Ripped Chunk
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Must have been the piano wire imagery?

I still think the guillotine has the best "deterrent factor" impact.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:40 | 711999 Cognitive Dissonance
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What I've never understood is why they place the soon to be headless face down.

Since you've already decided to go with blood thirsty crowds, why not allow the condemned (and the grateful crowd) the final thrill of seeing several hundreds pounds of sharpened steel dispatching you to hell?

Curious how we play with our revenge.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:57 | 712070 Oracle of Kypseli
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It was customary that as soon as the head dropped in the basket, the executioner will lift it and the executed will see its own headless body, since you can still have the sense of sight for a few minutes after decapitation.

Forgive the ugly details but those who are next in line for decapitation may be reading this.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 13:01 | 712082 downrodeo
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You know what we should do, is round them up, lock them in the Louisiana super-dome with no cocaine, blare KeSHa and Justin Bieber music and play a contiunous slide-show of portraits of Keynes on the jumbotron. You know, the whole 'there are things worse than death' idea...

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 23:09 | 714786 RECISION
RECISION's picture

How about - round them up, put them in dog cages and regularly waterboard them.

Find out all their juicy little secrets...

...mmmm...  bring Guantanamo to Wall Street and Washington

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 11:46 | 711805 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

the wages of sin is death

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 11:55 | 711813 SheepDog-One
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I hear that, time for the purveyors of propaganda, the piss bucket carriers, to come forth against their masters and tell their stories and beg forgiveness, or else theyll be dangling from piano wire like all the rest of the 3 piece suits. People in america just cant believe this can happen...'never happen here' I hear all the time...they will be shocked at what they see very soon.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:02 | 711858 Desenstematic
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Will they though? Or is that what we keep telling ourselves to deal with the now.  Sometimes I feel like we are a bunch of kids complaining about the bully that doesn't follow the rules.  The bully usually wins...

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:16 | 711915 SheepDog-One
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They will or they wont, their choice. BUT, only takes a couple of them coming forward to set off the chain reaction. Also, in my experience, the bully wins for a while until someone gives him a punch in the mouth and the big tough bully runs home crying.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 13:02 | 712087 Ferrari
Ferrari's picture

Look at what happened to the Ceau?escus. The bullies don't always triumph forever. Romania looked pretty dire, pretty locked down, but the regime faultered, the people rose up and the Ceau?escus went down. I'm not saying the same will happen to Lloyd, Ben Shalom, and their friends, but I will say the future is not written. It won't be a pretty picture when the great American homeowner wakes up to learn he's been made a fool. Americans are passive ignoramuses, but not infinately so.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:16 | 711914 snowball777
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the wages of sin are death...illiterate

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:20 | 711931 SheepDog-One
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Man thats quite a low blow callin the guy ILLITERATE over an 'is' dontcha think? ;P

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:24 | 711942 snowball777
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it's more about poking fun at what he's quoting and its lack of proper grammar.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:31 | 711972 SheepDog-One
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I hears dat yo.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:30 | 711965 shargash
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He's quoting the King James translation of the Bible. Whether that's relevant or not is another question entirely. All evidence from the financial industry is that the wages of sin are hundreds of millions of dollars. Not bad work if you can get it.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:46 | 712025 jus_lite_reading
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Amen. However, do not be mislead- Goldman Sachs is doing "God's work"

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 15:08 | 712760 Commander Cody
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And henceforth, you can call me Dr. Evil.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:52 | 712048 Sabremesh
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I'm afraid the wages of your snide comment is ridicule, because your purported "correction" actually reveals YOUR ignorance of the English language. The word "wages" exists in its own right, and is not meant (in this context) as the plural of "wage". It means "retribution."

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 18:43 | 713958 tewkatz
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Romans 6:23 (KJV)

 23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

"The wages", IMO, refers to the sum of all forms of compensation for sin as a singular entity.

Illiterate means you cannot read or write.  Even if he would have had a lapse in grammar, that is not even close to disclosing him illiterate.



Tue, 11/09/2010 - 11:48 | 711808 Fish Gone Bad
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What happened in Europe in WWII (fingering the jews) was not a Nazi issue, it was an everyday, everyone did it, issue.  It is absolutely amazing what terrible things people can do, given the right environment.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 11:48 | 711810 philgramm
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For far too long the American citizenry has put the faith of their well being in the hands of the "leaders".  If you pawn off the duty of your well being and survival onto others then they can take advantage of it.  What else did we expect.  The only thing an individual can do now is to prepare.  It's (collapse) coming and nobody can do anything about it (even the "elected leaders").

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 11:51 | 711818 SheepDog-One
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Yea TRUE! When you hand over your liberties to someone else, in particular a Gooberment, dont be surprised when you look around and realize youre a damn slave!

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 13:06 | 712096 traderjoe
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Fractional reserve debt-money banking requires inflation to continue it's perpetuation for as long as possible. This requires citizens to 'invest' their money in order to attempt to beat inflation over time. Of course, they have to invest with the 'money-changers', who charge for the privilege of investing money with them. So, the bankers built a system which requires inflation, which requires citizens to put their money at risk with the bankers. Brilliant...for the bankers. 

Hard money and/or stable currencies can have stable or even declining prices over time. This is the natural order of things, as productivity reduces costs over time. Then, citizens can 'save' their money at low risk, since they can store their savings/purchasing power over time. 

A currency that would allow for the stability of value over time would make wide swaths of the 'money-changing' business obsolete virtually immediately. One can instigate and hope for such an outcome...

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 11:53 | 711817 MarketTruth
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A small yet important point, Google is now doing evil on many levels. Am just saying...

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 11:54 | 711830 Confused
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Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:01 | 711853 Max Hunter
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That's the quote that came to my mind as well.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 11:53 | 711823 ssp2s
ssp2s's picture

If a company has a motto of "Don't Be Evil," you can bet it is.  Google is the new Halliburton.  No need for the author to undermine the rest of the article by starting with weak assertions.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 11:56 | 711838 illyia
illyia's picture

Tough stuff.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 11:57 | 711839 tbd108
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I was down on the floor of the NYSE several weeks ago and looked around carefully with just this sort of issue on my mind. After carefully looking at the traders at their terminals and speaking with several veterans of the floor, I came to the followings conclustions: 1) none of them appeared to be "evil,"; 2) some of them looked trapped; and 3) they seemed to be very bright but in narrow ways so that I truly believe that they don't understand what mischief they bring.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:14 | 711907 Bob
Bob's picture

The "successful" class has an uncanny genius for being only as unaware and stupid as they need to be.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:18 | 711920 snowball777
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I'm sorry, did you say something? I was thinking about soup.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:22 | 711919 Bob
Bob's picture


Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:28 | 711959 Ripped Chunk
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They set the game up that way.

None of the black boxes humming along on the floor were available for interview..................

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 15:12 | 712776 DevelopMental
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NYSE = Pavlov's Casino.

"Ring the bell and they will come."

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:01 | 711855 doomandbloom
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Nasa wants to have a one way mission to Mars


Larry Page of Google will invest around 1 Billion into the project....

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:09 | 711888 Manipulism
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Good, then he should fly.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:26 | 711952 snowball777
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I nominate Jabba Summers, Lord Blankstare, and Jamie 'Dime Bag' Dimon for the trip.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:01 | 711856 Manipulism
Manipulism's picture

After WW2 the germans become "entnazifiziert" which means I think some like denazfied.

Maybe in a couple of years americans become "deamericanized".

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:04 | 711867 tmosley
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Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:18 | 711921 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Wow thats a lofty dream.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:04 | 711866 Abigail Adams
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All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.

Thomas Jefferson

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:20 | 711932 snowball777
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Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:40 | 711873 Mercury
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Google's famous "don't be evil" is reversed in the American Central State and financial "industry"

Well if they say they aren't evil it must be true.  What evil could possibly come from a giant corporation's attempts to monetize every last datum of your existence or the wooing of foreign dictatorships?

Smaller institutions are better and more healthy for society than big ones.  Both the mega-company and mega-government pose an exponentially greater threat to everyone else's well being than smaller ones do.  Whatever greater good they are uniquely capable of because of their scale is far outweighed by the many-ways-to-lose downside of same.  Especially in this high-tech era.

We have a much better shot at keeping human institutions smaller and accountable than we do at changing human nature or eliminating evil.

TBTF financial institutions have to go (and should have gone in 2008). But ever-expanding government and government power has to go too.  If not, the two will inevitable fall in love with each other  (as is already happening) evil things together.

I submit (Tyler) that this is not a political observation but an empirical one supported by the work and conclusions of people like Nassim Taleb who have successfully demonstrated this phenomenon in other areas of life and the universe where risks needs to be provided for.

When extreme outcomes are (at all) a possibility, keep it smaller and less complex whenever possible.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:07 | 711878 philgramm
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Integrity:  Truth in action

Love: Natural response to virtue and integrity

Both of these are a scarce commodity in our America today.  If you can find a way to surround yourself with people who espouse these principles the rest can and will fall into place.  I know that ZH is a place of thinkers and empiricist but the two concepts stated above are consistent with thinking and empirical observation. 

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:27 | 711957 snowball777
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Phil Gramm: an ignorant asshole who should be in a fucking jail

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:34 | 711977 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Well hell, they should ALL be in jail!

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:13 | 711900 winks
winks's picture

After reading the book "The Big Short" by Michael Lewis, I was struck by how Goldman Sachs constructed a whole business strategy (CDS and CDOs) based upon deceit. They went out of their way to market these things knowing full well that the mortgages that supposedly stood as collateral would fail and that they (Goldman Sachs) would profit from their demise.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:33 | 711974 linrom
linrom's picture

Most wealthy Americans tolerate this shit because they think the system is set up to benefit them or that they're smart enough to benefit from the corruption and evildoing. So, its ok.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:35 | 711983 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Most 'wealthy americans' are only millionaires and looked at by the trillionaire elites as the same peasantry no different than some food stamper in a Hover'round at Walmart.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:50 | 712038 breezer1
breezer1's picture

charles smith says it well.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 16:28 | 713151 RECISION
RECISION's picture

"1984" said it better.

But apparently it doesn't hurt to paraphrase...

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 13:11 | 712109 flattrader
flattrader's picture

What BS.

"So the mortgage applicant lied, and the mortgage broker lied by accepting a document he/she knew was false. And so the lie grew heavier as it passed from hand to hand, and the truth became lighter than air and floated away long before the falsified mortgage was originated, packaged, tranched and sold as a AAA "safe" investment."

It's been documented (and noted by admission) that many applicants thought they were getting fixed rate loans because the originator salted the first few pages of the documents with fixed rate papers and then stripped them off.

It's benn also documented that many applicants who sought ARMs were lied to about the terms and conditions.

Charles Hugh Smith, you're the one "putting on airs" of moral superiority by calling everyone a liar.

And I do revile you for not recognizing predatory lending when it's staring you in the face.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 15:13 | 712783 Commander Cody
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So, you're saying that no mortgage applicants lied?  That's a stretch!

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 13:14 | 712117 cdskiller
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Many people have told the truth. Frank Partnoy told it. So did Das and Steinherr and Lewis. So does the documentary "Inside Job".

This website contains more truth on a daily basis than the entire MS business media combined.

This post is absolutely correct, other than suggesting that the MBS Ponzi scheme was constructed from the bottom up. That is completely false. They created a giant web of lies and secrecy and propaganda first, taking their cues from the embrace of lies and secrecy by our government, then went on a feeding frenzy, destroying the wealth of the ignorant, literally stealing our future from us using futures.

Of course they all knew. Why do you think they hedged so massively? There was no CDS market before 2005. In two short years, it exploded to $60 trillion dollars. They bet against us and talked with each other at strip clubs about the imminent collapse and the need for protection against it.

Bernie is proof of the argument of this post. What has not been covered nearly enough is the fact that there were thousands more like him, though none quite so big. Hedge fund Ponzi schemes were rampant all across the country over the past 10 years. Thousands upon thousands of people were robbed. And STILL, the opacity that incentivized that epidemic has not been addressed.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 15:17 | 712800 Commander Cody
Commander Cody's picture

It would be nice if truth won out; however, the liars speak louder.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 14:08 | 712366 batz
batz's picture

This whole discomfort with lying is a fairly north american protestant idea.

Misreadings of the commandment about "bearing false witness against your neighbour" take something pretty specific and make it a blanket moral commandment about submitting and giving up advantage to  to percieved authority.

There are rules for the powerful, and rules for the ruled for the single reason that success in each game requires vastly different strategies.

The anger out there is from people who expected to be taken care of by someone else, like the gummint.

Denial is over, anger is here, we'll wait for bargaining then acceptance and go back to the status quo.







Tue, 11/09/2010 - 18:57 | 714008 kiwidor
kiwidor's picture

Anger is also caused by having a nebulous and therefore unharmable 'system' which becomes, without good cause,  increasingly intrusive on one's life in myriad and unimaginable ways.

Thus my hatred of control freaks of any kind.  Indeed, I would prefer anarchy than this; at least in an anarchic system there is no motive to reconcile.  And no system defending itself with immense resources.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 14:10 | 712377 Something Wicke...
Something Wicked This Way Comes's picture

What a great piece. Nails it. I linked it with my own personal story. Thanks TD and ZH. 

Keep up the good work!



Tue, 11/09/2010 - 14:25 | 712462 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

very well said....there is a cancer on the american people....

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 15:27 | 712858 laughing_swordfish
laughing_swordfish's picture

Re: Guillotines.

No need for mass guillotinings - just a few, the most outrageous offenders -

Beginning with Bernanke, Geithner, Paulson, Rubin, Summers...

Madame Defarge is knitting..

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 19:05 | 714044 kiwidor
kiwidor's picture

CHS has laid out the pattern quite nicely; shame about the hoary old "bad germans" theme, as if they weren't twice fucked over by the rest of the world.

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 22:13 | 714683 RECISION
RECISION's picture

I think there was enough blame to go around.

(btw kiwi, where you at?  expat?)

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 19:06 | 714049 blindman
blindman's picture


"Every GOP administration since 1952 has let the Military-Industrial Complex loot the Treasury and plunge the nation into debt on the excuse of a wartime economic emergency. Richard Nixon comes quickly to mind, along with Ronald Reagan and his ridiculous 'trickle-down' theory of U.S. economic policy. If the Rich get Richer, the theory goes, before long their pots will overflow and somehow 'trickle down' to the poor, who would rather eat scraps off the Bush family plates than eat nothing at all. Republicans have never approved of democracy, and they never will. It goes back to preindustrial America, when only white male property owners could vote."

"I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours."

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