Guest Post: Can't Blame Economic Policy On Osama

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Nomi Prins

Can't blame economic policy on Osama

When William Shakespeare penned the words, “All the world’s a stage“ in, As you like it, it was centuries before tense photos of tense leaders would show tense concern over tense military operations.

What transpired around the killing, or
killing announcement, of Osama bin Laden has been astounding. Whether
you believe that bin Laden was “taken out” by this NAVY Seal operation,
after nearly a decade, two wars, an over 81% increase
in the military budget, and thousands of deaths, following the tragic
loss of life on 9/11, or whether you believe he was dead and iced years
ago and strategically used as a sign of unflappable leadership, is
irrelevant. The surrounding uproar was theatre of the extravagant, no
matter how you slice it.

But, theatre was invented for distraction, in culture and in politics. So while all the Osama drama was unfolding, the Treasury Department issued another plea for raising the debt ceiling,
aka supporting its pro-bank policy. It went something like this:  We
need to borrow more to pay social security obligations and not default
on our debt, so other countries won’t question our ability to manage an
economy  (as if that hasn’t already happened) and we won’t have to pay
more to borrow more. If we don’t – you know what’ll happen – yep,
another financial crisis.

The actual quote was: “The debt limit is
the total amount of money that the United States government is
authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations, including
Social Security and Medicare benefits, military salaries, interest on
the national debt, tax refunds, and other payments.”

Though technically correct, omitting the
fact that our leaders chose to float the financial system on such an
unprecedented scale with no obvious Main Street benefits - hence the
massive and quick debt increase - continues to show an aversion to

Flashback five years. George W. Bush’s
second Treasury Secretary, John Snow, plead the same thing. (He wasn’t
unique, of course, Congress has acted at Treasury Secretary request to
raise the debt ceiling 78 times since 1960, 49 times under Republican
presidents, 29 times under Democrats.) Snow threatened he was being
forced to cut payments to civil servants, among other things, but didn’t
mention the real reason for the debt hike requirement, like the Iraq
war or the tax cuts that stifled revenue collection. He had used similar
arguments at the end of 2004, at time when the debt ceiling was about
half what it is today.

Raising debt ceilings is a bi-partisan
institution. The show is always the same. The Treasury Secretary begs
Congress. Congress debates than agrees. No one questions the real
reasons we pursued the excess borrowing.

Since Snow made his plea, a number of
things happened; a continued war, an extra war, a collapse of the
financial system, a subsidization of the financial system, a decline in
employment, home prices, average wages for most of the population, and
an increase in foreclosures, executive bonuses, and personal

Hitting the debt ceiling isn’t about
spending gone haywire because the Social Security and Medicaid buckets
are too small for the people that rely on these programs; it’s about the
big-ticket items– like recently, bailouts.

Here are some terms and numbers, intentionally blurred by those that control them. Feel free to jump ahead:

The total US debt is a combination of two things: the public debt (the amount of securities the Treasury issues in order to borrow money from international or national investors) and intragovernmental holdings (the amount of borrowing done from funds like the Social Security trust fund.) Public debt is always higher.

As of April 30, 2011 – the public debt stood at $9.63 trillion dollars and
intragovernmental debt at $4.6trillion (68% and 32% respectively of the
total debt of $14.24 trillion vs. a debt ceiling, or cap, of $14.294

In April 2010, public debt was $8.41
trillion and intragovernmental was $4.48 trillion (65% and 35%
respectively of the total debt.) In April 2009, public debt was $6.91
trillion and intragovernmental was $4.27 (62% and 38% of the total debt.
The debt cap then, was $12.14 trillion.

In April 2008, just after federal
subsidization of the sale (read: hostile takeover) of Bear Stearns to
JPM Chase, and before the rest of the big bailout began, public debt was
$5.22 trillion, intragovernmental was $4.08 trillion (56% and 44% of
the total debt.) The debt cap then, was $9.815 trillion.

In April 2007, public debt was $4.97
trillion, intragovernmental was $3.78 trillion (57% and 43% of the total
debt.) The debt cap was $8.965 trillion.

Basically, what all these numbers show is that; public debt has nearly doubled since before the big bailout, while intragovernmental debt has increased just 15%.
 Some (like Geithner, Bernanke, etc.) may argue that this balloon in
public debt was required to save our economy, though there’s little
evidence of it doing anything but cheaply floating our financial system,
not least because nearly half of the additional $4.4 trillion of public debt that was created it is stashed at the Fed as either excess reserves or QE2.

Now that the Osama drama has died down a
bit, and Congress returns to economic discourse with Tim Geithner over
not whether, but by how much, the debt ceiling will be raised, the
partisan bickering will resume its thunderous levels of inanity.

No one on the Hill will question the true why
behind the debt – because it would lead back to that mammoth fuchsia
elephant - we, the elected and appointed, screwed the country to support
the power banks, and we’d do it again, in fact, we already are.

With respect to bin Laden, conflicting
stories will go on forever – when did he die?, who’s body is in the
ocean?why didn’t Obama release a photo? But with respect to the economy,
it’s super clear -  our debt ballooned and our economy deflated, to
subsidize banks and their practices, period. We can’t blame that on
Osama bin Laden.

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NOTW777's picture

typo - you mean obama

NOTW777's picture

prins - what a tool

hey, ignore those claims #s - look obama the warrior is at ground zero feeling our pain

Whatta's picture

A loverly photo-op for Mr Oh-Bomb-uh. Is he golfing afterwards?

And, when he "feels our pain" does he also grope, like Bubba did? My parts are feeling a little touched right now.

Id fight Gandhi's picture

I get them mixed up too.

Obama bin biden

Hugh G Rection's picture

Whenever some staged event monopolizes media programming, that's when the real news is happening, in the shadows.


9/10/01 2.3 Trillion missing from the pentagon, next day a "hijacked airplane" hits the accounting dept of the pentagon

First ever FED news conference, unsustainable debt and a doomed dollar, Obummer comes out with a photoshopped longform BC

Alcoholic Native American's picture

Reminds me of the Underwear bomber, the dumb kid set up with a dud bomb and helped on a plane.  Non stop coverage for about a week to let the propaganda sink in.


Bend and cough bitches.

chumbawamba's picture

Interestingly, aside from my dumb friend who breathlessly rang me up Sunday night to let me know the news, I have heard/seen surprisingly little reaction in the real world.  Normally, on a big event such as this, you'd expect people in real life to be bandying the news about constantly.

The fact that I barely heard a peep reveals a few interesting realities.  One of them is that this celebration occured almost entirely inside the media sphere.  If you weren't watching mainstream news on television then you basically missed the hype.  I have not watched one iota of MSM coverage.  I only read about it here and there on the internets (here on ZH and the other sites I frequent).  For the most part the reaction has been blase.

Listen, folks, this was a made for TV satire.  In the real world, this was entirely a non-event.  If you had no TV nor internet you would not know that some dude in some distant land was rubbed out and disappeared into the ocean.  You would, however, notice the blue sky, the shining sun, the nice breeze blowing through the green trees...all the things I am seeing.

Just an observation...

I am Chumbawamba.

michigan independant's picture

I was thinking the same thing. My wifes smile, decent weather today and my childrens ability to say what is the point today with these people today. Endless death on both sides for the cheering mass is evil.

Timmay's picture

I looked into this, looks legit. Did the U.S. ever figure out where this unaccounted for 2.3 T went?

NOTW777's picture

something must be planned for tomorrow too - obama has further photo ops with military

narnia's picture

Osama bin Laden, a man embraced by the US in its proxy war vs. the Soviets in Afghanistan, was a bad guy with a twisted version of justice inconsistent with a free society. 

What we have sacrificed in personal & economic freedom for the false choice of government security is inexcusible & inconsistent with core American principles.

Al Qaeda does not exist:

Atomizer's picture

Can't blame economic policy on Osama

When there's a will, there's a way.

-Obama Bin Laden

NOTW777's picture

was it osama TARP II and III?  osamaCare? osama stimulus? osama reinvest in america?

Seer's picture

How much do you get paid to troll for the Party?  All you ever do is post childish shit lambasting Obama.  Maybe one day you'll be able to really comprehend what is written and see that it's ALL these fuckers, because, because it's the fucking System!

You can't get past the name-calling level to really get to the meat of the issue.  Too bad.  But, one can only hope that god's evolution will work its way to clear things up...

Alcoholic Native American's picture

I doubt he gets paid to troll for the knuckle draggers.  Some people just really hate libs.

Hugh G Rection's picture

Well he's not wrong...  I used to be a hardline neocon, until I woke up and realized they're both run by the same jekyl Island demonspawn pontificating fuckheads.


Its thinking one side isn't corrupt thats wrong.  The establishment right and left work for banksters, which is why we wont get a Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich nominated.  It'll either be a globalist puppet like Romney or Hillary.


We're fucked, buy the dip!

Alcoholic Native American's picture

Oh they are both corrupt, but at least the neocons are blatantly sadistic and upfront fascist about it.  The limp dick democrats make me want to puke.  Obama the placator in chief was the last straw.

Alcoholic Native American's picture

"Since the 11th, many of America's policies have come under the influence of the Mujahideen, and that is by the grace of Allah, the Most High. And as a result, the people discovered the truth about it, its reputation worsened, its prestige was broken globally and it was bled dry economically, even if our interests overlap with the interests of the major corporations and also with those of the neoconservatives, despite the differing intentions."

 "And for your information media, during the first years of the war, lost its credibility and manifested itself as a tool of the colonialist empires, and its condition has often been worse than the condition of the media of the dictatorial regimes which march in the caravan of the single leader."

Adam the American posing as Osama Bin Laden in a 2007 Al-Qaeda release.

The real Osama has been dead a long time.



Vergeltung's picture

it really is a bi-partisan disaster. certainly supports the "there's no difference in the political parties" crowd...

drink or die's picture

I don't believe the official Osama story, but this article hits it on the head.  Who cares?  Either way, it makes no difference on where this country is.  It's not worth the time to argue it either way, there are more important things going on.

Seer's picture

In a way yes, in a way no...

It doesn't matter because it's really only a story.

BUT, it DOES matter in that it's all predicated on lies.  Accepting lies doesn't really say a lot about a society, does it?

drink or die's picture

At this point, I think the people expect the government to lie to them.  Living in fantasy land is encouraged in our society. 

Alex Kintner's picture

Considering that polls show ~10% Approval for Congress (for both putrid parties), I think most people get it. And it's funny how that equates to about the precent of people who falls into the Upper wealth class.

Pants McPants's picture

This analysis is excellent - so good, in fact, that I'd consider sending it to my blue team friends.

Except that means they'd have to read, think, and react....when in reality most proles excel at 1/3 of those tasks.

carbonmutant's picture

The announcement of OBL's demise has certainly had an impact on the markets...

Sudden Debt's picture

On they have this hilarious title! GO CHECK IT OUT!!


Here it comes:

As Fed Exits Bonds, Others Likely to Crowd Back In



I almost pissed myself :)

Hugh G Rection's picture

should read:

As Fed exits bonds, Americans enter into bondage

hedgeless_horseman's picture

No byline other than "Reuters" means two things.

1.  It is an editorial (opinion) not a news story.

2.  Nobody at Reuters stupid enough to attach his/her name to this propaganda.

I am a Man I am Forty's picture

obama finally died naturally under the protection of the US and Pakistani governments, once he finally passed away, they staged an event for the western world of OBL being taken out


Sudden Debt's picture

Strange week he?


Osama showing his birth certificate

Obama getting shot between the eyes


crazy I tell ya!



Alex Kintner's picture

Considering a steady diet of govt lies for the past 50 years, that's as plausible an explanation as the official one.

And they blew up a $10M helicoptor so it wouldn't fall into the hands of the Alqueda Air Force. Very convincing.

Gold 36000's picture

As your president I promise to pour gasoline on every Federal building in Washington, D.C. and light the ceremonial match.  Vote Gold 36000.  No more pantywaists for president.  When the going gets tough the pyros get going.

Hugh G Rection's picture

Troll'd 36000

remember to log out when you want to congratulate your own points from one of your other sock accounts.


Troll'd 36000 for Douche of the Year!

aa44aa's picture

Correct, we just can't blame the economy on Obama. My question is, did Obama, as our leader, act like a leader and recognize the problems and take the initiatives to fix them?

Sudden Debt's picture





let's just hope cotton prices go up way high...



Hugh G Rection's picture



Despite the racism that made me chuckle.

Zero Govt's picture

so the $2 Trillion extension to the debt ceiling is the $2 Trillion they blew on the banks.. a back-stop for bankrupt bankers to carry on zombie banking

no cure for the disease but spoon-feeding the virus sugar

taxpayers must be pleased with the 'wisdom' of this policy fix afterall they're picking up the medical bill

Seer's picture

It's just such a big Catch-22.  It's mandated that the banks have a certain level of reserves; but, they were unable to meet these levels because of everything crashing; there was no way to fill these "holes" w/o having their friends in D.C. run the machinery.

Zero sum game: debt transfered from private to public has not made the debt disappear (though it has allowed the big bankers [campaign contributors] to continue receiving their big bonuses/salaries [read "bribes"]).

Segestan's picture

Something actually goes right... Obama is a great leader. Something as expected goes wrong...Don't blame Obama thats racist!.. Somethings just Never get fixed.. Don't blame Obama!! .... It's Bush's fault.

Whatta's picture

Don't blame Obama thats racist!.

You mean President Ob♠m♠ ?

alien-IQ's picture

Well now that the "search for Bin Laden" is over, perhaps they could put those freed up resources to work searching for the missing 2.3 trillion dollars from the pentagons budget? You remember the missing 2.3T don't you? the 2.3T that Donald Rumsfeld said had disappeared from the pentagons budget? Don't you remember that announcement? the one he made...September 10, 2001?

In case you don't's a reminder:

Herbert_guthrie's picture

Can't blame Obama or Osama for the current state of the economy, but we can blame their bosses.

apberusdisvet's picture

Bin Laden had a host of debilitating illnesses, including Marfan's disease and kiney problems requiring dialysis.  When he worked for the CIA he actually was treated at Bethesda.  People with Marfan's usually don't make it to 60.  PM Bhutto of Pakistan told David Frost in an interview that she knew Bin Laden was dead in 2003; after which she was assassinated.

Alex Kintner's picture

I keep saying, "They are Looters, not Leaders."


And after the Abrahms tanks finally run out of gas and the Chinese take over the US at World Bank's direction, it will all come out. Possibly resulting in an invasion of Paraguay to arrest and punish the culprits.

walcott's picture

Silver Bid $35.80 -3.49
APMEX 2010 Silver Libertad price $48.27!
That's a $13.00 premium over fake spot price!
They only have 216 of them! They don't have one 2011.
This is a murderous heist of biblical proportion!

walcott's picture

Silver Bid $35.80 -3.49
APMEX 2010 Silver Libertad price $48.27!
That's a $13.00 premium over fake spot price!
They only have 216 of them!They don't have one 2011.
This is a murderous heist of biblical proportion!