On The Ongoing Saga Of Pittman vs Goliath

Tyler Durden's picture

By now everybody has heard about today's most recent butchering of Obama's farcical campaign promise of transparency, as exhibited by his superior: the Federal Reserve, which replied to a FOIA request submitted by the late Mark Pittman with 560 pages of blacked out lack of disclosure, all of which highly irrelevant, and a typical demonstration of the Fed's modus operandi of criminal opacity. Since there is little we could add to this narrative, we thought long and hard how to most poetically give justice to the ongoing saga between the late Mark and the soon to be late Fed. We couldn't come up with anything profound. So we decided to fall back on the simplicity of truth. And the truth is that in this most recent attempt to foul the memory of a great journalist and greater man, the Fed once again merely digs the grave of its own demise ever deeper. Even from beyond, Pittman reminds us that one simple man can continue to challenge the multi-headed hydra that is the Fed, and win. The truth is that the Fed's response is simply another acknowledgment that it only has lies, deceit, cowardice and secrets to protect it from a hundred years of accumulated crimes against the public of the United States. The truth is that Pittman's memory will live longer and have a far greater impact than that of all the Fed's pathetic chairmen combined, the most recent iteration of whom are finally realizing they are fighting a losing war to preserve their institution, now in its terminal phase, after which their legacy will be at best forgotten, and at worst a sorrowful reminder of what happens when a nation allows itself to fall under the tyranny of a few corrupt and worthless men.

Pittman taught a generation of journalists that contrary to established traditions, there are two ways to cover the comedy of Wall Street. That of the namesdropping parasite, fervently attached to the polyps in the lower digestive tract of banking, where it gladly and blindly will regurgitate whatever tidbits of excremental information are passed its way, in exchange for praise that nobody outside the administrative/mainstream media complex cares for or believes in... And the Pittman way, which is to deconstruct every lie presented by the same complex, to expose its flaws, and to present it openly for all to see. This is the stuff of true journalistic legend. Everything else are venal attempts at fleeting, self-laudatory praise. Pittman never cared for that.

The truth is that if this country had more men that shared Pittman's intellectual prowess, his honesty, his resolve, not to mention his integrity and compassion, and last but not least, his ability to imbibe, we would not be in this sad state of affairs. If only others dared to unmask the ultimately very simplistic web of lies and deceit behind which the Federal Reserve has hid for the past 97 years (always remember: just follow the money), the indignation of the people would have long since reached boiling point. Luckily, Mark's legacy is just that: showing us the way. The way, which does not involve hiding in the comfortable corners of the iniquitous status quo, but shining the light of truth all over it.

Approaching the one year anniversary of Pittman's passage, every consecutive attempt by the Fed to prevent its own ultimate demise appears increasingly more comic yet pathetic, and merely adds more feathers to Pittman's cap, who still is and always will be the first man to take on the Fed and win.

Let the Fed have its secrecy, let it make a mockery of the promises for transparency and accountability, at this point it is largely irrelevant: America has finally realized that the true enemy is not foreign. It is domestic. It sits at the heart of the financial and political nexus of Wall Street and DC, serves as the dynamo for America's corruption, uses lies and deceit as its last defense, and now, thanks to Pittman, we know that it is very scared, and very vulnerable.

Pittman showed the way. It is up to the rest of us to continue his crusade until America removes its home-grown tyrants, and returns to the core precepts of the Constitution as laid out by the founding fathers.

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Jake3463's picture

Even the US Military isn't bold enought to hand over 560 pages of totally redacted papers in response to a judges orders.

At this point, every American should ask themselves why they follow the law.


chopper read's picture


buy gold. buy guns. tell your friends to buy gold and to buy guns.

protest the system.  remove your capital. end this sooner rather than later. starve The Fed before they starve us.   

end the fractional reserve counterfeiting which only benefits thieving bankers. end paper printing which enslaves us retroactively and drives away productive forces. 

the only thing they have to fear is gold itself and those individuals who stand ready in support of a Constitutional Republic and opposed to economic-central-planning parasites who are responsible for endless foreign wars, suicides, divorces, and murders brought on by artificially violent boom/bust cycles and draconian meddling in the affairs of a once free American people. 

avenge your ancestors and reclaim your country.  

themosmitsos's picture

Wow. Rarely have I read something so lauditory.

chopper read's picture

"sermon on the mount V2.0", bitchez.  

sushi's picture

Great prose!! White hot!! A searing indictment of the perfidy of those who describe themselves as "leaders."

Fred Hayek's picture

The rate determining step of this reaction is how quick the mainstream media either realize or admit the truth.  The problem is that the people who decide what news gets covered aren't average, middle class americans worried about their jobs and homes.  They're financially insulated new yorkers and washingtonians who go to the right restaurants, get invited to the right parties and know the "right" people.  Even such a person open to hearing the truth would have a huge emotional resistance to blowing up the velvety soft status quo. 

Popo's picture

Every day brings us closer to the day when we just stop paying taxes. Why on Earth should we continue to pretend that we are a nation of laws? The wealthy and powerful confiscate wealth at will via inflation and national debt, and thumb their nose at the very concept of law -- while expecting Americans to diligently accept the burden of taxation. The time for "F*ck you" is rapidly approaching.

Sean7k's picture

It is here. Tyler, very nice. Eloquent, precise and most important- factual. The government are criminals. The FED are criminals. There is no compelling reason to respect their rule. 

Bob's picture

Pittman should not be forgotten.  Lovely essay, Tyler.

CD's picture


Second-guessing the government’s response to the financial crisis is not useful, said Wilbur Ross, the New York billionaire who runs the private-equity firm WL Ross & Co.

“As far as I can tell, there is no evidence of any impure motivation in connection with any of the big decisions,” Ross said in an e-mail. “To me that is the issue, not whether you or I would have come to the same conclusion.”


Wow. Absolute fucking classic. Speaks for itself, doesn't it? Remember, they are in fact sociopaths. Very highly adapted to their niche, in some cases even intelligent, but ultimately sociopaths.


Right about now would be a good time for us all to try to follow in the footsteps of Mark, if we can. And in little ways, we all can.

frankTHE COIN's picture

How much of a farce can things get.

ShankyS's picture

The only remaining question is how far is Barry willing to go to allow the corruption and coverup to continue. Damned if he does and damned if he doesn't.

Many thanks to Pittman.

LongSoupLine's picture

May Pittman be the blessed with all the riches of the heavens for trying to save the middle class of their riches.

MarketTruth's picture

"There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt." John Adams 1826


What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. -- Thomas Jefferson

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." -- Samuel Adams, speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776.


"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." - Thomas Jefferson


"And I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property -- until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered... The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." -- Thomas Jefferson wrote on May 28, 1816


"Give me control over a nations currency, and I care not who makes its laws" -- Baron M.A. Rothschild, same guy who helped create the central banking system used today.

"But when you recall that one of the first moves by Lenin, Mussolini and Hitler was to outlaw individual ownership of gold, you begin to sense that there may be some connection between money, redeemable in gold, and the rare prize known as human liberty. --- Howard Buffett (Warren Buffett's father and former U.S. Congressman) READ MORE at: www.fame.org/PDF/buffet3.pdf


"Given the very high level of reserve balances currently in the banking system, the Federal Reserve has ample time to consider the best long-run framework for policy implementation. The Federal Reserve believes it is possible that, ultimately, its operating framework will allow the elimination of minimum reserve requirements, which impose costs and distortions on the banking system" -- Federal Reserve February 10, 2010



"In the absence of a gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold. If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good and thereafter decline to accept checks as payment for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as claims on goods. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to be able to protect themselves.

This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard." -- Alan Greenspan, 'Gold and Economic Freedom' in 1966.

Sean7k's picture

Unfortunately, we are not the ones that need to read this. We already know. What is the process by which the citizen's of America begin to understand these truths? And, then do something about it? 

Thanks though.

Lucky Guesst's picture

Create an email titled

The Answers We Feel We Owe the American People.

Add 500 pages of black lines and sign it Your Federal Reserve.

Add disclaimer and send.

Follow up with an exit poll because after we deal with all the other problems this Country has we are going to have to address the sheeple problem. Tough Love is my suggestion.


Bartanist's picture

I do not believe the government as it was designed is an enemy of the people. It is those individuals and institutions, especially the banks, that have corrupted the government and are anathema. Taxes support both and support the people, who though no fault of their own are now dependent on the government and slaves of the bankers.

Sean7k's picture

Government will forever be the enemy of the people, because it will always be used by a small elite to enslave the majority. Our only protection is the elimination of government, the development of self governing communities, the abolishment of taxes and the realization of liberty. 

chopper read's picture

monstrous federal governments have a monopoly on the most dangerous commodity: FORCE.  Before this gets any worse, we must end this reign of terror by returning power to state and local governments and by opening up our regional economies to competing currencies, including gold and silver.  we must arm ourselves and cause these oppressors to think twice, because they will consider all options to maintain a position of control.

The organic healing of our economies can only begin when the Federal Grip on our throats ends.  Taxes and regulations that serve only corporate and union welfare seekers and their councils must be opposed at every juncture.  

we must starve the system of all our productive resources until they are forced to leave us alone because they can no longer afford the jack-booted thugs that populate their agencies at the expense of our pocketbooks and liberties.  

Goldilocks's picture

@Bartanist, ... it's systemic.

The characteristics of earlier Roman law … was its extreme formalism …from its first secret administration as the law of the privileged classes … it expanded until it became the basses of all civilized legal systems … developed in secret for the manipulation & exploitation of the ignorance of the people.

-Jordan Maxwell

99er's picture


Cui Bono's picture

For each man kills the thing he loves.......

excellent choice 99er... excellent choice.... CB

Jim in MN's picture

The poison runs too deep for simple leeches or bleeding.

Only the saw can save what's left.

TheGoodDoctor's picture

Is this a quote? If not brilliant! I hope I can use this in the future!

gmrpeabody's picture

That was classic, wasn't it!

Jim in MN's picture

Original.  You are more than welcome to it.  I only regret that the inspiration is such a monstrosity.

options_fan's picture

As a former Bloomberger, this post put a lump in my throat. Mark was a great guy.

Kaiser Sousa's picture

resistance must be n all and every form...the elitist will not respond to mere appeals for equity and justice...they r sociopaths have no doubts about that...they must know the citizens r willing to kill and die in pursuit of every human beings birthright....to be free of monetary tyranny as it ensures lifelong servitude...thank u Mark Pittman 

cubanonradar's picture

Isn't it all hopeless? Even if we withdrew all our life savings from these predatory institutions what do we do with it? Won't they eventually confiscate all our physical PM's when we try to convert them to buy necessities? Any ideas on the end game?

chopper read's picture

a vendor at a farmer's market is much more likely to take your silver in barter rather than someone else's worthless paper.  I do not believe that cooperation among common tradesmen will be an issue since they are members of the productive force. In fact, US Minted coins offer a tax deduction to any vendor because the face value of, for example, a silver dollar is $1, but the intrinsic value is around $25 based on silver content.  So a tradesperson can give you a $25 item for $1 face value silver dollar and take a $24 loss for tax purposes.  There are variations of this deal, of course, and it would be paramount to deal with whom you have developed a relationship of trust and dependability.  

however, if precious metals are made illegal by central planning tyrants, then you can bet you will starve without them.  my advice is to keep trading, and if anyone attempts to take your property/precious metals, then defend yourself with force.  

if you do not, then I doubt your life will be worth living, nor will your children's.  call it the cost of freedom that many of our ancestors have already paid in full so we could live to defend it another day.  

from this point, it will all depend on which Americans of character will choose liberty, and which Americans of desperation will choose a fascist dictator, and the chips will begin to fall where they may.

I am very optimistic that Americans will default to our Constitution, but perhaps that is wishful thinking. 

Jendrzejczyk's picture

"So a tradesperson can give you a $25 item for $1 face value silver dollar and take a $24 loss for tax purposes".

The government has already addressed this issue so be careful.



chopper read's picture

good post.  thanks.  i heard about this, but did not know the details.

Jurors rejected a recurring defense theme that the defendants sincerely believed Congress gave them the permission to go by the dollar amounts stamped into the coins by the U.S. Mint.

Certified public account Wayne Paul, brother of Texas congressman Ron Paul, testified that Congress created a dual monetary system when it authorized the gold and silver coins that currently circulate. That means, according to the accountant, that people can switch between coin and paper money, always going by the printed value.

good old American jurors; they'll prosecute an individual who circumvents a fraudulent system, and send O.J. Simpson walking.  pure comedy. 

Of course, this couple was extreme in absolutely every measure of tax evasion, which included the scheme that I mentioned.

I brought this story up, because someone else on these message boards described how a friend bought a beater car for his kid using a Gold Eagle coin as barter.  The used car dealer wrote the sale up for $50 and, as far as I know, likely booked it as a tax loss.  The gentleman who bartered got a $2,000 car for $1,350.

its happening now.  how widespread, i do not know.  the more widespread, the more difficult it will be to enforce, and the more likely future jurors will begin to become sympathetic as they realize that Federal Agents are not our friends.

either way, your advice is great.  Be careful out there. 

thank you!

Milton Waddams's picture

One silver lining- the DONK bill requires (TARP funds, et al. are the new "toxic" asset):

[Disclosure of] certain information, by December 1, 2010, about entities that received loans or other financial assistance under a Section 13(3) credit facility between December 1, 2007, and July 21, 2010. This information includes:

* The identity of the entities provided financial assistance under the facility;
* The type of financial assistance provided;
* The value or amount of the assistance;
* The date on which the assistance was provided;
* The specific terms of any repayment expected, including the repayment time period, interest charges, collateral, limitations on executive compensation or dividends, and other material terms; and
* The specific rationale for the facility.

# Disclosure is also required for persons or entities that participated in the agency MBS purchase program, used foreign currency liquidity swap lines, or borrowed through the Term Auction Facility (TAF) during that time frame.

# The Dodd-Frank Act also establishes a framework for the delayed disclosure of information on entities that, after July 21, 2010, received a loan from the discount window under Section 10B of the Federal Reserve Act or from a Section 13(3) facility, or participated in OMO transactions. Generally, this framework requires the Federal Reserve to publicly disclose certain information about these discount window borrowers and OMO counterparties approximately two years after the relevant loan or transaction; information about borrowers under future Section 13(3) facilities will be disclosed one year after the authorization for the facility is terminated.

2discern's picture

There are incremental methods to "the proverbial shot" over the bow. An initial warning to DC would be by coincidence of course, where all of a sudden the major traffic arteries leading in & out of DC were clogged by cars and trucks stalling. You didn't know the ignition wire was loose. And by a freak happenstance,each lane of each major road had 4-5 cars/trucks deep per lane that simple couldn't move.

Traditionally, a distressed vehicle hangs a cloth/handkerchief on the door. Gee they are all the same colors. Why, they look like flags of red, white & blue. What a coincidence that that was the only available cloth laying in the back seat to hang out for telling other drivers I'm stalled. 

digitalhermit's picture

It seems DC is already experiencing "proverbial shots" across the bow.


chopper read's picture

No one was in the museum at the time. The damage is estimated to be about $20,000. The bullet holes were in the part of the building facing Interstate 95

$20,000 to fix bullet holes?!!!!   .....argh!!!!!!

Jendrzejczyk's picture

"all of a sudden the major traffic arteries leading in & out of DC were clogged by cars and trucks...."

Other than the flags, it would not be noticed here. The beltway is a parking lot on a daily basis already.

TheMonetaryRed's picture

Pittman was one of the great journalists who, by example, showed the rest of "financial journalism" to be a bunch of useless sellouts. That said, the author's flight of fancy about a "web of lies and deceit behind which the Federal Reserve has hid for the past 97 years" is frankly a little....shrill. 

Nobody is more irritated at bankers than I am, so if we want to actually DO something to help Pittman's efforts, let's do the work to file our own FOIA requests. With all the brainpower on this blog, why don't we get together and figure out how to file some FOIAs, what to ask for specifically and then do it?




Clycntct's picture

Just when I was feeling all constitutional and all I read this "That said, the author's flight of fancy about a "web of lies and deceit behind which the Federal Reserve has hid for the past 97 years" is frankly a little....shrill. "

And I think WHAT THE FUCK???

chopper read's picture

a "web of lies and deceit behind which the Federal Reserve has hid for the past 97 years"

this is hardly an exaggeration, whether you wish to be "The Great Diplomat" or not.

Launching a tsunami of FOIA filings is a good suggestion, however.  +1 

TheMonetaryRed's picture

So, let's have ZH people get together and create a FOIA team. 

We hit them with one after the other after the other - narrowing and improving the FOIAs from successive filers based on information from previous filers.

The trick is to make the FOIAs as narrow and easy to fulfill as possible. 

The FOIA system resists 2 things, as I understand it:

1) Fishing expeditions - as in "please give me the entire federal record for these 20 years" - where people ask for huge amounts of stuff.

2) Single parties trying to use FOIA as a delay tactic - instances where one party breaks up his FOIA request into tiny bits just to delay a trial or something.

What they can't really resist is many citizens making clean, specific requests in cooperation with each other, sharing information to improve their FOIAs. 

chopper read's picture

What they can't really resist is many citizens making clean, specific requests in cooperation with each other, sharing information to improve their FOIAs. 


tom a taxpayer's picture

Here's how to file FOIA request for Federal Reserve information. 



The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information. FOIA request is designed for use by any person, you do not have to be a newspaper, you do not have to hire a lawyer. Just follow the instructions and file the request. The FOIA request can be filed electronically.


TheMonetaryRed's picture

First, I'd like to say that by "flight of fancy" I meant primarily to indicate 'flight of rhetorical fancy", but, whatever. In this instance, I am absolutely outraged that Treasury thinks they can hide this stuff. It's utterly inexcusable in every way. In general, I'm less sympathetic to the Fed-as-Mordor type of stuff. 

More importantly, under "Tips" for FOIA filing they say this:


"To speed processing time and to minimize fees, you may wish to consider the following:

1. Specifically describe the information you seek. The more information you provide about what you are looking for, the more readily we can determine where to search for responsive information"

This is FOIA-speak for "you really need to know exactly what to ask for if you want to get these documents back before you're significantly older". 

To get a useful FOIA back at reasonable cost in reasonable time you have to specify what you want such that they can find it quickly or to specify your interest in the matter at hand (like, you're a lawyer representing a defendant in a regulatory action). 

So, if you want to bury the Fed in FOIA paper, you want to hit them with the largest number of simple, concise, easily fulfillable FOIAs you can, rather than asking for huge reams of stuff. Leave the lawsuits over huge files to people like Bloomberg. The more specific, the less of an excuse they have. Ideally, you would use actual government filing system numbers.

If you can't get access to someone with real FOIA expertise (and I've done FOIAs, but I'm no expert), the best thing would be for a lot of people to share information on a succession of FOIAs, develop a picture of what the record looks like and how the FOIA office is thinking. That way you can ask for specific things in ways that allow them to redact the least.

They have to redact stuff. That's inevitable. The trick is to figure out how their FOIA office thinks. 

P.S - FOIA offices are actually very nice people by and large - even at the Pentagon. They actually take their job seriously and they are vastly overworked so DON'T call up the FOIA people and berate them, wherever you believe Soron to be hiding. 



chopper read's picture

FOIA offices are actually very nice people by and large - even at the Pentagon.

no doubt these are regular folks.  However, when they "follow orders" to obstruct the free flow of information, such as with Pittman's request, they are making a choice to empower opacity and (borderline, if not outright) Federal government fraud. 

it will be interesting to see this power struggle unfold and if it leads to resignations at a personel level.  given the benefit structures of government jobs and the struggling economy, I find it difficult to believe that any of these folks will make any courageous choices that will take food out of their children's mouths.  There really is a conflict of interest here as it relates to the Freedom OF Information Act. 

Johnny Dangereaux's picture

"You are Krill" is more like it. Yeah FOIA requests...sure can see that those do a lot of good! 

"flight of fancy"...what are you, a fucking homo? 

"irritated" are you? Don't get your bloomers in a bunch!

"why don't we get together"  yeah, and we can have a cup of tea too....BITCH!

Coldfire's picture

Paging Julian Assange, paging Julian Assange...

i-dog's picture

You can be sure that Julian is sitting on a heap of leaked paperwork relating to the RICO conspiracy between the various financial players ... and that they will never see the light of day from his hands.