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Racketeering 101: Bailed Out Banks Threaten Systemic Collapse If Fed Discloses Information

Tyler Durden's picture


And so the guns come out blazing. The Clearing House Association, another name for all the banks that were bailed out over the past year with the generous contributions from all of you, dear taxpayers, are now threatening with another instance of complete systemic collapse if Bloomberg's lawsuit is allowed to proceed unchallenged, let alone if any of the "Audit The Fed" measures are actually implemented.

As a reminder, The Clearing House Association consists of ABN Amro, Bank Of America, The Bank Of New York, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, US Bank and Wells Fargo.

In a declaration filed in the Bloomberg Case (08-CV-9595, Southern District of New York), the banks demonstrate no shame in attempting to perpetuate the status quo with regard to the Federal Reserve and demand that the wool over the eyes of the general population remain firmly planted in perpetuity.

The Clearing House submits this declaration because the Court's Order threatens to impair the ability of our members to access emergency funds through the New York Fed's Discount Window without suffering the severe competitive harm that public disclosure of their identity will cause.


Our members have accessed the New York Fed's Discount Window with the understanding that the Fed will not publicly disclose information about their borrowing, especially their identity. Industry experience, including very recent and searing experience, has shown that negative rumors about a bank's financial condition - even completely unfounded rumors - have caused competitive harm, including bank runs and failures.

Surely transparency would facilitate rumor-mongering to an unprecedented degree. After all rumors spread much easier when everyone knows the true financial condition of banks.

And here, in plain written Times New Roman, you see what racketeering by a major bank consortium looks like:

If the names of our member banks who borrow emergency funds are publicly disclosed, the likelihood that a borrowing bank's customers, counterparties and other market participants will draw a negative inference is great. Public speculation that a financial institution is experiencing liquidity shortfalls - which would be a natural inference from having tapped emergency funds - has caused bank customers to withdraw deposits, counterparties to make collateral calls and lenders to accelerate loan repayment or refuse to make new loans. When an institution's customers flee and its credit dries up the institution may suffer severe capital and liquidity strains leaving it in a weakened competitive position.

Pardon me if I am a broken record here, but would rumors not spread much less if there was more transparency, if investors and other financial intermediaries were fully aware of the conditions of their counterparties, if banks did not have to cover their billions in reserve losses by pretending they are viable and essentially being constant wards of the state?

The Banks' racketeering has gone on for far too long.

And yet, it does not stop: the conclusion from the banks' letter:

In sum, our experience differs from the factual conclusions the Court appears to have reached about the nature of competition in the banking industry:

  • The competitive harm to institutions that are publicized as needing emergency funding is not "speculative," but demonstrated by the recent multiple failures of financial institutions whenever information about their funding difficulty has been disclosed.
  • The disclosure does not involve mere "embarassing publicity" but information that could result in the immediate demise of an institution.
  • The disclosure would not merely "stigmatize [ ]"the institution or make it "look [ ] weak," but goes to its very viability.
  • The disclosure of accessing emergency funding is not an "inherent risk" of market participation, but an extraordinary risk in extraordinary circumstances.
  • Competitors can use the disclosure to advertise or publicize that they are financial stronger because they don't need emergency funding.

In a nutshell - the banks want their complete opacity cake and eat it too, or else, the racket goes, the transparency that will somehow promote massive rumor mongering will again destroy capitalism. In the meantime, the Ken Lewises of the world can continue touting how stable their businesses are based on optimistic future projections, while implicitly, they continue to survive merely thanks to the cash granted them by you, taxpayers.

Full filing here:



Clearinghouse_Decl -


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Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:40 | 49956 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

Meanwhile, investors are fleeing to the safety of these stocks while everything else is collapsing:


Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:00 | 50010 AnonymousMonetarist
AnonymousMonetarist's picture

Same logic as robbing banks ... I guess.

Gosh Mr. Federales, if I'm here and you're here doesn't that make it our money, and whats wrong with frontrunning our money?

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 15:17 | 50454 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Thank you for considering the concerns expressed in this letter. If you have any questions or are in need of any further information, please contact Norman R. Nelson, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, at (212) 612-9205.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 20:13 | 51037 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Hey Norman at "The Clearing House"

I still haven't heard back from you since you mailed me that letter last year telling me that I may have won $10 million...

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 15:38 | 50507 Rusty_Shackleford
Rusty_Shackleford's picture

You're absolutely right.
It is our money.  
Yours, mine and everyone else's
in this country.  
But it is Ben's Fed.
Vikram, Ken, Loyd, up front!
Mr. AnonymousMonetarist has been kind enough
to bring us some of his investments.
Be my guest.
Help yourselves.
Get a good one.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 20:10 | 51034 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Rusty, the last I looked, it had 'Federal Reserve Note' printed on it right at the top. IMHO this implies that any money created by the Federal Reserve beleongs to said same entity. Might as well have had FOCS printed on it, 'Federa Organized Crime Syndicate'.

The peoples' money is commerce that can neither be taxed nor confiscated by a government, monarch, dictator, or political/corporate elite.

The people no longer have free commerce because even barter is taxable by the Federal government.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 20:46 | 51078 AndItsGone
AndItsGone's picture

I usually cross out Federal Reserve and write PYRAMID SCHEME in Sharpie on my FRNs. Y'all should join me.

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 07:59 | 51499 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Have the US government issue its own fiat and cut all ties to the Federal Reserve Bank and then watch what happens.

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 14:03 | 51958 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Skull fragments.

Tue, 09/01/2009 - 03:54 | 54838 Anonymous
Tue, 09/01/2009 - 03:57 | 54839 Anonymous
Mon, 08/31/2009 - 14:25 | 54097 hbjork1
hbjork1's picture


Perfectly on target!

It is goods and services exchange that i the determinant of the quality of our lives.  Money is just a mutually agreed on medium of exchange across thousands of miles, a variety of subclimates, languages and tribal affiliations (that we call nationalities). 

Lots of public stress out there right now.  It is a time of change.  It will go a lot easier if we can retain confidence in out governmental systems including the relative value of the "Federal Reserve Note" currency.

"In a time of drastic change, it is the learners that inherit the future.  The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists." (Eric Hoffer)

For starters, we should spend some of the billions we are giving away to send the "would be" financial lights of the future to school where they must demonstrate understanding of  real world tensor math with the physicists and engineers.

One of Merton's credits in Wikipedia is "financial engineer"   

I have to think his math is a little weak.







Mon, 08/31/2009 - 14:55 | 54161 hbjork1
hbjork1's picture


Perfectly on target!

It is goods and services exchange that i the determinant of the quality of our lives.  Money is just a mutually agreed on medium of exchange across thousands of miles, a variety of subclimates, languages and tribal affiliations (that we call nationalities). 

Lots of public stress out there right now.  It is a time of change.  It will go a lot easier if we can retain confidence in out governmental systems including the relative value of the "Federal Reserve Note" currency.

"In a time of drastic change, it is the learners that inherit the future.  The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists." (Eric Hoffer)

For starters, we should spend some of the billions we are giving away to send the "would be" financial lights of the future to school where they must demonstrate understanding of  real world tensor math with the physicists and engineers.

One of Merton's credits in Wikipedia is "financial engineer"   

I have to think his math is a little weak.







Wed, 09/02/2009 - 13:45 | 56348 Rusty_Shackleford
Rusty_Shackleford's picture

I guess no one actually "got" the joke here.


Sad, really.


This interchange is a play on the dialogue between Spicoli and Mr. Hand from Fast Times at Ridgemont High.


I've been thinking about this,
Mr. Hand.

If I'm here and you're here,
doesn't that make it "our" time?

There's nothing wrong
with a feast on "our" time.

You're absolutely right.
It is our time.

Yours, mine and everyone else's
in this room.

But it is my class.
Hamilton, Brandt, Cornfeld, up front!

Mr. Spicoli has been kind enough
to bring us a snack.

Be my guest.
Help yourselves.

Get a good one.


Fri, 08/28/2009 - 10:24 | 51633 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Who care we know who the banks are. Its no secret.69

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 15:43 | 50519 JR
JR's picture

All efforts to look inside the Fed are to be commended, but with the robbers running the banks and the regulators, how is justice to be done? Look at how many months the Fed and its hundreds of professionals have had to cook the books and obfuscate the evidence since the lawsuit was filed. Aren't they pros at mark to fantasy? Horse sense tells me that if the courts were serious, they would have impounded the Fed’s books immediately, before there was a chance for the boys at the NYFed to falsify them. In the name of justice, isn’t it too late now? The Fed didn’t reveal the books when it was needed. The fact that it’s being forced to come up with an answer now is just propaganda, IMO. Noboby will believe it. And who’s to say it didn’t have two sets of books in the first place. Or no books. This is a secret organization, with more power than the Federal government. The Fed has never been audited, and under Barack Obama--who has more central bankers in his administration than any other administration in history according to Nathan Martin of Nathan’s Economic Edge--there will be no truth exposed now.  The world will never know where these monies went--or where they are now.

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 00:48 | 51375 dot_bust
dot_bust's picture

Better yet, what's wrong with systemic collapse? If the system is inherently corrupt and doesn't allow for a fair and equitable distribution of wealth, then the system should be allowed to collapse.

The incessant propping of failed companies just drains the country of its resources, impoverishing the people. The Fed propped in the 1930s, dragging the Great Depression out for 10 years. It only had to last 2 years, not 10.

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 08:08 | 51506 Enkidu
Enkidu's picture

When the Madoff ponzi was discovered nobody thought to just carry on with the scheme - however, when the American ponzi was discovered they just decided to keep it aflowing!

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 12:09 | 51799 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Um. Yes, in fact the SEC allowed Madoff to continue scamming for years.

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 02:00 | 51413 Spartacus
Spartacus's picture

Treasury Document Called AIG Investment ‘Highly Speculative’ (BLOOMBERG)

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 11:23 | 51743 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

The United States is going to pass a health care plan

written by a committee, whose head says he doesn't understand it,

passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it,

signed by a president that also hasn't read it and who smokes,

with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, (2:20 seconds into this clip)

overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and

financed by a country that's nearly broke.

What could possibly go wrong?

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 16:23 | 52177 JR
JR's picture

There’s much more in the article and it’s the kind of social thinking you can’t believe that’s been written down, but here’s a sample from yesterday ‘s WSJ of the writings of Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Obama's health-care adviser and brother of Obama’s powerful chief of staff Rahm Emanuel:

“Dr. Emanuel argues that to make such decisions [whose life is worth saving], the focus cannot be only on the worth of the individual. He proposes adding the communitarian perspective to ensure that medical resources will be allocated in a way that keeps society going: ‘Substantively, it suggests services that promote the continuation of the polity—those that ensure healthy future generations, ensure development of practical reasoning skills, and ensure full and active participation by citizens in public deliberations—are to be socially guaranteed as basic. Covering services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic, and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.’"

Taken from yesterday’s WSJ article by Betsy McCaughey, "Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel Wants Health-Care Rationing,” the Link includes among other things, Dr. Emanuel’s Reaper Curve:

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:11 | 50042 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Hope you don't mind, I reprinted your comment along with this post by ZH on our site, here:

(if you'd like it removed, please let me know here or at ilene@philstockworld)

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:48 | 50145 Gilgamesh
Gilgamesh's picture

When I find out that John Paulson was buying FNM and FRE common earlier this month... I might just quit trading stocks, or hedging against longs in any way.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 13:53 | 50253 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

How do you know he wasn't closing his short positions which he made billions on before the collapse?

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 13:38 | 50235 Assetman
Assetman's picture

So... do you think anyone in MSM will run with this veiled threat? 

Or do you think there will be an active campaign to suppress it?

I cannot imagine this will be a subject for discussion on CNBS.


Thu, 08/27/2009 - 15:06 | 50435 topshelfstuff
topshelfstuff's picture

basically told the Judge to go .... ...self, just like The People have gotten

what is needed id for The People to get a hint on what is going on. if enough of a hint gets to them, they'll finally Open their Eyes and demand to hear it all

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 15:34 | 50500 dnarby
dnarby's picture


The banks seem to be mistaking judges for congresscritters.

Could be a major miscalculation on their part.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 14:33 | 50350 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I'm missing something here. They say that if we knew the truth, these banks would collapse immediately. And the "market" reaction to them saying outright that many key institutions are, in reality, so frail that they would collapse if light hits them, is for the shares of these pieces of shit to rally MORE??? Yeah....right. This market is entirely bogus. There is not a shred of integrity to the markets. They are pure farce. Some are grateful for this because their portfolios have risen (even though they won't now sell). They should cry instead, because our REAL economy is totally ruined as a result. So long as the markets are controlled by an oligarchical parasitic financial organized crime syndicate, we as a nation are screwed. We are going to zero.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 15:23 | 50465 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Thank you for considering the concerns expressed in this letter. If you have any questions or are in need of any further information, please contact Norman R. Nelson, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, at (212)

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 20:49 | 51085 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Do you know what a duvet is?

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 23:43 | 51310 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture


And years ago - I heard this - i'll never forget the first time in winter 2001 - crossing back into Canada - it broke my heart and scared me

Now I'm jaded. But I still love this - awesome!!

I see a fit!


Fri, 08/28/2009 - 02:57 | 51433 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

You see, Pinocchio, a lie keeps growing and growing
until it's as plain as the nose on your face.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:42 | 49962 Veteran
Veteran's picture

Who are the jack asses who still work with these banks?  I would have pulled my money out long ago, just based on the fact that they are rapacious thieves who routinely plunder their own customers.  Add on the fact that are trying to hold the entire United States of America hostage.  Fuck, these assholes should all be in jail.  What the fuck is the matter with this country?!?  I feel like I'm taking crazy pills

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:19 | 50065 Oso
Oso's picture

and right there is the problem with our health system.  Doctors are too freely prescribing crazy pills!!  :P

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 05:24 | 51455 KevinB
KevinB's picture

Hey! If I didn't take my crazy pills, I couldn't stay sane!

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 13:43 | 50078 johnnyBoy
johnnyBoy's picture

From a competitive standpoint, where are the good banks cheering on full disclosure? Perhaps there are none?  Since they do not want to disclose info that would cause a systemic collapse, let's not disclose it but have our systemic collapse anyway..that will show'em! 

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 15:40 | 50512 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

If you sit tight and keep your mouth shut, you might have less of a chance to be killed by regulators and fed to the TBTF banks for pennies on the dollar.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 15:49 | 50528 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

They're in the back room being told "..don't ever take sides with anyone against the Family... Ever."

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 16:19 | 50587 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

FredoBank of Nevada

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 15:31 | 50490 Neo of Zion
Neo of Zion's picture

lots of wholesome community banks would love your deposit business...imagine what a run on the Clearing House would look like.

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 07:58 | 51498 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I agree, all other things being equal. But I don't think all other things are equal. The purpose of a bank run is to destroy the competition and consolidate wealth. The well-connected banks, such as Bank of NY-Babylon, will survive through their connections no matter how badly (or well) they're run. We've got ample evidence of that right in front of us, in this FOIA request. "Our business will be irreparably harmed if it's revealed we're insolvent. Therefore, you cannot reveal that we're insolvent." Unbelievable. The well-run community bank will be hit by the bank run just as hard as every other bank, but when they turn to the government for assistance, the government will say it just doesn't have the money to help.

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 10:52 | 51692 JR
JR's picture

It’s hard for me to believe that the American people will sit idly by while the Fed bankers and their enablers in Congress and the Oval Office rob them blind.  There comes a point at which Americans fight back; it's in their genes.  And history shows they fight with a vengeance.  Pent-up backlash is like a pressure cooker; if there's no release valve, it explodes. Americans are nearing that point.  This is not Sweden with its population of 9 million, whose central bankers “entered uncharted territory” and just dropped the deposit rate to minus 0.25, i.e., negative interest rates on bank deposits.

Do you think Americans would stand for that?  Let Ben, who’s a “close associate” of Sweden’s “vocal advocate” for negative interest rates and a “world-renowned expert on monetary policy theory”—Lars Svensson--give it a try.  Then, perhaps he and Lars will become renowned experts in the realilty of political backlash

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 11:49 | 51772 B_Movie
B_Movie's picture

The United States of America is the Land of the Blind.

Wed, 01/06/2010 - 18:09 | 184933 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

What can we do?

Remember the criminals have the greatest military in the world in place among us.

Who is going to prevent this gang of thieves and thungs from doing whatever they want whenever they want?

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:44 | 49967 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

When the Fed monopolizes the feeding trough we know where the pigs will congregate.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:44 | 49968 straightershooter
straightershooter's picture

Can we say all the members of the Clearing House Association borrowed emergency fund, and, hence, insolvent?

Why hide if you have nothing to hide?

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:56 | 49999 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Insolvent?  IMO, the answer is yes.

"The disclosure would not merely "stigmatize [ ]"the institution or make it "look [ ] weak," but goes to its very viability."

If revealing facts about an institution's need for emergency bailout borrowing would call into question said institution's viability, then the viability of said institution is already at least questionable.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:04 | 50021 AnonymousMonetarist
AnonymousMonetarist's picture

What we have here is a viability gap.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:45 | 49972 pigpen
pigpen's picture

Fuck the FED - audit it already. We are not falling for your red herring, strawman disctractions. Let the game of chicken begin - we have nothing to lose as we have lost everything.

Stop raping US taxpayers and disclose what is on your balance sheet. Transparency and honesty prevent runs and rumor mongering.

WE are not fucking idiots - audit the place already - we don't want to hear anymore theoretical bullshit - just do it.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:49 | 49982 Judge
Judge's picture

The Fed is already audited - by independents and the GAO.  You may feel free to go to their websites and find them linked.



Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:53 | 49990 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Absolutely they are Audited... They are audited so well in fact, that no one seems to know where 1.4 Trillion goes on "other contracts"...

Also, your logic is just plain false... If they were "audited" then getting emergency loans info would not be required... Let me guess.. They have a "secret audit"... Just like the rest of the banks...

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:41 | 50125 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

As the Judge says, the Fed has already been audited.

They are currently using the FASB "marked to fantasy" standard and on top of that, the Fed forgot to whom it lent the money to.

Folks, there's nothing to worry about. Ben Bernanke is right on top of things .....................(just as soon as he figures out what he should be doing)

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:51 | 50148 curbyourrisk
curbyourrisk's picture

Audited and put on double secret probation!

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 14:18 | 50306 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

There are no 1.4t in other contracts.
Please ask TD and PM to explain their error to you

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 15:15 | 50453 Stuart
Stuart's picture

Zactly.  Gee, we're so lucky to have someone like Judge tell us this.  His breathe must smell like BB's dick! What are all those several hundred Congressman who have signed Ron Paul's bill thinking.  In fact Ben Bernanke could have and should have had just said, Ron Paul's bill is a waste of time.  Judge says we're already audited, so there.   Glad that's cleared up now...    

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:06 | 50014 pigpen
pigpen's picture

Judge, I want to know collateral haircuts, who is borrowing at the so called penalty rate at the discount window, what kind of AAA toxic trash are we swapping for treasuries and again the haircut on said swaps and if the fed is buying stock indices. Just the relevant stuff and run of the mill stuff that their pretty balance sheet snapshot doesn't provide. People who have nothing to hide hide nothing.


Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:02 | 50016 AnonymousMonetarist
AnonymousMonetarist's picture

Linked by the same bullisht pablum narrative.

We are not as think as you drunk we are ... hic... bartender more leverage.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:06 | 50025 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Well, well, well, if it isn't our Enron lobbyists, or is that "college professor".  Why is a "college professor" so concerned about auditing the Fed?  And why does a "college professor" only show up for topics that concern the Fed?

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 19:54 | 51005 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I just wander how much the Fed pays him to go on message boards and defend the Fed. I've seen the same guy on other message boards.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 21:40 | 51150 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

he's probably an intelligence hack....the cia
is very adept at deploying "people" like that...

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:13 | 50044 Chumly
Chumly's picture

Hey Timmy...does Barry know you're hanging out here at ZH or did he send you here to make a fool of yourself (again)?



Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:16 | 50056 Cheeky Bastard
Cheeky Bastard's picture

hey mr.Ph.D ( hahahahahaha ) do you keep refreshing ZH page until a word FED pops up;or do you have one of your six figure earning ex-students ( again HAHAHAHAHAHA ) do it for you ?

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:21 | 50069 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture

CB, I am sure this person's job is to scan certain message boards and defend the Fed on any relevant posts.

But as I point out below, it is telling that the Fed is that worried that they would hire someone to do that.  Witness the hiring of the Enron lobbyist.  A lobbyist for the Fed?

They are starting to run scared.  I smell blood.  Time to get on my Senators again about that audit bill.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:37 | 50108 Cheeky Bastard
Cheeky Bastard's picture

exactly GFI; check out the pattern; when there is a story about the FED " Judge " storms in in a matter of seconds after the story is posted and spews garbage; and whenever there is a story about HFT " peterpeter " pops up in a matter of seconds and does the same thing. I to, smell blood, and this is not going to end up nice; no way no how; the avalanche started a year ago; and its only on top of the mountain; but one thing is for sure; it wont stop until something gets destroyed and CHANGED.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:55 | 50156 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

Let's keep on lobing the rounds into the unstable hillside....

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:32 | 50100 Thoreau
Thoreau's picture

if they have already been audited, then why are they afraid of being audited again? hopefully the state of new york will simply raid the freakin' whorehouse & thoroughly test for all STDs.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:55 | 50158 EndTheFED
Thu, 08/27/2009 - 14:26 | 50320 JR
JR's picture

Regarding any current so-called “audits” of the Fed, American Banking News on Sunday had this to say: “whatever really counts and matters in connection with the Federal Reserve will remain behind closed doors and secret…”  Here is an excerpt:

What would an audit of the Federal Reserve look like then?

Ron Paul helps us here, as recently he cited the response of the General Accounting Office when there was some interest in auditing the Fed in the 1970s: “We do not see how we can satisfactorily audit the Federal Reserve System without authority to examine the largest single category of financial transactions and assets that it has.”

…You see, the Federal Reserve can simply allow the auditing of what everyone has access to already, and claim they are audited consistently...

[T]he alleged transparency is being picked and chosen by the Fed itself, and it legally has no need to reveal the really important data; and it doesn’t. So in the name of being audited and transparent, they continue their secret practices without anyone knowing what they’re doing, which is the reason the American people need to get behind the bill which will release the GAO, and possibly other truly independent auditors, to look into every aspect of the Fed and report on the entirety of their activities.

When thinking on what an audit of the Federal Reserve would need to look like then, it deals with the existing laws which disallow them from getting full disclosure from the Fed, and overturning them so true transparency can be initiated by an audit or audits.

The specific details of those existing laws not allowing audits of the Federal Reserve are in regard to the agreements the Fed makes with central banks of foreign governments or international financing organizations (swap lines), any type of transaction that has been directed by the Federal Open Market Committee, and any of the discussions which result in how a decision was reached in relationship to monetary policy.

Essentially what this is saying is, whatever really counts and matters in connection with the Federal Reserve will remain behind closed doors and secret.

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 08:23 | 51511 Judge
Judge's picture

Go actually look at the current audits and tell us what is not audited.


The only thing Paul's bill would do is give Congress the power to direct monetary policy - that's Pelosi and Reed right now.  If you want them controlling MP and spending - then support it.  Go right on.

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 09:38 | 51576 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

"Judge" = Lies.

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 10:04 | 51597 Judge
Judge's picture

That's factual... as well as thoughtful, intelligent.


I love the reasoned debate some offerr...

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 14:26 | 50321 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

If the Fed was actually audited, then why the bloody hell did the Inspector General for the entire Federal Reserve System act incoherently ignorant as to what became of all those trillions (ref: testimony before Rep. Grayson [D-Fl.] where she was sitting on her hands, yet still claimed she couldn't find her butt!).

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 23:17 | 51268 agrotera
agrotera's picture

I really felt sorry for the woman when i saw the replay on youtube.  CLEARLY, she is a dingbat and with an organization as complex as the Fed, someone had to decide that to keep the secrets of the temple under wrap, they had to have a dingbat as their INSPECTOR GENERAL my opinion, it goes to show how creepy, and how dark the influence of this organization that the owners of this privatly held firm, that own half the DOW, and most politicians, could be able to get a dingbat as their Inspector General!!!!  Seems like that could be used to prove their criminality--"Fed owners arranged to have a dingbat as Inspector General" case closed.

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 08:24 | 51512 Judge
Judge's picture

Because firms aren't audited till after the year end.  Auditors don't do one every week....

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 14:32 | 50343 digalert
digalert's picture

Yea, audited before congress. When uncle Ben was asked where $500 billion went? reply: various banks around the world...there's a list somewhere.WTF

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 21:46 | 51163 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture's gone.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 14:32 | 50345 channel_zero
channel_zero's picture

The Fed is already audited - by independents and the GAO.

Haha!  Parent is right, but it's a cleverly crafted logical deflection.

I'm the first to agree that a different audit that brings to light all vehicles on and off the balance sheet.  Some may recall some rather unpopular institutional balance sheets looked okay before they went up in smoke.

Even if there was a thorough audit that made things clearer, would it quiet this crowd?  Nope.  Much like the theft that could only be boiled down to 'pay package' controversy, they'd focus on the stupid excesses.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 23:22 | 51276 agrotera
agrotera's picture

It wasnt' that the theft was boiled down to 'pay package' controversy, it is just that pay to bailed out entities anyone could get.  All the rest CDO's CDS's, AAA rating fraud, secruritizaton, leverage, etc, was too intimidating for most people, but the bonuses they got.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 15:01 | 50417 JR
JR's picture

Your Honor, the Prosecution would like to call its next witness: Robert Nabloid of Seeking Alpha who wrote a year ago January…

"The Federal Reserve (a privately owned company) has never been audited (ordinary citizens and corporations get audited all the time - The Fed hasn’t been audited since their creation in 1913) and now they NO LONGER PUBLISH HOW MUCH MONEY IS IN CIRCULATION. The same company that CONTROLS THE MONEY SUPPLY isn’t held accountable? How can you determine the value of a currency without that information? How do we truly know what the Federal Reserve has been doing? It could be conducting pure fraud and acting like a free ATM for its owners!? We don’t know. That should scare you. Sometimes I truly wonder, do the people have control over government anymore? Is voting once every four years really government by and for the people?"

And, our next witness:  Investment Guru Jim Rogers...

“The Federal Reserve is totally out of it. They’re destroying the currency
and driving up inflation, which will result in higher interest rates and a
worse economy. We now know the Fed doesn’t understand markets or
economics, but is just trying to bail out its friends on Wall Street at the
expense of 300 million Americans, nay, of the whole world.”

And Judge, if the Fed has been audited, tell us, where has all our money gone?

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 23:26 | 51281 agrotera
agrotera's picture

M3 stopped getting reported in Dec. 2006, and if that didn't act as a red flag for those who noticed, i don't know what could. If you go back and read the press releases, you will see extaordinary propaganda was being used to deter people from taking notice.

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 09:13 | 51560 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

very important points, one is about the degree by which the Press has Control over Public Opinion and what the People see or not shown. we also have distraction and misinformation, now standard.
re: M3
one way M3 was used by some was; it was the one/best way to try and get a handle on how much activity the Plunge Protection Team was doing. while thiss may be an old topic for those who researched it years ago, taking a fresh look at the PPT showed something else the Press had kept silent about. this was how Paulson had Energized the PPT, putting their activities at the highest levels ever, and consistent........take a good look at this topic, its very illuminating

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 12:08 | 51797 JR
JR's picture

One thing is absolutely certain—this rally isn’t based on any kind of profit-oriented news: it’s completely based on government intervention. If the financials did not move in the equity markets, this would be a bear market. 

Look at it as a table with three legs.  One leg is the insolvent banks, those that if you had to sell them couldn’t pay the debts.  Another leg is the combination of the Treasury and the Fed with their unlimited abilities to put money directly into the banks, or, in the case of the PPT, directly into the stock market to influence the banks. That’s the second leg, the government. The third leg of the table is the unquestioned ability of the government to broadcast market-directed announcements 24/7--what’s going up, what’s going down; its latest plans to bailize, subsidize, socialize, and taxize; what’s good, what’s bad; the billions for Wall Street here and the trillions for Wall Street there.... 

Out with the Old, In with the New: Here’s the current President’s WORKING Group (PWG) on Financial Markets, colloquially known as the PPT,  established by Executive Order 12631, the Working Group:

And, oh yes, let’s not forget the inner circle’s coming trades on the air we breathe: “Climate change legislation and the ability of government regulators to ensure that these markets operate free from fraud, abuse and manipulation will be keys to our success in alleviating the ill effects of global warming,” said CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton. The CFTC has regulated environmental futures markets since the mid-1990s, including oversight of Acid Rain Markets. Carbon trading will be the next big challenge.

Happy trading!

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 08:26 | 51514 Judge
Judge's picture

That is simply a lie - which I hope you have sense enough not to believe.  You may go look at the fed's website (which is a .gov site (how many private companies have that?) and look at their audits.

It's amazing how many people willingly believe a lie without doing the least bit of DD.

Sat, 09/05/2009 - 11:14 | 59848 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture


Thu, 08/27/2009 - 19:15 | 50950 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Not all is audited. The deals with foreign central banks are off limits...

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 08:27 | 51515 Judge
Judge's picture


But you can't audit (and paul's bill won't change this) unless you can see both ledgers.  The foreign central banks won't open their books to our auditors anymore than we'll open ours to theirs.  So the auditor can only see one side of the transaction.


That won't change.

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 08:46 | 51537 Cheeky Bastard
Cheeky Bastard's picture

good morning Judge; i see you are working the morning shift today in the " Ministry of propaganda and fascistoid policy promotions ". Hope you got yourself a whole lot of Vaseline.

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 10:27 | 51643 Judge
Judge's picture

I see you're still devoid of reason and any wit, left with nothing but personal insults.


You get tired of having your 'positions' shown to be nothign but irrational myths?


I don't blame you for your angst.

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 10:37 | 51659 MinnesotaNice
MinnesotaNice's picture

Judge... I agree Cheeky is a little over-the-top but he doesn't get much sleep on the other side of the pond :-)    However I think you need to put the word 'audit' in context with the reality of what an 'audit' really is... I have been through multiple types of audits in my companies... and an audit is really just a tiny sample of the financial records of a business.   Banks are regularly audited... however that did nothing to alert or prevent their unprecidented fall... so you must forgive those of us who now may want just a few more details that those provided by the 'audits' that you are describing... and I for one would like not just a summary of audit results, but the details that went into that summary line item... the trust I have in the current system is shattered... and like the married man who has had an affair, the angry wife now wants details.

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 10:46 | 51676 Judge
Judge's picture

I don't have any problem with that.

Paul's bill, however, won't change that.

Also, there is the 'competitive' problem.  The Fed, being the chief bank regulator, has access to practically all the bank records.  Some 'disclosures' would reveal certain banks trading positions/competitive positions and make them exposed to others seeking to exploit that.  So much of the information the Fed has SHOULD remain secret - so as not to hurt the individual companies. 

Now where that line is drawn exactly.....

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 10:54 | 51694 MinnesotaNice
MinnesotaNice's picture

It's quite a slippery slope we are on... and the main reason is that the TBTF's should have been allowed to fail, rather than growing even bigger as they are now... it is an untenable position we are in... and I am quite annoyed with the entire situation... perhaps the banks should do a little less trading and more lending and their 'competitive positions' would not be so much a worry. 

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 12:45 | 51828 Judge
Judge's picture

banks don't always have a choice.  They have deposits, but many times, due to a depressed economy, they have little or no demand for loans - so they have to buy securities.  They generally only buy treasuries, IG corps or Agency paper - on the commercial side.  The Investment side does trade riskier securiites, but the problem is that often banks didn't have the Investment side capitalized seperately. And they didn't expect to be buying AAA paper (from the agencies) that would go tits up.



Fri, 08/28/2009 - 10:29 | 51645 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

The Federal Reserve is regularly audited; it's true. Here is the regulation that governs the audits.

"Audits of the Federal Reserve Board and Federal reserve banks may not include -

(1) transactions for or with a foreign central bank, government of a foreign country, or nonprivate international financing organization;

(2) deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary policy matters, including discount window operations, reserves of member banks, securities credit, interest on deposits, and open market operations;

(3) transactions made under the direction of the Federal Open Market Committee; or

(4) a part of a discussion or communication among or between members of the Board of Governors and officers and employees of the Federal Reserve System related to clauses (1)-(3) of this subsection."

#1 has been addressed. I'll grant that we can't force other central banks to open their books. But we could certainly demand that our sides of the transactions be opened. #2 is at the heart of the matter in this discussion. There it is laid out in regulation. Discount window operations are not open.

Saying that the Federal Reserve is audited is either ignorant or disingenuous. An "audit" that is not allowed to examine fundamental activities is no audit at all.

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 13:18 | 51874 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture


Spread this information everywhere people.

Nobody with a brain is going oppose a Fed Audit now.

Sorry Judge... we welcome your opinions but you are clearly defending the indefensible... unless you also concur that the FRAUD that exists on the books if publicly disclosed will result in Armageddon.

Acknowledge the cancerous tumor that exists and deal with it by ENDING THE FED. 

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 12:42 | 51821 JR
JR's picture

In the General Accounting Office’s own words in the 1970s when there was some interest in auditing the Fed: “We do not see how we can satisfactorily audit the Federal Reserve System without authority to examine the largest single category of financial transactions and assets that it has.”

The Fed  “legally” hides behind existing laws that disallow audits of the Federal Reserve in regard to the agreements the Fed makes with central banks of foreign governments or international financing organizations (swap lines), any type of transaction that has been directed by the Federal Open Market Committee, and any of the discussions which result in how a decision was reached in relationship to monetary policy.

FEDERAL BANKING AGENCY AUDIT ACT of 1978 ----------------------------------------

The following areas are to be EXCLUDED from GAO INSPECTION:

(1) transactions for or with a foreign central bank, government of a foreign country, or nonprivate international financing organization;

(2) deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary policy matters, including discount window operations, reserves of member banks, securities credit, interest on deposits, open market operations;

(3) transactions made under the direction of the Federal Open Market Committee; or

(4) a part of a discussion or communication among or between members of the Board of Governors and officers and employees of the Federal Reserve System related to items (1), (2), or (3). (3)

Says American Banking News: “Essentially what this is saying is, whatever really counts and matters in connection with the Federal Reserve will remain behind closed doors and secret. Otherwise, they’re transparent and go through meaningless audits which regurgitate the same worthless data over and over again.”


Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:46 | 49975 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Best thing you can do is go Galt to stop the bezzle and starve the beast!!!

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:17 | 50063 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Right on about that.  Put your money into a credit union or small community bank.  No deposits = no business for most of these guys (GS and MS excepted).

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 14:51 | 50377 channel_zero
channel_zero's picture

Are you kidding me with this 'go galt' crap?

We've had ~20 years of light touch capitalism with the 'evil government' staying out of the finance industry's way and your answer is to *not* pay taxes to fund regulatory/law enforcement agencies.

Do you get how that's an untenable contradiction?  Do you see how that would make matters worse?  This is the fundamental problem with the whole TEA thing.

I 100% support some of the other ideas like stop watching TV altogether, switching to smaller credit unions.  (Who are having their own problems with bad loans) but definitely less evil than the super-banks. I would also add being far more politically active to the list. 

We have a good Republic design, but it *requires* member participation.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 15:23 | 50466 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture

A wholesale shift of deposit money to credit unions and community banks would solve a lot of problems.  If you starve the beasts, you reduce the political capture in the system - less lobbying money, less secret deals, etc.

Some banks could survive without retail deposits, but their power base would be greatly diminished.

It is the one thing "the people" can do, since the politicians are unwilling to do anything.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 17:22 | 50730 Lou629
Lou629's picture

From Ghostfaceinvesta: "A wholesale shift of deposit money to credit unions and community banks would solve a lot of problems..."

^^I agree with the idea, but there's a catch-22 here as well.  Given enough of us depositing our money with them, we'll end up with the CUs or CBs as TBTF themselves eventually, no?

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 17:31 | 50755 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

not when there's 1000's of CU/CB's to choose from.

even hakim bey, a most famous anarchist, in his wise old age, has begun to recite:

smaller is better

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 23:30 | 51288 agrotera
agrotera's picture

Smaller is  better is so difficult to achieve with the Goliath TBTF monsters we traveling to Mars ( I said is despair)...but certainly it can be done!!!

Sat, 01/09/2010 - 05:36 | 188222 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

You are a piece of shit Lou.

Sat, 01/09/2010 - 14:12 | 188497 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I don't see it that way. I think of it as ignorant (vs. stupid, ignorance you can cure).

What is killing us is over dependence on centralized structures of distribution and communication. What we need is localization, which is what turning to local banks represents. Take out a big bank and the system can be destabilized. If one bank in a system of little banks fails, the rest of the system can compensate for the loss, it does not crash the system.

I know you know this, but I don't think Lou does.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 16:01 | 50551 Rusty_Shackleford
Rusty_Shackleford's picture

"light touch capitalism with the 'evil government' staying out of the finance industry's way"

Are you serious?

This entire fiasco at it's core is secondary to a government created "private business" that centrally plans the price of money (which it creates out of thin air), along with government intrusion into the mortgage market with it's subsequent moral hazard and malinvestment, and regulatory and political capture at all levels.

The past 38 years have been a disaster, but don't try and blame it on capitalism.  Under capitalism the price of money would be set by the market and businesses that were insolvent would go bankrupt.  Plain and simple.

The meme that our current problems are a failure of "free market capitalism" is simply misinformed.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 17:56 | 50800 channel_zero
channel_zero's picture

Under capitalism the price of money would be set by the market

I hate to break it to you there Rusty, but capitalism does not ensure well functioning markets.  Did you sleep through Econ 101/102?

-If capitalism worked, then there would have been no benefit to breaking up monopolies waaay back when.

-If unregulated markets worked so well, then we wouldn't have the regulatory structures we have now.  There is usually one bad actor that screws it up for the rest of us.

-The U.S. historically has one of the 'free-est' economies in the world.  And yet there are laws constraining economic activity.  Huh, go figure.

-Regarding those laws, rules are for chumps like you and me. There is no one enforcing them and it is the equivalent of having no law.  Which is what's been happening for a while in the U.S.  Is anyone from GS going to jail anytime soon?  BofA?

Please, work on this because your thinking is clearly informed by political rhetoric that has  no economic discipline.  You know they call these books 'classics' because everyone knows their names and yet no one has read them.  I have.  I don't pretend to understand it all or agree with them, but you will think more clearly after wading through them.


Key Books or Seminal Texts:

Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. London: Methuen and Co., 1776.

The Wealth of Nations is generally considered to be the first book written about modern economics. It represents a marked shift away from the zero-sum game theory of mercantalism to the modern concept of the free market.

Keynes, John Maynard. The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. London: Macmillan for the Royal Economic Society, 1936.

The General Theory is the basis for modern macro-economics. It was written during the Great Depression and provided the intellectual basis for politicians to attempt to affect macro-economic policy on the national level.

Friedman, Milton. Capitalism and Freedom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962.

Das Kapital:


Thu, 08/27/2009 - 19:46 | 50993 Rusty_Shackleford
Rusty_Shackleford's picture

That was a right-pretty speech, sir.

And a list of suggested readings, too.


Here's some for you:

Economics in One lesson by Hazlitt

What Has Government Done to Our Money? by Rothbard

Anything by Mises

Prices and Production by Hayek

America's Great Depression by Rothbard

Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle by Richard Ebeling


Or you could just stick with the Che t-shirt wearing Econ 101/102 crew I guess.


Fri, 08/28/2009 - 11:37 | 51757 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

The Austrians? Jesus Christ on the broomstick, Rusty. Can you point to a single application of Austrian theory that has ever worked in practice? As well might I point you to Das Kapital.

There are really two countries in the world where the government has no interference in private markets: Somalia, and Afghanistan prior to the U.S. invasion.

Left to its own devices, wealth consolidates into very, very few hands. Those hands then buy government (and in the absence of government, the guns to make themselves a de facto government).

The Austrian conceit lies in the idea that a purely free market will allocate wealth most efficiently, leading to mass prosperity. That conceit depends on an ordered society and the absence of massive lawbreaking, and the idea that competition will bring down big behemoths.

Which is an utter denial of reality. Once the wealth is concentrated, those with wealth destroy competition through money and force, and human capital becomes expendable in a society of the very rich and the very poor. And then the social order breaks down.

This is obvious to anyone not living in an Ayn Rand fantasy, or sucking up to corporate shills.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 20:54 | 51091 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

"Don't blame it on capitalism" -- you gots to be kidding, dood!

First, the Group of Thirty pushes for the widespread adoption of credit derivatives and ever greater securitization.  Then, we have JP Morgan's infamous <I>Glass-Steagall: Overdue for Repeal</I> report in the early '90s.

Next, the creation of the credit default swap and BISTRO over at JPMorgan Chase.

And then, the Derivatives Policy Group (Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, CS First Boston, Citi, Lehman Bros., Salomon Bros) lobbies for its <I>Framework for Voluntary Oversight</I> - also knows as investment house and banksters gone wild on derivatives debt pyramiding.

Then the aforementioned successfully lobby for the passage of the Financial Services Modernization Act and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, destroying the US economy for many, many years to come.

Oh, I get it, you done thunk this is all become of a few housing foreclosures.  (Geez, someone needs to read some books!)

Also, from a recent interview, Treasury Secretary Geithner is under the belief that the Fed has never been officially audited.

Go fiureg?????

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 16:33 | 50616 eggy123
eggy123's picture

You sir, are a fucking retard. CENTRAL BANK, hello???? THAT's "light touch"??? Fannie, Freddie????? How about CRA? You know the "light touch" LAW that forces banks to loan based upon socioeconomics. Holy shit are you delusional.

Banking is one of the most regulated industries on the planet and guess what, it pancaked and is now a zombie-pancake. How did the fucking FDIC work out? Seems they are a tad under-capitalized themselves.

Where's our money? Ooops, they won't TELL YOU. So your answer is to give them more to create MORE bullshit regs/laws/bullshit???????

This country is so far from a representative republic that it's pathetic. Who represents us? Barney Frank? Obama? Tim-may? Nancy Pelosi?

Put down the bong and go back to class.


Thu, 08/27/2009 - 22:19 | 51207 Uros Slokar
Uros Slokar's picture

Or don't put it down: class is much more enjoyable that way.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 18:09 | 50824 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I agree for a few reasons.
Not least of which is that these guys who want to go Galt are no Galts anyway, (I knew John Galt, He was my friend, You sir are no John Galt). The discussion won't suffer any loss of substance if they retreat to the Gultch.

I think by light-touch you're referring to the failure of all the regulatory, govt, and ratings agency to raise any effective barriers to wholesale looting by the bankers. Agreed. Just proves once again the fallacy of efficient markets. They (markets) have been relatively unfettered and were operating fairly freely.

Greenspan agreed (and Bernanke followed) and thus saw no reason to interfere with the operation of an (non)efficient market on the upswing.

Now we can see, from this experiment, what happens if you abolish the Fed, since it effectively abolished itself on the expansion, by standing aside.

Come the crash, the Fed. and Treasury need to step in because the scale of the damage wrought by the efficient market theorists is so overwhelming and destructive.

It was supposed to have self corrected, in an efficient market (or unfettered capitalist markets, as your commenter notes) except that it didn't. And it never will.

So from my perspective you can't have it both ways.
You can't damn the Fed for bringing this on (since they stood aside) while calling for its destruction, when its clear unregulated 'free markets' don't deliver the goods.

The Fed needs to learn its lesson and not stand aside next time. Since the Fed is a member of the global central bank community, which had a different view (at least the ECB did) they will be brought into line by their collegues.

The ,pure capitalists .as they're referred to in this stream ,will lend as much credit as becomes avaiable. There is no free market disincentive to credit creation in a fiat currency and so they will never self correct as your commenter fantazises.

It must be controlled by a Central Bank.

Wishing it were otherwise won't make it so.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 20:03 | 51027 eggy123
eggy123's picture

"Not least of which is that these guys who want to go Galt are no Galts anyway,"

Fuck you, condescending asshole.

"Now we can see, from this experiment, what happens if you abolish the Fed, since it effectively abolished itself on the expansion, by standing aside."


"It was supposed to have self corrected, in an efficient market (or unfettered capitalist markets, as your commenter notes) except that it didn't. And it never will."

"Now we can see, from this experiment, what happens if you abolish the Fed, since it effectively abolished itself on the expansion, by standing aside."

WTF??? The Fed stood aside?

"Come the crash, the Fed. and Treasury need to step in because the scale of the damage wrought by the efficient market theorists is so overwhelming and destructive."

Your assumption is that the the Fed et al will not add to the problem. What makes you so confident?

What the hell are you trying to say?

Another hit on the bong and things will look different....


Thu, 08/27/2009 - 18:54 | 50906 JR
JR's picture

Since the election of Barak Obama, brought on in large part by the spectacular failures of the Bush Administration, a lot of dangerous government policy concepts are being bandied about by the victors. In their enthusiasm, they are going to pull us out of the river and throw us into the ocean if they don’t stop misrepresenting concepts such as “capitalism, socialism, free enterprise” and” free markets.”

America’s phenomenal economic success originated with capitalistic principles: private ownership of the means of production and distribution. Free enterprise built America and filled the nation’s decades with prosperity. Government played a critical role: prohibiting monopolies, protecting private property and patents, guaranteeing the sanctity of contracts, maintaining standards in commerce, punishing theft and fraud, etc.

As government grew, however, it began to change the rules for free enterprise, and aspects of socialism came to the fore. Today, the government controls many of the decisions on the land you own, and if you’re in business, the government decides how you’ll operate your fleet of trucks, what you can pay your employees, what the package looks like for your product, and even where your rest rooms are located. That’s hardly private ownership of the means of production and in some cases is as much socialism as it is capitalism.

The economic system of America’s first hundred plus years was turned on its head with the advent of fiat currency. A private banking monopoly now prints its own currency, overrides all phases of government and public economic life. It creates its own revenue through bailouts, manipulation of interest rates and taxation through inflation. The monopoly is so powerful it can exercise veto power over competitors and business in America through credit favoritism and its leverage in various branches of government. Congress and the administration of recent presidents, including the one just elected, all operate under the banking monopoly. It’s a serious error to refer to this economic system as capitalism.

Obama boosters say big changes are coming in regulations for financial institutions. There will be some, of course; some needed, some not, but none to reduce the dominance of the major investment banks and none will help provide for a “free market.” Geithner at Treasury is just a younger and quieter Paulson, and the Fed machine will be rolling on as usual.  Have we not just had the reappointment of Benjamin Bernanke?

Socialism defined means that private citizens do not own and operate the means of production. The American dream is finished if the trend in this direction is not stopped. Neoconservatives in the Bush Administration pushed for and produced budget-busting big government. But anyone who believes that Democrat congressional dominance and an aggressive Democrat president will result in smaller government or more “free enterprise” for individuals and business is living on a different planet. And anyone who believes the Obama team will remove the investment banker thumb from the equity market scale just hasn’t read the bio’s of Obama’s economic appointments. There won’t be “free markets” until there’s real change in Washington, D.C. and in a few high-rise offices in New York City.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 19:01 | 50919 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

One in the same, Jekyl and Hyde. Do we not want to starve tax revenue so they will stop the bezzle. This all collapses without a willing taxpayer. Just like 240 years ago.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 16:12 | 50576 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

All right - what the heck does "go Galt" mean?

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 18:35 | 50869 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, my friend.

It is still the best and most important novel I have ever read. Give it a try - available for under 10 bucks at

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 19:45 | 50991 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I drank that Kool-aid too,for many a year.

It would have remained one of my favorite myths if Alan Greenspan hadn't come to power. As I'm sure you know he was her most devoted and powerful fan. I believe his life's work was devoted to keeping Galt from fleeing to the Gulch, that he could control the forces that did his idol in, and that he could be the political proto-Galt. Total madness.

And look where that's led us. His (and her) egotistic experiment has proven to be a collossal, destructive lark.

It was madness to think the dissonance between his idol's ideology and Greenspans role as a power at the center of the world Rand despised could ever result in anything but failure.

Who is Alan Greenspan?

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 01:41 | 51406 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

First comment here, but I can't bring myslef to let this slide...
If you 'drank that Kool-aid', then you should know just how far off the mark this comment is! How you can refer to anyone who devoted their work to keeping Galt from fleeing (preventing Atlas's Shrug/maintaining the chains on the productive/pick your term) as a proto-Galt is altogether beyond me.
No, I don't believe that these are, or have been in my lifetime, free markets. Certainly not equally free, one party's ability to ignore or flout regulation most certainly does not constitue a level playing field.
Nor do I believe that Greenspan tried to create Ayn Rands utopian laissez-faire marketplace. Either he legitimately changed camps, or he sold out, or he knew what he was creating and led us to the precipice... In the first two cases the outcome may have been questionable in his mind, in the latter, he wasn't the proto-Galt, but the destroyer in his own way, not enticing the producers away to a valley in Colorado, but chiselling away down in the basement, until the building was one little shudder from collapse.
OK, Just now rereading your post you may be alluding to the same thing... If I jumped the gun on you, I take back the criticism, however I stand by my analysis.

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 11:44 | 51765 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

if you can point to an aultra-laissez faire market that has *ever* functioned in a place we all know as "reality", be my guest.

Fri, 08/28/2009 - 19:58 | 52429 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

There is no better indicator of having an utterly vulgarian taste in literature than the liking of Ayn Rand. Besides being rendered in cringingly awkward and over-the-top prose, her work is self-righteous, arrogant, chest-poundy, and entitled, fit only for frat-boys, pseudointellectuals, and zitty teenage conservatives. At the end of the day, her life and work amount to nothing more than an apologia for behaving like a scumbag. And she was an incredibly awful person, to boot:

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:47 | 49978 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

circle the wagons

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 14:56 | 50403 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

It's on like donkey kong.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:49 | 49980 crzyhun
crzyhun's picture

Even a fool like me knew that merging IB and CB would lead to on good. What we got was nitro in the hands of nit wits! This was a big mistake one of those that truly has huge consequences....we reap what we sow.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:57 | 50162 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

We reap what we sow.

Fair enough.

BUT why should we reap what the Fed sow ?

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 13:02 | 50169 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Basically what you got was gambling with FDIC-insured deposits.

Funny too the whole argument was that US banks needed to be competitive with European banks.  Like RBS and Landsbanki in Iceland.

Monkey see, monkey do.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:49 | 49981 Green Sharts
Green Sharts's picture

Could these banksters cite one instance when an unfounded rumor has caused a bank failure?

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:55 | 49997 Green Sharts
Green Sharts's picture

Wow, I just read the letter and these criminals actually infer that Bear Stearns was a financially sound institution taken down by a loss of confidence in the market.


Thu, 08/27/2009 - 16:29 | 50610 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

my response to the inference:

then let's investigate who it was then who started those nasty unfounded rumors on Bear Stearns.

perhaps you, esteemed clearinghouse, would like to take the lead in that investigation?

or perhaps that's snooping a little too close to home?

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 19:17 | 50954 whacked
whacked's picture

"Ironically there was a Bear Stearns conspiracy, but that conspiracy was not to sink Bear Stearns as everyone believes, but rather to blatantly interfere in the free markets to prop it up. The Fed, the Treasury, and various banks were all openly involved in the conspiracy, and the Fed was willing to break all sorts of rules to get a deal done.

If one looks close enough the shotgun marriage between Bear Stearns and JPMorhan, the proper conclusion is that the marriage was arranged not to bail out Bear Stearns but rather JPMorgan. The reason is that JPMorgan was the counterparty of much of Bear Stearns' debt. JPMorgan was also a counterparty to credit default swaps bet on the demise of the Bear.

Thus, Bear Stearns is an example of an outright conspiracy, with public perception twisted a complete 180 degrees from reality! The Bears Stearns manipulation happened in plain sight and people still got it wrong as to what happened and why."

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 22:57 | 51242 agrotera
agrotera's picture

Thank you for the info whacked--i couldn't figure it out, but i knew something was wrong when the day following the Bear Stearns/JPM deal MS started using the Fed window--it just seemed so bizarre that Bear wasn't allowed the Fed window in June 07 when their first fund blew up--you know if we can see this stuff, for sure Paulson and Bernake knew but didn't act...that was just too bizarre.  Strange, JPM had a huge advantage from the deal, but they spin their 'most generous altruism" so well, i think it deflected everyone from what you are saying.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:19 | 50066 crzyhun
crzyhun's picture

Acutally chuck shumer did it to indy mac, but who is counting.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:22 | 50072 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture

I wouldn't call his statements about Indy to be "unfounded", though.  Anyone who knows that organization knew they were going down.  They had crap on their books going back to 2006 that they couldn't sell, just festering.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:51 | 50150 Green Sharts
Green Sharts's picture

Yeah, IndyMac was a financially sound institution that is only going to cost the FCIC $9 billion or so.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 14:14 | 50296 aldousd
aldousd's picture

On the contrary I think rumors that they are well capitalized keep them alive.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:50 | 49984 waterdog
waterdog's picture

September 2009 is going to be a month that goes down into history as the magnificent unmasking of the oligarchy. Universities will be teaching about it for 50 years.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 14:07 | 50284 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture


I so hope you are right. I am tired of this shit, every day, piled higher and deeper, AND NOTHING CHANGES.

The straw to break this bitches back. September 2009.

The waterfall event. September 2009.

Please let's get the truth out there. Without it, we can't heal, hell none of us can live any kind of lives you would think of as sane. I can't say normal. The old normal is not coming back. Thank [Insert your diety here].

Bring it on. September 2009. Please. Hurts too fucking bad living inside a lie this big.

As a University professor (a real one) since I already teach about this stuff in my classes, I will be happy to teach about September 2009.  If there were a the equivalent of a raindance or a chant, I'd do it daily.

Bring it on and bring it down.

September 2009.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 20:32 | 51058 eggy123
eggy123's picture

Alas, tired we all are. Let's get out of the cave and see reality, let the axes fall where they may.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 21:58 | 51184 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

if it is any solace, jim willie who is a
commentator i respect claims to be well connected
and predicts that various foreign powers have
been working for months on major set-ups which
will get a lot of people's attention in the
financial world during the september time period...

he is dim on details but comex is supposed to
be an action area....

i am not sure about his track record so i can't
assign any credibility score but i think he is
on the right track...

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:50 | 49987 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Let me get this straight.... As these banks talk about record profits, and record bonuses, they are also saying that if their loan window status to the federal reserve is known that it will be the demise of their institution??? If that isnt accounting fraud, what is???

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:44 | 50135 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

My thoughts exactly. They are asking the courts to not only condone fraud but, by helping them conceal information, participate in it. They want to defraud current and potential customers, shareholders, counterparties, lenders, and other credit sources and they want the courts to help them do it. E.g., if they are breaching some covenant that would allow current counterparties to make collateral calls or lenders to accelerate loan repayment, why should courts help them hide that information?

And why shouldn't future lenders know the banks' true financial condition? If the banks can only get credit by misrepresenting that condition, isn't that the essence of fraud? I wonder how these banks would feel if a court helped THEIR borrowers conceal their true financial conditions in order to keep WF, BAC, etc. from accelerating loan repayments, refusing to make new loans, or otherwise protecting their interests?

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 14:13 | 50294 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

With the recent court actions we have seen in the press, we are down to it. Is the illusion of having a stable economy more important than the rule of law? I say the rule of law is more important. These fuckers don't get that. Let's hope the courts do. I want to believe in the United States of America. This may be the single most important test our system faces, ever. If the other two branches (plus the media) are out of control, can the judicial system yank the chain hard enough to stop the bullshit?

That would restore my faith in the US, even if things collapsed for a while. If we have trust/rule of law, together we can rebuild anything.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 14:17 | 50302 aldousd
aldousd's picture

I'm with you on this.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 14:39 | 50362 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

Maybe the Founding Fathers were counting on at least one branch stepping in when the other two left the reservation.  I like the analysis - which is better: illusion or rule of law.  The latter seems to be a fundamental (and hard fought) tenet of civilization, the former, a favored if not essential tool of name-your-favorite-other-than-dem-ocracy, fascist state or dictatorship. 

Can the judicial branch be reigned in? In times of war, the US Supreme Court has traditionally backed off some very crucial freedoms, sensing perhaps that the continuation of its status as an institution at risk should it be perceived as inhibiting the common defense.  In this case, there is no war, nor any threat from enemy forces.  This dispute is strictly between civilians, so I am not sure there is any "traditional" reason to ease off the gas.  Of course, Congress could enact legislation taking these matters off the Court's docket, but the process of enacting such a law would expose the supportive legislators to the scrutiny of their voters, who might not like what they see. Unless, of course, they never see it.

Where are the prosecutors? Are the laws so vague they cannot be enforced? Thou shalt not steal - how hard is this?

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 17:36 | 50764 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

"Where are the prosecutors?"

they're captured by their 5% down 30 year and close to negative equity & 401K's filled with Legg Mason Super Duper Value Plus funds, etc. etc.

just like T3.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 20:20 | 51046 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

+1 That's it in a nutshell.

I'm the anon who made the comment you replied to.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 23:48 | 51317 agrotera
agrotera's picture

Dear MsCreant,

I love that you said ," That would restore my faith in the US, even if things collapsed for a while. If we have trust/rule of law, together we can rebuild anything. "

The whole mess we are in now, is an elaborate facade created to distract from the truth...a little like it would be if the leader of a huge drug cartel was taken to a taxidermist after getting murdered, and then his people carried him around and put on a show to insist that he is alive so they wouldn't lose any business....

The TBTF banks, and at lease LEH, MER, GS, MS, C were all dead in 2008, and possibly others, all because of fraud and irresponsibility. 

Every year after Sarbanes-Oxley was passed, it was COMPLETLY discounted and ripped apart by the financial service industry.  Think about it, shouldn't all of the leaders of the failed firms have to go to jail for signing off on the financial statements for content which we now know were lies and created from fraud?  WHY HASN'T ANYONE INVOKED SARBANES-OXLEY?  OK, that is a silly question, and in case you didn't know the answer, it is because the privately held Federal Reserve runs all policy, and if anyone uttered the words Sarbox, they would have to answer to the head of this MOB/CARTEL!!!!!

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:51 | 49988 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

When someone threatens you with deadly force there is only one option and it isn't appeasement.  The TBTF institutions and their partner, the Federal Reserve pose a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States of America.  There can be no half stepping on this one folks.

Thu, 08/27/2009 - 23:54 | 51332 agrotera
agrotera's picture

I think we may find that many involved in this bankheist, if we are to reagain our republic, will be put on trial for TREASON.

Our resources were diverted for a bankheist, period.   If there was any honesty about what was going on, and if paulson and bernake were truly fiduciaries for our country, they would have taken ONE DAY to ask Congress for the authority to unwind or sell LEH, MER, GS, MS, & C.   And all of the good honest, keep their nose clean banks could have come into their own to buy the pieces of these corrupted, failed entities on the cheap.

Instead, we had THREE WEEKS of lobbying for a LIE and a BANKHEIST!!!

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