The Institutionalized Looting Of America

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Jesse via Jesse's Cafe Americain blog,

"Give a small number of people the power to enrich themselves beyond everyone's wildest dreams, a philosophical rationale to explain all the damage they're causing, and they will not stop until they've run the world economy off a cliff."

Philipp Meyer


"Wall Street is not being made a scapegoat for this crisis: they really did this."

Michael Lewis


"My daughter asked me when she came home from school, “What’s the financial crisis?” and I said, it’s something that happens every five to seven years."

Jamie Dimon


"The greatest tragedy would be to accept the refrain that no one could have seen this coming, and thus nothing could have been done. If we accept this notion, it will happen again."

Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (2009–2011)

The US has been in a cycle of bubbles, busts, and crashes since at least 1995, and more likely since Alan Greenspan became the Chairman of the Federal Reserve in August, 1987.

The cycle is the same, only the depth and duration seems to change in a continuing 'wash and rinse' of the public money and the real economy.

It has become a machine for transferring income, wealth, ownership, and power to the very top.

This is not 'the new normal.'   This is financial corruption and the erosion of systemic integrity.

Are there any markets that have not been shown to have been systematically manipulated, for years?

This is just institutionalized looting.

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BullyBearish's picture

P O W E R ....  they have it now but they won't keep it forever, they NEVER do...

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) BullyBearish Jan 23, 2016 8:26 PM

There was a time when this looked over the top.

"the only obstacle to world order is the United States"

George Soros

El Oregonian's picture

We're going to need a lot more rope...

OldPhart's picture

As a scouter I taught a LOT of kids how to make rope and how to tie necessary knots...sometimes those not sanctioned by the BSA.

Winston Churchill's picture

Nice to know after we run out of piano wire.

SWRichmond's picture

It has become a machine for transferring income, wealth, ownership, and power to the very top.

It's always been a machine for looting.  Read history.  I am glad the author has woken up, but as a libertatrian I have been shouting this from the rooftops for going on 35 years now.

1033eruth's picture

Too bad libertarian shouting isn't the same as black racist shouting.  Apparently, we aren't all made equal.  

Unless you congregate with other libertarians and form a majority in a voting district, you might as well be invisible. 

Stuck on Zero's picture

The U.S. doesn't make rope any more. The illuminati sold off those companies to the Far East. I understand that the capitalists in Russia will sell us rope however.

tarabel's picture



American boys and American guns.

God, how they hate us.

JRobby's picture

When the curtain was pulled open, the deafening laugh track ended abruptly, replaced by "Pay No Attention To That Man Behind The Curtain", booming through the speakers of the world at an equally deafening volume..........

gmak's picture

I agree, and so does history. Can we do me a favour?  Let's do it now, or let's wait until I'm close to dying. I'll be too old in another 10 years to hit the barricades and scrape for roots in some woods.  NOt to mention, fending off roving gangs of Mad-Max wannabees who think that a system reset is an excuse to do all the things they see in their video games.

Janet Shalom Bernanke's picture

Hang' em high.

Clint Eastwood


The Fed would rather try to save face than to do what is right for the country.  But it is more than just saving face -- they have created a monstrous problem now, and they know the unwinding of it will devastate the country.

Thus the reason why a cartel like the Fed should not exist in the first place.

When enough of the public wakes up to the extent of the destruction this gang has done to the country and world at large, the public will demand that justice be done, and this gang be defanged and made to account for their crimes.


Janet Yellen and other Fed members, you should research history, and you will see that crimes on the scale of yours will always lead to prosecution.

You think you can hide behind your so-called authority according to the law,  When the public outcry becomes loud enough, the justice system will find some charges to pin on you.

If you have been manipulating markets such as crude oil and S&P 500 futures which I believe is highly likely,  which is illegal, eventually there will be a full and complete audit, and your accomplices in these crimes will implicate you.    Look at the punishment Bernard Madoff received (150 years in prison) after causing a few billion in damages to his clients finances.  Your crimes are many orders of magnitude worse, and far reaching -- so your punishment should be orders of magnitudes higher than Madoff's.



Oldwood's picture

Maybe if we didn't herd like cattle, it might be a little tougher for them to repeatedly screw us over. Very little of this is forced upon us and we seem to pretty much ask for it. Loan me money, sell me cheap foreign made crap, allow Juan in to mow my yard, hire people to protect us from others buy ultimately from ourselves. And we wonder why they think we're stupid.

marts321's picture

Exactly, the bottom is more to blame than the top imo. I even have tried to politely put forward the idea to some acquaintences that mainstream media is in the business of fear-mongering. Got shot down quick as anything, absolutely no room at all for alternative views or rational thought. No hope I tell ya.

loonyleft's picture

Wearing those high heels and that mini skirt, she was just asking to be raped. 

MissCellany's picture

Your analogy is rather off the mark.

Kprime's picture

the average work a day seems to be really stupid when it comes to the damages brought on by .gov

Not Goldman Sachs's picture

The brainwashing starts early in life. Now play fair, be civil. Can't we all just get along?

arby63's picture

True to a large extent. We have accepted more than I can even believe. Petty laws, Federal control over everything, direct deposit of your paycheck, onerous laws and regulations, repeatedly re-electing the same idiots to office, etc.

It all adds up and now we are living the payback.

HardAssets's picture

Most people think the made up outta thin air 'money' and associated 'debt' are real.

And they'll not only allow the crooks to steal the fruits of their life's work, -some of them (police & military) will help carry out the theft for a pittance pension.

In some ways you can see how the crooks think the dumb sheep deserve their fate.

TheReplacement's picture

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing us that he didn't exist.

detached.amusement's picture

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was yaweh convincing anyone he was god

12357111317's picture

TPTB understand that we will do their dirty work in exchange for jobs.

Raging Debate's picture

Oldwood - Usually like your comments but the downvote wqs from me. Citizens do not make trade policy or buy govrrnnents. 34 upvotes too, some of you people are really thick aren't you? The Ametican majority said absolutely no bailouts and Obamacare. Politicians and law enforcment swear an oath to the constitution but violate it frequently. Those kind of people are called traitors. 

 So if you have a cheating whore for a wife that takes bankrupts you and wont let you divorce her your to blame? 

 How many people do you know that have ever even heard of The CFR or BIS? The Federal Reserve doesnt run around yelling 'hey we are a private bank with private interests!'

12357111317's picture

I think they fired quite a few shots: the Civil War, JFK, MLK, Malcolm X, Paul Wellstone, thousands more.

TheReplacement's picture

WWI, WWII, countless other "actions" and I think the tally is in the billions of rounds.  Trillions if you consider the potential of nukes used.

stant's picture

Stant ( a southener) woke up at 4:30, 20 mins ago. Laying in bed the tv blurts" the African Americans experience in the south -- hell of a thing to hear before my first cup. I thought what about his experience in Detroit . Boston la mutha fukas. When this thing breaks lose i what some pay back.So I get up fix some coffee and hang at the hedge.

doctor10's picture

It why the IRS exists. The IRS  reporting requirements provide a road map for corporate  and banking asset-stripping projects in every Western Country.  In the USA the genesis of the IRS was simultaneous with the Fed a hundred years ago.

Its why it was first "limited" to the "wealthy" -and its implementation extended as the progenitors found out how easy the process could work to line their pockets. Basically regulation and taxation makes it work.  And its now why anybody with a regular paycheck is considered wealthy. "They" want their piece of that check-and any other "asset" someone thinks they might own.

The guys making it all happen for the coporate and banking interests make out pretty well. Check out how the K St lobbying industry in DC is key to the process.

ebworthen's picture

Well done Jesse, as usual.  Love Cafe Americain; honest, intelligent, spot on.

Corruption of the financial system and government, at the expense of the worker and average citizen.

Eeyores Enigma's picture

eb- Agreed, short, sweet and to the point. 

Unfortunately it is meaningless. Blogs and Alt media are only there for the chatter and hummmmm. Nothing ever gets done about anythiing.

Not Goldman Sachs's picture

May actually help in the placating of the sheeple.  Constant non-action blather serves to habituate and desensitize. Notice how the uproar of TARP faded away. Nothing will happen until food, water, heat, cooling (electricity) and EBT become scarce.  

Boondocker's picture

Not enough pissed off, wide awake people yet

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Boondocker Jan 23, 2016 8:27 PM

look at Trumps real numbers.

If they kill him or cheat him, its on.

I say were are a razors edge close.

shovelhead's picture

When the moon goes in Uranus?

Joe Davola's picture

But, but, he sounds pissed off.

That's what will make the election really interesting, one candidate will sound like they're as pissed off as the average joe should be.  And the other candidate can't even act as if she sympathizes with anyone.

lynnybee's picture

Trump is only running because he's allowed to run.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) lynnybee Jan 24, 2016 8:51 AM

No he isn't, look what they are doing to him.

I guess some has to be shot AND DIE before

you realize they weren't one of them.

He is breaking all their rules, including not dressing

like a lumberjack on the campaign trail.


Actually, there are many markets that have not been manipulated during the time of most market manipulation in the historiography of Macro Economics & Macroprudentialism.


Examples: Tires & Car Batteries have remained as stable as rock for decades. The price changes are less than most other commodities on the entire market compared to housing and Financial Services.

arby63's picture

I suspect only because the market is too diversified and hard to capture. If Wall Street could do it--and make a huge profit off it--there is no doubt price discovery would be extinct in these markets too.

you know they are lying because they are talking's picture

I sold tires from Pep Boys. I do not remember the exact date, but I am thinking about 8 years ago. The prices took a signifant jump in price over a period of about a year, maybe two. The prices increased about 50% to 100%. A tire that used to sell for $50.00 was now $100.00. I didn't know about such things back then, so I never understood why that happened. But later I found out that during their Trade Deals, tariffs were placed onto imported tires and batteries. Which allowed the domestic suppliers to mark up their prices. The same thing happened with batteries. I call that a manipulation, that hurt a lot of people.

And thats why the just as good "Chinese" made tire is not cheaper, like all the other things that China sends to us. Without that Trade restriction on Tires and Batteries, they would be much cheaper, and names like GoodYear, Cooper, Mitchelin, etx. would be fazed out, for the cheaper Chinese tire version. Same with the batteries. 

Dr. Bonzo's picture

I sold tires from Pep Boys. And thats why the just as good "Chinese" made tire is not cheaper, like all the other things that China sends to us.... Without that Trade restriction on Tires and Batteries, they would be much cheaper, and names like GoodYear, Cooper, Mitchelin, etx. would be fazed out, for the cheaper Chinese tire version.

You understand tariffs. Congratulations. Do you understand arbitrage? Did you ever ask yourself, tariffs aside, why it is that the American made tires are expensive, and the Chinese tires not? Let me hold you by your little hand and walk you through this.

To start with, the American tire company wanted to attract quality workers. With tight labor markets at the end of the 19th century, higher wages were one of the primary means to attract workers. Most of the tires were intended for domestic markets, and with workers with higher wages you can make your employee your customer. As the standard of living of workers rose, they began demanding a higher standard of living as well. They wanted safe work spaces, they wanted reasonable work hours, they wanted to be paid overtime for working extra. A sudden abhorrance grew to the sight of millions of young children trodding off to factories, we got labor laws banning child exploitation. Workers organized into unions and could leverage their bargaining power. Pension plans, workers compensation for all sorts of grievances, both real and imagined. You can call it an awakening of the working class, a desire for a better quality of life, call it what you will. But in the end all those things add cost to the producer. But, so far, it's a cost our society was willing to pay, because the perception was that it raised the standard of living for all. Are you still with me? You pay those high prices, because you pay for dozens of hidden costs that have been slapped onto the tire's production price. BUT.. we all agreed to it... and after a hundred years of this we had grown the American middle class.

Let's trip over to China, to those "cheap" Chinese tires you seem to be pining for. To start with, Chinese industrialists found a very happy circumstance in the early 80s. There was a gynormous labor market with nigh a single producer... of anything. You could place an add for toiletbowl licker and receive 1000 applications the next day. This is a circumstance budding industrialists in China readily grasped. With the assistance of their cronies over at the Bank of China, who were just starting to crank up the printing presses, they could invest cheaply in infrastructure, labor, everything. They didn't need to invest in R&D... we had done all the hard work for them. All they had to do was send their kiddies to our schools, who diligently copied and pasted everything we so generously had learned over a 100 years, and take it back to pops at home who set out to employ his newfound business acumen, and dirt cheap labor, to start producing tires. The tires were cheap because he didn't have to pay jackshit to his workers. Overtime? Most of his workers were peasant farmers who were used to toiling a hundred hours a week for subsistance wages. Doing it in his factory for a few hundred yuan was positively glorious. No labor laws, no environmental impact laws, no unions to contend with... the average Chinese industrialist was able to grow a business from nothing via a simple arbitrage. The Chinese leveraged their labor against our labor. Our labor comes with a hefty price tag, because we think it's "fair" and produces a wealth effect that can be enjoyed by all of society. The Chinese don't give a shit about the wealth effect, and only know they can produce identical products for less. American manufacturers saw this abritage, and have been falling over themselves to leave the US and setup shop in China to enjoy the same comparative advantages. In other words... screw the American worker, and screw the Chinese worker too.

That, in a nutshell, largely explains the drain of jobs from the US to China, and the reason why you can applaud those "cheap" Chinese products. It was a simple arbitrage you willingly endorsed.

Oldwood's picture

We "endorsed" this arbitrage by willingly choosing to purchase the cheap foreign made goods over those our neighbors and countrymen produced.

While I support the "idea" of protectionist trade policies, I do not support them being enforced by law, other than allowing trade to be free. "Free" meaning that American industry pays no more taxes or overhead than any other. "Free" meaning that Americans are informed as to the true cost of their choices, be it in the products they choose, the debts they incur, the "life choices" they make. For a really true free market to work, like a true democracy to work, it relies on the participants being informed, not lied to, manipulated, indoctrinated and deluded. Any pretense that a controlled economy can work only relies on even greater deceptions that ALL lead to the same disastrous end. Sustainability relies on reality, on allowing failures to actually fail and successes to succeed.

Cloud9.5's picture

Maybe, just maybe the central planners understood that tires and batteries are crucial to transport.  If they off shored those industries like everything else, then when the inevitable collapse of trade came about the transport fleet would grind to a halt in short order.  Back in the forties my pop lined his tires with burlap and newspaper to keep rolling.  We no longer use tube tires so those half measures won’t work.

Grin Bagel's picture

Well said, even with the egoist intro,"....let me hold your 'little' hand". This did not make you a bigger voice to be listened to, but in spite of that, your sentiments were spot on about what occured.

As to why it occurred, which I saw happening all around me to almost everyone I knew and occassionally to myself, was the acceptance of personal greed for money/power that falsely served us short term, because 'everyone else was doing it'.

I have since been counseled that we, individually and collectively, are placed on earth to learn to make good decisions and with only two rules. To treat others as we wish to be treated, and to behave at all times sustainably. 

Our living and ever present model for this is ......nature. NOT 'religion', 'science', 'government' et.,etc..

Submitted for your consideration. 

sheikurbootie's picture

Stupid young fuck.  Live and learn.  Tire/battery prices have skyrocketed like everything else.  You're a fucking moron.  Read the guy below that worked a Pep Boys.  That was only 8 years ago.  I remember the prices from "decades" ago.  They're not sable and you're an idiot and fool. 

Your only "universe" is your mom's basement.  That doesn't count, btw.


Tires & batteries have remained stable in CANADA for decades. Taxation, and Environmental protection costs for recycling have risen over the last decade, but the base price of tires & auto batteries has remained solid over time. I can still purchase good tires for $100. a pop, and Auto Batteries for $100. a pop. The prices never change compared to Financial Services & Housing, DiscoBoy. Moreover  I am in my mid 50s, BuckO.