A Wall Street Insider's Response To Greg Smith

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by ZH reader Sleestak, who sports a 15 year career in the bulge bracket, including GS and the less fortunate Lehman Brothers, as a fixed income trader.

Greg Smith, the Jerry Maguire of Goldman Sachs, has struck a nerve with his New York Times OpEd admonition of the culture at his former firm, the symbol of all that is successful – and wrong – on Wall Street.  What he did was gutsy, if ill-advised.  But his disillusionment at a once-admired business culture gone bad is also almost adorably naïve and, worse, diverts from the real cancer that has metastasized in our banking “culture” during his years in it.

I’ll say it again: Greg Smith has nerve.  He took great risk putting his name to that letter.  He will be getting calls, emails and all else, straight to his person.  He might well face litigation, this from a foe few dare challenge.  And the men at the at the top, CEO Lloyd Blankfein and COO Gary Cohn, are powerful indeed, and Greg Smith has just publicly done them far more damage as individuals than any testimony in front of Congress did.

Still, what did Greg Smith really think he was getting into when he signed up to work on Wall Street?  Perhaps when contemplating his career he saw the ads we all see on television for Morgan or Merrill: “We’ll help you build your future with sound financial knowhow…”  And that does sound nice.  Finance is complicated and “lay” people surely can use a hand from a thoughtful ally in the trenches.  It is charming to think Greg Smith was taken in by such a mission.

But away from the advertising sets, Wall Street always has been a kill-or-be-killed pit of near-violent wills set against each other.  Perhaps a bit less so in the retail businesses that sell to Moms and Pops (though “broker production” is a hotly competitive racket, to be sure), but certainly in the institutional businesses where Greg Smith operated.   In these businesses, in which the banks trade with professional, accredited investors, the customers are often as bloodthirsty as the banks.  Yes, many could use a good salesman’s hand in furthering their interests, but as many – so many – seek the desk that’s sleeping that day and exact a predatory price. Many I’ve traded against gleefully relished it.

And frankly, that is how it should be.  Or at least, always has been.  One is expected to understand that when before sitting down to trade on Wall Street.  You leave money hanging in the air and somebody will come take it.  Such is the honor among thieves. This is not something that happened on Blankfein’s and Cohn’s watch.  Read Liar’s Poker.  Look up Jim Vranos.  Gordon Gekko.  Wall Street is an arena where people go to find who’s sleeping and relieve them of their money.

The thing is, left to its own, this isn’t so bad.  If a bunch of companies want to enter a figurative casino and see which one leaves with the most chips, who’s really hurt?  JP Morgan makes a killing, Citibank gets slaughtered, and at the end of the day there’s still a cold one at Killean’s Corner for $2 for Joe Sixpack.

But what Greg Smith’s letter does for pundits and politicians is help them dumb down the case against the banks and what they’ve become.  The great buzzword “muppet” - a term his Goldman colleagues use for “customer” - is easy to rally around as evidence of hardwired condescension.  (“Muppet” is a rather mild insult compared to ones I’ve heard and used, but it is far from a cultural crime to be arch when taking the other side of a professional’s well-considered trade.)  Unfortunately, focusing his suddenly large audience on sound bites and the “meanies” at his firm distracts from the far more destructive shift that has happened on or about Blankfein’s and Cohn’s watch.

It’s hard to pin down where began the banks’ road to their dangerous present position, though you could argue that it was at the downfall of Long Term Capital Management in the late 1990s.  No muppet he, former Salomon Brothers trader John Meriwether and a team of touted geniuses succeeded in getting the banks to lend that firm extreme amounts of money against positions thought to be low risk.  When discovered otherwise, these banks, particularly Lehman Brothers and Bankers Trust (where I then worked), found themselves muppetized.

Then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, historically an outspoken prophet of free-market practices, found footing in a contrarian impulse in this case.  Here, capitalism’s consequences for poor business decisions would not be rendered.  Instead, he engineered a multi-billion deal in which all the solvent players at the table would ante up for the weak, and the team could resume the regular Friday night game.

Since that time, which importantly coincided with the repeal of Glass-Steagal, an historic policy error that enabled banks to gamble with depositors’ federally insured money, we have spiraled from crisis to escalating crisis, each time prescribing still more of the same medicine and ensuring the  banks’ prospects (though obviously not their managerial expertise).  The Internet Bubble pops?  The Fed slams short end interest rates into the dirt to cheapen banks’ financing.  Massive fraud at Enron, Worldcom, Tyco and others?  Same meds.

Then came the mother of all crises (so far), culminating with the failures of Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and AIG.  And still, Fed and Government policy was unchanged.  Except for Lehman, the banks were held unaccountable, pumped full of cash and urged to get on with business as it was.

What did the banks do to deserve this incredible largesse?  Their rise to this position of official favoritedom is a feat of influence peddling that will be the subject of a history far more compelling than the one examining Goldman’s cultural waywardness under Blankfein and Cohn.  The methods are myriad: campaign contributions, lobbying, populating public office with former employees whose loyalties, are at the very least, questionable.  When this isn’t enough, the entire too-big-to-fail meme comes in handy, a form of extortion held over policy makers that promises extinguishment of life as we know it lest they get their way.

They have held themselves above capitalism’s consequences in a society which once prided itself on the concept of creative destruction.  Remember when Japan refused to liquidate its bad debts after its real estate debacle in the 1980s?  We mocked them and touted our own efficiency in punishing bad investments, liquidating debt and inventory, finding the clearing prices and pressing forward with new opportunity.  To boot, we tried thousands of bankers for fraud.

Well, as time and consequences progressed, we have come to take a large page out of Japan’s book.  In the years since 2008, the US Government – like Japan’s since the 1880s -- has allowed the banks accounting flexibility to mask bad loans.  The Fed has lent them money at rates they could not attract in the free market.  It has bought their bad assets onto its own (our central bank's!) balance sheet.  It has bought hundreds of billions in government bonds to make interest rates appear low enough to encourage people into the stock market and revive the banks’ prospects. 

To do this the Fed has printed trillions of the same money you store your savings in so it is worth less every day in terms of the things you need to survive.  That bank account you have is paying, what, one-tenth of one percent?  That’s the Fed’s super, bank-regenerating interest rate policy at work.  Think of that deposit as a loan to your bank (which it is) that they get at “great low rate!” with which they can, what, reinvest in our economy?  More likely your money will be speculating on Greek debt or oil futures.  Meantime, you’re embarrassed to give something so small as your annual interest to the paper boy for a tip.

Not one banking official of note has been tried for fraud.

This cannot be the right course for us to take in the wake of such a widely recognized crisis.  The lack of purposeful outrage is deafening.  We cannot restore lasting stability to our economy and society unless we are willing to face up to what we did wrong, right it, and throw out the bums who put us there.  Without that, the pattern of ever escalating crisis and interventionist, market-distorting solutions will surely lead to a bigger crisis still ahead.

Perhaps the most important symbol of our failure to address reform are the pictures accompanying much of the coverage of Greg Smith’s letter, those of a power-posing Blankfein and Cohn, who without the Government’s accommodation might be striking a very different pose, indeed.  You want to sign on to Mr. Smith’s army in joint distaste for Goldman’s lost culture?   Please, be my guest.  But more deserving of your enmity is the insidious co-option of the core premise of capitalism by a handful of people to ensure the banks’ undeserved survival, and their managers’ really nice lifestyle.

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Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:23 | 2268244 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

If the news is broadcast while the People sleep, was it news?

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:30 | 2268264 BoNeSxxx
BoNeSxxx's picture

These letters are already getting boring... Until Corzine is up in Attica getting fisted by his new husband Bubba, it's all hot air.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:48 | 2268313 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

This crime of the century will not be forgotten, Corzine's soul will never rest, even if he returns the money. He will never enjoy the loot, no matter where he hangs out he will feel the wrath and contempt of the people arround him.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 22:04 | 2268348 MinnesotaMD
MinnesotaMD's picture

Corzine has no conscience. He sleeps like a baby.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 22:15 | 2268366 knukles
knukles's picture

At the final actions of the final scene the mere handlers ultimately feasting upon each other shall be crucified by TPTB along the figurative Apian Way, distracting the victim from the last and final source of financial evil, the Central Banks.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 22:22 | 2268375 BoNeSxxx
BoNeSxxx's picture

So sayeth knukles.  And so shall it be.

You are correct (again), sir.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 00:20 | 2268556 iDealMeat
iDealMeat's picture

Wow..  I'm late to the conversation...  and I +1'd everyone above in thread..  ZH is becoming an Elks club..

Where are the trolls??  We need some fightin words if we pass 5 deep in a thread..

 

Edit:  Fuck you Ron Paul, for not calling Corzine out..  Formally, before your committee.. Publicly, or just generally... Get out of the way old man.. Let the collapse continue, briskly, in perpetuity.

 

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 06:26 | 2268855 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

Free Jon Corzine!!!!

 

Oh wait......he is.

 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 22:19 | 2268372 macholatte
macholatte's picture

Since that time, which importantly coincided with the repeal of Glass-Steagal, an historic policy error ......

 

Calling the repeal of Glass-Steagal a policy error is one massive understatement.  Start here to get a basic understanding of what $300,000,000 in bribery can do.

A chronology tracing the life of the Glass-Steagall Act, from its passage in 1933 to its death throes in the 1990s, and how Citigroup's Sandy Weill dealt the coup de grâce.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/wallstreet/weill/demise.html

 

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 00:20 | 2268607 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Glass-Stegall is government regulation.  Did you just catch on fire?

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 00:39 | 2268639 macholatte
macholatte's picture

WTF does that mean?

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 02:26 | 2268746 TraitorsHang
TraitorsHang's picture

You are correct. Glass-Stegall was government regulation.

But it is regulation to limit a broader fraud. It repeal accelerated the fraud that was already occurring along other vectors. There would be no need for something like Glass-Stegall if it were illegal to (say, for instance) leverage depositer's accounts without their express consent. Or if a bank that failed, you know... *actually* failed because there was no FDIC.

The monetary system is at fault. No amount of free-market can happen until that gets addressed.

 

Man, you got stung for that comment. But you were right.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 02:05 | 2268732 Clashfan
Clashfan's picture

It is wrong to cheat a trying man.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:58 | 2268336 gjp
gjp's picture

I thought Prudent Bear's Doug Noland had the perfect response..  Why doesn't ZH ever excerpt him?  Copyright?  He's one of the forefathers.  Pasted below.  Forgive the length, I think it's well worth it.

From what I’ve read, Greg Smith is an upstanding individual. He is accomplished and holds quite impressive credentials – and this week he made a name for himself with his “Why I am Leaving Goldman Sachs” op-ed piece in the New York Times. Mr. Smith was pilloried for breaking the industry taboo by “going public.” Many assume he is chasing fame and financial gain – ready for a lucrative speaking tour and book and movie deals. Yet when I read his piece I sense an earnest but deeply discouraged man. He’s lashing out – like so many millions would do if they had similar access. Goldman Sachs’ culture and, in particular, management are the target of his frustration. I can’t help but to believe Mr. Smith is onto something extremely important - and much beyond Goldman.

Irrespective of current stock market euphoria, I believe global financial markets are broken and dysfunctional. I am not alone in this view. Mr. Smith has issues with Goldman’s “toxic and destructive” culture – I’ll retort that it’s the “culture” of Wall Street/global securities markets that is today noxious and destructive. And, admittedly, I have a difficult time pointing blame at the Blankfeins, Cohns and Dimons of the world. They just happen to sit at the top of the pecking order for a massive “financial services” infrastructure operating in an environment where “money” and monetary management have gone terribly bad. Uncontrolled monetary inflations have always led to greed, corruption, malfeasance, anger and instability. Credit Bubbles always inequitably redistribute wealth - before their inevitable implosions reveal the massive wealth destructions associated with monetary inflations and financial manias. At the end of the day, unsound “money” will have torn lots of things apart.

And I’ll take some poetic license here. Mr. Smith laments “ripping eyeballs out” of “muppet” clients – the decline of “the firm’s moral fiber.” I believe a crucial facet of what’s unfolding is that employees throughout Wall Street, and global finance more generally, are working diligently to extract as much “money” as quickly as possible before the whole thing blows up. It’s as reprehensible as it is perfectly rational in light of today’s monetary and policymaking environment. In a backdrop where politicians spend as much as they want and central bankers “print” as much as they want – where prudence, fairness and reasonableness have been completely abandoned - of course those working amidst this monetary profligacy will feel perfectly compelled to take as much as they can get. Read monetary history.

Regrettably, most no longer think in terms of a long-term career judiciously serving the interests of their client-base. Instead, it’s dog-eat-dog – everyone working first and foremost for their immediate self-enrichment. Isn’t that the way Capitalism is suppose to function? It's just a broken incentive structure – powered by the confluence of ultra-easy “money” slushing about the system today and extraordinary uncertainties darkly clouding the outlook for tomorrow. This ensures a destabilizing short-sighted fixation by Wall Street associates, traders, speculators, investors, business executives and society generally. Greed may or may not be good, but it is certainly an upshot of unsound money.

And, I’ll assume, the closer individuals are to the belly of the beast the more jaded they must become. Mr. Smith’s expertise is in derivatives – “to trade any illiquid, opaque product…” If there is one area where I most fear obfuscation and the deleterious effects of monetary inflation, policy intervention and market degradation, it’s in this creature referred to as the “global derivatives market.” This demonstrated - and at times rather corrupt - monster has nonetheless been nurtured and promoted to the epicenter of contemporary global markets. It’s no coincidence that this realm has remained largely impervious to tighter regulatory oversight – even after 2008.

Mr. Smith protested selling products that were wrong for his clients. Whether it’s a derivative salesman, politician, or central banker, obfuscation has become commonplace at this disorienting phase of uncontrolled monetary inflation. After all, how can sound analysis and serving one’s clients remain the devoted focus when the current monetary backdrop incentivizes something quite different? How does one go about modeling future cash flows and valuing assets when there is every indication that the current monetary backdrop is both unstable and unsustainable?

Indeed, the market backdrop has regressed to little more than a “money” game. Speculative dynamics rule, and those that play (or associate with those that play) the game the best attain unimaginable financial wealth. How can one reasonably do analysis these days when so much depends on the extent to which global central bankers proceed further down the path of unlimited “money” creation? Do you want to bet that the Fed (and ECB, BOE, BOJ, PBOC, etc.) is largely through its crisis-induced money creation operations? Or is the Fed’s balance sheet on its way to $10 TN? These provide two altogether different scenarios to contemplate. Clearly, with central bankers propping up markets with Trillions of liquidity injections, one can toss traditional analysis (and market participant behavior) out the backdoor.

Credit Bubbles and attendant monetary inflations invariably risk a loss of trust – trust in “Wall Street” and the financial system; trust in politicians and the political process; trust in central bankers and monetary management; trust in institutions and “money” more generally. These dynamics are increasingly on full display, here at home and abroad. And it’s not Goldman’s culture and moral fiber that I worry about.

 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 22:12 | 2268363 MacroAndCheese
MacroAndCheese's picture

I don't agree that the top levels of management don't deserve a larger slice of the blame.  Top management sets the tone, sets the agenda, gives marching orders.  What would Apple be without Steve Jobs?  Where would MFG be without Corzine?

Yes it's a cultural phenomenon, but the CEOs have had a special role in bringing banking to where it is today.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 22:50 | 2268431 eddiebe
eddiebe's picture

Thank you, M cheese. I agree and raise you one. Top management deserves all the blame. It comes with the position. You want to call the shots and make the big bucks, you take the bullets. No more sleazy squinty eyed cowards allowed at the top.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 00:08 | 2268588 luna_man
luna_man's picture

 

 

NO! NO! NO!...It's the elected officials, sworn to uphold the laws!

All are CRIMINALS!!

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 03:27 | 2268780 AUD
AUD's picture

Top management deserves all the blame.

Yes, that's exactly what Doug Noland is saying. Blankfein, Dimon et al are not at the top.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 05:41 | 2268822 i-dog
i-dog's picture

Bingo!

How easily the puppet master gets the children yelling at Punch and Judy....

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 23:12 | 2268493 Dugald
Dugald's picture

And Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, creeps on its petty pace, you really think someone will grow some, and take real action?

Ha!

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 23:21 | 2268507 847328_3527
847328_3527's picture

"Management behavior flows down from Top Management... so the illegitimate behavior flows downhill...everyone follows the leader...." a business prof at Wharton said one time when describing why the entire top and middle management of Enron was infected and corrupt.

Since Enron it has degenerated even more.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 06:32 | 2268860 bank guy in Brussels
bank guy in Brussels's picture

Yes, Doug Noland is absolutely first-rate. His column appears on Asia Times Online on Mondays, as well as on the Prudent Bear site 'Credit Bubble Bulletin' the weekend before.

The absolutely on-the-money quote from Doug Noland in the excerpt you give above:

« I believe a crucial facet of what’s unfolding is that employees throughout Wall Street, and global finance more generally, are working diligently to extract as much "money" as quickly as possible before the whole thing blows up.»

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 03:20 | 2268778 Sizzurp
Sizzurp's picture

I agree with Sleestak, though I am less optimistic that any meaningful reforms can or will happen.  Over the last hundred years the Fed has gradually usurped the power of the markets and the people.  It seems that no crisis of their own creation ever went to waste.  The power to create money represents absolute power, and by definition is absolutely corrupt. The Fed has graciously accepted our lack of courage, foresight and responsibility to place themselves in this supremely powerful position. 2008 gave them the chance to stop eating us piecemeal, and simply devour us completely. Afterall we let them and so they did, stranger still we continue to let them.+

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 06:35 | 2268866 Koffieshop
Koffieshop's picture

stranger still we continue to let them

 

What would be the alternative at this point?  Pull a USSR and cancel the empire?

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 15:43 | 2270705 battle axe
battle axe's picture

Enact Glass-Steagal world wide and most of the problems are solved. It is really that simple. 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:25 | 2268247 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

THE GAME

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:30 | 2268262 Michael
Michael's picture

President Obama signs Executive Order allowing for control over all US resources

Kenneth Schortgen Jr
Finance Examiner
On March 16th, President Obama signed a new Executive Order which expands upon a prior order issued in 1950 for Disaster Preparedness, and gives the office of the President complete control over all the resources in the United States in times of war or emergency.

The National Defense Resources Preparedness order gives the Executive Branch the power to control and allocate energy, production, transportation, food, and even water resources by decree under the auspices of national defense and national security. The order is not limited to wartime implementation, as one of the order's functions includes the command and control of resources in peacetime determinations.

Section 101. Purpose. This order delegates authorities and addresses national defense resource policies and programs under the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (the "Act").

(b) assess on an ongoing basis the capability of the domestic industrial and technological base to satisfy requirements in peacetime and times of national emergency, specifically evaluating the availability of the most critical resource and production sources, including subcontractors and suppliers, materials, skilled labor, and professional and technical personnel; - White House

Advertisement
Additionally, each cabinet under the Executive Branch has been given specific powers when the order is executed, and include the absolute control over food, water, and other resource distributions.

Sec. 201. Priorities and Allocations Authorities. (a) The authority of the President conferred by section 101 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071, to require acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders, and to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense, is delegated to the following agency heads:

(1) the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer;

(2) the Secretary of Energy with respect to all forms of energy;

(3) the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health resources;

(4) the Secretary of Transportation with respect to all forms of civil transportation;

(5) the Secretary of Defense with respect to water resources; and

(6) the Secretary of Commerce with respect to all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials.

(e) "Food resources" means all commodities and products, (simple, mixed, or compound), or complements to such commodities or products, that are capable of being ingested by either human beings or animals, irrespective of other uses to which such commodities or products may be put, at all stages of processing from the raw commodity to the products thereof in vendible form for human or animal consumption. "Food resources" also means potable water packaged in commercially marketable containers, all starches, sugars, vegetable and animal or marine fats and oils, seed, cotton, hemp, and flax fiber, but does not mean any such material after it loses its identity as an agricultural commodity or agricultural product.

Executive Orders created for national defense and national preparedness are not new in American history, but in each instance they brought about a Constitutional crisis that nearly led standing Presidents to hold dictatorial power over the citizenry. During the Civil War, President Lincoln halted freedom of speech and freedom of the press, while at the same time revoking Habeas Corpus and the right to a fair trial under the sixth amendment. During World War I, when Congress refused to grant Woodrow Wilson extended power over resources to help the war effort, he invoked an Executive Order which allowed him complete control over businesses, industry, transportation, food, and other economic policies.

In both cases, it was only after the death of each President that full Constitutional powers were restored to the citizens of the United States.

The economy of the United States is based on the free flow of resources, energy, and the rights of consumers to buy and sell as they see fit. Any interference in this economic process quickly leads to shortages, rising prices, and civil unrest. The purpose of President Obama signing this new Executive Order is yet unclear, however, it may coincide with information coming out of Israel yesterday that plans for a tactical or strategic strike on Iran are accelerating. Oil prices in Europe rose over $3 a barrel for Brent crude after the Israeli actions, and US oil prices rose $2 for WTI.

The Obama administration appears to be preparing for a long drawn out war in the Middle East, or at the very least, an expected crisis that will require the need to override Constitutional authority and claim dominion over all resources in the United States under the guise of national defense. With the rise in Disaster Preparedness growing for both individuals and states leading up to yesterday's Executive Order, the mood of the nation points strongly towards some event or disaster that will require massive preparations on a national as well as local scale.

Continue reading on Examiner.com President Obama signs Executive Order allowing for control over all US resources - National Finance Examiner | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/finance-examiner-in-national/preside...

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:35 | 2268281 Doña K
Doña K's picture

Get ready for O'Bummer to pull a Chavez on Amerika. These are some of the steps they take before takeover.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 22:22 | 2268379 sabra1
sabra1's picture

and what steps are you US citizens taking to stop them?

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 22:46 | 2268433 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

There are no US citizens, save those that are in the government.

There are only terrorists, and unknowing lackeys.

The forces are aligning.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 08:40 | 2269053 sdmjake
sdmjake's picture

"The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men" -Plato

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:49 | 2268314 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

And we simply cannot change horses in mid-stream, so re-elect this, our amatuer President and professional Socialist.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:49 | 2268315 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Sounds like something out of Stalin's planbook.

 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 22:10 | 2268357 Teamtc321
Teamtc321's picture

Why so many NEW Tanks being sent to cali??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RzvOzqGlc_4

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 22:38 | 2268419 Milestones
Milestones's picture

This was posted at least 10 days ago (picture of the tanks) About 4 days later there was a post showing these apperant same tanks quire a way down into Mexico. I spent some time in Mexico and as I recall it was down past Puerte Vallerte.

The only place I can think of is Chiapas where there has been some unrest for years--but tanks in the counry does not make sense--Jungle. Perhaps to seal off Mexico's southern border, as many illegals are from further south including Brasil.          Milestones

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 22:41 | 2268426 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

They are british tanks.  They are being sent to germany as well:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/feb/16/british-tanks-sent-germany-storage

 

 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 23:17 | 2268501 Teamtc321
Teamtc321's picture

Those are not british tank's and the video is in central california ahmeexnal. Heading south, maybe pendleton when it was shot. 

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 00:00 | 2268574 Attitude_Check
Attitude_Check's picture

Most of those ARE NOT TANKS.  They are armored personnel carriers.  Look like M-2's.  These are more appropriate for counter terrorism/counter insurgency operations.  They could be very effective support for counter narcotics operations.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 05:49 | 2268827 i-dog
i-dog's picture

"Counter terrorism" ... LOL. More likely, assisting terrorists to overthrow a govt!

"Counter insurgency" ... LOL. More likely, assisting insurgents (see above)!

"Counter narcotics" ... LOL. More likely, protecting narcotics shipments!

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 01:24 | 2268698 zilverreiger
zilverreiger's picture

this video is months old

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 23:55 | 2268568 newengland
newengland's picture

Michael,

This is the work of the New Fascists. We ought to remember that the Nazis were democratically elected, and everything they did was legal in their country at the time. 

We ought to remember that Marx was funded by the pre-eminent banking family Rothschilds, and their New York bank affiliates funded Lenin/Trotsky/Bolsheviks, and JM Keynes, the central economist at Bretton Woods, admired the Nazis, as did the Bank of England...the Rothschilds bank.

This latest Executive Order and the NDAA is the next stage of the corporatists financial coup d'etat, assisted by the Rothschilds' lap dogs like the Rockefellers, and their Trilateral Commission and Bilderberg Group which 'sounds out' newcomers, schmoozes the unwitting rich and ambitious political wannabes.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:37 | 2268286 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Unfortunately, the massive presence of moral hazard poisons every well constructed argument about Wall Street Darwinism.

AIG and Goldman, to name just two, are ''sophisticated' corporate welfare queens, to put it politely.

Now we see moral hazard is mutating into morale hazard as well.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 22:03 | 2268346 Kali
Kali's picture

i would describe them more as crak hos than welfare queens. But either will do.      PORK.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 22:34 | 2268408 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

I'm trying not to get too agitated this early in my morning.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 22:43 | 2268428 Kali
Kali's picture

; )

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 05:43 | 2268824 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

the idea that this guy scares people is obviously a joke. if he was a Godly man that would be different of course...but sure it's nice to have your clients interest front and center. Still... i think an empirical argument is in the process of being "made" through the market itself that bailout tycoons masquerading as "Master's of the Universe" is a dead business model. The fact of the matter is all the brokerage companies are gone now. they ate themselves--and have no way to stop doing that going forward either. They've been swallowed up "in the maul." Public monies rule this roost and insofar as the private sector really exists at all anymore "it's small ball." The exception is banking. I think what has transpired is a true "revenge/renaissance"? of plain old fashioned lending and "fractional reserving" as Bailout Nation has now run its course "and you gotta go to Dad to ask for a loan." With trillions now on deposit and more on the way--900 billion can go a long way in "restoring growth." We'll see about profitability of course. They're always changing the names on those bank things "down there." CitiFennerAmeriGroup Holdings Excorciated (Exc. for short) will need to be cleaned up.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:42 | 2268300 Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

I used to work in that building, when you could still see the twin towers across the way. I always wondered what that stupid cube was supposed to be about. Now I see it.

 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 22:12 | 2268362 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Ok Banzai7 or Will, you nailed it. That is the Brown Brothers Harriman building next to the NYC FED. Preston Bush was one of the founders there. Anyhow thats the nest. You need a minimum of 50 mil to play at Harriman. It is where NWO distributes what it takes out of taxpayers pockets via the FED and transfers it to off balance sheet operations black opps and the funding of the agencies that are in process of taking over the US. But if you ask any of the of Occupy leaders they'll say I don't know what that building is. That is why this year Giant posters of the NWO heirarchy will glaringly be hung at all the major city protests. Of course that assumes they don't hit the US as part of the current Mid East crisis.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 22:36 | 2268415 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Very good

I'm thinking how to vandalize the neighborhood with images. stay tuned.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 23:47 | 2268549 newengland
newengland's picture

Banzai!

You are brilliant, always.

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