Bill Moyers Journal: Roberto Lovato & Linda Chavez + Michael Zweig + Mark Crispin Miller

Dandelion Salad

Bill Moyers Journal
Oct 17, 2008

Roberto Lovato and Linda Chavez

Bill Moyers sits down with chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and FOX NEWS political analyst Linda Chavez and NATION contributor and writer with New American Media Roberto Lovato to review the news of the week and talk about what’s missing from political conversation.

via Bill Moyers Journal . Watch & Listen | PBS

Michael Zweig

Michael Zweig, Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for the Study of Working Class Life at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, on the economic realities of the downturn.

via Bill Moyers Journal . Watch & Listen | PBS

Mark Crispin Miller

Bill Moyers sits down with Mark Crispin Miller, professor of Media, Culture and Communication at NYU, who has been following voter fraud allegations in his blog News from the Underground. An expert on propaganda and media, Miller’s book LOSER TAKES ALL is an anthology of writings covering election fraud.

via Bill Moyers Journal . Watch & Listen | PBS

see

Larry King Live: Bobby Kennedy vs Michael Reagan

Countdown: Obama Campaign Asks for Special Prosecutor + Voter Suppression

It’s Already Stolen by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast

Global Financial Meltdown: Sweeping Deregulation of the US Banking System (1999)

The Collapse Of A 300 Year Ponzi Scheme: The Real Debate Is Crony Socialism Or Financial Sovereignty

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Mosaic News – 10/17/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad

Warning

.

This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

linktv

Mosaic needs your help! Donate here: http://linktv.org/contribute

“Border Kurdish City Pays a Heavy Price for PKK Attacks,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Iraqi Christians Flee Mosul Violence,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“US Confiscates Iranian Weapons Sent to Iraq,” Al Sharqiya TV, Iraq
“Settlers Attack Palestinian Olive Harvest,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“France Feels Financial Pinch,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Former Afghan Mayor Joins Taliban,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“47 Years Since Algerian Massacre in France,” Algeria TV, Algeria
“McCain’s Good Oil, Bad Oil,” Link TV, USA
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Global Financial Meltdown: Sweeping Deregulation of the US Banking System (1999)

Dandelion Salad

by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, October 17, 2008

The following text reviews, in a historical context, the 1987, 1997 and 1998 stock market meltdowns.

The article was written nine years ago  in November 1999,  following the adoption of the 1999 Financial Services Modernization Act.

It was subsequently published as a chapter in the Second Edition of  The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order, Global Research, Montreal, 2003.

The financial sector reforms of the late 1999s had set the stage for the current financial crisis.

“The 1999 legislation had repealed the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, a pillar of President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” which was put in place in response to the climate of corruption, financial manipulation and “insider trading” which led to more than 5,000 bank failures in the years following the 1929 Wall Street crash. Effective control over the entire US financial services industry (including insurance companies, pension funds, securities companies, etc.) had been transferred to a handful of financial conglomerates – which are also the creditors and shareholders of high tech companies, the defense industry, major oil and mining consortia, etc. Moreover, as underwriters of the public debt at federal, state and municipal levels, the financial giants have also reinforced their stranglehold on politicians, as well as their command over the conduct of public policy.

Rather than taming financial markets in the wake of the storm, Washington was busy pushing through the US Senate legislation, which was to significantly increase the powers of the financial services giants and their associated hedge funds. Under the Financial Modernization Act adopted in November 1999, US lawmakers had set the stage for a sweeping deregulation of the US banking system.

In the wake of lengthy negotiations, all regulatory restraints on Wall Street’s powerful banking conglomerates were revoked “with a stroke of the pen”. Under the new rules – ratified by the US Senate and approved by President Clinton – commercial banks, brokerage firms, hedge funds, institutional investors, pension funds and insurance companies can freely invest in each others businesses as well as fully integrate their financial operations.

The “global financial supermarket” is to be overseen by the Wall Street giants; competing banking institutions are to be removed from the financial landscape. State level banks across America will be displaced or bought up, leading to a deadly string of bank failures. In turn, the supervisory powers of the Federal Reserve Board (which are increasingly under the direct dominion of Wall Street) have been significantly weakened.”


Michel Chossudovsky, October 17, 2008

See complete text below


A new global financial environment has unfolded in several stages since the collapse of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates in 1971. The debt crisis of the early 1980s (broadly coinciding with the Reagan-Thatcher era) had unleashed a wave of corporate mergers, buy-outs and bankruptcies. These changes have, in turn, paved the way for the consolidation of a new generation of financiers clustered around the merchant banks, the institutional investors, stock brokerage firms, large insurance companies, etc. In this process, commercial banking functions have coalesced with those of the investment banks and stock brokers.1

While these “money managers” play a powerful role on financial markets, they are, however, increasingly removed from entrepreneurial functions in the real economy. Their activities (which often escape state regulation) include speculative transactions in commodity futures and derivatives, and the manipulation of currency markets. Major financial actors are routinely involved in “hot money deposits” in “the emerging markets” of Latin America and Southeast Asia, not to mention money laundering and the development of (specialized) “private banks” (“which advise wealthy clients”) in the many offshore banking havens. Within this global financial web, money transits at high speed from one banking haven to the next in the intangible form of electronic transfers. “Legal” and “illegal” business activities have become increasingly intertwined, vast amounts of unreported private wealth have been accumulated. Favoured by financial deregulation, the criminal mafias have also expanded their role in the spheres of international banking.2

The 1987 Wall Street Crash

Black Monday October 19, 1987 was the largest one-day drop in the history of the New York Stock Exchange overshooting the collapse of October 28, 1929, which prompted the Wall Street crash and the beginning of the Great Depression. In the 1987 meltdown, 22.6 percent of the value of US stocks was wiped out largely during the first hour of trading on Monday morning. The plunge on Wall Street sent a cold shiver through the entire financial system leading to the tumble of the European and Asian stock markets…

The Institutional Speculator

The 1987 Wall Street crash served to “clearing the decks” so that only the “fittest” survive. In the wake of crisis, a massive concentration of financial power has taken place. From these transformations, the “institutional speculator” emerged as a powerful actor overshadowing and often undermining bona fide business interests. Using a variety of instruments, these institutional actors appropriate wealth from the real economy. They often dictate the fate of companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Totally removed from entrepreneurial functions in the real economy, they have the power of precipitating large industrial corporations into bankruptcy.

In 1993, a report of Germany’s Bundesbank had already warned that trade in derivatives could potentially “trigger chain reactions and endanger the financial system as a whole”.3 While committed to financial deregulation, the Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board Mr. Alan Greenspan had warned that: “Legislation is not enough to prevent a repeat of the Barings crisis in a high tech World where transactions are carried out at the push of the button”.4 According to Greenspan “the efficiency of global financial markets, has the capability of transmitting mistakes at a far faster pace throughout the financial system in ways which were unknown a generation ago…”5 What was not revealed to public opinion was that “these mistakes”, resulting from large-scale speculative transactions, were the source of unprecedented accumulation of private wealth.

By 1995, the daily turnover of foreign exchange transactions (US$ 1300 billion) had exceeded the world’s official foreign exchange reserves estimated at US$ 1202 billion.6 The command over privately-held foreign exchange reserves in the hands of “institutional speculators” far exceeds the limited capabilities of central banks, – i.e. the latter acting individually or collectively are unable to fight the tide speculative activity.

The 1997 Financial Meltdown

The 1987 crisis had occurred in October. Almost to the day, ten years later (also in October) on Monday the 27th, 1997, stock markets around the world plummeted in turbulent trading. The Dow Jones average nose-dived by 554 points, a 7.2 percent decline of its value, its 12th-worst one-day fall in the history of the New York Stock Exchange.

Major exchanges around the world are interconnected “around the clock” through instant computer link-up: volatile trading on Wall Street “spilled over” into the European and Asian stock markets thereby rapidly permeating the entire financial system. European stock markets were in disarray with heavy losses recorded on the Frankfurt, Paris and London exchanges. The Hong Kong stock exchange had crashed by 10.41 percent on the previous Thursday (“Black Thursday” October 24th) as mutual fund managers and pension funds swiftly dumped large amounts of Hong Kong blue chip stocks. The slide at Hong Kong’s Exchange Square continued unabated at the opening of trade on Monday morning: a 6.7 percent drop on Monday the 27th followed by a 13.7 percent fall on Tuesday (Hong Kong’s biggest point loss ever)…


Table 1

New York Stock Exchange: Worst Single-Day Declines (Dow Jones Industrial Average, percentage change)

Percentage Date Decline [1929-1998]

October 19, 1987 – 22.6%

October 28, 1929 – 12.8%

October 29, 1929 – 11.7%

November 6, 1929 – 9.9%

August 12, 1932 – 8.4%

October 26, 1987 – 8.0%

July 21, 1933 – 7.8%

October 18, 1937 – 7.6%

October 27, 1997 – 7.2%

October 5, 1932 – 7.2%

September 24, 1931 – 7.1%

August 31, 1998 – 6.4%

Source: New York Stock Exchange


The 1997 meltdown of financial markets had been heightened by computerized trading and the absence of state regulation. The NYSE’s Superdot electronic order-routing system was able to handle (without queuing) more than 300,000 orders per day (an average of 375 orders per second), representing a daily capacity of more than two billion shares. While its speed and volume had increased tenfold since 1987, the risks of financial instability were significantly greater. 

Ten years earlier, in the wake of the 1987 meltdown, the US Treasury was advised by Wall Street not to meddle in financial markets. Free of government encroachment, the New York and Chicago exchanges were invited to establish their own regulatory procedures. The latter largely consisted in freezing computerized programme trading through the use of so-called “circuit-breakers”.7

In 1997, the circuit breakers proved to be totally ineffective in averting a meltdown. On Monday the 27th of October 1997, a first circuit breaker halted trading for 30 minutes after a 350 point plunge of the Dow Jones. After the 30 minute trading halt, an aura of panic and confusion was installed: brokers started dumping large quantities of stocks which contributed to accelerating the collapse in market values. In the course of the next 25 minutes, the Dow plunged by a further 200 points, triggering a second “circuit breaker” which served to end the trading day on Wall Street.


Text Box

Replicating the Policy Failures of the late 1920s

Wall Street was swerving dangerously in volatile trading in the months preceding the Wall Street crash on October 29, 1929. Laissez-faire, under the Coolidge and Hoover administrations, was the order of the day. The possibility of a financial meltdown had never been seriously contemplated. Professor Irving Fisher of Yale University had stated authoritatively in 1928 that “nothing resembling a crash can occur”. The illusion of economic prosperity persisted several years after the Wall Street crash of October 1929. In 1930, Irving Fisher stated confidently that “for the immediate future, at least, the perspective is brilliant”. According to the prestigious Harvard Economic Society: “manufacturing activity [in 1930]… was definitely on the road to recovery” (quoted in John Kenneth Galbraith, The Great Crash, 1929, Penguin, London).

Mainstream Economics Upholds Financial Deregulation

Sounds familiar? In the wake of the 1997 crash, the same complacency prevailed as during the frenzy of the late 1920s. Echoing almost verbatim the economic slogans of Irving Fisher, today’s economics orthodoxy not only refutes the existence of an economic crisis, it denies outright the possibility of a financial meltdown. According to Nobel Laureate Robert Lucas of the University of Chicago, the decisions of economic agents are based on so-called “rational expectations”, ruling out the possibility of “systematic errors” which might lead the stock market in the wrong direction… It is ironic that precisely at a time when financial markets were in turmoil, the Royal Swedish Academy announced the granting of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Economics to two American economists for their “pioneering formula for the valuation of stock options [and derivatives] used by thousands of traders and investors” (meaning an “algebraic formula” which is routinely used by hedge funds stock market speculators). (See Greg Burns, “Two Americans Share Nobel in Economics”, Chicago Tribune, October 15, 1997).


The Asian Crisis

When viewed historically, the 1997 financial crisis was far more devastating and destructive than previous financial meltdowns. Both the stock market and currency markets were affected. In the 1987 crisis, national currencies remained relatively stable. In contrast to both the crashes of 1929 and 1987, the 1997-98 financial crisis was marked by the concurrent collapse of currencies and stock markets. An almost symbiotic relationship between the stock exchange and the foreign currency market had unfolded: “institutional speculators” were not only involved in manipulating stock prices, they also had the ability to plunder central banks’ foreign exchange reserves, undermining sovereign governments and destabilizing entire national economies.

In the course of 1997, currency speculation in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines was conducive to the transfer of billions of dollars of central bank reserves into private financial hands. Several observers have pointed to the deliberate manipulation of equity and currency markets by investment banks and brokerage firms.8 Ironically, the same Western financial institutions which looted developing countries’ central banks, have also offered “to come to the rescue” of Southeast Asia’s monetary authorities. ING Baring, for instance, well known for its speculative undertakings, generously offered to underwrite a one-billion dollar loan to the Central Bank of the Philippines (CBP) in July 1997. In the months which followed, most of these borrowed foreign currency reserves were reappropriated by international speculators when the CBP sold large amounts of dollars on the forward market in a desperate attempt to prop up the Peso.

“Economic Contagion”

Business forecasters and academic economists alike had disregarded the dangers of a global financial meltdown alluding to “strong economic fundamentals”; G7 leaders were afraid to say anything or act in a way, which might give the “wrong signals”… Wall Street analysts continue to bungle on issues of “market correction” with little understanding of the broader economic picture.

The plunge on the New York Stock Exchange on October 27th 1997 was casually blamed on the “structurally weak economies” of Southeast Asia, until recently heralded as upcoming tigers, now depicted as “lame ducks”. The seriousness of the financial crisis was trivialized: Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, reassured Wall Street pointing authoritatively to “the contagious character of national economies, spreading weaknesses from country to country”. Following Greenspan’s verdict (October 28th), the “consensus” among Manhattan brokers and US academics (with debate or analysis) was that “Wall Street had caught the Hong Kong flu”…

The 1998 Stock Market Meltdown

In the uncertain wake of Wall Street’s recovery from the 1997 “Asian flu” – largely spurred by panic flight out of Japanese stocks – financial markets backslided a few months later to reach a new dramatic turning-point in August 1998 with the spectacular nose-dive of the Russian ruble. The Dow Jones plunged by 554 points on August 31, 1998 (its second largest decline in the history of the New York stock exchange) leading, in the course of September, to the dramatic meltdown of stock markets around the World. In a matter of a few weeks, 2300 billion dollars of “paper profits” had evaporated from the U.S. stock market.

The ruble’s August 1998 free-fall had spurred Moscow’s largest commercial banks into bankruptcy leading to the potential take-over of Russia’s financial system by a handful of Western banks and brokerage houses. In turn, the crisis had created the danger of massive debt default to Moscow’s Western creditors, including the Deutsche and Dresdner banks. Since the outset of Russia’s macro-economic reforms, following the first injection of IMF “shock therapy” in 1992, some 500 billion dollars worth of Russian assets – including plants of the military industrial complex, infrastructure and natural resources – have been confiscated (through the privatization programs and forced bankruptcies) and transferred into the hands of Western capitalists. In the brutal aftermath of the Cold War, an entire economic and social system was being dismantled.

Financial Deregulation

Rather than taming financial markets in the wake of the storm, Washington was busy pushing through the US Senate legislation, which was to significantly increase the powers of the financial services giants and their associated hedge funds. Under the Financial Modernization Act adopted in November 1999 – barely a week before the historic Seattle Millenium Summit of the World Trade Organization (WTO) – US lawmakers had set the stage for a sweeping deregulation of the US banking system.

In the wake of lengthy negotiations, all regulatory restraints on Wall Street’s powerful banking conglomerates were revoked “with a stroke of the pen”. Under the new rules – ratified by the US Senate and approved by President Clinton – commercial banks, brokerage firms, hedge funds, institutional investors, pension funds and insurance companies can freely invest in each others businesses as well as fully integrate their financial operations.

The legislation had repealed the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, a pillar of President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” which was put in place in response to the climate of corruption, financial manipulation and “insider trading” which led to more than 5,000 bank failures in the years following the 1929 Wall Street crash.9 Effective control over the entire US financial services industry (including insurance companies, pension funds, securities companies, etc.) had been transferred to a handful of financial conglomerates – which are also the creditors and shareholders of high tech companies, the defense industry, major oil and mining consortia, etc. Moreover, as underwriters of the public debt at federal, state and municipal levels, the financial giants have also reinforced their stranglehold on politicians, as well as their command over the conduct of public policy.

The “global financial supermarket” is to be overseen by the Wall Street giants; competing banking institutions are to be removed from the financial landscape. State level banks across America will be displaced or bought up, leading to a deadly string of bank failures. In turn, the supervisory powers of the Federal Reserve Board (which are increasingly under the direct dominion of Wall Street) have been significantly weakened .

Free from government regulation, the financial giants have the ability to strangle local-level businesses in the US and overshadow the real economy. In fact, due to the lack of competition, the legislation also entitles the financial services giants (bypassing the Federal Reserve Board and acting in tacit collusion with one another) to set interest rates as they please.

The Merger Frenzy

A new era of intense financial rivalry has unfolded. The New World Order – largely under the dominion of American finance capital – was eventually intent on dwarfing rival banking conglomerates in Western Europe and Japan, as well as sealing strategic alliances with a “select club” of German- and British-based banking giants.

Several mammoth bank mergers (including NationsBank with BankAmerica, and Citibank with Travelers Group) had, in fact, already been implemented and rubber-stamped by the Federal Reserve Board (in violation of the pre-existing legislation) prior to the adoption of the 1999 Financial Modernization Act. Citibank, the largest Wall Street bank, and Travelers Group Inc., the financial services and insurance conglomerate (which also owns Solomon Smith Barney a major brokerage firm) combined their operations in 1998 in a 72 billion dollar merger.10

Strategic mergers between American and European banks had also been negotiated bringing into the heart of the US financial landscape some of Europe’s key financial players including Deutsche Bank AG (linked up with Banker’s Trust) and Credit Suisse (linked up with First Boston). The Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), the UK based banking conglomerate – which had already sealed a partnership with Wells Fargo and Wachovia Corporation – had acquired the late Edmond Safra’s Republic New York Bank in a 9 billion dollar deal.11

In the meantime, rival European banks excluded from Wall Street’s inner circle, were scrambling to compete in an increasingly “unfriendly” global financial environment. Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) had acquired Société Générale de Banque and Paribas to form one of the World’s largest banks. BNP eventually aspires “to move into North America in a bigger way”.12

Financial Deregulation at a Global Level

While the 1999 US Financial Services Act does not in itself break down remaining barriers to the free movement of capital, in practice, it empowers Wall Street’s key players, including Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, Lehman Brothers, etc., to develop a hegemonic position in global banking, overshadowing and ultimately destabilizing financial systems in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe…

Financial deregulation in the US has created an environment which favors an unprecedented concentration of global financial power. In turn, it has set the pace of global financial and trade reform under the auspices of the IMF and the World Trade Organization (WTO). The provisions of both the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and of the Financial Services Agreement (FTA) imply the breaking down of remaining impediments to the movement of finance capital meaning that Merrill Lynch, Citigroup or Deutsche-Bankers Trust can go wherever they please, triggering the bankruptcy of national banks and financial institutions.

In practice, this process has already happened in a large number of developing countries under bankruptcy and privatization programs imposed on an hoc basis by the Bretton Woods institutions. The mega-banks have penetrated the financial landscape of developing countries, taking control of banking institutions and financial services. In this process, the financial giants have been granted de facto “national treatment”: without recourse to the provisions of the Financial Services Agreement (FTA) of the WTO, Wall Streets banks, for instance, in Korea, Pakistan, Argentina or Brazil have become bona fide “national banks” operating as domestic institutions and governed by domestic laws which are being remolded under IMF-World Bank jurisdiction. (See Chapters 21 and 22.)

In practice the large US and European financial services giants do not require the formal adoption of the GATS to be able to dominate banking institutions worldwide, as well as overshadow national governments. The process of global financial deregulation is, in many regards, a fait accompli. Wall Street has routinely invaded country after country. The domestic banking system has been put on the auction block and reorganized under the surveillance of external creditors. National financial institutions are routinely destabilized and driven out of business; mass unemployment and poverty are the invariable results. Assisted by the IMF – which routinely obliges countries to open up their domestic banking sector to foreign investment – retail banking, stock brokerage firms and insurance companies are taken over by foreign capital and reorganized. Citigroup, among other Wall Street majors, has gone on a global shopping spree buying up banks and financial institutions at bargain prices in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. In one fell swoop, Citigroup acquired the 106 branch network of Banco Mayo Cooperativo Ltda., becoming Argentina’s second largest bank.

Endnotes

  1. In the US, the division between commercial and investment banking is regulated by the Glass Steagall Act enacted in 1933 during the Great Depression to ensure the separation of securities underwriting from lending, to avoid conflicts of interest and prevent the collapse of commercial banks. The Banking Association has recently pointed to the importance of amending the Glass Steagall act to allow for the full integration of commercial and investment banking. See American Banking Association President’s Position, “New Ball Game in Washington, ABA Banking Journal, January 1995, p. 17. 
  2. For detailed analysis on the role of criminal organizations in banking and finance, see Alain Labrousse and Alain Wallon (editors), “La planète des drogues”, Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1993 and Observatoire géopolitique des drogues, La drogue, nouveau désordre mondial, Hachette, coll. pluriel-Intervention, Paris, 1993. 
  3. Quoted in Martin Khor, ” Baring and the Search for a Rogue Culprit, Third World Economics, No. 108, 1-15 March 1995, p. 10.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Bank for International Settlements Review, No. 46, 1997.
  6. Martin Khor, SEA Currency Turmoil Renews Concern on Financial Speculation, Third World Resurgence, No. 86, October 1997, pp. 14-15.
  7. “Five Years On, the Crash Still Echoes”, The Financial Times, October 19, 1992.
  8. Philip Wong, member of the Beijing appointed Legislative Assembly accused the Manhattan Brokerage firm Morgan Stanley of “short-selling the market”. See “Broker Cleared of Manipulation”, Hong Kong Standard, 1 November 1997. 
  9. See Martin McLaughlin, Clinton Republicans agree to Deregulation of US Banking System, World Socialist website, http://www.wsws.org/index.shtml, 1 November 1999. 
  10. Ibid
  11. See Financial Times, November 9, 1999, p. 21. 
  12. Jocelyn Noveck, “Deal would create largest bank”, http://sun-sentinel.com/, March 9 1999.  

The above text is contained in Chapter 20 of Michel Chossudovsky’s book

The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order

by Michel Chossudovsky

© Copyright Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10588

see

The Collapse Of A 300 Year Ponzi Scheme: The Real Debate Is Crony Socialism Or Financial Sovereignty

Dr. Michael Hudson: The New Kleptocracy – The largest financial theft in American history

Additional Thoughts on the Bailout By Paul Craig Roberts

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Naomi Wolf: Stand up for the Constitution (video no longer available)

Dandelion Salad

Oct 19, 2008

video no longer available

***

Updated: Oct. 4, 2014

Interview, Nov 2, 2008: http://www.avclub.com/article/naomi-wolf-14326 Continue reading

The Collapse Of A 300 Year Ponzi Scheme: The Real Debate Is Crony Socialism Or Financial Sovereignty

by Dr. Ellen Hodgson Brown
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Ellen’s post
Oct 18, 2008
webofdebt.com

“Admit it, mes amis, the rugged individualism and cutthroat capitalism that made America the land of unlimited opportunity has been shrink-wrapped by half a dozen short sellers in Greenwich, Conn., and FedExed to Washington, D.C., to be spoon-fed back to life by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. We’re now no different from any of those Western European semi-socialist welfare states that we love to deride.”

–Bill Saporito, “How We Became the United States of France,” Time (September 21, 2008)

Last night, the Presidential candidates had their last debate before the election. They talked of the baleful state of the economy and the stock market; but omitted from the discussion was what actually caused the credit freeze, and whether the banks should be nationalized as Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is now proceeding to do. The omission was probably excusable, since the financial landscape has been changing so fast that it is hard to keep up. A year ago, the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke through 14,000 to make a new all-time high. Anyone predicting then that a year later the Dow would drop nearly by half and the Treasury would move to nationalize the banks would have been regarded with amused disbelief. But that is where we are today.1

Congress hastily voted to approve Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s $700 billion bank bailout plan on October 3, 2008, after a tumultuous week in which the Dow fell dangerously near the critical 10,000 level. The market, however, was not assuaged. The Dow proceeded to break through not only 10,000 but then 9,000 and 8,000, closing at 8,451 on Friday, October 10. The week was called the worst in U.S. stock market history.

On Monday, October 13, the market staged a comeback the likes of which had not been seen since 1933, rising a full 11% in one day. This happened after the government announced a plan to buy equity interests in key banks, partially nationalizing them; and the Federal Reserve led a push to flood the global financial system with dollars.

The reversal was dramatic but short-lived. On October 15, the day of the Presidential debate, the Dow dropped 733 points, crash landing at 8,578. The reversal is looking more like a massive pump and dump scheme – artificially inflating the market so insiders can get out – than a true economic rescue. The real problem is not in the much-discussed subprime market but is in the credit market, which has dried up. The banking scheme itself has failed. As was learned by painful experience during the Great Depression, the economy cannot be rescued by simply propping up failed banks. The banking system itself needs to be overhauled.

Continue reading

Katrina Vanden Heuvel Responds to Michelle Bachmann

Dandelion Salad

heathr456

On Hardball, Chris talks to Katrina Vanden Heuvel and Pat Buchanan about the statements made by Michells Bachmann. Katrina rightly points out how dangerous that type of talk is.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Katrina Vanden Heuvel Responds to Mic…“, posted with vodpod

***

Michelle Bachman Calls Liberals Un-American

Matthews just let this nut job carry on and on. If this is the direction the Republican party wants to take this country it should scare the hell out of everyone. Division and hatred.

***

The McCain – Palin Charm Offensive

VOTERSTHINKdotORG

http://cspanjunkie.org/
October 17, 2008 MSNBC Rachel Maddow Show

see

Larry King Live: Bobby Kennedy vs Michael Reagan

Countdown: Obama Campaign Asks for Special Prosecutor + Voter Suppression

It’s Already Stolen by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast

Dr. J.’s Short Takes: Palin; Campaign Racism; Guilt by Association; David Brooks

“N” Word, Swastikas Spray-Painted on Arizona Restaurant + The Hate Talk Express

Max Blumenthal on Sarah Palin’s Radical Right-Wing Pals + Feeding the Hate

McCain-John

Palin-Sarah

Obama-Barack

Larry King Live: Bobby Kennedy vs Michael Reagan

Dandelion Salad

heathr456

Larry King talks to Bobby Kennedy Jr. and Michael Reagan about whether Colin Powell will endorse Obama, who will win the Presidential race, and voter suppression. Kennedy hits the nail on the head with the voter fraud non-issue and how this ties into the US Attorney scandal.

Larry King talks to Robert Kennedy Jr. Michael Reagan and wingnut Michelle Bachmann who apparently decided one television appearance for the day to make a fool out of herself wasn’t enough. Kennedy does a good job of getting out some points about what McCain’s stances are without allowing Reagan to talk over him, and then we get another call for “investigators” out of Bachmann which Kennedy again manages to shoot down before the segment runs out of time.

Wingnut Fest With Cries of Marxism

Larry King decides to give a couple of segments to the wingnut fest of Crazy-Eyes Michelle Bachmann, Kellyanne Conway and Lars Larson with no countering opinions to spew a bit of bile on his show which he obviously disagrees with at least some of, but does an extremely lame job of countering. This is the second half. Bachmann seems to think McCain is a populist now, and is suddenly worried about government spending when she had no problem for these bottomless pit wars without end that are bankrupting us. Lars throws out the Marxist charges which I’m sure we’ll be hearing for the next eight years if Obama is elected and reelected. At least he knows how to pronounce nuclear but apparently he doesn’t understand that the plumber isn’t a plumber, and his name isn’t Joe, and Obama is going to give him a tax break and not redistribute his wealth. And Conway thinks Obama isn’t experienced and is still running the PUMA lines attempting to divide Democrats which haven’t worked for them so far, but hey, why should that stop her now? They still need an excuse after they rig those voting machines don’t they?

see

Countdown: Obama Campaign Asks for Special Prosecutor + Voter Suppression

It’s Already Stolen by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast

Dr. J.’s Short Takes: Palin; Campaign Racism; Guilt by Association; David Brooks

“N” Word, Swastikas Spray-Painted on Arizona Restaurant + The Hate Talk Express

Greg Palast: Voting Fraud is a Fraud

Countdown: Special Comment + Inciting the Mob + Claims of Voter Fraud

Thom Hartmann: Voter Fraud and Georgia-Russia War

Greg Palast on Vote Rigging and Suppression + Is 2008 already fixed?

Countdown: Obama Campaign Asks for Special Prosecutor + Voter Suppression

Dandelion Salad

Oct. 17, 2008

heathr456

Countdown reports on the Obama campaign requesting a Special Prosecutor to look into voter suppression. Keith talks to attorney Bob Bauer about the request.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Countdown: Obama Campaign Asks for Sp…“, posted with vodpod

Rachel Maddow: Jonathan Turley on Voter Suppression

Rachel has more on the voter fraud/suppression breaking news and the Obama campaign’s request for a Special prosecutor. Jonathan Turley weighs in on how this is just more of the same thing they’ve pulled in the last election with the same states targetted in an effort to keep people from voting.

Worst Person

And the winner is…Rick Santorum. Runners up Bob Grant and Palin’s Secret Service detail.

see

It’s Already Stolen by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast

Dr. J.’s Short Takes: Palin; Campaign Racism; Guilt by Association; David Brooks

“N” Word, Swastikas Spray-Painted on Arizona Restaurant + The Hate Talk Express

Greg Palast: Voting Fraud is a Fraud

Countdown: Special Comment + Inciting the Mob + Claims of Voter Fraud

Thom Hartmann: Voter Fraud and Georgia-Russia War

Greg Palast on Vote Rigging and Suppression + Is 2008 already fixed?

Is money the root to all evil? By Roland Michel Tremblay + NIN

By Roland Michel Tremblay
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
The Marginal
Oct. 18, 2008

I do speak for the people, for a change. It has been said throughout history that money and religion were the root to all evil. It would be hard to deny it, both are responsible for most wars in this world. They are both about control and power, though they are both presented to us as our salvation. Well, are they our salvation? This is a message of hope, that you do not require money to survive, or to achieve your dreams. Continue reading

Sunday’s Debate Postponed + Rescheduled Debate: Oct 23

Dandelion Salad

Update: Here’s the link to the debate: Third Party Presidential Candidate Debate

Updated: Oct 19, 2008: added video with info on rescheduled debate; see below

Nader for President campaign
Oct 17,  2008 Continue reading