By Jim Quinn of Burning Platform
“Government has coddled, accepted, and ignored white collar crime for too long. It is time the nation woke up and realized that it’s not the armed robbers or drug dealers who cause the most economic harm, it’s the white collar criminals living in the most expensive homes who have the most impressive resumes who harm us the most. They steal our pensions, bankrupt our companies, and destroy thousands of jobs, ruining countless lives.” – Harry Markopolos, Madoff Whistleblower
The tenth anniversary of the Wall Street created financial catastrophe brought back some bittersweet memories this week. I wrote my first articles during the summer/fall of 2008 for Seeking Alpha. They included: Is The U.S Banking System Safe? (Aug 2008), The Great Consumer Crash of 2009 (Aug 2008), Looming Financial Catastrophe: A Real Inconvenient Truth (Aug 2008), Is Wachovia the Worst Run Bank in America (Sept 2008), The U.S. on the Precipice (Sept 2008), On Board the U.S.S. Titanic (Sept 2008), Our Coming Depression (Oct 2008), among others. I was pumping out 5,000 word articles every 2 or 3 days.
I was full of piss and vinegar. I was outraged by the actions taken by Paulson, Bernanke and Bush in bailing out criminal bankers with our money. This ensemble of accurate and acerbic articles led to requests for appearances on Glenn Beck’s CNN show, Neil Cavuto’s show, and several others. My need for my day job led me to turning down the invitations. I did several radio interviews, but kept a relatively low profile.
Ten years later, I’m running low on piss and vinegar. Irrationality reigns. Abnormal is the new normal. Delusions and new paradigms rule the day. During manias it is virtually useless to try and use facts and rational arguments against propaganda, misinformation and hype. The delusional will have to be clubbed like a baby seal once again to regain some sense of reality.
During the crisis in 2009, some guy kept badgering me with emails and phone calls to appear in his documentary about the financial crisis. He had been reading all my Seeking Alpha articles and my early Fourth Turning articles tying the financial collapse to the start of our current twenty-year Crisis. His name was Steve Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs banker and obscure documentary filmmaker. My 30 seconds of fame was appearing in his excellent documentary called Generation Zero, weaving the Financial Crisis into the Fourth Turning generational theory. I wonder whatever happened to that guy.
In the midst of the crisis I had the opportunity to attend a lecture/discussion where the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury provided his false narrative about the causes of the crisis and the taxpayer funded bailout of the criminal Wall Street banks. His goal was to convince the audience the government had the best interests of the common people in mind with their $700 billion injection into insolvent Wall Street banks, who took extreme risks and blew up the world. After his initial monologue the plan was to open it up to questions from the audience.
I had told a number of people I was going to ask a question that would make him uncomfortable. After he fielded a bunch of softball questions they handed the microphone to me. I asked him if the Federal government takeover of Fanny and Freddie were nothing more than a $200 billion backdoor bailout of the Wall Street banks, since the taxpayer was forced to backstop two insolvent zombies and not forcing Wall Street bankers to incur mortgage losses.
There was a murmur in the audience as they were shocked I would ask such a direct challenging question. He appeared stunned, paused, took a drink of water, and then proceeded to not answer my question by reciting some talking points and asking for the next question. It felt great making a government big shot uncomfortable and holding his feet to the fire. This was a time when I thought I could help change the world with my articles. My fire and brimstone posture has dimmed considerably in the years that followed, as my point of view has never gained mainstream traction.
It’s now ten years later and the government/Fed/Wall Street/MSM narrative has won the day. The account peddled by the Deep State and their corporate media mouthpieces about Paulson, Bernanke and Geithner saving the world by creating trillions of new debt to supplement the trillions in bad debt is the dominant view among the masses. A nine- year bull market, 0% interest rates, unlimited liquidity pumped into Wall Street banker veins by the heroin dealer Fed, and perpetual propaganda pumped prodigiously at people asking to be lied to, has produced illusions of wealth and delusions of normality. As long as the markets go up, the investing class has no interest in truth or consequences…