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(Paul B. Farrell, an investing and personal finance columnist for CBS MarketWatch, has just come out with a series of 3 posts about the attack of the radical right. I’m posting all three. He’s a knowledgable businessman, and that he is coming out now with his urgent warning is significant. Farrell’s sense of urgency is palpable, and his message is alarming. Many will not know whether to believe his bottom line. Here, we provide the detailed economic analysis of what has happened, so we can believe it. It should make us angry and motivated. This train can still be turned around, and it’s not too late to save the country. Get out and get active. Be politicized, like your life depends on it. – JMH)
April 5, 2011, 12:01 a.m. EDT
Commentary: 11 reasons bankrupt Reaganomics ideas are leading to collapse
By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Headlines race across the web: “Jamie Dimon Worries That Financial Regulation Will Doom Banks, Forever.” Doom? Forever? Settle down Dimon, this sounds like an over-the-top B-movie promo for “Vampire Chronicles.”
Suddenly the boss of $2 trillion J. P. Morgan Chase is our newest “Dr. Doom.” Last week he was preaching his mantra to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce choir, warning that financial reforms would be a “nail in the coffin for big American banks.”
Nail in the coffin? Yes, and that’s exactly what the American public wants. Stuff Wall Street’s Vampire Squids back in their coffins, nail the lids shut, bury them forever.
Seriously, nationalize our incompetent Super-Rich Banks. We made a historic mistake not doing it in 2008. Should have let the vampires go bankrupt, reinstated Glass-Steagall. Instead we sat passively letting our double-dealing Treasury Secretary, former Goldman boss Hank Paulson, protect his Wall Street cronies as he conned Congress and taxpayers into making the worst economic blunder in American history, bailing out Wall Street’s “too-greedy-to-fail” banks.
Warning: Soon our Super-Rich Vampires will sink the economy deeper than 2008. Worse, they even believe we’ll bail them out again. We blinked in 2008, so they’ll try sucking out more bail-out blood next time.
The scene’s pathetic: Here’s one of America’s Super-Rich CEOs, a guy worth $260 million, coming across like a crybaby, whining because a tough-as-nails gal like Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren and her Consumer Financial Agency just might take away his toys for being a bad boy … might try to limit his ability to rip off cardholders … might limit his high-risk gambling with depositors’ cash, limit him playing in the $700 trillion global derivatives casino … might force his bank to put up more reserves to prevent the next meltdown … might even awaken his lost moral consciousness and get him to think about the public welfare instead of the tens of millions he makes squeezing the public.
Wall Street’s Super-Rich CEOs killing financial reforms
But will Wall Street have an epiphany? Change? Never. No, won’t happen. Why? America’s Super-Rich Vampire CEOs are already doomed, forever. Our too-greedy-to-fail banks are back to their old pre-2008 tricks, bankrolling a billion dollar “kill reform” drive. J. P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley have invested megabucks in lobbyists and politicians to water down, defund and effectively kill Warren’s CFA, the SEC, Dodd-Frank and every other attempt to protect the public.
These guys love running the Fed and Treasury as their own little piggy banks. As Spencer Bachus, the GOP chairman of the House Financial Services committee put it, government regulators “exist to serve banks.”
So, unfortunately, for a while you will have to listen to Dimon’s incessant whining as he keeps replaying his overly dramatic Dr. Doom story. Until Wall Street pounds all their nails in the coffin of financial reform, while resurrecting their self-destructive Reaganomics vampire that sank its fangs and triggered the 2008 meltdown.
But watch out Wall Street: Next time, American taxpayers won’t support bailouts and trillions more debt. We will sink into the Great Depression 2 and a new American Revolution next time. No bailout, we’ll just nationalize all banks.
Then, poor little Jamie and his Super-Rich buddies will lose their jobs, having destroyed American capitalism. Unfortunately, the great irony is that these insatiable greedy, incompetent CEOs will personally survive well after the collapse, living off the millions they’ve stashed away while sabotaging America with their bankrupt Reaganomics ideas.
Dimon becomes our newest Dr. Doom
Dimon really loves his new role as a Dr. Doom. Plays a tragic drama queen very well. That “nail in the coffin” speech fits perfectly with the Chamber’s kill-reform strategies.
Some may say Wall Street’s short-term thinking CEOs are too myopic to be on the same stage as our long-term thinking Dr. Dooms. But you decide: Here’s a criteria from Barron’s, offered by legendary money manager Jeremy Grantham, referring to the 2008 crash: “Why is it that several dozen people saw this crisis coming for years.” Several dozen Over four years. But “the bosses of Merrill Lynch and Citi and even Treasury Secretary Paulson and Fed Chairman Bernanke, none of them seemed to see it coming.”
Why? Grantham’s answer is simple: Wall Street and Washington’s leaders are “management types who focus on what they are doing this quarter or this annual budget.” Their myopia “guarantees that every time we get an outlying, obscure event that has never happened before in history, they are always going to miss it.”
Yes, and they’ll miss the next crash. Guaranteed. Here’s what other long-term thinking Dr. Dooms predict:
1. This time is never, never different with insatiable greed
In “This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly” economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff warn that as economies “improve there will always be a temptation to stretch the limits. … A financial system can collapse under the pressure of greed, politics and profits … Technology has changed … but the ability of governments and investors to delude themselves … seems to have remained a constant.”
2. Fed’s new easy money is fueling new bubble, new meltdown
In the 400-year history of the stock market “there has been a long succession of financial bubbles,” says financial historian Niall Ferguson. The culprit? The Fed: “Without easy credit creation a true bubble cannot occur. That is why so many bubbles have their origins in the sins of omission and commission of central banks.” And with the rate near zero, Bernanke is becoming the biggest bubble-blower in American history.
3. American ‘Empire’ has peaked, is on a rapid downward spiral
Savvy Hong Kong economist Marc Faber says “the average life span of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years … Once a society becomes successful it becomes arrogant, righteous, overconfident, corrupt, and decadent … overspends … costly wars … wealth inequity and social tensions increase; and society enters a secular decline.”
4. Wall Street has created a very ‘short respite’ before new crash
Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz warned that unless Wall Street’s incentive system is drastically reformed, “the financial sector will only try to circumvent whatever new regulations we put in place. We will simply have a short respite before the next crisis.”
5. First dot-coms, then subprimes; ‘third episode’ dead ahead
Remember a decade ago in “Irrational Exuberance” Yale’s Robert Shiller predicted the dot-com crash. More recently he warned: “Bubbles are primarily a social phenomena. Until we understand and address the psychology that fuels them, they’re going to keep forming. We recently lived through two epidemics of excessive financial optimism, we are close to a third episode.” And everything since 2008 guaranteed the “third episode.”
6. America’s ‘running out of time’ before the Great Depression 2
Former IMF chief economist Simon Johnson waned: “We’re running out of time … to prevent a true depression … the financial industry has effectively captured our government” and is “blocking essential reform,” and unless we break Wall Street’s “stranglehold” we will be unable prevent another Great Depression. Failure to reform Wall Street guarantees a depression. Unfortunately, Dimon just doesn’t get it.
7. Fed’s haunted by ghost of Greenspan’s failed Reaganomics
When Obama reappointed Bernanke, “Black Swan’s” Nicholas Taleb warned that Bernanke was an economist who “doesn’t even know he doesn’t understand how things work.” Now the Fed’s Greenspan clone is feeding the GOP’s self-destructive Reaganomics ideology, blindly focused on saving a dying banking system by flooding the world with inflated dollars guaranteed to trigger another meltdown.
8. Hedgers made billions shorting dumb politicians, dumber bankers
Hedge funds make fortunes betting on the utter stupidity of Washington politicians and Wall Street CEOs gambling with the Fed’s self-destructive cheap-money policies. In fact, AR Magazine just reported that the top hedge fund manager made $4.9 billion shorting our clueless leaders, after making $3.4 billion in 2008, the year of the crash.
9. Dollar’s dead as reserve currency, killing our retirement system
In George Soros’s “New Paradigm:” America’s 25-year “superboom … led to massive deregulation … blindly chasing free markets … unleashed excessive greed … created the dot-com and credit meltdowns” and a “shadow banking system” of derivatives. “The system is broken … the end of an era of credit expansion based on the dollar as the international reserve currency.” Warns Soros: “We’re now in a period of wealth destruction.”
10. Sell everything, hide in the hills with seed, fertilizer, drugs, guns
Barton Biggs 2008 bestseller, “Wealth, War and Wisdom” warns us to prepare for a “breakdown of civilization … Your safe haven must be self-sufficient and capable of growing some kind of food … well-stocked with seed, fertilizer, canned food, wine, medicine, clothes, etc. … a few rounds over the approaching brigands’ heads would probably be a compelling persuader that there are easier farms to pillage.” Biggs is no anarchist militiaman; he’s a former Morgan Stanley research guru, now a top hedge fund manager.
11. Nations ignore obvious till too late, then collapse rapidly
Yes, the end will be swift. Why? Few can take the warnings of geniuses like evolutionary anthropologist Jared Diamond. In “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed,” Diamond warns that societies fail because they’re unprepared, in denial till it’s too late: “Civilizations share a sharp curve of decline. Indeed, a society’s demise may begin only a decade or two after it reaches its peak population, wealth and power.” Just two decades. America hit its peak in 2000, with Bush’s election. Our two-decade reprieve will soon be up.
Obvious warnings were everywhere long before the 2008 meltdown. But a tragic Reaganomics dogma created a blind spot in Greenspan, Bernanke and Paulson. Today that blind spot is even stronger with a new crop of Reaganomics ideologues.
And again, the warnings are everywhere. Again ignored. Tragic figures like Dimon, Bernanke, Geithner as well as Bachus, Bachman, Palin, Trump, Koch Brothers and even Obama have that blind spot. They simply cannot hear any warnings … won’t till it’s too late.
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