August 31, 2011
Jeff Thompson: New research shows that as wealth increases at the top, it does not lead to either greater equality or better living standards for the middle class
|This photo headed the same article in Reader Supported News|
|Illustration by Mr. Fish|
Chris Hedges is a weekly Truthdig columnist and a fellow at The Nation Institute. His newest book is “The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.”Brutus:
There’s no more to be said, but he is banish’d,
As enemy to the people and his country:
It shall be so.Citizens:
It shall be so, it shall be so.Coriolanus:
You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate
As reek o’ the rotten fens, whose loves I prize
As the dead carcasses of unburied men
That do corrupt my air, I banish you;
And here remain with your uncertainty!
Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts!
Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,
Fan you into despair! Have the power still
To banish your defenders; till at length
Your ignorance, which finds not till it feels,
Making not reservation of yourselves,
Still your own foes, deliver you as most
Abated captives to some nation
That won you without blows! Despising,
For you, the city, thus I turn my back:
There is a world elsewhere.
Citigroup Inc. (C) and Bank of America Corp. (BAC) were the reigning champions of finance in 2006 as home prices peaked, leading the 10 biggest U.S. banks and brokerage firms to their best year ever with $104 billion of profits.
By 2008, the housing market’s collapse forced those companies to take more than six times as much, $669 billion, in emergency loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The loans dwarfed the $160 billion in public bailouts the top 10 got from the U.S. Treasury, yet until now the full amounts have remained secret.
Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s unprecedented effort… included lending banks and other companies as much as $1.2 trillion of public money, about the same amount U.S. homeowners currently owe on 6.5 million delinquent and foreclosed mortgages. The largest borrower, Morgan Stanley (MS), got as much as $107.3 billion, while Citigroup took $99.5 billion and Bank of America $91.4 billion, according to a Bloomberg News compilation of data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, months of litigation and an act of Congress.
‘These are all whopping numbers,’ said Robert Litan, a former Justice Department official who in the 1990s served on a commission probing the causes of the savings and loan crisis. ‘You’re talking about the aristocracy of American finance going down the tubes without the federal money.’” [read full report]Ah yes, we can’t have the financial aristocracy go down as a result of their own fraudulent Ponzi scheme collapsing. Screw the “free market,” let’s just swipe trillions from the US public. In this program, as in others, you can clearly see how the Fed also bailed out foreign banks, i.e. selling out the American people to serve foreign banks.