Thursday, November 17, 2011

Superrich; supervillain

In a frustrating and enraging column - or, rather, a column born of frustration and rage and one which will enrage you, if you're anything like me - Robert Scheer calls Bloomberg "the villain OWS has been waiting for":
... in America is the arrogance of the superrich so perfectly concealed by the pretense of democracy that the 12th richest man in the nation can suppress dissent against corporate rapacity and expect his brutal actions to be viewed not as a means of preserving his own class privilege but as bureaucratically necessary to providing sanitary streets.

Even before he ordered the smashing of dissent by citizens peacefully assembled, Bloomberg denigrated their heartfelt message: “It’s fun and it’s cathartic,” he said of those huddled against the cold in a makeshift encampment, “... it’s entertaining to go and blame people. ... It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis. It was, plain and simple, Congress who forced everybody to go and give mortgages to people who were on the cusp.”

It is mind-boggling that Bloomberg still hypes the canard that the banks were forced to reap enormous profits from toxic securities. It is an embarrassing, dishonest position when the record of banker fraud in creating the housing bubble is so well documented in Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuits. Is Bloomberg unaware that the major banks have agreed to pay hefty fines in a meager compensation for their schemes? That he blames the victims of the securitization swindles and then orders the arrest of those who dare speak the truth is a tribute to his belief in the enduring power of the big lie.

If the Bloomberg news service, the stock market idolizer owned by the mayor, had been anything more than an enabler this past decade of Wall Street excess, nay criminality, it’s possible we would not be experiencing the current crisis. If this leading financial news outlet had performed the minimum of journalistic due diligence on unregulated credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations and the other swindles marketed with an abandon informed by deep deceit and the financial industry’s pervasive corruption, the world economy may not now be in such terrible shape.

Yet the man whose personal wealth increased by $4.5 billion the first year of this meltdown when many Americans were losing their life savings now dares shift blame away from himself and others at the center of economic power to the most vulnerable among us. Instead of blaming the Wall Street lobbyists who got the laws changed so that they could securitize people’s home mortgages, no matter how unsound those mortgages were by design, he blames the folks suckered into accepting the banks’ phony offerings.
Go over to Truthdig and read the whole column. Look at the pictures, and listen to Bloomberg's lies - Paul Krugman, among others, has been documenting them - and wonder how our country got to this point...

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At 11:11 AM, November 17, 2011 Blogger incunabular had this to say...

I liked Matt Taibbi's recap of why Bloomberg's Fanny/Freddie/Barney Frank assertion was BS.

At 12:56 PM, November 17, 2011 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Yes, and his followup, with this beauty:

A lot of people had to make bad decisions for the crisis to happen. People had to buy houses they couldn't afford. Ratings agencies had to give AAA ratings to junk securities. Regulators had to be asleep at the wheel. The GSEs had to lower their standards and provide billions of dollars of government-backed financing for dicey home loans. Nobody is denying that all of those things played roles in the crisis.

But the main driving factor was the simple fact that banks were able to make trillions of dollars selling defective products. You take away that simple market-driven reality, there's no bubble and no crash, no matter what people like Michael Bloomberg say. No one is insisting that they take the whole rap -- but don't insult us by trying to say they shouldn't take any at all.

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