Wall Street WARZONE
10 Reasons President Obama is Failing 95 Million American Investors: Piling Trillions of Debt on Future Generations, on Top of Bush-Cheney Trillions
by Paul B Farrell, JD, PhD
| Discuss | | 7/12/2010

Back in January one of my MarketWatch columns was an “open letter” to the president: “10 reasons Obama is failing 95 million investors: Why his ‘Fat Cat Bankers’ are destroying both capitalism and democracy.” The response was strong. Today, given all the financial reforms now being secretly contested in Washington, especially the Consumer Financial Protection Agency that the banks are spending millions to kill, those “10 reasons” seem far more important. Read them closely, not as some short-term critique, but for the long-term historical consequences, not their impact on your retirement but the impact on future generations of Americans …

Mr. President: We know that the future—seen through a broader historical lens—will reveal a natural cycle with you cast in the predictable scene of a Shakespearean-style plot driven by fate, the same dramatic destiny of all great nations and civilizations. We know a “Happy Conspiracy” of Wall Street, Corporate CEOs and the Forbes 400 controls Washington, limiting and manipulating you. Shakespeare says: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances.” As this past year unfolded it became painfully obvious you are indeed playing a role in a historic drama, along with other leaders in a staged, life-cycle, endgame that includes Presidents Reagan, Clinton and the Bushes, Fed Chairmen Greenspan and Bernanke, and Wall Street’s bosses Paulson and his “Fat Cat” banker buddies. The final scene of this historic Shakespearean drama is playing out this very moment, with 10 improvisational plot points driving your character’s role:

1.  Failing to grasp John Adams’ warning: All democracies “commit suicide”
“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide:” Yes John Adams, a great American president made that famous prediction at the beginning of our great nation. And yet, paradoxically, when a democracy commits suicide, it also kills off the very capitalism that made it powerful, the economic system Adam Smith identified the same year our Declaration of Independence was signed. Today we are neither independent nor free, King George has been replaced by a far more powerful moneyed conspiracy that you sold out to last year.

2.  Failing to sense the psychological impact of being an aging democracy
Yes, our time is up says Scottish historian Alexander Tytler, recently quoted by economist Marc Faber: “The average life span of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.” Then “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.” We’re on ‘suicide watch,’ acting out the final scenes President Adams predicted for democracy, as Wall Street murders capitalism. (More)

10 Reasons Obama’s Failing 95 Million Investors (Plus America’s Consumers, Taxpayers, Savers, Boomers, Voters, Folks on Social Security & Many Others)!
by Paul B Farrell, JD, PhD
| Discuss | | 5/11/2010

An open letter: Dear President Obama, you are failing us. Many now question voting for you. A year ago, millions of Americans – investors, taxpayers, consumers, voters – came together uplifted by the “audacity of hope,” inspired by a vision of “Change We Can Believe In … bold and specific ideas about how to fix our ailing economy and strengthen the middle class, make health care affordable for all, achieve energy independence, and keep America safe in a dangerous world.” “Yes, we can” was the rallying cheer for “The New America.” You were “The One,” the game-changer after the Bush-Cheney fiasco. What happened? Today we just don’t see, or expect to see, any real “change we can believe in.” America is more polarized than under Bush’s GOP, dysfunctional as both parties tragically undermine our great nation.

There are many reasons future historians may rate your presidency “average,” some even a “failure,” at least based on the gap between the promise a year ago and the reality today, certainly for investors. But we also know that the future—seen through a broader historical lens—will reveal a natural cycle with you cast in the predictable final scene of a Shakespearean-style plot driven by fate, the same dramatic destiny of all great nations and civilizations. We know a dark conspiracy of Wall Street, Corporate CEOs and the Forbes 400 controls Washington, limiting and manipulating you. So we know it’s not all your fault—for you are playing your role well in America’s epic historical drama.

As Shakespeare put it: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances.” As this past year unfolded it became painfully obvious you are indeed playing a role in a historic drama, along with other leaders in a staged, life-cycle, endgame conspiracy that includes Presidents Reagan, Clinton and Bush, Fed Chairmen Greenspan and Bernanke, and Wall Street’s bosses Paulson and your “Fat Cat Banker” buddies. The final scene of this Shakespearean drama is playing out this very moment, with 10 improvisational plot points driving your character’s role: (More)

22 Reasons Your Federal, State & Local Taxes Will Keep Rising, in 2010, 2012, for Years to Come … No Matter Who’s President, Obama, Romney or Palin
by Paul B Farrell, JD, PhD
| Discuss | Print | 5/6/2010

Social Security and Medicare equal $65 trillion of unfunded debt. Add in the Bush/Cheney War debt, Paulson’s TARP Plan, the Obama Stimulus, plus add in Bernanke’s estimated $23.7 trillion in secret credits, loans, writeoffs and guarantees to Wall Street’s “too-greedy-to-fail” banks … now add in the costs of the new healthcare reforms and it looks like my early ’09 prediction, “22 reasons Obama will raise your taxes soon!” is unfolding right on schedule.

Subtitled “Tax Bomb Dead Ahead: Former GAO Chief says your taxes will double” is now worth a second look, especially when you consider states and local governments are already desperately adding taxes to make up for lost property tax, sales and income revenues. The New York Times warns: “As Revenue Slump, States Look to Tax Services, From Head to Toe.” If you wonder whether we really are in an economic recovery, take a look at the bigger picture unfolding across America, at the 22 reasons all taxpayers at all levels of government will be impacted for years to come …

Imagine doubling your taxes: Yes, that’s what David Walker, the former U.S. Comptroller General and GAO chief warned on CNN: “Why Your Taxes Could Double: The federal government has spent more money than it takes in at an increasing rate. Total federal debt almost doubled during President George W. Bush’s administration and, as much as we needed some stimulus spending to boost the economy, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office now estimates total debt levels could almost double again over the next eight years based on the budget recently outlined by President Obama,” with our “tax bill doubling over time.” Don’t say you weren’t warned! (More)

Politicians: The White House, Congress, etc …
by Paul B Farrell, JD, PhD
| Discuss | | 4/27/2010

Today’s government leaders are little more than puppets of the “Happy Conspiracy,” thanks to huge campaign donations and vast army of lobbyists now outnumbering elected officials over ten-to-one, they can minimize and suppress all reform efforts and foster a management-favorable culture, a pattern we saw first in both corporate governance and mutual fund reform legislation efforts. The Enron/Worldcom scandals resulted in the Sarbanes/Oxley reforms. Paralleling the scandals in Corporate America, over thirty mutual funds were involved in their own scandals. But the fund industry and its lobbyists fought off Congressional reforms, with the help of their pro-management SEC. Shortly after the Senate Banking Committee suddenly and summarily killed the Mutual Fund Reform Act of 2004—which would have been the first real reform since the Investment Company Act of 1940, after long hearings and huge public support we might add—we published our final column of sixty-eight on the two-year reform effort, it was an “open letter” to the Senate Committee in April of that year. And it keeps just getting worse. (More)

The Real Clash-of-Civilizations: Obama, “Fallen Messiah,” vs the GOP’s “End-of-Days” Prophets! Amen!
by Paul B Farrell, JD, PhD
| Discuss | | 4/9/2010

Yes, the new “Clash of Civilizations” is being fought on American soil. We saw this coming when we wrote about America’s oil addiction and the sparring between Amadenajad and the Christian Right back in 2006. The press loves this kind of juicy warmongering even more than the Book of Revelations and End of Days stuff speculating on a WWIII between Christianity and Islamic nations. But watch out: The fallout, the collateral damage from this home-grown “clash of civilizations” will further sabotage the free-market capitalism that’s been tied for decades to the ideologies of Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, Greenspan, Bush and Reaganomics. And worse, damage the economy and the American dream for generations. 

What’s the future? Start with Max Blumenthal new book,  Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party. This could be a manual written by General Petraeus about an accelerating military conflict. But it’s Blumenthal’s next chapters that will capture the real drama of the clash. We get a hint in ”Obama, The Fallen Messiah” on his website where Blumenthal also exposes the liberal left’s side of this homespun cultural war that’s become more religious than political, and more dangerous: (More)

Volcker’s “Secret Plan,” Selling Glass-Steagall … to Europe? But Is the New “Volcker Rule” For Real or Just a Token?
by Paul B Farrell, JD, PhD
| Discuss | | 2/25/2010

“Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” That thought crossed my mind while reading about the bizarre dance between Obama and Paul Volcker before the President announced the “Volcker Rule.” The 82-year-old former Fed Chairman just keeps fighting for what’s right, no matter the odds. PBS host Charlie Rose captured it all in Volcker’s Manhattan apartment while interviewing the head of Obama’s Economic Advisory Board for BusinessWeek. Rose says rumors are flying that Volcker’s been “muffled by the Administration—especially when it comes to his views on bank regulation,” namely the Glass-Steagall act and “separating commercial and investment banking.” Wall Street hates the idea, forcing Obama to sideline Volcker. But he’s still on the payroll. Just a “friend” from the ol’ “team of rivals?” Or do they have a secret game plan for re-enacting Glass-Steagall?

The big guy was touring Europe chastizing bankers and politicians: “This is no time for a return to business as usual.” Maybe Wall Street’s back to its ol’ tricks. But the “invisible hand” of foreign governments may eventually work, putting pressure on Wall Street and Obama. Here are some of the comments that pushed Volcker off the starting lineup, before the token “Volcker Rule:” (More)