Friday, October 16, 2009

This video is critically important ...

I don't get to listen to Democracy Now much and, frankly, I don't care for some of Amy Goodman's obsessions. But this segment, featuring former bank regulator William Black, author of, "The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One," is very good, and a warning to all of us who are suffering during this difficult economic time:

If you can't watch videos, the rushed transcript is here: ["William Black segment"].

Check out these two bits from the transcript:
AMY GOODMAN: William Black, the New York Times recently reported that Citigroup has hired Richard Hohlt, who was a top lobbyist for the savings and loan industry in the 1980s.

WILLIAM BLACK: Yes. He is the most notorious lobbyist out of the savings and loan crisis. Even within a notorious group, the US League of Savings Institutions, which back then was the political scientist types, often said it was the third most powerful lobbying group in America. That group had, in essence, a black ops subgroup, and Richard Hohlt led it and is responsible for causing immense damage in the savings and loan crisis.

Beyond that, of course, he then comes back in the slime campaign on—when Wilson went public with some of his protests against the lying about the intelligence that got us into the war, the invasion of Iraq, Richard Hohlt reappears. And now he’s back being hired by—in essence, by taxpayer money to help loot the taxpayers again. My phrase for it in the New York Times was that it was “singularly obscene.”
And this:
JUAN GONZALEZ: And William Black, what is your sense of the prospects now for stronger financial regulation, given the fact that—my understanding is now that the financial and securities firms have invested about $200 million in lobbying—in their lobbying efforts in Congress, and the halls of Congress are filled with the lobbyists now who are trying to influence the members of Congress on the new regulation of the financial system?

WILLIAM BLACK: Well, the earliest effort is—should be a real wake-up call, because it’s horrible. Barney Frank has proposed legislation on financial derivatives that essentially exempts what are called over-the-counter derivatives from most regulation, and it is over-the-counter derivatives that have been a major cause of this crisis. So that’s utterly insane. There’s no conceivable justification for it. And he stacked the hearing. There were nine witnesses; eight of them were from the industry and, of course, testified that they were vital to the world. The ninth witness was the only person who was in the least bit skeptical, and he was promptly gaveled down, unlike the others, by the chair. So it’s not only a farce; they’re willing to have us see that it’s a farce. They are so little afraid of public opinion and outrage that they’re not even taking steps to cover up the cover-up.
So folks, here are the Democrats, again, as corrupt as can be, as bad as Clinton (or possibly worse), as bad as the Republicans, giving away the friggin' store, and Obama is out in San Fran, rallying the troops against the "evil" Republicans and still has work to do. Oh yeah, as Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, says, a financial coup.

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