Two stories that I came across today really made me think about how little control we actually have in America. No matter who we vote for or what they do, the only people who come out ahead are those who throw down the huge dollars to buy their own Congresspeople.
Of all the crazy things people have said about former AIG chief Maurice “Hank” Greenberg’s lawsuit against the government, the craziest was that he just might win.
It’s sounding less crazy all the time.
The possibility of a Greenberg victory at trial, which began six weeks ago is no longer unthinkable. According to a Bloomberg report, Greenberg has a real shot of winning his argument that the U.S. government bailed out the insurance firm he founded on “unfair” terms. Greenberg and his star lawyer, David Boies, may walk away with a $25 billion judgment in the case.
As Buzzfeed’s Matthew Zeitlin pointed out, $25 billion is twice the value of all housing aid given through TARP, the highly-criticized relief program that was supposed to help out troubled mortgage holders. It’s also equal to the total value of TARP money set aside for housing that remains unspent. The talking points write themselves.
If Greenberg wins, “the howling will start,” says Susan Webber told Bloomberg, who blogs under the pseudonym Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism.
A legal ruling that AIG shareholders were victims of the government bailout that saved those same shareholders’ stake in the company from being worth zero would be galling. If Greenberg walks away with billions, the public outrage will hit 11. No one argues that his firm could have survived without government intervention.Source: Huffington Post
If that’s not bad enough, Matt Taibbi dropped a doozy as well.
Fleischmann is the central witness in one of the biggest cases of white-collar crime in American history, possessing secrets that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon late last year paid $9 billion (not $13 billion as regularly reported – more on that later) to keep the public from hearing.
Back in 2006, as a deal manager at the gigantic bank, Fleischmann first witnessed, then tried to stop, what she describes as “massive criminal securities fraud” in the bank’s mortgage operations.
Thanks to a confidentiality agreement, she’s kept her mouth shut since then. “My closest family and friends don’t know what I’ve been living with,” she says. “Even my brother will only find out for the first time when he sees this interview.”
Six years after the crisis that cratered the global economy, it’s not exactly news that the country’s biggest banks stole on a grand scale. That’s why the more important part of Fleischmann’s story is in the pains Chase and the Justice Department took to silence her.Source: Rolling Stone
The average American doesn’t have a chance. We think we’re doing something with our houses, cars, and such. However, many people are living paycheck to paycheck. That, or we’re only one major sickness away from bankruptcy. All at the same time, others are fleecing this country dry, and people will defend it as capitalism. Go figure.
Hopefully tomorrow will bring some happy news. We’re in need of some because we’re going to see Ferguson light up like a midsummer bonfire before too long. We may as well try to find some happiness until that time comes.