Wall Street Manna

An irreverent look at Wall Street

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Time for change

It is time to for a real change. It is time to stop allowing the country to be held hostage by a relatively small number of financiers who have gamed the system and corrupted the regulatory and legislative process. It is time to stop allowing those deeply involved with the problem to manage the investigation and the solutions.

Put the money center banks into a managed restructuring, and stop calling it nationalization, which wrongfully suggests the British socialism of the post World War II era. We did not have to use that sort of language or raise these emotional issues when the Savings and Loan scandal was cleared.

Let's get this open sore cleaned, bound and stitched.

But one thing we might wish to keep in mind is that it may not be AIG, BAC, and C that are pulling the strings, that are at the center of this. They look more like patsies than prime motivators.

Transparency would be interesting in this case with regards to the CDS market and the derivatives markets.

Who has the most to gain and lose if Citi, Bank of America, and AIG are put into managed restructuring? Who has the most and biggest bets on their failure?

Let's have transparency of positions now. And we cannot afford to take anyone's word on this.

The real sticking point is not the shareholders or managers of these companies, although they may be making the most noise at this point.

We will be surprised, if transparency is actually provided, and new and independent regulators armed with the full array of investigative tools, dig into this mess to see where the strings lead, if we do not find many of them in the hands of the other major Wall Street banks, media giants, and corporate conglomerates, among others.

We will keep an open mind, but do not expect any light or serious new information to come from these Congressional Committees with their circus, show trial atmosphere.

Time to bring back Glass-Steagall and to enforce the Sherman Anti-Trust laws. Time to compel the three or four banks to unwind their trillions in opaque derivatives. Time to audit the Federal Reserve, and clarify their role in our system to them, and nail a copy of the Constitution to their front door.

We do not need or want fewer, bigger, more powerful banks as a drag on the real economy, taking a tax on each transaction whether it be through credit cards or fees or loans or subsidies.

Time for a real change. Time to remind Congress where the power and legitimacy of their offices resides. Time for the lobbyists, corrupt regulators, corporate princes and the enablers and motivators of this grand theft to find a place in an unemployment line or a witness stand.

We must demand action from the Congress and the Administration who we recently put in place through the elections to clean this mess up and then change the system that delivered it.

Contact the White House

Contact Your Senator

We do not want fewer, bigger banks exacting a fee on every commericial transaction in this country.

1. Bring back Glass-Steagall.

2. Clean up the derivatives mess, starting with J.P. Morgan.

3. Enforce the various anti-trust laws, enacting new ones where necessary, and break up the media and banking conglomerates.

4. Enact aggregate position limits in all commodity markets and transparency with immediate disclosure of all position over 5% in any market.

5. Effective restrictions and enforcement of naked short selling, price manipulation, reinstatement of the 'uptick rule,' the prohibition of regulated banks from engaging in any speculative markets either for themselves or as agents, and usury laws and regulation of all interstate financial transactions at the national level.

And for the sake of the country, establish a vision, a model, of what the system should look like in accord with the Constitution. And then strike out for it, as painful as that may be, and stop this management by crisis, and weaving a shroud for our freedom out of a web of endless fixes, concessions and necessities.

"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." Thomas Paine.
http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2009/02/who-benefits-who-is-pulling-strings.html

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