Slog Comments

 

Comments (8) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
dnt trust me 1
I believe homelessness is an admirable career path. It sustains a healthy bitterness towards the shiny happy people of the world, it forces resourcefulness, you get to meet nice Christians volunteering at the shelters and food banks, etc.
Posted by dnt trust me on December 10, 2012 at 7:14 AM · Report this
2
Emma "yoshimi" whitehead
Posted by neoanderthal on December 10, 2012 at 8:48 AM · Report this
3
The Seahawks win didn't make Monday news?
Posted by pat L on December 10, 2012 at 9:28 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 4
@3 No one cares about the football corporation's business transactions.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on December 10, 2012 at 10:10 AM · Report this
Gern Blanston 5
Leukemia. Please make a note of it.
Posted by Gern Blanston on December 10, 2012 at 10:10 AM · Report this
Gern Blanston 6
Oh, and I care about the Seahawks. That was awesome!

http://seattletimes.com/html/seahawks/20…
Posted by Gern Blanston on December 10, 2012 at 10:22 AM · Report this
7
Inside the Matrix: The Case of American Amnesia

A young neighbor approached me the other day with a question (she’s only 20 years of age): a friend of hers was really excised to learn that the Public Utility Holding Company Act had been repealed in 2005, and she wondered why that had any importance? (First I exclaimed, “Holy crap!” as I hadn’t realized that was the case!)

I explained to her that a major monopoly failure, leading to the Great Crash and Great Depression, was the crash of Sam Insull’s power trust, which had been a highly concentrated monopoly ownership of electric utilities and power generation companies throughout the country.

Since I had her attention, I seized the moment to explain that the holding company was the financial construct meant to replace the money trusts, which had previously been exposed at obscuring corporate ownership among the super-rich (along with interlocking directorates). Holding companies allow for easy and unobtrusive --- or secret --- ownership, both domestic and foreign, in the same manner as that US Supreme Court Citizens United decision (2010: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission).

I further explained that Sam Insull, although he had accomplished much that was positive in the expansion of electric power throughout America (and wasn’t in the same category as the murderous bunch of robber barons like Rockefeller, Morgan, Mellon, du Pont and Frick), he was the first known member of the super-rich to attempt to mislead the public into believing that there weren’t any real owners or ownership, it was we, the American public, who were the shareholders and investors, and therefore the owners, of their companies.

This didn’t work back in the 1920s --- but later, in the 1970s and 1980s --- it would become a successful propaganda meme --- evidently Americans had become dumber?

Elaborating further, I explained that every so often Congress uncovers the extreme concentration of hidden wealth and monopoly ownership, then they attempt to dissolve it, normally meeting with failure.

In the late 1930s and 1940s, there was the congressional TNEC study (The National Economic Committee, major portions of which are still classified to this very day), which found a super-concentration of business ownership through a select number of banks.

The government filed an antitrust lawsuit against the banks, but with the Eisenhower administration in power, the judge, Harold Medina, ruled against the government and further ruled against any future legal action against those banks. The case, U.S. v. Morgan et al., also known as the Investment Bankers Case, or the Wall Street Seventeen, alleged that there existed a conspiracy since 1915 of said banks in engaging in monopolistic practices in underwriting, etc. The year 1915 is interesting, since it was in 1913, along with the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, the oil depletion allowance and the Sixteenth Amendment, that they also passed the legislation altering the allowable financial structure of foundations for both tax exemption purposes and for the super-rich to better hide their ownership and wealth in foundations and trusts.

Judge Medina had based his ruling on the advice of an investment banker, Harold Stuart (of Halsey, Stuart & Co.) whose bank business was mainly derived from the House of Morgan, the Morgan banks and family. Prior to that, Stuart had lost money when the Insull power trust collapsed (due to pyramiding holding companies, etc., a Ponzi setup); he had tried to disguise ownership interest in that monopoly.

We know that due to his grilling before the Pecora Committee, and he was indicted for mail fraud, and although later acquitted, no charges were leveled against Stuart for hiring a professor from the University of Chicago, to go on the radio to offer free investment advice; the professor knew nothing of finance nor economics as he was a professor of English, and simply read the script he’d been given by Stuart (reminds one of Harvard’s Niall Ferguson) [What Stuart had done was illegal stock market manipulation].

A similar scenario occurred some years later when, with President Kennedy’s urging and blessing, the great Texan populist, Congressman Wright Patman, went after the trusts and foundations (the major way the super-rich hide their ownership and wealth). A commission was finally created to look into the matter officially, only this was after the political assassinations of the 1960s (President Kennedy, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Sen. Bobby Kennedy) and Nixon was now in the White House; a Rockefeller lackey, Peter G. Peterson, would head the commission and find nothing askew with the foundations, etc. (Peterson recently founded a pro-austerity outfit within the New America Foundation, which he partially funds, staffed with the usual suspects: Erskine Bowles, Alice Rivlin, Jim Kolbe, etc.).

Today, ask any street kid in China or Pakistan who owns most of everything in those countries, and they’ll respond, “The military, of course!”

Ask the typical American college graduate who owns ExxonMobil, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, GE, AT&T or Monsanto, and they’ll respond, “Whatever!”

If one doesn’t know that the majority owners of Northup Grumman are the Bush family and James Baker (through holding companies, mostly foreign, ‘natch!), there will be no understanding of any hidden agendas.

The fantasy that there are no actual owners of the banks, the oil companies, the biopharmaceuticals, the weapons makers, etc., suggests that no one is really guilty --- although those phantom owners possess all the money, all the wealth and all the control.
It is much the same as that long agreed upon fantasy of corporate personhood --- something which was never voted on by Congress, nor ever came to a legal decision vote at the US Supreme Court!

When the US Supreme Court’s decision in 2000 with Bush v. Gore (litigator: Ted Olson), which stated that American citizens did not have a constitutional right to vote --- hence no justification existing for the Florida vote recount, they laid the foundation for their 2010 decision, Citizens United decision (litigator: Ted Olson) that the super-rich, both domestic and foreign, had the financial right to influence US political elections.

It is really the most elegant of criminal solutions or conspiracies: there is no criminal --- those super-rich don’t really exist, after all --- there is no one behind that curtain operating the controls of the Wizard of Oz --- what was that line from the movie, The Usual Suspects?

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

Sources and suggested reading:

The Fine Print, by David Cay Johnston

The Merchant of Power, by John F. Wasik

Wall Street Under Oath: The Story of Our Modern Money Changers, by Ferdinand Pecora

http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/03/wright…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pecora_Comm…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investment_…

http://books.google.com/books?id=YRjmQLO…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_P…

http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/th…

http://www.dfdpo.com/bypassing_wall_stre…

http://www.hbs.edu/leadership/database/l…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Medi…

More...
Posted by sgt_doom on December 10, 2012 at 10:51 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 8
What @4 said. Meh.

At least they're better than the Mariners.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on December 10, 2012 at 11:41 AM · Report this

Add a comment