However, on April 2, the Financial Times headlined: “Bailed-out banks eye toxic asset buys.” Giants like JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs “are considering buying (each other’s) toxic assets”. And why not when it’s a win-win way to offload each other’s junk, do it at inflated prices, and stick taxpayers with the risk? New York University’s Stern School of Business Professor Lawrence White put it this way:
“I’m worried about the following scenario: You and I have troubled assets, I buy assets from you, you buy them them from me, and at the end of the day it ends up suspiciously like you bought assets from yourself” with Treasury funds.
PPIP prohibits banks from buying their own assets but lets them do it from other firms, either directly or through investment funds set up for that purpose, and according to Treasury: “It’s an open program designed to get markets going.”
On April 3, Reuters reported that “US regulators may be open to letting TARP recipients participate in the new program,” and already Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley suggested they’ll do it. Others expressed interest in what some observers call a giant money laundering scheme compounding the colossal flimflam that in the end most likely won’t work – except to extract multi-trillions from the public to banksters with Washington acting complicitly as transfer agent.
Meanwhile economic fundamentals are deteriorating at depression-level speed and depth while Obama remains in denial. On April 2 at the G20 summit, he called it “a very productive summit that will be, I believe, a turning point in our pursuit of global economic recovery”, when in fact it produced nothing beyond the usual hype – plus this time the quadrupling of the IMF’s budget to inflict debt bondage on its willing partakers.
We’re clearly in early stage unchartered waters of what Michel Chossudovsky calls “The Great Depression of the 21st Century” heading America for “fiscal collapse” because of policies amounting to “the most drastic curtailment in public spending in American history” – directing most of it for militarism and foreign wars, Wall Street bailouts, and half a trillion for public debt service.
In an April 12 commentary, longtime, well-respected Chicago financial journalist Terry Savage headlined “Facing Up to the Truth Aboug Social Security” in reporting on some of the fallout. Someone has to pay for “fixes” and militarism, that someone is us, and target one is Social Security.
According to Savage, “Most likely, Social Security will become a ‘needs-based’ payout to low income, elderly recipients — not a return of the ‘investments’ you made with all those FICA deductions from your pay check every month over your working career.” In other words, Washington intends to renege on the 74-year old promise FDR announced to the nation on August 14, 1935:
“Today a hope of many years’ standing is in large part fulfilled…. This social security measure gives at least some protection to thirty millions of our citizens [now over 56 million, including Supplement Security Income recipients] who will reap direct benefits…. This law represents a cornerstone in a structure … by no means complete. [It] will take care of human needs and at the same time provide the United States an economic structure of vastly greater soundness. [The passage of this bill marks] a historic [achievement] for all time.”
It’s now in jeopardy, so here’s what Savage advises. Prepare. “Save more money.” And “start from an honest assessment of the problem.” What FDR gave will be taken away. “And that’s The Savage Truth.” A disturbing and outrageous one as well as all the other ways we’ve been betrayed.