On the Wall Street grifters

Glenn Greenwald asks his readers to:

Just think about how this [Wall Street scam] works. People like Rubin, Summers and Gensler shuffle back and forth from the public to the private sector and back again, repeatedly switching places with their GOP counterparts in this endless public/private sector looting. When in government, they ensure that the laws and regulations are written to redound directly to the benefit of a handful of Wall St. firms, literally abolishing all safeguards and allowing them to pillage and steal. Then, when out of government, they return to those very firms and collect millions upon millions of dollars, profits made possible by the laws and regulations they implemented when in government. Then, when their party returns to power, they return back to government, where they continue to use their influence to ensure that the oligarchical circle that rewards them so massively is protected and advanced. This corruption is so tawdry and transparent — and it has fueled and continues to fuel a fraud so enormous and destructive as to be unprecedented in both size and audacity — that it is mystifying that it is not provoking more mass public rage.

Greenwald continues by marking some of the ways President Obama and his administration had already helped these grifters to loot the public's money. He quotes with approval William Black who went so far as to identify the financial system as one grand Ponzi scheme and Secretaries of the Treasury Geithner and Paulson before him of "covering up" this immense fraud. Campaign rhetoric aside, that the Obama administration gave this help should have surprised no one. Not only had the FIRE sector (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) given candidate Obama more money than any other candidate, but Wall Street has effectively captured not only the executive institutions which finance capital found most interesting but even the federal government as a whole, as Greenwald points out by quoting from Simon Johnson's recent article on the crisis.

Briefly put, the federal government is becoming — or has become — a massive rent extraction mechanism which serves the interests of American finance capital.

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