Barack Obama: The oligarchs’ president

From Charles Ferguson, the director of “Inside Job”

Nearly two years later, the Obama administration has established a clear record. Beginning almost immediately, the president consistently opposed any effort to control financial industry compensation — even for firms receiving federal aid, as most were in 2009. Then came a long period of total inaction, followed by the toothless Wall Street reform bill passed this summer and the appointment of a former Fannie Mae lobbyist, Tom Donilon, as the new national security advisor. There was no action on the foreclosure crisis and no serious attempt to investigate the causes of the crisis. The SEC has brought only a handful of civil cases ending in trivial fines, with neither firms nor individuals required to admit any wrongdoing.

Most tellingly, there has not been a single criminal prosecution of any firm or any individual senior financial executive — literally zero — and, of course, no appointment of a special prosecutor.

Both parties, he continues, are supine to Wall Street so instead of financial reform they squabble about other issues, direly warning all the while that a vote for the other side is a vote for Doom. His answer, the people must force the politicians to reform the system. It won’t be easy. But it must be done.

Zero Hedge adds

Wall Street financiers and their Washington puppets, have done very serious damage to our country.

We are more vulnerable than we have ever been. We are competing with serious rivals who are playing for keeps. Instead of re-channeling ourselves as a nation and making the necessary changes and recalibrations for the benefit of future generations, we have lined the pockets of mortgage pimps, quantitative card sharpers and two bit structured finance artists.

I consider this to be an unforgivable offense.

We obsess about terrorists, as we should, but shouldn’t we also devote equal attention to those who continue to commit acts of financial terrorism against our economic homeland?

This is the point that needs to be driven over the backfield fence.

And then we need to act on it. All of us.

A Visual Representation of the Wall Street-Main Street Disconnect, from Financial Armageddon

Inside Job, the movie. A must-see

The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, INSIDE JOB traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia. Narrated by Academy Award® winner Matt Damon, INSIDE JOB was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.

Inside Job clearly documents the rise of the power of financial institutions to the point where they now clearly have corrupted both our political and financial systems. They document this in an almost understated way, letting the facts and participants speak for themselves. Both major political parties are equally complicit. The gutting of financial regulation started with Reagan, continued with both Bushes, was heavily aided by Clinton, and Obama essentially hired the same people who corrupted the system to clean it up thus assuring the status quo. Europe and Britain have made substantially more reforms than the US. Obama refused to limit corporate salaries even after 20 European countries did so.

The thought that continually ran through my mind tonight while watching Inside Job was, these people are criminals, nothing more. And the government protects them.

We need a change.

‘Inside Job’ filmmaker hopes it sends banksters to prison

Excerpts from a Fast Company interview with Charles Ferguson of Inside Job. The movie looks to be hard-hitting but we need to understand that the fix is in at a very high level indeed.

You’re pretty hard on Clinton in this film. What happened under his watch that paved the way for the collapse?

Clinton’s economic team, led by Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, helped repeal the Glass-Steagall Act. That led to the banning of the regulation of derivatives. Plus, the dotcom bubble was going on under their noses and they did nothing about it. Same with Enron. They were lucky that Enron blew up a year after they left office.

Clinton is a smart guy. Why do you think he allowed this to happen?

I think part of the reason is that Larry Summers and Laura Tyson and these respectable academics were telling him that it was fine.

A better answer is that Clinton was deeply complicit. He wasn’t hoodwinked or deceived by bad advisers. Rather, he was part and parcel of the deliberate destruction of a major part of bank regulation.

I always wondered if they [the banksters] were criminal, incompetent, or clueless. What do you think?

I think many crimes were committed.

Why haven’t they gone to jail?

I hope that some still do. The fact that there have been zero prosecutions of senior Wall Street executives as a result of the crisis is, I think, one of the most disturbing things about all this. It is, perhaps, the single most damning statement of the Obama administration—that they haven’t gotten serious about all this. I don’t have an explanation of why that is.

Charles Gasparino’s upcoming book provides the answer to that, It’s titled “Bought and Paid For: The Unholy Alliance Between Barack Obama and Wall Street

Overall, this is a pretty grim picture. Are you hopeful or despairing?

President Obama had a really historically special opportunity which he blew, and now it will be a much more difficult, longer process. But I’m hopeful in the long term.

He didn’t blow it. It was quite deliberate.