Why aren't there riots here?posted by The Vidiot @ 7:20 AM Permalink It's beginning to look like the "terror" manufactured by the banking industry might've been more like the manufactured terror leading up to the Iraq war.
Key members of Congress were stunned to hear Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson say on Sept. 18 in a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill that the country was “days away” from a complete financial meltdown—one that could lead to Depression-like runs on banks, widespread violence and ultimately even to a possible declaration of martial law. It was a vision of Armageddon, but, of course, 10 days later, the House rejected a Wall Street bailout package sent over by Paulson, only to pass one in a more limited form—the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act—a week later that gave Paulson less power and only half the money he wanted.Could it be? Would they lie to us? Really?
Meanwhile, the financial system did not collapse and while a few banks were failing, there were no runs on them, and martial law wasn’t invoked. One reason things didn’t fall apart when Congress didn’t immediately act as Paulson and Bernanke demanded, may be that there wasn’t any danger of a meltdown in the first place. So say three senior economists working at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, who in October examined the Fed’s own data, and concluded in an article titled Facts and Myths About the Financial Crisis of 2008 that the claims that interbank lending and commercial lending had seized up were simply not true.
Not only that, as you've no doubt heard, they've continued to give themselves hefty bonuses, ostensibly to keep their good employees right where they are, rather than have them leave their jobs for say, some other bank that pays even more. The fact though is that every single one of those folks who got bonuses to keep them happy are really keeping their heads down and are praying they don't get laid off or fired. There's no worry of them going elsewhere because, frankly, there's no elsewhere to go. Not only that, they have to know that their employers might be looking to fill their jobs with foreign workers to save money.
The dozen banks now receiving the biggest rescue packages, totaling more than $150 billion, requested visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers over the past six years for positions that included senior vice presidents, corporate lawyers, junior investment analysts and human resources specialists. The average annual salary for those jobs was $90,721, nearly twice the median income for all American households.So, bottom line, Paulson et al bamboozled the US Taxpayer, while the banks siphoned off that money to line their own pockets and to continued to do business as usual with no repercussions.
Ain't that grand? Aren't you angry yet?
Update: I'm not the only one wondering why there aren't any riots in the US.
Outside of a few scattered and quickly contained protests, the citizens of the U.S. -- a country born of revolution, but with an elite that's been terrified of that legacy since immediately after its founding -- have been calm, despite opinion polls showing that Americans are more dissatisfied with the direction in which the country has been headed since they began measuring such things.
It's a baffling disconnect, considering that real wages for all but the top 10 percent of the economic pile haven't increased in 35 years.