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Do you believe that any of the "elite" candidates would tell you the truth about the financial trouble the U.S. government's taxpayers are in and how they plan to solve it? Because that's what should ultimately determine for whom you should be voting. If your candidate isn't brave enough to give you some bad news (sometimes, very bad news), why would you trust him (or her) to solve it to your (or your country's) best interests?
The public has been led to believe that the $187.5 billion bailout of the pair was the full extent of the taxpayers’ tab. But in an astonishing acknowledgement on February 25 of this year, the Government Accountability Office, the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, issued an audit report of the U.S. government’s finances, revealing that the government’s “remaining contractual commitment to the GSEs, if needed, is $258.1 billion.”
This suggests that somehow, without the American public’s awareness, the U.S. government is on the hook to two failed companies for $445.6 billion dollars.
And that may be just the tip of the iceberg of this story.
The official narrative around the bailout of Fannie and Freddie is that they were loaded up with toxic subprime debt piled high by the Wall Street banks that sold them dodgy mortgages.
While that is factually true, the other potentially more important part of this story is the counterparty exposure the Wall Street banks had to Fannie and Freddie’s derivatives if the firms had been allowed to fail.
. . . According to Fannie and Freddie’s regulator of 2003, OFHEO, “The notional amount of the combined financial derivatives outstanding of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac increased from $72 billion at the end of 1993, the first year for which comparable data were reported, to $1.6 trillion at year-end 2001.” A 2010 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis updates that information as follows . . .
Did the bailout of Fannie and Freddie save the same cast of characters on Wall Street as were saved under the bailout of AIG (which funneled more than half the money out the backdoor to Wall Street banks and hedge funds who were counterparties to AIG)?
According to Fannie and Freddie’s prior regulator, OFHEO: “At year-end 2001, five counterparties accounted for almost 60 percent of the total notional amount of Fannie Mae’s OTC derivatives, and 58 percent of Freddie Mac’s.” The report also notes that “The market for OTC derivatives is highly concentrated among a small number of dealers, primarily brokerage firms and commercial banks that are counterparties for at least one side of virtually all contracts. The largest dealers include JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup … Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.”
According to a current report from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, those same banks (minus Deutsche and Lehman) account for the vast majority of derivatives in the U.S.
Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy one week after the government placed Fannie and Freddie into conservatorship. Merrill Lynch was taken over by Bank of America the same week. If you’re looking for a potential list of names of Wall Street players that needed a quick bailout of Fannie and Freddie, the above list is an excellent start.
Matt Taibbi reported at Rolling Stone three days ago that the government has been fighting a pitched battle to keep 11,000 documents pertaining to Fannie and Freddie under seal in a court case. You can rest assured that some of those documents relate to Fannie and Freddie derivatives and counterparties. But that pile of 11,000 documents pales in comparison to the 25 million documents the Justice Department withheld from the public when it settled its case against Citigroup in 2014 for $7 billion. What the public got instead was a meaningless 9-page statement of facts.
Thanks to Occupy Wall Street and Senator Bernie Sanders, the public knows two concrete things about Wall Street: banks got bailed out, we got sold out and, the business model of Wall Street is fraud.
But until we have a President in the Oval Office who believes that the citizens of a genuine democracy deserve the right to sift through the documents of the most epic fraud in the history of financial markets so they can reach their own conclusions, all we really have are slogans, including the one that says we live in a democracy.
Imagine a similar situation during the 1950's. Eisenhower would have issued another encyclical.
April 22, 2016 - In the new episode of Redacted Tonight, Lee Camp breaks down the incompetence, if not corruption, of the New York presidential primary and how it will impact the general election. Then we review the most important news hits of the week including: The long-redacted 28 pages of the 9/11 commission that likely implicate the f*** out of the Saudi Royals, and how a grandmother was actually ARRESTED for an overdue library book. Plus correspondent Naomi Karavani delves into the world of tax fraud. And correspondent John F. O’Donnell explains how Bernie, if need be, can run as an independent to establish a new political party WITHOUT being spoiler..
Join the ‘Redactivist’ movement online ... Subscribe to the Redacted Tonight YouTube channel for more comedy news with saber tooth tiger teeth: http://youtube.com/user/RedactedTonight_ _ _ _ _ _ _
@MrTopple They jailed the bankers and then quietly let them out early...
_ _ _ _ _ _ _The Vikings revenge. Iceland is taking the money back from the clutches of the private fractional reserve lending cartel.
My Mother was the Prince fan who actually (unbelievably to me at the time) introduced me to his music and his surprising intellectualism, which I thought was so shockingly marvelous and really special that I felt somehow personally attacked - robbed when news of his death at 57 reached me yesterday.
Who would have guessed that could happen to an old-time radical 60's hippie like me?
Tavis Smiley did a nice tribute to Prince this past evening, showing once again how the man was so much more than just another self-taught, incredibly innovative, extremely creative artist/musician/producer/director/etc./etc., reminding me of the surprise of Bob Dylan and Jerry Garcia - all laying out singular, peculiar gifts of originality . . . and enchantment.
Prince gave the impression of constantly being perched on the raw edge of a new discovery in galaxial musicality. And, yet, everyone was soon humming his catchy new tunes.
I will miss his quiet but penetrating voice in our nation's future conversation. He was an inspired leader within the burgeoning peace dialogue.
Goodbye, Prince - You Were the Best of Us