Conspiracy, Certificates and Credit: Wasted Energy on Abstractions

by R. Hurst on May 27, 2011

in Capitalism's Welfare Babies,Subversive,Tea Party

A new conspiracy theory is emerging on the far right. In summary, Jerome Corsi and other birther lunatics believe that Donald Trump was put on by the White House. They claim that the long-form birth certificate is fraudulent and that the White House used Donald Trump to obtain an advanced copy of the unfortunately titled book “Where is the Birth Certificate?” in violation of the non-disclosure agreement Trump’s organization signed with Corsi’s folks. The inference is that the White House might use Jerome Corsi’s pseudo-intellectualism “expertise” to fake the birth certificate. As if the Government would need an outside expert to falsify a government document. This is a whole new level of crazy. Conspiracy theories about conspiracy theories. Isn’t there something out there that suggests the simplest explanation with the fewest assumptions is most likely the correct one?

I know that conspiracy is just as much a part of American life as apple pie. Did we land on the Moon? Who killed JFK? What happened in Roswell? Etc. etc. etc. But the after-birther nonsense is sucking valuable energy out of groups that should be focusing their attention on actual corruption that needs to be on the forefront of people’s minds – especially those who are disenfranchised by the economy and who have been hurt by the fraudulent behavior on Wall Street.

Yesterday, I tried to remind people about Goldman Sachs’ “Orphan Month.” Today I learned that during the now famous month, Goldman Sachs was borrowing billions of dollars from the Fed that was not disclosed to shareholders or the public at large. The reason it was all kept quiet: by hiding the extent to which the Fed was propping up Wall Street banks the public and investors wouldn’t be tipped off to how close these institutions were to collapse. If any conspiracy needs the public’s attention it is this one! In other words, the Fed worked with Wall Street banks to shovel them money that Congress, the public and shareholders never knew about to hide the reality that the banks were near collapse. And guess how much these secret loans cost? 0.01%! Yes that is 1% of 1%. Goldman borrowed $43.5 billion dollars in the month of December 2008 alone. Is this not fraud? Did the Fed and the banks that received these loans not explicitly hide information that would have enabled investors to make different decisions? Granted, this information could have led to a collapse of these institutions and the Fed was working to prevent economic collapse, but can’t we now at least expose this as the fraud that it is?

Recall that Blankfein famously said that Goldman didn’t need the government:

CHARLIE ROSE: Without what the government did, would Goldman Sachs have survived?

LLOYD BLANKFEIN: Hard to know. I’m not sure….

In the week after Lehman Brothers fell … we went to the markets ourselves. We did a transaction with Warren Buffett in which he made a big investment in our firm….

The government talk of bailout was some weeks later. So we took initiative. We weren’t waiting for government action….

This is misleading because Buffet made his decision to invest only because he anticipated government intervention:

If I didn’t think the government was going to act, I would not be doing anything this week….

It would be a mistake to be buying anything now if the government was going to walk away from the Paulson proposal. Last week will look like Nirvana if they don’t do something.

So, I plead with the nut-jobs: Please stop wasting people’s anger on conspiracies about conspiracies. Please redirect your anger towards those who have stolen so much from the American tax-payer right in front of our noses.

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