The Financial Crisis began ten years ago today
Nov 12, 2009
Ten years ago today, Nov. 12, 1999, the Glass-Steagall Act from 1933 was repealed in order to allow Citicorp and Travelers to merge, creating Citigroup, a bank that was "too big to fail."
This was done with the support of Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, as the article above shows.
Weill, at the time the CEO of Citicorp, got then-Treasury SecretaryRobert Rubin's support for what turned out to be a disastrous regulatory change, one that was finally passed as Rubin passed the baton to his successor -- Larry Summers (now director of President Obama's National Economic Council). That's because the repeal freed Citi to combine commercial, consumer and investment banking into a one-stop shop -- and created a recipe for financial disaster.
The incest going on between government and big business is a recipe for something called Fascism. Most people do not know what Fascism is, other than to associate it with Italy's Mussolini during World War II. But it is the takeover of government by big corporations, so that the government, in essence, becomes the servant of the corporations--the banks in particular.
According to the Wikipedia, Robert Rubin, who supported the repeal of Glass-Steagall, went on to become a bigwig in Citigroup, the company that had benefited from his political clout. In those eight years, "he received more than $126 million in cash and stock."
His most prominent post-government role was as Director and Senior Counselor of Citigroup, where he performed ongoing advisory and representational roles for the firm. From November to December 2007, he served temporarily as Chairman of Citigroup. On January 9, 2009 Citigroup announced his resignation, after having been criticized for his performance. He received more than $126 million in cash and stock during his eight years at Citigroup.
Larry Summers, too, pushed the same disastrous bill. Now he has been rewarded with a big-salary job in the Obama administration as Director of the National Economic Council. Do we really need him at the helm of our economic system?
On Oct. 14, 2009, Peter Cohan wrote an article, How Wall Street Bought Tim Geitner. Geitner is the current Treasury Secretary. Many of his aides receive big money from Wall Street and will certainly go back to their cushy jobs in the banks after they have worked so faithfully for them while employed by taxpayers.
Have you ever wondered why Wall Street was able to get $23.7 trillion from the federal government after making some bad bets that wiped out $30 trillion in stock market value worldwide and helped throw 15.1 million people out of work? Are you curious about how Wall Street's workers will earn record bonuses of $140 billion for 2009, according to The Wall Street Journal, while average folks, such as former airline captain Bryan Lawler take 50 percent pay cuts, according to The New York Times? Well, look no further than the office of the secretary of the treasury.
These are the people who caused the problem in the first place. They have conflicts of interest while they are employed in government. They all know that their government jobs are temporary, and that their more long-lasting careers lay in the banks that employed them in the past and will take them back in the future. So the government makes policies that help the big corporations at the expense of America--the people and the government itself.
Now that we have overthrown Mussolini, perhaps it is time for a repeat performance. Or better yet, now that we have been given "czars," someone might come up with a post-1917 revolutionary plan to overthrow the czars.
Dr. Stephen Jones