The “Culture of Corruption” Is Historic
Noel Tichy defined culture as, “The unwritten norms, beliefs and values that define appropriate behavior.”
Imagine all the mafia crime families merging together, with unlimited money supply, and the ability to control the government. The cartel would make trillions with no accountability.
Forming The Cartel
In the 1880’s President Garfield warned:
“Whoever controls the volume of money in our country is absolute master of all industry and commerce, and when you realize that the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate.”
He was assassinated shortly after being elected.
Antitrust laws prohibit competitors from collaborating, until 1913, when President Wilson formed the Federal Reserve, totally owned by member banks solely looking after their best interests.
Edward Griffin clarifies things:
“The Federal Reserve is a cartel – it’s a banking cartel. And like all cartels, it only has one purpose – and that is to serve the benefit of the members of the cartel, period.”
Soon after the Fed was formed, the banking system failed, leading to the Great Depression. Congress passed the Glass-Steagall Act, limiting the size and scope of banks. For the next 66 years, the law protected the public from bank failures.
If investment banks made bad decisions, the US taxpayer was under no obligation to bail them out.
Wall Street On Parade (WSOP) outlines a major cartel victory:
“The Bill Clinton administration’s repeal in 1999 of the 1933 Banking Act, commonly known as the Glass-Steagall Act, ushered in the greatest kleptocracy America has ever known.
|The Cambridge Dictionary defines “kleptocracy” as: “a society whose leaders make themselves rich and powerful by stealing from the rest of the people.” In fact, the actual goal of repealing Glass-Steagall was to do just that.
The momentum for the repeal of Glass-Steagall came from the announcement in 1998 that Wall Street veteran, Sandy Weill, wanted to merge his trading firms, Salomon Brothers and Smith Barney, with Citicorp, parent of the federally-insured Citibank commercial bank. Because of the Glass-Steagall Act, such a merger was illegal at the time.
…. Weill had a self-confessed personal motive for the merger he proposed in 1998, which created the so-called ‘universal bank,’ Citigroup. Weill told his merger partner, John Reed of Citibank, that his motivation for the deal was: ‘We could be so rich.’
…. The Wall Street kleptocracy has ruled the U.S. Department of Justice since the repeal of Glass-Steagall. Instead of indicting mega bank executives, the Justice Department now hands out non-prosecution and deferred-prosecution agreements to the banks — and winks at the bank as it violates each probation agreement.”
PBS Frontline covered, “The Long Demise Of Glass Steagall”:
“In the 1997-98 election cycle, the finance, insurance and real estate industries…spends more than $200 million on lobbying and makes more than $150 million in political donations.
Campaign contributions are targeted to members of Congressional banking committees and other committees with direct jurisdiction over financial services legislation.”
The Wall Street investment has paid off very well for the kleptocracy; “too big to fail” banks are now “above the law.” WSOP reports on a recent conference hosted by nonprofit watchdog Better Markets:
“Anat Admati, Professor of Finance and Economics at Stanford Graduate School of Business, summed up the U.S. financial system in five words: ‘Corruption has become the system‘.”
As part of the 2008 bailout, The Dodd-Frank bill was passed to protect the public from further harm. Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, shares some sneaky legislation quickly slipped into a government spending bill:
“Some believe the central political issue of our era is the size of the government. They’re wrong. The central issue is whom the government is for.
…. Consider the new spending bill….
…. It repeals part of the Dodd-Frank Act designed to stop Wall Street from using other peoples’ money to support its gambling addiction….
Dodd-Frank barred banks from using commercial deposits that belong to you and me and other people, and which are insured by the government, to make the kind of risky bets that got the Street into trouble and forced taxpayers to bail it out.
But Dodd-Frank put a crimp on Wall Street’s profits. So the Street’s lobbyists have been pushing to roll it back.
The new legislation, incorporating language drafted by lobbyists for Wall Street’s biggest bank, Citigroup, does just this.
It reopens the casino. This increases the likelihood you and I and other taxpayers will once again be left holding the bag.”
“Why are politicians doing so much for corporate executives and Wall Street insiders? …. It’s because they’re flooding Washington with money as never before, financing an increasing portion of politicians’ campaigns.
The Supreme Court’s decision(s)…eliminated the $123,200 cap on the amount an individual could contribute to federal candidates.
…. In a two-year election cycle, a couple will be able to give $1,296,000 to a party’s various accounts.
But the only couples capable of giving that much are those that include corporate executives, Wall Street moguls, and other big-moneyed interests. Which means Washington will be even more attentive to their needs in the next round of legislation.
…. As wealth continues to concentrate at the top, individuals and entities with lots of money have greater political power to get favors from government – like the rollback of the Dodd-Frank law and the accumulation of additional corporate welfare. These favors, in turn, further entrench and expand the wealth at the top.
…. Much of government is no longer working for the vast majority it’s intended to serve. It’s working instead for a small minority at the top.
If government were responding to the public’s interest instead of the moneyed interests, it would be smaller and more efficient.
But unless or until we can reverse the vicious cycle of big money getting political favors that makes big money even bigger, we can’t get the government we want and deserve.”
“The increasing concentration of wealth and power at the top has created an education system in which the super-rich can buy admission to college for their children, a political system in which they can buy Congress and the presidency, an information ecosystem in which they can buy public opinion, a health-care system in which they can buy care others can’t, and a justice system in which they can buy their way out of jail.
…. (Washington) must stop listening to Jamie Dimon, Bob Rubin, and other denizens of the Street. Instead, they must stand up to Wall Street and the rest of the American oligarchy.”
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The Cartel owns them all
It’s not a partisan issue, they’re all members of the kleptocracy club.
WSOP outlines how big banks are pushing back at current proposals requiring higher reserve requirements:
“We’re very sorry to have to tell you this, but if you’re not watching Senate Banking or House Financial Services Committee hearings when the topic is about increasing bank capital or any new regulations to make the U.S. banking system less prone to blowing up, you are likely seriously underestimating how corruption has become the new normal in the United States of America.
The big banks’ trade associations and law firms that pay millions of dollars each year to registered lobbyists to bend Congress to their will are now dominating the witness list at these hearings.
…. For example, the hearing held…by the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy. That Subcommittee is Chaired by Republican Andy Barr of Kentucky, whose largest donor base is the ‘Securities and Investment’ industry. That industry gave Barr $500,142 in the last election cycle….”
The problem goes much deeper than campaign contributions, and lobbyists. Many payments are made directly to those in power who make the laws.
We’ve seen hundreds of examples where politicians’ family members are hired by banks and foreign governments; handsomely paid for their political connections. There’s never been any true accountability for the millions donated to the Clinton Foundation, incorporated in Canada.
When former Fed Head Janet Yellen was nominated for Treasury Secretary, WSOP reported, “Janet Yellen’s Cash Haul of $7 Million Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg: She Failed to Report Her Wall Street Speaking Fees from JPMorgan and Others in 2018.”
Ms. Yellen received enormous speaking fees, rewarding her for assistance in bank bailouts, from those who benefited, including behemoth JPMorgan Chase.
“Janet Yellen’s Treasury Department Hires 5-Count Felon JPMorgan Chase to Look for Fraud. …. Quid pro quo is coming full circle.”
“Another reason that the U.S. Treasury might want to select a more appropriate vendor to ensure its ‘payment integrity’ is that just three years ago the U.S. Department of Justice criminally charged JPMorgan Chase with rigging the market for the very securities issued by the U.S. Treasury in order to pay the U.S. government’s bills.”
I’m confident Ms. Yellen’s speaking calendar will be filled when she leaves office.
What Can Ordinary Citizens Do?
The political class, banks and media are “making themselves rich and powerful by stealing from the rest of the people.”
Historically the elite get too greedy and eventually the “rest of the people” reset the system. Hopefully a massive effort on the part of the voters will get it done. If not, things will get really ugly.
A little help goes a long way!
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On The Lighter Side
Last Friday we got the results of my recent pet scan. I could cut and paste last year’s remarks, things are pretty much the same.
They found one spot on my lung that can be zapped with radiation, and will take 30+ doses. We will be spending the holidays here in Arizona as opposed to Indiana, which is a bummer.
The good news is radiation is certainly tolerable. The doctor doesn’t want to take me off Keytruda as it is working well – I much prefer zaps to chemo or other treatment with more difficult side effects.
Friend, mentor and fellow cancer survivor Chuck Butler has helped me understand this is nothing more than, “business as usual.” He’s been doing similar things for 15 years and going strong.
I appreciate everyone’s concern and support.
On a different note, I’ve wanted to take a week off around Thanksgiving anyway, so not to worry if we don’t appear in your inbox.
Quote of the Week…
We’ll tie two quotes together this week relevant to today’s topic:
“A government, for protecting business only, is but a carcass, and soon falls by its own corruption and decay.”
— Amos Bronson Alcott
“To oppose corruption in government is the highest obligation of patriotism.”
— G. Edward Griffin
Friend Alex N. shares some clever observations….
- Cocaine is legal in Oregon, but straws aren’t. That must be frustrating.
- Still trying to get my head around the fact that ‘Take Out’ can mean food, dating, or murder.
- Threw out my back sleeping, and tweaked my neck sneezing so I’m probably just one strong fart away from complete paralysis.
- Dear paranoid people who check behind their shower curtains for murderers. If you do find one, what’s your plan?
- Being popular on Facebook is like sitting at the ‘cool table’ in the cafeteria of a mental hospital.
- I too was once a male trapped in a female body…but then my mother gave birth.
- If only vegetables smelled as good as bacon.
- Someone said, “Nothing rhymes with orange.” I said, “No, it doesn’t.”
And my favorite:
- The biggest joke on mankind is that computers have begun asking humans to prove they aren’t a robot.
Until next time…
“Economic independence is the foundation of the only sort of freedom worth a damn.” – H. L. Mencken
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