With the blood bath in Iran and the sabotage of health care reform in the U.S. dominating the news, the biggest bank robbery ever perpetrated has faded from the front pages. But a recent item in the Guardian newspaper (in the United Kingdom) provides a reminder of the $700 billion-plus scam. Here’s an excerpt:
Staff at Goldman Sachs can look forward to the biggest bonus payouts in the firm’s 140-year history after a spectacular first half of the year, sparking concern that the big investment banks which survived the credit crunch will derail financial regulation reforms. A lack of competition and a surge in revenues from trading foreign currency, bonds and fixed-income products has sent profits at Goldman Sachs soaring, according to insiders at the firm.
So much for the promised reform of the financial industry. The investment banks that received bailout funds and didn’t fail in the bewildering restructuring of the industry now stand to reap enormous benefits thanks to the resulting lack of competition. The “masters of the universe” continue to rake in millions while everyday Americans lose their jobs, homes and – increasingly – hope of a better future.
An article by Tracy Viselli in Care2 today makes this point:
The current cost of the financial sector bailout is about $12 trillion. The highest projected cost of health care reform is $4 trillion -a third of the money spent over the last year to save Wall Street. And as the Senate continues to shrink away from meaningful reform let alone the public option, it appears that health care reform might turn out to be another disappointment for the middle and working class.
I hesitate to blame President Obama for the massive financial con game; it was initiated by Bush Administration Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (the ex-boss at Goldman-Sachs pictured at right). But I do not understand his appointment of insiders who helped loot the nation’s treasury and his continuation of the Bush-era financial policies. Surely he must know that he has landed in a den of thieves. Are the bandits so powerful that not even he dares to confront them?
We may never know who masterminded the most daring daylight bank robbery in history. But this is certain: the people Americans elect to protect their interests are doing a lousy job. If they were not complicit in the con game that funneled billions into unidentified hands, they were at least spineless and incompetent in voting for a bailout with little or no accountability. Yet these shiftless wretches are digging in their heels when it comes to allocating resources for universal health insurance. If they are not held accountable in 2010, the voters must share the blame for America’s failed government.