International organized criminals have penetrated the energy and other strategic sectors of the economy. International organized criminals and their associates control significant positions in the global energy and strategic materials markets that are vital to U.S. national security interests. They are now expanding their holdings in the U.S. strategic materials sector. Their activities tend to corrupt the normal workings of these markets and have a destabilizing effect on U.S. geopolitical interests.
You think some conspiracy nut said that, don’t you? Hah! That came from U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey in his speech to the Center for Strategic and International Studies back in April. And it was reported in the Financial Times, which is a respected mainstream newspaper. According to the report:
The general theme is that Mukasey, his law enforcement colleagues, and the U.S. population at large face a global conflux of terrorists, mobsters, east Europeans and Latin American revolutionaries that puts historical threats like the Mafia into the shade.
Now that the mayonnaise has hit the fan, you would think the media would be eager to find out from Mukasey (photo at left) whether there is any connection between the collapse of the financial markets and organized crime. Inquiring minds want to know. (While they’re at it, they might want to ask Mukasey about the Sub Prime Loan Defense Specialty unit that his New York law firm has formed to defend those involved in the collapse of the mortgage and real estate industry. They might also want to know why Mukasey rejected the idea of creating a national task force to combat the mortgage fraud crisis, as reported in The New York Times.) And here are a few other winding paths I wish the media would explore:
Last year, Senator Chris Dodd said he was “deeply concerned” about a column in The New York Times that accused Goldman Sachs of “injecting dangerous financial products into the world’s commercial bloodstream” during Henry Paulson’s tenure as chief executive of the company. That’s good old Hank Paulson he’s talking about – the former Goldman Sachs boss who is now Secretary of the Treasury.
In a McClatchy Newspapers article today, Kevin G. Hall comments that the draft law Paulson is desperately trying to sell Congress “would preclude court review of steps Paulson might take, something Joshua Rosner, managing director of economic researcher Graham Fisher & Co. in New York, said could be used to mask previous illegal activity.”
Hall also notes that Paulson sang a different tune when he was wheeling and dealing on Wall Street to the one he’s whistling now. Here’s what Hall had to say:
In the last annual report at Goldman that Paulson signed off on in November 2005, a year in which he received $38 million in compensation, investors were clearly told that the federal government wouldn’t be there to save them from bad investments. “Goldman Sachs, as a participant in the securities and commodities and futures and options industries, is subject to extensive regulation in the United States and elsewhere,” the report said. But those regulations are designed to protect the interests of clients in the market, it said. “They are not . . . charged with protecting the interest of Goldman Sachs shareholders or creditors,” it said.
Why don’t we hear more about the shady aspects of the collapse of America’s financial markets? Why is everyone blaming the gullible ghetto housewife who dreamed she could own a nice home in the suburbs when she should have known she couldn’t afford it? Someone talked that gullible housewife into the deal. And someone else concocted a scheme in which the value of homes was outrageously inflated to obtain big loans and then the homes were sold to confederates who had no intention of making any mortgage payments.
Something doesn’t smell right. I suspect the American taxpayer is being taken to the cleaners once again. Didn’t anybody learn anything from the Savings & Loan scandal back in the 1980s? If you know any people in Congress, ask them to put a hold on that seven hundred billion dollar check that Paulson wants.