Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Seventh Seal has been opened

...that's all I can assume, based on my agreement with none other than the scourge of Eurasia, Jeffrey Sachs:
Two weeks ago, I posted an article showing how the Geithner-Summers banking plan could potentially and unnecessarily transfer hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth from taxpayers to banks. The same basic arithmetic was later described by Joseph Stiglitz in the New York Times (April 1) and by Peyton Young in the Financial Times (April 1). In fact, the situation is even potentially more disastrous than we wrote. Insiders can easily game the system created by Geithner and Summers to cost up to a trillion dollars or more to the taxpayers....

Several news stories suggest some grounding for these fears. Both Business Week and the Financial Times report that the banks themselves might be invited to bid for the toxic assets, which would seem to set up just the scam outline above. What is incredible is that lack of the most minimal transparency so far about the rules, risks, and procedures of this trillion-dollar plan. Also incredible is the apparent lack of any oversight by Congress, reinforcing the sense that the fix is in or that at best we are all sitting ducks.
I'm now going to assume that there's nothing left except for a rider on a pale horse to show up.

(For an explanation of Sachs' role in the deindustrialization of Russia, I'd highly recommend this Nation article from way back. Sachs has always maintained that his role was merely advisory, but he was one of the leading voices calling for the shock therapy that many countries underwent in Europe. In some places, it even worked out relatively well. Not so much in Russia.)

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