Our financial crisis is not the result of lax regulations, irrational exuberance or various unintended consequences and sequences of bad luck leading invariably to the same end. It is the work of crooks —real men with real nefarious plans and schemes.
One of these conspirators is Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, who built and ran the elaborate Ponzi scam known asAIG across four decades. Earlier this month he managed time in his schedule to make a personal appearance before a congressional committee. (Last October, at the height of paranoia over the pending collapse of the giant insurer, the 83 year-old Greenberg offered only a doctor’s slip and a prepared statement to the United States House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which had called on him to testify.)
For his actual appearance, Greenberg closed his prepared statement with his quintessential post mortem analysis on the collapse of AIG, “Let me be clear: AIG’s business model did not fail- its management did.”�That would, of course, be management after he was pushed out of the top spot at AIG in 2005 over an accounting fraud scandal.
According to Mr. Greenberg, the company, management team, and corporate culture he built over his 35 year tenure as its leader all suddenly unraveled in the three short years after his inglorious departure. Yes, over a span of less than 36 months, the veneralbe AIG went from a supposed pinnacle of financial stability to a bottomless pit for hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money. This is what Mr. Greenberg, with a straight face, wants people to believe. This is known in the trade as chutzpah.
Greenberg’s claim that he had absolutely no hand in the downfall of AIG is so absurd that even members of the aptly namedOversight Committee had to pretend to be outraged for the folks back home, who are being stuck with the bill. Though he is a racketeer orders of magnitude greater than Bernie Madoff ever dreamed of becoming, to date, Greenberg has had to face no more than a few minutes of stage managed questions before a small panel of Congressmen. No ankle bracelets for him. Roger Clemens took more heat from Congress over his alleged/likely steroid use.
Put that in context. Unless you bought Yankee tickets at a doped-up price during the Clemens-Pettite years, or bet against those two pitchers and lost, what these baseball players did or did not do, cost you nothing. On the other hand, the scam that was AIG, designed by Greenberg and collaborators to end no other way than it has, is going to cost you your share of $200 billion and counting… actually, more than your share if you work for a living and don’t run in the same crowd of teflon suited financial crime dons as Mr. Greenberg. These guys have long since pulled their winnings off their rigged tables and placed them seemingly out of the reach of us, their hapless marks.
Mr. Greenberg and his co-conspirators appear to be sitting pretty. Their scam is big enough and deep enough into the world’s financial establishment that they can afford to underwrite a controlling interest in the U.S. Congress and the ultimate silence that brings. To be sure, they still have to consider the double crossing and backstabbing that is a constant and significant probability among their type, but at the moment they appear to be untouchable… or, at least not at any position of risk than can’t be offset by a few opportune suicides.
As grim as it looks for meting out justice to the likes of Mr. Greenberg and his business partners at the moment, there are some things hapless marks can yet do to up the stakes. Number one is to start referring to the likes of Mr. Greenberg and his collaborators as suspected criminals that need to subpoenaed and brought before a federal grand jury investigation.
Number two is to damn the inevitable smears that will be headed your way and start naming names like The John Birch Society has been doing for over 50 years. There are real people running enterprises like AIG, Goldman Sachs, and the Federal Reserve. They meet. They conspire. They use their corporate press organs to pass themselves off as reputable businesses and make pronouncements that they are not conspirators because, trust us, everything we do, every nest egg we crack to make our signature designer omletes, is done with the best interests of the humankind in mind. (I really don’t make this up. That’s a synopsis of how uber conspirator and Greenberg pal David Rockefeller justifies his back room deals in his autobiography.)
At age 83, the mobsters Mr. Greenberg has been running with like David Rockefeller and Sith Lord Henry Kissinger are getting way long in the tooth, but they still wield considerable influence. The best extended listing of names for crime bosses, who were in their prime during the Greenberg era, can be found in the Birch Society commissioned book, Shadows of Power, an expose ofThe Council of Foreign Relations by James Perloff. This is the must read book if are serious about understanding what is going on in Washington and on Wall Street. We can’t easily pursue the solution until more learn what the problem is. Buy and read this book!
Once you are familiar with some crime boss names and who-knows-who’s you can better avoid being duped. A quick case study in point:
The Peter G. Peterson Foundation is bankrolled by, as you can imagine, Peter G. Peterson. Mr. Peterson is co-founder of the Kissinger aligned Blackstone Group and Chairman Emeritus of the Council of Foreign Relations. That would be the same Blackstone group that has undoubtably had AIG counter party bailout money funneled to it and the same Council of Foreign Relations that Maurice “Hank” Greenberg sits on the board of directors of. These guys talk. A person who does not believe this has serious issues with denial and should seek counseling that we can’t provide here.
Knowing that Mr. Peterson has spent a career working business deals with scam artists like Mr. Greenberg, might you be advised to be at least a little suspicious of the ulterior motives behind campaigns being promoted the Peter G. Peterson Foundation? That is, should you trust that those trying to educate americans by producing movies like IOUSA, are going to offer the right solutions for the right problems? With just a bit of confidence, let’s suggest that Peterson’s IOUSA push is simply an effort to divert attention from the real culprits behind our financial debacle.
Check for yourself. Search Peterson’s site(s) for any critical mentions of the counterfeiting conspiracy that is the Federal Reserve System. That would be the FED, the same outfit pumping money (sic: future taxpayer obligations) into the AIG conduit that is now, under who knows how many secret U.S. Treasury programs, routing funds to disreputable counter parties all over the world.
Let us save you the effort. You are going to draw a blank on your search. Peterson, the head of the New York FED, controlling arm of the Federal Reserve System, from 2002 to 2004 is not going to spend a dime of his (stolen) billion dollars he has pledged towards his campaign to educate the American people on the “true” nature of our financial condition.
Even though the PGP Foundation is run by David Walker, the former Comptroller General of the United States and head of the Government Accounting Office (GAO), Peterson’s outfit is going to be the last place you see a call to audit the FED, let alone a call to End the FED conspiracy outright. No, the honorable(sic) Mr. Walker, a career accounting professional, is asking us to focusonly on the debt side of our nation’s financial ledger and totally ignore whatever is supposedly on the asset side controlled by the Federal Reserve. That’s some real honest accounting there
Mr. Walker must have picked that trick up during his years as a partner and global managing director of Arthur Andersen LLPbefore the firm crashed and burned in the Enron scandal. His sleight of hand accounting also probably comes in handy in his current post as chairman of the United Nations Independent Audit Advisory Committee (UNIAAC). There’s a guy I would trust.
The bottom line: Our county is being run by gangsters. The sooner you dare to call it a a conspiracy, the sooner it will all start to make sense.