The U.S. system of justice presumably exists to allow the accused to justify their actions and then to determine what action might need to be taken against those who cannot do so. It is time to apply this fundamental principle of democracy to those who designed the multi-trillion-dollar handout to the billionaires who continue to this day to suck out the wealth of American society.
Sheila Bair, one of the very few heroes in the sordid story of the 2008 Bush bailout of the billionaires, begins her Bull By the Horns account of that great scandal of capitalist corruption by noting in the prologue that the “system did not fall apart, so at least we were successful in that….” . Copying the common theme of Paulson and other apologists for the Government’s performance, the obvious question she ducks:
Why should the system have been saved?
The system was not the system that powered the growth of the American economy in mid-century but a new fundamentally corrupt system designed with malice and forethought to bleed wealth from society to enrich a handful of billionaires with Federal welfare checks to cover every roll of the billionaires’ dice that happened to come up a loss.
Geithner, Bernanke, and Paulson of course wanted to preserve this system, which was feeding them well, but it is hard to find a sincere and thoughtful justification for why it was in the interests of the American people to save it. David Stockman in his introduction to The Great Deformation gets right to the point:
At the heart of the Great Deformation is a rogue central bank that has abandoned every vestige of sound money [xvi].
As Stockman explains a few pages later,
The September 2008 financial crisis…was about the need to drastically deflate the Wall Street behemoths—that is, dangerous and unstable gambling houses—fostered by decades of money printing and market rigging by the Fed. Yet policy veered in the opposite direction, propping them up…[ 5].
Stockman goes on to describe in considerable detail why no contagion of the U.S. economic system was ever likely since, essentially, laws protected main street banking and insurance from Wall Street’s government-guaranteed casino operation, which leaves open the question of why this profoundly corrupt system essentially intent on colonizing U.S. society should even be allowed to exist, much less maintained with taxpayer-funded welfare handouts. In the event, of course, these handouts, which continue, now allegedly have passed the $19 trillion mark. The real number, if anyone knows it, is carefully guarded by the foxes in the Federal henhouse…obviously to avoid their embarrassment, should the public ever wake up to the degree to which it has been taken for a ride.
The essential principle is not very subtle: a democratic political system designed to achieve social justice cannot endure paired with a corrupt financial system designed to transfer wealth from that society to the super-rich.
And so we return to the still unanswered the basic question:
Why should the U.S. financial system designed for corporate corruption be maintained?
Those responsible should be granted their day in court to answer this question in public, under oath.