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Matt Taibbi writes: "Most Americans know about 'the budget'. What they don't know is that there is another budget of roughly equal heft, traditionally maintained in complete secrecy. After the financial crash of 2008, it grew to monstrous dimensions, as the government attempted to unfreeze the credit markets by handing out trillions to banks and hedge funds. And thanks to a whole galaxy of obscure, acronym-laden bailout programs, it eventually rivaled the 'official' budget in size - a huge roaring river of cash flowing out of the Federal Reserve to destinations neither chosen by the president nor reviewed by Congress, but instead handed out by fiat by unelected Fed officials using a seemingly nonsensical and apparently unknowable methodology."

Why did the Federal Reserve fork over $220 million in bailout money to the wives of two Morgan Stanley bigwigs? (art: Victor Juhasz/Rolling Stone)
Why did the Federal Reserve fork over $220 million in bailout money to the wives of two Morgan Stanley bigwigs? (art: Victor Juhasz/Rolling Stone)

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+18 # centralmn 2011-04-13 10:47
At some point this is likely to return to the kidnapping and violence of the thirties...I'd prefer a easier and more honest appraoch.
 
 
+19 # DaveW 2011-04-13 19:10
centralmn, The violence of the thirties will look tame to what's in store. Remember, there's three times as many people in the U.S. vs. 1935. Somewhere out there a Madame Defarge and Robespierre are coldly calculating their future moves. I only hope I live long enough to see Tea Baggers, homeless and begging on the streets, warming their decaying atrophied bodies on their "keep your damn hands off my Medicare signs," whilst caravans of the elites amuse themselves at the sight of chumps at the campfire. Sound cruel...vindict ive? You're damn straight! Easy and honest won't work with the licentious cadre of criminals we've managed to allow to subjugate us. The evil eye will not be dissuaded by flowers.
 
 
+7 # Common Sense 2011-04-14 02:37
Quoting DaveW:
centralmn, The violence of the thirties will look tame to what's in store. Remember, there's three times as many people in the U.S. vs. 1935. Somewhere out there a Madame Defarge and Robespierre are coldly calculating their future moves. I only hope I live long enough to see Tea Baggers, homeless and begging on the streets, warming their decaying atrophied bodies on their "keep your damn hands off my Medicare signs," whilst caravans of the elites amuse themselves at the sight of chumps at the campfire. Sound cruel...vindictive? You're damn straight! Easy and honest won't work with the licentious cadre of criminals we've managed to allow to subjugate us. The evil eye will not be dissuaded by flowers.


Who Is dissuaded by incorrect answers? END "THE FED"
 
 
+7 # Common Sense 2011-04-14 02:34
Quoting centralmn:
At some point this is likely to return to the kidnapping and violence of the thirties...I'd prefer a easier and more honest appraoch.


Sure. END THE so-called (phony) 'FED'; and really federalize OUR nation's currency.
 
 
+26 # BradFromSalem 2011-04-13 11:34
God Bless those rich bastards. When I donate money it just makes me feel so wonderful knowing I have brought just a moments happiness into their poor, drab lives.

Oh, and can we arrest and/or impeach every single person that was part of this scheme?
 
 
+7 # rf 2011-04-15 05:46
Impeach??? I want to see someone from the FED go to jail. This is corruption on an unprecedented scale unless you are from a middle est dictatorship!
 
 
+35 # stonecutter 2011-04-13 11:46
This is a seminal piece of journalism. A few decades ago, it would've blown the roof off the White House and the dome off the Capitol. Today, after the profligate corruption and coupled unaccountabilit y of the past decade, outlined in this very article, we'll be lucky if it gets a mention on Lawrence O'Donnell or Bill Maher.

The American People are being "screwed" into the ground by this insulated cabal of elite financiers and their inner circle of family, friends, and fellow partners in crime. It may all appear legal on paper, but so did Bernie Madoff's massive rip-off before it unraveled. The difference is this mondo-con is being perpetrated by the very people put in place by our government to "manage" our financial recovery for the benefit of all Americans.

Hahahahahaha! I bet Christy Mack sleeps like a baby weasel.
 
 
+15 # Observer 47 2011-04-13 12:33
Hey, now! Let's not insult weasels. They WORK for a living!
 
 
+7 # Austist 2011-04-14 02:40
OUR money will work for a living, too- if and WHEN we nationalize the so-called 'Fed'.
 
 
+3 # David St. Albans 2011-04-16 13:35
I agree in whole. But you can't blow the lid off a pressure cooker that exploded into insane chaos after Watergate. We all know now how evil, corrupt, uncaring and unforgiving our "elected government" can be. And we know how easy and loose they are with our money. And we know that there is no way to fight city hall, when it is owned by Goldman Sachs. The only people we have left to speak for us are comedians, paid by the same brokerage firms...
 
 
+25 # Lenore Rapalski rapa 2011-04-13 11:51
Wait a minute - we're bailing and borrowing simultaneously? And we have no money because we gave it away??

Who is minding the hen house? Where is the prez on this? Will he read this article?

What we really need is Course 101 in Fraud. Unbelievable!!!
 
 
+11 # Course 101-a 2011-04-14 02:54
The $ 'as it stands' today is a completely unsupported "fiat" construct... blips on a computer... controlled by... NOT the government or accountable public figures [whose job is to answer to the public]... but rather by a self-appointed 'globalist' cartel of "special people" officially accountable only to their (more special people) shareholders.

This- thoroughly unaccountable- state of public affairs didn't develop overnight, but gradually, over the past quarter-to-half century.

Yes; we need central banks. No; we do not need them in private hands.
 
 
+32 # Doctoretty 2011-04-13 11:52
It's all a little complicated for my small pea brain. But it seems clear that in our system, the rich will always benefit to the detriment of the poor and middle clas, and that our leaders will always help that happen. What's not clear is what we can do about it!
 
 
+15 # DaveW 2011-04-13 16:45
Doctoretty, I'm with you. No matter who's in charge the result just seems to get worse. We elect "Represenatives " to, well, represent us. The "us" they represent is only those who can contribute the "big bucks" to their campaigns for office. 200 million to a couple of "Antoinettes" could obviously been better spent. And the Federal Reserve sounds like a chamber of financial malfeasance horrors. It's a self-perpetuati ng cycle that will not end until the nation breathes its last. In a real sense thats already happened. We're not a country anymore. We're a "butterfly collection", pins impaled through our bodies, collected in scrapbooks/soci ties for the amusement of our "owners." After their through with us they'll simply move on to another locale and add to the collection. Democrats keep calling me asking for more money. I wonder whose penthouse or yacht I helped buy.
 
 
+8 # common sense 2011-04-14 02:59
If the 'Republicans' and 'Democrats' have left us, then why don't we leave them, and start a new Party?

The money cartel cannot control everything.
 
 
+20 # reiverpacific 2011-04-13 12:05
There is YET ANOTHER BUDGET that most Americans are unaware of; that is the "Black Budget" for covert action worldwide and even congress and the president don't get to see the details of that outrageous and unaccountable expenditure which, from all accounts, is at least half the entire national "official" budget! Again, this should be shouted from the rooftops but wantonly superficial journalism and "candy-cane" corporate media has more profitable things to address -like who's-bonkin'-w ho, the Soaps and Oscars (and way more puerile and content-free subject matter than that)!
 
 
+8 # OrderoutofChaos 2011-04-14 03:10
...and don't forget DERIVATIVES [sort of 'black ops' budgets for the private sector shenanigans] is also like a black hole (unknown, unlimited), and literally dwarf the above-board, conventional Wall Street numbers.

A sensible question might be "does anyone on Earth really understand right now how all of this [these (often dodgy) economic stats/figures] is working?"
 
 
+20 # kmg595 2011-04-13 12:27
I hope someone plans a prime time television special soon that is titled something about "where the bail out monies went" and begins to expose these things. Since this was all, at some point, taxpayers money it makes sense to tell us exactly how these things, and others I assume will come to light as well, were allowed to happen. Then I want to hear anyone in this administration or in Congress or any of their staff look us in the eye and tell us heating assistance to poor people is too expensive, or that WIC must be slashed and that we have to live with Interstate Highways that are becoming driving nightmares due to lack of maintenance or any one of the other hundreds of things covered in this most recent budgetary BS. we are being fed. This is beyond outrageous. This MUST be illegal, right? Is it possible for the taxpayers to launch a Class Action suit against the non elected people who did this money exchange? How about those who duped the taxpayers into believing it was THEIR responsibility to bail out fraudulent investments? We need to do more than talk about this but where do we begin?
 
 
+22 # erogers 2011-04-13 12:44
This is all part of the grand scheme. What is that grand scheme? A return to the Gilded Age and the days of the robber barons with the wealth in the hands of the powerful and the rest of us being slaves. The Gilded Age ended with the Great Depression. The FDR New Deal and rearming for WW II ended the depression. How will this new Gilded Age end? I have no idea, but if it is through violence, we will not like that result. The corrupt oligarchy now have the power and wealth and could not give a damn about what we serfs and slaves think of their lack of ethics and morals.
 
 
+7 # NationalTreasure 2011-04-14 03:24
Taibbi wrote: "...initiatives , designed and perfected by Fed. Reserve chief Ben Bernanke & Treasury Sec. Timothy Geithner, called 'giving already stinking rich people gobs of money for no f-ing reason at all.'

No reason- that is- other than to take down the Currency, thus forcing a crisis as to whether more-of-the-sam e OR genuine public money should take its place.

Please don't say that you haven't heard the truth on this matter.
 
 
+21 # minkdumink 2011-04-13 12:52
this is peanuts compared to 3.5 (or more) trillion wasted on Iraq, 2 billion a week in afghanistan (where they grow and supply the worlds heroin) and a 750 billion defence embloatment. And no one in congress wants to say a word about it. Too much $ to be made on war and both parties are in on it.
 
 
+17 # jpkirsch 2011-04-13 13:08
Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel Prize winner) predicts:
"As we gaze out at the popular fervor in the streets [of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain], one question to ask ourselves is this: When will it come to America? In important ways, our own country has become like one of these distant, troubled places.
* * *
The top 1% have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn't seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99% live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1% eventually learn. TOO LATE." (Emphasis added.) "Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%," Vanity Fair, May 2011, http://readersupportednews.org/off-site-opinion-section/83-83/5602-of-the-1-by-the-1-for-the-1
 
 
+6 # Common Sense 2011-04-14 01:52
Quoting jpkirsch:
Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel Prize winner) predicts:
"As we gaze out at the popular fervor in the streets [of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain], one question to ask ourselves is this: When will it come to America? In important ways, our own country has become like one of these distant, troubled places.
* * *
The top 1% have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn't seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99% live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1% eventually learn. TOO LATE." (Emphasis added.) "Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%," Vanity Fair, May 2011, http://readersupportednews.org/off-site-opinion-section/83-83/5602-of-the-1-by-the-1-for-the-1


I notice it, too; with two eyes, ears, and a normal functioning cranial bucket.
 
 
+19 # Linda 2011-04-13 13:19
So why is this not on every news media's front page ? I guess we all know the answer to that .They are bought and sold by these rich barons .
 
 
+2 # austxjr 2011-04-16 15:07
It is not on every news media's front page because most of the news media (other than CPB, NPR, Blogs and Internet news sites) are owned by the corporate elite.
 
 
+2 # intothelens 2011-04-20 09:07
Quoting austxjr:
It is not on every news media's front page because most of the news media (other than CPB, NPR, Blogs and Internet news sites) are owned by the corporate elite.


No, that's not the case. The (true) media chase the ratings and readership.
I can assure you that if the American people would watch it, the media would air it. But the fact is, the majority of this nation is more celebrity driven and drawn by the flash-bang spectacles; to soap operas, tabloids, car chases, explosions and disasters.
America wants to see it, live, from as many angles as possible. But as soon as some media figure tries to explain in detail how and why something happened, with honest-to-god facts, way too many American minds shut down, look away. It's simply like ADHD, and is the evolution of this country's appetite. It prefers entertainment over education. Folly over fact. Opinion over knowledge.
This country needs information reform, but I don't think that's going to happen. The country is simply getting more stupid by the minute. And doesn't demand better of its sources.
If Taibbi was brave enough to front this story on major media, much of this country's viewers/readers would tune out in the first minute. About the time he drew the fourth arrow on the money trail.
Sad. But true.
 
 
+17 # Kimberly999 2011-04-13 16:25
Time to bring out the guillotines!
 
 
+8 # Activista 2011-04-13 16:28
TODAY -JPMorgan Chase on Wednesday was the first big bank to report first-quarter results. Net income jumped 67 percent to $5.56 billion, or $1.28 per share. Analysts expected just $1.15 in earnings per share.
Bankster - Chase CEO Jamie Dimon gets massive $16M pay package -

Hope that Jamie gets more next year - his economy is improving. Trump for president and we have here dictator/fascis t scenario.
 
 
+12 # Garn Turner 2011-04-13 17:13
This gives a bad name to terms like "bank robbery." Well, actually, it changes the meaning of the phrase, doesn't it?
 
 
+5 # don emilio 2011-04-13 18:55
As long as we believe the progressive Democrat's bullshit, this will remain SOP for the big buck boys. Until enough people say this fucked up system doesn't work for me and then get serious about an alternative that excludes all the corporate toadies, such as Obambi and his ilk, nothing will change. We need to take over the corporations, strip their "owners" of everything they've ripped off and put the economy under the people's control. Then it might be possible for the resources of the land to be used for the well being of everybody in the land.
 
 
+3 # Vladimir Illevich 2011-04-14 15:42
Sounds like a Bolsjevic revolution to me
 
 
+11 # SouthBrun 2011-04-13 19:56
Does anyone not realize that The Fed is a private bank? It not a Federal agency.
We owe our soul to the company store [The fed}
 
 
+21 # SHEILa Cook 2011-04-13 20:31
So what can we do? How about getting angry? How about taking a cue from the brave souls in Wisconsin, Egypt, Indonesia and others and raising hell about what the rich and powerful are doing to us ? Why aren't seniors, the poor. the jobless and all others whose much needed programs are being destroyed by budget cuts getting out and protesting against their these cuts? I'm a senior and am enraged about what these rich SOBs want to do to our social security and medicare. The big corporations and our government don't give squat about us. They care only for their sacred cows and won't touch them or demand they pay their fair share. All they want is to take more and more from us. Have they no conscience? They don't need more so why do they want to create such misery for those who have nothing? I really don't get it.

Yes, I'm rambling and I'm angry.

C'mon folks. Let's show how angry we are and get out on the streets and do something already?

Getting out in the streets will only work if we pack the streets with thousands and demand attention. Demand they give us back the freedoms they have been whittling away since 9/11 in the name of security. We have become draconian in the measures we take in the name of security.

I'd better stop now.
PEACE TO YOU ALL.....AFTER THE BATTLE.
 
 
+7 # Rita Walpole Ague 2011-04-13 21:53
Hard to choose who should go to jail first, Wall Street or the govt. (a.k.a. we the sheeple tax payers) defrauding military-indust rial biggies.

Oops, I nearly forget the Bushwhackers who lied us into war, war and more war. But it sure as hell (pun intended) looks like none of the above will ever be investigated or prosecuted, or will see the inside of a jail.

Evil it is...VILLAINAIR ES, GO TO HELL!!!
 
 
-2 # rf 2011-04-15 05:50
Obama is ultimately to blame because he has kept all of these cleptomaniacs in charge at the fed. That Bernanke is SOME manager...we better give him a couple billion bonus! That's the American business scheme. Right?
 
 
+1 # rf 2011-04-15 05:53
I'll tell you what will get their attention very quickly. I feel like I need a bailout just like these rich f$*ks, and the only way to get it is to not pay my taxes. Boycott tax payment. Hold it is escrow and refuse. Starve the beast until it obeys.
 
 
+12 # UTTERLY DISGUSTED 2011-04-14 11:38
To Everyone Reading this:
PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH YOUR NETWORKS! If we want anything to change, we have to arm ourselves with information and act to correct. Bitch Moaning and Complaining will do NOTHING to resolve what this government and Big Corporate America and their rich Lobbyists are doing to US. We as a society have been "broken" as we do our pets when we house train them, and have forgotten what this country was founded on: Motivated Fighters that traveled to unknown places to fight for fair justice and find a better way of life. Words alone will do nothing. Those of us that are small business owners, we are paying for all of this!!! We get constantly taxed for EVERYTHING! Yet, when did we get TARP funds? Put together all the small businesses in this country, and we too ARE TOO BIG TO FAIL! It is small business, not Big Corporate Giants, that make this economy progress and give the lower and middle class the chance to get to stay alive in this God Awfull Expensive and Inflationary society. Why is that everything goes up in price except wages and salaries?
I am UTTERLY DISGUSTED!!!!!
 
 
+13 # trystero777 2011-04-14 14:46
Step #1) Corporations must not be deemed as "persons." However this gets done it is all imperative.

Step #2) Publicly financed elections. As long as it costs to be a politician politicians will be bought.

Everything else can flow from there.
 
 
+6 # Gurka 2011-04-15 02:50
Quoting trystero777:
Step #1) Corporations must not be deemed as "persons." However this gets done it is all imperative.

Step #2) Publicly financed elections. As long as it costs to be a politician politicians will be bought.

Everything else can flow from there.

trystero777, you are Absolutely Right! This is how to start. The next needed step will be to abolish lobbyism and to prohibit the politicians to take bribes - a.k.a. "campaign contributions". The politicians should well be able to live exclusively from their good salaries and their good health care insurance. Their only extra benefit should the the HONOR of serving their fellow countrymen.
 
 
0 # austxjr 2011-04-16 15:50
Step #3) Redistricting reform. Fair redistricting so that politicians in power cannot construct "safe districts" for their cronies in order that they can ignore their constituents and do the bidding of their big money donors.

I'm not sure that this should not be #1 as I doubt that #1 and #2 can be achieved before fair redistricting reform is implemented.
 
 
+7 # trystero777 2011-04-14 14:57
Sheila,

I've been out there and you are right -- making noise on the streets is a great step. Call, write, scream and yell. You know what the history books don't tell? In the 1930's this country was close to anarchy. The President's train couldn't stop in mid-western cities because of the angry mobs. That's what this is going to come to -- and it's gonna be painful. What's sad is we are in a time much like the lead-up to the Civil War. The right and the left will fight each other and not even realize who the enemy is.
 
 
+4 # new party 2011-04-14 16:33
It is heartening to see such intelligent comments amidst outrage and passion for change. It is time for a people's movement, a Human Party. Education is a key weapon. Get yourselves educated on how things really work, what your inalienable rights are and how tyranny has been defeated, historically, and get your friends and acquaintances educated. I think a key step is to free ourselves from dependency on this very rotten pie-in-the-sky system and create our own. The only reason it has power to affect us is because we let it - we are addicted to the shiny toys they promise us "if we just go along with it all".
 
 
+2 # rf 2011-04-15 06:38
It just occurred to me that maybe the Fed is giving to companies and banks around the world in order to make changing the trade currency less attractive to these places. perhaps, given a large chunk of dollars that would become worthless, is why this is happening. I think it is time to default.
 
 
+2 # americanophile 2011-04-18 14:24
Nearly all senators and most congressmen take bribes from lobbyists and it is all legal according to the supreme court + the tea party barks up a wrong tree and the rest don't bark at all + justice don't prosecute for corruption + media lie + presidents are opportunists = USA today, a banana republic.
 
 
0 # anotherstonecutter 2011-04-24 12:31
Why don't we do something - start another political party? We're not smart enough, good enough, or desperate enough. But I pray the time will come soon.
 

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