New Century Financial, one of the largest sub-prime lenders in the US, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on April 2nd of 2007, beginning the collapse of the financial market in 2007 and 2008.
“The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises.
If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.” – Simon Johnson, The Quiet Coup
“A true opium of the people is a belief in nothingness after death – the huge solace of thinking that for our betrayals, greed, cowardice, and even murders that we are not going to be judged.”
This article was written at the height of the 2008-2009 economic crisis which coincided with the US presidential election campaign. It was published in the week following Obama’s victory in the November 2008 elections.
The October 2008 economic meltdown was the result of a deliberate process of financial manipulation. Ten years later under the Trump administration, financial warfare has become increasingly sophisticated. Manipulations of foreign exchange markets combined with economic sanctions have been used by Washington in alliance with Wall Street to trigger economic instability in targeted countries, including Iran, Turkey, Russia and Venezuela.
The following article provides a brief history of “financial warfare” from the 1997 Asian Crisis (triggered by the manipulation of forex markets) to the October 2008 financial meltdown, not to mention the bailout procedures put forth by powerful banking conglomerates.
Michel Chossudovsky, August 24, 2018
The October 2008 financial meltdown is not the result of a cyclical economic phenomenon. It is the deliberate result of US government policy instrumented through the Treasury and the US Federal Reserve Board.
This is the most serious economic crisis in World history.
The “bailout” proposed by the US Treasury does not constitute a “solution” to the crisis. In fact quite the opposite: it is the cause of further collapse. It triggers an unprecedented concentration of wealth, which in turn contributes to widening economic and social inequalities both within and between nations.
The levels of indebtedness have skyrocketed. Industrial corporations are driven into bankruptcy, taken over by the global financial institutions. Credit, namely the supply of loanable funds, which constitutes the lifeline of production and investment, is controlled by a handful of financial conglomerates.
With the “bailout”, the public debt has spiraled. America is the most indebted country on earth. Prior to the “bailout”, the US public debt was of the order of 10 trillion dollars. This US dollar denominated debt is composed of outstanding treasury bills and government bonds held by individuals, foreign governments, corporations and financial institutions.
“The Bailout”: The US Administration is Financing its Own Indebtedness
Ironically, the Wall Street banks –which are the recipients of the bailout money– are also the brokers and underwriters of the US public debt. Although the banks hold only a portion of the public debt, they transact and trade in US dollar denominated public debt instruments Worldwide.
In a bitter twist, the banks are the recipients of a 700+ billion dollar handout and at the same time they act as creditors of the US government.
We are dealing with an absurd circular relationship: To finance the bailout, Washington must borrow from the banks, which are the recipients of the bailout.
The US administration is financing its own indebtedness.
Federal, State and municipal governments are increasingly in a straightjacket, under the tight control of the global financial conglomerates. Increasingly, the creditors call the shots on government reform.
The bailout is conducive to the consolidation and centralization of banking power, which in turn backlashes on real economic activity, leading to a string of bankruptcies and mass unemployment.
Will an Obama Administration Reverse the Tide?
The financial crisis is the outcome of a deregulated financial architecture.
Obama has stated unequivocally his resolve to address the policy failures of the Bush administration and “democratize” the US financial system. President-Elect Barack Obama says that he is committed to reversing the tide:
“Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers. In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people.” (President-elect Barack Obama, November 4, 2008, emphasis added)
The Democrats casually blame the Bush administration for the October financial meltdown.
Obama says that he will be introducing an entirely different policy agenda which responds to the interests of Main Street:
“Tomorrow, you can turn the page on policies that put the greed and irresponsibility of Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of men and women all across Main Street. Tomorrow you can choose policies that invest in our middle class and create new jobs and grow this economy so that everybody has a chance to succeed, from the CEO to the secretary and the janitor, from the factory owner to the men and women who work on the factory floor.( Barack Obama, election campaign, November 3, 2008, emphasis added)
Is Obama committed to “taming Wall Street” and “disarming financial markets”?
Ironically, it was under the Clinton administration that these policies of “greed and irresponsibility” were adopted.
The 1999 Financial Services Modernization Act (FSMA) was conducive to the the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933.
A pillar of President Roosevelt’s “New Deal”, the Glass-Steagall Act was put in place in response to the climate of corruption, financial manipulation and “insider trading” which resulted in more than 5,000 bank failures in the years following the 1929 Wall Street crash.
Under the 1999 Financial Services Modernization Act, effective control over the entire US financial services industry (including insurance companies, pension funds, securities companies, etc.) had been transferred to a handful of financial conglomerates and their associated hedge funds.
The Engineers of Financial Disaster
Who are the architects of this debacle?
In a bitter irony, the engineers of financial disaster are now being considered by President-Elect Barack Obama’s Transition Team for the position Treasury Secretary:
Lawrence Summers played a key role in lobbying Congress for the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act. His timely appointment by President Clinton in 1999 as Treasury Secretary spearheaded the adoption of the Financial Services Modernization Act in November 1999. Upon completing his mandate at the helm of the US Treasury, he became president of Harvard University (2001- 2006).
Paul Volker was chairman of the Federal Reserve Board in the l980s during the Reagan era. He played a central role in implementing the first stage of financial deregulation, which was conducive to mass bankruptcies, mergers and acquisitions, leading up to the 1987 financial crisis.
Timothy Geithner is CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which is the most powerful private financial institution in America. He was also a former Clinton administration Treasury official. He has worked for Kissinger Associates and has also held a senior position at the IMF. The FRBNY plays a behind the scenes role in shaping financial policy. Geithner acts on behalf of powerful financiers, who are behind the FRBNY. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)
Jon Corzine is currently governor of New Jersey, former CEO of Goldman Sachs.
At the time of writing, Obama’s favorite is Larry Summers, front-runner for the position of Treasury Secretary.
Harvard University Economics Professor Larry Summers served as Chief Economist for the World Bank (1991–1993). He contributed to shaping the macro-economic reforms imposed on numerous indebted developing countries. The social and economic impact of these reforms under the IMF-World Bank sponsored structural adjustment program (SAP) were devastating, resulting in mass poverty.
Larry Summer’s stint at the World Bank coincided with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the imposition of the IMF-World Bank’s deadly ” economic medicine” on Eastern Europe, the former Soviet republics and the Balkans.
In 1993, Summers moved to the US Treasury. He initially held the position of Undersecretary of the Treasury for international affairs and later Deputy Secretary. In liaison with his former colleagues at the IMF and the World Bank, he played a key role in crafting the economic “shock treatment” reform packages imposed at the height of the 1997 Asian crisis on South Korea, Thailand and Indonesia.
The bailout agreements negotiated with these three countries were coordinated through Summers office at the Treasury in liaison with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Washington based Bretton Woods institutions. Summers worked closely with IMF Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer, who was later appointed Governor of the Central Bank of Israel.
Larry Summers became Treasury Secretary in July 1999. He is a protégé of David Rockefeller. He was among the main architects of the infamous Financial Services Modernization Act, which provided legitimacy to inside trading and outright financial manipulation.
“Putting the Fox in Charge of the Chicken Coop”
Summers is currently a Consultant to Goldman Sachs [Oct 2008]and managing director of a Hedge fund, the D.E. Shaw Group, As a Hedge Fund manager, his contacts at the Treasury and on Wall Street provide him with valuable inside information on the movement of financial markets.
Putting a Hedge Fund manager (with links to the Wall Street financial establishment) in charge of the Treasury is tantamount to putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop.
The Washington Consensus
Summers, Geithner, Corzine, Volker, Fischer, Phil Gramm, Bernanke, Hank Paulson, Rubin, not to mention Alan Greenspan, al al. are buddies; they play golf together; they have links to the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bilderberg; they act concurrently in accordance with the interests of Wall Street; they meet behind closed doors; they are on the same wave length; they are Democrats and Republicans.
While they may disagree on some issues, they are firmly committed to the Washington-Wall Street Consensus. They are utterly ruthless in their management of economic and financial processes. Their actions are profit driven. Outside of their narrow interest in the “efficiency” of “markets”, they have little concern for “living human beings”. How are people’s lives affected by the deadly gamut of macro-economic and financial reforms, which is spearheading entire sectors of economic activity into bankruptcy.
The economic reasoning underlying neoliberal economic discourse is often cynical and contemptuous. In this regard, Lawrence Summers’ economic discourse stands out. He is known among environmentalists for having proposed the dumping of toxic waste in Third World countries, because people in poor countries have shorter lives and the costs of labor are abysmally low, which essentially means that the market value of people in the Third World is much lower. According to Summers, this makes it far more “cost effective” to export toxic materials to impoverished countries. A controversial 1991 World Bank memo signed by of Chief Economist Larry Summers reads as follows (excerpts, emphasis added):
DATE: December 12, 1991 TO: Distribution FR: Lawrence H. Summers Subject: GEP
“‘Dirty’ Industries: Just between you and me, shouldn’t the World Bank be encouraging MORE migration of the dirty industries to the Less Developed Countries? I can think of three reasons:
1) The measurements of the costs of health impairing pollution depends on the foregone earnings from increased morbidity and mortality…. From this point of view a given amount of health impairing pollution should be done in the country with the lowest cost, which will be the country with the lowest wages. I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.
2) The costs of pollution are likely to be non-linear as the initial increments of pollution probably have very low cost. I’ve always though that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly UNDER-polluted, their air quality is probably vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City. Only the lamentable facts that so much pollution is generated by non-tradable industries (transport, electrical generation) and that the unit transport costs of solid waste are so high prevent world welfare enhancing trade in air pollution and waste.
3) The demand for a clean environment for aesthetic and health reasons is likely to have very high income elasticity. [the demand increases when income levels increase]. The concern over an agent that causes a one in a million change in the odds of prostrate cancer is obviously going to be much higher in a country where people survive to get prostrate cancer than in a country where under 5 mortality is is 200 per thousand…. ”
Summers stance on the export of pollution to developing countries had a marked impact on US environmental policy:
In 1994, “virtually every country in the world broke with Mr. Summers’ Harvard-trained “economic logic” ruminations about dumping rich countries’ poisons on their poorer neighbors, and agreed to ban the export of hazardous wastes from OECD to non-OECD [developing] countries under the Basel Convention. Five years later, the United States is one of the few countries that has yet to ratify the Basel Convention or the Basel Convention’s Ban Amendment on the export of hazardous wastes from OECD to non-OECD countries. (Jim Valette, Larry Summers’ War Against the Earth, Counterpunch, undated)
The 1997 Asian Crisis: Dress Rehearsal for Things to Come
In the course of 1997, currency speculation instrumented by major financial institutions directed against Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea was conducive to the collapse of national currencies and the transfer of billions of dollars of central bank reserves into private financial hands. Several observers pointed to the deliberate manipulation of equity and currency markets by investment banks and brokerage firms.
While the Asian bailout agreements were formally negotiated with the IMF, the major Wall Street commercial banks (including Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and J. P. Morgan) as well as the “big five” merchant banks (Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley and Salomon Smith Barney) were “consulted” on the clauses to be included in the Asian bail-out agreements. [Note: These are 1997 denominations of major financial institutions]
The US Treasury in liaison with Wall Street and the Bretton Woods institutions played a central role in negotiating the bailout agreements. Both Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner, were actively involved on behalf of the US Treasury in the 1997 bailout of South Korea:
[In 1997] “Messrs. Summers and Geithner worked to persuade Mr. Rubin to support financial aid to South Korea. Mr. Rubin was wary of such a move, worrying that providing money to a country in dire straits might be a losing proposition…” (WSJ, November 8, 2008)
What happened in Korea under advice from Deputy Treasury Secretary Summers et al, had nothing to do with “financial aid”.
The country was literally ransacked. Undersecretary of the Treasury David Lipton was sent to Seoul in early December 1997. Secret negotiations were initiated. Washington had demanded the firing of the Korean Finance Minister and the unconditional acceptance of the IMF “bailout”.
A new finance minister, who happened to be former IMF and World Bank official, was appointed and immediately rushed off to Washington for “consultations” with his former IMF colleague Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer.
“The Korean Legislature had met in emergency sessions on December 23. The final decision concerning the 57 billion dollar deal took place the following day, on Christmas Eve December 24th, after office hours in New York. Wall Street’s top financiers, from Chase Manhattan, Bank America, Citicorp and JP Morgan had been called in for a meeting at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Also at the Christmas Eve venue, were representatives of the big five New York merchant banks including Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley and Salomon Smith Barney. And at midnight on Christmas Eve, upon receiving the green light from the banks, the IMF was allowed to rush 10 billion dollars to Seoul to meet the avalanche of maturing short-term debts.
The coffers of Korea’s central Bank had been ransacked. Creditors and speculators were anxiously awaiting to collect the loot. The same institutions which had earlier speculated against the Korean won were cashing in on the IMF bailout money. It was a scam. (See Michel Chossudovsky, The Recolonization of Korea, subsequently published as a chapter in The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order, Global Research, Montreal, 2003.)
“Strong economic medicine” is the prescription of the Washington Consensus. “Short term pain for long term gain” was the motto at the World Bank during Lawrence Summers term of as World Bank Chief Economist. (See IMF, World Bank Reforms Leave Poor Behind, Bank Economist Finds, Bloomberg, November 7, 2000)
What we dealing with is an entire ” old boys network” of officials and advisers at the Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the IMF, World Bank, the Washington Think Tanks, who are in permanent liaison with leading financiers on Wall Street.
Whoever is chosen by Obama’s Transition team will belong to the Washington Consensus.
The 1999 Financial Services Modernization Act
What happened in October 1999 is crucial.
In the wake of lengthy negotiations behind closed doors, in the Wall Street boardrooms, in which Larry Summers played a central role, the regulatory restraints on Wall Street’s powerful banking conglomerates were revoked “with a stroke of the pen”.
Larry Summers worked closely with Senator Phil Gramm (1985-2002), chairman of the Senate Banking committee, who was the legislative architect of the the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act, signed into law on November 12, 1999 (See Group Photo above). (For Complete text click US Congress: Pub.L. 106-102). As Texas Senator, Phil Gramm was closely associated with Enron.
In December 2000 at the very end of the Clinton mandate, Gramm introduced a second piece of legislation, the so-called Gramm-Lugar Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which paved the way for the speculative onslaught in primary commodities including oil and food staples.
“The act, he declared, would ensure that neither the sec nor the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (cftc) got into the business of regulating newfangled financial products called swaps—and would thus “protect financial institutions from overregulation” and “position our financial services industries to be world leaders into the new century.” (See David Corn, Foreclosure Phil, Mother Jones, July August 2008)
Phil Gramm was McCain’s first choice for Secretary of the Treasury.
Under the FSMA new rules – ratified by the US Senate in October 1999 and approved by President Clinton – commercial banks, brokerage firms, hedge funds, institutional investors, pension funds and insurance companies could freely invest in each others businesses as well as fully integrate their financial operations.
A “global financial supermarket” had been created, setting the stage for a massive concentration of financial power. One of the key figures behind this project was Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers, in liaison with David Rockefeller. Summers described the FSMA as “the legislative foundation of the financial system of the 21th century”. That legislative foundation is among the main causes of the 2008 financial meltdown.
There can be no meaningful solution to the crisis, unless there is a major reform in the financial architecture, implying inter alia the freezing of speculative trade and the “disarming of financial markets”. The project of disarming financial markets was first proposed by John Maynard Keynes in the 1940s as a means to the establishment of a multipolar international monetary system. (See J.M. Keynes, Activities 1940-1944, Shaping the Post-War World: The Clearing Union, The Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes, Royal Economic Society, Macmillan and Cambridge University Press, Vol. XXV, London 1980, p. 57).
Main Street versus Wall Street
Where are Obama’s “Main Street appointees”? Namely individuals who respond to the interests of people across America. There are no labor or community leaders on Obama’s list for key positions.
The President-elect is appointing the architects of financial deregulation.
Meaningful financial reform cannot be adopted by officials appointed by Wall Street and who act on behalf of Wall Street.
Those who set the financial system ablaze in 1999, have been called back to turn out the fire.
The proposed “solution” to the crisis under the “bailout” is the cause of further economic collapse.
There are no policy solutions on the horizon.
The banking conglomerates call the shots. They decide on the composition of the Obama Cabinet. They also decide on the agenda of the Washington Financial Summit (November 15, 2008) which is slated to lay the groundwork for the establishment of a new “global financial architecture”.
The Wall Street blueprint has already been discussed behind closed doors: the hidden agenda is to establish a unipolar international monetary system, dominated by US financial power, which in turn would be protected and secured by US military superiority.
Neoliberalism with a “Human Face”
Goldman Sachs, J. P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bill Gates’ Microsoft are among his main campaign contributors to Barack Obama.
Warren Buffett, among the the world’s richest individuals, not only supported Barak Obama’s election campaign, he is a member of his transition team, which plays a key role deciding the composition of Obama’s cabinet. Berkshire, Beffett’s company based in Omaha, Neb., owned stock valued at more than $13 billion in the top recipients of TARP funds, including Goldman Sachs Group, US Bancorp, American Express and Bank of America, which analysts all thought were in deep trouble before TARP was approved in October.
Obama provided a ” human face” to the status quo. This human face served to mislead Americans on the nature of the economic and political process.
The neoliberal economic reforms remained intact until President Trump.
The substance of these reforms including the “bailout” of America’s largest financial institutions ultimately destroys the real economy, while spearheading entire areas of manufacturing and the services economy into bankruptcy.
Banker Admits “We Engineered the Global Financial Crisis” at the 2:10 mark:
A year and a half after the 2008 financial collapse, David DeGraw described the situation in the US: “There are now well over 150 million Americans who feel stress over these things on a consistent basis. Over 60 percent of Americans now live paycheck to paycheck.” (The Economic Elite vs. People of the USA,
The “experts” tried to explain the escalating collapse at the time under the erroneous impression that the Fed “missed” the warning signs leading up to the October 2008 meltdown.
The pundits focused their angst on the 44th POTUS, who might very well go down as the single most inept president in all of American history. (How to Squander the Presidency in One Year, David Michael Green) Barack Obama is not inept, greedy or stupid and he isn’t one of “us”. He rose from obscurity to power with his top economics adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the co-founder of David Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission and he traveled in the same circles as other members of the super-secret Skull & Bones Society at Yale University, who pretend to be running for president every four years.
The decision to have Obama preside over the greatest financial calamity since the Great Depression was made five years prior; the November 2008 election was a formality. (Why Joseph Biden will be the Next Vice President of the United States)
To believe otherwise, is to ignore the Bradley/Palin effect and the decision by John McCain to wait until his concession speech to shed the image of a nasty “grumpy old man.”
In September 2008, when the Obama campaign seemed to be slumping and their candidate’s long-standing lead in the polls had evaporated, the senator’s supporters openly worried that a potential victory might be slipping away. Then, providence joined the campaign: The failure of the giant investment bank Lehman Brothers followed by a global financial meltdown in the month of October.
“Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” John F. Kennedy
And, “speaking of change”, the escalation of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq and his policies on Guantanamo, state secrets, renditions, executive power, bailouts and the stimulus packages are for the most part identical to those of George W. Bush., but there were differences…
Brian Deese, special assistant to president Obama for economic policy, in his first government position, shuffled back and forth from the West Wing to the Treasury Department (Federal Reserve) rewriting the rules of American “capitalism” as he dismantled the US Housing, Automobile Industry and the American Dream. (The 31-Year-Old in Charge of Dismantling G.M., David E. Sanger)
Deese’s First Rule: Withdraw Credit and Liquidity:
Causing spending to fall even further, forcing companies to cut back on inventory and staff – Creating even more unemployment…263,000 jobs eliminated bringing the total to 39 million Americans who are no longer working or looking for work. (The September Employment Rate is 90%)
And that’s before the recently announced “planned three-year budget freeze on government discretionary spending.”
Capitalism never made sense
- “The Fed didn’t miss anything; the October meltdown was an inside job”
Professor Ebeling, the Ludwig von Mises professor of Economics at Hillsdale College, understood something was wrong when he wrote, “The perverse development and evolution of historical capitalism, the institutions necessary for a truly free-market economy have been either undermined or prevented from emerging.”
But when he claimed, “It is the principles and the meaning of a free-market economy that must be rediscovered” in order to overcome the burden of historical capitalism and save liberty, he should have written that principles must be rediscovered in order to prevent the planet from attempted murder (ecocide).
American “capitalism” and our consumer economy never made economic, environmental or common sense—unless the goal was ecocide.
Capitalism and a not-so-free market economy based on consumer products, that is, products we are manipulated to want, not need, was never sustainable. Consumers consume…the resources of the planet.
Who is Responsible?
The “experts” are under the impression this is the natural order of things.
Allegedly, this is another “example” of the private credit monopoly of rich and predatory moneylenders that “prey upon the people of the United States” for the benefit of themselves. 
- “For the benefit of the middle class is a more accurate statement.”
The people responsible for the October collapse, our Federal Reserve, also get credit for the windfalls of “Monopoly Money”, created out of thin air, which financed our consumer society.
Those predatory moneylenders gave the middle class the highest standard of living in the world.
Recall when the American economy appeared headed into a recession at the end of the dot-com bubble, the Federal Reserve began slashing short- term interest rates until they reached a historically low one percent. The move re-inflated the economy by allowing homeowners to extract $750 billion in equity from their homes—up from $106 billion in 1996—and apply the dollars toward a multitude of consumer items and other credit card debt.
As interest rates plummeted and alleged home equity artificially soared, buyers were able to afford first and second homes, and they did it by taking out risky mortgages with “teaser rates” similar to those offered by the credit card industry. Even as interest rates adjusted upward, the sponsoring banks used complicated financial derivatives to resell the risky mortgages as “asset-backed paper.”
As housing prices edged downward and mortgage rates inched upward, the recession was put on hold with the help of an astonishing 10 to 12 credit card offers per month being delivered to some consumer mailboxes. The credit card companies issued 1.5 billion cards to 158 million cardholders and promised an improbable zero percent interest—some deals for up to 18 months. (Similar to mortgage debt, the credit card debt is put into pools also known as derivatives that are then resold to investment houses, other banks and institutional investors.)
Thank those rich and predatory moneylenders for the short-term interest rates and the liquidity that allowed the debt to be pooled, sold and resold.
But blame them because our hyper-shopping has wreaked havoc on the planet.
Who is Behind the Federal Reserve?
Rockefeller, Kuhn, Loeb and Morgan—all connected to The Global Financial Elite (TGFE), direct the Federal Reserve to create money out of thin air.
The process that the Federal Reserve, or any bank, uses to create money “consists of making an entry in a book, that is all,” said Graham Towers, governor of the Bank of Canada. “Each and every time a bank makes a loan (a debt) . . . new bank credit is created—brand new money.”
Money used to pay for the Industrial Revolution, orchestrate the Great Depression, the stagflation of the 1970’s, the dot-com and the housing market bubbles, resulted in 60 years of unprecedented prosperity for the middle class.
So how do they get rich exchanging real wealth for about $500 trillion of the Monopoly money they printed?
They don’t, they are the losers, not the middle class!
Remember those trees we chopped down so just about anyone in America could afford their dream house, or those mountains we blew up so we could have that fat station wagon in our driveway? All of those resources “now used up”, were once owned or controlled by the robber barons of our history books.
Their real wealth, not yours or mine has been “cut, mined and hauled away so Americans could trash the planet with houses, second houses, cars, RVs, TVs and DVDs— the cheap stuff we associate with the good life that put the planet on the downward spiral to ecocide. (Dem Bones is Connected To De Debt Bone)
The middle class should be thanking those scoundrels for all that “stuff”—but blame them for conning us into trashing the planet.
The Story of Stuff
The Story of Stuff, an animated video about the underside of our consumer society, believes the scoundrels are a bloated corporation sporting a top hat with a dollar sign etched on its front.
Film narrator, Annie Leonard argues our environmental damage is the result of the greedy corporations externalizing costs (shift them onto the public and the environment) so they can make more money.
But that premise is contradicted on film when Annie stands in line to buy a radio for $4.99 and correctly realizes the price couldn’t possibly capture the cost of the radio but incorrectly concludes that the greedy corporations pollute the environment so they can make more profit. 
If profits were the motive, then why wasn’t the radio $5.99? A price anyone would consider a “throw away” or loss leader.
We have come to believe that everything wrong in America is about someone getting rich while we are getting swindled.
That our economy runs on profits is a true statement, but imagine how much those moneygrubbers would have made if the radio was $5.99.
That $1.00 would be 100% pure profit.
The swindlers and scoundrels downward-manipulate the costs of what was in 1910 their real wealth:
- Raw materials, commodities, copper, iron ore, petroleum, lead, silver and gold, to industry at prices lower,
not higher as you would expect, so the corporations can still make a profit selling you a radio for $4.99.
Downward manipulation is an uneconomic aberration discovered in the precious metals market by the noted silver analyst Ted Butler.
We are conditioned to believe that prices are always inflated so the greedy corporations can make more money but Ted Butler’s research confirmed the price of silver has been manipulated to stay at the $4-5 price range for years. The beneficiaries of this type of manipulation are the consumers since industrial users can sell their products cheaply and still make a profit. (The Myth of the “Free” Enterprise Economic System)
Behind every consumer society is the reality of a credit-based monetary system and a fiat currency. Behind every fiat currency is a Federal Reserve or a Central Bank controlled by The Global Financial Elite including, Rockefeller, Kuhn, Loeb and J.P. Morgan, Ted Butler’s prime suspect in the “ongoing intentional not accidental” great crime of keeping the price of silver low so consumers can buy a lot more ‘radio’ (silver) for their dollar.” (The Real Story, Theodore Butler, Silver But No Silver Lining)
Annie should be asking herself why those scoundrels intentionally sold their raw materials cheaply so just about everyone could afford the American Dream, a nightmare for the Planet.
Ecocide Results in Cognitive Dissonance
The premise that anyone would intentionally damage the planet, which future generations will inherit, results in Cognitive Dissonance (CD). CD is the discomfort felt at the discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and new information or interpretation that contradicts a strongly held belief system.
But what if the attempted murder of the environment was the goal from the beginning and not the unintended consequence?
Then we were “conned” into shopping for stuff to intentionally because The Global Financial Elite are in a metaphysical war with mother-earth (Gaea) and hope to attain immortality in the New World Order. 
Now the world around you will finally make sense.
Hot, flat, and crowded Thomas L. Friedman will finally know what planet George W. Bush is on.
Bush lost the war on terrorism and the war in Iraq, but is winning the war waged on the environment.
Dubya was deadly serious about Ecocide when, after rejecting the global climate change targets of the July 2008 G8 summit, he said, “Goodbye, from the (then) world’s biggest polluter.” China is now the world’s biggest polluter, Meat, Milk and Motors: The New China Syndrome
Ecocide Eliminates the Stupid Explanations
We see the collapse of GM and Chrysler as the result of failed public policy, government action, inaction and conclude the leadership is inept, arrogant or just “stupid” because only Ecocide could explain an industry that failed to keep up with the competition and adjust to new market demands.
Did Detroit forget the Volkswagen Beetle was the most successful car in history?
An incredible 21,529,464 Beetles were produced with the same body style and the same taillight (World’s 5 Most Successful Cars).
The policies and decisions for the last 31 years aren’t inept or stupid if the goal was pollution.
The Beetle as a mobile pollution device was a failure. Its effects on the environment were minimal compared to the Detroit lineup of egocentric gas-guzzlers, all designed with a different taillight and eco-unfriendly accessories.
The “Evil” Federal Reserve made sure that shiny new automobile with the V8 engine, chrome wheels and bumpers was so cheap just about everyone in America could afford the mobile pollution device of their dreams.
Ecocide Explains Why Alaska is in the Picture
Most analysts point to the oil shock of the mid-1970s, set off by the Arab oil embargo of 1973 as the turning point for the US economy and automobile industry.
Why didn’t our then-President Richard Nixon and the rest of the U.S. government promote mass transit, renewable energy, and high-mileage vehicles?
Because the objective that makes the most sense was to disturb 800 miles of the most pristine country in Alaska with the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.
In 2008 we had a similar shock when $4.50 a gallon gasoline convinced Americans they should give up their last Arctic wilderness (U.S. Economy in Free Fall, Why is the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve in this picture?).
Ecocide Explains why Electricity is so Cheap
Electricity radically transformed and expanded our energy use. To a large extent, electricity defines modern technological civilization and made the Industrial Revolution and therefore our consumer society possible.
Electric power arrived barely a hundred years ago, but high costs and the Great Depression dried up most investment capital and delayed electric service to rural Americans until President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) in 1935.
The REA loaned money created by the Federal Reserve at low interest rates and helped to set up electricity cooperatives.
Historically, energy is priced below its actual environmental and social cost in order to create excessive demand and discourage conservation. In other words such pricing diminishes the value of energy to users and causes them to use it irresponsibly and increase the amount of pollution coal-fired plants generate.
Why is electricity priced so cheap that “only the rich can afford to burn candles”?
Because cleaner alternatives like wind, solar or even natural gas don’t require mining companies to use dynamite to blast away 800 to 1,000 feet of 500 mountaintops and bury over 1200 miles of rivers and streams. 
Ecocide explains why 54% of electricity comes from the most abundant raw energy, coal and is the dirtiest source of power for much of the world. Coal-fired plants harm wildlife, generate smog, soot, acid rain, global warming, toxic air emissions and require billions of gallons of our most precious resource—water.
He Ruined the Country
The private credit monopoly of rich and predatory moneylenders do not “prey upon the middle class” to get rich.
You don’t become wealthier by exchanging gold, silver and raw materials for about $500 trillion of the Monopoly money you print.
Moneylenders created the middle class and then conned us into trashing the planet because Ecocide was the goal not the unintended consequence.
American “capitalism” and our consumer economy make perfect sense if the goal was the attempted murder of the planet.
Maybe ecocide is what Woodrow Wilson meant when he confessed that he “ruined the country.”
 Congressman Louis T. McFadden, Chairman of the House Banking & Currency Committee, speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, June 10, 1932.
 “Corporations Rule the World”, David Korten (1995): “If some portion of the cost of producing a product are borne by third parties who in no way participate in or benefit from the transaction, then economists say the costs have been externalized and the price of the product is distorted accordingly.
 Ecuador Approves New Constitution: Voters Approve Rights of Nature, Mari Margil, Associate Director The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. An Ominous Drilling Sign for the Truth
 On March 25, Democrats introduced legislation that would prohibit the dumping of mining waste into streams. More than one million acres of Appalachia have already been affected by this practice, Senator Alexander says, “An estimated 1,200 miles of headwater streams have been buried under tons of mining wastes. More than 500 mountains have been impacted, and homes have been ruined and drinking water supplies contaminated” (Enviros Win Injunction Against Mountaintop Removal Mining).