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I'm an electrical engineer and mathematician by training. My career has spanned diverse areas of expertise from being part of a team which designed the world's most powerful computers to corporate consulting around business transformation and information-based solutions to being a corporate sales and marketing executive in the information technology and business consulting space. I’ve led teams responsible for innovative and transformative solutions and been part of teams that helped set strategy for many of America's greatest companies. Two of my interests are econometrics, democratic finance and quantitative - qualitative analysis. Over the years I have developed risk-based models and trading systems meant to identify significant investment opportunities and periods of extreme risk. My blog is an outlet for another of my passions, writing. I generally consider myself a contrarian. Therefore, many of my rantings are meant to encourage people to question what they believe to be true. Terms of Use & Disclaimer: First off, I don't take anything on here too seriously and you shouldn't either. These are simply sardonic rantings of Bill, my alter ego, often meant to agitate for peaceful & nonviolent reform. This web site reflects the views of its authors. It is unaffiliated with any NASD broker/dealer. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of anyone other than its authors. The information on this site is provided for discussion purposes, comedic relief and entertainment only and are not investing recommendations. The authors may have positions in securities mentioned herein. Under no circumstances does this information represent a recommendation to buy or sell securities. While information discussed on this site was gathered from what are believed to be reliable sources, in no way is informational accuracy guaranteed. All information on this site may contain errors and omissions. Trading and investing involves high levels of risk. Always consult a licensed financial advisor or broker before making any and all investment decisions. Authors of this site and any sites which are fed by said site, including Open Salon and others, will assume no responsibility for the actions of the reader and user. Readers and users agree, as condition to accessing this site, to release and hold harmless this site's authors from all liability in connection with this site or any views posted on this site. All readers and users of this site agree that use of this site requires acceptance to the current Terms Of Use & Disclaimer and that current terms include any and all use and material from site inception. If you do not understand these statements in their entirety or do not agree to be bound by this current agreement, you must immediately discontinue use of this site. This Terms Of Use & Disclaimer may change at any time and it is the reader's and user's responsibility to review, understand and abide by any updates.

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JANUARY 22, 2013 11:25PM

PBS Frontline - The Wall Street Untouchables

Rate: 6 Flag

I just watched this new one hour documentary that ended fifteen minutes ago.  It is now available to watch online.  This brings back some old memories for me.  I wrote on my blog exactly what was going to happen to our banking system almost a year before the 2008 collapse in a few posts surrounding what I referred to as “The Game”.   Well before the 2008 collapse I contacted every leadership member of the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee.  ie, Both political parties.   I also contacted the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.  My message was clear.  Our financial system is coming down.   Well, it was much more detailed than that.  But, I literally received no response from anyone other than the Board of Governors.  Their response?  Contact Congress.  Literally.  Unf*ckingbelievable.

In this Frontline documentary, the same contacts were made with the major Wall Street banks.  Board members were contacted by often frantic efforts of concerned employees in an effort to avert crisis.   The boards apparently did nothing.   

What is clearly noted in this documentary is either how systemically-incompetent the U.S. Justice Department is or how beholden they are to their corporate masters.  I have a very hard time believing the answer is the former.   There is ample evidence presented in the documentary that no wiretappings, no seizure of company documents and no investigation was ever done into fraud in the executive offices on Wall Street.  Literally, not a single investigation.  Now we don’t know that for a fact but there is evidence presented in this documentary to that effect.   In the Reagan-inspired S&L crisis, a thousand FBI agents and untold numbers of Justice Department members were involved.  In this, the worst financial/economic crisis in our nation’s history?  We know of no formal investigation after four years. 

In fact, the evidence is so drippingly obvious that this documentary presents a blogger who did his own investigation and uncovered over 35 informants of senior executive fraud on Wall Street.   A blogger.  The largest, deepest legal authority in the world with unlimited resources to investigate and prosecute couldn’t match wits with a blogger interviewing informants at a local Connecticut bar.   In fact, as noted in this documentary, the Justice Department has relied on the findings of outside lawsuits filed against Wall Street in its efforts to enforce civil penalties on Wall Street.   That shows they still haven’t done any serious diligence after four years.  Still nary a single criminal lawsuit filed against a single Wall Street executive as it pertains to this crisis. 

From the comments by two congressmen and a handful of legal experts cited in this documentary, it becomes apparent our corporate masters own our government.  But, then, after witnessing the actions of our politicians, who on main street seriously questions that reality? 

 Change you can believe in.

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Yup, and we'll all be "shocked" when it happens the next go around. Republicans make no bones about wanting greed. So-called leftists are turning a blind eye to prop up their man in office (and his greedy policies). It's either pretend to be shocked or admit complicity.

No one left but a few "shrill liberals" to point out the truth. And as you can see even here, it is they who will be blamed for the downfall!
No one left but a few "shrill liberals" to point out the truth.

Right!! The kind who suppose a blogger interviewing people in a bar has uncovered “the real stuff; the ‘truth.’”

This is like using >I>The National Enquirer or FOX News as a source!

Too bad Jim Garrison is not alive. You might get him to work “investigating” this stuff.
Compare the absolute lack of DoJ action against Wall Stree big wigs to the DoJ's ongoing vendetta against people who have been providing medical marijuana in accordance with state laws.

The difference? The size of the campaign contributions to Obama. Most of the MM providers contributed to the Green Party.

It just another example of Obama kissing the asses of people who pay him to, while rabidly attacking those that don't.
when criminality is intrinsic to the system, it's not a matter of prosecuting individuals, for any attack on one leads to civil war. this is why calley walked: prosecuting him would have lead to charges against presidents, if civil war did not intervene.
Seer is right, greed is not illegal. However, that does not make the consequences of it any less destructive (just as legalizing murder wouldn't make its victims any less dead). There's only all of human history to make that point. The point here is: do we want to survive or not? If we choose life then greed has got to go.
[r] thanks, TL. I watched the show with my jaw on the floor.

Who was the assistant to Lanny Breuer, is it, who kept saying, "Well, personally and as a citizen I see they need to go to jail, but PROFESSIONALLY we could not bring it about." Say what?

And that big reveal when Breuer revealed that his priority was not triggering a bank crisis -- deciding he must avoid prosecution for the health of the banking system. Wow. His job was supposed to be as a prosecutor of dirty -- CRIMINAL -- bankers and representing the law! We couldn't find evidence of "intent". HOLY SHIT????? Evidence of intent. Look at the g-d profitmaking and the horrors the duped citizens are contending with!!!! NO INTENT??????

Meanwhile statutes of limitations for prosecution protect more and more because of the bullshit cowardly or more not cowardly but complicitly and colludingly stalling of the Obama administration and justice department. Of course started with Clinton, the horrifying deregulation, on with Bush, and on further with Obama.

I thought they could have gotten even more outraged on that show. I am grateful for it, but then I watch non-stop testimonials on Obama and his second term and it is what Maddow calls an "ethical freakshow"!!!!

The Levin report that had hundreds of pages of evidence against Goldman Sachs in particular and took so long was tossed out by Obama and Holder as "not enough". FINALLY ONE COMMITTEE IN CONGRESS GETS IT RIGHT, BUT THE WH AND DOJ PROTECT RAT BASTARDS OF GOLDMAN SACHS!!! The bullshit small civil fines are supposed to be enough since the bankster mafia is TOO BIG TO GO TO JAIL. And the fines don't discourage the fraud. they make the fraud totally worth it, percentage wise. Commit huge fraud, make obscene profits, pay the tiny slap on the wrist fine. Game on and on and on.

And Breuer mentions that one case a while back they prosecuted for insider trading as if that justifies the total incompetence and corruption of his behavior? Duh. Which did not have to do with the relevant and horrifying financial meltdown in general.

"We are working on it. It is multi-pronged." Anyone with a spine in the regulatory agencies will be professionally terminated, apparently. Cronyism. Corporate cronyism. It is a monster. They ought to put Matt Taibbi in charge! They have been called out but the system is so gamed they are teflon. Meanwhile young kids are rotting in jail, immigrants (Obama speaks of immigrants having rights in his speech after incarcerating or deporting so many--his hypocrisy is infinite) also, whistleblowers are beginning to go to jail in larger numbers. The hypocrisy AND EVIL INJUSTICE is stunning and monumental!!!!

It is astonishing. Brooksley Born called out the fraud over a decade ago. Greenspan patted her hand and told her the free market was self-correcting and not to fret about credit default swaps and fraud. Then the big boys under Clinton, some still around with Obama, discredited her and disempowered her by rallying crony Congress to take away her committee's power and force her to resign/retire. Credit default swaps still going on. Not even transaction taxes on them. God forbid!

Administration and Congress was corrupt in Clinton's time. Still corrupt. Calling out corruption doesn't bother them. It is a machine. It just keeps on destroying the 99% and obscenely profiting the 1%. And there is no end in sight, as so many incredible rubes celebrate the great Obama. WTF?????

The financial crisis is like the Iraq war. They admit it was a mistake and it just keeps on rolling along in all its horror worsening and destroying more and more lives. WTF????

And then the pols and corporatists scream austerity and continue economically raping the average citizens, jobs gone, social programs up for attack and devourment.

Thanks, TL. I watched last night and thought I hope this ripples with people and gets attention. I felt it could even have been longer and stronger!!!! Is all we have left a Frontline interviewer slapping the side of his face and giving a Jack Benny look to the audience after interviewing the cronied zombies enabling corruption???? This is as good as it gets????

What was it Michael Moore said. If you are not OUTRAGED, you are NOT paying attention. I hope more and more people will be outraged and the apologists and cheerleaders for a corrupt administration will finally get it. But that is too much to hope for I guess.

Thanks, TL, for doing this homework for us all!

best, libby
I love you. :) They certainly did soft pedal this documentary. But, anyone who is able to see beyond the stated facts and connect the dots recognizes the story teller is giving the viewer enough to draw their own conclusions while appearing objective. Just as you and I did. :) The title of the documentary tells us the truth. Untouchables. Senator Kaufman was the real deal. And, it doesn't surprise me that he left after his interim term and never took a nickel.

Can you imagine if Eliot Spitzer were our AG? He's human and made a mistake. But, I would hire him as AG in a minute.
TL -- Love ya back!!!!

Hey, Glenn Greenwald has a good, a**-kicking blog about this, too.


In the last paragraph he brings up the profound lack of outrage among so many (especially I am thinking our "personality-cult" Team-Dems):

"The real mystery from all of this is that it has not led to greater social unrest. To some extent, both the early version of the Tea Party and the Occupy movements were spurred by the government's protection of Wall Street at the expense of everyone else. Still, Americans continue to be plagued by massive unemployment, foreclosures, the threat of austerity and economic insecurity while those who caused those problems have more power and profit than ever. And they watch millions of their fellow citizens be put in cages for relatively minor offenses while the most powerful are free to commit far more serious crimes with complete impunity. Far less injustice than this has spurred serious unrest in other societies."

WTF??? (the last my comment, not GG's)

Keep on writing!!!!

best, libby
Thanks Libby. I just posted it.