Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Inside Job: The Film that Cost Over $20 Trillion to make!

I just finished watching it - if you haven't seen Inside Job yet, you should. Great soundtrack, not like any other documentary you've seen before. Great cinematography too, produced as good as any full-feature movie presentation as you'd see in a theater (I watched it on DVD.)

If you think you're angry at the government and hate the banks now, see Inside Job: How our government (politicians, federal regulators and credit rating agencies) were complicit with the banks in destroying millions of lives.

The film starts out in Iceland in 2000 when Alcoa was allowed to use its geo-thermal energy to run smelting plants - and when Iceland's three major banks were first privatized and de-regulated, and began borrowing billions of dollars, then using the money for personal use.

But the film goes back further to explain how investment banks like Goldman Sachs first went public, and because of de-regulation under Ronald Reagan and Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, the federal regulators went to work for the banks.

It explains how our own financial collapse was escalated with derivatives (bundled mortgage loans from banks sold as investments), and how they became ticking time bombs, and essentially were weapons of mass destruction in an unregulated financial market.

This was deliberately exasperated with sub-prime mortgages, knowingly made to people who couldn't afford to pay them back. The CDS (credit default swaps sold by AIG) brought the whole house of cards down. $500 billion alone were sold out of AIG's London office by Joe Cassano and "backed" by these risky mortgages. When investors later complained he quipped, "They should have bought gold."

Credit rating agencies such as Moody's made billions of dollars to give Triple-A ratings to these bogus investments for the investment banks...hundreds of billions of dollars a year were lost.

Inside Job: "So what you're saying is, you helped to blow the world up."
Financial regulator: "You could say that."

This led to all the booms and busts...savings & loan, dot com, and the housing and credit bubbles.

Inside Job provided great interviews with such notable people as Eliot Spitzer and Barney Frank, as well as some of the banking criminals and the hookers they visited. (It was good to see some of them actually get angry while they squirmed in their seat.) The former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. was in the film too and now says, "The deficit is the biggest and most fundamental economic challenge the U.S. government is currently facing, and older generations of Americans aren’t making enough sacrifices to address it." (Asshole! Blaming the elderly in this country for the crimes he was an accomplice to!)

Before Paulson was the "head fed" at the Federal Reserve, he previously served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs. He was also very chummy with the execs at AIG. Isn't that just a little too close for comfort, and didn't that have the "appearance of impropriety"? Or was this in-your-face grand theft larceny on an unimaginable and massive scale? 

Inside Job shows us just how excessive, greedy, corrupt, and evil all these people really are!

And after these investment banks screwed the labor union pension plans with millions of dollars in losses, the GOP (with the help of the Koch brothers) now wants to eliminate labor unions altogether.

A Congressional hearing with the Senate Government Affairs Sub Committee on the 2008 financial crisis and Goldman Sachs had them on the ropes, but Goldman Sachs got off with just a slap on their greasy wrist, paid a small fine, and went on to pay their executives record bonuses...over $14 billion in rewards for their destruction of the masses. Their bosses told them to "keep a low profile" and not to spend too extravagantly because the people in America were pissed off at them.

The feds, the banks, the rating agencies, and the federal regulators all broke the law and profited on the losses of billions, if not trillions, of investors' dollars...but not ONE person was ever tried or went to jail. And why not? Eric Holder, Attorney General of the United States, works for Obama (who is the President of the United States of America). So who does Obama work for then? Hmmmmmmmmm?

The impending crisis was well-known within the financial industry, but the general public didn't know how bad it was until the CDOs collapsed and many companies like Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, and Enron failed - and AIG went to the feds with their hand out looking for billions of dollars in corporate welfare from the hard-working middle-class American taxpayers. The financial collapse became global; mass layoffs ensued.

The innocent taxpayers then were forced to paid HUGE amounts of cash to bailout the banks and automakers ($160 billion to Goldman Sachs alone). Millions of average Americans lost their jobs. And the rest is history
Now the Republicans are asking for less financial regulation for the very same people who outsourced jobs, foreclosed on homes, and killed the American Dream. And the GOP and Tea Party are also demanding that they pay less in taxes too! (Aren't you outraged?)

Barney Frank says that the word "government" is just a name we use to describe something we all want to do together. But the uber-rich have already seceded from the Union. They have their private schools and gated communities, and many have their own islands. And they don't want to pay any taxes to run a government that everybody else needs and uses.

And while the rich pay less in taxes and corporations are earning record profits, those who lost their jobs are now getting their safety nets cut by the GOP: unemployment benefits, Medicaid, and food stamps. The Republicans (beginning with Ronald Reagan) made agreements with the banks and corporations to put millions into poverty, and now wants to deny them the very bare essentials for basic survival. That sounds horrifyingly like genocide.

After all the carnage and destruction the bankers left behind, they all walked away with their multi-million dollar fortunes intact. Nobody went to jail - except for Bernie Madoof who was only made an example of to show the public that their government "was on the job" (when actually, the overseers at the SEC were on their computers watching porn).

Yet the GOP's excuse was always (and still is), "If we regulate and tax them, they won't create jobs!"
And still today in April 2011, the Republicans and Tea Party sheeple have all been reciting the same old tired line: "It's not a revenue problem we're having, it's a spending problem."

Yet yesterday in The Huffington Post we read: IRS Funding is Cut just Days before Report Shows $330 Billion In Uncollected Taxes!

Because the financial industry spends literally billions of dollars in lobbying and campaign contributions, fighting ANY kind of financial reform is nearly impossible. Today the banks are even bigger and less regulated than ever before. And business schools today favor and teach deregulation. And our politicians and regulators in office today, have promises to go work for those same big investment banks when their government service is completed - making HUGE salaries.

For the first time ever in American history, this country's generation is less educated and less prosperous than our parent's. The banks, our politicians, and the feds were all complicit...they were all in on it together. They destroyed America, the middle-class is doomed. With "free trade" agreements, the new "emerging markets" elsewhere around the world will be getting most of the jobs going forward. Corporate America left nothing but the littered remains of their greed behind.

See a preview of Inside Job here

* Also read The Looting of America, The Shock Doctrine, and Third World America - and watch the documentary The Money Masters. When you're done, tell me why you'd ever vote for a Republican (or ANY politician) that won't change the law to reject corporate campaign contributions, nationalize the banks, and eliminate the IRS and change the tax code.

* * Also:  I just signed this petition - President Obama: If you cut Medicare and Medicaid benefits for me, my parents, my grandparents, or families like mine, don't ask for a penny of my money or an hour of my time in 2012. I'm going to focus on electing bold progressive candidates -- not Democrats who help Republicans make harmful cuts to key programs.
The message I left: Obama: You gave the rich everything, and left the poor nothing. Never take away someone's hope, it might be all they have left.

Further reading:


  1. Bud, I requested Inside Job from the library...seems to be very popular..all of us who are effected by this financial meltdown are all too aware of the duplicity of the govt,banks,Wall St,etc etc to bring the middle class to its knees. Isnt it amazing that the taxpayers have to pay for the follies of all of the greedy and corrupt? I will not be able to pay my taxes this year on my unemployment since I didnt even make enough to live on..debtors prison maybe? All that I hear on the news from the liar politicians is we need to cut spending...of course, not their big salaries and benefits...only from the poor,as always....I have already lost everything, I have nothing left to give...maybe they will take my food stamps?

  2. Bud, while i agree with what you are saying, you seem to mainly point the finger of blame at the GOP. This is NOT a D or R problem it was caused by BOTH parties.. BIG GOVERNMENT. Almost all of the Hacks in Washington answer to the banks. (The FED is a private bank)And they, both the rich Ds and rich Rs own the congress and run things. One might say deregulation caused this, but i say that there is enough "regulation" on the books to have stopped this from happening. The problem is THOSE in charge of watching out for us, enforcing the rules and keeping things on the up and up where in bed with those who where breaking the law. Thus the reason no one is in jail for this and Obama has about 35 plus former members of Goldman /Sachs working for him. All of them are friends. Reminds me of the old WWF.