As the US financial house of cards falls down everyone is trying to point to a single scapegoat. And, everything is named as a culprit, except for the wasteful war, American militarism, a system of government which is built to serve the interest of wall street crooks and the military-industrial complex which benefits from the most wasteful product of an economy, the war.
The gold-dollar equivalence was broken by the financial devastation that the wasteful Vietnam war brought about to Americans. Still, the rest of the world had to buy and keep dollar to be able to buy energy. The ensuing petro-dollar equivalence was enforced not by any inherent strength of dollar itself, it was propped up by the US military enforcing it around the world, by installing its puppets in oil rich countries, controlling pipelines and an economic and military weight which could punish anyone who deviated from the desires of the Big Bully. Following Iranian revolution, the US tried everything in its power to prevent a similar fate in Iraq and keeping a status quo in the oil producing Middle Eastern countries. Ironically, it was this desire of the US to keep its hegemony in the Middle East that led to the Iraq war debacle and the subsequent cracks in the petro-dollar equivalence which reveals the worthless status of the greenback.
On the other hand, while the war profiteers filled their pockets, the middle class Americans were being wiped, not even able to pay their loans, and compounding the already scandalous financial schemes. The US government worked closely for the interest of wall street thieves who designed elaborate scams to enrich themselves and the war lobby.
A good example to understand the intimate relation of the US government with Wall Street is to take a look at the career of Henry Paulson, the Treasury Secretary, and former chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs investment firm. BTW, Paulson is not unique in this story at all, the top executives of Goldman Sachs prior to him also had sensitive relations with the government.
Henry Paulson, after a job as Assistance Secretary of Defense went to work in Goldman Sachs. By 1999 he was the CEO of GS and his compensation package alone topped $35 million in 2005. In his last years as CEO, Goldman had huge increase in revenues, a large percentage of it thanks to commodity and paper trades which a good know how of the government decisions can afford. Then Mr. Paulson, like many others from Wall Street, goes directly from Goldman Sachs back to the government. To accept the Treasury Secretary position, he needed to sell his stocks in Goldman Sachs, but since he’s doing it to get a government job, he doesn’t have to pay taxes on the stocks. Allegedly, (according to Fortune Magazine) Mr. Paulso sells $500 million of his GS stocks without paying a penny in taxes on them.
Now, we see Hank at the helm of the biggest financial bailout of the Wall Street. After Bear Stearns and Lehman went under, and following the weekend that Merril Lynch sold itself to Bank of American, we see Mr. Paulson nervously advocating $700 billion of tax payers money to save Wall Street. His Goldman Sachs sure seems to stay put for now by taxes that he didn’t seem to contribute much of!
Anyway, Henry is just one example picked because of relation to present topic. In fact, he’s one of the relatively clean ones when you compare him with outright thieves of Wall Street like Michael H. Steinhardt or Michael Milken or many like them. AND, Paulson seems to be a lover of nature and unlike Mr. talk- only- Gore, Paulson puts a lot of his money where his mouth is. Environmentalist might not mind his having too much money to put it to that particular use. After all, a portion of their taxes is going to conservation, just passing through the Treasury Secretary’s pocket 🙂