How to rob a bank? Well, not quite. In Houston, Stanford Investments not Nigerians are the ones robbing the bank. Millions of American dead beat consumers, leveraged to their eye balls are the bank robbers not innocent Nigerians trying to make both ends meet. Your retirement nest-egg? Well, that could be a scam too! Just pray your fund manager didn’t invest with Madoff or Houston based Stanford Investments just caught with their hands in an 8 billion dollar jar! The “Jewish-Nigerian” that stole $50bn and still manages to stay in nice apartments in Manhattan while a brother that broke into the neighborhood grocery store is cooling his feet at the country jail. Well, life is not fair.
I reckon this is the perfect time to revisit CNN’s timeless documentary: How to Rob a Bank i.e. the US Federal Reserve Bank. Nigerians, especially those who live in Houston, had to put up with CNN’s wide brush of hasty generalization used to paint Nigerians as scammers in that overused piece of journalistic hit job i.e. junk. Never mind that CNN’s own parent company and well heeled financiers were themselves in the midst of applying the biggest scam on America: punting on prosperity and pilling on in looting America as self evident in the global economic crisis brought upon by corporate malfeasance.
Lest you be deceived, the great American scam did not begin with George Bush; rather, it reached its height with his election, sorry selection, by the Supreme Court. As the self appointed American savior then went about constructing a phantom economy based largely on phantom wealth creation, deregulation, leverage and all sort of sexy financial instruments, Wall Street sans Main Street gorged. Ignore all these later day consternation by congressmen and journalists, cheered on by suddenly reawakened public consciousness regarding Wall Street bonuses. Truth was, and still is, most Americans knew what Wall Street earned, and most looked the other way provided their zillow.com real estate values pointed upwards and their retirement account statements showed net positive. No one cared when home equity became overnight piggybanks, and consumers shopped like dollars was going out of fashion with plastics. Once upon a time, “greed is good” was the bye-line. Well, sounds like a scam?
In short America brought the current crisis on itself, too bad the rest of the world has to suffer along with them. Political scam led to economic irresponsibility- and the scam of the century keeps on giving. In that timeless piece of thrash journalism by CNN, they narrated how the Nigerian fraudsters (emphasis on Nigerian, which was obvious) wined and dined with fraud proceeds. Well, it has been quite a party with CNN and its binging public. These ten trillion dollars and counting party of bailouts and stimulus, gets interesting by the day. Just today, irresponsible homeowners that took on mortgage they never understood to buy houses they never could afford are being bailed by the Obama administration. Well, last I checked- Nigerian government was not paying the legal bills of fraudsters caught in the act by foreign governments.
The holy grail of the American scam began when the financial gurus bought the elections, legalized bribery and called it lobbying, glorified pay to play and called it fundraising a la Senator Burris and Governor Blagojevich; well, too bad all those gurus that sold self regulation to Chuck Schumer and Bill Clinton are now back at the wheels in the White House while making a devil out of their now cast-away devotees i.e. Phil Graham and John McCain. The American public is by no means a victim of this fraud; they were willing partners. Replacing semi-deregulators represented by business friendly Democratic Leadership Council politicians like Bill Clinton and Secretary Rubin with gonzo deregulators and “let business self-regulate” like Dick Cheney and George Bush. Oil companies wrote energy policy, defense contractors defined war policy and identified potential targets for unprovoked wars, and fraudsters controlled the Securities Exchange Commission! Well, you get the government you deserve: one of scammers. It was the liberal writer, Paul Krugman, who described it the best: “a Madoff economy” he proclaimed!
The willing partners went further than just tolerate scammers in powers; they actually bought into the scam. This was especially true for the sub prime genre of debts arising from irresponsible lenders (banks) meeting McMansion owning spenders (debtors). Forget all that talk of predatory lending, demand must meet supply for any market to exist. Now, the combination of falling home prices as the mortgage industry hit skids of economic realities, low personal savings rate and artificially high adjustable rate mortgage payments led from El Dorado to modern day financial holocaust is bringing the rest of the world face-to-face with this domestic weapons of mass destruction. Speaking of WMD, those collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) i.e. exotic instruments, sold on Wall Street posed more present danger than the phantom weapon Colin Powell and Dick Cheney accused Saddam of manufacturing that never was there after all. Well, it must take poor informants to be horrible scammers; perhaps they need to take a page from the yahoo boys…tie your loose ends!
I have a quick suggestion for CNN, how about allow one of your patently lazy journalists follow your government and financial gurus for one day and redo that documentary? Redone and released: How to Break an Economy: The Unraveling of the Great American Scam! Is it not curious that while CNN was largely worried about how some unscrupulous thugs were stealing identities, another fraud (much larger) that amounted to looting an economy was ongoing and that never warranted a documentary?