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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/29/08

Regulators backdate records: What are the real numbers of the bank bailout?

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Message M. Davis

How do you gauge the breadth and depth of a banking and stock market crisis when the very people who regulate industry are accused of faking audits?   How can we gauge the true level of food safety when the regulators are industry-friendly? is reporting that:

The Office of Thrift Supervision has reassigned a senior official after it was disclosed he apparently allowed mortgage lender IndyMac to backdate records of capital infusions last spring before it failed in July, costing the FDIC a tidy $8.9 billion. The lapse may mean Obama now has the ammo to force a merger of the OTS into another federal regulator. (

Given the fact that the federal government is throwing taxpayers' money at the alleged auto industry collapse and the banking collapse and the crumbling stock market, one just has to wonder exactly  how much is being lost, how much is being stolen, how  much is being borrowed from what foreign sources,  and exactly what are the actual, not reported, losses?

We have been told that if we don't bail the auto industry out, the American car manufacturing industry will collapse, taking millions of jobs with it, along with a good share of the economy.  We have been told that if we didn't bail out the mortgage banking industry, the economy would suffer serious consequences.  And, of course, Wall Street needed a bail out because many of the failed/failing banks are too big to fail""that is, these here-to-fore behemoths have been allowed to buy so many of their small fish brethren in an unregulated industry, that they are now so monstrous, they could crash the economy if they tanked.

Trillions of dollars are at stake and the financial well being of future generations is at risk. The government has been throwing billions of dollars around, with no auditing, accountability or responsibility mandates built in to the bail outs.  The Wall Street bailout has been a fiasco""we bailed out an industry that was so desperate, so in dire need, that the companies we bailed out first spent millions on parties, CEO bonuses and frills""leaving the taxpayers holding the bag, all with no accountability, no money trail, no audit.

We gave them the money and they took the money and ran. Silly Congress. Silly us.

Many of those taxpayers, people whose children will end up paying monstrous taxes to the Chinese and other foreign investors for this profligacy, are in dire straits themselves.  The children of families whose homes were foreclosed, whose jobs were shipped overseas, whose employers shut down, these are the people who will end up paying off this immoral debt for generations to come.

We have become the United States of Debt, the US of  Foreclosure, the United States of Pawn.  Thanks to deregulation and a go along to get along Congress the banks have swallowed up so many smaller competitors that one might compare them to black holes.

They make their own financial "gravity"-, pulling smaller entities into their gravitational field.  Unfortunately, when one goes, they all go down.  And, like collapsing stars, they suck the surrounding environment down with them

Or, so we are told. 

The problem in all of this is that the numbers are coming from suspect places.  It is known that the Bush administration has been manipulating statistics and scientific reports. And, given the "restatement of earnings"- epidemic that has plagued the business environment for the past few years, one just has to wonder just how serious, how pervasive this economic, excuse me, alleged economic catastrophe is.


Of course every administration likes to trumpet its good news and hide its bad, but what's remarkable about the Bush team is its willingness to stifle data that had been widely released and to politicize data that used to be nonpartisan. (Slate, " How Bush hides bad news," 7-11-03.)

How can we judge where the economy is, if the data used to generate reports and documents is suspect? What good is a report if it is made of lies, deception and based on political delusion?

President Bush also politicized the Council of Economic Advisers, which is supposed to produce straight analysis, not administration spin. CEA staffers complained that top Bush economic adviser Larry Lindsey, not even a member of the council, encouraged them to produce data supporting the president's controversial tax cut initiatives. CEA chairman Glen Hubbard also pushed staffers to find literature supporting the questionable argument that tax cuts created job growth. (Ibid)

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Wanna be member of the anti-word police, author, columnist, activist and muckraker extraordinaire. Author of:

Land, Legacy and Lynching: Building the Future for Black America

Urban Asylum: Politics, Lunatics and the Refrigerator (more...)

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