"Do you want to see something really scary?" These were the famous words uttered in the 1983 movie, The Twilight Zone. The real scary things aren't to be found at the movies, however. There is a much more fearful reality right here in the gory corridors of Wall Street. Just as the monsters from Hollywood keep coming back no matter how many times they're burned, chopped up, and blasted to smithereens, these real monsters continue to survive as well.
Sometimes in life, the wheels just keep turning. Distractions come a dime a dozen, with unemployment still hovering around 10%1, earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and Taiwan2, cars inexplicably accelerating out of control3,and let's not forget to mention gasoline prices returning to $3 a gallon4.There is so much news to keep up with, it becomes a blur much like staring at an out-of-control merry-go-round. Yet, while everyone is dizzy watching the carousel, they've lost track of the $180 billion monster that won't die, otherwise known as AIG.
While everyone is plowing over the details of Lehman Brother's collapse5, let's not forget that then Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, who was once Goldman Sach's CEO, didn't allow Lehman, one of the only remaining competitors to Goldman, to receive AIG payouts or bailout money. Lehman was essentially kicked out of the soup kitchen, which was really a smorgasbord for Goldman and their boys club.
Everyone including AIG, the Federal Reserve, Bank of America, and the executives at Freddie Mac were mum about the real trouble they were in.6 Somehow, they thought silence would simply make the problem go away. Their actions appear tantamount to putting their heads in the sand. However, the real picture shows that the New York Federal Reserve led by Timothy Geithner told AIG to file fraudulent securities filings. These filings hid the recipients of AIG's bailout money payments payouts which, in effect, completely returned their losses. Of course, it's no secret that when the list of beneficiaries was finally released, Goldman Sachs topped the list.
AIG executives must have been overcome by guilt, because they finally revealed who the players really were, even after the New York Federal Reserve, again at the time of Timothy Geithner, went so far as to pressure the SEC to keep the secret until November 25th, 2018, a date exactly 10 years and 1 day after his nomination by now President Obama as the Treasury Secretary!7 If AIG had followed along, by then everyone involved would be long gone, basking in their golden parachutes and IOUs with the hope that most people would have become indifferent to or would have long forgotten the pain caused by the collateral damage brought on by an unprecedented period of uncontrolled greed and incompetence.
Maybe AIG executives felt that if they came clean, they could proceed with doling out some $435,000,000 in bonuses, even though they have not repaid their debts to the taxpayer.8
Meanwhile, AIG lost $8.87 billion ($8,870,000,000), or $98,555,555 a day, in the last quarter of 2009.9 They continue to owe taxpayers over $100,000,000,000. As I said before, bailouts don't exactly pay large dividends.
So, around and around it goes, where it stops, nobody knows. The true indifference exists on Wall Street, and among the government officials whose pockets are lined with hush money, all the while our fascist regime continues to roll out the red carpet for their friends, and point fingers at those not willing to play along.