When it comes to prosecuting the lead players involved in the fraudulent financial activities that have led to the destruction of our economy, the Obama Administration, loaded with Wall Street campaign contributions and led by major financial firm operatives such as Tim Geithner and Bill Daley, has delivered empty rhetoric and minimal action. In the absence of leadership on this critical issue, it may come down to a new proposed OccupyWallStreet Department of Justice Working Group to restore the rule of law. The proposed group will feature members such as Bill Black, a man who has a strong track record of successfully prosecuting and jailing bankers during the S&L crisis. In this video, David DeGraw joins Bill Black on the Dylan Ratigan Show to discuss the "epidemic of fraud" and the people who need to be held personally responsible for the destruction of our economic system. – AmpedStatus
Dominant Social Theme: We need to use the might of the US, its terrific RICO laws and the dedicated servants of intelligence agencies to bring justice to the American people.
Free-Market Analysis: It's getting surreal out there. David DeGraw, the self-titled founder of the Occupy Wall Street movement has now announced his intention to bring on board William Black, an American lawyer, academic, author and a former bank regulator, to serve as Occupy Wall Street's litigation arm. Black has seemingly agreed.
Are we correct to wonder about this "arrangement?" It's beginning to seem like some sort of a sub-dominant OWS theme, that Wall Street tycoons should be "brought to justice." Yet when it comes to America, this assumption involves the endorsement of the judicial system as it is, a strange stance for a movement like OWS to take. We've written about the US system here: No Justice in the West.
EDITOR'S ALERT: Brietbart's Big Government website is reporting on an email data dump exchanged by "leaders" of the Occupy Wall Street movement that "make[s] it clear that MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan has been directly involved with [a group of journalists apparently including Matt Taibbi and David DeGraw]." According to Dan Riehl, this aid "included helping them to draft statements and offering revisions to a statement David DeGraw might later discuss on NBC News with Brian Williams." Taibbi himself has poured cold-water on the emails, saying, "There is nothing terribly interesting in any of these exchanges. Most all of the things written were things all of us ended up saying publicly in our various media forums."
In fact, the real agenda of those behind Occupy Wall Street evidently and obviously continues to emerge, even as we read articles about libertarian and free-market involvement in the movement – involvement that for increasingly obvious reasons does not influence those at the top.
These self-appointed "leaders" (who do not exist, they say) such as DeGraw and Assange seem to have outsized clout in a movement that is supposed to be grass-roots and consultative. The non-leadership of OWS seems intent on focusing the movement directly on Wall Street and its captains of greed, despite dissenting voices and libertarian involvement.
Zero Hedge carried an article yesterday warning about the scapegoating of Wall Street as a "catalyst for class warfare." The article cited a new poll commissioned by The Hill concluding that, "in the minds of likely voters, Washington, not Wall Street, is primarily to blame for the financial crisis and the subsequent recession."
The movement appears to have struck a chord with progressive voters, but it does not seem to represent the feelings of the wider public. The Hill poll found that only one in three likely voters blames Wall Street for the country's financial troubles, whereas more than half — 56 percent — blame Washington.
This does not seem to bother DeGraw who merrily soldiers forward as the scourge of Wall Street. Talk of guillotines, of the French Revolution and class warfare (that inevitably ends in the bloodshed of the middle class that DeGraw is supposedly avenging) seem not to bother him.
The man, for all his erudition, energy and apparent genius, seems oblivious to history. He is determined, he says, to help America "restore the rule of law." He takes for granted the "lawfulness" of the American system of justice and its judicial methodologies. Perhaps he shouldn't.
We note that Julian Assange the other day in his now-famous speech on the steps of St. Paul's in London explained (somehow he is another self-identified spokesperson of this "movement") that the protests were about "building" the rule of law rather than tearing it down.
Strange that DeGraw and Assange should seemingly be reading from the same playbook, but perhaps it is just coincidence. On the other hand, as we have mentioned many times now, this entire, vast movement can also be seen as an exercise in controlled history with people playing their assigned roles within the organizational ambit of Money Power.
Are the Anglosphere central banking families (along with their associates and enablers) behind of all this? (Yes, they do exist.) They have both the means and motives. The 2008 crash and Greater Recession was an inevitable outcome of central banking's overprinting of money and resultant boom-and-bust.
The mechanism of over-printing gives rise to increased centralization of power and wealth, which is what the elites seek. Once the money supply has been significantly hyped and the link between bailed-out business and price discovery fully severed – as it has been – the next stage of directed history begins.
In this stage, the powers-that-be help orchestrate popular uprisings against those power "private" entities and their captains that are seen as playing a major role in the misery. (One wonders how the top people feel, seeing popular resentment being orchestrated against them by their own elite bosses! Happens over and over throughout history, apparently.)
This is the stage, perhaps, we are at now. DeGraw and others continue to ignore the root of the problem – central banking and its ownership – while creating a groundswell of indignation against Wall Street and greedy "banksters."
Of course, this has been tried before, most recently in the 1930s in similar circumstances. Then, the SEC, the NASD and various "self-regulatory agencies" were created and Joseph P. Kennedy was brought in to run the SEC. "It takes a crook to catch a crook," Franklin Delano Roosevelt supposedly said.
Of course, the SEC hasn't caught many crooks, not real ones anyway. it's entirely vacuous organization – as are all regulatory shops – that substitutes makework and random viciousness for specific utility. What the SEC has done via regulatory capture is enhance the centralization of the largest Wall Street firms while raising the barriers to entry. The little guy gets squeezed; Goldman Sachs is empowered. Some solution.
And here we go again. Is DeGraw aware of history's lessons? If you don't change the system the problems will reoccur. Sure, punish people if it makes you feel good. Hang 'em high. Behead them. But first do SOMETHING SERIOUS. Confront the real issue, which is money creation and the euphorias it causes.
But no … First we blame Wall Street! The securities business is one that is primarily transactional and intermediary. The abuses on Wall Street stem mostly from perfervid money hyping that sends tidal waves of currency crashing down on Wall Street, leading to all sorts of nonsensical financial innovations such as derivatives and computerized trading.
Somehow this reality is being misplaced. The Occupy Wall Street crowd under various kinds of misguided tutelage want to get the money out of Washington. Much more importantly, they should be campaigning to get the money out of Wall Street! But we won't hold our collective breath. Events seemingly have already gone too far. Bloodlust has set in. Recriminatory fever is sweeping the chattering classes and the media.
During the interview (see explanatory excerpt above) on the Dylan Ratigan program, DeGraw and Black casually referred to an entire gamut of questionable judicial actions. RICO, the FBI and other elements of the American justice system were mentioned approvingly within the context of prosecuting Wall Street crooks in order to seek justice for the American people.
RICO is a broad-based statute that was initially supposed to apply to drug smugglers but now in the hands of zealous prosecutors has turned into a weapon wielded generally against the American public. It is a most questionable statute. Gibson Guitar Corp., for example, recently came under attack for using rare woods from overseas. Under RICO, almost everyone in the company could go to jail, based on questionable associations discerned by the RICO racketeering statute.
In fact, it is a Draconian law, but apparently, that's not the focus of Occupy Wall Street and its leaders who intend to use all the perverse and increasingly totalitarian weapons of American "justice" to prosecute Wall Street evildoers.
Increasingly it seems the non-leader leaders of Occupy Wall Street are not interested in lightening the dead hand of Leviathan but in using its awesome powers to engender their own brand of faux-populism. They seem to ignore America's manifold wars, the unresolved questions swirling around 9/11, the outright eradication of civil liberties in the West and the increasing push toward one-world government. None of this matters compared to Wall Street greed …
It seems like some sort of script in our view. First, DeGraw helps set up Occupy Wall Street and focus its protests and now he is organizing a plan to bring Wall Street execs to justice, using the good offices of Attorney Black.
And who exactly is Black? According to Wikipedia, "William Kurt Black is an American lawyer, academic, author, and a former bank regulator. Black's expertise is in white-collar crime, public finance, regulation, and other topics in law and economics. He developed the concept of 'control fraud,' in which a business or national executive uses the entity he or she controls as a 'weapon' to commit fraud."
And what is "control fraud"? Again, from Wikipedia, "Control fraud occurs when a trusted person in a high position of responsibility in a company, corporation or state uses their powers to subvert the organization and to engage in extensive fraud for personal gain."
We can see from this definition how ambitious Black is. This is an even broader criminal definition than RICO. To Black, apparently, anyone in private enterprise is likely an enemy and any free-market facility is a "weapon."
There is no consciousness here that the Invisible Hand might work better than the judicial system if free markets were actually to be encouraged. The libertarian wing of Occupy Wall Street is evidently and obviously to be marginalized. The engagement of Black seems to signify with some finality the direction of this movement. The traditional tools of American "jurisprudence" are to be employed to create "justice" for the "American people."
In our view, American law has been entirely subverted by authoritarian trends that go back a century or more. The US is said to have something like four million people incarcerated at any given time and these federal prosecutors – wielding sentences of 20 years or more for even minor infractions – can put virtually anyone in jail if they wish to.
Here's an excerpt from a September 26th New York Times article on the subject entitled "Sentencing Shift Gives New Leverage to Prosecutors":
Growing prosecutorial power is a significant reason that the percentage of felony cases that go to trial has dropped sharply in many places. Plea bargains have been common for more than a century, but lately they have begun to put the trial system out of business in some courtrooms. By one count, fewer than one in 40 felony cases now make it to trial, according to data from nine states that have published such records since the 1970s, when the ratio was about one in 12.
The decline has been even steeper in federal district courts. Cases like Florida v. Shane Guthrie help explain why. After Mr. Guthrie, 24, was arrested here last year, accused of beating his girlfriend and threatening her with a knife, the prosecutor offered him a deal for two years in prison plus probation. Mr. Guthrie rejected that, and a later offer of five years, because he believed that he was not guilty, his lawyer said.
But the prosecutor's response was severe: he filed a more serious charge that would mean life imprisonment if Mr. Guthrie is convicted later this year. Because of a state law that increased punishments for people who had recently been in prison, like Mr. Guthrie, the sentence would be mandatory. So, what he could have resolved for a two-year term could keep him locked up for 50 years or more.
One might expect a discussion of these issues by the Occupy Wall Street crowd. If not an in-depth discussion, at least an acknowledgement of the ludicrousness of America's "war on drugs" or, even more importantly, the trend toward using inmates as slave labor, given that prisons are rapidly being "privatized" because of their cost.
But this is not on the minds of those at the top/non-top of Occupy Wall Street. They apparently intend to use this corrupt and vicious system for all its worth.
We wrote recently that libertarians should "get out now" and form their own movement using Occupy Wall Street as a springboard. Is this the best option? Certainly, there seems nothing "reformist" about the way Occupy Wall Street is trending.
We continue to try to search out the "positives" in this unrolling and increasingly powerful movement. We suppose we should be grateful to see what may be "directed history" playing out before our disbelieving eyes, simply from the standpoint of educational enlightenment. Really, we're not.