Subject: File No. S7-08-08
From: Laura Conway

May 9, 2008


ocation: Blogs Bob O'Brien's Sanity Check Blog
Posted by: bobo 5/6/2008 1:07 PM
I've been out and about and away from computers for the last couple weeks, but upon my return, I finally got a chance to spend an hour and read one of the most remarkable pieces of journalism I have ever seen.

It can be found at [website omitted]

This is a true story. I sort of wish it wasn't for many reasons, however the overarching point is that you couldn't make this up.

For many, it will explain a lot. This has been a wild ride. The implications for our financial system are dire. The indictment of our journalistic institutions is profound. It should chill your blood to read it - it's the true story of a system run badly off the tracks, of the protectors being co-opted, of our bastions of freedom and integrity shot through with rot, and of a lumbering, shambling beast of a financial world out of control, it's mind horribly riddled with a syphilis of greed and corruption, a mockery of the free enterprise it represents itself to be. It is the story of small men in positions of outsized power who have correctly determined that they can prey on society with impunity, and can prosper from international criminality. It will make you sick to your stomach, and will cause you to laugh out loud in places, but most of all, will alarm you, because in spite of the massive amount of research that went into it, and the mountain of data that supports its every conclusion, it is being ignored by the very machine that professes to be our gatekeeper against fascism and kleptocracy. The media has failed us, our cops have failed us, we have been abused and ripped off, and it would seem that even standing up and showing the whole ugly mess to the world, the powers of darkness can safely greet it with silence, or even a Gaelic shrug of insouciant nonchalance. "Yeah? So? What about it?"

This is a Grisham-like tale of international criminal syndicates, treason, fraud, extortion, terrorism, money laundering, murder, you name it. Every base or odious act ever contemplated surfaces. It runs the gamut, and frankly, should have every network and paper in the nation abuzz. But guess what? Not a peep.

And you can bet it is all copiously and extraordinarily well documented and researched. Which is why you won't see any of the names in it suing. Because they can't take the discovery. In other words, this is likely the tame version.

I never understood how past generations could allow things that were obviously evil to take place, without rising up and protesting, without stopping it. It never made sense to me. How could Germany have allowed, and then celebrated, the Nazis? How could the Pogroms have taken place? The killing fields? How could Russia have become a black market society? How could North Korea prosper as an international menace of terrorism sponsorship? How could we have committed genocide against the Indians, breaking every treaty and outright stealing their land, again and again?

The answer is simple. Nobody did anything to stop it, or too few did. The money was too good in taking over countries, or grabbing power, or abusing populations, or financial predation. It pays too well, and you can buy ink by the barrel to cover it up, or spin it, or call it something it isn't. You can lie to all the people all the time, and if you are thorough enough, it works.

Speaking of our Native American friends, an aquaintance of mine recently compared this to the Indian issue. The problem, which is that we stole most of the land we live on, from the Indians, without fair compensation, is much like the naked shorting problem. After years and years, you wake up and go, right or wrong is immaterial. The problem is so big now that we can no longer afford to do what is right. It's just too large, and making good would break us.

That's it in a nutshell. The "phantom share" problem is so huge that it actually is a fundamental part of the system now. Never mind that the wealth of a generation has been confiscated, and nothing was delivered in exchange. It has been going on for so long, and is so entrenched, that the system can't afford to do the right and legal thing, as there just isn't enough money to make good on everything that was stolen. Sure, we stole the land, but we can't afford to pay what it's actually worth, or even a fraction. We win, they lose.

But guess what? In this case, the "we" are the wealthiest people in the world, much of the Forbes 400, the hedge fund managers and Wall Street moguls, and the "they" are everybody else. "They" have to lose, as the system simply can't pay what it owes. That money has been taken out in multi-billion dollar salaries for years, and in international criminal profits, and in explosive hedge fund growth, and in money laundering vig. It is out of the system. If those who facilitated in the theft had to start buying the shares in, the system would crack before it was 10% done, as the contra-parties to the trades don't have the loot to buy the shares. It's long gone.

And it was facilitated by journalists who likely saw only an atomic particle of the money taken. They sold out their profession and fellow man for a nano-crumb. It is the sad history of the species. Doomed to play on screens near you again and again.

This is a story, first and foremost, of right and wrong, of David versus Goliath, and of morality versus socio-pathology. Of a criminal elite whose ivy league laurels lie comfortably next to blood-spattered switchblades. Predators who make no distinction between the worst of the worst, and the best. Truth be told, who view anyone stupid enough to battle for good to be imbeciles and rubes. They view themselves to be superior, and thus, immune from rules and laws. They are the masters of the universe, and we are the food, the irritants, the unwashed herd baying superstitiously at an ominous moon we neither understand, nor have any control over. We are beneath consideration as anything but grist for their mill.

We are the Indians. And that is just the way it is. Not right, not wrong...and while we might like to judge ourselves superior to these leeches, you don't see San Diego or Scottsdale valuing all the real estate in the municipality and offering to pay fair value for it to the original Indian owners, now do you? We all know what's right, but sometimes ya just can't afford to do the right thing. Too expensive. It would break the bank. Impractical.

And that is the 40K word description of how a criminal cartel grew to completely overthrow the US financial markets, and destroy in a generation the engine of capitalism that has powered our prosperity for 100 years or more. And why it is being allowed to continue. And why nobody wants to talk about it.

It's just too expensive to go back to the rule of law. Impractical.

Read the piece. Mitchell has a way with words. A certain delivery, a timing, cadence, contretemps. I could become a fan, really. So few appreciate decent writing these days.

And then once you read it, disseminate it everywhere. It's one thing to not know. It's another to know, and to do nothing. Right or wrong, stupid or smart, I decided to do something, and it took me on a rather odd journey, to say the least. That was an individual decision. Others in this saga also made individual decisions based upon internal barometers, and did something. You can read this remarkable chronicle of ordinary people battling overwhelming odds, and decide to do something. Or not. Most don't. It's difficult to actually do something, exhausting, and there are bills to pay and programs to watch.

If nothing else, this story can serve as an inspiration. What is undeniable after you read it, is that Patrick has faced and prevailed against incredible adversity - and you should feel enormously proud that the gene pool produced him. One in a billion. While the rest quivered in their corners, hoping that the bad man would go away, one man made another personal, individual decision, and took it upon himself to fight back. I can honestly say that I have never been prouder to know a man.

Even if he is a humble toaster salesman.

Read it. Email it. Post it everywhere. Do Youtube commentaries on it. Take it viral. People deserve to know the truth. Whether they do something about it is a different matter.

Individual, one might say.