Look, up in the sky… It’s a bird… it’s a plane… No! It’s, it’s …Chicken Little?
Time and again we hear the media, politicians, and financial “experts”, in an effort to protect their careers and/or reputations, say: “NO ONE SAW THIS FINANCIAL TSUNAMI COMING!” There are a few media clowns now coming out of the woodwork that claim with their 20/20 hindsight, that they saw it…. “but just underestimated its size a scale… and that no one could have predicted that!” (or even better, amongst those clowns 500 bullish articles, they wrote 1 skeptic article, for which they now hold to the light of prophetic genius.)
Well, to most of the long time readers here on this RGE blog and the various other terrific financial blogshere locations… We know that the statement “NO ONE SAW THIS COMING” just ain’t true! For those of us, that gathered here (and throughout the internet), and spent the last few years studying this crisis and warning our family, friends and anyone else who would listen, that statement is an infuriating slap in the face and a boldface lie!
Chicken Little becomes Dr Doom
Prior to the 2008 collapse, we watched first hand, the media puppets call people like Nouriel Roubini “Chicken Littles”. Amazingly enough, upon being proven right, that the sky was indeed falling, the most prophetic “chicken little” of them all, was given a new nickname. Dr Doom! Dr Doom??? …an evil comic book character that is bent on destruction?!?!?! (Yes, many others have worn that tag before Nouriel. …but the beauty of this tag/name is, the bullish media can start to use it against him when they need optimism over reality) So Dr Doom is the name we came up with. …just because he was nice enough to point out to the public what was about to happen.
(I guess it makes more sense now. To the media, and those in control of the media who wanted their fictional world of fake profits to continue, Nouriel was the most evil man around! Damn him for exposing this façade! Damn him for bringing an end to the fake corrupt profits! Damn him for telling the truth about the economy!)
The Fixed Income Façade …or should we just call it crime?
The first half of our downturn had to do with fixed income. It is within that realm that debt creation and credit expansion existed. The accurate predictions of our economic downfall by Nouriel (and me) were based on superior analysis in the contraction within this arena with regards to overall access to credit. It was seeing how the contraction correlated via contamination to the rest of the market, starting at subprime, and leaking into ABS’s, CDO’s, etc …and then ultimately the entire market. On the upswing, the expansion of credit (which was “massively understated inflation or “condenflation”) led to large scale subprime equivalents within CorpRE LBO’s, etc… (which have yet to expose their full negative effects “a la tip of the iceberg”) and have now laid the foundation for the collapses/bailouts we now see explained ad nauseum.
These correct predictions have played themselves out, and now the downturn has exposed the balance sheets of an economy that was being run far too recklessly. In hindsight, we now see abuses that border on criminal. From the passive individual, who overextends their American dream to buy a home they can’t afford, to the collusive lender who wrote the loan in the first place. Then to the corrosive packaging, and shipping out of the toxic waste to the financial system, in a credit feedback loop that was somehow out of the regulatory oversight of those who should’ve been analyzing the risk involved. …as this financial virus extended itself, the financial wizards of Wall St, over leveraged themselves in their own borrow/buy/lend loops where they pocketed the spread, and then gamed the system further through CDSs and other financial innovations which helped them achieve self fulfilling credit loops and false profits. This false mitigation of criminally negligent risk threatened systemic collapse, but reaped massive financial gain for those on top, not afraid to rape the American economy on their short term gains that couldn’t be paid off long term.
Financial innovation and complexity, along with regulatory, media and political capture, allowed a great number of well connected individuals and companies (with access to credit, or credit creation), to artificially inflate and/or manipulate the market for short term gains, (that they would profit from and extract) in what amounted to the greatest worldwide macro economic pump and dump we have ever seen!!! Its complexity kept this fleecing obscure from the public. The political and media compliance (or lack of understanding) guaranteed its success. This was not a nefarious plot devised in some dark room by some sinister financial criminals… but rather a community of intellectuals who knew how to game the system. …and their checks and balances (the regulators, the press, the politicians) either stepped aside, didn’t understand what was going on (which meant they were UNDER QUALIFIED to perform their duties!!!) or were compliant in aiding its success.
This charade had been allowed to continue for too long, and now the government writes our checks to cover these losses that now result from the artificial enhancement of an economy that was allowing it to be robbed by financial elites. What’s worse about this crime is that not only were these passive white collar criminals allowed to achieve and keep their fortunes, because we were unable to understand the complexity of the crime… …but it seems as if there is no way for us to hold these criminals accountable since they always worked the loopholes of innovations that outpaced regulations and/or legal precedent.
To Hank Paulson, who financed studies while at Goldman Sachs into the financial risks of CDS, leverage, and debt arbitrage, and then not only chose to ignore the results of those studies, but instead elected to “double down” and ramp up leverage for “RECORD EARNING PROFITS”… …we now see that your “record earning profits” during the artificial bull run were just an illusion.
WHY THE HELL DO YOU STILL GET TO KEEP YOUR BONUSES THAT YOU “EARNED” FOR THOSE YEARS OF FAKE “RECORD PROFITS”!?!?!? You didn’t front run on a stock. No what you did was worse. You front ran on the market as a whole!
You criminal! You and your other corporate pirates toed the line of criminal negligence and outright theft and you personally compounded the theft with your sticky fingerprints being allowed to spread the financial virus to the taxpayers through your actions as head of the US Treasury. Where is justice?
If Nouriel is Dr Doom, then who is Lex Luthor? It’s Patrick Byrne!
Sure, Hank Paulson looks like Lex Luthor, and he acts like him, (although his actions have somehow been labeled under the veil of: “doing things in our best interest”… hmhmhmhm, hahaha – (evil laugh)) …but Hank is not Lex Luthor. No. These criminals are given great titles like CEO/Treasurer/etc., great sums of money, and great power. Instead, the villainous titles like Lex Luthor (or Dr Doom) are reserved for the people who are trying to put a stop to crime. Those titles are set aside for the whistle blowers, truth tellers and exposures of criminal elite and the “captured media”. Those evil titles are saved for people like Patrick Byrne.
Patrick M. Byrne is President, CEO, chairman of the board and founder of the Internet retailer Overstock.com. (“The O” was formerly Discounts Direct, but changed its name to Overstock shortly after Mr Byrne bought a controlling stake.) His prior resume is also fairly impressive (beyond his father’s Geico legacy), working for companies owned by Warren Buffett (another evil whistle blower!!! “CDS are financial WMDs” Damn the Oracle of Omaha!) …but somewhere beneath the surface of this seemingly innocent CEO lurked an evil presence! The alter ego, Patrick “Lex Luthor” Byrne, founder of “Deep Capture”, a website bent on exposing the illegal practice of naked short selling, and the complicit layers of “captured” media, politicians and regulators.
His evil lair can be found at: www.deepcapture.com
(The term “Deep Capture” refers to Jon Hanson’s theory into “critical realism”, where various social psychologies, sciences and other driving forces lead “market-actors” to look to influence or take control of entities that they are controlled by, thus letting those market-actors exploit the promotion of what is most beneficial to themselves.)
***At this moment let me take a break to throw out the following disclaimer: I know nothing about Overstock as a company. I do not pretend to be even remotely knowledgeable about the health or strength of this company, nor do I believe I have any valuable insight into whether or not Patrick Byrne is good or bad CEO. This article has very little to do with Overstock and Patrick Byrne as it’s CEO, but rather Deep Capture and Patrick’s involvement there. It just so happens that there are some crossovers, due to the alleged Naked Short Selling that Patrick is trying to expose, and the fact that he claims his company to be a victim of it. At the same time, I’d also like to state that I am not here to validate the statements made in Deep Capture. That is for you to decide for yourself. My personal theories run very parallel to many theories (and evidence) contained within Deep Capture, but I can not vouch for the authenticity of that information. (once again this is for you to draw your own conclusions) The following is my interpretation of Deep Capture.***
Reality vs a Synthetic Reality
As a preface to the story I feel it’s almost become painfully cliché to quote Alice in Wonderland or The Matrix, in an effort to show the public just how far the deceptions our economic reality have become. I feel that when these absurd or extreme deceptions or conspiracy theories become a fact of life, it seems so inconceivable as a reality that we could’ve “actually” let this happen, that we find ourselves in a state of denial. We say: “OK, I’m sure some of the shenanigans go on… but it’s really not “that bad”… is it? It can’t be! That wouldn’t be allowed to happen! That’s impossible! There’s no way it could’ve actually gotten that far without someone doing something about it, stopping it, or at least exposing it!!!! Right?!?!?!?” At some point within reading about the conspiracy of “Deep Capture’s” proposed synthetic reality… you have to stop and ask yourself: Could this really be true? …or are these just figments of Mr. Byrne’s overactive imagination?
The Story of Deep Capture
When you go to Deep Capture’s website, you may come across this warning… Take heed:
“The Columbia School of Journalism is our nation’s finest. They grant the Pulitzer Prize, and their journal, The Columbia Journalism Review, is the profession’s gold standard. CJR reporters are high priests of a decaying temple, tending a flame in a land going dark.
In 2006 a CJR editor (a seasoned journalist formerly with Time magazine in Asia, The Wall Street Journal Europe, and The Far Eastern Economic Review) called me to discuss suspicions he was forming about the US financial media. I gave him leads but warned, “Chasing this will take you down a rabbit hole with no bottom.” For months he pursued his story against pressure and threats he once described as, “something out of a Hollywood B movie, but unlike the movies, the evil corporations fighting the journalist are not thugs burying toxic waste, they are Wall Street and the financial media itself.”
His exposé reveals a circle of corruption enclosing venerable Wall Street banks, shady offshore financiers, and suspiciously compliant reporters at The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, CNBC, and The New York Times. If you ever wonder how reporters react when a journalist investigates them (answer: like white-collar crooks they dodge interviews, lie, and hide behind lawyers), or if financial corruption interests you, then this is for you. It makes Grisham read like a book of bedtime stories, and exposes a scandal that may make Enron look like an afternoon tea.” – By Patrick M. Byrne
Beginning in 2005, Patrick Byrne started a campaign against naked short selling, a practice which “supposably” did not exist. He claimed that his company (Overstock) had become a victim improper acts by Wall Street firms, a hedge fund, and an independent research firm. It further goes on to say that these financial entities, in coordination with journalists, were colluding in an attempt to profit through illegal naked short selling aimed at various companies.
(Naked short selling is illegal. Unlike Short selling, Naked shorting involves selling shares of something that you don’t own and haven’t borrowed. This illegal practice can give you the ability to sell limitless amounts of shares, thus driving the stock price down since more sells then buys creates an oversupply of the stock.) He states that this can be done through a loophole in DTC/DTCC, where the settlement of a trade typically takes 3 days. During that time, and there after, traders can book sells, but never deliver them. (“Phantom Shares”)
***With a career in settlement operations, I can confirm that undelivered trades, (fails for various reasons) are very common!!! …and this has never been disputed. It is the concept of undelivered “phantom shares” that is in question of existence. For years, this was not considered possible, but no one could see into DTC’s black box. The economic collapse of 2008 has finally exposed this concept as a VERY REAL REALITY, so real that it became a centerpiece of emergency legislation for our regulators and policy makers to save our economy and a certain number of well connected financial institutions that were in danger of falling prey to this mythical practice that supposively DID NOT EXIST.***
Within Deep Capture website, they peel back the layers of corruption that were involved with this naked short selling practice, and connect many of the dots, of how these financial criminals were able to “get away with” performing a BLATANT CRIME. Deep Capture also shows “proof” of email exchanges between various short selling market manipulators, and their collusive correspondence with the financial media. (some of this stuff is stunning!!!) The manipulation and/or cooperation often appears obvious, though denied on every level. (Cash trails are not in plain view… but you would have to think that anyone that would partake in this process would know to cover themselves in this area, and not leave such obvious evidence to be found.) Without a cash trail, it then leaves the reader to speculate on intent, which then comes down to a question of whether these “accused” were “players” or just “pawns”.
Many of Patrick’s accused claim that through Deep Capture, Patrick Byrne bullies those reporters who are critical of Overstock. Is Patrick fighting the good fight against naked short selling, or is he essentially putting fear into the media of being accused of being “captured journalists” for criticizing his company? This is up for debate, and you can decide for yourself. I can’t speak for him, but I can say that there is good evidence that many of his attacks do have many levels of validation. …and our downturn has vindicated him on many of his alleged claims of corruption. (as I said earlier, I do not know anything about Overstock’s financials, or about Patrick as a CEO of that company)
Within the website, there are days worths of interesting articles, evidence and theories. There are also active blogs where the Deep Capture team will often take part in corresponding with the blog community. The conspiracy and many of its accused are too big or intimidating for me to take on. (They require well funded agencies (and well protected people) to investigate them.) I decided to do a little exploring of my own, but rather then investigate some of the menacing big wigs, I looked into some of the smaller website’s claims against media captives and whether or not I believe their roles . The 2 that I looked into were Wikipedia and Bethany McLean. In addition, I also bang around some questions to ask of DTCC and the USTreasury, with direct relation to the claims of Deep Capture and/or the ability of some of the claims to exist. (I have not read such statements, so maybe they are “breaking stories”? …or maybe not. If someone has written about these same things, then I’d love to see a link and offer my praise.)
Wikipedia – Deep Capture
Deep Capture has brought to the public’s attention the fact that Wikipedia was subject to manipulation beyond just standard editing controls. This is important, as a great deal of the public looks at Wikipedia in an encyclopedia type fashion, where it’s content is based on facts. (There are disclaimers contained within Wiki, but perception and ignorance clouds reality none the less.) Combined with the fact that Google searches often bring you to Wikipedia as a first option, it leaves Wikipedia as an extremely referenced website.
That being said, Deep Capture claimed that Wikipedia pages were being manipulated, through someone at Wiki granting limited access to particular financial writers from the Wall St media circle. (These same writers just so happened to be connected to Wall Sts short selling community) These individuals were complicit in keeping the public blind to the facts about concepts and practices like: Naked Short Selling. They did this by mocking their existence or editing WebPages like Wiki’s to eliminate their mention. (Thus helping keep the practice invalidated in the public’s eyes.) Likewise, these same individuals were editing Wikipedia’s pages to negatively and positively promote things that best suited their own personal interests and agendas.
When this story broke a couple of years ago, it caused a bit of a stir. (I remember the Wiki controversy from back then, but did not realize that this is what it was connected to.) It brought to light the fact that the founder Jimbo Whales had a sorted past (running porn websites), and interesting connections to the Chicago Markets. Since being exposed, Wikipedia has appeared to have made some changes that now reflect more open views. (They even acknowledge Jimbo’s history… although in a very gentle manner) …but it still is not completely un-manipulated by people with vested interests. For example, Wikipedia, which is updated at the speed of light, still has no topic for: “Deep Capture”??? This is the same website that will now have pages on “swine flu” minutes after the outbreak, or pages with reference to “The Tooth Fairy”. (Go ahead… check for yourself)
Is Bethany McLean Overpriced?
Bethany McLean came into the public’s eye 8 years ago when she wrote a piece for Fortune Magazine that questioned Enron’s value. The piece went largely unnoticed at the time, but after Enron’s collapse, Bethany wound up receiving praise for her revelation. She went on to co-author the book “The Smartest Guys in the Room”, which was later turned into a documentary film which she starred in. Since then, she’s largely been able to write her own ticket as she became a “hero” in the public’s eyes. She’s a modern day Lois Lane (she even looks like the character) She’s a “good guy” keeping the bad guys in check!!! …or is she?
Years ago, when Bethany was asked: What made you look into Enron in the first place? Bethany candidly answered: “a call from a skeptic, Jim Chanos, who was short Enron’s stock had asked me to take a closer look at Enron’s financials”
Stop… Does anyone have a problem with that statement??? (Sure, I know the media and Wall St. talk all the time, but doesn’t this seem a bit over the top? Maybe, maybe not? ..but let’s not forget that when this went down, we were in a recession environment much like today, where people were looking to make cash on the downside.) Her findings at the time led her to believe that there wasn’t necessarily any outright fraud, but rather the financial community was taking Enron’s word at faith. So with nothing in her pocket, (which a detective on par with Scooby Doo could’ve come up with) she still went forward with the severely negative article. (This was gutsy!!! …and if her intentions were un-manipulated, I’d give her kudos!!! …but future evidence would prove that none should be given.) As she also stated: “I wrote the story, but only scratched the surface… I couldn’t know what lay beneath” Again, a lot of street credit was given to this writer, who was fed a story buy a hedge fund player with a vested short interest in Enron, and outside of interviewing some bright analysts, she was only able to discover slightly more about Enron then my dead grandmother.
Years later, Bethany wrote a story about Overstock and its CEO, where she made some damaging claims like: “he (Mr Byrne) seems like someone who sees shadows on the wall that are much bigger than the characters who cast them. Maybe the Sith Lord is actually Patrick Byrne himself–because he has become his own worst enemy.” This was after Patrick’s first foray into exposing the “capture” that had taken place in the market.
Within Deep Capture there are quite a few pieces of evidence linking Bethany McLean’s financial articles to Wall St players that were trying to manipulate the Market. The proof is actual email correspondence that Deep Capture came to own. The timing of her articles about Fairfax Financial Holdings, and her email correspondences with vested short sellers seem to move beyond coincidence.
Now we still see Bethany in the financial world reporting on the current market crisis. Ironic is that her exposure of Enron, also brought to light many of the legal, loophole oriented practices of Enron. Enron’s collapse has been so stripped down and analyzed, showing their trading strategies, that it has almost served as a training guide on how far you can legally push limits, loopholes and abuse to a point somewhere just short of prosecution. This is not Bethany’s fault, but rather an ironic byproduct of her work. …especially considering the frauds that exist in the market and her subsequent ties to market manipulators.
Even as recently as April 2009, Bethany McLean pumped out another article for Vanity Fair (which she now writes for) called “Over The Hedge”, where she still acts as a pawn/conduit for the hedge fund community. Apart from still quoting the likes of Jim Chanos (Who’s mad at the perception of hedge funds being roach motels.), her article is scatterbrain. At one moment, it brings to light how too much money flowed to this community, how undeserving half the johnny come lately dime a dozen hedge fund managers became (and came into easy undeserving wealth) and that so much of the community is a black box, to the next minute talking about how the industry shouldn’t be regulated because you don’t see any of these Hedge Fund Managers in Washington with their hands extended for a piece of the bailout.
When you finish reading through the lines you realize the article promotes the destruction of the johnny come lately’s, while it promotes giving a free pass to the likely hedge fund survivors under the blanket excuse of “one bad year” in comparison to all the money they made for you in previous years. (Ironic that many of these survivors are questionable short sellers) So down with all of these newbies, and let the funds return and stay with her old friends. …and while we’re at it, don’t regulate them, because they were good guys and didn’t have their hands out. She also notes that Hedge Fund salaries, compensation, successful strategies and returns are what had clients flock to them, and forced the regulated industry to run at riskier levels to compete with them… but a minute later she says hedge funds were “incidental to the downturn”.
Please Bethany. Your shilling is both insulting and infuriating. You made a name for yourself on the Enron Black Box, but now you act like it’s OK to have Hedge Fund Black Boxes out there. Black Boxes that could implode our financial system, who we trust on faith, since we don’t know how they make their money. Don’t contradict yourself too much. …lest poke holes in your claim to fame.
Since I have no faith in Bethany’s investigating and even less faith in her credibility/motives, I’ll take a moment to report on the hedge fund community. First, let’s just establish the fact that everyone in the financial worlds hand are out… directly, or indirectly. Second, a large degree of the hedge fund community was/is working off of lines of credit, and since those lines of credit haven’t been pulled (or their margin requirements increased to reflect proper risk/exposure levels) they haven’t been fully exposed yet. There have been increases on margin and tightening credit lines, but not to the point where so many more hedge funds would go under. Why? …because the banks are in no rush to expose this. Apart from being a major source of income for banks, hedgies help keep the fractional reserve debt cycle running. The collapse of this recycling credit loop would expose the incestuos relationship between the banks and the hedge funds, as well as force the banks to write down the insolvent losses associated with these hedge funds that were massive over leveraged shells to begin with. That incestuous relationship is much like the Chinese Governments ties to US Treasuries. That, plus the fact that many of these hedge funds have essentially become the dumping grounds and/or off balance sheets to unload the toxic assets. (a la Loan Star, buying crap from Merrill Lynch, and then borrowing that money from Merrill Lynch to pay for it. huh??? C’mon! Didn’t you say “what the F?” when you heard that one???)
For the few that are fortunate enough to survive, let’s face it, they are able to survive because of 2 major reasons. They can run so thin, on 25 -75 person staffs, so their expenses don’t expose them, and secondly, and MUCH MORE IMPORTANT, is other sources of their funding. Much like the way Bernie Madoff’s was able to get away with his crime for so long by targeting investors like charities, (who don’t redeem massive amounts of money at a time), Hedge funds have been fleecing the Pension Fund World. The beauty is that they can hold off their exposure here for quite some time as the funds keep rolling in at a faster rate then the outgoing obligation. …but god forbid, the pension fund world ever try to cash out, they would expose the Social Security like shell that Pension Funds have become. (Oh, but don’t think the Hedgies will take the blame. They’ll blame the market downturn, rather then their extraction of fees and commissions from the fake run up.) …and they’ll have writers like Bethany singing their praise!
…but then again in Bethany’s defense, why bite the hand that feeds you? (Or bite the hand that pawns you.)
A while back, in Bethany McLean wrote a piece called “The Phantom Menace” for Fortune where she attacked Patrick Byrne. She ended the article with a quote from Nietzsche. She warned: “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.”
What would Nietzsche say to you Bethany?
DTCC – Unsettled Trades?
Without a conduit to allow the crime to take place, the crime could never have happened. To work backwards through the undelivered trades or even temporarily projected trades (that eventually get cancelled, but yet leave transaction numbers behind) does not seem like a daunting task for an auditing team to research to find the culprits of Naked Short Selling. With a career in settlement operations, and a mastery of reconciliation, I would gladly volunteer my services to DTC to investigate this for them if they’d let me through the door.
I wonder if Patrick “Lex Luthor” Byrne is equally as curious as I am about what DTCC’s massive omnibus Principal&Income, Dividend, Payable, Receivable buckets looked like. You know… the buckets of miscellaneous cash, or funds that are unable to be applied on payments that come in and sit there for years until they are eventually escheated to the state. Those wires, checks and transfers that come in from every conceivable location like: paying agents, transfer agents, the broker dealers, the banks, the companies directly, etc… that come in with anywhere from a perfect description to no description at all, and yet have to be completely reconciled and distributed… I wonder how all of that excess sits, whether it collects interest, and whether those funds or the interest on them could conceivably be used as an offset for dividend payments on phantom shares? I could only speculate.
Naked Short Selling vs The US Government
One has to wonder how the entire financial community was able to deny this practices existence. It is comical to see the captured regulatory agencies scurry to put in place safeguards to protect against something they swore up to 6 months ago didn’t exist.
It has gone so far that the US Treasury is set to make a massive industry change on May 1st. On the 1st the TPMG (The Treasury Market Practices Group) will put into affect a sizeable charge on failed deliveries of US Treasuries. Although they may deny this as their main reason for the charge, I will be willing to stand out on a ledge and state that I believe this is a move by the treasury to essentially protect themselves against the naked Short Selling equivalent of US Treasuries. It is a move to protect the “quality” of the asset, because they can NOT afford to have these securities subject to potential manipulations. That would rock the foundation of its status as a “flight to quality” and bring about a potential collapse.
Sure they may say this isn’t the case, and that they are just trying to free up liquidity, but the fact is that the broker dealers know that with rates so low, it is cheaper to fail on a delivery, rather then pay the cost of borrowing the collateral for the repos they finance themselves with. (This move by the TPMG could become dangerous as they may actually cause market shortages in the long run?)
Don’t believe me??? Here are their words along with the website to check out the changes that go into effect this week:
“Market participants with large short positions should make deliveries in good faith. Market participants with a particularly large short position in an issue should ensure that they are making a good faith attempt to borrow needed securities in order to make timely delivery of securities. Market participants should avoid the practice of “strategic fails”—that is, the practice of selling short a security in the repo market at or near zero percent with little expectation of being able to obtain the security to make timely delivery.”
WOW!!! This is a pretty amazing about face for the practice of Naked Short Selling that didn’t exist just six months ago!!!
Was it a Crime? What do we do?
For what Nouriel gets credit in predicting the subprime meltdown, Patrick Byrne should get credit for pointing out the blatant criminal act of Naked Short Selling and the manipulation of the Media, Regulators and Politicians through their financial capture. Through “deep capture” we lost control of our system. At the same time, in our pursuit of legal rights, we’ve obfuscated the ability to hold the criminals of these transgressions accountable for their actions, as the loopholes and financial innovations always seem to be able to outpace the ability of society to hold the criminals culpable for what amounts to criminally negligent financial management.
The current net overall credit contraction is not easily calculated since credit creation on the run up was blurred by the fact that unknown amounts of leverage multiplied by unknown amounts of fractional reserves left us so grossly understating inflation during the uphill Bull Run. That leverage created the appearance of a fictional creation of credit, that ran so hyperinflationary (and yet unstated) that it makes it impossible to calculate how much credit is now contracting in comparison to the fictionally overstated growth that proceeded the downturn. (I term the understated deflation we are now experiencing: “Evaporflation”)
I do FIRMLY believe that there are MANY corrupt Wall Street offices that directly collude with the press and politicians. …but at the same time, I believe a great many of these accused media conspirators are truly just the “pawns” that Deep Capture has sometimes refers to them as. It is my belief, as an outsider looking in, that many media types have fallen victim to pier pressure, manipulation and various other forms of “capture” where they don’t even realize are essentially shills for Wall St. I thought Bethany McLean was a prime example of being a pawn, but after reading Deep Capture, and seeing some of Bethany’s correspondence with the Wall Street’s players, I came to doubt her credibility from this day forward. …and also doubt the credibility of any publication that would be willing to give her a soap box to stand on.
Their lack of reporting the news, but rather regurgitating it, then becomes a question of motive. …and that motive in many cases may or may not be as ominous as believed. It’s once again my belief that many of these media pawns have taken the easy road through the modern day way of life that promotes approval of indolence! Nobody wants to really have to work for something when an acceptable version can be handed to them. “Money for nothing and your chicks for free!” …and this has become acceptable because as a public, we are too lazy, under-educated and indifferent to ever expect, let alone demand more. …of course, until the losses roll in and hit our pockets.
In the public’s defense, financial innovations, Quant Analysis, conspiracies, and etc… are so mind numbingly complex, that it truly does take a very bright collective to connect the dots! It is equally as hard for the media to do this… but that’s what we mistakenly thought they were there to do!!! That’s “investigative journalism” folks.
Where is Superman?
When it comes to the economy, and ultimately how we are able to finance modern day lives/lifestyles, everyone is looking around for somebody that has the answers. Everyone is looking around for someone they can trust! We’re looking for Superman with a finance degree! Unfortunately, the Son of Jor El is not here, and if he was, he certainly does not work at the Daily Planet, or any other news publication it would seem!
So we now meet at this crossroad, where “Trust” and “Answers” meet the masses desire for knowledge on the subjects that will shape our lives. …and that crossroad’s location is: The MEDIA! (Or at least that’s where it was perceived to have been met, for so long) For these answers we seek, we depend on our social media through TV, internet, or publication, to provide us with “THEIR interpretation” of what our political and financial leaders are saying or what they mean/imply. “THEIR spin” will likely influence the greatest number of people since the complexity of our state of affairs has grown far to complex for the layman to jump right into. The media have become society’s educators in the world of finance and its recent evolution.
In the last year, the free fall of the worldwide economy has played its downward spiral out on prime time TV. Once the losses hit home, from Smallville to Metropolis, the public finally awoke to subjects like finance and economics, which they chose to ignore for most of their lives. Like the stars of a new blockbuster movie or prime time TV series, the faces and names of this economic crisis have become household names. No longer was Britney, Brangelina or Arod the most “important” thing you read on the internet. All of a sudden names like: Greenspan, Bernake, Geithner, Paulson, Summers and Volkner became socially relevant. …and names like Cox, Lareah, Crammer, Spitzer, Madoff, Stanford, Wagoneer, Nardelli, Blakenfield meant a WHOLE OTHER THING! (They were like human Kryptonite!)
You and I now all see this has taken place… but there seems to be nothing we can do because “legally” there’s nothing wrong with what’s been done. It’s a macro loophole that society was both willingly and unwillingly taking part in.
Why? It’s because “they” are still in control!!! “They” know you’re mad, but they know you’re not as coordinated and connected as “they” are. …and because of that, “they” know it has allowed them to get away with what “they” have, and continue to get away with it. Even if it was 99% of the US population that was after them, “they” know that that means 297,000,000 individual little squeaky voices were voicing their complaints, but it would go nowhere because those 297million would never get the strength or coordination they needed to take back control of this country that belongs to them! Instead “they” know their art of deception well. They know how to manipulate you! They know how to mock the people who attempt to coordinate the masses. …and most of all they rely on your indifference and ignorance to knowing or caring about their power grab.
This has been allowed to happen due to the viral nature of the internet. Just a few short years ago, the manipulators and criminals whom have caused a great deal of our economic free fall had essentially taken over the media. The publicity they wanted you to know is what you saw.
…but I believe evolution is on our side as the internet continues to develop beyond its originally intended purpose. That evolution will be a revolution that spreads in the same viral nature that helped these miscreants spread their financial disease. This viral storm of truth and justice has been made possible by the bloggers of the world, and the websites like Deep Capture where we can expose the criminals for what they are. It is “We the people” that will once again take back control of this country. We are Superman!
Now it’s time for you to do your part… Spread the word!!!
All the best,
Clark Kent. (a.k.a. Miss America – Rich Hartmann)
p.s. Isn’t it ironic that an illegal short selling scheme get “Byrned” by a guy whose company’s named is “over” “stock”. Maybe the criminal brokers thought there was supposed to be an oversupply of Overstock shares??? …and maybe they could’ve gotten those shares from overstock at a discount???
p.p.s. In speaking with both Patrick “Lex Luthor” Byrne and Nouriel “Dr Doom” Roubini, one of the first things I asked each man was: Do you feel vindicated? In both cases, they both answered similarly and sincerely echoing a common theme. That theme being: They weren’t doing this for praise. They were trying to educate the public to best help the greater good. …and now knowing what we know, it is time to work on fixed these problems. I have a lot of respect for both men, and am glad they have the foresight, courage and leadership to stand up and say the things they do!