G. Bush 'splainin'
The George Bush administration wanted a unitary executive and sovereign immunity. So does the Obama administration. Both view perpetual crisis and war on “terror” as vehicles to absolute power. The paid for congress is merely a rubber stamp. The end of an independent congress (if there ever was one) means the end of the voice of the people. Surely, the shadowy groups that nominate presidents are now the true authorities controlling the vehicle of government. If one needs more proof that what now exists in America is a corrupt and self-seeking duopoly, or that the Bush administration has set up the oligarchic table to be run by the Obama clique, consider this article from NPR:
Perhaps no single aspect of the proposed bailout illustrates the shift so well as the Bush administration’s request to endow the Treasury secretary with nearly absolute control of the $700 billion measure. The measure sent to Congress by the U.S. Treasury includes this clause: “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.”
Jon Macey, a professor and deputy dean of Yale Law School, says the bill contains the largest transfer of power from Congress to the administration that he has ever seen. Macey says Congress is handing over more power than it did in granting the executive branch leeway in the Patriot Act, more than when authorizing combat through the war powers clause.
He says the move amounts to a sidelining of Congress. Macey says: “Imagine you’re going to a partner you’ve been working with for the last 200 years: ‘I’m not going to fire you; you can still be called Congress. But you don’t have any power.
For heaven’s sake, these guys are the cronies of Kissinger and George Soros and the Carlyle Group. Why are we letting them run our country?
Already, Geithner has presided over the biggest bailout give away to financial institutions in the history of the world. Taxpayers have taken a hit for billions, even trillions, with most of the money shoved into pass-throughs to other institutions or into a black hole of accountability, whence nothing will return. The giveaway is an experiment. Geithner and Co. don’t know what they’re doing. But our boy has much more on his plate. The whole world waits, hat in hand for Geithner’s make or break decisions. This guy wields breathtaking power in a job that pays $191,300 per year.
So he’s not in it for the salary.
Here is a brief rundown of the international financial institutions under Geithner’s thumb. And so I wonder: Whose thumb is Geithner under? And where does all of that money go? According to Wikipedia, our Secretary of the Treasury is:
The Chief Financial Officer of the government, the Secretary serves as Chairman Pro Tempore of the President’s Economic Policy Council, Chairman of the Boards and Managing Trustee of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, and as U.S. Governor of the International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Power over the economies of foreign nations is implicit in the interconnection of these private and public lending institutions that dominate much of the world. Take the IMF for example, many developing or financially troubled nations detest the it for these reasons:
… conditions placed on troubled countries is that the governments sell up as much of their national assets as they can, normally to western corporations at heavily discounted prices.
Argentina and Kenya are two examples of nations severly undercut by IMF policies. Again per Wikipedia:
Argentina, which had been considered by the IMF to be a model country in its compliance to policy proposals by the Bretton Woods institutions, experienced a catastrophic economic crisis in 2001, which some believe to have been caused by IMF-induced budget restrictions — which undercut the government’s ability to sustain national infrastructure even in crucial areas such as health, education, and security — and privatization of strategically vital national resources. Others attribute the crisis to Argentina’s mis-designed fiscal federalism, which caused subnational spending to increase rapidly. The crisis added to widespread hatred of this institution in Argentina and other South American countries, with many blaming the IMF for the region’s economic problems. The current — as of early 2006 — trend towards moderate left-wing governments in the region and a growing concern with the development of a regional economic policy largely independent of big business pressures has been ascribed to this crisis.
poverty Latin America
Foreign privatization of another nation’s vital resources is colonization without the extra expense. From the same article as above:
Another example of where IMF Structural Adjustment Programmes aggravated the problem was in Kenya. Before the IMF got involved in the country, the Kenyan central bank oversaw all currency movements in and out of the country. The IMF mandated that the Kenyan central bank had to allow easier currency movement. However, the adjustment resulted in very little foreign investment, but allowed Kamlesh Manusuklal Damji Pattni, with the help of corrupt government officials, to siphon off billions of Kenyan shillings in what came to be known as the Goldenberg scandal, leaving the country worse off than it was before the IMF reforms were implemented. In an interview, the former Romanian Prime Minister Tăriceanu stated that “Since 2005, IMF is constantly making mistakes when it appreciates the country’s economic performances”.
Impact on Public Health
In 2008, a study by analysts from Cambridge and Yale universities published on the open-access Public Library of Science concluded that strict conditions on the international loans by the IMF resulted in thousands of deaths in Eastern Europe by tuberculosis as public health care had to be weakened. In the 21 countries which the IMF had given loans, tuberculosis deaths rose by 16.6 %.
In Indonesia, Geithner, author of the IMF cure for the Asian economic crisis, was a catastrophe. Paul Keating, Australia’s then Prime Minister viewed Geithner this way:
Soeharto’s government delivered 21 years of 7 per cent compound growth. It takes a gigantic fool to mess that up. But the IMF messed it up. The end result was the biggest fall in GDP in the 20th century. That dubious distinction went to Indonesia. And, of course, Soeharto lost power.
Tim Geithner’s father Peter, director of the Asia program of the Ford Foundation was probably complicit in the military coup that installed Suharto. His son finished the country off with monetary policy.
This week Geithner told a committee of the IMF and World Bank that the economic crises in Asia, Latin America and Africa are unprecedented since the Great Depression. He called for wealthier lender nations to contribute higher amounts to stave of a financial meltdown and human disaster.
A World Bank and IMF report warned on Friday that the crisis means up to 90 million more people will remain trapped in extreme poverty this year while the chronically hungry could top one billion.
Some documentaries related to the IMF:
Life and Debt, a documentary film, deals with the IMF’s policies’ influence on Jamaica and its economy from a critical point of view. In 1978, one year after Jamaica first entered a borrowing relationship with the IMF, the Jamaican dollar was still worth more on the open exchange than the US dollar; by 1995, when Jamaica terminated that relationship, the Jamaican dollar had eroded to less than 2 cents US. Such observations lead to skepticism that IMF involvement is not necessarily helpful to a third world economy.
The Debt of Dictators  explores the lending of billions of dollars by the IMF, World Bank multinational banks and other international financial institutions to brutal dictators throughout the world. (see IMF/World Bank support of military dictatorships)
Jon Macey’s caution (above) bears repeating: this is the largest transfer of power from Congress to the administration that he has ever seen.
Do we want the lives of a billion people hanging by Geithner’s thread? The Geithner/Obama axis was unable to prevent hundreds of milions of unearned bonuses transferred to the Wall Street gang. And they will be unable to prevent the looting of the world’s poorest nations.