ISIS is Israeli Secret Intelligence Service

Monday, April 2, 2012

When Bankers Rule the World

How we can call out the myths, restructure the banking
system, shut down the con game, and take back America.

By David Korten
Yes Magazine
April 02, 2012

The tell-all defection of Greg Smith, a former Goldman Sachs
executive, provided an insider’s view of the moral corruption
of the Wall Street banks that control of much of America’s
economy and politics.

Smith confirms what insightful observers have known for years:
the business purpose of Wall Street bankers is to maximize their
personal financial take without regard to the consequences for

Wall Street’s World of Illusion

Why has the public for so long tolerated Wall Street’s reckless
abuses of power and accepted the resulting devastation?

The answer lies in a cultural trance induced by deceptive language and misleading indicators backed by flawed economic theory and accounting sleight-of-hand.

To shatter the trance we need to recognize that the deception that
Wall Street promotes through its well-funded PR machine rests on
three false premises.

1. We best fulfill our individual moral obligation to society by
maximizing our personal financial gain.

2. Money is wealth and making money increases the wealth of
the society.

3. Making money is the proper purpose of the individual enterprise
and is the proper measure of prosperity and economic performance.

Wall Street aggressively promotes these fallacies as guiding moral

Their embrace by Wall Street insiders helps to explain how they
are able to reward themselves with obscene bonuses for their
successful use of deception, fraud, speculation, and usury to
steal wealth they have had no part in creating and yet still
believe, as Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein famously proclaimed,
that they are “doing God’s work.”

The devastation created by Wall Street’s failure affirms three
truths that are the foundation on which millions of people are
at work building a New Economy:

1. Our individual and collective well-being depends on acting
with concern for the well-being of others. We all do better
when we look out for one another.

2. Money is not wealth. It is just numbers. Sacrificing the health
and happiness of billions of people to grow numbers on computer
hard drives to improve one’s score on the Forbes Magazine list
of the world’s richest people is immoral. Managing a society’s
economy to facilitate this immoral competition at the expense
of people and nature is an act of collective insanity.

3. The proper purpose of the economy and the enterprises that
comprise it is to provide good jobs and quality goods and services
beneficial to the health and happiness of people, community and
nature. A modest financial profit is essential to a firm’s viability,
but is not its proper purpose.

The critical distinction between making money and creating
wealth is the key to seeing through Wall Street’s illusions.

Ends/Means Confusion

Real wealth includes healthful food; fertile land; pure water; clean
air; caring relationships; healthy, happy children; quality education
and health care; fulfilling opportunities for service; peace; and time for meditation and spiritual reflection.

These are among the many forms of real wealth to which we
properly expect a sound economy to contribute.

It is a very, very bad idea to yield control of the issuance and
allocation of credit (money) to Wall Street banks run by con
artists who operate beyond the reach of public accountability.

Wall Street has so corrupted our language, however, that it is
difficult even to express the crucial distinction between money
(a facilitator of economic activity), and real wealth (the purpose
of economic activity).

Financial commentators routinely use terms like wealth, capital,
resources, and assets when referring to phantom wealth financial
assets, which makes them sound like something real and
substantial—whether or not they are backed by anything of real

Similarly, they identify folks engaged in market speculation and
manipulation as investors, thus glossing over the distinction
between those who game the system to expropriate wealth and
those who contribute to its creation.

The same confusion plays out in the use of financial indicators,
particularly stock price indices, to evaluate economic performance.

The daily rise and fall of stock prices tells us only how fast the
current stock bubble is inflating or deflating and thus how Wall
Street speculators are doing relative to the rest of us.

Once we are conditioned to embrace measures of Wall Street
success as measures of our own well-being, we are easily recruited
as foot soldiers in Wall Street’s relentless campaign to advance
policies that support its control of money and thus its hold on
nearly every aspect of our lives.

Modern Enslavement

In a modern society in which our access to most essential of life
from food and water to shelter and health care depends on money,
control of money is the ultimate instrument of social control.

Fortunately, with the help of Occupy Wall Street, Americans are
waking up to an important truth.

It is a very, very bad idea to yield control of the issuance and
allocation of credit (money) to Wall Street banks run by con artists
who operate beyond the reach of public accountability and who
Greg Smith tells us in his New York Times op-ed view the rest of
us as simple-minded marks ripe for the exploiting.

By going along with its deceptions, we the people empowered
Wall Street to convert America from a middle class society
of entrepreneurs, investors, and skilled workers into a nation
of debt slaves.

Buying into Wall Street lies and illusions, Americans have been
lured into accepting, even aggressively promoting, “tax relief”
for the very rich and the “regulatory relief” and “free trade”
agreements for corporations that allowed Wall Street to suppress
wages and benefits for working people through union busting,
automation, and outsourcing jobs to foreign sweatshops.

Once working people were unable to make ends meet with current
income, Wall Street lured them into making up the difference by
taking on credit card and mortgage debt they had no means to repay.

They were soon borrowing to pay not only for current consumption,
but as well to pay the interest on prior unpaid debt.

This is the classic downward spiral of debt slavery that assures an
ever-growing divide between the power and luxury of a creditor
class and the powerless desperation of a debtor class.

Bust the Trusts, Liberate America

Before Wall Street dismantled it, America had a system of
transparent, well-regulated, community-based, locally owned,
Main Street financial institutions empowered to put local
savings to work investing in building real community wealth
through the creation and allocation of credit to finance local
home buyers and entrepreneurs.

Although dismissed by Wall Street players as small, quaint,
provincial, and inefficient, this locally rooted financial system
created the credit that financed our victory in World War II, the
Main Street economies that unleashed America’s entrepreneurial
talents, the investments that made us the world leader in
manufacturing and technology, and the family-wage jobs that
built the American middle class.

It is a proven model with important lessons relevant for current
efforts to restore financial integrity and build an economy that
serves all Americans.

Two recent reports from the New Economy Working Group—How to
Liberate America from Wall Street Rule and Jobs:

A Main Street Fix for Wall Street’s Failure—draw on these lessons to
outline a practical program to shift power from Wall Street to Main
Street, focus economic policy on real wealth creation, create a true
ownership society, unleash Main Street’s entrepreneurial potential,
bring ourselves into balance with the biosphere, meet the needs of
all, and strengthen democracy in the process.

For far too long, we have allowed Wall Street to play us as marks
in a confidence scam of audacious proportion. Then we wonder at
our seeming powerlessness to deal with job loss, depressed wages,
mortgage foreclosures, political corruption and the plight of our
children as they graduate into debt bondage.

Let us be clear. We will no longer play the sucker for Wall Street
con artists and we will no longer tolerate public bailouts to save
failed Wall Street banks.

Henceforth, when a Wall Street financial institution fails to
maintain adequate equity reserves to withstand a major financial
shock or is found guilty of systematic violation of the law and/or
defrauding the public, we must demand that federal authorities
take it over and break it up into strictly regulated, community-
accountable, cooperative member-owned financial services

Occupy Wall Street has focused national and global attention on
the source of the problem.

Now it’s time for action to bust the Wall Street banking trusts,
replace the current Wall Street banking system with a Main Street
banking system, and take back America from rule by Wall Street

David Korten ( is the author of Agenda
for a New Economy, The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth
Community, and the international best seller When Corporations
Rule the World. He is board chair of YES! Magazine, co-chair of
the New Economy Working Group, and a founding board member
of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies.

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