tiistai 23. syyskuuta 2008

THE 700+ BN$ STING, and the art of the ‘big con’

23.9.2008 10.46 | hakki47 | Business, Politics, Corruption

Remember the ”1973 caper film set in September 1936 and revolving around a complicated plot by two professional grifters (Paul Newman and Robert Redford) to con a mob boss (Robert Shaw)?” For some unexplicable reason that came to mind when reading mainly US media coverage on the ongoing US financial turmoil.

Paul Kruger NYT on Cash for trash: ”Some are saying that we should simply trust Mr. Paulson, because he’s a smart guy who knows what he’s doing. But that’s only half true: he is a smart guy, but what, exactly, in the experience of the past year and a half — a period during which Mr. Paulson repeatedly declared the financial crisis “contained,” and then offered a series of unsuccessful fixes — justifies the belief that he knows what he’s doing? He’s making it up as he goes along, just like the rest of us.” …. ”But Mr. Paulson insists that he wants a “clean” plan. “Clean,” in this context, means a taxpayer-financed bailout with no strings attached — no quid pro quo on the part of those being bailed out. Why is that a good thing? Add to this the fact that Mr. Paulson is also demanding dictatorial authority, plus immunity from review “by any court of law or any administrative agency,” and this adds up to an unacceptable proposal.”

What if he doesn´t make it up as he goes along?

Remember Halliburton, vice-president Cheney and Irak? And yet another film: Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers made by Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films in 2006.

Specifically, the film claims four major contractors — Blackwater, K.B.R.-Halliburton, CACI and Titan — are over-billing the U.S. government and doing substandard work while endangering the lives of American soldiers and private citizens. The documentary contends these companies are composed of ex-military and ex-government workers who unethically help their companies get and keep enormous contracts and milk the American taxpayer.

The Bush era if definitely coming to a close. He will have no possibility to accept a prime minister post as a retreat, like his friend in spirit Vladimir.

Is it every man for himself now?


Before becoming Secretary of the Treasury Henry Poulson previously served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs.  Might there be conflict of interest?

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