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2009: The Year Wall Street Devoured the US Govt

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Something happened last year that will earn 2009 a permanent place in history: the finance capitalist class devoured the state apparatus of America. Whole. All of it. And nothing will ever be the same.

 

The Year Wall Street Ate the American State

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

“President Barack Obama joined with the Federal Reserve to put the entirety of the nation's current and future wealth at the disposal of the bankster class.”

It is almost always up to historians to locate watersheds in human history, to pinpoint that period of time when accumulated social and economic changes can no longer be denied, and it must be concluded that the society has entered a qualitatively new and different period. The beginnings and ends of eras are seldom recognized at the time they occur. Only by looking back do we gain the perspective to conclude that something world-shaking has happened.

2009 will, I believe, go down in history as the year that Wall Street – shorthand for the finance capitalist class – finally chewed up and swallowed whole the government of the United States. It is, of course, true that businessmen have shaped the laws and policies of the American state since the founding the Republic – most notably, men in the business of slavery and land piracy. When plantation slavery power was broken in the Civil War, manufacturing capital, in league with banks, dominated national life. By the 1950s, captains of industry could still proclaim that what was good for General Motors was good for the country. But sometime in the 1970s – no one can definitively say exactly when – the money handlers got the upper hand over the industrialists. For the first time, the General Motors Acceptance Corporation, the financial arm of the giant auto maker, made bigger profits than its parent company.

“When the bubbles finally burst, it would require the full faith and credit of the United States to prevent utter collapse of the financial sector.”

By the 1980s Wall Street was busily dismantling the manufacturing sector of the United States. Finance capital achieved total supremacy over the Democratic Party under President Bill Clinton, whose operatives abolished all effective controls on the mass manipulation of money. The bankers were now free to create bubbles so huge that when they finally burst, in September of 2008, it would require the full faith and credit of the United States to prevent utter collapse of the financial sector.

The job of reinflating the Wall Street bubble fell to President Barack Obama, whose executive branch joined with the Federal Reserve to put the entirety of the nation's current and future wealth at the disposal of the bankster class. By July of 2009, Obama and the Fed had committed $23.7 trillion dollars of the people's cash and credit to bail out the banks. In a real sense, it does not matter how many trillions were actually spent, or will be sucked up by Wall Street in the future. The point is, the U.S. government in 2009 put everything the people of the United States own or create, or can ever hope to own or create, permanently at the service of Wall Street. Like the young “Alien” in the science fiction movie series, Wall Street has attached itself to the face and body of the nation and is sucking it to death.

The picture that best explains the historical significance of the year 2009, is President Obama holding a teleconference with bankers who didn't bother to show up for a meeting with him at the White House, in mid-December. Obama is pleading with them to at least pretend to act in the interest of the public whose national resources they have stolen. But the banksters see no need to pay even token respect to a president who is actually their servant. Having swallowed the state whole, they simply...digest it, knowing they can come back for seconds and thirds until the people's credit is exhausted.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20100106_gf_WallSt2009.mp3
Category:politics -- posted at: 6:56am EDT