Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.
golden sacks wantedA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Goldman Sachs, the most successful parasite in corporate finance and on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, “has been unmasked as one of the dirtiest players in the giant Casino that we know as Wall Street.” The villain isn't simple greed, but a system that “operates in opposition to the human economy.”
Wall Street: Phony Money and Earth-Shaking Crimes
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
The casino players are back and more deadly than ever.”
The permanent government called Goldman Sachs, the banking empire that was best friend of the Clinton and Bush administrations and, now, the Obama White House, has been unmasked as one of the dirtiest players in the giant Casino that we know as Wall Street. For a fee of $17 million, Goldman Sachs put together a toxic securities package that was engineered to fail, so that one hedge fund player could beat other clients of Goldman Sachs out of a billion dollars. The Securities and Exchange Commission is charging fraud, but nobody at Goldman Sachs will go to jail for perpetrating a billion dollar robbery. You could safely bet your house that – unless, of course, like millions of Americans, your house isn’t worth the mortgage you’re paying on it. Or if, like a majority of African Americans, you don’t own a house.
In fact, nobody but the superrich and their corporations can join the giant casino that global finance capitalism has become. Their game is played with instruments of mass economic destruction called derivatives, that are now valued at $600 trillion – a figure that sounds out of this world because it has no connection to the real world economy. $600 trillion is twelve times the value of the real economy of the entire planet. The very existence of a kind of phony money worth many times the actual value of every good and service produced in a year by every human being on Earth, is proof that global corporate capitalism operates in opposition to the human economy. The Lords of Capital, playing with derivatives in their casinos, create nothing of real value, but use their phony instruments to dominate and prey upon the rest of human society. It is only a scandal when, as with the Goldman Sachs fraud, the guys that get burned are other corporations and billionaires, whose intentions are just as larcenous as Goldman Sachs and its co-conspirators.
The Lords of Capital, playing with derivatives in their casinos, create nothing of real value.”
The $600 trillion global derivatives figure is just an estimate. No one knows the exact value. But it is now commonly accepted that derivatives were the dynamite that blew the world economy apart in 2008. Back then, before the crash, derivatives were also valued at about $600 trillion. Seven former heads of European governments and five former finance ministers warned, in an open letter, that finance capital and its derivative devices were leading the world into a disaster. Their letter was titled, “Mad Finance Must Not Rule Us.” But Mad Finance stayed on the throne, and catastrophe struck, four months later. Now, thanks to worldwide bank bailouts, the casino players are back and more deadly than ever, betting against the financial survival of entire nations, and against the European currency, itself. What else is there to do, for a finance capitalist class that creates nothing, but seeks to own everything, and destroys all that is of real value to human beings, in the process.
The Democrats on Capitol Hill and their boss in the White House pretend they want to reign in Mad Finance capital and its derivatives. But the Democrats' pitiful play-acting at regulation amounts to little more than asking Wall Street to use better table manners as they eat the rest of us alive.
For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at

Direct download: 20100421_gf_Goldman.mp3
Category:politics -- posted at: 4:53pm EDT

bandungA Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR columnist Dr. Jared A. Ball
The 55th anniversary of the Bandung conference that solidified the global Non-Aligned Movement, is a good vantage from which to observe the continuity of imperial policies toward what used to be called the “Third World.” Unfortunately, many of the oppressed have still not learned history’s lessons that could lead them to a “class and racial and religious consciousness on a global scale.”
The Anniversary of Bandung and Durban II: Eisenhower to Obama What We Haven’t Learned About “Unity in Diversity!”
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR columnist Dr. Jared A. Ball
Then as now the wealth-producing nations of the so-called ‘Third World’ are essential as colonies of the West.”
55 years ago this week 29 African and Asian nations gathered in Bandung, Indonesia to develop organized resistance to Western imperialism. One year ago this week 141 mostly African, Asian and Latin American nations were gathered at the World Conference Against Racism (Durban II) in Geneva, Switzerland looking to, among other things, develop collective strategies in a struggle against racism, xenophobia and “related intolerance problems.” In each case the world’s majority joined together to speak and organize against the ravages of Western dominance; in each case many well-meaning people were inspired; in each case the West refused full acceptance or participation; and in each case the hopes and unity have yet to be realized.
In 1955 President Eisenhower refused to send a delegation despite having not been invited. In 2009, despite being invited, president Obama refused U.S. participation just as Bush had refused participation in the 2001 original World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. In 1955 the West was not invited. In 2009 the West was invited but 9 of the 23 Western nations walked out or boycotted. Whatever were the given reasons for their lack of involvement in 2009, the reasons were in fact the same as those which led to their not being invited in 1955. If the responses of the colonized are to include equality, reparations or overthrows of currently-held relationships of power the West, regardless of the particular hue of its leadership, is not interested. Then as now the wealth-producing nations of the so-called “Third World” are essential as colonies of the West. It is we who have not learned our lessons.
If the responses of the colonized are to include equality, reparations or overthrows of currently-held relationships of power the West is not interested.”
In 1955 Black American leadership knew the importance of such a gathering. In 2009, with few notable exceptions such as Cynthia McKinney, established leadership was silent both in terms of attendance and in criticism of the president’s decision not to go. Looking back on Bandung in 1963 Malcolm X noted in his “Message to the Grassroots” the importance of this kind of unity and expressed the inspirational impact it had on him. Recognizing the power in the oppressed leading their own struggles for freedom he noted that the “… number-one thing that was not allowed to attend the Bandung conference was the white man. He couldn’t come… This is the thing that you and I have to understand. And these people who came together didn’t have nuclear weapons; they didn’t have jet planes; they didn’t have all of the heavy armaments that the white man has. But they had unity.
And in at least two cases, for W.E.B. DuBois and Paul Robeson, it took government interference to keep them from attending. Robeson sent his blessings and summarized not only his support but the precise purpose for the gathering. “How I should have loved to have been in Bandung,” he exclaimed. He added that, “The time has come when the colored peoples of the world will no longer allow the great natural wealth of their countries to be exploited and expropriated by the Western world while they are beset by hunger, disease and poverty.”
The Black leaders who could make it, included Richard Wright and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Wright would later say, “Here were class and racial and religious consciousness on a global scale [...] And what had these nations in common? Nothing, it seemed to me, but what their past relationship to the Western world had made them feel. This meeting of the rejected was in itself a kind of judgment upon that Western world!" Powell, in assessing his country’s refusal to participate said that they had, “deliberately and calculatedly imperiled the future of the United States of America for perhaps the rest of our lives.”
And given that today throughout Asia poverty remains rampant and gaps in wealth grow, and that the theft of Africa’s wealth remains key to the hegemony of the West, or that for African America the crisis of economic instability has been described as “permanent,” there remains much we can learn from the need for Bandung then and similar unification now. As then president Sukarno of Indonesia exclaimed in 1955 we today also need, “unity in diversity!”
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Jared Ball. On the web visit

Jared A. Ball, Ph.D. can be contacted at

Direct download: 20100421_jb_bandung.mp3
Category:politics -- posted at: 4:45pm EDT