The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
The End of the Class War
Friday, December 12th, 2008
The Nossiter Net is cast  to snare some of  the riper rascalities of the day.  Comments?  Send a letter to the editor.
Why would the Senate lavish 700 billion on Wall Street but withhold a meager 15 billion from the auto industry? It wasn't hypocrisy or hatred of union workers or even inconsistency. It had nothing to do with the fact that all the southern Republicans who voted against the Big Three bailout have foreign auto plants in their states and secretly wish the domestic auto industry, or at least the UAW,  a speedy death. No, the Senate reasoned as follows: Detroit makes products nobody wants, while Wall Street makes something everybody wants. Which seems logical except that the Senate was misinformed. Detroit may not be very good at making cars, but Wall Street is even worse at making money. It turns out that what Wall Street does best is lose money, and that by the boatload.

Take Bernard L. Madoff. For decades he's been providing thousands of investors with reliable returns. Foundations, charities, retirees, hedge funds, university endowments, prominent families like the Wilpons, of New York Mets fame, all have enjoyed Madoff's Midas touch. But what his pet auditors and the SEC both failed to notice is that Madoff was running a fifty billion dollar Ponzi scheme, a time honored form of fraud in which existing investors are paid off with new investor dollars – until the supply of new investors runs out, at which point the house of cards collapses. Madoff confessed, something almost all of his colleagues never do.

And Madoff is just the one who didn't get away. His fifty billion theft, disastrous as it is to his many investors, is petty cash compared to the total Wall Street has frittered away. The 700 billion handed over by Congress is in reality a front for  over two trillion in secret Treasury Department lending to the financial industry. Bloomberg filed a Freedom of Information Act request to see which firms were getting the loot. Those firms are also going to get away with murder, because the request was denied. We now know all about Madoff and his fifty billion dollar heist, but we may never know about his fellow thieves, who've ripped us all off for 2.7 trillion and counting.

So the next time a GOP politician or a David Brooks or a Sean Hannity gets all worked up about what unionized autoworkers are making ($28.00 an hour is about the sum), ask them why they're not even more upset about the trillions Wall Streeters are taking home at our expense. Of course if you do they'll accuse you of waging class warfare, as David Brooks did to Mark Shields on the News Hour today. The not so funny thing is that they are absolutely right. There is a war on between the masters-of-the-universe class and the rest of us. What Brooks and his pals never mention is that this war is already over and not only did we lose, we just keep on losing.

©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2008


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A NOTE TO READERS ***Update***
Another three week plus hiatus, from April 30th until May 23rd, again due to Yahoo Geocities dismal service.

There was nothing new at The Nossiter Net between March 3rd and April 26th, 2007, nearly eight weeks.  The reason:  tech sabotage. Yahoo Geocities, the host for this site, denied access for the entire period.  At one point, they even managed to lose all the files.  In many discussions with Yahoo staff, no clear explanation was forthcoming.  No one seemed able to fix the problem.  Ruling out the possibility of Dubbya’s revenge, I finally wrote to Mr. Terry Semel, Chairman and CEO of Yahoo! Inc and described the ordeal the page had undergone since the beginning of March.  A week later, a helpful Yahooo engineer named Jason called.  He had my letter before him.  Though he couldn’t do the repairs on on the spot, he promised a fix by the next day.  That was April 26th, nearly two months after shutting me down in the first place.

The Nossiter Net apologizes, which is more than I can say for Yahoo Geocities.

                              




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Bush Gets Smart
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Beyond Stupid
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