|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
|In Bush We Trust
Wednesday, December 17th, 2008
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? Send a letter to the editor.|
|The SEC used to be a middling reliable agency, more or less effectively policing the securities industry at least some of the time. But the Bush administration defunded and demoralized the Commission over the course of two terms and among the resulting serial catastrophes is the largest Ponzi scheme in history. Bernard Madoff's fifty billion fraud is peanuts compared to the thefts committed by Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, AIG, and the other major players in the no-rules national financial casino created by team Bush. But unlike most of his fellow criminals Madoff was caught red handed. His little scandal provides insight into how it was that all these giant heists took place right under the SEC's nose.
Bush appointee Christopher Cox, the SEC Chairman, told the New York Times that he was "gravely concerned by the apparent multiple failures over at least a decade to thoroughly investigate" the various charges brought against Madoff. One possible problem: a leading SEC investigator is married to a Madoff niece. But the Bush-engineered destruction of the Commission has as its centerpiece Cox himself. He was brought on board in 2005 to replace William Donaldson. Although a Wall Street insider, the founder of the once illustrious firm of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette surprised everyone by energetically investigating malefactors, trying to curb hedge fund excesses, and generally doing his job. That made him anathema to Bush, necessitating his replacement by the reliably hyper-conservative shill for Silicon Valley and the accounting and banking industries, former Orange County Congressman Christopher Cox.
You recognize the pattern. The formerly efficient FEMA, its staffing and funding gutted, run by the imbecilic Heckuva Job Brownie, helped destroy New Orleans. The EPA, its budget slashed, run by anti-science ideologues and big business handmaidens like Julie Macdonald, helped dirty our air and water, hastened the end for assorted endangered species, poisoned vast swathes of our land. At Interior, where the staff exchanged favors for oil and mining industry supplied money and sex, they've just given away millions more acres of pristine wilderness to the oil and mining industries. At State, Education, Health and Human services, the story is the same. Pick any branch of government and see how the Bush brain trust has ruined it.
What a legacy: Bush the Destroyer. But with government broken, the world economy is on its knees, two quagmire wars in progress, and the shards of American capitalism littering the landscape, Mr. Bush is leaving office with, in his words, his head held high. You might ask why. Back when he appointed Cox to the SEC, Bush said, "As a champion of the free-enterprise system in Congress, Chris Cox knows that a free economy is built on trust." It really is all about trust. That's why Bush is wearing his famous perma-smirk and holding his head high. He's thinking of that frat boy epic, Animal House, which as far as he's concerned has the last word on the subject. With his extended middle-finger in his pocket and his gym-trained shoulders shrugging, Bush is saying to us all, "You fucked up. You trusted me."
©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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