Thursday, March 11, 2010

Damon Vrabel - Russia, Greece, Chile, and the Narcissism of Harvard Debt Lords

Damon does not pull punches. He is spot on, a go getter, and is on a mission for Freedom's Vision. Damon will be a regular contributor at

Today marks the beginning of a new administration in Chile as Harvard economist and billionaire Sebastián Piñera eked out a narrow victory in January. Interestingly this is related to the rest of the world as we also see today Greek police, dressed in the Darth Vader costumes used in every country, cracking down hard on their poor countrymen. They have been robbed by the elite financier/politician tag-teams that roam the world attacking whichever country and currency they choose.

Since almost every currency is just a debt-based instrument, the tag-teams are quite successful. Despite the claims of neoclassical economics and the theories of Harvard Business School, having a debt-based currency means that governments are not in charge of their countries. We are living in a world governed by the bond market, billionaires, and elite financial institutions, not governments. The future is grim if this isn’t changed.

People who dismiss this will learn the painful lesson in due course. Most countries, especially the United States, are now stuck under incomprehensible levels of debt just waiting for financiers to attack. National foreclosure is coming. Those who paid attention when it happened to southeast Asian countries, Russia, Argentina, Mexico, and others know what is coming. People who are paying attention now to Greece can see what is coming—the end of cash transactions, the loss of sovereign land, the privatization of resources, massive taxation, the end of support for the lower classes, and an active police state.

Plutocracy: Government by the Wealthy Few

The Greek protesters are chanting “no sacrifice for plutocracy” while being tear gassed and beaten. It certainly isn’t the catchiest phrase I’ve ever heard, but it is precisely accurate. The private sector rich rotate through the public sector so their nexus of power cannot be threatened. The citizens of Iceland understood this and luckily took their power back by refusing to payoff the fraudulent loans of the foreign financiers. Why has no other country done this? Why have no US states, bankrupt for the same reason, done this? In every situation other than Iceland, the politicians submit to the financiers, put their citizens in austerity, and sick the storm troopers on the poor like a pack of pit bulls.

The reason they submit is primarily because mega banking institutions control money (see previous article on Wall Street

But politicians also submit because they are willing accomplices. They increase deficits and participate in the game that builds up the leverage in the first place, which makes a few people very rich. Then when debt deflation or a currency attack occurs, they continue playing the game. We have seen this in the United States over the last several years as presidents let the near-billionaire Harvard boys Robert Rubin and Hank Paulson setup the game, not to mention the not as rich Ivy Leaguers like Larry Summers and Tim Geithner. So far trillions have been stripped from the American people. But we are only at half time. You will know when the 2nd half has started when you look outside your front window and see the picture from Greece above.

The few politicians and financiers I am talking about have been playing this game together for a long time. They are bred in a world separate from you and me. They live in the same elite enclaves, attend the same private prep schools, go to the same Ivy League colleges, business schools, and law schools, and then spread out between New York and Washington DC to continue their self-serving partnership. Again, I’m talking about a small group, not 95% of the graduates of these institutions.

A useful indicator for whether someone is part of the select few or not is narcissism. Are they ruthless overachievers for a paycheck? Is class status important to them? Do they have contempt for the average person? Do they strive to become part of the oligarchic elite in clubs like the Council on Foreign Relations? The answer is yes to all of those questions for some very key names we have seen over the last several years:

Robert Rubin – CFR, Harvard, Goldman, Treasury, Citi
Hank Paulson – CFR, Harvard, Goldman, Treasury
Larry Summers – CFR, Harvard, Treasury, World Bank
Tim Geithner – CFR, Dartmouth, Treasury, Fed, IMF
Jamie Dimon – CFR, Harvard, Chase, Fed
The list could go on for a while. It includes both the private sector folks getting fabulously rich from our monetary, fiscal, and regulatory policy over the last 30 years, and the government officials who are making the policy. In fact the officials making the policy ARE the rich private sector few who benefit from it—the definition of plutocracy and oligarchy.

You will not see people on this list who would be true public servants:
Brooksley Born – tried to stop the Harvard boys under Clinton
William Black – defended the country in the S&L scandal
Janet Tavakoli – explains the public-private fraud better than almost anyone
Eliot Spitzer – could be the modern Teddy Roosevelt going after the plutocrats
People like this are capable of compassion and concern for fellow human beings. They can see through Ivy League schmarm and are not controlled by a desire to be part of the inside clique. They do not suffer from narcissism, which is easy to detect as you see them talk on TV (actually Spitzer is narcissistic, but he is the type that wants to fight the establishment narcissists, so he is a real public servant). If these people ran Treasury, SEC, FDIC, Justice, and other regulatory agencies, we might have a country with a future for the average person. Instead we only see the connected few in these positions.

Harvard Economists, Debt Lords, and Billionaires in Government

In the US, the Harvard economists and billionaires who want to run things have to hide behind lawyers and corporate institutions or be appointed to unelected positions like Treasury Secretary because our citizens would never vote for them. But something has changed in Chile where for decades they voted for public servants who have worked to eliminate poverty but have now put a Harvard economist and billionaire in office.

How did Sebastián Piñera become a billionaire? The same way the most powerful people in the world make money—by using debt to suck wealth from the population creating all the value. He founded credit card company Bancard and helped put the Chilean people in debt to the Anglo banking model. Will someone like this serve the public interest?

Well, here’s a scary thought experiment: would Jamie Dimon, CEO of the biggest debt machine in the US and insider on the NY Federal Reserve Board, be a president who cares about you? Any narcissist who can lecture lower class Americans to pay their debts, the source of his wealth, while his firm is in the process of tripling credit card rates and kicking them out of their homes has no business coming anywhere close to the public sector. This is the type of guy who now runs Chile. Of course with Rubin, Paulson, and their protégé Geithner in Treasury, this is also the type of guy who has run the US for several years.

As a fellow Harvard Business School alum, guys like Jamie Dimon and Hank Paulson embarrass and disgust me by furthering the financial empire system beyond reasonable means to keep lining their wallets while impoverishing the American Republic and conquering other nations. There are more just like them in the select club. But even worse than these MBAs chasing paychecks is the Harvard economist Larry Summers who creates the economic structure within which the MBAs operate. He tore down Glass-Steagall and led the free market jihad against any and all regulation in derivatives, which setup the Wall Street structure that brought us to the crash of 2008. He and his colleague Andrei Shleifer tried to privatize Russia in 1998 and hand it over to the wealthy oligarchs, while Shleifer was personally profiting from insider trades on Russian companies. Then while he was president of the institution, he had Harvard pay the legal settlement for Shleifer, infuriating other Harvard professors. Summers also helped put Mexico in debt and reinforce the plutocratic regime there in the peso crisis of 1994.

These people need to be stopped. It should be clear by now that Harvard MBAs voraciously pursuing paychecks running mega financial institutions, after Harvard economists have rigged the regulatory system, can do a lot of damage. The citizens of Iceland have realized this and set the example. If other countries fail to follow, their populations face a future clash with their police just as Greece is experiencing today. Why the police agree to make war against their own people in order to protect rich guys is a topic for another article, but it could all be avoided if countries would just reassert their sovereignty.
* Start phasing out debt-based currencies by creating sovereign ones that are an asset to the people. Pass usury laws at the same time to prevent banks from jacking up rates to suck up this extra money and creating a financial catastrophe.
* Put people like Born, Black, Tavakoli, and Spitzer in charge.
* Breakup the Wall Street banks. Also end their cartel by nationalizing the Federal Reserve, thereby passing power back to the states and state-chartered banks.
* Push your state governments to spend asset money into the system (see the Minnesota Transportation Act). California and Illinois are about to be pushed into Greece’s foreclosure situation. It does not need to happen if only the governments would do their constitutional duty.