It’s still not too late to take our economy back, but we can’t depend on Obama to do it, we’re going to have to take it back ourselves. Starting on March 19th.
Credit derivatives are breaking and will continue to break the world’s financial system and cause an unending crisis of liquidity and gummed-up credit. Warren Buffett branded derivatives “financial weapons of mass destruction.” Felix Rohatyn, the investment banker who organized the bailout of New York a generation ago, called them “financial hydrogen bombs.”
Corporate elites have been waging class warfare against us for decades. They’ve riddled us with Bankruptcy Bill bullets, napalmed us with NAFTA, massacred our labor unions, turned our healthcare system into the Bataan Death March, and now they’re dropping financial hydrogen bombs on us.
According to The Village Voice, one of their deadliest and most lethal weapons has been the AIG Financial Products office in London, where a large proportion of those radioactive credit derivatives were written.
AIG had placed this unit outside American borders, which meant that it would not have to abide by American insurance reserve requirements. The president of AIGFP, a tyrannical super-salesman named Joseph Cassano, was an executive at Drexel Burnham Lambert, the now-defunct brokerage that became the pivot of the junk-bond scandal that led to the jailing of Michael Milken, David Levine, and Ivan Boesky.
During the peak years of derivatives trading, the 400 or so employees of the London unit reportedly averaged earnings in excess of a million dollars a year. They sold “protection”-this Runyonesque term was favored-worth more than three times the value of parent company AIG.
Those talented people are demanding the bonuses they’ve earned for that bang up job they’ve done hydrogen bombing everything in sight into radioactive rubble. As Emptywheel warns, if we don’t give them their bonuses, they’ve threatened to trigger a default event that will cost the US government hundreds of billions of dollars.