Monday, June 1, 2009

Commentary: Did Bernanke and Paulson Commit Bank Fraud?

An article written by Thomas R. Eddlem

The answer to that question is an affirmative yes.

However, Mr. Eddlem’s contention that it is myth that unregulated “free enterprise” as a financial system failed under the Bush administration is simply a false argument.

The government’s financial leadership in Washington and Wall Street is untrustworthy at best and felonious at worst. Furthermore, that is not new; they are and have been for decades. That is why it is necessary for a system of checks and balances, oversight, and of regulation.

Not only did top government officials engage in fraud but also did many on Wall Street. Many investment firms, mortgage firms, and other free marketers deliberately practiced deception, swindles, and schemes in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain from investors. They include, for example, those who engaged in home flipping; loan officers who changed the personal income amount that a purchaser stated he earned in order to provide the purchaser the loan; manipulation of credit default swaps from what were essentially insurance contracts to investment contracts in order to circumvent the requirement of issuers to put up reserves and by doing so avoid the need to be licensed as insurers.

Those free marketers, believers in laissez-faire economics who invested with Bernie Madoff, certainly must have known what Madoff was selling them were “too good to be true.” For the most part, they were savvy investors. However, they did not care; all they were concerned with is in the creation of wealth, mostly for themselves, but for Bernie as well. They were willing to let Bernie take the greater part of the risk of being caught while they hoped to ride the wave as long as they could and then at he right moment jump ship. Their timing simply was poor. No one can tell me that most of those folks were unaware.

It makes me wonder: How many other Madoffs are still out there?

It is hard to believe that anyone today would believe that this happened totally because of government interference. For anyone to believe that is totally naïve and has his or head deeply buried in the sand like the proverbial ostrich. The human condition being what it is makes laissez-faire free enterprise impossible. Wall Street and free marketers have set the example that they do not have the suitable credentials and essential character to police and regulate themselves.

The real question to ask: Are there any real true and blue, authentic free market practitioners or economists with probity out there? The answer to that question is possibly yes, but you probably could count them all on one hand.