Matt Taibbi on the price of predatory banking

The price of this bullshit is utimately paid by the citizens of Jefferson county. From Democracy Now, via Crooks and Liars, we get a nightmare situation that should be considered criminal activity..and was on several levels. From Taibbi’s Rolling Stone article:

If you want to know what life in the Third World is like, just ask Lisa Pack, an administrative assistant who works in the roads and transportation department in Jefferson County, Alabama. Pack got rudely introduced to life in post-crisis America last August, when word came down that she and 1,000 of her fellow public employees would have to take a little unpaid vacation for a while. The county, it turned out, was more than $5 billion in debt — meaning that courthouses, jails and sheriff’s precincts had to be closed so that Wall Street banks could be paid.

It’s a horror story of course, complete with carpetbagging Wall Streeter’s and corrupt officials and businessmen. What took down this county? A new sewer system. From the RS article:

And once the giant shit machine was built and the note on all that fancy construction started to come due, Wall Street came back to the local politicians and doubled down on the scam. They showed up in droves to help the poor, broke citizens of Jefferson County cut their toilet finance charges using a blizzard of incomprehensible swaps and refinance schemes — schemes that only served to postpone the repayment date a year or two while sinking the county deeper into debt. In the end, every time Jefferson County so much as breathed near one of the banks, it got charged millions in fees. There was so much money to be made bilking these dizzy Southerners that banks like JP Morgan spent millions paying middlemen who bribed — yes, that’s right, bribed, criminally bribed — the county commissioners and their buddies just to keep their business. Hell, the money was so good, JP Morgan at one point even paid Goldman Sachs $3 million just to back the fuck off, so they could have the rubes of Jefferson County to fleece all for themselves.

*snip*

Once you follow that trail and understand what took place in Jefferson County, there’s really no room left for illusions. We live in a gangster state, and our days of laughing at other countries are over. It’s our turn to get laughed at. In Birmingham, lots of people have gone to jail for the crime: More than 20 local officials and businessmen have been convicted of corruption in federal court. Last October, right around the time that Lisa Pack went back to work at reduced hours, Birmingham’s mayor was convicted of fraud and money-laundering for taking bribes funneled to him by Wall Street bankers — everything from Rolex watches to Ferragamo suits to cash. But those who greenlighted the bribes and profited most from the scam remain largely untouched. “It never gets back to JP Morgan,” says Pack.

Makes you physically ill doesn’t it? Taibbi’s article is a great read…even if it did make me want to throw-up. Below is the Democracy Now interview w/Taibbi.

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About Dusty, hells most vocal bitch

I am a..brown Cali bitch that is quite the opinionated,political, pain-in-the-ass, in your face kinda girl that also loves baseball and music to a fault. Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.--Albert Einstein-*

Posted on April 12, 2010, in carpetbaggers, greed, Jefferson County, Matt Taibbi. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. same thing happened in harrisburg, PA, and probably dozens of other places: for harrisburg, it was an incinerator…
    big story this summer will be the cities and states going bankrupt…

    btw, since you dont get my emails:
    coming soon to a county near you (this one's about 10 miles from me):Ashtabula County: Judge Tells Residents to Arm ThemselvesIn the ongoing financial crisis in Ashtabula County, Ohio, the Sheriff’s Department has been cut from 112 to 49 deputies. With deputies assigned to transport prisoners, serve warrants and other duties, only one patrol car is assigned to patrrol the entire county of 720 square miles. “I did the best with what they (the county commissioners) gave me. If it wasn’t enough, don’t blame me, don’t blame this department,” said Sheriff Billy Johnson. Ashtabula County Common Pleas Judge Alfred Mackey was asked what residents should do to protect themselves and their families with the severe cutback in law enforcement.“Arm themselves,” the judge said. “Be very careful, be vigilant, get in touch with your neighbors, because we’re going to have to look after each other.”

  2. RJS…you send me emails? Damn I don't know why I don't get them, perhaps they have links in them and gmail spams them? I dunno.

    As for preditory lending/banking..it's nationwide and it's not going away anytime soon. It's fucking criminal.

  3. you misread…i dont send you emails cause you didnt ask for them…i send out an eclectic package of linked paragraphs every sunday morning, and occassionally spam those friends who are stuck with me during the week…on my first perrusal here, i never saw your email address either, so if you want a weekly package, reply to rjsigmund@gmail.com

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