Instead, take up the fallen standard!

Standards have fallen ---
In more ways than one.
(wiggle eyebrows, shake cigar!)

POST THE 2008 RECESSION, SOCIALISTS and COMMUNISTS were going WHOOPEE! Not JUST ISRAELIS jumping up and down with pompoms outside the imploding 911 WTC buildings. Not just MUSLIM ARABS in huts joyous that our biggest battleship got its sides blown out. Not just Marxist nations in Eastern EUROPE happy that capitalism failed. No, I mean American activists, liberals are smiling at WALL STREET, ZERO INTEREST rates for 7 years, the world financiers clipping their own fangers and claws And puffed up narcissist and current prexy DONALD TRUMP making a total cherry on the Fascist rightwinger sundae by proposing NO MUSLIM can ever come here again. (In 1924 a similar bill passed, now JEWS and that got great people stuck in EUROPE in the camps!)

So now while FASCISTS get uglier and more desperate, the liberal Left can't help but gloat a little, saying "we told you so! You idiots finally cannibalized your own herd! Nothing left but a prairie full of skulls and bones. America's wealth gone, Gotham  fell in. We didn't need the terrorists to do it, just a few greedy CEOS did the job.(The ENRONIZATION OF AMERICA)

The scenery on Wall Street is right out of pioneer days. Arrow covered, upturned covered wagons litter the dusty road and the 14 families are picking up the remains and we just apathetically plod by thinking maybe we'll somehow escape the tomahawk..and Apaches. They sure are a bitch. HEY RIGHT WING WALLSTREETERS. YOU WERE THE BITCH. This is YOUR imperialist greedy KARMA!

So below, a Socialist writer, not exactly gloating but shaking his head certainly.
Wall Street crisis and the failure of American capitalism

from World Socialist Web Site WSWS By Barry Grey
16 September 2008

The end of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, two of the largest Wall
Street investment banks, one week after the government takeover of the
mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, marks a new stage in
the convulsive crisis of American capitalism.

On Monday, global markets fell 500 pts in a sign of mounting panic and
doubt over the stability of the entire US banking system. Throughout Europe
stock markets plunged by as much as 4 percent.

The fall on Wall Street was even steeper, with the Dow Jones Industrial
Average losing 504 points, or 4.42 percent. There is every indication that
the sell-off will intensify, with the full implications of the collapse of
the two Wall Street banks as yet far from clear.

The immediate concern is the fate of American International Group (AIG),
the world’s largest insurance company, and Washington Mutual, the largest
savings and loan bank in the US, both of which are teetering on bankruptcy.
(Have over 100k there, get it out. Hey, I'd get 200$ bucks out!)
The sudden demise of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch has removed a huge
amount of liquidity from the economy, as paper values built up over decades
of speculation come crashing down. This is capital that is needed to
finance business operations, and its elimination will inevitably depress
economic activity, fueling unemployment and recession, further undermining
home prices and consumer spending, and further weakening the balance sheets
of already financially shaken banks.

A sea change is unfolding in the US and world economy that portends a
catastrophe of dimensions not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The fall of icons of American capitalism such as 158-year-old Lehman
Brothers and 94-year-old Merrill Lynch can only lead to the further
discrediting of the “free market” ideology of the US ruling elite, as well
as its political and economic system. The spectacle of giants of capitalism
drowning in debt piled up over decades of reckless speculation must
inevitably discredit the social class—the American capitalist class—which
is responsible for the debacle.

The bromides that have been uttered by the official spokesmen for the
government, the media, Wall Street and the political parties over the past
year of mounting financial crisis have lost all credibility. The assurances
that the latest government bailout will stabilize the situation, that the
US banking system is “fundamentally sound,” that the housing and credit
markets are about to “turn the corner,” etc., reassure no one.

On Monday, President Bush mouthed such phrases in a brief White House
appearance. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson at a White House press
conference evaded questions about who was responsible for the financial
disaster and instead declared that he was “focused on the future.”

The presidential candidates, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack
Obama, made perfunctory statements that were remarkable only for their
brevity and vacuity. What is widely acknowledged, even in ruling class
circles, as the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression is
unfolding in the midst of a presidential election. But it barely rates a
mention by either the Republican or Democratic candidate.

Both parties and their candidates tip toe around a financial scandal of
world historic proportions because they are equally implicated. They are
both bound hand and foot to Wall Street and single-mindedly dedicated to
the defense of American capitalism.

McCain issued a statement demanding “reform” in Washington and on Wall
Street and pledging to bring “accountability” to Wall Street. This from a
multi-millionaire whose campaign is being run by a bevy of lobbyists for
Wall Street and other sections of big business.

His Democratic counterpart, Barack Obama, issued a predictably
mealy-mouthed statement complaining that “too many folks in Washington and
on Wall Street weren’t minding the store.” While attempting to pin the
blame for the crisis entirely on the Bush administration—ignoring the “free
market,” deregulatory policies of Democrats Jimmy Carter and Bill
Clinton—he offered a mutual amnesty between himself and McCain, saying, “I
certainly don’t fault Senator McCain for these problems...”

These events are signposts in the historic failure of American and world
capitalism. For the working class, they mean a rapid growth of
unemployment, poverty, homelessness and social misery. The government, Wall
Street and both political parties will seek to place the burden for the
consequences of their own greed and incompetence squarely on the backs of
working people.

The collapse is devastating ever wider layers of the population, including
those who have worked on Wall Street and received some of the financial
benefits of the speculative boom. Some 26,000 Lehman employees are not only
out of a job, with few prospects of finding similar employment elsewhere,
but as owners of 25 percent of the company’s stock they have lost a
combined $10 billion, wiping out their savings and retirement funds.

Tens of thousands of employees at Merrill Lynch and Bank of America will
lose their jobs in the merger of the two firms, adding to the 110,000 jobs
slashed in the US financial services industry over the past year.

The broader implications of the mounting financial crisis were signaled by
Hewlett-Packard’s announcement Monday that it was cutting 25,000 jobs.

Many of those who precipitated this economic disaster, on the other hand,
will profit handsomely from the debris they have left behind. Hedge funds
and other short-sellers, who bet on the collapse of corporations, are even
now speculating furiously on the demise of the remaining Wall Street firms,
Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, as well as big commercial banks such as
Bank of America.

William Gross of the nation’s largest bond fund, Pimco, took in $1.7
billion last week by betting on—and publicly agitating for—a government
takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The emergency talks over the weekend, involving the heads of the major
commercial and investment banks and led by Treasury Secretary Paulson and
top Federal Reserve officials, centered on rescuing Merrill Lynch and
orchestrating an orderly liquidation of Lehman. Under pressure from Paulson
and the Fed, Merrill agreed to sell itself to Bank of America, the largest
consumer commercial bank in the US.

At the same time, there were frantic negotiations over the fate of AIG,
which faces bankruptcy unless it can raise tens of billions of dollars in
capital. When US markets opened Monday, AIG was asking for emergency loans
from the Fed to stave off collapse.

A failure of AIG threatens to bring down the entire credit system both in
the US and internationally, because the company holds a large stake in the
multi-trillion-dollar, unregulated market in so-called “credit default
swaps.” AIG has sold CDS contracts to banks, hedge funds and big investors
all over the world, under which it guarantees the mortgage-backed debt of a
wide range of companies in the event that they default. If AIG should go
under, the value of the debt which it insures would fall to an unknown
level, destabilizing the credit markets and threatening a chain reaction of
defaults and bankruptcies.

The events of the past two weeks demonstrate that the American financial
aristocracy is plunging the entire country into bankruptcy. These events
are themselves climatic moments in a protracted process.

For three decades, the “free market” has been elevated to the status of a
secular religion in the US, with the capitalist market as its god and
socialism as its devil. This period, under both Republican and Democratic
administrations, has seen the wholesale dismantling of the productive base
of the US economy, at the cost of millions of jobs and the living standards
of the American working class.

In the name of the supposed infallibility of the market, the operations of
big business have been deregulated, removing all legal restraints on
corporate profit-making and fueling the accumulation of ever more obscene
levels of wealth in the hands of a financial oligarchy. A vast process of
social plunder has occurred, in which the wealth of the country has been
redistributed from the bottom to the very top.

The scrapping of huge sections of industry and the immense growth of social
inequality are the hallmarks of the historic decline of American
capitalism. At the heart of this decay is the separation of the process of
personal enrichment of the ruling elite from the material process of

The United States has become the world leader not in manufacturing
technology or industrial power, but in financial speculation and
parasitism. As Floyd Norris, the economics columnist of the New York Times,
put it on Friday, “During recent years, Lehman—along with many
competitors—went on a borrowing binge to buy assets with as little money
down as possible.”

By its very nature, the parasitism of American capitalism has generated
corruption and criminality on an unprecedented scale. Wall Street CEOs have
awarded themselves tens of millions and even billions in compensation, in
an utterly irrational and socially destructive squandering of social
resources for the benefit of private greed.

At the end of 2007, for example, the Lehman board awarded CEO Richard S.
Fuld a compensation package worth more than $40 million. According to Reda
Associates, he can expect to collect $63.3 million if he is terminated. In
2004, he paid $13.75 million for an ocean-front home in Jupiter Island,
Florida, adding to his other properties, including a home in Sun Valley,

Joe Gregory, a former president of Lehman, used to travel to work in a
helicopter. He recently put his 9,500-square-foot ocean-front home in
Bridgehampton, New York on the market for $32.5 million.

The Financial Times recently reported that compensation for major
executives of the seven largest US banks totaled $95 billion over the past
three years, even as the banks recorded $500 billion in losses.

The question of precisely who and what is to blame for the greatest
economic disaster in more than three quarters of a century is something
that will not and cannot be raised by any section of the political or media
establishment. (But those guys and their twins at other corps are

Since the eruption of the current crisis, there have no been serious
congressional hearings, no public investigations, no attempt to hold anyone
accountable. Massive government interventions into the supposedly
sacrosanct precincts of the “free market,” for the purpose of bailing out
giant Wall Street firms, including the biggest government takeover of
corporate entities in US history, have been carried out without any public
debate or significant opposition from either political party. This, while
millions of Americans are losing their homes and their jobs as a result of
predatory corporate practices!

Certain conclusions must be drawn from the crisis of the American economic
and political system. There is no solution within the framework of the
profit system. What is needed is a socialist program that places the needs
of the people before the profits and personal fortunes of the ruling elite.

The entire financial system must be taken out of private hands and
nationalized in the form of a public utility under the democratic control
of the working class, with provisions taken to safeguard the holdings of
small depositors and share-holders. It must be subordinated to the social
needs of the people and dedicated to developing and expanding the
productive forces in order to eliminate poverty and unemployment and vastly
improve the living standards and cultural level of the entire population.

Those who are responsible for the economic catastrophe must be called to
account. Criminal investigations should be undertaken with appropriate
sanctions for those who have plundered the social wealth. A full public
accounting should be made of the hundreds of billions that have been
diverted to private bank accounts through fraud and criminality. Such gains
should be seized and used for the public good.

The only social force that can carry this out is the working class. It
requires a clean break with the Democratic Party and the two-party system
and the mobilization of the immense social power of the working class in
its own party, on the basis of a revolutionary socialist program.

*      *      *        *        *
This program should be acted on, fought for --by the American people, who are
the THIRD PARTY. 330 million of us are in that party. And this party
doesn't need voting machines or campaign ads. We just need to lose the
politicians. Comb them out of our hair like LICE and get volunteers.

We need to lose the CEOS and get volunteers to shepherd business, people with MBA's.
They work at a corporation, their student loans get abrogated. And the idiots who ruined
things? A mere thousand men are CEOS or POLITICOS. We'll stick them where
the sun don't shine. Hey, they built these huge concentration camps in every defunct
army base in every state --for us? Let's put them there! PAID VACATIONS. That's their
golden parachute.

Stop believing that anyone belonging to the 2 parties (GOP or DEMO) is "the
gov". Let's envisualize that WE ARE THE GOV. INTERNET NOW GIVES US THE POWER
previous models
ever --when we run the system. Standards have fallen in more ways than one.
Let's pick the fallen banners up and fight the good fight and never be like them.