Wikileaks Was Just a Preview: We’re Headed for an Even Bigger Showdown Over Secrets | Matt Taibbi

…Still, it seems like an insane amount of pressure to apply, given the other types of crimes (of, say, the HSBC variety) where stiff sentences haven’t even been threatened, much less imposed…..

But in all of these cases, the government pursued maximum punishments and generally took zero-tolerance approaches to plea negotiations. These prosecutions reflected an obvious institutional terror of letting the public see the sausage-factory locked behind the closed doors not only of the state, but of banks and universities and other such institutional pillars of society. As Gibney pointed out in his movie, this is a Wizard of Oz moment, where we are being warned not to look behind the curtain….

via Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone.

The Rot Runs Deep 1: The Federal Reserve Is a Parasitic Wealth Transfer Machine | Charles Hugh Smith

August 27, 2012.   Today I launch a series entitled “The Rot Runs Deep” that examines the moral and financial rot at the core of American finance, politics and culture. We have reached a unique junction of American history: the confluence of Big Lie propaganda, neofeudalism and the worship of false financial gods.

The Federal Reserve is a wealth transfer machine, skimming wealth from the productive many and transferring it to the parasitic few. The Big Lie propaganda machine of corporate media and the Central State has perfected Orwell’s nightmare vision of centralized media and a fascist centralized State which turn lies into self-serving “truth.”

Since the Federal Reserve is once again expected to “save” a crumbling, exploitative Status Quo, let’s use the Fed as an example. The propaganda machine would have us believe that the Federal Reserve, the privately owned central bank of the U.S., has “saved” the Status Quo from financial ruin on numerous occasions by “smoothing out” the business cycle (credit expands and contracts) and by “stimulating aggregate demand” by lowering interest rates and pumping money into the economy (quantitative easing). Continue reading