Archive for October 25, 2009
The Looting of a Free Market
“When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.” — Napoleon Bonaparte
The 2008 financial crisis and subsequent bailout might have more to do with financial jihad and Shari’ah Financing than Americans would ever imagine or dare to suggest out of fear of being chastised as politically incorrect and Islamophobic. The 2009 Stimulus Plan may as well be a plan to keep American’s in dhimmitude for generations. The very poignant possibility should be explored because questions are still unanswered and Americans are still confused and bewildered over the astronomical amounts of money that they will owe for generations. This chapter takes the liberty of thinking outside the facade of unsatisfactory explanations that have been given.
In September 2008 the largest domestic and international financial crisis in American history became public. U.S. banks and global markets began to decline and the U.S. Treasury, the FDIC, and the Federal Reserve rushed to the rescue with an initially proposed $250 billion dollars for nine of America’s largest financial institutions. The decision soon expanded, and on October 14 the Treasury Department announced its decision to inject $700 billion and take equity stakes in nine major U.S. banks because they were described as ”too big to fail.” Executives of the nine banks were told to participate in the program whether they wanted to or not, “for the good of the national economy.”
U.S. Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson said that banks did not have a choice but to give up minority stakes of private ownership, and accept $125 billion each. The plan allocated an additional $125 billion for investment into thousands of other banks and financial institutions across the country for the next 30 days in an effort to jump-start lending and encourage smaller institutions to accepting federal funding.
Global leaders agreed to launch a coordinated program guaranteeing bank debt on a worldwide scale. As part of a much wider plan extending way beyond $700 billion, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) created an insurance fund to guarantee growing concerns of bank debt, providing unlimited deposit insurance for non-interest-bearing accounts at central banks on a global scale.
It is very important to recall from the previous chapter that Shari’ah Compliant Financial products (SCFs) and loans are non-interest bearing, and are offered on a global scale. It is also very important to realize that large banks and Wall Street had been seduced into promoting Shari’ah financial products since at least 2001 without the public’s knowledge.
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, commonly referred to as the “bailout” of the U.S. financial system, authorized the U.S. Treasury to use the $700 billion to purchase or insure “troubled assets,” which were reported to be mortgage backed securities (MBS), and included commercial mortgages, securities, “obligations” or “other” instruments related to mortgages that were issued on or before March 14, 2008, the date of Bear Stearns collapse. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act also authorized the U.S. Treasury to make capital injections into both foreign and domestic banks.
“Securitization” of MBSs is the pooling of mortgages or other debts to sell investors in the form of bonds rather than unpaid loans, which involves packaging and underwriting huge pools of mortgages into structured securities called “bundled loans.” The growth of securitization allowed non-banks to issue loans even though and many non-banks were not subject to examination by federal bank examiners or underwriting guidelines by federal financial regulators.
The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was a two-part program designed to put the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act into action in two parts known as TARP I, and TARP II. TARP included the ambiguous “other financial instruments” at the discretion of the Secretary of Treasury and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
TARP I was primarily to buy preferred stock and future options in the nine largest American banks. Similar to a debt, preferred stock is paid before common equity shareholders are paid. TARP II, the second part of the program, was supposed to help the more than ten million homeowners owing more than the market value of their home and those facing foreclosure to stay in their homes. Under TARP II, the Treasury would buy up the mortgages at a higher price than the current market value, then issue new mortgages reflecting the true market value of the homes, and supposedly allow homeowners to keep their homes. However, thousands of homes went into foreclosure anyway, and were sold cheaply on the open market.
Participation criteria in The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act was unclear and confusing to the public, however the Act stated that “financial institutions” included in TARP must be “established and regulated” under the laws of the United States and included foreign banks that have “significant operations” in the U.S. These operations include: U.S. banks, U.S. branches of foreign banks, U.S. savings banks or credit unions, U.S. broker-dealers, U.S. insurance companies, U.S. mutual funds or other U.S. registered investment companies, tax-qualified U.S. employee retirement plans, and bank holding companies. It turned out that the $700 dollar bailout was a blank check for receiving banks to buy even more banks and insurance companies.
Then, in February 2009, Congress passed, and President Obama signed into law the largest government spending and borrowing package in the history of mankind, The American Recovery Reinvestment Act. This $787 billion dollar act was supposed to allow for government programs and other investments that would stimulate the economy and provide jobs for Americans. With most of the money designated to loosely described education, health welfare, and alternative energy programs, The Recovery and Reinvestment Act proposed to encompass a multitude of non-productive programs and projects with unidentified recipients, raising more questions than obvious solutions, such as where the money would come from and who would get the contracts. Broad grandiose ideas of creating new programs, and building libraries, did not address what the so-called “other” investments were, what the “new” programs were, or what kind of books the new libraries would have. Regarding education spending, promises by Obama to “hire good teachers,” and “fire bad ones,” did not address a need or satisfactorily explain the qualifications for ‘good teachers’ and ‘bad teachers.’ Also, many of the programs that became known were discovered to be non-productive programs that will not stimulate the economy.
With benevolent sounding semantics, President Obama said that some of the funds will be to build a nationwide electric grid, and develop alternative energy sources to free Americans from “foreign oil.”
Obama did not tell Americans that the electric grid is a “smart grid” to be built by General Electric and IBM, with RFD devices. Neither did he tell Americans that Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) acquired General Electric’s Plastics division for $11.6 billion in cash on May 21, 2007. Obama did not mention that GE is also one of the largest lenders in countries other than the United States. So while an electric grid may help reduce the cost of foreign oil, it does not guarantee freedom from undemocratic “foreign control.” Because GE stands to take in stimulus dollars by manufacturing the turbines for the proposed alternative energy units, America’s dependence on foreign oil will transfer to Saudi influenced control of electricity, alternative energy, and ultimately, personal activity.
After promising “no pork,” Americans learned that the Recovery and Reinvestment Act included some 9000 earmarks. An example of Orwellian verbiage is that “no pork” may turn out to be deception by interpretation. Take for example the non-productive program to study swine odor. The only given objective for the “study” is that swine manure management is a serious concern in Iowa and “other countries.” Research shows that toxins in swine manure can attach to dust if not properly held in a manure-holding lagoon, causing allergies and depression. However, it is already known that dust leads to allergies, and depression can be a result of exposure to other kinds of manure. The point is that the results of this study may be controlled with the objective of an environmental protection act, and further legislation hindering the availability of, or the taxation of pork as food, thus, delivering the promise of “no pork.”
Another confusing report about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is that GE will build a train to go from Disneyland to Las Vegas. This contradicts an earlier report that revealed President Obama would not fund contracts for projects in Las Vegas. It is reasonable to doubt that a joy ride to Las Vegas will ever materialize under the stimulus plan even if funds are allocated. After allocation, the funds can be used for something else if the project is dropped. It is extremely important to read between the lines and think of the unthinkable–such as a train to Las Vegas could be for other reasons than fun-loving Americans would ordinarily think of when thinking of a ride to Las Vegas. For example, what if a train was to transport prisoners to some kind of a detention camp!
Furthermore, while American taxpayers and future generations of Americans gamble the stimulus plan will work as advertised; no enforcements exist pledging that legal immigrants and American citizens will get those jobs. The House of Representatives initially included provisions to reasonably assure that legal U.S. workers would fill the jobs created with U.S. taxpayer dollars, but the Senate did not accept the House version. Without debate or explanation, the bill was deprived of E-verification safeguards by Senator Henry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a closed-door session. 
Expecting to reach $13 trillion by 2010, Americans found it difficult to keep up with the overwhelming, daily deepening Stimulus debt that cannot hope to be re-paid. Members of Congress and citizens alike do not know where the money will come from, what the government programs will involve, what private organizations will be contracted, or to whom the debt will be repaid in the effort to bolster the economy. Believing we will be indebted to China is likely a diversion and a misnomer because China is also indebted to the Saudi’s for oil, and surely the Saudi’s have strategic investments there as well as in the U.S. A more sensible explanation is that strategic companies will provide the services, and the American taxpayers will pay them back with interest for generations, creating an unstated condition of dhimmitude.
President Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel has told a Wall Street Journal conference of top corporate chief executives that the financial crisis is an inheritance from the Bush administration, and an opportunity:
“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Obama’s new chief of staff, this week…Things that we had postponed for too long, that were long-term, are now immediate and must be dealt with. This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before.”
Instead of opportunity for Americans, the promise to stimulate the economy may in the very least for an “agenda” to obliterate American sovereignty in an effort to promote socialism bordering on fascism as government is controlled by corporations and organizations that are largely owned and controlled by foreigners. If the initial financial disaster affected the entire international financial market system, Americans should ask why they are the only ones who are paying for it.
Conservatives believe that the massive spending programs will actually kill jobs, cripple the economy, and crush any hope for the American dream. With the stock market index the lowest in twenty-five years, and job losses amounting to several million in early 2009, they are probably correct.
Throughout the 1990’s many foreign countries had also fallen into financial crisis: Mexico in 1994; Asia, Thailand, Indonesia and Korea from 1997-1998; Brazil and Russia in 1998; and Argentina in 2000. A study determined that those crises resulted from poorly regulated banking systems, surplus borrowing, irresponsible lending, deficits from foreign borrowing, lax corporate governance, and corrupt cronyism.
In 1995, Clinton took from a U.S. Treasury Department fund that had been set up in the 1930s to stabilize the U.S. dollar if necessary. Clinton used the money to bail out the Mexican and Brazilian governments, allowing them to make loan payments they owed Goldman Sachs, where Clinton’s Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin had once worked. Goldman Sachs also received billions of dollars in the 2008 bailout and then gave out billions of dollars in bonuses to executives.
U.S. subprime lenders had begun entering financial crisis in 2007. Declining employment, a deteriorating dollar and increasing housing crisis, prompted the Federal Reserve to cut the lending rate 50 basis points and purchase tens of billions of dollars in mortgage-backed securities.
Leading up to the 2008 financial crisis was the collapse of Bear Stearns Investment Banking and Securities Brokerage Firm. Bear Stearns, had developed an extensive market in swaps and hedge funds, and put $1.6 billion into two failing hedge funds. After losing all their value, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York gave Bear Stearns an unsuccessful emergency loan, and JP Morgan Chase purchased the company on March 14, 2008.
Bear Stearns was actively involved in purchasing mortgage backed securities prior to their failure. The bundled loans were sold to institutional investors, such as hedge and pension funds, while some were retained by the bank itself.
Other Wall Street firms such as Merrill Lynch and Freddie Mac were also actively engaged in packaging, underwriting, trading, and investing in mortgage backed securities. As large financial institutions began failing in the U.S., the crisis rapidly evolved into a global scenario leading to a number of European bank failures, declines in various stock indexes, large reductions in the market value of equities and commodities worldwide, with liquidity and borrowing becoming problematic in the United States and Europe.
Investment banks that had borrowed money from Bear Stearns began to withdraw cash from their accounts. Concerned that the firm would not be able to pay claims, a number of institutional investors attempted to reverse their trades, leading to a drop in Bear’s liquidity.
Negotiations ensued between Bear, JP Morgan, The Federal Reserve, and Treasury officials, leading to JP Morgan Chase’s purchase of Bear Stearns at a mere $2 a share. Bear and JP Morgan renegotiated those terms to avoid shareholder litigation, bringing the share’s value up to $10.
In 1978 Saudi Arabia was reported to be the largest holder of Fannie Mae certificates
Then, in 2006, Government regulators filed civil charges against three former Fannie Mae executives seeking the return of over $115 million in bonuses. 
The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) filed 101 charges against former Fannie Mae CEO’s, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Franklin Raines, former Chief Financial Officer, J. Timothy Howard, and former controller Leanne G. Spencer for manipulating earnings to gain the large bonuses.
The CEO’s neglected internal controls and sound accounting by misapplying over twenty accounting principles, which led to overstated earnings from 2001 through the first two quarters of 2004 by $6.3 billion. The inaccurate accounting statements and inaccurate reports allowed for the unsound growth of Fannie Mae, resulting in $7.9 billion in losses after taxes.
In addition to a yearly salary of $1 million, Raines received $84.6 million in bonuses between 1998 and 2003. The government wanted Howard to return $27.3 million that he had received in options and bonuses, and $5.6 million from Spencer. 
Raines had served in the Carter Administration as associate director for economics and government in the Office of Management and Budget, and as the assistant director of the White House Domestic Policy Staff from1977-1979. From 1991-1996 he was Fannie’s Mae’s Vice Chairman. In 1994, he was forced to retire from Fannie Mae, taking with him $240 Million in benefits even after the discovery of accounting flaws. Raines then worked under Clinton as Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget from 1996-1998. The Government filed suit against Raines in 1996 when his involvement in the accounting scandal became clear
In 1999, Raines returned to Fannie Mae as CEO until 2005 when he was forced to retire again. In 2006, the Courts ordered Raines to return $50 million.
For years, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had pursued lobbying strategy efforts to get lawmakers on their side, pouring money into lobbying and campaign contributions to federal candidates, parties and committees. In 1998, banks began making thousands of bad loans to people who put no money down and claims of undocumented income. From 1999-2005 Fannie Mae gave millions of dollars to Democratic causes such as ACORN, and millions to 354 Congressmen and Senators from both parties. Senator Christopher Dodd, Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee; Senator Barack Obama, member of the Finance Committee; Senator Chuck Schumer, Chairman of the Finance Committee; and Representative Barney Frank, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee were the top four recipients.
Tim Howard, Chief Financial Officer of Fannie Mae advocated using accounting strategies to ensure a “stable pattern of earnings.” The Government Investigation determined that Howard failed to provide adequate oversight for key control and reporting functions within Fannie Mae.
The two former Fannie Mae executives denied manipulating Fannie Mae’s income statements, however investigations by federal regulators and the company’s board of directors determined they had manipulated 1998 earnings to achieve bonuses. Howard resigned under pressure in late 2004 with a severance agreement reportedly estimated to be $20 million.
Jim Johnson, former executive at Lehman Brothers, was also forced from his CEO position as a result of the Fannie Mae scandal. Investigators found that Fannie Mae had hidden a substantial amount of Johnson’s 1998 compensation from the public, reporting that it was somewhere between $6 million and $7 million when it was actually $21 million. Johnson’s Golden Parachute was estimated to be $28 million.
During Obama’s campaign, Johnson would once again come under investigation for taking illegal loans from Countrywide during his years as CEO at Fannie Mae, and subsequently resigned from a position to be part of a committee to choose Obama’s vice presidential running mate.
In 2008, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were finally forced to declare bankruptcy leading to nationalization. Recall from the previous chapter that in 2001, Freddie Mac, one of the nations’ largest investors in Islamic home financing products, announced it had become the first major U.S. mortgage investor to contract the purchase of Islamic mortgages. Freddie Mac announced that it had begun buying Shari’ah compliant mortgages on May 1, 2001. An article by Paul Wiseman for USA Today on March 28, 2008 revealed that some of the banks from which Freddie Mac began buying Shari’ah-compliant mortgages, offer a range of Shari’ah products. Mostly in areas with largely Democratic Party leader representation, the banks included Devon Bank in North Chicago, Guidance Residential in Reston, Virginia; University Bank in Ann Arbor, Michigan; and American Finance House Lariba in Pasadena, California, Wiseman wrote that Citigroup, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, AIG have affiliates with Shari’ah products. Devon Bank in North Chicago started giving Shari’ah loans (loans without interest) to Muslims in 2001.
The Wiseman article also revealed that the global Islamic finance market was worth about $700 billion in March 2008, and had grown 15% in the previous three years. It further noted that Freddie Mac had purchased over $250 million in Islamic mortgages in 2007 alone. 
A Fannie Mae Foundation report had boasted working with community activists following “the most flexible underwriting criteria permitted” Fannie Mae’s $1 billion commitment to low-income loans in 1992 grew to $80 billion by 1999 and $600 billion early in 2003.
Billions of dollars is of course over $250 million, so it could be, in a manipulative play on words, that Freddie Mac actually purchased billions of dollars in Shari’ah loans. Because the larger American public does not know that Freddie Mac purchased any Shari’ah mortgages, they cannot know if those investments were profitable. The investments may be part of the ‘toxic’ zero down, ‘risky’ loans that ended up amongst the unpaid bundles of debt that generations of American taxpayers are now supposed to pay for.
Wachovia acquired mortgage lender Golden West Financial Corporation in 2006. Like Washington Mutual Inc., Wachovia offered adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), which required very low introductory payments, and had $122 billion in ‘Pick-A-Payment’ loans, that allowed borrowers to defer some of their interest payments. Delinquencies and defaults on these types of mortgages skyrocketed in the months prior to the financial crisis, causing big losses for the banks.
In the summer of 2008, Wachovia reported a $9.11 billion loss for the second quarter, announced plans to cut 11,350 jobs, and slashed its dividend. Wachovia also boosted its provision for loan losses to $5.57 billion during the second quarter, up from $179 million in the same period of 2007.
Citigroup’s investors became concerned that it too might collapse given its massive exposure to MBSs, when Citigroup did not turn a profit for three straight quarters, loosing $17.4 billion during one period after writing down its assets by about $46 billion.
Then, on December 14, 2008, after receiving tens of billions in TARP funds, Citigroup loaned $8 billion to Dubai. Citigroup’s chairman, Win Bischoff, said at the time, “This is in line with our commitment to the U.A.E. market in general, and reflects our positive outlook on Dubai in particular.” 
When Citigroup received $45 billion from the American taxpayers in the fall of 2008, the company already had plans to lobby to change laws during the Obama administration. Citigroup hoped that the $787 billion rescue plan under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment allowing them to sell their ‘toxic’ mortgages and other assets for a higher price than they actually paid for them.
The Economic Stimulus Plan prevented banks from profiting on the sale of troubled assets to the government, but there was an exception for assets acquired in a merger or buyout, from companies that filed bankruptcy. In mid February 2009, Citigroup stock fell to $2 a share and the U.S. Government announced plans for its nationalization. On February 27, 2009 Americans learned that Citigroup’s nationalization was effective with the U.S. government owning just 36% of the bank.
An article posted on Arabian Business.Com and The Global Islamic Finance Center (GIFC) website in May 2008 titled “Citi Launches Shari’ah Compliant Products in UAE” identified Saudi Prince, Alwaweed bin Talal as the largest Citigroup shareholder at the time, with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Kuwait Investment Authority additional investors. According to the article, Citi Islamic Investment Bank described its global Islamic business as :
“The world’s leading ‘book runner’ of global Islamic finance transactions, set up its global Islamic banking operations in 1981 in London.” 
If Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaweed bin Talal was Citigroup’s largest shareholder, and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Kuwait Investment Authority are more recent investors, the question is: Who and what are the American taxpayers really funding?
The Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 allowed commercial and investment banks to consolidate, and The Community Reinvestment Act of 1999 greatly reduced underwriting standards and encouraged financial institutions to provide loans to individuals in low-income neighborhoods. A February 5, 2008, article in the New York Post by Stan J. Liebowitz, “The Real Scandal: How Feds Invited the Mortgage Mess,” states:
“Perhaps the greatest scandal of the mortgage crisis is that it is a direct result of an intentional loosening of underwriting standards—done in the name of ending discrimination, despite warnings that it could lead to wide-scale defaults. At the crisis’ core are loans that were made with virtually nonexistent underwriting standards—no verification of income or assets; little consideration of the applicant’s ability to make payments; no down payment.”
The Federal Reserve also rescued American International Group, Inc. (AIG), the world’s largest insurance company, only one day after investment bank Lehman Brothers fell into bankruptcy for investing in bad mortgages. Even though the company had lost $5 billion in the 4th quarter of 2007, Martin J. Sullivan, who ran the company from 2005 until June 2008, reportedly urged AIG’s board of directors to waive pay guidelines in 2007 in favor of $5 million in bonuses. Auditing firm Pricewaterhouse Cooper had warned the company that it showed potential losses from insuring mortgage-related securities in December 2007. Days later, Sullivan reassured shareholders of the company’s stability. Giving the government an 80% stake of its holdings in the fall 2008, AIG initially received $85 billion, and by March 2, 2009, the loans had amassed to $162 billion with $30 billion likely to follow. Later in the month, Americans would learn that AIG gave $93 billion to Goldman Sachs and other European banks.
An investigation by a London based editorial, Sunday Telegraph, determined there was a correlation between the losses and the many regulators responsible for AIG’s activities throughout 130 countries. The auditing firm, Pricewaterhouse Cooper had previously warned AIG that the “root cause” of its problems was the denial of internal oversight in its Financial Products Branch. Federal regulators at the Office of Thrift Supervision also warned AIG in March 2008 that “corporate oversight of AIG Financial Products lack critical elements of independence.”
A Congressional Hearing on October 7, 2008 revealed that AIG’s problems reportedly came from its ‘financial services operations,’ primarily the insurance of mortgage-backed securities and ‘other’ risky debt, not from its ‘traditional’ insurance subsidiary.
In the midst of the bailout crisis, on December 1, 2008, a subsidiary of AIG Commercial Insurance, Risk Specialists Companies, Inc. (RSC), announced an Islamic Homeowners Policy, as the first of a series of Shari’ah-compliant products in the U.S. that are compliant with the Islamic finance tenets described in the previous chapter.
The Islamic homeowners’ policy is underwritten through Risk Specialists Insurance, Inc., in conjunction with Lexington Insurance Company, in association with an AIG division licensed by the Bank of Bahrain. Established in 2006, the division, known as AIG Takaful Enaya, provides a range of Shari’ah compliant Takaful products, including accident and health, auto, energy, property and casualty products. 
Less than a week after the federal government bailed out AIG, the company sent life insurance executives on a $440,000 retreat to an upscale California resort, St. Regis, south of Los Angeles. Lawmakers were outraged even though executives were not from the Financial Products Division.
U.S. Congressman who chaired the hearing into AIG, unveiled documents showing that AIG executives had hidden the full range of its risky Financial Products Division from auditors as losses increased, according to documents released by a congressional panel examining the chain of events that led to the bailout of AIG.
In London, a Wall Street veteran named Joseph Cassano ran AIG Financial Products Division. According to US Congressional records, the company paid Cassano $280 million from 1999-2007. Company accountants changed the basis on which they valued collateral held by some of its units, marking down a half trillion dollars worth of credit default swaps (CDSs) that had led to quarterly losses. CDSs are questionable insurance products bought by investors seeking protection against defaults on mortgage-backed securities and other credits. By the end of 2007, AIG had $562 billion in CDS contracts in its books, and the October 7 testimony before the House Oversight Committee revealed that Cassano’s office was the origination.
As a result, Cassano transferred to a consulting position for AIG that paid him $1 million per month for nine months. According to Sullivan, Cassano helped AIG Financial Products Division unravel the devaluing CDSs.
According to regulators in other countries, the British Financial Services Authority (FSA) may have been partly responsible for the credit crisis that led to the global financial crisis. They found a financial chain linking American sub-prime mortgages to the packagers and sellers of mortgages in London, and Wall Street. The British Conservative Party Treasury spokesman Philip Hammond called for a public inquiry into the FSA’s oversight of its AIG Financial Products in London saying: “We must not allow London to become a bolt hole for companies looking for a place to conduct questionable activities.”
Serious concern regarding Shari’ah Compliant Financing products is that banking oversight in the UK is entrusted to the FSA, which is made up of non-governmental members appointed by the Treasury. The FSA (coincidentally) defers regulation of Shari’ah Compliant Financing products to the scholarly Islamic Shari’ah supervisory board of each institution.
According to undisclosed FSA associations, the AIG Financial Products Division (coincidentally) fell outside FSA jurisdiction. Under FSA rules, AIG Financial Products is an “internal treasury operation” and as such, (coincidentally) not regulated by FSA. The FSA does have regulatory oversight responsibility for a number of AIG units in London, including a company called AIG FP Capital Management in London. Associations to the FSA said AIG FP Capital Management was a separate company from AIG Financial Products, and not involved in the creation of the failing CDSs. Nevertheless, U.S. lawmakers considered London AIG Financial Products to be at the root of AIG’s Financial Products disaster.
The UK Telegraph article stated, “During the hearing into the causes and effects of the AIG bail-out on October 7, the US House of Representatives Oversight Committee, led by Congressman Waxman, politicians mentioned London a dozen times. California Congresswoman Jackie Speier referred to London’s AIG Financial Products as ‘the casino in London.’”
During the U.S. HROC hearing, American AIG chief executives Martin Sullivan and Robert Willumstad revealed information about the AIG Financial Products unit in London citing a New York Times article on September 28, 2008. It turned out that in November 2007, when AIG accountants advised the insurer to change the way it valued its CDSs, the small base of capital on which AIG Financial Products had built a massive business came into focus, leading to AIG’s exposure.
The UK Telegraph article revealed that British authorities had not said anything about AIG’s involvement. However, unknown to the general American public, there were multiple investigations into AIG in the U.S. In addition to the October 7 Congressional hearing, the AIG Financial Products Division was being investigated by the Office of Thrift Supervision in Washington and the New York State Department of Insurance in Manhattan.
In early October 2008, New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo sent a letter to AIG informing the company it was under investigation for “irresponsible and damaging” expenditures, “among other things,” for the executive compensation packages that were not cut even as AIG accepted the $85 billion to keep itself afloat. 
A December 10, 2008, article in the Wall Street Journal stated that AIG still had close to $10 billion in ‘undisclosed counterparty obligations.’ Included in the portfolio a “notional amount” as of September 30, was approximately $9.8 billion of swaps that were sold as credit protection on “synthetic” securities. The swaps on the so-called synthetic securities were referred to as “cash settlement” or “Pay As You Go” swaps because they are settled in cash when the losses are taken.
AIG noted that the majority of the multi-sector CDS swaps were written as “physical settlement” swaps, where AIG was required to physically buy the underlying collateralized debt obligation (CDO) bond in the event of a CDO credit problem. Remember (from the previous chapter) that in Shari’ah Compliant Financing, the banks purchase the homes and rent them out to the prospective buyers.
In December, suit was filed against Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the Federal Reserve Board challenging the AIG bailout citing their involvement in Shari’ah Compliant Financing and charging that Shari’ah-based Islamic religious activities are anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, and anti-American. The Obama administration’s Department of Justice unsuccessfully tried to have the suit dismissed.
The plaintiff, Kevin J. Murray, sued the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve
Board in December 2008, claiming that the Treasury’s 79.9% stake in AIG as part of a rescue plan violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by issuing the Shariah-compliant policies. Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff agreed that the federal government’s involvement with AIG effectively promotes Islam.
The huge bonuses that bank CEO’s received sparked another huge controversy because taxpayer money had paid for them. No one liked the fact that CEO’s got the huge bonuses and severance agreements for nor justifiable reason, though it was said that these were the only executives who knew what was really going on, and therefore were the only ones who could straighten it out. This could be a very misleading excuse, meaning something entirely different. For example, when a CEO leaves a company, he takes with him trade secrets. Therefore, it is very likely that such secrets involve knowledge of involvement in financial activities and transactions that must be kept secret from the American taxpayer. The huge bonuses could actually be “pay-offs” to mislead Americans and keep them in the dark regarding fraudulent and misleading internal operations.
Severance agreements and huge bonuses could be hush money making recipients partners in crime with the Federal Reserve and contracting parties, especially if something like Shari’ah Compliant Financing was involved.
New York Attorney General Cuomo also determined the explanation that bonuses are tied to performance, does not appear to be accurate after he looked into the files of the banks. Cuomo conducted an investigation that revealed at least 4,793 bankers and traders were paid over $1 million in bonuses in 2008. Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co paid bonus amounts that were more than the banks’ net income.
The report said that Goldman Sachs received $10 billion in TARP funding, and paid $4.8 billion in bonuses after earning $2.3 billion. Morgan Stanley received $10 billion in TARP funding, paid $4.475 billion in bonuses, and earned $1.7 billion. JP Morgan Chase received $25 billion in TARP funding, paid $8.69 billion in bonuses, and earned $5.6 billion. Wells Fargo lost $42.93 billion and still paid bonuses of $977,500.
Cuomo said his office found that many of the banks increased compensation in the 2003-2006 bull market years, staying at those levels during the mortgage crisis.
Merrill Lynch and Citigroup lost over $27 billion each. Merrill paid $3.6 billion in bonuses, and Citigroup paid $5.33 billion in bonuses. The two banks received a combined $55 billion of TARP money.
For a couple of years prior to the bailouts there was a running joke on Wall Street, “Dubai, Mumbai, Shanghai or goodbye.” CEO’s of a troubled investment bank flocked to one of the three cities desperately looking for cash. In Dubai they offered “structured products” to encourage Muslim investors. The products were basically bonds, but were not actually called bonds. Some of the investments that Dubai World is in jeopardy of defaulting on are actually called Shariah-compliant “sukuk.”
An article in a Quatar English speaking newspaper, The Gulf Times, dated June 16, 2008, revealed that Omair Mooraj, a senior Mideast executive at U.S. investment bank JP Morgan Chase & Co was detained in Dubai as part of a fraud investigation at Dubai Islamic Bank. As the managing director and head of Islamic banking for the region, Mooraj was one of several people held by Dubai police in a string of arrests. The report alluded to an earlier detainment of Rifat Usmani, a vice president of structured finance at Dubai Islamic, and Charles Ridley, a British Bahrain-based businessman. 
The Federal Reserve consists mostly of foreign bankers who are not citizens of these United States, and is a private corporation. The Federal Reserve, Treasury Department and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation have lent or spent over $8 trillion American taxpayer dollars– almost $3 trillion over the past two years, pledging up to $5.7 trillion more.
President Woodrow Wilson created the Federal Reserve under the inspiration of the Marxist, E. Mandell House. Since its creation, the U.S. Congress has had little to do with managing America’s fiscal policies, and Wilson later admitted regret over his part in its creation.
Many patriotic Americans believe that the Federal Reserve and its cohorts have manipulated every bit of the 2008-2009 financial crisis. H.R. 833, introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Ron Paul, upon enactment, will abolish the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Reserve banks. 
In September 2008 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said they would comply with congressional demands for transparency in a $700 billion bailout of the banking system yet two months later, the Federal Reserve loaned even more in separate rescue programs without requiring Congressional approval. Americans had no idea where their money was going, or what securities the banks are pledging in return.
The Constitution requires that U.S. currency must be backed by a commodity like gold and silver, and that only Congress has the power to make monetary policy, while private domestic banks and foreign banks are forbidden to do so. The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the authority to:
“To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures.”
Federal Reserve Notes, paper money, is not regarded as legal tender under the U.S. Constitution because it is not backed by anything. Combined with the fact that the Federal Reserve is a private corporation consisting mostly of foreign bankers who are not citizens of these United States makes the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 unconstitutional.
Dan Fuss, vice chairman of Boston based Loomis Sayles & Co. Bloomberg News said that collateral was not adequately disclosed regarding the recipients of nearly $2 trillion in emergency loans at the onset of the 2008 bailout. Fuss requested details of Federal Reserve lending under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act and filed a federal lawsuit on November 7, 2008 seeking disclosure.
Arabs began buying U.S. Treasury bonds thirty-some years ago, and have bought into our capital market infrastructure including American banks. Steven Emerson noted that in the eighties, the U.S. Treasury began keeping Saudi and Arab investments in the U.S. hidden from the American public.
Anti-capitalist Islamists are now hastily claiming the financial crisis is evidence of a failing and greedy Western financial system. Contrarily, non-transparent Shari’ah practices could actually be the cause of the failing Western system. Hiding the fact that Shari’ah products and transactions had become a part of the bank portfolios could also very well be the reason for giving out large bonuses. Shari’ah Compliant Finance products as part of mortgage backed securities in bundled loans as and portfolios cannot be ruled out as an important part of the scandalous activities that led to the recent financial crisis. SCFs involve unexamined loans that are described as “complex,” and “customized.” With unchallenged regulation, they cannot prove distance from risky and scandalous activities.
World leaders met in London on April 2, 2009 at the G-20 meeting reportedly in an effort to “strengthen” the global financial system. Jerome Corsi, a noted financial services speaker and writer, wrote an article describing how the G20 would create an international Financial Stability Board with authority to intervene in U.S. corporate affairs by dictating executive compensation and approving or disapproving business management. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Financial Stability Board became the global regulators of the whole corporate world, thus superseding U.S. governmental authorities, including the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and other corporate regulators, including the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Labor. The Financial Stability Board essentially negates the U.S. Declaration of Independence and abrogates the sovereignty of the United States.
Corsi wrote that the new global regulator has the authority to examine all U.S. banks, brokerage firms, and corporations including non-financial companies such as the Big Three automakers. It has the international authority to set policies within these corporations, including compensation packages paid to top executives and senior managers. 
While at the G-20 meeting, Obama gave such a deep bow to King Abdullah Aziz of Saudi Arabia that he appeared to be kissing the King’s hand or ring. A video of the incident on the Internet was removed after controversy ensued and the White House denied that it was a kiss. While the hands of both men were not always visible in the video, the expressions of astonishment from the other leaders show that the gesture was a spectacle at the very least.
Early in the bailout, and before the G20 meeting, President Obama made many references to Americans chastising us for “bad habits,” “greediness,” and “addiction to oil.” In other words, trying to make Americans feel guilty and accept the position of scapegoat for what really might be organized international crime.
Americans should question whether American home mortgages in default are the main cause of the 2008 global financial crisis. Obama’s inference of placing the blame on American citizens alone is tantamount to fear mongering and extortion and might be part a larger plan to vanquish American sovereignty and negate the Constitution.
After the Bailout and the Stimulus Bill came the Omnibus Bill, the Budget Bill, the Cap and Trade Bill, and most recently the Health Care Bill. These bills all depend on Americans tax dollars. Combined they are thousands of pages of rules, regulations, and restrictions that will control Americans with unknown, unwarranted astronomical debt, and possibly far worse as future generations will essentially be born in debt and live their whole lives in bondage.
During the ninth through eleventh centuries royal policy with the English and the Franks was to pay a tax, the Danegeld, as tribute to safeguard them from being invaded and ravaged by Vikings raiders. In closing, the poem, “Dane-Geld” by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) is timeless wisdom for today’s socio-political-economic policies.
“It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation,
to call upon a neighbor and to say:
“We invaded you last night–we are quite prepared to fight,
unless you pay us cash to go away.”
And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
and the people who ask it explain
that you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
and then you’ll get rid of the Dane!
It is always a temptation to a rich and lazy nation,
to puff and look important and to say:
“Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away.”
And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
but we’ve proved it again and again,
that if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
you never get rid of the Dane.
It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray,
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say:
“We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that plays it is lost!”
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28] “After Bailout, AIG Execs Lounged At Resort,” CBS News, October 7, 2008,
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