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Monday, March 24, 2008

NEWS CONFERENCE: Andy Martin condemns the "burglary of Bear Stearns & Co."

Andy Martin explains the "bear raid on Bear Stearns." Is Chase Bank's Jamie Dimon the new "Slick Willie of Wall Street?" Dimon's and the Fed's machinations have proven the opposite of what they intended: markets work!

Executive Editor

“Factually Correct, Not
Politically Correct”








(NEW YORK)(March 24, 2008) Chicago-based media critic and Internet columnist Andy Martin will hold a 5:30 P.M. New York City news conference today, March 24th, to attack the revised Bear Stearns takeover as a step in an ongoing conspiracy to loot a major New York Stock Exchange organization.

"Last week," Martin will state, "I celebrated the demise of Bear Stearns as a company. They were a crooked bunch. But I also saw that one bunch of crooks was being devoured by another group of thieves. So I promised a second column defending employees and attacking the takeover:

TOMORROW: IN DEFENSE OF BEAR STEARNS (after praying for the demise of the brokerage company and placing a curse on the firm, Andy Martin comes to the defense of the company's employees and shareholders.)

"The more the Bear Stearns drama unfolds, the more it exposes the sleazy tactics of Wall Street, and establishes Jamie Dimon as the new 'Slick Willie of Wall Street.' What is happening to Bear Stearns is nothing more than a corporate burglary, orchestrated by federal officials and a major competitor/bank.

"First, a little history. In the run up to the 1929 stock market crash, one of the most feared tactics of swindlers was the 'bear raid,' in which false rumors and speculation would be used to devalue a company's shares. Raiders would profit from the collapsing price. When Joseph Kennedy, a notorious speculator himself who had largely insulated his fortune from the stock market crash by selling early, but who was an expert on all of the dirty tricks and manipulation on Wall Street, became head of the new SEC he vowed to abolish bear raids because of their pernicious impact on public confidence.

"Bear raids are back. Bear Stearns was the victim of a classic, 1929-style bear raid. Federal prosecutors should begin an immediate investigation to determine who triggered the loss of billions in investor capital.

"Ironically all of Dimon's machinations and the federal Reserve Board's duplicity have proven the exact opposite of what they intended: instead of showcasing how regulation worked, the Fed and Chase Bank have shown that markets work, not regulators. Because of the way the Bear Stearns takeover was structured, stockholders had to approve. Last week the stock soared far above Chase Bank's offering price. The public market was saying the deal stunk and relief would be forthcoming.

"Today Dimon offered another slice of unsavory capitalism, by raising his price by 500% (not a bad one-week price appreciation—who profited from this one?) and trying to lock in this sordid deal by immediately taking over 40% of Bear Stearns. Don’t NYSE rules prevent such a takeover? Bear Stearns leaders invoked an 'emergency' escape clause that makes the Big Board 'rule' meaningless.

"Why is Chase Bank so desperate to make this deal? Because they are stealing billions of dollars in public equity through a scam where Chase profits from the bear raid orchestrated by someone. Who? Federal prosecutors should find out. And fast.

"I have been following markets for over half a century. Profits from my paper route were placed in a mutual fund. Every morning at breakfast, my family checked the stock tables. Almost everyone in my family traded shares. Over the decades I have made money in stocks.

"In the 1950's the New York Stock Exchange talked of 'Owning Your Share of American Business.' We were only a few decades away from the 1929 crash. Memories were vivid of worthless shares, bear raids and crooked executives. Those fears have now been forgotten. The same rotten tactics that triggered 1929 are now being tolerated in 2008, eighty years later.

"If, as I believe, the bear raids and other dirty dealing are back in full force, what does that tell us as a predictive indicator? We are on the verge of yet another stock market collapse and possibly a serious recession or depression. I am trying to arrange my financial matters accordingly.

"When federal officials can seize a publicly traded firm in a Sunday Night Massacre, and parcel out the swag to favored firms, what we have is not American capitalism but rather Russian-style 'crony capitalism.'

"What Jamie Dimon and the Fed have shown is that the 'too big to fail' strategy employed by regulators is itself a failure. By making firms 'too big to fail,' we have created a class of capital that is essentially above the law, but capital that can be seized and distributed as government officials please, not as markets demand. Ron Paul, are you listening?

"If Bear Stearns were truly insolvent, as the bear raiders claimed, the long-term health of the American economy would have been helped by letting the firm fail and auctioning off the assets. That is what we do with home mortgages. Chase and the Fed should back away, and let Bear Stearns owners and creditors fight out their issues in the marketplace. The Chase 'rescue' has not strengthened the economy; the rescue has endangered our economic future. The Fed did not reward Bear Stearns; rather, the Fed rewarded the bear raiders who torpedoed the firm's stock and pushed the firm into a government-controlled bailout. I can guarantee you that the Bear Stearns bear raid will not be the last.

"Jamie Dimon wants to be seen as the new lord of Wall Street. But he has become the new 'Slick Willie.' By hand wringing and shedding crocodile years, but not his limousine and private jet, he has stolen from the many humble employees and public shareholders of Bear Stearns who trusted the markets, trusted the SEC and trusted American capitalism. Dimon has proven what many only suspected or imagined: that corruption is running rampant in our financial markets; Gordon Gekko's 'greed is good' is back.

"Indeed, as I previously wrote, the entire sub-prime mortgage collapse has been a government-engineered disaster that reflected incompetent economics, mismanagement and extreme bias in favor of the limousine set. While the Treasury Secretary tolerates millions of foreclosures and home dispossessions to 'teach the little people a lesson,' he rescues speculators, raiders and the other slime that have come to occupy Wall Street's treasured positions. Goldman Sachs, Mr. Paulson?

"I majored in economic history. In my working life I have always profited from looking back, as well as looking ahead. Looking back to the bear raids of the 1920's I see the same corrupt activity strangling our markets and depreciating our economy into the future. Since Wall Street finances both Republicans and Democrats (Senator Charles Schumer are you listening?) there is no benefit in Republican bashing. Both parties have become crooked and corrupt.

"The People's suffering is only just beginning. For shame.

"A simple solution to save our economic system: cancel the sweetheart Chase Bank burglary of Bear Stearns, and open the assets of the firm to public bidding for all comers. Agree to pay small shareholders, up to $250,000, fair market value for their shares. If Jamie Dimon wants to be a savior, he should save himself by stopping the unseemly attempt to steal public capital for private profit. In the end, Dimon will become his own victim; 'Greed is not good,' Mr. Dimon. Beware."


WHO: Chicago Internet Columnist-editor/media critic Andy Martin

WHERE: Main Entrance to FDR Post Office (revolving door),
909 Third Avenue, New York

WHEN: Monday, March 24, 5:30 P. M.

CONTACT: (312) 440-4124; cell (917) 664-9329



---------------------------------------------------------Chicago-based Internet journalist, broadcaster and media critic Andy Martin is the Executive Editor and publisher of © Copyright by Andy Martin 2008. Martin covers regional, national and world events with over forty years of experience. He has been a candidate for U. S. Senator from Illinois. He holds a B.S. degree in Economic History from the University of Illinois and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law. Columns also posted at; Comments? E-mail: Media contact: (866) 706-2639.


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