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Monday, September 29, 2008

Andy Martin on the burglary of Wachovia Bank by Washington and New York power brokers

Wall Street is robbing Main Street, says Andy Martin, as New York banks seek revenge for the success of their competitors on Main Street. Andy says Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has pulled the biggest bank burglary in history. The theft of Wachovia from its shareholders, done with a former Paulson associate on the other side of the deal, is a sign that something is very, very sick in Washington. The consumer gets screwed, as Paulson rewards banks with the highest fees and eliminates their competitors with lower fees.

New York Banks strangle America
Wall Street steals billions from Main Street
Who profits from the emerging monopoly in consumer banking?
Executive Editor

“Factually Correct, Not
Politically Correct”





(CHICAGO)(September 29, 2008) Ho hum. Another day. Another theft of shareholder’s capital. Another giveaway, all in the name of “crisis,” of valuable assets to New York City’s banking giants. Who profits from this emerging consumer banking monopoly? Not consumers, that’s for sure.

Where’s Grandpa McCain on this one? I have no idea. Where is Barack Obama? With his big smile in front, and his open palm in back. That’s my Barry O.

I have been involved with the banking industry, and banking regulation, for over forty years. I worked for a U. S. Senator who wrote most of our original banking and consumer protection legislation, Senator Paul H. Douglas of Illinois. I tried the first bank holding company case at the Federal Reserve Board in 1973. I have watched great bankers such as Walter Wriston, and their bumbling successors such as Sanford Weil.

And I do not like what I see in Washington. The companies that built national baking franchises, such as Wachovia and Washington Mutual, are being highway robbed to reward firms that were unable and unwilling to expand nationally, such as Citibank and Chase. New York Goldman Sachs power broker (“power broken?”) and temporary Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is using the cover of a so-called “financial crisis” to take revenge over America’s consumer banking industry and to steal tens of billions of dollars from Main Street for the benefit of Wall Street. All while flowing with crocodile tears that he is trying to help Main Street. Nice work if you can get it. Save me.

Wall Street and New York never got over the fact that New York banks failed to expand nationally, while Charlotte became a banking capital and Seattle also hosted a successful nationwide bank. They wanted revenge. In the past few weeks, they got blood. Or maybe green. Tens of billions of dollars of green.

Paulson claims he is bailing out Wall Street to save Main Street. But he is stealing banks that were built on Main Street and handing them over to enrich Wall Street. In the process, he has unnecessarily destroyed tens of billions of dollars of shareholder equity all across the United States. On Main Street.

After having pioneered consumer banking in the New York region, Citibank has a failed national consumer franchise. “Bank of America" is nominally still headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. Have you seen the bank’s new “headquarters” on Sixth Avenue and Forty-Second Street in Manhattan? Take a look, and then tell me where the power will reside, and where the decisions will be made. Chase Bank? They got Paulson to wipe out Bear Stearns’ shareholders to reward Chase with an investment banking base.

Chase, Citi and BkAm are three peas in a pod: they charge consumers the highest fees and have the poorest customer service. Far from being "too big to fail," they are "too big to succeed." Main Street banking is on the verge of being strangled, and no one in Washington is standing up to fight back.

What penalty do the three giants pay for their failed or imperfect strategies? None whatsoever. Paulson is stealing tens of billions of dollars from the shareholders of other banks (Washington Mutual, Wachovia) to enrich the New York behemoths.

What a steal. Such a deal?

Who do you vote against? Wall Street has given more money to Obama than McCain. Vote against Obama? There is no reason to doubt the kleptocracy will continue under Obama. Obama buys peace with Wall Street so he can do his thing on the “street” in the Middle East and South Asia.

Grandpa McCain? Well, he’s just worried about the DNA of all those fornicating bears in Montana. I think McCain is personally scrupulously honest. Maybe he might do something. But then, maybe not. Sleaze is a bipartisan affliction in Washington; both McCain and Obama are overloaded with sleazy camp followers. I will have more to say about McCain later today.

Who do you vote against? We have two sets of thieves vying to take control of the federal government, each group composed of greedy hucksters who will stop at nothing to enrich themselves and screw the public. Stealing from Main Street (Washington Mutual, Wachovia) to enrich Wall Street (Citibank, Chase, BkAm)? Great work if you can get it. It’s becoming an addiction for Washington power brokers.

Communism, capitalism, totalitarianism, whatever. The people in power are always trying to steal from the ordinary citizen. Once you start stealing from the people, and get away with it, it’s hard to stop.

If you don’t believe me, just ask the shareholders of Bear Stearns, Wachovia Bank and Washington Mutual how they feel. See what they say.
Andy Martin is a legendary Chicago muckraker, author, Internet columnist, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. He is currently based in New York selling his new book, Obama: The Man Behind The Mask. Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of © Copyright by Andy Martin 2008. Martin comments on regional, national and world events with over forty years of experience. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law.

His columns are also posted at; Andy is the author of Obama: The Man Behind The Mask, published in July 2008, see

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