Wall Street Insider: The Complete Interview
A longtime Wall Street insider shares their personal views about President Barack Obama – including shocking details of a meeting that left many in attendance wondering what, if anything, the president understands about the American economy – as well as Barack Obama’s desire to unionize the American military.
Author’s Note: This interview was conducted in August, 2011.
Ulsterman: I appreciate your willingness to finally do this interview. You come highly recommended.
Wall Street: So do you. I’m not certain I would say the same for our mutual acquaintance though. (smiles)
Ulsterman: Just to give a snapshot for our readers, can you tell me how long you have been involved with Wall Street – and at what level?
Wall Street: I don’t wish to be too specific, as we agreed, right? That said…a long time. It’s been quite a few years. I have seen a number of administrations come and go, a lot of regulations sent our way, many good friends pass on, and a few others are still with me hanging on these days. I love my work, and…I love this country. I want to make that very clear. Wall Street gets a lot of flack…it’s been very bad in recent years. The kind of – how we have been portrayed. It’s not accurate. Not at all. I work with some of the best and brightest. People who work hard, raise their families, send kids and grandkids off to college.
Ulsterman: The Obama administration has not been too kind to Wall Street – at least not how it is portrayed.
Wall Street: Sure, we are an easy target. The current president isn’t the first to use us as a political punching bag and he won’t be the last. It comes with the territory.
Ulsterman: But wouldn’t you say this particular administration has been more aggressive against Wall Street? Much more aggressive?
Wall Street: (pause) Yes. Yes they have.
Ulsterman: Why is that? Why has the Obama administration been so tough on Wall Street? Banks? Investment institutions?
Wall Street: Politics. Same old game. Nothing new really – just the…intensity of it. This administration is more intense in how it goes about it. The anti-Wall Street tactics. The thing is, Wall Street has done all right since the president – President Obama, has come into office. We have done far better than main street. It has proven a challenge in this environment, but we’ve managed.
Ulsterman: The fact you say you’ve done “all right” – has that been because of or in spite of Obama?
Wall Street: The president you mean? President Obama?
Ulsterman: Yes…the president. Barack Obama—
Wall Street: (interrupts) I prefer to keep things as respectful as possible. He is the President of the United States. My president. Your president. Our president. We may not agree with everything he has done, or not done but…I am not going to demean the president as others do. As you have done. I don’t want to be a part of that kind of thing. I’ve shaken the hands of five presidents in my life, and I have shown absolute respect for them and the office they hold each and every time. I will not change doing so.
Ulsterman: Are you a Democrat?
Wall Street: I don’t see what…no – I wouldn’t call myself a Democrat necessarily. Or anything else. I prefer to think of myself as…educated. Informed. I value the merits of the individual – not their political affiliation.
Ulsterman: Did you vote for Barack Obama? Fundraise for him?
Wall Street: I don’t intend to answer that. We discussed this. That has nothing to do with this – or my current…my current opinion of President Obama’s job performance.
Ulsterman: Which is what? What opinion do you have of the presidents’ job performance?
Wall Street: I am not in agreement with what the president…what his people…the administration…those in the administration – what they have done. Or how they have gone about doing it. I believe that the Obama White House is doing terrible harm to the American economy. Whether it’s intentional or not, I don’t know. I don’t want to believe anyone in that kind of position would ever do such a thing intentionally…but if you want to hear my say I don’t agree with this administration – fine. I don’t. I am very-very concerned.
Ulsterman: If the harm you say the Obama administration is doing to the economy is not intentional, what would you call it?
Wall Street: Incompetent. And it wouldn’t be the first time I used that term in applying it to an administration. The one before was not much better you know. How much money has been wasted on those wars? How many lives? How much added government waste? How much—
Ulsterman(interrupts) I want to stick with the current administration. If that’s ok with you. How incompetent would you rate Barack Obama – President Barack Obama, and his administration regarding its impact on the American economy?
Wall Street: Bad.
Ulsterman: How bad?
Wall Street: Bad…very bad. I have seen very little come from them to suggest they understand what they are doing. The talk of higher taxes? Printing more money? The silly short-term incentive programs?
Ulsterman: Incentive programs?
Wall Street: Sure…such as…Cash for Clunkers. That was madness. Billions of dollars to shift previous months sales to another months sales? What was that? And the removal of cars from the road to the scrap heap? That made no sense. None. Any way you crunch those numbers…it made no sense. I don’t know who cooked that up, whether it was someone inside the administration, someone from the car companies…the unions most likely…it was madness. And what was done to the bond holders…(trails off)
Ulsterman: Explain that please – the bond holder deal. You’re speaking about General Motors?
Wall Street: Yes! That’s right – that deal…that horrible-horrible deal. Pennies on the dollar. Take it or leave it. The threats leveled against the bond holders, the management firms…it really shook us up. All of us. Every one of us who work in this environment – the government just came in and for all intents and purposes, took over. The law be damned. The bond holders were pushed aside – illegally mind you, totally without legal basis… and the keys to that company handed over to the labor union. I am going to remain calm…trying to remain – respectful…but what happened at that time was…it should have never happened. Never. Not in this country. Venezuela perhaps – but not here. That equity conversion was a farce. The default swaps…they were rightfully in line. The law – in court the law would have been on their side. They walked those poor people out onto the plank. I’ve seen those tactics done before, but never by the United States Government. Not on that scale. Never. And what that deal did – the auto bailout…it wasn’t a bailout though. It was a takeover. That scenario sent tremors throughout the entire financial community of this country…and the world. All of us – well I can’t speak for everyone of course…but every single one I know of, we were left stunned. And then afraid.
Ulsterman: Afraid of what?
Wall Street: That’s just it – of what? At that point we didn’t know what else might be coming from this administration. What it was capable of doing next. Wall Street went into duck and cover mode – the exact opposite thing you want to see happen during a recession. It’s a big reason why – it might be the reason why we are still not recovering like we need to be. Everybody remains afraid.
Ulsterman: Afraid of the president? Of his administration?
Wall Street: (pause) Yes.
Ulsterman: A bit off the path here – but would you consider Wall Street to be more liberal than conservative in its politics?
Wall Street: I can’t speak and I won’t speak for anyone but myself.
Ulsterman: But you already have – you just said “everybody remains afraid.” You were speaking for your colleagues then, right?
Wall Street: Uh-Huh… I did say that…but I meant in my experience. What I have seen. What I have heard.
Ulsterman: Certainly – that is fine. So based on what you have seen, would you consider Wall Street more liberal or conservative in its politics?
Wall Street:If you’re trying to ask if Wall Street voted for Barack Obama for president – is that what you’re getting at here?
Ulsterman: That’s fine. You can put it that way – if you can answer that question.
Wall Street: Yes…I believe most people who I associate with professionally did support Barack Obama for president. Wall Street tends to be…it is based in New York after all.
Wall Street: Pardon?
Ulsterman: Liberal? Wall Street tends to be more liberal in its politics?
Wall Street: Wall Street – in my experience…Wall Street…yes, Wall Street tends to be more liberal. People tend to favor Democrats over Republicans. I think that would be a pretty accurate assumption.
Ulsterman: So…do you see Wall Street helping to re-elect President Barack Obama in 2012?
Wall Street: Absolutely not. There may be a few institutions that have curried favor with the administration…but for the most part – no. Speaking for myself – absolutely not. I will not vote for, I will not contribute to in any way, a second term for President Obama. One is enough.
Ulsterman: So you did vote for him in 2008…
Wall Street: (smiles)
Ulsterman: Care to answer that?
Wall Street: No.
Ulsterman: Was it the auto bailout that confirmed that decision? Or something else?
Wall Street: That was certainly part of it. That might have been enough right there, yes.
Ulsterman: But there is more – something else that turned you against the president?
Wall Street: I never said I turned against the president. I never said that. I said I would not support him in 2012. In any way.
Ulsterman: Yeah – you’re right. That is what you said. So what else besides the auto bailout helped you to come to that decision? To not support President Obama’s re-election in 2012? “In any way” as you just put it?
Wall Street: Lots of things. Policies. Taxes. Deficits. The anti-business tone. All of it.
Ulsterman: I was told you know about a meeting – a business roundtable that President Obama attended that—
Wall Street: (interrupts) –name withheld- told you about that? I wasn’t aware you were told. That was a while back. That meeting…
Ulsterman: Were you there? The roundtable?
Wall Street: (silence)
Ulsterman: Were you there?
Wall Street: I don’t – I’m not going to answer that.
Ulsterman: Can you tell me about the meeting? What you saw regarding President Obama?
Wall Street (pause) Yes…that I can do. No specifics as to location, time, or who was there. A very general summary. I am willing to do that.
Ulsterman: That is fine – just concentrate on President Obama. What you saw of him.
Wall Street: And Jarrett – Valerie Jarrett was there too.
Ulsterman: Yes – tell us about it. What you saw. The impression it made on those who were there.
Wall Street: The president arrived just a bit late. He looked good. Fit. The man is in great shape. Lots of smiles. Handshakes. A charming gentleman. Excellent eye contact. He worked the room amazingly well – nothing like some of the descriptions I have read from you. The president came off just as he should – like the President of the United States. Impressive. Every bit of him – impressive. Not old looking. Not too thin. Not stuttering. Just impressive.
So after the handshakes, the small talk, the photo taking, everyone sits back down to begin the actual discussion. I won’t say what the discussion was on, who said what – just going to keep this about the president and Valerie Jarrett. How that meeting turned…odd. It became very-very odd. And I know quite a few people walked out of that place feeling the exact same way.
Ulsterman: Good – explain what was odd. What happened?
Wall Street: Others spoke – spoke to the president. That was the format. After the initial formal introductions. They spoke, and he listened. At least he appeared to listen. For awhile.
Wall Street: Yes – awhile. There came a time when he seemed to lose focus. You could see…it appeared the energy just left him. Like he wasn’t the same person who had walked into the room just 30 or 40 minutes earlier. He…President Obama, he just seemed to shrink up into the chair. And he started to look down at his watch. Repeatedly. Eyes were starting to glance back and forth at each other – people communicating to one another what everyone was noticing – how the president, mentally, seemed to have “left the building”. Well, now it was the president’s turn to speak. To give some of his own input and reaction to what others had been saying. He didn’t stand up. He didn’t even straighten up in his seat. President Obama just turned to his left and said, “Valerie?”
Ulsterman: Valerie? That’s it? That’s all he said?
Wall Street: At that time – yes. He turned to Valerie Jarrett, and then Ms. Jarrett proceeded to explain the president’s positions. But the president was sitting right there. It was surreal. She would qualify everything with, “What the president believes is”, or “what the president hopes to accomplish is” – and that went on for a good 10 minutes. The president didn’t say a word – it was all…everything was said by Valerie Jarrett.
Ulsterman: And how did the meeting end?
Wall Street: That was very interesting. When it was clear the meeting was concluded, the president came back to life. It was like somebody plugged him back in. I am not…there is no exaggeration in what I’m telling you here. Possibly just the opposite. All at once he looked tall and strong, working the room again, smiling, clapping backs, and then he was gone. The word – I used it already, but the word I keep coming back to is surreal. The president was two entirely different people in the span of an hour. One was the President of the United States and the other was…the other was just an empty shell.
Ulsterman: And how did the meeting end?
Wall Street: That was very interesting. When it was clear the meeting was concluded, the president came back to life. It was like somebody plugged him back in. I am not…there is no exaggeration in what I’m telling you here. Possibly just the opposite. All at once he looked tall and strong, working the room again, smiling, clapping backs, and then he was gone. The word – I used it already, but the word I keep coming back to is surreal. The president was two entirely different people in the span of an hour. One was the President of the United States and the other was…the other was just an empty shell…
Ulsterman: Do you believe the president is dumb?
Wall Street: Absolutely not. Incompetent, yes. In over his head, yes. I would never stoop to calling President Obama dumb. Far from it. He has a proven academic track record of success. Incompetence and stupidity are two very different things.
Ulsterman: A track record of academic success? You seen his records? His grades?
Wall Street: Pardon?
Ulsterman: President Obama’s academic records – you’ve seen them?
Wall Street: No, but—
Ulsterman: (interrupts) —Then how can you make any statement about the president’s “record of academic success”? What proof does the country have of that success?
Wall Street: Where are you going with this? President Obama is a graduate of one of the finest universities in the world. He—
Ulsterman: (interrupts) —So was George W Bush, and yet many of his detractors considered him stupid.
Wall Street: I was not among those who did so.
Ulsterman: But you were a detractor of George W Bush, correct?
Wall Street: On some issues, yes – but always respectfully.
Ulsterman: So who would you consider more dangerous to the country – President George W Bush or President Barack Obama?
Wall Street: I don’t understand the context – one is no longer the president.
Ulsterman: Ah – how about I put it this way…which do you feel has done the least favorable job as president?
Wall Street: Least favorable? (pause) That…this discussion is about the present. Or at least that was what I intended.
Ulsterman: Fine – but I’m trying to establish a base point if you will. Where you stand relative to current and former political figures and your own politics. You’re keeping things very…close to the vest. I was told you would do that – which is understandable.
Wall Street: I already told you – I consider myself educated more than I do political. I value individual ability, not political affiliation.
Ulsterman: So by calling President Obama incompetent – you must not hold his individual abilities in very high regard. Correct?
Wall Street: I respectfully disagree with…(pause) I believe President Obama lacks an understanding of economic fundamentals. As other previous presidents have as well, mind you. The critical difference is that those other presidents surrounded themselves with staff who did understand those fundamentals. President Obama has…he has not done so.
Ulsterman: Is that why you believe Obama – President Obama, is that why you believe he tuned out during that roundtable meeting? He was unable to understand the subject matter? Or perhaps it’s something else? Perhaps the president is purposely acting against those economic fundamentals you’re speaking of? Could that be a possibility?
Wall Street: Purposely – what do you mean purposely? Are you implying a belief that President Obama is deliberately attempting to cripple the American economy?
Ulsterman: I’m putting that out there, yes. As a potential scenario we can discuss.
Wall Street: No. That is, that is…poppycock. That’s silly conspiracy nonsense. How would a president who hopes to be re-elected expect to succeed if they were purposely harming the economy? One and one do not make three.
Ulsterman: Ok then – get back to reasons why the president tuned out during that meeting. Why he had Valerie Jarrett speak for him. Incompetence alone doesn’t explain that.
Wall Street: Oh, I think it does. President Obama doesn’t appear to really care…he doesn’t want to learn about the subject at hand. Our mutual acquaintance has said much the same, correct? That if it doesn’t directly involve him, the president’s attention span…suffers greatly.
Ulsterman: So at that meeting, President Obama was bored? That’s your explanation?
Wall Street: Sure-sure. But in his defense, a room full of business and economic wonks is hardly the most entertaining group of individuals. I’ve nodded off at a few such meetings in my time. More than a few in fact.
Ulsterman: You’re not the President of the United States. You’re not sending troops to fight and die in foreign lands. You’re not sending guns into other foreign lands that are later used to kill American law enforcement. You’re not actively and repeatedly attacking the very businesses that ultimately have the power to pull this economy out of a recession and put millions of increasingly desperate people back to work. You want to fall asleep at a meeting? Fine. Don’t you think the President of the United States should have a higher level of expectation? Of competence? Of even the most basic degree of intellectual curiosity?
Wall Street: Don’t lecture me please. I am not one of your students.
Ulsterman: No – you’re not. But could you answer the question?
Wall Street: There was a question in that? I believe you were making a statement, not asking a question there.
Ulsterman: -expletive deleted- right that was a statement. What I’m trying to get at here is an explanation…your insight into why President Obama has not interest in even appearing to grasp the information being discussed at that meeting. Doesn’t that alarm you?
Wall Street: It most certainly does alarm me – a great deal. I apologize if anything I’ve said here would contradict that fact. I have made it very clear I will not, in any way, help this president to be re-elected. How much more direct can I be?
Ulsterman: Would you say most of Wall Street is going to do the same – not help President Obama get re-elected?
Wall Street: As I already told you – I don’t speak for anyone else here.
Ulsterman: Did you receive any bailout money from the administration?
Wall Street: Pardon?
Ulsterman: Bailout money – did you or your firm receive any bailout money from the administration in 2009?
Wall Street: No – the administration does not have the authority to allocate such monies.
Wall Street: Only Congress can do that. Only Congress can allocate such funds. So no – there were no bailout funds received from the administration.
Ulsterman: (long pause) …From Congress then. Did you receive bailout funds from Congress.
Wall Street: No, I did not. I did not receive any such funds.
Ulsterman: Your firm. Did your firm receive any bailout money?
Wall Street: We should either move on at this point or end the interview.
Ulsterman: You don’t wish to answer that question?
Wall Street: This was to be an interview – not an interrogation.
Ulsterman: Billions and billions of taxpayer dollars were given to Wall Street, correct?
Wall Street: Correct.
Ulsterman: But you are refusing to acknowledge if you – if your firm, received any such funds?
Wall Street: Correct.
Wall Street:It serves no purpose here – not in this context. This is to be about my views regarding President Obama. It is not to be about me personally and most certainly not to be about my business.
Ulsterman: Not even if it was your business to take bailout funds?
Wall Street: Are we done here? This is not going anywhere now. I think it best we end here. I wish to keep this respectful. You are compromising my position in this, which I was promised – repeatedly, would not happen.
Ulsterman: Then let me approach it – you’re right. No need to compromise your position here. I apologize.
Wall Street: Thank you.
Ulsterman: Let me ask the question in a much broader way then – but just base it on your opinion. Your experience. I’m not asking for you to speak for anyone but yourself here, ok?
Wall Street: Certainly.
Ulsterman: I have been told Wall Street has turned against the president. You have stated you intend to do nothing to help President Obama to be re-elected, correct?
Wall Street: (pause)…Yes.
Ulsterman: Why would institutions who received so much bailout funding from this administration…Congress, whatever you want to call it – why would they not support a president who pushed so aggressively for them to receive those funds?
Wall Street: You’re posing the question much more clearly now – and not nearly being as personally intrusive. Thank you.
Ulsterman: You’re welcome – can you answer the question?
Wall Street: First, when we speak of Wall Street, you must understand it is comprised of far more than those names you commonly hear on television, or read about in newspapers. There are significant numbers of mid-tier entities that never took any bailout monies but collectively make up a significant portion of, for lack of a better term – “Wall Street”. And these institutions are spread out across the country and the world. Wealth is a global inclination – Americans are still playing catch-up in that regard.
Ulsterman: But what if the companies that did receive bailout funds? Are they no longer supporting the president?
Wall Street: Which one? Bailout funds were originated by the Bush administration, and later administered in full by the Obama administration.
Ulsterman: The current administration – the only one that matters right now. For –expletive- sake!
Wall Street: You’re asking if Wall Street is no longer supportive of President Obama then? Or at least, those institutions that received bailout funds? Correct?
Ulsterman: Yes – that is what I am asking.
Wall Street: That would be correct – in my own observational capacity. That would be correct.
Ulsterman: Buy why? Why bite the hand that fed you billions upon billions in bailout funds?
Wall Street: Ah…that is a bit more complicated but I will try and keep it as simple for you as possible. Let’s just say…some of those firms were not entirely in agreement regarding receipt of those funds.
Ulsterman: They were forced to take the money. That is what you’re saying?
Wall Street: That is a bit of a simplistic summation, but generally accurate, yes.
Wall Street: Pardon?
Ulsterman: How were they – these firms, how were they forced to take bailout funding?
Wall Street: When the United States government comes knocking on your door…you tend to open it or face potential consequences that could prove…debilitating to your continued existence. It is very easy for those not in such a position to judge. Very easy. But imagine if you will, all of the massive regulatory and legal powers of the American government coming down to bear upon you. One option is to oppose and fight and face almost certain annihilation. The kind of annihilation that occurred right before our eyes. It happened. An entire institution wiped away as if it never existed. The other is to run away and live to fight for another day. Some among us chose to run away – and now we are prepared to fight. The election of 2012 is to be that battle.
Ulsterman: You seem to be speaking for more than yourself right there.
Wall Street: (Smiles) Am I? Perhaps I am…
Ulsterman: How? How do you – how does Wall Street intend to fight the Obama administration?
Wall Street:I said I would do nothing – NOTHING, to help President Obama enjoy a second term. For the sake of this interview, let us assume then that others in similar positions as my own are doing the same.
Ulsterman: Staying out of a fight isn’t necessarily putting up a fight you know. Sometimes you need to scrape your knuckles up, don’t you think?
Wall Street: We would leave that to the likes of you to do. By stepping away from this White House…the Wall Street bundlers are greatly diminished for the Obama people. That is as aggressive a hit to their re-election hopes as anything. Perhaps not a knock-out blow, to follow your own analogy, but certainly one that will hurt them a great deal.
Wall Street: Bundlers…your friend would know that term very well. They hunt and gather campaign funds for a particular candidate or cause. Wall Street represents a significant sum of those dollars. Very significant. Perhaps the only ones who can directly rival the labor unions – who I consider among the most vile and evil operators of American politics. Can you imagine attempting to unionize our American military? And for such a consideration to be made by an administration…it is appalling how dangerous the mindset of the Obama people has become. Almost as appalling as how many of us didn’t see it all coming our way.
Ulsterman: Stop right there. Did you just say that the Obama administration wants to unionize the American military?
Wall Street: Oh my – look at you now! That’s got you a bit riled does it?
Ulsterman: Are you being serious?
Wall Street: Oh yes. Absolutely serious. A bit over a year…perhaps a year-and-a-half ago. A younger gentleman who was said to be with the administration – affiliated with the DOJ actually – these people were crawling all over everything at that time. That situation itself was enough to sour many of us on the Obama White House. They would walk in as if they owned you. Wall Street had become a plantation. Ironic, isn’t it? But that’s how it felt. It’s improved somewhat, but not enough. Not nearly enough…
Ulsterman: Stick to what you said about the military please. Unionizing the military. What was that about? What did that person say?
Wall Street: It wasn’t this office mind you. But a close associate. And it has been repeated by a few others, so I consider it quite likely it was in fact said. Now how high up in the administration it actually goes…that is more uncertain…
Ulsterman: What was said please – please just focus on that.
Wall Street: As I did say – the administration wants to unionize the American military. All of it. They apparently, if what this gentleman said is to be believed,…they wish to see the soldiers “justly represented”. That was the term that was repeated to me by more than one source. It had…the conversation had originated as one about unionizing Wall Street workers and then the information about the military – the actual plan for unionizing the military came out.
Ulsterman: And this person – they were from the Department of Justice?
Wall Street: Yes…an affiliation of the DOJ, yes.
Ulsterman: Could you be more specific?
Wall Street: No. I am surprised you were not told of this already. I shared it with our acquaintance some time ago. Can you imagine some 2 million more union members in this country? With a stroke of the pen – an executive order. Can you imagine the cost? The dysfunction? How much we could be weakened, put at risk by such a thing? The implications are…well, they are just too horrific to consider. The last I had heard of this was…perhaps the 1970s. And never coming from such a level within the government.
Ulsterman: Why would this person – the DOJ…whatever their position was…why would they be sharing that?
Wall Street: Have you spent any time with those people? They are insecure around us you know. Insolent. Defiant. They want to show their authority. The ones working for this current administration have been the absolute worst in that regard. So they talk. And they talk. This example is no different – and it’s that simple.
Ulsterman: Do you believe it? That President Obama wants to unionize the military?
Wall Street: I believe some – someone in that administration not only wants, but intends to do so, yes.
Ulsterman: But not Obama? President Obama?
Wall Street: That I don’t know – I just don’t get the sense this president is entirely aware of what is going on around him. In his own administration. What I saw at that meeting…he seems less than interested in the details if you will. Much like an absentee CEO. Your own stories seem to support that. Very much so.
Ulsterman: You’re being much too kind there. The guy is a moron. And I think you know that, but you won’t just come out and say it. Barack Obama is dumb, and dangerously so.
Wall Street: That is your opinion. I don’t share it. Incompetent, yes. Stupid? No.
Ulsterman: Do you think he – President Obama…do you think he could pull it off? The move to unionize the military?
Wall Street: Yes. Not him so much – but those around him. Yes. They would form the plan – the implementation plan, the DOJ would prepare the legal groundwork, and the president would be given the script.
Ulsterman: Why? If he is so incompetent, why do you think the president could actually pull something like that off? You seem to be contradicting yourself on this. Somebody might even say your full of –expletive- and it wouldn’t take much to convince me to agree with them on that.
Wall Street: (Pause) …I now live in a world of Dodd-Frank. While President Obama may in fact not possess the abilities to pull off something like that, as I indicated, there are those around him…those in the Democratic Party, who could. And if given the opportunity, they will. The plan has been discussed – and implementation of just this scenario – I have no doubt it will continues to be discussed.
Ulsterman: What? Unionization of the military? How do you know this? And why didn’t you say anything about bit earlier?
Wall Street: If you would allow me an opportunity, perhaps I would have.
Ulsterman: What “highest levels” are you talking about here? Who? And how do you know this? Did it come from the DOJ guy?
Wall Street: No, not him. His input had me concerned. The military…it impacts both my professional and personal livelihood. The possibility of it being made into another union…I find that…objectionable. Dangerous. Very dangerous. Unions have destroyed American industry. Almost every significant failing of private industry in this country can be linked to the influence of unions. The auto bailout is just such an example. Imagine the damage done to the military? And to the industries supporting the military?
Ulsterman: How would the unionization of the military impact your livelihood? You’re talking money right? Is that what has you so concerned? Your own bottom line?
Wall Street: That is not my main concern – NO. There are other reasons much more important than that. Money is not…to unionize the military would further cripple this economy. It would destroy companies. More job loss. It would be a disaster.
Ulsterman: Speak about the plan please. The implementation of this scenario that you say has been discussed at the highest levels. How do you know of this?
Wall Street: As I said, when I heard of what the gentleman from the DOJ had shared, had repeated to others, I became concerned. I reached out to certain…contacts I have. Longstanding acquaintances with direct ties to the Pentagon. Yes, the military is big money. Very-very big money, but I want to make it clear to you – that was not my primary motivation here.
Ulsterman: Fine – keep talking.
Wall Street:Basically what came back to me from these sources was confirmation of what I had heard earlier – the DOJ information. And the confirmation was solid. Discussions had taken place. Communication had come directly from the highest levels of both the Department of Justice and the Obama White House that indicated the legal means of unionizing the United States Military. Word then reached the contractors, and people were beginning to get…the concern was significant. We had just seen what had been done with healthcare – how that had been pushed through. What had been done with the auto unions. Organized labor owns this White House. The possibility of them doing to the military what they had so successfully done elsewhere appeared at that time to be very serious.
Wall Street: Military contractors. The companies who provide the hardware. Billions – trillions of dollars at stake. They were not pleased by this scenario. If you were to get access to materials likely available within an ongoing legal case, I do believe you would get confirmation of this – of the move to unionize the military.
Ulsterman: What case?
Wall Street: Do your own homework. You shouldn’t have to look so hard.
Ulsterman: You won’t say?
Wall Street: No, I will not. But what I’m saying will reach those who we want to know.
Ulsterman: The Boeing case?
Wall Street: I cannot comment on something that specific.
Ulsterman: Ah…can I ask you some yes and no questions? Just yes and no. Can you do that for me?
Wall Street: I won’t promise anything in that regard – but go ahead and ask them. Are you saying I’m a bit long-winded? (laughs)
Ulsterman: No – you’re even more…anonymous than –name deleted-. I understand why, and I agreed to hold that up as part of the bargain, but it does annoy the hell out of me sometimes. You can understand that, right?
Wall Street: Is that your first yes or no question?
Ulsterman: No…(long pause)…Were you the one to indicate that Wall Street had manipulated the economy back in 2008 to help Barack Obama get elected? Were you the source Insider used for that information?
Wall Street: Perhaps, but I am certain I was not the only one. But yes, I did share information related to that scenario.
Ulsterman: Do you support the Federal Reserve?
Wall Street: No.
Ulsterman: Can you expand on that answer?
Wall Street: That would take it beyond a yes or no response then.
Ulsterman: Just give me a quick summary of why you don’t support the Fed.
Wall Street: That is long bit of history…I will simply say the current Federal Reserve leadership is the single most dangerous contributor to the current economic climate in this country. I would qualify that by also stating not everyone in the Fed agrees with the current leadership position. There is quite a fight going on in-house there.
Ulsterman: Does Ben Bernanke need to be removed from his position at the Fed?
Wall Street: Yes – absolutely.
Ulsterman: Does Timothy Geithner need to be removed from his position at Treasury?
Wall Street: No.
Ulsterman: Why not?
Wall Street: My answer was no. That’s it.
Ulsterman: Do you consider Ben Bernanke more dangerous to the American economy than President Obama?
Wall Street: Yes – the president…the president likely has no clue what Chairman Bernanke is doing…has done, to the financial health of this country. Mr. Bernanke has been a boon to the volatility feeders. We are at the abyss here you know. So many of us know it, but nobody – very few…want to openly communicate that fact. The situation of this country is frightening. I cannot begin to…my words won’t do justice to just how dangerous this situation has become.
Ulsterman: What Bernanke is doing – is it intentional?
Wall Street: I believe so…(pause) yes.
Ulsterman: Care to elaborate?
Wall Street: (Sighs) No…not now. I’m not ready for that.
Ulsterman: What is the abyss? The economy – the economy is at the abyss? The debt?
Wall Street: These cannot be yes or no answers. And I’m getting tired here. I apologize for that, but this needs to come to a conclusion.
Ulsterman: Explain what the abyss is. Briefly. Please.
Wall Street: (Long pause)…Money has an inherent value. The borrowing of money is to have an inherent cost. That relationship is to be a symbiotic one. If you take away one, it can kill the other. —Don’t interrupt me here – if you don’t understand I can’t…I won’t be the one to explain it for you. Not at this time.
Ulsterman: Go ahead – I apologize. Please go ahead…
Wall Street: What the Federal Reserve is doing is killing off that relationship – that critical symbiotic component of a free-market economy. We are on this day a more centralized economy than at any other point in our history. Fiscal contagion can spread from nation to nation with a single click. Trillions upon trillions in value has been wiped out of the market by the printing of money with lessening value. When you wonder why Wall Street has succeeded under President Obama while Main Street continues to struggle is simply because Main Street still exists in some semblance of a free market economy. That relationship between the value of money and the cost of borrowing that value still exists. Wall Street has been allowed to exist outside of that reality. The Fed has made it so, and the result…we are nearing just the beginnings of that result – will be outright economic disaster. 2008? Nothing. 1929? Yes – that is where we are going here. And with that kind of economic chaos – what is soon to follow? Read you history. War. Famine. A total shock to the system, except this time, we have a proliferation of nuclear weapons, countries such as Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, they will be directly involved in this chaos. And of course there is China…the time I could spend on China…
Among the most frustrating things following the collapse of the Soviet Union was the repeated phrase that the Cold War had ended. Not so. China remained. China, who by then was a far greater economic threat to the United States than the Soviet Union – they were conveniently forgotten as part of that Cold War. Our intellectual laziness in that regard has now come home to roost. And we are cutting ourselves. Death by a thousand cuts. Every deficit dollar we print, we come closer to that abyss. We are at 40 or 50 trillion in total debt in this country – and in an economy that is no longer growing anywhere near a pace that can even pretend to accommodate such a debt. The folly of the New Deal and the Great Society and that entire mindset is choking the future of the nation. Literally choking the life out of us. Me, you, our kids, our grandkids…nothing will be left for them but pieces of what used to be, and a world ready and willing to feed off those scraps.
And these labor unions – the shift from private to governmental unionization…the inherent legacy costs of that scenario is simply unsustainable. The free market cannot withstand the attack. It is collapsing all about us now and too many are simply not paying attention. The only hope for our recovery – the only hope, is our ability to grow our way out of this. That growth, along with massive cuts in government spending, is the only way. Nations such as Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain …they have come to this understanding, but have only been able to do so with the assistance of other nations who in turn are printing their own deficit dollars in order to do so. That situation cannot be sustained can it? And certainly not without growth. Do you know the number of payroll jobs in 1999 was approximately 130 million? That is the same number as in 2011. Zero growth. This economic stagnation is leading to economic decapitation and it is coming sooner not later. It is happening NOW. If this nation does not elect leaders with the political will to do battle with the entitlement status quo, to do battle with the monster that is the Federal Reserve, we are finished. Done. President Obama does not have the political will to do so. Far from it. Nor does he have the understanding of just how dire the situation is. Far from it. More of the same will only lead to the mutual destruction of both political parties and the nation.
Ulsterman: That was not yes or no…but I certainly appreciate the response. You just gave as good a summary of the current economic situation I have heard. I want to thank you for allowing us to meet finally, and I hope to be able to do this again.
Wall Street: Perhaps. Perhaps not.
Ulsterman: Well…thank you either way. It really is much appreciated.
Wall Street: You’re welcome.
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