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#538#539#540#541 Episode #542 - Sanders Speaks Out
(Exposing The Fed's Financial Endgames)



Sat 12 March 2011  Bernie Sanders, The Network
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2The show this week is devoted to a single speaker, Bernie Sanders, independent US Senator for Vermont, whose epic 8½ hour speech last December protested the "Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010". We hear extracts of his speech, on the multi-trillion dollars bailouts which he forced the Fed to disclose, the increasing size of already 'too-big-to-fail' banks, increasing inequality in US society and global trade.
Although Bernie Sanders' prescriptions are somewhat 'in the box' by the standards of this show, his exposure of the bailouts is welcome, as is his fearless expression of the anger of millions of Americans as he speaks truth to power. I hope you'll find this episode an effective antidote to gradualism, the idea that the economic system can be reformed with some judicious changes.

Our first hour starts with a look at the bailouts. Sanders reports on the "jaw dropping" $3.3 Trillion (=$3,300,000,000,000) in emergency loans and more than $9 trillion in over 21,000 short-term loans and other financial arrangements the Federal Reserve handed out without input or supervision (including hundreds of billions of dollars to foreign banks) dwarfing the $700 billion Treasury Department bank bailout during the Wall Street meltdown. Next we consider wealth inequality in USA. During the 8 years of the Bush Presidency, the wealthiest 400 families saw their income double while tax rates dropped by almost half. They now earn on average $345 million a year and pay an effective tax rate of 16.6%, the lowest ever. Collectively the 400 richest Americans have accumulated $1.27 trillion in wealth, more than the bottom 90% of the population.

In our second hour, we hear further details of the bailouts, and Sanders notes that of the 4 biggest financial institutions that were bailed out because they were 'too big to fail', Wells Fargo is 43% bigger, JP Morgan Chase 51% bigger, and Bank of America is 138% bigger. If we are serious about preventing a future collapse worse than the current one we have to break these banks up, says Sanders. After devoting time to the US $13.7 trillion national debt and we conclude by hearing Sanders speak on the US trade deficit. He says that trade reform is urgently needed, noting that in 2008 the US trade deficit was nearly $700 billion, about ⅓ of which was with a single country, China.
Thanks to Maria Gilardin of TUC Radio for compiling the clips from C-Span and for bringing them to my attention.
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