September 11, 2001, was about buildings and planes and Muslim terrorists and subsequently, really eerie, meaty conspiracy theories. The events of that Tuesday morning are fated to live on in portentous gloom for the duration of civilized mankind’s memory. Our buildings, the brick and mortar of our civilization, came tumbling down on that September morning 14 years ago.
And in 2008, 7 years later, a financial domino chain-reaction was triggered when financial powerhouse, Lehman Brothers, was gutted by a cabal of mysterious international traders…on September 11. The hit contributed to the banking institution’s bankruptcy 4 short days later, on September 15. The international monetary backbone of our civilization swayed, began tumbling; and might very well have been much worse.
Tomorrow, September 11, 2015, marks 14 years since the original tragedy and 7 since the last.
Our times are rife with the kernels of tragedy. Tragedy stalks us and hides in the wings. The hammer can drop at any time…that’s the sense you get if you follow the news in 2015. And September 8, 2015, peeks from across the Midnight hour.
The walls were collapsing around Lehman Brothers. As the U.S. marked the seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, with both presidential candidates visiting Ground Zero, Lehman Brothers executives were scrambling to sell a restructuring plan and find a buyer for the firm.
Lehman was sinking under its pile of bad mortgage-related debt. “Losses created by these concentrated legacy assets have clouded the underlying value of our franchise,” CEO Dick Fuld said, in an attempt to shore up support. But the plan was already drawing critics, some of whom suggested the company would still need to raise billion more to plug the holes in its balance sheet.
By now the company’s future was very much in doubt. The behind-the-scenes scrambling was fierce, both at Lehman headquarters, and in Washington, D.C., where government officials were debating what exactly, if anything, to do about the firm’s impending collapse. The government had more than just Lehman Brothers to contend with
Across Wall Street, firms were under intense pressure. Lehman shares plunged 42% after announcing its plan. Merrill Lynch shares fell 17%. Washington Mutual WMIH -0.80% shares were down 34% from Monday trough Thursday. Despite the selloff on Wall Street, the broader indexes were holding up relatively well, which reassured some on the Street.
But a weekend was coming, and bringing a storm with it that was about to slam right into Wall Street.
A year after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008, questions still swirl around its collapse. Lawrence MacDonald, whose book A Colossal Failure of Common Sense came out in July 2009, maintains that the bank was not in substantially worse shape than other major Wall Street banks. He says Lehman was just “put to sleep. They put the pillow over the face of Lehman Brothers and they put her to sleep.” The question is, why?
The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008 is considered the watershed event that changed the rules of the game for those Wall Street banks considered “too big to fail.” The bankruptcy option was ruled out once and for all; the taxpayers would have to keep throwing money at the banks, no matter how corrupt, ill-managed or undeserving.
Although Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy on Monday, September 15, 2008, it was actually “bombed” on September 11, when the biggest one-day drop in its stock and highest trading volume occurred before bankruptcy. Lehman CEO Richard Fuld maintained that the 158 year old bank was brought down by unsubstantiated rumors and illegal naked short selling. Although short selling (selling shares you don’t own) is legal, the short seller is required to have shares lined up to borrow and replace to cover the sale. Failure to buy the shares back in the next three trading days is called a “fail to deliver.” Christopher Cox, who was chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2008, said in a July 2009 article that naked short selling “can allow manipulators to force prices down far lower than would be possible in legitimate short-selling conditions.” By September 11, 2008, according to the SEC, as many as 32.8 million Lehman shares had been sold and not delivered — a 57-fold increase over the peak of the prior year. For a very large company like Lehman, with plenty of “float” (available shares for trading), this unprecedented number was highly suspicious and warranted serious investigation. But the SEC, which was criticized for failing to follow up even on tips that Bernie Madoff’s business was a Ponzi scheme, has yet to announce the results of any investigation.
In an admission stunning for its frankness (and particularly given the fact it originated with a politician whose country is held prisoner by foreign, criminal interests) Rep. Paul Kanjorski, (D, Penn) Chairman of the House’s Capitol Markets Subcommittee recently admitted on C-SPAN that the current economic problems faced by–not just the United States, but indeed the entire world–were the result of an “electronic run on the bank” that resulted in the hemorrhaging of $550 billion dollars in just “an hour or 2”.
Speaking the last week of January on the Washington DC-based television program, Rep. Kanjorski was verbally accosted by an irate American caller charging that the economic stimulus package currently up for debate in the Congress (as well as the previous $700 billion bank-bailout) is solely for the benefit of fat cats on Wall Street rather than for Joe Six-pack on Mainstreet. With barely-concealed panic in his voice, the Congressman tried explaining the severity of the current financial problem faced by the US with the following comments–
“Why did we do that? We did that because…Look, I was there when the Secretary of the Treasury and Chairman of the Federal Reserve came and talked with members of Congress about what was going on, it was about September the 15th…Here’s the facts and we don’t even talk about these things…”
“On Thursday at about 11 am the Federal Reserve noticed a tremendous drawdown of money market accounts in the United States to the tune of 550 billion dollars, being drawn out in the matter of about an hour or 2. The Treasury opened up its window to help, pumped 105 billion dollars in the system and quickly realized they could not stem the tide…We were having an electronic run on the banks. They decided to close the operation, close down the money accounts and announce a guarantee of $250,000 per account so there wouldn’t be further panic out there. If they had not done this, their estimation was that by 2 o’clock that afternoon, 5.5 trillion dollars would have been drawn out of the money market system of the United States, would have collapsed the entire economy of the United States, and within 24 hours the world economy would have collapsed…”
“We talked about what would happen–it would have been the end of our economic and political system as we know it, and that’s why we had to act and do things quickly. Why? Because if you don’t have a banking system you don’t have an economy, and although we did that it wasn’t enough. The economy has been falling and we’re really no better off today than we were 3 months ago, as other assets are going sour by the moment…Somebody threw us in the middle of the Atlantic ocean without a life raft and we’re trying to determine which is the closest shore and whether there’s any chance in the world to swim that far. We don’t know…”
First, that the potentially-apocalyptic events leading up to the bailout of America’s banks are not “talked about”, something to remember when President Obama or his monetary magicians are promising “this and that” with regards to curing America’s economic ills. By the very words of Rep. Paul “Vallachi” Kanjorski, a “code of silence” exists amongst the ‘made members’ of the political and financial elite preventing them from telling the truth, the whole truth and nothin’ but the truth, so help them ‘G-d’. The fact that it took close to 5 months for this information concerning a deliberate run on the banks to be made public is proof positive that the Captain and crew of the Titanic have decided to allow the passengers to go about their lives unencumbered while they try and find a way to “deal with” the current situation.
Second, that on September 15, Treasury Secretary Paulson and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Shalom Bernanke testified before Congress that on the previous Thursday, September 11th, an “electronic run” on the US banking system took place between the hours of 9 and 11 am…That had stop-gaps not been executed, by 2 pm that afternoon (again, on September 11th) the hemorrhaging of “5.5 trillion dollars” would have taken place, resulting in the collapse of not only “the entire economy” of the United States but as well of the world within just “24 hours,” leading to “the end of our economic and political system as we know it”.
And, last but not least, eliminating the possibility that the event was all part of some fluke or “market correction”, the honorable Congressman (who one day will doubtless dearly regret his recent “honesty” with the American people on C-SPAN that morning) ended his comments by saying “someone” was responsible for the slashing of that financial jugular that nearly bled America to death, as well as indicating the worries on the part of the power elite in Washington DC as to whether or not at the end of the day America will survive it, despite the unprecedented transfusions she is currently receiving.
Of the many things in Kanjorski’s comments sticking out like the proverbial whore-in-a-red-dress-at-a-1st-communion-ceremony, obviously the most prominent is the date on which the hemorrhaging is said to have taken place, none other than on September 11th, the same date America’s financial headquarters (and by extension, the financial headquarters of the world) were attacked 7 years earlier and the starting gun as it were for the current “war on terror” benefiting a certain ethno-theocratic state in the Middle East. The other thing equally important (and yet hiding in plain sight) is the time frame this monetary hemorrhaging is said to have taken place–between 9 and 11 am, which also coincides closely with the time frame of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, with the first tower being struck by an airliner shortly before 9 am and the 2nd tower collapsing at roughly 10:30 am.