We don’t believe that Wall Street banking executives have ever plotted the destruction of the United States. We believe the majority want their children and grandchildren to grow up in a socially stable America. But we also believe they have been blinded by their greed, their multi-million dollar bonuses, their mansions in Greenwich, their yachts and penthouses, from consciously acknowledging that their actions brought us to the brink and continue to endanger America’s economy and future.In spite of Federal anti-trust laws and denials by bank officials, the Martens find that banking officers are meeting in secret. But that is the way the way capitalist government works in the heart of the global US Empire: denials and massive deceptions. They use fig leafs of laws to hide their obscene practices of Wealth by Stealth. Capitalist ruling class pundits always claim that we have regulatory agencies to monitor corporate behavior to insure that they follow the laws. But the catch is that they always staff these regulatory agencies with their own people, and likewise capitalists fund Congressmen who write the Swiss-cheese laws that these agencies are supposed to enforce. The same is true with the banking industry as you will learn in this report.
Congress has known for some time that the structure of Wall Street and its Federal regulators is contributing to egregiously harmful cartel activity.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up