Jews in the Economy and Finance

Facebook, Money and Power

We’ve all heard the adage “He who pays the piper calls the tune.” Now let’s consider what that means in today’s America.

For starters, we know that Jews collectively have a lot of money. And I’ll bet that has sure increased in the years since Madoff and the 2008 banking crisis. I’ve previously argued that Jewish malfeasance with respect to money is a very old thing. And it’s no canard to make this argument. See my article “The Culture of Deceit,” as well as “Jews & Money” and ” The Smell of Money.” Mostly, however, see John Graham’s powerful writing on the topic on TOO’s pages.)

So one day last week when I opened my browser and checked the mainstream news to see what we proles were meant to ingest that day, I groaned when I read about Facebook going public. As one account noted,

The biggest beneficiary of a Facebook IPO, of course, would be founder Mark Zuckerberg. The 27-year-old native of White Plains, NY, founded Facebook in 2004 with a couple of Harvard buddies.

And how much did he benefit? The headlines told us that his share of the loot was — this is not a misprint — $28 billion, assuming a $100 billion valuation, which may be conservative. Folks, that is a lot of money, even in the era of trillion dollar deficits. Then there’s Dustin Moskowitz, whose Facebook shares are expected to be worth around $7.6 billion and Eduardo Saverin (who had to sue to get his piece of the pie) will be worth around $5 billion. All told, a notable increase in Jewish wealth. (Although he is often said to be Jewish, Peter Thiel, the venture capitalist whose $500,000 investment will turn into shares worth around $2 billion, is not Jewish.)

Now allow me to speculate a bit. First, I join other TOO writers in doubting that Zuckerberg really founded Facebook.  As Matt Parrot wrote of its origin, as presented in the film The Social Network:

The project was hijacked when the gullible Winklevoss twins entrusted Mark Zuckerberg and his accomplice, Eduardo Saverin, to help execute the project. (See also Kevin MacDonald’s review.) The movie adaptation of this true story is a fevered Jewish revenge fantasy against their hapless arch-enemies, the reviled WASP “insiders.” Both the book, by Ben Mezrich,  and the screenplay, by Aaron Sorkin,  wallow in defeating the earnest brothers, heaping these two iconic American Christians with humiliation after humiliation.

Whew, there are a lot of familiar themes there. Read more

Occupy Wall Street: Undertones of Anti-Semitism

In my recent blog “Jews and the Occupy Wall St. Protests” I mentioned that popular Los Angeles-area radio talk host Bill Handel said he wasn’t upset with Wall St. because “my tribe controls Wall St.” Handel is happily continuing his lucrative career without any problems at all. But Patricia McAlister, a Black substitute teacher in the LA school system has been fired for saying that the  “Zionist Jews who run these big banks and the Federal Reserve … need to be run out of this country.”


Granted, McAlister went quite a bit beyond Handel in advocating that Jews be expelled, but I rather doubt that that is the issue. Simply pointing to Jews in the context of the financial meltdown would have been quite enough. Indeed, there has been quite a bit of comment about lone protesters like David Smith, a regular at the New York protest, who has gotten quite a bit of attention for his signs, including “Google: Zionist Jews control Wall St.”

JTA Caption: An Occupy Wall Street protester who says his name is David Smith holding aloft a sign in Zuccotti Park in New York that offers an overtly anti-Jewish message, Oct. 11, 2011. Protest organizers say his type is a fringe element of the movement. (neolibertariannet via YouTube)

The situation is similar to what happened during the first stages of the meltdown in 2008 when the ADL expressed concern about the “dramatic upsurge” in anti-Jewish messages on internet discussion boards devoted to finance and the economy in reaction to the huge bailout of Wall Street. The ADL press release was predictable in its attempt to characterize such outbursts as irrational hatred against Jews: Abe Foxman complains darkly that in times of economic downturns, “The age-old canards [the ADL’s favorite word is ‘canard’] about Jews and money are always just beneath the surface.” Read more

Jews and the Occupy Wall St. Protests: Bill Handel says “My Tribe Controls Wall St.”

The Occupy Wall St. movement and its many offshoots have clearly become creatures of the left. Although it’s hard to say what it was originally, it is becoming the left’s answer to the Tea Party’s angry middle-aged and middle-class White people: angry young, mainly White people worried about their prospects and expressing themselves in left-speak. Locally, the campus liberals at CSULB are promoting Occupy Long Beach, and nationally one hears the likes of Michael Moore on MSNBC touting it. On the other hand, from conservatives there is a reflexive disdain and accusations that OWS movement is funded and organized by activists associated with leftist organizations like the SEIU and ACORN.

There are certainly a lot of reasons to complain about Wall St. The financial meltdown is the greatest elite malfeasance/fraud in memory, and to date none of the high-level perpetrators have been prosecuted–those who made the markets for bundled mortgages given to people who could not possibly repay. The financial meltdown of 2008 continues to reverberate in world economies, resulting in enormously increased debt loads at all levels of government, politically volatile levels of unemployment, and an as yet uncertain outcome.

It’s ironic perhaps that there has been a very visible Jewish presence to the OWS movement. (See “Occupy Wall St. protests taking on a Jewish flavor, ” JTA, Oct. 11, 2011.)

From progressive activists who seek to conflate the protesters’ aspirations with Jewish values to Chabadniks looking for opportunities to have Jews to perform mitzvahs such as sitting in a sukkah, the Occupy Wall Street protests are becoming a fulcrum of Jewish ferment. In Boston and Philadelphia, too, Jewish activists held Yom Kippur services at the site of the demonstrations.

“For many of us, social justice is where we find our Judaism,” said Regina Weiss, the communications director for the Progressive Jewish Alliance & Jewish Funds for Justice. “For many there is no more important way to stand up and express Judaism on the holiest night of the year [Yom Kippur] than to stand with people who are hurting and to stand up for greater equality in the country.” Read more

Comment on “Is the Madoff Scandal Paradigmatic?” by John Graham and Kevin MacDonald

The article “Is the Madoff Scandal Pardigmatic?” by John Graham and Kevin MacDonald has the following conclusions:

  • Through his pyramid scheme, Madoff transferred assets from non-Jews to Jews and from poor Jews to rich Jews. This transfer is in line with theories of Jewish social hierarchies being structured in such a way that the Jewish elite gains at the expense of ordinary Jews
  • Jewish ethnic lobbying prevented an early detection of Madoff’s pyramid scheme
  • Madoff’s behavior is representative of the “conditionality inherent in the Jewish attitude to society at large.”

Whereas I will not argue against your second point, I’d like to make some comments in regards to your first and third conclusions.

During 1960-1975 Madoff built his business from scratch with Jewish “deep retail” money. Only in the 1990’s did Madoff’s asset management arm become big enough to take off as a market-leading business with global investors. One impetus was the endorsement from major Jewish banks in Europe such as Union Bancaire Privée (owned and managed by the Jewish family De Picciotto). That endorsement prompted other Jewish asset managers to recommend Madoff to their mostly Jewish clients. Read more

Reply to Jansen’s comment on “Is the Madoff Scandal Paradigmatic?”

In asking Is the Madoff Scandal Paradigmatic? Kevin MacDonald and I put forward reasons for thinking so:

  • Ample evidence pointing to the Madoff operation being fraudulent was brought to the attention of the SEC: the failure of that entity to take effective action can most plausibly be explained by fear of the lethal rage the Jewish Establishment was likely to show if an important member was attacked.
  • Madoff’s success in raising so much money from so many places was largely a function of the efficiency of networking within the Jewish Community
  • Raising and keeping the money was greatly facilitated by extraordinary — even irrational — reverence Madoff came to be accorded: conforming Rabbi/Guru cult pattern seen amongst Jews from the Rabbis of Eastern Europe to the Boas/Anthropology and Freud/Psychology academic circles amongst others.
  • Economically the fraud was a huge net transfer of resources from non-Jews to Jews and within the group from less wealthy Jews to an elite.
  • That Madoff was not turned in by the numerous Jewish financial sophisticates who had apparently figured out the fraud reflected the shadow cast by the “Mesirah” tradition prohibiting reporting wrong-doing Jews to the Civil Authority: a matter of great significance to non-Jews.

In his thoughtful response Mr. Jansen seems to concede our first point (“I will not argue against…”). From a public policy point of view, this is the most important matter. He ignores the “Guru” and “Mesirah” issues to focus on the distribution of benefits from the fraud. Read more

SEC’s Becker joins Senator Schumer in deceit over Madoff

David M. Becker

The news that the General Counsel of the SEC, David M. Becker, is being sued with his brothers by the Madoff trustee to recover $1.544 million in “fictitious profits” reaped from a Madoff account they inherited from their mother has caused a sensation. Not everyone believes Becker’s sudden return “to the private sector” announced on February 1st is coincidental. No new employer has been named. (See Madoff victims’ trustee seeks payouts from family of David Becker, SEC general counsel by David S. Hizenrath The Washington Post February 23, 2011.)

Valuable fresh light is shed on the Madoff scandal by the Becker news, but not in the dramatic ways some assume. Read more

The Smell of Money

Time Magazine’s Entry in the “Most Ironic Story of the Year” Category

John Graham’s writing on Jews and financial misbehavior is priceless, beginning with the must-read article he co-wrote with Kevin MacDonald, Is the Madoff Scandal Paradigmatic?. This week Graham brings us Did Schumer Shill for Madoff?, which strongly suggests that New York Senator Charles Schumer was complicit in the massive financial swindle perpetrated by co-ethnic Bernie Madoff.

If Graham is correct, it wouldn’t be surprising if Schumer was not alone among high-level Jews in the American government whose actions benefited the financial sector — an area where it is widely acknowledged that Jews predominate — at the expense of the American economy as a whole.

Here I’m going to use work by trade expert Clyde Prestowitz on Larry Summers, Robert Rubin and Alan Greenspan. Prestowitz came to the world’s attention with his 1988 book Trading Places: How We Allowed Japan to Take the Lead. This was followed by other big books such as Rogue Nation: American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions (2003), Three Billion New Capitalists (2005), and The Betrayal of American Prosperity: Free Market Delusions, America’s Decline, and How We Must Compete in the Post-Dollar Era (2010). I’ll be splicing together information from the three books written after 2000. Read more