Jews as An Elite

Elena Kagan Gets the Nomination

It’s great to be Jewish in the year 2010. The latest evidence is the appointment of Elena Kagan as the third Jew on the Supreme Court. Philip Weiss puts it this way:

The Kagan appointment means that we have entered a period in which Jews are equal members, if not actually predominant members, of the American Establishment. Obama’s two closest political advisers are Jewish, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, and are said to be his foreign-policy braintrust. The economy is supervised to a large degree by Jewish appointees, Larry Summers and Fed Reserve Board chair Paul Bernanke (Time‘s man of the year last year, a selection overseen by Rick Stengel, the Time magazine editor, who is also Jewish).

Of course, that’s just scratching the surface on Jewish representation among the elites in politics, law, the financial world, the media, and personal wealth. Weiss goes on to take the standard line that Jews have achieved so much because of their bookish culture. But if there’s anything that stands out about Kagan, it’s how utterly ordinary she is in terms of scholarly accomplishment or anything else that would qualify her for the court–very few publications, no experience as a judge, little courtroom experience — the Harriet Miers of the Obama administration. (I stole that one from someone on the Rachel Maddow show, maybe Maddow herself. But it shows the depth of her inaptitude that even liberals are sensitive to it. For example, Paul Campos writes on the Daily Beast, “if Kagan is a brilliant legal scholar, the evidence must be lurking somewhere other than in her publications. Kagan’s scholarly writings are lifeless, dull, and eminently forgettable. They are, on the whole, cautious academic exercises in the sort of banal on-the-other-handing whose prime virtue is that it’s unlikely to offend anyone in a position of power.”  Here’s my version: “When she received tenure at the University of Chicago in 1995, she had exactly two scholarly articles published in law journals — a record that would ordinarily not get her tenure even at quite a few third tier universities much less an elite institution like the University of Chicago.”)

Her only talent seems to be getting really prestigious jobs without any obvious qualifications apart from her ethnic background. And her appointment is a sure thing for the left: Whereas Republicans have been disappointed several times by nominees who converted into liberals (like John Paul Stevens), Kagan’s ethnic identity ensures that she is on the side of all things multicultural.

My take (see also here) is that this is an affirmative action appointment of someone who has benefited greatly from Jewish ethnic networking and has dangerous views on the First Amendment that are in line with the views of the ADL, the SPLC, and the rest of the organized Jewish community. (See also Patrick Cleburne’s post at VDARE.com.)

It’s amazing to see liberals expressing doubts about Kagan. (In fact, one wonders where these people were before her nomination was a done deal. Kagan’s name has been floated since the Sotomayor nomination, but suddenly we see all these doubts about her — mainly from liberals feigning concern.) She is clearly on the left, perhaps with some neocon tendencies regarding executive power. But that is hardly reassuring. Put these tendencies together and you have someone who could be very dangerous to an incipient racialist movement: Anti-“hate speech” and comfortable with using government power to suppress political action that conflicts with the aims of the regime.

Another thought that crossed my mind was that Obama and his advisers may have wanted to court Jews [bad pun] because of the fallout from the tensions with Israel. Despite the fact that, as John Mearsheimer recently noted, the confrontation with Israel was won hands down by Israel, a recent poll shows that American Jews are defecting from Obama in droves, with only 42% saying they would now vote for Obama (down from 83% who voted for him in 2008). A recent visit to the White House (“Obama Tries to Mend Fences with Jews“, NYTimes, May 4, 2010)  by Elie Wiesel indicated shows that Obama sees a need to placate the Jewish community:

The lunch meeting between Mr. Wiesel and Mr. Obama came three weeks after Mr. Wiesel took out a full-page advertisement in a number of United States newspapers criticizing the Obama administration for pressuring Mr. Netanyahu to stop Jewish settlement construction in East Jerusalem, where Palestinians would like to put the capital of an eventual Palestinian state.

The advertisement, in which Mr. Wiesel wrote that “Jerusalem is the heart of our heart, the soul of our soul,” alarmed White House officials, in part because it came on the heels of similar advertisements from the World Jewish Congress and grumbling from members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, that Mr. Obama was pushing Mr. Netanyahu too hard.

Giving them yet another appointment to the Supreme Court certainly can’t hurt.

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Kevin MacDonald: Review of Podhoretz, Part II

Kevin MacDonald: Part II of my review of Podhoretz is now posted on Alternative Right. Quite a bit of it relates to the current discussion of Jewish intellectual style on this site. I agree with Podhoretz that Jews are attracted to religious thinking in which they accept theories that explain everything but are incapable of disconfirmation. The problem is that Jews have advanced these religious theories as “scientific” not only in the social sciences and humanities, but also, perhaps, in theoretical physics, as some have argued here.

The other point is to underline the fact that the only theory that can account for Jewish political behavior in the Diaspora is that it is motivated by ethnic conflict with the White, Christian majority seen as the historical enemy. I note that the status as an elite outsider has grave moral implications. In fact, Jews are actively engaged in making alliances with the soon-to-be non-White majority. Whites should be deeply concerned about what this portends for the future.

It’s interesting that in the Comments section Paul Gottfried agrees with my analysis but also points to White guilt as a critical factor. I agree with that and have written about it several places. For example, White predispositions to guilt and the manufacture of White guilt by prominent Jewish intellectual and political movements is the topic of my review of Eric Kaufmann’s The Rise and Fall of Anglo America. (see also here.)

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Review of Podhoretz, Part I

I have a rather longish review of Norman Podhoretz’s Why are Jews Liberals? posted at AlternativeRight.com. I thought I would post a summary here to encourage commentary. Part I is “Remaking the Right: Liberals, Jews, Conservatives” and deals with how Jews see their history in Europe — the lachrymose view of European history in which Jews have been the victims of irrational hostility ever since the origins of Christianity. The take home point is:  “It’s a very short jump from blaming the culture created and sustained by Europeans to the idea that Europeans as a people or group of peoples are the problem. Ultimately, this implicit sense that Europeans themselves are the problem is the crux of the issue.”

This then feeds into the Jews as a hostile elite theme that is so apparent today. What’s really scary is that the Jewish Republican branch of the hostile elite represents itself as conservative. A conservative elite hostile to the traditional people and culture of the US. Orwell would love it.

The other theme is how neocon Jews like Podhoretz displaced true conservatives from the Republican Party in the interests of aiding Israel. However, they have not shed any of their hostility toward Europeans and their culture. Indeed, they have been complicit in the movement for massive non-White immigration. As I note, “With conservatives like these, who needs liberals? ”

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Racial Conflict and the Health Care Bill

Of all the op-ed writers in the MSM these days, Ronald Brownstein seems most aware of the emerging racial fault lines in American politics — which means that his work has been a rich lode of material for my blog (see The looming racial chasm and Further Evidence for the Racial Polarization of American Politics).

His latest column (“Dems caught in populist crossfire“) gets at the racial nexus of the health care debate. Despite intensive attempts by the Democrats to pitch the health care bill as benefiting the middle class, White people don’t buy it. Most Whites (52%) think the law will benefit poor people, but only one-third think it will help the country and only 20% think it will help them. On the other hand, much higher percentages of non-Whites think that it will help them and help the country.

Further, he cites more evidence that White people are starting to believe in the Sam Francis analysis, as colored by contemporary events: The country is ruled by an elite of very wealthy people who created the financial disaster and are now benefiting from the government’s bailouts. While wealth is going steadily upward and increasing the gap with the middle class, the White middle class and the White working class are increasingly alienated and angry because wealth is going to non-White minorities at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder. Indeed, physical threats and vandalism directed against lawmakers in the wake of the bill’s passage has drawn the attention of the media and the political class. White rage has been a theme ever since Obama became president, but the temperature continues to rise.

Democrats are doing all they can to change public perceptions of the bill, but “skepticism that government will ever deliver for them is bred in the bone for many white voters, especially those in the working class.” Exactly. And it’s difficult to see how the Democrats are going to change that when these are the same people who want to legalize millions of mainly poor non-White immigrants who will then legally import tens of millions of their impoverished relatives — all of whom will then qualify for benefits like healthcare paid for mainly by White people.

These trends show once again that people are unwilling to contribute to public goods like government health care when the so many of the recipients who benefit the most are ethnically different than themselves. Liberals wring their hands and talk about how the White working class is not voting its economic interests, but these White people are definitely acting in tune with their ethnic interests, if only implicitly. Only a brain dead Marxist still worshiping at the altar of class warfare could fail to see that the political fault lines are fast becoming based on race, not social class. The fact that the Obama administration is widely and correctly seen as having rammed this down the throats of the American public is only going to make the anger more intense. November should be very interesting indeed.

America is entering the age when it will obvious to everyone that the much advertised era of racial harmony isn’t going to happen and that we are faced with an ever escalating if undeclared race war. It is a good sign that Whites seem to be realizing that the forces arrayed against them are a wealthy elite in alliance with a racially alien, predominantly poor underclass. In fact, the forces arrayed against Whites are even more starkly racial than that. The backbone of the Democratic Party is a coalition of  non-Whites — an alliance that includes a large Black and Latino underclass, as well as middle class and elite non-Whites, most importantly a large contingent of wealthy Jews and Jews with influence on the media.

The big picture is that beginning with Jewish intellectual movements — particularly the Frankfurt School, Jews have rejected a traditional Marxist analysis and began to see the White middle and working class as their enemy. After all, these classes had not embraced a communist revolution but had joined the fascist movement in Germany.

It is encouraging that polls indicate that Whites are aware that the elites are arrayed against them. It is a short step for them to develop an explicit understanding that Jews are vastly overrepresented among this elite, not only in the financial sector that created the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression and continues to benefit from the bailouts, but also in the elite media that promotes non-White immigration, rationalizes the multicultural status quo, and religiously avoids the topic of Jewish influence.  And they will become explicitly aware that wealthy Jews are the financial backbone of the Democratic Party and its coalition of non-White minorities.

With the failure of the traditional Marxist analysis, Jewish intellectuals became aware that racial and ethnic conflict is the name of the game. The post-WWII commitment of the organized Jewish community to massive non-White immigration in all Western countries is really an acknowledgment that it is, after all, a race war. It has taken some time, but it seems that White people are catching onto this as well, if only implicitly. Control of the cultural high ground by this hostile ethnic elite creates enormous barriers to making explicit the reality of racial conflict that is at the heart of the current political culture. But if very large percentages of Whites coalesce together politically, even if it is in the corrupt Republican Party, the reality of racial conflict will be simply too obvious for anyone to ignore. And then it will get really interesting.

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More On Our Unethical Financial Elite

Matt Taibbi is at it again, this time with “Wall Street’s Bailout Hustle.” I can’t really comment on many of his substantive claims, but there is an awful lot of smoke at this point for one to suppose that there is no fire. Note especially the point that the financial system “assumes a certain minimal level of ethical behavior and civic instinct over and above what is spelled out by the regulations” (p. 7).

That’s the thing. We have not only replaced a manufacturing economy with a financial economy (see Kevin Phillips). We also have a financial elite is completely corrupt — with devastating consequences to the rest of the economy and the long term prospects of growth. As Taibbi notes, the system depends on a “true believer” syndrome in which people simply can’t believe they were conned. We desperately want to trust our elites — the people who come from the best schools and have close ties to the government. As Francis Fukuyama emphasizes, trust in elites and the assumption of civic mindedness are critical characteristics of individualist societies:

To this set of traits, Francis Fukuyama also adds trust as a critical virtue of individualist societies. Trust is really a way of emphasizing the importance of moral universalism as a trait of individualist societies. In collectivist, family-oriented societies, trust ends at the border of the family and kinship group. Social organization, whether in political culture or in economic enterprise, tends to be a family affair. Morality is defi ned as what is good for the group—typically the kinship group (e.g., the notorious line, “Is it good for the Jews?”). This lack of ability to develop a civil society is the fundamental problem of societies in the Middle East and Africa, where divisions into opposing religious and ultimately kinship groups define the political landscape. The movement of the West toward multiculturalism really means the end of individualist Western culture. (See here, p. 27)

We are entering an era where trust in political and cultural elites is fast becoming a thing of the past. Robert Putnam has shown that trust is lower in multi-ethnic societies. This decline in public trust will be accelerated when people really grasp the enormity of the disaster created by Wall Street and its close connections to the government. It’s really the end of a key feature of what made Western societies so successful. As Taibbi points out, there’s no change on the horizon–just a short pause for reloading.

Finally, I can’t help referring to today’s Doonesbury cartoon about the development of an ethical sense among bankers. The banker begins as a college grad who thinks “I hope to do something of value well and be fairly paid.” By middle age he is saying “I demand to be paid obscenely well for destroying value.” The cartoon illustrates the point that lack of trust in financial elites is very widespread and that they are reasonably portrayed as a predatory elite rather than an elite that helps create value.

The only problem with the cartoon is that it’s at least doubtful that the people who make it to the top in this system ever thought much about creating social value. As Edmund Connelly’s recent blog recounts, there is a very long history of vastly disproportionate Jewish involvement in financial fraud. And rather than a long history of civic responsibility, there is a long history of Jews thinking of themselves as outsiders in Western societies — a hostile elite with a strong sense of historical grievance. The long term prosperity of the society is certainly not uppermost in their minds.

This is the relevant passage from page 7 of Taibbi’s article:

Con artists have a word for the inability of their victims to accept that they’ve been scammed. They call it the “True Believer Syndrome.” That’s sort of where we are, in a state of nagging disbelief about the real problem on Wall Street. It isn’t so much that we have inadequate rules or incompetent regulators, although both of these things are certainly true. The real problem is that it doesn’t matter what regulations are in place if the people running the economy are rip-off artists. The system assumes a certain minimum level of ethical behavior and civic instinct over and above what is spelled out by the regulations. If those ethics are absent — well, this thing isn’t going to work, no matter what we do. Sure, mugging old ladies is against the law, but it’s also easy. To prevent it, we depend, for the most part, not on cops but on people making the conscious decision not to do it.

That’s why the biggest gift the bankers got in the bailout was not fiscal but psychological. “The most valuable part of the bailout,” says Rep. Sherman, “was the implicit guarantee that they’re Too Big to Fail.” Instead of liquidating and prosecuting the insolvent institutions that took us all down with them in a giant Ponzi scheme, we have showered them with money and guarantees and all sorts of other enabling gestures. And what should really freak everyone out is the fact that Wall Street immediately started skimming off its own rescue money. If the bailouts validated anew the crooked psychology of the bubble, the recent profit and bonus numbers show that the same psychology is back, thriving, and looking for new disasters to create. “It’s evidence,” says Rep. Kanjorski, “that they still don’t get it.”

More to the point, the fact that we haven’t done much of anything to change the rules and behavior of Wall Street shows that we still don’t get it. Instituting a bailout policy that stressed recapitalizing bad banks was like the addict coming back to the con man to get his lost money back. Ask yourself how well that ever works out. And then get ready for the reload.

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Jews and Money

Editor Kevin MacDonald has just written about Our Unethical Financial Elite. This is a worthy topic, especially to the extent it openly discusses Jewish involvement.

Two things stand out here: First, the level of deceit and corruption is stunning. Second, the combination of Jews and financial malfeasance has a historical record thousands of years long. In other words, it is part of an old and sordid story, as I related in my essay The Culture of Deceit.

There I wrote how historians, including Paul Johnson (A History of the Jews) and Albert Lindemann (Esau’s Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews), showed this pattern of Jewish deception and fraud. For example, in 1781 Prussian official Christian Wilhelm von Dohm published a tract claiming, in Johnson’s paraphrase, “The Jews had ‘an exaggerated tendency [to seek] gain in every way, a love of usury.’ These ‘defects’ were aggravated ‘by their self-imposed segregation . . .’ From these followed ‘the breaking of the laws of the state restricting trade, the import and export of prohibited wares, the forgery of money and precious metals.’” In short, von Dohm’s describes traditional Jewish communities as far more resembling a mafia-like group engaged in organized crime than what we think of as a religion.

Lindemann notes that during the 19th century in Eastern Europe there were also persistent complaints about Jewish perjury to help other Jews commit fraud and other crimes. For example, in Russia a neutral observer noted that judges “unanimously declared that not a single lawsuit, criminal or civil, can be properly conducted if the interests of the Jews are involved.” Writing in 1914, American sociologist Edward A. Ross commented on Jewish immigrants to America that “The authorities complain that the East European Hebrews feel no reverence for law as such and are willing to break any ordinance they find in their way. … In the North End of Boston ‘the readiness of the Jews to commit perjury has passed into a proverb.’”

Jewish involvement in financial scandals became a prominent theme of modern anti-Semitism. Johnson writes, “The Union Générale scandal in 1882, the Comptoire d’Escompte scandal in 1889—both involving Jews—were merely curtain-raisers” to a far more massive and complex crime, the Panama Canal scandal, ‘an immense labyrinth of financial manipulation and fraud, with [Jewish] Baron Jacques de Reinach right at the middle of it.’”

Lindemann offers a parallel description of the rise of Jewish power paired with Jewish involvement in major financial scandals. In Germany, Jews “were heavily involved in the get-rich-quick enterprises” of the period of rapid urbanization and industrialization of the 1860s and 70s. “Many highly visible Jews made fortunes in dubious ways . . . Probably the most notorious of these newly rich speculators was Hirsch Strousberg, a Jew involved in Romanian railroad stocks. He was hardly unique in his exploits, but as Peter Pulzer has written, ‘the . . . difference between his and other men’s frauds was that his was more impudent and involved more money.’”

Lindemann offers an account that sounds much like what Americans have been hearing about their own economic woes in the last few years:

In the summer of 1873 the stock markets in New York and Vienna collapsed. By the autumn of that year Germany’s industrial overexpansion and the reckless proliferation of stock companies came to a halt. Jews were closely associated in the popular mind with the stock exchange. Widely accepted images of them as sharp and dishonest businessmen made it all but inevitable that public indignation over the stock market crash would be directed at them. Many small investors, themselves drawn to the prospect of easy gain, lost their savings through fraudulent stocks of questionable business practices in which Jews were frequently involved.

Like Johnson, Lindemann believes that accusations of fraud against many European Jews were not based on mere fantasy. With respect to the Panama Canal scandal of 1888–1892, for instance, Lindemann writes:

Investigation into the activities of the Panama Company revealed widespread bribery of parliamentary officials to assure support of loans to continue work on the Panama Canal, work that had been slowed by endless technical and administrative difficulties. Here was a modern project that involved large sums of French capital and threatened national prestige. The intermediaries between the Panama Company and parliament were almost exclusively Jews, with German names and backgrounds, some of whom tried to blackmail one another . . . .

Thousands of small investors lost their savings in the Panama fiasco. . . . A trial in 1893 was widely believed to be a white-wash. The accused escaped punishment through bribery and behind-the-scenes machinations, or so it was widely believed. The Panama scandal seemed almost designed to confirm the long-standing charges of the French right that the republic was in the clutches of corrupt Jews who were bringing dishonor and disaster to France.

In many cases, the Jewish nexus of the financial scandal includes the idea that Jews involved in financial scandals were being protected by other highly placed Jews: As Lindemann notes, “The belief of anti-Semites in France about Jewish secretiveness was based on a real secretiveness of some highly placed and influential Jews. What anti-Semites suspected was not so much pure fantasy as a malicious if plausible exaggeration, since solid facts were hard to come by.”

Consider, for example, the spectacle of the Wall Street scandals of the 1980s. So much of it was played out on the pages of major newspapers and magazines, so there was no doubt about the identity of the vast majority of culprits—at least for those with eyes to see it.

Two writers who both had the eyes to see it and the talent to write about it intelligently were Connie Bruck—who happens to be Jewish—and James B. Stewart—who is not. Bruck wrote The Predators’ Ball: The Inside Story of Drexel Burnham and the Rise of the Junk Bond Traders. The book has more than enough information to convince the average reader that Jewish financial mischief is rife—and has a massively negative effect on the greater non-Jewish world.   

Stewart’s book is even better, beginning with its title, Den of Thieves. For those whose biblical knowledge is sketchy, the title comes from Matthew 21:12–13, where he recounts

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves. And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Stewart goes on to chronicle the misdeeds of Ivan Boesky, Martin Siegel, Dennis Levine, and Michael Milken, the mastermind behind it all. Simply by describing all the Jews involved Stewart makes clear that it was a cabal of Jews that pillaged and destroyed some of the most well-known corporations in America at the time by inventing and peddling “junk bonds” as an advance in capitalist operations. Lindemann was careful to include this in his story as well, writing that it had become clear that “the stock market scandals of the mid-to-late 1980s in the United States saw an overwhelming preponderance of Jews — at least ninety percent was a widely accepted figure.”

Jumping ahead to our own day, one of the best accounts of Jewish financial power—and its relationship to other forms of Jewish power—comes in the writing of retired professor James Petras. He has penned series of books starkly exposing “the Zionist Power Configuration” that includes Jewish dominance in Western finance.

In particular, his book, Rulers and Ruled in the US Empire: Bankers, Zionists and Militants, focuses on this, but he also addresses it in The Power of Israel in the United States, Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power, and Global Depression and Regional Wars: The United States, Latin America and the Middle East.

Here are some of the observations Petras makes: “Jewish families are among the wealthiest families in the United States” and nearly a third of millionaires and billionaires are Jewish. He also points to similar wealth in Canada, where “over 30 percent of the Canadian Stock Market” is in Jewish hands. Alan Greenspan’s tenure as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve is also linked to Zionist power, since Greenspan was “a long time crony of Wall Street financial interests and promoter of major pro-Israeli investment houses.” (Greenspan was succeeded by coreligionist Ben Shalom Bernanke.)

Debunking the “high school textbook version of American politics,” Petras argues that “the people in key positions in financial, corporate and other business institutions establish the parameters within which the politicians, parties and media discuss ideas. These people constitute a ruling class.” Of the two groups cited by Petras—those in control of financial capital and Zioncons—both are so heavily Jewish as to constitute a single “cabal,” a word which Petras uses liberally throughout both books.

Wall Street supplies many of the “tried and experienced top leaders” who rotate in and out of Washington. At the top of the hierarchy, he finds the big private equity banks and hedge funds. Thus, political leadership descends from Goldman Sachs, Blackstone, the Carlyle Group and others. Goldman Sachs is a historically Jewish firm, Stephen A. Schwarzman is co-founder and current head of the Blackstone Group, while David Rubenstein is co-founder of the Carlyle Group and served in the Carter administration as a domestic policy adviser.

To get just a minor sense of the interconnectedness of Wall Street and Washington Petras is discussing—and to see its heavily Jewish ethnic nexus—note that during the second Clinton Administration, Robert Rubin served as Secretary of the Treasury and was succeeded by Larry Summers (also Jewish). Rubin worked his way to Vice Chairman and Co-Chief Operating Officer of Goldman Sachs prior to becoming the Secretary of the Treasury, and later became the Chairman of Citigroup. He is currently co-chairman of the board of directors on the Council on Foreign Relations.

Petras claims that former President Clinton and his economic advisers backed the regimes that allowed the plunder of Russian wealth. Though relegated to an endnote, he names Andrei Shleifer and Jeffrey Sachs as those involved. What is relevant here is the ethnic connections going to the top of American society that validate Petras’s emphasis on the combined power of Zionism, media and financial control.

Petras’s endnote shows that Harvard paid $26.5 million to settle a suit stemming from various improprieties associated with Harvard professors. As Steve Sailer illustrates, however, it is the Jewish aspect of the entire scandal that stands out. The principals of this scandal were Jews, and they were allegedly protected by fellow Jew, Harvard President Lawrence Summers (who had just finished a stint as Secretary of the Treasury). The upshot of the scandal was that the “reform” of the Russian economy “turned out to be one of the great larceny sprees in all history, and the Harvard boys weren’t all merely naive theoreticians.”

Sailer claims that he had not known about the Jewish identity of the “oligarchs” until he read Yale law professor Amy Chua’s book World on Fire (when Chua correctly noted that six out of the seven of Russia’s wealthiest oligarchs were Jews, her Jewish husband quipped to her, “Just six?  So who’s the seventh guy?”). These oligarchs had “paid for Boris Yeltsin’s 1996 re-election in return for the privilege of buying ex-Soviet properties at absurdly low prices (e.g., Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky was put in charge of auctioning off Yukos Oil, which owns about 2% of the world’s oil reserves—he sold it for $159 million to … himself).” Meanwhile, Jews in Russia represented about one percent of the population.

Sailer’s further observations only cast more light on the extent and value of these ethnic connections:

As I’ve said before in the context of exploring how Scooter Libby could serve as a mob lawyer for international gangster Marc Rich on and off for 15 years and then move immediately into the job of chief of staff to the Vice President of the United States, the problem is not that Jews are inherently worse behaved (or better behaved) than any other human group, but that they have achieved for themselves in America in recent years a collective immunity from anything resembling criticism [emphasis added].

Petras makes a similar argument when noting that  “Political corruption, not economic efficiency, is the driving force of economic empire-building.” As part of this “unprecedented pillage in Russia (1991-99) brought on by Harvard economist Jeffrey Sachs’s and others’ “shock therapy” in Russia, at least a trillion dollars was transferred to U.S. and EU parties from Russia and Eastern Europe.

For this so interested, here is a brief bibliography of books dealing with the topic of Jews and money:

Stephen Birmingham, Our Crowd: The Great Jewish Families of New York (New York: Harper and Row, 1967); and The Grandees: America’s Sephardic Elite, (New York: Harper and Row, 1971); Jean Baer, The Self-Chosen: “Our Crowd” is Dead—Long Live Our Crowd (New York: Arbor House, 1982); Judith Ramsey Ehrlich and Barry J. Rehfeld, The New Crowd: The Changing of the Jewish Guard on Wall Street (New York: HarperPerennial, 1989); Richard L. Zweigenhaft and G. William Domhoff, Jews in the Protestant Establishment (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1982); Gerald Krefetz, Jews and Money: The Myths and the Reality (New Haven and New York: Ticknor and Fields, 1982); Dennis B. Levine, An Insider’s Account of Wall Street (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1991); Benjamin J. Stein, A License to Steal: The Untold Story of Michael Milken and the Conspiracy to Bilk the Nation (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992); and J.J. Goldberg, Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc., 1996).

Finally, there is the promise of a new book on capitalism, with due attention to its Jewish roots, by prolific author E. Michael Jones. His tome The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History (order it here), shows the value in honestly discussing Jewish power and behavior. Keep an eye out for his new book. The topic of Jews and money is forever important.

Edmund Connelly (email him) is a freelance writer, academic, and expert on the cinema arts. He has previously written for The Occidental Quarterly.

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Our Unethical Financial Elite

Writing on Jewish involvement in the ongoing financial disaster is not something I relish. It’s not really my cup of tea because financial issues are not my area of expertise. But I do think the issues should be discussed at TOO.

When the meltdown began, the Internet was full of angry comments blaming Jews, much to the chagrin of the ADL. This is because it is common knowledge that Jews are vastly overrepresented among Wall Street executives. In the 1990s, Benjamin Ginsberg noted that 50% of Wall Street executives were Jewish, and it’s doubtless at least that high now.

As Kevin Phillips has pointed out, since the 1990s, economic expansions have not benefited the middle class; rather, they have benefited the financial elite. Financial services and complex financial products have assumed an ever larger percentage of the American economy, while manufacturing has steadily declined to the point where their relative percentages of the American economy have reversed.

And the entire pyramid is erected on a house of cards. Phillips writes:

My summation is that American financial capitalism, at a pivotal period in the nation’s history, cavalierly ventured a multiple gamble: first, financializing a hitherto more diversified U.S. economy; second, using massive quantities of debt and leverage to do so; third, following up a stock market bubble with an even larger housing and mortgage credit bubble; fourth, roughly quadrupling U.S. credit-market debt between 1987 and 2007, a scale of excess that historically unwinds; and fifth, consummating these events with a mixed fireworks of dishonesty, incompetence and quantitative negligence.

In the public mind, the firm most closely associated with Jewish financial power is Goldman Sachs. Ever since the financial meltdown, GS has been defending itself (e.g., here) against an avalanche of charges focused not only on financial improprieties but also on its ties to the government (e.g., Matt Taibbi and a series of articles in the New York Times, e.g., here.)

A document placed into the Congressional Record by Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA), described in an article on Bloomberg.com strongly suggests corruption at the pinnacle of the financial profession. GS underwrote $17.2 billion of the $62.1 billion in the Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDO’s) that were insured by AIG — more than any other firm. Essentially, banks underwrote toxic securities and then bet against them. An observer notes, “It sounds to me a little bit like selling a car with faulty brakes and then buying an insurance policy on the buyer of those cars.”

Even worse, according to the article, they knew the car had faulty brakes. Managers of the CDO’s were substituting bundles of mortgages that they knew full well were deeply troubled. Unethical behavior is strongly implicated. An observer notes that the banks should have to explain how they managed to buy protection from AIG primarily on securities that fell so sharply in value. “If these banks had insight into the underlying loans because they had relationships with banks, originators or servicers, that’s at the least unethical.”

GS received $14 billion from the government when AIG was bailed out; the New York Times also reportedthat GS also received substantially more money from the AIG bailout as a result of a prior agreement with Societe Generale, a French bank that also received AIG bailout money from the US government. Finally, the New York Fed promoted a cover-up that prevented this information from coming out sooner.

The article makes clear that there are still many details that remain unknown about these transactions.

David Brooks noted in the NYTimes,

Fifty years ago, the financial world was dominated by well-connected blue bloods who drank at lunch and played golf in the afternoons. Now financial firms recruit from the cream of the Ivy League. In 2007, 47 percent of Harvard grads went into finance or consulting. Yet would we say that banks are performing more ably than they were a half-century ago?

Quite clearly they are not. The rise of a Jewish elite in the US is problematic for a great many reasons — most obviously because the Jewish elite remains motivated by ethnic paranoia and hostility toward Western cultural traditions, particularly Christianity. However, the behavior of the financial elite in the case of the recent meltdown is not something one would expect to see in a healthy society. Quite a few of the details remain unknown, so that it is difficult to get a clear image of how individual Jews and Jewish networking contributed to the meltdown. (By all accounts [e.g., here], Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, and Alan Greenspan were instrumental in getting rid of regulations on trading derivatives that would have prevented the meltdown.) The indications that Goldman Sachs was at the center of the meltdown strongly suggests that the Jewish role was important. GS has not commented on Issa’s document or the Bloomberg article.

Nevertheless, at this point there is a strong suggestion that the financial elite behaved much more like an organized crime syndicate than as an elite with a sense of civic responsibility or commitment to the long term viability of the society. Whereas organized crime stems from the lower levels of society, this meltdown was accomplished at the very pinnacle of society — the Ivy League grads mentioned by Brooks, the wealthy financial firms and investment rating agencies, the strong connections with government that facilitated the bailout and failed to provide scrutiny while it was happening. It seems highly doubtful that all this would have happened with the former elite — the people whom Brooks disdainfully describes as “well-connected blue bloods who drank at lunch and played golf in the afternoons.”

Phillips concludes with a quotation from British colonial secretary, Joseph Chamberlain, made in 1904 to a gathering of his country’s financiers:

Granted that you are the clearinghouse of the world, [but] are you entirely beyond anxiety as to the permanence of your great position? . . . Banking is not the creator of our prosperity but is the creation of it. It is not the cause of our wealth, but it is the consequence of our wealth.

That is the problem going ahead. The US has sacrificed wealth-production in favor of finance, and this has doubtless resulted in huge financial rewards to a few people at the very top. But it’s really hard to see how most of us are going to benefit from this transformation in the long run. A society without a healthy, civic-minded elite is doomed.

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