Meet Edward Quince, the most powerful man who never was.
At the height of his reign, Mr. Quince killed Lehman Brothers…
Mr. Quince extended a lifeline to AIG…
Mr. Quince even masterminded the $700-billion TARP, saving the global economy from total collapse.
But Mr. Quince doesn’t really exist.
The Fed invented him…
He’s not gone yet, either…
I just discovered Mr. Quince meddling in the affairs of other unsuspecting Americans.
As it turns out, Mr. Quince was the pseudonym of former Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke.
The alias came to light when Justice Department lawyer, Kenneth Dintzer, introduced into evidence emails from Mr. Quince during the $40-billion class-action lawsuit of American International Group Inc. (AIG) versus the U.S. government.
Fed general counsel Scott Alvarez testified that Mr. Bernanke wrote under the alias “to make sure that he didn’t get extraneous emails.”
In one email, Mr. Quince said…
“We think [AIG] is days from failure. They think it is a temporary problem. This disconnect is dangerous.” – Mr. Quince, Saturday, September 13, 2008
About 300,000 AIG shareholders have unified against Uncle Sam for unjust compensation provisions following the financial crisis rescue effort.
The trial began in late September.
Underpinning the case are concerns over 1) the government’s seizure of $35-billion worth of shares and 2) whether the Feds had the legal right to grab an equity ownership in AIG in exchange for the $85 billion in rescue money that “Mr. Quince” loaned out.
I expect the government to prevail.
That being said, Mr. Quince scares the hell out of me… because there’s no precedent for this anywhere in America’s 238-year history.
So why does a high-ranking government official need an alias all of the sudden?
Fed Chairman Young didn’t need one during the stock market crash of 1929.
The same goes for Fed Chairman Volcker during the stagflation crisis… and Fed Chairman Greenspan during the dot-com crisis.
Have our policymakers forgotten the words of President John F. Kennedy?
“The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society… We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it.” – John F. Kennedy, April 27, 1961
It was only three short weeks ago that I broke news concerning the FBI’s new national crime database.
As it turns out, mug shots are being appended with photos obtained from background checks that the agency conducts for private sector and government job candidates.
In other words, law-abiding citizens (perhaps you!) are in the database alongside the criminals.
I predicted it would only be a matter of time before social media postings are fair game, too.
And now this…
In addition to learning about Mr. Quince this week, news also broke that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) set up a fake Facebook account using cellphone photographs and other personal information of a woman who was just arrested in a cocaine case.
The tactic was used to trick the woman’s friends into revealing incriminating drug secrets.
Illegal? Who knows?
The government defended the aggressive tactic by saying that the woman “implicitly consented by granting access to the information stored in her cellphone and by consenting to the use of that information to aid in… ongoing criminal investigations.”
I’d love to hear from you on all of this, especially concerning “Mr. Quince.”
(Please click on the appropriate link to vote.)