Judge Napolitano says yes and his argument is sound. The Judge makes his case here:
I recently met with the Chair and CEO of one of the country’s top 10 bank holding companies. His bank is worth in excess of $250 billion, has no bad debt, no credit default swaps, no liquidity problems, and no subprime loans. He told me that he and others were forced by Treasury and FDIC threats to take TARP funds, even though he did not want or need them.
The FDIC — with Treasury backing — threatened to conduct public audits of his bank unless his board created and issued a class of stock for the Feds to buy. The audit, which he is confident his bank would survive, would cost it millions in employee time, bad press, and consequent lost business.
He pleaded with the Feds to leave his successful bank alone. He begged his board to let him tell the Feds to take a hike. But they gave in. The Feds are now just a tiny shareholder, but want to begin asserting more and more control. This is a classic extortion: Controlling someone’s free will by threatening to perform a lawful act. (Blackmail is the threat is to perform an unlawful act in order to control someone else’s free will.) There are no exceptions in the statutes prohibiting extortion for government persons
This happened in September 2008, but the demands for more control are more recent. It sounds to me like Paulson, Geithner, Bernanke, and Sheila Blair have all read a biography of Benito Mussolini. I guess they skipped the last chapter.
Judge Napolitano also argued the point on Shepard Smith’s show. Here’s the video from Johnny Dollar:
This can’t continue. The bank the Judge speaks of, or any of the sound banks who were the victims of extortion at the hands of Hank Paulson and the Bush administration and the resulting efforts of to exert control by Tim Geithner and the Obama administration, need to stand up and fight this. There must be a board of directors of a bank somewhere in this country who has the guts to file suit against the federal government. This must be taken to the US Supreme Court so a precedent can be set. Since there is no precedent that specifically rules out this kind of action by the federal government, it is moving full steam ahead.
There’s more at stake here than the freedoms of the banking system. If the federal government can extort individual banks and then attempt to gain managing control of those banks, it can do the same thing to any institution or any person.