When you're one step ahead of the crowd you're a genius. When you're two steps ahead, you're a crackpot.
–Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Lincoln Square Synagogue, Feb. 1998 (Arizona Jewish Post; Sept. 18, 1998; p. B-10.)
The idea of secret banking cabals that control the country and global economy are a given among conspiracy theorists who stockpile ammo, bottled water and peanut butter. After this week's congressional hearing into the bailout of American International Group Inc., you have to wonder if those folks are crazy after all.
Wednesday's hearing described a secretive group deploying billions of dollars to favored banks, operating with little oversight by the public or elected officials.
We're talking about the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, whose role as the most influential part of the federal-reserve system — apart from the matter of AIG's bailout — deserves further congressional scrutiny.