Paul Farrell gets his rant on, raging at the $400 million lobbyist effort Wall Street has put forth to kill financial reforms.
Well said . . .
He writes that this “signals a resurgence of unregulated free market Reaganomics capitalism, the conservative ideology that killed Glass-Steagall in 1999 creating too-big-to-fail banks, setting the stage for the 2008 meltdown.”
But its much worse than that. What Wall Street wants is to water down reform so it can, according to Farrell, pursue these 8 goals:
(1) evade securities laws
(2) avoid taxes
(3) minimize capital requirements
(4) increase leverage
(5) hide speculative risks
(6) maximize short-term profits
(7) avoid stockholder disclosures, and
(8) manipulate regulators.
I wish I could say I disagree — but I don’t. Unless we get substantial reform, nothing will change. Why?
“Wall Street needs to continue running the same scam on taxpayers in order to get their mega-bonuses. They have lost their moral compass, sold their soul to the devil, lack a conscience, have no interest in the public.”
A big party for bankers is happening right now in DC. About 4,000 will convene. And these bankers are getting dirtier in their fight against fixing the economy for the American people, and they are being led by a trade and lobbying group called SIFMA. That’s why their president has been honored with the Center for Media and Democracy’s Golden Throne Award! Tim Ryan sits on it well.
I’ve been working with BanksterUSA in the last few months and helped to write the press release here.
The Golden Throne award invokes fond memories of the $1.2 million bathroom renovation ordered by Merrill Lynch’s CEO, John Thain, shortly before the firm lost $27 billion and collapsed into the arms of Bank of America.
Why did they get it — they have been working on a grassroots campaign to blunt our “populist outrage” and water down reforms that they “support”.
Cross-posted from Seminal.FireDogLake.Com.
1. Supreme Court kills public discourse, 2. lobbying money of the biggest banks, 3. Goldman Sachs bonuses, 4. Obama decides to try out breaking up the banks in a few ways.
1. Public discourse getting crushed: “A divided Supreme Court on Thursday swept away decades of legislative efforts to restrict the role of corporations in election campaigns, ruling that severe restrictions on corporate spending are inconsistent with the First Amendment’s protection of political speech. ”
2. The HIll: “Eight of the nation’s largest banks spent nearly $26 million lobbying federal lawmakers in 2009, during one of the most tumultuous periods in financial history… The banks spent nearly 6 percent more on federal lobbying last year compared with 2008, according to a review of congressional lobbying records. The banks spent $25.8 million on lobbying in 2009 and $24.4 million in 2008, the two years at the heart of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.”
3. Goldman Sachs bonuses announced today. In a year or two, we will forget what caused the crisis. But for now, GS has heard the public outcry a little bit and lowered their bonuses. From some public interest groups: “This reveals more than simply hubris. It shows that Wall Street believes that nothing has changed. The terrible truth is that so far, thanks to their own continued success in lobbying for their narrow interests, even as they have benefited from trillions in public support, they are right. Income disparity between executives and ordinary workers. While Wall Street paid record bonuses and compensation in 2009 to its top executives and traders, rank and file workers continued to get squeezed. Like other hard-working Americans, thousands of front line bank workers were laid off or had their pay cut last year. In fact, average real hourly wages for nonsupervisory workers in financial services increased only one cent between January and September of 2009, even though total compensation at the top six banks last year was up 17% from a year earlier. The record bonuses did not trickle down to ordinary bank workers. This had also been true in the boom years before the collapse. Between 2001 and 2007, average compensation overall at the top six banks and their predecessors did not even keep up with inflation, increasing only 15%. But at the same time, the top five executives at each of the six banks saw their average compensation more than double from $9.8 million in 2001 to $22.5 million in 2007.”
4. WE have been leading on the fight for breaking up the banks – Obama hears us now that Brown won the Senate seat. Bloomberg: “President Barack Obama today will propose limiting the size and trading activities of financial institutions as a way to reduce risk-taking, an administration official said.” AP: “But his announcement Thursday will broaden those measures, particularly by endorsing Volcker’s proposal to restrict proprietary trading by commercial banks. Such a limit would separate commercial banks from investment banks, a line that was blurred a decade ago by the repeal of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act. That restriction would affect some of the nation’s biggest banks, including banking giants Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.”