Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Hillary Doesn't Understand That The Business Model Of Her Wall Street Allies Is Fraud


Hillary Clinton has solicited and gobbled up immense amounts of money from Wall Street banksters. I doubt they give her so much because of her bubbly personality. The times I met her she struck me as a real uptight cold fish. But since she first ran for the U.S. Senator in 2000, the Financial Sector has ponied up $36,846,987 to support her political career. So far her presidential campaign has taken in $5,587,345 from the banksters. All the Wall Street criminals who should be behind bars are among her top donors, from Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan Chase to Bank of America and the lobbyists and lawyers who work for them. So when I saw the OpEd her campaign gave to the NY Times Monday, I had to laugh. Her campaign has so far been a pathetic effort to try to appropriate as much of Bernie's platform as she can, while dingier best to hide her own neoconservative record (and intentions). How I'd Rein In Wall Street is a sad testament to a politician who will say anything to grasp power. Somehow, I don't think any of her bankster buddies are regretting the millions they've spent on her, even if she uses Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren framing to appeal to Democratic voters. "Seven years ago" she recounts, "the financial crisis sent our economy into a tailspin. Over five million people lost their homes. Nearly nine million lost their jobs. Nearly $13 trillion in household wealth was wiped out." No mention of banksters who were never punished for their misdeeds or for the immense sums they made on the way up and on the way down. "Republicans, both in Congress and on the campaign trail, are dead-set on rolling back critical financial protections," she rails, weakly. Yes, Republicans are-- but virtually every Democrat, from Jim Himes, Patrick Murphy and Joe Crowley to Sean Patrick Maloney, John Delaney and Gregory Meeks, who is helping the GOP with that has endorsed her campaign. And even establishment, Wall Street-owned-and-operated Republicans are threatening to vote for her if Trumpf is the GOP nominee.
Right now, Republicans in Congress are working to attach damaging deregulation riders to the must-pass spending bill. They’re attempting to defund the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They want to roll back common-sense efforts to prevent conflicts of interest by financial managers. And they’re trying to undo constraints on risk at some of the largest and most complex financial institutions.

President Obama and congressional Democrats should do everything they can to stop these efforts. But it’s not enough simply to protect the progress we have made. As president, I would not only veto any legislation that would weaken financial reform, but I would also fight for tough new rules, stronger enforcement and more accountability that go well beyond Dodd-Frank.
But not Glass-Steagall. Some of her ideas are good ones and pretty standard fare for Democrats, certainly millions of times better than anything any of the Republicans are offereing-- so again, are we looking for the lesser-of-two-evils again? Even in a primary, even when polls show Bernie more electable in a general election?
My plan also goes beyond the biggest banks to include the whole financial sector. Some have urged the return of a Depression-era rule called Glass-Steagall, which separated traditional banking from investment banking. But many of the firms that contributed to the crash in 2008, like A.I.G. and Lehman Brothers, weren’t traditional banks, so Glass-Steagall wouldn’t have limited their reckless behavior. Nor would restoring Glass-Steagall help contain other parts of the “shadow banking” sector, including certain activities of hedge funds, investment banks and other non-bank institutions. My plan would strengthen oversight of these activities, too-- increasing leverage and liquidity requirements for broker-dealers and imposing strict margin requirements on the kinds of short-term borrowing that also played a major role in spurring the financial crisis. We need to tackle excessive risk wherever it lurks, not just in the banks.
Last July Elizabeth Warren and John McCain reintroduced the bill Hillary and her Wall Street allies oppose with such unmitigated furor, the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act of 2015, which would prohibit commercial banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from acting as or affiliating with investment banks. Cosponsors are Angus King (I-ME), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA). The House version, H.R. 3052, was introduced by Michael Capuano (D-MA) with co-sponsors Katherine Clarke (D-MA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Ted Yoho (R-FL), Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Jim McDermott (D-WA). Robert Reich explained to Democracy Now listeners why Clinton and her Wall Street contributors are just plane wrong.

Hillary ended with more platitudes meant to reassure low-info Democrats that she's almost as good as Bernie:
Republicans may have decided to forget about the financial crisis that caused so much devastation-- but I haven’t. The proper role of Wall Street is to help Main Street grow and prosper. When our financial sector works the right way, it helps families buy their first homes, entrepreneurs start and grow small businesses and hardworking Americans save for retirement. Rather than pursuing the kind of high-stakes speculation that devastated our economy before, Wall Street should focus on building an economy that creates good-paying jobs, rising incomes and sound investments so that more families can achieve the security of a middle-class life.
If you'd like to see Bernie beat Hillary and the rest of the dangerous Wall Street-backed candidates, please consider contributing to his grassroots campaign here.

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