Saturday, February 04, 2017

More Trumpy-The-Clown Swamp Draining? No, That's Americans' Savings He's Draining


Elizabeth Warren: "Donald Trump talked a big game about Wall Street during his campaign-- but as President, we're finding out whose side he's really on. Today, after literally standing alongside big bank and hedge fund CEOs, he announced two new orders-- one that will make it easier for investment advisors to cheat you out of your retirement savings, and another that will put two former Goldman Sachs executives in charge of gutting the rules that protect you from financial fraud and another economic meltdown. The Wall Street bankers and lobbyists whose greed and recklessness nearly destroyed this country may be toasting each other with champagne, but the American people have not forgotten the 2008 financial crisis-- and they will not forget what happened today."

It was pretty obvious where Trump was headed after he started stocking his administration with Wall Street banksters, right? And now that queasy tightening feeling in the gut is beginning to manifest itself in inevitable public policy-- inevitable toxic public policy. Yesterday's Wall Street Journal reported on how Team Trump plans to undo consumer protections and unleash the banksters on America again. Gary Cohen used to be president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs; now he's Trump's chief economic advisor and reading his statements about how the poor banks were unfairly burdened with rules and regulations after they crashed the economy during Bush's presidency, you know we can kiss Dodd-Frank goodbye. "Americans are going to have better choices and Americans are going to have better products because we're not going to burden the banks with literally hundreds of billions of dollars of regulatory costs every year," Cohn told The Journal. "The banks are going to be able to price product more efficiently and more effectively to consumers."

Yesterday, Señor Trumpanzee signed another of his executive orders, this one to start the process for taking Dodd-Frank apart piece by piece, which is exactly what the banksters were paying for when they poured $295,594,165 into the 2016 congressional races. Aside for a directing the Treasury Department to come up with a plan to undermine Dodd-Frank, Trump also sent out a memo directling the Labor Department to stop the implemendation of a rule that would require financial advisors to act in the best interests of their clients.

Which members of the House took the biggest bribes from the Financial Sector and why did the banksters pick them? Here's the nice bipartisan list of the dozen worst crooks in Congress. The legalistic bribes next to their names is just the money they took last year, not the much, much larger sums they've taken during their sleazy congressional careers:
Paul Ryan (R-WI)- $4,318,514
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)- $2,110,989
Patrick McHenry (R-NC)- $1,399,250
Ed Royce (R-CA)- $1,295,199
Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)- $1,287,695
Steve Stivers (R-OH)- $1,164,620
Patrick Tiberi (R-OH)- $1,117,582
Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO)- $1,068,132
Joe Crowley (New Dem-NY)- $1,063,223
Kyrsten Sinema (New Dem-AZ)- $1,010,590
Jim Himes (New Dem-CT)- $981,685
Kevin Brady (R-TX)- $968,200
If we were talking about career-long bribe taking, the sums would be far more eye-popping, Ryan, for example has taken $9,261,142 from the banksters; Hensarling got $7,379,190 and Royce tucked away $6,845,997, while Crowley pocketed $6,137,889, McCarthy gobbled down $5,753,277 and Himes was rewarded for his loyalty to the Street with a nice $5,550,162.

Why these 11 gentlemen plus Sinema? Aside from the well-established fact that none have any sense of ethics at all, each has been in position to advance the agenda of the banksters-- and each has.

Ryan, of course is Speaker, but even before that he was chairman of the House Budget Committee and then the even more powerful House Ways and Means Committee. McCarthy is the Majority Leader and is also a member of the Financial Services Committee and sits on both the Subcommittee on Capital Markets and the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit. McHenry, one of the sleaziest and most dishonest men to ever serve in Congress, is also on the Financial Services Committee, sits on 3 key subcommittees (Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity and Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology) and chairs the House Oversight Committee's TARP Subcommittee. Ed Royce is best known lately-- aside from being a virulent racist in a minority-majority Orange County district-- as the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, but he's also a key player on House Financial Services, where he sits on 2 subcommittees Wall Street is especially interested in: the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government-Sponsored Enterprises and the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit. Hensarling, of course, is the chairman of the House Financial Service Committee, Wall Street's main go-to guy in the House for their agenda. Their lobbyists write all his legislation for him.

Now to the less well-known names on that list of infamy. Steve Stivers, a former bankster himself, is on the House Financial Services Committee and sits on 2 crucial subcommittees for Wall Street: Capital Markets and Insurance. Patrick Tiberi is on the Ways and Means Committee and chairs it's Subcommittee on Health and serves on it's Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, Subcommittee on Social Security and Subcommittee on Human Resources. Blaine Luetkemeyer, another ex-bankster, also sits on House Financial Services, where he sits on the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit and the Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology. He's been one of Wall Street's legislative point men on dismantling Dodd-Frank. Joe Crowley, former chair of the New Dems is now the 4th ranking Democrat in the House leadership and easily the most corrupt. He's Wall Street's #1 go-to guy among the Democrats and funnels Wall Street cash to Democrats who don't want to be seen to be taking bankster bribes directly. He also sits on the House Ways and Means Committee. The only other Democrat to have taken over a million dollars in Financial Sector bribes in 2016 is sickeningly corrupt Arizona Blue Dog Kyrsten Sinema, a member of the House Financial Services Committee who is always an in the bag vote for the Republicans' most toxic proposals. She's also the most far right Democrat in Congress. Jim Himes is like a male version of Sinema. The new head of the New Dems, he is a former Goldman Sachs bankster and is now a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, always glad to advance the Wall Street agenda. And last but not least is Houston's stinking pile of corruption, Kevin Brady, the sleaziest chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee since Willis Hawley of Smoot-Hawley fame. These twelve crooks are being paid by Wall Street to work in the House to demolish consumer protections. And now that Wall Street has the White House on its side, with a drooling idiot ready to sign whatever is put in front of him...

Charles Pierce took a swing at explaining what's happening for Esquire readers in a provacatively-titled piece, Say Goodbye to Your Life Savings (Again)-- President Trump's team of Goldman Sachs alums are in the hen house. Pierce went right after Cohn:
But it's not about his old company, and his old pals, and the fairly thorough job they did blowing up the world economy eight years ago which, of course, is a century in Banker Time. They have labored under the burden of being marginally honest for far too long.
Asked about the potential political pushback because of his Wall Street past, Mr. Cohn said the administration's goal of deregulating financial markets "has nothing to do with Goldman Sachs."

"It has nothing to do with J.P. Morgan," he said. "It has nothing to do with Citigroup. It has nothing to do with Bank of America. It has to do with being a player in a global market where we should, could and will have a dominant position as long as we don't regulate ourselves out of that." Mr. Cohn said existing regulations put in place by Dodd-Frank are so sweeping that it is too hard for banks to lend, and consumers' choice of financial products is too limited.
And I am the Tsar of all the Russias.

This is about consumer choice about the same way a carny midway gives you the choice of being swindled in a shooting gallery, in a fortune-telling booth, or at a stand where you throw plastic hoops onto plastic ducks—where, of course, the hoops do not fit over the plastic ducks because that's the whole point, suckers.
"We have the best, most highly capitalized banks in the world, and we should use that to our competitive advantage," he added. "But on the flip side, we also have the most highly regulated, overburdened banks in the world." Mr. Cohn laid out a road map for how the Trump administration plans to target new financial rules. He said the Treasury Department would lead an effort to overhaul mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were put into government conservatorship after the crisis. He also said that the White House wouldn't need a change in the law to redirect the mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created by the 2010 law and which governs things like mortgage and credit-card rules. He suggested the White House could influence the mission of the bureau, set up as an independent agency, by putting a new person at its helm to replace Richard Cordray, the agency's director.
Fox Business News speculated that this path "may create political problems for Mr. Trump, whose populist campaign was successful in swaths of the Midwest where homeowners were hit hardest by the housing crash sparked by the financial crisis. Mr. Trump blamed the political establishment and Wall Street banks for leaving behind many Americans and vowed to break up both. Those promises have already been called into question as he has filled his administration with members of Congress and Wall Street executives, including Mr. Cohn, who retired as president of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to join the Trump administration.  Adding to the potentially difficult optics for Mr. Trump, he will sign the actions on the same day he meets with a group of business executives, including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive James Dimon and BlackRock Inc. CEO Laurence Fink."

Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) responded by sending a letter to Cohn asking him to recuse himself from any decisions related to Goldman Sachs in light of the $284 million windfall he received when he left the company to join the Trump Regime. "The NEC requires a leader who does not play favorites, but focuses on every aspect of the economy, and a leader who will pay as much attention to the needs of the middle-class workers that drive the U.S. economy as he or she will to the billionaires that sit at the top. It is difficult to imagine how you can play that role as you walk away from Goldman Sachs with a windfall of nearly $300 million... serving the public in the White House is a privilege, and it requires leaders who can guarantee that they will be impartial and free of even the appearance of any explicit or implicit bias towards key individuals and companies."

Thursday we looked at how the House Republicans-- with the aid of 5 corrupt conservative Democrats-- helped Wall Street and Big Oil get rid of a rule meant to keep them on an honest path. Early Friday morning the Senate voted to follow suit (in a 52-47 party-line vote). The ranking Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, Sherrod Brown, didn't beat around the bush about what the Republicans were up to: "The rule they’re trying to repeal protects U.S. citizens and investors from having millions of their dollars vanished into the pockets of corrupt foreign oligarchs. This kind of transparency is essential to combating waste, fraud, corruption and mismanagement." This was a big boon for Exxon and... for kleptocracies worldwide, from Putin's in Russia to Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo's in Equatorial Guinea.

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At 6:30 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Of course, unfortunately, Obama is in a large part responsible for this disaster. When he came into office, he did NOTHING about holding the banksters accountable for the crash in 2008. None went to prison. They all made out like bandits, which is what they are in reality. Because of Obama, the same people are still running around and now with Trump, they will have free rein and even more power. They will cause more havoc, and quickly. More money for them as they never get enough! And another crash for us! This time it will likely be much worse. And if (when) this happens, will we bail them out again and let the go Scott-free AGAIN?

At 7:01 AM, Anonymous Exit 135 said...

{“We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank because, frankly, I have so many people, friends of mine, who have nice businesses who can’t borrow money. They just can’t get any money because the banks just won’t let them borrow, because of the rules and regulations in Dodd-Frank,” Trump said at a Friday morning meeting with CEOs from a number of companies.} -The Hill. BY VICKI NEEDHAM - 02/03/17 11:16 AM EST


Translation: I am such a well known low life grifter, no bank in the world will loan me money. Except the Russians and Middle Eastern Despots. Also, fuck the middle class.

At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown were serious about regulating Wall Street, they both would have endorsed Bernie for president way back when. This is all for show. The Deep State has complete control over our government.

At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The main reason MLK was killed was in his Mountaintop speech the night before he was shot. He advocated that the Black community stop spending and investing the the economy which wasn't giving them equal benefit and instead patronize Black businesses. THAT is what got him killed. Read it for yourself.

It isn't as clear-cut along race lines today, but this is the only strategy that we can expect to have any effect. We can't count on the Democrats who suck up to the same corporate abusers as their Republican "opponents".

We took our money away from companies which put Rush Limbaugh on the air and greatly reduced his national coverage. Ryan Mack posted this list of Trump & supporter companies to at least begin the process by which you the consumer with ever-reducing income and higher benefit costs can spend your increasingly-scares discretionary income more wisely. This will spread if people see noticeable changes in the plans of those who would exploit us.

Only that way can we defend our freedom.

At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fecklessness Dem minorities have ONLY their pulpits from which to speak a modicum of truth.

Sherrod Brown's notion that there is no domestic kleptocracy is patently absurd and signals that "the opposition party" has its own alternate reality. I'd suggest whatever kleptocracy exists outside the US is essentially inspired, instructed and incited by the "pillars" of the world's dominant economy, that of Wall Street.

John Puma

At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

REALLY excellent points above, except for the advertisement.


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