Saturday, January 17, 2015

Did Bernie Sanders Team Up With Goldman Sachs? Of Course Not


There are a dozen Republican kooks on the Senate Budget Committee, all right-wing ideologues who worship at the alter of low taxes for the wealthy and torture for ordinary working families. All 12-- Mike Enzi (WY-chair), Chuck Grassely (IA), Jeff Sessions (AL), Mike Crapo (ID), Lindsey Graham (SC), Rob Portman (OH), Pat Toomey (PA), Ron Johnson (WI), Kelly Ayotte (NH), Roger Wicker (MS), Bob Corker (TN) and David Perdue (GA)-- are advocates of Europe's disastrously-failed Austerity agenda. To counter the right-wing insanity, the Democrats have 10 members on the committee and they appointed Bernie Sanders ranking member. His ideas are as far from the anti-middle class jihad the Republican are waging as one could hope for. Problem for Bernie, however, is that his side of the table isn't united behind progressive ideas-- not by a longshot. The banking industry may be grousing about Bernie Sanders' position but they know full well that economic royalists like Mark Warner (VA), Tim Kaine (VA), and Angus King (ME) will work more closely with Mike Enzi than with Bernie Sanders.

Earlier this month, Noah Bierman warned Boston Globe readers that Sanders can expect to be undercut by conservative Democrats on the committee and by paid shills of the financial services industry-- Congress' top paymasters-- from K Street and Wall Street. Bremen singled out one of the worst, G. William Hoagland, a senior vice president for the grotesquely corrupt right-wing, ostensibly "Bipartisan" Policy Center (bipartisan meaning conservative Republicans plus conservative Democrats).
“If you are actually setting fiscal policy for the future, it is a very unpleasant thing to talk about either tax increases or spending increases,” said G. William Hoagland, a budget hawk who is senior vice president for the Bipartisan Policy Center, a centrist think tank.

Hoagland said he has talked to a couple of Democratic senators, whom he would not name, who are wary of making Sanders a prominent voice on the budget.

Hoagland said he believes moderate Democrats on the committee-- including Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia and Angus King, a Maine independent who caucuses with Democrats-- will prevent Sanders from taking too hard a line.

“They will definitely pull him back to the left of center as opposed to the far left of center,” he said.
I bet Hoagland and his cronies don't know what to make of Senator Sanders' weighing into the dispute between banksters at Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) doesn't often find common cause with Goldman Sachs. But when it comes to breaking up the world's biggest bank, Sanders is on the same page as a team of Goldman analysts.

“Goldman Sachs is right," Sanders said Thursday in a statement provided to HuffPost. "J.P. Morgan should be broken up."

Last week, Goldman's research department issued a report making the case that rival JPMorgan Chase would be more valuable to shareholders if it were broken into multiple banks. Since regulators have increased JPMorgan's mandated capital levels above that of some slightly smaller peers, Goldman analysts claimed the bank would be worth up to 25 percent more if it were split into as many as four separate entities. The smaller banks would have to hold less capital, since they would not pose as great a threat to the financial system in the event of failure, according to the analysis. Lower capital requirements would allow the smaller banks to profit more handsomely from riskier operations.

"Our analysis suggests that a breakup-- into two or four parts-- could unlock value in most scenarios, although the range of outcomes we assessed is wide, at 5 - 25 [percent] potential upside," the report reads.

Bank reform advocates have long proposed tough capital standards to encourage big banks to break up, but the levels contemplated are typically much higher than those currently imposed on JPMorgan. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and David Vitter (R-La.) introduced legislation in 2013 that would coax the breakup of big banks by dramatically raising their capital requirements. The legislation never came up for a vote.

Goldman's report did not target all big banks, which are subject to more stringent capital rules than smaller banks. Instead, it focused on disparities between JPMorgan and other large banks, where it noted that JPMorgan faces more rigorous requirements than other behemoths. According to the Goldman report, regulators recently imposed tougher capital standards on JPMorgan, because it devotes an unusually large portion of its activities to risky businesses, including securities trading and derivatives operations.

...For many financial watchdogs off Wall Street, of course, such intra-Too-Big-To-Fail rivalries are unimportant. In his statement to HuffPost, Sanders argued for breaking up the six largest U.S. banks-- a list that includes Goldman itself.

"Our biggest banks all need to be broken up," Sanders said. "Today, the largest banks in this country are much bigger than they were before taxpayers bailed them out. The top six banks today have over $9.8 trillion in assets, equivalent to almost 60 percent of the GDP of the United States … It's time to break up these behemoths."

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At 4:59 PM, Blogger ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Ah, Tim Kaine.

That's the guy Our President replaced Howard Dean (and his 50 State Strategy) with, before he came up with even crappier and more corrupt DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Which is why I have to laugh whenever the Opologists tell me that I'm a silly purity troll who doesn't understand that Our President was stymied by right-wing Dems in his attempts to do right by us.

Right-wing Dems like Tim Kaine and DWS. Ha!

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I read your blog more and more and I have thought for a long time the lesser of two evils is not worthy of support. Yet, the choice when I vote many times is just that and I am going to vote. One thing I do not do any longer is waste money giving it to the DCCC, DSCC, or DNC and instead make my donations to Sen Sanders and Alan Grayson and other true Liberals.


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