Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It Ain't Reform

Let me just say this about the so-called financial reform package currently generating all this heat in Washington. It's a crock.

Do this exercise. Juxtapose this article, entitled "Speculating Banks Still Rule -- Ten Ways Dems and Dodd Are Failing on Financial Reform" and subtitled "None of this is reform. We are better off with nada than vapid promises and a false sense of security." Here's the situation right now: "banking businesses that are tied to the real economy are dying, but raw gambling disguised as finance is doing fine." And the so-called reform bill doesn't do anything about this. The reform package "won't change the nature of anything Wall Street does."

or this one by Robert Reich*

. . . with this piece, "Total Wall Street Bailout Cost." This latter piece is truly excellent. My son sent it to me. It's probably the most authoritative numbers we have--and they are updated monthly-- about what this anal rape of the taxpayer by Wall Street is costing. Here's the bottom line: All dollars here are taxpayer dollars, OUR money: Total disbursed (to Wall Street): $4.66 trillion. Maximum funds at-risk (from all the toxic assets we covered for Wall Street): $13.67 trillion. Total outstanding (what Wall Street has not paid us back): $1.98 trillion.

How did our country ever get to this place? Well, I can't say for sure, but let me venture a guess. Everybody bought the bullshit crackpot economic ideas brought to us by that prince of intellects, Ronald Reagan. The country's been in a downward spiral ever since. And even the same blatant crimes by the Wall Street fat cats that almost brought the world to its knees being committed right before our eyes aren't enough to stir us. I tell you, brothers and sisters, we deserve whatever happens to us.

*Main flaws according to Reich 1. Require that trading of all derivatives be done on open exchanges where parties have to disclose what they’re buying and selling and have enough capital to pay up if their bets go wrong. The exception in the current bill for so-called “customized” derivatives opens up a loophole big enough for bankers to drive their Ferrari’s through. 2. Resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act in its entirety so commercial banks are separated from investment banks. The current bill doesn’t go nearly far enough. 3. Cap the size of big banks at $100 billion in assets. The current bill doesn’t limit the size of banks at all.. . .  The only way to ensure no bank is too big to fail is to make sure no bank is too big, period.
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