Saturday, May 8, 2010

Gum Drops

Matt Taibbi was out with a piece Thursday on the vote in the Senate that puts the first nail in the coffin of any meaningful financial reform. This was the Brown-Kaufman amendment to the finance reform bill. It basically set up mechanisms to break up ginormous outfits such as AIG, and the major banks, so they could not bring down the planet if they went under. Call it the "Too Big to Fail" amendment.* Well, guess what? The amendment went down in flames. By a two-thirds vote, brothers and sisters. It was not even close. And this majority that voted to allow Wall Street to continue to ream us inside out included 27(!) Democrats. Listen, I'm not a political expert or operative. I'm just an interested observer. But what this tells me is that when the chips are down, this Administration is powerless to keep its own troops in order. Twenty-seven! That is almost half the Democrats in the Senate. To say the least, however, Administration support of this amendment was tepid. You'll be delighted to know that all the former Wall Street barons that Obama saw fit to appoint to key economic positions in his administration all opposed the amendment. We're talking Timothy Geithner, Larry Summers, and Austan Goolsbee.

Here's what else it tells me. The Wall Street and Big Money lobbyists frigging OWN these people. Like puppy dogs on a leash. I mean, how else can you explain people voting FOR the Wall Street pirates in the face of what these people have done to the world--Greece bought their worthless shit along with the rest of the world; Britain and the rest of Europe are awash in debt, largely because of these coiffed criminals--and to our country over the past couple of years? Wall Street owns the government of the U.S. And their lobbyists eat  legislators like gum drops. Ain't democracy grand?

*The amendment, sponsored by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), would have required megabanks to be broken down in size and capped so that their individual failure would not bring down the entire system. Under Brown-Kaufman, no bank could hold more than 10 percent of the total amount of insured deposits, and a limit would have been placed on liabilities of a single bank to two percent of GDP. In practice, the amendment required the six biggest banks -- Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley -- to significantly scale down their size. 
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