There is no partisan fighting when it comes to Wall Street

Billionaires Charles and David Koch own the GOP. But this election year they took time out of their busy schedule to publicly endorse Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.
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But that’s exactly what Americans for Prosperity, an influential group funded by billionaires Charles and David Koch, just did. On Friday, the group made a digital ad buy thanking Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota for her vote supporting a bill easing banking regulations and rolling back parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.
Americans for Prosperity is a formidable political organization that typically works to elect Republicans to the Senate. The fact that the group is spending money on one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2018 is startling.
...Heitkamp has received more money from commercial banks than any other senator — $182,563 so far in 2018, according to OpenSecrets, including from Goldman Sachs.

Joe Donnelly (Ind.) and Jon Tester (Mont.) also took in mountains of cash from the banks.
However, it wasn't just these three that are guilty.
16 Democratic Senators and 33 Democratic House members voted to deregulate 25 of the 38 largest banks in America again.
Of these Democrats, twenty-seven are members of the conservative New Democrat Coalition, while another three are Blue Dogs.
But nine members of the Congressional Black Caucus also sold out the American people.

Every single bank deregulation bill of the last 40 years has been thoroughly bipartisan.

This is happening while bank profits are up by 28% during the first three months of 2018 to an all-time record $56 billion. The financial industry is sitting on nearly $2 trillion of capital.
Before we go any further it should be noted that Congress is simply not needed when it comes to deregulating Wall Street again. The Trump Administration is doing plenty without the help of Congress.

The issuance of financial regulations has dropped to a 40-year low, new data shows, a sign that the Trump administration is fulfilling its deregulatory agenda.

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Of course in one important way Wall Street doesn't need to be deregulated, because the Trump Administration has simply stopped enforcing regulations.

In the 135 days since the Trump administration took control of the nation’s consumer watchdog agency, it has not recorded a single enforcement action against banks, credit card companies, debt collectors or any finance companies whatsoever.
...While consumer advocates expected fewer enforcement actions under a more business-friendly Trump administration, the fact that the database indicates they have stopped entirely raises concern that consumers have been left vulnerable.

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As usual, Elizabeth Warren is one of the few voices out there speaking truth to power.

"Deregulation is code for 'let the rich guys do whatever they want,'" Warren said in the keynote speech of an event at Georgetown University Law School, sponsored by the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards. "The Trump administration and an army of lobbyists are determined to rig the game in their favor, to boost their own profit, the cost of the consumer be damned."
"So why is this happening? Why favor profits of Wall Street banks over the economic security of American families? The answer is pretty simple: corruption," she said.

While immediate effect of the deregulation, i.e. rampant pillaging of the working class by a predatory bankster class, is obvious, don't take your eye off the ball.
These modest regulations that the Democrats pushed through after the 2008 crash were put there for a reason.

Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress, said in a statement on Wednesday. "These big banks are making record profits but that just isn't enough for them. They are hellbent on regaining the ability to gamble, knowing it's other people's money on the line."
"Wall Street profits are up while workers' wages remain flat," added Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). "It is outrageous that the Fed is letting the biggest banks gamble with your money yet again and turn our economy into a casino once more."

If the plan released by the Fed on Wednesday is adopted, Wall Street banks—which have lobbied relentlessly against the Volcker Rule for years—would have more freedom to engage in the kinds of speculation that sparked the 2008 financial crisis while effectively being permitted to police themselves.

To put it another way, by getting rid of the Volcker Rule gives banks more freedom to make riskier bets with federally-insured bank deposits – such as the money in your checking and savings accounts.
While the market openly expects another bank bailout when the inevitable and predictable "accident" happens, I think the market is going to be in for a big surprise. I think Democratic and Republican voters will find they have one thing in common after all - a common enemy.

The only real solution isn't more regulation - it's reform.

The Volcker Rule was itself a watered-down version of the 1930s Glass-Steagall Act, enacted in response to the Great Crash of 1929. Glass-Steagall forced banks to choose between being commercial banks, taking in regular deposits and lending them out, or being investment banks that traded on their own capital.
Glass-Steagall’s key principle was to keep risky assets away from insured deposits.

...The only answer is to break up the giant banks. The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 was designed not only to improve economic efficiency by reducing the market power of economic giants like the railroads and oil companies but also to prevent companies from becoming so large that their political power would undermine democracy.

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Comments

Hawkfish's picture

Including a postage paid reply envelope. David was ranting on about immigrants and Thatcher - it was all quite revolting.

I was wondering why they were sending anything to me because I gave enough to Jill’s campaign to be in the FCC database. But I used to be a Dem so maybe they figured I didn’t mean it...

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6 users have voted.

We may find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud.
- Pink Floyd, On the Turning Away

Lookout's picture

https://hightowerlowdown.org/article/patience-and-secrecy-cloak-the-koch...

Jim does a great job with the deep dive on the Koch's power grab. He explains the insidious corporate take over.

We as so fucked. Bend over and take it.

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9 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout

all over the universe; 99% of the country's world's stake-holders need to address this vampire issue.

Edited because an 's' slipped out into the 99%, having boiled over from my hissing... and I also corrected the area actually affected from this insidious infestation, to the suffering globe.

Re-edited to add a comma and because that 's' was actually missing from that all-important stake, so very integral to the heartlessness of the matter. If I've missed anything else, I'll be just over there, punching my pillow...

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

GreyWolf's picture

.

.

We millions of individual isolated voices are right now just dust in the wind.

(And, as an aside, didn't I just see that David Koch is retiring?)

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6 users have voted.

@GreyWolf

and the whole Koch propaganda machine into retirement with him...

Also wish I hadn't read why he's retiring; spoiled a vampire/crypt reference I wanted to make and I hate like hell winding up feeling any sympathy for any of that psychopathic brood, after all of the horror they've been conspiring at.

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

snoopydawg's picture

@Lookout

Thanks, LO for linking to it. It's worthy of an essay!

Patience and secrecy cloak the Koch’s complex conspiracy

on the Koch Klan’s plutocratic coup against your and my democratic rights prompted a few expressions of incredulity, such as: Surely that can’t be true! Come on, a coup? Many Americans are reluctant to accept that coup conspiracies are part of our country’s political history. We tend to buy the corporate establishment’s oft-repeated narrative that plots to overthrow the government are totally foreign to our national character. This is America, they bark, not some banana republic! We don’t do coups.

Never heard of it? Few have, for the financial establishment–along with its media and political henchmen–rushed out, clucking like mother hens to bury the story and protect the gentlemen of Wall Street implicated in the plot. But what a story! It was capitalist skullduggery by a few self-entitled Lords of Wealth trying to overthrow the government and enthrone a fascist regime friendly to themselves.

Fortunately, a real patriot was able to expose them, nipping their coup d’etat in the bud. Nonetheless, their attempt reveals the threat of concentrated wealth and the ever-present danger that the imperious rich pose to majority rule. Not only should this real-life drama be highlighted in our history books, but it would also make a blockbuster movie:

The Koch Brothers putsch, c. 2018

It’s tempting to a laugh off 1933’s bumbling fat cats–we can just picture them cloistered in their posh private club, smoking $100 cigars, grumping about Roosevelt, and whispering about hiring an army to overthrow the whole damn democratic process. A “cocktail putsch,” as New York City’s Mayor Fiorello La Guardia dubbed it.

But, while their plot was harebrained, their plutocratic intent is no laughing matter. Their presumption of class privilege–the warped idea that their great wealth entitled them to rule over and even impoverish the many–is not unique. The Wall Street Putsch died in 1934, but it is just one manifestation of a deadly serious social disease that has infected the history of democratic struggles.

And now, that sickness has grown much more virulent, confronting us in the form of a complex, sophisticated web of efforts funded by Koch-led billionaires who share the same set of extreme, kleptocratic beliefs that guided last century’s class-war militants, including (1) making property rights supreme over all of the people’s various political rights; and (2) replacing the principle of majority rule with a new governing order that empowers the owner class (the “Makers,” as they dub themselves) to overrule regulations, taxes, unionization, and other collective actions that the lower classes (the “Takers”) try to impose on the property-rich minority.

The Koch coup is not one they’re planning to spring someday with a brash, illegal military takeover of Washington. Don’t look now, but they’ve already sprung it! It’s a quiet, multifaceted coup that has been underway for some 40 years and has been astonishingly successful … and disturbingly legal. Measure by measure, the Koch brothers and their allied property extremists have used their fortunes to gain a grip on nearly every level of government (including courts and whole states like Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Texas), corporatized many of our most basic laws and institutions, and largely had their plutocratic wish list adopted as the de facto agenda of the entire leadership of the Republican Party. They’ve been able to come so far because of three factors:

Highly recommend reading the rest of the article!

The banker's coup

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5 users have voted.

Governments exist preeminently to maximize the profits, resources and the power of the wealthy

Lookout's picture

@snoopydawg

in the Weekly where it might get more eyes. Glad you found it useful.

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5 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

snoopydawg's picture

"These big banks are making record profits but that just isn't enough for them." They are hellbent on regaining the ability to gamble, knowing it's other people's money on the line"

After the vote before congress voted to roll back the Volker bill, Warren said that the banks are getting setup for another tax payer bailout. I thought, "Why the Hell is it up to us to bail them out again when they are the ones taking the risks?"

It shouldn't be our responsibility to give them our money after they deliberately did things that they knew would cause the economy to crash! Now they have worked hard to roll back the limited regulations that were put in place to stop their recklessness knowing that When the economy crashes again they're going to get our money.

Ryan who is retiring from congress got half a million after he passed the tax bill.. Heidi Heitkamp just got rewarded for her vote to destroy the last piece of legislation that kept the banks from screwing us again as did many other members of congress. This is blatant bribery, but then congress made legislation that says it isn't. Oh well, at least congress can't do insider trading anymore, right? Right ... my tush!

People who are richer than gawd never think they have enough and they don't care how many people they hurt trying to get more. Why? I've never understood why people who have so much money can't just enjoy what they have and stop working so hard to get more. In a country that has so much poverty no one person should be allowed to have 112 Billion Dollars
and not have to use some of that money to help the programs that poor people rely on. Especially when it's because their companies pay workers such low wages that they qualify for those programs to begin with. First they get tax breaks and subsidies that puts the tax burden on the rest of us, and then they pay low wages so that people rely on government programs. This is doubly diddling the government twice.

The Koch brothers and people of their ilk donate hundreds of billions of dollars to campaigns and silly things like the arts, but rarely donate to programs that help people. I thought about this when I read that Oprah bought an island around Seattle sight unseen for $9 million. She's worth over a billion too as are many others, yet how many people has she helped with her money? Or Ellen Degenerase who just flipped another house for $11 million giving herself a few million in profits.

The UN just wrote another scathing report on poverty in America and how it's going to get worse when congress gets around to gutting social programs to help offset their tax cuts that they just gave to people who didn't need it.

Sorry for going off topic and ranting, gjohnsit. I'm just so F*cking disgusted with people playing with people's lives and not giving a good gawd damn about them!

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11 users have voted.

Governments exist preeminently to maximize the profits, resources and the power of the wealthy

@snoopydawg

some with a fountain pen."

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5 users have voted.

@snoopydawg

Please don't ever apologize for them.

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Cassiodorus's picture

And I voted for zero Democrats.

So there's one vote.

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11 users have voted.

"The Democratic Party is better than the Republican Party in the way that manslaughter is slightly better than murder: It might seem like a lesser crime, but the victim can’t really tell the difference." -- Michael Harriot