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Hand grasping at $100 bills
Maybe just to ensure that no bankster will ever face the slimmest possibility of being convicted and sent to prison, they're now writing the laws that would govern them, with the blessing of Republicans, of course.
One bill that sailed through the House Financial Services Committee this month—over the objections of the Treasury Department—was essentially Citigroup’s, according to e-mails reviewed by The New York Times. The bill would exempt broad swathes of trades from new regulation.

In a sign of Wall Street’s resurgent influence in Washington, Citigroup’s recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House committee’s 85-line bill. Two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word. (Lawmakers changed two words to make them plural.)

They are also paying quite well for the privilege of doing Congress's work for it, or themselves, anyway. According to the Times, the financial services industry has doubled its campaign contributions, and the "lawmakers who this month supported the bills championed by Wall Street received twice as much in contributions from financial institutions compared with those who opposed them."

This isn't just a Republican thing, though it was probably easier for Wall Street to insert itself so completely in the process with Republicans. Plenty of Democrats are playing along, too, including most of them on the committee that passed Citigroup's bill. The freshmen among them were rewarded with a field trip to Wall Street in "a tour organized by Representative Joe Crowley," where they got to hobnob with Lloyd C. Blankfein and Jamie Dimon.

It's a good thing we've got the backstop in the Senate of Elizabeth Warren on the Banking Committee. Otherwise Congress would be likely to just sell the whole place off to Wall Street.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri May 24, 2013 at 01:48 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (26+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Fri May 24, 2013 at 01:48:58 PM PDT

  •  Citibank appears to own Treasury as well (14+ / 0-)

    ... as Jack Lew's stumbling, craven performance in not answering Sen. Warren's simple questions made crystal clear.

    And to think, I thought we had it bad when Tim Geithner was in charge.   At least we didn't already know what his Wall Street bonus package looked like.

    If you want to cut Social Security, you're not a real Democrat.

    by Dallasdoc on Fri May 24, 2013 at 01:59:19 PM PDT

    •  So: the problem has been identified. (0+ / 0-)

      The problem is that Wall Street owns a supermajority of Congress, as well as having its hooks deep into the White House.

      This leaves the second step: identifying a solution. Ideas?

      "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

      by Australian2 on Fri May 24, 2013 at 10:49:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How little has changed since the Days of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, ozsea1

    Pan-Am vs TWA

    With Pan-Am's Lawyers writing the Airline bill

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Fri May 24, 2013 at 02:05:18 PM PDT

  •  Yes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, DSPS owl, emal

    You're welcome, America. We hope that this makes up for sending Scott Brown to the Senate for a couple years!

  •  Obviously, all those reports about Dodd-Frank (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, trumpeter, ozsea1

    Being ineffective we're bogus. If it were ineffective, there would be no need to water it down.
    However, we should take notice that REGULATION of America's free enterprise has always involved promoting the interests of the industry or enterprise and securing some risk-reducing advantage for it, if not a monopoly situation. The Department of Commerce, under whose aegis the federal government regulates, was traditionally tasked with promoting commerce across state lines and facilitating trade. The use of the commerce clause to interdict racial segregation in facilities catering to the public was a minor revolution.
    Think Mom suddenly turning into a disciplinarian or bringing a strict step-dad into the house.

    Regulation, after all, means to make regular and overcome the random interruptions of man and nature. The nation was organized to provide for the general welfare of the people in charge (those entitled to vote).  It was not anticipated that all adults would get a vote. Even when women got the vote, "one man, one vote" assumed that women would vote as their menfolk directed. Then, when the voting age was dropped to 18, there was the continued assumption that children would vote like their parents. After all, hierarchy is a universally valued social good.
    Yes, it was all wishful thinking. But, assumptions die hard and not without a great deal of resentment.
    So, hope that the old verities can be restored springs eternal. Making banksters accountable to their patrons is just too hard to swallow.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Fri May 24, 2013 at 03:18:13 PM PDT

    •  Actually, Dodd-Frank is more ineffective... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1, emal

      ...than it was before....which was "very ineffective," too.

      ...If it were ineffective, there would be no need to water it down...

      "Need to water it down?"

      We're talking about Wall Street, right?

      If the government started taxing Wall St. transactions to the tune of 1 penny per trade, Wall Street would spend tens of millions making sure that didn't happen, and then they'd add a rider to that bill that provided them with a 2-cent tax loophole for every trade they DID make!

      That's the way it works.

      One for them--Shit for you/us--Two for them--Twice as much shit for you/us.

      You're rewriting reality with this statement...

      ...If it were ineffective, there would be no need to water it down...
      And, there's a great deal of truth to the reality that 5 years after the market crash, the TBTF's are more powerful than ever. Inequality' far worse. Organized labor's shot to hell. And, this is BEFORE all the new trade agreements go into effect...which is going to make matters far worse than they've been in at least 100 years (right now, income inequality is ALREADY worse than it's ever been since they first created reliable metrics to measure it...back in 1917...96 years ago).

      So, I don't understand your rationale one flies in the face of far greater, draconian truths.

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Fri May 24, 2013 at 04:21:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is not serious financial reform. (6+ / 0-)

    The Administration, the GOP, and the bank lobbyists have been beating the hell out of this bill from the moment it was introduced. As far as I can tell, it does nothing to address TBTF, or to separate the FDIC insured operations of a bank from their risky CDS and derivative trading operations.  Taxpayers will still be on the hook for any large failures, which provides bad incentives for banks. They've learned that there will be virtually no punishment for any criminal or fraudulent activity. All of which makes a major bank failure more of a question than "when" rather than "if".

    The failure to properly address the financial crisis will be one of the biggest black marks on this administration. It's been truly shameful.

    As wonderful as Senator Warren is, she is just one of 100 senators, and she has no law enforcement powers.

  •  How absurd this is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    starduster, emal, hester

    Lew? Come on MacJoan how hard is this to decipher or understand. 'Reform' is just a word they use to tell us all that we're gonna get screwed, non partisanly.  Does Elisabeth Warren have any power to stop Lew, Simpson, Orszag, Dimon, GS, Chase or any of this administrations owners from implementing their inevitable 'Way Forward'.

    Stop whistling past the graveyard of democracy and telling us all that all we need to do is keep clapping. Right, Harry will unclog our senate's Democratic self imposed procedural rule impasse. Elisabeth Warren as right as she is, will be able to oust the villains of Wall Street. Who won in 2008  through bait and switch? This bogus Democratic administration and congress hummmm? My traitorous 'far left' Democratic lying eyes tell me that is just another heart breaker and not some better beginning.      

  •  chris hayes was just talking about this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, Eric Nelson

    truly disgusting and stupid ll rolled up in one.  it won't pass senate.  i can hardly wait for elizabeth warren to rip it apart.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Fri May 24, 2013 at 06:02:13 PM PDT

  •  Unfortunately, another case of ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    starduster, JerryNA, Eric Nelson

    ... our "representatives" in Congress realizing that being "lawmakers" also means:

    "Hey!  We get to decide what isn't illegal!"
    They're not bribes!  Bribes are terrible and unethical.

    They're campaign contributions!  Those are legal!

  •  sorry to tell you Joan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA, jnww

    the place was sold long ago. it's too late for any real reform. but thanks for the update.

    What Fresh Hell is This? -- Dorothy Parker

    by chazz509 on Fri May 24, 2013 at 06:35:09 PM PDT

  •  The Dimon Blankfein Bill (6+ / 0-)

    That's what it should be called.

  •  I say at the rate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    The army of corporate lobbyists write bills and capture both the politicians and regulators I say lets just cut to the chase in this sham aka democracy.

    Lets cut these middle men out...why bother have politicians and elected government officials ...when they just let corporate industry insiders write and enforce the laws that govern us.

    I saw a tweet that hit it just right and captured exactly just WTF is wrong here.

    The caption was


    But could easily have been

     Or any other mega industry corporation for that matter,

    Government of/for/by the wealthy mega corporations

    GildedAge 2.0

    Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. We are the 99%-OWS.

    by emal on Fri May 24, 2013 at 07:14:44 PM PDT

  •  Congress must employ a tattoo artist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emal, Eric Nelson

    so all these senators and congresscritters can get their rumps properly tramp stamped as "Property of Wall Street."  

  •  This is probably one of the sections of HR 4173:.. (0+ / 0-)

    ..Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that wall street/bankers are desperate to re-write out of the law (if they haven't already done so that is)

    CEO Compensation – Pay ratio  transparency FRIDAY, MAY 3, 2013

    With Main Street America struggling to regain employment prospects lost during the Great Recession, it is intriguing to see how those who live in the "corporate clouds" have fared since the so-called recovery began four years ago. A recently published interactive webpage: by Bloomberg exposes the ratio of CEO compensation to the median pay of the sweaty masses, a key indicator of financial health among the fraction of the one percent.

    Way back in 2010, Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act contained Section 953(b) which required the disclosure of both United States and global employees' average compensation in comparison to CEO pay. The Securities and Exchange Commission has been working on this provision and still hasn't quite got there yet, three years later.

    Here is the pertinent section from the Act:

    Writing laws that would govern them arrgh.

    This has got to stop. These non-elected "too big to be held accountable banks/wallstreeterfat cats" having any part in the writing or re-writing of the laws in this country imo

  •  President Obama nominated Senator Jack Reed's (D. (0+ / 0-)

    RI) legal counsel and senior policy advisor for SEC Commissioner:

    Funny Stuff at

    by poopdogcomedy on Fri May 24, 2013 at 09:06:44 PM PDT

  •  My Congressman (0+ / 0-)

    Is one of the cosponsors of this bill.  Sean Maloney, D-Citibank.
    Needs a primary, IMHO

    “The legitimate object of Government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all or cannot do so well for themselves”- Lincoln

    by commonscribe on Sat May 25, 2013 at 05:25:27 AM PDT

  •  I don't remember voting for a lobbyist (0+ / 0-)

    ... at least not while they were in public office anyway.

    Strange but not a stranger.

    by jnww on Sat May 25, 2013 at 07:51:52 AM PDT

  •  "Sell the place" ??? (0+ / 0-)

    Congress is already giving it away pennies to the dollar. Besides, Wall Streeters are a greedier bunch than our own  congresspeople. They're not paying for shit - they take what they want and whine and bitch until they get everything else in the bowl handed to them.

    Strange but not a stranger.

    by jnww on Sat May 25, 2013 at 07:55:13 AM PDT

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