Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Two Guys Make A Modest Suggestion

It is possible for liberal/progressive Democrats to work with Republicans.   And not only with the (ever-dwindling) ranks of "moderate" Republicans, but with conservative Republicans. And not on permanently lowering income tax rates, killing by drone strikes young males who are not terrorists, eavesdropping without warrants, preventive detention of American citizens, or cutting earned benefits.  Both the chairperson (from whose website the following is taken) and the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee on Financial institutions and Consumer Protection have sent a letter

to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder questioning whether the “too big to fail” status of certain Wall Street megabanks undermines the ability of the federal government to prosecute wrongdoing and impose appropriate penalties.  They also requested that the Justice Department disclose the identities of parties with whom prosecutors consult about the appropriate level of penalties for financial institutions.

“Wall Street megabanks aren’t just too big to fail, they’re increasingly too big to jail,” Brown said. “Already, the nation’s six largest megabanks enjoy what amounts to taxpayer-funded guarantee by virtue of their size, making it harder for regional and community banks to compete. Now, these megabanks may also enjoy some impunity when they violate the law by laundering money or illegally foreclosing on homeowners.  Wall Street should pay the full price of its wrongdoing, not pass the costs along to taxpayers.”

“The best deterrent to crime is to put people in prison,” Grassley said.  “That includes those at powerful banks and corporations.  Unfortunately, we’ve seen little willingness to charge these individuals criminally.  The public deserves an explanation of how the Justice Department arrives at these decisions.”

Matt Taibbi recently wrote that the bailout of the financial industry

built a banking system that discriminates against community banks, makes Too Big to Fail banks even Too Bigger to Failier, increases risk, discourages sound business lending and punishes savings by making it even easier and more profitable to chase high-yield investments than to compete for small depositors. The bailout has also made lying on behalf of our biggest and most corrupt banks the official policy of the United States government. And if any one of those banks fails, it will cause another financial crisis, meaning we're essentially wedded to that policy for the rest of eternity – or at least until the markets call our bluff, which could happen any minute now.

Andrea Mitchell of NBC News maintains that if Hillary Clinton decides to run for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, she will (as the NBC website put it) "clear the field" and "no one else will be able to challenge her, not Andrew Cuomo, Joe Biden, or Martin O’Malley."  But from 1964 through 2008, the vote in Ohio, represented in the U.S. Senate by one Republican (Rob Portman) and one Democrat,  for the winning presidential candidate has deviated from the national average by 1.3 percentage points- and in 2012, by .87% points.

Democratic politicos know Ohio is a swing state as well as a bellwether. If it  wants a nominee willing to challenge the powerful interests whose actions threatened to sink the world economy,  it should welcome a challenge to Hillary Clinton, and from someone bolder than Joe Biden or (especially) Andrew Cuomo.

Share |

No comments:


The husband-wife (or, rather, wife-husband) duo of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and Martha-Ann Alito nee Bomgardner flew an upside do...