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THE WALL STREET PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN REVISITED (PART I)

December 18, 2014

THE WALL STREET PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN REVISITED (PART I)

A few days ago I wrote and published a blog called “Off and running for 2016 – the Wall Street Propaganda Campaign” in which I outlined the beginning of a Wall Street campaign to end the political future of Elizabeth Warren, an inevitable outcome now that her views are catching on with a broad swath of America. She is not following the unspoken dictum that a public figure must first obtain the permission of the oligarchy (either openly or tacitly) before speaking out on the issues of the day that affect ordinary Americans and their futures and the futures of their progeny and fellow citizens. She did not seek permission because, unlike many if not most, she is not seeking campaign contributions from the Wall Street oligarchy. She is thus enabled to frame the issues free of oligarchic slant and mantra.

While noisy, she was not a sufficient menace to the greed-stricken denizens of Wall Street until just the last few weeks when she vociferously and often and openly criticized inclusion of a rider to the so-called “spending bill,” which knocks out the underpinnings of a Dodd-Frank Act requirement that banks not gamble in derivatives and other markets with your money and mine. She correctly held that approval of that rider’s language was tantamount to putting America’s public purse up for bailouts again in the event these Wall Street investments went sour (and, at some point in time, they always do).

She failed in her attempts to strip the rider from the bill and the Wall Street big banks succeeded in doing something legislatively they have spent over $1 billion in trying to do since 2010 with extensive lobbying, i.e., knocking out the effect of this provision of Dodd-Frank altogether versus mere delay of implementation of rules and regulations via lobbying designed to flesh out that requirement’s provisions. The Congress has done what Wall Street banks’ lobbyists failed to get done in perhaps the greatest financial legislative mistake since the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which had it not been repealed under Bill Clinton’s signature, would have prevented the near international depression of 2007-2008 and the one which could come with passage of this “spending bill” with deregulating rider intact. To call this rider “toxic” does not begin to describe the possible effects of its inclusion what with its potential to bring on economic chaos and global depression on a scale too terrifying to envision.

The big banks understandably savor an investment environment in which they can invest other peoples’ money and pocket the profits, if any, while simultaneously assigning any losses springing from such investments to the suckers who are subsidizing this monumental giveaway, i.e., you and me. Where else but in the back rooms of Congress and at a conference table of congressional toadies separated only by a few feet from smiling Wall Street lobbyists, campaign checks in hand, could you swing such a preposterous bargain? Talk about a sweet deal! Not only do the banks get free money to invest from FDIC-insured accounts; they are also guaranteed by you and me via bailouts to have risk-free outcomes. They cannot possibly lose, and you and I cannot possibly win. Even if every investment the banks make is profitable, we get nothing for our guaranty except sleepless nights wondering what under-regulated banks are doing with our money.

Against this background, and with the president’s signature affixed to this new bailout act, we have now officially decided as a matter of sound public policy (?) to backstop investments of Wall Street banks in whatever trading efforts they may wish to undertake with no opportunity to share any profits for our guaranty but with unlimited and indeed legally mandated “opportunity” to share any losses arising from such trading efforts. It is therefore not surprising that, with their legislative prize now safely in hand, Wall Street and Fox News have just in the last few days renewed their propaganda campaign to end Senator Warren’s political future and her passionate pleas for an end to such big banks’ corporate welfare and the potentially enormous risks the American people must underwrite in order to save the banks that are “too big to fail” and those who run them – who are apparently “too big to jail”).

Fox News has labeled Senator Warren just yesterday as a “devil.” The Washington Post has just published a piece saying that she is the new Jim DeMint of the Left. The latter is the larger insult, since we don’t really know what a devil is but we do know that DeMint gave up his Senate seat to run the American Enterprise Institute, a right wing propaganda machine masquerading as a “think tank,” which was and is a perfect fit for an ex-senator to the right of Attila the Hun.

Part II of this essay will discuss where we are now and what we can do about it. Stay tuned.   GERALD   E

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