Dec 29 2010

Did I hurt your pwecious widdle fee-fees?

Good, because you’re arrogant, greedy, narcissistic, assholes who broke the law and should be in jail.  Grow up you crybaby Galts.

Obama & Wall St.: Still Venus & Mars

By: Ben White, Politico

December 28, 2010 04:33 AM EST

(P)olls suggest most Americans believe Obama has handled the titans of Wall Street with an exceedingly light touch. He supported the deeply unpopular $700-billion bank bailout, pushed a financial reform package that stopped short of breaking up the biggest behemoths and, just this month, signed off on tax cuts for the wealthiest and continued low rates on capital gains and dividends.

And, of course, big-time bonuses at bailed-out banks are back, even as average Americans continue to get tossed out of their homes, corporate America has turned in its most profitable quarter in history and the stock market is at a two-year high.

Their complaints fell along similar lines: Obama and the White House don’t understand how capital markets work, don’t like people who make a lot of money and relish using Wall Street as a whipping boy to score points with the left.

“You would really have to go back to 1934 to find a time when Wall Street was this angry at an administration following a crisis that was largely of Wall Street’s own making,” said Charles Geisst, a financial historian and professor at Manhattan College. “Back then, Wall Street basically went on strike and would not issue bonds for corporations. They stomped their feet like little kids. The same thing is happening now.”

But, as Geisst noted, this is not 1934. Not even close. Big banks are not getting broken up. Nothing Obama has done equates to having created the Securities and Exchange Commission.

(W)hat about the fact that “community organizer” Obama, a Harvard Law School graduate, rammed through an extension of all the Bush tax cuts over howls from the left and is just as much a card-carrying member of the bohemian bourgeoisie as any Wall Street banker?

But Geisst also suggested the shock and disdain is something of a pose, a feint to fight off greater re-regulation.

“Their best defense here has been incredulity,” he said. “Wall Street just pretends they don’t understand what all the fuss is about and can’t believe how they are being talked about and hope that their incredulity will translate into softer treatment, which is exactly what happened here.”

Out of Lehman’s Ashes Wall Street Gets Most of What It Wants

By Christine Harper, Bloomberg News

Dec 28, 2010 12:01 AM ET

The U.S. government, promising to make the system safer, buckled under many of the financial industry’s protests. Lawmakers spurned changes that would wall off deposit-taking banks from riskier trading. They declined to limit the size of lenders or ban any form of derivatives. Higher capital and liquidity requirements agreed to by regulators worldwide have been delayed for years to aid economic recovery.

“We continue to listen to the same people whose errors in judgment were central to the problem,” said John Reed, 71, a former co-chief executive officer of Citigroup Inc., who estimated only 25 percent of needed changes have been enacted. “I’m astounded because we basically dropped the world’s biggest economy because of an error in bank management.”

U.S. President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, weeks after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed in the largest bankruptcy and the Federal Reserve and government provided unprecedented support to insurance company American International Group Inc. as well as nine of the largest banks. Obama, who raised $15 million on Wall Street, promised that his administration would “crack down on the culture of greed and scheming” that he said led to the financial crisis.

While Obama vowed to change the system, he filled his economic team with people who helped create it.


Even when changes were advocated by people who couldn’t be characterized as radical populists, their ideas were dismissed as unrealistic, misinformed, advancing ulterior motives or damaging to U.S. competitiveness.

Such tactics helped bat back suggestions from billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Vice Chairman Charles Munger that regulators ban purchases of so-called naked credit-default swaps — contracts that allow speculators to profit if a debt issuer defaults.

A suggestion that banks deemed too big to fail should be broken up or made small enough to fail — an idea backed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King and hedge-fund manager David Einhorn — also failed to win support from U.S. policy makers, as bank executives argued that size alone didn’t make a company risky and that it could be essential for banks to compete.

Even before Obama took office in January 2009, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker, an economic adviser to the president-elect, was calling for clear distinctions between banks that take deposits and make loans and those that engage in riskier capital markets businesses. The recommendation, a modern version of Glass-Steagall, was put forward in a report by the Group of 30, an organization of current and former central bankers, financial ministers, economists and financiers whose board Volcker chairs.

(I)n areas that weren’t technical, such as bonuses, the financial industry was able to resist tough regulation.

With polls showing strong popular support for limits on pay, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown pressed for a tax on banker bonuses and one on financial transactions to deter speculative trading.

Obama didn’t go that far. Instead, the administration appointed Washington lawyer Kenneth Feinberg to review pay for the 100 top executives at firms receiving “exceptional assistance” from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Feinberg ordered cuts at Bank of America, Citigroup and AIG, as well as at two bankrupt car companies and their finance divisions.

In a Bloomberg News National Poll conducted Dec. 4 through Dec. 7, 71 percent of Americans said big bonuses should be banned this year at Wall Street firms that took taxpayer bailouts, and 17 percent said bonuses above $400,000 should be subject to a one-time 50 percent tax. Only 7 percent of the respondents said they consider bonuses a reflection of Wall Street’s return to health and an appropriate incentive.

Reed, the former Citigroup executive, said he didn’t understand why lawmakers gave so much credit to arguments made by financial-industry participants whose job it is to put the interests of their shareholders above any concern for the safety of the financial system.

“I’m surprised that the people in Washington think that the stockholders are the people that they should protect,” Reed said. “It would seem to me that the people who should be protected are the overall banking system and the many, many, many companies that depend on it.”

And the fact of the matter is that their fraudulent criminal practices DON’T benefit the shareholders whose concerns are routinely ignored and overidden by Boards of Directors composed entirely of cronies of Management.  Shareholder Democracy is a joke.

These thieves don’t care about anyone but themselves.

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