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Politicians Are In Office But Banks Are In Power:Time To Fight Back?

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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:08 AM
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Politicians Are In Office But Banks Are In Power:Time To Fight Back?

New York, New York: Dick Durbin knows his way around the Senate. Hes been there a long time, long enough to know how things really work. Over the years, the man from Illinois has come to realize that its not the elected officials who are in charge. Last week, he said it was the bankers who run the place acknowledging that Senators may be in office, but not necessarily in power.

Usually, the people who pull the strings stay in the background to avoid too much public exposure. They rely on lobbyists to do their bidding. They prefer to work in the shadows. They may back certain politicians, but coming from a world of credit default swaps as they do, they hedge their bets by putting money on all the horses.

They have so much influence because they have been reengineering the American economy for decades through financialization, a process by which banks and financial institutions gradually came to dominate economic and political decision-making. Kevin Phillips, a one time Reagan advisor and commentator, says our deepest problem is the ascendancy of finance in national policymaking (as well as in the gross domestic product, and the complicity of politicians who really dont want to talk about it.

Curiously, despite the journalists like Bill Moyers and Arianna Huffinton who have been blowing the whistle on the role of the banksters in our political life, criticizing the Republicans and Democrats who deregulated the financial system, this issue seems to float above the heads of most of the public, much of the press, and even the activist community more drawn to punishing the torture inflicted on a few by a former Administration than the economic duress being imposed on the majority of Americans by a minority of the superrich.

Demonstrators are still drawn more to the White House than the banks that have proliferated on every corner of the country.

Last week, a Zogby poll found that a majority of the public believes the press made things worse by reporting on the economic collapse. Not only is that blaming the messenger, it also overlooks the fact that much of the media was complicit in the crisis by not covering the forces that caused the collapse when it might have done some good.

Exacerbating the problem is that the Obama Administration has, in Robert Scheers words, enlisted the very experts who helped trigger the crisis to try to fix it.

Obama, he writes seems depressingly reliant on the same-old, same old cast of self-serving house wreckers who act as if government exists for the sole benefit of corporations and executives.

The team of Tim Geithner and Larry Summers has been carrying Wall Streets water as Robert Rubin did before them. No wonder that Obamas Attorney General Eric Holder told the Street last February, Were not going to go on any witch hunts.

That was before we learned that Wall Street forced US regulators to delay the release of stress test results for the country's 19 biggest banks until next Thursday, because some of the lenders objected to government demands that they needed to raise more capital. They are trying to rig the results.

That was also before the public learned of the obscenely huge bonuses the firms benefiting from the TARP bailout were shelling out to their executives. That was before, we saw how the bankers with help from Democrats, including new convert Arlen Spector, vited managed to kill a bill to help homeowners stop foreclosures.

The Senate on Thursday rejected an effort to stave off home foreclosures by a vote of 51 to 45. It was an overwhelming defeat, with the bills backers falling 15 votes short a quarter of the Democratic caucus of the 60 needed to cut off debate and move to a final vote. Across the United States, the measure is estimated to have been able to prevent 1.69 million foreclosures and preserve $300 billion in home equity.

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biermeister Donating Member (425 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:28 AM
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1. look into H.R. 1207 (to audit the Federal Reserve) nt.
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