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Intro: "The great mystery story in American politics these days is why, over the course of two presidential administrations (one from each party), there's been no serious federal criminal investigation of Wall Street during a period of what appears to be epic corruption."

Matt Taibbi at Skylight Studio in New York, 10/27/10. (photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
Matt Taibbi at Skylight Studio in New York, 10/27/10. (photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)



Why the Government Won't Fight Wall Street

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone Magazine

19 September 12

 

the great mystery story in American politics these days is why, over the course of two presidential administrations (one from each party), there’s been no serious federal criminal investigation of Wall Street during a period of what appears to be epic corruption. People on the outside have speculated and come up with dozens of possible reasons, some plausible, some tending toward the conspiratorial – but there have been very few who've come at the issue from the inside.

We get one of those rare inside accounts in The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins, a new book by Jeff Connaughton, the former aide to Senators Ted Kaufman and Joe Biden. Jeff is well known to reporters like me; during a period when most government officials double-talked or downplayed the Wall Street corruption problem, Jeff was one of the few voices on the Hill who always talked about the subject with appropriate alarm. He shared this quality with his boss Kaufman, the Delaware Senator who took over Biden's seat and instantly became an irritating (to Wall Street) political force by announcing he wasn’t going to run for re-election. "I later learned from reporters that Wall Street was frustrated that they couldn’t find a way to harness Ted or pull in his reins," Jeff writes. "There was no obvious way to pressure Ted because he wasn’t running for re-election."

Kaufman for some time was a go-to guy in the Senate for reform activists and reporters who wanted to find out what was really going on with corruption issues. He was a leader in a number of areas, attempting to push through (often simple) fixes to issues like high-frequency trading (his advocacy here looked prescient after the "flash crash" of 2010), naked short-selling, and, perhaps most importantly, the Too-Big-To-Fail issue. What’s fascinating about Connaughton’s book is that we now get to hear a behind-the-scenes account of who exactly was knocking down simple reform ideas, how they were knocked down, and in some cases we even find out why good ideas were rejected, although some element of mystery certainly remains here.

There are some damning revelations in this book, and overall it’s not a flattering portrait of key Obama administration officials like SEC enforcement chief Robert Khuzami, Department of Justice honchos Eric Holder (who once worked at the same law firm, Covington and Burling, as Connaughton) and Lanny Breuer, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

Most damningly, Connaughton writes about something he calls "The Blob," a kind of catchall term describing an oozy pile of Hill insiders who are all incestuously interconnected, sometimes by financial or political ties, sometimes by marriage, sometimes by all three. And what Connaughton and Kaufman found is that taking on Wall Street even with the aim of imposing simple, logical fixes often inspired immediate hostile responses from The Blob; you’d never know where it was coming from.

In one amazing example described in the book, Kaufman decided he wanted to try to re-instate the so-called "uptick rule," which had existed for seventy years before being rescinded by the SEC in 2007. The rule prevents investors from shorting a stock until the stock had ticked up in price. "Forcing short sellers to wait for the price to tick up before they sell more shares gives a breather to a stock in decline and helps prevent bear raids," Connaughton writes.

The uptick rule is controversial on Wall Street – I’ve had some people literally scream at me that it doesn’t do anything, while others have told me that it does help prevent bear attacks of the sort that appeared to help finally topple already-mortally-wounded companies like Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers – but what’s inarguable is that Wall Street hates the rule. Hedge fund types or employees of really any company that engages in short-selling will tend to be most venomous in their opinions of the uptick rule.

Anyway, Connaughton and Kaufman were under the impression that new SEC chief Mary Schapiro would re-instate the uptick rule after taking office. When she didn’t, Kaufman wrote her a letter, asking her to take action. When that didn't do the trick, he co-sponsored (with Republican Johnny Isakson) a bill that would have required the SEC to take action.

Nothing happened, and months later, Kaufman gave a grumbling interview to Politico about the issue. One June 30, the paper’s headline read: "Ted Kaufman to SEC; Do Your Job."

The next day, the Blob bit back. Connaughton was in the basement of the Russell building when a Senate staffer whose wife worked for Shapiro shouted at him. From the book:

"Hey, Jeff, you’re in the doghouse." He meant: with his wife. "Why?" I asked. "That Politico piece by your boss." I was taken aback but tried to downplay the matter. "We just want the SEC to get its work done." "Remember," he said. "We all wear blue jerseys and play for the Blue Team. I just don’t think that helps."

When Connaughton told Kaufman over the phone what the staffer said, Kaufman exploded. "You call him back right now and tell him I said to go fuck himself in his ear," Kaufman said.

Similarly, when Kaufman tried to advocate for rules that would have prevented naked short-selling, Connaughton was warned by a lobbyist that it would be "bad for my career" if he went after the issue and that "Ted and I looked like deranged conspiracy theorists" for asking if naked short-selling had played a role in the final collapse of Lehman Brothers. Naked short-selling is another controversial practice. Essentially, when you short a stock, you're supposed to locate shares of that stock before you go out and sell it short. But what hedge funds and banks have discovered is that the rules provide "leeway" – you can go out and sell shares in a stock without actually having it, provided you have a "reasonable belief" that you can locate the shares.

This leads to the obvious possibility of companies creating false supply in a stock by selling shares they don't have. Without getting too much into the weeds here, there is an obvious solution to the problem, which essentially would be forcing companies to actually locate shares before selling them. In their attempt to change the system, Kaufman and Connaughton discovered that the Depository Trust Clearing Corporation, the massive quasi-private organization that clears most all stock trades in America, had come up with just such a fix on their own. Kaufman recruited some other senators to endorse the idea, and as late as 2009, Connaughton and Kaufman were convinced they were going to get the form. "I said to Ted, 'We’re going to change the way stocks are traded in this country.'"

But before the change could be made, Goldman, Sachs issued "data" showing that there was "no correlation" between naked short selling and price movements. When Connaughton asked an Isakson staffer what the data said, the staffer, intimidated by Goldman, replied, "The data proves we're full of shit." Connaughton looked at the data and realized instantly that it was a bunch of irrelevant gobbledygook, even firing off an angry letter to Goldman telling them the tactic was beneath even them.

But Goldman’s tactic worked. A roundtable to discuss the idea was scheduled by the SEC on September 24, 2009. Of the nine invited participants, "all but one" were for the status quo. Connaughton expected the DTCC representatives to unveil their reform idea, but they didn’t:

Afterwards, I went over to [the DTCC representatives] and asked, "What happened?" Sheepishly, and to their credit, they admitted: "We got pulled back." They meant: by their board, by the Wall Street powers-that-be.

Essentially the same thing happened in Kaufman’s biggest reform attempt, the amendment to the Dodd-Frank bill he co-sponsored with Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, which would have broken up the Too-Big-To-Fail banks. But the Brown-Kaufman amendment, which was really the meatiest thing in the original Dodd-Frank bill, the one reform that really would have made a difference if it had passed, just died in the suffocating mass of the Blob. The key Democrats one after another failed to line up behind it, and in the end it was defeated soundly, with Dick Durbin, the number two man in the Democratic leadership, giving it this epitaph: "a bridge too far."

Again, those interested in understanding the mindset of the people who should be leading the anti-corruption charge ought to read this book. It's the weird lack of concern that shines through, like Khuzami’s comment that he’s "not losing sleep" over judges reprimanding his soft-touch settlements with banks, or then Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Ray Lohier’s comment that the thing that most concerned him – this is the period of 2008-2009, the middle of a historic crimewave on Wall Street – was "cyber crime."

On the outside we can only deduce the mindset from actions and non-actions, but Connaughton’s actually seen it, and with the book you get to see it too. It’s scary and definitely worth a read.

Matt Taibbi is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. He’s the author of five books, most recently The Great Derangement and Griftopia, and a winner of the National Magazine Award for commentary.

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+63 # Interested Observer 2012-09-19 10:11
Only the gloss, technology, and the potential magnitude of the inevitable disaster have improved since the days of Joseph P. Kennedy and FDR, so why are we dismantling rather than updating the laws and the enforcement mechanisms that govern Wall Street and Banking?
 
 
+26 # wantrealdemocracy 2012-09-19 13:50
That is an easy question to answer. The government (I can't say 'we' here because 'we' you and I are out of the loop) are dismantling rather than updating the laws and the enforcement mechanism that govern Wall Street and banking because Wall St. and the banks OWN THE GOVERNMENT. You thought you lived in a democracy? Guess again.....and as long as you keep voting for either of the two major political parties NOTHING WILL CHANGE. The change has to start with YOU! YOU have to stop sending the same corrupt creatures back to Congress to enjoy making profit off of your misery---and of course of all those people on the receiving end of our weapons of mass destruction.
 
 
+5 # jlohman 2012-09-19 17:01
Campaign cash (bribes!) which benefits ALL industries! That's why.
 
 
+9 # HowardMH 2012-09-19 10:30
Until there are two hundred thousand really, really pissed off people on Capital Hill (all at the same time) raising some serious hell absolutely nothing is ever, ever going to happen to these totally bought and paid for by the richest 50 people in the world that are becoming more and more powerful with each passing rigged election thanks to the stupid people.
 
 
+74 # chrisconnolly 2012-09-19 10:31
And we continue to think we are so much better than all those lesser countries we look down our noses at. These wall street extorters and supporters are ethically and morally nothing more than very rich unfettered Mexican police.
 
 
+79 # wwway 2012-09-19 10:33
For more than 100 years Corporations and the wealthy have waged a legal class war on Americans. They can buy lawmakers and write legislation for those lawmakers to approve. The government only has the teeth provided by lawmakers. The SEC and Justice Department perview is dictated by congress. It's budget is also provided by congress. If our law makers want social/politica l/economic anarchy they need only to weaken and starve the watch dog.
 
 
+10 # LeeBlack 2012-09-19 11:14
It must be backlash from this class of people to the reforms of Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, the Fair Deal.
 
 
+29 # Virginia 2012-09-19 11:32
Just take a look at the financial disclosure statements of Congress on OpenSecrets.org . The majority of them, as well as the judiciary (federal AND state) would be financially ruined by Wall Street reforms. It's hard to pursue and lock up your dealer when he provides the drug you crave the most...money.
 
 
+27 # Patch 2012-09-19 11:01
As long as it takes millions of dollars to be elected to office Wall Street will rule the day. Fix the election system, putting a cap on spending or some other such thing and then politicians can rein in Wall Street. (Unfortunately, this is quite unlikely to happen.)

In conjuction with this book, I urge people to read "Predator Nation" by Charles Ferguson. (He made the award winning film, "Inside Job.") This book names those to blame for the financial debacle and what should be done about it.
 
 
+13 # Erdajean 2012-09-19 11:04
We have two cast-in-iron political parties run by the very shysters who MUST be regulated. THEY decide who may run for public office so NO ONE who favors regulating anything can even be a candidate.

They and their cronies (through deregulation!) now control the media so there is NO amplified voice of dissent.
Through our misplaced trust and inattention, we come to the situation that we face in November -- no friend out there, for Working America. The sacred ideal of the plutocracy is an Old Plantation system where all of us must BEG to serve them for some dry bread for our children.

It's rigged so that every time we wiggle, the chains just get tighter.

The way out of this will be neither peaceful, safe nor easy. There are still many who want peace at all costs, and they won't help us but will blame us for their inevitable discomfort, 'cause no matter what "good folks" they may be, they'll never get the keys to the Fat Cats' Kingdom.

As long as MONEY has a word to say, in human affairs, justice does not stand a chance.
 
 
-22 # dickmail 2012-09-19 11:13
It seems that the author missed the main point. That is to say the bureacracy in DC such as the Treasury Dept., Justice Dept. NSA, and others are dominated by Ashkenazim who also dominate Wall Street. Further, AIPAC controls congress. How or why would anybody in their right mind expect any changes from this corrupt system in its current modus operendi?
 
 
+13 # Independentgal 2012-09-19 15:22
Your comment should be deleted, you bigot. It probably got through the reviewers because they don't see what you're doing with your choice of words. For those who aren't Jewish, or have very little knowledge about the Jewish people, the word Ashkenazim means Jews from Eastern and Central Europe.
 
 
-7 # dickmail 2012-09-19 20:23
IN reality the Ashkenazim are members of Judaism in name only. First and foremost the are an international mafia.
 
 
+7 # dkonstruction 2012-09-20 10:50
Quoting dickmail:
IN reality the Ashkenazim are members of Judaism in name only. First and foremost the are an international mafia.


The only international mafia (beside the Cosa Nostra) is international capital (i.e., capitalism/capi talists) which has been killing millions and oppressing billions for hundreds of years (depending on when one dates the origins/rise of/domiance of capital).

As for us Ashkenazim being Jews "in name only"...the only thing we need to know is that if and when the fascists (like yourself) ever come to power in this (or any other country) they won't care whether you are Ashkenazim, Sephardic or Eskimo you will still round all of us up and march us to the camps and into the gas chambers at which point the only question will be how many of you can we take with us. In the meantime, we will continue to fight fascists such as yourself, not because we think we can win but rather because you are fascists.
 
 
-2 # dickmail 2012-09-21 12:27
dkonstruction you need to learn the definition of fascisism. You are so far off of reality that you are making a fool of yourself
 
 
+6 # dkonstruction 2012-09-20 10:44
Right, and i'll bet you believe in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as well. This is tired, worn out anti-semitic nonsense meant to distract the vast majority that have been and continued to be screwed by capitalism (or the 1% if you prefer) such that they blame the big "other" (just as the right-wing tries to blame minorities and poor folks) instead of looking at (and fighting against) those that are truly screwing them. Luckily, the demographic changes in this country will soon make you and your ilk a dinosaur and people will no longer be fooled by your naked bigotry and goals to confuse people by obfuscating the truth of who really controls not only this country but all of the rest of the developed capitalist world as well which, sorry to disappoint you, isn't the Jews or any other ethnic minority that you might try and scapegoat.
 
 
+14 # SMoonz 2012-09-19 11:17
"The key Democrats one after another failed to line up behind it, and in the end it was defeated soundly, with Dick Durbin, the number two man in the Democratic leadership, giving it this epitaph: 'a bridge too far.'"

I have written letters to my Congressperson and my Senator (I live in California) regardind the issue of financial reform, as well as other issues and always got a scripted reply. Hinting they would consider or look into it but in the end either ignoring a reform or voting against it.

I'm a Democrat and my representatives are Democrat and after seeing how my elected officials ignore their constituents it is easy to see that they are in the pockets of the big donors and the Wall Street corporations.

So what will a full Democratic majority get us? Not much as Matt Taibbi shows us. Maybe it's time we look at votind differently. I know I have...
 
 
+9 # jwoodchase 2012-09-19 22:50
So what will a full Democratic majority get us? Not much as Matt Taibbi shows us. Maybe it's time we look at votind differently. I know I have...

Since I am totally disillusioned by both parties, especially in the light of Matt Taibbi's article, I would like to ask SMoonz how he is looking at voting differently. Do you mean we should push for a third (or fourth) party, as is current in many other countries? If so, I agree! However, how will you solve the problem of financing it without falling into the trap of corruption? Some day, somehow we must reform our campaign financing system. But since such a reform would have to be legislated by the very people who profit from the present corrupt system, don't hold your breath!
 
 
+14 # Virginia 2012-09-19 11:28
The latest theme of good Democrats like Connaughton and Barofsky seems to be the same... The advisers within the Obama administration are standing in the way of decent Wall Street reform and investigation. Reading how and why good women left Obama in the earlier days of the administration the same sentiments were expressed. It's been obvious for a long time Geithner Must Go and take the Goldman Sachs crowd with him.
 
 
+13 # James Marcus 2012-09-19 11:37
Is this collusion STILL a surprise? WAKE UP!
Washington, and Wall Street are 'Brothers in Crime'; Both 'Co-operative Elements' for 'The Powers That Be' (The Big Money). They are working, together, exactly as intended by 'The Money' that owns them.
Follow The Money!! Through the Big Banks, through the FED and Bank of England, onward, UPward, through the IMF and World Bank..to The Big Boys...who you rarely see, or hear from (They 'Make Phone calls', write Very Large Checks...and never Dirty Their Own Hands).
But, Their Will... is being done..on Earth, if not in Heaven.
Our 'Representative s' do not represent 'We, The People', and Wall Street, is not a 'Free' market place.
Please stop being surprised by the deliberate 'sellout'.
 
 
-3 # John Somebody 2012-09-19 11:42
Hang on, Vwway,
government by thugs and gangsters is government.
From the Greek, An, (meaning without), and Archos, (meaning government), gives us, literally, NO government.

No government, means self control, personal responsibility, and the chance to learn from mistakes.

What happens when you are governed, if not that you do as you are told, so you don't have responsibility for what you do.That's the recipe for chaos, with everybody blaming somebody else.
 
 
+2 # dkonstruction 2012-09-20 14:28
Quoting John Somebody:
Hang on, Vwway,
government by thugs and gangsters is government.
From the Greek, An, (meaning without), and Archos, (meaning government), gives us, literally, NO government.

No government, means self control, personal responsibility, and the chance to learn from mistakes.

What happens when you are governed, if not that you do as you are told, so you don't have responsibility for what you do.That's the recipe for chaos, with everybody blaming somebody else.


To be precise, Archos refers to a ruler and not necessarily a gov't and so the notion of a participatory, democratic form of decision making (i.e., governance or gov't) is not necessarily in contradiction with the philosophy of anarchism...and no governement does not inherently mean or lead to "self control,persona l responsibility and the chance to learn from mistakes." Anarchism is clearly against "the state" (but then so is Marx in his definiton of communism) but that does not mean that the state as we have come to know it is the only possible for of governance/gov' t.
 
 
+7 # RLF 2012-09-19 12:01
The government would rather fine the companies,getti ng money for themselves and when these institutions raise fees, we all have to pay for these fines...essenti ally regressive taxation. We have to get rid of the wall between personal and corporate wealth in cases of fraud. But nothing will happen until the population gets mad enough to put these guys heads in a guillotine.
 
 
+4 # stonecutter 2012-09-19 12:21
"Again, those interested in understanding the mindset of the people who should be leading the anti-corruption charge ought to read this book."

What's to further understand, after years of damning revelations regarding the massive scope of naked predation and corruption by the TBTF casinos...er... banks, answered predictably by galactic inertia from the "Justice" Department, which has consciously decided to "ape" the 3-Orangutan tribunal--Speak , See and Hear-No-Evil--w ho ignored Charleton Heston's rational pleadings in the original "Planet of the Apes"? (I know someone's gonna accuse me of racism for using this metaphor, but you can stuff that you know where).

Unless you're in a coma or on bath salts, it's apparent the Justice system, from Obama to Holder down the line, has simply looked the other way, not only to minimize any drought in the campaign lettuce crop, but also to avoid a prolonged, withering legal spotlight on the sausage-factory inner shenanigans of America's still premier industry, Wall Street. It sends a cynical message to legions of young people trying to find their way around this screwed up world, to figure out how stuff really works, the diff between "right" and "wrong", assuming they're not in the slothful, victimized 47% who just want to suck on that government headlight. So what? Relax; if anything, the last 30 years have guaranteed that when it comes to giving a shit, the old Sinatra flick comes to mind, "Never So Few".
 
 
-18 # dickmail 2012-09-19 13:07
Ashkenazim control both Washington DC and Wall Street. Why would anybody expect them to fight each other?
 
 
+2 # Independentgal 2012-09-20 13:35
You've spouted your bigotry enough. Just zip it!!!
 
 
-4 # dickmail 2012-09-21 12:29
Independentgal: It's sad that you can reply with name calling only. The truth must hurt you deeply.
 
 
+24 # carpepax 2012-09-19 14:13
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." - John F. Kennedy
 
 
+20 # tshette 2012-09-19 14:44
As if it wasn't obvious already, trying to take on "The Blob" of Wall Street also involves taking on the Congress of the US which is so inter-related that there seems to be little difference between the two.
Ours is not a Democracy. Plutocracy, Corporatocracy, Bankocracy or Richocracy are closer to the truth. We have lost control of our government, and unless there are very fundamental changes made soon we have essentially lost everything good on which our country was founded. It may be too late, but a last ditch effort should be made to put the people behind bars who caused and continue to cause financial crises for our country and the world. Occupy America. We need to take it back.




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+4 # perkinsej 2012-09-19 14:46
I think the Justice Dept. did being a couple of Wall Street crooks to trial several years ago, but the naive jury let them off. That result discouraged further action. These deals so complex that few citizens can understand all the evidence so they give the crooks the benefit of the doubt.
 
 
+4 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-09-19 14:47
Leaving absolutely no doubt about who’s really running the USA, & for whose benefit. 
 
 
+10 # natalierosen 2012-09-19 15:13
I read Matt Taibbi ALL the time. I love him. Why is it though when I first read him my heart races then when I get to the end of what he writes eviscerating quite correctly the Wall Street SLIME who get away with literally economic MURDER, I need to reach for a Prosac because I am of course so gd depressed!
 
 
+10 # lorenbliss 2012-09-19 15:58
The only surprise in these disclosures is that so many people find them surprising. After all, it's just capitalism -- the negation of all morality and the elevation of maximum greed to ultimate virtue -- and the protection of the capitalists by capitalist governance: absolute power and unlimited profit for the Ruling Class, total subjugation and genocidal poverty for all the rest of us.
 
 
+9 # dbriz 2012-09-19 19:07
What you erroneously describe as "capitalism" is more approximate of mercantilism with a strong touch of the kind of corporatism found in Italy and Germany under the fascists.

Capitalism in this country exists in name only.

It's kind of like someone said of our Constitution, ..."it's a pretty good document, maybe we ought to try and follow it..."

Your statement, "...the protection of the capitalists by capitalist governance: absolute power and unlimited profit for the Ruling class..." is almost a textbook definition of fascism.

Capitalism may have some flaws, but what we are dealing with today sure ain't capitalism.

Would that it was.
 
 
0 # dkonstruction 2012-09-20 13:09
"Capitalism in this country exists in name only."...surely you jest...if by this you mean that we don't have a "free market" here well there has never been one; it's a complete myth. Whether you are talking about the railroads (that got free or cheap i.e., gov't subsidized land) to silicon valley (that didn't happen because of whiz kids in their basement but rather gov't defense contracts) capitalism only developed and has been maintained due to gov't intervention and assistance.

Fascism is a particular political regime of capitalism; a form of capitalist rule/governance but it in no way describes the underlying economic system which remained capitalist i.e., a system based on wage-labor and the private ownership and control of the means of production).

And, while it is certainly true that there are "neo-merchantil ist" elements to contemporary global capital capitalism as a whole or as a system hasn't been truly merchantilist for a couple of hundred years.
 
 
0 # dbriz 2012-09-20 16:26
You have presented an argument in search of someone to have it with.

You have stated nothing that disagrees with my premise at all.

Capitalism doesn't and never has existed in this country. Certainly not since Henry Clay's "American System" came to fruition.

You agree that we have "elements" which are "neo-mercantili st" (a commendable turn of phrase BTW) in our present system.

Unless I misread you, or you misread me, I see nothing in your reference to fascism that is not consistent with my comments.

I suspect you sniff a pro-capitalist tint to my remarks and it lit a fuse to your sense of egalitarianism.
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2012-09-21 08:16
Quoting dbriz:
You have presented an argument in search of someone to have it with.

You have stated nothing that disagrees with my premise at all.

Capitalism doesn't and never has existed in this country. Certainly not since Henry Clay's "American System" came to fruition.

You agree that we have "elements" which are "neo-mercantilist" (a commendable turn of phrase BTW) in our present system.

Unless I misread you, or you misread me, I see nothing in your reference to fascism that is not consistent with my comments.

I suspect you sniff a pro-capitalist tint to my remarks and it lit a fuse to your sense of egalitarianism.


dbriz, i wasn't looking to have an argument at all and i suspect we agree to a certain degree but was reacting to your comment that what we have now is not capitalism and to the idea that at one point we had a "free market" capitalist system that has been replaced by something else (whether you call it merchantilism or anything else). My own view is simply that the current system we live under (now global) is still very much capitalist and is very consistant with capitalism from its very beginnings and throughout its development.... doesn't mean that there haven't been significant changes as there certainly have but i don't think this makes the current system not capitalist in any way, shape or form.
 
 
0 # hoodwinkednomore 2012-09-23 00:16
So what is your point, exactly, dbriz?
 
 
+1 # USA2012??? 2012-09-19 17:11
There is an old adage that seems appropriate for the current mindset in the financial community: "Never bite the hand that feeds you."
 
 
+12 # walt 2012-09-19 17:27
The question was already answered. As Bernie Sanders said, "Congress doesn't control Wall Street, Wall Street controls Congress."

Is anyone ready to change that?
 
 
+14 # KDRmerica 2012-09-19 17:55
When other countries like Russia do these things it's called CORRUPTION and denounced. When America does it they call it LOBBYING which we all know is code for LEGALIZED CORRUPTION.
 
 
+1 # MindDoc 2012-09-19 19:22
IMHO - The "Cliff's Notes" version of the answer to the title question of "Why the Government Won't Fight Wall Street" is clear. Answer: Because Government today is the enemy of all (rhetorically), and moreover, because Government *is* Wall Street, with Congressional "representative s" beholden to patrons and now-anonymous sponsors, and a system of pay-to-play.

Were government by, of, and for "We the People", we'd be much more optimistic, and for good reason. As it stands now, this election is not only about who's been brainwashed by spin and party loyalties more successfully, but a referendum on the proposition that we are a people with *representation * of our (individual and collective) needs as citizens. So the short answer to the question is simple, and clear: Government *is* Wall Street, as Sanders and other voices rightly note. Who is representing "We the People"? The ONLY way we can elect representatives of US is to Vote for President, and sweep out the Congress of No Apologies and No Compromise and 'no soup for you', and return to American values, like "liberty and justice for all". Government by and for *human being* people. If we grow, and share in opportunity and hope - the American dream - everyone wins. As "Chance Gardner" said in "Being There", "If the roots are strong, the tree will grow." Vote for representatives of WE the PEOPLE.
 
 
+2 # cordleycoit 2012-09-19 19:27
How come these crooks get cover from the White House, hell they pay the mortgage. How come no one writes about the fall of the Bank of New York Russian Mafia and all? Matt there's blood in the water.
 
 
+1 # C.H.Winslow 2012-09-19 20:00
In escalatory feedback mechanisms that inevitably result from Wall Street/Washingt on inbreeding will move along an antilogistic curve until either one or two things happen: the system runs out of resources or self-destructs. But there is a large intelligentsia in this country (really the world at large) who can see one of these outcomes on the horizon, i.e., can see the "shadow of the future". I hope the intelligentsia of good will are able to turn bend the curve toward a logistic one and build the bridge all the way to the other side. Sehr gut, Matt. Tayyib katiir, ibn Mike. Shalom, Dick.
 
 
+6 # grouchy 2012-09-20 09:10
What a great set of comments here, but how can we get this piece and these comments to the American public? What are the chances of truly and finally getting the understanding of this matter to the folks who go out to vote? I'd like to point out that one element that hasn't been stolen by the damned crooks is our ABILITY TO VOTE--well, not stolen YET!
 
 
0 # RICHARDKANEpa 2012-09-22 08:30
What would have happened to Madoff if his ponzi racket fell apart in November or maybe January when President Obama could mediate. Would he be in jail, would it still be a 150 year sentence?
 
 
0 # Scott479 2012-09-22 22:06
The criminality is clearly systemic. As has been said-organized crime and organized money's one and the same.
 

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