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Taibbi writes: "Minds are changing on Too Big to Fail. A month ago, it was just something in the air. Now, it looks like we're headed for a real legislative confrontation. And man, is the finance sector freaking."

Matt Taibbi. (photo: Current TV)
Matt Taibbi. (photo: Current TV)

Too-Big-to-Fail Takes Another Body Blow

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

02 May 2013


inds are changing on Too Big to Fail. A month ago, it was just something in the air. Now, it looks like we're headed for a real legislative confrontation. And man, is the finance sector freaking.

Last week, on April 24th, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Louisiana Republican David Vitter introduced legislation called the "Terminating Bailouts for Taxpayer Fairness Act of 2013 Act," or the "Brown-Vitter TBTF Act" for short. The bill is a gun aimed directly at the head of the Too-Big-To-Fail beast.

During the Dodd-Frank negotiations a few years ago, Brown teamed up with Delaware Democrat Ted Kaufman to introduce an amendment that would have physically capped the size of the biggest banks. The amendment was bold and righteous but was slaughtered on the floor by a 61-33 margin, undermined by leaders of both parties - 27 Democrats voted against it.

Brown-Vitter offers a different and, in a way, more elegant solution to the problem than Brown-Kaufman. Rather than impose size limits, it simply insists that banks with over $500 billion in assets maintain higher capital reserves than are currently required. Companies like J.P. Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Bank of America will have to keep capital reserves of about 15 percent, about twice the current amount.

The bill only has such tough requirements for just those few megabanks, which sounds unfair, except that the aim of the bill, precisely, is to level the playing field. Right now, the biggest U.S. banks enjoy a massive inherent market advantage in that they're able to borrow money far more cheaply than other banks, because everybody on earth knows the government will never let them fail and will always bail them out in a pinch, making their debt essentially U.S.-government guaranteed. Studies have shown that these banks borrow money at about 0.8 percent more cheaply than other banks, and that this implicit government subsidy is worth about $83 billion a year just to the top 10 banks in America. This bill would essentially wipe out that hidden subsidy and make the banks bailout-proof.

As soon as Brown-Vitter was introduced, a very interesting thing happened. The Independent Community Bankers of America, or ICBA, issued a press release boosting the bill. "ICBA strongly supports this legislation," the release read, "and urges all community banks to join the association in advocating passage of legislation to end too-big-to-fail."

This was a big thing. It was the first time since the crisis that a prominent financial industry group opposed the will of the TBTF banks. I remember covering Dodd-Frank and being told by a number of members in the House and the Senate that the sentiment of many community bankers was for breaking up or at least curtailing the power of companies like Chase and Bank of America, but that the community banking lobby was not yet prepared to take that step.

But now, after the London Whale, the LIBOR scandal, the outrageous HSBC settlement and nearly five years of rapacious market-dominating behavior by these state-backed banks, the community banks have finally split off from TBTF.

This is another in a series of defections on this issue that in the past year has included many Republican politicians, numerous important financial regulators (even the New York Fed has taken a semi-stand against TBTF) and, hilariously, the creator of Too-Big-To-Fail himself, former Citigroup CEO and legendary lower-Manhattan raging asshole Sandy Weill. Weill was the man for whom the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed back in the nineties, so that his already-completed Citigroup merger could be legalized. But even he came out last year and said we have to break up the banks.

Naturally, there was going to be a response to Brown-Vitter from Wall Street. And we got it last week, shockingly not from one of the banks or a lobbying firm connected to the banks, but from the Standard and Poor's ratings agency - supposedly a strict, humorlessly conservative auditor that should always abhor risk and look favorably upon greater safety and security. The very fact that such a company came out against a bill forcing banks to have safer balance sheets is in itself absolute proof of how completely fucked and corrupt our current system is.

The S&P report, entitled "Brown-Vitter Bill: Game-Changing Regulation For U.S. Banks", is so incredibly hysterical in its tone that, reading it, one cannot help but deduce that people on Wall Street are genuinely afraid of this bill. The paper essentially hints that forcing banks to retain more capital could lead to world financial collapse, the onset of a new Ice Age, mammoths roaming Nebraska, etc. "The ratings implications of the Brown-Vitter bill, if enacted, for all U.S. banks would be neutral to negative," the report read. In the second paragraph, it reads:

If congress enacts the bill as proposed, Standard and Poor's Ratings Services would have concerns about the economic impact on banks' creditworthiness stemming from the transition to substantially higher capital requirements.

Having a ratings agency bent to monopolistic bank influence give a bad rating to a piece of legislation designed to . . . curb monopolistic bank influence is a bad surrealistic joke, like a Rene Magritte take on lobbying - Ceci n'est pas une Too-Big-To-Fail!

Remember, one of the primary causes of the financial crisis in the first place was the corruption of the independent ratings agencies. In the crisis years, companies like S&P and Moody's and Fitch were so desperate to avoid losing business from the big investment banks (who paid the ratings firms to rate products like mortgage-backed securities) that these companies often gave embarrassingly overenthusiastic grades to a generation of toxic assets.

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in its final report placed blame for the crisis squarely on the shoulders of these firms. "The three credit rating agencies were key enablers of the financial meltdown. The mortgage-related securities at the heart of the crisis could not have been marketed and sold without their seal of approval," the FCIC report read. "This crisis could not have happened without the rating agencies."

So intellectually compromised ratings agencies were guilty before, because they were too quick to help Too-Big-To-Fail banks sell bad products into the world marketplace.

Now, an intellectually-compromised ratings agency is helping sell the very Too-Big-To-Fail system in an attempt to beat back a reform bill - an agency that once stated explicitly that it does not take public positions on legislation.

Years ago, Standard and Poor's was involved a similar situation. In the mid-2000s, the Senate was considering creating a regulatory body with receivership powers that could have oversight over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. S&P, seemingly doing the bidding of Fannie and Freddie (which wanted no part of any new regulatory oversight), warned that such legislation might lead to a downgrade of the so-called Government-Sponsored Entities, or GSEs. In other words, if you pass this bill, we're going to take a financial axe to Fannie and Freddie.

When then-Senator John Sununu asked then-S&P president Kathleen Corbet if it didn't seem to her like the ratings agency was meddling in the legislative process by issuing such a dire warning, Corbet testily replied in the negative.

"First of all, Senator," she said. "Standard & Poor's does not advocate positions on any legislation."

With that in mind, here are some of passages from S&P's new report, "Brown-Vitter Bill: Game-Changing Regulation For U.S. Banks":

If the requirements force banks to deleverage, a credit crunch could ensue and the U.S. economy might be thrown off course . . . the U.S. banking industry could become less competitive in world financial markets . . . All in all, the bill's goal of ending TBTF could lead to unintended consequences - a destabilized financial system.

So Standard and Poor's does not advocate positions on any legislation, mind you. It just thinks the world as we know it will end if this particular bill passes.

In reality, of course, about the only things that would be "destabilized" if TBTF ended would be the compensation packages for a small group of overpaid banking executives like Jamie Dimon. Another consequence might be that ratings agencies would actually have to work for a living, and earn reputations for honesty and integrity in the market, instead of getting endless streams of free money from big banks to give sparkly AAA ratings to every half-baked security or derivative instrument their obese, Fed-fattened clients cranked out.

Some of the other arguments in the report were amazing. Standard and Poor's seemed particularly concerned about the effect such a bill would have on banks' ability to raise money, either by borrowing or by selling stock:

We see broad implications for investors in bank-funding instruments, both debt and equity. For instance, so far, bank equity investors have not been totally enthusiastic about the pace and scope of financial regulation, particularly in relation to expected returns on equity. The draft legislation is hardly making it more attractive, in our view, and the prospect of lower returns and considerable dilution is likely to turn equity investors away.

This doesn't sound like it, but it's really an extraordinary passage. The ratings agency here is admitting that banks that have the implicit support of the United States government and have virtually unlimited access to free cash from the Federal Reserve are still having trouble getting people to invest in their futures.

Rather than finding in that fact a shocking and horrific truth that desperately requires public action - that even the awesome advantages of Too-Big-To-Fail no longer outweigh the fear investors have about the big banks' opaque accounting and risk-heavy business strategies - S&P instead concludes that it's somehow worse to fix the problem than it is to allow these cancerous firms to continue to underperform under the current system.

The report goes on to talk about the consequences for such banks in a world where they would have trouble raising the needed cash. "Faced with little to no access to equity markets," S&P writes, "the largest banks would be forced into asset sales, divestitures, or would simply need to break up."

Right. That, or they could reform their compensation structures and freeze dividends during their transitions from casino operations to actual job-creating, business-supporting banks. But since paying themselves less could not possibly be contemplated, executives from the biggest banking firms probably would jump straight to mass breakups if the bill passed.

"They're basically saying, 'How do you expect bankers to keep up their extravagant lifestyles and meet these crazy safety standards?'" is how one analyst put it to me.

There are many other loony arguments in the report. It claims that by going farther than the Swiss Basel III international accords would in demanding bank safety, the U.S. would be "abandoning its seat in global banking reform," which might make the U.S. banking industry "less competitive in world financial markets." But this is exactly the opposite of the truth - by taking these bold steps, the U.S. would very much be acting as a leader in global banking reform, and the increased safety and transparency of our banking system would make our banks more competitive globally, not less.

But the craziest part of the S&P report, to me, is the conclusion. "It is tempting to assume that we would raise credit ratings because higher capital increases creditworthiness to bondholders," the agency writes. "However . . ."

Here the S&P is saying: "You might think, just because we're a ratings agency that's supposed to always think safety and security are good things, that we think increased safety and security for these banks is a good idea. However . . ."

So what's the "However"? Well, it talks about the banks having a lessened ability to lend (although they're not lending now - they're still sitting on over a trillion and a half dollars in excess reserves just in their Fed accounts!), about the growth of shadow banks, about decreased profitability of the big-six banks. But then they come to their big money-shot conclusion:

Under our methodology, we would potentially no longer factor in government support if we believed that once large banks are broken up, we would not classify these banks as having high systemic importance.

Translated into English, what they mean is: If this bill passes, these banks would no longer be Too Big To Fail. So we'd probably have to downgrade them.

Well - duh!

Not only is this an explicit admission that Dodd-Frank didn't fix the Too-Big-To-Fail issue (Wall Street has long insisted that Dodd-Frank was more than sufficient to deal with the "moral hazard" problem), it's a crazy thing to say out loud. S&P writes about having to factor out the implicit government backing of big banks as though that would be a bad thing. But if implicit government support is the only thing keeping the ratings of these companies even as high as they are now, that means they really should be rated lower, in a true free market.

And Standard and Poor's is, what - against admitting that?

It's nuts. A true capitalist auditor would be sick to the point of vomiting at having to upgrade a company based upon its sleazy co-dependent relationship with the government. This report expresses just the opposite, and shows how backwards things have gotten on Wall Street.

I've talked to a number of people on the Hill and in finance in the finance sector in the last week and they all say the same thing. The tone of reports like this S&P thing, and op-eds by other bank-friendly critics, are more strident and desperate than we've seen previously and suggest a genuine fear that this bill may pass.

There are others who think that the bill isn't designed to pass, that it's more designed to bully the banks into supporting Dodd-Frank and/or the Basel accords, which banks spent fortunes lobbying against but are now, humorously, suddenly being hailed in the finance sector as sensible and perhaps-sufficient solutions to Wall Street's problems.

But even some of those critics admit that there are endgames here where Brown-Vitter makes it out of the Senate Banking Committee (where South Dakota Democratic chair Tim Johnson is currently seen as an obstacle to this bill passing) and goes to a vote, where of course anything might happen. The banks, after all, know that their current level of popular support outside of their cash-buttressed Beltway bubble is hovering somewhere between nuclear waste and bowel cancer. A public referendum on their continued state-sponsored existence is not in any way desirable, even if it's a longshot to pass.

"The prospect already has the industry quaking in its boots," writes Darrell Dellamaide of USA Today.

Things are getting interesting. your social media marketing partner


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+115 # MainStreetMentor 2013-05-02 18:28
I hope it's true - I hope it passes ... BUT ... there MUST NOT BE any portion of the bill that exempts the criminal actions of fraud by those TBTF banks, and/or their subsidiaries from prosecution and NO "settlements". Let's listen to the questions of Senator Elizabeth Warren being answered by regulators. Fire all of them. Then, go directly after the banks with a NEW set of regulators - and the Senate commission with the right to subpoena!
+83 # brux 2013-05-02 21:51
And get the money back too !
+37 # Walter J Smith 2013-05-02 22:35
That will likely happen only AFTER we get a new set of Senators replacing both dominant parties.
+12 # tonywicher 2013-05-03 12:00
Maybe not. If the financial situation gets dire enough, which it is rapidly getting, we might even get action from the existing ones. Call yours.
+15 # edge 2013-05-03 05:08
TOO big to fail, does that apply to the Fed?

Forget China the Fed owns more of our debt than any a long shot!
They are buying 85 billion EVERY month, this is a sham!

Who will take the LOSS when they unwind these positions...THE TAXPAYER!

I don't hear any crying about the Fed, but they make Goldman, Citi, ING, etc look like chump change!
+20 # flippancy 2013-05-03 08:21
Quoting edge:
TOO big to fail, does that apply to the Fed?

Forget China the Fed owns more of our debt than any a long shot!
They are buying 85 billion EVERY month, this is a sham!

Who will take the LOSS when they unwind these positions...THE TAXPAYER!

I don't hear any crying about the Fed, but they make Goldman, Citi, ING, etc look like chump change!

The Fed is privately operated and among the private firms included in the Fed are some of those you referenced. If the Fed were government operated it would probably be more efficient and more honest. (sadly)
+12 # tonywicher 2013-05-03 12:12
What Congress needs to do is take over the Fed and convert it to a Hamiltonian National Bank for economic recovery. But the restoration of the 1933 Roosevelt Glass-Steagall in its full form (as it was before the 1980's when its sharp distinction between FDIC protected deposits and investement vehicles began to be vitiated) is essential. There is a bill in the House that specifies this, HR 129, the Return to Prudent Banking Act. It currently has 60 co-sponsors but has not yet been introduced in the Senate. It is another and I would say more precise way of breaking up the TBTF banks. Requiring greater capitalization may cause the banks to break up in a way that does not deal with the problem of the commingling of deposits with investment vehicles. It should be the law that licensed commercial banks may invest only in municipal, state and federal bonds. This is actually stronger than the original Glass-Steagall law, which specified that commercial banks could invest only in such bonds "or other investments approved by the bank examiner, who is the Comptroller of the Currency. Unfortunately this leaves open the possibility that the Comptroller of the Currency could get somehow corrupted. I suspect that this is what happened back in the 80'swhen banks were allowed to put their customer's money in money markets. Maybe Congress can put Brown-Vitter together with HR 129.
-3 # tabonsell 2013-05-03 17:21
You're going to have to clarify your assertion.

"The Fed" doesn't explain anything. The truth is that the Federal Reserve Board is a government body, not a private entity, and it operates independently from any government department, just as the CIA operates independently.

The 12 Federal Reserve Banks are private institutions whose shares are held by the banks under authority of each federal Reserve Bank. And they are regulated by the Federal Reserve Board. That the 12 main branches of the Federal Reserve System are private-sector banks should please conservatives and TeaParty nuts, but apparently doesn't.

I leaned the difference between the government Federal Reserve Board and the private-sector Federal Reserve Banks while on the job at the Los Angeles Branch of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank while working my way through college. Critics of "The Fed" (whatever that is?) have no experience in the field and less understanding.

In response to edge: "The Fed" isn't the biggest holder of our debt; that would be the Social Security Trust Fund which held about 19% of the debt, as of 2011, thanks to Ronald Reagan. "The Fed" held 11.3%; China only 8%.
+17 # jwb110 2013-05-03 08:24
Quoting edge:
TOO big to fail, does that apply to the Fed?

Forget China the Fed owns more of our debt than any a long shot!
They are buying 85 billion EVERY month, this is a sham!

Who will take the LOSS when they unwind these positions...THE TAXPAYER!

I don't hear any crying about the Fed, but they make Goldman, Citi, ING, etc look like chump change!

In truth, the Fed is a private bank but with Congressional oversight. I am not so sure that they shouldn't be able to fail should a new crash come. The number of Goldman-Sachs "graduates" who are in that Fed system gives one pause. They are all tarred with the same brush. I think the system, which came into practice with it's creation during the Hoover Depression, has to be looked at as part of an entire system that has ceased to function. Starting over, creating a new system, is the only way to fix this.
+6 # GravityWave 2013-05-03 15:16
Actually, I would be very glad if our government was too-big-to-fail and was large enough and powerful enough to take these crooks and the Fed down.
+75 # Willman 2013-05-02 18:57
The ultra low interest demanded by the bankstahs is just another in a long line of "entitlements" The recipients of these are well heeled and lobbyist rich. The average social security/medica re recipient are not as well represented in DC and is subject to republican wrath concerning "their" entitlements.
How dare the repubs act like this. They are a collective shame on our country.
+12 # Walter J Smith 2013-05-02 22:37
Those "27 Democratic Senators" who have already voted to prevent such a bill from passing do not get your attention. But the 35 or 40 Republicans do.

Oh, well, I guess some of us actually believe it was a BIPARTISAN majority who have prevented the Too Big To Govern banks from being governed.

Others just see red.
+19 # Joe Bob 2013-05-03 01:24
And you really think the Repubs give a damn ?
+20 # Walter J Smith 2013-05-02 22:33
"Brown teamed up with Delaware Democrat Ted Kaufman to introduce an amendment that would have physically capped the size of the biggest banks. The amendment was bold and righteous but was slaughtered on the floor by a 61-33 margin, undermined by leaders of both parties - 27 Democrats voted against it."

I suppose it is still news to some that half the elected democrats have long supported infinite bailouts to Too Big to Govern banks & finance industrial bohemoths.

"Brown-Vitter (TBTF Act) simply insists that banks with over $500 billion in assets maintain higher capital reserves than are currently required."

Yes, more elegant, indeed; and more precise about actually governing those sloppy criminals.

So, will there be another 27 Senate Democrats voting against it? Maybe only 25 this time.

"The ratings agency here is admitting that banks that have the implicit support of the United States government and have virtually unlimited access to free cash from the Federal Reserve are still having trouble getting people to invest in their futures."

Careful, Matt! We can't be telling too much truth too fast! The exorbitantly paid and politically pampered liars & other world class financial criminals might have a collective heart attack.

Things are getting interesting, indeed. But, remember, even if it somehow gets to the Senate floor, Harry Reid can be bought off. And if that doesn't succeed at stopping it, Obama could sign his first veto.
+28 # beardog 2013-05-02 22:52
But socialism for the rich is okay, just not for the rest of us, right? Up with fraud, down with health, they're so smart they must be right. Vote for rich republicans so the banks can trickle on you.
+33 # Farafalla 2013-05-02 22:55
Thanks Matt Taibbi for yet another insightful and well researched article. I have a hard time understanding financial jargon. But you put these things in perspective with realism and humor. TBTF and TBTJ has to end. Interestingly, credit unions are more closely regulated than these banks.
+19 # dick 2013-05-02 23:01
First, kill TBTF. Then kill TBTJail.
-4 # mdhome 2013-05-03 18:03
Will you be the one to go into the big bamks with a shotgun and blow those banksters away?
+32 # ghostperson 2013-05-03 00:00
Goody,gum drops. Even the slight specter of these grifter institutions having to follow an honest-to-god rule makes my jaded heart go pitty-pat.

They have run rough shod over the economy and purchased our leaders for so long that they probably genuinely feel entitled to the status quo and see fairness to America taxpayers as a travesty. S&P is a whore.
+26 # ER444 2013-05-03 01:51
The influence of the rating agencies goes even further. They have had the balls to rate entire European countries (Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal among them) and of course the European and American big banks in collusion rub their collective hands and have been charging up to 7 % for loans to these countries based on the meddling of private American institutions. What I really don't get is why the European political establishment doesn't tell S&P and co. to fuck off and mind their own business. Could it be the banks have "Europe" in their collective pockets as well? The European Community and the European Central bank should get their backs up and create their own rating agencies and put S&P and Moody's and Fitch out of busuness. Stuffing the banks full with cheap Euros in the hopes they will lend it to troubled Spain and co. is wishful thinking at best. The banks have gotten used to getting away with murder and need to be trimmed and tamed. This is not a free market, it is a free for all where only the TBTFs win. It is time to change the rules and create a level playing field for all players !! I suggest that Mr. Brown and Mr. Vitter call Angelika Merkel and start working together to put these gangsters out of business. Then we can watch them really shit in their pants.
+17 # cordleycoit 2013-05-03 02:34
Look like the banksters got their hopes up to have their jobs be like the Supremes' a job for life with a life time warrantee.Sort of like pardoning Jesse James in advance of a bank raid.
+28 # video4315 2013-05-03 06:36
Hmmm...Tim Johnson might oppose getting the bill out of his committee. He's from South Dakota...isn't that the state where many credit card companies have setup operations to take advantage of the state's laws? How much of Tim Johnson's campaign contributions come from TBTF banks?
+12 # M. de la Souche 2013-05-03 11:03
You have hit the nail very squarely on the head. And how exactly is it that a Senator from South Dakota comes to chair the Senate Banking Committee? Probably not what the founders had in mind with "checks and balances," but there you have it.
+15 # flippancy 2013-05-03 08:17
What's needed is "too big to be allowed to exist."
+14 # Billo 2013-05-03 08:31
How about including the phrase, "all other instruments created by or used by the banks will be subordinated to the deposits of depositors?"
+17 # reiverpacific 2013-05-03 08:45
I'm an economic nincompoop but one thing I'm glad to see in this article is the part about S.& P. being utterly corrupt and yet THEY go on being funded (by whom?).
I wish that someone would lead an attack on the whole credit-rating scam, including and especially Equifax and the other incompetent, inflexible and corrupt judge, jury and executioners who can ruin a person or small-business without any regard to their circumstances (for instance, the main cause of bankruptcy in the US is medical costs and that's many time WITH insurance _ I know first hand of what I speak!). So if you get really sick for a prolonged period, lose your job or business, in many cases you are headed for bankruptcy and destroyed credit, no matter how good it was before.
There's another part of "too big to fail" for you, and their self-promotion ("Check your credit rating ads on line daily and persistently) is disgusting.
It's all part of a circle of obfuscation and deliberate corner-cutting, corruption and manipulation for excess profit for a few, including and linked to the evil medical non-system.
How many people have had their so-called credit ruined by the current "great recession" and with the return of jobs not happening, are likely to be so for a long time? That which was caused by the very forces that are howling against any measure of reform.
Pah! Tcha! a plague on them all!
+7 # Kwamined 2013-05-03 09:26
Yes, break up the TBTF banks. More importantly, put the proven felons at Wall St. and related financial institutions in prison with their political enablers. Or, even better, shoot them on sight.
PROVEN felons are now walking free.
The chief enabler of this nonsense is POTUS Obambi. Who is so enslaved by Wall St. and other vested interests that he cannot and will not simply wave his hand at his soul brother, Eric Holder, to tell him (Holder) to prosecute the banks for their proven crimes. Or hold a Pecora Commission investigation.
I am a registered Independent 62 years of age; I've never voted for a Republican. But now I am -- like the Tea Party cretins -- stocking up on ammo. The only answer to the corporatist, plutocratic gov't is not dialogue or engagement but armed insurrection. Enough of this nonsense.
I voted for Obambi 2 times. What a mistake! The man is simply a Republican in drag.
Time to take back America, sheeple.
To arms!
+2 # tonywicher 2013-05-03 12:40
Congratulations , sir. Join the army of the second American Revolution. It's time to muster up!
+7 # tonywicher 2013-05-03 12:22
Dodd-Frank was written by bankers, for bankers. As I understand it, not only does Dodd-Frank not deal with TBTF, it changes the rules when a bank goes bankrupt by specifying that instead of the deposits being protected up to 250,000 by the government, the depositors will now be treated as unsecured creditors and their deposits can be used to bail the banks out! This is called bailing in, as opposed to bailing out, the bank. This is what happened in Cyprus and is heading this way. Instead of using taxpayer money, they used depositor money. Cyprus is an economic concentration camp at this point.
+5 # GravityWave 2013-05-03 15:28
And while we're talking about character, or the lack thereof, lets not forget all the hype from Repothugs about not wanting America to be like Europe. Except, it appears, where it comes to foolish austerity games. These crooks in Congress are so brain scrambled they can't remember which lie they tole when. So we better be able to keep track of the bull guano.
+2 # NAYNAY 2013-05-05 11:09
Watch the re-election accounts of all members of congress to find out who is taking bribes and from whom, to kill this bill. I wouldn't doubt that much cash will be offered by the big banks and the ratings agencies to get the members of congress and senate to vote against it. There is far too much legalized bribery and extortion of our elected leaders going on and it needs to stop.

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