By Pam Martens: October 9, 2012
Obviously, back in 2008, when Wall Street was dumping millions into the campaign of Barack Obama, it didn’t ask for a prenup. The honeymoon went smoothly for a while, with Wall Street quite content to have slap-on-the-wrist Mary Schapiro sitting atop the SEC and Tim Geithner, the former sugar-daddy of bailouts from the New York Fed, holding down the fort at the U.S. Treasury.
But then came Dodd-Frank, the Volcker Rule, regulation of derivatives, quips about fat-cats from the President and a big-money divorce. Today, reports the Wall Street Journal, Wall Street and financial services firms have given a tepid $12 million to President Obama’s campaign versus the $43 million they gave in 2008. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has received over $24 million from the slimmed down fat-cats in this election cycle.
During the first presidential debate, Romney had this to say about the passage of Dodd-Frank: “It’s the biggest kiss that’s been given to New York banks I’ve ever seen.”
Romney obviously knows less about kisses than he does about the humane methods of transporting a dog from point A to point B. The biggest smooch in history to Wall Street was the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act under the Clinton administration, allowing the New York firms to get their hands on a huge chunk of the Nation’s insured deposits. The trillions pumped into those very same banks in bailout loans of less than 1 percent interest by Tim Geithner’s New York Fed also hit a new high-water mark in the kiss category.
Defending the enactment of Dodd-Frank, President Obama said: “Does anyone out there think that the big problem we had is that there was too much oversight and regulation of Wall Street?”
Has the President not heard of the Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan and his radical army of Ayn Randians? Not only do these folks believe that regulation was the pivotal problem but they are pumping out papers and books with crazy theories to support that view.
After oil billionaires Charles and David Koch launched a fierce court battle earlier this year to plant their own Ayn Rander in Chief at the libertarian Cato Institute, John Allison, the newly installed Cato president quickly published his book: The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism Is the World Economy’s Only Hope. In that book he says: “The claim that the financial industry was deregulated is a myth…” and goes on to espouse markets unencumbered by government meddling.
I have one thought for the Wall Street mega bundlers and funders of the candidacy of the Romney/Ryan duo: the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.