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Five Years After Lehman Brothers Collapsed, What’s Changed?

Five years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, we look at the bust that followed, what’s been cleaned up on Wall Street, and what has not.

Robin Radaetz holds a sign in front of the Lehman Brothers headquarters Monday, Sept. 15, 2008 in New York. Lehman Brothers, a 158-year-old investment bank choked by the credit crisis and falling real estate values, filed for Chapter 11 protection five years ago. (AP)

Robin Radaetz holds a sign in front of the Lehman Brothers headquarters Monday, Sept. 15, 2008 in New York. Lehman Brothers, a 158-year-old investment bank choked by the credit crisis and falling real estate values, filed for Chapter 11 protection five years ago. (AP)

Five years ago this week, Wall Street and the world shook when mighty Lehman Brothers bit the dust.  Collapsed in bankruptcy.  It had been a towering American finance pillar – right up there with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley and the rest, and in the same kind of business – and then, overnight, it was nothing but wreckage.  The world economy came within a hair of nightmare Depression.  And the Great Recession we did have brought loss and suffering all over.  Has Wall Street reformed?  Barely.  Could it happen again.  Incredibly, yes.  Up next On Point:  five years after Lehman.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Bethany McLean, contributing editor at Vanity Fair, columnist for Reuters and contributor at CNBC, co-author with New York Times columnist Joe Nocera of “All The Devils are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis.”

Alan Blinder, professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University, former member of the Council of Economic Advisers and former vice chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; author of “After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead.”

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: Five Years Later, Financial Lessons Not Learned — “Years of disgraceful financial shenanigans in the 2000s, some illegal but many just immoral, brought on the Great Recession with virtually no help from any co-conspirators. Congress and President Obama reacted comparatively weakly with the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, which certainly did not seek to remake the U.S. financial system. I am a big supporter of Dodd-Frank, despite its timidity, because laws must be graded on a curve. Sadly, even this good-though-weak law now seems to be withering on the regulatory vine. Far from being tamed, the financial beast has gotten its mojo back—and is winning. The people have forgotten—and are losing.”

Slate: What We Haven’t Learned From the Crisis — “This weekend marks the fifth anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ final, chaotic descent into bankruptcy. The investment bank wasn’t the first American financial institution to drown in bad bets on mortgage-backed securities. But unlike those that had come before, Lehman wasn’t covered by the FDIC and its resolution process. And despite the scrambling efforts of the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve, there was no way to quasi-save it through the kind of shotgun marriage that was deployed to sell Bear Stearns to JPMorgan Chase. Lehman was going down, and all officials could do was wait to see what happened next.”

Reuters: The Crackdown on Bank Misbehavior Masks a Troubling Reality — “By one measurement, the problem has gotten worse by an order of magnitude in recent years. In the annual letter he writes to shareholders, Robert Wilmers, the chairman and CEO of M&T Bank, has started keeping track of the fines, sanctions and legal awards levied against the “Big Six” bank holding companies. In 2011, those penalties were $13.9 billion. In 2012, they more than doubled to $29.3 billion. Wilmers writes that the past two years represent the majority of the cumulative $52 billion in charges, from 236 separate actions in eight countries, over the past 11 years. Wilmers also cites a study done by M&T, according to which the top six banks have been cited 1,150 times by the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times in articles about their improper activities. “

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  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Mr. Binder,

    Would you or will you support a law that would force profitable companies to pay dividends to their shareholders? The Federal Reserve could use some competition and “everyman capitalism” could use a shot in the arm ! No more funny money! Cash is King! No matter how you phrase it, in the end it’s all about return on equity (ROE), preservation of capital and maintaining “The Going Concern Concept”. Increasingly, these three pillars of capitalism are being dismantled by reckless and visionless, self-serving, villains.

    • thequietkid10

      I’m not Mr. Binder, but if you think that the “the corporations” are squeezing their labor force for every last penny now….just wait until we pass that law.

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        First of all I do apologize for spelling his name as Binder instead of Blinder, initially.

        I can’t tell you how many times my family, me, or people I have known have been ripped off by other’s, mishandling our money, which was usually the result of management trying to make a quick, dishonest buck. Wheeling and dealing instead of creating and building value. I would like to remind you that American workers have their retirement dollars in 401K’s and pension plans and THEY ARE NOT GETTING A RETURN ON THEIR INVESTMENTS. The profits disappear. By forcing companies to pay dividends all companies would be forced to compete for investment dollars, as it should be. Furthermore, this action would force dollars into circulation and also create a multiplier effect, where it is most needed. There are other very good reasons to require such a law.

        • Don_B1

          The latest rip-off artists (probably always have been) are many of the companies getting “Fracking” contracts from farmers, etc. They sign up with the provision that say 20% of the extract’s value goes to the farmer, then after a few months add in (reduce the payments by) the cost of “collecting” the gas and transporting it away, which (miraculously) ends up costing just a few percent less than the “value” of the gas.

          The result: the farmer or landowner ends up getting a piddling amount and faces the costs to the environment and his (families’) health on his own.

          This apparently is pervasive with companies like Chesapeake in Pennsylvania, while a Norwegian company does not do this type of shenanigan.

          • Wm_James_from_Missouri

            Yea, Norway !

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    The greatest heist in all of history. Where is justice for those who lost their life savings, their future, their hope? Their was crime no doubt, paper trails, electronic trails so why aren’t the feds unraveling the twine, pealing the onion, and tracking these crooks down! Why are these guys above the law? I’ll say it again, where are the heads on pikes lining Wall Street?

  • LinRP

    What’s changed? The bank accounts of the rich got bigger and bigger.

  • Shag_Wevera

    Nothing.

  • alsordi

    How did Bernie Madoff get away with what he was doing for so long? The fact that the victims were his best friends, and powerful people like Mort Zuckerman (who claimed he never met Madoff) tell you that Wall Street is nothing but a cynical free-for-all for the top 2%. And I would imagine that most of his closest pals knew where Bernie was laundering the money abroad.

    And this big drunken party was, and still is, funded by the Federal Reserve, the big “panata”, that creates money for the exclusive party guests, at the expense of the little people who will suffer the long-term hangover effects. And the party is still going.

    • geraldfnord

      Well, the proximate victims included feeder funds that attracted many more people looking for high returns, but not nearly as high as Madoff offered, making the investment look less dicey—and when a feeder fund is the ‘victim’, the maximum recoverable any victim can get (was it $10M in this case?) can end up being far from reasonable for the feeder’s clients, especially if the feeder fund’s managers can’t be shown to have acted in bad faith.

    • Don_B1

      I agree with everything except the bit about the Federal Reserve “funding” the party.”

      The argument that the Federal Reserve kept interest rates too low during Chairman Greenspan’s reign into Chairman Bernanke’s has little merit as the economy was not doing all that well and needed stimulus to keep it growing enough to keep unemployment from rising precipitously. Remember how few new jobs were added to the economy during the entirety of G.W. Bush’s presidency.

      Back in the early 1990s Democrats in Congress had passed a law giving the Federal Reserve the power to regulate the mortgage market, but Chairman Greenspan refused to use the power, [in]famously saying that “market forces” would correct the problems, even if they included fraud.

      In a complex economy, there are rarely single causes and sometimes an action which is necessary to correct one problem have side effects which need other actions to control. I believe that low interest rates were necessary but needed Federal Reserve oversight of the mortgage market, particularly the subprime mortgages being sold by the shadow banks and then bought up by the big investment banks to use as the foundation of the derivatives they were foisting off on pension and other funds, etc.

  • sickofthechit

    I have less faith than ever about the fairness of our system for everyday Americans.
    Dodd Frank will never be enough.
    Bring back Glass Steagall, charles a. bowsher

    • StilllHere

      Countrywide wasn’t a bank, neither were most of the entities creating sub-prime mortgages.

      • Don_B1

        It did not call itself a “bank,” but it performed most of the functions of a bank.

        That is why it and other such companies were called “shadow banks.”

        • StilllHere

          It wasn’t regulated as a bank, so changing regulations that apply to banks, such as G-S, would not impact them.

          • Don_B1

            Most of the calls for “undoing the repeal of Glass-Steagall,” such as the one by Senator Elizabeth Warren, talk about a “21st Century Glass-Steagall” which would revisit the definition of a bank, as any institution that borrowed (e.g., took deposits) short-term and loaned long-term. Today’s banking takes place more in institutions that do not have clerks behind a window accepting deposits and giving withdrawals.

            I strongly suspect that Mr. Bowsher meant it in that sense.

          • StilllHere

            During the housing boom, entities that took no deposits were significant issuers of mortgages.

          • sickofthechit

            Thank you for helping me seem more clear than I was. That is how I meant it. charles

        • StilllHere

          Being a “shadow bank” only means “shadow regulators” have responsibility. Glass Steagall wouldn’t apply.

        • StilllHere

          Shadow banks don’t fall under G S.

  • jefe68

    Not much.

    Former TARP Watchdog: ‘We’re Headed Toward Another Financial Crisis’

    http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/09/13/tarp-watchdog-banks

  • thequietkid10

    We would have been better off if we had just let everyone fail, it would have put everyone on Wal Street on notice. Bailout nation-socialize the losses capitalize the gains.

    • Jeff

      You are correct, by bailing out Wall Street we gave that industry a thumbs up and told them to keep making stupid bets with other people’s money. Another factor that should be eliminated is the government’s direct influence on the market through Fannie and Freddie…by buying the bad debt they gave the industry a sign that it was okay to sell that debt.

      • geraldfnord

        True that last, but I think it a signal in the sense that a mark inadvertently tells a con-man ‘I’m a mark,’—stupid, but not at all excusing the con-man, just as the world’s credulity doesn’t excuse any deceiver, despite an old Latin saying’ s advice….

        (See: the moral standing of tobacco marketers in decades past[?].)

        • Jeff

          In this case the con-men con’ed themselves into believing the market would only increase. If it did then everything would have been fine, even today but the problem is that people have to realize that there are bubbles and corrections do happen. This was simply a human flaw, I’m not sure there were that many actual con-men as you put it.

          • StilllHere

            If you sold a house between 2002 and 2007, you benefitted from the bubble and got a higher price than you deserved; if you bought between those times, you contributed to the bubble and erred in paying too much.

          • Jeff

            I bought my house in 2008, a bit early but I realized that the market was falling at that point. Nope I didn’t contribute to the problem.

          • thequietkid10

            And I think you and I both agree that these bubbles are caused, if not influenced greatly by Federal Government and Federal Reserve policy.

  • keltcrusader

    nothing

  • hellokitty0580

    Nothing has changed since the 2008 financial meltdown. The same institutionalized greed is directing our financial sector and our economy on the whole. It’s all about shareholders returns. Well, news flash- shareholders don’t generally make the companies successful. It’s the workers on the ground. Corporate executives’ salaries keep rising yet companies can’t afford to raise wages? Come on. And maybe we could regain some of that money through taxes, but wait! They’re the business investors! Job creators. Don’t take away their money! Um, so where are all the jobs?

    Wall St. is a rigged system. The controls that needed to be added back to the financial sector haven’t been added back and probably won’t be if democrats and liberals keep letting the neocons have their way. It’s hilarious. Neocons are against government interference in so many avenues of American life, but they sure as hell didn’t mind running to Congress with hats in hand when they placed the wrong bets.

  • MrNutso

    Since no one went to jail, I’d say nothing has changed.

    The bailout legislation should have included new regulations on banking including the return of Glass-Steagall and the breaking up of larger banks into smaller regionals or limiting their size. In accepting bailouts, the boards and executive committee’s of the banks should have been ousted and replaced by federal regulators who remain until the new regulations were implemented. Then shareholders could vote for a new board to select a new executive committee.

  • responseTwo

    Good to see NPR doing shows like this. Thanks! You have my contribution.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    So why is there no public shaming of politicians fighting the regulation of these gambling houses? These tools of the ultra wealthy say send me to Washington to protect the interests of mom and pop and then, when, they get there, they stand in the way of anything that gets in the way of their masters from screwing mom and pops and anyone else with money in investments and ensuring stability of the economy..

    • Wasnt Mee

      Big banks and financiers control the political agenda by massive donations and general support of the government. To grow, we must borrow. We cannot, (as a government that guarantees almost every home loan now) simply pay our bills. No, we must borrow utilizing the “open market” which is now about 20 or so banks. The consumer doesn’t want debt now and the banks don’t want the borrowers who apply right now. The wealthy don’t need the risk and added cost to use the banks money (even when the bank borrows at 1% from the Feds). And the bank can’t get away from the risks of a bad loan any more.

      What has happened since the Lehman failure is the complete lack of commercial paper being sold in the world. No one wants to buy commercial paper now as the entire process was tainted. Credit ratings were a joke. Regulation was worse as regulators wined and dined with those whose commercial paper.

      Banks cheated on EVERYTHING and still do. So no one wants to buy anything a bank has to offer on the commercial market. No investor wants to be holding a bad deal. That’s why we are stuck.

  • William

    The really sad part is nobody went to jail after all these years.

  • geraldfnord

    0.) Since crashes that start here hurt most of the rest of the First World harder and we recover sooner (for sufficiently powerful definitions of ‘we’) , isn’t there a perverse incentive in the short-term competitive advantage this gives us? As usual, I’ m not trying to claim conspiracy, just wondering if there is an incentive structure whose results are a set if actions we don’t like.
    1.) At any given moment how close to illegality do most big players operate? Maybe we need some ‘fence-laws’, that is laws against actions not inherently bad but nigh-inevitably lead to bad actions.

    • StilllHere

      Please in the late-90s there were financial crises that started in Mexico and South Korea.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Banks should be allowed to do things on a “whitelist”, only. I think that selling mortgages should not be on that whitelist.

    • TFRX

      Remember the real old days, when a corporation got a charter after it proved it was sound, and it could be revoked?

      There’s yer whitelist.

      • MrNutso

        Or you actually had to sit down at the local bank and lay your life out bare for review to see if you were worth lending money to or obtaining a mortgage.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Here’s a whitelist rule:

      When a stock is purchased, it has to be held in it’s entirety for a whole day.

    • StilllHere

      Which will mean only the wealthy few will be able to get mortgages.

  • hellokitty0580

    People should read “Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall St.” It’s a great read by Karen Ho. She delves into the culture of Wall Street and how it’s generated all the way back to the colleges and universities that supply the top financiers like Wharton and Sloan. It’s quite good and interesting and a fairly unbiased analysis because Ho actually went through business school and worked on Wall Street herself.

    • StilllHere

      Total crap. Look at sports, nothing but a bunch of cheaters. Look at Japanese electric utilities. Look at the military at the highest levels. Look at politics at all levels.

      • TFRX

        Sports?

        Uh, there are umpires to provide a bit of regulation there.

        Once we get rid of the umpires, Las Vegas will no longer care to make book on sporting events.

        The difference being I don’t have to bet on sporting events in Vegas, but I have to do something with my savings in order to retire.

        • jefe68

          Why bother even trying with this troll.
          He’s only here to make inane comments that contradict anything anyone who is center of the extreme right makes.

          • TFRX

            Because I like the analogy, and it makes things simple the way Joe Lunchbucket and Sally Housecoat (h/t would-be Governor Monty Burns) can understand.

            Would you watch the World Series if the players called their own balls and strikes? If that, would you buy a ticket? If even that, would you bet money on it?

      • hellokitty0580

        So have you actually read “Liquidated”? I have no idea how your comment relates to the book I am suggesting listeners read.

        • StilllHere

          Because the financial sector is no different than any other sector of human endeavor. Cheaters cheat.

          • hellokitty0580

            Yes, but different groups do things for different reasons- they have different causes for how they get to their effects. “Cheaters cheat” may be universal, but the manner in which cheaters are enabled to cheat or motivated to cheat are different and that’s worth investigating.

          • Don_B1

            Not only is the manner in which they cheat interesting, how the culture in which they live enables their rationalization of their actions as not cheating.

            It seems clear, from outward appearances at least, that many if not most Wall Street denizens really think they did nothing wrong, which means they regularly deal with cognitive dissonance at a level I cannot even imagine.

            What I have heard of Karen Ho’s book explains at least a good part of that culture.

            A good discussion took place on the MSNBC Sunday program “UP/with Chris Hayes” on 1 April 2012:

            http://upwithchrishayes.msnbc.com/_news/2012/04/01/10968786-the-ill-be-gone-youll-be-gone-financial-market-mentality

            It also discusses the “I’ll be gone, you’ll be gone” attitude that those who knew they were cheating used to convince themselves that they would not be caught.

          • StilllHere

            Yes, cheaters rationalize and don’t think they’ll get caught. That’s unique to the upper levels of the financial securities market. Right.

          • StilllHere

            Doubtful.

          • StilllHere

            I don’t think so. It’s about winning, being a winner, and then financial gain which reinforces the image of being the fittest when it comes to surviving.

          • StilllHere

            The motivation is to win and everyone defines that for themselves.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Originally posted 20 Dec 2009:

    Okay, here’s a way we could probably fix part of the banking problem: you’ve heard of credit ratings, right?

    What we need is a Lender Rating. So, when a bank has to do a foreclosure — they obviously did something wrong in lending money to that person. So, this should lower their lender’s rating, and the next loan they write should have to be on better terms for the borrower, and/or a lower interest rate.

    If they have lots of bad loans, then they need to write loans with a lot better terms for the borrower and at a lower interest rate — so that the borrower will be able to pay off the whole loan. Once the bank can show that they are writing responsible loans that work through until they are paid off — they then earn the right to raise their interest rates, or otherwise earn more profit from writing loans.

    And when there is a foreclosure, the loan should be renegotiated at the current market value of the property. This is the best result for everybody — the bank gets a fair return on the property, and the property owner who has already committed to the property gets to continue to use it. This prevents the downward spiral of property values.

    • TFRX

      “Lender Rating”?

      I’m on board, if only to have those lenders subjected to those asinine “Free” Credit Report ads.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Originally posted 23 Jan 2009:

      Any current owner of their residence should be able to “sell” their own house to themselves – and the new mortgage must be kept by the bank that refinances the transaction. It can never be sold to another institution, unless that company is in bankruptcy. The price of the “sale” should be negotiated between the (new) bank that will be financing the renegotiated deal, and the current owner/resident of the property.

      The current owner can select the bank that they want to deal with: they should be able to choose between the current institution, and any other local bank i.e. a bank that has a local office. The banks that want to underwrite the new renegotiated loan would be competing to make the new loan.

      So, if the current holder of the mortgage wants to keep their investment, they will have to negotiate a fair (current) price for the property, and the owner would have to qualify for the new loan under reasonable and transparent rules; that are set by the government.

      If the institution that is the current mortgage holder is refinancing the renegotiated mortgage, then the government doesn’t need to pay out anything.

      If the new renegotiated mortgage is being held by a
      new (local) bank, then the government can split the difference 50/50 between the old and the new mortgages, or pay half of the original mortgage, whichever is less, to the old institution; sharing the losses.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    So why did we protect the wealth and did little for the little guy? Because the wealthy own Wall Street, K street , Pennsylvania Ave and Capital Hill.

  • hellokitty0580

    There is something wrong at the foundation of financial sector. The institutions and the culture that are at the core of our system are sick. Until we get to the root of the problem, we’ll continue to have serious economic repercussions that will unfortunately be carried on the backs of average American citizens and not on the upper echelons.

    • StilllHere

      The financial sector is a reflection of human nature.

      • hellokitty0580

        I think an aspect of human nature. It’s not all human nature. There needs to be more balance.

        • StilllHere

          At its core, it’s mostly human nature.

      • MrNutso

        It’s a reflection of out of touchness.

  • nj_v2

    Everyone’s clamoring for someone to “go to jail” and to bring back more “regulation.”

    Doing so wont matter for more than a little while. Regulations come and go. As soon as a regulation is passed, everyone who would is adversely affected by it immediately begins to spend huge amounts of time, money, and effort to alter, gut, avoid, or repeal it.

    Just prosecuting “wrong doers” feels good and might have some temporary effect, but the replacements will have the same job description, with the same mandates for profit and be under the same pressure to game the system, so the cycle will, sooner or later, repeat.

    It’s capitalism, with it’s basic structure, institutions, and operating rules, which is the problem. Until the fundamentals change, we’ll be talking about these same things for decades to come.

    “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root…”
    —Henry David Thoreau

  • nashmallow

    Wish someone could explain how no one at Moody’s, S&P or Fitch went to jail.

    • StilllHere

      What would be the crime? Poor opinions?

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Conflict of interest = fraud.

        • StilllHere

          And you can show that? I doubt it.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            That’s what happened. Proof is reality.

          • StilllHere

            Oh, I thought you were serious, nevermind.

      • nj_v2

        Mindless posts from trolling hacks should be a crime.

        • jefe68

          Nah, let the troll dig his hole.

      • jefe68

        Clueless is as clueless does.

  • John_in_VT

    You are not having meaningful financial reform because you have a disinterested president. Some would say he is in the pocket of the financial sector. He is definitely in the thrall of the bankers & financial types who are around him telling him nothing more is needed.

    • MrNutso

      Perhaps, but that doesn’t stop congress from passing legislation. Pass a good bill and I doubt the President would veto. If he does and congress really thinks it’s important, they will override the veto.

      • John_in_VT

        The post 1929 legislation didn’t happen until FDR came in. You need a strong voice leading the charge for change – that much hasn’t changed and will not change in this country. Barack Obama is NOT that voice.

  • Michiganjf

    Lobbyists, Lobbyists, Lobbyists….

    Lobbyists are simply the greedy little lackeys of all the EXTREMELY wealthy interests trying to buy influence!!

    The wealthy few percent, whom Republicans bend over backward to protect and represent, are DIRECTLY the villains who need to be named!!!

    Stop blaming abstract “bogeymen,” on whom no one can pin a face!

    BLAME sycophantic Republicans and their billionaire overlords!!!

    Pass campaign finance reform and get money OUT of politics!
    Reinstate Glass-Steagall.
    Reinstate a progressive tax system and a healthy inheritance tax!
    Get rid of the CONSERVATIVE COURT and Citizens United!

    • TFRX

      Don’t forget the Conservadems and those Beltway sorts who can’t find a bad thing to say about pols who “know all the right people”.

      K Street beckons every retiree in DC now.

      • Michiganjf

        Thank Republicans for K Street as well… it’s a Repugnican creation!

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    So by extension of what Bethany just said…
    Members of congress are financially naive and stupid. True, but corruption is a big factor there as well.

  • JBSpurr

    The discussion addresses the initial response vs the regulatory response. Few seem to remember that the nation wallowed in misery for over three years after the 1929 Crash, and that FDR came in only in 1933, but with filibuster proof majorities in both houses of Congress. For two terms, he was able to pass just about whatever regulations he desired, despite some blowback from the Supreme Court. Barack Obama had no such control over the legislative process, and a window of a mere two years (equivalent to 1931 in the previous era) to corral fractious legislators before the 2010 elections neutered any further efforts he has tried.

    • thequietkid10

      Interesting comment, I would add that most people think that the Great Recession which has been “marred by Republican obstruction” has not been as bad as the Great Depression..

  • skelly74

    Very interesting. Congress isn’t that sophisticated to understand the financial lobby.

    What would have happened if we elected a president who understands the financial lobby?

    Kids in a candy store or a responsible chaperon monitoring the behavior.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Why do we let a “too complicated to understand” thing exist?

      • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

        For most people, the Rule of Law itself is too complicated to understand.

        • skelly74

          That is why most congressional members are lawyers; they make the rules in favor of those who need “shortcuts” around the maize.

          the lobby does not want a congress who upholds current laws; they want orators and legalese specialists who also adore a nice scotch whiskey with their steak.

          Why else did Wiener desperately try to get back…despite common decency.

          • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

            Lawyers and politicians are remarkably adept at gaming the system.

    • TFRX

      At what point do Congresscritters understand any lobby that’s not a big thing in their state or district?

      But I would expand on your idea of the financial lobby being a bunkup: The financial sector is “making” lots more money than it did 35-40 years ago, and therefore has much more weight to throw around inside the Beltway.

      Enron, mark-to-market, and other sins have made this sector more “profitable” than anyone in any real industry.

      If you or I are a CEO of a company that actually makes something for a living, how are we to compete?

      • skelly74

        Why is anyone surprised?

        We just need to keep watching “dancing with the stars” and the NFL and let the “representatives” handle these sophisticated problems.

        They don’t want are heads to burst because derivatives are too complex for the common American boob tube gazer.

        By the way…have you seen the latest development on…

        • TFRX

          But people are surprised at the extent of the change. I submit that it undercovered in the mainstream and commercial press.

          Look at what passes for financial reporting in the cable era. CNBC? I’d get more accurate reportage from Johnny Most calling a Celtics game.

          Wouldst that we were back in the days when the motto was “Tell it to the Sweeneys–the Stuyvesants will understand”.

          • skelly74

            Laughing

  • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

    The Rule of Law has gone off the rails, jumped the shark, and wafted past its sell-by date.

    The insiders are all becoming increasingly adept at gaming the system.

    • Doubting_Thomas12

      WHO IS VOTING THESE COMMENTS DOWN?!? Since when is it legal to aid and abet narco-terrorists by providing them with an easy money laundering service? Since when is it legal to fraudulently foreclose on hundreds of thousands of properties? Since when is it legal to commit any one of a number of criminal offenses and get trillions of dollars from the fed & treasury, tax and interest free with no strings attached?

      Apparently a number of folks on the right think it is. Which is why the younger generations have started avoiding voting for them like the plague. When they stop choosing sick criminals over the rest of the population, then maybe they’ll have a fighting chance at getting more seats. Otherwise, they’ll have to stick to their current strategy of rigging the electoral college:

      http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/after-romney-loss-gop-plan-recovery-change-rules

      • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

        I reckon it could be anonymous cowards who suffer from Axis II Cluster ‘B’ Personality Disorders. Pretty much all of my detractors fall into that classification.

  • HLB

    Don’t blame Barack H. Obama. “He didn’t do nothin’.”

    Aide: Nice shot, Mr. President.
    Obama: I think I’ve found my stroke.
    America: No kidding, Mr. President.

    Here’s to the day when we all outgrow capitalism, democracy, American exceptionalism, greed is good, Jesus in the manager with the donkey, guns are our right, finest military in the world, and the other fairy tales from our childhood.

    Thanks much. HLB

    • harverdphd

      Loved your bleat -

  • OnPointComments

    “THE REAL SCANDAL: HOW FEDS INVITED THE MORTGAGE MESS”
    http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=2114

    Excerpt:
    Perhaps the greatest scandal of the mortgage crisis is that it is a direct result of an intentional loosening of underwriting standards—done in the name of ending discrimination, despite warnings that it could lead to wide-scale defaults.

    At the crisis’ core are loans that were made with virtually nonexistent underwriting standards—no verification of income or assets; little consideration of the applicant’s ability to make payments; no down payment.

    In fact, it was the regulators who relaxed these standards—at the behest of community groups and “progressive” political forces.

    And the government wants to do it all again:

    “HOLDER LAUNCHES WITCH HUNT AGAINST BIASED BANKS”
    http://news.investors.com/070811-577794-holder-launches-witch-hunt-against-biased-banks.htm

    “In what could be a repeat of the easy-lending cycle that led to the housing crisis, the Justice Department has asked several banks to relax their mortgage underwriting standards and approve loans for minorities with poor credit as part of a new crackdown on alleged discrimination, according to court documents reviewed by IBD.”

    • TomK_in_Boston

      It’s the crash of the wall st banks that crashed the economy. Too bad the feds held guns to their heads and made them leverage their firms 40x and over buying packages of mortgages on macmansions being paid by folks with macjobs, huh?

      • OnPointComments

        Let’s make mortgage loans to borrowers with high obligation ratios, no down payments, no credit history or problem credit history, homes in less desirable areas, short current employment history, and income from welfare payments and unemployment benefits. Who thinks this would be a good idea? The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston thought so, as outlined in its publication “{Closing The Gap:} A Guide To Equal Opportunity Lending.”

        Do you know what would happen if a bank’s mortgage qualification policy required a downpayment of 5%, a credit score of 720, and proven ability to repay based on employment? The DOJ would sue the bank for racial discrimination under the DOJ’s pseudo-science of disparate impact: if the policy doesn’t result in mortgages being made to the correct percentage of unqualified borrowers (which historically has consisted more of minorities than non-minorities), the policy is, ipso facto, discriminatory.

        Does anyone need to ask what could go wrong? I think we know.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          You are in danger of looking even more ridiculous than usual. To save yourself from further humiliation, please provide evidence that:

          1. The gvt forced the bond rating agencies to put “AAA” on what they knew was c**p.

          2. The gvt forced the investment banks to leverage themselves (for the financially challenged, “leverage” is borrowing to invest) 40:1 (borrowing $40 for $1 on hand) and more to buy this AAA rated c**p.

          Looking forward to your reply.

          I expect you don’t know much about finance, but trust me, there is no big crash without big leverage. Losing all you have does not threaten another Great Depression. Losing 40x what you have does.

    • Doubting_Thomas12

      Heard this a thousand times. Getting sick of retyping the same thing.

      The feds did not force the banks to make loans that didn’t fit the standards the banks had in place. The banks relaxed these standards when they found that by packaging these deals together, they could make them look profitable. After all, housing prices don’t go down, so it all works! Right up until the point where it doesn’t.

      Once you stop defending sick criminals who use our government as an ATM, then we can start voting for the right again. Until then, I suggest that you take a long walk off a short pier.

      • OnPointComments

        Have you ever heard of the Affordable Housing Act, the Community Reinvestment Act, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration?

  • http://www.skeeterbitesreport.com SkeeterVT

    I have argued for years now that the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act does not go far enough in preventing a repeat of the financial crisis.

    Indeed, the financial crisis and the Great Recession would never have occurred if Congress had not repealed the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which barred Wall Street investment banks from getting into the business of Main Street consumer banks.

    No amount of financial reform will prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis unless and until Congress and the president fully reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act. Restoring Glass-Steagall — combined with strict enforcement of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act — would force the break up of these so-called “too big to fail” banks into smaller institutions.

    If these institutions are too big to fail, then they’re too big to exist and must be broken up into smaller institutions.

    • StilllHere

      Wrong, non-banks issued more sub-primes than banks. Glass-Steagall would have done nothing.

      • jefe68

        Wrong, period.

        • HonestDebate1

          See, here’s the difference. Stilllhere gave the reasoning behind the comment, you just made a proclamation without substance.

          • jefe68

            Really? Tell me more…
            He’s wrong and I did write something akin to what Doubting Thomas did, but in my view this guy, and you for that matter are not worth the effort.
            If you don’t like it to bad. And I’ll add I don’t give a horses behind what you think.

          • HonestDebate1

            More proclamations, if you dispute the facts cited then show why.

          • jefe68

            Read the above again. By the way he did not state any facts that had anything to do with reason the huge crash happened in 2008. Non-banks?

            Securities backed with mortgages, including subprime mortgages, widely held by financial firms globally (this would include investment banks and banks such as Bank of America), lost most of their value. Global investors also drastically reduced purchases of mortgage-backed debt and other securities as part of a decline in the capacity and willingness of the private financial system to support lending.[3] Concerns about the soundness of U.S. credit and financial markets led to tightening credit around the world and slowing economic growth in the U.S. and Europe.

            Look this up yourself buddy. As I said I’ve already wasted to much time responding to your tea party fueled inanity.

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then.

      • Doubting_Thomas12

        Glass Steagall would have prevented the bulk of the sub-primes by preventing them from ever being profitable in the first place. If the investment banks couldn’t package garbage and gold into one unified bag, they couldn’t deceive themselves into thinking that it would turn out alright. It also would have prevented the contagion from growing into something as mammoth as we had, thereby infecting the rest of us with their poison. And then of course bailing them out while leaving the rest of us to eat cake.

        Are you willfully ignorant? Or attempting to be deceptively misleading. Luckily most people are trained to ignore such remarks, but that’s not a good way to have a constructive argument. I’d much rather the right propose solutions that don’t involve letting these sick criminals off the hook with trillions of our tax dollars ($17.9T at the latest count, but it’s bound to be more since we keep giving them countless billions tax and interest free each year).

        • StilllHere

          Wrong. Nonbanks issued the mortgages, packaged them together and sold them.

  • Scott B

    The great, and sad, irony, is that the banks were the ones that made the rules (any federal laws benefiting moneymakers had a corporate lawyer writing it) that were so convoluted that even they didn’t understand them, gaining short term profits and creating long term mayhem.

  • John_in_VT

    Let’s not forget that the SEC, now under the control of Obama, is a toothless lion. Eliott Spitzer did more prosecutions of Wall Street types than the SEC did at the same time.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Read this: “No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller by Harry Markopolos”

      http://www.amazon.com/Harry-Markopolos/e/B0031XV81I

      Markopolos figured out the Madoff scam in about 1 week and handed it to the Bush SEC in complete detail, and they weren’t interested.

      The Bush SEC contributed to the 2008 crash by INCREASING the amount of leverage allowed to IB since “they know what they are doing”.

      Obama is no better, the disgusting parade of wall st insiders continues. Why not a Markopolos a SEC? Nothing like that is ever mentioned.

  • Yar

    This is how the rule of law serves; no change; it keeps those in power; in power. We are still prosecuting crimes from WWII, what’s to say we can’t prosecute the people responsible for these crimes. This should be a campaign issue in 2014!

  • Jim

    what is sad about this country is it took legislation to end insider’s trading in Congress last year.. SO SO corrupt…

    • responseTwo

      Actually, it took 60 minutes exposing it. And I have read the legislation was watered down during one of the continuous crises we have. Not exactly sure though. I heard about insider trading in congress some time ago from one of those “liberal” news outlets.

  • rich4321

    Has anything ever changed? Of course not! The crooks and robbers continue to steal and to rob the American people. None of these cowards ever come forward to admit their wrongdoings and no authorities has the will or the courage to prosecute these criminals.

    After all, it’s only us the little guys got hurt badly, who cares.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    After the 1929 crash and the great depression we put meaningful regulations in place that served us brilliantly till they were dismantled with voodoo economics.

    After the 2008 crash we have done almost nothing. Toothless Dodd-Frank, some increase in capital requirements. CFPB is good. Everything is a huge struggle against the bought pols.

    Conservadem clinton drank the voodoo kool-aid and sold out democratic party core values. President Obama is another conservadem in bed with wall st. He’s sad he can’t have Larry Summers at the Fed.

    The 21′st century Glass-Stegall act wd be a great start. Regulate derivatives. Financial transactions tax. Raise taxes at the top, eliminate the tax breaks that allow romney vulture capitalism. Use a thief to catch a thief at SEC. FDR appointed Joe Kennedy. I’d love to see Markopolis, who handed Madoff to the SEC but they weren’t interested, or even Madoff himself, than another wall st insider.

    There are plenty of financial experts who do not come from the big IB. Can we please have some in high postions?

    “Fed Chair Hopefuls Are “Lapdogs for the Establishment”: Jim Rogers” I agree!

    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/fed-chair-hopefuls-lapdogs-establishment-jim-rogers-125844406.html

  • Adrian_from_RI

    During the thirties the government’s New Deal programs caused great misery and high unemployment. To fight unemployment Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) — an economic illiterate if there ever was one — created the Work Projects Administration and people could find jobs in the WPA labor camps. The political journalist, John T. Flynn (1882-1964), wrote “The Roosevelt Myth”. What our children learn about FDR in the history books is indeed a myth; and Tom, you should know better.

    President Obama can learn from FDR and follow his examples in creating a flurry of alphabet soup agencies resulting in a second Great Depression. That would earn him Tom’s praise and a place in the history books as our second FDR-like savior.

    For those who are curious why we are in the economic
    pickle we are in I suggest you read a book by a bank CEO, John Allison “The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure. How destructive banking reform is killing the economy.”

    • tbphkm33

      Ah, the lunatic wing with their “its not the cancer that is killing us, we need more cancer to make the system stronger.” Well, we all know what the outcome of cancer is. The financial industry, and their conservative “head in the sand” supporters, are a collective cancer on the economy. Crony capitalism at its worse.

      Lets send them all to Texas, then repeal Texas as a member of the Union. Let them deny global warming and extol the benefits of cut throat crony capitalism in the Texas sun. Once they fully implode, they will be more than happy to cut us a great rate on storing our nuclear waste.

  • tbphkm33

    The inability of the American people to force its legislative branches to bring meaningful reform to the financial sector point toward the harsh reality that it is time, for those of us who have the option, to get out of the country.

    It is not a question of if another crash could happen, but of when it will happen. There are so many issues with the U.S. economy that has just been swept under the rug. Many still in the financial sector, and more in industries the financial sector negatively influenced. Such as the massive volume of poorly constructed housing that will cause increasing depreciation in the value of homes.

    We are in the Great Recession, and there is no reason to think it will not drag on another 10 or 15 years.

    U.S. politicians and media love to bash Europe’s financial problems, but at least the European’s are facing their issues head on and working on solutions. In the U.S., people are not even willing to admit there is a problem.

    • HonestDebate1

      The “great recession” has been over for quite some time. What we have now is the Great redefining of normal for the fundamental transformation of America, otherwise this would have been a blip.

      • Doubting_Thomas12

        The “great recession” never ended, if you’re in the wrong income and wealth brackets.

  • 2Gary2

    as a lower middle class I never had a seat at the table yet now I am being asked to pay for the party. WTF??? All the gains go to the top1% WTF???

    • tbphkm33

      Think it is bad now, it will only become more blatant. Maybe one day, the middle class and the poor will realize that in fact they are paying for all excesses of the rest. The reality of being poor in the United States is that you are truly a slave to the crony capitalist system. Now those with the power and the money are trying to incorporate the middle class into the ranks of the economic slaves.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        You got it. Time for the torches and pitchforks yet, with the romney types hunkered down in their fortified estates? Time for SOME push back, I think most of us can agree.

        • harverdphd

          Loser…no revolution in your lifetime…maybe you should join the folks in Angela’s bleat…?

        • HonestDebate1

          Maybe another Occupy movement complete with rapes, sexual assault, vandalism and an arrogant sense of entitlement is the answer.

          • StilllHere

            We’ll have to wait until they get out of jail then.

      • arydberg

        For starters how about a $15 minim wage.

        • HonestDebate1

          That would be devastating to business, kill jobs and hurt the poor.

          • arydberg

            The minimum wage today provides one half the real wealth it did in 1960. How did it work then?

          • HonestDebate1

            The minimum wage doesn’t provide anything, that would be the employer.

          • arydberg

            I do not know what you said? Please make sense.

          • HonestDebate1

            Read slower.

          • arydberg

            The Iraq war cost 1 trillion dollars. That comes to $3000 per person in the U.S.. Yet we could afford it. You say we cannot afford a $15 per hour minimum wage. WRONG.

          • HonestDebate1

            The national debt is over $54K per person. Our economy is in the gutter. The only way out is more jobs which equals more taxpayers and fewer people relying on the tax payers we do have. We can’t afford anything that will kill yet more jobs,

    • harverdphd

      calm down…the 1% is a myth

      • jimino

        So you think math is a myth? That helps explain your comments.

  • 2Gary2

    Obummer has been such a HUGE disappointment. What a joke he has turned out to be.

  • Angela

    Does anyone have any statistics on lives lost due to the Great Recession?
    Seriously, I’m wondering about things like suicide, starvation, untreated medical conditions, etc.

    • tbphkm33

      Good question. I did hear that suicide is up, unlike gun violence, it is unspoken. Longterm effects are hard to calculate, but there are some morbidity models that are used to estimate the longterm effects of war – they would be applicable.

      You have some short-term effects, such as middle age people seeking medical attention too late for say a cancer, which turns out to be a death sentence. Without the Great Recession, they most likely would have caught it earlier. Then there are longterm effects, like ten years of graduates with lower career potentials, which will result in lower standard of living, and resulting impacts. Or, the kids now growing up in struggling families, growing up with marginal nutrition, and all its effects.

      Like the Great Depression, social scientists will be able to trace the social effects of the Great Recession for the next 70 to 80 years.

      • Angela

        Thanks for the reply. I suppose it is too early for many of the effects to be calculated, as you say for children and recent college grads.
        I suppose there would be some calculation possible for those of middle age and older, especially for health conditions.
        There was an NPR news article on the rise of suicide in middle aged people, putting them in a higher risk category right along with teens and the elderly.
        Of course there are the costs too of unhappiness and family discord, but that’s another story.

        • tbphkm33

          I have not seen any work on this, but actually it is not too early. Those social science models are well developed and proven. I am sure academics already have projects that will prove largely true.

          Of course, we would have seen newspaper articles on this already… but few media outlets do original research and reporting today. Journalism is a field in trouble.

          • Angela

            It’s interesting that you mention the media, all along I’ve been waiting and watching for social reporting about these sorts of things and either it’s not out there or I’m not looking in the right places. For example, I have been wondering all along where all the families and individuals move who lost their homes to foreclosure? It seems to me there were a significant number of “displaced” people and I never saw anything about it.

      • Doubting_Thomas12

        I was curious myself. About 83,000 people dead (increase in suicide rate from 2005 to 2007-2012), and $31T in lost wealth.

        • StilllHere

          And NFC leads AFC 5 to 2.

        • sickofthechit

          Much of that “lost wealth” is making its way to the upper reaches of our economy. Never to be seen by the likes of us again.

    • StilllHere

      Would you have to correct for the destigmatization of suicide in our society? It’s more widely accepted as a way to deal with troubling issues than it used to be.
      Also, bullying and social media seem to be a toxic combination. Then there’s errant sext messages and jilted lovers with their video recordings that now can be broadcast across the globe.

      • Angela

        I suppose you would have to correct for that with teens especially. I was wondering about the possible increases in those of middle age or older.

    • jefe68

      Suicide has gone up dramatically in the last decade amongst the middle-age/baby-boomers.

      http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0502-suicide-rates.html

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/health/suicide-rate-rises-sharply-in-us.html

      Suicide rates among middle-aged Americans have risen sharply in the past decade, prompting concern that a generation of baby boomers who have faced years of economic worry and easy access to prescription painkillers may be particularly vulnerable to self-inflicted harm.
      –NY Times

    • harverdphd

      Not really…believe what you want, though…I know you will…

    • TFRX

      Part of me wants to say “look at the social ailments which exploded in number in the Great Depression and expect the Great Recession to have much of the same trends”.

      (And I see tbphkm33 has the same idea. I swear I didn’t copy the smart kid’s test, perfesser!)

    • Doubting_Thomas12

      About 83,000 people dead (increase in suicide rate from 2005 to 2007-2012), and $31T in lost wealth.

  • Angela

    Selling apples on the street corner…
    I live in a nice rural area, and yes we are selling apples!
    I also sell eggs, just like my Great Grandma did in the 30′s, yup, she was a Great Depression survivor.
    Sell my goats, sheep, and chickens…
    Make jewelry for “pin money.”
    Thankful I have a roof and enough to eat. That’s more than a lot of folks in the world.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Here’s a must read about our non-response to the Bush crash:

    http://billmoyers.com/2013/09/17/hundreds-of-wall-street-execs-went-to-prison-during-the-last-fraud-fueled-bank-crisis/

    Then

    “William Black: The savings and loan debacle was one-seventieth the size of the current crisis, both in terms of losses and the amount of fraud. In that crisis, the savings and loan regulators made over 30,000 criminal referrals, and this produced over 1,000 felony convictions in cases designated as “major” by the Department of Justice. But even that understates the degree of prioritization, because we, the regulators, worked very closely with the FBI and the Justice Department to create a list of the top 100 — the 100 worst fraud schemes. They involved roughly 300 savings and loans and 600 individuals, and virtually all of those people were prosecuted. We had a 90 percent conviction rate, which is the greatest success against elite white-collar crime (in terms of prosecution) in history.”

    and now

    “In the current crisis, that same agency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, which was supposed to regulate, among others, Countrywide, Washington Mutual and IndyMac — which collectively made hundreds of thousands of fraudulent mortgage loans — made zero criminal referrals. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which is supposed to regulate the largest national banks, made zero criminal referrals…”

    Can’t get much clearer about the wall st takeover of the USA.

    • harverdphd

      I KNEW it!…All Bush’s fault….I KNEW it!

      • StilllHere

        Was there ever a doubt.
        That postbot is stuck on dumb.

        • jimino

          You can’t dispute any of his facts so resort to juvenile name calling. Do you really expect any respect for anything you say?

          • jimino

            So it’s confirmed. You can’t dispute any of the facts. But in addition to juvenile name calling you and your ilk can anonymously vote down being asked to do so. That figures.

  • rootspiano

    The lobbyists are not the reason for lack of or slow change. The main reason is that the fed nor anyone else really knows how to regulate the modern financial instruments in a meaningful and fair way. Too much regulation will cause the markets to move away from the U.S. to less regulated geographical areas, and too much capital requirements will prevent banks from taking the risks needed to make real profit. It’s easy for us to continue arguing and talking about this; much harder to admit that there simply is no easy solution.

    • 1standlastword

      So it’s easier to allow a ravenous lion to eat us one bite at a time than to be swallowed whole?!

      There are solutions and many have been aired. There simply is not the will because currently people who can effect change are too lusting for “what’s in it for them and their chillren”

  • JBSpurr

    The subject of “compensation” came up at the end of today’s conversation, only to elicit the usual display of hand-wringing. The parasitical class has worked it out with its compliant, indeed complicit, boards and passive shareholders, to hijack the system completely, arrogating vast unearned sums to the executives who run the show whether they perform or not, and regardless of the type of performance (almost always focused on the short term). It is they, of course, who have not paid for their sins. I have wondered why Congress has not passed a simple tax law: a straight 50% tax on all bonuses with no deductions. That plus undoing the crime regarding taxation of hedge fund managers at ca. 14% would provide two simple if still inadequate steps in the right direction, and would not demand direct interference in the operation of company boards, although I am all in favor of that as well.

  • 1standlastword

    Caller Jack slammed the nail right on the head…the rule of law is ineffectual and regulatory policies are simply placation strategies to quell the angry American public.

    The parties in public office fail to protect us from the predatory class because they are woefully incompetent,cowardly and corruptible!

    The lobbyist are the silver tongued devils that mesmerize overwhelmed and under educated lawmakers who will say and do almost anything to satisfy their lust for power.

    We need to breakup the TOO big to fail, enact campaign finance reform (i.e. KILL Citizens United) and put corporate gangsters in JAIL and claw-back every dollar they squeezed out of those victimized with their perfidious scams.

    Currently nobody on the scene is willing to stand up and do the right thing in a substantive way to create a safer and fairer financial system. We simply have to wait till the next disaster to move another inch in the right direction.

    How sad!

  • http://www.CayerComputing.com/ Melissa A. Cayer

    How would you deal with country U’s dependence on country C’s monopolistic control of item H?

    In other words, US depends on China’s hardware monopoly. The observation is based on what I hear in the news and the ‘made in china’ stickers on my hardware.

    Should anything be done about it?

    I looked in my Economics text book from College and I did not see the issue. Although, it did talk about international trade and monopolies as seperate subjects.

    • http://www.CayerComputing.com/ Melissa A. Cayer

      Let it happen. Stay out of the way and let it happen.

  • ExcellentNews

    The caller at 30:00 got it. The oligarchy has figured out how to get richer by gutting the American middle class. The 2008 crisis is just a symptom of that. You want to fix it? Here is one way:

    CLAWBACK. Retroactive 75% tax on all income and capital gains made by the officers and directors of any bank or corporation that has (a) “created” jobs abroad while cutting jobs in America, or (b) received public funds. Proceeds to be used to pay down the debt and invest in American manufacturing and infrastructure.

    The clawback should stretch back to 1994, the year where Newt’s gang of corporate cronies brought deregulation and started the class war against working Americans (remember Newt, who ran for President in 2012 on a moonbase campaign platform?…)

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