Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Friday, May 01, 2009

Washington Bank Heist

Willie Sutton said he robbed banks because that's where the money is, but it was never their money. They only handle and maneuver it around, like parking lot attendants.

Yet, according to Sen. Dick Durbin, after smashing up financial vehicles and taking taxpayer billions for repairs, when it comes to the US Senate, banks "frankly own the place."

As he tried unsuccessfully to line up votes to help avoid foreclosures in bankruptcy, Durbin told voters that though it's "hard to believe in a time when we're facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created," they "are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill."

In the lull before the Obama Administration announces results of bank stress tests, there is growing sentiment for getting tougher on the keepers of the keys.

Sheila Bair, head of the FDIC, in a speech this week called for an end to the "too big to fail" philosophy that has allowed banks to hold a gun to the government's head.

“Taxpayers," she said, "should not be called on to foot the bill to support nonviable institutions because there is no orderly process for resolving them.”

The President himself foresees an end to "the massive leveraging and the massive risk-taking that had become so common," but his economic team so far has been tiptoeing around the banking industry and their Wall Street cousins, hoping to bribe and cajole them into less greed and more responsible behavior.

The time is coming to sweep out the parking lot and get new attendants who can remember who really owns the money they keep jockeying around for their own profit.

1 comment:

Yellow Dog Don said...

How will the president have time to deal with bankers?

I keep trying not to smile.
Arlen Specter
David Souter
and Condi, Cheney and Bush twisting in the wind over torture.

All in one week.

I know, I know, the defection and the supremes and the memos can all be spun down by the Fox gas bags.

Condi, however, implicated herself in a criminal conspiracy in public yesterday, after vehemently and very animatedly denying that she authorized anything to do with the interrogations. She "only passed on the presidential authorizations".

She got too loud and too defensive. She doth protest too much.

I would not be surprised if Obama offers pardons to make it all go away. But pardons will not be worth a fig outside the US of A. The pardonees would be on house arrest within our borders for the rest of their lives.

Then again, maybe they, unlike Nixon, will have too much integrity to accept pardons.