Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wall Street Umbrella War

It's come to this: The President is publicly calling the Senate Republican Leader a liar--and worse.

In his weekly address, Barack Obama says flatly that, after meeting with "two dozen top Wall Street executives to talk about how to block progress" on financial industry regulation, Mitch McConnell "came out against the common-sense reforms we’ve proposed. In doing so, he made the cynical and deceptive assertion that reform would somehow enable future bailouts--when he knows that it would do just the opposite."

This comes in response to a new solid GOP roadblock ("shilling for the banks" says a New York Times editorial) to what was looking like some bipartisan cooperation to avoid the kind of mess highlighted by SEC charges this week that Goldman Sachs was selling subprime mortgage securities to investors who lost more than $1 billion when the housing market crashed while, at the same time, betting against them through a large hedge fund.

All this recalls the old saying, "The rain falls equally on the just and the unjust, but more on the just because the unjust have stolen their umbrellas."

But the Wall Street umbrella stealers will keep staying dry if McConnell has his way. He is on TV today robotically repeating the same tired Frank Luntz talking point that Republicans used in trying to stall the health care bill, "What we ought to do is get back to the table and have a bipartisan bill."

Meanwhile, the Senate hearings are reminding Americans who were drenched in the past two years that those who profited from the downpour are offering mea culpas but not to give back the millions they made while still fighting to hold on to their umbrellas, with a little help from McConnell and friends.

Update: As the GOP drags its feet on reining in financial firms, their beloved market forces may do part of the job for them, as international banks and other investors start wondering where their money went, according to the Times:

"The S.E.C.’s action could also hit Wall Street where it really hurts: the wallet. It could prompt dozens of investor claims against Goldman and other Wall Street titans that devised and sold toxic mortgage investments.

"On Saturday, several European banks that lost money in the deal said they were reviewing the matter. They could try to recoup the money from Goldman."

1 comment:

Serious Implications said...

This is going to be much easier than healthcare. McConnell & Company are protecting the worst of Wall Street and it's obvious. The timing is bad for the Republicans.

Let's see if McConnell and Palin can come up with another "Death Panel" hoax to stop financial reform.