The Legend of the Banksters

The Senate did not reach the 60 votes necessary for cloture on debate - thus allowing a vote - on its financial regulatory reform bill yesterday. Two Democrats, Sens. Russ Feingold (WI) and Maria Cantwell (WA), joined Republicans to block the vote. They demanded that votes be allowed on amendments making the bill tougher on Wall Street. Feingold in a statement after the vote, "We need to eliminate the risk posed to our economy by 'too big to fail' financial firms and to reinstate the protective firewalls between Main Street banks and Wall Street firms." Feingold wanted the equivalent of Glass-Steagal reinstated. So far, a few bank-owned Democrats, mostly led by Chris Dodd, have joined all the Republicans except Snowe and Collins of Maine, in working to dilute, delay, or block real, enforceable, and effective reform of the casino running on Wall Street that has stolen hundreds of billions of dollars from our economy and put it into the pockets of a few thousand insiders who have become multi-millionaires and billionaires over the past decade since Phil Gramm and Bill Clinton opened the casino. The legend is that Willie Sutton, the infamous Philadelphia bank robber, when asked why he robbed banks, said he did so because "that's where the money is." This generation of banksters has taken his lesson to heart, but instead of going in with guns blazing, instead they bought off enough legislators and Clinton and Bush to allow them to rob our banks with only a minimal risk of going to jail. It's like giving Willie Sutton the keys to the banks - and we need to take those keys back.


mstaggerlee's picture
mstaggerlee 12 years 44 weeks ago

Are Feingold and Cantwell allowing the perfect to become the enemy of the good here? We need the Senate to pass SOME KIND of REAL reform here. Once SOMETHING is in place, we can worry about strengthening it - but we need to put some new controls in place (or to re-instate some OLD controls) first.

I'm reminded of a song The Byrds did on the Sweetheart of the Rodeo album, about Pretty Boy Floyd -

"As thru this life you ramble, you'll meet some funny men,

Some rob you with a 6-gun. and some with fountain pen.

As thru this life you ramble, as thru this life you roam,

You'll never see an outlaw take a family from their home."

The banksters, however, appear to have no such compunctions.

MugsysRapSheet's picture
MugsysRapSheet 12 years 44 weeks ago

Nexus of Rand and CitU.

Thom, I haven't heard anyone mention it, but there is a definite connection between the "Civil Rights exemption for Private Business" that Rand Paul endorsed and the "Citizens United ruling that equates businesses with people."

Paul... like the CU ruling... is suggesting that businesses deserve all the rights of private citizens.

(It also deserves noting that Paul's position provides supports and defends the heinous Arizona immigration law.)

LeMoyne's picture
LeMoyne 12 years 44 weeks ago
Quote mstaggerlee:Are Feingold and Cantwell allowing the perfect to become the enemy of the good here? We need the Senate to pass SOME KIND of REAL reform here.

Now the bill has been passed and appears to have few teeth. As with health care reform we are supposed to accept anything that gets passed as the beginning with no real hope of another step. The House passed stronger financial reform long ago. As Bernie says the reconciliation committee will be a real zoo - this time I don't think the House will play along with the Senate reconciliation game.

It is the POSSIBLE that continues to be the enemy of the good. The perfect cannot be the enemy of the good or it would not be perfect, right? Now we can see that Cantwell and Feingold (at least) are fed up with this managed pseudo-reform process - at least they (and a precious few other Senators) are not totally bought and paid for by our plutocracy.

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