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View Full Version : $5 Billion in Payola Bought Wall Street Freedom from Regulation


Henry[_5_]
March 19th 09, 06:38 AM
Weds., March 4, 2009 For More Information:

Robert Weissman, 202-387-8030; 202-360-1844 (cell)
Harvey Rosenfield, 310-345-8816

$5 BILLION IN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS BOUGHT WALL STREET
FREEDOM FROM REGULATION, RESTRAINT, REPORT FINDS

Steps to Financial Cataclysm Paved with Industry Dollars

March 4 - The financial sector invested more than $5 billion in
political influence purchasing in Washington over the past
decade, with as many as 3,000 lobbyists winning deregulation and
other policy decisions that led directly to the current financial
collapse, according to a 231-page report issued today by
Essential Information and the Consumer Education Foundation.

The report, "Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed
America," shows that, from 1998-2008, Wall Street investment
firms, commercial banks, hedge funds, real estate companies and
insurance conglomerates made $1.725 billion in political
contributions and spent another $3.4 billion on lobbyists, a
financial juggernaut aimed at undercutting federal regulation.
Nearly 3,000 officially registered federal lobbyists worked for
the industry in 2007 alone. The report documents a dozen distinct
deregulatory moves that, together, led to the financial meltdown.
These include prohibitions on regulating financial derivatives;
the repeal of regulatory barriers between commercial banks and
investment banks; a voluntary regulation scheme for big
investment banks; and federal refusal to act to stop predatory
subprime lending.

"The report details, step-by-step, how Washington systematically
sold out to Wall Street," says Harvey Rosenfield, president of
the Consumer Education Foundation, a California-based non-profit
organization. "Depression-era programs that would have prevented
the financial meltdown that began last year were dismantled, and
the warnings of those who foresaw disaster were drowned in an
ocean of political money. Americans were betrayed, and we are
paying a high price -- trillions of dollars -- for that
betrayal."

"Congress and the Executive Branch," says Robert Weissman of
Essential Information and the lead author of the report,
"responded to the legal bribes from the financial sector, rolling
back common-sense standards, barring honest regulators from
issuing rules to address emerging problems and trashing
enforcement efforts. The progressive erosion of regulatory
restraining walls led to a flood of bad loans, and a tsunami of
bad bets based on those bad loans. Now, there is wreckage across
the financial landscape."

NF_011909063216
March 19th 09, 11:09 AM
"Henry" > wrote in message
...
>
> $5 BILLION IN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS BOUGHT WALL STREET
> FREEDOM FROM REGULATION, RESTRAINT, REPORT FINDS
>
> Steps to Financial Cataclysm Paved with Industry Dollars

Eliot Spitzer got to be the Governor of New York and lotsa votes after doing
major prosecutions of Wall Street criminals. He tried block the sub-prime
mortgage juggernaut. But Bush wouldn't play along. Then the chance came to
drop him in it. - Spitzer under intense pressure to resign -
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/43c37d14-eecc-11dc-97ec-0000779fd2ac.html It
worked. He was out of it just like the victims of the home loan racket.

Then a few weeks later Deborah Palfrey, the whore mistress of Washington was
hanged in prison. Suicide is the story. Believe it if you want.

The moral: Don't get between a Wall Street crook and the money.

Lubow
March 19th 09, 01:02 PM
On Mar 19, 7:09*am, "NF_011909063216" > wrote:

> The moral: Don't get between a Wall Street crook and the money.

On one hand... This mess could have been stopped or at least minimized
had Spitzer learned to keep his pants on.

OTOH... If Spitzer had not gone after Maurice "Hank" Greenberg for
accounting irregularities, Greenberg would have kept AIG's focus on
the insurance products that had been the hallmark of the company for
80 years.

d.
March 19th 09, 01:15 PM
Lubow > wrote:

>On Mar 19, 7:09=A0am, "NF_011909063216" > wrote:
>
>> The moral: Don't get between a Wall Street crook and the money.
>
>On one hand... This mess could have been stopped or at least minimized
>had Spitzer learned to keep his pants on.
>
>OTOH... If Spitzer had not gone after Maurice "Hank" Greenberg for
>accounting irregularities, Greenberg would have kept AIG's focus on
>the insurance products that had been the hallmark of the company for
>80 years.

Greenberg keeps saying he would have "managed" those other products.
Presumably that means he would have kept risk under control and
wouldn't have blindly rode that bubble all the way to the top---or the
bottom. We'll never know.