Friday, March 27, 2009

Partying Like It's 1999: Wall Street's Willing Slaves

Why is it that the only time Congress can find bipartisan support for anything is when it sells out the interests of and safeguards for the American public? And the people with common sense, who have learned the lessons of history are always the over cautious naysayers? Yet, when it all goes to shit, the greedy architects of the house of cards insist no one saw it coming or could have predicted it?

A few choice quotes:

''Today Congress voted to update the rules that have governed financial services since the Great Depression and replace them with a system for the 21st century,'' Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers said. ''This historic legislation will better enable American companies to compete in the new economy.''

''The concerns that we will have a meltdown like 1929 are dramatically overblown,'' said Senator Bob Kerrey, Democrat of Nebraska.

''Scores of banks failed in the Great Depression as a result of unsound banking practices, and their failure only deepened the crisis,'' Mr. Wellstone said. ''Glass-Steagall was intended to protect our financial system by insulating commercial banking from other forms of risk. It was one of several stabilizers designed to keep a similar tragedy from recurring. Now Congress is about to repeal that economic stabilizer without putting any comparable safeguard in its place.''

''I think we will look back in 10 years' time and say we should not have done this but we did because we forgot the lessons of the past, and that that which is true in the 1930's is true in 2010,'' said Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota. ''I wasn't around during the 1930's or the debate over Glass-Steagall. But I was here in the early 1980's when it was decided to allow the expansion of savings and loans. We have now decided in the name of modernization to forget the lessons of the past, of safety and of soundness.''

One Republican Senator, Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, voted against the legislation. He was joined by seven Democrats: Barbara Boxer of California, Richard H. Bryan of Nevada, Russell D. Feingold of Wisconsin, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland, Mr. Dorgan and Mr. Wellstone.

In the House, 155 Democrats and 207 Republicans voted for the measure, while 51 Democrats, 5 Republicans and 1 independent opposed it. Fifteen members did not vote.

Wow. I STILL miss Wellstone. No wonder Congress overwhelmingly did away with Glass-Steagall. It was merely obeying the will of its prime constituents/employers/owners: Big Money.

"There is no distinctively American native criminal class...except Congress." ---Mark Twain

"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of congress; but I repeat myself." MT

"We have the best Congress money can buy. " --Will Rogers

"There is good news from Washington today. Congress is deadlocked and can't act." --WR
"With Congress, every time they make a joke it's a law, and every time they make a law it's a joke. " --WR

"Talk is cheap - except when Congress does it. " Cullen Hightower

"You need to know that a member of Congress who refuses to allow the minimum wage to come up for a vote made more money during last year's one-month government shutdown than a minimum wage worker makes in an entire year. " ---William Jefferson Clinton