Friday, May 08, 2015

hellury the sock-puppet of the vampire squid...,


TomDispatch |  The stock market continued its meteoric rise in anticipation of a banker-friendly conclusion to the legislation that would deregulate their industry. Rising consumer confidence reflected the nation’s fondness for the markets and lack of empathy with the rest of the world’s economic plight. On March 29, 1999, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 10,000 for the first time. Six weeks later, on May 6th,  the Financial Services Modernization Act passed the Senate. It legalized, after the fact, the merger that created the nation’s biggest bank.  Citigroup, the marriage of Citibank and Travelers, had been finalized the previous October.

It was not until that point that one of Glass-Steagall’s main assassins decided to leave Washington. Six days after the bill passed the Senate, on May 12, 1999, Robert Rubin abruptly announced his resignation. As Clinton wrote, “I believed he had been the best and most important treasury secretary since Alexander Hamilton... He had played a decisive role in our efforts to restore economic growth and spread its benefits to more Americans.”

Clinton named Larry Summers to succeed Rubin. Two weeks later, BusinessWeek reported signs of trouble in merger paradise -- in the form of a growing rift between John Reed, the former Chairman of Citibank, and Sandy Weill at the new Citigroup. As Reed said, “Co-CEOs are hard.” Perhaps to patch their rift, or simply to take advantage of a political opportunity, the two men enlisted a third person to join their relationship -- none other than Robert Rubin.

Rubin’s resignation from Treasury became effective on July 2nd. At that time, he announced, “This almost six and a half years has been all-consuming, and I think it is time for me to go home to New York and to do whatever I’m going to do next.” Rubin became chairman of Citigroup’s executive committee and a member of the newly created “office of the chairman.” His initial annual compensation package was worth around $40 million.  It was more than worth the “hit” he took when he left Goldman for the Treasury post.

Three days after the conference committee endorsed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley bill, Rubin assumed his Citigroup position, joining the institution destined to dominate the financial industry. That very same day, Reed and Weill issued a joint statement praising Washington for “liberating our financial companies from an antiquated regulatory structure,” stating that “this legislation will unleash the creativity of our industry and ensure our global competitiveness.”

On November 4th, the Senate approved the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act by a vote of 90 to 8.  (The House voted 362–57 in favor.) Critics famously referred to it as the Citigroup Authorization Act.

Mirth abounded in Clinton’s White House. “Today Congress voted to update the rules that have governed financial services since the Great Depression and replace them with a system for the twenty-first century,” Summers said. “This historic legislation will better enable American companies to compete in the new economy.”

But the happiness was misguided. Deregulating the banking industry might have helped the titans of Wall Street but not people on Main Street. The Clinton era epitomized the vast difference between appearance and reality, spin and actuality. As the decade drew to a close, Clinton basked in the glow of a lofty stock market, a budget surplus, and the passage of this key banking “modernization.” It would be revealed in the 2000s that many corporate profits of the 1990s were based on inflated evaluations, manipulation, and fraud. When Clinton left office, the gap between rich and poor was greater than it had been in 1992, and yet the Democrats heralded him as some sort of prosperity hero.

When he resigned in 1997, Robert Reich, Clinton’s labor secretary, said, “America is prospering, but the prosperity is not being widely shared, certainly not as widely shared as it once was... We have made progress in growing the economy. But growing together again must be our central goal in the future.”  Instead, the growth of wealth inequality in the United States accelerated, as the men yielding the most financial power wielded it with increasingly less culpability or restriction. By 2015, that wealth or prosperity gap would stand near historic highs.

9 comments:

BigDonOne said...

"Atlas Shrugged" and "1984" ain't doing that shabby as predictions......

Dale Asberry said...

Lol

Vic78 said...

Here's an iq160+ assessment of 1984.

http://www.newworker.org/ncptrory/1984.htm

DD said...

I can't believe more than 5% of the people who say they've read Atlas Shrugged actually have. Even if you like the theories espoused, it is some wooden, shite reading. That is a giant, boring, pedantic book. I'm still waiting for someone to say "I agree with Ayn Rand wholeheartedly, but fuck is she a terrible author." I'd at least have to take that guy somewhat seriously.

CNu said...

Excellent review - new to me in its entirety and very illuminating with regard to the specific demons haunting the collective loosely confederated under the kochtopus. That irrationial fear of socialism seems to run exceedingly deep with Americans of a certain generation.

BigDonOne said...

BD has read both of them twice, once back in the 60's and once i the last ten years.
Assimov's review was in 1980, too early to pickup on the key developments Orwell predicted like the monitoring of communications (everything on phone and online is now recorded and scanned by NSA). Also, one's movements are now heavily tracked by cell tower connects, gps phone locators, license plate readers, and (soon) facial recognition...all databased for Big Brother's reference to identify and arrest those not thinking "properly.". We have the military in Texas training to takeover cities and FEMA camps established to imprison dissidents. Orwell had the right idea, was just a little early on the date.... September 2016.

CNu said...

rotflmbao..., I was chatting with an IQ-160 counterpart this morning about the kochtopus and the vampire squid who was telling me how she must periodically nudge some of her older relatives back from the fringe when their email chains go off the deep end. Specifically, she was talking about the jade helmet kerfluffle in Texas.

This gave me an entre to talk about the king of Lyndon H. Larouche 2.0 digital shenanigans, Alex Jones. We also touched on WND and a few other sites near and dear to my poster-child. In fact, I told her about my poster child and the purpose he serves as a bellweather for what's on and popping out at the fringe.

I think BD better lighten up on the infowarslife products. http://store.infowars.com/-Infowars-Life_c_79.html?ims=nxktz

No telling what those nanoparticles are doing all up in his dome-piece. Just because Alex says its fire don't mean it's true. I think that Alex may just be running an elaborate hustle on geezers of a certain generation intensively primed to believe certain things by their government and certain looney wannabe oligarchs.

CNu said...

Again, geezers of a certain generation still recall touching themselves in response to Gary Cooper setting Patricia Neal's granny pannies on fire and then putting them out with a good old fashioned rape snuggle struggle.

https://youtu.be/3UiPwI1ieyM

https://youtu.be/dFRR0a0ONLI

BigDonOne said...

Should have also mentioned the Shruggier aspects:-- economy and dollar is a crumbling house of cards with a $$$Quad in debt and $sick derivative$. And corrupt politicians uncontrolled flooding the nation with illegal immigrants, Fuzzlim refugees, including Terrorists, with the national power/road/bridge infrastructure and water resources not even adequate today for even existing legit citizenry and while making trade deals to further export jobs out-of-work people total continually rising..... 2016, baby...