Wall Street Politics

Wall Street Fat Cats Gone Wild and Rogue

There are several interesting headlines up today connecting a few dots between Wall Street, the third estate, and politicians.  The New York Post (yes I know) indicates that Jamie Dimon may have bolted from the Obama stable to the Romney Ranch. This is a curious continuation of the meme passed around last year that uber sensitive shadow bankers have had their feelings hurt over a few speeches given by the President who uses populist rhetoric to shore up support.  I just have never managed to buy that some one like Dimon could get his feathers in a ruffle over a little name calling.   It’s probably pay back for the Dodd-Frank Law which is a watery version of its original intent, but still more toothy than the FIRE contingent would like to see.  How long will it take before the Health Insurance Industry and Bankers manage to fee and co-payment us all into the poor house?  What role does Dimon see that Romney could play in that?  That’s a more germane question to me.

While Dimon’s spokesperson declined to comment, a JP Morgan insider tells us that Dimon has not attended an Obama fund-raiser and has not made any contributions to his campaign during this election cycle. And Dimon has met privately with many of the Republican presidential candidates.

Political insiders are buzzing that a defection would signal further Wall Street hostility toward Obama, who famously called them “fat cat” bankers in 2009. Dimon responded, “I don’t think the president of the United States should paint everyone with the same brush.”

One insider said, “There is not a person on Wall Street, with the exception of the genetic Democrats, who would get anywhere near supporting Obama. The hostility to the administration is huge. Dimon will continue to look bipartisan, then work behind the scenes to get a Republican elected.”

Again, I think this right wing meme about hurt feelings is just that.  The bottom line here is they want people that will neuter Dodd-Frank and the rules that control excessive fees and such.  They would also like to capture the new agency set up by Elizabeth Warren.  My belief is this group is after Warren already with bizarre stories on her TARP role.  Politico appears to be doing some of the right wing smear jobs for Wall Street interests. BTW, did you know that more referrals to Politico come via Drudge than Google?  Check this out.

Minx put this link to one of Greenwald’s better pieces downthread on the morning reads.  I thought it so good that I’d add it to this post because it really shows how the Wall Street interests are driving media coverage as well as other things. It has to do with the tepid media coverage of the Wall Street Protests. He relates the prog coverage to earning credentials through hippy bashing.

Nor is it surprising that much of the most vocal criticisms of the Wall Street protests has come from some self-identified progressives, who one might think would be instinctively sympathetic to the substantive message of the protesters.  In an excellent analysis entitled “Why Establishment Media & the Power Elite Loathe Occupy Wall Street,” Kevin Gosztola chronicles how many of the most scornful criticisms have come from Democratic partisans who — like the politicians to whom they devote their fealty — feign populist opposition to Wall Street for political gain.

Some of this anti-protest posturing is just the all-too-familiar New-Republic-ish eagerness to prove one’s own Seriousness by castigating anyone to the left of, say, Dianne Feinstein or John Kerry; for such individuals, multi-term, pro-Iraq-War Democratic Senator-plutocrats define the outermost left-wing limit of respectability.  Also at play is the jingoistic notion that street protests are valid in Those Bad Countries but not in free, democratic America.

A siginificant aspect of this progressive disdain is grounded in the belief that the only valid form of political activism is support for Democratic Party candidates, and a corresponding desire to undermine anything that distracts from that goal.  Indeed, the loyalists of both parties have an interest in marginalizing anything that might serve as a vehicle for activism outside of fealty to one of the two parties (Fox News‘ firing of Glenn Beck was almost certainly motivated by his frequent deviation from the GOP party-line orthodoxy which Fox exists to foster).

The very idea that one can effectively battle Wall Street’s corruption and control by working for the Democratic Party is absurd on its face: Wall Street’s favorite candidate in 2008 was Barack Obama, whose administration — led by a Wall Street White House Chief of Staff and Wall-Street-subservient Treasury Secretary and filled to the brim with Goldman Sachs officials — is now working hard to protect bankers from meaningful accountability (and though he’s behind Wall Street’s own Mitt Romney in the Wall Street cash sweepstakes this year, Obama is still doing well); one of Wall Street’s most faithful servants is Chuck Schumer, the money man of the Democratic Party; and the second-ranking Senate Democrat acknowledged — when Democrats controlled the Congress — that the owners of Congress are bankers.  There are individuals who impressively rail against the crony capitalism and corporatism that sustains Wall Street’s power, but they’re no match for the party apparatus that remains fully owned and controlled by it.

It’s important to remember that we’re unlikely to get anything but corporation approved coverage of things from corporate-owned media outlets.  Their stock, their financing, and as a result, their decisions are likely to be highly colored by keeping their funds and jobs.  This could also explain why the police appear to have marching orders to capture any independent media types near the protests with cameras.

Although I’m not a Marxist, it still gives me no end of fascination that the Marxist view that the monied and banking interests would take down capitalism by influencing institutions through financial control of those institutions seems to be happening.  In deed every one from democratically elected politicians, to industry CEOs that actually produce products or services, to the press now seem beholden to their mortgage holders and influenced by their potential funding veto.  I’m still thinking we should just be honest about this and see that each journalist, politician, and CEO basically put their souls up to the highest bidders when they seek the fantastic amount of money it takes to be a power broker these days.  Every one owes their underwriters something in return and the middle and working class and their interests appear to be serving as collateral in the quest to leverage power and wealth.