Why I also don’t trust Obama regarding Wall Street
That is, in addition to not trusting him on NSA, surveillance, and the intelligence community in general. Pam Martens explains at Wall Street on Parade:
The White House issued a statement yesterday on the President’s meeting with the federal agencies that regulate Wall Street. Curiously, the phrase used to describe the agencies was “independent regulators.” The President’s Deputy Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, held a press briefing with reporters yesterday, taking questions on the meeting. In that briefing, Earnest referred to the regulators as “independent” seven times.
If the President now finds it necessary to attempt to brainwash the American public through endless repetition of the word “independent” to shore up sagging public doubt that there are any real cops on the beat when it comes to policing Wall Street, he has no one to blame but himself.
When President Obama appointed Mary Jo White to head the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jack Lew for U.S. Treasury Secretary, and has floated the idea for weeks that Larry Summers could become Chairman of the Federal Reserve, he critically undermined the already low disregard the public holds toward Wall Street’s regulators.
White came to the SEC in April from the Wall Street legal powerhouse, Debevoise & Plimpton. She wasn’t just any lawyer there; she chaired the Litigation Department where she led a team of more than 200 lawyers defending Wall Street’s too-big-to-fail banks. It was understood that in most of the ongoing cases against the largest Wall Street firms, White would have to recuse herself at the SEC. Can you really call that an “independent” regulator?
Lew came to the U.S. Treasury from Citigroup – the bank that had received the largest taxpayer bailout assistance of any bank in the 2008 Wall Street crash. On his way out the door, Lew accepted a $940,000 bonus from the insolvent bank, which was paid with taxpayer money. Lew was Chief Operating Officer of the division that brought down the bank. According to public records, on January 14 of this year, just four days after Lew was nominated for Treasury Secretary, Citigroup completed a mortgage refinancing for Lew, lowering his mortgage rate to 3.625 percent for a 30-year mortgage of $610,000. At the same time, Citigroup provided Lew a $200,000 home equity loan at an unstated amount of interest.
Another issue for Lew in his confirmation hearing was his employment contract with Citigroup. It provided a bonus guarantee based on the specific requirement that he leave the bank for a “high level position with the United States government or regulatory body.” Lew succeeded in meeting that outcome. As U.S. Treasury Secretary, Lew Chairs the Financial Stability Oversight Council (F-SOC) which plays a key role in overseeing too-big-to-fail banks. Lew was in attendance at the President’s meeting yesterday with the “independent” regulators.
Summers, of course, would round out the team of not-so-independent regulators if he were appointed by the President to lead the Federal Reserve. Summers was one of the key individuals that pushed for the deregulation of Wall Street in the Clinton administration. Summers is also currently on the payroll of Citigroup as a consultant at an undisclosed amount of compensation.
The idea of infusing the concept of “independent regulator” may also have something to do with the recent charges that big Wall Street firms effectively control the London Metal Exchange and its rules committee as they simultaneously go about keeping aluminum off the market in metal warehouses that the Federal Reserve gave them carte blanche to own.
Or possibly it’s the revelations of a . . .