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(Another) Bank Bonanza

This Week in the Narrative 81

Nigel Clarke
Photo: Olivier Douliery/ Abaca Press/Sipa USA via AP

Look at the faces of the people in this photograph.

Members of Congress huddle around the President as he signs into law a bill weakening and/or repealing the bank regulations of the Dodd-Frank Act — the post-financial meltdown legislation which, we are told, is … was … protecting us from the dangerous banking industry practices which caused the collapse.

Of course, just how much protection the act was providing is subject to debate.

Recall that Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, who “authored” the act while serving in Congress, retired from government shortly afterwards to become a bank executive and a financial industry lobbyist — “Authored” in both physical and air quotes because, of course, the true authors of the act were the financial industry lobbyists who literally wrote the legislation then placed it on the desks of Frank and Dodd.

Yet, even allowing for the rules to be written by the very entities that the rules are supposed to be restricting was not enough to satiate financial industry greed. Thus, the new bill this week rolling back even the modest restrictions of Dodd-Frank.

Unfortunately, though not unusually, and no matter how much moderate Democrats wish it to be so, the decision cannot be explained away as part of the buccaneering rampage of ‘Trump’s Deplorables.’

The bill was co-authored by Heidi Heitkamp, a North Dakota Democrat. It was supported by people like John Delaney, a former bank CEO and the current Democratic representative from Maryland who, incidentally, will be running for President in 2020; people like Jim Himes, a Democrat from Connecticut and former Goldman Sachs executive who said of the bill, “Obviously, the lobbyists weigh in.” All told, some 33 House Democrats and 17 Senate Democrats voted for the bill.

The intersectionality of the transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich, really from everyone to the rich, is not about a mysterious deplorable boogeyman in a red hat.

Look again at the faces of the people in the photograph above, Republican or Democrat — their shit-eating grins, the way they lean forward hungrily like a starving man watching a Christmas ham, the twinkle in their eyes as they finally deliver the gift to their donors, to the entities that put them in office, to their employers.

The President is signing a piece of paper but he may as well be sliding a brown envelope stuffed with cash across the table. The representatives and hangers-on are smiling, but they may as well be holding you upside down by the ankles and shaking.

Quote of the Week:

Written by Nigel Clarke

Writer and notorious vagabond. From the frozen north. Follow Nigel on Twitter @Nig_Clarke.

Nigel Clarke is a Writer for Progressive Army.

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(Another) Bank Bonanza