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May. 19 2010 - 12:39 pm | 231 views | 0 recommendations | 1 comment

Chris Dodd thinks you’re stupid

Christopher Dodd, U.S. Senator.

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There is a certain perverse amusement one gets from watching the game of linguistic gymnastics that occurs in modern political discourse. It really is something to behold.

Only in the psychotic fairy tale of Washington could Chris Dodd get away with the following lede,

Dodd offers compromise on derivatives deadlock

Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) has offered a last-minute compromise to resolve one of the few remaining disputes over the Senate’s landmark bill on financial regulation: a disagreement over derivatives that has sent shudders through Wall Street.

How valiant of Dodd to swoop in and save the day like that, knight of the financial reform table that he is. And what is this magical compromise that Senator Dodd has hit upon? Why, send the initiative over to the folks who oppose it to determine its worthiness,

Dodd’s plan calls for submitting the derivatives rules, which were initially proposed by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), for study by a federal council of regulators. Several key members of the council and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, who could have final say under the compromise, have serious reservations about forcing banks to get out of the derivatives business altogether.

Wow, that’s ballsy, Chris. Here we thought you had a compromise, when all you’re really hawking is one of them patented Washington “compromises”.

And your “compromise” sends the amendment to the people who have openly opposed it to kill it in the name of saving it. I have to admit, that is pretty slick.

I mean, c’mon. Are we really that worried about banks like Citigroup, Morgan Stanely, and JP Morgan Chase? Do we really think that these folks are going to be fundamentally handicapped by a little bit of actual regulation? It’s absurd to me that we should sound like resigned parents excusing the behaviour of our drunken frat boy children in Ferraris.

“Did you see how fast he got that car going? I mean, sure, he might have killed that old lady on the last turn. But he had that engine topping 160 mph, at least! We couldn’t possibly hamper him with speed limits. How will we ever know if he can make it go faster?”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: stronger regulation is not going to stop banks from making money. The shudder that went through Wall Street because of Lincoln’s derivatives bill notwithstanding, James Kwak dispenses with the popular chicken little tactics using no less than a parenthetical throw away line,

The New York Times earlier reported that the big banks’ lobbyists were so focused on defeating Blanche Lincoln’s proposal to split off derivatives dealers (into independent subsidiaries of bank holding companies, it must be pointed out) that they had given up on virtually every other issue.

Seriously, this is Wall Street. Their pretty smart.

You shouldn’t fool yourself into believing that financial reform is going to stop Wall Street from playing the game they play. All we’re looking to do is slow them down a bit and mitigate the negative repercussions for average folks.

Speaking of whom.

It is also galling that Dodd et al feel free to describe their actions as an effort to break some kind of “deadlock”. News flash: there is no deadlock on financial reform outside of the village. The numbers are officially in. Everyone wants strong financial reform as a means of making markets safe for average Americans, which — by the way — they don’t believe are anymore,

If yesterday’s primaries tell us anything, it is that voters are fast catching on to folks Dodd and his fellow travelers.

Much is being made of the Critz win in Pennsylvania’s special Congressional election. But the biggest danger for Democrats in November has never been a motivated Republican base, it’s the depression of their own base. Sestak beating out Specter and Halter forcing a run-off with Lincoln — both of whom were Administration favourites — should be a wake up call for establishment Democrats.

We’ll see how they react.

But, in the spirit of compromise, I’ll tell you what, Chris. You get the White House to guarantee that immediately following the passage of your amendment Timothy Geithner will tender his resignation to make way for Bob Reich as Treasury Secretary and we’ll give it a look over. Fair deal?


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  1. collapse expand

    Great Article.

    Here we are, almost 2 years after a huge economic collapse, and Wall St. and big banking have only gotten BIGGER!!

    We have done NOTHING to prevent it all from happening again…as a mater of fact, we’ve EMPOWERED them to do it again.

    The bailout was their justification for trading on peoples’ livelihoods.

    They don’t see their trades as having an effect on the world around them.

    We have hundreds of TRILLIONS of dollars in the derivatives market, it accounts for more money than exists in the world.

    How can more money exist in theory than exists physically?!! It’s just so screwed up.

    I’m anxious to see (and vote) most incumbents out. Most of them are sell-outs, and it would be nice to know our Congress isn’t as dirty as an Italian Mob.

    We people can still do something about it…we can move our money to local banking unions, spend our cash at local stores, AVOID BP!!

    But the one thing we can’t do hardly anything about is Wall St. One of the FEW responsibilities our Gov’t should have, and they’re not doing it…

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    About Me

    I'm a Canadian blogger who spends far too much time reading and writing about US politics. I've been involved in various forms of political organizing for the past decade, some of which has earned me recognition and other of which has earned me the title of "no good punk".

    I also blog at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the Commons, Beams and Struts, and The Washington Examiner's Opinion Zone.

    See my profile »
    Followers: 14
    Contributor Since: March 2010
    Location:Calgary, Alberta