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Hang the bankers
April 15, 2011 7:41 PM   Subscribe

"Let's start hanging bankers, I think that could be a solution" (slyt)
posted by 445supermag (76 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
I can't watch this in my country.
posted by parmanparman at 7:47 PM on April 15, 2011


MY GOD I HATE YOU CHANNEL FOUR FOR BLOCKING STUFF ON COPYRIGHT GROUNDS WHEN I'M IN THE UK AND THAT'S WHERE IT IS FROM! ARGH!

Also, this could have been fleshed out more.

Maybe link to Max Keiser's website / wikipedia / Russia Today show.

And here's a previously for 10 O'Clock Live.
posted by knapah at 7:48 PM on April 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wow. YouTube comments are normally cesspool of vitriol and baiting, but these are actually somewhat decent.
posted by anarch at 7:49 PM on April 15, 2011


Here he is on twitter too.
posted by knapah at 7:49 PM on April 15, 2011


That guy from Goldman Sachs looks like he knows he deserves to feel that rope around his neck, and also that he's pretty sure he'll never feel it at the same time. It's a slimy look.

Anyway, yeah, Max Keiser! Sign me up for that guy's newsletter!
posted by carsonb at 7:57 PM on April 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Where is Mini-max baby.
posted by clavdivs at 7:57 PM on April 15, 2011


heh
posted by clavdivs at 7:58 PM on April 15, 2011


Well, we've tried not hanging them and that hasn't worked.
posted by boo_radley at 8:02 PM on April 15, 2011 [73 favorites]


I thought we were supposed to kill all the lawyers.
posted by stargell at 8:06 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am a lawyer, and I will gladly go to the gallows if the bankers are in front of me.
posted by Maxson at 8:09 PM on April 15, 2011 [35 favorites]


Thanks, 445supermag, very interesting.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:11 PM on April 15, 2011


The point that isn't really made in the show is that effective reform requires political will, and political will rarely comes from dispassionate debate.
posted by ropeladder at 8:28 PM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am a lawyer, and I will gladly go to the gallows if the bankers are in front of me.

Eeesh, that's a tricky one. Sadly it was decided some time ago that killing all the lawyers is the first thing we'll do. Sorry about that.
posted by Jehan at 8:29 PM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hang the DJ!
posted by not_on_display at 8:35 PM on April 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Nobody seems to have asked an important question. Is there ANYONE who thinks a few hangings would be counter productive?
posted by varion at 8:39 PM on April 15, 2011


Yes.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 8:51 PM on April 15, 2011


That guy from Goldman Sachs looks like he knows he deserves to feel that rope around his neck, and also that he's pretty sure he'll never feel it at the same time. It's a slimy look.
Actually the Goldman Sachs guy backed him up, saying "Well, people haven't found specific individuals to hold accountable..." The Goldman guy probably doesn't feel like he specifically would be one of those people, and he's probably not.
posted by delmoi at 8:56 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe link to Max Keiser's website / wikipedia / Russia Today show.

Oh, he has a show on the Kremlin Propaganda Channel, does he?

A real revolutionary there.

I'm no friend of bankers, but seriously, fuck that guy.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:59 PM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


'Cause if there's one thing Progressives can all
agree on, it's that there's no place for compassion for people who aren't like them.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:00 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Max Kaiser and his ilk can bitch and moan all they want, and in many cases rightly so, but nothing actually happens in corporateworld (especially against entrenched companies like banks) until you file a lawsuit against them. You have to name names and make specific allegations. If your case is solid, they will offer a settlement. DO NOT TAKE IT.
posted by blargerz at 9:04 PM on April 15, 2011


You have to name names and make specific allegations. If your case is solid, they will offer a settlement.

Google standing. You can just sue people for sucking, you have to have a specific case.
posted by delmoi at 9:07 PM on April 15, 2011


'Cause if there's one thing Progressives can all
agree on, it's that there's no place for compassion for people who aren't like them.


What on Earth--or whatever planet it is that you're on--are you talking about?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:16 PM on April 15, 2011


If your case is solid, they will offer a settlement. DO NOT TAKE IT.

Oh, but they all do. In the end everybody does. No matter how righteous the cause, everybody has a mortgage to pay and a kid in need of braces.
posted by falameufilho at 9:17 PM on April 15, 2011


blargerz: "nothing actually happens in corporateworld (especially against entrenched companies like banks) until you file a lawsuit against them"

So his proposals to a) force the government to enforce existing laws and b) enact new stricter regulatory laws are less likely to change something than his bringing a lawsuit against the banks one by one? I don't think you can just go and take "the banking industry" to court.
posted by idiopath at 9:18 PM on April 15, 2011


So his proposals to a) force the government to enforce existing laws and b) enact new stricter regulatory laws are less likely to change something than his bringing a lawsuit against the banks one by one? I don't think you can just go and take "the banking industry" to court.

You can sue specific banks for mishandling the mortgage underwriting/servicing/foreclosure system, which is what many states' attorneys general have done, but last time I checked, they are accepting a settlement for peanuts.

You could also sue banks for knowingly selling "shitty paper", and betting against the very products they peddled to customers.

Then you got the whole ratings agency debacle, where the very firms entrusted to perform due dilligence on debt instruments were funded by the banks themselves.

My point is, if you really want to go after it, you have your choice of targets. But this type of litigation obviously requires a huge bankroll. Since the Federal gov't seems less than interested in pursuing these issues, it would require plaintiffs firms to take a flyer like they did on asbestos and tobacco. Unfortunately, my guess is many lawyers are not comfortable with the subject matter, due to its incredibly complicated and technical nature.
posted by blargerz at 9:31 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


You could also sue banks for knowingly selling "shitty paper", and betting against the very products they peddled to customers.

You can if you were their customer.
posted by delmoi at 9:34 PM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


You can if you were their customer.

How about if you had your money invested in a fund that owned said paper?
posted by blargerz at 9:39 PM on April 15, 2011


Not only are we not hanging them, we didn't lock them up (like we did with the S&Ls), and instead of suing them (like suggested above) and taking money from them, we threw money at them (and their wives).
posted by 445supermag at 9:43 PM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


When the one guy who keeps defending the banks says the economy is out of money because "we spent it all", is he displaying a total misunderstanding of macroeconomics, trying to shift the blame, or what?
posted by idiopath at 9:49 PM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Unfortunately, my guess is many lawyers are not comfortable with the subject matter, due to its incredibly complicated and technical nature.

Nah. The laws themselves, especially securities laws, are what define the subject matter. I think you had it right from the get-go. These are very expensive cases to run, even if you're just trying to get to class certification.

The private market isn't suited to standing in for regulators here. Unfortunately, the DOJ isn't interested in and the SEC isn't capable of taking on a major bank or CEO.
posted by Marty Marx at 9:50 PM on April 15, 2011


instead of suing them (like suggested above) and taking money from them, we threw money at them

I understand Bush/Obama's urgent desire to stabilize matters during the height of the crisis, but at the end of the day, if you don't hold parties accountable for illegal or blantantly tortious actions, what is the point of having a legal system? If the Gov't is afraid to stand up to the banks, then who really wields power?
posted by blargerz at 9:55 PM on April 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


When the one guy who keeps defending the banks says the economy is out of money because "we spent it all", is he displaying a total misunderstanding of macroeconomics, trying to shift the blame, or what?

He's trying to put all the blame on the people who got mortgages they couldn't afford, and ran up their credit cards. Even though he fails to mention the banks were promoting and profiting off these very activities. He probably is tacitly espousing the idea that banks have no business in having a social conscience -- that's the job for the regulators.
posted by blargerz at 10:00 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hang the bankers, the lawyers, the DJ...

but do NOT shoot the messenger, the piano player or the deputy.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:06 PM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


10 O'clock Live looks like quite a talk show. I thought it was satire until somewhere into the four minute mark when that David Mitchell guy said something like "This isn't a democracy and I don't give a fuck what they think." (While gesturing at the audience.) "You're talking to me." Then they showed the audience reaction as everyone realized that he meant it. A lot more fun than the The McLaughlin Group!
posted by Kevin Street at 10:07 PM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


David Mitchell is a gift unto us all.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:31 PM on April 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


Seriously. YouTube the man. QI, Soapbox, Mitchell and Webb, Peep Show, 10 o clock.....
posted by lazaruslong at 10:34 PM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have for some time thought that while the image that comes to mind from the early 20th C. economic crash was of bankers jumping out of high windows, we should make the image of the 21st C. crash one of them being pushed.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:42 PM on April 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


This bailout is a big part of the reason the interest rates on our savings accounts are in the shitter. Maybe if every poor sap in this country were actually given the interest they deserved for their savings and at the end of the year forced to write a check and hand it over to a billionaire banker then people would realize the farce that has taken place.
posted by any major dude at 10:44 PM on April 15, 2011


This bailout is a big part of the reason the interest rates on our savings accounts are in the shitter.

Some argue, and I believe correctly, that the zero interest rate we have right now *is* the real bailout. Banks are able to get 0% interest loans from the Fed and "invest" with it, making billions in risk-free profit.
posted by blargerz at 10:54 PM on April 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Unfortunately, my guess is many lawyers are not comfortable with the subject matter, due to its incredibly complicated and technical nature.

These are very expensive cases to run, even if you're just trying to get to class certification.

As someone who's spent the last 3 years or so defending a bank client over CDOs and RMBSs that were structured during the 2006-2007 time period, I can assure you that there is no shortage of plaintiffs' firms that are 1) extraordinarily well versed in the vagaries of mortgage backed securities and securities law, and 2) have deep deep pockets to pursue these cases, which are not as expensive as you might think (they are expensive to defend, to be sure).

http://securities.stanford.edu/litigation_activity.html

The charts on that page give you a rough estimate of how much credit-crisis related litigation is going on. Every single bank on the street is probably facing at least 4-5 lawsuits with notional liability in the billions. The collective amount of potential liability that Bank of America faces as the successor to Merrill Lynch and Countrywide as underwriters is well into the hundreds of billions (although there are dozens of factors that will lower that amount significantly, even assuming they are found fully liable).

www.oakbridgeins.com/clients/blog/subprimelawsuitslist.doc

It looks like there are about 226 lawsuits that have been filed related to the subprime crisis. I can assure you there is no shortage of private market persons who are attempting to draw blood from the financial industry right now. And that doesn't include suits amongst the financial industry players, i.e., MBIA's rash of lawsuits against everyone it can think of.
posted by shen1138 at 10:55 PM on April 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


so Hamilton was wrong.
posted by clavdivs at 10:58 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have for some time thought that while the image that comes to mind from the early 20th C. economic crash was of bankers jumping out of high windows, we should make the image of the 21st C. crash one of them being pushed.

If you're referring to the crash of 1929, it wouldn't have been bankers jumping but rather stock speculators who couldn't meet margin calls and hence had lost what they believed to be vast fortunes. However, Galbraith in The Great Crash, 1929 states that it never really happened.
posted by Jehan at 11:38 PM on April 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


O'clock Live looks like quite a talk show. I thought it was satire until somewhere into the four minute mark when that David Mitchell guy said something like "This isn't a democracy and I don't give a fuck what they think."

See, that's what we need.off we just had someone during and authoritarian enough, we could get of this silly democracy nonsense and REALLY get shit done!
posted by happyroach at 11:38 PM on April 15, 2011


And that doesn't include suits amongst the financial industry players, i.e., MBIA's rash of lawsuits against everyone it can think of.
Nor does it include criminal charges.
posted by rhizome at 11:51 PM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


You can if you were their customer.

Certainly looks like some of them are interested.
posted by rodgerd at 12:04 AM on April 16, 2011


Thanks for this post (and the links, knapah)! I've never heard of Max Keiser before, he's some mad genius!
posted by relooreloo at 12:07 AM on April 16, 2011


"See, that's what we need.off we just had someone during and authoritarian enough, we could get of this silly democracy nonsense and REALLY get shit done!"

Well no, that wouldn't be a good solution to the financial crisis. (Or any crisis.) It's just really surprising to hear the moderator of a talk show say that he wants to discuss issues, and doesn't care if the crowd is entertained.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:37 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I always find it peculiar that Channel 4, a British TV company, blocks YT content in the UK. What's up with that?

As for hanging bankers, hell, I've been saying that for years.
posted by Decani at 1:28 AM on April 16, 2011


Anybody else notice that subliminal advertisement for Windows XP Professional?
posted by telstar at 1:56 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


UK viewable link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYrbbX8COgA#t=975s
posted by surrendering monkey at 2:18 AM on April 16, 2011


The entire show's also available on the 4od site (along with a few previous ones): http://www.channel4.com/programmes/10-oclock-live/4od for U.K. viewing.

Which is possibly why the YouTube link doesn't work here, they want people going to their own site to watch it so they can cross-market their other shows.

I dunno about hanging, it's a bit quick: having them pay back all the money they ripped off from their betters, and then spend the rest of their life in some socially responsible and beneficial line of work (doing tax returns for the poor?) to compensate for the money they spent and the damage they did, though, that I could really get behind.

A nice first start would be an actual admission of wrong-doing, wrong-headedness, and to _actually stop fucking stealing money_ from people who actually produce /things/ for a living.
posted by titus-g at 2:54 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


They're nothing but a low-down, double-dealing, backstabbing, larcenous perverted worms! Hanging's too good for'em. Burning's too good for'em! They should be torn into little bitsy pieces and buried alive!
posted by TheCoyote23 at 3:12 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ooooh, that was fascinating.

For reference, the people are: The Goldman Sachs guy, Richard Sharp, was the most interesting - I wanted to hear more from him. But he clearly moved in technical circles, so I didn't understand many of his responses.

Max Keiser, the anti-bank guy, "won" the argument, though, by playing to the audience and doing lots of alpha-male primate stuff - check out the hand on his neighbour's shoulder and the patronising "you've got Stockholm Syndrome" comments.

The sort-of-pro-bank, James Max, had interesting stuff to say but got riled and hung up on Max Keiser saying "bankers should be killed", and Max Keiser fed on that and stomped him.

Reminded me of MetaFilter!

That was great. I found it fascinating. And then it just stopped! We should have had twenty-five minutes of that, we might have got somewhere. I wanted to know more about James Sharp's expertise, why he often agreed with Max Keiser, and what James Max had to say in response.
posted by alasdair at 3:19 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


...but at the end of the day, if you don't hold parties accountable for illegal or blantantly tortious actions, what is the point of having a legal system?

Obviously, to get those deadbeat homeowners to own-up to their financial responsibilities, of course. Duh.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:45 AM on April 16, 2011


Hanging is too good for them. Bring back the guillotine.
posted by briank at 6:18 AM on April 16, 2011


This rhetoric is shameful, and every bit as disturbing as Palin's "target these congressmen" with crosshairs.

I mean, I don't like banks either, but words mean something and many here are advocating extreme violence - just stop it.
posted by violinflu at 7:07 AM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


> I mean, I don't like banks either, but words mean something and many here are advocating extreme violence - just stop it.

An honest question - why? What better strategy do we have? What is a more ethical strategy to take?

We're talking about people who are criminals on a grand scale - they knowingly committed crimes for their own profit, and got away with it entirely, while tens of millions of people lost their savings, their retirements, their jobs or even their homes - indeed, considering that the current high prices for food are almost certainly due to the deflationary effect of trillions of dollars being destroyed in a small time, they have caused some number of people to literally starve to death.

The government's response has been to lend them money - our money - at very low or even zero interest rates, and even to flat out give them money for free. No one went to jail or was even banned from the industry. A few token fines were paid, less than 1% of 1% of the total damages.

So what are we to do?

Vote for the other political party? That hasn't worked very well, has it?

Protests? (I'm going to one on Monday in NYC...) Even less effective, I think.

Shall we just ignore it? But if nothing changes, what will the world of 20 years from now be like? If every penny of excess value is taken by the banksters, if everyone except a few familied or talented individuals are working at near-slave wages forever - how will we live?

Given the massive injury to the people, and our complete inability to seek redress from our predators using electoral or legal systems, how long can this go on?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:45 AM on April 16, 2011 [12 favorites]


Okay, I'm not really a violent person. I'm a vegetarian, for Christ's sake; I don't even want to kill animals for food. So I'm thinking a nice gulag kind of deal. Let 'em dig ditches and build roads and go a little cold and hungry and live the way they've been happy to allow so many other people in this country to live. Just add a few (more) armed guards. I'm sure North Dakota and Nevada could use a few roads and ditches and such, right?

Maybe not really but it's a thought. 10 to 20 years in the regular prison system and asset forfeiture would probably be enough.
posted by dilettante at 8:08 AM on April 16, 2011


You know who else was a vegetarian and thought the jewish bankers should go to a gulag?
posted by jenkinsEar at 8:45 AM on April 16, 2011


(not saying you're antisemitic- just that vegetarianism isn't a historically credible place to claim innocence of ill intent against fellow humans).
posted by jenkinsEar at 8:46 AM on April 16, 2011


Hanging, eh? Well, I dunno… I was thinking something more like this.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:16 AM on April 16, 2011


They're nothing but a low-down, double-dealing, backstabbing, larcenous perverted worms! Hanging's too good for'em. Burning's too good for'em! They should be torn into little bitsy pieces and buried alive!
posted by TheCoyote23


James Max -> Hanover Fiste
Richard Sharpe -> Captain Stern
Max Keiser -> prosecutor
David Mitchell -> Judge


If only James Max had found the Loc-Nar this would have been some really entertaining television...
posted by 445supermag at 9:17 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you're the only guy in the room yelling, you've lost your argument.
posted by maryr at 9:22 AM on April 16, 2011


You know who else was a vegetarian and thought the jewish bankers should go to a gulag?
posted by jenkinsEar at 8:45 AM on April 16 [+] [!]

(not saying you're antisemitic- just that vegetarianism isn't a historically credible place to claim innocence of ill intent against fellow humans).
posted by jenkinsEar at 8:46 AM on April 16 [+] [!]


I'm not saying you're full of shit and have your facts wrong, it's just that Hitler's vegetarianism is a tired old trope that people trot out when they want to take cheap shots at vegetarians by engaging in Reductio ad Hitlerum.

I do know who was an actual, real-world, practicing vegetarian, though.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:08 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


OK, this is a stupid derail- I'm just saying that identifying yourself as a vegetarian (as Dilettante did, above) by no means indicates that you are a non-violent person. Other examples include Pol Pot and Charles Manson.

Also, the wikipedia article on the subject seems to suggest that maybe you are calling folks "full of shit" a little prematurely- at best, there is reason to believe that - regardless of motivation- Hitler ate a largely vegetarian diet.
According to these transcripts dated November 11, 1941 Hitler said, "One may regret living at a period when it's impossible to form an idea of the shape the world of the future will assume. But there's one thing I can predict to eaters of meat: the world of the future will be vegetarian." On January 12, 1942, he said, "The only thing of which I shall be incapable is to share the sheiks' mutton with them. I'm a vegetarian, and they must spare me from their meat."[7]

In private conversations, Hitler often recited the benefits of eating raw vegetables, fruit, and grains, particularly for children and soldiers. In an attempt to disgust dinner guests and provoke them into shying away from meat, he reportedly told graphic stories of visits he had made to a slaughterhouse in Ukraine.
Are you really saying that all vegetarians are like Gandhi? Is it perhaps you who are full of shit?
posted by jenkinsEar at 10:28 AM on April 16, 2011


If you're the only guy in the room yelling, you've lost your argument.

No, it usually mean your the only one not invested in safeguarding the conventional wisdom.

Remember all those shrill losers screaming that there wasn't sufficient proof of the existence WMDs to justify an invasion?
posted by bonobothegreat at 12:44 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Isn't Max Keiser the same guy who tried to get people to buy silver in order to crash JP Morgan? It sounds no different from the pump-and-dump scammers who send out tips on penny stocks, but with the added aspect of pandering to the angry crowd. "Silver Liberation Army"? Seriously? And this is the last place I thought to find people rallying behind some Ron Paul-esque scaremongerer peddling silver bullion coins on his blog.

Reading any thread on Metafilter that is even remotely related to bankers or the financial industry is like reading Youtube comments. Even in a thread unrelated to finance - just plop in a comment along the lines of "They should be arresting the TRUE criminals on Wall Street" and instantly rack up 20 favorites.
posted by mehmet at 1:19 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Max Keiser's blatant crowd-pandering was kind of shocking, but not as shocking as my own gut reaction on his side cheering him on. It didn't help but the Goldman Sachs guy looked so incredibly insufferable throughout the whole time. That little smirk on his face and his smug little insults against Keiser, just incredibly infuriating, and thus playing right into Keiser's hands.

There is a huge swell of popular opinion against the banks right now, and the governments involved are enormously perceived as catering to their whims. This is exactly the kind of environment in which rabble-rousers can make names for themselves and forge careers, and that is worrying.
posted by JHarris at 2:24 PM on April 16, 2011


I've been banking hangers all of my life. I always end up with a closet full of them.
posted by Splunge at 3:00 PM on April 16, 2011


There is a huge swell of popular opinion against the banks right now, and the governments involved are enormously perceived as catering to their whims. This is exactly the kind of environment in which rabble-rousers can make names for themselves and forge careers, and that is worrying.

Yes, I know, that awful rabble, being upset at being swindled out of savings, educations, homes, jobs and retirements by criminals who are feted and proclaimed saviours at the highest levels. This is the kind of environment that makes those evil populists look good. Oh, how I wish that rabble would just quiet down and get ready for the next ass-raping like good serfs. After all, what are we, collectivists? We must redouble our efforts to keep politics clean of the people's complaints or we shall enter the socialist maw in which evil collectivists claim all our hard earned savings, our educations, our jobs, our homes, our retirements and then where would we be?
posted by telstar at 3:15 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


James Max's argument really convinced me... that he's a tosser.
posted by Dodecadermaldenticles at 3:34 PM on April 16, 2011


In Financial Crisis, No Prosecutions of Top Figures
posted by telstar at 10:37 PM on April 16, 2011


Regardless Keiser's approach, his message is sound: we've not prosecuted ANYONE of significance related to the financial crisis. I feel that this has been Obama's biggest failure as President.

What nobody seems to recognize is that the modern financial system is absolutely rotten to the core. They don't recognize that the investment guys - the big ones who caused this mess - are the ultimate alpha males. They are the wolves who see the chickens in the hen house and are so fixated on those chickens that fences, walls, coops be damned - they're going to find a way around the safeguards to make their cash. These guys are self-admittedly borderline sociopaths and they're smart, focused, driven and determined. Until they are properly restrained and limited they will do this again and again and again.

Government, as I stated before, has done little to demonstrate that it is an effective regulator. The amount of regulatory capture of agencies like the SEC and the Federal Reserve is staggering and again to Keiser's point, government is run by these guys and their proxies, so how can we expect them to enfore the rules?

Main street knows it was screwed in the whole deal and knows it will get screwed again. This is all part of the long decline of faith in government to actually protect us, and I would argue that the ineffectiveness/inability of government to regulate and then prosecute since 2008 has done more to harm our federal institutions than anything prior. Had Obama laid down the law in 2009-2010 and started prosecuting en masse he would be enjoying mass approval ratings. Of this I'm sure. But his failure to do so has demonstrated that he, and the Presidency in general, are impotent against the will of the banking cartel.
posted by tgrundke at 5:27 AM on April 17, 2011


he, and the Presidency in general, are impotent against the will of the banking cartel.

I'm not buying "impotent" anymore. From healthcare to bank reform to warmongering, Mr. Obama is not an impotent, well meaning fellow shackled by the limitations of his office, he's complicit.

Stupid side note: I just watched "Inside Job." One of the CEOs paying himself these outrageous bonuses was a black man. It was funny to have a "We've come a long way, Baby" moment in the middle of my frothing rage.
posted by Trochanter at 8:03 AM on April 17, 2011


Had Obama laid down the law in 2009-2010 and started prosecuting en masse he would be enjoying mass approval ratings. Of this I'm sure. But his failure to do so has demonstrated that he, and the Presidency in general, are impotent against the will of the banking cartel.

Impotent implies that he would like to go after them but is incapable. I question the premise that he wants to go after them and hold them accountable.

Obama is not and never was a "liberal". He's a centrist Democrat whose policies 40+ years ago would have made him a liberal Republican (back when there were such things). Obama is a corporatist through and through. I voted for him because McCain would have been worse.

As I see American politics today, getting to the top means one of two attitudes:
-We take care of the rich and powerful and the rest can just suck it up from their ghettos outside the walled compound. (Republican)
-The rest of the country doesn't have to get completely, irredeemably fucked over while we take care of the rich & powerful inside their walled compounds. (Democrat)

From Gen Greenwald on Obama's supposed "poor budget negotiating":
Reagan was "transformational" because he changed conventional wisdom and those premises continue to pervade our political discourse.

When has Obama ever done any of that? When does he offer stirring, impassioned defenses of the Democrats' vision on anything, or attempt to transform (rather than dutifully follow) how Americans think about anything? It's not that he lacks the ability to do that. Americans responded to him as an inspirational figure and his skills of oratory are as effective as any politician in our lifetime. It's that he evinces no interest in it. He doesn't try because those aren't his goals. It's not that he or the office of the Presidency are powerless to engender other outcomes; it's that he doesn't use the power he has to achieve them because, quite obviously, achieving them is not his priority or even desire.

Whether in economic policy, national security, civil liberties, or the permanent consortium of corporate power that runs Washington, Obama, above all else, is content to be (one could even say eager to be) guardian of the status quo.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:07 AM on April 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Remember all those shrill losers screaming that there wasn't sufficient proof of the existence WMDs to justify an invasion?

And yet we invaded. I'm not saying they were wrong. I'm saying that they lost their argument.
posted by maryr at 11:40 AM on April 18, 2011


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