How power and influence allowed big banks to rewrite the rules of our economy

Big banks are rewriting the rules of our economy to the exclusive benefit of their own bottom line. But how did our political and financial class shift the benefits of the economy to the very top, while saddling us with greater debt and tearing new holes in the safety net? Bill Moyers talks with former Citigroup Chairman John Reed and former Senator Byron Dorgan to explore a momentous instance: how the mid-90s merger of Citicorp and Travelers Group and a friendly Presidential pen — brought down the Glass-Steagall Act, a crucial firewall between banks and investment firms which had protected consumers from financial calamity since the aftermath of the Great Depression. In effect, says Moyers, they put the watchdog to sleep. Here is a direct link to the clip.

Moyers & Company Show 103: How power and influence helped big banks rewrite the rules of our economy. from on Vimeo.

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10 Responses to How power and influence allowed big banks to rewrite the rules of our economy

  1. dazzo says:

    MF Global Customer Funds Were Not “Vaporized” – Stanley Haar Takes WSJ to Task

  2. dazzo says:

    Privatizing of Gains and Socializing of Losses; You Want the News? From Where?

  3. Occupy Greenspan says:

    The big banks control the Federal Reserve System since the Fed was established to protect the big banks and nobody else. Is it a surprise that the Fed is holding rates near 0% as the big banks reliquify and rebuild their balance sheets as retirees and savers are slowly being drained of their purchasing power. When will the financial bloggers and journalists start telling the story about that? The Fed isn’t our friend, it is owned by the big banks and run for the benefit of the big banks.

    Danielle, while I enjoy reading your blog, the “I Support Occupy Wall Street” banner is really misplaced, isn’t it? The entire system is set up so the governments and the bankers win at our expense. Where are the “I Support Occupy Washington DC” or “I Support Occupy the Fed” banners? How about the “I Support Occupy the Sell Out in the White House” banner? Or the “I Support Occupy Berkshire Hathaway” banner for the phony baloney that is Warren Buffett, who has set up his entire investment structure to avoid paying taxes, got billions in taxpayer bailout funds, and now buys his indulgences at the alter of liberalism by letting Obama wrap up his class warfare in “Buffett Rule” demagoguery.

  4. The banner says “I support the Occupy movement” which is broad enough to include all the various aspects of the movement. In general I support the intuition of the movement that our government has been hijacked over the past 30 years by a band of weak leaders: politicians and CEO’s that put their own best interests ahead of everything else, while they blow up companies and depend on the tax payers to make them whole. Not only make them whole, make them unjustifiably wealthy. This is not the American dream, it is not capitalism, and it is undermining the rule of law and our democracy. Just because the police cleared protestors from some parks does not mean that this revolution for necessary change is done or complete. Good people must see this through and insist that change actually happens. It will take some time, persistence and commitment from good people everywhere. Time to stand up for something or we will keeping falling.

  5. Robert Lynn says:

    Shouldn’t you be displaying an “I Support The Tea Party” instead of the Marxo-Fascist “Progressives” behind the so-called Occupy Movement who built this house of cards and then blew it down? This is all part of the Obama re-election campaign and I predict that we will see Obama come out strongly for the equivalent of the 1938 Stalinist show trials for selected Wall Street types. The Occupy Movement is fighting against property rights, rule of law, and individual freedom and in other words they are totally on board with the Obama program. Progressives of either party must be voted out of office or the financial system will never be restored.

  6. doug robertson says:

    It will be quite interesting to see what the Occupy movement morphs into as time moves along especially come spring time. Its not a movement per se, but rather a symptom of what is perceived to be wrong and unfair in this country. Specifically the Aging Babyboomers scooping up all the goodies because they GOT LUCKY and PLAYED BY THE RULES. The kids are not alright.

    Well, the rules will have to be ‘modified’ or ‘changed’ in order for all of us to move forward without a new American revolution changing the whole playing field without a lot of pain and suffering, and hopefully without violence.

  7. Robert Lynn says:

    Here’s an example of Occupy Wall Street in action:

    I don’t think that it is going to morph into anything other than what it is, just another group that is working to democracy and prosperity.

  8. Occupy Greenspan says:

    After I posted, I did see the “Occupy Movement” and wanted to edit my post. Sorry about that.

    But isn’t supporting the “Occupy Movement” so broad a claim that it really means nothing – or more likely means a different thing to everyone, thereby meaning nothing?

    Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer didn’t want to “wear the ribbon”.

    I also see major partisanship in the “Occupy Movement” that tells me it’s not about Wall Street and the political class. Why aren’t they camping outside George Soro’s apartment, or Bob Rubin’s or Franklin Raine’s (walked away from FNM with $100M and a major accounting scandle in his wake and now we bail them out). Or at Buffett’s home in Omaha, since his AIG took billions in bailout funds to stay solvent. Or how about Bill Clinton’s home in NY. Didn’t he sign the legislation that allowed securitization of mortgages that led to the housing mess? Or Barney Frank’s house – didn’t he stand in the way of investigating Fannie and Freddy when there were solvency concerns?

    And the irony is so thick with our President, who on one side of his mouth says he supports the Occupy folks and on the other side he’s in NYC at a megafund raiser for his campaign with “those evil Wall Streeters”.

    I won’t support the “Occupy Movement” until I see that their efforts are uniformly directed against those institutions or people responsible, regardless of whether there’s an R or D next to their names.

  9. Occupy Greenspan says:

    You might want to read Ann Coulter’s book “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America”, as I believe it gives us all a picture of where the “Occupy” movement may be heading.

    She uses history to show the stark differences between the American and French Revolutions. The French Revolution was essentially a mob action, and the guillotine was used quite extensively, usually without legitimate legal protections. Even people that helped launch the French Revolution were later guillotined or threatened with it to quiet their voices when the mob turned on them.

    My fear is the “Occupy Movement” eventually becomes that violent mob that threatens to destroy the values that made America great and tries to replace it with the failed policies of socialism or communism. And folks that support the “Occupy Movement” today will eventually realize the mistake they’ve made, but of course by then the toothpaste is out of the tube.

    Lady Thatcher was ever so right when she said “The problem with Socialism is that you eventually run out of someone else’s money”. Isn’t that what Greece is all about? Isn’t that what is threatening Europe? Isn’t that going on in the US, where almost 50% of its population don’t pay Federal Income Tax.

  10. Occupy Greenspan says:

    Policeman hit in face with brick thrown by “Occupy DC’ protester

    What if the violence gets worse and people start dying or buildings start burning. Will you still support the “Occupy Movement” then, Danielle?

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