The U.S. Congress has fallen a long way from the days of the Glass-Steagall Act (1933 – 1995).
Just take the embarrassing deference with which virtually all senators treated Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase last week.
Mr. Dimon, long a strident advocate for continuing the castration of New Deal regulations on Wall Street that served this country so well from the 1930’s through the 1990’s in preventing the kind of boom and bust cycles that have always plagued unregulated capitalist economies, was supposedly being brought before a Senate Committee to explain how he managed to preside over a $2 billion loss at Morgan Stanley on precisely the kind of hedged bets that regulators are deciding whether to restrict right now under the new Dodd-Frank law.
Mr. Dimon need not have worried that that he would be forced to explain anything.
Instead, we were treated to a self-flagellation by most senators – particularly the Republican Senators on the committee.
Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) fellated Dimon with the following: “We can hardly sit in judgment of you losing $2 billion. We lose that every day here in Washington. I would like to come away from this hearing with some ideas from you of what we need to do.” Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) asked guru Dimon, “What should the function of the regulators be?” Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) even asked, “If you were sitting on this side of the dais what would you do to make our system safer than it is?”
Our own Senator Scott Brown (R-Wall Street) knows not to shamelessly fawn over Mr. Dimon during this particular election year, at least publicly, but it has now been revealed that he was shamelessly working in secret behind the scenes to do the testicular cutting himself. But you would never know that from his most recent political ad against his opponent Elizabeth Warren:
“The problem with Washington is that people down there are always battling. That’s not how I operate. We’re Americans first, and I’ll work with anyone to get things done. I was the tie-breaking vote on Wall Street reform.”
Actually, Senator Brown (R-Wall Street) was instrumental in weakening the Volcker Rule, which was meant to rein in just the kind of risky trading with federally backed dollars by the nation’s biggest banks that Dimon engaged in. He also forced Democrats to strip from the law a $19 billion bank tax. Funny, he doesn’t mention this in his ad.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, employees from the securities and investment industries have given more money to Brown than those of any other industry. Are we about to re-elect Scott Brown (R-Wall Street), our own Senator Cypher? I hope not, I’m voting for Elizabeth Warren who is leading the fight to champion Main Street against the special interests of Wall Street by re-instating Glass-Steagall.
Fred Rich LaRiccia