Sunday, December 14, 2008

Senator Charles Schumer, Wall Street, Deregulation and the Current Crisis

“He [Schumer] is mindful that this is a very big part of his constituency — Wall Street.”

Today's New York Times' "A Champion of Wall Street Reaps Benefits: the Reckoning," a lengthy piece by Eric Lipton, Raymond Hernandez, with contributions by Griff Palmer, recounts the role played by the senior Democratic Senator from New York, Charles Schumer. The piece is well-worth reading.

“We are not going to be a bunch of crazy, anti-business liberals,” one executive said, summarizing Mr. Schumer’s remarks. “We are going to be effective, moderate advocates for sound economic policies, good responsible stewards you can trust.”

Responsible stewards indeed! Trustworthy, without a doubt!

Schumer epitomizes the neoliberal sensibilities dominant among the Democrats: deregulate, deregulate, deregulate. Now that the crisis has struck that others could see and warned vigorously of, warnings that Schumer dismissed while helping his primary constituency, Wall Street, make boatloads of money, Schumer is now backing some limited regulatory mechanisms and blaming the crisis on those that he had helped so much when the storm clouds were gathering. This is Schumer doing what he has always done and what has characterized his career, protecting big capital's interests.

No, those aren't storm clouds, Schumer would say. Those clouds are bright white, they're not dark and gloomy. That wind you feel is merely a trifle. A slight breeze. Not the harbingers of a hurricane.

With leaders such as these, beholden to and in the pockets of the corporate elite, no wonder we're in such straits. But this is what neoliberalism reaps.

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