According to 96% of their own PR execs, crooked banking executives have generated so much negative public sentiment that there is no one to blame but themselves for the fact they are held in such low esteem. There are daily reports now that all point to the same conclusions.
Not only did irresponsible, fraudulent and often criminal business practices cause the 2008 meltdown, it appears that because these institutions were deemed Too Big To Fail, because there was never a significant penalty or prosecutions, and because they remained in business thanks to the looting of the Treasury, the bad news is going to keep coming in until something is done. Serious, institutional reform along with the purging of the current crop of idiots impersonating responsible businessmen is required.
Yesterday Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan referred to his own employees, the people he hired incidentally, as “stupid” while other adjectives were provided by news services and business writers reporting on the $2 billion dollar losses that drove down stock values around the world. Again.
How many “fails” does it take before the stark, dismal reality of TBTF model is finally done away with? How long can the taxpayers support these greedy creeps who are always show up at the public trough right after they are exposed as bumbling criminals that should be standing in lunch lines instead of the people they ripped off?
How many more illegal foreclosures are required? How many student loan defaults? How many teachers must be fired to compensate for these morons and who is going to pay for their (continuing) losses? How can the rest of the population be expected to finance their malfeasance and criminal conduct?
Keep in mind that $7 trillion in losses on home valuations was absorbed by working class folks, many of whom are upside down on the mortgages if not in foreclosure. With four million more foreclosures pending, the market still hasn't bottomed-out after four years.
(Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is spewing rhetoric that once the market does bottom-out, free market capitalism will return and restore order. Here is your proof that not only is Romney detached from reality, he is also ignorant of the facts, especially the cause-and-effect relationship between the banks and the massive losses incurred, which everyone but Romney seems to grasp by simply reading a newspaper or watching the news. And this clown wants to be President?)
I went through a list of the issues that have gained some traction over the last year or so, and just about every one of them was the direct result of crooked bankers scoffing at the public, the law, and even their own investors. This sector is conspicuously drunk with its own power and influence; a sector that produces nothing but demands everything.
The banks are handed freshly printed money. They sell it to the public ten times over at a profit then sit on their fat asses and collect the interest. They produce nothing but misery and debt. Any idiot can lose $2 billion, so why is Jamie Dimon getting paid almost $20 million annually for it?
While we are waiting for the public to find a way to express their displeasure at the polls, public opinion of both the banking executives and their alleged regulators will continue to spiral downward because most people understand that they were punished for following the rules while the real criminals were getting a pass.
This also provides a rather unique political opportunity, however. The public is seeking an honest politician, (pardon the oxymoron). It only asks for justice and fairness instead of the perverse form of anti-capitalism that continues to undermine labor, drive down market values, cut jobs, jeopardize pension funds, and steal from the people that are obligated to feed its mind-numbing appetite for other people's money.
Everyone else lives with the realities of unemployment, foreclosure, budget cuts, declining investments and the growing threat of inflation. Why are the banks immune?
So where are the politicians that could step up at any time and command a vast, likely non-partisan, segment of support? Are they so subservient to the banking sector that they fear them and their lobbyists as it appears? This brings us back to the Citizens United decision of course. The political system is so awash in cash contributions (and Newt Gingrich promissory notes), that anyone resembling an honest politician is targeted by those same interests, and it ain't pretty.
I would suggest that if there is no defense against the criminal class running the banking sector, if the political system has devolved to the point that it is nothing more than a shadow government that serves corporate interests, the bad news will continue to cause resentment that won't go away until the public sees some fixes being implemented.
Therefore, overturning Citizens United is a priority because you can't ask a politician to give up their campaign cash while their opponents are raking it in to defeat them.
There is a group called Move to Amend that properly pointed out long ago that this needs to be resolved sooner rather than later. As far as priorities, it must considered the primary objective for any thinking American that is tired of watching their votes, their money, and their civil rights tossed into the fire that keeps the banking sector warm and cozy in mansions instead of the prisons they should be occupying.
Every candidate should be expected to answer one question, relevant for many reasons, but especially because the Supreme Court was almost evenly divided on the opinion. Where do you stand on corporations being designated as people? And if you agree with the 5-4 decision, why is the word "corporation" nowhere to be found in the U.S. Constitution?
It may not solve all of the maladies that continue to undermine the global economy, driving entire countries into unmanageable debt and foreclosure victims onto the street, but eliminating this perverse dynamic, this anti-capitalist abomination, is a start.
It's doable, but only if the voters demand it.