09 July 2015

Taibbi: Eric Holder, Wall Street's Double Agent

"Holder doubtless seriously believed at first that in a time of financial crisis, he was doing the right thing in constructing new forms of justice for banks, where nobody but the shareholders actually had to pay for crime. You've heard of victimless crimes; Holder created the victimless punishment.

But in the end, it was pretty convenient, wasn't it, that "the right thing" also happened to be the strategy that preserved Democratic Party relationships with big-dollar donors, kept the client base at Holder's old firm nice and fat, made the influential rich immeasurably richer and allowed Eric Holder himself to crash-land into a giant pile of money upon resignation.

What a coincidence! In any civilized country, it'd be a scandal. In America, though, he's just another guy selling whatever he can to get by. It was just too bad that what Holder had to sell was the criminal justice system."

Holder was no rogue political appointee.  He was very much in the mainstream of the Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party, founded by the Clintons.  Obama did nothing to reform it and added Big Healthcare and Big Pharma into the corporatist money mix.
And so these reformers, throwing their constituency under the bus, have become the facilitators of the deep capture of our regulatory and political system in a bipartisan effort to get rich.
This is not to say that these are malevolently evil people by nature.  Although a few are. Most are just people, being carried along by an unsustainable tide of cynicism and personal greed that has imprinted itself on the minds of our privileged elites.  
They choose to commit criminal acts through a wonderful power of rationalization, in a downward spiral of moral decline.   One day they wake up and see the monstrous things they may have done, not in one grand moment in the dramatic rejection of the good, but in a thousand small choices and personal exceptions of self-indulgence. 
The worldview of the self-appointed elite is that now that I have gone to the right schools, said the right words, protected the right people, taken the right jobs and done the right things, now I get to cash in and get in filthy rich on easy money and the looting of the real economy.  I am finally gettin' paid.  This perverse mindset, which used to be a denizen of rural enclaves and big city bosses is becoming pervasive in Washington and New York.
It has all the hallmarks of the kind of dual class system that is specifically prohibited by the framers of the Bill of Rights.  But who will watch the watchers when 'everyone is doing it.'
The Banks must be restrained, and the financial system reformed, with balance restored to the economy, before there can be any sustainable recovery.