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Washington, not Wall Street, is primarily to blame for the financial crisis and the recession,...

Washington, not Wall Street, is primarily to blame for the financial crisis and the recession, according to more than half of likely voters in a new The Hill poll. "Sorry Obama, your attempt to demonize bankers... has failed," Zero Hedge taunts, "and the people recognize that real social change [must] begin with the commodity most often purchased by Wall Street: politicians... such as yourself."
Comments (25)
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4426) | Send Message
     
    The Triangle Trade is Wall Street to K Street to either end of Pennsylvania Ave NW. The who's to blame game is silly. This is America and the game is always "follow the money" and won't be over until the link is broken.
    17 Oct 2011, 06:41 PM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2280) | Send Message
     
    I agree -- so let's follow the money, shall we?

     

    How much does the average congressman, senator, or president make by selling out to Wall Street?

     

    $10s of millions? Maybe $100 million?

     

    Now, how much does the average banking CEO, or billionaire make by buying politicians?

     

    Easily $100s of millions, often billions.

     

    Follow the money, indeed.

     

    Yes, the government is a huge problem, but most of the problems started with the financial industry, most of the ill-gotten rewards ended up with the financial industry -- the government was just a hired hand to help along the way.

     

    This poll's findings only show a lack of research on the part of likely voters.
    17 Oct 2011, 07:37 PM Reply Like
  • Ted Bear
    , contributor
    Comments (573) | Send Message
     
    Well...that is only partly true.

     

    Why did Washington behave the way it idid?

     

    Well....because it was paid very handsomely by Wall Street to push through legislation which benefitted Wall STreet, and to look the other way when there were 'issues.'

     

    Who sat on the Senate Banking Committeee and blindly looked the other way? Well, that would be Dodd and Schumer.

     

    And who was the greatest contributor to each of their "campaigns"?

     

    Well, that would be the big financial institutions!

     

    So, yes, technically Washington was the cause of the financial collapse.

     

    Because they did what they were paid (sic) to do.

     

    And now, who would Wall Street like to have take the blame?

     

    And what can Washington say, we were just doing what we were bribed to do?

     

    Funny how things work when politicians and lawyers are involved, isn't it?
    17 Oct 2011, 06:43 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4426) | Send Message
     
    >Ted Bear ... Don't leave out Phil Gramm, or his wife, and Newt. This problem goes back to the 1980's
    17 Oct 2011, 06:52 PM Reply Like
  • inthemoney
    , contributor
    Comments (981) | Send Message
     
    > Why did Washington behave the way it idid?

     

    The truth is that an average american was as complicit in the whole set up as the bankers as long as the good times were rolling.For a foreigner it was very easy to see - americans drunk on the easy credit. I kept thinking back then - what do they know that I don't.
    This truth is conviniently never mentioned by the enraged electorate. But who puts those people into the office every time?
    17 Oct 2011, 07:32 PM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    Shhhhh. Please hold it to yourself. We don't want to blame John Q Public for leveraging up on debt like crack head with a stolen credit card. It cannot be there fault there must be someone else to blame because we are all victims.
    18 Oct 2011, 12:22 AM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2280) | Send Message
     
    The public's leverage was much, much lower than Wall Street's.

     

    And the public has paid and is paying the price for their mistakes.

     

    They have been foreclosed on. And rightly so.

     

    They have had their credit trashed. And rightly so.

     

    They have declared bankruptcy. And rightly so.

     

    What price has Wall Street paid for its mistakes?
    18 Oct 2011, 06:55 AM Reply Like
  • inthemoney
    , contributor
    Comments (981) | Send Message
     
    > What price has Wall Street paid for its mistakes?

     

    There is no argument from me here. FED bailed out the banks through back door loans. This shouldn't have happened. But let's not kid ourselves about the "evil" banks. People work in these banks, they are no different from an average american - getting as much dough as they can at a given point in time and it is all legal. Are they greedy? Yes, but so is everybody else. It is just everybody else is mad that a gravy train was taken from them.
    If you really want somebody to blame for financial industry owning the US - blame the Congersess and the FED. And since Congress oversees the FED - blame the Congress.
    18 Oct 2011, 10:09 AM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2280) | Send Message
     
    > they are no different from an average american

     

    An average American doesn't get an 8-figure salary.

     

    An average American doesn't defraud his own customers -- not without being locked up for fraud.

     

    An average American doesn't own politicians -- not without being locked up for fraud.

     

    An average American doesn't get to borrow from the Fed at 0 and loan right back to the government (risk free) at 3% -- not without being locked up for fraud.

     

    An average American can't buy multiple pieces of insurance on someone else's misfortune -- not without being locked up for fraud.

     

    An average American doesn't market products that he knows are worthless to his customers -- not without being locked up for fraud.

     

    Yes indeed, I would like it very much if the big banks (specifically, their leadership) were treated just like average Americans.
    18 Oct 2011, 10:19 AM Reply Like
  • inthemoney
    , contributor
    Comments (981) | Send Message
     
    > An average American doesn't get an 8-figure salary.

     

    Don't start me on this one. An average american could work harder and go to Harvard and go and work on Wall Street as an investment banker and make an 8-figure salary. I am an immigrant and even I could do it if I was so inclined, i.e. if I was willing to secrifice my life in pursuit of wealth.
    So far it seems Wall Street fleecing the rest of the population and the world is completelyt legal and the only complaint is that the rest of the americans dont' have access to do it.
    Why HFTs are still legal? Why FED keeps rates at 0%? Why banks boorow at 0% and students at 7%? It all hurts an average american but there is nothing illegal in what they do. Why is it legal? It is not the banks - it is the Congress and the corrupt politicians you , average americans, elect.
    18 Oct 2011, 10:34 AM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2280) | Send Message
     
    > An average american could work harder and go to Harvard and
    > go and work on Wall Street as an investment banker and make
    > an 8-figure salary.

     

    Actually, no, they can't, then they're not average. This is the point, even if "anyone" can be rich (and I don't think that's true in today's America, but let's pretend that it is), not "everyone" can be rich.

     

    I, and many others, desire a society where a substantial compensation of money is only obtained through an equivalently substantial contribution of value.

     

    The average American cannot make money by extracting value -- yet the average Wall Street trader/banker can (and does).

     

    > It is not the banks - it is the Congress and the corrupt politicians
    > you , average americans, elect.

     

    Congress is a commodity that is bought and sold by monied interests every election.

     

    Corrupt or not, a congressman can't get elected without them. And with all the anonymous donations that can be backdoored into the election process, you could have an honest man on every ballot, but the guy who's in with the money will still win every time -- and he's probably not the honest one.
    18 Oct 2011, 11:47 AM Reply Like
  • inthemoney
    , contributor
    Comments (981) | Send Message
     
    > Actually, no, they can't, then they're not average. This is the point, even if "anyone" can be rich (and I don't think that's true in today's America, but let's pretend that it is), not "everyone" can be rich.
    ----------------------...
    We are starting to go cricles. So, the people on Wall Street are not "average"? Then may be they deserve the salary they get for their brains? The only issue is that those brains could've been used in other areas like science, more productive, better for the country. But science or engineering don't pay as much. Why this country values financial services so much and willing to pay so much? Until you answer this there will be no solution.

     

    Germany, for example, values engineering. US and UK value financial wizardry. Germans know they have to work hard to get somewhere, americans belive in get-rich-quick schemes. The most highly paid professionals in the US are athletes and pop stars.

     

    What I am trying to get to - an "average" person an India or China makes may be 200-300 dollars a month. An "average" european makes 1K a month. They are no less deserving than an "average" american.Cost of lide in Europe is as high as int he US. So, why does an "average" american expects more? They cannot get more because due to globalizations the standard of living are leveling off. If they want more they need to become more than average,
    18 Oct 2011, 12:29 PM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2280) | Send Message
     
    > Then may be they deserve the salary they get for their brains?

     

    Does a big strong guy deserve a high salary for digging lots of holes and filling them in again, basically adding no value, even if he digs really really well? I didn't think so.

     

    Look, if these Wall Street predators were eradicating diseases, feeding the hungry, establishing world peace, or otherwise adding HUGE value to society in line with their HUGE paychecks, no one would begrudge them their exorbitant salaries, bonuses, and perks.

     

    But unfortunately the opposite is frequently true: they cause HUGE damage to society...and still get their HUGE paychecks.

     

    > Why this country values financial services so much and willing
    > to pay so much?

     

    That's my point, I don't think we do value finance that much, and I don't think we're willing to pay that much, it's more like we feel that we're forced to.

     

    One could theoretically live like a hermit and not be subject to the whims of the financial industry, but for most, that's a quality of life issue.

     

    When you do participate in the financial system, you are subject to that systems apparent unfairness, which has become increasingly systemically ingrained for decades now.

     

    > So, why does an "average" american expects more?

     

    They don't. (Yes, there are always some freeloaders who do, but this is the exception rather than the rule).

     

    They DO expect a "fair" share, however.

     

    For example -- almost everywhere except the U.S., CEO pay is much lower in proportion to average worker pay.

     

    If American CEOs really are ~300x smarter/better than the average worker, so be it, but that seems unlikely, especially since CEOs only seemed to be ~40x smarter/better than the average worker in the 1950s.

     

    What changed? Did workers suddenly start to suck? Did CEOs suddenly become superhuman? Or did the wealthy simply gain a LOT more influence (in government, in corporations, etc) and decide to shape society to their benefit at the expense of everyone else?

     

    Certainly, globalization changed the game.

     

    But our response to globalization as a nation, a response mostly driven by monied interests, has been to simply ignore our workforce and let them be replaced by cheap labor abroad. We have not invested in our own country, rather we have cast parts of it aside whenever something cheaper came along.

     

    The wealthy know that it's cheaper and faster to simply invest in a politicians to create friendly policies and laws, and to invest in media to convince enough voters those laws are a good thing, than to invest in the long-term success of the people.

     

    And they (the wealthy) then get to enjoy all the perks of living or working in the U.S., and having access to U.S. markets for their enterprises, enjoying disproportionate benefits -- but with few of the proportional costs and responsibilities.

     

    It's a good gig if you can get it. :)
    18 Oct 2011, 01:02 PM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    Don't you have any memory? Or do you just ignore facts that don't support your biased view of the world?

     

    Bear Stearns, Merrill and Lehman Bros are gone. All the equity was wiped out and many of them were given a box to pack up their stuff and no parting gift at the door.
    18 Oct 2011, 05:49 PM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    Average salary is not 8 figures. You bias has taken you off into fantasy land.
    18 Oct 2011, 06:03 PM Reply Like
  • Yokyok
    , contributor
    Comments (325) | Send Message
     
    and which administrations were the biggest contributors to the national debt?
    http://bit.ly/o2Wq50/
    17 Oct 2011, 06:47 PM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4009) | Send Message
     
    Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty.
    Plato
    17 Oct 2011, 07:06 PM Reply Like
  • Native Texan
    , contributor
    Comments (-724) | Send Message
     
    In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as
    possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. -- Voltaire
    (1764)
    17 Oct 2011, 07:35 PM Reply Like
  • Bill_Blackstone
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    you know... there's plenty of blame to go around. Yes, now each of the primary guilty parties are blaming each other. That solves nothing. But I frankly expect Wall Street to serve its interests. Where I am most disappointed is in Washington and all other western capital cities, each of which is supposed to serve the interests of its respective publics, its people. Instead, they each pay lipservice to the people and serve the interests of domestic and international bankers. The real question we as purportedly freer thinkers unconstrained by servitude is why those elected to public office are seemingly always tied to serve private banking interests. It's certainly not because the private banking interests have any great insight into the governing of public and international affairs. It's more basic than that. It's because those seeking public office can't get to public office without private financing. Once private financing is de-coupled from the seeking of public office is the day when the governing of public and international affairs becomes a whole lot freer and reflective of the public -rather than private banking - interest.
    17 Oct 2011, 07:25 PM Reply Like
  • mike8599
    , contributor
    Comments (583) | Send Message
     
    Bill, I doubt it's as simple as decoupling the private sector from the public sector. Men and women who serve should do so with honor, and uphold their constitution duties, not advance an ideology they profess to believe in, to maintain power or influence.

     

    On the contrary the private sector thrives on success which is measured in money and power.

     

    If you deprive the private sector of their means to success you can expect them to stop producing, or at the very least look for a way to circumvent the government obstacles.
    17 Oct 2011, 07:53 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3582) | Send Message
     
    Is there some reason why it would be a bad idea to cap campaign contributions (from all sources)? Like once a person has received $40 million, from that point forward all contributions are refused, returned, etc....
    17 Oct 2011, 07:49 PM Reply Like
  • mike8599
    , contributor
    Comments (583) | Send Message
     
    not a bad idea - but I think any money over the cap should be applied to the national debt.... :)

     

    Different races in different parts of the country will need different caps.... tough to manage.
    17 Oct 2011, 10:25 PM Reply Like
  • warrenrial
    , contributor
    Comments (558) | Send Message
     
    It's all Obam's fault.
    17 Oct 2011, 09:40 PM Reply Like
  • TrueConservative
    , contributor
    Comments (70) | Send Message
     
    You're not doing it right! Didn't you get the memo from Karl?

     

    It's like this:

     

    IT'S ALL OBAMA'S FAULT!!!!1!!!1! lol rofl kthxbye!!!1!lol

     

    Got it?
    17 Oct 2011, 10:53 PM Reply Like
  • warrenrial
    , contributor
    Comments (558) | Send Message
     
    My memo was from Michelle.
    17 Oct 2011, 11:12 PM Reply Like
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