Bill Clinton Joins Boo-Hoo Billionaire’s Club

Not as a member, as an apologist. Via TPM, an excerpt from an interview of former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner:

[Geithner] cheerfully relayed a story that also appears in his book about the time he sought advice from Bill Clinton on how to pursue a more populist strategy: “You could take Lloyd Blankfein into a dark alley,” Clinton said, “and slit his throat, and it would satisfy them for about two days. Then the blood lust would rise again.”

What a steaming load of horseshit. Most of us would actually like to avoid blood in the streets. Punishing malefactors for their crimes with a prison sentence where warranted would be a good goddamned start. But we can’t have that. Oh yeah, there’s this:

Glass-Steagall-Signing-Repeal

Fucking asshole.

142 replies
  1. 1
    Trollhattan says:

    He’s wrong–the good feelings would last at least a week, if not longer. Hrrmph.

  2. 2
    ellie says:

    Wow, that angers up the blood.

  3. 3
    beltane says:

    The most telling thing here is that Bill Clinton refers to the American people as “them”. Maybe if he got to know “them” better he would realize “they” want justice, not revenge.

  4. 4
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Don’t forget that the Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000 allowed the creation of the very toxic instruments that nearly caused the the entire world economy to totally collapse. Required watching: Frontline’s episode ‘The Warning’.

  5. 5
    aimai says:

    It would have been a good start. But should have happened on a rotunda, in the full light of day.

  6. 6
    Hunter Gathers says:

    That’s good advice coming from a Southern Fried Dipshit who couldn’t keep his fucking pants on.

  7. 7
    grape_crush says:

    My major concern with Hillary is that from a policy perspective, she’s too much like Bill. It’s not all bad and definitely not all good.

  8. 8
    p.a. says:

    Bill and Hill
    2 DLC shills

    (calm down, I’m not Clinton haters, but I’m not a ClintBot either. I think Hillary as pres will be a step back from Bamz from a progressive perspective)

  9. 9
    shelley says:

    Losing that frog seems to have gotten you all upset, Miss Betty!

  10. 10
    beltane says:

    @Howard Beale IV: As much as it’s tempting to blame Ronald Reagan for gutting the middle class and creating a culture of corporate excess, the sad truth is that Bill Clinton also bears a great deal of responsibility for the situation we have now.

  11. 11
    c u n d gulag says:

    OY!

    Repealing Glass-Steagall, put in a thin glass floor for us non-rich folks to crash our way down faster and easier, and a thin glass ceiling for our uber-wealthy to skyrocket through.

    Even considering Monica and “The BJ Heard ‘Round the World,” this, THIS, was Bill Clinton’s WORST decision!

  12. 12
    MomSense says:

    The people he refers to as “them” which I guess means us have been screwed by what Wall Street did with his assistance. We are still suffering and some of us will never recover from it.

  13. 13
    Faction says:

    People aren’t satisfied by empty symbolic gestures. Imagine that.

  14. 14
    beltane says:

    @MomSense: He pretty much came out and told us which team he plays for, and it sure isn’t Ordinary American People. This is probably the most honest thing he’s said in a long time.

  15. 15
    KG says:

    @beltane: we’ve forgotten the difference between revenge and justice.

  16. 16
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @beltane: The FCIC report was a damming read-and that sniveling weasel Breuer should be disbarred for non-feasance.

  17. 17
    askew says:

    Ugh, I can’t wait for the Clintons to exit stage left. Time has passed them by and they just seem out of touch with today’s world. This is just one example of that.

  18. 18
    Tom W. says:

    …if WJC said it.

    You have tremendous personal faith in Mr. Geithner, Betty!

  19. 19
    Marmot says:

    This crap is what I think about when I hear or read people praising the Clinton years. With all the 90s-era claptrap about “modernizing” the financial industry, no one paid critical attention at the time, and it disappeared from popular history. Not the oral sechs, though.

    And now a lot of the same folks who myopically loved Bill clamor for Hillary.

  20. 20
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @beltane:

    Bill Clinton also bears a great deal of responsibility for the situation we have now.

    Yup. Back when he was presidenting, I would get my feelings all confused – I hated some of the things he was doing, but felt defensive because of the outrageously moronic Clenis Impeachment Crusade.
    One thing I was not at all confused about, and have not really been able to let go of, is white-hot loathing of Limbaugh over his “White house dog” joke about Chelsea. Takes a big, tough man to mock an adolescent girl over her looks. For that alone I still want to punch him in the face.

  21. 21
    Belafon says:

    Having seen people around me, I think he’s correct. I also think part of the blood lust could be because of boredom: “You cut someone’s throat last week, but not this week. I’m bored.” And then, later on: “Is all you are going to do is cut someone’s throat. That’s so last week.”

  22. 22
    srv says:

    Sooner or later, you liberals are going to realize that Change does not come without violence.

    Keep hugging your rainbows.

  23. 23
    grape_crush says:

    @p.a.: I’m fully committed to holding my nose and voting for Clinton over anything Republican. And her campaign handlers know that, which is a problem for me. If my vote is a lock, then what’s the point of paying attention to the issues I care about?

    We really need a legitimate Democratic candidate running from Clinton’s left, if for no other reason than to keep her from being her husband’s third term.

  24. 24
    different-church-lady says:

    The problem is he’s right. It’s not an excuse for lax prosecution, but for a huge swath of the left they simply refuse to acknowledge that we made legal a ton of stuff we shouldn’t have made legal.

    I think my first inkling that a great deal of left-blogistan wasn’t that much more sophisticated than their counterparts on the other side of the DMZ was when they were babbling on about “WHY AREN’T BANKSTERS IN JAIL!” and other people said, “What are the charges” and the only replies were mumbo jumbo about RICO and mortgage signing fraud.

  25. 25
    Morzer says:

    @srv:

    Well, have you figured out how to weaponize your rainbow? Have you?! Have you?! No? I thought as much, you objectively despicable crypto-oligarch in firebagger clothing!!!!

  26. 26
    different-church-lady says:

    Also:

    “You could take Lloyd Blankfein into a dark alley,” Clinton said, “and slit his throat, and it would satisfy them for about two days.

    I would dearly LOVE to attempt proof of the proposition. It would prove Clinton right and rid us of Blankfein.

    We could do it in Oklahoma — they’re all about being ahead of the curve there now. (Too soon?)

  27. 27
    rikyrah says:

    uh huh

    uh huh

  28. 28
    different-church-lady says:

    @Morzer:

    Well, have you figured out how to weaponize your rainbow?

    I have, but I mostly keep those thoughts to myself.

  29. 29
    the Conster says:

    I too want Bill to just STFU and sit down now. Apart from my feelings about Hillary as President (mostly negative), I just can’t stand the thought of Bill larrying around the WH every day creating controversy with every word he says, and/or the FAIL media trying to go around Hillary to ask Bill questions – which he will be happy to answer without thinking, because he’s Bill fucking Clinton.

    Shoot me now.

  30. 30
    Morzer says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Maybe we should start by castrating Bill Clinton in a well-lit public space, just as proof of concept.

  31. 31
    JGabriel says:

    Betty Cracker @ Top:

    Via TPM … :
    [Geithner] cheerfully relayed a story that also appears in his book about the time he sought advice from Bill Clinton on how to pursue a more populist strategy: “You could take Lloyd Blankfein into a dark alley,” Clinton said, “and slit his throat, and it would satisfy them for about two days. Then the blood lust would rise again.”

    What a steaming load of horseshit. Most of us would actually like to avoid blood in the streets.

    And anyway, we’d be way more satisfied if it was Charles Koch’s throat instead.

    Edited to Add: I may be wrong, but I suspect Koch is responsible for far more death and destruction than Blankfein. Blankfein is no piker either in the death & destruction department, but as a banker his influence is more indirect, wielded as it is by supplying money to the those more responsible rather than dealing in it personally.

  32. 32
    Jennifer says:

    I think he’s wrong about how long the blood lust would be satisfied. I mean, Breitbart’s been dead now for what, 2 years? And that still makes me happy. And he didn’t even die from blood lust.

  33. 33
    Morzer says:

    @JGabriel:

    Couldn’t we get a 2 for 1 deal at Walmart?

  34. 34
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Exqueeze me, but just slitting the throats of some of these people is not nearly enough.

    Heads on pikes. Particularly Phil Gramm’s. For an extended period. Pour encourager les autres

  35. 35
    catclub says:

    @ellie: No fried food for you.

  36. 36
    Wil says:

    What a steaming load of hor.seshlt. Most of us would actually like to avoid blood in the streets.

    Oh, I’d like to see some polling on that.

    Probably more than a few are in the camp of “Pull the billionaire bankers out of their mansions and tear them apart in their own front yards. Make their kids watch.”

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @beltane:

    the sad truth is that Bill Clinton also bears a great deal of responsibility for the situation we have now.

    Bill Clinton was the best Rethuglican President we’ve had since Eisenhower.

  38. 38
    catclub says:

    That strikes me as a weasel way yo not print what actual advice Bill Clinton gave.

    Plus, why in the heck is Geithner even asking how to be more populist?
    Is he pretending to be a retail politician? Boardroom pol, yes. Retail, with people from the 99%,
    I don’t see that.

  39. 39
    Cacti says:

    Throat-slitting is over much too quickly.

    Crucifixion is drawn out but gives a patina of religious martyrdom.

    Impaled or hanged, drawn, and quartered would be my picks.

    j/k

  40. 40
    gogol's wife says:

    @beltane:

    Yup. and some of us knew it at the time.

  41. 41
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Heads on pikes. Particularly Phil Gramm’s. For an extended period. Pour encourager les autres

    Outsourced to Vir Cotto

  42. 42
    danielx says:

    Most of us would actually like to avoid blood in the streets.

    I don’t know about most of us, but I want to see some motherfuckers hanged. Preferably while they’re wearing Armani suits. Prison sentences would be a good start, but not going to happen because class warfare. Or because rich people don’t do well in prison. Or something.

  43. 43
    JGabriel says:

    beltane:

    Maybe if [Clinton] got to know “them” better he would realize “they” want justice, not revenge.

    KG:

    we’ve forgotten the difference between revenge and justice.

    Honestly, when it come to the right-wing billionaires who fund the GOP and its conservative front Pacs, I have no problem with revenge. It strikes me as a perfectly understandable and justifiable desire.

  44. 44
    Morzer says:

    @JGabriel:

    Sometimes revenge is justice and contrariwise.

  45. 45
    nancydarling says:

    I think Bill Clinton has always had his nose pressed against the glass window of the big money store. It’s the poor southern white boy syndrome. I knew someone (whose mother was a Congresswoman from California) who attended a fund raiser in Bel-Air or Beverly Hills with Clinton before he was president. Clinton was awed by the palatial home where the fund raiser was held and reportedly said if he lived there, he would think he had “died and gone to heaven”.

    It’s kinda sad, really. He has more brains and talent than any of the people who awed him. Of course, there was that fatal flaw as well.

  46. 46
    rikyrah says:

    And those of us suspicious of the Clintons…..we should be quiet because?

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @danielx: Blood in the streets does have a way of focusing one’s attention on why the blood is in the streets, though.

    It seems to be necessary to get the attention of the 1% to just how badly they’re fucking things up by herding most people in to a nothing left to lose situation where the old rules are discarded because it’s clear that following them is a loser’s game.

  48. 48
    C.V. Danes says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I would dearly LOVE to attempt proof of the proposition. It would prove Clinton right and rid us of Blankfein.

    Whack-a-mole. For every Blankfein you get rid of, two more would pop up in his place.

  49. 49
    Betty Cracker says:

    @different-church-lady: While it’s true that much of the bankster wilding was perfectly legal, thanks in part to Bill Clinton, there were actual crimes — or at least copious evidence of actual crimes — that should have been pursued legally. If you want a laundry list, I’ll be glad to compile a few items when I have a moment.

  50. 50
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    herding most people in to a nothing left to lose situation

    I am perpetually surprised by their seeming inability to remember history. OK, the French Revolution was quite a while ago (but, you know, there are history books and such that discuss it) but it wasn’t all that long ago that the Ceausescu’s, for example, bought it.
    Maybe it’s just hubris – they believe they are smart enough, rich enough, have enough bodyguards etc. to turn back the tide of violence it it ever gets to that point. The Canute Principle.

  51. 51
    MomSense says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    You know Greenspan actually said that Clinton was one of our best Republican Presidents.

  52. 52
    Betty Cracker says:

    @rikyrah: No one should be quiet. I’m all for hashing this shit out in the primaries, wherever it leads. If HRC is the nominee, I would hope she learned some valuable lessons from the DLC debacle and her husband’s irresponsible complicity with the anti-regulation GOP, and very pointed questions should be raised to ensure that she has.

  53. 53
    El Caganer says:

    @Betty Cracker: They regularly post long laundry lists of these over at Naked Capitalism.

  54. 54
    ralphb says:

    It’s all Bill Clinton’s fault. He did it all alone with no help from Congress. Even that earlier frog knows better than that.

    The final version of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act passed the House by a vote of 362-57 and the Senate by a vote of 90-8. This made the bill “veto proof”, meaning that if Clinton had decided to veto, the bill would have been passed anyways. Having said that, if Clinton truly didn’t want the bill to become law, he could have vetoed the bill in a symbolic gesture.

  55. 55
    Betty Cracker says:

    @ralphb: Has someone said it’s ALL Clinton’s fault? I don’t think so. I think he was complicit, which is shameful, but yeah, it was the GOP’s baby.

  56. 56
    Kay says:

    The crash was real. People were harmed by it. They are still climbing out. Some of them won’t recover.

    In my opinion, it has done lasting damage to peoples’ perceptions of their own security and their ability to get back up when they get hit, and that is a big deal.

    I think this sort of glib, snotty “insider conversation” of what was a profoundly scary thing that happened to tens of millions of people is just poison.

  57. 57
    ralphb says:

    @Betty Cracker: Yes, several comments on this thread. When you mention one name and no qualification, that’s good enough for me.

  58. 58
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Jebediah, RBG:

    Maybe it’s just hubris – they believe they are smart enough, rich enough, have enough bodyguards etc. to turn back the tide of violence it it ever gets to that point. The Canute Principle.

    Noticed how all the cops now look like dystopic science fiction warriors and are armed with stuff from the last decade of military conflict overseas?

    Notice how those cops went waaaaay the fuck overboard in putting down Occupy and beating the shit out of any progressive demonstrator who said “Huh?” over the past couple of years?

    “…to turn back the tide of violence it it ever gets to that point.”

    That’s why. In fact some dipshit sheriff in Nevada actually said as much a couple of years ago when he claimed that law enforcement was meant to protect the top echelons of society from everybody else.

  59. 59
    different-church-lady says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    For every Blankfein you get rid of, two more would pop up in his place.

    Sure, but at least we’d be rid of Blankfein.

  60. 60
    different-church-lady says:

    @Betty Cracker: My point wasn’t that there were no crimes, but that those who were screaming for metaphorical blood the loudest didn’t actually know much about what they were talking about. Most of them couldn’t come up with the the first two items on your list.

  61. 61
    Kylroy says:

    I don’t think Clinton was an evil sell-out, but he made a damn near fatal miscalculation: he thought the Republicans gave a damn about governing.

    See, he gave the Republicans damn near everything they asked for in the 90s, because most of the things they were asking for (welfare reform, for example) were at least somewhat defensible as actual policy positions. Clinton assumed this would placate them and he could actually govern. But the Republicans aren’t seeking success, they’re seeking victory – giving them anything means they just move on to the next thing they want with no acknowledgement of any concessions from their opponents.

    Obama spent an entire term relearning this lesson, but that at least had the effect of highlighting Republican indifference to actual governing. At least to anyone who cares to notice

  62. 62
    Betty Cracker says:

    @ralphb: Which ones, specifically? I see people trashing Clinton for his enthusiastic complicity, but none holding him solely to blame.

  63. 63
    danielx says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    It’s not that difficult to figure out: a whole series of exceedingly deliberate policy decisions starting in 1980 and continuing to May 8, 2014. The policy fixes aren’t that difficult to figure out either. The problem is that a lot of exceedingly well to do people have their rice bowls full because of those very policy decisions and they don’t want to see things change, and if blood flows in the streets it won’t be theirs.

    Edit: Part way through What Went Wrong: How the 1% Hijacked the American Middle Class . . . and What Other Countries Got Right. Not too difficult, indeed.

  64. 64
    different-church-lady says:

    @Betty Cracker: Not around here, but in other places (most notable among them the GOS), commenters constantly do their call-and-response nattering about Clinton repealing Glass-Stegal. And I’m like, “It’s was a veto-proof bill named after three republican senators, and somehow this is all Clinton’s baby?”

  65. 65
    nancydarling says:

    @Kay:

    Some of them won’t recover.

    This is so true. My in-laws never really recovered from the Great Depression—financially or mentally. It haunted them until they died.

  66. 66
    Betty Cracker says:

    @different-church-lady: It wasn’t Clinton’s baby, but he didn’t sign that bill with a veto-proof majority gun to his head; he was either enthusiastically for it or gave a damn good imitation of it. He richly deserves criticism for repealing Glass-Steagall, even if annoying, know-nothing jackasses at GOS make hay of it.

  67. 67
    Fair Economist says:

    He’s right. Killing Blankfein would only make people feel good for a little while, because other banksters would step up to fill the gap in ripping people off. Now if you got *all* of them, that would stop the financial industries from ripping off 60% of all profits, and we would all feel better for many, many years.

    Alternatively, you could reform the financial sector with things like a transaction tax and public banking, which could also stop the rip-off machine. But the bankers seem to object to that more than having their throats slit.

  68. 68
    grape_crush says:

    @nancydarling: “Clinton was awed by the palatial home where the fund raiser was held and reportedly said if he lived there, he would think he had “died and gone to heaven”.

    Did he have that rube act down or what? Went to Georgetown and Oxford, lived in a governor’s mansion…and here he’s got most people fooled thinking he’s jus’ a poor white southern boy.

    Clinton didn’t ‘have his nose pressed against the glass’…he’s moved in those circles most of his adult life.

  69. 69
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    In fact some dipshit sheriff in Nevada actually said as much a couple of years ago when he claimed that law enforcement was meant to protect the top echelons of society from everybody else.

    Wow. I missed that. That’s being pretty god damn open about it!

  70. 70
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Fair Economist:

    But the bankers seem to object to that more than having their throats slit.

    If that’s how they want it, I’m OK with that.

  71. 71
    Death Panel Truck says:

    Fucking asshole.

    And people actually want his wife to be the next president of the United States. Remember what Bill said about his wife in 1992: “Two for the price of one.” It’ll be Billary all over again.

    Please, no. Is there no other viable candidate? Elizabeth Warren, maybe? I’d vote for her in a heartbeat.

  72. 72
    different-church-lady says:

    @Betty Cracker: Agreed. And as far as I know he still hasn’t realized the mistake.

  73. 73
    kuvasz says:

    We don’t want his blood, Bill. We want the money he and his ilk stole from the lot of us. Now kindly shut the fuck up

  74. 74
    different-church-lady says:

    @Death Panel Truck:

    Elizabeth Warren, maybe? I’d vote for her in a heartbeat.

    Doesn’t she have a say in the matter?

  75. 75
    Kay says:

    @nancydarling:

    I don’t know the context of the conversation and maybe it’s so insidery he’s talking about the “online Left”, or whatever, but really, he should resist the urge to be chortling about this. I think it’s incredibly offensive. There’s a perception that people like Clinton are all out of touch and were never really affected by the financial crash, and so people like Clinton should at least be AWARE of that perception.

    I don’t get why they don’t get it. The truth is the crash DIDN’T really affect them, which to me if I were a politician would indicate I should make sure I am always really conscious and attentive to that difference in experience. For some reason it doesn’t have that effect on them. Clinton ISN’T like regular people, anymore, which probably means he has to work harder to understand them, not work less hard.

  76. 76
    Jamey says:

    Lloyd Blankenfels with his throat slit? Maybe it would do little to slake Americans’ blood-thirst, but it would be, as people say, “a good start.”

  77. 77
    The Moar You Know says:

    And no one whatsoever was surprised.

  78. 78
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @grape_crush: There is a big difference between mixing with people who have money and having money.

  79. 79
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: True, and for most people who actually grew up poor, it never really leaves you.

  80. 80
    Joe Buck says:

    Here’s my theory on this: the Clintons feel that they owe their Wall Street friends big time, because with their help, the Clinton family went from flat broke (when Bill left the White House, their legal debts were higher than their assets) to quite wealthy. They had good relationships with those people already, and after that episode they are intensely loyal and see any criticism of Wall Street as based on irrationality and envy.

    In 2016 I’m afraid we’ll have a choice between sycophantic servants of the 0.1% who hate non-whites and gays (or are willing to pretend they are that way to get votes), and sycophantic servants of the 0.1% who like non-whites and gays (or are willing to pretend they are that way to get votes). Put that way, it’s clear which side we have to choose, but there will be lots of nose-holding involved.

  81. 81
    the Conster says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    According to the Brooks column on Piketty, envy iof our betters is the only thing we’re motivated by. Fairness and justice are just the little fig leaf words we use to kid ourselves with.

  82. 82
  83. 83
    WaterGirl says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’m surprised no one has front paged Holder recently saying that he is pursuing criminal charges against banksters.

  84. 84
    EJ Stolns says:

    Bill Clinton, best Republican President since Eisenhower.

  85. 85
    nancydarling says:

    @grape_crush: Clinton may have moved in “elite intellectual student circles” at Yale and Oxford, but trust me, Little Rock is not Beverly Hills.

  86. 86
    danielx says:

    @Jebediah, RBG:

    Maybe it’s just hubris – they believe they are smart enough, rich enough, have enough bodyguards etc. to turn back the tide of violence it it ever gets to that point.

    Generally speaking, they are rich enough and they do have enough bodyguards, etc etc., plenty of unemployed people out there with training in trigger pulling. People talk a lot about blood in the streets, but what does that mean, exactly? Individual action? Armed resistance? Passive resistance? Letting oneself be run over by armored vehicles or the MRAPs that the Defense Department is giving to local police departments like crackerjack box prizes?

    No tide of violence will ever be permitted to start, because anyone who might publicize, coordinate or promote any sort of…action will be arrested on whatever charges are needed. Terrorism is whatever DOJ or DHS say it is, after all, and it seems pretty clear to me at this point that our government (hi, NSA analyst!) regards just about everybody as a potential criminal, or possibly an actual criminal who just hasn’t been caught yet. Everybody with a net worth of less than seven figures, anyway, and a lot of people who do have that kind of net worth.

    And they do indeed have their Praetorians. For example, it wasn’t an accident that when Scott Walker euthanizing the public sector unions in Wisconsin that the police and firefighter unions were left out of the termination list. It doesn’t do to irritate those who keep the barbarians from the Kochsuckers’ doors….

  87. 87
    Betty Cracker says:

    @WaterGirl: I didn’t even know about it, but if he does, amen I say!

  88. 88
    Tokyokie says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Gramm’s name is on the repeal of the Glass-Steagall repeal, and as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, he was instrumental in turning the Commodities Futures Modernization Act and the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994 into the pieces of crap they are. And all the while, he should have been doing time in prison for taking a forgiven mortgage for a vacation home on Maryland’s Eastern Shore from one of the Texas S&Ls that went under. And now, of course, he’s an executive with a foreign bank whose main business in the United States is enabling tax fraud. And let us not forget that he made his political bones by betraying confidences, in his case, sitting in on House Democratic strategy sessions while he was still a nominal Democrat and immediately blabbing everything to the Reagan White House, then acted like a martyr to political correctness when Tip O’Neil finally stripped him of his committee assignments (at which point he switched parties).

    Politicians don’t come much more corrupt than Phil Gramm.

  89. 89
    p.a. says:

    @Kylroy: Which begs the question: why, since I concede the fact that Bill C and Barry O are smarter than I, did it take them so effing long to realize this when stoopid me, not to mention much of Left Blogistan, knew this by about 1/27/08?

  90. 90
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @the Conster: Brooks is projecting his Ferengi greed on everyone else.

    One of the many reasons it would be a wonderful thing for humanity if his broken body were found in a back alley somewhere.

  91. 91
    brendancalling says:

    Bill Clinton is, and has always been, a fucking asshole. I have never understood his longstanding appeal.

  92. 92
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    While it’s true that much of the bankster wilding was perfectly legal, thanks in part to Bill Clinton, there were actual crimes — or at least copious evidence of actual crimes — that should have been pursued legally. If you want a laundry list, I’ll be glad to compile a few items when I have a moment.

    Please do, because any time I’ve asked for one around here someone always derails at one of the three steps:

    1) Naming a specific crime (on this one, people tend to demonstrate that they don’t understand the difference between the colloquial definition of “fraud” and what it takes to qualify as the crime of fraud);
    2) Naming a specific person that committed the crime in question (here, people seem to think that being in charge of a company that they think engaged in fraud makes someone guilty, when it does not; the individual in question must have knowingly, or with reckless negligence (another term people abuse), committed the specific acts);
    3) Lay out admissible evidence tying #2 to #1 they have that would be sufficient to convince a jury (and you need to take into consideration the history of prosecution for financial crimes over the last decade (yes, there have been some); evidence that you and I think is convincing has repeatedly been shown to be insufficient to persuade a jury to convict; look up Henry Samueli for one instance).

    Absent all of this, you don’t have a case.

  93. 93
    danielx says:

    @the Conster:

    Amazing the impact that Piketty’s book has had among what passes for conservative intellectual circles these days. It’s clearly struck a nerve or they wouldn’t be squealing like pigs about SOSHULISM.

  94. 94
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @El Caganer: Well, someone is going to have to do it here because Naked Capitalism has zero credibility. There’s a long list but the way Yves Smith turned from being a champion of putting derivatives on exchanges to deriding the concept as pointless the instant the administration began pushing for them alone left hers in shreds.

  95. 95
    Chris says:

    @Kylroy:

    I don’t think Clinton was an evil sell-out, but he made a damn near fatal miscalculation: he thought the Republicans gave a damn about governing.

    See, he gave the Republicans damn near everything they asked for in the 90s, because most of the things they were asking for (welfare reform, for example) were at least somewhat defensible as actual policy positions. Clinton assumed this would placate them and he could actually govern. But the Republicans aren’t seeking success, they’re seeking victory – giving them anything means they just move on to the next thing they want with no acknowledgement of any concessions from their opponents.

    Totally this.

    Clinton and his whole DLC/Third Way/Blue Dog posse strike me as corrupt in the old Tammany Hall kind of way. You know, where you placate all the Very Major Players by offering them this tax cut or this government contract in exchange for their support; throw out scraps to the rubes every so often so they don’t get too angry with you; grift what you can out of the system, etc. Not realizing that the modern conservative movement isn’t playing that game; they’re playing the kind of game we haven’t seen since the pre-Civil War South, wanting to either control everything absolutely and unconditionally, or they’ll burn the whole thing down.

    The kind of horse-trading Clinton was hoping for is made even more impossible by the fact that these people won’t accept even empty gestures towards populism. A hundred years ago, 1%ers could abide this or that politician making token noises against Greedy Capitalist Bosses or DamYankee Carpetbaggers during the campaign before turning around and signing a dozen contracts with those bosses and carpetbaggers. That’s just how things were done. But when anyone even hints at that nowadays, rich people scream and scream that it’s just like Hitler’s invasion of Poland.

    (I think there are still some Republicans, especially among old Washington insiders and/or East Coast types that the media likes to call “moderates,” who would still prefer things the DLC “ordinary corruption” model to the teabagger “burning all that shit down” model, but at this point they’ve hitched their cart much too solidly to the teabaggers to turn around).

  96. 96
    Mike Nilsen says:

    Clinton was always a Billionaires’ Beeyotch. Better than a Republican one, though.

  97. 97
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: that might make me happy for up to three days. Maybe even four.

  98. 98
    DannyGuam says:

    @Mike Nilsen:
    And what american prez has not been? FDR?

  99. 99
    eemom says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    That’s good advice coming from a Southern Fried Dipshit who couldn’t keep his fucking pants on.

    Correct and most timely observation now that the blue dress is out of the mothballs again and the emmessemm re-creaming it.

    Private life is their own business, fer sure, but brazenly irresponsible behavior that puts the rest of us at risk is NOT in that category. That’s why I’ve never gotten the apologists for him, Edwards and Spitzer.

  100. 100
  101. 101
    efgoldman says:

    Most of us would actually like to avoid blood in the streets

    Speak for yourself.

  102. 102

    @different-church-lady:

    other people said, “What are the charges” and the only replies were mumbo jumbo about RICO and mortgage signing fraud.

    That’s ridiculous. There are simply mountains of evidence of fraud, from Goldman’s hedging against stocks it was publicly recommending (with internal reference to the hyped stocks as “garbage” and “shit”), to obvious insider trading by Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack, to the incriminating emails within the rating agencies that were systematically rubber-stamping what they knew to be fraud, just to name a few things off the top of my head.

  103. 103

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    If the government won’t investigate, then you won’t get those three things. Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer were not interested in investigating.

    Now Breuer is back at Covington and Burling as Vice Chairman. I wonder what Holder will get?
    ~

  104. 104
    JustRuss says:

    Screw you Bill. I’d be reasonably content if the feds had just done something to prevent the Too Big To Fail banks from getting even bigger, but I guess that makes me an unreasonable DFH. Or objectively despicable, it’s hard to keep track.

  105. 105
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©: A lot of the financial crimes took place in New York and Preet Bharara has collected quite a few scalps.

  106. 106
    different-church-lady says:

    @Rex Everything: I don’t doubt that. I’m just wondering why the flying monkeys of the left could never put their hands on any of that when asked.

    Or, as TTP says at 91, they would derail at one of the three steps. Usually the first one.

  107. 107
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @efgoldman: Why would you say that? If things get that bad, it wouldn’t be a world any one of us would want to live in because we wouldn’t be alive very long.

  108. 108
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    Absent all of this, you don’t have a case.

    No, you don’t have a conviction. That’s not the same as not having a case.

  109. 109
    danielx says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    Granted, although I’d say that Abacus qualified as fraudulent whether using a colloquial or legal definition.

    However…if DOJ really, truly wanted to put some senior bankers in the Graybar Hotel they’d find a way to do it, one way or another. Why not, they do it all the time to dopers and people who have committed offenses not involving billions of dollars of wealth vanishing into thin air or into those same bankers’ pockets. More to the point, they do it to people who don’t have senators on their phone lists and don’t have access to the best legal talent in the country.

    They put Al Capone away for tax evasion, knowing he’d done a lot worse that they couldn’t prove. My, whatever has happened to our steely-eyed guardians of the public welfare?

  110. 110
    Kay says:

    @Chris:

    I think that’s mostly true, what you wrote. I have to say, though, that I was sometimes repelled by what I heard as Clinton really buying his own bullshit, really enjoying hearing himself talk about welfare reform and “getting tough” on crime. Those are the two issues he would opine on where I recall finding this tone he had when he was on a roll most annoying. Unfortunately, like with Obama, Clinton’s GOP opponents were so completely unhinged and insane that I was always conflicted about piling on and criticizing him. You sure as hell don’t want to be in their corner, but at the same time you just wanted to say “oh, shut up lecturing us about boot camps, you big phony”. The whole thing was very disconcerting and upsetting :)

  111. 111
    PIGL says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    “When you hang from a gibbet for the sport of your own crows….”

    That would be justice. Also, revenge. Sweet, sweet revenge and nutritious fibre-filled justice. Who says we can’t have both?

  112. 112
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @danielx: if my understanding is correct, they let HSBC skate on laundering money for terrorists and drug cartels. That seems a little clearer than some fuzzy fraud charges.

  113. 113
    danielx says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Federal prosecutors have been investigating BNP for alleged violations of U.S. sanctions lodged against countries, including Iran and Sudan. Credit Suisse is being targeted for allegedly providing illegal tax shelters for Americans.

    Right.

    You’ll note that they’re both foreign banks, and that neither of them is being charged with anything having to do with mortgage backed securities. Note further that when HSBC was charged and convicted of violations of US sanctions pertaining to various countries, terrorism financing, etc., Lanny Breuer made a huge deal out of the record fine handed to HSBC which amounted to…five weeks profits for that institution.

  114. 114
    different-church-lady says:

    @Betty Cracker: And here you go:

    He Deregulated Banking (53+ / 0-)

    Bill Clinton signed the 1990s laws deregulating banking instead of vetoing them. Even as Republicans were impeaching him he was signing their laws deleting regulations that protected us since the previous crash 1929-1934.

    I see no reason to believe his wife’s policies are any different.

    53 people though, “Yeah, that makes sense!”

  115. 115
    Kay says:

    @Chris:

    And it occurs to me that you may think I mean real boot camps and I don’t! I mean “boot camps” which were all the rage at one time. This was Clinton and boot camps.

    He was just unbearable on things like this, IMO, because he would get all kinds of kudos for being “a different kind of Democrat” and he was just reveling in it. It made me extraordinarily cranky at the time.

  116. 116
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @danielx:

    Granted, although I’d say that Abacus qualified as fraudulent whether using a colloquial or legal definition.

    If the case gets dismissed, you obviously don’t have the goods to get a conviction. So I’d say that you’re claim is incorrect. And that’s one of the things at play as to why a lot of what people think is fraud doesn’t meet the legal definition: the party that now claims it was defrauded didn’t do basic due diligence, indicating that they didn’t really care whether the claims were true. So the materiality standard wasn’t met.

    A lot of people think that materiality is defined by whether the dollar amounts were large enough but that isn’t really it; materiality is defined by whether the omissions or lies would have made a difference in the other party engaging in the transaction; if they would have signed the deal even had they known, then the misstatement wasn’t material. And when dealing with sophisticated participants, which everyone involved in these kinds of deals was, not doing your basic research means that you didn’t really care whether the statements were true.

  117. 117
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Jebediah, RBG:

    No, you don’t have a conviction. That’s not the same as not having a case.

    Let me rephrase then: If you don’t have these three things, you don’t have a case that an ethical prosecutor should indict someone on. A lot of people seem perfectly content to endorse unethical prosecutions when it suits their ideology.

  118. 118

    @different-church-lady:

    Yeah, because when the regulators who actually try to investigate this stuff get fired by the SEC, the real problem is clearly “flying monkeys on the Left.”

  119. 119
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©:

    If the government won’t investigate, then you won’t get those three things. Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer were not interested in investigating.

    Do you have any evidence to support this other than the circular reasoning that you didn’t get the prosecutions you wanted? If you are so fucking sure that there should have been people indicted and convicted, then it should mean that YOU have all of the evidence.

  120. 120
    different-church-lady says:

    @Rex Everything: The problem is clearly a lot of different shit. But who cares who’s actually responsible for which individual bits as long as we get a good rant out of it?

  121. 121
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Rex Everything: I’m not sure what someone talking about events in 2005 has to do with investigations over the financial crisis that happened years later.

  122. 122
    Chris says:

    @Kay:

    Yeah, I think I agree with this. I’m definitely not saying anything flattering about Clinton by comparing him to the Tammany Hall crowd. And honestly, his “the era of big government is over” quote alone is reason enough to be pissed off. But, as you say, what’s the alternative?

  123. 123
    Tom W. says:

    The most shocking aspect of this thread?

    The incredible, rock solid trust everyone here has in Timothy Geithner.

    Who’d have thought I’d find such a wellspring of trust – nay, fandom! – for Geithner in a B-J thread by Betty Cracker. The believe in his reporting skill and personal honestly … well that’s impressive, folks.

  124. 124

    @different-church-lady:

    as long as we get a good rant out of it?

    Or an opportunity to punch leftward, whatever.

  125. 125
    different-church-lady says:

    @Rex Everything: I’m not very interested in punching, but a dope slap now and again can be a useful technique.

  126. 126
    Kay says:

    @Chris:

    I know you’re not complimenting him with the horse-trading and all. It wasn’t just that, though. If it had been, I wouldn’t have been so cranky. They were invested personally in this idea of New Democrats and they were flattered by all the attention to it. It was genuinely gross some of the time, honestly, like they really believed they were “reinventing government”. I’m a dance with the one that brung you sort of person. I thought it was disloyal and oddly disrespectful to the work that Democrats had done before him. By the end I was like “oh, show some humility you egomaniacs, you’re not really ‘reinventing’ anything”. At the time it seemed like there were hundreds of “New Democrats” on tv and such and I just tired of them by the end.

  127. 127

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    I’m not sure what someone talking about events in 2005 has to do with investigations over the financial crisis that happened years later.

    Wow, so all this talk of the repeal of Glass Steagall must make you really confused—I mean, that was 19 freakin 99!

  128. 128
    Chris says:

    @Kay:

    Seems fucking weird, too, that you would credit yourself with “reinventing government” when all you’re doing is taking the ideology Republicans mainstreamed in the seventies and eighties and copy-pasting it into your own party.

  129. 129
    danielx says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    You’re right, undoubtedly. So the train of logic, for me, anyway, goes something like this.

    1. Massive real estate bubble, propelled by demand for mortgage-backed securities. Whether the mortgages were quality mortgages or not was irrelevant except to the people who were left standing up when the music stopped. A lot of people and firms made a lot of money knowing that they were peddling horseshit.

    2. When the bubble popped, a lot of wealth disappeared. A lot of people lost all equity in their homes, lost their jobs, lost everything. The economy went south, and everybody took it in the shorts except for the senior officers of banks. Some of whom were fined for various misdeeds, with fines being paid primarily by other parties.

    3. Nobody (body in this case) can be charged and convicted, because our laws and regulations pertaining to control/banking fraud and securities fraud are so convoluted that it’s become too difficult for DOJ to obtain convictions, and they don’t bring charges unless they’re sure of winning.

    4. Those are laws are convoluted because bankers, and lobbyists for bankers, want them that way. The more convoluted they are, the easier it is to find a way around them if you have good attorneys and big banks have access to the best legal talent in the country. Case in point, Dodd-Frank has 2,319 pages. Glass-Steagall had 37 pages and was much more along the lines of “thou shalt not”, not “thou shalt not except for certain proprietary trading activities”, etc.

    5. There is no interest in simplifying those laws and regulations to make it easier to prosecute, because to quote that distinguished solon Richard Durbin, “bankers own the place”.

    6. We’re fucked. Bankers will go on fucking us, because why not? There’s no real downside.

  130. 130
    lawguy says:

    @grape_crush: No, it’s all bad. We are so screwed.

  131. 131
    Kay says:

    @Chris:

    I have such mixed feelings about the whole period. I actually completely dropped out during Lewinsky. We were renting a farmhouse and I had a ridiculously big garden. It was like a part time job. I just stopped reading and following news and grew tomatoes, right around the time they were hauling Lewinsky’s mother out. That was just a bridge too far for me.

    I went to vote in the primary and saw one of the local Democratic women I haven’t seen in a while. She’s real excited about Clinton and she said “SOME of us supported her last time”, meaning I didn’t. I hope they don’t start that up again.

  132. 132
    bobbo says:

    We are taking the word of TIM FUCKING GEITHNER, as relayed through yet another party, as the God’s honest truth when it comes to what Bill Clinton said, and the way in which he said it? I am old enough to remember when (this morning) Geithner was a horrible person.

    He has his own not so honorable reasons for wanting to put Clinton in this light

  133. 133
    bobbo says:

    Also, too, killing Lloyd Blankfein wouldn’t be satisfying to most people because most people have no idea who the fuck Lloyd Blankfein is.

  134. 134
    jefft452 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: “Pour encourager les autres”

    Don’t knock it, shooting Admiral Byng was what made Britannia rule the waves

    When Nelson signaled “England expects that every man will do his duty” it was read with the full knowledge that there would be consequences for any man who didn’t – even if he was from the best of families, even if he had friends at court, even if he was Nelson himself

  135. 135
    russ says:

    And eff Hillary too!

  136. 136
    Kay says:

    @bobbo:

    I used to consistently misread his name as “Lord Blankfein”. It was like a tic. The letters moved.

  137. 137
    lower podunk says:

    @bobbo:
    I know exactly who Lloyd Blankfein is and would be quite gratified to see him swing. For starters.

  138. 138
    Chris says:

    @ellie: Very nice Satchel Paige quote there.

  139. 139
    Procopius says:

    @aimai: Isn’t there a football stadium in Washington, D.C.? We could sell tickets.

  140. 140
    El Caganer says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): Just out of curiosity, who are you defending?

  141. 141
    biff diggerence says:

    Clinton, for all of his alleged intelligence, fails to recognize the true nature of capitalism – Predatory and Opportunistic. Imagine if Blankfien and Dimon were dragged out and beheaded. There would be scores of up-sucking Vice Presidents of various departments Emailing their latest resumes to their respective Board of Directors. Pig eat Pig.

  142. 142

    […] And if that’s not enough, consider this: It turns out the Left really can come down hard on the Big Dog these days, providing that the issue is one that’s important enough to the Left. […]

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