Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kill Bill: The sabotage of US finance reform

Attempts to reform banking rules and regulations are usually thwarted by corporate interests and powerful lobbies.

Danny Schechterm, Opinion, Al Jazeera English:

Powerful lobbies and partisan divisions cripple US political system - meaning it's business as usual for the financiers.

Today, the hatchets are out to destroy much-needed financial reforms in a bill that has already been neutered and nit-picked, trimmed, sliced and diced by what's called "legislative compromise".

Now, like bin Laden waiting for the kill in Pakistan, a congressional Seal Team Six is ready to pounce. There is no corporate privilege or malevolent bank practice that the lobbyists will not defend in the name of fostering economic growth.

One juicy sex scandal involving one or more politicians gets more ink than all the investigations of how special interests, well-paid lobbyists, billionaire funders, think-tank gun-slingers and slippery lawyers-for-hire operate to serve the status quo and stop even the most mild reform, if it might cost the industries they work for money or influence.

The administration locked itself into an alliance with Wall Street. They killed proposals for structural reform and restraints on private economic power. They were gambling on a turnaround - their version of faith-based politics - even as jobs showed no sign of coming back.

In short, they still have no answers and are not prepared to fight any messy battles with the real power structure. In the name of pragmatism, they betrayed their own campaign compromises and tacked right to out-Republican even the Republicans.

They call it "triangulation". Their critics call it "a sell-out", and what was left of the left was quickly left out.

Continue reading here.

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