It Keeps Getting Better

By James Kwak

Remember when Steve Schwarzman said that taxing carried interest was “like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939”? Or when Lloyd Blankfein said he was doing “God’s work”? Apparently, titans of finance can’t stop themselves from giving good copy. The latest is in Max Abelson’s Bloomberg article in Bloomberg on Wall Street’s search for a Republican presidential candidate who will wave their flag: low individual taxes and a rollback of financial regulation. John Taft, U.S. CEO of RBC Wealth Management, “likened his fear for the country to ‘hiding under my desk during air-raid drills because of the Cuban missile crisis,’ when ‘literally the future of humanity hung in the balance,'” before beginning a suggestion, “If I were God.”

More seriously, the financial sector expects to be able to choose the next Republican presidential nominee. In the words of one political strategist, with Chris Christie on the rocks, “The establishment is now looking for another favorite. . . . And by the establishment, I mean Wall Street.” At the moment, the big money is desperate enough to be looking at fringe candidates like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio (although what they most long for is the third coming of Bush). Basically, there are huge piles of cash looking for a friendly political home, and the level of hysteria is likely to surpass what we saw in 2012. We should at least get some entertaining quotes out of it.

19 thoughts on “It Keeps Getting Better

  1. Your use of the word “hysterical” is apt, I think. I view many of these ultra-rich and many of the tea party people almost as hysterical little children. They just can’t imagine a world where they’re not in total control and where people besides them may share some of the control and have more opportunities.

  2. It is remarkable how politically naive these folks are. Does their experience in 2012 count for nothing? Romney was one of them and look how well he did.

  3. A Republican presidential candidate who will support low individual taxes and a rollback of financial regulation? Where the hell are they going to find that?


    …data from the Center for Responsive Politics’ database to display the top political donors from 1989 to 2014, along with their total donations. Here are some highlights for the period:

    About $1 billion flowed into campaign contributions between 1989 and 2014.

    The top donor is ActBlue, an online political action committee dedicated to raising funds for Democrats.

    Fourteen labor unions were among the top 25 political campaign contributors.

    Three public sector unions were among the fourteen: the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees; the National Education Association; and the American Federation of Teachers. Their combined contributions amount to $150 million dollars, or 15 percent of total donations, since 1989.

    Public and private sector unions contributed 55.6 percent, or $552 million, of all campaign contributions.

  5. act blue collects money for other organizations, but you knew that didnt you

    and lets go back to 1989 when there were actually a few unions left

  6. The kind of duress you can apply – “do it or get fired” – to “labor” that is not unionized can get as extreme as anything else can when Nihilists take over writing laws because they BELIEVE that “we don’t need no stinking regulations”.

    Any time you “believe” something without providing proof of its truth, it’s a “religion”. Can’t take it seriously since no one has proof, nor will they. The material world, itself, is proof of “physics” that operate outside of the material world. A paradox, deal with it :-)

    The nub of the problem is that labor is nothing other than a consumer in a “free market”. Nothing wrong with that when you consider labor that is materially “sustainable” and life-sustaining.

    Man to land ratio – leave China alone to figure that out – they have geniuses, right?

    Every talking head on the teebee feeding propaganda – they’re doing it to not get fired. Sending tribes of broadcasters with the technology they need to film their script live are the only amassing army on the border with Russia.

    USA does not need Russia and Russia does not need the USA to take humanity back to swinging through the trees. What’s with the war drums?

  7. Hilary Clinton is no stranger to Wall Street as the former NY Senator.Wall Street last election swung right while Hollywood took up the slack on the Democrat side. What’s very interesting are how Pac’s operate yet few books are written about them.Larry Sabota’s book a few decades ago is very good. Most of pac work involves executive arm twisting where you pay up or look for another job.The other side are not saints either.

  8. Short, yet pretty damned funny. In fact taxing carried interest would be a great way to give incentive (or dissuade) corporations from taking on large amounts of debt, something Republicans constantly rail against and LECTURE the lower middle class and poor for doing. Apparently, Republicans don’t hold the same standard to corporate balance sheets. Often times we hear “Well if we ran our balance sheet in private business like Uncle Same does, we’d be out of business”. But if you actually look at the debt to equity ratios of the Dow Jones 30, you might start to wonder the accuracy of that…..

    Do Republicans REALLY want the lower middle class and poor to stop taking on debt?? Inactivity by Republican congressman to set stricter laws on Payday Loan outfits and articles like this might make you wonder:

    Some highlights lifted verbatim (with some skips) from Yael T. Abouhalkah’s article:

    In recent months, more attention fortunately has been paid to just how much damage the payday loan industry is doing to thousands upon thousands of people — often with limited financial means — by charging them excessive rates and fees on their loans.

    “Unfortunately, some of the worst practices have roots in the Kansas City area,” “The concentration of online lending operations here is not a point of regional pride, but it does point to a wealth of financial, technical and legal expertise and creativity.”

    One of the FTC complaints against Blaine and Scott Tucker, plus others, claimed they “made multiple withdrawals from borrowers’ bank accounts and assessed a new finance fee each time, without disclosing the true costs of the loan…. In many cases, the defendants’ inflated fees left borrowers with supposed debts of more than triple the amount they had borrowed.”

    In a comprehensive article, The Pitch last year examined how not just the Tucker family but others — sometimes connected to the St. Ann Catholic parish in Prairie Village — had made a lot of money in this business.

    One sobering excerpt: “But every credible study of the industry has found that the high interest rates and fees these outfits charge are designed to turn the loans into long-term debt burdens on the borrowers. These parishioners were involved in various business interests that enjoy astronomical profits by lending to borrowers at interest rates that commonly reach unholy heights of 700 percent.”
    Well, I guess if John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, John McCain (of Keating 5 fame), and Paul Ryan say “It’s the ‘American way’ the F*ck over your neighbor for a buck”, who are we to argue???

  9. Don’t doubt for a minute that they won’t manage to get Jeb into the fray for 2016. This will be the de facto rematch of the 1992 election, only now with the wife and a son of the former adversaries from (what will be then) 24 years ago.

  10. Economic sanctions against USA born and bred citizen’s enforced by the rethug hooligans that infiltrated your local Astronomy Club since you knew enough to not join any church after yours was emptied out by a “Polish” priest in the 1990s…..yeah, there is a difference between the 2 major parties – the Dems didn’t even know there was an Observatory and Astronomy Club….

    taxes, economy, energy, education….nope, still marthastewart-ing Putin…

  11. Hey, Kwak asked for it :-)

    No one is sitting around waiting for any hooligan to admit to their “sins” when they are still defending:

    More misery for others = More $$$$ for ME ME ME

    But I do think it is fair to question how torturers in the CIA got their funding through creative financial instruments.- that was pretty big operation, wasn’t it? At one time, there were more contractors in Iraq when both – taxpayer paid, and then taxpayer paid again – had 100K+ boots on the ground.

    Where have the rethugs embedded those “veterans”? Scary, right. Need a Union just for that level of depravity among you calling the shots.

    You nimrods under-estimate how far you have fallen in the public opinion polls. Can’t even delete real time meta-data collection anymore without it being 99% of the population – each with a “niche” reason for not backing down from questioning ethics – ethics as stuff not needing “belief” to be real…

    Of course greedy, fetish-driven, bat-shit crazy torturers went digitally after the people who stood up with conviction against the war drums. Like, duh.

    Turns out that the “niche” was 40 million of the “intelligensia” in USA society – average loss to that “middle class” was 50K.

    Call it whatever you want, that was the transfer of wealth right there. From doctor to torturer….

  12. If you think of technology as a form of life it explains the situation.. In the past technology was in evolutionary cooperation with humanity but now increasingly it is in competition with human. If we think of technology as a conquering force against all humanity with both white and blue collars being automated out of a job it makes sense, the white collars collaborate with the enemy to maintain their elite position and are payed according to how many potential human enemies they impoverish via legalities scams or automation. Computers now control the economy which means they control the nation,ultimately including the military which is funded by the economy, The collaborators collect wealth not so much “for” the .1% who already have plenty, but to keep it out of the hands of the 99.9% who are all potential pro human anti automation revolutionaries if things bet bad enough, and they probably will.

  13. Spending trillions on “technology” to create drones that kill from a man-ed joystick control in Utah is INIQUITY.

    Parasites are a life form that don’t have the DNA intelligence to discern “ethics”.

    Ditto for nimrods – so the discussion goes back to whether anyone has a DUTY to be ruled by an automated parasitic algorithm set on “extract”.

    The correct answer, btw, is “No”.

    When has mankind ever backed down from a fight against tyranny?


    first google search:

    hedge fund
    a limited partnership of investors that uses high risk methods, such as investing with borrowed money, in hopes of realizing large capital gains.

    These “gods” stole ownership using what you owned (your labor wages saved in a bank) as their “leverage”.

    And spent it on a decade of “war”…..the psychobabble and “religion” that was used to distract from the massive theft was INIQUITY.

    So hurling humanity through phases of “creative destruction” (how is THAT not political Nihilism?!) from agriculture to industrial to this “computer” phase in a little over 100 years must mean that there is a “plan” for humanity for what comes after “computers” displacing labor…how much “humanity” will be living like a billionaire on a totally environmentally trashed planet?

    More misery for others = More $$$$ for ME ME ME

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