They’re Not Embarrassed……

Posted: December 1, 2010 in Non-AZ, The Economy

Listening to the radio yesterday on my way home from work I heard something absolutely infuriating.  Kyle Risdall, host of Marketplace produced by American Public Radio was talking about the latest Wikileaks revelation that another big leak will come next month and this time it will be from a major U.S. Bank.  The comment that stunned me was that Kyle felt that ‘Wall Street couldn’t be embarrassed any more than it already has been’ (my paraphrase).

WTF!  By what actions has Wall Street exhibited embarrassment?  If he is referring to the statements of Bank and Investment House CEO’s at previous Congressional Hearings, then he is grossly exaggerating their mumblings of pseudo-mortification.  Sure they mouthed words like “we’re sorry” and “we take responsibility” and “we’re implementing changes to prevent future blah blah blah”.  But I’m fairly certain their embarrassment was feigned.  Here’s why:

  • They fought Congressional banking ref0rm this year.  Lobbying expenditures jumped 12% from 2008 to $29.8 million last year among the eight banks and private equity firms that spent the most to influence the new laws (LA Times)
  • They made profits.  Finance companies made a profit of $330.1 billion at an annual rate in the second quarter of 2010 (ViewsWire*)
  • They refuse to reinvest.  Corporations and banks are sitting on trillions in cash refusing to hire and expand while unemployment remains above 10% (and realistically speaking including those who have given up looking for work is actually more like 17.5%) (CNBC)
  • They’re back to their extravagant shenanigans.  Just one example:  On Halloween an investment analyst at Goldman Sachs had an open bar for 1,000 of his closest friends and paid to have Lil Kim perform for them.  (CNBC)

So rentals are back up in the Hamptons for Wall Street, but Main Street folks can’t afford to live on Main Street or any street for that matter.  Wall Street pays for unlimited booze while Main Street is grateful for untainted tap water at the local soup kitchen.  Wall Street is buying more from elite auction houses while Main Street has garage sales to make ends meet.  I could go on and on here.  Wall Street is not embarrassed and anyone who says so is deaf, dumb, or in on the scam.

Needless to say I will welcome anything embarrassing and revelatory regarding the malfiesance of U.S. Banks.  While I don’t like Assange**, I won’t look this gift horse in the mouth. 

h/t B0b Cesca for the title of this post

*Note:  If you click through to this article, it tries to make the point that the banks, particularly FDIC insured ones, have not recovered as well as other businesses.  However, it’s a stupid argument.  That amount of profit compared to Americans becoming homeless, going hungry, and losing healthcare is the comparison that should be made.
** I doubt his motives
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