We’d been seeing memos that Herr Trump was about to “gut Dodd-Frank banking regulations”, not that guttin’ something with no guts would be possible. “The most significant banking regulations since the 1930’s” Obama had called it. Well, yay-uss, not to mention “the only”, etc. So when I’d clicked into the Trotskyites’ place and read this title by barry grey, ‘Trump issues orders to roll back bank regulations’, wsws.org, I wondered what he might be about to say.
The essential points:
“Trump’s actions target in particular the 2010 Dodd-Frank bank regulations and a Labor Department rule set to take effect in April requiring financial advisers to put the interests of retired clients before their own monetary rewards.”
“Among the dozen or so corporate executives in attendance were Jamie Dimon, another billionaire, who heads JPMorgan Chase, the largest US bank, and Laurence D. Fink, the mega-millionaire chief of the investment firm BlackRock.” (yes, how many blowjobs did Obama give Dimon?)
Then a section on anti-regulatory orders across the board, EPA, OSHA, infrastructure windfall to private investors projects, cuts to the social safety net (I haven’t seen those yet, myself) hiring freezes galore; you get the drift. But finally he got to this:
“Trump and his aides have denounced the 2010 Dodd-Frank law as a “disaster” and an “overreach” of government authority, and they have questioned its constitutionality. In fact, it is a largely token measure passed mainly to provide political cover for Obama’s multi-trillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street and the financial elite.
Under Obama, not a single leading banker was prosecuted for the criminal activities that led to the biggest financial disaster and deepest slump since the 1930s, destroying the jobs, life savings and living standards of tens of millions of workers in the US and around the world.
Despite the minimal restraints imposed by Dodd-Frank, during the Obama years bank profits soared, the wealth of the richest 400 Americans increased from $1.57 trillion to $2.4 trillion, the Dow rose by 148 percent, and the concentration of income and wealth in the hands of the top 10 percent, and above all the top 1 percent and 0.01 percent, reached historically unprecedented levels.
But the financial oligarchy, whose grip on the country increased under Obama, will brook not even minor limitations on its “right” to plunder the American and world economy. The Obama years paved the way for the emergence, in the Trump administration, of a government that embodies the oligarchy not only in its policies, but also in its personnel, beginning with the billionaire real estate speculator and reality TV star at its head.”
Then he lists the billionaires in his cabinet, and their “to-do” list attacks on banking regs, including trashing the Volcker rule on FDIC-insured proprietary trading, and further nasties, in the name of “unshackling the banks”. Oh, my; they’ve been so shackled, haven’t they? Damned DOW just hit 20,000 again on the ‘Big News!’
After noting the new Congressional R’s secrecy provision re: Big Oil lobbying ‘contributions’ to governments around the globe, Grey ends with:
“The Democrats will do nothing to oppose these policies. Their opposition to Trump is focused on differences over US imperialist foreign policy, not opposition to his assault on the democratic and social rights of working people.
But workers looking for an alternative to the political establishment who may have entertained hopes in Trump’s promises to restore decent-paying jobs will be rapidly disabused. The realization that they have once again been conned will have socially explosive consequences.”
Whooosh; I’m glad he got there in the end.
There are some excellent comments, especially Jason Howell’s. I tweaked one from an Aussie for this title.
Tell it, Buffy.
A somewhat similar message to partisan Ds, Rs, and the pressitute media is Paul Street’s ‘Unspeakable: the Black Book of Imperial Terrorism’. feb. 3. at Counterpunch.
His finale is the message:
“In the meantime, here’s something CNN will never tell Donald Trump, his fan Dr. Cook, and the many Democrats and Republicans who’ve been trained to stick their heads in Orwellian sand on Superpower’s crimes: the simplest and most reliable way to stem the Muslim refugee flow is to stop waging criminal wars against Muslim countries. The vast taxpayer largesse squandered on these unwarranted and racist wars should instead be given to the nations the U.S. and NATO have destroyed – and to addressing social, civic, and environmental needs at home.”
But along the way he quotes Mike Lofgren’s book on the Deep State:
“Even as commentators decry a broken government that cannot marshal the money, the will, or the competence to repair our roads and bridges, heal our war veterans, or even roll out a health care website, there is always enough money and will, and maybe just a bare minimum of competence to overthrow foreign governments, fight the longest war in U.S. history, and conduct dragnet surveillance over the entire surface of the planet (p.4)…It is as if Hadrian’s Wall was still fully manned and the fortifications along the border with Germania were never stronger, even as the city of Rome disintegrated from within and the life-sustaining aqueducts leading down from the hills began to crumble.” (p.216
“A Proven History of Terrorism
Also unspeakable is the criminality of what the America Empire – accurately described by Dr. King in 1967 as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world” – does abroad. It is unthinkable that CNN might challenge Dr. Cook’s notion of the U.S. as a nation that tries to “rescue the rest of the world.”
The correction would include confronting Washington’s role in criminally devastating some of the very nations from which Trump has tried to ban travelers and refugees. Iraq, for one leading example, has been subject to two mass-murderous U.S. invasions along with an intervening decade plus of deadly economic sanctions that have combined to kill millions, maim millions, and displace millions more.” then Libya, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen.”
The following sections make one too sick to bear; be warned, including, but not limited to, by any means:
Highway of Death
“Journalists and others looking for proven histories of terrorism might also want to reflect on the hideous carnage wreaked by the U.S. military on Iraq’s notorious “Highway of Death,” where U.S. forces massacred tens of thousands of surrendered Iraqi troops retreating from Kuwait on February 26 and 27, 1991” (the rest is here.)
But he didn’t mention the thousands of Iraqi National Guard who were pushed into bulldozer-dug mass graves and…buried alive. Post war coverage deep inside the Denver Post at the time.
“For all I know, we could have killed thousands,” said Col. Anthony Moreno, commander of the 2nd Brigade that led the assault on the heaviest defenses.
“I came through right after the lead company. What you saw was a bunch of buried trenches with peoples’ arms and things sticking out of them.”
“I know burying people like that sounds pretty nasty,” Maggart said, “but it would be even nastier if we had to put our troops in the trenches and clean them out with bayonets.”
It’s how the corrupt, war-mongering US late-stage capitalism seeks to extend its Empire.