Saturday evening, the New York Times put up an important editorial, The Banks Win Again, on its website regarding the financial crisis, an editorial piece that would be key in their Sunday Morning Edition Opinion Section:
Last week was a big one for the banks. On Monday, the foreclosure settlement between the big banks and federal and state officials was filed in federal court, and it is now awaiting a judge’s all-but-certain approval. On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve announced the much-anticipated results of the latest round of bank stress tests.
How did the banks do on both? Pretty well, thank you — and better than homeowners and American taxpayers.
That is not only unfair, given banks’ huge culpability in the mortgage bubble and financial meltdown. It also means that homeowners and the economy still need more relief, and that the banks, without more meaningful punishment, will not be deterred from the next round of misbehavior.
The nation is on the cusp on having the government, both federal and states, sign off on arguably the biggest financial fraud on the American public in history, and doing so in a way that massively rewards the offending financial institutions and refuses serious investigation, much less prosecution, of any participants perpetrating the conduct. This pattern of craven conduct cratered not just the US economy, but most of the world economy.
In the face of all this, David Gregory and MTP had on the Sunday morning show one of the most senior Senators in the United States Senate, John McCain, who serves as a key member of both the Governmental Affairs and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees, both of which are integrally affected by, and concerned with, the financial collapse and the financial fraud, churning and undercapitalization that directly caused it.
Oh, and this oh so worthy Meet The Press guest, a man such a fixture and well known to the MTP crew that he has been an honored guest 64 (sixty four!) times – the Right Honorable Senator John Sidney McCain III – just so happens to have been one of the key players in the only recent analogous situation to the current financial collapse, the Savings & Loan Crisis scandal of the late 80s and early 90s. McCain, who unethically conspired with one of the key men convicted of substantive crimes (criminal charges are curiously NOT being sought currently) in the Savings & Loan Crisis, Charlie Keating. McCain nearly lost his political career over it. John Sidney McCain III, who was so tight with the living epitome of the destructive Savings & Loan Crisis, Charlie Keating, that he frequented Charlie’s Bahama Keys mansion (traveling on Charlie’s private jets) and donned pineapple hats with his best buddy for booze filled Bahama birthday bashes. Booyah!
The same John Sidney McCain III who resurrected his Savings & Loan Crisis cratered career on supposedly getting corrupt money out of government and insuring that another mass financial fraud could not gut the country’s economy. The same McCain who bellowed about the corrupting influence of the moneychangers and their crooked cash. You would think the esteemed David Gregory would want to do his country a service and explore this topic that has most affected every American’s life over the last five years and that still roils and depresses the US economy and leads to debilitating unemployment and underemployment rates.
You would think David Gregory, NBC and the venerated and esteemed Meet The Press would want to discuss how the government’s perfidy in refusing competent investigation and prosecution has resulted in heinous offenders like Bank of America being bigger than ever and ready to crater the economy again, as lamented by the spot on Matt Taibbi recently:
It’s been four years since the government, in the name of preventing a depression, saved this megabank from ruin by pumping $45 billion of taxpayer money into its arm. Since then, the Obama administration has looked the other way as the bank committed an astonishing variety of crimes – some elaborate and brilliant in their conception, some so crude that they’d be beneath your average street thug. Bank of America has systematically ripped off almost everyone with whom it has a significant business relationship, cheating investors, insurers, depositors, homeowners, shareholders, pensioners and taxpayers. It brought tens of thousands of Americans to foreclosure court using bogus, “robo-signed” evidence – a type of mass perjury that it helped pioneer. It hawked worthless mortgages to dozens of unions and state pension funds, draining them of hundreds of millions in value. And when it wasn’t ripping off workers and pensioners, it was helping to push insurance giants like AMBAC into bankruptcy by fraudulently inducing them to spend hundreds of millions insuring those same worthless mortgages.
But despite being the very definition of an unaccountable corporate villain, Bank of America is now bigger and more dangerous than ever. It controls more than 12 percent of America’s bank deposits (skirting a federal law designed to prohibit any firm from controlling more than 10 percent), as well as 17 percent of all American home mortgages. By looking the other way and rewarding the bank’s bad behavior with a massive government bailout, we actually allowed a huge financial company to not just grow so big that its collapse would imperil the whole economy, but to get away with any and all crimes it might commit. Too Big to Fail is one thing; it’s also far too corrupt to survive.
You would think the NBC braintrust would want to talk about the most important issue on the burner over the last few years – and still today – financial fraud and government complicity and regulatory failure. And who better to discuss it with than a founding member of the Keating Five? But, of course, you would be wrong. No, NBC and their dancing stooge David Gregory instead engaged in a longwinded gossip fest on the inane and intellectually ignorant current GOP Primary horserace. Because that is what Dancin Dave, Meet The Press and NBC are now, cheap political gossip mongers who make Access Hollywood look like serious reportage.
Maybe we should cut Dancing David Gregory some slack tough, his mind was undoubtedly preoccupied with his upcoming admission into the Chevy Chase Club, the “historic social club that has catered to Washington’s wealthiest for over a century”.
[And, if you are wondering, yes that picture of John Sidney McCain III in the asinine pineapple hat is quite real and was taken at his special birthday party he jetted down to Charlie Keating’s Bahama Keys mansion and estate for with Keating and other sundry revelers. Okay, I did let TWolf add some colorization….]