Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is launching an apparent attack on the Wall Street banks that finance much of her campaign.
Clinton, a massive recipient of Wall Street donations, published an op-ed Monday in The New York Times promising to go further than Obama to regulate banks.
“Right now, Republicans in Congress are working to attach damaging deregulation riders to the must-pass spending bill. They’re attempting to defund the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They want to roll back common-sense efforts to prevent conflicts of interest by financial managers. And they’re trying to undo constraints on risk at some of the largest and most complex financial institutions.”
However, tight federal regulations are not merely designed to prevent unwanted behavior — they’re also designed to help politicians extract even more donations from worried executives.
Executives hand over more donations to ensure that new “tighter” regulations favor them or hurt their commercial rivals. So Clinton’s threat of more regulation of the financial sector is also an invite for more donations from the financial sector.
“President Obama and congressional Democrats should do everything they can to stop these efforts. But it’s not enough simply to protect the progress we have made. As president, I would not only veto any legislation that would weaken financial reform, but I would also fight for tough new rules, stronger enforcement and more accountability that go well beyond Dodd-Frank.”
Clinton has also added a new line to her stump speech about how President George W. Bush “took his eye off” Wall Street and the housing sector.
Clinton initially introduced some Elizabeth Warren-sounding bits in her stump speech at the booze-filled “Women For Hillary” event at the Hyatt Regency in Washington, D.C. By the time she vowed, “I will overturn Citizens United,” the progressive women in the audience were feeling the good vibes.
But her new progressive castigation of the financial sector clashes with her other talking points, including her claim that she accepted Wall Street cash because she was the senator from New York after 9/11, and Wall Street was part of her constituency.
The campaign has kept returning to the “9/11” claim, even though adviser Jen Palmieri said they would stop.
Wall Street donations aside, Clinton has other problems here. Her president husband happened to be the president who repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, allowing massive speculative investment by Wall Street banks.
Her husband’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) office, led by Andrew Cuomo, put in place the mandatory quotas on high-risk minority housing loans that led Fannie and Freddie — and the nation — down the yellow brick road to the 2008 financial collapse.
Peter Wallison wrote in The American Spectator on the growth in home ownership during the ’90s:
“In 1993 it was 63 percent; by the end of theClinton administration it was 68 percent. The growth in the Bush administration was about 1 percent. The Times itself reported in 1999 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were under pressure from the Clinton administration to increase lending to minorities and low-income home buyers–a policy that necessarily entailed higher risks. Can there really be a question, other than in the fevered imagination of the Times, where the push to reduce lending standards and boost home ownership came from?”