Greedy Wall Street or a Political Bunch of Bull?As a country, we elect a President, 435 members of the House of Representatives and 100 members of the U.S. Senate to watch over our health and well being. We expect them to insure that our food supplies and the drugs we are taking are safe for us to consume. We expect them to protect us from all domestic and foreign enemies.
We very much expect them to make sure that our money and our finances are safe. Our government has supposedly set up a Treasury Department, a Federal Reserve Banking System, a Securities and Exchange Commission, a Commerce Department, A Department of Housing and Urban Development, and a whole host of financial oversights to insure that. Yet, none of them did their jobs and we now find ourselves in the midst of a financial collapse and the only thing our elected Representatives can say is that it was the fault of "Greedy Wall Street."
I, for one, am not buying that. That's because the Executive Branch and our Congress were asleep at the wheel. It's not Wall Street, it's our elected officials that are all at fault. But, politicians just love to deflect the blame. And, this one takes the cake!
While our representatives were having hearings on steroid abuse in baseball, the financial walls of this country were collapsing. Key members of the Senate Banking Committee were saying that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were just fine. But, thanks to campaign contributions, it appears there was too much "rose" in those rose-colored glasses.
George Bush and his Administration knew damn well that there were problems at Fannie and Freddie but miserably failed to forcefully bring those issues to forefront. Freddie and Fannie were well-populated with ex-Clinton people and, so, the senior Democratic members of the Senate Banking Committee did everything in their power to shield them from any investigation and exposure. From 2004 and beyond, key financial figures in this country were shouting out that the housing boom was a boom waiting to bust and our Congress wasn't even listening. All along, there were warning signs; yet, our elected officials were both deaf and blind.
The next time you hear the words "Greedy Wall Street," I would suggest you think, instead: "Partisan, incompetent, and corrupt elected officials who left the American people out in the cold!" That's where the real blame lies!
Image of the bronze "Charging Bull" (aka The Wall Street Bull) by sculptor Arturo Di Modica was taken by Christopher Chan for his Flickr site with Creative Commons Licensing. Some rights retained. (Click to View Other Works).
Today, we are almost 5 years past the beginnings of the housing collapse and the eventual financial crisis. Yet, there has never been a criminal indictment of any Wall Street or banking executive. The top people at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also remain unscathed. We've had two politically-opposite Justice Departments since then and we've had a completely Democrat-controlled Congress with a Democrat President who could have clearly made political hay out of going after Wall Street and the banks. But, not so. To me, this just shows that our own politicians and government officials are afraid to go after anyone because they, themselves, and maybe some past Presidents, might be seriously exposed as being complicit in the housing/financial fiascoes. Ya think?